Psychological Domains of the Maiden, Mother and Crone The ancient cultures that worshipped the Great Mother Goddess recognized three distinct phases of a woman’s life: the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone (which means “Wise One”). Women were closely associated with the moon because their menstrual flow aligned with the new, the full, and the dark phases. Their lives bore a similar pattern of division into triads, and so the tides of the moon, the tides of a woman’s monthly courses, and the stages of a woman’s life are three. Women’s life phases are not only chronological stages, but useful divisions of feminine function and task that offer more than rich symbolic meaning. The stages continue to reflect many aspects of female life experience, as each stage represents a profound psychological transformation. Each of the stages, Maiden, Mother, Crone, is also a domain (field of influence) within the feminine psyche with different types of sexual expression, potentially available to all adult women.
The Maiden within us is the playful child delighting in the wonder of pleasure and sexual exploration. She is longing to be loved. She is thesource of our natural curiosity and sensuality. The psychological sets of readiness to awaken sexual energy and permission “to do what feels good for me” in safe settings are necessary for the Maiden to come out to play.
The Mother is the nurturer bestowing loving acceptance and lasting commitment on beloved partners. She is the source within us of our capacity to build communion with another in the act of giving and receiving love. The Mother in us takes responsibility for generating compassionate sexuality beyond self-gratification. She knows our personal, seductive conditions and can surrender to sexual desire.
The Crone is the wise woman within us who can consciously generate healing energy. She is the part of us feeling empowered to act on intentional desire in an honoring setting. The Crone is the adept within, listening to intuition and recognizing divine guidance. If we so choose, she is the part of us that accesses the sixth sense, discerning information from our body wisdom.