Gardnerian Traditional Witchcraft – B.3. The Scourge and the Kiss. (1953)

Gardnerian Traditional Witchcraft – B.3. The Scourge and the Kiss. (1953)

B.3. The Scourge and the Kiss. (1953)
[1] Invocation
(Feet, knees, and wrists should be tightly bound to retard blood.) Scourge 40 or more, to make skin tingle, then say, invoking Goddess,
Hail, Aradia, from the Amalthean horn
Pour forth thy store of Love.  I lowly bend
Before Thee!  I invoke thee at the end
When other Gods are fallen and put to scorn.
Thy foot is to my lips!  My sighs inborn
Rise, touch, curl about thy heart.  Then spend,
Pitiful Love, loveliest Pity, descend
And bring me luck who am lonely and forlorn.

Ask the Goddess to help you to obtain your desires, then Scourge again to bind the spell. This be powerful in ill luck and for sickness.  It must be said in a Circle, and you must be properly prepared and well purified, both before and after saying, to bind the spell.
Before starting you must make a very clear picture in your mind of what you wish.  Make yourself see the wish obtained.  Be sure in your own mind exactly what it is and how it is to be fulfilled.
This spell is the one that was taught to me long ago and I have found it works, but I don’t think there is any special virtue in these words.  Any others can be substituted provided they ask the goddess’s (or gods’) help, and say clearly what you wish and you form the clear mental image; and if it doesn’t work at first, keep on trying till it works.  Your helper, who wields the scourge, must know what you wish, and also form the mental image.  And at first at any rate, it will be better for you to work the spell, then for the girl to take your place and work it also; you scourge her.  Don’t try anything difficult at first, and do it at least once a week till it works.  You have to get into sympathy with each other, before anything happens, and regular working helps this.
Of spells, the exact words matter little if the intent be clear and you raise the true power, and sufficient thereof.  Always in rhyme they are. There is something queer about rhyme.  I have tried, and the same seem to lose their power if you miss the rhyme.  Also in rhyme, the words seem to say themselves.  You do not have to pause and think: “What comes next?”  Doing this takes away much of your intent.
[2] Order and discipline must be kept.  A High Priest or Priestess may and should punish all faults to this end, and all of the Cult must accept such corrections willingly.  All are brothers and sisters, for this reason: that even the High Priestess must submit to the scourge.  Each fault should be corrected separately.  The Priest or Priestess must be properly prepared and call the culprit to trial.  They must be prepared as for initiation and kneel, be told their fault and sentence pronounced.  Punishment should be the scourge, followed by a forfeit such as several fivefold kisses or something of this nature.  The culprit must acknowledge the justice of the punishment by kissing hands and scourge on receiving sentence and again when thanking for punishment received.*
[3] The scourgings are 3, 7, 9 (thrice three), and 21 (thrice seven) 40 in all.  It is not meet to make offerings [scourgings] of less than two score to the Goddess, for here be a mystery.  The fortunate numbers be: 3 and 5.  For three added to two (the Perfect Couple) be five.  And three and five be eight; eight and five be thirteen; thirteen and eight be twenty-one.
The Fivefold Kiss is called 5, but there are 8 kisses, for there be 2 feet and 2 knees and genitals and 2 breasts and the lips. And 5 times 8 be two score.  Also, fortunate numbers be 3, 7, 8, and 21, which total 40, or two score.  For each man and woman hath ten fingers and ten toes, so each totals a score.  And a perfect couple be two score.
So a lesser number would not be perfect prayer. If more are required make it a perfect number, as four score or six score.
Also there be Eight Elemental Weapons.
[4] To make the anointing ointment, take some glazed pans filled half full with grease or olive oil.  Put in one sweet mint, marjoram in another, ground thyme in a 3rd, and it you may have it, patchouli, dried leaves pounded.  Place pans in hot water bath.  Stir and cook for several hours, then pout into linen bags, and squeeze grease through into pans again, and fill up with fresh leaves.  After doing this several times, the grease will be highly perfumed.  Then mix all together and store in a well-corked jar.
Anoint behind ears, throat, armpits, breasts, and womb.  Also, for all ceremonies where the feet are kissed, they should also be anointed.

Gardnerian Traditional Witchcraft – A.6. The Sabbat Rituals (1949)

Gardnerian Traditional Witchcraft – A.6. The Sabbat Rituals (1949)

A.6. The Sabbat Rituals (1949)
November Eve
Walk or slow dance, Magus leading High Priestess, both carrying Phallic wand or broom, people with torches or candles.  Witch chant or song:

“Eko, eko, Azarak Eko, eko, Zomelak Bazabi lacha bachabe Lamac cahi achababe Karrellyos  Lamac lamac Bachalyas cabahagy sabalyos Baryolos Lagoz atha cabyolas Samahac atha famolas Hurrahya!”

Form circle.
High Priestess assumes Goddess position.
Magus gives her Fivefold Kiss and is scourged.
All are purified [that is, bound and scourged with forty strokes, as in the initiation rituals].
Magus assumes God position.
High Priestess invokes with Athame:  “Dread Lord of the shadows, god of life and the giver of life. Yet is the knowledge of thee the knowledge of death. Open wide, I pray thee, thy gates through which all must pass.  Let our dear ones who have gone before, return this night to make merry with us.  And when our time comes, as it must, O thou the comforter, the consoler, the giver of peace and rest, we will enter thy realms gladly and unafraid, for we know that when rested and refreshed among our dear ones, we shall be born again by thy grace and the grace of the Great Mother.  Let it be in the same place and the same time as our beloved ones, and may we meet and know, and love them again.  Descend, we pray thee, upon thy servant and Priest (name).”
High Priestess gives Fivefold Kiss to Magus.
Initiations if any; all others are purified.
(Note: Couples may purify each other if they will.)
Cakes and Wine.
The Great Rite if possible, either in token or truly.
Dismiss [the guardians, and close down the magic circle; the people then stay to] feast and dance.

February Eve
After usual opening, all are doubly purified [that is, with eighty strokes].
Dance round outside circle, High Priestess with sword girded on and drawn, Phallic wand in left hand.
Enter circle.
Magus assumes God position.
High Priestess gives Fivefold Kiss, invokes: “Dread Lord of death and Resurrection, life and the giver of life, Lord within ourselves, whose name is Mystery of Mysteries, encourage our hearts. Let the light crystalize in our blood, fulfilling us of resurrection, for there is no part of us that is not of the gods. Descend, we pray thee, upon this thy servant and Priest (name).”
All should be purified in sacrifice before him.  He then purifies the High Priestess with his own hands, and others if he will.
Cakes and wine.
Great Rite if possible, in token or real.
Games and dance as the people will.
Dismiss [the guardians, and close down the magic circle; the people then stay to] feast and dance.
May Eve
If possible ride poles, brooms, etc. High Priestess leading, quick dance step, singing

“O do not tell the priests of our arts.For they would call it sin,
For we will be in the woods all nightA conjuring summer in.

And we bring you good news by word of mouthFor women, cattle, and corn:
The sun is coming up from the south,With oak and ash, and thorn.”

Meeting dance if possible.
Form circle as usual, and purify.
High Priestess assumes Goddess position; officers all give her the fivefold kiss.
She purifies all.
High Priestess again assumes Goddess position.
Magus invokes, draws down moon, “I invoke thee and call upon thee, O mighty Mother of us all, bringer of all fruitfulness, By seed and root, by stem and bud, by leaf and flower and fruit, by life and love, do we invoke thee, to descend upon the body of thy servant and Priestess here.”
Magus gives Fivefold Kiss to High Priestess.
All should be purified in sacrifice before her, and she should purify Magus and some others with her own hands.
Cakes and wine.
Games.
Great Rite if possible, in token or truly.
Dismiss [the guardians, and close down the magic circle; the people then stay to] feast and dance.

August Eve
If possible, ride poles, broomsticks, etc.
Meeting Dance if possible [the double-spiral dance described in Witchcraft Today, p. 167].
Form circle.
Purify.
High Priestess stands in pentacle position.
Magus invokes her: “O mighty Mother of us all, Mother of all fruitfulness, give us fruit and grain, flocks and herds and children to the tribe that we be mighty, by thy rosy love, do thou descend upon thy servant and Priestess (name) here.”
Magus gives Fivefold Kiss to High Priestess.
Candle game:  Seated, the men form a circle, passing a lighted candle from hand to hand “deosil”.  The women form circle outside, trying to blow it out over their shoulders.  Whoever’s hand it is in when it is blown out is 3 times purified by whoever blew it out, giving fivefold Kiss in return.  This game may go on as long as the people like.
Cakes and wine, and any other games you like.
Dismiss [the guardians, and close down the magic circle; the people then stay to] feast and dance.

Gardnerian Traditional Witchcraft – A.2. Drawing Down the Moon (1949)

Gardnerian Traditional Witchcraft – A.2. Drawing Down the Moon (1949)

A.2. Drawing Down the Moon (1949)
High Priestess stands in front of Altar, assumes Goddess position (arms crossed).
Magus, kneeling in front of her, draws pentacle on her body with Phallus-headed Wand, invokes, “I Invoke and beseech Thee, O mighty Mother of all life and fertility.  By seed and root, by stem and bud, by leaf and flower and fruit, by Life and Love, do I invoke Thee to descend into the body of thy servant and High Priestess [name].”
The Moon having been drawn down, i.e., link established, Magus and other men give Fivefold Kiss:
(kissing feet) “Blessed be thy feet, that have brought thee in these ways”;
(kissing knees) “Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar”;
(kissing womb) “Blessed be thy womb, without which we would not be”;
(kissing breasts) “Blessed be thy breasts, formed in beauty and in strength”;
(kissing lips) “Blessed be thy lips, that shall speak the sacred names.”
Women all bow.

If there be an initiation, then at this time the Magus and the High Priestess in Goddess position (Arms Crossed) says the Charge while the Initiate stands outside the circle.

The Threefold Goddess

The Threefold Goddess


To understand the concept of Goddess requires more than the ability to visualize
God as a woman. The Goddess concept is built around the myth and mystery of the
relationship between God and Goddess, and beneath that, and part of it, Her
Threefold Aspect … Maiden, Mother and Crone.

One of the oldest recognized Goddess forms is the first Greek Goddess – Gaia,
the Earth Mother; the Universal Womb; Mother of All. The most ancient Goddesses
were most often Earth and Mother Goddesses. The were worshipped and revered as
bearers of life … fat, healthy, pregnant and fruitful. As the Goddess concept
developed, then came the Harvest Goddesses, who were also Earth Goddesses.
Understand that this was a time when people did not even understand the basic
mechanics of procreation.  Life was very sacred and mystical indeed!

Gradually, myth and mystery developed and revealed themselves, creating the
legend which we honor in the modern Wiccan Craft.

We recognize the Goddess as the mother of all, including her Mighty Consort, the
God.  To Her he is Lover and Son, and together they form the Ultimate, the
Omniverse, the Dragon, the Mystery.

Now that is a pretty tough concept all things considered. Especially in our
society as it sounds rather incestuous.  From a mundane perspective, it gets
worse as the Wheel of the Year Turns, and the Oak and Holly Kings battle …
eternal rivals and
sacrificial mates.

In the pages that follow, we will explore the Goddess foundation concepts and
try to reach an understanding of the basis of the Mystery.

I don’t want to get off into all the names of all the Goddesses in all the
mythology in all of history.  While that is certainly a noble endeavor, it is
not the objective here.  What I do want to do is look at the Goddess, in whole
and in part, and see just who and what she is.

First and foremost, the Goddess is the symbol of the Cycle of  Everlasting.  She
is constant, ever present, ever changing, and yet always the same.  She could be
compared in that respect to the oceans.

As a part of that, she is that from which we have come, and to which we will
return.  She is the Universal Mother, the Cosmic Womb. While those are largely
symbolic images, as opposed to literal ones, they are important to bear in mind
about any aspect of the Goddess. She never harms, she is Mother.

One of the most difficult throwback mentalities to dispel in a student is the
difference between “dark and light” and “bad and good”. Societally, and often
religiously, we are trained to see bad and dark and evil as being the same.
Hence, we are also taught to hate and fear our own mortality.  All too often I
see practicing Wiccans, who ought to *know* better, fall back on these concepts
when trying to explain or understand a concept.

The Goddess is dark, she is light, she is birth, she is death, and she rejoices
in all things.  With death comes joy, for with death comes renewal.  With life
comes joy, for with life comes promise. With growth comes joy for with growth
comes wisdom.  Sorrow and fear are not a part of her, not the way we feel those
emotions.  She is incapable of sorrow without joy, she fears nothing, because
fear is not real. It is a creation of the mind.

Whether you see the Goddess as a Warrior Queen, or like the Good Witch of the
North in the Wizard of Oz, she is the Goddess.  And she has many parts and
facets which defy comprehension as “One”.  She simply IS, and in that, can be
whatever you need her to be in order to establish a relationship with her.  But
none of that changes what she IS.

“I greet thee in the many names of the Threefold Goddess and her Mighty Consort.
Athe, malkuth, ve-guburah, ve-gedulah, le-olam, Amen. Blessed Be.”

So here, at the Circle Door, greeted by the High Priest or Priestess we first
see mentioned the Threefold Goddess.  Full-sized covens have three priestesses
who take the specific roles of Maiden, Mother and Crone, the High Priestess
being Mother.

The Threefold Goddess however is NOT three entities, she is one. Her aspects
represent Enchantment, Ripeness and Wisdom.

Taking first things first is usually best, so we shall start with a look at one
side of the Maiden.

Quoting “The Myth of the Goddess” as found in Gardenarian Wicca (Gerald B.
Gardner, The Meaning of Witchcraft, Aquarian Press, London, 1959.):

Now Aradia had never loved, but she would solve all the Mysteries, even the
Mystery of Death; and so she journeyed to the Nether Lands.

The Guardians of the Portals challenged her, “Strip off thy garments, lay aside
thy jewels; for naught may ye bring with ye into this our land.”

So she laid down her garments and her jewels and was bound, as were all who
enter the Realms of Death the Mighty One.  Such was her beauty that Death
himself knelt and kissed her feet, saying, “Blessed by thy feet that have
brought thee in these ways.  Abide with me, let me place my cold hand on thy
heart.”  She replied “I love thee not. Why dost thou cause all things that I
love and take delight in to fade and die?”

“Lady,” replied Death, “it is Age and Fate, against which I am helpless.  Age
causes all things to wither, but when men die at the end of time I give them
rest and peace, and strength so that they may return.  But thou, thou art
lovely.  Return not; abide with me.”

But she answered, “I love thee not.”

Then said Death, “An’ thou receive not my hand on thy heart thou must receive
Death’s scourge.”

“It is Fate; better so”, she said, and she knelt, and Death scourged her and she
cried “I feel the pangs of love.”

And Death said, “Blessed be” and gave her the Fivefold Kiss, saying “Thus only
may ye attain joy and knowledge.”

And he taught her all the Mysteries.  And they loved and were one, and he taught
her all the Magicks.

For there are three great events in the life of Man:  Love, Death and
Resurrection in a new body, and Magick controls them all. For to fulfill love
you must return again at the same time and place as the loved one, and you must
remember and love them again.  But to be reborn you must die, and be ready for a
new body; and to die you must be born; and without love you may not be born.
And these be all the Magicks.

So there in the Gardnerian Myth of the Goddess we have her Maiden aspect,
seeking, searching and opening herself to the mysteries.  But it is well to
remember that the Goddess herself is a mystery, and the primary gift of the
Goddess is intuitive Wisdom.

Beltaine (Bealtain) is the only Sabbat where the Goddess is entirely devoted to
the Maiden.  Here, she revels in the enchantment, in the joy of coming into
fullness and mating with the God.  Here, she is maiden bride and we can most
easily understand that facet of the Maiden aspect.  I should probably note here
that some see this festival as maiden turning into mother, with the maiden being
in full at Candlemas, but I do not agree with that.

Youth, newness, innocence and beauty are fundamental facets of  the Maiden
aspect.  But beneath those are seeking, and love, and love of  seeking.  There
is more to understand of the Maiden though. Enchantment does not end with
maidenhood, it is simply the beginning of the Mystery of Life, for that, above
all, is what the Goddess stands for.

In Circle, in the Balanced Universe, the Maiden takes her place in the East.  In
examining this most comfortable quarter, you learn more about the Maiden Aspect.
East (Air) rules the free mind and intellect.  It is the place to seek the
ability to learn and to open spiritually, to open your mind and find answers.
It is a masculine quarter, ruled by intellect, and analytical logic, but she
brings to it an intuition which is required to use these to best advantage.

“The river is flowing, flowing and growing, the river is flowing back to the
sea.  Mother carry me, a child I will always be.  Mother carry me, back to the
sea.”

This Circle chant, sung in joy, sung in sorrow, is a cry to the Mother Aspect
for comfort and warmth, a power chant calling upon the steady power and fullness
of the Mother and a plea for guidance. While the Earth Mother, and the fully
aspected Goddess are placed North in the Earth quarter, the Mother aspect alone
belongs in the west.

Comfort and love rule here.  Emotions, sorrow, joy, tears, these belong to the
ripeness of the Mother.  Caring and loving for all her children, watching in
pain and pride as they struggle to gain their own, knowing full well she could
reach out and do it for them, but being both bound and desirous to let them do
it for themselves.

There is a considerable difference, as you might have interpreted from the
above, between the Earth Mother and the Mother Aspect of the Goddess.  That is
why we’ve started with her quarter, because it  reveals the limitations of the
Aspect.

The Mother aspect is ripeness, the ancient bearing of fruit, child and grain.
She represents emotion and sexuality.  The Goddess in that aspect is most of the
altar (as discussed in the Great Rite lesson.)  It is interesting to note the
practice in numerous ancient cultures of lovemaking or outright sex magick in
cornfields to help make the corn grow.

The Dark Mother should also be placed here, although culturally, I have a
tendency to think of the Dark Mother as more in keeping the Crone Aspect.  It is
a bit of work to see the Dark Mother in the West, to separate Dark Mother from
Crone, but it is worthwhile.  If you have any background with the tarot I would
suggest you take it in that context, it is beyond the scope of this text.

Our exploration of the Goddess and her Aspects brings us now to the Crone.  For
me, the Crone is the most fascinating of the Aspects of the Goddess.  Partly I
suppose because she is the most mysterious and paradoxical.

“Blessed Goddess, old and wise, open mine, thy child’s, eyes. Speak to me in
whispered tones that I may know the rune of Crones.”

With life and growth comes age and wisdom, and the Crone is this in part.  She
holds fire and power, which wisely used can be of great benefit, but hold great
danger for the unaware.  Hers are the secrets of  death and of life, and the
mystery beyond the mystery.

Part of the pleasure in knowing the Crone aspect is that while, unlike the fully
aspected Goddess, she is not also Maiden and Mother, she does retain the
experiences of both those Aspects in order to be Crone.  The Crone, wizened
though she is, must still be able to reach into herself and recall the innocent
joys and high passions of the Maiden and the love and warmth of the Mother.  To
be Crone and to not have forgotten, to still be able to experience Maiden and
Mother is, to me, very appealing.  More importantly, to be comfortable in that
Aspect, where you have truth and knowledge but have left youth and physical
beauty behind, and to still _feel_ youth and beauty without being desirous of
them is an admirable quality.

Crone is the least paralleled Aspect of the Goddess to our human society.  We
discard our old and wise, not understanding their value as teachers and models,
and fearing their appearance as a reminder of  our own mortality.

Knowing Crone is a door we much each open for ourselves for to know and love her
is to cast aside a great many of our cultural and societal malteachings.

While the individual Aspects of Threefold Goddess are certainly valid concepts
and paths to knowing Goddess, I should caution that most mythological Goddess
figures are composite Goddesses.  Earth Mother Goddess figures are fully
aspected Goddess by definition because they represent the full cycle of the
Wheel.  Most other Goddess figures can be classified as having a dominant (or
operative) aspect and recessive (promised, or in some cases past) aspect.
Future and past should not be taken literally, mythological Goddess figures are
always whatever they are eternally, they do not tend to change (ie age).

Maiden Goddesses possessing their operative in the Huntress or Warrior aspects
most often have a promise of Crone. Maiden Goddesses expressing their dominance
in beauty and/or love usually have their recessive aspect as Mother.  For
example, Athena is a Maiden Goddess with Crone attributes (the combination
produces many Mother-type qualities, and this results in the Crone aspected
Maiden being the most complete of the Mythological Goddesses, with the exception
of  Earth Mother Goddesses.) Aphrodite is of course a Maiden Goddess with Mother
attributes.

Similarly, Dark Mother Goddess figures mostly find their promise in Crone and
Light Mother figures their recessive in Maiden. Crone recessives work the same
way, although sometimes it takes a bit of  close examination to find the
“hidden” aspect.

One should note that this is not a formula, rather a tool to assist in examining
and understanding Goddess figures and creating one’s own personal spiritual link
with Goddess.  It is also a useful consideration when invoking a specific
Goddess with purpose in ritual. The purpose of this course has been to open
avenues of approach in discovering and developing a relationship with Goddess.
For me personally, I do not “believe” in the reality of mythological Goddess
figures as they were presented, but I do believe they are a valid way to
establish communication with Goddess.  I also believe Goddess will appear in
whatever form we are most ready to accept.  The real Goddess, by my belief (and
this is personal, not trad) is an entity beyond my comprehension, perhaps
composed of light (could 5000 sci-fi films be wrong?), most assuredly unlike
anything I could ever imagine in true form.  However, I do find mythological
Goddess figures highly useful for ritual, and of some help in my personal
relationship with Goddess. I hope you will too.

The Threefold Goddess

  The Threefold Goddess

 

     To understand the concept of Goddess requires more than the
ability to visualize God as a woman.  The Goddess concept is built
around the myth and mystery of the relationship between God and
Goddess, and beneath that, and part of it, Her Threefold Aspect …
Maiden, Mother and Crone.

     One of the oldest recognized Goddess forms is the first Greek
Goddess – Gaia, the Earth Mother; the Universal Womb; Mother of All.
The most ancient Goddesses were most often Earth and Mother Goddesses.
The were worshipped and revered as bearers of life … fat, healthy,
pregnant and fruitful. As the Goddess concept developed, then came the
Harvest Goddesses, who were also Earth Goddesses.  Understand that
this was a time when people did not even understand the basic
mechanics of procreation.  Life was very sacred and mystical indeed!

     Gradually, myth and mystery developed and revealed themselves,
creating the legend which we honor in the modern Wiccan Craft.

     We recognize the Goddess as the mother of all, including her
Mighty Consort, the God.  To Her he is Lover and Son, and together
they form the Ultimate, the Omniverse, the Dragon, the Mystery.

     Now that is a pretty tough concept all things considered.
Especially in our society as it sounds rather incestuous.  From a
mundane perspective, it gets worse as the Wheel of the Year Turns, and
the Oak and Holly Kings battle … eternal rivals and
sacrificial mates.

     In the pages that follow, we will explore the Goddess foundation
concepts and try to reach an understanding of the basis of the
Mystery.

     I don’t want to get off into all the names of all the Goddesses
in all the mythology in all of history.  While that is certainly a
noble endeavor, it is not the objective here.  What I do want to do is
look at the Goddess, in whole and in part, and see just who and what
she is.

     First and foremost, the Goddess is the symbol of the Cycle of
Everlasting.  She is constant, ever present, ever changing, and yet
always the same.  She could be compared in that respect to the oceans.

     As a part of that, she is that from which we have come, and to
which we will return.  She is the Universal Mother, the Cosmic Womb.
While those are largely symbolic images, as opposed to literal ones,
they are important to bear in mind about any aspect of the Goddess.
She never harms, she is Mother.

     One of the most difficult throwback mentalities to dispell in a
student is the difference between “dark and light” and “bad and good”.
Societally, and often religiously, we are trained to see bad and dark
and evil as being the same.  Hence, we are also taught to hate and
fear our own mortality.  All too often I see practicing Wiccans, who
ought to *know* better, fall back on these concepts when trying to
2677

explain or understand a concept.

     The Goddess is dark, she is light, she is birth, she is death,
and she rejoices in all things.  With death comes joy, for with death
comes renewal.  With life comes joy, for with life comes promise.
With growth comes joy for with growth comes wisdom.  Sorrow and fear
are not a part of her, not the way we feel those emotions.  She is
incapable of sorrow without joy, she fears nothing, because fear is
not real.  It is a creation of the mind.

     Whether you see the Goddess as a Warrior Queen, or like the Good
Witch of the North in the Wizard of Oz, she is the Goddess.  And she
has many parts and facets which defy comprehension as “One”.  She
simply IS, and in that, can be whatever you need her to be in order to
establish a relationship with her.  But none of that changes what she
IS.

     “I greet thee in the many names of the Threefold Goddess and her
Mighty Consort.  Athe, malkuth, ve-guburah, ve-gedulah, le-olam, Amen.
Blessed Be.”

      So here, at the Circle Door, greeted by the High Priest or
Priestess we first see mentioned the Threefold Goddess.  Full-sized
covens have three priestesses who take the specific roles of Maiden,
Mother and Crone, the High Priestess being Mother.

      The Threefold Goddess however is NOT three entities, she is one.
Her aspects represent Enchantment, Ripeness and Wisdom.

      Taking first things first is usually best, so we shall start
with a look at one side of the Maiden.

      Quoting “The Myth of the Goddess” as found in Gardenarian Wicca
(Gerald B. Gardner, The Meaning of Witchcraft, Aquarian Press, London,
1959.):

      Now Aradia had never loved, but she would solve all the
Mysteries, even the Mystery of Death; and so she journeyed to the
Nether Lands.

      The Guardians of the Portals challenged her, “Strip off thy
garments, lay aside thy jewels; for naught may ye bring with ye into
this our land.”

      So she laid down her garments and her jewels and was bound, as
were all who enter the Realms of Death the Mighty One.  Such was her
beauty that Death himself knelt and kissed her feet, saying, “Blessed by
thy feet that have brought thee in these ways.  Abide with me, let me
place my cold hand on thy heart.”  She replied “I love thee not.
Why dost thou cause all things that I love and take delight in to fade
and die?”

      “Lady,” replied Death, “it is Age and Fate, against which I am
helpless.  Age causes all things to wither, but when men die at the
end of time I give them rest and peace, and strength so that they may
return.  But thou, thou art lovely.  Return not; abide with me.”

      But she answered, “I love thee not.”
2678

      Then said Death, “An’ thou receive not my hand on thy heart
thou must receive Death’s scourge.”

      “It is Fate; better so”, she said, and she knelt, and Death
scourged her and she cried “I feel the pangs of love.”

      And Death said, “Blessed be” and gave her the Fivefold Kiss,
saying “Thus only may ye attain joy and knowledge.”

      And he taught her all the Mysteries.  And they loved and were
one, and he taught her all the Magicks.

      For there are three great events in the life of Man:  Love,
Death and Resurrection in a new body, and Magick controls them all.
For to fulfill love you must return again at the same time and place
as the loved one, and you must remember and love them again.  But to
be reborn you must die, and be ready for a new body; and to die you
must be born; and without love you may not be born.  And these be all
the Magicks.

     So there in the Gardnerian Myth of the Goddess we have her
Maiden aspect, seeking, searching and opening herself to the
mysteries.  But it is well to remember that the Goddess herself is a
mystery, and the primary gift of the Goddess is intuitive Wisdom.

     Beltaine (Bealtain) is the only Sabbat where the Goddess is
entirely devoted to the Maiden.  Here, she revels in the enchantment,
in the joy of coming into fullness and mating with the God.  Here, she
is maiden bride and we can most easily understand that facet of the
Maiden aspect.  I should probably note here that some see this
festival as maiden turning into mother, with the maiden being in full at
Candlemas, but I do not agree with that.

     Youth, newness, innocence and beauty are fundamental facets of
the Maiden aspect.  But beneath those are seeking, and love, and love of
seeking.  There is more to understand of the Maiden though.
Enchantment does not end with maidenhood, it is simply the beginning
of the Mystery of Life, for that, above all, is what the Goddess
stands for.

     In Circle, in the Balanced Universe, the Maiden takes her place
in the East.  In examining this most comfortable quarter, you learn
more about the Maiden Aspect.  East (Air) rules the free mind and
intellect.  It is the place to seek the ability to learn and to open
spiritually, to open your mind and find answers.  It is a masculine
quarter, ruled by intellect, and analytical logic, but she brings to
it an intuition which is required to use these to best advantage.

     “The river is flowing, flowing and growing, the river is flowing
back to the sea.  Mother carry me, a child I will always be.  Mother
carry me, back to the sea.”

     This Circle chant, sung in joy, sung in sorrow, is a cry to the
Mother Aspect for comfort and warmth, a power chant calling upon the
steady power and fullness of the Mother and a plea for guidance.
While the Earth Mother, and the fully aspected Goddess are placed
North in the Earth quarter, the Mother aspect alone belongs in the
west.
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     Comfort and love rule here.  Emotions, sorrow, joy, tears, these
belong to the ripeness of the Mother.  Caring and loving for all her
children, watching in pain and pride as they struggle to gain their
own, knowing full well she could reach out and do it for them, but
being both bound and desirous to let them do it for themselves.

     There is a considerable difference, as you might have interpreted
from the above, between the Earth Mother and the Mother Aspect of the
Goddess.  That is why we’ve started with her quarter, because it
reveals the limitations of the Aspect.

     The Mother aspect is ripeness, the ancient bearing of fruit,
child and grain.  She represents emotion and sexuality.  The Goddess
in that aspect is most of the altar (as discussed in the Great Rite
lesson.)  It is interesting to note the practice in numerous ancient
cultures of lovemaking or outright sex magick in cornfields to help
make the corn grow.

     The Dark Mother should also be placed here, although culturally, I
have a tendancy to think of the Dark Mother as more in keeping the
Crone Aspect.  It is a bit of work to see the Dark Mother in the West,
to separate Dark Mother from Crone, but it is worthwile.  If you have
any background with the tarot I would suggest you take it in that
context, it is beyond the scope of this text.

    Our exploration of the Goddess and her Aspects brings us now to
the Crone.  For me, the Crone is the most fascinating of the Aspects
of the Goddess.  Partly I suppose because she is the most mysterious
and paradoxical.

    “Blessed Goddess, old and wise, open mine, thy child’s, eyes.
Speak to me in whispered tones that I may know the rune of Crones.”

    With life and growth comes age and wisdom, and the Crone is this
in part.  She holds fire and power, which wisely used can be of great
benefit, but hold great danger for the unaware.  Hers are the secrets of
death and of life, and the mystery beyond the mystery.

    Part of the pleasure in knowing the Crone aspect is that while,
unlike the fully aspected Goddess, she is not also Maiden and Mother,
she does retain the experiences of both those Aspects in order to be
Crone.  The Crone, wizened though she is, must still be able to reach
into herself and recall the innocent joys and high passions of the
Maiden and the love and warmth of the Mother.  To be Crone and to not
have forgotten, to still be able to experience Maiden and Mother is,
to me, very appealing.  More importantly, to be comfortable in that
Aspect, where you have truth and knowledge but have left youth and
physical beauty behind, and to still _feel_ youth and beauty without
being desirous of them is an admirable quality.

    Crone is the least paralleled Aspect of the Goddess to our human
society.  We discard our old and wise, not understanding their value
as teachers and models, and fearing their appearance as a reminder of
our own mortality.

    Knowing Crone is a door we much each open for ourselves for to know
and love her is to cast aside a great many of our cultural and societal
malteachings.
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     While the individual Aspects of Threefold Goddess are certainly
valid concepts and paths to knowing Goddess, I should caution that most
mythological Goddess figures are composite Goddesses.  Earth Mother
Goddess figures are fully aspected Goddess by definition because they
represent the full cycle of the Wheel.  Most other Goddess figures can
be classified as having a dominant (or operative) aspect and recessive
(promised, or in some cases past) aspect.  Future and past should not be
taken literally, mythological Goddess figures are always whatever they
are eternally, they do not tend to change (ie age).

     Maiden Goddesses possessing their operative in the Huntress or
Warrior aspects most often have a promise of Crone. Maiden Goddesses
expressing their dominance in beauty and/or love usually have their
recessive aspect as Mother.  For example, Athena is a Maiden Goddess
with Crone attributes (the combination produces many Mother-type
qualities, and this results in the Crone aspected Maiden being the
most complete of the Mythological Goddesses, with the exception of
Earth Mother Goddesses.) Aphrodite is of course a Maiden Goddess with
Mother attributes.

     Similarly, Dark Mother Goddess figures mostly find their promise in
Crone and Light Mother figures their recessive in Maiden.   Crone
recessives work the same way, although sometimes it takes a bit of
close examination to find the “hidden” aspect.

     One should note that this is not a formula, rather a tool to
assist in examining and understanding Goddess figures and creating
one’s own personal spiritual link with Goddess.  It is also a useful
consideration when invoking a specific Goddess with purpose in ritual.
     The purpose of this course has been to open avenues of approach
in discovering and developing a relationship with Goddess.  For me
personally, I do not “believe” in the reality of mythological Goddess
figures as they were presented, but I do believe they are a valid way to
establish communication with Goddess.  I also believe Goddess will
appear in whatever form we are most ready to accept.  The real
Goddess, by my belief (and this is personal, not trad) is an entity
beyond my comprehension, perhaps composed of light (could 5000 sci-fi
films be wrong?), most assuredly unlike anything I could ever imagine in
true form.  However, I do find mythological Goddess figures highly
useful for ritual, and of some help in my personal relationship with
Goddess. I hope you will too.