Talk:Triple Goddess (Neopaganism)/Archive 5

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Archive 4 Archive 5 Archive 6


This paragraph is entirely unacceptable:

Visual iconography was also important to Graves's conception. Graves created a methodology for reading images he called "icontrophy" To practice this methodology one is required to reduce "speech into its original images and rhythms" and then to combine these "on several simultaneous levels of thought". By applying this methodology Graves decoded a woodcut of The Judgement of Paris as depicting a singular Triple Goddess rather than the traditional Hera, Athena and Aphrodite of the narrative the image illustrates.

This omits not only the criticism of other authors; but, far more importantly, the grounds for that criticism: Graves' entire method of iconotrophy is entirely without evidence and based on his poetic intuition. Most of his images are entirely conjectural; there is no Mycenaean image corresponding to the Judgment of Paris; there is no evidence of the Mycenaeans interpreting any image whatever one way and the historic Greeks another; indeed, is there any evidence of the Greeks encountering relics of Mycenaean or Minoan art at all? Certainly not the sword of Cadmus that Pausanias saw at Thebes, with an inscription Pausanias read - and which was therefore in neither of the Minoan syllabaries. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:06, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Can you supply some sources regarding 'icontropy' so the section can be brought up to scratch? I think it is important the article shows how Graves read his sources and arrived at his conclusions regarding the Triple Goddess. Cheers. Davémon (talk) 07:01, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
It was also misplaced in the "Graves's sources" section, as it was about one of Graves's methods, not an earlier author he cited. I've moved it to the "Robert Graves" section, where it is immediately followed by the "Graves's work has been criticized" sentence with pointers to criticism sections. Sizzle Flambé (/) 04:46, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
The picture mentioned is a source for his Triple Goddess theorem. Sources aren't restricted to the written word, especially with Graves. Davémon (talk) 07:01, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
The picture came with a commentary, or instructions on "icontrophy"? I doubt that. The paragraph says icontrophy was a methodology "Graves created", not one he learned from someone else. That makes it his, not a source's. And the picture illustrates that paragraph — though the comment on it suggests it's not actually the same picture as the one he "decoded", thus not in any sense his "source". Sizzle Flambé (/) 07:35, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
The painting is not one of Graves' sources; it's a Rubens.
The author of Claudius the God and The Greek Myths knew what a relevant source was; he used them, even though he also claimed poetic intuition. When he did refer to an existing work of art, and not a hypothetical one, it was authentically Greek, and usually archaic; i.e. some five centuries after the supposed deposition of Goddess-worship, not thirty - and not from Belgium. That picture and its caption must go; the paragraph of spam about Graves' intution may be salvagable. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:51, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
I concur with this picture's removal. I also think the "icontrophy" paragraph belongs more on The White Goddess than here, because it pertains to the book but not particularly to the topic of "Triple Goddess (Neopaganism)". Sizzle Flambé (/) 06:21, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Then let's move it. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:51, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Accordingly, moved. Sizzle Flambé (/) 23:59, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Graves indeed, has modern as well as ancient sources. Read the source provided, I don't beleive there are many Greek woodcuts. Content that describes Graves methodology in arriving to his "contribution to modern Pagan witchcraft" (see Hutton) is entirely relevant to an encyclopaedic treatment of the Triple Goddess in Neopaganism. The illustration I think is questionable, as it is an example of the common thematic depiction of The Judgement of Paris - not because it is specifically the one Graves used. Davémon (talk) 08:46, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Septentrionalis: Welcome to Editing With Davémon. ... Davémon: As this is not the depiction Graves "decoded", why mislead readers into wasting their time trying to see whatever Graves saw in it? I concur with Septentrionalis that it doesn't belong here. Sizzle Flambé (/) 10:31, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

a small request

Is it possible for a basic summery of the recent discusions to be posted? I ask because I am unsure as to what is going on (everything is all over the place). A basic summery might also help those who may be able to help.  rdunnPLIB  11:31, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

POV in Robert Graves section

Hostility in the authorial voice is inappropriate. The article should report controversy from a neutral point of view. Thus the recent additions to the "Robert Graves" section have gotten it tagged "pov-section".

In the anthology The Greek Myths (1955), Graves systematically applied his convictions enshrined in The White Goddess to Greek mythology, exposing a large number of unsuspecting readers to his personal Goddess mysteries.[20] These mysteries include a pseudohistory wherein an aggressive patriarchal people displaced a peaceful matriarchal, Triple Goddess worshipping people, who encoded their secret history in rituals. None of which is source referenced to classical texts as it is entirely Graves invention.[21]
Grave's psudoscholarship is often criticized as having a distorting influence on popular and neopagan views of mythology; see The White Goddess#Criticism and The Greek Myths#Reception.

Compare the previous, NPOV, version:

In the anthology The Greek Myths (1955), Graves systematically applied his convictions enshrined in The White Goddess to Greek mythology, exposing a large number of readers to his personal Goddess mysteries.[16]
Grave's work on Greek myth was often criticized; see The White Goddess#Criticism and The Greek Myths#Reception.

Let the critics do the wrangling in their own voices. Don't make Wikipedia an advocate for them. Sizzle Flambé (/) 04:31, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

And that POV material is accordingly removed. Sizzle Flambé (/) 04:38, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Sizzle seems to have misunderstood wp:npov Unbiased writing is the fair, analytical description of all relevant sides of a debate, including the mutual perspectives and the published evidence. Removing the POV is not the point. If it can be shown that there are 'other sides of the debate, they should be added. Who in mainstream academia supports Graves, or claims his ideas are genuinely reflective of historical sources? The fact is that there isn't any other side of this debate - there actually is no debate - nobody takes Graves seriously and his works are widely condemned. By whitewashing the mainstream, academic critique of Triple Goddess concept Sizzle is repeatedly disregarding wp:npov in order to push an agenda.See also WP:VALID. If your problem is the tone, then address that issue, but don't confuse tone with validity. Davémon (talk) 08:38, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
"Nobody" such as your own cited source Michael W. Pharand, who quoted the criticisms, but then said himself: "Graves's theories and conclusions, outlandish as they seemed to his contemporaries (or may appear to us), were the result of careful observation." You didn't quote that side when quoting the quoted criticisms. And here you are pretending that side doesn't even exist. This is blatant POV advocacy on your part.
So was deleting Hutton's statement that Jane Ellen Harrison's "idea of a matristic early Europe which had venerated such a deity was developed in books by amateur scholars such as Robert Briffault's The mothers (1927) and Robert Graves' The white goddess (1946)." (note lowercases!) — and then inserting in authorial voice that such an idea was "entirely Graves' invention" — which was dishonest. Sizzle Flambé (/) 13:54, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
And the Hutton and Gazin-Schwartz/Holtorf cites are now restored along with some degree of NPOV. Sizzle Flambé (/) 14:11, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Sizzle Flambe: "Graves's theories and conclusions, outlandish as they seemed to his contemporaries (or may appear to us), were the result of careful observation." - this does not say Graves was right, what it says is that Graves "appears outlandish" and Graves "observed carefully" - it (and I think this bears repeating in bold) explicity does not say Graves conclusions are correct. Nobody says that. If you can prove differently via wp:reliable sources then we can add those views in. Good luck! Davémon (talk) 18:41, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
I have to agree entirely. Simply saying something is the result of careful research does not mean that it is even close to being on the mark. That statement cannot in any way be realistically interpreted as even implying that Graves's conclusions are considered right. The fact that the source does say they "appear outlandish", which uses the present tense, seems to indicate that the modern researcher sees them as "appear[ing] outlandish," which would seem to at least likely be a polite way of saying they are "wrong". The source does not seem to me in any way to indicate that Graves' theories are given any particular regard today. John Carter (talk) 23:31, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
John, in the present tense Pharand says "(or may appear to us)" [emphasis added], not that they [do] appear to him. In the 2nd following paragraph, which concludes the essay, he quotes praise of Graves: "Kenneth McLeish, a recent commentator on The Greek Myths, considers Graves the first to treat these myths 'with narrative cohesion, psychological verisimilitude and philosophical density.' He also believes that Graves's retelling of them is the first to restore their 'proper numinosity and resonance.'" Unlike the hostile quotes, this is not followed by any rebuttal from Pharand; he ends the essay on a positive note.. And you will notice that Davémon's "nobody" would have to include this recent commentator McLeish.
And among the citations deleted was this:

Ackerman, Robert (2002). The Myth and Ritual School: J.G. Frazer and the Cambridge Ritualists. Routledge. p.188: "[T]he reason the Ritualists have fallen into disfavor... is not that their assertions have been controverted by new information. ... Ritualism has been swept away not by an access of new facts but of new theories."
Hutton, Ronald (1997). "The Neolithic great goddess: a study in modern tradition" from Antiquity, March 1997. p.7 (online copy) on the decline of specifically the "Great Goddess" theory: "The effect upon professional prehistorians was to make most return, quietly and without controversy, to that careful agnosticism as to the nature of ancient religion which most had preserved until the 1940s. There had been no absolute disproof of the veneration of a Great Goddess, only a demonstration that the evidence concerned admitted of alternative explanations."

Those expressly don't say the Myth&Ritual conclusions (which Graves shared) were proven "wrong". Sizzle Flambé (/) 05:03, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Sizzle, these quotations are still in the article, why are you claiming they were deleted? Davémon (talk) 07:22, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Because they were deleted. They're back now because I have restored them. Sizzle Flambé (/) 08:34, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
So whatever point are you trying to make by saying "they were deleted" in the past is totally irrelevant to the fact that Michael W. Pharand does not support the idea that Graves conclusions were accurate. In fact, the sources cited are not even about The Greek Myths, or the pseudohistory contained therein. Davémon (talk) 08:52, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Graves had adopted the ideas of Myth&Ritual writers like Frazer and Harrison, notably the idea that a "Great Goddess" was worshipped in "matristic early Europe". These sources point out that such assertions have not been proven "wrong", as you claim. Nor did Graves "entirely invent" them himself. And deleting citations because one doesn't like the facts they mention is really shabby. Sizzle Flambé (/) 09:57, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
This isn't about right or wrong, or "the wp:truth". I have never claimed the assertions of Frazer, Harrison or Graves were proven wrong, and the text I added to the article did not claim they were proven wrong. I'm not sure how you reached that conclusion. The source I added to the article said was that Graves entirely made up the history in "the Greek Myths". What you have consistently failed to do is provide any evidence that any mainstream, academic, reliable source states otherwise. Perhaps they do, I don't know. That Graves was influenced by other people who have also written about a matriachal-pre-history does not mean Graves did not invent the pseudo-history he wrote in The Greek Myths, just that some parts of his invention were unoriginal. Following the report of Graves Greek Myths pseudohistory with "However..." followed by a paragraph that discusses his influences on a separate book is utterly misleading. Hutton is not actually talking about the subject of Graves pseudo-history in The Greek Myths, but a more general idea. Disentangling these concerns - the specific criticism of TGM and the general influence of M&R on Graves is the right way forward. Davémon (talk) 18:35, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Davémon, once again you are putting accusations and implications in the authorial voice rather than as attributed statements by others. «[U]nsuspecting» — cite that, or don't put it in. «[A]n invented history... it is entirely Graves invention.» — The Hutton cite you deleted contradicts that, as already pointed out above. The book reviewer of Nigel Spivey's novel (which ironically he praises for "Ingenious touches of invention [that] freely enliven familiar stories") may not have been aware of Hutton's citing Harrison as Graves's source, but you are. Denying Harrison's earlier idea may be ignorance on the reviewer's part, but it is dishonest on yours. Knowingly false statements don't belong in Wikipedia. Make them to your friends at a pub if you like, but don't try to make Wikipedia your accomplice in deceit. Sizzle Flambé (/) 03:52, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Sizzle, please see wp:pa. Please try to be civil. Davémon (talk) 07:01, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
WP:IRONY. Sizzle Flambé (/) 07:37, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
WP:IRONY? it is dishonest on yours. don't try to make Wikipedia your accomplice in deceit. I'm sorry, where have I launched such devisive personal attacks against you? Not once have I called you deliberately deceitful or anything like that. Please do try to be civil. The fact is that Lowes statements are not effected by the fact that Graves was unoriginal in his Triple Goddess formation. It is specifically the pseudo-history contained within the Greek Myths Lowe says Graves "made up", not the entire conception of prehistoric goddess worship. The text I placed in the article is very clear on what Lowe is actually dismissing as invention. Davémon (talk) 08:52, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
[Edit conflicts] This edit (like many others) blows the gaff, Davémon. You keep accusing me of POV, and claim to follow NPOV — which requires, as you point out, "the fair, analytical description of all relevant sides of a debate, including the mutual perspectives and the published evidence." Yet you have denied the other side from your one-sided attacks on Graves, to the extent of quoting criticisms quoted in an essay, but not that same essay's favorable remarks, as the state of academic opinion. Now, since you insist on including the accusation that this matristic-early-Europe idea was "entirely Graves invention", I'd added Hutton's discussion (written eight years earlier, though Lowe may not have read it) of how Harrison actually proposed the idea before later writers like Briffault and Graves. You know that side exists, and (since you quoted the policy) you know NPOV requires its inclusion. But then you actually deleted that quote from the paragraph, and moved even the footnote to a different paragraph, switching the context and replacing the quote with a brief paraphrase not addressing Lowe's contention. You say that's because Hutton mentioned The White Goddess and not The Greek Myths, but even the paragraph with Lowe says Graves used TWG's ideas in TGM, so your stated reason for deletion is specious. Sizzle Flambé (/) 09:32, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, you are arguing from a POV, and you are misrepresenting what sources say to force the article to conform to it.
  • "to the extent of quoting criticisms quoted in an essay" - what is this referring to?
  • "you insist on including the accusation that this matristic-early-Europe idea was "entirely Graves invention" - this is completely false. What the text I added to the article said was that the history proposed in the Greek Myths was Graves invention. This is an entirely different thing. I suggest the distinction is quite important.
  • Hutton does not refer to The Greek Myths at all. All he says was the "White Goddess" was infuenced by Harrisson. This is not "a side in the debate", it does not discuss whether Graves The Greek Myths is a work of historical veracity or not.
  • What "favourable remarks?" As has been pointed out several times, by different people, Micheal W. Pharland, is not supporting Graves claims. I fail to see what his prose-style (the only thing that is praised) has to do with the Triple Goddess.
Davémon (talk) 11:52, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Yours is the hostile POV continually being inserted in authorial voice, and you are the one deleting attributed and cited text giving the other side of the debate. You clearly know to what essay "quoting criticisms quoted" refers, since you refer to (but misspell) the author's name further on; and Pharand's own statement ""Graves's theories and conclusions... were the result of careful observation" is not about "prose-style". The history in The Greek Myths involves a patriarchal system displacing an earlier Goddess-worshipping matristic society in early Europe; but this idea comes from Harrison, so it cannot be "entirely Graves invention". And the Hutton quote you deleted was not merely and generally that The White Goddess was infuenced by Harrison, it refers specifically to that Goddess-worshipping matristic-early-Europe idea. Sizzle Flambé (/) 18:44, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Note Sizzle Flambé has again, immediately undone my edits, undoing the separation of Huttons comments regarding The White Goddess from Lowes comments regarding the The Greek Myths without attempting to achieve consensus. wp:editwar. wp:battleground.Davémon (talk) 09:10, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
«the separation of Huttons comments»??? — You deleted the entire quote, leaving Lowe's accusation alone in the paragraph, POV advocacy at its most blatant. You put a brief mention elsewhere, not directly addressing Lowe's contention. I restored that relevant and cited text. Your persistent and undiscussed undos of my (and many other editors') edits are the "editwar" here. Sizzle Flambé (/) 09:37, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
I did not "undo" your edit. I made a further edit to correctly placed Huttons statements in context of the work he was actually discussing, which is The White Goddess, rather than claiming it has anything to do with the pseudo history in The Greek Myths. Rather than discuss our different approaches to including this content, you then reverted that edit. Can I suggest we try to come to an understanding rather than hair-trigger revert. Davémon (talk) 11:52, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
«to correctly placed Huttons statements in context» — You deleted the entire Hutton quote, and put only a brief allusion elsewhere. Hutton said "Following her work, the idea of a matristic early Europe which had venerated such a deity was developed in books by amateur scholars such as Robert Briffault's The mothers (1927) and Robert Graves' The white goddess (1946)" — not "only in The white goddess and nowhere else." Since, as the article already stated, "In the anthology The Greek Myths (1955), Graves systematically applied his convictions enshrined in The White Goddess to Greek mythology" — and you're objecting to the same Goddess-worshipping matristic-early-Europe idea there — Hutton's observation applies there, in direct answer to the false "entirely Graves invention" claim. Sizzle Flambé (/) 18:44, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
The "quote" is not required, a simple summary will suffice. Again, Hutton does not say anything about the pseudohistory in "The Greek Myths", Huttons statement is not part the the debate surrounding the pseudo-history in The Greek Myths, so adding it to the section discussing that is not upholding NPOV, it is an irrelevance. Davémon (talk) 08:31, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
So you're claiming that Graves's idea of history differs from The White Goddess to The Greek Myths? Support that argument with a cite. Otherwise Hutton's statement is relevant, because it wasn't restricted to TWG (he said "such as"); he's describing the same theme; and recall that bit about Graves having "systematically applied his convictions" in TWG to TGM. Sizzle Flambé (/) 10:16, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
"Graves's idea of history differs from The White Goddess to The Greek Myths?" The article text I added says nothing of the sort, and nor does it imply it, it simply treats them as separate entities. If you want to say that the history in "The Greek Myths" is exactly the same thing as the ideas proposed in the "White Goddess" then you'll need to cite that. As it is your position relies purely on attributing Huttons "such as" to a work not explicitly mentioned by him and assuming that a "conviction" and a "history" equal the same thing, which they clearly don't. Bye. Davémon (talk) 15:05, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Wrangling over the history in The Greek Myths contributes nothing to an understanding of the triple-goddess concept. Take it to The Greek Myths#Reception, which is already wikilinked. Sizzle Flambé (/) 23:20, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
(unindent) Sizzles argument has now resorted to "I don't like it". Nick Lowe clearly, and succinctly states Graves history of the Triple Goddess as it appears in The Greek Myths: the astounding pseudo-scholarly interpretative commentaries on each section, which historicize everything in terms of Graves’s personal mythology of the White Goddess, under which nasty patriarchal Dorians displace matriarchal Pelasgians worshipping Graves’s Triple Goddess, and commemorate it all in dying-god rituals which encode the truth Da Vinci-style for scholarly cryptographers to decipher. Unlike the narrative portions, none of this stuff is even cosmetically source-referenced – for good reason, as Graves has made it up from whole cloth.. Sizzle is now attempting to argue that mainstream criticism of Graves exposition of his theories does not illuminate the subject of the Triple Goddess in Neopagansim? Really? So John Micheal Greer, writing in his Dictionary of the Occult that "In the hands of later writers such as Robert Graves, this "lost civilisation of the goddess" came to play the same sort of role in many modern Pagan communities as Atlantis and Lemuria did in Theosophy". There is no good reason the idea of a pseudo-history featuring The Triple Goddess, as proposed by Graves, it's total rejection by mainstream academia, and it's adoption by many neopagans should not appear in this article. Davémon (talk) 14:33, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Your own cited author, whose name you misspell and whose title you misword — Greer, John Michael (2003). The New Encyclopedia of the Occult. Llewellyn. p. 280. ISBN 1567183360, 9781567183368 Check |isbn= value: invalid character (help). Retrieved 2009-10-08. also asserts that Jane Ellen Harrison proposed it first: "In 1903, English classicist Jane Harrison proclaimed that Europe itself had been the location of an idyllic, goddess-worshipping, matriarchal civilization just before the beginning of recorded history, and spoke bitterly of the disastrous consequences of the Indo-European invasion that destroyed it. In the hands of later writers such as Robert Graves, Jacquetta Hawkes, and Marija Gimbutas,...." which leads into the sentence you've just quoted (though you omitted two names without ellipsis). Nick Lowe may not have known that. But you cited that exact page and quoted the very next sentence, so you did know that. What's your excuse for denying it?

Meanwhile, the "history" of pre-historic Europe, goddess-worshipping or not, tells us nothing about the concept of the "Triple Goddess" itself. A tale of wars and conquests, real or fictive, is not theology, unless the deity in question participates, as for instance in Homer's version of the Trojan War. Is it part of the Triple Goddess concept that she partook in this war? I don't think so. If she did, cite that and include it here. Otherwise, it belongs at The Greek Myths and not at this article. Sizzle Flambé (/) 10:07, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Outline of some of the current issues

Some of the issues that the article has:

General Article Synthesis points:

  • Earlier mentions of a triple goddess. None of this has any cited (or citable) relationship to Neopaganism, therefore including it in the article is wp:syn.
  • Graves Sources has an unclear / obsucating relationship to the formation of the idea in Neopaganism, this needs to go, or be properly cited to explain how these ideas influence Neopaganism.

Specific [unreliable source?] and [original research?] issues

  • Statements regarding Tridevi are unreliably sourced and the sources taken by themselves do not support the statement wp:syn/wp:or
  • For instance, some Dianic Wiccans... is sourced to two primary sources, one of which directly contradicts the statement in the article, as clearly the MMC is 3 goddesses in 1, not a single "Diana". wp:syn.
  • "Wiccan practice and theology differ..." is unreliably sourced and the source does not say it wp:syn

Further there is an NPOV dispute about how material pertaining to Robert Graves should be handled:

  • Position A' any negative criticism of Graves either does not belong in the article, or needs to be balanced by a positive comment, even if these positive comment does not explicitly relate to the specific criticisms raised.
  • Position B Graves ideas and how are received by mainstream academia needs to be explained as they are highly influential on modern neopagan writing/thought. Whether these are positive or negative criticisms does not matter the sources need to be accurately reflected and not taken out of context.

This is somewhat an involved argument, and the protagonists are being uncivil and edit-waring. Apologies if that seems biased in any way, as I am involved, but I hope that helps summarise.

Further to this there has been a wider debate on whether "triple goddesses" in ancient and early-modern sources should be handled in the same article as "The Triple Goddess" of contemporary neopaganism. The consensus at the moment seems to be that these should be treated separately, hence the renaming of the article to be specific. Hope that helps! Davémon (talk) 16:02, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

One difficulty with the last is that "triple goddess" is used in two different senses in discussing classical antiquity.
  • It is a genuine epithet of Selene, Hecate, Persephone, and of Diana. The last is conventionally treated as a reflex of the relatively late identifications of Diana and Artemis and of Artemis and Selene. This is what Skelton is using, and it may well be intended to identify goddesses of different ages, appearances and qualities. There is no separate name for the set.
  • It is also used to describe the various groups of goddesses (all alike, and often chiefly called by a collective name): the Seasons, the Graces, the Fates, the Muses. These are usually three, but there may be two or seven or nine.
Graves usually distinguishes between these two classes; the first are the faces of his Triple Goddess, the second a college of priestesses (usually fifty). Neither theory is widely accepted by classical scholarship. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:09, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Also note that "neopaganism" is not a synonym for "Wicca". Care with the term "neopaganism" is required. Use specifics. :bloodofox: (talk) 18:18, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Another difficulty with that argument is (quoting the article): "Some Neopagans assert that the worship of the Maiden-Mother-Crone triad dates to pre-Christian Europe and possibly goes as far back as the Paleolithic period and consequently claim that their religion is a surviving remnant of ancient beliefs." — which makes relevant the issue of whether, and how much, that's true. Is the concept (a) entirely modern with no ancient precedents at all, (b) entirely ancient and adopted by moderns without change, or (c) somewhere in the middle, e.g. perhaps a modern synthesis of ancient concepts?

Davémon appears to hold position (a) there, ruthlessly excluding any discussion of pre-Graves concepts in order to claim it's entirely Graves's invention.

However, Hutton among others extensively discusses antecedents to Graves's concept, notably Jane Ellen Harrison's work on classical Greek myth (with Demeter and Persephone as prominent ancient examples of "Mother and Maid"); sources back to the 19th and even 18th century have been cited using the English-language phrase "triple goddess" in the context of ancient beliefs; and surviving classical Greek and Latin texts use terms in those languages which convey such triplicity, e.g. diva triformis.

Once you look at the sources before Graves, there really is no reasonable basis to claim he invented the "triple goddess" idea out of thin air.

So Davémon, dedicated to that POV, has persistently deleted/reverted/undone the contributions of many other editors who discussed those prior sources — then accused them of POV and edit-warring if they restored their work. As recent examples, he's inserted his uncited POV in authorial voice (e.g. calling Graves's readers "unsuspecting") and restored it when it was removed with cause given; but tagged as {{rs}} and {{or}} attributed/quoted/cited statements from Neopagan writers (and the official websites of Neopagan groups) about their own beliefs.

This has been going on for months, and I'm only a relative newcomer to the situation myself. But the talkpage gives quite a history of the problem. Sizzle Flambé (/) 22:25, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Harrison's writing undoubtedly suggested much to Graves, but there is a difference between providing elements for another to put together and asserting the same theory. Harrison did not assert anything clearly; writing as though she asserts the Triple Goddess as Graves drew her is - at best - a misunderstanding, engendering misunderstanding in our readers, if we have any. The whole procedure is as hopeless and intellectually sterile as the classical and nineteenth-century argument over whether Homer stole from Moses or Moses from Homer, without even the interest of the chronological debate. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:39, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
You're arguing against a thesis no-one has offered. Even Hutton says (for instance) that Harrison's idea "was developed" by writers like Briffault and Graves — not that they merely repeated her statements, contributing nothing of their own — but also not that they invented the whole thing themselves from thin air. Sizzle Flambé (/) 22:56, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
they invented the whole thing themselves from thin air. Again, this is a straw man; nobody contends that Harrison has no evidence - although a good many would contend that she was wrong; whether Graves' better defined - and hence more falsifiable - doctrine has any actual evidence is another question. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 01:12, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Davémon's own phrasing was "... entirely Graves invention" [sic], so that's not a straw man. Sizzle Flambé (/) 05:51, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Sizzle, "... entirely Graves invention" is about Graves pseudo-history in "The Greek Myths", not the whole idea. Pmanderson is correct. However, I have to say that it isn't as "hopeless and intellectually sterile" as Pmanderson suggests, but an important and lively part of neopagan discourse, and I think the subject deserves to be treated seriously. Davémon (talk) 15:42, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Davémon, above you urge deleting both Earlier mentions of a triple goddess and Graves's sources from this article, which would leave precisely the false implication that the concept of a "Triple Goddess" began with Graves and went no further back. Sizzle Flambé (/) 21:59, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Sizzle: sources back to the 19th and even 18th century have been cited using the English-language phrase "triple goddess" in the context of ancient beliefs; and surviving classical Greek and Latin texts use terms in those languages which convey such triplicity, e.g. diva triformis. This POV has only been added to the article in an entirely wp:or manner. I have no doubt Graves was influenced by earlier writers, and I have no doubt that neopagans read ancient texts and believe their religion comes from them. However, none of your position has been sourced from anywhere other the primary sources. The problems with minority-POV pushing, removal of cited mainstream criticism and lack of adequate sourcing has gone on on this article for years. Davémon (talk) 15:42, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
  • You omit the preceding part of that quote, "Hutton among others extensively discusses antecedents to Graves's concept..." — which refers to cited secondary sources making that assertion, not WP:OR. Omitting such secondary sources is necessary to your WP:OR claim, and it is noteworthy that you kept deleting (for instance) the Hutton quote on Briffault and Graves having "developed" Harrison's prior idea of a Goddess-worshipping matristic early Europe.
  • "none of your position has been sourced from anywhere other the primary sources." — The footnotes refute that, as do the in-text citations of Brewer, Smith, the 1911 Britannica, D. J. Conway, Andrew D. Radford, and Ronald Hutton. Sizzle Flambé (/) 21:49, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
«For instance, some Dianic Wiccans... is sourced to two primary sources, one of which directly contradicts the statement in the article» — That would be the reason for the word "some", which you keep deleting as "weasel words", Davémon. Some Dianic Wiccans do (e.g. Ruth Barrett) and some Dianic Wiccans don't (e.g. Z Budapest); it wouldn't be accurate to say or imply either "All" or "None". Similar caution is needed when speaking of some Wiccans' and some Neopagans' beliefs, so as not to falsely suggest that all Wiccans or all Neopagans share those beliefs. They are not the Catholic Church; they are not bound to one single creed and catechism. Sizzle Flambé (/) 22:47, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Ruth Barret does not say she rejects the idea of the MMC as applied to Diana. That is entirely Sizzle's interpretation of two different primary sources wp:syn.Davémon (talk) 15:13, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Barack Obama has not said he rejects the idea of the MMC either, but that would not justify including him as a believer in that idea. Unless people's statements of their own beliefs include that concept, there is no basis to include them among believers in it. Ruth Barrett (with a double T) expressed not only her own beliefs but that of the Temple of Diana which she co-founded, in the tradition of Dianic Wicca; she's a reliable source on that topic, so the {{rs}} tag has no basis. The statement in text body is a close paraphrase of the direct quote in the footnote, so the {{or}} tag has no basis. Scattering utterly unfounded tags through the article does not contribute to the purpose of an encyclopedia, just as inserting unattributed/uncited POV accusations in authorial voice does not contribute to that purpose. Sizzle Flambé (/) 21:33, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Barret does not say she exclude the MMC, you say that she excludes it based on the extremely limited evidence at your disposal. Fact is we don't know what she believes with regards to MMC. She identifies as Dianic wiccan, so what reason or evidence is there to assume she differs from z. Budapest? This is entirely wp:syn/wp:or. Davémon (talk) 22:04, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Are you not even reading the preceding comment (complete with spelling correction of "Barrett")? Are you just c&p'ing your previous comment and then rephrasing? To resolve this, am omitting the word "single". Sentence now reads: "For instance, Dianic Wiccans, such as Ruth Barrett, worship the goddess Diana, and do not invoke a male god." As that much is unchallenged, removing the tag. Sizzle Flambé (/) 08:54, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

So now Davémon has rewritten it as: "The tradition of Dianic Wicca has adopted the Triple Goddess...." — when all the evidence supports is that some Dianic Wiccans have. After all Davémon's insistence that subsets don't speak for their supersets (e.g. COG for Wicca), he's perfectly willing to let them do so if it supports his POV.

And despite Barrett's cited article indicating that some Dianic Wiccans are women-only groups, but not "the McFarland Dianics of Texas that are a co-gender Wiccan tradition", Davémon falsely generalizes that "the tradition is restricted to women only." Sizzle Flambé (/) 22:09, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

And Davémon has restored the same false claim, despite this correction. Removing it again. Sizzle Flambé (/) 09:03, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
«"Wiccan practice and theology differ..." is unreliably sourced and the source does not say it» — The source is the notable Covenant of the Goddess, a major Wiccan organization. What they literally say at the very beginning of that entry (before going into detail) is "Q. Do you pray? Who do you pray to? [A.] Some Witches pray (in the popular sense of the word), some don't. Some Witches regularly meditate on the deities of their choice; some only invoke deities to empower a ritual or work of Magic. As to who or what our deities are, you will get nearly as many answers as there are Witches." — which is to say that Wiccan practice and theology differ. The next phrase "... from tradition to tradition" wikilinks to Wicca#Traditions, which covers some of those differences. Sizzle Flambé (/) 01:08, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
The Covenant of the Goddess are not anthopologists, they are neopagans. They are not a reliable source for information regarding widespread trends in Wiccan belief "you will get nearly as many answers as there are people" is pure hyperbole, not properly researched information. Davémon (talk) 15:13, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
The Covenant of the Goddess is a notable Wiccan organization explaining their own range of beliefs to the public on their own official website. By your reasoning, no religious group could be cited on its own beliefs without an anthropologist's imprimatur, which is neither reasonable nor a requirement of WP:SELFPUB. Sizzle Flambé (/) 21:17, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
But you are not quoting them on their beliefs, you are quoting them on the beliefs of all Wiccans. Surely you can see the problem here? Davémon (talk) 22:04, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Davémon, if that notable Wiccan organization contains (as it asserts) such a range of different practice and theology, then it is true that Wicca (its superset) does, even if all Wiccans outside that organization were entirely uniform in practice and theology. In that hypothetical event, the differences would be only within COG, but that's still within Wicca. Sizzle Flambé (/) 22:23, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
«Tridevi» — Hindu Wicca / Indopaganism's existence is verified by multiple sources including the notable and oft-cited Witches' Voice website & two Neopagan magazines; a notable Wiccan author, D. J. Conway, likewise refers to the three as a triple goddess — not describing Hindu belief, but Wiccan belief; and the Hindu Wicca Forum itself is referred at Witches' Voice. The material is not unduly self-serving; it does not involve claims about third parties; it does not involve claims about events not directly related to the subject; there is (in view of the other citations) no reasonable doubt as to its authenticity; the article is not based primarily on such sources. This meets all the criteria for WP:SELFPUB. Sizzle Flambé (/) 01:08, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
This is pure wp:syn. None of the published sources directly support what the article is saying. The single forum post is totally unacceptable as a source. The statement does make claims about third parties: "Hindu Wiccans", to not make claims about "Hindu Wiccans" it needs to restrict itself to "User Ganeshadas on the forum", unless "Ganeshadas" speaks for all "Hindu Wiccans", no evidence at all can be found for that.Davémon (talk) 15:13, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
"User Ganeshadas" is the forum administrator, not a random poster. The cited quote of notable Wiccan author D. J. Conway's published text also directly asserts "Triple Goddess" of the same trio. So does Sjöö, Monica (1992). New Age and Armageddon: the Goddess or the Gurus? - Towards a Feminist Vision of the Future. Women's Press. p.152: "They were white Sarasvati, the red Lakshmi and black Parvati or Kali/Durga - the most ancient triple Goddess of the moon." — which citation I have added; as more sources now back this assertion than most statements in the entire article, tags removed, and note rdunn's comment on accuracy below. Your own single and unreasonable dissent does not constitute lack of consensus. Sizzle Flambé (/) 21:08, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Monica Sjöö is a really, very, significant figure in Goddess Feminism. Why not attribute the quote to her in the article text? After all it is her words you are quoting. Also, are you sure Sjöö identified as a Wiccan? I was not aware of her being one, and as bloodofox reminds us, we do need to be careful. Likewise Conways opinion should be fully attributed in the tex. I'm not sure "User Ganeshadas" being the admin of a free-to-start web forum makes them the spokesperson for an entire religion (which multiple editors have mentioned, and you have consistently ignored), but with these other sources I think we do have the start of something very useful with regards cultural appropriation. Nice work. Davémon (talk) 21:52, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Sjöö isn't quoted in the text; neither are Conway or Ganeshadas. Sjöö and Conway are quoted and cited in the footnote. Ganeshadas is not quoted at all, but cited. The article body refers to the fact, and leaves quotation/citation to the footnote. Given that this was only one brief example of "Neopagans adopting the images and names of culturally divergent deities" — which is, as you say, "cultural appropriation" — it doesn't require more article body space; the footnote is where it belongs. I am, however, wikilinking that "adopting... culturally divergent deities" to Cultural appropriation. I think that's a good point. Sizzle Flambé (/) 22:16, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Further to all of this, until these issues are actually resolved, the tags should stay in place. Cheers. Davémon (talk) 15:13, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Davémon: on what intelligible basis does an "[unreliable source?]" tag belong on the referenced statement «The Church of All Worlds identify the Triple Goddess as symbolizing a "fertility cycle".(12)»? The source is an article by CAW's founders and leaders on CAW's own website, a clear case of WP:SELFPUB. Make a reasonable defense of that tag. Sizzle Flambé (/) 10:20, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Don't worry about it. I've fixed the way the source is presented so it's neutral. Davémon (talk) 18:56, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

To me it would make sence: to have a separate article for Triple Goddess in antiquaty, to have a separate article for Triple Goddess with modern outlooks on the subject including Neopaganism and to have the Graves in a separate article.

one of the main problems that I am having is that the article used to be fine before all of this happened. I personaly think that the things that Sizzle Flambé and that side of the argument say is more accurate.

P.S. (not sure where this fits in, (if it does at all)) I have an Archaeology book at home that says something about "how the use of Greek/Roman goddesses is in fact part of the neoclassic revival that came about because of the Victorians".  rdunnPLIB  10:38, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Dianic Wicca 1

The statements regarding Dianic Wicca being a women-only tradition keep betting edited-out. Can we acknowledge that Dianic Wicca is not the same "tradition" as McFarland Dianic. The text that keeps getting removed also contains pertinent information regarding Dianic Wiccas relationship to the Gardnerian Wicca and the Triple Goddess, and is the only independent secondary source in the whole paragraph. Also, are we in danger of turning the article into a WP:COATRACK for every tiny neopagan group to come along and promote their beliefs? Surely wp:weight means we don't have to be concerned with these extreme fringes? Davémon (talk) 14:19, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

The McFarland tradition of Dianic Wicca is not the same as feminist Dianic Wicca; they are both subsets of overall Dianic Wicca. By defining the superset as only one subset, and then trying to exclude another subset — apparently just to avoid the word "some" (as in "not all") — you are indulging in the same fallacy as any church that defines all Christianity as its own distinct creed and therefore asserts that other denominations are "not really Christian". Finding a source that is ignorant of Dianic Wicca's internal variety does not discredit the sources that are aware of it and attest to it. Sizzle Flambé (/) 17:52, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
So we clearly need to differentiate between feminist Dianic Wicca and McFarland Dianic Wicca in the article, rather than lump them together. Davémon (talk) 18:02, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Which addresses your WP:COATRACK/WP:WEIGHT argument: if someone insists on falsely generalizing what some Wiccans (or Dianics) believe or practice to what all Wiccans (or Dianics) believe or practice, then that someone may not want to mention exceptions; but they exist, and any honest coverage would mention them. Or we can for brevity say "some", "some but not all". Or we can simply avoid making a generalization like "women-only" in the first place, since it's not directly relevant to the article's present topic (which is the concept of the Triple Goddess, not the practices of every group that worships her). Sizzle Flambé (/) 18:11, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
So you're suggesting we don't mention the Dianic Wiccan restriction on gender at all? I could work with that.Davémon (talk) 18:14, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm mentioning that as one option. "Some, though not all, Dianic groups are restricted to women only" is another option, and was in place when you started this section. Sizzle Flambé (/) 18:20, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

POV and Accuracy tags

Septentrionalis, your edit is commented "What to do about articles being used for evangelism." Nobody's "evangelizing" the Triple Goddess here. The history of the concept is discussed, but extensively referenced.
Your POV tag says "The neutrality of this article is disputed." In what way is it other than neutral? We've removed the anti-Graves advocacy in favor of a neutral "has been criticized" link to the sections discussing criticism, but that was the last time an authorial voice pressed an opinion. All other opinions in this article are attributed and cited.
Your other tag asserts that "This article's factual accuracy is disputed." Where? Save for the meaning of the crescent-circle-crescent symbol, all "citation needed" tags have been addressed. If you're claiming a dispute about any other factual statement in the article, which one, and why isn't that tagged "fact"? There's been an attempt to blank out a whole section of referenced text, but there was no factual challenge involved, only a claim that the topic ought not be covered here — which isn't a factual dispute.
So where's the discussion these tags refer the reader to? Sizzle Flambé (/) 22:43, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes, you are. You are pushing a point of view to which you are, all too plainly, emotionally attached; you have taken this to the point of arguing that a translation is a secondary source, and other preposterousness. Let the tags warn others, as is badly needed; the discussion they point to fills this page.
In the meantime, if you want a private garden to quote your own conclusions from ecstatic poetry, hire a blog. They're not expensive. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:55, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
Wrong use of the tags, then, Septentrionalis. Don't tag an article unless that's where the problem is. Talkpage wrangling over talkpage claims doesn't count. The article nowhere asserts anything about translations as being primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary, etc. sources. You've tagged the article as being non-neutral and in factual dispute, but you flagged nothing in the article as non-neutral or in factual dispute — and your only complaint is a dispute in Talk that appears nowhere in the article — so those tags are misplaced. Removing them. Sizzle Flambé (/) 23:20, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
And the triple-moon symbol has now been referenced, eliminating the last "citation needed" tag. Sizzle Flambé (/) 23:37, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

I think the tags are needed. As I've said at several points on this talk page, the article is performing original research with ancient sources, with Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, and with the 1911 Britannica, with the apparent aim of finding a Triple Goddess (with a capital T and G) in the ancient sources, and Graves' views already implied in 19th and early 20th century reference works, and in Harrison's Prolegomena (oh look, Jungian archetypes are there too!) --Akhilleus (talk) 04:02, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

I added a {{pov-section}} tag to the "Graves' sources" section, although I suppose an {{or-section}} tag would have been just as well. --Akhilleus (talk) 04:13, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
• And you blanked the referenced paragraph because you object to, what, the two words "triple nature"? Pfft, just deal with the two words, thus — 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". — and spare us the drama.
• «Original research» consisting of direct quotes from Smith's Dictionary and the 1911 Britannica, eh? So you consider those, like translations, to be "primary sources"? How unsurprising.
• «finding a Triple Goddess (with a capital T and G) in the ancient sources» — as though the convention of capitalization were something to be demanded of ancient texts, and its absence declared probative of anything.
• The 1717 translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses calls Hecate a "triple Goddess" in so many words, but that doesn't satisfy you as a pre-19th-century reference because... of... a lowercase "T"?
• Harrison's exact words were quoted and cited here, but those words were flatly denied here because... there were other pages on which she did not say them?
• If the problem were in the article, you could flag the offending parts with "FACT" or "WHO?" and require their correction. But you haven't. As it is, your tag doesn't have a factual basis. Sizzle Flambé (/) 07:02, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
If it will make it clearer, Sizzle, I will rephrase slightly--"the article is performing original research with both ancient sources and with modern sources such as Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, and with the 1911 Britannica..." Really, is it that hard to understand that commas can be disjunctive? You know very well that I don't think Smith or the Britannica are primary sources.
It should also be very clear that I think the entire section is problematic--I already said that Mangoe's removal was the right move. This is because the section tries to argue that the modern concept of the Triple Goddess is to be found in ancient sources, and finds it also in modern sources through original research. Changing a phrase here or there is not going to fix this problem; eliminating the section does, and recasting the section entirely in terms of an authoritative secondary source's take on the evolution of the Triple Goddess concept would as well. But when someone goes through Harrison's Prolegomena or the 1911 Britannica on their own, finds the Triple Goddess there, and puts the results in Wikipedia--that's original research. --Akhilleus (talk) 13:39, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
«I don't think Smith or the Britannica are primary sources.» — Then directly quoting them doesn't constitute original research.
«the section tries to argue that the modern concept of the Triple Goddess is to be found in ancient sources» — No, the section is about historical origins, as in antecedents or predecessors (possibly sources) of the concept presently held. For a parallel, Darwin didn't propound the current theory of evolution (which has, um, evolved since his time), but it does not follow that he should be excluded from a discussion of that theory's history. In neither case did the "modern concept" spring from thin air, as excluding these antecedents would falsely suggest. Sizzle Flambé (/) 23:58, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Unless the someone says "Graves used X as a source" we can't claim X is a source of Graves. WP:OR. Further, the selective quoting appending almost every reference is completely unbalanced. It reads more like an essay trying to make a point than an encyclopaedia article trying to cover a subject. Unsuprisingly, the poor quote selection adds nothing to the weight of the source and if anything often misrepresents the broader discourse within the source being quoted. It would seem that there is a consensus between Akhilleus, Septentrionalis, Mangoe and myself against adding these unrelated texts. Davémon (talk) 09:32, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

The section had been titled "Triple goddesses before Graves", a chronological assertion, not an assertion of his using them. Rather than change the title to the unfounded claim "Graves's sources" and then delete everything he didn't actually cite, we should retain the previous title and contents. Excluding historical precedents from the historical section creates a false implication, as noted above to Akhilleus. Sizzle Flambé (/) 23:58, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
I have retitled the section "Before Robert Graves", to leave no implied claim of his using them. I have removed the phrase "triple nature", since Akhilleus had problems with that. I have removed the summary statement of one paragraph about the phrase "triple goddess" being "not unknown", as that's an interpretation of the fact that it's mentioned in the sources quoted thereafter. Kindly point out any reasonably arguable POV remaining in the section. (I don't think direct quotes of cited sources qualify.) Sizzle Flambé (/) 00:42, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
My objection remains the same: the section tries to argue that the modern concept of the Triple Goddess is to be found in ancient sources, and finds it also in modern sources through original research. As for the assertion that you can't commit OR by directly quoting secondary sources, please see WP:OR#SYNTH. Then take a look at our discussion of Smith and the 1911 Britannica once more. Now, I will say that the last paragraph of the section, which describes Graves' reception of Skelton's "Garland of Laurell", looks just fine. If this article described how Harrison, Frazer, or Graves interpreted the ancient sources, we'd have a nice article on 19th-20th century intellectual history, instead of an article that incorporates OR about ancient sources. --Akhilleus (talk) 04:31, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
I concur with Akhilleus. Further we do have the technical issue that the epithet "triple goddess" is not the same as "The Triple Goddess", and the random gatherings of things with the epithet, in modern or ancient sources, is wp:or. As Sizzle argues elsewhere, the "point" of the pre-Graves section is to show that Graves didn't "make it up" entirely - so clearly how ideas surrounding The Triple Goddess were taken up by their proponents needs citing.Davémon (talk) 08:42, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Davémon, when the 1717 translation of Ovid referred to Hecate as "the triple Goddess", capitalizing the noun and not the adjective; and when the heading of the 1776 Declaration of Independence likewise referred to the "united States of America" with again the adjective uncapitalized; they were using the capitalization practices of the 18th century. There are still variations in today's English-language capitalization practices, as for instance in a book title, The White Goddess vs. The white goddess, or its subtitle, A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth vs. a historical grammar of poetic myth — referring to the same book. Claiming that phrases cannot have the same referent if their capitalization differs is a particularly ill-founded argument. Sizzle Flambé (/) 06:06, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
«the section tries to argue that the modern concept of the Triple Goddess is to be found in ancient sources» — No, the section is about historical origins, as in antecedents or predecessors (possibly sources) of the concept presently held. For a parallel, Darwin didn't propound the current theory of evolution (which has, um, evolved since his time), but it does not follow that he should be excluded from a discussion of that theory's history. In neither case did the "modern concept" spring from thin air, as excluding these antecedents would falsely suggest. ... Didn't we cover this ground already?
«As for the assertion that you can't commit OR by directly quoting secondary sources, please see WP:SYNTH.» — (wikilink fixed) That would require trying to put two sources together to make a claim no source makes alone. Brewer, all by himself, asserts that Hecate is a "triple deity", and also uses the phrase "triple goddess" in reference to a Chinese goddess. Despite obfuscation, and the repeated attempts to delete that documentation, as though the phrase and concept were entirely Graves's invention, this documents pre-Graves occurrence of the triple-goddess phrase and concept, as does the 1717 translation of Ovid. The "modern" synthesized concept has older precedents; it didn't simply come from nowhere, created from nothing by Wicca, or by Graves. The present exact wording may be new... but then, that's also true in every new translation from an old text, right?
As to who the three are, D.J. Conway already lists Demeter, Kore-Persephone, and Hecate. It then becomes relevant to note that older sources also mention Hecate's connection or even identification with those two goddesses, and Smith and the 1911 Britannica each, separately, make that same assertion. That's not WP:SYNTH on my part; Conway's the one cited drawing the connection. Sizzle Flambé (/) 06:06, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
That context was broken when the Conway cite was moved to the Neopagan section. I've now moved the Smith and Britannica cites to the Conway footnote as Cf/See also. Sizzle Flambé (/) 06:26, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

At present, the entire tagged section is just three paragraphs long: (wikilinks not shown)

Other mentions of a triple goddess

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".[26] The Roman poet Ovid, through the character of the Greek woman Medea, refers to Hecate as "the triple Goddess".[27] 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"[28]).

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 Moirae, and the three Erinyes; she is further addressed by the titles of several goddesses.[29]

There were other supernatural female triads like the Gallo/Germano-Roman Matres and Matrones (frequently depicted in trios), the Greco-Roman Erinyes and Furies, and female deities associated with concepts of fate (the Greek Moirae, the Roman Parcae, the Norse Norn trio of Urðr, Verðandi, and Skuld). Sometimes it is ambiguous whether a single being or three are represented, as is the case with the Irish Brighid and her two sisters, also called Brighid, or the Morrígan who is known by at least three or four different names.

Where is the non-neutrality in that section's text? Where does it argue or make an unsupported claim? Nothing here back-projects the entire Graves/Wicca mythology, consort of a Horned God, Charge of the Goddess, etc. Don't load all of that into "Other mentions of a triple goddess". Time to take the tag off. Sizzle Flambé (/) 08:00, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Septentrionalis, you are tagging the article and sections again, but not saying where in the article or sections the problem is, so that it could be corrected. Last time your sole complaint was a talkpage dispute over talkpage claims that appeared nowhere in the article. This time you've posted nothing about the tags in talk at all — which the tags themselves expect, since they point here. Here you say you tagged as a way of bowing out, which suggests that you don't intend to discuss the matter at all, leaving no way to "resolve the dispute" and lift the tag... in fact, leaving no dispute. So what is the point? Sizzle Flambé (/) 14:54, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

I've waited over 40 hours for a reply, which I think was more than patient. If there is to be no discussion, there's no point to the tags (which tell people to find a discussion here). Removing them. Sizzle Flambé (/) 07:20, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Try waiting longer. Not everyone can watch Wikipedia every hour, or reply to every single thing written on a discussion page. Also, if you read through the sections on this page, you might find some reasons why three different editors have tagged various parts of the article. --Akhilleus (talk) 00:11, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
It has now been over 51 hours since my "waited over 40 hours" comment immediately above; over 91 hours with no reply to the request above that. "Try waiting longer" with no time limit is a suggestion to wait forever. Tagging and then "bowing out" with no further discussion would mean (by your rules) that the tags can never be removed, as the "dispute" can never be resolved. But in fact, if there's no discussion, because the tagger won't explain or justify or participate, there is no "dispute". It's just graffiti. Sizzle Flambé (/) 10:42, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
The tags have been explained before. Take the time to read over the discussion again.--Akhilleus (talk) 13:39, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
The tags were placed at 21:46, 1 October 2009. It is now 00:56, 11 October 2009 (UTC). Numerous edits have been made in the meantime. All the tags in the text body have been addressed, {{cn}}s replaced with citations, etc. There's nothing indicating that whatever unspecified reason the article/section tags were placed still applies, and no ongoing debate about them. Since the tagger says he tagged as a way of bowing out, it does not appear he will remove his own tags even if every problem has been corrected; but that's no reason to keep them forever. Akhilleus for his part only points to prior debates about prior versions of this article, but gives no specifics about the current version — without which there's no guessing what further changes would satisfy him. There is no current dispute, and tags aren't meant to indicate past disputes. Removing the tags. Sizzle Flambé (/) 00:56, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
Incorrect. The "Earlier mentions of a triple goddess" section is problematic; it contains original research in asserting that Hecate was considered a "Triple Goddess" in antiquity, when none of the secondary sources cited say that. (Ironically, given Sizzle's attitude towards translations, the section says that Ovid has the character Medea refer to Hecate as a "triple goddess"--based on Dryden's translation.) We've had interminable discussions about the misuse of the Greek magical papyri already; I'm not going to repeat them. The last paragraph on triads of goddesses implicitly equates them with triple goddesses, without providing any secondary source at all.
The basic problem with the section, however, is that it makes a (largely implicit) assertion that the Triple Goddess existed in antiquity, and that modern (Neopagan) theorists are simply taking what they see in the ancient evidence--but in fact, people who find a Triple Goddess in the ancient texts are making an interpretation of the texts, and one that is not widely shared by scholars of ancient Greek and Roman religion. How to fix this? Remove the section, and instead give detail in the appropriate sections on how Graves, Harrison, et al. interpreted the ancient sources. E.g. if the PMG text played a role in Harrsion's thought, then the article should cover Harrison's interpretation of the papyri, rather than advancing its own. --Akhilleus (talk) 01:11, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
«it contains original research in asserting that Hecate was considered a "Triple Goddess" in antiquity, when none of the secondary sources cited say that.» — Brewer's Dictionary, cited and quoted, calls her "a triple deity"; Eliade's Encyclopedia of Religion, cited, says of Hekate (direct quote): "Hesiod represents her as a threefold goddess". In another section, Neumann refers to "the threefold form of the Great Mother", while Jung and Kerényi note: "The goddess's sacred number is the special number of the underworld: '3' dominates the chthonic cults of antiquity." And Radford specifies: "In her fullness, Demeter was the Triple Goddess of Mother, Maiden, and Crone. ... [T]hree distinct but dynamically interlinked deities: Kore as Maiden, Demeter as Mother, and Hecate as Crone." To say that "none of the secondary sources cited" assert this triplicity is clearly false. Yet that is your basis for urging the entire section be removed. Sizzle Flambé (/) 02:18, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, there we are--you apparently believe any notion of threeness in relation to a female deity = Triple Goddess. We've already been around on this one, right? And you seem to be missing something here--I tagged one specific section, which is currently titled "Earlier mentions of a triple goddess". Neumann and Radford aren't cited in this section, so I wasn't talking about them in my last post. They both postdate Graves, and presumably pick up on his ideas, or similar ones--but that's not relevant to what's going on in this section, which implies that Brewer's Dictionary, Ovid, and Lewis Farnell were talking about Hecate as the same Triple Goddess defined in the opening paragraph of the article. This is not the case! --Akhilleus (talk) 02:45, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
  • "Threefold" and "Triple" are synonyms, just as a "goddess" is a "female deity". If you feel that "Triple" requires something other than "threeness" (or "goddess" means other than "female deity"), please specify and cite accordingly. Otherwise "triple deity" and "threefold goddess" (both said of Hecate, like "triple Goddess") clearly do indicate a "triple goddess".
  • The cited sources in "Earlier mentions" are of course discussing ancient beliefs, not modern beliefs, but then that's the point of the section. Neumann and Radford are also discussing the ancient beliefs, and were put in separate sections only for the contexts of their remarks (psychology and literary criticism, respectively).
  • As to the Neopagan concept of the opening paragraph: a few paragraphs down, it is linked by Neopagans to older ideas of a Triple Goddess (explicitly including "Demeter's trinity with Kore-Persephone and Hecate"), which makes the actual older ideas relevant. Sizzle Flambé (/) 03:23, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

«people who find a Triple Goddess in the ancient texts are making an interpretation of the texts» — Including those people who are cited in the article doing so, like Brewer ("triple deity"), Eliade ("threefold goddess"), Neumann ("the threefold form of the Great Mother"), Conway ("Demeter's trinity with Kore-Persephone and Hecate"), and Radford ("Triple Goddess... Kore as Maiden, Demeter as Mother, and Hecate as Crone"); but they're secondary sources; their interpretation is not "original" on Wikipedia, and calling that interpretation "original research" is misusing the term as it applies to editing policy here.

Meanwhile, directly quoting and closely summarizing a primary text —

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 Moirae, and the three Erinyes; she is further addressed by the titles of several goddesses.

— isn't much of an "interpretation"; Betz himself 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." (And he is now so quoted in the article.) You are doing considerably more "interpretation" in order to construct an argument you can disagree with, e.g. that "the PMG text played a role in Harrison's thought" (nowhere contended), that "[t]he last paragraph on triads of goddesses implicitly equates them with triple goddesses" (it says "other supernatural female triads", no "equating" stated), or that sources were "talking about Hecate as the same Triple Goddess defined in the opening paragraph" (anachronistic if claimed, but nowhere claimed; ancient beliefs can be antecedents to modern beliefs without being identical). Sizzle Flambé (/) 04:29, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
«The last paragraph on triads of goddesses implicitly equates them with triple goddesses, without providing any secondary source at all.» — Secondary sources now cited. Sizzle Flambé (/) 08:17, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
So, of the reasons given for tagging, what's left? Truthfully and reasonably? Why not remove them now? Sizzle Flambé (/) 08:36, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
Please don't remove the tags. I can understand that you think there's no reason for them, but I do--and that means there's a current dispute.
Even though I'm repeating myself I'll say again why I think the section is problematic. The reasons include the following:
1) The section misrepresents its sources. This article's title is "Triple Goddess (Neopaganism)"; the section's (current) title is "Earlier mentions of a triple goddess." What's a triple goddess? Well, the lead paragraph of the article tells us that the Triple Goddess is a female deity who combines the separate female figures of the Maiden, Mother, and Crone, representing different stages of the female life cycle and the stages of the moon. So, if I see a section that says it covers earlier mentions of the Triple Goddess, I expect to see pre-Graves/Harrison appearances of a goddess who combines Maiden/Mother/Crone. In the version that was current as of my last post [1], there were instead a number of sources that connected Hecate with the number 3 in some way, including using the phrase "triple goddess." But an association with the number 3 is not the same as being a deity that combines the figures of Mother, Maiden, and Crone--in fact, being called a "triple goddess" is not necessarily the same as being such a deity, and from looking at Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable it's clear that the Mother/Maiden/Crone concept is not employed there. Since Brewer's does not call Hecate a Triple Goddess in the sense used in this article, it should not be presented as doing so. Same deal with Ovid--no evidence that diva triformis (in Dryden's translation, "triple goddess") means the concept of Triple Goddess that this article covers. Same for the quote from the 1987 Encyclopedia of Religion for Hesiod's "three-fold" for the artistic representation of Hecate as three-bodied, and the epithets in the PMG. Now, I know that you inserted some secondary sources in the series of edits that followed my last post ([2]), but unless those secondary sources are commenting on the sources that were already there (Brewer's, Ovid, Farnell, etc.), they do not suddenly prove that Ovid, Farnell, etc. were talking about the Triple Goddess that is the subject of this article. (We've already discussed Betz extensively, and the quote you stuck in has nothing to do with triple-ness of any sort.)
2) Erich Neumann was a Jungian psychologist, D.J. Conway a New Age/Wiccan writer, Andrew Radford a literary critic who's discussing symbolism in Thomas Hardy. Each is good evidence of the influence of the Triple Goddess concept--that it's borne fruit in Jungian psychology, Wicca, and in literary criticism. But they're not good evidence for what the ancient Greeks or Romans thought. For that you turn to people who specialize in the study of the ancient world, classicists and historians of religion--people like Walter Burkert, Fritz Graf, and Sara Iles Johnston (who's published two books about aspects of Hecate). None of these, as far as I know, see Hecate as an example of a deity who combines the Mother, Maiden, and Crone--which is not surprising, because this concept is not regarded favorably by current scholarship. For Hindu, Celtic, or Norse goddesses, obviously you want to turn to other scholars than classicists, but the essential point is that a Jungian psychologist, Wiccan writer, or critic of 19th century novelists are not good sources for ancient religion. To take these sources and present their views as "what the ancient sources really say" when expert opinion disagrees would be a POV problem. Fortunately, the section largely avoids this, though it cites Neumann for the Fates, and Walker on the Furies also looks problematic. Nevertheless, the section implies that the ancient Greeks and Romans thought of Hecate as the Triple Goddess, and this is a POV problem, since it gives undue weight to a minority opinion.
3) You (Sizzle) keep saying this section is about origins and antecedents for Harrison/Graves/etc. To me, this looks like a claim that the Greeks, Romans, and others had the same concept of the Triple Goddess that Graves had--that Graves' idea had its origin and antecedents in ancient conceptions. On this talk page, you've made it clear that he believes the ancient Greeks thought of Hecate/Demeter/Persephone as a Triple Goddess incorporating Mother/Maiden/Crone aspects. So what impression is one supposed to come away with, excatly?
There's an easy way to avoid this impression, and incorporate material about the origins and antecedents of Harrison's/Graves'/whoever's ideas--actually write about how individual theorists used ancient evidence. If we write about how Harrison viewed Hecate, the Fates, and the Graces, or how Graves viewed the Norns, we eliminate any implication that these were the ideas of the ancient sources. Hutton is a good source for this, and I'm sure there are others. In fact, the Graves and Harrison sections already incorporate some of the appropriate material in the appropriate form, and this coverage can probably be expanded. --Akhilleus (talk) 01:59, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Akhilleus, I think your misunderstanding can be classed as conflating the incidental with the essential. What is essential in a Triple Goddess is triplicity, threefoldness, or (as you put it) "threeness". Not all Neopagans attribute the aspects of Maiden-Mother-Crone to their Triple Goddess, nor did Graves attribute those aspects to every triad he called "Triple Goddess". Example: the three sisters named "Brighid", addressed as "Triple Goddess" in those neo-Druidic rituals, and called "the Triple Goddess Brigit" in Graves, Robert (1948). The White Goddess: a Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth. Creative Age Press. p.80. Thus the Maiden-Mother-Crone aspects are incidental, frequently but not universally attributed to the Triple Goddess; another case of "some but not all". As with the claim that all Dianic groups are women-only, the evidence doesn't support the sweeping generalization. Where, from what seemingly "reliable" source, did you get the idea that the MMC aspects were required in order for a Goddess to be "Triple"? Or was that your own original misconception? Sizzle Flambé (/) 04:16, 12 October 2009 (UTC)