May 11, 2014

Mystery of the Divine Mother

When most people these days think of a Divine Mother,  there are a few different views.  The neo-pagan view is often a dualistic or polytheistic view of either a god and a goddess, or even many gods and goddesses.  The Hindu view is somewhat polytheistic,  except that it is believed that all of the gods and goddesses are emanations from,  aspects of or one with God, whom they call Brahman.  To the Native Americans she is often the corn maiden or corn mother, or another benevolent mother figure.  To the Navajo, for example, she was White Pearl Woman, who lead them to their home and gave them the two-spirit children (often misunderstood as "hermaphrodite children") to guide them.   However, even some Jewish and Christian faithful also have a view of the Divine Mother.

Most people know of the Catholic (Eastern and Western) reverence for Mary, the mother of Yeshua.  She is Theotokos, the "God-bearer."  She appears in apparitions and gives messages to humanity from time to time, and in various places.

She echoes the ancient "pagan" goddesses in many ways.  She is given titles such as, "Queen of Heaven, " similar to Inana, Isis, Ashera and other goddess figures. The early paintings of her with baby Yeshua appear to be based on the Egyptian paintings of Isis with the baby Horus.  Her apparitions often echo appearances of the goddess.  Many people believe that her apparition at Guadalupe particularly echoed local corn maiden and/or corn mother legends. 

However, Mary isn't present at all in Judaism, and is not the only appearance of the Divine Mother in Christianity either.

In the Hebrew language, most names for God are masculine.  However, the name for the Divine Presence, which was with the Ark of the Covenant and in the Temple, was "Shekhina," which some scholars and mystics interpret as a feminine name.  It is pointed out that we were created male and female, in the image of God.  It is a view shared in some forms of Qaballa, and even in some forms of Christian Gnosticism and other Christian mystery traditions.

God is above creation, and within it, and all creation emanates from God. Therefore, God represents all possible genders. God can appear as male, female, both or neither.  We see God as the Holy Parent, capable of being Father, Mother and much more.  
I'm not advocating a return to the corrupted practices of Ashera worship, nor to any goddess tradition for Christians.   I do believe, however,  that we should take time to honor God as both Father and Mother, and to recognize the ways God speaks to us through the feminine aspect, and through both male and female spiritual leaders.  Take time, especially on Mother's Day, to honor female spiritual leaders in your life, and the feminine qualities of God. 

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