We continue our series on the Goddess Archetypes with the first Archetype: The Great Mother.
I acknowledge and honour THE MOTHER Within that knows what is best for me at all times.
First, a few words on Archetypes. Archetypes are subconscious roles, dare I say labels, that we embody within our lives. These help us look at our lives from a larger, spiritual perspective rather than our ordinary daily view of ourselves within our life.
In virtually all cultures, there are about twenty to twenty three roles of divine consciousness. Think of the Tarot archetypes as an example. These archetypes, seen as a whole, provide a guide for spiritual evolution. They are without gender and they are not linear. These archetypes do not flow in a straight line. Rather, they are like wrapping yourself in a blanket for a time ~ different parts are exposed to the world, others are hidden within, others still lie close to our heart or mind. It moves as we move.
Deepak Chopra said: “Each person is hard wired to enact or model archetypal characteristics. Our individual archetypes are reflected in our desires and intentions. Ask yourself “What do I want?” “What is the purpose of my existence?” and if you listen with your soul, the archetype will answer.”
How you choose to awaken your spirituality is your choice. I believe that Divine Source does not particularly care whether you call to God, Buddha, Mohammad, Isis or Cerridwen. The most important factor of enacting archetypes in search of ascension is that fundamentally:
- there is only one Source,
- all Gods and Goddesses represent various faces of Source, and
- eerything in existence are likewise aspects of that Source.
So whatever wakes your soul and causes your belly to be afire with zest and zeal, the One is content.
Why is knowledge of the Goddess within so important?
“For the hand that rocks the cradle Is the hand that rules the world.”
– William Ross Wallace
To begin with, the image of the divine as female is as old as humanity. Archaeologists have unearthed artefacts related to goddess religion that are 30,000 years old!
The Divine Mother lives in the heart of every being. She is the Divine Creatrix who has created life as adoration for Her beloved, – God the Father. Ultimately, these lovers are not two. Rather, they are bound together to play out their cosmic dance of love for all eternity. Think of the Celtic Wheel of Life and the continuous cycle of life, love, birth and death that this represents.
This love story between the Great Mother and Father has interchangeable names – no matter the culture. The Goddess came from nowhere meaning that there was never a time She did not exist. She is that aspect of the Divine which is imminent and accessible. Where there is love, compassion and mercy, we see Her direct presence. She lives within the present moment.
To perceive the Divine that lives in every being is a transformative step in your ascension process:
- Your Mother as the Goddess,
- Your brother as the God,
- Your baby as the Divine,
- Your friend as the Source,
- Your enemy as the One,
- Your cat as the All That Is,
- Your Self as the Eternal Light.
Who is the Great Mother?
Some of the more ‘prominent’ Goddess names given to the Great Mother are:
Virgin Mary, Ishtar; Cybele; Rhea; Astarte; Isis; Demeter; Hecate; Diana, Venus; Quan Yin; Rhada, Ishtar, Aphrodite, Freya, Kali, Magna Mater, Hera, Durga, Devi, and Shakti.
The most ancient of these mother goddesses is the Earth itself, Gaia, mother to us all.
P. W. MARTIN says ‘She is the maiden. She is the earth mother. She is the queen of the underworld. She is the goddess of war, the goddess of nature, the goddess of love, the goddess of marriage, the mountain goddess, the goddess of the chase, the goddess of herds, goddess of agriculture, goddess of fecundity, goddess of the moon.’
The names of the Great Goddess have changed as mankind aged, but her basic persona, as the bearer and protector of all life remains.
There are many who believe that the time of the Goddess has returned to Earth. She was swept away by Father based religions (think of the persecution of witches and women seen as chattels of service). As the end of various cycles occur across our planet, more and more people are returning to an understanding of this Archetype. They are nurturing the Goddess Within by worshipping her.
The Great Mother’s mantra is: I surrender. I receive.
This mantra did not resonate at first for me. Then I felt that in surrendering to Source, to Spirit, I am more able to receive.
See if these qualities resonate with you when you activate the Great Mother within your daily life:
- Self nurturing
- Down to Earth
The book Soft Moon Shining by Ethan Walker III is a work of devotional poetry that revolves around the Goddess. Like Rumi, , Soft Moon Shining takes the reader into the realm of the Divine Mother.
SOFT MOON SHINING
My beloved Divine Mother
Dance with me
under the soft moon shining
in the wide open fields
far beyond the toil and trouble
of my busy mind
Dance with me
before the night grows old
while the winds of love
still bow the grasses
and the coyotes howl for you
to step their way
Dance with me my beloved
while the Mystery’s Edge
still flirts in the shadow
of your radiant light
What does she represent?
Archetypes are really quite simple. They occur in pairs and the relationship between paired archetypes creates a balance within each individual personality and life. The pair with the Great Mother is the Victim – the Mother (the one who cares for) is balanced with the Victim (the one who needs caring for).
Our Base Chakra is associated with this archetype pairing. When this chakra is active and spinning well, we are empowered and act as protector, nurturer and lover of all. When the chakra is inactive, we are helpless and blame others for the consequences of our own actions.
Ambika Wauters’ book, Chakras and Their Archetypes, identifies the dysfunctional root chakra archetype as follows:
- Experiences the world at the mercy of outside forces that work against it
- Seldom has awareness or sense of responsibility for its circumstances
- Is always in a helpless state
- Totally reliant on partner, companion, family, organization, etc.
- Is disconnected from their inner core of feelings
- Mind is stuck in a frozen state of fear, terror or desperation
- Experiences no sense of empowerment
Are you feeling like a Victim? Firstly, be honest about your feelings. Feels of sadness, anger, anxiety or joy should be expressed and acknowledged in healthy appropriate ways. View the circumstances that surround negative emotions, accept responsibility for your part and take action to move forward. This process takes you from the Victim State to a functional root chakra state: The Mother.
According to Wauters, this is the one we understand best. Understanding the Goddess within is fundamental in finding the key to our personal growth and ascension. She helps us incorporate the feminine aspects of our personality so that we are able to love not only ourselves, but others as well.
When you become your own “good mother,” you are able to manage the curve balls life throws you and take responsibility for your circumstances. Eating well, getting enough rest and becoming less dependent on others to mother you are ways in which you develop the Mother archetype. “Mothering and nourishing yourself means understanding what you need and letting yourself have it, to the best of your ability.” The more we are able to utilize the positive aspects of the mother, the healthier and more stable we become.
How may I include her in my life?
The Mother is all about being grounded in earth energy. She nurtures, feeds, watches out for us, and provides for all of our needs. Whether you experienced a supportive mother figure in your physical life, the Great Mother archetype is still available to you. She’s always there for us because she is Within.
When we lose our grounding – or become the Victim, we have lost contact with the Mother. It is almost a daily reminder for myself that the Mother lives within. With this fast-paced world of ours, it is very easy to forget to nurture ourselves; to take time out to nourish our spirit, mind and body. Do you have hobbies or activities that soothe your soul? Perhaps it is listening to music, gardening or pottering around your house dabbling in craft? Nourishing activities are usually physical and allow the mind to drift on its own path of healing.
You may remember times when you have found yourself out of balance, in the midst of chaos, forgetting your true self, covered in the expectations of others ~ your energy totally gone. This is The Victim and its your job to recognise this within yourself.
Have you ever been able to relate to this feeling of being totally lost and disoriented? Have you stopped doing the things that you love to do?
Begin to care for yourself and see the changes begin to flow as the Great Mother manifests.
We all need to be aware of what is needed to keep balance and harmony in our lives. This keeps us nourished, cared for and loved. Mothers tune in to the needs of their children and respond in kind. We have to tune in to our inner self and listen to what we need in order to find balance and harmony in our lives. The more the Mother is active in our lives the healthier and happier we are.
We all have to take responsibility for ourselves. When the Mother is weak and undeveloped, you will stumble and fall throughout your life. Mother is the foundation for growth and development, and helps you to become aware of your needs in order to take care of yourself.
Symbols to incorporate:
The colour burgundy is often associated with the Great Mother Archetype. I personally like using red and silver. It is best to find a colour resonance that works for you!
The Spiral– is an ancient symbol of the goddess, the womb, fertility, feminine serpent forces, continual change, and the evolution of the universe. The Spiral is probably the oldest symbol of human spirituality.
The Cup (or Chalice)- A feminine element and a symbol of intuition, gestation, psychic ability, and the subconscious.
Triskele (Triple Spiral, Triskelion) – Closely related to the triquetra, this Celtic symbol, known as the Triple Goddess, symbolizes maidenhood, motherhood, and the crone; and represents the waxing, full and waning moons.
The Triple Moon- Similar to the Triskele in meaning, it is associated with feminine energy, mystery and psychic abilities.
I hope that for you, the Great Mother is active and nourished; Allowing you to be move forward with grace and beauty. If she isn’t, know that you may easily call upon one or more of the Goddess Energies. Ask them to help you identify, remove and develop habits that will allow you to be empowered, strong and vital.