As we open our arms to May, we also usher in the arrival of Mother's Day. This yearly celebration of mothers and mother figures has come to be seen as a holiday built on commercialization, but it has roots in cultures around the world that can be traced back hundreds, if not thousands of years, to societies that were matriarchal and/or held women on equal footing as men. Many of these societies had their own form of the Mother Goddess, figures that represent and/or personify nature, motherhood, fertility, creation, destruction and who embody the bounty of the Earth.
Though many western religions have done away with or downplayed their Mother Goddess figures, they are still integral parts of religions and cultures originating in other parts of the world; many of these figure's legends, lore and symbolisms have traveled throughout the world, capturing interest wherever they go. These mother figures honor the goddess energy embedded within all women and, as you learn about them, you'll likely recognize some of their traits within yourself. In them, you may even be able to see your own mother.
If you've been into our shop, you'll have seen some of these goddesses regarding the store from their perches on our shelves and windows. Durga is one of the most popular of the Hindu Goddesses and is considered by many to be the Divine Mother Goddess. Multi-dimensional and comprised of many personas, she was born of a cosmic crisis, when the male gods found themselves unable to defeat a pack of demons led by Mahishasura. With multiple arms each holding a weapon gifted to her from the gods, Durga took down the band of demons with a calm aplomb and finesse. Goddess Durga is called upon to protect her devotees from their suffering and remove their obstacles; she is the embodiment of purity, knowledge, truth and self-realization, and preserves moral order and righteousness in the universe. The four day long festival of Durga Puja celebrates this battle win, the triumph of good over evil. Preceding Durga Puja is the nine day festival of Navrati, which honors the nine forms of Shakti energy - of which Durga is considered the physical embodiment.
As Durga is the highest embodiment of this energy, there are three goddesses that are separate manifestations of her energy known as Tridevi. Goddess Lakshmi is seen as the embodiment of love and a more soothing, kind and warm mother figure as compared to Durga, in addition to being the goddess of wealth, fertility and spiritual fulfillment. After being insulted by the gods, Lakshmi left their world, leaving them bereft of all success and fortune. In her absence, the world became dark and greedy. To get her back, the gods worked together to churn the ocean for 1,000 years until Lakshmi rose from the depths on a lotus flower. Lakshmi bestows success on those who work hard and with devotion devoid of greed.
Goddess Saraswati is known as the goddess of knowledge, the arts and the free flow of wisdom and consciousness; she is the mother of the Vedas. One of the oldest goddess figures, Saraswati was originally a water goddess associated with a river of her own name. Each of her four hands represents an aspect of human personality in learning: mind, intellect, alertness and ego. She is worshiped for her knowledge and wisdom, and it is thought that she is the only one who can grant "moksha" - the final liberation of the soul. Though Saraswati is not one for domestic bliss nor material wealth, she looks upon the past as an experience with which she is at peace and goes forward.
In addition to being a part of the Tridevi, both Sarawati and Lakshmi are considered daughters of Durga. The third goddess of the Tridevi, Parvati, is considered another form of Durga. Parvati maintains the fierce energy of Durga, but is more gentle and motherly. She is the essence of power. Her relationship with her husband, Shiva, is an example of divine feminine power in harmony with the masculine.
As you can see, women and motherhood are venerated and celebrated year round in cultures around the world. While we celebrate Mother's Day today, we honor motherhood and the divine goddess in all, always. What goddess most resembles your mother? In what goddess do you most see yourself? We celebrate all of your amazing Mother Goddesses today, and all of the Mother Goddess energy within you.
If one of these goddess has captured your interest, stop in to learn more about them and look at our lovely figurines and posters. Online, you can shop some of our applicable pendants and figurines, or gift the Mother Goddess in your life with a beautiful piece of handmade jewelry to make them feel like the goddess you know they are!
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