“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.”
You might know Mom by her other names. Gaia or Earth Mother are just two that come off the top of my head. Throughout ancient beliefs, and on into today’s neopaganism, this one female is the personification of all life. It makes sense that a mother figure would be revered given the role women play in perpetuating the species. Up until a little more than 2000 years ago she was worshiped without question and consequently a woman’s place was beside man, rather than so many steps behind.
The storyteller I am can clearly see she never really left the scene. Donning the clothes of each region, she simply modernized and became the Goddesses worshiped in ancient civilizations. These are aspects of the goddess — the enormity of all life condensed into human form. I can’t speak for those deities who gained their divinity through gifts like Medea in the Greek myths who was born mortal but became a goddess. And I’m not referring to those assorted females of old like Muses and Furies. I’m talking about the Earth Mother wearing her various hats. Think of the hats you wear in your life — husband/wife/brother/sister/father/mother/employee/scout leader/homemaker/breadwinner/etc. You’re you, but you wear a lot of hats.
Allow me to set up a thought. In much of life as we know it, plant life included, there is duality — two halves of the one. In our case the male and female duality of Homo Sapiens. This duality of life consists of male and female across species: man/woman, ram/ewe, cob/pen, buck/doe etc. Now imagine the four seasons. Each season is an aspect of earth as a whole. The earth has phases. Think of Earth Mother goddess aspects as personalities in season form — hats if you will. Aspects of the Earth Mother are her phases, her seasons, her personalities.
In Celtic beliefs these personalities show up as three phases of womanhood girl/woman/old woman a.k.a. maiden, mother, and crone. To give an example, I’ll stick with a few from the Greek myths because so many of their goddesses are known for specific things and illustrate exactly what I’m talking about.
Athena ~ personified these Earth Mother attributes: strength, wisdom, and domestic crafts.
Artemis ~ the hunt, nature and birth.
Demeter ~ the growing, preserving and harvesting of grain.
Hestia ~ the hearth and home.
Rhea ~fertility of the soil, women, and motherhood.
Themis ~ divine justice, order, and customs.
Stepping back in time~
The Great Mother shows up in paleolithic and neolithic sites as symbolic triangles or almond shapes, both a stylized nod to female sexuality. When I imagine a primordial goddess, the first image that comes to mind is the Venus of Willendorf. Plumped by plenty and filled with fecundity, her wide hips and bountiful breasts declare her fertility and suggest her sustenance.
To date, hundreds of similar figures made of stone and bone and clay have been discovered all over the world. Unfortunately, we can only speculate on their exact purpose. It’s interesting to note that the earliest Mother symbols are faceless. Such anonymity suggests she was beyond personification. Many wear the scars of motherhood on hips, belly, and breasts in acknowledgement of cycles – the cycles of life and birth – an undeniable symbol of the earth itself.
These Great Mothers, reverently called the Venus figures, span both Paleolithic and Neolithic eras. Some, like the Hohle Fels mammoth-ivory Venus, date back more 30,000 years. Older still are those triangles, ovals, chevrons (zigzags, M, or V patterns) in 40,000-year-old Neanderthal artworks. Even more ancient, the 70,000 year old symbols found in Africa. All represent woman and they’re often depicted beside the wavy lines symbol for water. The birth waters.
~ Other information worth your time ~
Individual images with descriptions
A terrific poster
An interesting conversation with Constance Tippet regarding the Magna Mater and women in society.
Here’s one for today:
celeripedean (adjective 1623-1656)
Seductive Studs & Sirens & MFRW Valentine Hop
& Weekend Writing Warriors
Saturday’s After Dark Moments & Sneak Peek Sunday
My Sexy Saturday & Sexy Snippets
Set the Scene in Six – Promo opportunity for romance authors.
Stop by my group blog and leave your six!
Today is Author Fran Lee’s blog day.
The February contest is on Romance Books ‘4’ Us and it’s all about Cupid. Find the little cherub hidden all across the site to win. This month’s contest will have 2 winners who’ll each receive a $50 gift card for Amazon/B&N, then split the remaining prizes (randomly chosen by RB4U). Be sure to check all our pages for news about authors and their books, publishers and their books, and industry representatives. http://www.romancebooks4us.com/
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Free to join in each week
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Tickle Us Tuesday ~ Share fun and funny snippets from your novel.
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Love Waits in Unexpected Places – Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories
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