The triple Moon is a representation of the phases the Moon goes through in its cycle, and its symbolism is also linked closely to the Goddess. The Moon phases which shared an association with the growing seasons are linked with the phases of a woman's life. These phases are described as Maiden, Mother, and Crone.
The Maiden stage represents the first stage; it is that time during the Moon's cycle when it is new and waxing to full. It is represented as the time of the Maiden...a young, unattached woman who is full of potential for growth...youth, purity, innocence. As the symbolism hints, this is also a time for beginning new things and a building of energy. Springtime rituals most often involve the Maiden Goddesses.
The Mother represents the second stage; it is the time of the Full Moon. Her role is one of fertility, growth, and ripeness. She is also in a position of power. She is represented by a pregnant woman both in body and in mind, nurturing and protective. This period symbolizes a time of fruitfulness, a time when our plans are actualized. Summer and fall rituals most often involve the Mother...when crops are growing and harvested.
The Crone represents the final stage; it is the time of the Waning Moon. It is represented by an old woman full of wisdom earned with the struggles of learning and bringing forth, offering guidance. This is the woman at the end of her life, ripe with experience. She is symbolic of wisdom, experience, change, transformation, and death. Winter is Her season. Working with the Crone is related to rituals which involve the ending of things...such as a job, a relationship, menopause.
It is important that during this cycle of our lives that we not allow our bodies to vegetate, but must continue to exercise in whatever way suits each of us. It is important for us to take the time to learn new skills and expand on the old ones; you are NEVER to old to learn. At 52 I became a certified substance abuse counselor, at 56 I got a bachelor's in criminal justice, at 58 I began taking my Druid courses, at 60 I became a Bard, and now at 62 I am working towards my Ovate certificate.
Each one of us must come to terms, sooner or later, with the Dark Mother or the Crone aspect of the Goddess, the winter of our lives. And each of us will find out that there is no such thing as eternal youth no matter how hard we may try to find it. Both men and women go through this stage when their hormones decrease and and their bodies begin to change. It is a time in life to look over our lifetimes with introspection, by remembering the good times with gladness and the bad times for the wisdom they gifted us with.
After yesterday's post, I was recalling a very sad incident that happened when I was in my 40's...I worked a 4 pm to 12 am shift and as I entered the train station I notice a woman who was walking along in front of me. She was dressed in a red fuzzy sweator, ultra-short black leather mini-skirt, fishnet stockings, and and stiletto black heels. Her crowning glory was her magnificent mane of golden blond hair which fell almost to her waist. And as she walked, I noticed that everyone, man and woman alike, couldn't help but watch her as she passed by...and now I was more than a little intrigued.
"Who was this woman and what did she look like? She must be beautiful...otherwise, why else would she be drawing so much attention to herself. And, I don't care what a woman says, we WANT to know what the competition looks like, so I sped up to catch up and pass her. And, I have to tell you, I was totally caught off-guard by what I saw. Contrary to my initial belief, this was no beautiful model/actress type; indeed, the poor woman must have been in her late 70's close to 80. Her face was matted white with far too much powder; her cheeks were like flame. Her eyelids were coated with a thick, caked blue shadow, and she wore a bright red lipstick which she had drawn over her thin, shriveled lips in an attempt to make her lips look large and pouty....And the poor thing was smiling from all the attention she was getting; you could just tell she thought it was the greatest by the way she was strutting her stuff.
I promised myself that day that that would NEVER be me, but, one day I realized that that WAS me....maybe not as blatant as she, but I was a woman who one day looked into the mirror and saw someone looking back who had not yet become comfortable with her age. The hairdo, a ponytail piled high atop the head, was a sharp contrast to the furrowed brows. The dark shadow and thick lashes only served to accentuate the undereye crowsfeet and dark circles. The red lipstick looked too sharp, too aging.
So now, at 63, well almost 63, I wear the minimal of makeup...a tinted moisturizer, a light blush, a thin coating of mascara, and a brownish pink lipstick. My hair is now mostly pulled back into a low pony tail and I dress in clothes more appropriate for my age group....And you know what? I feel so much better about myself now. I am not trying to be someone I am not. So, here's to all of you....the Maidens, the Mothers, and the Crones. Be yourself. Maidens, don't try to grow up too quickly. There is time enough for that. Mothers, cherish what you have. And Crones, be the wise woman life has made you to be.
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