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Yup. It's Mother's Day again. I already made the phone call to my mother, who is 3000 miles away. Looking up Mother's Day in Wikipedia, I discovered that the holiday has ancient origins, But first, what of modern Mother's Day? The British Mother's Day was brought to the USA by Julia Ward Howe, a pacifist and feminist born in 1819. Her "Mother's Day Proclamation" included this:
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."
But lest you think that Ward Howe was opposed to self-defense, bear in mind that she wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic ("Glory, Glory Hallelujah") which included the line, "Let the hero, born of Woman, crush the serpent with his heel." The serpent, in this case was the slave-owning Confederacy, and Ward Howe hated slavery. She was married to Samuel Gridley Howe, who had gone to Greece as a battle surgeon during that country's successful war for independence from 1821-1829. And speaking of Greece, that brings us to what may have been the Mother of All Mother's Days, the festival of Cybele (Kubaba), a spring holiday. With origins in ancient Sumer, Phyrygia, and the Hittite pantheon, Cybele the Great Mother was long worshiped in Anatolia, which the Greeks called Asia Minor. The Romans eventually began worshiping Magna Mater on the Ides of March. The most devout worshipers of Cybele once castrated themselves and became transsexuals. As for me, I think I'll stick with the traditional phone call and maybe a card or present on the second Sunday of May.
No Mother's Day retrospective would be complete without reference to Gaia, Rhea, and Kali Ma. Hesiod, ancient Greek writer of the Theogony, a narrative about the origin of the Gods, described the Earth Mother Gaia as one of five beings who emerged from the nothingness of chaos at the beginning of time. (Eros, god of the erotic, was another). The ecotopian Gaia Hypothesis was named after her. Rhea, daughter of Gaia, has long been identified with Cybele and was considered by the Greek pagans as the Mother of All the (major) Gods. In South Asia, a mother goddess is still worshiped, Kali Ma. Not fond of evil demons, she is depicted as a frightening creature, and Kali has been associated with the cosmic cycle where all must come to an end. And that includes this Mother's Day post to Jonathan's Coffeeblog.Permanent Link to This Entry | | Technorati Tag: Mother blog comments powered by Disqus Comments (View)
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