Who is Eema, and what is Her status in the Christian Church now? This is a question that haunts each one of us, and a question that often goes unanswered. Basically, Eema exists in mainstream Christianity in two forms: the sterilized image of the Virgin Mary, and the watered-down secular image of “Mother Nature.” These images do nothing to reflect Her full nature, but we as Esoteric Christians should be thankful for them nevertheless – after all, better that the pistics have watered-down images of Eema than none at all!
The other pistic faiths, Judaism and Islam, also have Eema in their faiths – once again, only to a degree. Jews speak of the Shekinah and the Sabbath Bride, and sometimes of Sophia (Chokmah in Hebrew), Goddess of wisdom. Muslims place considerable honor on the figure of Mary but the Muslim Maacry is an extremely sterilized, sanitized, de-sexualized puritan character.
Within the catholic denominations – Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, and Lutheranism – Eema has continued in the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. However, as stated, she has been sterilized. She is devoid of sexuality. The early church councils deprived her of all sexuality when they defined her as a perpetual virgin, denied the conception and birth of Yeshua’s siblings, and said the Blessed Virgin was above sexuality.
So while the catholic denominations do allow for some feminine presence, Her fertility is still very much denied. She is only allowed to give birth to the Son of God, who is also seen as celibate. Celibate God the Father, celibate Joseph, celibate Mary, and celibate Yeshua. It’s a wonder that humanity survived the wave of pistic Christian celibacy!
Within the Protestant denominations, there is little evidence of the Feminine Divine. Some Protestant denominations have feminist groups who honor Sophia and the Virgin Mary, but mainstream Protestantism does nothing to honor either of these images of Eema. A few Protestants know Eema as the watered-down, secularized “Mother Nature,” but still they recognize Her only as their masculine God’s creation and instrument. With only these few exceptions, Protestantism is basically devoid of Eema, Goddess the Mother.
There is one Christian denomination with the possibility of developing an egalitarian theology that includes Abba and Eema: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church. Official LDS teaching states that human beings existed prior to their physical birth as spiritual beings, and that we as spiritual beings lived as the divine children of a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother. The doctrine of a Heavenly Mother was taught to a few members by LDS founder Joseph Smith.
One of these members was his wife, Eliza R. Snow, who wrote the first public declaration of belief in the LDS Heavenly Mother with the poem, “Invocation – or the Eternal Father and Mother.” This is now the hymn, “O My Father.” Unfortunately, the LDS is primarily run by men, and those men refuse to go much further with a thealogy of the Heavenly Mother. They cite an absence of scriptural evidence for Her (even though there are numerous references in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon). Citing lack of scriptural evidence is illogical, because according to the LDS, revelation is still coming to their church. The LDS refuses to allow private revelation on the subject however, issuing an order that no LDS member should pray to or about Heavenly Mother to obtain revelation from or about Her. Like most of Christianity, the LDS leadership has rejected Eema. Fortunately, however, there are many members of the LDS who are unhappy with this. Perhaps there will be a revolution in the LDS, which will allow for an egalitarian theology at last.
So we have seen that Eema is struggling to maintain Her presence in the pistic (mainstream lopsided) Christian churches. But what about in Esoteric Christianity?
She need not struggle with us! She is found in many forms within Esoteric Christianity. We see her as Asherah, the great Canaanite Goddess worshiped early on in the Hebrew tribe. We see her as Shekinah, the Feminine Presence of Godhead and Great Mother. We see her as Mary, the incarnation of Shekinah and Mother of Yeshua, the Queen of Heaven and Earth and our Mediatrix. Sometimes we see Her in the images of Sophia and Mary Magdalene, though They are most often associated with the Daughter Goddess. We see Her in Eloah, feminine counterpart of El, present and active at creation. We see Her throughout all time in many forms, but through past, present, and future She will always be simply, Our Mother.
Thanks to Soror Amber Satterwhite for her essay, God the Mother in Mormonism, which gave me much of the information about the LDS and the Heavenly Mother.