Monday, May 24, 2010

Buzz Coil: May '10

A look at some posts of interest from our blogroll and sometimes beyond:

American Witch: In her May 5 post, "The Goddess Conference, the Middle School Concerts, and the Coming Cosmic Convergence," Annie Finch shares how it felt to read her poetry at the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology’s Green Goddess Conference, and of how Christian content in a public school concert reminded here "searingly how much the world needs a good pagan repertoire" for choral singing that includes pagan poems set to music.

Association for the Study of Women & Mythology: ASWM’s May 3 post, "Green Goddess Conference - A Life-weaving Web" contains the note Annie Finch sent to ASWM after the late April conference.

Amused Grace: For the first time, Thalia Took tells us in her May 17 post, she got Medusa when drawing the "Goddess of the Week" from her deck-in-progress. Since this happened within a week of my birthday, I’m taking it personally :-D In her description, she got me spot on, and her gorgongeous art even got my snakey red hair right! And she’s also right about me not being mortal—not even half! But seriously now folks, she gives an excellent analysis of the Medusa myths. And on April 30, for Beltane, she posted "A Story," a lovely tale with other thematic material.

Glaux’s Nest: Inspired by Thalia Took’s post, blogger Glaux devotes her May 18 post to "Athena and Medusa." Glaux restates common Medusa mythology and then questions why it is so entwined with Athena’s and goes in deeper and deeper. . . and for an extra treat, there’s a discussion between Took and Glaux in the comments section.

Goddess in a Teapot: In her May 9 Mothers’ Day post, "Enheduanna:Priestess, Author, Inspiritation," Carolyn Lee Boyd pays tribute to Princess Enheduanna who, Boyd notes, is probably best known for her hymn to Goddess Inanna written about 4300 years ago. Boyd writes that the story that comes down to us of Enheduanna being the first person to sign her literary work inspires her to "realize the importance of taking credit for my work and encouraging other women to do the same." She continues:

Putting your name on your work means not only by claiming authorship, but also proclaiming its existence and importance to the world. So often we second-guess whether anyone will want to read or see or hear what we create and it may never see the light of day. If it truly expresses you, it is worthy and deserves your time and effort to be experienced by others. From now on, when I write something I love, I will make sure that it finds a home in some publication or this blog.

Full Circle: Blogger Sia, who is personally working on bird and wildlife rescue in the Gulf of Mexico, has posted several times this month about wildlife rescue necessitated by the BP oil spill, beginning with May 8's "Updates: Wild Life Rescue at the Gulf Oil Spill." But do go to the blog home page so you can read the rest of her posts on this subject.

Pagan Godspell: In her May 21 post, "Re-membering: Story and Bone" Ruby Sara gets down to blogging about the BP oil spill in the Gulf "after being silent for weeks." She asks:
What have we done? What have we done? Where will it stop? I admit – the world of late has been sacking my reserves, pulling at my loose threads, and weighing my spiritual feet. Where’s the meaning? Why bother with all this religion and all this poetry? For a while, pagani, I admit…I forgot why, and that’s a hard time, and I’m all exhausted from empty. . .
and then she goes to the lake and re-members.

Know Thyself: Musings...Thorn Coyle’s May 13 post, "A Prayer for My Beloved," is related to the Gulf oil spill and other ecological disasters.

Daily Kos: In a May 16 post, "Brothers and Sisters, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas," blogger brothers and sisters focuses on the Goddess Tara, including a Green Tara mantra (youtube music video) and other Tara art along with a prayer asking for healing "on Our Mother, the Earth." It continues:
...Heal the wounds we have inflicted On our Mother, the Earth
Heal her bleeding Gulf of Mexico
Heal her ailing rainforests
Restore her glaciers and atmosphere
Feed her starving creatures
Relieve her of all depredation
Relieve our suffering
Awaken loving kindness in our hearts
Loving kindness in our actions....

The Wild Hunt: Jason Pitzl-Waters announces a 2-week comment period on a "voluntary opt-in statement of sexual ethics" in his May 18 post, "An Ethics Statement: Public Comment Period."

Witch, Please! In her May 11 post, "The Importance of Solitude," blogger Kate explains why she disagrees strongly with the concept that being a Witch requires initiation even though she herself has been initiated "several times."

Z Budapest Blog: Z Budapest is planning to write her autobiography but isn’t sure what to include. In her May 18 post, "Send me question...a writer’s lament," Z says it would help her if you would ask her questions about what you would like to read about her life.

Hecate: Blogger Hecate, who often publishes poems by others, sneaks in an intriguing poem of her own in her May 22 post, "I Am The Witch Of This Watershed." Her May 12 post, "She’s a Witch! Burn Her" is based on an article tying the witch trials of a few centuries ago to bad weather in Europe. Hecate wonders if we can expect similar scapegoating of Pagans and Witches, especially if they are women, in the bad weather expected in the future. Along the way, she has this to say about the squabbling over the number of people killed as witches in the Inquisition:
That someone may have made a calculation error in the exact number of women killed and tortured as witches hardly seems to me to undo the importance of the fact that it was most often women being burned as witches, and that those burned were often women who were (take your pick) single, vulnerable, uppity, had something worth stealing, etc.

Mary Magdalene Within: Joan Norton’s May 5 post, "The Next Piece of Story," tells about Mary Magdalene and her family arriving "in their new land on May 24," according to legend, in a boat without oars or rudder.

Walking on Fire: In her May 9 post, "Sisters of the Wind," Blogger Myfanwy has a vision of a wormhole that clears her personal path "within the Reality of the Divine Feminine."

A Weblog for Our Mother God: The latest post on this anonymously-written, undated blog is "Our Mother God Returning to China," which tells about this year’s Mazu (Ma-Tsu) festival in Taiwan, and the increased interest in the Chinese heritage of Goddess worship, not only by the Chinese people but also by the government of the People’s Republic of China.

Knitting Sex and God In her May 2 post, blogger Anna writes of her concerns about "New Tory regime a risk to rights of women and gay people." She also writes about the New Frontiers church in the UK that she was raised in.

Gorgon Resurfaces: In a May 5 post, "Moving Along Further," LaughingMedusa announces she is moving her blog. In her new blog home, Medusa Musing, where she blogs as gorgon50, her May 10 post, "Internet Outage" is about being disconnected from the Internet for a while, which she feels has it advantages. OTOH, she writes:
Still, having read Judith Laura's latest e-book about Goddess and what she likes to call the Flow of the Goddess, I am looking at this kind of information media in a whole new light. Computers are a particularly Goddessy form of communication with its intricate matrices and weavings

Did we miss an item you think is important? We’d like to know about it, so please leave it as a comment.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Events Coil: May 15 - June 30

As far as we know, all events we list are open functions; but some may be limited to women or to adults and some may require that you notify them that you plan to attend. Please check the websites for group policies. If no country is given, the event is in the USA. All times are local. Events lasting more than 1 day are bolded. When listing events for the same date, we have tried to list those that occur first, taking into account time zone differences. If there is a difference between our listings and the listings on the web page linked to, assume their web page is correct, as it may have changed since we listed from it. Ongoing events are listed after the dated events. The next Events Coil is planned for mid-June and will include events listed here that haven't yet happened, plus new events through early August. If you have an event you want listed, please leave info as a comment. See the end of this Coil for what info we need for listings.

May 15, 5:30 p.m. Goddess Beltane & Erzulie Celebration, proceeds to Haitian relief, Daughters of the Goddess, San Francisco, CA

May 16, 11 a.m.
Goddess Service honoring Cordelia with Dr. Miluna Fausch, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

May 21-23, Gathering of Priestesses and Goddess Women, with Jade River, Patricia Monaghan, Sid Reger, Susan Grossman, Kim Duckett et al, Re-formed Congregation of the Goddess, Wisconsin Dells WI

May 22, 1 p.m.
"Cakes...", Part 2, Session 2, "Sarah the Priestess" Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

May 23, 11 a.m.
Goddess Service honoring Clementia with Lyena Strelkoff, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

May 25, 7 p.m. Full Moon Circle, Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve, near Barneveld WI

May 27-31, Sacred Fire Circle, Circle Sanctuary, near Barneveld WI

May 27, gather 7 p.m., ritual 7:30 p.m., Full Moon, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

May 27, 7 p.m.
Full Moon Drumming, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

May 28-30 International Goddess Congress 2010: Spiritual and Political, Hambacher Schloss, DEUTSCHLAND

May 28, time tba, Full Moon Celebration, Maetrum of Cybele, Palenville NY

May 30, 11 a.m.
Goddess Service honoring Chantico, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

May 31, 11 a.m., Ceremonial Goddess Healing Day, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

June 1, 17:30, Tesori delle Donne dagli Archivo de Storie Celate con Max Dashu, Casa Internazionale delle Donne, Roma ITALIA

June 1, 7:30 p.m. "The Circle of Craft," with Lady Deberah, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

June 2, 7 p.m. Summer Solstice Traditions Workshop with Selena Fox, Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve, near Barneveld WI

June 3, 20:30, Tesori delle Donne dagli Archivo de Storie Celate con Max Dashu, Bologna ITALIA

June 5, Goddess MeetUp, Matreum of Cybele, Palenville NY

June 6, 11 a.m. Goddess Service honoring Ra'i Ra'i, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

June 9, time tba, "The Remarkable Life of 12th Century Mystic Hildegarde of Bingen," with Carol Anderson, Sophia Institute & Piccalo Spoleto, Charleston SC

June 11, 4 p.m. Temple Dressing for Summer Solstice, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

June 12, 6:30 p.m. Women's New Moon, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

June 12, time tba, "Cakes..." Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

June 13, 11 a.m. Goddess Service honoring Lilith, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

June 18, 7 p.m. Winter Solstice/Yule, PaGaian Moon Court, Blue Mountains, NSW, AUSTRALIA

June 18, 2:30 p.m. Moontide Mysteries: Women's Empowerment Workshop, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

June 19, time tba, Summer Solstice, London Reclaiming, North London ENGLAND

June 19, 7 p.m. Summer Solstice Ritual, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

June 20-27, Pagan Spirit Gathering with Thorn Coyle, Jason Pitzl-Waters, Selena Fox & others, sponsored by Circle Sanctuary, held at Camp Zoe, MO

June 20, doors open 12.00 uur, ceremony 14.00 uur, Zomer Zonnewende, Nederlandse Godinnen Tempel, Hillgom NEDERLAND

June 20, gather 11:30 a.m., ritual Noon, Summer Solstice/Litha, Connect DC, Washington DC

June 20, 12:30 p.m. Summer Solstice, Temple of the Sacred Arts, Germantown MD

June 20, 11 a.m. Goddess Service honoring Athena, Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

June 20, 7:30 p.m. Summer Solstice Ceremony, Glastonbury Goddess Temple, Glastonbury ENGLAND

June 20, 7 p.m. Litha ritual, Temple of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet, Indian Springs NV

June 23, sign-up begins for online course, Woman Shaman with Max Dashu, WORLD WIDE WEB

June 26-27,
Summer Solstice/Full Moon with Descent of Inanna theater piece and priestess conclave, Matreum of Cybele, Palenville NY

June 26, 3 p.m. Celebrating the Goddess: The Glistening, Nottingham Goddess Meetup Group, Nottingham ENGLAND

June 26, 7 p.m. Full Moon Circle, Circle Santuary Nature Preserve, near Barneveld WI

June 26, time tba, "Cakes..." Goddess Temple of Orange County, Irvine CA

June 27, 11 a.m. Goddess Service honoring Pomona, Goddess Temple of Orange County,
Irvine CA



Perth (White Gum Valley): Mondays, 17:30,
Chalice Ceremony, Daughters of Ishtar.

most days 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Goddess Temple open for personal prayers.

Hamilton: Saturdays, 4 p.m.
Open Classes ; gather 7 p.m. Open Circles , Hamilton Temple, Wiccan Church of Canada.

Great Britain
Glastonbury: Priestess/Priest of Avalon Training Program, both in Glastonbury (Avalon) and by correspondence, Glastonbury Goddess Temple.
Glastonbury: Most days except Mondays, Noon-4 p.m. Temple Open for personal prayers; Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. Belly Dancing
; Thursdays, 7 p.m. Temple Ritual Dance Class, Glastonbury Goddess Temple.

Soderhamn, Gudinne Temple Open weekdays Noon
-6 p.m. Mondays, 7-9 p.m., meditation prayer, conversation.

Arlington VA: 3rd Sunday of month, time tba, ritual Moonfire.
Berkeley CA: last Sunday of month, 6:45 p.m., East Bay Goddess Rosary, University Lutheran Chapel.
Canton CT: Sundays, 10:30 a.m. Services, Women's Temple: In Her Name

Charleston SC: 1st Tuesday of month, Women's Circle with Carolyn Rivers, The Sophia Institute
Geyersville CA:
Sunday Services 2-4 p.m.
Temple of Isis
Grants Pass OR: Monday Services; doors open 6 p.m. for silent meditation; service starts 6:30 p.m. and includes teachings, candle-lighting, drumming & singing, Southern Oregon Temple of the Goddess. Houston TX: Sundays, 10 a.m. Magdalene Community, Rothko Chapel; 1st &3rd Fridays at Noon, Group studying Gospel of Mary, Brigid's Place, Christ Church Cathedral.
Irvine CA: Sunday Services, 1st Service at 9:30 a.m. until July 5, then 10 a.m. inward, meditative; 2nd service at 11 a.m., dancing, drumming, singing; see dates for guest speakers.
Friday services, gather 6 p.m., service 6:30 p.m. "All Souls in Reverence." Goddess Temple of Orange County
Minneapolis, MN: Monthly Womens Spirituality Group, True Colors Bookstore.
Palenville NY: Saturdays, 5 p.m. training sessions; Sundays 4-6 p.m, open classes, 7 p.m. Pagan Circles,Matreum of Cybele.
San Francisco CA
: Wednesdays,
Christian Goddess Rosary, Ebenezer Lutheran Church; 1st Fridays, evenings at various locations, Woman's Spirituality group.
San Francisco CA: New Moon and Full Moon observances,
Maa Batakali Cultural Mission.
St. Sandy UT: second Saturday of each month, 4:30 p.m., Isis Devotionals, Iseum of Muth/Lyceum of Auset and Heru em Aakhuti
Washington DC: 2nd Sunday of month; gather Noon, ritual 12:15 p.m., National Arboretum, Becoming DC.
West Concord MA:
1st Monday, 7-9 p.m.
Women's Circles; other ongoing groups include Demeter & Persephone's Circle for mothers and daughters; Council of Mother Bears; Menopause As Spiritual Journey; Menarche, for mothers and Daughter, at Women's Well.

World Wide Web
Online, various times, Woman Shaman, course with Max Dashu.
Online, Wednesdays, 6 p.m. PT
"Voices of the Sacred Feminine" interviews with well-known Goddessians and Pagans, hosted by Karen Tate, Blog Talk Radio.

Online, Sundays, 11 a.m. PT, "Creatrix Media Live" roundtable discussions include guests and phone-in audience participation, co-hosted by Jayne DeMent and Anniitra Ravenmoon, Blog Talk Radio.

We'll be happy to add your Goddess and spiritual feminist events (and those you know about that are open to the public) no matter where in the world they are. Leave a comment giving: Name of event, sponsoring organization (if any), town, date, time (if known), and, required: url of website where person can get more info (no pdf pages, no password-protected pages). (Do NOT give street addresses, phone numbers or email addresses. People should go to the website to get that info.) We plan to publish an Events Coil every month.

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Monday, May 03, 2010

The Triple Goddess and the Queen

Is the Triple Goddess too limited to describe women’s lives today? Some Goddessians answer yes and suggest changes to the Mother, Maiden, Crone triplicity. The most widely discussed currently is the addition of "Queen." I will get back to this in particular, but first I want to give a little background on the Triple Goddess concept in general.

As commonly used in contemporary Goddess and Pagan groups, the Triple Goddess relates 3 phases of the moon to Goddess aspects: waxing crescent=Maiden (sometimes called "Virgin", but not necessarily chaste); full moon=Mother, waning crescent=Crone. Where does this come from? Not from antiquity. Although in ancient times there were goddesses who had 3 (or more) aspects, and though there were goddesses, such as Hecate and Brigid, who were grouped together in various cultures in triads (and other combinations), they were not called Maiden, Mother, Crone, nor were they related to moon phases, until the 20th Century. Here’s a brief historical breakdown:

–1913: Sigmund Freud in "The Theme of Three Caskets" describes three aspects of women (or at least how he understands? women) and goddesses, particularly the Three Fates. Freud's theorizing is based on his analysis of fairy tales and some of Shakespeare’s plays. He names the aspects "birth," "love," and "death." However, they are unrelated to moon phases. Here is some of what Freud writes:

...the three inevitable relations that a man has with a woman—the woman who bears him, the woman who is his mate, and the woman who destroys him....the three forms taken by the figure of the mother in the course of a man's life—the mother herself, the beloved one who is chosen after her pattern, and lastly, the Mother Earth who receives him once more....
More about Freud's essay can be found here , here , and here .

–1946: Robert Graves, in King Jesus, describes a Moon Goddess with the 3 aspects of birth, love, and death.

–1948: Graves, in The White Goddess, gives a number of other names to aspects of the moon-related triple Goddess, such as: Mother/Bride/Layer-out (related to death, particularly in the sacrifice of the god); Maiden/Nymph/Hag; Maiden/Mother/Crone. (Note: In this work, Nymph and Bride are different words for the same idea because nymph and bride are linguistically connected by their Greek, and possibly also French etymology).

–1955: Graves, in Greek Myths,
writes of triple goddesses, usually characterizing them as maiden, nymph (bride), and crone, and associating them not only with moon phases but with the 3 seasons of spring (maiden), nymph (summer) and crone (autumn). He apparently didn’t include either the "mother" or "winter" in this work.

Some scholars and writers , including Graves (who at times identified 5 aspects), and also Carl Jung, Erich Neumann, and Raphael Patai, also wrote not only of triple goddesses but also of the quadruple goddesses. However in Jung and Neumann these are separate goddesses, not 4 aspects of one goddess.

Relating the triplicity Maiden-Mother-Crone to contemporary women’s lives appears to be a bit more recent, occurring in 1960s and '70s when spiritual feminists adapted and adopted the Triple Goddess. However, as I remember it, the association was not intended to be limited to only specific ages in a woman’s life, but rather expanded to include qualities in her life at any given time. That is, a woman as Maiden does not necessarily denote a young woman (though it could be and is often used to mean a young woman, beginning just after menarche), but can also mean an independent woman of any age, whose sexuality manifests outside partnership. Similarly, "Mother" and "Crone," though often associated with certain ages in a woman's life, are not necessarily limited to those ages. Further, "Mother" does not necessarily denote having given birth to biological children. It can also mean nurturing of any type or creativity in general. At the beginning of the contemporary Goddess movement in the U. S., Maiden-Mother-Crone wasn't a doctrine. For example, in a "Dianic New Moon Ritual," in the Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries, Part II, 1980, (p. 35) Z Budapest uses the triplicity Maiden, Nymph, and Crone. In The Spiral Dance, 1979 (p. 79) Starhawk writes that there are many aspects to the Goddess, only one of them being "triad of the moon" [maiden-mother-crone]. She describes this triad becoming "the five fold star of birth, initiation, love, repose, and death," with "love" (also called "consummation") being considered "the stage of full creativity."

So to summarize what we know at this point: The concept of the Triple Goddess as 3 aspects that relate to moon phases is a 20th century idea, initially most fully developed by Robert Graves and a few decades later adopted by spiritual feminists developing contemporary Goddess religion(s). The linking of Triple Goddess concepts to women’s lives (as in "I’m in my Mother phase" or "I’m a Crone") is also a 20th century phenomenon, and as initially used, was not meant to be linked only to specific ages of women, but also to the way a woman was living her life at any given time.

In some cases today, the Triple Goddess seems to have become close to doctrine, yet as far as we can tell at this point, the triple Goddess of the Moon as Maiden-Mother-Crone, and its application to phases in human women’s lives, does NOT have ancient roots. Does this mean we should reject it? That may be an option, and I’d be interested in hearing your opinion. But my view is that if a Goddess form is meaningful to us today, we should use it, whether its roots are ancient or modern. If the Triple Goddess as Mother-Maiden-Crone has become an important part of your spiritual life, if it seems complete to you, I don't think you should feel pressured into changing it. It seems it has been changed sufficiently by Goddessians and Pagans from the original Freud/Graves descriptions to be a sustaining Goddess form. Further, we should consider that many people using it spiritually has endowed it with spiritual authenticity. But if you are one of those who is dissatisfied with its present form, who feels its limitations, or feels that authenticity depends on historicity and/or scientific compatibility, then knowing that it is a recent invention, (and one in which in its Freud/Graves origins may include some misogynist stereotypes) may give you more freedom to modify it.

However, how and what the change is may be a matter of concern. Though some feel uncomfortable applying the "Mother" aspect to all women (not all women are, want to be, or can be biological or adoptive mothers of human children), most Goddessians have come to understand that mothering can also mean nurturing in general and/or creativity (as in "giving birth" to art, poetry, a beautiful garden, etc.) The really big stumbling block for many is the Crone. Not as an aspect when considering the Goddess archetype, but when it is applied to human women. Some comments I’ve heard include: "How old do you have to be to have a croning?" "I’m 60, but I don’t feel like a Crone." "I won’t be a crone until I’m 80." "I feel like I’m past the Mother aspect, but I don’t feel like a Crone yet."

These types of feelings and statements, especially the last one, have sent women in search of a fourth aspect—one that would come between "Mother" and "Crone." And while it could be argued that some of this discomfort comes from the ageism in our society that we haven’t yet completely divested ourselves of, it is also true that because women’s life expectancy is longer than even in the 1940s, that today the time in women’s lives after menopause needs to have 2 aspects assigned to it, not just one. Further, four aspects is actually more accurate when related to the moon, which astronomically has 4 quarters: new or waxing, full, waning, and dark. In the Maiden-Mother-Crone triplicity, waning and dark are combined.

But what to call that additional aspect? Some women have suggested "Queen"; at least one journal has devoted an entire issue to it, and at least one group has adopted its use. Yet I have a problem with "Queen." Why? Let me ramble a bit....It strikes me as odd that we Americans, though rejecting royalty in our national political life, seem to have an affection for royalty in our pop culture. We have prom kings and queens, beauty queens, and I bet you can think of more. On radio from 1945 to '57 and television from '56 to '64, there was an show called "Queen for a Day" where women competed to be a "Queen," and win prizes that would make their lives easier. The desire to be a "Queen" was in direct opposition to reality at that time, to women’s actual status, both in and outside of the home. The desire of some involved in Goddess spirituality to call themselves Queens in a way reminds me of this show; I feel that part of the motivation is similar. We may wish we have the power, riches, respect, and honor we associate with royalty, but, in many cases, we don’t yet have the respect and honor bestowed upon—okay I’ll say it—men at a similar age or level of achievement. Will calling ourselves "Queens" help us get this? Will calling ourselves "Queen" help us break through barriers to achievement that still exist? I doubt it. I think, rather, we need to continue to work to change how society treats and portrays women, and, most importantly, we need to continue to achieve in our everyday lives. That, rather than naming ourselves royalty, is what is likely to give us respect and honor.

I also have other objections. The first is political/philosphical. We spiritual feminists claim to object to and avoid establishing hierarchies. We don’t like them in politics, we don't like them in social groups, we try to replace them with "teams" at work, and we don’t like them in religion. How, then, can we claim for ourselves a title, Queen, which denotes a rank in a hierarchy? Real-life Queens don’t work for or earn their elevated status. They either inherit the title or marry into it. Is this a paradigm we want to follow?

My second objection is linguistic: "Queen" is not analogous to the names of the other aspects. (I’m reminded of the Sesame Street song,"One of these things is not like of these things doesn’t belong...") Maiden, Mother, and Crone are descriptions of women—any women. Queen is a description of a royal woman. To have an analogous grouping, we would have to change the other three titles so that Maiden becomes Duchess, Mother becomes Princess, and Crone becomes Empress. I AM NOT SUGGESTING THAT WE DO THIS. I’m just saying that this is the logical extension of calling one aspect "Queen." For it to make sense, they either all need to be royals, or none of them should be royals.

There are other ways to add a fourth aspect that would not be hierarchical and which would provide a title more like those of the commonly used three aspects. I’ve made a little list of possibilities for the fourth aspect—maybe you can add more. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far (with notes for some of them):

Mentor (a woman who has arrived at a point where she can help others develop their skills, their careers, their parenting.)
Truth Teller (a woman who has reached an age or place in life where she can risk telling her truth)
Wise Woman (I know this is sometimes used interchangably with Crone, but maybe we could use them separately? It differs from Truth Teller because it implies not just personal opinion and experience, but also deep knowledge and learning that includes the mystical/metaphysical.)
Matriarch (Some of us have rejected using the word "matriarchal" to describe certain cultures to avoid its being misunderstood as a reversal of the hierarchical patriarchy, but I’m thinking Matriarch may not have as much of that implication—as in "matriarch of the family," which is used even today to mean a strong older woman whose opinions count heavily in a family.)
Speaker (a woman whose opinions are valued and listened to due to her accomplishments and achievements; a woman who is so respected that she can speak for, or represent, the community)
Guide (a woman whose guidance we seek due to her wisdom, experience, and expertise at giving guidance.)

If we also relate the new quadruple goddess to the four seasons (as Graves attempted), then we have not only a quadruple Moon Goddess but also a (drumroll please) quadruple Sun Goddess. Think about that for a while....


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