Rising From the Cosmic Cauldron by: Annalisa Derr
The three Fates were generally thought of as crones, a triad of wizened elder goddesses. Others interpret them as the Maiden-Mother-Crone Triple Goddess, with each goddess representing a different stage of a woman’s life cycle. That the fate of every single human life was imagined to be in the hands of three goddesses, as old as time, can suggest many things. One suggestion includes the recognition of women’s roles as mothers, caretakers, and mourners, and how these “traditional” roles may be imagined cosmically as the weavers of human destiny.
While ancient Greek religion was later replaced with Christianity, many of the Greek myths resurfaced in medieval Europe, particularly during the Renaissance, (which means, rebirth). Retaining a sense of marginality, arguably due to a fear of women and “magic”— the three Fates resurfaced as Macbeth’s witchy prophetesses, the Weird Sisters. Weird in old English means destiny, leading many scholars to assert that the Witches were indeed the Fates born anew.
The cauldron, as vessel, can symbolize the womb for its transformative and generative capacity to turn singular constituent pieces into a unified whole. Therefore, it is also associated with transformation, and in particular, women.
This vision felt particularly potent, reminding me that I am part of something much bigger than myself. No longer a mythological trope—but instead, a lived experience—our ancient Greek Ancestresses churn the Oceanic Feminine with persistence, vim, and a commitment to helping us birth a new and empowering paradigm.
In the women’s spirituality movement, many are reclaiming, and others re-membering, the goddess traditions of our female-centric lineages. In alignment with this vision, I offer the following remembrance: Goddesses such as Aphrodite and Venus, Isthar and Inanna, Lakshmi, Demeter, Persephone, Psyche, and Brynhildr (to name a few) arose from the depths—of the underworld, the abyssal waters, or even the innermost chambers of their own beings—changed, renewed, and resplendent.
And so shall we.
Special thanks to Roz Carlos and Lisa Skura for their infinite wisdom.