Be A Goddess says, this week, to write a few lines about Nimue, the Maiden aspect of the Goddess. Francesca describes her as “an intelligent 7-year-old” and asks that we try to imagine what it would be like for her to have all of nature in her hands and at her power.
At first, I was a little confused by this. I mean, for me, a 7-year-old is playful and exuberant, and she generally does what she wants. According to Piaget, a 7-year-old is beginning to leave behind animistic tendencies, but I disagree there. A 7-year-old, to me, still knows that all things have an animating consciousness or spirit, and the “growing out of” animism is actually a “training out of” animism. Egocentrism is declining, though, in that the child begins to exhibit care and concern for his/her belongings as individual beings. So the decline of animism, and yet showing care for objects, seems incompatible to me.
For me, I could see a 7-year-old holding a funeral to honor a dead bird he found. He’d have all of his friends around as Mom buried the bird for them.
Piaget says that 7-year-olds are starting to figure out that all is not as it appears. For example: 5 blocks is 5 blocks; they don’t seem to be more than 5 just because they’re spread out and not stacked up. They’re also beginning to understand that change isn’t always complete – like, if 10 blocks are put one on top of the other, as opposed to side by side, they’re still blocks and there are still 10 of them. Seven year olds are starting to develop logical thought patterns and then manipulate the thought.
I suppose what Piaget seems to show is that he sees the age of 7 as an overlap, where there is still a lot of symbolism and possibly still a belief is sympathetic magic. This stage also overlaps with the previous stage, where some leftover moral realism. This means that the child begins to recognize rules and insist upon their adherence; they may not be able to take motive into account when it comes to bending/breaking rules.
So I would say that Nimue is a Goddess who loves play and symbolism. She probably is animistic, honoring that all things have spirit. I think she’s less of a “Hey, let’s all just get along,” Goddess and more of a “NO we’re playing this game my way, cause I made the rules,” kind of a Goddess. A spoiled brat, maybe? I think her biggest code not to violate would be to maintain balance, regardless of anything else. (If you’ve ever played D & D, I might describe her as “True Neutral” or even slightly “Neutral Chaos.”) Motive and/or background info probably wouldn’t be very important to her when making judgements. Only balance is the main thing and if that requires something be given up, then it must be given up – otherwise: stagnation.
I see Nimue as joyful, playful, maintaining an animistic belief; but her love and respect are of a wilder, more instinctual nature, rather than a logical adult thought process.