I love working with the archetypes. There’s something comforting about drawing on the wisdom of these patterns that have come before us, and that will continue on after us.They help us to see universal patterns, and to make sense of the word and our experiences.
Working with women, the archetype of The Triple Goddess, The Maiden – Mother – Crone often comes up.
I love this archetype, it values the Maiden, Mother and Crone equally. This is particularly important today, as so much value is placed on the youth of the Maiden in our culture, it can be hard to remember the value that the Mother and the Crone have to offer.
However, the idea of the Maiden – Mother – Crone comes from a time when we had babies at the age of 14, were grandmothers at the age of 30, and didn’t live much past 45.
Not only have we changed biologically, but our choices have also changed, leaving many women feeling that these three traditional concepts no longer truly represent their life experience.
Many women are choosing not to be mothers, and those that do, feel that there’s something more to experience before they enter their Crone years.
There’s a growing feeling that the traditional view of the Maiden - Mother – Crone no longer fully represents the complexity, and length, of our modern day life experiences.
Yet there’s so much wisdom to be discovered and savoured in these powerful archetypes, so I’ve expanded on them to make them increasingly relevant for today.
When looking at archetypes it’s important to remember that they are not linear energies. They are spiralling energies that are used to explain a concept or pattern of behaviour, they are not boxes to keep you confined in.
The Archetypes that I am going to use to explore and expand on the traditional Triple Goddess are the:
- The Innocent
- The Creatrix
- The SHEro
- The Crone
I love working with these four energies as, for me, they connect the seasons of a woman’s life to the seasons of nature, the four main stages of the moon cycle, and the four stages of our menstrual cycle.
For me, it becomes easier to see how the archetypal energy I experience on an individual level, connects me to the universal patterns of life. This then gives me knowledge and a roadmap to make the most out of the energies, or to support me navigate life’s challenges with more confidence and ease.
The Archetypal Spiral
Often when women hear the concept of The Maiden – Mother – Crone, they feel limited by the idea of connecting the energy to an age or experience, such as thinking they are too old to be a Maiden, too young to be a Crone, or to avoid The Mother as they don’t have children.
However, I feel that the archetypal energies spiral through the entire cycle, moving up and down (note that neither moving ‘up’ or ‘down’ is better than the other, the words are just used to explore the movement of the energies).
The energy may start with The Innocent, but then can spiral up to The Crone, and back again. The energies can do this many, many times throughout your lifetime, regardless of your age.
The energies are a reflection of your current life experience, and not dictated by your biological age, although each archetypal energy is more prominent during the four main blood mysteries experienced by women:
Innocent – Menarche
Creatrix – Pregnancy
SHEro – Peri- Menopause
Crone – Menopause
They are also connected to your monthly menstrual cycle, and the phases of the moon. This gives you the chance to explore the archetypal energies each month, and use their qualities to support you and your activities, throughout the month, helping you to plan and get the most out of your own cycles.
Innocent – Follicular phase - Waxing Moon
Creatrix – Ovulation phase - Full Moon
SHEro – Luteal phase - Waning Moon
Crone – Menstrual phase – Dark and New Moon
Sometimes your experience will only move through one or two of the archetypal energies before they return to the ‘beginning’ with The Innocent, or you may jump from Mother to Crone, or Crone to Innocent. Remember just like women, their energy spirals, it’s not lineal.
Each archetype has two expressions. A fully expressed version, where all aspects of it are embraced, and a hidden expression where some of the traits may be judged or repressed by the person experiencing it, and therefore not fully expressed.
As you move through the archetypal energies there is a natural ebb and flow in their movement. The Innocent and SHEro are expressed externally, they look outside of themselves and share their energy. The Mother and Crone are more of an inward, selectively focused, energy, where they rely on more of their own internal resources.
New Beginnings | Explorations | Spring |Menarche | Waning Moon
Initially the archetypal energies are awakened as The Innocent.
When we are children The Innocent energy is awakened by the biological and physical changes that occur in our bodies. When we are adults, the energy is awakened by our curiosity, inspiration, or our need to respond to a situation and try something new.
Once The Innocent energy has awakened, you can choose to explore this energy to dream, to follow your passions and curiosity, and to try new things.
The Innocent energy is an outward expression, as you explore new ways of doing things and look externally for support, guidance and resources.
Creating | Nurturing | Spring |Pregnancy | Full Moon
When you use this energy, you use your skills and resources to create, nurture and learn.
Once you are in The Creatrix energy and are using it to build or sustain your creations, you have two further choices.
Although The Creatrix energy appears to be an outward expression, it is an introverted energy, as you are using your own skill and resources to create. You don’t have to share your creations with anyone else, you can create purely for your own pleasure.
Independent |Teacher | Autumn | Peri-Menopause | Waning Moon
The SHEro energy transforms the nurturing Creatrix energy of learning and growth into something to share with your wider community.
It’s a time of reflection, but also a time of externally expressing the truth of who you are in the world. You have more life experience, and have lived through situations where you have been challenged. You’ve grown as a person and are now more confident in who you are.
From here you can spiral back to towards The Creatrix energy, to retreat and create something new, or to refine a previous creation. Or you can spiral up and move to the next archetypal energy where you will surrender and integrate the wisdom of the Universal lessons and the cycles life.
Wise | Endings and Beginnings | Winter | Menopause | Dark and New Moon
As you experience the Crone energy you have a deep understanding of the cycles of life and are ready to let go of what no longer serves you.
The energy of The Crone is of wisdom, leadership and fearlessness.
In the traditional Maiden – Mother – Crone archetype, two of the three patterns define a woman by her relation to another. The Maiden as the daughter and The Mother in her role of caregiver. It is only the Crone that is defined in terms of herself (maybe the reason she has been so feared?)
With the Innocent – Creatrix – SHEro – Crone, each stage is defined by the woman’s relationship to herself and her own experiences. She is not being defined by her relationship to another, making it easier for you to honour the ebb and flow of your own unique life path.