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In Mythology, what is the Triple Goddess?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 23, 2024
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The concept of a triple goddess appears in many cultures, religions, and mythologies. Essentially, she is a goddess with three aspects, or in some cases she may be represented by three separate individuals who are linked together and often appear together. There are a number of forms of the the triple goddess, and a number of ways to interpret her, and some people argue over the precise nature of this goddess in various religions.

Triple goddesses appear to be ancient, appearing in various forms in a number of religions. For example, many Greek goddesses were actually worshiped as triple goddesses, with a complex multitude of aspects. The Romans had these goddesses as well: Diana, for example, was the goddess of the hunt, goddess of the moon, and goddess of the Underworld.

In addition to appearing in the form of a goddess, a mythological figure with a tripled aspect can also be a lesser being. The Three Fates of Greek mythology, for example, are a form of the triple goddess, as are the Three Graces. The concept of a single sacred being with many facets also appears in the form of the Christian Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Worship of the triple goddess may be so common in world religions because it allows religious followers to appreciate the multiple facets of a single personality or individual. The goddess symbolizes the complexity of women, and the fact that people are rarely as simplistic as to have only one side. The commonality of the number three in particular, rather than any other number, may be related to the fact that three is a number with powerful religious and cultural symbolism for many cultures.

Many good and evil figures in mythology appear in triads, and the number three pops up in other ways as well. For example, Cerberus, guardian of the underworld, is often depicted with three heads, and according to legend, the Buddha studied through a threefold training on the way to enlightenment.

In Neopaganism, the triple goddess appears in the form of three aspects of womanhood, representing the maiden, the mother, and the crone. The maiden represents young women, full of potential and life, while the mother symbolizes a fully mature woman. The crone symbolizes elderly women and the wisdom which comes with aging.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a CulturalWorld.org researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By CellMania — On Sep 30, 2010

@medicchristy: The triple goddess symbol is a representation of the 3 different aspects of the Goddess. There is maiden, mother, and crone and the three moon phases of full, waxing, and waning.

Maidens are usually represented by silver or white to reflect her purity. The mother is represented by red to signify giving birth. The crone is represented by dark purple or black to reflect that she is the evening of her life.

These are some of the common attributes of the triple Goddess:

Mother – protection, fertility, growth, sexuality, and motherhood

Maiden – adolescence, beginnings, purity, virginity, childhood, independence

Crone – wisdom, change, old age, transformation, death, rebirth

By medicchristy — On Sep 30, 2010

What is the triple goddess symbol?

By BoatHugger — On Sep 30, 2010

@grumpyguppy: I think you might be referring to the most famous of the Triple Goddesses, Brigit. She was the daughter of the Dagda, referred to often as “the poetess”.

Her worship was very widespread from Ireland into Gaul. Supposedly, there were three of Brigits. They were all sisters. There was Brigit the Smith, Brigit the Doctor, and Brigit the Poetess. The multiplicity implies that she was a master of many arts.

By GrumpyGuppy — On Sep 30, 2010

Was there someone by the name of Bridget associated with a triple goddess? It seems like I have read something about it.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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