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:
- Mother; and
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.