The Maiden: Freedom
As it was written on the Temple of Gaia (later Apollo) at Delphi; where priestesses read the words as they performed their sacred duties as Oracle… Know Thyself.
Through the Maiden aspect of the Great Goddess you can discover who you are without the confines of the society in which you live. You will begin to think completely for yourself, make all of your own decisions, and live with your own consequences. You will learn to speak and live truthfully and remember the innocence you once had as a child. The Maiden teaches your spirit how to be truly free.
In myth, the Maiden is typically a young woman without family or home to care for. She lives for the moment and frolics in the forests like Artemis and her Nymphs. She is young, unclaimed, and forever virginal. These traits are examples of metaphors that demonstrate spiritual concepts.
Virginity is a symbol of being untied, owning only oneself, and one’s own energy. In fact, this is the original meaning of the word virgin. Everyone struggles with feeling owned or controlled in their lives. It might be by a spouse, a parent, a friend, an addiction, or an illness.
For a moment let yourself see the reality of the Maiden present in all people. The essence of the Maiden is not her physical appearance, her gender, her age, nor her status in society; it is her pure and unabashed freedom. She is a roaming spirit, a free thinker, and a person unto herself who strives to remove the binding shackles of her existence whatever they may be. The Maiden is a state of the spirit not a physical state of being.
While the Maiden is truly free, she does no harm unto others by being so. When she is wrong she admits it. Her strong sense of personal responsibility allows her to accept any consequences her actions may require. When she sees injustice she strives to change it for the good of all. She is the embodiment of perfect truth, the waxing moon, the revealer which is born from the deepest and most mysterious of shadows.
The Maiden will teach you to look within your own dark recesses to reveal the truth of your nature. This is usually not an easy process.
Looking within your darkness can cause discomfort and doubt, but it can eventually lead to a better understanding of self and more control over “darker” traits and impulses. This is a crucial part of your enlightenment which has been presented in myths since the beginning of human history. This concept can also be seen in the stories of our age, many of which are modern interpretations of ancient ideas.
It may seem corny, but think back to the character of Luke Skywalker for just a moment. He is pressed by Yoda (his spiritual teacher) to enter a cave and confront his fears as a part of his training towards the enlightenment of understanding “the Force”.
What Luke learns inside the cave is that his fears are all manifestations of himself. When he cuts the head from Darth Vader he sees only the vision of his own face staring back at him from inside the disembodied helmet. It is the Maiden who reveals the source of Luke’s fears and bids him to look no further than himself for answers.
The above story is only a modern example of the Inner Revealer concept, used here to illustrate this idea in simple, familiar terms. I am certainly not proposing we deify characters from Star Wars.
The Maiden is also the source of those flashes of clarity that I like to call “epiphany moments”. This quality connects her with the traditional interpretation of the air element. She is inspiration, a catalyst for the mind, the breeze that clears the dust from those otherwise unused portions of your psyche.
Connect with the Maiden through the wind as it blows through your hair. Watch in wonder as she dances with the trees. Listen carefully and you may even hear the music that they dance to.
Affirmation of the Maiden
Use this affirmation daily to find the freedom of the Maiden within yourself. Tape it to your bathroom mirror or scrawl it in your daily planner. Memorize it and recite it whenever you require the presence of the Maiden.
Give me the strength to accept,
The courage to love truthfully,
And the knowledge of self.
Within you I find my freedom.
This is most useful in the beginning of your journey so that you can very easily connect with the Maiden anywhere and often. By making this a consistent habit you can create tradition through repetition, which the mind greatly benefits from.
A Journey with the Maiden
Sit in a comfortable, quiet place. Light candles, incense, or anything that may set the mood for you. You may choose to listen to soft, playful music.
Your journey begins in the forest. Flowering plants line the path where you stand. The crocus, first flower of spring, is among them. Other sweet smelling blossoms of white and yellow accompany the crocus, their heads bobbing in the slight breeze.
You can hear birds chirping above you in the trees. They sing a song of spring, of hope, and of beginnings. Look up and see them fly from branch to branch and soar through the bright blue sky.
Begin to slowly walk the path. Take time to stop and smell some of the flowers or to pick up a shiny stone at your feet. Be inquisitive and explore your surroundings. Time has no meaning here. Skip, dance, or hum a tune. This is a place of innocence where you can embrace the child that lives within you.
After walking for a time you come upon a gate. It is covered in vines and more blooms of white and yellow. Remove the fetters of your clothes and breathe the clean, free flowing air. Feel the weights of fear, guilt, and judgment fall to the ground with your garments then move through the gate.
You are now in a meadow filled with all manner of wild flowers, butterflies, and buzzing bees. You can see a cottage a short way ahead but you do not go there now.
The breeze moves like kisses on your bare skin. Laugh and spin in the sunlight as it pours out like golden honey upon you. Listen to the trees move in the wind and spread your arms to sway with them in a sacred dance.
As you dance you notice you are no longer alone. A woman has come to dance beside you. She is naked as well and smiling at you with truth glittering in her eyes. There is nothing false about this woman. She is exactly what she shows to the world. You trust her and as she motions for you to come with her you follow without hesitation.
She takes you to a pool of water and bids you to look into the surface with her. You see yourself within the water, but as the wind moves and a ripple passes over the surface your reflection changes to match that of the Lady beside you.
Embrace the Lady and speak with her for a time if you choose. Does she give you anything? Do you have gifts for her?
When you are finished speaking, embrace the Lady again and bid her farewell. Return to the gate, taking only what you need from the pile of garments as you pass through. Move back down the path at your leisure and allow your consciousness to surface slowly.
Embracing the Maiden Ritual
You will need a symbol of the Maiden. This could be a handful of herbs, a gemstone, an altar statue, etc. (See Virtues of the Goddess for more options.) You will also need a white candle, your favorite incense, an electric fan, and at least a half hour of uninterrupted time. This ritual should be preformed during the waxing moon, ideally at the first quarter.
If possible remove your clothes and dim or turn out the lights in the room. Light the candle and the incense keeping them, and anything else that might blow away, out of the wind reach of the fan.
Invite the Maiden to join you in your own words. You may chose a specific Maiden goddess to work with or you may simply call upon the Maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess. Turn on the fan and let the breeze blow over your face and body. Recite the following:
Maiden of Freedom, may your presence bring me the keys to my emotional shackles. Allow me to always be true to myself and find joy in my life. You are within me. We are one.
Continue to sit in front of the fan allowing your mind to sink into a state of meditation. Fill your senses with the breeze; the sound, the feeling on your skin, the aroma of the incense. This may be a time to use the Maiden Meditation you read earlier or you might simply clear your mind and listen for the words of the Goddess.
When you are ready take three deep breaths then turn off the fan. Thank the Maiden and release her in your own words. Extinguish the candle and the incense. If at all possible, remain skyclad (this is being naked and in the physical state of freedom) and go outside or stand in a window to view the waxing moon.
You may choose to chant as you stand in the moonlight, calling on the power of the Maiden within you and bidding her to make her presence known.
The waxing moon is a time of growth. Realize that you are also in a period of growth. You are seeking truth and freedom within yourself through the Maiden. Your journey does not have to be a struggle. She has been with you all along. You only need to notice her presence in all things and especially within yourself. Bask in her light and reaffirm to yourself that you are one with her and with all things.
The ritual is ended here. Jot down anything that may have come to you while you were meditating and/or gazing at the moon.
Prayers and Chants of the Maiden
Light of Truth and Beginnings,
I embrace you within myself,
And dance with you on the wind.
Let me be a warrior for truth,
And a bringer of peace.
My heart sings your melody
And my spirit is forever free.
Artemis of the forest,
Huntress and Queen of Beasts,
Midwife and warrior of the weak,
Let your light surround me and be within me.
May all fear be forgotten.
May all hope be restored.
Lady Artemis, bless me with your gifts.
Maiden of Spring,
Of your light we sing.
Through truth and joy
Let our Freedom ring.
She changes everything She touches
And everything She touches changes
(Traditional chant of Kore)
The cage has been opened
And the shackles are broken
So mote it be,
The Maiden Queen has spoken
The Maiden awakens within me.
Now and always I am free.
the maiden: part of the book of tridea by ps. grian debandia of circle of the green