Finding Space for Many Mothers
While creating a new relationship with our mothers may or may not be possible, by shifting our perspective and awaking to the essence of maternal energy we area seeking – her presence becomes accessible not only around us but also within as beautifully described in this medicine story by out alumni sister.
~ Susan Lipshutz, LCSW, Founder
From a Thirteen Moons Sister
The notion of having two fathers is not, in many ways, a novel idea. In Judeo-Christian tradition, there are two fathers: one’s biological father and the other, spiritual father. And whether or not the archetype of the spiritual father is an old man with a white beard or an amorphous energy that hangs out with the son and the holy spirit, chances are that there is at least some element of male gendering associated with this paradigm of a spiritual caretaker. Particularly when our human experience with our biological father feels unfulfilled in some way, this concept of spiritual father can be securing and comforting.
But what about our spiritual mother? Some traditions are more willing to name the concept of a spiritual maternal figure. Mother Earth. The Goddess. Pachamama. The Virgin Mother. And for me, it was very much a novel idea to open my mind and heart to the notion of a female spiritual guide. As the daughter of an emotionally unavailable biological mother, I felt removed and unsettled by the concept of the divine feminine. I felt the opposite of comfort – namely, doubt and fear.
At the February installment of Thirteen Moons, “Becoming a Daughter of Mother Earth,” I acknowledged this fear and doubt. How could there possibly be room for the divine feminine in my heart when my human experience of the maternal feminine took up such a large, shadowed place? I explored some tender areas: Who were my nurturers growing up? How did my mother nurture? Was I ever a mother to my own mother? Did my mother love herself? When have I felt true connection to Mother Earth? I surprised myself with how easy these questions were to answer, but moved by my heart’s response. It made more sense to understand when and why these feelings of doubt and fear emerged, and why I’ve held on to them for so long.
The best part was realizing that I could let some of these feelings go. In our Thirteen Moons journey, I visualized my mother at 23 years old, the age at which I was born. During that journey I was able to take my mother’s hand, and give her back to her own mother, my grandmother – the intended and rightful caretaker of my mother’s pain and chaos. This lifting of shadowed, metaphysical weight felt so palpable. With it came a feeling of spaciousness and willingness to open my heart to the love of a second mother, of the divine feminine – something that I had never truly realized I was searching for, and that has now become an intrinsic part of what it means for me to be a mother to my own children.
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