This year, I have been coming to know God the Mother.
I remember in college my agnostic roommate told me that she thought the ideal deity would be a trio, one each male, female, and neuter. But she was an open-minded agnostic, not a mainstream Christian. Judaism talks about the God of Abraham and Isaac, and in the next breath about the God of Sarah and Rebekah...so that seems more open to female inclusion, but still, a pretty patriarchal picture of things. Christianity says that Jesus is male, and by using terms like "Father" pretty clearly indicates that God is also male (or perhaps without gender). So I was sure I couldn't talk about the Feminine Divine to other Christians, could I? It would be edgy at best, and possibly blasphemous.
Then one day, just after reading Dance of the Dissident Daughter, I got up the guts to raise the concept of the Feminine Divine in conversation with a Protestant friend. She said "well it makes sense that God should have both female and male aspects, to be perfectly balanced, and the idea of a married couple sure works for that."
Here I'll back up for a moment and explain that Mormon theology takes a different approach to Deity than most other Christian faiths: we teach that God is male and embodied, as is the Son. The Holy Spirit is spirit, but all three are distinctly separate beings. And, to top it off, God is married, and His wife is also a Deity--a Goddess, our Heavenly Mother.
And I'm getting to know Her.
This simple outline was something I'd understood since childhood. God is married, we have a Heavenly Mother, but we don't really talk about Her. She's there, and that's all we need to know.
I have been content with this my entire life. Truly. I knew other women who felt patronized by patriarchy and wanted to reach out to a Feminine Divine, but I was no feminist. She was there, and that was good enough for me. I never sought Her out.
And then, one day, She sought me.
|Moon Goddess by Josephine Wall|
That's the only way I can think to describe it. One night an awareness and understanding of her came to my mind powerfully and emotionally, (the story is here) and from that moment onward I see Her everywhere. She is in the moon and in the sea. She is in the trees and in the temple. She is in me, and She has become part of my daily life.
And now I realize, She was there all along, I just hadn't see her.
I recently was privileged to share in a Daughters of Mormonism podcast about some of the many symbols that help me connect to Mother Goddess. If you're interested, you can listen to it here.
"The truth will set you free, but first it will shatter the safe, sweet way you live," (Sue Monk Kidd in Dance of the Dissident Daughter). Indeed, I feel like a new woman in so many ways, and yet I know I can never go back to the simpler life or faith I had before. I know more, I see more, I am more. Things are not simple anymore (and, in full honesty, knowing Mother is only part of it).
There are many of us (mostly women, but not all) who have been finding and knowing our Goddess in recent months and years. Many mormons are uneasy about discussing Her or trying to know Her because little has been said via official sources, but more and more of us are connecting with Her regardless. Some of my friends have expressed that they feel Her 'moving in the world' or that we 'have reached a tipping point.' One of my friends has instigated a movement, inviting us all to pray specifically for revelation about Mother.
If this intrigues you at all, I encourage you to check out some of the following links. They are some of the resources which have fed me in my knowledge and understanding of Mother Goddess:
- With Your Mutual Approbation (a blog "likening the scriptures" to include Heavenly Mother)
- "Finding the Divine Feminine part 1" and "Finding the Divine Feminine part 2" from the Daughters of Mormonism podcast
- "Is Heavenly Mother Making a Comeback in Mormonism?" by Joanna Brooks
- "A Mother There: a survey of historical teachings about Mother in Heaven" by Paulsen and Pulido (published by BYU studies)
- "Heavenly Mother in Today's Mormonism" a Mormon Matters podcast (panel discussion based on the prior article--I should warn you that the moderator dropped a muttered expletive right near the beginning of the episode...but otherwise it was great)