Posts tagged "Crone"

The Quadruple Goddess (Sol Ascendans)


The “Triple Goddess” was an idea first proposed by Robert Graves in “The White Goddess” and nowadays taken as gospel by modern neo-pagan groups. However, I have a problem with it – for the following reason. The “Triple Goddess” supposedly represents three ideals of womanhood, Maid, Mother and Crone, or to put it another way:

  • In the first stage of her life, a woman is a chaste virgin (Maid);
  • Then as she enters adulthood, she becomes a dutiful wife and home-maker (Mother);
  • Then she becomes a nice old Grandma (Crone).

Seen in this way, the Triple Goddess, far from representing the ideal of womanhood, represents the apotheosizing of a patriarchal, sexist and chauvinistic male idea of what womanhood should be.

If, however, The White Goddess had been written by a woman, i.e. a woman living in the twenty-first century, I suspect that the idea of a “Triple Goddess” would not have been proposed at all. Rather, she would have come up with the idea of a “Quadruple Goddess,” to wit:

  • Maid;
  • “Whore”;
  • Mother; and
  • Crone.

I.e. to represent the fact that in between being a Maid and settling down to become a Mother, most young women – and certainly all those of my acquaintance – want to spend several years going out and having a good time.

Read more at Sol Ascendans

Actually, I have The White Goddess sitting on my shelf within arm’s reach. The quadruple goddess is an interesting idea. I think, though, that—at least for me—she would still be represented by a triple goddess, except that Whore would replace Mother. That is: Maiden, Whore, Crone. I see no reason in my life to force motherhood upon myself when I’m not inclined to it in any way (nor do I expect I would be any good at it if it were forced upon me) and find my mothering someone else of no personal value.

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