What is my own definition of Earth Mother?
I tend to see Earth Mother this way: Earth, My Mother. In my Bealltainn ritual, I even address Her in this manner. I connect with Earth as ‘Nature, the biosphere that supports my physical body, and the living ecosystem of which I am an intrinsic part’. I actually do not see Her as a personified Deity at all. She is more a Power, a Force. I also, by extension, see Her as the strands of the Web that connect every living thing with every other; She is a generative force, that is both the source and sustenance of physical life in this Earthly incarnation. I also tend to see any Deity with nurturing, care giving and disciplinary features as a ‘Mother’ Goddess, whether they be male or female. Certainly, I, as a woman, have no physical human children, but that does not stop me from expressing my Mother nature. I too, am a mother – just not one of physical human children, so the whole schtick of Her ‘birthing’ us and being our ‘Mother’, all Goddesses being but a facet of Her and mating with one male Deity, all of which other Male Deities are just different facets of – no.
Does my hearth culture have an Earth Mother?
Both the Celtics in general and Gaelic cultures in particular have ‘Earth Mother’ Deities; the Irish have many, including Anu (Danu) and Boann (the river Boyne), and the Welsh have Dôn. Danu is known for fertility, abundance and protection, and her consort / husband is rumoured to be Bile, the Sacred Tree. Boann was a water goddess of the Tuatha dé Danaan, connected with rivers in general and the river Boyne in particular. She is represented in animal form as a white cow, and her name means ‘she of the white cattle.’ In Welsh tradition the Children of Dôn were the powers of light, constantly in conflict with the Children of Llyr, the powers of darkness. Dôn is a Welsh analogue of Danu.
In Gaul, the Celts worshipped a goddess known as Dea Matrona – another river Goddess – who was associated with the Marne River.
How does ADF as an organisation define Earth Mother?
I don’t know yet, but it seems as though it’s as a Deity. As I go through the path and learn more, I should be able to articulate this better.
However, from the ADF website, Ian Corrigan articulated this in a post:
“In this form as the Primal Waters the Mother can be conceived of as the All-Mind, the underlying power of awareness that connects all individual beings. From this ocean of mind arises the island-selves of the individual minds.”
So, I tend to think ADF as a whole tends to see Her as sentient awareness. I will need to evaluate this over time, and consider whether this view could be a part of my own definition or not.
Where am I going to go each week, and what do I consider ‘nature’?
In short, I don’t know yet. I don’t consider hanging out in my yard or driving over to a local park (where I held my Bealltainn ritual isn’t local) as ‘nature’. I could head out to the area I refer to as ‘The Preserve’… one of the few areas that doesn’t consist of a car park or a shopping mall around here; but the truth is, I could go out on my patio. I do this every day anyway – I’d go out of my mind if I didn’t taste the fresh air, listen to the birds, feel the wind and scrabble around in some dirt every day.