Reflections on the First Harvest by Deanne Quarrie and Belladonna Thomas


Deanne QuarrieThe harvest season of the first fruits is here. It is a time to be thankful for the labor and struggles needed for the harvest. We are at the height of the heat of the summer season. Our greatest wish is that the bounty of this season will add to the strength of our mind, body, and soul. It is for me, a time to take stock. So, I take up pen and paper and take some time to write about my own personal harvest.

I ask myself these questions:

When the moon is dark moon, she is the Crone. Many people think of a Crone as an old woman or hag, but in the Goddess tradition, the word “Crone” has a positive meaning. A Crone is a wise old woman, a woman who really knows herself well and draws from her long-life experience. She is often a guide and teacher to her community. People seek her out for wisdom and advice.

For years, we honored three phases of the Goddess—the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone. In 2005, Mama Donna Henes added a fourth archetype—the Queen. This phase covers middle-aged women between the Mother and the Crone. Together, these four aspects represent the Goddess. She is all of these and one Goddess at the same time. She is a Changing Woman, and She changes with the Moon.

I took a bit of time this week, to reflect on the goddesses associated with the phases of the moon, just to see who came to me.  For the Queen, waning phase of the moon, I saw Boudicca, the Celtic warrior covered in woad and carrying a spear. Then, I saw, Inanna, Queen of Heaven leaving her possessions at each gate of the Underworld. Next, I saw Her sister, Ereshkigal, Queen of the Underworld, sitting on her regal throne overlooking the dead. And finally, I saw a young Russian Queen, Vasilisa, who as a child used a doll to outwit Baba Yaga.

I will share with you the charge of the Queen by Mama Donna Henes:

I am woman of the sky.

I am woman of the grave.

I am mirror of the moon.

I am reflection of the day.

I am song of the wind.

I am river of the rain.

I am pulse of the stars.

I am churn of the deep.

I am child of the daughter.

I am sister of all sisters.

I am woman of the woman.

I am mother of myself.

I am defender of the beauty.

I am midwife of the change.

I am creator of the vision.

I am lover of it all.

What do I ask of the harvest?  What did I begin earlier in the year that has grown and is ready to come fully into my life? What can be or needs to be sacrificed for my harvest? How do I share the abundance of my harvest with others? How do I manifest my power? How do I support myself and others in attaining or manifesting our life goals?

I list the behaviors and attitudes that may hinder the completion of my personal harvest.  It is necessary that I weed out anything not essential that might impede it coming to fruition. Next, I look at my priorities so that they are what I want or need, and I will make any changes necessary to achieve my goals. And finally, I give thanks for the gifts around me and for the good fortune in my life.

My thoughts drift to thoughts of the Goddess and the Moon.  When I look at the moon, my thoughts turn to Goddess.  Throughout her monthly cycle, she changes and so too, does the goddesses change.

When you look at the moon, what does she look like? How does she make you feel when you look at her? At this moment, we are under a full moon. The phases of the moon represent an aspect of the goddess. When the moon is waxing, she represents a young growing maiden goddess, who is free, playful, adventuresome, and full of new ideas.

When the moon is full, she represents the mother goddess. She is fertile, full, round, creative and nurturing.

When the moon is waning, she advances past the full moon towards the dark moon. She represents a woman in mid-life as she enters the Queen phase of her life. The queen is a mature woman who has clear goals and often she finds fulfillment in her work.

What qualities does a Queen possess? Should she be strong and determined to take care of her own? Should she be willing to lay down her life for her justice? Should she be compassionate, understanding, and loving to all who are under her domain?

A Queen must be all those things.

The First Harvest is a time for change. The transformation of grapes into wine, or grain into baked bread, of summer into autumn, of the Mother into the Queen, of life into death and back again. This is also a time of turning inward towards the darkness, of inner and individual work. It is a time of maturing and aging, of experience and growing wisdom and fulfilments past and yet to come.

Our modern Queen may be through her childbearing years and may or may not have had her own children. She may have chosen to make her work her child by nurturing a career. She may be Mistress of the boardroom, Proprietress of her garden, or an Activist for her causes! RESIST!

This wonderful stage of a woman’s life comes with freedom. She can be who she wants to be and should lead by example. Warm, funny, thoughtful, strong, righteous, honest, are all words she could own. She may choose to be the winner of baking contest or the pilot of a commercial airliner because she has earned the right to do so.

The role of Queen in our modern world is a unique one in all of history. At no other time have there been so many choices for a woman. As she passed through the joys and sorrows of the stages before her, the choices she has made gives her the right to be called Queen.

Celebrating the stages of a woman’s life provides wonderful recognition for what is often overlooked. Many of us do not appreciate the importance of these stages and ignore our changing energy levels and broadening perspectives.

As an older woman, now a Crone, I have wonderful memories of my Queen years.  My children were grown and gone, I was doing the work that I loved.  It was during this time, I opened my own bookstore and began a new career with books! And best yet, that is when the Goddess entered my life and with Her, everything changed.  I truly was a woman of power.  I was at my sexual peak and free to explore in ways I never had before.

The Queen can be seen as the later phase of the Mother archetype. She is a woman owning the power and authority within herself and in the world. If she had children, they are now older allowing her greater focus on her other creations. She is a woman negotiating her responsibility and power and reveling in all that she has mastered and accomplished. She has much to teach and remains active in the community. She renegotiates the all-encompassing giving of the mother and creates clearer boundaries for herself, including her time and energy.

She reaps the benefits personally of all she has done and directs more of her power and attention to her own needs and creations. This can be a powerful personal, spiritual, and political stage of her life. PERSIST!

 

Deanne Quarrie. D. Min. is a Priestess of the Goddess. She is the author of six books. She is the founder of the Apple Branch where she teaches courses in Feminist Dianic Witchcraft and Northern European Witchcraft. She has recently opened Iseum Benedictus as a priestess in the Fellowship of Isis. She mentors those who wish to serve others in their communities. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Ocean Seminary College and is the founder of Global Goddess, a worldwide organization open to all women who honor some form of the divine feminine.

Belladonna is a High Priestess in the Apple Branch.  She was, for many years, the editor of the Global Goddess Oracle.  She is the owner of Belladonna’s Garden offering quality products for the bath!! My thanks to her for providing the substance for this article.

 

 

 

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Categories: Divine Feminine, Earth-based spirituality, Goddess, Goddess Spirituality

Tags: , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. Deanne, in my (PaGaian) cosmology there is no need to separate out Queen as a fourth archetype, since she is always sovereign in each of the three: that is, as I understand being, sovereignty is essential always, in all phases Virgin/Young One, Mother/Creator, Old One/Crone. But then I don’t really understand the Three as “archetypes”. I understand them as qualities of Cosmic unfolding within all being, which manifests multivalently; the manifestation of the Three as phases of a woman’s life being only one of those valencies. The felt necessity for “Queen” as separate may also be a very modern Western cultural thing, and some women’s lives just don’t go like that (mine didn’t). For me Old One/Crone is a creative phase, though it holds within it the final decline; but that too is Gaia’s Creativity at work/play – the dissolving/return is part of Creativity as I understand it.

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    • Thank you for sharing that, Glenys. Of course, here I am only exploring Her in comparison to the phases of the moon. It is lovely that we have many ways to see the Goddess in comparison to ourselves. And even using the moon’s four phases, we are leaving out all of the stages as she grows and develops as well as declines. And yet, She is always the Moon.

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  2. My understanding is that the term “crone” to describe women elders was introduced by Robert Graves in the 20th century. It is sad that we have allowed a modern man to describe us, especially with a term that draws upon visions of a wrinkled hunchback. I like the term “Queen”, or “Sage Woman” for they seem to so fully embody what we really are.

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    • That’s a new one on me! Originally, as far as I can tell, the term was only meant to describe and ugly or mean spirited old woman. Through usage, it also came to mean and old wise woman. Robert Graves may of popularized the term but he certainly did not invent it.

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  3. This is possibly my favorite time of year… the sun is on the wane and the Goddess is Rising and this full moon brought much needed rain to a parched desert – Giving thanks for Nature’s abundance is my first priority at this Turning of the Wheel – Until I read this article of yours I wouldn’t have been able to articulate this truth – it’s just what I do….Personally I see the moon as all phases of WOMAN and I dislike compartmentalizing us even though it’s different from how we are perceived by the culture as women. It’s still a form of separation of self/selves. I see me now in all these phases. Once however, I found this maiden mother crone thing very useful so perhaps its my age (73)! As for Queen, well I don’t get this one.

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    • I am not sure that the description Queen,, is a good one either. Looking back to that time in my life, it was when I was the most free. At my peak and powerful. Of course we are all of those and many more and yes, as an old woman I can be the laughing child, the nurturing mother, powerful and absolutely free (except when my old body won’t do what I wish).The only limits we have are those we impose upon ourselves.(not referring to legalities here!)

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  4. I love these verses in Queen by Mama Donna Henes. I’m not “big” on royal titles (although I DO like Queen Elizabeth) but the word didn’t get in my way here. Perhaps because it was surrounded by so many other “descriptions” like “woman, mother, midwife…etc”.

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  5. Very lovely. Especially the poem. I like the queen. I often say matron as well, and child instead of maiden because of the sexual connotations. These symbols are fun to be creative with, and can be very helpful.

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