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Imagining God as Goddess This Mother's Day

Every tradition has a strong female presence within their mythology.

Did you know that Mother's Day originated during the time of the Civil War and it was meant as a day for all mothers to stand together for peace?

Mothers were tired of watching their sons being sent off to war to be killed or wounded. They believed they could join together and call for everyone to give a present to their mother, peace on Earth.

Today as a minister who assists people in developing their own spiritual journeys, I am compelled to examine the concept of God as Mother. People at different stages of their spiritual development require different tools to assist them in gaining insight and strength from relying on their spirituality as a viable means of support in their lives. There comes a point when we all need some good old-fashioned mothering.

Every tradition has a strong female presence within their mythology. Christians have Mary. You can pick from an assortment of them, mainly Mary the mother of Jesus. Jews have strong female characters at various times throughout the Bible, like Ester.

But the more fascinating Jewish “feminine” is the Shechinah, the actual part of God that is feminine! In Islam we have Khadijad. Buddhism has Kuan Yin, Goddess of compassion and more. Hinduism has too many to even mention them all.

She keeps coming into our lives. Reminding us of that very unique aspect of nurturing that we all need. It can come through her to strengthen our spiritual side. Spirituality is a specific aspect of everyone's being. It is the place where we can heal all the wounds of the physical, emotional and mental aspects of our lives.

Imagine God as Goddess. Think of the concept of unconditional love. It probably follows more naturally. Think of the womb as that place of absolute safety and comfort. All our needs are met there. Think of a mother adoring her child and fill yourself up with its sweetness.

What if the Divine is Mother or at least part Mother and part Father? The Native American cultures called the earth our Mother. The Earth, the source of all our needs, provides air, water and all the basics that we need. Looking at the Divine in this respect can complete us.

This Mother's Day I challenge all of us to first thank and bless the mothers that gave birth to us. But I then want you to think about God as Mother. Allow yourself to be given all the things you thought your birth mother did not or could not give you.

Did you need more nurturing? Did you need more validation, comfort or feelings of safety? Would you like to be held in the arms of unconditional love?

This will be an experience of real peace. A deep peace from within and it is here that we can answer the original call of Mother's Day. For as the old song goes, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

Happy Mother's Day!

Greg Martinez May 08, 2011 at 03:45 PM
God is God. I love and honor my mother, but she is not God, and God is not my mother. God is the "everlasting father." "Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else." [Deuteronomy 4:39 - KJV] "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." [Isaiah 9:6 - KJV]
Theophile May 08, 2011 at 04:01 PM
Imagine God as...? God did address that kind of thinking, quite a few times: Gen6:5, 8:12,11:6, Deut29:19, Ps2:1, 10:12, 140:1-2, Prov6:16-19, Jer3:17,7:23-26, 9:12-16, 11:8, 13:10, 16:12, 18:12, 23:17. God paints a pretty good picture of Himself in the Scripture, to "imagine" God as different than that picture, is quite frankly condemned.
Kathleen Kufs May 08, 2011 at 04:48 PM
Growing up Catholic, I was taught to fear God as my Father. It's refreshing to now know the Divine Feminine side of God, as the compassionate and nurturing Mother. Thank you, Rev. JoAnn.
jacquelyn weddington May 09, 2011 at 10:42 AM
why does god have to be either Thinking of god as mother was one of the most enlightening experiences of my life. Now I prefer to think of that which we may call god cannot possibly be god's name but rather that holy energy that enfolds us and brings us together. in Peace jackie w
Scott Lindquist May 10, 2011 at 01:56 PM
I applaud Rev. Barrett's article. If God is a "spirit" as the Bible says, then it's inappropriate to cling to the notion that God is "male". For too long the church has eliminated the feminine side of God. The result of which has been hundreds of years of anti-woman sentiment. We only have to look at the world's history to see that compassion has too often been missing in the God of our fathers. The Bible's "male" terminology is nothing more than the inevitable outcome of men writing and interpreting the scriptures. Seeing God as Goddess is just as powerful, and it sends the message that women are equal in the realms of the most high. - Scott Lindquist The Jesus Factory www.thejesusfactory.com
Kathleen Kufs May 10, 2011 at 04:32 PM
AMEN, Brother!
Greg Martinez May 10, 2011 at 09:27 PM
I cling to the Bible not the philosophy's of mankind, or if you prefer, womenkind.

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