I go to a number of women’s gatherings and pagan festivals and sometimes I get twitchy when those gathered [very sincerely] categorize the Goddess and the divinely incarnated women present into the pigeonholes of Maiden, Mother, Crone. Like it’s some kind of divine order or framework into all of us MUST and WILL fit into.
I went to a Mother’s Council at one gathering and never went back because the mothers present made it implicitly clear that if you did not have children, had not borne children out of your body, you were not welcome. At that gathering, the age limits were strictly, if non-verbally, “enforced.” So even though I was single, career-oriented and driven to excel, I couldn’t join the maidens because I was older than 19, way older. Because of that experience more than 15 years ago, I ignored my mothering side, rejected it or was defensive about that fact that I never had children out of my body. Never mind that I’m a doggie mom, that I guide people to become witches and priest/esses in their own spiritual life, I supervise, I counsel, and I am often the chief cook and bottle washer in my various roles.
If you’ve read this blog (go ahead read the previous posts, you will like it!), you know that I resisted the Crone threshold too. I only accepted after I realized the the Crone is a threshold, a stage, a step onto a strange new shore. The Crone isn’t all there is. There’s more and I get to discover that!
There are lots of writers out there suggesting new roles. Donna Henes in her book Queen of Myself
says there’s a stage between mother and crone where a woman has sovereignty over herself and her life. She is the Queen. Vivianne Crowley in her book The Way of Wicca expands her view of the Goddess and the God into five aspects. In my book, Rituals of the Dark Moon, I suggested nine ways. Since I wrote that book, I’ve learned that woman and Goddess is even more limitless and encompassing.
We don’t need to be pigeonholed and categorized into one label. We can encompass many roles at once. Maiden, Amazon, Warrior, Queen, Mother, Teacher, Priestess, Witch, Crone, Grandmother, Crone, Croney, Daughter, Sister, Companion, Friend, Lover, Sweetheart; and even the less complimentary terms of Bitch, Slut, Bad Girl, Rowdy Girl, Babe, and more…………
We need to remind ourselves of this chant