Pagan Blog Project 2013: Q is for Queenship.
The Wiccan triple Goddess is traditionally Maiden-Mother-Crone; representing the female lifecycle. However in my personal practice I tend to think and work a little differently. In my own mind and practice I think in terms of Princess-Queen-Crone. This is a more direct link to my life and the lives of my female friends. We all graduate to what’s been called “auntie” stage (or the Mother): when you’re no longer young and fresh, you’re not green, and you can’t be considered naive. We do not necessarily have children, we do not necessarily get to share the joys of parenthood, and we do not necessarily think of ourselves as Mothers. The reproductive based lifecycle doesn’t necessarily describe our lives on anymore. So Mother as a life stage is important since it is a different stage of life, but it’s not defined by reproduction anymore. (Just as Maidenhood is no longer defined with menarche.)
Motherhood is a joyous and wonderful thing; but to call that stage of life “Motherhood” in a way demeans the sacred experience of birthing a child, caring for that child’s life, and parenting. Motherhood really never stops. You are or are not a Mother, this state of being doesn’t end with menopause. Maidenhood on the other hand, unless there is an untimely death, evolves into the other parts of the life cycle. Unless we are intercepted by Death, our personal powers and autonomy too will decline into the Crone stage. Inherent in Maidenhood, or Princess stage, and the Crone are certain levels of dependance and heightened vulnerability. In the “prime” of our adult lives, we gain autonomy both bodily and often in all ways are able to rule over our lives in a way our foremothers never imagined. So, in my mind, this is the Queen stage of life. You will reach it weather or not you choose to have children, a career, or anything else the moment you learn the lessons of the Maiden and graduate from Princess to a Queen in control of her own reality, destiny, and life.
As a feminist, and a modern woman, I think defining our lives and spirituality in terms of reproduction is wrong. I am more than the sum of my reproductive life, though I will not deny the historical precedent Motherhood and reproduction plays in traditional monarchies. Queens, and Princesses, were mainly there to produce heirs and offspring. That was in fact a Queen’s “job” just like the new English Duchess Katherine, or Princess Kate, has done her “job” in producing a male heir to the English throne with Prince George. Okay, so as a feminist that’s problematic but there is more to the Queen archetype than just this historical role. The Queen rules herself, her body, her reproduction, and her life: as we must rule ourselves. At this stage in life I feel like I am still in the transition from Princess to Queen: without having a child of my own, and without a stable career, I am still wavering but I have lost some of that youthful innocence so I am not necessarily just a Maiden, or Princess. Finally before we dismiss princess pop culture, let us take a minute to remember: Princesses become Queens, and Queens are important.