In response to the Kansas voters, I choose to share some teachings about the Divine Mother that I initially gathered for the opening of my book on the Cosmic Christ, a book that was born of a dream that said to me, “Your Mother is dying.”  I called the dream a “crucifixion story for our times”–and it is. 

Mother Goddess birthing, Madhya Pradesh or Rajasthan, India, 6th – 7th centuries, National Museum of Korea, Seoul. Photo by Richard Mortel. Wikimedia Commons.

We are crucifying mother earth and mothers in general when we allow extremist judges and politicians and religious figures to pass laws that coerce and curse women in order to control their bodies, an aspiration as old as patriarchy itself.

We belong to the ground
It is our power
And we must stay close to it
Or maybe we will get lost.
(Narritjin Maymuru Yirrkala, an Australian Aborigine)

The earth is at the same time mother.  She is the mother of all that is natural mother of all that is human.  She is the mother of all, for contained in her are the seeds of all.
(Hildegard of Bingen)

Visioning the great mother: “A Reality Called Boom.” Photo by Wolfgang Sterneck on Flickr.

True religion is the original umbilical cord that binds our individual selves back to our larger universal source.  That source, in women’s religion, is the Great Mother, who is the great cosmic weaver, the divine potter, the carrier of the heavenly water jar; we participate in her substance, her nature, her processes, her play, and her work.
(Monica Sjoo and Barbara Mor)

Wisdom is seen as the all-encompassing divine ground of being out of which the Trinity emerges.  It creates the world, guides it to perfection, and unites the creation with its Creator….Wisdom is the ground of being of the three persons of God.
(Rosemary Ruether)

Before creation a presence existed
Self-contained, complete, formless, voiceless, mateless
Changeless
Which yet pervaded itself
With unending motherhood.
(Lao Tzu)

“She Who Hears the Cries of the World” by Jennifer Berezan, with Olympia Dukakis and Starhawk. Produced by
Unanimous.

The mother’s battle for her child—with sickness, with poverty, with war, with all the forces of exploitation and callousness that cheapen human life—need to become a common human battle, waged in love and in the passion for survival.


(Adrienne Rich)

A maternal theology will affirm those qualities symbolized by the Great Mother—an assertive, whole motherhood—in all human beings.  And it will affirm the ‘maternal’ reality—the material reality –as continuous with the spiritual reality, and vice versa.
(Glenys Livingstone)

We enter into this life with the total knowledge we have learned to help the Mother Earth.  Our purpose is to protect the Earth.  This is why our children must be born to this world in warmth and love, and raised with such.  They must be allowed to keep their Spirit memories and use them to aid the Mother.
(Buck Ghosthorse, Lakota teacher)


See Matthew Fox, “Your Mother is Dying,” in Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, pp. 12f.  

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

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: “Earth Goddess.” Photo by Jen Gallardo on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

Which of these several poems speak most deeply to you and to our times do you think?  Why is that so?


Recommended Reading

The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance

In what may be considered the most comprehensive outline of the Christian paradigm shift of our Age, Matthew Fox eloquently foreshadows the manner in which the spirit of Christ resurrects in terms of the return to an earth-based mysticism, the expression of creativity, mystical sexuality, the respect due the young, the rebirth of effective forms of worship—all of these mirroring the ongoing blessings of Mother Earth and the recovery of Eros, the feminine aspect of the Divine.
“The eighth wonder of the world…convincing proof that our Western religious tradition does indeed have the depth of imagination to reinvent its faith.” — Brian Swimme, author of The Universe Story and Journey of the Universe.

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.


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11 thoughts on “Some Poems to the Mother”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Matthew, You begin today by recalling your dream that said, “Your Mother is Dying.” And then you say: “We are crucifying mother earth and mothers in general when we allow extremist judges and politicians and religious figures to pass laws that coerce and curse women in order to control their bodies, an aspiration as old as patriarchy itself.” And this is all the truth, plus as you quote Adrienne Rich as saying: “The mother’s battle for her child—with sickness, with poverty, with war, with all the forces of exploitation and callousness that cheapen human life—need to become a common human battle, waged in love and in the passion for survival.” Then our Query for Contemplations is: “Which of these several poems speak most deeply to you and to our times do you think?” The two that spoke most deeply to me were the following poems / quotations:
    “The earth is at the same time mother. She is the mother of all that is natural mother of all that is human. She is the mother of all, for contained in her are the seeds of all.”
    (Hildegard of Bingen)

    “Before creation a presence existed
    Self-contained, complete, formless, voiceless, mateless
    Changeless
    Which yet pervaded itself
    With unending motherhood.
    (Lao Tzu)

    I think that these statements by Hildegard and Lao Tzu both speak to me about the beauty of the earth and a peaceful existence “With unending motherhood.” They speak to me saying that Our Mother yet lives! So lets praise her and rejoice in her presence.

  2. Avatar

    In the pre-Abrahamic religions, all the deities were female, and thus creation was seen exclusively through a feminine lens. Post-Abrahamic, the pendulum swung the other way, with God and creation seen along more exclusive (and toxic) patriarchal lines. Since divinity is androgynous, in the interest of clear perception and thought, seems its best to embrace neither view wholly. Neither does it make sense, like in toxic two-party politics, to reflexively take side A when side B is too extreme, or the converse. Truth be told, both are competing partial truths lacking integration. There are, after all, healthy and virile forms of masculinity to be reconciled with the feminine in each gender singly, and in clear views of the divine. Patriarchal religion serves up one imbalance, Creation Spirituality the other, each telling the other what it’s opposed to in its counterpart. Instead of hearing from one side of this universally unresolved polarity, themselves an imbalanced expression of dualistic thought (separation consciousness), I’d like to hear a DM whose focus puts them together in healthy, balanced expression. Otherwise one stands to repeat the grave error of toxic two-party politics, only in the religious arena.

    1. Avatar

      To be fair to a sense of balanced representation which is my own pet peeve expressed above and in other columns, I neglected to mention the creatively fine expose’ of poems on God as mother in today’s DM. My apologies to Matthew and staff for the glaring oversight . . . which only proves my prior point. That is, that an intent to present a perspective on a given subject, any subject, can be so focused on a salient point or two, that when repeated often enough and with monotonous regularity, it not only gets old, but misses the big pic myopically. I stand convicted today, hoisted by my own flatulence. My DM for the day.

      1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
        Richard Reich-Kuykendall

        Joe, Matthew asked me to convey the following to you: “it sounds to me like he do not know at all my men’s book which not only present 10 archetypes of the sacred masculine, but also 2 chapters on the sacred marriage of divine feminine and sacred masculine. Am I right?” So, what I would suggest is that you pick up a copy of Matthew’s book, THE HIDDEN SPIRITUALITY OF MEN then you will understand what he is talking about.

  3. Avatar

    I have just spent 30 minutes lost in the meditation of today’s YouTube offering from Starhawk and Olympia Dukakis ‘‘She who hears the cries of the world.”
    I was transported to the safety and divine love of our great mother.
    It is said that anything we do in repetition for more than 7 minutes has the potential to bring us into an altered state of consciousness. This chant illuminated by the illustrations gifted me with that experience, Art as Meditation. In todays teachings, quotes, amazing video (thank you Phila) and Matthew’s wisdom I have found hope and comfort and the theme for my next Sacred Circle Dance Retreat in September.
    I can’t wait to share what I have been given this day.
    Thank you,
    Ellen

  4. Avatar

    My soul “ hears the cry of the World” (Mother Earth and all Her creatures, including our humanity, and all Her diminishing graceful abundance)… and I am still grieving and deeply saddened….
    ?❤️?

  5. Avatar

    Dear Matthew and DM Team,
    I am so sorry to say I could not hear your words in this morning’s (5 Aug 2022) Daily Meditation. Has anyone else had this issue. Thank you Marguerite L.

    Because you are such a good question asker Matthew, yes this has happened before, this am though, your voice volume on my lap top, was about a 2 out of 10.

  6. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    I hear the cries of our Mother
    Drifting through the mist in the mountains
    Flowing in the emerald glacial waters
    Singing in the cool breeze of the trees
    Taking flight on eagles wings
    Radiating sunbows through the clouds
    Releasing earthy moist fragrances
    Sounding deep rolling thunder and
    Flashes of quicksilver lightning
    Echoing wisdom through the canyons.

    She is the black and burnt bark
    Of the purifying flames of fire
    Generating new life from death
    She is the muddy churning waters
    Drawing many wells into one river
    She is the cave carved of granite stone
    Womb of darkness, sounds of silence
    Bejeweled in jade, amythest and jasper
    Enthroned as Queen of all of creation
    I have seen and heard Her call.

  7. Pingback: Stewardship of Mother Earth… | Christian Playbook

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