Nature Church Honors Divine Mother

May 11, 2009

Author: Melissa Nann Burke

Source: York Daily Record

Many gave thanks in church Sunday to mom.

At the spiritually eclectic Nature Church, which attracts followers of Earth-based and nature religions, congregants also remembered the divine mother -- mother goddesses first revered by ancient cultures for qualities of motherhood, fertility or creation.

"She is the oldest, most primal, most universal of deity concepts. It's no wonder that in cultures all over the world, the divine mother is recognized and honored," said Kaitryth Bastian, Nature Church's director of ministry.

With believers from Wiccan, Druid, Taoist and Christian paths, among others, not every Nature Church congregant has the same idea of the mother goddess.

In some traditions, she's known as Mother Earth -- Gaia in the Greek pantheon -- a nurturer and life-giver. Ancient Egyptians invoked the healer Isis. For Hindus, the goddess Durga is the warrior mother incarnate, protecting her children.

"Let us share a moment of silence to send blessings to all mothers of the community and to honor her, the divine mother, by whatever name or face you may know her by," Bastian said.

A dozen people lit candles, placed them on the altar and shared stories of their own mothers during the service: moms they love, moms they quarrel with, moms they nursed when sick, and moms they buried.

Congregants encircled the three mothers among them, and Bastian led them in reciting affirmations.

They told the mothers how much they appreciate their work, gentle touches and guidance: "We honor you, mothers, for what you create and for what you sacrifice in the process," they said. "Blessed be the mothers."

Then the mothers themselves affirmed their significance: "I am a mother. I am a woman. I am goddess incarnate, and I honor myself on this day," they said. "Blessed be the mothers."