Kind Mother/ Cruel Mother ~ The Empress 

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When my eldest son moved out to go to university eighteen months ago I began the death rites. Not for the loss of him, he is still very much in my life, although our relationship is growing and changing. I began saying goodbye to my identity as a mother to dependent children. And my identity as mother was closely tied to what I believed held me back from fully immersing myself in the writing life.

img_8355The Empress: Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot, 

Motherhood is so idealised in culture. The nurturing, self sacrificing, earth mother, transcending culture and being entirely of nature. But Mother Nature can be as cold and cruel as she is warm and nurturing. They are two sides of the same coin, not polar opposites. The nurturing mother quickly reveals her mourning, resentful side when she is no longer vital. Everything that she willingly suppressed in her own life for the prize of being central in the life of her child, reveals itself as a surprising rage and alternating grief when she is no longer needed in that way. Think of Demeter withdrawing life and growth from this world when Persephone chose her husband, Hades, and moved away from her mother. (I’m not the only one who finds it hard to believe Persephone was abducted, right? I think that was the story Demeter believed to keep a respectable face in the face of her daughter’s shocking choice of husband)
For years I have found purpose and comfort in embodying the archetype of the nurturing mother. It is a role that has greatly nourished me and those around me. But I have also used it as an excuse to not move fully into my creativity and my writing life. Can I step back now and allow myself to be nurtured by the energy of The Empress, to tend to the seedlings of the garden that I tend, and allow myself to be nurtured with her tenderness too?

I hope so.

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6 thoughts on “Kind Mother/ Cruel Mother ~ The Empress 

  1. This is amazing. And again, so brave and so true. I think we all come up with reasons to avoid the writing and creativity when it is so scary. I can see motherhood as one of the most noble reasons. But what you say about rage feels so true. It’s always scary to come to the edge. I feel it in myself, even though I’m not a mother myself. Perhaps being a mother to writing is something just as scary as any other kind of mothering. These questions are so good. I think there will be a lot of journaling happening after reading these posts…

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    • I think you’re totally spot on that the mothering energy isn’t limited to the conventional parenting journey. So glad you could relate too.Let me know how you get on with the journaling. I think these are the journaling questions that will develop as this project grows…

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    • I think it’s an ongoing negotiation ~ there is so much cultural and personal investment in the role of mother, and the demands of honest writing are equal in their own way. One step at a time, eh? Glad to walk alongside you on the journey xxx

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      • You sparked my blog post yesterday and my IG post today with this subject. And I just further considered that if I don’t feel super proud of the work I’m doing then I’m not as good a parent. I can not squeeze the same pleasure from my role as mother as what I get from my writing. It’s different and it makes me calmer and clearer as a Mom.

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      • Yes ~ I was just over at your place catching up! Parenting and writing is a parallel path,and the perfect tension/balance between is a series of frequent adjustments, some small and some rather more substantial. Keep breathing, through it X

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