The “mother” is not in my version of Paganism

It’s not, at least according to the traditional version of “maiden, mother, crone” as in being a mother and giving birth, etc.

After having talks with some other childfree friends of mine, we’ve noticed that there is an overabundance of focus on the “mother” aspect of Paganism, especially since most of it relates to Wicca. It’s not necessarily because some of us may be repulsed by motherhood and completely reject the idea, or that any little bit is too much, but Paganism doesn’t have much of a focus on the non-mother aspect of Paganism, in the very least the non-traditional version of the nurturing feminine body. I ask myself, what are we really doing honoring the Goddess in her many forms, if we’re just going to reduce her down to her “primary” function- that is, giving birth?

I feel this also comes along with sweeping the more “scary” versions of the Goddess under the rug (see “Dark Goddesses”). The Mother facet (or aspect) of the Goddess is something most people can relate to, because we’ve either had a great mother we aspire to be like, or seek some kind of nurturing figure to fill a space we haven’t had for some time where the mother in our lives was absent. Others aspire to be mothers, so all of this makes sense. But where are we nurturing the “maiden”? Why are we avoiding frivolity and calling it naivete? Why are we still hung up on that cultural fear of getting old, saving up for botox injections instead of welcoming the smile creases and crows feet and still be regarded as beautiful? Why do we stop at cronehood with the air of “I’ve learned all there is for me to learn, so now I have it all figured out, you should too”?

Most of it chalks up to personality, even though I know some amazing elders I hope to be like when I am older, I still find many other crones to be jaded and judgmental and putting down younger Pagans for making mistakes because “they don’t know better”. Yes there is a lot of information out there, at the same time, we should really be doing better bringing forward “accurate” information, and then watching the younger Pagans develop and enrich their own practices. I genuinely feel that this is what we should be nurturing.

Back to going over the “mother” fixation, we can look at basic things and see that there is little to support the decision NOT to be a mother. Infertility rituals are “black magic” (as a matter of fact, you really cant find them because most regard infertility as a grave sin and not even to be wished on your greatest enemy), the earth is synonymous with “womb”, the Venus of Willendorf is still very iconic of womanhood and feminism, and considering how many feminists there are in modern Paganism, you would think there would be a balance on fertility rites, right?

Childfreedom is still an aspect many people are trying to accept and bring to the forefront as an acceptable alternative to parenting. My own group has a childfree focus- less about the mother, and more about the other faces of the goddess, and reflecting upon our youth and ourselves as we age and coming to terms that sometimes we have to bite the bullet and make difficult decisions for ourselves and our environment. Personally I’m more interested in looking into the Crone and Destroyer aspect of the Goddess (again, see “Dark Goddesses”), and that women of all kinds (yes transwomen are women) can tap into that primal instinct of protecting their own and themselves without being referred to as “mama bear” mode or “raging pregnant hormones”.

It’s slowly starting to creep up on society that motherhood is not a mandatory life stage, but just an option, and I think this honestly scares people. Society gets hostile towards the idea that some women aren’t making that life changing step that seems to be the norm for most people, and they assume that childfree women just cant make the decision for themselves. This seems to be normal in modern Paganism, and still looked down upon, as if the decision to be childfree was somehow irrational, or evil, as if all of us are sitting around dreaming of raising our own “little witches”. This couldn’t be any further from the truth.

(By the way, I’m still working on that infertility spell for my fellow childfree Pagans. Why? Because why not!)

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About Myrna Dragonchild

~ Coming soon! :) ~
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4 Responses to The “mother” is not in my version of Paganism

  1. G. B. Marian says:

    In my tradition, the whole show centers around a eunuch-God who’s associated with infertility (among other things). We can engage with other Powers individually, but there is no single Mother Goddess whom we are obligated to mention in our group rituals, and we don’t care much about fertility. (We are more concerned with execrating negative energy.) Since our ways are based on Egyptian mythology, we also see the Earth and the Moon as male (while the Sun and the Sky are female). So I can identify with your plight in feeling somewhat alienated from the rest of Paganism.

    Incidentally, you might investigate Seth and Nephthys if you’re interested in magic involving infertility. True, Nephthys did give birth to Anubis at one point; but according to most versions I’ve seen, that was only because She cheated on Seth with Osiris, who’s fertile enough to impregnate a rock. In Their “default” modes, Seth and Nephthys are both infertile and childless.

  2. TPWard says:

    I hope you’ll share that spell once it’s done. Humanity needs it.

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