Ancient mother I hear you calling
Ancient mother I hear your song
Ancient mother I hear your laughter
Ancient mother I taste your tears
A mother is a being who creates life from the materials of her own body.
I know that’s not all a Mother is, but it’s a sufficient start.
In this way, we cannot help but know that the Earth is our Mother – every single one of us. Every atom of dirt, every sip of water, every ruffle of breeze was manufactured from Her body. Who would argue this?
(Oh, I know -the Panspermians. I’ll get to that presently).
In our past, we recognised this . Take Silbury Hill for example.
In the very early ’70s, my family and I climbed to the top of this, the largest man made hill in Europe, surveyed the scenery, and then slid down it on our bottoms.
I come from an old, established, irreverent lineage.
The legends of Silbury Hill include that it is the burial mound of one obscure ‘King Sil’ – which I find highly unlikely.
The feminine shape of this tumulus, plus the fact that it rises a few hundred meters from the river which used to be called the Cunnit and its connections with Avebury,a barrow or two and a leyline network in the area (actually it seems to stand smack on a leyline- a circumstance which caused those straight road builders, the Romans, to have to veer sharply to avoid it, as apparently they too were following the local leys and building roads upon them), all point to its creators being of a culture which revered the holiness of motherhood – not least because it was an inextricable part of their livelihood.The mound is most clearly visible after the grain harvest, when the cereal stalks no longer shield it from view, leading to some speculation that it is in fact the Winter Gestation of the Mother which is represented here.Surrounded in times past by a moat, Silbury Hill tells us that we were once very aware of the divine maternity of the Earth.
Yet today there are too few people who actively acknowledge this truth.
Those who do, who know not just subconsciously and in dreams that our lives and fates are inextricably entangled with that of the Ancient Mother, can be heard ranting on about the harm we are doing to Her. Like myself. Or they may be found at the helm of a Rainbow Warrior class dinghy, off to do battle with whalers and trawlers and polluters of the seas. Or they may be found locked down near the top of an old, old tree, while the logging company henchmen gather below with catcalls and chainsaws.
Most of us, however, go off to work or play each day and never think about it.
We drive expensive lumps of metal which burn Her blood and befoul Her breath, then sit in glazed sullenness before glowing screens, interacting more often than not in a world which has nothing to do with Her which was conjured from out the ether like a malevolent demon whose avowed intent is to destroy every last vestige of real consciousness we have left.
But a Mother, even one absent from one’s thoughts for so long, does not stop being a mother even for a second. This I know from personal experience.
A Mother loves Her children without condition – in jail, in the ghettos, in the process of committing gross violations of trust upon each other and Herself, She is still our Mum.
This form of unconditional love is an example for humanity – an example which we once, I believe, had ever before us, enshrined in our myths, legends and religions, but which we have lost for the last -oh, I dunno, call it five thousand years.
We would do well to try and revive within ourselves this prehistoric Perfect Love and Perfect Trust, for the mythological examples we see enacted before our eyes all the time today are the poisonous ones, the power-and-glory-obsessed ones, and they have led us to this Fall.
In the spirit of ‘is it turtles all the way down?’ I fell to dozing in my bedroom this morning and had this vision:
Before all knowledge was, was She. Alone and in perfect Unity with Herself, she turned upon Herself in the growing light of awareness.
From out the formless void a reflection sparkled – a vision of loveliness which caught Her breath. She saw in the mirror of dawning consciousness Her own reflection, and immediately exploded with joy.
Showers of brightly-coloured sparks flew from Her explosion, wafted hither and thither and flew across Her body.
Some formed into stars, then some into planets. And some became you and I, wondering where we came from.
Pic: SheilaNaGig by Monica Sjoo