Mother’s Day is this weekend in the US and other countries around the world. It has gone through quite a few evolutions to arrive at the completely secular version that we observe today, which is focused on celebrating individual mothers.
What would eventually become Mother’s Day as we know it was originally Mothers Peace Day, created by Julia Ward Howe. It was a day calling mothers to action in the pursuit of peace, bringing an end to war and what she saw as sons of mothers killing other sons of mothers.
In various ancient traditions there have been celebrations, not of individual women, but of the Feminine Divine or the Divine Mother. The Egyptians honored the goddess Isis, the Greeks honored Rhea, and early European Christians honored the Church. In Hinduism, this energy of Divine Mother is personified as Shakti.
Shakti represents creativity, fertility, change, and empowerment. Basically, the stuff of life.
This is my first Mother’s Day as a mother and I am looking forward to being spoiled by my spouse and son (and the years of macaroni art that lie undoubtedly in my future). There is absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating the individual mamas in our lives whom we appreciate. But I also wish that Mother’s Day still encompassed something bigger.
I love the idea of a day that is about mothers joining together to use their compassion, wisdom, and skill to work towards peace. As mothers, we have the best possible reason to want to put an end to wars and aggression that make childless mothers out of so many. By collectively tapping into shakti we can use the energy to creatively effect change and produce conditions favorable to peace.
We use this energy to create and raise humans. Surely we can use it to guide those humans towards a more harmonious existence. The fact is that shakti exists in all things and in each of us. We all, irrespective of gender, have the energy of the Divine Mother within.
Perhaps this Mother’s Day we can honor ourselves and other mothers, not simply as individuals, but as the embodiment of the feminine Divine. Part of the greater whole that connects us all in peace and love.
Wishing all a divine and peaceful Mother’s Day!
Shanti, Shanti, Shanti