Winter Solstice: Mary, Mother Earth, and the Stories that We Tell

In the end, all we have is nature.

My teacher offered this wisdom during my healing class a few weeks ago, and only by going in the opposite direction, by dipping into myth and stories and ideas have I begun to understand the profundity of this statement.

I was blessed with the most incredible, nourishing Winter Solstice I could have possibly prayed for. The snow continued to fall while the Christmas lights glowed all day in the cozy house. I had the luxury of spending hours in my sacred little room: lighting my Advent candles, meditating, drawing, writing, discovering new territory in the realm of spirit.

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This December has offered me previously unimagined insight into the power of both the Solstice and Christmas.

For some time now, I have been experiencing visions of Mary. In them, she tells me that she is not just that silent, blue veiled vessel with the alabaster brow. She is the Mother who carried the weight of the world between her hips and who gave birth to a God. She is not some distant creature to be locked up in churches. She is a vital ally, a friend to all life. Mary is the supreme realization of the Divine Feminine.

Never before would I allow myself to get close to Jesus’s mom. A girl who got tangled up in all that Biblical stuff just because she was passively filled with angel dust? Not my style. Instead, I sought the Goddess in myth and legend, rock formations and prehistoric art. The statues of the blessed virgin that graced the churches I passed were just dull marble decorations that helped other kinds of people through their day.

But Mary has been insistent, and I realize how foolish I have been to refuse her. I now allow myself to drink deep her story.

Two phenomenal posts that I came across today, both based on today’s Gospel reading about the Annunciation, opened new doors of understanding for me: Christine at Abbey of the Arts and a blog that’s new to me, Magdalene’s Musings.

The more deeply I fall into the stories of the Annunciation and Jesus’s birth, the more overcome I am by their power. Suddenly it makes sense that these events would form the basis of a faith that endures 2,000 years later.

At the same time, my understanding of these miraculous moments is colored by the new “relationship” that I have with Mary herself. As she becomes something other than an iconic character for me, and instead emerges as a face of the feminine aspect of God, I realize how the stories that bind her to history are just that: stories.dsc01518

The time I spent soaking in Paganism and Celtic magic left me with a strong understanding of the way the Church strategically scheduled Christmas to coincide with a holiday as old as the earth itself: the celebration of sun’s return around December 21. The overlapping events and the connections between them are becoming increasingly clear to me:

The earth is tilting back on its axis so that the sun shines longer in the sky each day.

Mother Earth is offering up her Child, the Sun.

The Feminine Divine is making way in order to give us the Divine in human form.

Mary gives birth to the infant Jesus in a manger.

When I fully realize that the nativity story is not about shepherds and stars, but is instead a beautiful allegory for the cycles of the seasons, I arrive on a new plane of respect for Christianity and for all of nature. The interconnectedness of humanity’s stories with the basic laws of this earth make me stop and allow tears to fill my eyes for the incredible beauty we are all permitted to be a part of.

Did those events in Bethlehem really happen? I would not deny it. And if they did, I believe it was because God knew humanity needed to watch the power of his love enacted in human form. The passing of the seasons and the miracle of the earth’s rebirth of the seasons is too abstract a miracle for us to understand. What genius and power, to give us these holy beings, Mary and Jesus, to guide our story-loving souls.

solstice sun setI stood outside as the sun set on this shortest day, and I understood completely that the only sure thing is the natural world. The ideas, the living beings, the manufactured things, they will all fade away. Only the mountains and the seas, the sun and the moon will remain.

But still, I know I feel more connected to God and to the rest of this beautiful world better by holding in my heart these stories that we tell.

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6 thoughts on “Winter Solstice: Mary, Mother Earth, and the Stories that We Tell

  1. brandi December 21, 2008 / 10:01 pm

    you and I hearing similar teachings it seems. 🙂

    I so love synchronicity.

    just last week my minister was talking about the stories that have built up around the birth story and how they have been built up so much that these people and their connection to divine, their enlightenment and their courage to experience god in a new way is obscured by the stories themselves.

    and then she said something that has become my new mantra:

    you may have your story but you are not your story.

  2. Mary Grace December 22, 2008 / 10:21 am

    Thank you so much for bringing newness to Mary and her newborn, Jesus. It brought back memories of when I saw only Jesus, I loved him with my whole heart. God was OK, Mary was OK but it was Jesus that held my heart so close.

    He brought me to know his mother Mary after many years. I now am very devoted to Her and realize now that I had so much of Her essence in me that I could only feel the love She had for Her Son. That love was all consuming and she holds that love for the whole world in Her Immaculate Heart.

    The Divine Feminine is being more recognized as we bring our femininity into balance with masculinity. There is only strength in balance and we must have both to be strong, honoring the differences and sharing each other’s strengths.

  3. Doxy December 22, 2008 / 5:11 pm

    I am so pleased to have discovered your blog! Thank you for visiting mine…

    I really loved this:

    Did those events in Bethlehem really happen? I would not deny it. And if they did, I believe it was because God knew humanity needed to watch the power of his love enacted in human form. The passing of the seasons and the miracle of the earth’s rebirth of the seasons is too abstract a miracle for us to understand.

    There is something about your statement that rings true for me…

    Pax,
    Doxy

    • girlwhocriedepiphany December 23, 2008 / 11:54 am

      Brandi,
      I am starting to feel like my whole life is one synchronistic bubble – in a really good way! I am really falling in love with your minister and I just love the way that even across so much distance, you and I are finding ourselves tuned into the same universal radio station.

      Dear Mary Grace,
      Welcome and you’re welcome. It’s interesting to hear how a love of Jesus has lead you to Mary and then, if I am reading you correctly, to the Divine Feminine. I started at another point on that arc – I found connection to Spirit first in the Goddess and now in Mary and now she is opening me up to Christ.
      “There is only strength in balance and we must have both to be strong, honoring the differences and sharing each other’s strengths.” – Absolutely! This is the only thing that will get us through all that lies ahead.

      Dear Doxy,
      Indeed, it is wonderful that we managed to find one another! I am so glad that my words meant something to you.

      Thanks & blessings to all,
      Marisa

  4. Jane September 7, 2009 / 8:31 pm

    You’re the first person I have found who is thinking the same way I am! Mary has also insisted on coming into my life. My brother and I are fighting a large nasty cult which is vicious, and we have been amazingly sustained by God. He has shown us some lines in the landscape, which I suppose are ley lines. On one of them there are 15 churches, 12 of which are dedicated to Mary. There was something very important about the Feast of the Assumption this year. Assumption means ‘into the whole’ and is different from Jesus’ Ascension. In some strange and wonderful way I believe that God is sanctifying the Earth through those of us who realise that Mary really speaks for all of us who wish to align our wills with the Will of God when she said ‘Let it be unto me according to the Word.’.

  5. nathan December 18, 2009 / 11:53 pm

    god bless all of you im happy that people are talking bout this and i agree with wat each of u has to say i have to say something i belive that mary. our mother is gaya(earth) and christ is a conciecness that our mother gave birth to and has been here for long time and now we are awakning to this truth in our own ways and we all need to go look for the truth no where but within us so i say to my fellow humans please lets raise christs councesness for our childern and for all humanity i belive we all know how were behving as a collective and we need to work on that. one person at a time we all carry truth we all carry GOD so lets be one like we once was i love all of u from the deapth of my heart may peace be with you 🙂 christ conciesness is here waiting for us to open our hearts

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