Monday, April 15, 2013

Practical Lessons For Everyday Life from the Divine Feminine

The Mother of God and Demeter

Discovering the Compassionate Mother Within

(The first in a series of essays.)
What in the world does that mean?Think about it.
I started thinking about this concept of restoring the compassionate mother after reading Pinkola Estes latest book, Untie the Strong Womanand found myself falling further in love with the Mother of God, Mary.Mary is basically invisible in the protestant church and as an Episcopalian it seems to be she is ignored.We (Episcopalians) have ignored her strength and position in the hierarchy of the Church and I do not hear us turning to her as a resource for our spirituality.
However, from the first time that I walked the Labyrinth I found myself connecting to the Mother of God as I entered the center of the Labyrinth which is like a womb to me.I could picture myself being cradled there like a small child or held closely like an adult who needed a shoulder to cry upon.Or on more interesting occasions I can even see myself sitting across from Mary having a cup of tea or glass of wine, sharing woman talk about the things that interest or concern me.Thus the labyrinth is way to Mary that opens a whole new world of creativity.
The Mother of God is about relationship.When I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 1999, I remember saying something to the effect of “I need to go to the top.I will skip pass Jesus and God and talk directly to the Mother of God.”I write about that experience in my book, In a Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer and I dedicate a whole chapter to the wonder of the labyrinth as part of my journey. However, not all of you will relate to Mary as the Mother of God.Thus there are many other images of the Strong Woman.
One of the most recent images is in William P. Young’s book, The Shack.In this very powerful read Papa, represents God in the book.The paradox is that “Papa” is a big black woman who has a wild sense of humor and wonderful cooking skills.
In Greek mythologies there are several characters, but the most imposing is that of Demeter, the mother of Persephone.In this story we see a strong woman, a mother whom refused to be comforted until her daughter was returned from the underworld.Demeter, the goddess of food and grain became enraged with depression and refused to plant any seeds after Persephone was abducted by Hades in the underground.This deal was made behind Demeter’s back by Persephone’s father, Zeus.Finally, when it was clear to Zeus and everyone else that no one was going to eat until Persephone returned another deal was made and Persephone was set free from Hades for nine months out of the year.Those three months that Persephone must return to Hades, Demeter refuses to plant and there we have the story of winter.
In order for us to grow up as strong mature adults we need a strong woman in our lives and a strong woman is a compassionate woman.We must create her within us or if you prefer discover the Mother who was always there.

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