The Triple Goddess is one of the two primary deities in the Wiccan faith and is also worshipped in different forms in many other neopagan religions. Although many new witches most likely have heard of Her, they may not have a full grasp of Her and the meaning that She has to all who worship Her.
Who is the Triple Goddess, exactly?
The Triple Goddess has a long history of being worshipped by many different faiths in one form or another. But Her modern form that most know about today has origins in the works of Robert Graves.
Graves took the folklore and beliefs from ancient religions and used their different forms of goddesses and the imagery they had of three aspects to flesh out the concept of the Triple Goddess that so many pagans now worship in the modern day.
Although different faiths have different beliefs regarding the Triple Goddess, they are all based on the same principle: a goddess that embodies three different forms. These forms are the different stages of life and are represented as different moon phases.
For Wiccans, the Triple Goddess is the feminine counterpart to the Horned God. The Horned God is represented by the sun much in the same way that the Triple Goddess is represented by the moon. Together, they complement each other while being opposite forces. This is similar to the concept of Yin and Yang, in which Yin is the representation of femininity, and Yang is masculinity.
The phases of the moon and the stages of life
The three different aspects that the Triple Goddess takes represent the different stages of life that every woman goes through. These forms are that of the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone. Each one of these aspects are associated with the phases of the moon as it orbits Earth: the waxing crescent, full moon, and the waning crescent, respectively. Together, the Goddess represents both the cycle of life and the cycle of the moon simultaneously.
Each of these aspects has several meanings associated with them:
· The Maiden/waxing crescent – innocence, youth, enchantment, discovery, independence, creativity, and the promise of new beginnings.
· The Mother/full moon – fertility, sexuality, adulthood, responsibility, stability, and power.
· The Crone/waning crescent – wisdom, compassion, prophecy, death, aging, and endings.
The individual forms of the Goddess also represent the different seasons and times of the day. The Maiden is both Spring and the dawn of a new day, the Mother is Summer and the midday, and finally, the Crone is Autumn and Winter as well as dusk and night.
Every aspect is just as important as the last and depending on what phase of your life you’re in, one form may call out to you more than the others. But, one should never neglect the others as together they constitute the full being of the Triple Goddess in all of her divinity.
Rituals and worship
Now that you have a better idea of who the Triple Goddess is and what She represents, you may be wondering how to go about worshipping Her. In general, there’s no one specific, correct way and different witches will have their own views and personal methods of worship. This also depends on whether you are a solitary witch or part of a coven, as every coven has its own approach to worshipping the Goddess.
Furthermore, there are many witches who associate the different aspects of the Goddess with various goddesses from traditional pagan religions and they will then worship these individual goddesses separately. Whether you want to follow this practice or if you instead just want to worship the Triple Goddess in Her entirety will be for you to decide.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t be afraid of worshipping the “wrong” way. Too many new witches get hung up on doing things the “correct” way and just end up intimidating themselves to the point of giving up completely. Always remember that the Goddess is forgiving and won’t care if you mess something up during a ritual or just plain have no clue what you’re doing. Your intentions are what matter most.
With all of that said, you may be wanting a good beginner ritual to get you started. Since this is your first ritual, it will be as simple and basic as possible. Don’t worry about buying tools or making things super intricate. It will just be you and the Goddess. So, without further ado, here are some basic steps you can follow:
· Cleanse yourself – there are a few ways you can cleanse yourself, but a simple ritual bath works just fine.
· Purify the ritual space – before you begin the ritual itself, you’ll need to make sure your space has been purified. To do this, simply clean the area around where you plan to perform the ritual and then light incense or some candles.
· Invoke the Goddess – this involves welcoming the Goddess into your ritual space and having her join you.
· Say a prayer to Her – this is where you’ll need to follow your heart and pray to the Goddess as you see fit. Some witches like to read poetry, which is also perfectly acceptable.
· Thank Her and end the ritual – once you have finished praying, you’ll want to thank the Goddess for joining you during your ritual and then be about your way.
And that’s all there is to it! As you grow more comfortable you can introduce more steps, use different methods, and slowly make it more intricate.
While there is still so much more to the Triple Goddess than what is listed here, this should be a good primer for any new witch as they continue to discover the Goddess on their own. As you continue to grow as a witch, you may develop your own personal beliefs and practices, as well as learn of others’ ways. Just continue to read and learn and eventually you will feel much more comfortable in your knowledge of the Goddess.
For a Triple Goddess Meditation by Bridget Engels, download our Mabon issue of Witchology Magazine!