:: Goddess Gift E-Zine ::

June 2010     

 Goddess Musings from Sharon

"Nobody loves me but my mother. . . and she could be jivin', too",  bluesman B.B. King once lamented. He was giving voice to the most basic of all human anxieties. If your mother doesn't love you, then who will?

Which brings us to the difficult subject of the . . .

The Bad Mom

. . . you know, like all of us who've reared little ones and [especially] teens.  Which of us has not felt the sting of misdoubt about how proficient we really are at mothering?

I'm siding with Ayelet Waldman, author of 'Bad Mother : A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace.
ith a title like that how could it fail to be a New York Times Bestseller!)

Like Ayelet, I've encountered so many women (including myself at times) who show no mercy to themselves. "So crippled by their guilt, by their unreasonable expectations," she says, "that they can't even allow themselves to celebrate the true joys of being a mom."

One goddess had to learn all that the hard way. . . . Hera, the Greek Goddess of Marriage.

What the Goddess Hera wants you to know . . .

To give Hera her rightful due, she had, by nature, many gifts. But mothering wasn't one of them. At least not in the beginning. She decided to get pregnant to give her philandering husband Zeus a "taste of his own medicine" by conceiving and delivering a child by herself, proving that she really didn't need him anyway.

Hera achieved this feat of impregnating herself with the help of herbs (no man involved). Unfortunately, her infant son was born with a deformity. She felt humiliated. As a woman who so fervently needed the admiration and respect of others, she couldn't bear the shame of it and hurled the infant out of the heavens and into the sea. Made lame by the fall, her tiny son Hephaestus was hidden away by a group of water nymphs and Titan goddesses who reared him as their own, teaching him many of their creative arts.

(In other versions of the myth, it was Zeus who cast the baby out, and in some it was both Zeus and Hera. At any rate, it was his mother Hephaestus blamed for her failure to protect and nurture him.)

As an adult, Hephaestus became a goldsmith, turning out the most exquisite jewelry. He became quite the rage. Hera was horrified to realize she'd made an awful error in rejecting this creative, inventive man whose work was so widely admired. She convinced Zeus to invite him to return to Mount Olympus and take his rightful place among the gods.

Hephaestus politely declined and, by way of thanking her for the invitation, sent her an incredible golden throne. The instant she sat on it golden ropes flew out and entwined her, locking her into the chair. (I think it's safe to assume that he was still a bit miffed with his mother about the earlier rejection.)

Eventually they reconciled, but it was too late for Hera to bask in the joys of raising this exceptional child.

Continue by reading the full articles on the Goddess Hera  and the Greek God Hephaestus.

It's about time we expose motherhood for the very complex and demanding job that it really is.  It's so easy to forget that mothers aren't always comforting. This may be a shocker, but they are supposed to make us suffer. It's in their job description.

First they squeeze us out into the cold, cruel world, and then make matters worse by setting impossible standards and demanding that we meet them.

Then, having taught us the skills we need to make our way in the world, they promptly shove us out of the nest, and expect us to remember to call and visit every now and then.

But even when we forget to call because we're too busy, a good mother always manages to forgive us. She recognizes that we are doing just what she always intended for us, living our lives to the fullest. 

The History of Mother's Day

Like many of our other contemporary holidays, Mother's Day has its 'roots' in ancient pagan festivals. For centuries pagan and Christian celebrations of motherhood have included:

  • Hilaria, a three day festival honoring Gaea and Rhea

  • the Creation of the "Mother Church"

  • The Festival of St. Brigid, and

  • "Mothering Sunday"

But did you know the modern celebration of Mother's Day in the USA:

  • Began as a "Woman's Work Day for Child Welfare" and a "Mothers March for Peace", and that

  • The founder of Mother's Day was later arrested for protesting against the holiday?

It's a fascinating story. Read about it at: Celebrating Mother's Day

Please forward to a friend if you know someone who would enjoy this issue.
 Bright Shiny Objects that caught the Goddess' Eye!


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(Topics and Speakers listed here.)

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In closing,
   a reminder that...

    whether or not we've been lucky
         to have been bound to our Mothers with blood ties,
     we should give thanks for all those women
          who have graced us
     by being
 the spiritual mothers in our lives. 

Have a Happy Mother's Day!


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