God Our Mother

By Valerie Elverton Dixonfounder JustPeaceTheory.com Mother’s Day is a day when we ought to give God the Mother her proper … Continued

By Valerie Elverton Dixon
founder JustPeaceTheory.com

Mother’s Day is a day when we ought to give God the Mother her proper respect. El Shaddai, God Almighty, the god of breast and womb, the fecund god of fertility, the god that is herself enough; Lady Wisdom, the consort of the Creator God; and in the Christian trinity, Holy Spirit, the comforter, the present dimension of God who remains to guide us and to instruct us ought to receive our praise.

We honor God the Mother when we remember the holiness of woman and see in her an image of God no less than the image of God in man. Such reverence would cause us to cherish the bodies of women as more than sexual objects. It would compel us to work against the trafficking of girls and women into sex slavery. And, we would not rest so long as the bodies of women remain the terrain of war, so long as rape is a tactic of war, so long as any mother sheds a tear for a child killed in violent conflict.

When we remember God the Mother, we can define as divine alternative ethics leading to a new politics. A feminist ethics of care would live alongside an ethics of rights and duty. Such would remind us of the importance of care givers, especially those who care for the weak and vulnerable among us – children, the elderly, the physically and mentally challenged. We would insist that we pay them a decent wage. A feminist ethics that values presence, particularity, relationality, community and peace would balance ethics of transcendence, universality, autonomy, individualism and conflict. It would help us see that soft power, positive power, is power nonetheless, and we can deploy a politics of just distribution of the earth’s resources to prevent war. An ecofeminist ethic would help us regard the earth as holy and insist that we touch it with gentle fingers.

When we embrace God the Mother, we can live into the womanist virtues of responsibility, love, commitment, and complexity, knowing that simplistic answers can lead us astray. For the sake of life and flourishing our analysis ought to pay attention to the various ways the world limits us then seek strategies to move past the limits. When we consider God the Mother, we understand the necessity for the extreme unction of grace, the holly oil that lubricates human relationships to decrease the friction that cause us to cause each other pain.

Mother’s Day is a time when we bring to the foreground of our memory the times when God the Mother read us bedtime stories and sang us to sleep; when she healed our skinned knees and elbows and bump, bruises and boo boos with cold water and kisses; when we loved a love with our best selves, were rejected, and shed obdurate tears that refused to quit until she reminded us that there is more than one pebble on the beach, there is a Little Rock in Arkansas; we laughed and breathed and looked forward to tomorrow and the possibility of a new and better love. We remember that she encouraged us to take a risk, keeping faith in ourselves and faith in God.

Mother’s Day is a day to recognize God the Mother acting through our birth mothers and adopted mothers and other mothers and man mothers. It is a divine love, stronger than death, which loves us beyond anything we deserve. It is a love that requires us to love with such a love.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Valerie Elverton Dixon is founder JustPeaceTheory.com. She taught Christian Ethics at Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, MA and United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

  • onofrio

    “El Shaddai, God Almighty, the god of breast and womb, the fecund god of fertility, the god that is herself enough; Lady Wisdom, the consort of the Creator God;”I note here a howling lack of Hecate Triformis of the crossroads, blood-drunken Hathor-Sekhmet, Anath up to her knees in gore, and of course Artemis, she of wild things. Lady’s Wisdom hath many names…some may eat you alive.

  • onofrio

    Just pieces…

  • onofrio

    Theary

  • onofrio

    Thee, airy…

  • onofrio

    …fairy

  • onofrio

    “When we embrace God the Mother, we can live into the womanist virtues of responsibility, love, commitment, and complexity, knowing that simplistic answers can lead us astray.” Since when was complexity a virtue? Virtue’s virtue. Nought manist or womanist about it. Or is that too…simplistic?

  • onofrio

    “We honor God the Mother when we remember the holiness of woman and see in her an image of God no less than the image of God in man. Such reverence would cause us to cherish the bodies of women as more than sexual objects.””More than” sexual *objects*? How about just NOT. Sexual SUBJECTS would be a good start. And reverence for she-deity won’t pave a royal road to that. Look at India, for instance. No shortage of devotion to Devi, Parvati, Lakshmi, Durga and Kali there, but it hasn’t helped India excel in *cherishing* female bodies, especially those of its widows.Changing the world by *soft* power? A lovely thought, but women have been nurturing, nursing, creating, enduring, and being wise for ever. Like that lady-deity of your hopes. No change to the angry phalli. My daughters are learning martial arts, because many males will only learn *wisdom* by a swift pre-emptive strike to the cojones, metaphorically and/or actually. Does the Holy Christian Pneuma-lady endorse that?

  • onofrio

    El Shaddai – love that ol’ time Canaanitish El and his epithets ;)My, Farnaz, nice to see you here. I gave up on Susan J’s threads because she kept removing my heinous greetings – you know, such evil terms as “Hi” and “thank you”.So I just good rid meself to foray occasionally from the underworld and make mince pie of some poor JustPiecesTheairist…back to cellar koboldry.Again, respect for your many wise words on just about everything 🙂 I remain yours etc.Onofrio

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Hi Onofrio,Ditto on all accounts. Regarding Susan J’s thread, maybe, your posts were “casualties” of Operation Clean Sweep?Even one of the authentic Susan’s posts was removed. “Hi” and “thank you” sound innocent enough to me, but what do I know?”Els” are good! Like them, me too! Please come back to Susan J’s thread. It’s chilly in the Arctic. Damp at the equator. Moosey in Wisconsin.Etc.Farnaz 🙂

  • Athena4

    Ditto to what Paganplace has to say. The Goddess is not just Yahweh in drag. She is more than just the Mother, she is the Maiden and the Crone as well. She loves, gives birth, nurtures, shares her wisdom, and eases our passage into death. Sometimes she can be the destroyer, but that is only because there cannot be new life without death. But hey, thinking of Her as El-Shaddai, Mary, or Sophia is a good start. Keep learning about Her, and She will reveal more of herself.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    But hey, thinking of Her as El-Shaddai, Mary, or Sophia is a good start.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    “Goddess is not just Yahweh in drag”Is s/he a one-named celeb like Cher? Like Madonna?Is the goddess more than Jesus in drag?

  • Athena4

    Jesus in drag? My, that would get the Fundies going! 😀

  • onofrio

    Visions of Antony and the Johnsons’ ‘Black River’:”Late at night, all dolled up like Christ…”I recall that sacred transvestism was part of the worship of the Syrian and Anatolian ‘Great Mother’ goddesses, and of the cult of the sacred solar baetyl of Emesa, favoured by the teenage emperor of the Romans, Elagabalus (218-222).Also, the deity on the reverse of some tetradrachms (large four drachma silver coins) of the Parthian king Phraates II (138-127 BC) depict what appears to be a transgender deity: a clearly female body, clothed in a woman’s chiton; bearded male head, crowned with a kalathos (an attribute of both the Graeco-Egyptian god Serapis: fusion of Osiris, Hades, Zeus, and Dionysos; and of the Greek goddess Tyche: the ‘fortune’ or ‘fate’ of cities). The primeval creator god of the Egyptians, Atum, was able to copulate with himself and so beget and give birth to…himself, thus differentiating himself from the surrounding abyss/ocean/chaos, and developing into the cosmos by a process of extension and differentiation of his own substance (anticipations of Spinoza). The procreative agent here was the god’s hand which was hypostatised into a goddess (not an anticipation of Spinoza).The cosmos instigated by an act of primal auto-eroticism – explains a lot! 😉

  • onofrio

    According to another Egpytian take on creator deities, the great god Amun of Thebes (“the Hidden One”, “whose identity is hidden”, “whose image is not depicted in the writings”), could be titled k3-mwt.f “bull of his mother”. In other words – one who begat/mothered himself. In other words – the creator exulted in being a true motherf***er ;-)Another way of he being she, she being he, and getting the world rolling.

  • onofrio

    Yet another Nile-conceived universe-maker:Wasn’t just wall-to-wall male gods mothering themselves and actualising their inner woman via masturbation.Neith, the great goddess of the Delta city of Sais/So/Sa el-Hagar was a sole female creator – a truly awesome deity. In the divine comedy of ‘The Contendings of Horus and Seth’ Neith is where the buck stops, the court of highest appeal. She sorts out the squabbling gods by threatening to bring down the sky on all their heads – no idle threat. She was the great mother, and also a warrior. Her emblem was crossed arrows on a shield. The Greeks interpreted her as Athena.

  • onofrio

    Ah, Neith! Now there’s a goddess!