Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, grandmothers, and those who care for children! Though this is a secular holiday, the idea of honoring one’s elders (and especially mothers!) in a spiritual way was widespread in early Germanic and Celtic society, which gives this day a sacred connotation for some modern-day Pagans. According to Wikipedia, the cult of the Matres and Matrones (meaning mothers and matrons, respectively) was incredibly popular during the first through fifth century AD; and we can find this spiritual idea stretching into Anglo-Saxon England and 13th century Scandinavia as well. Though of course not all Pagans place an emphasis on the practices of the past, I think it speaks to an idea deeply embedded within our cultural consciousness, and may therefore be relevant to all of us today. The idea of motherhood being a sacred function, an act which places one’s parent as the one of the most important people in one’s life, is something that I think can be incredibly powerful both for Pagan parents and and also Pagans who are someone’s children.
Not all of us will have mothers who fulfilled such a good role in our lives; but most of us have at least mother-figures who have cared for us, or mothers back in our family line who made our lives possible. These people made great sacrifices, or at least did a lot of work, to make sure that we made it to adulthood fed and clothed. For that, I believe they deserve honor. And their mothers, and their mothers, and their mothers – all who made it possible for you to exist and to have grown, I believe they are also deserving.
For those of us who are mothers or mother-figures, or fulfill a mothering role, this can be a wonderful day to recognize the sacred in that. It is easy to get caught up in a world of runny noses and endless (sometimes pestering) questions, going as quick as we can during the day and waiting for the blessed time when the kids finally sleep and we can rest. I believe it is always worth it to take a little time to appreciate what we have, the moment that we are living in, and the roles we are fulfilling for those that we love. As a mother, we do a great deal of work and sometimes make great sacrifices to ensure that our children are happy. There is power in that. Doing such work for another person forms an intense bond between parent and child; and if we take a moment to let us see ourselves in that light, it can be a very powerful experience. Perhaps also take some time to remember those who were mothering in your life, for connecting back with that power, that energy, can even amplify the power and magic that is inherent in mothering.
I challenge all my readers to pause this Mother’s Day and think on the spiritual significance your mother or your mothering holds for you. And if you are a mother – enjoy your breakfast in bed!