This post is part of an assignment for my Triple Goddess class at OSC.
As I consider the Maiden, I realize I feel extremely disconnected from the Maiden in my own life. I haven’t actually spent much time giving her any thought. I connect deeply to the Mother and am maybe even too embedded in that archetype. I can even look forward to the Crone with some degree of understanding or anticipation. I have women around me in that stage of life and I feel I learn from watching their experiences and hearing their voices and opinions. The Maiden, however, she’s distant past. If the signature event of the Maiden stage is menarche, I do feel as if I’m starting to reclaim menstruation in my life as a “shamanic event” and as an important biological and even spiritual occurrence, rather than as a nuisance. But, the Maiden goes beyond just menarche (or being virgin), she is a feeling too. A freespiritedness. I’ve been serious for a long time. I’ve been on break from teaching during the past month and a couple of weeks ago I was laughing in the kitchen and being totally silly with my family and I said to my husband, “I forgot that I’m really funny.” I think the Maiden reminds me of this!
I make goddess art in the form of little sculptures of polymer clay. I have only tried to include the Maiden a handful of times in Triple Goddess sculptures and she never turns out quite right. Recently, I branched out into using regular clay for some sculptures and only three from my first batch of seven survived. One of them lost her breasts pre-firing, and when I first looked at the three of them after the glazing firing, I realized I had accidentally created a Maiden Mother Crone triad—the breastless maiden is tall, straight, and unencumbered, the middle sculpture has a slightly rounded belly, full breasts, and open hands indicating receptivity, and the final one is again self-contained…
As I considered this lesson, I went down to the woods and asked a question:
What do I need to know about the Maiden?
She is still within you
She is the one who laughs in the night
Who gets punchy and silly
Who runs to the car
She is the one who loves dolls
And creating art
And being hugged
She is that part of you
That wants to wallow in books
To lay on the floor and take a nap
She is the part that still feels like an awkward nine-year-old
The dawning of a time when you wonder what others think of you
She is the one who skips
She is the one who dances in the kitchen
She is the one who eats chocolate chips by the handful
She is you.
When I came back, I had the realization that what the Maiden is ready to remind me of is to have fun and to play, to remember to bring those things to the fore and not always be working/getting things done/being productive (though, those things are also often fun for me!). I came into the house all ready to type up my thoughts and observations. My little almost-two-year old daughter, however, was getting out candles and setting up a ritual. She spread out a cloth and set up little goddesses and stones and candles and was tugging at me and calling to me to the light the candles. I was kind of shrugging her off and saying, “not now, honey, I need to do something first,” and suddenly I was like oh my goddess, DUH, this IS THE MAIDEN RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF ME and she has a plan! And, I’d come very, very close to missing it, and also, flat-out missing the whole point of what I was trying to learn from this lesson.So, my husband and I both sat with our daughter on the floor in the little altar space she had created and we all held our lit candles and spent some sacred, Maiden time together:
My little Maiden is now grown up – 25 years old, autistic with learning disabilities – but she still challenges, stimulates and inspires me when she comes home to us for holidays. By the way, have you seen The Maiden card from Brian Froud’s Faery Oracle? It’s one of my favourite cards 🙂