Maiden, Mother, and Crone are the archetypal triple Goddesses.
As I began this project I wanted to create an altar to Goddesses that would continue to be relevant to my life, existing across any culture or trend. Maiden, Mother, and Crone were the obvious choices. To settle my thoughts I created a list of some classic triple goddesses from myth that I am familiar with. This was a helpful exercise to anchor my thoughts. I brainstormed about the classical greek triad of Persephone, Demeter and Hekate; and the biblical figures Eve, Mary and Sophia. Other Goddesses that informed my thoughts included Venus and Isis. From this beginning I free associated the aspects I wanted to most feature, calling in my own inspirations of these deities such as Beauty, Bounty, and Magick.
I briefly explored using images of myself, my mom, and my grandmother as the models for the Goddesses, but found it difficult to source good images that had the impact I was looking for. I have an extensive stash of images from magazines, and settled on several images from that collection. I revisited a technique I first explored at the Art House Studio Residency in Chicago.
To begin I abstract the inspiration image, breaking it down to its most basic contour. Then I outline the image with a strong watercolor. The last step is adding washes of soft watercolor. The final image is on rice paper, a truly magickal material to paint on. It has been many years since I played around with this technique. I forgot how SATISFYING it was to watch the paint bleed across the diaphanous paper.
Beauty. Vision. Appreciation. Dance. Adornment. Beginnings. Snake. Violet. Transformation.
These were the words I gathered to bring my version of the Maiden into focus. I loved that this woman is brushing her hair. Self care and attending the body falls under the purview of the Maiden for me. I chose contrasting shades of vermillion orange and soft violet. The final result is vibrantly alive!
Creation. Inspiration. Fruit & Fullness. Trust. Responsibility. Bravery. The Full Spectrum.
Giving Birth to an actual child is just one aspect of the Mother Goddess. I also associate her with the spark of creation, the birth of ideas, dreams, and art. She is the verdant earth in Summer, a world in bloom. She is adorned in a rainbow cloak, honoring her ability to create across the whole spectrum of color. And her hair is a bright green, which reminded me of a tree. Her strong stance inspired me. She has no contraction in her body.
Ancestors. Gratitude. Trees & Animals. Bones. Wisdom & Magick. Lineage of the Divine Feminine.
The image I chose for the Crone is in honor of my Granny. From when I was very young she had very bad arthritis that prevented her from walking easily. She had crutches, and then a zippy scooter. The image of the woman sitting with a mountain of books was so evocative of her. And the books also spoke to the tomes of wisdom protected by the Crone Goddess. I painted her with smoky blues for the power of night, and golden swirls as a sign of respect.
Join the Creative Coven Discord, and let me know which Goddess is your favorite! The Coven is a growing community of artists, witches, creatives, and allies. Together we can weave into more magick on the world.