Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mother Goddess - From Myth to Meaning

In this article we try to see the connection as to how the imagery of the Christian Mother of God has been arrived at. In Roman Catholic iconography of Mary is often depicted as the Woman of the Apocalypse from the New Testament's Book of Revelation as described in chapter 12, "with the [crescent] moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars and crushing the head of the serpent" The most well known of these is the icon of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Taking from Upper Palaeolithic, Sumerian and Greco-Roman iconography, the early church fathers adopted the imagery of the Mother Goddess into the spiritual representation of the role of the mother of Christ. This is endorsed in the role defined by the Catholic Church as Mary being the new Eve. The original Eve who was created in God's image, as original Adam - male and female or the Mother Goddess, had been corrupted into lower level of consciousness through the prompting of the serpent (symbolizing the lower mind of duality).

" . . The word, "woman," aptly portrays Johannine symbolism with regard to Mary's role in giving life to the Life-giver as Adam calls his wife "Life" (Zwn') in (Genesis 3: 20), because she is the mother of all living, similarly John suppresses Mary's name, calling her simply "woman" in order to present her as the new Eve, the mother of all whom Jesus loves in the person of "the disciple whom he loved." John also never mentions this Disciple's name in order to emphasize his symbolic role. Thus, John proclaims the spiritual motherhood of Mary, the new Eve, with regard to the faithful represented by the beloved disciple."  ....................The New Catholic Encyclopaedia, V. 13, p. 139.

Though there is no direct or categorical and stringent proof of the dogma regarding the Mother of God that can be brought forward from Scripture, the first indirect scriptural passage can be inferred from the sentence against the first parents in which a promise was there to put enmity between the serpent and the woman: "and I will put enmity between thee and the woman and her seed; she (Johannine symbolism with regard to Mary's role) shall crush thy head and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel" (Genesis 3: 15).

The crescent moon symbol has its history going back to nearly 25,000 B.C. The archaeological dating of the statue of "Venus of Laussel" who carries a bull horn, in the shape of a crescent moon, with 13 notches carved. Joseph Campbell explains that this represents the menstrual  cycle of a potent mother and the corresponding lunar cycle. This is probably the oldest evidence of the Mother Goddess cult from the Upper Palaeolithic period. The crescent moon also represents the cyclic death and reincarnation through mother earth which generates new life and consumes the lifeless matter at the end of a cycle.

The twelve stars represent the twelve constellations through which the precession cycle of the earth axis moves in approximately 25,772 years. This knowledge existed with scholars both in the Babylonian and Egyptian culture in the first millennium B.C. This symbolism which is shown around the head like a crown signifies the inseparable link between the human, planetary and cosmic consciousness, the realization of which is the basis of a fully developed spiritual being.

Crushing of the snakes head signifies the destruction or elimination of the duality of polar opposites which manifested itself in the fall of individual consciousness through eating the fruit of the" tree of knowledge" at the behest of the serpent. Serpent thus represents the Ego dominated consciousness.

Hence in the Iconic symbolism of the Mary, Mother of God we have our spiritual mother and a link to our Spiritual Father.

Divine consciousness in every individual is to be birthed from and re-emerged into the Cosmic realm only through the Divine Feminine represented by the Mother Goddess symbolism.

Love to you all.

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