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  • Writer's pictureBarry Shirley


Hi Guys. In this April 2022 blog (Issue 27) I contemplate the subject of ‘Cosmic Mother/Mother Earth - Revealed’.

As in my previous blogs, I will draw on the views and opinions of past and current masters, sages, mystics, gurus, philosophers and generally wise people. I also tap into worldly belief systems, religions and philosophies to draw on ancient knowledge and wisdom. So, if you are beginning to realise there is more to this life than you think, and you have the merest hint of something happening in yourself – read on.

These monthly blog posts are designed for those interested in mindfulness/spirituality/philosophy and will only give you a taste of the information, knowledge and wisdom that is out there (and all points raised can easily be further researched). I will also include text from my previous blogs as appropriate.

I was drawn to this subject given my research for one of my recent paintings titled

Cosmic Mother’ (inset) illustrating the incandescence of the ‘Mother Earth’ concept. I felt almost compelled to paint her and I depicted her in the firmament and the earth below – humble but powerful. She has numerous goddess names throughout her hair and feminine divine narrative on the lotus petals that hold her – with ancient feminine symbols throughout the painting.

I will explore both the metaphysical aspects of this subject and the more worldly components.

During this month of April, we celebrate International Mother Earth Day. In 2009, the UN General Assembly designated the 22nd of April to raise global public awareness of the challenges to the well-being of the planet and all the life it supports. Its theme is Invest in YourPlanet.

In a blog post by Forest Whitaker, on his Peace and Development initiative, he indicates that the UN proclaimed day was made with the Inca goddess of fertility Pachamama in mind, and that they noted “Mother Earth is a common expression for the planet earth in a number of countries and regions, which reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species, and the planet we all inhabit.”

Whitaker goes on to say: “We are the children of the Earth in the most literal sense: our bodies and minds have evolved in unison with the environments that host us, and we are one with them…….Yet we do not seem to cherish these gifts. We even seem to be at war with the planet. In contrast, Mother Earth Day is an invitation to make peace with the Earth, and in doing so, to make peace with ourselves.”

Whilst the world appears to be in constant turmoil, Blogger Amo Mann is effusive about the late Dr Wayne Dyer in his interpretation of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu in order for each of us to live in the world with goodness and integrity.

In her life, Mann talks about letting go and practicing patience when things do not work out. She indicates that there is a time for everything and going with the flow is probably the best approach, citing the following interpretation from Wayne Dyer’s: Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao

Do you think you could take over the universe and improve it? I do not believe it can be done.

Everything under heaven is a sacred vessel and cannot be controlled. Trying to control leads to ruin. Trying to grasp, we lose.

Allow your life to unfold naturally. Know that it too is a vessel of perfection.

Just as you breathe in and breathe out, there is a time for being ahead and a time for being behind; a time for being in motion and a time for being at rest; a time for being vigorous and a time for being exhausted; a time for being safe and a time for being in danger.

The Master sees things as they are, without trying to control them. She lets them go their own way and resides at the centre of the circle.

From the Tao Te Ching - Chapter 29

The Tao is an ancient Chinese philosophical and religious text which denotes the view that we should spend more time in Self-awareness (i.e. exploring the Higher Self) rather than in the mind’s dysfunctional perceptions. The Dao (Tao) calls for adherence to the ‘The Way’ and that the Dao is the origin and law of all things in the universe. The focus is the individual in nature rather than the individual in society. It holds that the goal of life for each individual is to find one’s own personal adjustment to the rhythm of the natural (and supernatural) world and to follow the Way (Dao) of the universe. Taoists stress the importance of harmonising with nature by balancing Yin and Yang.

In all belief systems, being more self-aware is said to lead to self-compassion, self-love, kindness, love for fellow mankind, resilience and to exercise your own power in and over the world. Love, logically, provides for peace.

Has the patriarchal system been around since the year dot? There is ample evidence that matriarchal society was most prominent from very early in human history. Things appeared to have changed drastically when Abrahamic religions took hold and took for granted the maleness of God.

In the book, The Great Cosmic Mother (Rediscovering The Religion Of The Earth) by Monica Sjoo & Barbara Mor, the authors discuss many aspects of the Great Mother now powerfully re-emerging and rising again in human consciousness. “Isis, Mawu-Lisa, Demeter, Gaia, Shakti, Dakinis, Shekhinah, Astarte, Ishtar, Rhea, Nerthus, Brigid, Danu – call Her what you may – has been with us from the beginning and awaits us now. She is the beauty of the green earth, the life-giving waters, the consuming fire, the radiant moon, and the fiery sun. She is Star Goddess and Spiderwoman; she weaves the luminous web that creates the universe. As earth, the great planetary Spirit-Being, She germinates life within her dark womb.”

In more earthly practical matters, they continue: In The Nature and Evolution of Female Sexuality, Mary Jane Sherfey, M.D., described her discovery in 1961 of something called the inductor theory. The inductor theory stated that ‘All mammalian embryos, male and female, are anatomically female during the early stages of foetal life.’ Sherfey wondered why this theory had been buried in the medical literature since 1951, completely ignored by the profession.

For, just as established religions assume the maleness of God, just as Freud and psychoanalysis assumed the maleness of libido, so have the social sciences—and in particular anthropology—assumed the generic maleness of human evolution. Both popular and academic anthropological writers have presented us with scenarios of human evolution that feature, almost exclusively, the adventures and inventions of man the hunter, man the toolmaker, man the territorial marker, and so forth.

Woman is not comprehended as an evolutionary or evolutionizing creature. She is treated rather as an auxiliary to a male dominated evolutionary process; she mothers him, she mates him, she cooks his dinner, she follows around after him picking up his loose rocks. He evolves, she follows; he evolutionizes, she adjusts. If the book jackets don’t give us pictures of female Homo sapiens being dragged by the hair through 2 or 3 million years of he-man evolution, we are left to assume this was the situation.

This, despite the known fact that among contemporary and historic hunting-and-gathering people, as among our remote hunting-and-gathering ancestors, 75 percent to 80 percent of the group’s subsistence comes from the women’s food-gathering.”

Sjoo and Mor consider the social and spiritual aspects of these first Earth Mother religions and how they were formed:

“The first God, Mother Earth, was a human concept—or, the sign of a human response to an experienced fact. The first arts and religions, the first crafts and social patterns, were designed in recognition and celebration of her. But what were real human females feeling and thinking? We can only see the attributes of the Great Goddess as the projections of women’s experiences of themselves. As we read the powerful magic signs of the Great Mother’s celebration, we can read these first women’s powerful discoveries and celebrations of themselves.

The religious beliefs, the mysteries and rites developed by ancient women, grew organically out of women’s supreme roles as cultural producers, mothers, and prime communicators with the spirit world. The mysteries of creation, transformation, and recurrence—the primal mysteries of all religions—emerged from women’s direct physical and psychic experiences of these mysteries: in bleeding, in growing a child, in nursing, in working with fire, in making a pot, in planting a tree.”

Professor emeritus Jack D. Forbes is a former chair of Native American studies at the University of California. In 2001 he produced an illuminating study on Indigenous Americans: Spirituality and Ecos (nature). He states: “The cosmic visions of indigenous peoples are significantly diverse. Each nation and community have its own unique traditions. Still, several characteristics stand out. …. Perhaps the most important aspect of indigenous cosmic visions is the conception of creation as a living process, resulting in a living universe in which a kinship exists between all living things. Thus, the Creators are our family, our Grandparents or Parents, and all of their creations are children who, of necessity, are also our relations.”

Luther Standing Bear was a Lakota chief notable as a Native American author, educator and philosopher. Writing in the 1930s, he noted:

“The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good for the skin to touch the earth and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth…..The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing, and healing….Wherever the Lakota went, he was with Mother Earth. No matter where he roamed by day or slept by night, he was safe with her.” (Luther Standing Bear, The Land of the Spotted EagleUniversity of Nebraska Press, 1978

Forbes further considered in his article that: “Native people, according to Standing Bear, were often baffled by the European tendency to refer to nature as crude, primitive, wild, rude, untamed, and savage. For the Lakota, mountains, lakes, rivers, springs, valleys, and woods were all finished beauty. Of course, the indigenous tendency to view the earth and other nonorganic entities as being part of bios (life, living) is seen by many post -1500 Europeans as simply romantic or nonsensical. When Native students enrol in many biology or chemistry classes today, they are often confronted by professors who are absolutely certain that rocks are not alive. But in reality, these professors are themselves products of an idea system of materialism and mechanism that is both relatively modern and indefensible.”

The Feminine conceptualisation of nature occupies a very significant place in Indian philosophical and religious texts. The image of the earth as a goddess, variously known as Prthivi Mata, Dharatimata, Jagadddhatri (aspect of Parvathi), is very ancient and all-pervasive. The various Vedic texts, verses and hymns to the Earth Mother cover a wide range of aspects: physical, organic, metaphysical, ethical and cosmic.

The following comments are mentioned in the Sanskrit Magazine regarding the Hindu philosophy/religion: “While the mainstream Western philosophy of Nature sees Nature as mere “resources” for human consumption, the Vedic seers advocate for a caring and reciprocal attitude. They see nature-human relation as mother-child relation. The verses of the Vedas reveal deep respect towards the Earth, just as a child is ever committed to his/her mother. The mother is considered the first Guru of the child.

That the Earth ensures well-being of all of us is illustrated in the hymns addressed to Her. As the Earth is construed as mother caring for Her off-springs, the Nature is regarded as intrinsically or inherently valuable, draws respect as well.

The concept of Mother Earth advocated in the Vedas, particularly in Bhoomi Sukta (hymn comprising mantras to Mother Earth – in the Atharva Veda sacred text), is unique. The Mother Earth, adorned with mountains, hills, plains, heights, slopes, forests, plants, herbs, and treasures, takes care of every creature that breathes with things that are strength-giving and nourishing. She gives shelter to all the seekers of truth, who are tolerant and have understanding. She is the source of all creativity, and we all depend upon Her for our growth and meaningful existence.

We are inseparable from Earth, our body constituting of minerals that are an integral part of everything within the environment. The food we eat, the water we drink, the clothes we wear, the very air we breathe – we are dependent on this world. Most of us don’t realize how much we are indebted to Mother Earth for every single moment of our lives.

With this thought in mind, it is customary for many Hindus to touch the ground with reverence first thing in the morning as they are stepping out of bed. This practice gives us an opportunity to convey our gratitude to Mother Earth and to God, who created this universe.”

In Hinduism, Prakriti (Sanskrit) refers to a primal creative or natural force. It connotes the natural or original intended state of something or of an individual's being. The term is derived from the Sanskrit pra, meaning ‘beginning,’ and kriti, meaning ‘creation’ (further explained in more detail in the various Vedic texts).

In Kundalini yoga, one aim of the practitioner is to awaken prakriti (or the energy of “mother nature”) to achieve balance and awaken one's primal power and reach a more natural state of being.

Women are universally seen as care givers and nurturers, of their families, their communities, and by extension, the earth. This responsibility is reaching a new prominence with a very interesting juxtaposition of female leadership roles in running nations and states. Consider Finland as an example. The 36-year-old Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, heads a governing coalition of five political parties – all led by women. The strong participation of women in decision making has helped build a nation that ranks first among the world’s 193 nations in sustainable development, according to a 2021 United Nations Report which found that Finland has achieved or nearly achieved the UN’s goal for improving health, education, water, energy and peace, alleviating poverty and reducing inequality.

This concept was an anathema, not so long ago (1930/40s), to male leaders of Nazi Germany for instance. in Jason Stanley’s book on ‘How Fascism Works’ he indicates that: “The Nazis believed that the women’s movement was part of an international Jewish conspiracy to subvert the German family and thus destroy the German race. The movement it claimed, was encouraging women to assert their economic independence and to neglect their proper task of producing children. It was spreading the feminine doctrines of pacifism, democracy and materialism. By encouraging contraception and abortion and so lowering the birth rate, it was attacking the very existence of the German people.”


  • Sometimes we talked about the nature of the human soul and about the Cosmic Unity of souls that I had believed in so firmly when I was 15 years old. My mother did not like the phrase Cosmic Unity. It was too pretentious. She preferred to call it a world soul.” – Freeman Dyson FRS, Professor (1923-2020) – English/American theoretical and mathematical physicist – atomic scientist.

  • "We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us." – Albert Einstein (1879-1955) – German born theoretical physicist – developed theories of relativity/quantum mechanics.

  • "I love Nature partly because she is not man, but a retreat from him. None of his institutions control or pervade her. There a different kind of right prevails. In her midst, I can be glad with an entire gladness." - Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) – American naturalist and philosopher.

Take away

  • Contemplate the spiritual or metaphysical aspect of nature, Mother Earth/Cosmic Mother, and tap into your higher Self as well as considering links to the worldly aspects of the mother nature concept.

  • Consider the sacred source of creation – spiritual life and material life are not separate – there is only life – love life for what it is.

  • Celebrate International Earth Mother Day on the 22nd of April. Help to promote harmony with nature and the Earth. Modern society can be difficult - do not disconnect from nature - Don’t turn your back on Mother Earth.

  • In a worldly sense, women should be celebrated/revered every day as givers and nurturers of life. And we should contribute to strive for an equitable society (including diverse gender).

  • Also, try yoga, along with meditation – a natural combination for overall well-being. If already practicing yoga and meditation – go deeper – both higher vibration activities!

Compiled by Baz Shirley.


*See also:

Instagram: @bazabstractart - Facebook: Barry Shirley

And all my previous posts on:*

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