The Archetype of Mother
Posted by Angela on March 21, 2007
Mother is one of the most diverse of the archetypes in my opinion. Just think of some of the many different aspects – we have Mother Nature; Grandmother; Virgin Mother; Good Mom; Working Mother; Devouring Mother; Smothering Mother; Teen Mother; Loving Mother; our own mother; Fairy Godmother; Step Mother; Nurturing Mother; Mother Earth (Gaia) and so on.
Mother is about creativity and the very act of creation. It is also about nurturing, guiding, and supporting. Often mother demonstrates tenancity, protectiveness, resourcefulness. One of the great lessons of the mother archetype is the process of life and mothering. It is important to create, nurture, empower and release. Many a mother struggles profoundly with the process of release – thus we have the whole ‘empty-nester’.
Along the way mother may be called upon for willing sacrifice. Many a mother who has gone through the process of willing sacrifice came through realizing the process broke their heart wide open and they were filled with unconditional love – truly a potential jewel and gift of the arcehtype of mother.
Mother also is part of encompassing of the symbolic trinity of maiden – matron – crone. This symbolism of the trinity is itself also symbolic of the seasons or transitions of life which is also sybolised with Mother Nature. The cycle goes on . . .
Great Destruction as well as great creation are a potential of the shadow side of the mother. We think of Mother Nature, hurricanes (hericanes – which until recently were named based upon the symbolism of feminine destructive powers – don’t worry men / father have equivalent myth) :8)
So we have polar opposites: Creation / Destruction – and the duality contained within. The mother archetype can be a catalyst in the lessons of duality, all encompassing, and wholenss. I suspect this is why we have so very many archetypical faces for mother. It is truly one of the archetypes that if we bring into clarity and consciousness can help us understand ourselves at a much deeper level.
I have only touched upon the many and diverse aspects of the mother archetype. I invite you to share your own experiences with this archetype.