The Tridean Tradition of the Goddess
A Brief Description of Basic Beliefs and Myths

Primordial Goddess of Nature and the Earth

The beliefs of the Tridean (tri-day-an) Goddess Tradition are based on evidence of what is believed to be the oldest form of human religion. Physical artifacts, such as hand-carved statues and cave art, place the source of these beliefs in Paleolithic Europe as early as 25,000 years ago or more. Hundreds of ritualized female figures exist from this time period that point to a system of belief which illustrates how life comes into being and how the Universe operates. There are no similar male figures found.

Looking at these figures, and their ritualized representations of the parts of the body dealing with reproduction, it can be inferred that humanity's first image of the life-giver was that of a mother. It is further concluded that these beliefs must go back to a time when people saw themselves as children of Nature, related to all of Creation, and part of a greater whole imagined as Goddess.

Trideans believe that Nature, and all things of Nature, are the Goddess in a multitude of physical manifestations. Nature is the sacred text of the human race and the blueprint that teaches us how to relate to the Goddess and to each other. It is the guide by which the spirit finds Completion; the sacred union of Oneness with all things.

Completion includes the concept of balance. Just as Nature can create and destroy, so too can the children of Nature. Trideans strive to become and remain balanced as the Goddess is balanced.

While the Completion of the Goddess is the goal it is not believed to be attained through an idea of humanity-robbing perfection, but through peace which can only come through understanding.

Cycles of the Sun and Moon

Lunar mythology predates solar mythology in most if not all cultures. For this reason it is believed that the moon is the source for all later cosmologies. Thus Trideans continue interpretations of the Moon Goddess into the other natural cycles of sun and earth.

The moon is a literal symbol of the unmanifest made manifest and through its multiple phases a Triple Goddess figure comes into being. A fourth aspect is evident with the dark phase of the moon. Each of these phases represents an aspect of the Goddess and illustrates a spiritual concept.

The waxing moon represents the Maiden who teaches freedom through non-judgment and a realization of Oneness. She frees the mind of that which causes the judgment of the self and others. The Maiden is also a symbol of beginnings and inspiration. She is the Revealer; the one who guides the spirit through the processes of Shadow-Work and self awareness.

The full moon is a symbol of the Mother aspect. The Mother teaches the unconditional love and compassion that comes from understanding the Oneness of all things. She teaches us to love all life as we would our own children, nourishing and caring for all of creation as we would an infant at the breast. The Mother is also the Protector; the fierce Mother-Bear who would risk her own life to save that of her child.

The waning moon is the Crone's face. She is wisdom incarnate; the experienced Priestess of life and death. She is the Gatekeeper between the worlds and the harbinger of death and its lessons. She teaches us that true wisdom is born out of both light and darkness. She is the wise old woman, alone with her thoughts and reflecting on the moments of her life. She understands that all things happen for a reason. She sees the lessons that life has laid before her and is grateful for all she has learned.

The dark moon symbolizes the All-Goddess and symbolizes the promise of rebirth into the Otherworld and the union of completion. She is all things; things that can be understood and things that cannot. The All-Goddess is the culmination of the other three aspects. She is the source in its purest form.

The cycles of the sun and earth, or the seasons, are seen to carry the same concepts of the cycle of the moon on a grander scale. The solar year is a further, more detailed instruction from the blueprint of Nature where the Goddess is seen to be born from the Otherworld, takes a mate, ages, dies, and gives birth again to herself in the act of rebirth.

The solar mysteries illustrate our connection to the rest of Creation through observations of the sowing and reaping of seeds, the lives of animals, and the changing of the Earth. The moon, by contrast, is a source of individual mystery representing ideas of intrinsically spiritual and personal awareness. Both of these cycles demonstrate Shamanic principles and physically reflect the adage "as above, so below".

The Goddess and Gender

Some of the earliest images of the Goddess are depicted in an androgynous manner with both male and female principles. It is believed that the reason behind this is the idea of Oneness. The Goddess is completely female and completely male; having all the traits necessary for creation. She is the nothing less than the totality of being complete and without separation. The male aspect of the Goddess is seen as a horned animal, or as a half human, half animal being.

The Goddess is the whole while the God image is but a facet of her. The myth of the God/Hunter can not survive outside of the myth of the Goddess. Furthermore, myths of the God/Hunter/Son/Lover do not exist before the Bronze Age. The belief of a primordial Goddess of Oneness predates this time period by millennia.

Misconceptions of these myths have led some to believe that the male of the species has no part in the religion of the Goddess. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, since the Goddess is the representation of Oneness, she is ever present in all forms of life both male and female. While some mysteries of the Goddess are apparent through the female body and the act of giving birth, the image of the Goddess transcends any one woman or the female body. Men are as much manifestations of the Goddess as women are.

The Goddess creates parthenogenically, or of herself. While there is no separation and the Goddess does not exalt her female children over her male (or her two legged over her four legged) the female sex is considered the original form. All fetuses begin as female in their mother's womb. Furthermore, recent evolutionary science has proposed that male reproductive organs are a secondary evolution that came about to keep the gene pool more diverse.

Tridean Myth Cycle of the Goddess

The purpose of myth is to provide stories that, whether the believer takes them as actual fact or not, illustrate fundamental insights into human nature and the surrounding universe. This is often done through the use of archetypes which Carl Jung proposed are innate, universal prototypes for ideas that may be used to interpret observations. The Goddess in her many manifestations is the archetype utilized by Trideans.

The Tridean myth cycle of the solar year depicts the Goddess rebirthing herself at the Winter Solstice in the Otherworld. This is the time of Completion and rebirth that illustrates what lies beyond the physical world and the concept of reincarnation. It is a time of the All-Goddess and of the peace that comes with knowing her lessons.

The Goddess surfaces from her slumber at Imbolc. This first appearance of the Goddess since journeying to the Otherworld at Samhain serves as a catalyst that stirs the earth back to life. She is the returning Maiden, the first show of the Earth's fertile blood, and the symbol of the growling light that was born at Winter Solstice.

By the time of the Vernal Equinox (Ostara) the Goddess has matured into womanhood and takes a mate - the Horned God; another manifestation of herself and her creation as Son/Lover. After finding her mate she becomes pregnant with the Child of Completion - herself. Fertility begins to reign on earth as plants and animals grow and multiply.

By Beltane the Goddess has discovered her pregnancy and has transitioned into the Mother aspect. Beltane is a time of the realization and celebration of freedom. At this time the Goddess joins again with her lover and brings yet more fertile energy to the land. The whole of creation celebrates freedom and the hope that new life brings to earth. Beltane is also one of the two traditional times (the other being Samhain) that the veil between the worlds is said to thin and spirits can pass from the Otherworld into this one.

Through the Summer Solstice (Midsummer) the Goddess continues to grow with child. She keeps her mate close to her, drawing on his love and protective energy during her time of growth and fertility. She is learning about love - the kind of unconditional love that comes from abolishing judgment and understanding Oneness. The Goddess is at her peak, ripe, and fertile, but she knows that the light will now begin to wane. She calls on Creation to celebrate, to find love and joy in the warmth of the sun and earth.

It is an old Irish myth tradition that tells us Lughnasadh is a time for feasting and sport in honor of the Great Goddess. This is the first harvest and the time in the Tridean tradition when the God begins his decline. He is a symbol of the wheat cut down by the sickle of the reaping Crone Goddess who now takes the place of the Mother.

At the Autumnal Equinox the God dies, and with him begins the decline of the earth. He has left the Goddess an aging woman alone with herself and her memories. The Goddess guides her lover to the Otherworld but she can not go with him. She has tasted death and, as she mourns, begins to understand its mysteries. She becomes the Gatekeeper between the worlds and the one who guides the souls of the dead back to the Otherworld of her womb. It is through the Crone that Completion is attained and with it rebirth. This is also the time of the second harvest feast and of giving thanks.

At Samhain the Goddess has learned her lessons, completed her journey. She now begins a new journey to the Otherworld, thinning the veil again as she goes. This is a time of remembrance for all those who have come before. The ancestors and the spirits of the dead are said to be able to visit this world through the thinning of the veil. Samhain is the beginning of the time of Completion.

It is within the Otherworld that her other aspects will join her to bring the Child of Completion to birth and begin the cycle again.

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