“Three Witches” triptych by Dario Argento
The Three Mothers:
- Mater Suspiriorum / Mother of Sighs
- Mater Tenebrarum / Mother of Darkness
- Mater Lachrymarum / Mother of Tears
The idea of “Three Mothers” comes from “Levana and Our Ladies of Sorrow”, a section of Thomas de Quincey’s Suspiria de Profundis. The piece asserts that just as there are three Fates and Graces, there are also three Sorrows. They include Mater Lachrymarum (Our Lady of Tears), Mater Suspiriorum (Our Lady of Sighs), and Mater Tenebrarum (Our Lady of Darkness). The attribute of each woman (tears, sighs, shadows/darkness) is a direct translation of her name from Latin.