We often hear about the Maiden Mother Crone as the triple Goddess, or triple deity. Each of these aspects are umbrellas under which a variety of developmental stages reside. They are archetypal energies. As women we move through these stages (even when we are not mothers of actual children), and we also embody each of these energies and all they hold at any given time during our own development. I recognize that I could get very heady and analytical in the writing on this topic, but I am going to try to keep this more heart and magic focused instead of intellectual.
Over the next couple of weeks I will be writing about the Triple Goddess. Beginning today I want to focus on the Maiden and the energy this archetype holds.
The Maiden is associated with Spring time, new beginnings, hope, possibility and the first quarter moon. She is awe and wonder and naivety. Take a moment to allow your mind to wander to your own childhood and notice the words, feelings and associations you hold with this. This is all Maiden energy. Perhaps you are thinking that you do not have positive associations with your own childhood. That’s ok, whatever your experience, this too is part of that Maiden energy. There is light and shadow in every archetype, just as light and shadow thread their way through our lives.
When we lean into the light we might think about playful energy, laughter and fun! Jumping rope, climbing trees, playing with clay, coloring or hopping on a swing and pumping your legs are all excellent ways to get in touch with this part of Maiden energy. We might also allow ourselves to use our imaginations.
The Maiden Self has a vast imagination and this can be accessed at any time and for a myriad of reasons. One of the ways I use my imagination in association with magic is through visualization. Using visualization is a powerful tool in the magical realm and although we can access this throughout our lives, I believe the origins of this lie in the imaginative powers and magical thinking that we first cultivate in our Maiden phase of life.
There is a freedom and timelessness in the Maiden realm. Do you remember the way that days could stretch on and on while you played games or imagined new worlds? Can you recall that experience of wonder when you learned something or saw something new for the first time? Or the way you could take a simple object and transform yourself into a new way of being, a new character? In the work I do with children I am always brought much joy by the transformations that they create with imaginative play and just a few props. This is magic in and of itself. It is a changing of perspective and a changing of reality.
From my perspective the Maiden is not just the child Self, but also reaches into adolescence. Adolescence is when many women bleed for the first time and so, if we were to just look at the Maiden Mother and Crone as archetypes tied to our stages or reproduction one could argue that Adolescence is actually the beginning of the other phase. Developmentally though I see this as a transitional or liminal stage. No longer a child and not yet an adult, yet holding energy of both realms. Imagination is still very much at play during this time although it takes on new forms. Games of dress up become the trying on of new parts of Self and sharing these with the world. (This is another kind of magic, I refer to as Glamour magic)
We can also speak to the fact that although Maiden energy is capable of compassion and empathy, developmentally, during much of this stage of life the focus is more Self oriented. Our worlds are growing during this time, from self to family, to school, to world view, yet much of the focus remains egocentric as we move through our childhood and adolescence. In adolescence our “big picture” reasoning kicks in much stronger but it is at odds with our emotional development that keeps our focus close to home.
I also want to make space for the Shadow side of the Maiden energy. The Maiden can be seen as vulnerable, weak, unstable, overly emotional and her naive sense of wonder can be considered unintelligent or “stupid’. Oppositional, rebellious and wild are also words that come to mind in the shadow realm. The shadow is the “dark side”, the energy that is often considered “unacceptable” or “undesirable”. Yet there is wisdom in this too. By recognizing our Shadow selves we can recognize these things in others as well as discover the gifts that lie within. Vulnerability does not equal weakness and in fact being vulnerable is a beautiful and powerful energy that requires courage to share with the world. In the Maiden form less courage is needed than as an adult because often this is a way of being. Naivety and openness are much more present during this time allowing more truth to flow unguarded and uncensored. The rebel is a powerful energy, one that is often focused on finding and stating her “no” in a forceful way. She is testing boundaries in order to discover where her own lie.
As I mentioned we carry this Maiden energy in all her facets with us through every stage of life. We can call on her to help us access our wonder, our imagination, our honesty and our ability to play (among other things).
How do you embody the Maiden in your life?
Emily Morrison MA, MFT