|The Triple Goddess, Briar Mythology|
Of course, thirteen-year-old Liz also fell squarely into the trap that is the triple goddess. With three different roles needing to be cast, it's very easy to forget that the roles themselves are much less than the sum of their parts. Taken as a tripartite whole, the triple goddess presents an illuminating view of womanhood, seeing each phase as worthy of honor. Split the triple goddess into her components and you're right back where you started: with a set of simplistic, easily categorized female roles.
On their own, each aspect of the goddess is fairly straightforward: Persephone is the abducted innocent, Demeter the vengeful mother, Hecate the mysterious witch, and poor Kore an insignificant minor deity. Put them all together and the implications are dizzying. Not only does one person pass through every state of being, there's also an aspect of her character that allows her to be all of them at once. In essence, the triple goddess represents character development, also known as having lived a life.
|The Death of King Arthur, Katharine Cameron|
|The Masque of the Four Seasons, Walter Crane|
|Triple Goddess, Susan Seddon Boulet|
Maybe that's why we have triple goddesses in the first place: to grow characters given short shrift on their own. And maybe that's why already-developed characters don't neatly fit the archetype. It's a very strange kind of growth that sets up barriers and prerequisites. But the presence of a triple goddess changes the way we look at the divine female. Problematic though she may be, ultimately the triple goddess does enhance our perspectives, both on the characters and on what it could mean to be female.