The Mayven

A Scary Little Girls briefing on the inspiration behind our feminist festival, 2022

If you’re as excited as we are about our 20th anniversary this year (of course you are) you’ll have already heard us talking about our Mayven Festival.

We are often told about the stages of a woman’s life, the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone.  But somewhere along the way, a stage between Mother and Crone got forgotten, all too conveniently we think! 

Let us introduce the Mayven; she comes after Mother, and is also known as the Enchantress, Maga, Matriarch, Mage, Medicine Woman, Witch, Healer, Queen or Wild Woman.  And basically, she’s awesome!  She combines a worldly knowledge, wisdom and expertise with an energy and vibrance that make her magnetic, sexy and powerful!  She is independent from guardians and free of dependants, she can sow wild oats and heal wounds from her past.  She is a creature of catalyst and challenge, distillation and divinity.   

The Mayven has valuable knowledge born of each woman’s unique lived experience and is described by some as containing ‘the inherent value and power of midlife’.  The Mayven is something a woman can ascend into after turning 40 and reside in for as long as she wants until she decides to Crone.  The Mayven is also a state of mind and spirit that a woman can access when she needs to, because all women are connected by the moon and can send each other strength and sisterhood through water which we are and webs which we weave.  

Both powerful and authentic, a Mayven knows her worth and who she is and isn’t afraid to show it and receive respect.  She is fierce, guided by her intuition and relying on it, as do others, for she can see what is important and what’s, frankly, bullshit.   She’s in touch with and recognised for her inner medicine and magic.  

Reminding us that we are connected to lunar and tidal forces by our very blood, a Mayven invites  reclamation of  all  aspects  of  who  we  are.  She allows surrender  to  what  is  blooming  and rising  in  us  as  well  as  what  is  falling  away, deepening  our  potency  as  wise,  creative,  uninhibited women. 

Accompanied by her shield mates and companions the spider, the heron, the hare and the wolf, the Mayven’s number is five, her colour is red, her metal is gold, her season is autumn and her moon wanes over a rising sea.   

For our 20 year anniversary this year, SLG are harnessing, promoting and celebrating the Mayven, and taking inspiration from what she represents to create a multi-disciplinary, multi-generational feminist arts festival together with co-producers Hall for Cornwall.  

We’ve drawn our portrait of a Mayven from our own heads and hearts, from conversations with wise women and from the sources below

The Four Stages of Womanhood

The Four Female Archetypes & How To Work With Them

The Four Phases of the Feminine Way

Four Soul Phases of a Woman

Claiming the Power of Midlife

Sophia Goddess of Spirituality in Mature Women

Key in our festival will also be an exploration of the female mythology of Cornwall, examples of which can be found here:

Ghosts and Legends of Porthcurno

Duffy and the Devil

Cherry of Zennor

Mother Ivey

The White Hare of Looe

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