Home Contact Book Purchase Back Next References


Mother gives birth. When she is positive, Mother is the environment which sustains life forms. She responds to that which is coming to be and in need of being protected, cherished, nursed, taught, or developed. She is realistic, supportive, available to those depending on her. When she is not perceived as inhibiting basic freedoms, Mother is revered with devotion. Her sensuality warms to her surroundings. She exudes an incomparable sense of security. She is more concerned with the day-by-day demands of her family life than she is with individual feeling. She is fierce in defending the vulnerable. As those in her orbit separate from her, death as well as life characterizes Mother. Her power at the hour of death is as incomparable as her power at the hour of birth.

When Mother is unable to say no to requests, she devotes herself exclusively to meeting the needs of others, failing to discriminate among these. Meddling or possessive Mother becomes essentially irresponsible and intrusive. Her sacrifices are a source of guilt for her children whose angers may split into psychosis. She reduces her partner's stature, stimulating an exaggerated response from those in her orbit. In reaction to being overwhelmed by the needs of others, Mother can fail to realize her own life.

Origin myths from agricultural civilizations place Mother at the center of sacred pantheons: Hathor, fertility goddesses, Navaho Spider Woman, Demeter. Revered or cartooned, we locate her in Mother Nature, Mother Goose, the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, the Mater Dolorosa, Queen Victoria, Gaia, the Madonna and Child, the Mother Ship, the Mother Sea. We revile the vengeful Medea and wicked stepmothers. We caricature mothers-in-law.