Earth or Mother Nature is the spouse whom Yahweh embraces in
his original ancient function as the Sky-God. Earth and Sky
meet, embrace, and create life in so many of the world's
mythologies and religions. The Divine Feminine Force has
always been at work in the universe, co-creating and
co-equal with the Divine Masculine. Ignored, forgotten,
lost, hidden, veiled, disguised among us... She now emerges
from the shadows once again. Have you seen Her yet?
the ages, the female divine has been venerated as
"Life-Giver," and Mary is no exception. Fertility and
abundance are associated with The Mother who gives life from
her womb and nourishment from her breasts. The Mother is
the Provider of all life, for
all life. As Mother, Mary is linked to Isis, Artemis, Cybele,
one of the first Madonnas, frequently protrayed as nursing
Horus, her Divine Son. She was highly venerated during the
years of the early Christian church, and most scholars agree
that the cult of Isis strongly influenced the cult of Mary.
"Our Lady of Light" was one of Isis' many titles, and in
one sacred story, she gave birth to the sun. It is no
coincidence that Christmas, the celebration of the birth of
Mary's son, The Christ, is celebrated at the same time of
year as Winter Solstice, the celebration of the re-birth of
the sun, the return of the light.
name Isis translates as "throne," the seat of power. The
Divine Son, Horus
gained authority from sitting on his mother's lap. Many statues
of Isis and Horus in this posture were later renamed and
dedicated as Madonna and Child. (See The
Black Madonna .)
This is particularly true of statues which name Mary as
"Theotokos," the God-Bearer.
Mary was called
"Theotokos" in 431 at Ephesus, where she eventually
took over the temples of Artemis, the many-breasted
Mother Goddess (also worshipped under the name Diana).
Artemis was known as the
Mother of Mercy, one of Mary's titles. Mary's mercy was
sometimes bestowed through her breasts, which figured in
many miracles and legends. It is said that milk from her
breasts healed St. Bernard and also St. Teresa.
Egyptian Goddess Isis
nursing her son Horus
I am the first and the last.
I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin.
I am the mother and the daughter. . . .
I am she whose wedding is great,
And I have not taken a husband. . . .
I am shameless;
I am ashamed. . . .
I am godless,
And I am one whose God is great.
Thunder, Perfect Mind
(A, p. 55-6)
Cybele, "The Mother of All," is also clearly linked to Mary.
Cybele is the dark Earth Mother, the Mother of Caves. Some
of Mary's most famous shrines and apparitions are located in
caves. Originally worshiped in the form of a raw meteor,
Cybele is also linked to the Black Madonna. As Goddess
of Grain, Demeter,
freely loaned her attributes to Mary as well. The Earth
Mother has always been responsible for protecting and
ensuring the health of crops. As a Mother Goddess, this
falls into Mary's sphere. Grain miracles attributed to Mary
decked many church walls and stained glass windows by the
late Middle Ages. In one Christian legend, grain sprouted
from a barren field that Mary passed during her flight into
Egypt. Madonna del Spica in Italy holds sheaves of wheat in
her arms, as does Our Lady of the Prairie in North Dakota.
Mother Mary provides -- through her
breasts, through the earth, through her words, miracles and
appearances. As Goddess, she is World Mother, the Mother of