Let me just say these first two things. Number one, since you’re on anon I can assume that you are not that confident in your argument, because you are not willing to show your face with your opinion like I have. Secondly, how am I missing the point when it’s my opinion. I’m not policing anyone’s belief, I’m not telling others they can’t worship the triple Goddess Archetype, I’m not even poisoning the well. I’m stating the worry and fear that the Pagan community other communities have OVER it. The fear of erasure, the feel of not fitting into a nice compact three-cycled life that women seem to have to fit into, the fear of not having a voice in this community.
I’m also going to say that I do not like the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone phase in the Pagan community, I can however see it being appropriate in a NeoWiccan or Wiccan practice, because, at least from what I know of Neowicca, it fits nicely and is beneficial. In the vast range of the Pagan Umbrella terminology? I could fit, but it seems to do more damage than good.
So, let’s deconstruct your argument, shall we, nonny?
First off. Not every woman goes through the three phases of development.
Not ever women goes through the maiden phase where she is fertile and has sex, looses her “virginity” (virginity being a very stupid ass sexist concept anyway) and therefore completes the AT LEAST Neowiccan stage.
People excluded from this stage would be, but not exclusively, celibate women, women due to some physical health, asexual women, and women who just do not want to have sex or who have never had the chance to.
Also, this concept is heavily cis centered, as having a vagina does not make a woman. Calling yourself a woman makes you a woman.
Not every woman goes through the Mother phase. People excluded from this stage would be, but not exclusively, barren women, women who wish to not have children, women who cannot have children due to their economic status, women who want to wait on children (leaving them no in between from maiden to mother), trans*women, women who adopt, and perhaps lesbian couples who do not wish to be inseminated with semen to have a baby but choose instead to adopt or to never have children.
Not every woman goes through the Crone Phase. People excluded from this stage would be, well. Anyone who dies before “Old Age”, really. There is a problem though that goes back to the mother stage leading to the crone stage, as some women want to have children but must wait — but they are too old to be considered a maiden and too young to be considered a crone but because they lack children they can not identify as a mother either. They have no identity in the triad.
This whole three-archetype is based heavily on sexuality and gender that favors cisgender people and heteronormative people. Sexuality is a major part in at least two out of the three of these stages, the maiden being sexual maturity and the mother having been sexual with her partner in the maiden stage to give birth to a child. They all deal with sex.
And Guess what, not everyone wants to/can have sex. What about the celibate people? What about the asexuals? What about the women who cannot, for whatever health reason or just reason, have sex? THEY DON’T HAVE A REPRESENTATIVE IN THIS THREE-FOLD EQUATION.
So, yeah, sexuality has a BIG part in it.
“You seem to be tilting at a windmill, and trying to validate yourself in ways which don’t make sense.”
HA! Psh, I don’t need no validation, I need a voice, and I am now getting one. I know it’s Tran phobic. I know it adheres to cis people. I know it adheres to heteronormative people. I know it adheres to the idea of virginity, of sexuality, of motherhood. I know it adheres to things that not everyone wants/can do, which leads to a heavy layering of erasure.
What the Maiden, the Mother, the Crone teaches me outside of NeoWicca and Wicca is that women have to go through these three cycles to be considered a women, to be seen as following “The” Goddess’s path. And not everyone can do that. Also, it does make sense, because, sadly, we live in a heteronormative world where to be trans* means not being normal, to be asexual is to be defected, to be barren means you are less of a women, to not have a child means you are not good at being a woman (No offense to the lovely ladies who choose to be a mother, child rearing just ain‘t for me). It just keeps the stigma rolling, keeps it easier to worship these deities once they are placed in tight little boxes, three to be exact.
“Nobody needs a god like themselves to validate who they are, we are self-validating.”
Self validating? Okay. Tell that to me, the trans* boy who looked in shame at himself because he was supposed to be a woman, he was born a woman, with curves and breasts and he thought that if he didn’t live by the three-Goddess Archetype, he was a bad person. Thought I had to have sex with my boyfriend, I had to be a mother, I had to die as a woman. But that’s not me. No where is my story or my trans*sisters story told in that Archetype. My trans* Sisters who cannot always look like the mother in between the waning and waxing moon, because their stomach won’t swell with child. (YES, THE MOTHER IS ALMOST ALWAYS SHOWN PREGNANT, SO DON’T EVEN TRY TO SAY IT’S NOT SEXUAL AND SEXUALITY AND IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HETERONORMALCY.) Tell that to my barren sisters, to my sisters who don’t want children, who never want children, or who may want a few babies but have to wait — there is no in-between for them to identify with.
Tell that to my sisters who don’t believe in virginity, who see it as a construct of the patriarchy as I see it. Tell it to my sisters who wish to be celibate in their own choice, or in dedication to their Gods, tell that to my sisters who are asexual, who never want to have sex, tell that to my homosexual sisters who never wish to be touched by a man and therefore cannot go on to the next stage which is “heteronormative pregnant” motherhood.
Tell that to my sisters who are caught in between, who can’t identify as any of the three as age has blocked them from the Three Faced Goddess.
Tell that to them.
Validation can be important, because without it we are erased. Without having options, without seeing a face like ours, without seeing a symbolic representation of us, we get buried by the “normalcy” of culture. We do not identify as the Three-Aspects, the only people the aspects Identify with is the majority (the cis gender, the heteronormative, the western cultural ideal of women), not the minority. We are erased.
The three types of women are a cycle that makes us feel that we have to always follow it, it demonstrates a harmful cylce of what it means to REALLY be a woman, when that’s bullshit.
So, no. I still dislike the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone in certain forms of Paganism.