So Where’s Mom?

This paper is about God. Nothing small. Nothing we could actually put in a box. Actually, it’s about Mrs. God. Also nothing small; but interestingly enough that’s exactly what happened to her. In our story, in a box, behind walls, behind veils, behind bars, sealed up … vaporized… gone.

I began this paper wondering about my basic dissatisfactions with the inherited religion of my birth, Judaism. For as long as I remember, my religion was not the container for my faith – – for I had found no faith in the dogma of a stern Yawahistic version of creation and yet I had found a great deal of angst around being “a chosen people”. Those “not chosen”, always worried me. It seemed that “choice and preference” was the underlying theme of my ancestral raison d’ etre.

Mg 10 “The drive for power as well as the ever-present fear of being attacked goes far to explain the need for an ever more powerful – eventually a ‘supreme’ – god who would unite his people in a common cause of defense or attack. This god was everywhere a sky-father, ruling from the heights of heaven, where all things can be seen, foreseen and overseen, and where the minute particulars of earthly life are diminished before the vast planetary scope of space.

The rise of sky gods with solar powers can be followed in Babylonia, Anatolia, Persia, Canaan and Greece, and the same rise to power of father gods may have taken place in Vedic India.

Choice and preference. Why did we choose as THE basic story one which allows no room for MOM; for the feminine, for the nurturing material face of divinity. Why choose such a righteous imago for Dad? Why in fact have Mom and / or Dad at all?

Why this need to give meaning to life? Never mind the later question of polytheism vs. monotheism; atheism vs. theism really is the bottom line question and on this point at least, my ancestors and I agreed. Divinity was definitely to be factored in.

For many years one of the premises of my faith has been that there are only 2 basic choices in life. And everything else is colored by this preference. ‘You’re born, you life, you die’; it means nothing , has no room for imagination, while on the other hand, ‘You’re born, you live, you die”, it means something, leaves the entire universe for channel – hopping. There is no mythopoesis in an atheistic philosophy. There is no dance, no need for song, no soul, no imagination.

And since I a song and dance kind of girl, imagination is my mythic native land. So here we part, my ancestors and I. For their vision of divinity, of a higher power, the Lord God of my father’s fathers is not an inspiring source of awe to me: and since part of my life is to live into my myth, I must have inspiration – a hidden partner my imagination. Does that mean that the Lord God is not inspiring – or just not inspiring to me. I can only speak for myself and say – not me, not here, not now. For my ancestors, life was different. Different basic needs treated different values, created different preferences, different stories. Which gave rise to different stories.

1996 Vancouver rainforest Canada little resembles the Caananite mud eastern coast of ancestral biblical times and so in recognizing that my own choice of story is Guidio Sy inspiration I chose to investigate the road by which my ancestors traveled to this vision of God.

“In the beginning”, always a good place to start – although it turned out that the beginning as in Genesis, was in fact really quite far into the story.

“Where is Mrs. God?”, I had asked my bible studies Sunday School teacher. With no Mrs. God in the picture and life at home, my grandfather’s home, very patriarchal, my young soul seemed to sense the loss of a vision of wisdom as Grandmother or ‘Great Mother’. LIFE seemed very skewed toward a masculine bias. In my youth I only knew this as the lack of Mrs. God; in my quest I have come to know it as the voice of authority order and clarity given precedence over soft murmurings and stolen moments. Logos over Eros.

Not only was there to be no Mrs. God in my world, there was to be no explanation and it is in search of this explanation that I found myself stepping backward off the edge of time into the sands of history. Literally, from the sandy Caananite shores **** the desert into upland forests to working eastward and northward the story beckons.

Mg 1 “In the course of the Bronze Age the old myth of the hunter grew into the myth of the warrior – hero and came to overshadow the myth of the goddess, which was gradually relegated to the unconscious psyche of humanity. Yet we can find the lost primordial myth scattered throughout the symbolic images, myths and fairy-tales of every civilization, equently unrecognized, often unconnected with each other, but always present. The goddess, and the vision of the whole that the image of her embodies, has not been lost but obscured by the pressing claims of the other story, the myth of the hunt and the need to survive.” Or in fact, Mrs. god was not intended as part of the story. Both *** turn out to be true. She is there and not there. How can that be? “How can that not be,” I marveled … or so not the essence of the Feminine – without form, without definition.

Mg 2 “In the Enuma Elish there is already the germ of three principal ideas that were to inform the age to come: the supremacy of the father god over the mother goddess; the paradigm of opposition implicit in the deathly struggle between god and goddess; and the association of light,order, and good with the god, and of darkness, chaos and evil with the goddess. This was also expressed as the polarization of spirit and nature, mind and body, and one divine and good, the other ‘fallen’ and ‘evil’. This opposition was extended to the categorization of gender in all aspects of life, which then polarized into conflicting opposites, instead of following the earlier model of differentiation and complementary. When this opposition was crudely oversimplified, as it often was, the ‘male’ aspect of life became the identified with spirit, light, order and mind, which were good, and the ‘female’ aspect of life became identified with nature, darkness, chaos and body, which were evil.”

To really understand, I knew that I needed to use Genesis as my epilogue and look back to the old Caanite goddesses, back further to Babylonian mythology, further to the Enuma Elish to the **** of Aramat *** Marduk, and yet if I continued still back further **** Persian and Vedic myth I came to a place where the feminine existed in realistic and imaginable celebration.

Catel Hayak and the dawning of civilization …. Goddesses painted, sculpted, engraved, adored and adorned, and not just at that moment in time. As we see with Maria Gimbutus work, the Goddess existed 30,000 years ago throughout our western cultural both physical and imaginable.

Mg 3 “Figures of goddesses, images of the moon, the crescent horns of bison and bull, the bird, serpent, fish, and wild animals, the chevrons of water or bird’s wings, the meander, labyrinth and spiral – all these reappear in the myths and images of later ages, often clearly reminiscent of their earliest beginnings. Together they point to a culture with a highly developed mythology that wove together all these elements in stories long since lost to us, but whose traces may still linger in the enchanting convolutions of fairy-tales. The miraculous survival of these images of the Mother Goddess throughout 20,000 years is a testament to a surprisingly unified culture – or, at the very least, a common nexus of belief – lasting for a much longer period of time than their successors, images of the Father God. Campbell summarizes:

From the Pyrenees to Lake Baikal, the evidence now is before us of a Late Stone Age mythology in which the outstanding single figure was the Naked Goddess … She was almost certainly a patroness of childbirth and fecundity. In that Paleolithic age she was specifically a goddess of the hunt, but but also, apparently, of vegetation … The Mal’ta burial suggests that it was she who received the dead and delivered their souls to rebirth.

Our assumptions about human nature, in particular our beliefs about the capacity of human beings to live in harmony with the rest of nature and to shape a peaceful world, are crucial to whether or not we can actually create a better way of being. If we hold that human beings are and always have been primarily hunters and warriors, then we are more likely to overlook evidence to the contrary and conclude that war-like aggression is innate. No evidence has been found that Paleolithic people fought each other. It is then moving to discover that our Paleolithic ancestors have something to teach us, specifically about the way we have misinterpreted their art, and so their lives, by pressing them into a world view belonging to the twentieth century.”

So it might seem that only recently have we lost her from the story of it by Goddess is a concept we create then it must somehow serve. If it no longer serves then it will be left behind, left out of the story.

It must have been difficult to justify all that war, all that killing, all the torture and violence without God’s authority, but in the name of God. Once upon a time as people first settled into life by giving up a nomadic existence for someplace called home, in these most are of modern times, our ancestors lived in rhythm with nature and so saw nature as divine. Both her abundance and her violence were honored. She treated and she destroyed. Within the feminine is always the call to chaos to the informed, the indefinite. So which being revered; the Goddess in all her manifestations ‘em ‘em ‘em. One of the things we do know is that life on a pedestal can be precarious and an inflated value as I might say will require compensatory action.

*** can often breed Mama’s Boys and these myths all show the story progressing to Goddess of Bull of Heaven & Goddess of Son-L, nev. From absolutely divine authority, the Goddess is slowly sharing her empire; the masculine young as it yet is , is becoming a divine voice and this in itself heralds a new era. It is not until about 2,000 years later that the divine child himself is killed; the end of it is the **** is the end of the basic story. The end of Christ … the beginning of Christianity.

Am 1”.Mother of all Mothers, She who gave birth to all……..”

Despite the threats of Ishtar the Bull of Heaven’s killed by Narduk, the voice of the Goddess goes unanswered. Marduk the ‘twice – divine’ beloved of his fathers, kills the son – lover of the mother. The old order is dying and with the death of tiamat matriarchy falls off the pedestal and the masculine sequis its climb.

Mg 5 “One way of interpreting the hero myth is historically, in terms of a god culture overcoming the mother goddess culture. But the myth suggests another level of meaning, more directly related to the psyche of the time. Symbolically, the struggle between hero and serpent-dragon represents the power of human consciousness to gain mastery of instinct and unconscious patterns of behavior, to rise ‘out of nature’ and, at the same time, out of tribal, collective attitudes and patterns of behavior that endlessly repeat the unquestioned beliefs of the past. It symbolizes the need for individuals to separate from these collective responses by challenging the tribal values with their own vision. Where the hero myth perceived in terms of the growth of consciousness, it becomes an tanqust for illumination. Here the conflict is not so much between good and evil, but rather one between a greater or a lesser understanding. The ‘dragon’ is then ignorance or unconsciousness, not so much chaos as the fear of it. This is one meaning of the ‘conquest’ of darkness – his fear or the limitations of his knowledge, both, ultimately, the same thing. This idea is expressed in Persian Zoraastrianism, in which humanity’s role was conceived as one of helping the light to establish itself against the power of darkness.”

Four thousand years later the masculine still rules, the power of computer technology is given evidence , and war and violence still run virtually throughout our communities. Not much has changed. The Wand is still the Law. Logos over Eros.

So it is understandable that MOM gets written out of the story. For MOM herself was creation and as such all her acts divine. But with a masculine face of ****, the ability to disein, to separate , to forge ahead to be single Murduk to *** **** ***** **** Meaning of Life; which could justify the hubris – the *** out of chaos. Violence in the name of man. Chaos confirmed and given form. **** on the playing field. The Eros subdued by Logos let out like a house pet; instinct in search of life. Animus in action; WAR.

But as stated earlier, just because MOM was written out of the story, because there is no Mrs. God does not mean she’s not there.

Am2 “From ancient settlements along the waters, the Tigris, the Euphrates, and the Jordan, Semitic peoples spread across the Levant, often calling upon the Holy Mother as Asherah, Highest Queen — knowing Her as Lat, Elat or Elath, Exalted Mother, Goddess. She was the Holy Lady Who Walked the Sea, remembered even in Arabia, and at Mesopotamian assur, where the most ancient shrine was the sacred Asheritu.

Mother of all Wisdom, Her ancient oracles of prophesy renowned, She gave the knowledge to diviners, helping them to see far into the future, while they remembered that She alone gave birth to the Seven Deities of Heaven. In her sacred groves, they knew Her as She Who Builds, providing the timber of Her trees. Teaching Her people the art of carpentry. On the flatness of the land, they knew Her as She Who Builds, providing the clay of the earth, teaching Her people the knowledge of the bricks. So it was that Asherah taught those who revered Her how to build shelters from the heat and cold, and how to build the sacred shrines in which they called upon her name.”

For her very absence out of the story left Biblical scholars scrambling for some allegoric clue. From the pre-Genesis Hebrew Goddess personas of Asherah, Anathre Astarte we can sense in the biblical accounts a turning point. No longer a matriarchal society the Father God, known also as **** became the God of War to a Semitic nomadic tribe. Yawah as he is known center of the modern Hebrew as a war god in search of a people.

Mg7”A deity that is only a tribal deity reflects the moral values and cultural attitudes of a specific people a particular historical time – in this case those of the Iron Age Hebrews. On the other hand, the image of the divine is transformed as the moral consciousness of a people evolves , and so it is in the Old Testament when the tribal image is challenged through the passion, and often the suffering, of the individual. Mythology in this sense reflects the evolution of consciousness.

The history of the evolution of consciousness, reflected in the divine images formulated by all peoples, shows how images of divinity gradually change and evolve over many millennia. It could be that the individual’s personal experience of the numinous, together with the pressure of historical events, urges the psyche to search for a new image of the divine or to press the old image into a new form.”

The young hero having conquered the dragon know requires his own kingdom. Just as God the Father demanded eternal sacrifice and tribute so too does God the father’s earthly divine son require sacrifice and tribute. “In to be name of the Father” echoes through the next 3 -4 thousand years and ritual and sacrificial killing give way to a terrorism unknown to the creative Mother. Whereas before, life was seen as part of the grand round, Life was now seen as part linear. Something with boundaries, the feminine circle of life had seen replaced by the 4 square vision of the emperor and his territorial imperative. WAR the face of the divine had turned. (Perhaps Queen Elizabeth would have done well to have considered this!)

Mg8”Now a father god established a position of supremacy in relation to a mother goddess, and he is gradually transformed into the consortless god of the three patriarchal religions known to us today:

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The god is then the sole primal creator, where before the goddess had been the only source of life. But the god becomes the maker of heaven whereas the goddess was heaven and earth. The concept of ‘making’ is radically different from ‘being’, in the sense that what is made is not necessarily of the same substance as its maker, and may be conceived as inferior to him; while what emerges from the mother is necessarily part of her and she of it.

In this way the essential identity between creator and creation was broken, and a fundamental dualism was born from their separation, the dualism that we know as spirit and nature. In the myth of the goddess these two terms have no meaning in separation from each other: nature is spiritual and spirit is natural, because the divine is immanent as creation. In the myth of god, nature is no longer ‘spiritual’ and spirit is no longer ‘natural’ , because the divine is transcendent to creation. Spirit is not inherent in nature, but outside it or beyond it; it even becomes the source of nature. So a new meaning enters the language: spirit becomes creative and nature becomes created. In this new kind of myth, creation is the result of a divine act that brings order out of chaos.”

So with no visible Logos, if such a paradox can be entertained, Bilblical scholars extrapoluted, initiated and otherwise recreated the feminine in various forms over the last two thousand years. Called Sophie, Martronite, Shebricah, Bride of God, Community of Israel or even Lillith; a feminine face aspect to the divine has been breathed into the very pores of a story which denounces it. In the very creases of the margins of the page have been added. Some very old notes of longing. Love notes

Hg 1 “The Zohar and later Kabbalistic works are replete with references to the Shekhina, the female divine entity already familiar to us from her appearances in the earlier Talmudic and Midrashic literature. In the next chapter we shall discuss in detail this feminine divinity whose favorite Kabbalistic name is “the Matronit,” i.e., the Matron. What we wish to consider here is the question of the relationship of the Shekhina to God, and the issue of polytheism versus monotheism represented by it. The learned among the Kabbalists were undoubtedly aware of the problem, grappled with it, and succeeded in solving it in a manner satisfactory to them. One can imagine that by extraordinary mental effort they were able to remain unfailingly aware of the absolute oneness of God even while their imagination was assaulted by the most outspoken descriptions of passionate embraces between the male and female “elements” of the deity.”

Love, longing Eros … in a box, behind a veil. Modern interpretation has it that MOM isn’t really MOM at all, not like Dad. She is precious, needs security, needs to be kept in a box and carted about. Somehow the MOM who created us is in need of care herself. Precious, reminds me of the dog in the well in ‘Silence of the Lambs’; so back to preference.

Hg 2 “The visible expression of their separation was the destruction of the Temple, their bedroom.

Invisible, but no less painfully felt, was the consequent impairment of the King’s power, an idea reminiscent of the notion of Hindu mythology that the male god (Shiva) is powerful only when united with the goddess (Shakti), but is unable even to stir without her. As expressed repeatedly

in Kabbalistic theosophy: “The King [i.e., God] without the Matronity is not a king, is not great, and is not praised…. Therefore, the separation of the King, and the Matronit was a calamity for both the people of Israel and the godhead itself.”

Had the myth lives out today in the preference of mid eastern customs. Women wear veils, one kept in Zenanas or women’s quarters, are not allowed out unchaperoned; boxed in, precious. But as every good physics student knows there is no such thing as solid. What with the wave and the particle there are leaky margins everywhere. and between all those waves and particles which seem to present a wall of reality there are imaginable loopholes allowing the Goddess out. And the Goddess will get out.

Mg 9 “From the dancing shamans of Les Trois Freres, through the labyrinth dance of Crete to the circular dance of Christ’s disciples in the Gnostic Gospels, there is a constant thread of transmission that has much wider implications for out conception of the human psyche than has not been fully recognized. the crescent moon in the hand of the goddess of Laussel leads forward to the crescent on the head of the Babylonian Astarte of 200 BC (Figs. 42a-b) and again to the crescent moon resting beneath Mary’s feet (Fig. 43). From the Paleolithic cave sanctuary with the animals painted on the walls to the stable of Bethlehem with the ox and ass, from the ancient Mother Goddess to the Virgin Mary, there runs an ancient and extraordinary pattern of relationship that can be traced only through a knowledge of the symbolic image. In the Neolithic era, as we shall see in Chapter 2, these images

explore a new dimension of the myth of the goddess with the discovery of planting and the art of agriculture.

If we entertain the idea of Jung’s 2 – million – year – old human being – woman and man – who is present in each one of us, then the Paleolithic vision is still accessible to us today. As Jung also note: ‘Nothing to which the psyche belongs or which is part of the psyche is ever lost. to live fully, we have to reach down and bring back to life the deepest levels of the psyche from which our present consciousness has evolved.”

For the repression will always lead to pressure and tension. And have the pressive is his fold. One, the Eros of Goddess must be allowed it’s rightful place in the scheme of things ,and two Eeros must be a nomad to mate with Logos. A symbol for Therosgamos must emerge.

As the millennium closes we find ourselves thinking holistically, a buzzword of the nineties, and Biblical holistic thinking might have us reclaim the feminine out of the box. To do that we need a symbol. Something which will help us reimagine the story into the future. We are no longer cave-dwellers, no longer hunters and gatherers, shepherds or herders. Most of us in the west no longer till our won soil, plant our own crops. We are a technological society, melding the ***** of the Goddess with the mind of man and this new relationship the dance of Eros and Logos must be learned.

So for now, MOM is in a box, leaking out in small but culturally important ways. After two thousand years of red and pink nail polish, vamp became the polish ‘di rigeur. Last winter a menses blood color which swept through western **** followed by an abnormal interest in ‘animal print.” It is a chthonic version of MOM leaking out of the box. No doubt about it, for she is after all the breath of God, and without breath there is no life and like breath she is everywhere.

Where is Mrs. God? I said
Oh my goodness is she dead
How can god then live a life
What is man without a wife ?
Where is Mrs. God? I ask
To find her is no small time task
Where is Mrs. God? I say
Still hidden in the light of day ?
Is she gone
Is she forgot
Suited by the Lord of Lot
Is he bound or yet still free
Rooted in the family tree.
Where is Mrs. God? I cry
Without her I will surely die
Oh there she is, in still of night
And always was there shining bright!Rokie, Ireland