Wednesday Wisdom: Mothers, fathers, and grandmothers

Grandmother, Albert Anker [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

weekly Wednesday Wisdom post with two or three profound or beautiful thoughts on a theme related to Paganism and childbearing. An invitation to meditate or just to pause a moment and consider.

Motherhood, fatherhood, birth, transition, children, and grandchildren…

 ”Motherhood is the state a woman achieves once her baby has been born, or when she has young for whom to care.  It also refers to a group of mothers, the mystical sisterhood of those women who have given birth and/or perform mothering duties.” – Arin Murphy-Hiscock, Pagan Pregnancy

“Becoming a father is not the fundamental journey of transformation that a woman makes to become a mother, but it is nevertheless a profound transition that merits both reflection and celebration.” – Jackie Singer, Birthrites

“I have the idea that we grandmothers are meant to play the part of protective witches; we must watch over younger women, children, community, and also, why not?, this mistreated planet, the victim of such unrelenting desecration. I would like to fly on a broomstick and dance in the moonlight with other pagan witches in the forest, invoking earth forces and howling demons.” – Isabel Allende, Paula

What makes a person a mother? A father? A grandmother? A grandfather? Are mothers and fathers really so different from each other?

About Sarah Whedon

Sarah Whedon is Chair of the Department of Theology and Religious History at Cherry Hill Seminary, founding editor of Pagan Families, and the author of Birth on the Labyrinth Path: Sacred Embodiment in the Childbearing Year. Sarah’s teaching, research, and advocacy work center around topics of spirituality, feminism, and reproduction. She makes her home in the Boston area with her partner and their children.

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  • http://www.fatandnotafraid.jigsy.com JeninCanada

    I wouldn’t say mothers and fathers are different, but they ARE expected to be. The roles assigned to them by the current social hegemony are shifting slowly but are still mostly mired in centuries old of muck of “Dads are playful, but also the disciplinarians, the bread-winners, the unemotional ones, unless that emotion is anger.” and moms are stuck being the maid, cook and nurse.
    Not being a grandparent yet, I can’t speak to that, but what makes someone a mother or father is adopting the 24/7 role of caregiver to a child, to love, protect, nuture and bring joy to each others lives. If it’s not 24/7, you’re not a parent, you’re a favourite aunt or uncle, or family friend. If that kid isn’t on your mind, at least partially, every hour of every day, if you’re not regularly scheduling your life around theirs, especially when they’re small, if you’re not hurting when they hurt or making the tough decisions about their life, you’re not a parent.

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