Today, Roderick begins looking at Wiccan deities–or god/goddess energies–with the maiden. His words on her aspect are worth repeating in their entirety:
The first of the goddess’ aspects is the maiden. The goddess in this aspect represents youth, newness, beginnings, brilliance, and simplicity. The maiden aligns with several symbolic correspondences such as springtime, the compass direction of east, and sunrise. The maiden represents potential. She is not partial to the direction that potential manifests itself. All potential is the maiden. She is the future, creativity, and fecundity. She represents the seed, newly planted in the soil, full of potential but not yet sprouted. The maiden is that part in each of us that is our innocence, purity, and raw energy.
The maiden also has a dark, shadowy side. In her dark aspect, the maiden cannot realize potential. Stuck in her own youth, the maiden in her shadow aspect can be a dilettante, lacking in depth. This dark maiden energy, residing within each of us, can represent our inability to mature with time. In this darker aspect she can represent a perpetual unworldliness, childishness, internalized fear, and overdependence on other people.
It’s a good summation of the maiden, and I particularly like that Roderick is taking the time to explore the negative side of each of the gods and goddesses. It’s a side that is neglected far too much in most Wiccan sources, to the detriment of all. People like to see the fresh-faced maiden, full of potential, not the superficial flirt or the ‘Delta Dawn.’ Yet both the flirt and the flake both are situated firmly within her sphere. Point to Roderick.
He does, in typical Roderick fashion, have a list of correspondences he asks us to memorize. (Nat, Jen…there will be a quiz!) His reasoning is that the more symbols our conscious mind knows, the better we will be able to understand when the unconscious mind speaks. So here is the list:
Lunar Phase: New
Seasonal Phase: Late winter/early spring
Pagan Celebration: Imbolc, February 2
Time: The darkness that precedes the dawn
Incense: Myrrh, orris root
Essential Oils: Heather and Basil
Magical Number: 2
Vocalization: long u as in “You”
Herbs: Angelica, bay laurel
Body Part: Sexual Organs
Exercise: Knowing Your Maiden
Think about your own maiden traits. On a single piece of paper, draw a line down the center. On one side, write down your personality traits (no matter if you are male or female) that reflect positive maiden qualities. On the other side of the page, write down any shadowy maiden qualities you might recognize in yourself. If you do not note any of the maiden’s qualities in your life, this is an archetypal energy that might require balancing and integration in order for you to claim your full potential and power as a Witch. Over the next few days, you will learn how to evoke these qualities in your life.
|Positive Maiden||Negative Maiden|
|I love to start new things.||I flit from project to project and often leave things unfinished|
|I like organization and clean, simple lines. Mission, mid-century modern aesthetics.||I let clutter go crazy and don’t take great care of my belongings.|
|I like academic work that impresses with its simplicity and elegance.||I let my own work get scattered and circular.|
|I’m poised at the edge of beginnings: beginning grad school, beginning to be responsible for all my things, beginning to live on my own||I’m absolutely terrified I’ll cock it all up. Sometimes I don’t even want to try to pursue it any more.|
Boy, does this ever look similar to the attributes I discerned last year. I might not have made much progress in this, but at least I can say I’ve got balanced maiden attributes.