Shamanism and Mother’s Day 2021

Today marks the third “Birthday” of our Daily Meditations which we deliberately launched on Mother’s Day in honor of Mother Earth and the return of the Divine Feminine and the mothering capacities, otherwise known as “compassion,” in women and men alike.

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and grandmothers, living and ancestral!

“Sophia” by Mary Plaster

Happy Mother’s Day too to all those women and men who have learned compassion and mothering in their lives and work and giving to generations to come.  This of course translates into our love for and work to defend Mother Earth, since if she continues to be sacrificed on the altar of human idolatries of power, privilege, pillaging and short-term financial profits, future generations will be unmothered, unhealthy and uninspired by her dreams and gifts.  

As Hildegard of Bingen put it, using language any indigenous person would understand immediately, “Earth is the mother of all, in her are the seeds of all.” 

Rightly does Julian of Norwich instruct us that mothering is intrinsic to Divinity in all its manifestations—as Creator—“God feels great delighted to be our Mother” and “Jesus is our true Mother in whom we are endlessly carried and out of whom we will never come…our Mother of Mercy who restores and redeems us.”  And “compassion belongs to the motherhood [and] protects, increases our sensitivity, gives life and heals.”

Icon of Mary as Divine Mother posted to Flickr by York Minster.

In our recent DM’s, we have been focusing on the return of shamanism in our time—something that Thomas Berry believed is central to the survival of our planet and our species.  Most recently, we have named those experiences of “rupture” in our lives as being very often a breaking open and a breaking through that opens the door to our capacities for shamanism, a deep empowering that renders us healers, broken and wounded, who become healers for others.  

By inference we are suggesting that shamanism may be more present to our world and our stories than we have been previously told.  (Just as being a mystic and being a prophet is more within the depths of our souls that most of us have been instructed.)

The becoming of a literal mother carries disturbances or ruptures that a healthy society honors through rites of passage—but an unhealthy society ignores to its peril.  A girl’s first period ought to be a moment of honoring and rendering sacred this oncoming monthly “challenge” that renders a woman capable of childbirth.  Its importance is honored in traditional societies for that very reason.

Mothering God You Gave Birth to Me arranged by Zebulon Highben. Originally posted to YouTube by PreludeMusicPlanner.

And, in a parallel way, a boy’s coming to the time when he is capable of fathering a child ought to be recognized and honored as a sacred occasion, an empowerment to bring new life into the community.  Sadly, it is often ignored in a society that has forgotten the sacred.

Both rites of passage, for the girl and for the boy, are in their own way severe and in that way quasi shamanistic–an initiation to a new stage of contributing to the survival of the community.

It is not just literal motherhood we honor today.  Artists, engineers, inventors and all those who bring new being into the world that serves the Earth community are Mothers we honor today.  Happy Mother’s Day!

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic—and Beyond, pp. 103, 45-58. 

And Matthew Fox, Hildegard of Bingen: A Saint For Our Times, pp. 33-44.

Banner Image: “Mother and Child.” Painting by M.C. Richards. From a private collection.

How are you committing yourself, your work and your citizenship to healthy mothering?  Are all our vocations and callings a calling to compassionate giving and therefore mothering such that  your compassion “protects, increases our sensitivity, gives life and heals”?

Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic–and Beyond

Julian of Norwich lived through the dreadful bubonic plague that killed close to 50% of Europeans. Being an anchoress, she ‘sheltered in place’ and developed a deep wisdom that she shared in her book, Showings, which was the first book in English by a woman. A theologian way ahead of her time, Julian develops a feminist understanding of God as mother at the heart of nature’s goodness. Fox shares her teachings in this powerful and timely and inspiring book.
“What an utterly magnificent book. The work of Julian of Norwich, lovingly supported by the genius of Matthew Fox, is a roadmap into the heart of the eco-spiritual truth that all life breathes together.”  –Caroline Myss
Now also available as an audiobook HERE.

Hildegard of Bingen, A Saint for Our Times: Unleashing Her Power in the 21st Century

Matthew Fox writes in Hildegard of Bingen about this amazing woman and what we can learn from her.
In an era when women were marginalized, Hildegard was an outspoken, controversial figure. Yet so visionary was her insight that she was sought out by kings, popes, abbots, and bishops for advice.
“This book gives strong, sterling, and unvarnished evidence that everything – everything – we ourselves become will affect what women after us may also become….This is a truly marvelous, useful, profound, and creative book.” ~~ Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism.

Upcoming Events

Join us in marking a day for Mother Earth and all other mothers with two powerhouse women mystic-shamans eager to awaken and heal! Tuesday 5/11 at 4:00 PT (GMT/UTC-7).
This free event is a fundraiser for the Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox, which marks its third anniversary on Mother’s Day 2021. Learn more HERE.

Join Matthew Fox as he speaks on issues around social justice, activism, the dismantling of collective grids, embodying our true essence, collaborating with nature, and how we can be the light bearers of hope, healing and radical change, so needed right now. Friday, 5/12, at the Inner Illuminations Summit, a multi-day series of influencers, social justice activists, leaders, teachers, mystics and healers, airing May 3-17. Learn more HERE.

Matthew Fox speaks on “Teilhard de Chardin & Carl Jung: A Convergence” for the Omega Center – Center for Christogenesis. Thursday, 5/13, 4-5:30 pm PT (GMT/UTC-7). Learn more HERE.

Matthew Fox offers the webinar, “Meeting the Mystics: The Wisdom of Julian of Norwich and the Tao of Thomas Aquinas and the Future of Earth and Humanity” for the East West Bookshop. May 15, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. PDT (GMT/UTC-7). Register HERE.

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