Meet the Triple Goddess

Almost every ancient civilisation held the Goddess in esteem, and she was usually presented in three aspects – a youthful virgin, a fertile creator, or a keeper of knowledge and wisdom.

Through neo pagan worship and practices, this presentation of the Goddess has evolved into the ‘Triple Goddess’ – one goddess or deity, who represents the three phases of femininity: the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone.

What is a ‘triple deity’?

To understand how the Triple Goddess came to be, it’s important to first understand the much older, ancient concept of a triple deity.

Basically, a triple deity is a deity with three individual forms that function as a whole. Some examples of a triple deity, or ‘triad goddesses’, are:

Brigid: The Celtic goddess Brigid governs poetry, healing and smithcraft – the three skills integral to the ancient Celt society. In some versions of her mythology, The Brigid was formed as three sisters (all named Brigid!), each a matron of one of these skills.

The Norns: In the Norse pantheon, the Norns are three crone sisters who tend to Yggdrasil, the World Tree. They were respected for the incredible power they held over the destinies of gods and humans alike. Their names translated to ‘Past’, ‘Present’ and ‘Future.’

The Morai: In Greek mythology, the Moirai, or the Fates, are a triad of goddesses who control the destiny of mortals. Clotho is the youngest, who spins the thread of life, Lachesis is older, and she measures it, and Atropos is elderly, and cuts the thread, determining when life will end. There’s also the three Furies and the three Graces, among others.

The three Fates determine the destiny and life path of mortals and gods

The Tridevi: In Hinduism, the Tridevi are the collective main goddesses of the Hindu pantheon: Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvati. Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge and learning, Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity, and Parvati is the goddess of love and devotion.

As you can see, there’s many pantheons and cultures throughout time who include a triple deity – or triad of goddesses – in either their worship or day-to-day life.

This is where the relatively modern concept of the Triple Goddess comes in!

Who is the Triple Goddess?

The idea of the ‘Triple Goddess’ as we know it today, was first shared by Robert Graves, a 19th century folklorist, in his book The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth. Graves combined the idea of these ancient triple concepts and deities, and proposed a new archetype: the Triple Goddess – a whole form, made up of the three phases of womanhood. She is the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone.

However, his work wasn’t especially well considered at the time, and was eventually discredited. Fast forward to the 20th century, and the neo pagan movement of the early and mid 20th century picked up on this archetype. By the 1960s and 1970s, following the rise of both the Wiccan and second-wave feminist movements, the Triple Goddess was now reclaimed as a legitimate divine feminine power. 

Associated with the three main phases of the moon, the Triple Goddess is the whole sum of her individual parts.

The Maiden

Youth, purity, and autonomy. She’s all about newness, self-sovereignty, and independence. She’s often depicted as a playful and innocent young woman, full of potential and possibility.

She operates in the realm of freedom, and self-discovery. 

Season: Spring, when the earth is awakening from its slumber and new life is bursting forth. 

Moon phase: Waxing phase, when the moon is moving from dark to full. 

Teaching: The Maiden teaches us to embrace change, take risks, stand in our own power, and follow our dreams with courage and enthusiasm.

The Mother

Fertility, nurturing, and creation. She’s all about the safe and protective qualities of motherhood, or ‘parenthood.’ The Mother is often depicted as a mature woman, full of love and compassion.

She operates in the realm of relationships and growth.

Season: Summer, when the earth is in full bloom and abundance is everywhere. She can also be a part of Autumn, as the harvest of her bounty continues.

Moon phase: Full moon phase, when the moon is at its brightest.

Teaching: The Mother shows us how to care for ourselves and others, and to nourish and support those around us. This is when we embrace the cycles of life and death.

The Crone

Wisdom, transformation, and endings. She’s the sacredness of old age and death, and can unlock the mysteries of the unseen world. The Crone is usually shown as an elderly woman (although not always), her face lined with knowledge and experience.

She operates in the realm of universal truth and power.

Season: Autumn and winter, when the earth is preparing for rest and renewal, and descending into death and absence.

Moon phase: Waning phase, as the peak of the full moon’s energy fades and prepares for the new lunar cycle

Teaching: The Crone teaches the inevitability of change and transformation, to release what no longer serves us. She governs past lives, visions and prophecy, and is a guide and mentor. 

The Triple Goddess can be worshipped in many ways – it’s a deeply personal connection to hold. Maybe you see her in the faces of ancient goddesses? Perhaps you honour her archetypes of the Maiden, Mother and Crone?

Regardless, you’ll find her influence through the Moon’s cycles, as she brings opportunity to deepen your spiritual connection with the universe, and the divine feminine.


Leela is the founder of High Priestess, a third-generation psychic, and a life-long student of goddesses and female divinity.