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The Triple Goddess is a deity with significance in many spiritual and Neopagan groups. The symbol is often featured on the headdresses of High Priestesses and is revered for its associations with the divine feminine and the stages of life.
What is the Triple Goddess Symbol?
The triple moon symbol, also called the triple goddess symbol, is represented by two crescent moons flanking a full moon. The left side of the symbol features a waxing moon, the center features a full moon, while the right side depicts a waning moon. The symbol is a representation of the changing phases of the moon which also correspond with the stages of womanhood. It can also symbolize the endless cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth.
The moon can be seen as a representation of the Triple Goddess and the three phases of womanhood: the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone. As the symbol suggests, women share the same rhythm as the moon, with the female body typically corresponding to a 28-day cycle. Likewise, the three main phases of a woman’s life correspond with the three phases of the moon.
- The Maiden – this is represented by the waxing moon. The Maiden is a symbol of youth, purity, pleasure, new beginnings, wildness, freedom and innocence. As a spiritual symbol, the Maiden is an invitation to explore spirituality and desires.
- The Mother – the mother is represented by the full moon. The Mother symbolizes love, fertility, maturity, sexuality, abundance growth and creativity.
- The Crone – this is the wise woman, represented by the waning moon. This phase embodies both the previous stages, including courage, independence, freedom, sexuality, fertility, creative energy and culmination. The crone represents the fulness of a lived life, embodying the wisdom gathered by living through both the ups and the downs of life.
When Did the Triple Goddess Symbol Originate?
There have been instances of triple goddesses, i.e. a single goddess appearing in groupings of three, in ancient cultures. Some examples include Horae, Moirai and Stymphalos of Hellenistic origins. However, the most significant Triple Goddess of ancient times is Diana, also known as Hecate in the underworld.
In the 3rd century AD, the philosopher Porphyry mentions that the three aspects of Diana (Diana as Huntress, Diana as the moon, and Diana of the underworld) represent the three phases of the moon, marking the first time that this association was made.
The term Triple Goddess was popularized by the poet Robert Graves in the mid-20th century, who claimed this triplicity to be Maiden, Mother and Crone in his book The White Goddess. The modern view of the Triple Goddess emerged from this work.
Rituals and Practices in Neopagan Traditions Involving the Triple Goddess
The Triple Goddess symbol, representing the Maiden, Mother, and Crone, plays a significant role in Neopagan rituals and practices. These rituals often aim to honor the divine feminine and the cycle of life. This section delves into some specific ceremonies and practices that demonstrate the religious significance of the Triple Goddess symbol in contemporary Neopagan traditions.
1. Drawing Down the Moon
One of the most prominent rituals involving the Triple Goddess is the “Drawing Down the Moon.” This ceremony is typically performed during full moon gatherings, known as Esbats, in Wiccan and other Neopagan circles. The ritual involves invoking the Goddess into the High Priestess or a coven member, symbolizing a direct communion with the divine feminine.
The Triple Goddess, in her full moon or ‘Mother’ aspect, is often the focus of this ritual. Participants may seek guidance, blessings, or healing during this sacred event.
2. Seasonal Celebrations and the Triple Goddess
Neopagan traditions, particularly Wicca, celebrate eight major sabbats throughout the year, marking the changing seasons and agricultural cycles. During these celebrations, the Triple Goddess symbol is often evoked to represent the natural transitions of life, death, and rebirth.
For instance, during the spring equinox, the Maiden aspect is honored for her embodiment of new beginnings and fertility. The Mother aspect is celebrated during the summer solstice, symbolizing the peak of growth and abundance. The Crone, representing wisdom and the end of cycles, is revered during the autumn and winter sabbats.
The Triple Moon in Jewelry
The triple moon is a popular design in jewelry, and is often crafted into pendants, rings and charms. Sometimes it’s set with a moonstone to strengthen its association with the moon. For those who believe in the power of this symbol, the moonstone is believed to enhance its magical properties. Below is a list of the editor’s top picks featuring the triple moon symbol.
However, you don’t have to be a Wiccan or Neopagan to enjoy the triple moon symbol. It’s often worn as a representation of the divine feminine or as a reminder of the cycle of life.
The Triple Goddess, or the triple moon, is an ancient symbol that’s recently found renewed interest and popularity. To learn more about other similar symbols, check out our related articles.