Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother's Day History, Mythology, and Funky Hermits who seek Solitude

Mother's Day is a period to think through on the legacies mothers and grandmothers have passed on. Abraham Lincoln was once quoted as saying: "All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."

It is celebrated in 150 nations around the world, usually on the second Sunday of May. There are exceptions however, such as in numerous African nations where it is observed on the 21st of March. 

Historically, mothers have had a key role in construction and maintaining connections across generations. Even today, they are most often the kin-keepers in a family unit, making sure everyone gets along well, and they are often the ones that take the lead in passing down life lessons, traditions, and customs.

Anna M. Jarvis first suggested the public observance of an annual day to honor mothers because of the love she so dearly felt toward her own. This was around 1905. After many years of campaigning and gaining of support, her struggles paid off when in 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed a bill recognizing Mother's Day as a national holiday.

In the beginning, people would honor their mothers by sending them gifts, letters, candy, and carnations. Eventually however businesses realized the financial opportunity for mother's day and began to exploit it for profit. Jarvis then thought it became too commercialized by the 1920s and fought to have it abolished. Obviously that didn't quite work out...

Despite this, Mother's Day isn't a new holiday. The premier Mother's Day celebrations  can be tracked back to the dart celebrations of ancient Greece in honor of Rhea, the mother of the gods. People would make offerings of mellic-crust, tasty drinks,seeds, and flowers at dawn, as well as much more. 

Christians celebrate this holiday too, which is not surprising given the fifth commandment: Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you (Exodus 20:12). Christians praised this celebration on the fourth Sunday in Lent to pay tribute to Mary, mother of Christ. In England this occasion was extended to incorporate all moms and was called the Mothering Sunday.

Magna Mater, or the Great Mother, was also the mamma of the gods (for the Romans lol.) She is the bearer of the world as well as humans, animals, and plants. Many stories of her are lost, but we can get a glimpse of her important role by reading through the ancient creation myths of the many different religions.

Gaia, another name for the Great Mother.

In Rome, a temple was built in honor of her. Every march, a celebration for her honor called the Festival of Hilaria was once held. During these festivals gifts were sent to churches to please the Goddess for all her glory. 

One of Magna Mater's roles were to secure the fruitfulness of character and to fend disaster away. Sounds alot like my mother if you ask me.

May as well help your mother out. Guess if you don't want to give her any gifts you could do some chores or something. Mother's Day...hmm...

I once knew a man who sought freedom through isolation, or as he called it, controlled isolation. He wanted to be his own man and not have to rely on anyone. A real hermit archetype, to the fullest. He would not work for anyone, and he attempted to sever as much human and family relations as he could while also being hinged to them. Ergo, he would not leave his family's home unless he was formally kicked out. Despite this, he wasn't a freeloader. While he would not communicate with anyone, he made money on the side through online surveys and even helped pay the rent for the house on numerous occasions. Could a seeker find enlightenment and solitary isolation while also making their mother happy? 

I wonder... 

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