Maternal Pondering: Presents, Moms’ Our bodies, and Earth, the fourth e-book of proceedings of conferences held by the Affiliation for the Examine of Girls and Mythology (ASWM), is an tutorial information to saving ourselves and our planet. Many pre-historic, and even modern cultures, particularly Indigenous communities, characteristic “Maternal Pondering.” Such cultures understand that societies are profitable after they heart qualities related to mothering: care, nurturance, cooperation, and assembly everybody’s primary wants whereas respecting the Earth and reciprocating nature’s generosity. Some 5000 years in the past, Maternal Pondering was outmoded in lots of societies by a perspective valuing as an alternative competitors, exploitation, and domination, and we and our planet are actually going through the catastrophic penalties.
The fifteen contributors and 4 editors symbolize myriad disciplines and life experiences. They’re educational researchers in wide-ranging fields, artists, activists, a storyteller, a therapist, scientists, educators, and extra. This range displays the expansiveness of the e-book’s imaginative and prescient, together with many layers and aspects of “mothering,” and the necessity for as many voices as potential to be heeded if we’re to ascertain and delivery a peaceable, simply, equitable, compassionate, and environmentally balanced Earth.
The editors lay the foundations of how we start to rebuild a Maternal Pondering worldview with Lynne Thomas’s paintings “Land Is Our House,” presenting a panorama from an Indigenous perspective and revealing the significance of Conventional Ecological Information (TEK). Genevieve Vaughan then grounds our exploration by explaining how the Reward Economic system, a system based mostly on the mother-child relationship during which everybody freely provides and receives, ensures that everybody has sufficient for primary wants whereas avoiding materials inequality.
As we start to settle into our Maternal Pondering perspective, founding FAR contributor Carol Christ initiates our subsequent activity of re-examining outdated tales to see what new insights they provide. Her essay takes a contemporary have a look at the faith of Minoan Crete, discovering that at its coronary heart is “the Goddess or Mom Earth” (54) symbolizing “the cycles of delivery, loss of life, and regeneration” (49) and that “the facility to nurture kids and vegetation was understood to be a mirrored image of the life-giving energy of Mom Earth (53)”. Lisa Lubar additional demonstrates that Bronze Age Greek goddesses linked therapeutic with snakes and water, with their affect persevering with into our personal occasions, providing an understanding of selling well being that’s each historical and contemporary.
Hannah Irish helps us take a brand new have a look at the Biblical story of Queen Michal, who was typically portrayed as a passive sufferer of David. Irish’s evaluation exhibits as an alternative her company inside the patriarchal society, together with the likelihood that she bore kids which is unclear from the Bible. Lastly, Dilsa Deniz introduces us to Shaymaran, an androgenous snake goddess central to Kurdish tradition from 5000 years in the past to the current day. The persistence of Shaymaran presents “not solely as resistance in opposition to the brand new(er) masculine/monotheistic type of faith, however undoubtedly, if solely partially, an insistence on the Kurdish ancient-time type of faith” (114).
Within the subsequent part, “Fable and Grief: Rewriting the Tales, Therapeutic Our Wounds,” we transfer from excavating new messages in outdated tales to discovering which means in them for the therapeutic we should do as people and as a worldwide neighborhood if we’re to rework our society. Lushanya Echeverria describes the trauma of being excluded from Indigenous rituals when first her mom, then she, got here out as two-spirited. Listening to and heeding the creation tales she heard from her mom within the womb, she affords her personal story of Grandmother Turtle bringing a chunk of soil from below water on which to rebuild the Earth. Jaffa Frank expresses her expertise of residing with endometriosis and the way, by re-examining the myths of Athena and Medusa and fascinating her physique, artistic creativeness and thoughts with them, she “transforms the expertise of hardship with out destroying the reality of struggling” (133).
Angelina Avedano immediately addresses the struggling of grieving moms by pondering the tales of Inanna, Demeter, Anticlea, and Mary. These supplied her a method by the trauma of witnessing her son’s psychological sickness and the means to “facilitate change on the planet by analysis, research, utility, and most significantly, embodiment and compassionate engagement” (148). Lastly, Karen Nelson Villanueva shares with us “The Mom of the Buddhas,” who “is envisioned in Tibetan Buddhism as love and compassion by her mythology, a debtor to be repaid, the embodiment of knowledge, the mom of all of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and, by vacancy, because the mom of us all” (165).
Within the final part, “Up to date Engagement: Critique and Reclamation,” we get a glimpse of how we are able to start the work of each assessing the shortfalls of our current and co-creating a future based mostly on Maternal Pondering. Ceardai Demelza, an Australian artist, affords the portray “The Goddess Dandelion: First of the Weed Girls,” connecting the devaluation of each girls and weeds whereas nonetheless discovering hope for the long run. Miriam Irene Tazi-Preve deconstructs “Patriarchal Motherhood,” critiquing the shortage of help for moms in Euro-American societies however then offering a imaginative and prescient of matriarchal motherhood the place kids are cared for by many supportive, accountable adults in a matrilineal, subsistence financial system.
In a compelling description of efficiently bringing Maternal Pondering to San Juan Baptista, California, Jennifer Colby shares her expertise main Indigenous, Latina, African American, and Anglo girls in creating momentary mandalas collectively in ceremony. Every mandala representing one of many 4 seasons, they reminded individuals of the continual presence of the Amah Mutsun Indigenous individuals and “the individuals of the corn.”
Within the phrases of Dr. Vandana Shiva in her Afterword, “The essays on this quantity … are a present by the contributors to the world to create one other future” (119), citing, particularly the significance of a “round financial system” based mostly on present giving and receiving. “Mothering exhibits us the way in which residence to oikos, to Gaia, to Mom Earth ” (226).
Maternal Pondering is a brave quantity written and edited by a sisterhood of girls who dare to take a look at our world and never solely see the potential for a future very completely different from our current however do the onerous work of laying its basis and starting its development. Their energy is that they every boldly converse the reality of their very own expertise and discoveries, however in the end harmonize into one voice main us from our present catastrophic challenges to a world we’d want to stay in and present to our youngsters, grandchildren, and future generations. This quantity is just the start.
Reger, Sid, Mary Jo Neitz, Denise Mitten, and Simone Clunie. .Maternal Pondering: Presents, Moms’ Our bodies, and Earth. Brooklyn, NY: Girls and Fable Press, 2023.