The Goddess Path  Issue #043

Mothers of the World

May, 2006

This Issue: Table of Contents

Even the Goddesses Had Monumental Maternal Meltdowns
The Celtic Goddess Rhiannon
Mother's Day : Origins of the Holiday
The Egyptian Goddess Nut--Mother of the Gods

"Nobody loves me but my mother. . . and she could be jivin', too",  bluesman B.B. King once lamented. He was giving voice to the most basic of all human anxieties. If your mother doesn't love you, then who will?

Which brings us to the difficult subject of the . . .

The Bad Mom

. . . you know, like the one who had a 'monumental meltdown' and recently made  headlines when she booted her bickering children out of the car and drove off.

Margaret Mead, the Great Goddess of modern anthropology, once remarked that she didn't see much necessity for requiring a license to marry but felt that parenting licenses would be a good thing indeed!

I'm siding with Romi Lassaly, author of True Mom Confessions:Real Moms Get Real. Like her, I'm not as interested in judging this mother as I'm hoping that all the public scrutiny fixated upon her will expose motherhood for the very complex and demanding job that it really is. 

And it's easy to forget that mothers aren't always a comfort. After all, they are supposed to make us suffer. It's in their job description.

First they squeeze us out into the cold, cruel world, and then they make matters worse by setting impossible standards and demanding that we meet them.

Then, having taught us the skills we need to make our way in the world, they promptly shove us out of the nest, and expect us to remember to call and visit every now and then.

But even when we forget to call because we're too busy, a mother always manages to forgive us. She recognizes that we are doing just what she always intended for us, living our lives to the fullest. 

There are plenty of examples of goddesses who might be called 'bad mothers', perhaps none more spectacularly than the Greek Goddess Hera.

Living under the intense pressure of being 'The Queen' (as well as the wife of the impossible-to-manage Zeus), she couldn't love her son because he was imperfect. So she threw him out of the nest ... quite literally. . . leaving him lame for life.

Very bad decision! Hephaestus turned out to be quite the success and she had to swallow her pride to get back in his good graces.

This part of the myths of the Greek God Hephaestus is a cautionary tale for modern mothers who face tremendous pressure to demonstrate perfection in every way, an expectation that can propel 'otherwise sane women' do some very crazy things.

Obviously the mom in the news story took things too far. She certainly made a bad choice. My initial feeling upon reading the news story was outrage. What a wounding thing to do.

Admit it. Which of us at one time or another hasn't been tempted? And felt twinges of shame when we were impatient or ill-tempered with our young.

But, whether or not it was deserved, I can't begin to imagine the feelings of shame that her instant notoriety must have brought in its wake.

And yes, there is even a goddess whose story instructs us about the horrible burden of such shame. She was called Rhiannon.

Once a wild, headstrong young maiden who rode so swiftly that no horseman could catch her, she deserted the faery kingdom she was to inherit in order to marry a mortal king for love. Rhiannon was to pay dearly for that choice.

Viewed with suspicion by her adopted countrymen since she was an 'outsider', the goddess was falsely accused of murdering her infant son and forced to endure a humiliating punishment. But Rhiannon managed it with such grace and dignity that she eventually won their respect and their hearts.

Her innocence was eventually proved and the goddess Rhiannon was reunited with her husband and son and restored to her throne.

Think of releasing all shame from your life as you read the myths of the:
Celtic goddess Rhiannon.

The History of Mother's Day

Like many of our other contemporary holidays, Mother's Day has links to ancient pagan festivals. For centuries pagans and Christians have celebrated the contributions of mothers in:

  • the three day festival honoring Gaea and Rhea called Hilaria

  • Creation of the "Mother Church" and the war with the "White Goddess"

  • "Mothering Sunday", and

  • The Festival of St. Brigid

But did you know that modern celebration of Mother's Day in the USA

  • Started out as a "Woman's Work Day for Child Welfare" and a "Mothers March for Peace",

  • Became a perpetual memorial for one beloved mother after she died, and that

  • The founder of Mother's Day was later arrested for protesting against the holiday?

It's an interesting story. You can read about it at: History of Mother's Day Celebrations

The very first Mothers Day celebrations, however, were held to honor the . . .

The Mother of All Gods, the Egyptian Goddess Nut

The goddess Nut, poor thing, had to labor for so long to deliver her babes that the Egyptians had to add five days to their calendar so that she could get the job done . . . and that is why we now we have 365 days in a year instead of the original 360 days that were in the ancient calendar!

Enjoy the myths of : the Egyptian Goddess Nut

Doing Momma Proud

However far it has migrated from its origins, Mother's Day can be much more than just a “Hallmark® holiday”. Its meaning is greater than remembering to send flowers or a card or taking Mom out for lunch.  It means more, even, than expressing gratitude for the instrument by which you came into existence.

It is an opportunity to recognize that we are part of something universal, that we are all connected with the same blood flowing in our veins and the same needs and desires, all sons and daughters of this earth (the Great Mother Gaea/Gaia).

It is about honoring each other, and seeking the spark of Divinity that resides in each and every one of us.



Something Special this Mother's Day

If your mom's already got all the macaroni necklaces she can use, why not give her something a little different this year . . . the gift of self-discovery . . . a gift certificate for the Goddess Quiz.

What better way to let her know that she'll always be a goddess to you!

 Gift Certificates to Take The Goddess Quiz
Goddess Quiz Certificates



Shame on Me

I plead guilty of webmistress sin. Put the Scarlet Letter on my forehead.

Life has a way of happening on a different schedule, so . . .

We're not ready to share those mouth-watering, time-saving yummies, the winning recipes from the 'Diva's Diner' competion.

Soon. Promise.

In closing, a reminder  ....

that whether or not we’re fortunate to have been bound to our Mothers by blood ties,
we should give thanks for all those women who have been the spiritual mothers in our lives. 

The Goddess Path

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