Witches do not deal in binaries. We look to the spiritual, beyond the physical and emotional. We trust intuition which some consider the middle ground of evidence and suspicion. Witches know that the universe is more complicated than good vs. evil: we work magic in the gray areas. It is not man vs. nature: it is humanity, nature, and Spirit. We respect the liminal, and meditate at the crossroads. Triplicity is our mindset, not duality, and it is exemplified perfectly in the Triple Goddess. 

The Triple Goddess is the Maiden, Mother, and Crone. As a deity, she has been revered for thousands of years, dating back to Proto-Indo European religions. She is not limited to biological feminine experience: she is a manifestation of the mindset of witches. A mindset that embraces the in between whether at the margins of society or revolutionary and standing out. The Triple Deity guides from three aspects, rather than two, showing that a dualistic, hierarchical, linear thinking does not serve many.

Dualistic thinking is always tied to hierarchy. It generates competition. It necessitates choice, pointing to a single correct answer. Binaries imply a superiority on one side. It’s never good and evil, it’s good vs. evil, leaving no room for the subjectivity of justice. Man vs. Woman leaves no room for those who are nonbinary, Two-Spirit, Bakla, or transgender people. The dualistic thinking of patriarchy tells us it is us vs. them. It rejects the possibility of middle ground and gray areas, and by extension, discussion. 

Many witches prefer the middle ground, the liminal, the crossroads. The Triple Goddess embraces aspects of the three: the past, present and future, fun, necessary, and difficult, experience, knowledge, and wisdom. When one rejects duality, potential is expanded because we accept that there is no failure or success, but the lesson of the process that lies along the journey. By embracing the Triple Goddess approach to life, we open ourselves to more opportunities by accepting its not just extrinsic or intrinsic, but the self, society, and Spirit that determines what comes our way.

The Triple Goddess also rejects linear thinking. To think linearly is to assume that the further in time we go, the more progress we achieve. Linear thinking believes that the past is less informed, and therefore less perfect. This is true in simple ways: plumbing, hygiene, electricity, globalization, and travel are all definitely progressive from early days. Things like lamps and toilets, airplanes and Instagram aren’t what make us human. Humans made those things. When we look at mankind’s depths, what truly encompasses us is empathy. Not to mention our drive for: decision making, rational thinking and memory, creativity and art, written language, community, awareness of self, contemplation of spirit, and reverence for the universe. Lessons of allowing others to believe how they want, worship how they may, offer things to a god or many gods: these are what makes one human. 

The Triple Goddess asks us to remember that time is a construct and we go through all the phases of  youth, parent, and revered elder. We are often all three at any given time in our lives. We are the nurturer to children, patients, or customers, but the child in some relationships, or the elder in others. The child is as close to Spirit as the elder, recently brought into life as the latter will soon pass into death. Therein lies wisdom to possess. The parent is influential in the growth of the child, and care of the elder. We are only here because of changes, choices, empathy (or lack thereof) from those who came before. They are still here, in the institutions, inventions, and resources we have and do not have today. The only thing that can save us from the same mistakes is to study them, to call them, and to remember. To embrace our humanity, through creativity, community, and self-awareness, we must be guided by the Triple Deity’s reminder to cycle.

Instead of love or loneliness: Loving/beloved/loveless

Instead of male or female: woman/nonbinary/man

Instead of good or evil: Black/gray/white

Instead of thought or action: Body/mind/spirit

Instead of inaction and action: suspicion/observance/intuition

Instead of life and death: birth/growth/wisdom

As we embrace the Triple Goddess mindset, we will be brought to an expansion of being present in the moment and ready in the next. We view time in a different way and enrich our existence through change, progress, and the cycle of youth, parent, and elder. By embracing all three in their prospective ways, we become more in tune with the mindset.

By Elyse Welles

Under my pseudonym Elyse Welles, I write everything from poetry to articles on witchcraft. I am newly under contract for my first novel, "Witch on the Juniata River", and I am currently pursuing publication for my first nonfiction book and chapbook. I have been published in Sunflower Journal, Yellow Arrow Journal, Aayo Magazine, Gypsophila Magazine, and Darksome Moon's online blog. I split my time between America and Greece, and travel often - wherever Spirit takes me.

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