The Rise of the Fourfold Goddess Construct among Western Goddess Women and Feminist Witches
Keywords:Paganism, Goddess Feminism, Fourfold Goddess
Most contemporary writers and groups who practice forms Goddess Spirituality and Wiccan-based Paganism relate to the Divine Feminine in the form of a Threefold Goddess (Maiden, Mother, Crone)—a concept popularized during the mid-twentieth century by writers such as Robert Graves (1895–1985). This article examines the recent rise of a Fourfold Goddess concept among certain Goddess women and proponents of feminist Witchcraft. It surveys the proliferation of this view, with an emphasis on its embryonic emergence among the 1970s-1980s British matriarchal and Pagan milieus, and discusses the ways in which the concept is used by various groups and individuals (each with their own unique construct of the four aspects of the Goddess) in challenging patriarchy in general, and the perceived reduction of the Goddess (and woman) by the male gaze in particular.
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