The Maiden: Three-in-One Goddess of the Witches

by JoHarrington

The Triple Goddess is a major deity in Wicca. She is a single being, who is viewed as three divine women: Maiden, Mother and Crone.

A new baby arrives screaming into the world. The midwife rushes to clear its mouth and wipe the gunk from its face.

A new shoot of greenery pokes through the soil. Sun and rain conspire to nurture it.

A bright-eyed and bushy-tailed new recruit walks into reception. First day in a new job and the suit is barely off the hanger. Nerves abound as they meet their employer for the induction meeting.

Welcome to the world of the Maiden.

From Girl to Goddess by Valerie Estelle Franklin

Maiden: The Goddess of the Waxing Moon

In Her Maiden aspect, the Lady brings in the new and teaches us to be carefree. This is what it means to have potential.

Have you ever caught a glimpse of the New Moon in an inky black night? 

The slim crescent seems to smile in its glowing, but the fascination lies in what is barely seen. That outline of darkness denoting the rest of the orb. 

You can tell it by where it isn't, more than where it is.  You know that during the course of this month (moon-th) cycle, the bright crescent will grow to fill the gap. 

It'll reach its zenith in the full moon, then withdraw into a mirror image of the one above us now. Then fade into a Dark Moon.  Gone.

That's whole weeks away.  For now, we have happened to look up right at the beginning of something.  A pathway right on the threshold of formation. 

The start of a journey or a quest.

It's the same sensation that puts a bounce in our step at the start of a new year.  All of those resolutions and celebration; a kind of relief that, with the turning of the calendar, we have somehow wiped the slate clean.

More relief later, as the warming sun chases the winter back and propels us into Spring.  The foliage thickens, turns green and blossoms all around us.  Plants return to the hedgerows.  Fields start filling again with crops.  A whole year is laid out before us, to charter with our plans, and anticipation brings an energy.

This is all the Maiden.  This is her burgeoning realm of something new; and the enthusiasm to follow our destiny, wherever it make take us, or we take it.

Duran Duran Pass from the Crone to the Maiden

'New Moon on Monday' was too well named to skip here! But the song's story also shows a progression towards the Maiden.

Maiden Moon Pendant Necklaces

Buy a waxing crescent moon pendant to wear for energy, revitalization and inspiration.

The Maiden as Goddess of New Beginnings

She is the transformative Lady, the one who will emerge from the wreckage of the past and help you rebuild for a bright, new tomorrow.

It's worth remembering that the Triple Goddess is all one deity. 

She doesn't begin with the Maiden, nor end with the Crone.

Like the moon and the seasons, She is both all at the same time and She shows Her faces in a cycle.

The Crone rules over destruction and change.  She will tear everything down, in order to facilitate new growth in the future.  But once the changes are all made, the Crone steps back. 

This is now the domain of the Maiden.  She is the one with the youth and vitality to rebuild.

Take the vague storyline behind New Moon on Monday by Duran Duran.  There is a regime which is apparently quite evil.  The band-members organize a revolt under the auspices of the revolutionary La Luna.  The people rise up and the regime is destroyed, along with its surveillance technology.

So far, so Crone.  But the final scene involves a huge party in the square, fireworks and a sense that they will recreate society along improved lines.  La Luna, like Liberty, is destruction.

What comes next is rebirth, growth, expansion, new ideas and a different way of doing things.  It's exciting and it's bold.  They have their whole lives in front of them and a new world to create.  The Maiden will be right alongside them, as they craft their Constitution and start the process of nation building.

Every time that we turn over a new leaf in our ordinary lives, or get a new hair-style, or reinvent ourselves in other ways, the Maiden is smiling on.

The Dorset Maiden: Goddess Statue for your Garden

The Maiden as Goddess of Trying New Things

This aspect of the Goddess encourage us to venture into the unknown. Step out of our comfort zone and try something new. Become passionate about your discoveries!

Just recently, I've really become enamored of Cory Doctorow's writing.  I'm devouring book after book after book. 

His story-lines, and the real world implications inherent in his plots, have kept me musing long after the final line.  I feel like the scales have fallen from my eyes, particularly on his favorite theme of copyright.

In short, I've been enchanted.  I've found something new and exciting, which I want to pursue to the end of the line. 

It happens a lot.  It could be a band that I like or a film that's caught my imagination.  More usefully, it might be a campaign, cause or ideology.

Academically, it might be a previously unresearched period of history, which suddenly catches my attention.

All of these things would fall under the auspices of the Maiden.  They are mini-revolutions in my life.  Tiny interests enflamed into a passion, however transitory.  They still count as new beginnings.

But I'm not yet there.  Speak to me in a year, and I will be able to chat with you about any Cory Doctorow story that you wish to discuss.  Right now, I can't really do that.  I haven't yet read them.  I'm still learning.  I've not graduated from the pile of books left unread.  When I do, I'll be the Mother.

Then I'll equally know what to do with all of that acquired knowledge!

Books for Teenage Wiccans

We all had to start somewhere. Buy these books for a little Maiden guidance on your spiritual path.

The Maiden as Goddess of Progress

She invites us to think of things from a different angle, consider the old ways in a new light, and explore new ideas of our own.

One day, it occurred to someone to cook their food before eating it. 

Whole colonies of bacteria were thus destroyed and people didn't die so much from related viruses.   

One day, in the middle of the Crusades, some of the Knights of St John availed themselves of medical training amongst the Greeks and the Arabs. 

Knowing how handy their new skills were in war, they then organized themselves up and down the front lines. 

When someone fell, said knights would rush in with stretchers and carry the wounded into makeshift tents.

They got to practice and explore their medical training, but moreover they invented the ambulance practically by accident.

Fast forward a few centuries until 1854, when Florence Nightingale and her thirty-eight nurses took that old idea and ran with it.

By the time they'd finished exploring new ways of doing things, with the injured and dying of the Crimean War as their subjects, Nightingale was ready to set the foundations of modern nursing.

It's not the safety nor the improvements which are necessarily governed by the Maiden.  It's the really good idea which sparked them.  It's the journey from conception through to inception, then on until perfection.

Every time you have that eureka moment, the Maiden is bouncing around, egging you on, and providing the burst of adrenaline needed to put it all into practice. 

Books about Great Ideas, Inventions and Life Hacking

Buy these guides to see how the Maiden works in practical terms. She learns, she grows, she shares her tips and tricks along the way.

The Maiden as Goddess of Learning

We aren't born experts at anything. This aspect of the Goddess gives us the stamina to get through the education, in order to become skilled and much wiser.

I really wasted school.  Oh! I did the work and passed the exams; and I made a lot of friends.  But I didn't appreciate it at the time. 

I'd love to go back there now, instead of having to deal with all of this adult stuff.

It's one of the great conundrums and cruelties of life that, by the time you're wise enough to truly live it, you're too old to be bothered. 

Those with the energy and devil-may-care attitude are all so young.  They haven't the life experience to channel that energy in precisely perfect ways.

The Maiden radiates exuberance.  She will rush into things, which older people are too cautious to try.  She's not set in Her ways.

In fact, She's only now forging and exploring her ways. 

All things are there to be tested and learned, then taken on board or discarded.  She doesn't know it all and that's fabulous, because each day is a new adventure.

By the time She has made enough progress (and mistakes) to really know what She's doing, She will be the Mother.  In many ways, the Maiden is therefore the promise of fulfillment to come; the Queen of Jam Tomorrow.  There's all that potential, if we could just jump through these hoops and graduate from that course.

But none of this means that She is worthless.  There is more to life than wisdom.  Some of our greatest discoveries and headways into the future have been made, because some young person hasn't grasped that it was supposed to have been impossible.  Old, wise folks don't necessarily know what works today, only what worked yesterday.

Youth should therefore be celebrated; and the Maiden should really be leading the way.

Goddess Storybooks for Kids Aged 8 and Above

What a good idea! These tales are set in Mount Olympus High. They tell the old stories in a very modern context.

The Maiden as the Young Goddess of Any Age

There's no doubt that the Maiden is the Goddess of Youth, thus teaching us that even the most ancient may be young and carefree.

This shouldn't be taken to mean that only the young are guided or protected by the Maiden.   Old dogs do learn new tricks, you know.

Take, for example, an elderly and rather frail woman.  She can no longer safely care for herself in her life-long home, so she has moved into a care home.  Suddenly there's company and nurses on watch 24/7.  Is she now the Crone?

No.  She was yesterday, when her things were all being packed up and she was turning the front door key in her old house.  That was destruction and the end of things.  But the first time that she settled down with a nice cup of tea, and took in her new surroundings, she was the Maiden again.

Newness, expansion and growth - all the keywords of the Maiden - can happen at any age.

Nina Simone is Feeling Good about Meeting the Maiden

Posters of the Goddess in Her Maiden Aspect

Articles about the Three-in-One Maiden and Her Realm

Traditionally, Beltane bridal dresses are green, red or white/silver. To match the Lady as a May Queen bride, you will need to don a green handfasting gown.
A sexist exultation of wife abuse and male pride? Or a Medieval strike towards female empowerment? Erec et Enide requires some context to be enjoyed today.
It began with a search for the husband who'd deserted her. It ended up on the battlefields of Europe and India. No-one guessed she was a woman.
The actress Hedy Lamarr was one of the biggest names in American and European cinema. She also invented the technology used in today's broadband and bluetooth.
Updated: 04/16/2014, JoHarrington
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


JoHarrington on 05/25/2014

I wonder if, in two years time, you'll think something similar about the message that you just left. The endless journey of wonder goes on. :)

Ember on 05/24/2014

I just read the first comment I left here and it nearly made me cry. And I'm at work. (Of course with all our construction there were luckily no customers to see that awkward moment LOL). It also made me laugh.

It's not like I can't remember two years back, but that was weird, like visiting a past self, and I can see the journey I took I guess.

Appropriately, I've read this article again in a time in my life where I appear to be going through a lot of personal changes at the moment. Very amused about that.

JoHarrington on 10/25/2012

It sounds like you've both had a very Maiden/quest year! Though Kenna managed to grab a good punchline. Just add a punchline to your own and use it for the movie tag-line.

Who will be playing you by the way?

Ember on 10/25/2012

"Every time that we turn over a new leaf in our ordinary lives, or get a new hair-style, or reinvent ourselves in other ways, the Maiden is smiling on."

I think over the last year I went though a lot of personal changes, like literally just about reinventing myself. It'd been happening for a while, but it reached a point where I could no longer be both things, like my path had been splitting for a while and over the past year is when I'd reached the actual fork in the path and had to decide which way I was going to go. For quite a while unable to even answer basic questions about myself. I'd just say that I didn't want to talk about it or that I just didn't know to certain topics and questions, because I didn't want to have to make that decision. It turns out that Kenna was figuring out many of the same things herself over that same year (which made it tough because I didn't really have the person I wanted most to lean on during that time :C). But I just talked to her about it the other night, and she told me her story, which was in every way a million times more dramatic than mine...But she honestly wouldn't be herself if it wasn't, and she got to the end of her story and basically the tl;dr was that the fuel to one of her biggest personal life changes was "two boys, a lip ring, and a wardrobe change." For me it was a few panic attacks, a bit of crying, and then deciding just to give things the time they needed for me to be comfortable enough with them...But, hey, leave it to the artist to make it so a piece of jewelry and clothing end up with such powerful meanings behind them.

I'm not wiccan, or anything, obviously, but it is interesting putting it in a perspective like this, like that this is a new sort of phase and I'm just in the beginning stages or whatever. Anyways, I've been having more fun with the idea that I can actually define myself, instead of stressing out over no longer having that thing in my life that practically defined me. xD

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