I have often contemplated my role as a Pagan woman and have recently begun evaluating my life’s journey as I have evolved into each aspect of the Divine Feminine. I continue on my Spiritual Path in search of pure knowledge and understanding while recognizing that my journey will travel through each aspect of the Divine Feminine in its turn and each aspect has a lesson for my soul to embrace in order for my Spiritual evolution to be successful. Since recognizing that I am a Pagan, I have grown to fully know myself in this journey and I have finally come to the realization that my role in the Pagan community is one of deep commitment toward affecting positive change, not only in myself, but in other members of my community as well. I am able to define myself now as a Pagan woman without reservation and with great pride.
At the age of 20, at the very beginning of my Spiritual journey, I nurtured the role of the Maiden. I set out on my path with the same sweet, pure, and virginal characteristics of the Maiden ingrained in my heart. I pondered this aspect for a time and I began to revel in the knowing that the Maiden is not only a physical manifestation in my life. Instead, I realized the duality of the Maiden as She represents the beginning of my Spiritual journey as a Pagan woman. The Maiden embraces in me that which is innocently truthful and wonderfully kind. The Maiden is the aspect of my journey where small seeds of inspiration, tolerance, and respect for all paths are planted and where those seeds await growth and nurturing in the next turn in the road of my journey to the Mother aspect. The Maiden is virginal in Her naïve and innocent perspective, always striving to gain knowledge and understanding, just as I was in the infancy of my Spiritual Path. Upon this realization, I have placed the Maiden in perspective and I can embrace who I am in that role and how I was able to continue to nurture the Maiden as I evolved from Maiden to Mother and how I can reach back in my Path and touch the Maiden for reaffirmation of the seeds that I have already sown.
In my early to mid-thirties I began to realize that my Spiritual evolution had somehow matured. The Maiden, still ever present, was releasing Her hold and allowing me to gravitate to the gentle awaiting arms of the Mother. The Mother aspect called to me and I was beginning to heed Her call. I noticed a small shift in my perceptions as they gravitated from pure innocence to keen awareness of the world around me and its inhabitants. I began to embrace and welcome questions regarding my Spirituality and I realized that sitting in quiet contemplation lends itself to keen personal insight. The Mother, ever nurturing and guiding, emerged in the path before me strong, protective, and filled with inspiration and encouragement. I began to see the seeds of inspiration, tolerance, and respect that I planted as a Maiden come to fruition as the Mother aspect began to emerge within my soul and tend the garden planted by the Maiden. I realized that the presence of the Mother in my Spiritual journey has served to guide me to a place of tolerance, respect, and acceptance of other individuals who travel vastly divergent Spiritual traditions than my own. Despite the differences in Spirituality, the Mother has tempered my insolence and She has given me a new perspective on patience and love. The Mother has shielded me from my own personal turmoil and when I would have otherwise turned from my soul’s work on this journey, the Mother aspect patiently guided my return to the path that I must travel. The Mother aspect has taught me patience and the virtues of allowing my soul to evolve in its own way along my journey. The Mother aspect has helped me to shield the Maiden from the harsh world around me in order to preserve the innocence of that aspect of my soul in order that I may continue to plant seeds of inspiration, tolerance, and respect for my continued travels in the journey ahead of me.
Finally, I am approaching the Crone in my Spiritual path. She awaits me, seemingly dark and foreboding, yet with arms wide open and ready to embrace me as I grow to recognize that which is in my highest and best good. For the completion of my evolution, I long to fully reach the aspect of the Crone and to come full circle in my own journey. I know that it is in this complete turn of the wheel that I will learn the most precious lesson of all; to nurture the Maiden, to love the Mother and to embrace the Crone. In the Crone, I am seeking to find the wisdom to recall the innocence of the Maiden in order that I will always approach others with kindness and tolerance. In the Crone, I am seeking to find the wisdom to recall the nurturing of the Mother in order that I will always be able to defend a newcomer on their Path against the harshness of others. In the Crone, I am seeking to find the wisdom of experience and the temperance of that wisdom for the greater good of all.
The culmination of recognizing, incorporating, and embracing the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone aspects of the Divine Feminine into my life is my soul’s Spiritual journey in its totality. To encompass in my life, as one being, one soul, all three aspects of the Divine Feminine and to recognize that at any given moment I am comprised of all three of these aspects has been my life’s work. The beauty of being a Pagan woman is in recognizing that I am capable of evolving from Maiden to Mother then Crone and at any given moment, I am guided by them all.
A sliver of silver in the darkened sky,
Winter is coming, everything must die.
Then growing to fullness and lighting the way,
Hope springs eternal on the Solstice day.
Starting as Maiden, growing from Mother to Crone,
Pagan woman standing proud, strong and alone.
In a cycle of the moon She realizes Her full power,
Skyclad in Her ritual at the midnight hour.
Strong and fierce in Her love of the night,
Yet gentle and loving with all of Her might.
The role that She embraces in a circular universe,
Is a complex Path that only She can traverse.
Birthing children and tending fields,
Growing abundant crops reaping fertile yields,
She nurtures the masses then calls us home,
Pagan Woman is Maiden, Mother, and Crone.
About the Author:
Shirley Lenhard has been a practicing Witch and a Pagan since 1983 and lives in New England with her husband. She is employed full time in the legal field and has her Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida. Shirley looks forward to living her best possible life by giving back to the Pagan Community and has created the Facebook group “Pagan Plannertarium” where she provides a safe home for fellow pagans to have discussions about their path and to get free planner stickers and layouts. Shirley is a past writer for Llewellyn Publishing and The Peace Paper.