Have you ever read Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation? It's really different than the sweet card and flower buying holiday we’ve come to think of Mother’s Day being isn’t it?How different if we came to honor the power of those who mother and to help those who are raising children in places where the circumstances are so much different from our own.
Imagine a world where everyone was parented well enough. Imagine that mothers and fathers didn’t have to worry whether they would be able to afford the things their kids need. Imagine a world that works for everyone. A world of peace and plenty. Imagine, if you will that this isn’t a well-lit room, but a cave deep in the earth. Dirt floor, low ceiling, lit only by fire. The walls adorned with images of antelope and cattle, the cool embrace of the earth immediate and powerful.
The deep and ancient stillness broken by a single cry, as a woman pushes her child into the world. Picture the awe on the faces of the assembled tribe, ignorant of the splendid mystery which took place inside her belly, but certain that they have witnessed a holy event.
If you have been present at the birth of a baby or birthed a baby you know it is a holy event. When our distant ancestors saw this transformation, when the two were made from one, they saw it and understood it to be an echo of the original act of creation, and spoke the word "Goddess” A sense of the sacred began with the Divine Feminine, the power to bring forth life was awe inspiring and worthy of worship.
And some time thousands of years later something changed. Several years ago I read a book, "The Alphabet Versus the Goddess".
In this book the author theorizes how the shift from the Goddess culture came about with the change from recording stories and ideas as images and in the oral tradition to the use of written language, this caused changes in brain function and fairly rapidly caused a shift in seeing the Divine as a masculine image. The author said that now with our use of TV and movies and the internet, that we would become more
balanced and bring the idea of the Divine Feminine forward.
I know many modern authors such as Riane Eisleer and Starhawk have brought the idea of the Feminine Divine back into our consciousness.
The New Thought movement, while not speaking about Mother Goddess in the NeoPagan sense that some of us might see it n has always spoken of God as the androgynous parent Mother-Father God., This is partially because we understand that God is more of an it rather than a person. And because women were among the founders of New Thought, Mary Baker Eddy, Emma Curtis Hopkins, and others. Ernest Holmes defines the Feminine Principal as the Universal Soul. The subjective or subconscious intelligence.
The Universal Soul has been called the Womb of Nature and the Holy Mother because it is receptive to Spirit and is impregnated with Divine ideas. It gives birth to the ideas of the Spirit and is therefor the Feminine Principle of Nature. When we speak of Love and Law, the Law is the feminine principle.
When we give a prayer treatment, we speak our word and the law acts upon our word to manifest a new experience in our lives. Many of the world faiths have a concept of the Divine Feminine, the Yin of Chinese wisdom, Kale Ma, Durga and Govinda in the Hindu faith, Kwan Yin, Tara and the other Goddess images of Buddhism many of whom were virgins that gave birth to deities, like Jesus.
Did I ever share with you what George Lamsa, the Biblical Scholar said about that? When a woman was married during that time period, at least where the Roman Census was kept, marriages were recorded and women when they were married were either virgins, meaning they had not yet been married or they were widows, that simple, virgins or widows. Anyway think of the many sacred images of Mary and the way the worship of the Divine Feminine was allowed to continue even in Christendom.
Think of the beautiful cathedrals built to worship the Divine Feminine in her name. The Holy Mother of God.And today we honor our earthly mothers. We moms, we parents, try so hard, don’t we to be good parents. I know the ideals I hold up for myself as parent and the human experience sometimes suffer what is called ‘cognitive dissonance” You know those times when the urge to yell back is in conflict with the urge to do and to be better?
I think I can say that we here are good enough parents…that is not to say that there aren’t things we can do better and that there aren’t things we and our children will look back on and see a need for understanding and forgiveness. This is an idea that I’ve had a chance to think about lately because of the circumstances in my own life. My mother moved in with us as I, we, my family and I cared for her the last years of her life.
I had a lot of prayer work to do so I could just sit down with her soul-to-soul and be totally in the now moment, in the present and enjoy and love what our relationship was, leaving the past in the past, where it of course, belongs. Most of us, thank God, were fortunate recipients of good enough parenting. I remember about 20 years ago when just a few of my friends were really getting in touch with the idea that their families were dysfunctional.
I finally realized that all families have their quirks and just stopped worrying about it. I’d like to read from part of a sermon I found on the internet:
'Most of us got what we needed to support our growth as human beings. Like a seed planted the soil of family, church and culture that we were planted in can either support growth or can hamper it.
Have our souls received enough water: the tears of joy and pain that we’ve shed, and others with us? Or has that faucet been shut off? How many of us have had insufficient sunshine: the warmth and light of unconditional love? Yet, seeds sprout. The God-force is very strong.
One of the most dramatic manifestations of the life force is found in the plant kingdom, When times are harsh and what is needed to bloom is not available, certain plants become spores. When this happens, the plants dampen down and wall off their life force in order to survive. It’s an effective strategy. Spores found in mummies thousands of years old have unfolded into plants when given the opportunity of nurture. "
How many of us have had parts of ourselves become spores when the environment was hostile to our uniqueness; when we walled off what we thought were the unlovable, unacceptable parts of ourselves. Carl Jung gave a name to these parts of ourselves that we cut off and deny: Our “Shadow” A great Jungian quote I read is “ Ninety percent of the Shadow is pure gold.”
But becoming a spore is a survival strategy, not a way of life. Spores do not grow; they endure. Plant spores are opportunists. The life force waits in them scanning the environment; and when conditions change, they bloom. I believe we are called to become aware of those places where our true selves have become like spores and to open ourselves to the nurture we need to allow the growth cycle to continue.
This is the place where our spiritual practice, our communion with our Divine Parent brings us to understand who and what we really are. An important Spiritual Practice is forgiveness. I’d like to suggest reading what Mary Ann Williamson says in a Return to Love about forgiveness: A Return to Love is and exploration and an explanation of parts of A Course In Miracles and Mary Ann teaches it so clearly.
One thing I wan to say about forgiveness is that if someone is hurting you…you can forgive that person but you need to get away from them. If you are a kid, tell an adult you trust. You do not have to hang out with someone to forgive them. How was or is your relationship with your mom? If you hold an image of her in your mind, are you completely at peace? If there is anything unsettled about that relationship, I invite you to join me in this forgiveness process.
Now as we become more accustomed to praying together we will do a much looser open prayer time after candle lighting, but today lets do a guided prayer…the forgiveness prayer from The Heart of Prayer.
Work this in your own time and space. I'd like to leave you with Starhawk's Mother's Day Blessing from her great family book "Circle Round".
Mother of all, hear our prayer this day for the protection and blessing of all the mothers! You who hold the seed in warmth and darkness till it knows to seek the sunlight. You whose winds carry the rain across the vast, arching sky, spilling it down on the thirsting soil.You in whose arms we rest at the end of the day, in comfort and peace, we call you!Hear our words of praise for the mothers of the world. We call you blessings down to the women in our circle who are raising children. Speak through their hears and hands as they guide the growth of their children. Help them feel your love, help them replenish their stores from you endless well of strength and energy. Help remind them even when they don’t thin they need it that we are all grateful for their work in raising the next generation. For all of these children are our children, and they bring great joy into the world. We know that what happens to the smallest of us also affect the largest. What befalls one child soon befalls the nation. And so. Mother of Creation, whiled we bless the mothers here, let us also bless ourselves with open hearts and pone hands so that no child in this circle shall go wanting. By our love and by our efforts may we be known as a people who honor mothers; as a people thrice blesses by happy children, healthy families and the boundless outpouring of your love into our lives. Mother of the World, with you blessing may we all grow in our capacity to love unconditionally, to nurture where there is need and to tend well the fruits of our creation. Blessed be the mothers! Amen.