After reading Hedge Witchcraft by Harmonia Saille, my feelings regarding the use of the Triple Goddess changed. The Triple Goddess is supposed to represent the changing seasons, the phases of the moon, and the stages of a woman's life, but Harmonia suggests using four because in reality we have four seasons, four moon phases, and women have four stages in their life.
Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter are all very distinct seasons with certain sabbats falling within each to represent those seasons. We don't really see too much of spring or fall here in Georgia, but the traditional associations are still there. Using only three goddesses to represent these four seasons seems a bit odd. Which do we lump together into one? Furthermore, fall really doesn't match the crone phase, but it doesn't match the mother phase either. The same goes with the moon phases. We have Waxing, Full, Wanning, and Dark. The crone doesn't really fit in the wanning moon phase in the three-phase system, but she fits quite well in the dark or new moon phase. So viewing the seasons and moon phases as a set of four means we are missing a Goddess form.
|Photo Credit: Catherine Noble Beyer|
So by creating this new archtype and therefore Quadruple Goddess, we have a Goddess for each season and moon phase as well as for each element and direction. So, with this system:
This system works beautifully and includes women who have otherwise felt left out. If you would like to read more on this subject, Donna Henes wrote a great piece on the topic of the Queen while Wind Hughes posted an article from Sowell Magazine (2000) about the four phases of a woman's life, their meanings, and their "light and dark" sides.