A triple deity (sometimes referred to as threefold, tripled, triplicate, tripartite, triune or triadic, or as a trinity) is three deities that are worshipped as one. Such deities are common throughout world mythology; the number three has a long history of mythical associations. Carl Jung considered the arrangement of deities into triplets an archetype in the history of religion.
In religious iconography or mythological art, three separate beings may represent either a triad who always appear as a group (Greek Moirai, Charites, Erinyes; Norse Norns; or the Irish Morrígan) or a single deity known from literary sources as having three aspects (Greek Hecate, Diana Nemorensis). In the case of the Irish Brigid it can be ambiguous whether she is a single goddess or three sisters, all named Brigid. The Morrígan also appears sometimes as one being, and at other times as three sisters, as do the three Irish goddesses of sovereignty, Ériu, Fódla and Banba.
The Matres or Matronae are usually represented as a group of three but sometimes with as many as 27 (3 × 3 × 3) inscriptions. They were associated with motherhood and fertility. Inscriptions to these deities have been found in Gaul, Spain, Italy, the Rhineland and Britain, as their worship was carried by Roman soldiery dating from the mid 1st century to the 3rd century AD. Miranda Green observes that "triplism" reflects a way of "expressing the divine rather than presentation of specific god-types. Triads or triple beings are ubiquitous in the Welsh and Irish mythic imagery" (she gives examples including the Irish battle-furies, Macha, and Brigit). "The religious iconographic repertoire of Gaul and Britain during the Roman period includes a wide range of triple forms: the most common triadic depiction is that of the triple mother goddess" (she lists numerous examples).
Peter H. Goodrich interprets the literary figure of Morgan le Fay as a manifestation of a British triple goddess in the medieval romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. A modern idea of a Triple Goddess is central to the new religious movement of Wicca.
|Three chief goddesses||al-Lat||Al-Uzza||Manat|
|Mother goddess||Hebe (the Maiden)||Hera (the Mother)||Hecate (the Crone)|
|Mother goddess||Hebe (the Maiden)||Hera (the Mother)||Rhea (the Grandmother/Crone)|
|Mother goddess||Kore (the Maiden)||Demeter (the Mother)||Rhea (the Grandmother)|
|Moon goddess||Artemis (the Maiden)||Selene (the Mother)||Hecate (the Crone)|
|Moon goddess/Mother goddess||Pandia (the Maiden)||Selene (the Mother)||Theia (the Grandmother/Crone)|
|Eternal Virgin goddess||Hestia||Athena||Artemis|
|Justice||Nemesis/Rhamnousia/Rhamnusia/Adrasteia/Adrestia (Retribution)||Themis/Dike (Justice)||Eleos/Soteria (Redemption)|
|Chief goddess||Hera (the state)||Athena (the military)||Aphrodite (love)|
|Hera||Pais (maiden)||Teleia (wife)||Chera (widow)|
|Hecate||Selene (the Moon in heaven)||Artemis (the Huntress on earth)||Persephone (the Destroyer in the underworld)|
|Aphrodite||Aphrodite Urania (Aphrodite of the heaven)||Aphrodite Pontia (Aphrodite of the sea)||Aphrodite Pandemos (Aphrodite for all the people)|
|Moirai||Clotho (spinner)||Lachesis (allotter)||Atropos (unturnable)|
|Charites||Aglaea (Splendor)||Euphrosyne (Mirth)||Thalia (Good Cheer)|
|Pasithea (hallucination)||Cale (beauty)||Euphrosyne (Mirth)|
|Erinyes||Alecto (untameable)||Megaera (grudging)||Tisiphone (vengeful destruction)|
|Harpies||Aello (storm swift)||Ocypete (the swift wing)||Celaeno (the dark)|
|Horae||Thallo (flora)||Auxo (growth)||Carpo (fruit)|
|Eunomia (order)||Dikē (justice)||Eirene (peace)|
|Pherusa (substance)||Euporia (abundance)||Orthosia (prosperity)|
|Gorgons||Stheno (forceful)||Euryale (far-roaming)||Medusa (guardian)|
|Graeae||Deino (dread)||Enyo (horror)||Pemphredo (alarm)|
|Thriae||Melaina (the black)||Cleodora (famous gift)||Daphnis (laurel)|
|Muses||Aoidē (song)||Meletē (practice)||Mnēmē (memory)|
|Sirens||Parthenope (Maiden Voice)||Ligeia (Clear-Toned)||Leucosia (White-Substance)|
|Heliades||Aegiale (gleam)||Aegle (shining)||Aetheria (clear-sky)|
|Lampetia (shining)||Phaethusa (radiance)||Phoebe (bright)|
|Hesperides||Aegle (dazzling-light)||Erytheia (the red one)||Hesperethusa (sunset-glow)|
|Nymphai Hyperboreioi||Hecaerge (striking)||Loxo (slanting)||Oupis (sighting)|
|Oenotropae||Spermo (grain)||Oeno or Oino (wine)||Elais (oil)|
|Mother goddess||Juventas (the Maiden)||Juno (the Mother)||Trivia (the Crone)|
|Mother goddess||Juventas (the Maiden)||Juno (the Mother)||Ops (the Grandmother/Crone)|
|Mother goddess||Proserpina (the Maiden)||Ceres (the Mother)||Ops (the Grandmother)|
|Moon goddess||Luna in heaven||Diana on earth||Proserpina in hell|
|Phoebe (moonlight)||Diana (chastity)||Hecate or Proserpine (witchcraft)|
|Supreme goddess||Juventas (the Maiden)||Juno (the Mother)||Minerva (the Wise)|
|Eternal Virgin goddess||Vesta||Minerva||Diana|
|Justice||Nemesis/Invidia (Retribution)||Justitia (Justice)||Clementia (Redemption)|
|Fates||Nona (the Spinner)||Decima (the Weaver)||Morta (the Cutter)|
|Egyptian and Canaanite|
|Triple goddess stone||Qetesh||Astarte||Anat|
|Lion-headed goddess||Hathor or Mafdet||Bast||Sekhmet|
|-||Hathor (Birth)||Nephthys (Death)||Isis (Rebirth)|
|Iyabás||Oshun (Pregnant)||Yemoja (Mother)||Nana (Grandmother)|
|The Morrígan||Badb||Macha||Anand, aka Morrígu|
|Norns||Urðr (past)||Verðandi (present)||Skuld (future)|
Georges Dumézil's trifunctional hypothesis proposed that ancient Indo-European society conceived itself as structured around three activities: worship, war, and toil. In later times, when slave labor became common, the three functions came to be seen as separate "classes", represented each by its own god. Dumézil understood this mythology as reflecting and validating social structures in its content: such a tripartite class system is found in ancient Indian, Iranian, Greek and Celtic texts. In 1970 Dumézil proposed that some goddesses represented these three qualities as different aspects or epithets and identified examples in his interpretation of various deities including the Iranian Anāhitā, the Vedic Sarasvatī and the Roman Juno.
Vesna Petreska posits that myths including trinities of female mythical beings from Central and Eastern European cultures may be evidence for an Indo-European belief in trimutive female "spinners" of destiny. But according to the linguist M. L. West, various female deities and mythological figures in Europe show the influence of pre-Indo-European goddess-worship, and triple female fate divinities, typically "spinners" of destiny, are attested all over Europe and in Bronze Age Anatolia.
At her sacred grove at Aricia, on the shores of Lake Nemi a triplefold Diana was venerated from the late sixth century BCE as Diana Nemorensis. Andreas Alföldi interpreted a late Republican numismatic image as the Latin Diana "conceived as a threefold unity of the divine huntress, the Moon goddess and the goddess of the nether world, Hekate". This coin shows that the triple goddess cult image still stood in the lucus of Nemi in 43 BCE. The Lake of Nemi was Triviae lacus for Virgil (Aeneid 7.516), while Horace called Diana montium custos nemoremque virgo ("keeper of the mountains and virgin of Nemi") and diva triformis ("three-form goddess"). Diana is commonly addressed as Trivia by Virgil and Catullus.
Spells and hymns in Greek magical papyri refer to the goddess (called Hecate, Persephone, and Selene, among other names) as "triple-sounding, triple-headed, triple-voiced..., triple-pointed, triple-faced, triple-necked". In one hymn, for instance, the "Three-faced Selene" is simultaneously identified as the three Charites, the three Moirai, and the three Erinyes; she is further addressed by the titles of several goddesses. Translation editor Hans Dieter Betz notes: "The goddess Hekate, identical with Persephone, Selene, Artemis, and the old Babylonian goddess Ereschigal, is one of the deities most often invoked in the papyri."
E. Cobham Brewer's 1894 Dictionary of Phrase & Fable contained the entry, "Hecate: A triple deity, called Phoebe or the Moon in heaven, Diana on the earth, and Hecate or Proserpine in hell," and noted that "Chinese have the triple goddess Pussa". The Roman poet Ovid, through the character of the Greek woman Medea, refers to Hecate as "the triple Goddess"; the earlier Greek poet Hesiod represents her as a threefold goddess, with a share in earth, sea, and starry heavens. Hecate was depicted variously as a single womanly form; as three women back-to-back; as a three-headed woman, sometimes with the heads of animals; or as three upper bodies of women springing from a single lower body ("we see three heads and shoulders and six hands, but the lower part of her body is single, and closely resembles that of the Ephesian Artemis").
The trinity of Asia, Panthea ("All-Goddess") and the Nereid Ione have been seen to be contrasted ironically with the triad of the Furies in Shelley's Prometheus Unbound making a careful separation between the Jungian figures of the Terrible and Good Mother.
In the mythology of the Sámi (an important source of modern evidence concerning the Finno-Ugric language group and the cultures in which it evolved), a triad of goddesses are responsible for childbirth and protecting children. Sáhráhkka, who lives in the fireplace, is responsible for pregnancy and the particular protector of girls. Juksáhkká, who lives in the area of the back doors, is responsible for turning some children into boys while they are in the womb (there was a belief that all children are female at the outset). Uksáhkká guards the main doors, and is responsible for protecting all young children.
A pagan god was worshipped in pre-Islamic Arabia and Nabataea with a family of deities around him among which was a triad of goddesses called "the three daughters of God": al-Lat ("Mother Goddess of prosperity") Al-Uzza ("Mighty one") the youngest, and Manat ("Fate") "the third, the other". They were known collectively as the three cranes. The name al-Lat is known from the time of the histories of Herodotus in which she is named Alilat.
Qudshu-Astarte-Anat is a representation of a single goddess who is a combination of three goddesses: Qetesh (Athirat "Asherah"), Astarte, and Anat. It was a common practice for Canaanites and Egyptians to merge different deities through a process of syncretization, thereby, turning them into one single entity. This "Triple Goddess Stone", once owned by Winchester College, shows the goddess Qetesh with the inscription "Qudshu-Astarte-Anat", showing their association as being one goddess, and Qetesh (Qudshu) in place of Athirat.
Religious scholar Saul M. Olyan (author of Asherah and the Cult of Yahweh in Israel), calls the representation on the Qudshu-Astarte-Anat plaque "a triple-fusion hypostasis", and considers Qudshu to be an epithet of Athirat by a process of elimination, for Astarte and Anat appear after Qudshu in the inscription.
Christians profess "one God in three divine persons" (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost). This is not necessarily to be understood as a belief in (or worship of) three Gods, nor as a belief that there are three subjectively-perceived "aspects" in one God, both of which the Roman Catholic Church condemns as heresy. The Catholic Church also rejects the notions that God is "composed" of its three persons and that "God" is a genus containing the three persons.
Triples in legendary beings:
Hecate will never join in that offence:
Unjust is the request you make, and I
In kindness your petition shall deny;
Yet she that grants not what you do implore,
Shall yet essay to give her Jason more;
Find means t' encrease the stock of Aeson's years,
Without retrenchment of your life's arrears;
Provided that the triple Goddess join
A strong confed'rate in my bold design.
In Greek mythology, Argo (; in Greek: Ἀργώ) was the ship on which Jason and the Argonauts sailed from Iolcos to Colchis to retrieve the Golden Fleece. She was named after her builder, Argus.Brigid
Brigit, Brigid or Bríg (; meaning 'exalted one') was a goddess of pre-Christian Ireland. She appears in Irish mythology as a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the daughter of the Dagda and wife of Bres, with whom she had a son named Ruadán.
It has been suggested that Brigid is a continuation of the Indo-European dawn goddess. She is associated with the spring season, fertility, healing, poetry and smithcraft. Cormac's Glossary, written in the 10th century by Christian monks, says that Brigid was "the goddess whom poets adored" and that she had two sisters: Brigid the healer and Brigid the smith. This suggests she may have been a triple deity.Saint Brigid shares many of the goddess's attributes and her feast day on 1 February was originally a pagan festival (Imbolc) marking the beginning of spring. It has thus been argued that the saint is a Christianization of the goddess.Clementia
In Roman mythology, Clementia was the goddess of clemency, leniency, mercy, forgiveness, penance, redemption, absolution and salvation.She was defined as a celebrated virtue of Julius Caesar, who was famed for his forbearance, especially following Caesar's civil war with Pompey from 49 BC. In 44 BC, a temple was consecrated to her by the Roman Senate, possibly at Caesar's instigation as Caesar was keen to demonstrate that he had this virtue.
In a letter to his friend Atticus, Cicero is discussing Caesar's clementia: "You will say they are frightened. I dare say they are, but I'll be bound they're more frightened of Pompey than of Caesar. They are delighted with his artful clemency and fear the other's wrath." Again in Pro rege Deiotaro (For King Deiotarus) Cicero discusses Caesar's virtue of clementia.
There is not much information surrounding Clementia's cult; it would seem that she was merely an abstraction of a particular virtue, one that was revered in conjunction with revering Caesar and the Roman state. Clementia was seen as a good trait within a leader, it also the Latin word for "humanity" or "forbearance". This is opposed to Saevitia which was savagery and bloodshed. Yet, she was the Roman counterpart of Eleos, (not to be confused with Soteria), the Greek goddess of mercy and forgiveness who had a shrine in Athens.
In traditional imagery, she is depicted holding a branch (possibly an olive tree branch) and a scepter and may be leaning on a column.Cornucopia
In classical antiquity, the cornucopia (from Latin cornu copiae), also called the horn of plenty, was a symbol of abundance and nourishment, commonly a large horn-shaped container overflowing with produce, flowers or nuts.Dragon's teeth (mythology)
In Greek myth, dragon's teeth feature prominently in the legends of the Phoenician prince Cadmus and in Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece. In each case, the dragons are real and breathe fire. Their teeth, once planted, would grow into fully armed warriors.
Cadmus, the bringer of literacy and civilization, killed the sacred dragon that guarded the spring of Ares. The goddess Athena told him to sow the teeth, from which sprang a group of ferocious warriors called the spartoi. He threw a precious jewel into the midst of the warriors, who turned on each other in an attempt to seize the stone for themselves. The five survivors joined with Cadmus to found the city of Thebes.The classical legends of Cadmus and Jason have given rise to the phrase "to sow dragon's teeth." This is used as a metaphor to refer to doing something that has the effect of fomenting disputes.Eleos
In ancient Athens, Eleos (Ancient Greek Ἔλεος m.) was the personification of pity, mercy, clemency, and compassion—the counterpart of Roman goddess Clementia.
Pausanias states that there was an altar in Athens dedicated to Eleos, at which children of Heracles sought refuge from Eurystheus' prosecution. Adrastus also came to this altar after the loss of the battle of Seven Against Thebes, praying that those who died in the battle be buried. Eleos was only recognized in Athens, where he was honored by the cutting of hair and the undressing of garments at the altar.Statius in Thebaid (1st century) describes the altar to Clementia in Athens (treating Eleos as feminine based on the grammatical gender in Latin): "There was in the midst of the city [of Athens] an altar belonging to no god of power; gentle Clementia (Clemency) [Eleos] had there her seat, and the wretched made it sacred".Hooded Spirits
The Hooded Spirits or Genii Cucullati are figures found in religious sculpture across the Romano-Celtic region from Britain to Pannonia, depicted as "cloaked scurrying figures carved in an almost abstract manner" (Henig, 62). They are found with a particular concentration in the Rhineland (Hutton). In Britain they tend to be found in a triple deity form, which seems to be specific to the British representations (De la Bedoyère).
The hooded cape was especially associated with Gauls or Celts during the Roman period. The hooded health god was known as Telesphorus specifically and may have originated as a Greco-Gallic syncretism with the Galatians in Anatolia in the 3rd century BC.
The religious significance of these figures is still somewhat unclear, since no inscriptions have been found with them in this British context (De la Bedoyère). There are, however, indications that they may be fertility spirits of some kind. Ronald Hutton argues that in some cases they are carrying shapes that can be seen as eggs, symbolizing life and rebirth, while Graham Webster has argued that the curved hoods are similar in many ways to contemporary Roman curved phallus stones. However, several of these figures also seem to carry swords or daggers, and Henig discusses them in the context of warrior cults.
Guy de la Bédoyère also warns against reading too much in to size differences or natures in the figures, which have been used to promote theories of different roles for the three figures, arguing that at the skill level of most of the carvings, small differences in size are more likely to be hit-or-miss consequences, and pointing out that experimental archaeology has shown hooded figures to be one of the easiest sets of figures to carve.Ichor
In Greek mythology, ichor ( or ; Ancient Greek: ἰχώρ) is the ethereal fluid that is the blood of the gods and/or immortals.Menrva
Menrva (also spelled Menerva) was an Etruscan goddess of war, art, wisdom, and medicine. She contributed much of her character to Roman Minerva, when that culture evolved. She was the child of Uni and Tinia.
Although Menrva was seen by Hellenized Etruscans as their counterpart to Greek Athena, Menrva has some unique traits that make it clear that she was not an import from Greece. Etruscan artists under the influence of Greek culture, however, liked to portray Menrva with Gorgoneion, helmet, spear, and shield, and, on one mirrorback, as bursting from the head of her father, Tinia. Also, she commonly is seen as the protector of Hercle (Heracles) and Pherse (Perseus). On a bronze mirror found at Praeneste, she attends Perseus, who consults two Graeae, and, on another, holds high the head of Medusa, while she and seated Perseus and Hermes all gaze safely at its reflection in a pool at their feet. These images are more likely to reflect literary sources than any cult practice. On a bronze mirror from Bolsena, ca. 300 BCE, she is portrayed attending a scene of Prometheus Unbound with Esplace (Asclepius), who bandages Prometheus' chest.Often, Menrva is depicted in a more essentially Etruscan style, as a lightning thrower. Martianus mentions her as one of nine Etruscan lightning deities. Depiction with a thunderbolt may be seen on later Roman coins of Minerva as well.
Menrva seems to have been associated with weather phenomena. The Greeks never attributed an association with weather to Athena, making this another important difference between the two religious cults that demonstrates their separate characteristics.
Menrva's name is indigenous to Italy and might even be of Etruscan origin, stemming from an Italic moon goddess, Meneswā 'She who measures'. It is thought that the Etruscans adopted the inherited Old Latin name, Menerwā, thereby calling her Menrva. This has been disputed, however: Carl Becker suggested that her name appears to contain the PIE root men-, which he noted was linked in Greek primarily to memory words (cf. Greek "mnestis"/μνῆστις 'memory, remembrance, recollection'), but which more generally referred to 'mind' in most Indo-European languages.
Menrva often was depicted in the Judgement of Paris, called Elcsntre (Alexander, his alternative name in Greek) in Etruscan, one of the most popular Greek myths in Etruria.
Menrva was part of a triple deity with Uni and Tinia, later reflected in the Roman Capitoline Triad of Juno, Jupiter, and Minerva.Mezulla
Mezulla was a minor Hittite goddess. She and her daughter Zintuḫi were closely associated with the Sun goddess of Arinna; together they formed a triple deity. Mezulla had only local importance and is not mentioned in the oath lists of Hittite interstate treaties.Mōdraniht
Mōdraniht or Modranicht (Old English "Night of the Mothers" or "Mothers' Night") was an event held at what is now Christmas Eve by the Anglo-Saxon Pagans. The event is attested by the medieval English historian Bede in his 8th-century Latin work De temporum ratione. It has been theorized sacrifices may have occurred during this event. Scholars have proposed connections between the Anglo-Saxon Mōdraniht and events attested among other Germanic peoples (specifically those involving the dísir, collective female ancestral beings, and Yule) and the Germanic Matres and Matronae, female beings attested by way of altar and votive inscriptions, nearly always appearing in trios.Necklace of Harmonia
The Necklace of Harmonia was a fabled object in Greek mythology that, according to legend, brought great misfortune to all of its wearers or owners, who were primarily queens and princesses of the ill-fated House of Thebes.Ouroboros
The Ouroboros or uroborus () is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. Originating in ancient Egyptian iconography, the ouroboros entered western tradition via Greek magical tradition and was adopted as a symbol in Gnosticism and Hermeticism and most notably in alchemy. The term derives from Ancient Greek: οὐροβόρος, from οὐρά (oura), "tail" + βορά (bora), "food", from βιβρώσκω (bibrōskō), "I eat".Trimurti
The Trimūrti (; Sanskrit: त्रिमूर्ति trimūrti, "three forms") is the Triple deity of supreme divinity in Hinduism in which the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified as a triad of deities, typically Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer, though individual denominations may vary from that particular line-up. When all three deities of the Trimurti incarnate into a single avatar, the avatar is known as Dattatreya.Triple goddess
Triple goddess or Triple Goddess may refer to:
Triple deity, any goddess who is described as threefold, or as appearing in groups of three
Triple Goddess (Neopaganism), a concept in Wicca and other Neopagan belief systems: sometimes a universal, global, "Great Goddess" who is threefold; sometimes a single goddess as maiden, matron and crone; and sometimes three sisters.Triplicate
Triplicate typically refers to a document created three times simultaneously, as with carbonless copy paper.
Triplicate may also refer to:
Del Norte Triplicate, a newspaper in Crescent City, California
Triplicate (horse), a race horse owned by dancer, singer, actor Fred Astaire
Triplicate (Dave Holland album), by jazz musician Dave Holland
Triplicate (Bob Dylan album), a triple album
Luornu Durgo aka "Triplicate Girl", a DC Comics super hero
Triple deity aka "Triplicate deity", three deities worshipped as oneWinnowing Oar
The Winnowing Oar (athereloigos - Greek ἀθηρηλοιγός) is an object that appears in Books XI and XXIII of Homer's Odyssey. In the epic, Odysseus is instructed by Tiresias to take an oar from his ship and to walk inland until he finds a "land that knows nothing of the sea", where the oar would be mistaken for a winnowing fan. At this point, he is to offer a sacrifice to Poseidon, and then at last his journeys would be over.Zerachiel
Archangel Zerachiel("God's command") or Zahariel is one of the primary angels who leads souls to judgement. An Angel of Healing, he is also the presiding angel of the sun, prince of ministering angels (those who watch over mortals), and the angel of children, particularly children of parents who have sinned (and are therefore at risk of falling into sin as adults themselves). He is said to have dominion over the earth. In Enoch I (the Book of Enoch) he is listed as one of the seven archangels. In the list of Pope Gregory I, one of the seven archangels is called Zachariel.