Holy Family original Trinity Father Mother Son

Mary and

The Trinity

"From the earliest ages, the concept of the Great Goddess was a trinity and a model for all subsequent trinities, female, male, or mixed. "

--The Women's Encylopedia of Myths & Secrets

The Holy Trinity

The Father-Son-and-Holy-Ghost is not the only Holy Trinity, nor even the oldest trinity. Historically, Father-Mother-Child was a much more wide-spread trinity, one that many still see in Jesus-Mary-and-Joseph today. Even older still is the trinity of the Triple Goddess: Maiden-Mother-and-Crone.

Father, Son and Holy Ghost
Father, Mother and Child
Maiden, Mother and Crone

Father, Son and Holy Ghost
The Christian doctrine of the trinity -- Father, Son, and Holy Ghost -- was not formalized until the 4th or 5th century C. E. (A), yet the historical concept of a triune deity is much older than that, with evidence dating from the 7th millenium B.C.E. (B). Even in early Christianity, this trinity had a female member, the Holy Ghost.

The dove symbolized the Divine Feminine or Goddess Female member of the Trinity
As recorded in the scriptures of early Christians, the Gnostic scriptures, The Holy Ghost was envisioned as Sophia, the Goddess of Wisdom (C *). The Holy Ghost's symbol, a dove, is an ancient Goddess symbol, well-known in the days of early Christianity, as was the concept of Wisdom as female, Sophia (B, C *). Sophia The Goddess of Wisdom was popular not only with early Christians, but was also mentioned numerous times in the Old Testament, as evidenced in these quotes from Proverbs 8:
""I Wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge . . . . By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. . . . The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. . . .I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. . . . When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was with him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him. . ."
Gnostics viewed Sophia as the Bride of God, the female power which the Sky Gods (like Jehovah) needed to validate their rule (B). Asherah fulfilled a similar function as the Wife of Yahweh, in the ancient (unorthodox) worship of the Hebrews (D, E *).
Father, Mother and Child
Father, Mother and Child (often a Savior-Son) is an ancient trinity, naturally reflected in the world around us. Just as Mary is strongly linked to Isis, so the Holy Family, Joseph, Mary and Jesus, is linked to the trinity of Osiris, Isis and Horus. In Christianizing the pagan world, this family trinity was familiar and, therefore, effective in encouraging conversion to a religion that seemed so similar to native worship (F).

The hand gesture used in blessings-- middle finger, index finger, and thumb extended-- is said to be a hold-over from the Holy Family trinity. The tallest (middle) finger represents the father, the next tallest (index), the mother, the small thumb, the child.

Today, the Holy Family persists in popular worship as a Trinity, despite it's marginal orthodoxy, mainly because the family is a real-life model for everyday life, much more real and familiar that an all-male trinity or an ephemeral Spirit.

Maiden, Mother and Crone
The oldest known trinity, although exclusively female, is also based on real-life cycles: youth, the maiden; fullness of life, the mother; elder years, the crone. This triple-goddess has appeared in the history of virtually every known culture around the globe.

While Mary is venerated as Virgin and as Mother , she is not often held up as a model Crone. This is reflective of the fear and hatred of Old Women that has imbued cultural consciousness (East and West) for the last 2000 years. Old Women are Wise Women, Powerful Women. Today, women are refocusing on Mary as mature Mother (rather than pliant Virgin) and are even speculating about her last years of life, since she is thought to have been in her 50s when she was assumed into heaven (G, H). The Black Madonna , whose worship has been growing tremendously, can be said to reflect Mary's Crone aspect, as can Mary's personification in Our Lady of Sorrows.

Triple Brigit Female Trinity Triple Brigit
from Sacred Source

Mary is linked to ancient Triple Goddesses through much of the symbolism associated with her. The Protoevangelium of James, which describes Mary's girlhood, portrays Mary as spinning in the Temple. This links her with the triple Fates, the three Goddesses known as the Moerae or "Marys" who spun out the destinies of those on earth. Cyril of Jerusalem, in his Coptic Discourse, linked the three Marys at the foot of the Cross (Mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Mary Salome) with these same triple Fates. A striking similarity occurs in Nordic mythology where the three Fates stand at the foot of Odin's tree of sacrifice. Welsh mythology links Mary with their triple White Goddess, Brigit. Even today, Mary is called The White Mary (B*).


(A) Catholic Customs and Traditions: A Popular Guide
by Greg Dues

(B) The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets
By Barbara Walker

(C) The Gnostic Gospels
By Elaine Pagels

(D) The Once and Future Goddess
By Elinor Gadon

(E) A History of God
by Karen Armstrong

(F) The Spiral Dance.
by Starhawk

(G) In Search of Mary: The Woman and the Symbol
by Sally Cunneen

(H) 365 Mary: A Daily Guide to Mary's Wisdom and Comfort
by Woodeene Koenig-Brick

( * ) And numerous other sources

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