Fill in the Blank: Maiden, _____, Mother, Crone.


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Last week, I watched the sun set on my last day as a twenty-something with a bottle of sparkling rosé and ScHoolboyQ.

Despite everyone saying–in a weird, reconciliatory way–life begins at 30, it doesn’t. I’ve experienced 30 years of paralyzing sickness, devastating heartbreak and transcendent joy. I’ve done so much work to heal myself and have the tiniest inkling about how much more there is to be done. I feel impossibly fresh and exhaustingly jaded. I’m only just dusting off this magnificent power I hold, and figuring out how to give it to this world.

Hardly a maiden and truly content being an unmarried and child-free wanderer (or whatever the hell it is I do), I find the traditional Maiden-Mother-Crone trajectory to be woefully simplistic. Yes, we all hold parts of these archetypes within ourselves at every stage of life, and we all give birth to our lives, creative projects and relationships. But there is so much more.

There is an empowered woman the Girl becomes before she is a Mother. A sweet spot where she comes into Her Self, clarifies her role in the world, refines her offering and pursues it down like it’s her job. Because it is.

She is a Sovereign, complete unto herself.

A relentless Hunter, panting and hungry for wisdom, knowledge and experience. A skilled Warrior, protective and savage.

She is the reveling Bacchant, dizzy and drunk on both earthly and ethereal ecstasies.

She is the Rebel Dissenter, rejecting the Old and midwifing the New.

She is the Brazen Coquette, well-versed in her charms and wiles.

A pinche chingona.

She is the Ressurrector, the Temple-Keeper, the Scholar, the Heretic. She is fiercely devoted to serving herself, (which is) the Divine, (which is) the World.

I’ve just come the desert, hanging out with the 9 Benevolent Mayan Spirits, a few rad humans, and thick clouds copal smoke while diving deep into receiving and facilitating spiritual healing. I am honing my craft, feeling incredibly potent and powerful. The trip, the ritual, the plants and being in the middle of that sacred piece of earth felt like a rite of passage into being a woman of purpose.

What shall we even call her? The Maven? The Mage? Abandon the attempts at alliteration all together? Jean Shinoda Bolen touched on what I’m feeling a bit in Goddesses in Everywoman when she talks about Aphrodite, who she has dubbed a Transformational Goddess, encompassing the relationship-oriented “vulnerable” aspects of Demeter and Persephone, and the “virginal” sovereignty of Artemis and Hestia. But to me, she seems nameless, but maybe because I’m in her, because she infuses every pore.

Out-of-nowhere inspiration and insight seems to be the hallmark of this precious archetype, and it is truly divine. Intuition is the impetus, followed by courageous action.

She is Grace Slick rolling around on the forest floor. Smeared eyeliner and sipping bubbly. She is a silk robe on the picket line. A Divine lightning rod in combat boots, stuffing a fistful of herbs into her back with a quick prayer. Crafting amulets for someone she barely knows. She is slathering herself in rose-scented coconut oil by candlelight, expecting no one tonight except herself. She is scratching at your window, asking to be let in. She will consume you in her crucible, and spit you out, transformed.

I cannot wait.

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