From Maiden to Mother

Jul 5, 2016

Triple Goddess |

When I was interviewing women about their Third-Life Alignment experiences, one of them said something that gave me full-body chills:


She said that this process of alignment – which, for her, and for so many others, entailed doing brave things like quitting her job, following her intuition, speaking up for herself and just learning to like herself again, as she was, without the approval or influence of others’ opinions and beliefs – felt like becoming a woman.

Yeah, chills, right?


She and I went on to talk about how men and boys seem to have more occasions, events and circumstances that society deems make them “a man.”  For women, it’s not quite the same.  We get our periods.  But getting a period is something that happens to us, and doesn’t necessarily involve our own personal grit, determination, bravery or any other character-building feat (unless, of course, you count the process of navigating the world of feminine hygiene products, which does undeniably require some measure of bravery….).

A later conversation with my deeply spiritual friend triggered the thought that the Third-Life Alignment might in fact be modern-day terminology for an age-old, mythic process of transformation from maiden to mother.

The concept of the triple goddess – maiden, mother, crone – is indeed an ancient one.  It refers to the three stages of a woman’s life – metaphoric or otherwise.  As a maiden, a woman is all about exploration, making mistakes and realizing the error of her ways; the big big world is bright and new and a little bit wild.  As she transforms into “mother,” a woman begins to understand herself more, realize her own strengths, and she becomes a creatrix and nurturer.

The mother archetype isn’t necessarily associated with the actual bearing of a child – although it can be – but rather the cultivating and nurturing of your sense of self, the life you really want, your community, your concept of femininity in the world you occupy and the women you surround yourself with.  It is, indeed, learning how to listen to your intuition, take big leaps of faith, find your voice and use it, create what you want.

It is the process of finding your north star, your authentic self, of aligning yourself as the woman you want to be.

A Third-Life Alignment, in its truest sense.  A metamorphosis as old as time, as ancient as the mythological mother archetype herself.

Your turn:


What aspects of the archetypical mother are showing up in your life?  What are your nurturing, creating, curating, caring for?


The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes


Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging


Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!