The Search For The Divine Mother (by Gwenaël Verez) May 26, 2011
Many traditions attach great importance to the feminine dimension of the Divine. It is She who is said to give liberation, spiritual rebirth, that is to say Union with the Self. The most significant example is the knowledge of the Kundalini in India.
Eema – God the Mother November 29, 2010
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.
A HYMN TO THE DIVINE MOTHER by Swami Vivekananda March 13, 2010
का त्वं शुभे शिवकरे सुखदुःखहस्ते
आधूर्णितं भवजलं प्रबलोर्मिभङ्गैः।
शान्ति विधातुमिह किं बहुधा विभग्नाम्
मातः प्रयत्नपरमासि सदैव विस्वे॥
O Thou most beautiful! Whose holy hands
Hold pleasure and hold pain! Doer of good!
Who art Thou? The water of existence
By Thee is whirled and tossed in mighty waves.
Is it, O Mother, to restore again
This universe’s broken harmony
That Thou, without cessation, art at work?
या वै स्थिता कृतफलं त्वकृतस्य नेत्री।
सा मे भवत्वनुदिनं वरदा भवानी
जानाम्यहं ध्रुवमिदं धृतकर्मपाशा॥
Oh! May the Mother of the universe—
In whose activity no respite rests,
Incessantly distributing the fruits
Of action done, guiding unceasingly
All action yet to come—bestow Her boon
Of blessing on me, Her child, for evermore.
I realize, I know, that it is Thou
Who holdest in Thy hands dread Karma’s rope.
को वा धर्मः किमकृतं कः कपाललेखः
किंवादृष्ट फलमिहास्ति हि यां विना भोः
इच्छापाशैर्नियमिता नियमाः स्वतन्त्रैः
यस्या नेत्री भवतु सा शरणं ममाद्या॥
Is it inherent nature? Something uncreate?
Or Destiny? Some unforeseen result?—
Who lacking nothing, is accountable,
Whose chain of will, untrammelled, grasps the laws,
May She, the Primal Guide, my shelter be!
सन्तानयन्ति जलधिं जनिमृत्युजालं
सम्भावयन्त्यविकृतं विकृतं विभग्नम्।
यस्या विभूतय इहामितशक्तिपालाः
नाश्रित्य तां वद कुतः शरणं व्रजामः॥
Manifestations of Her glory show
In power of immeasurable might,
Throughout the universe, powers that swell
The sea of birth and death, forces that change
And break up the Unchanged and changed again.
Lo! Where shall we seek refuge, save in Her?
मित्रे शत्रौ त्वविषमं तव पद्मनेत्रम्
स्वस्थे दुःस्थे त्ववितथं तव हस्तपातः।
मृत्युच्छाया तव दया त्वमृतञ्च मातः
मा मां मुञ्चन्तु परमे शुभदृष्टयस्ते॥
To friend and foe Thy lotus-eyes are even;
Ever Thine animating touch brings fruit
To fortunate and unfortunate alike;
The shade of death and immortality—
Both these, O mother, are Thy grace Supreme!
Mother Supreme! Oh, may Thy gracious face
Never be turned away from me, Thy child!
क्काम्बा सर्वा क्क गृणनं मम हीनबुध्देः
धर्त्तुं दोर्भ्यामिव मतिर्जगदेकधात्रीम्॥
श्रीसञ्चिन्त्यं सुचरणं अभयप्रतिष्ठं
सेवासारैरभिनुतं शरणं प्रपद्ये॥
What Thou art, the Mother! the All. How praise?
My understanding is so little worth.
‘Twere like desire to seize with hands of mine
The sole Supporter of the universe!
So, at Thy blessed feet—contemplated
By the Goddess of Fortune Herself—the abode
Of fearlessness, worshiped by service true—
There, at those blessed feet, I take refuge!
या मामाजन्म विनयत्यतिदुःखमार्गैः
या मे बुध्दिं सुविदधे सततं धरण्यांम्
साम्बा सर्वा मम गतिः सफलेऽफले वा॥
She who, since birth, has ever led me on
Through paths of trouble to perfection’s goal,
Mother-wise, in Her own sweet playful ways,
She, who has always through my life inspired
My understanding, She, my Mother, She,
The All, is my resort, whether my work
O’erdow with full fruition or with none.
Five Elements and Five Tanmatras February 24, 2010
The tanmatras, the subtle elements, are the objects of the five senses. The five tanmatras are sound, touch, form, taste, and odor or smell; the five senses are hearing, tactile perception, vision, taste, and smell. The tanmatras are the ways in which the objective world is sensed.
The five elements have functional integrity with the five sensory organs, which allows us to perceive the external environment. Their presence is the reason for the existence of the senses themselves.”
“The tanmatras form the Common Ground for the expression of the objective world and the entire world exists on this Ground. Another meaning of tan is mother, and matra also means matter — the mother of matter. The Mother of this whole world is the tanmatras. The tanmatras are in the womb of the Cosmic Mother, Prakruti.
It is this energy that gives rise to the objective five elements. Each element is related primarily to one tanmatra but can contain a portion of the others as well. Ether comes out of shabda tanmatra (sound); Air out of shabda and sparsha tanmatras (sound and touch); Fire out of shabda, sparsha and rupa tanmatras (sound, touch and sight); Water out of shabda, sparsha, rupa and rasa (sound, touch, sight and taste); and Earth out of shabda, sparsha, rupa, rasa and gandha (sound, touch, form, taste and odor).”