Bride, Mother & CRONE
[Panel 8] The initiate has experienced the mystery
of connection to a power greater than themselves. She
is now ready for her next great initiation ceremony,
that of marriage.
Here we find our initiate as a seated bride dressing
her hair as an angel exults. She cannot be
certain of her fate but she remains assured that she
has completed the necessary steps to
become a full adult contributing member of the tribe.
Watercolor by Maria Barosso, 1925
after a detail of the young bride in the Roman wall
painting in the Villa of the
Mysteries, Pompeii (60-40 BC), . The full
scale reproduction is held by the
Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, University of Michigan
Heuron Ameinon: [Panel 9]
Fled the Worse and Found the
(A saying spoken at both initiations and
The next to last scene
consists of a seated woman with a veiled head, who
represents a successful transition from girlhood to
the Dionysiac secret society (or 'thiasos') may have
been incorporation into an actual living community,
which is nevertheless also a community of the next
world. It secures the fate of the initiated in this
world and the next: when compared with the
unforgettable experience of his initiation, the
physical death of the initiate hardly counts as a
transition at all.
[Panel 9] & [Panel
Myth and Mystery of the Triple Goddess
| The three final scenes, a woman dressing her hair as a bride, a
matron or mother watching approvingly and love-god Eros also
assenting, complete the cycle.
Virgin, responsible for herself; Mother, the
nurturing woman in the fullness of life; and Crone,
the wise, old healing woman. This is the dynamic by
which the Cosmos unfolds, giving us our creative
magic that allows the creative, continual
transformation of the culture.
The goddess triad
represents three distinct phases of a women's life
which correspond with the three phases of the moon
(waxing, full and waning). Virgin representing the
strong, self-defined goddess. Mother representing
the nurturing goddess as source of all nourishment,
and the crone representing the goddess of death and
transformation. The archetype allows the initiate to
embraces her role as the god of life in all phases
of existence, from birth through death to rebirth.
Preserver, and Destroyer
earliest ages, the concept of the Great Goddess was
a trinity and the model for all subsequent
trinities, female, male or mixed. From
the Brahmans who
evolved a male trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva
to play these parts to Christianity's Holy Trinity
of father, son and holy ghost
the powerful men in
charge have tended to replace the feminine with the
masculine. Even androgynous Dionysus himself, as a
life-death-rebirth deity reflects this tendency.
The shift back from the relentless patriarchal
takeover of this powerful female archetype by
during the last two
great ages remains as one of the more significant
thresholds to cross for the 21st century to mark the
beginning of a new great age.
a son of Chronos or Saturn, god of Love, is the
final figure in the narrative.
Aristophanes' Frogs Herakles tells Dionysos of
the [Eleusinian] initiands whom he will later see in
the underworld enjoying
a blessed afterlife, the most
cherished benefit conferred by the initiation."
distinguish living from the soul versus living from
the ego only. They are: the ability to sense and
learn new ways, the tenacity to ride a rough road
and the patience to learn deep love over time."
---Clarissa Pinkola-Estes "Women Who Run with the
STILL MORE PATHS
Synchronicity means meaningful coincidence, it is often
used by the intuitive to recognize they are on the
correct path of their true destiny.
One our culture's great sychronicities strikes chords in
concert with this girl's initiation in Pompeii and
Dorothy. Like our initiate above, Dorothy in the Wizard
of Oz also immortalized a successful girl to woman dark
sea journey. Playing the soundtrack of Pink Floyd's
classic album, the dark side of the moon next to a video
of the Wizard of Oz results in a remarkable number of
matched scene transitions. [click images to learn
Hecate, the underworld goddess
of witchcraft, was the only child of the Titans Perses
and Asteria. From her parents she inherited powers over
the earth, sea and heavens. She assisted Demeter in her
search for Persephone and after their reunion became
Persephone's minister and companion in Hades. She was
closely associated with Eleusinian mysteries.
Hecate was called Triformis and shown with three faces,
each a lunar phase.As the "goddess of three forms" she
was Luna (the moon) in heaven, Diana (Artemis) on earth,
and Hecate of the underworld.
At midnight, Hecate's devotees would leave food
offerings at intersections for the goddess ('Hecate's
Supper'), and, once deposited, quickly exit without
turning around or looking back.
Hecate in Antiquity
by Robert Von Rudloff, M.Sc., M.A. of Horned Owl
a mythological survey
The ancient symbol of the
Orphic Mysteries (Dionysos is the principle
Orphic deity) was the serpent-entwined egg which
signified Cosmos as encircled by the fiery
Creative Spirit. The egg also represents the
soul of the philosopher; the serpent, the
Mysteries. At the time of initiation the shell
is broken and man emerges from the embryonic
state of physical existence wherein he had
remained through the fetal period of philosophic
for a contemporary
woman who needs an encounter with the wild and wanton spirit of
"As I am the initiate in this inner drama, I take for myself the poses of
the initiate in the mystery. I take the red background.
Other aspects I
am free to interpret. I divide the story into seven stages, as seven is
the mystical number of initiation. "
this alternative story of the Villa of the Mysteries
Also visit our survey of the
Orphic mysteries which, as a successor to
these Bacchic rites competed against Christianity for the first few
centuries of the great age we are
For those of you thirsting for insight into the
culture's spiritual path we wish you good blessings and recommend the
essay: Love by R.W. Emerson
"I was as a gem concealed;
Me my burning ray revealed."
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