Thursday, August 29, 2019

Living the Mother/Father Aspect When You Aren't a Parent

Living the Mother/Father Aspect When You Aren't a Parent

If you haven't read it already, I encourage you to read my article Should We Rethink The Triple Goddess?, which not only applies to our concept of the Triple Goddess but also the Triple God or Holy Trinity if you will. Both consist of three phases; three phases I don't believe work well in witchcraft as you'll find if you read my previous article on the subject. However, no matter how you look at it, whether you support three or four phases, the second is always a parental archetype: Mother and Father.

In today's world, more and more young adults are choosing not to have children. I am one such witch. In fact, I had surgery last year to remove my tubes, making the permanent choice to not birth a child. On discussion boards and forums I come across more and more witches choosing not to have children and wondering how the Mother and Father aspect fit into their lives. Many argue it doesn't, and such gender roles, especially for women, are outdated, rooted in patriarchy, and transphobic. I see where they are coming from. The original concept of the Triple Goddess and the roles of a woman are dated, rooted in patriarchy, and pretty transphobic, but that doesn't mean we have to look at them that way today. Much of what witchcraft practitioners are doing now is fighting gender stereotypes, reclaiming divine power, and throwing patriarchy and toxic masculinity out the window. These are great things we are doing, so why not do the same for the aspects or phases of both women and men?

Here's the thing; despite its history, the Mother and Father aspect have never been solely about childbirth and child-rearing. I know from the outside that's what it looks like. Heck, that's the first thing everyone thinks of when you hear the words "mother" and "father." It isn't wrong to associate children with motherhood and fatherhood, but there is so much more to it than just children. In fact, you can transition into the Mother and Father aspects without ever having children, despite the idea that you have to to fill those roles.

The Mother and Father phases are about actualizing your ego. By this I mean you transition from being self-serving to recognizing your strengths and their ability to help others. For both women and men, the "parental" stage of their life is transitioning their focus from only on themselves to others. They are willing to make sacrifices for the greater good, at least within their own families, if not in their community as well. Furthermore, it is a time for women and men to bring forth creation, but that doesn't necessarily mean life. This is a time when women and men take the dreams of the Maiden and Stag (or Warrior if that's what you prefer) and manifest them into reality. They mean so much more than popping out a couple of screaming kids and raising them for 20 years.

So how can you live this phase without children? Begin by serving and caring for others, whether it be a significant other, your community, or society as a whole. Your actions can be as small as caring for your SO when they are sick, bringing flowers to a grieving neighbor, or picking up trash along the sidewalk or as large as running for public office, joining the Peace Corps, or starting a non-profit, and everything in between. For me, this meant becoming a teacher. Despite not having children of my own, I help raise about 200 every year just by being their science teacher. I make a huge difference in many of these kids lives. I'm a shoulder to cry on, a friend to laugh with, an enforcer of boundaries, and an ear to listen with. If that isn't living the Mother aspect, I don't know what is!

Next, begin manifesting those dreams. As young adults, we often have great plans, but no idea how to implement them. As we grow older, we develop the skills necessary to complete our goals, but often forget to come back to them. Write them down in a journal, BOS, on a sticky note on your mirror, or create a vision board to help remind you that you have a (possibly outlandish) goal your younger Maiden/Stag self wished to accomplish. Transitioning into Mother and Father isn't about growing up and losing your inner spark. It's the exact opposite. The Maiden and Stag teach us the beauty of play; the Mother and Father teach us how to use play to further our lives and the lives of others. Chase those dreams your younger self had. Manifest them into reality.

And finally, bring forth creation through art, music, dance, writing, poetry, and the like. Create beautiful masterpieces without a care for what others may think. Sing like no one can hear you and dance like no one is watching. When you release your inhibitions, you release your soul. This is the true meaning of the Mother and Father aspects.

For those of you currently in Mother/Father without children, how do live the aspect? Please share in the comments below.


  1. Thanks for the post, Willow. I don't have children. I would like to but I don't know if things will work out that way. I have felt I don't really fit the Mother aspect, so it's good to think about it in different ways, not just about having kids.


    1. I am glad you enjoyed it. I want everyone to know they can be included, whether they have children or not. For many women, children are not an option, whether it be from choice, infertility, or because they are trans. It doesn't make you any less of a woman and it doesn't mean you can't live the Mother aspect in your own life. I wish you the best of luck on your journey, and hope that you are able to have children in whatever way you choose. Thank you for reading. :)

    2. Thank you. I wish you luck on your jouney too. :)


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