In many Wiccan traditions, the Goddess takes a three-fold form, known as the Triple Goddess. Her individual aspects, known as the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone, are aligned with the phases of the Moon’s cycle as it orbits the Earth—the waxing crescent, the Full Moon, and the waning crescent. These aspects also represent the three phases of a woman’s life in terms of physical reproduction—before, during, and after the body’s ability to have a child.
But while a woman will proceed linearly through these phases in a literal sense during her lifetime, each aspect of the Triple Goddess has qualities that all of us—male and female—resonate with at various points in our lives. Indeed, the three-fold form of the Goddess could be said to reflect the complexities of the human psyche, as well as the cycles of life and death experienced by all who dwell on Earth.
TRIPLE GODDESS: ORIGIN STORIES
The concept of a triple deity can be traced back to ancient civilizations, such as the Celtic goddess Brighid, who rules over three crucial skills within Celtic society: healing, poetry, and smithcraft. Another example is the goddess Hera, who has three different roles in Greek mythology: Girl, Woman, and Widow. These major goddesses were likely at least part of the inspiration for an important book in the history of Wicca’s development: The White Goddess: a Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth by Robert Graves.
Graves was a British poet and scholar, writing around the time that Gerald Gardner and others were first practicing their form of Witchcraft which eventually became known as Wicca. The White Goddess made the case that cultures throughout pre-Christian Europe and the ancient Middle East worshipped a White Goddess of Birth, Love, and Death, and that she had different names in different regions. Other, earlier writers also described a Triple Goddess, including Aleister Crowley and Sigmund Freud.
Gardner himself did not worship the Triple Goddess in his tradition, but other Witches of the time were drawn to her, including Robert Cochrane, who is often credited with bringing her into the modern Witchcraft movement. However, it was during the 1970s that the Triple Goddess as we know her today—Maiden, Mother and Crone—became firmly rooted in many forms of Wicca.
But rather than being a single identity taking different forms, the Wiccan Triple Goddess is typically represented by three separate deities, each an aspect of the Goddess in her own right. These may be borrowed from one or more ancient cultures. For example, many worship Diana (Roman) as the Maiden, Isis (Egyptian) as the Mother, and Kali (Hindu) as the Crone. These designations are rooted in the individual deities’ roles within the cultures they are borrowed from. Isis, for instance, was a mother goddess in ancient Egypt.
Each aspect within the Triple Goddess is associated with particular seasons and other natural phenomena, as well as human characteristics and elements of life on Earth. These associations can be used to call on the appropriate aspect of the Goddess during magical work, ritual worship, and prayer.
Read more here: http://wiccaliving.com/wiccan-triple-goddess/
By: Living Wicca Website