Mother and son enjoying spiritual significance of mother's day

Spiritual significance of Mother’s Day

We traditionally see Mother’s Day as a time of flowers, cards, and breakfast in bed. Spending time with gestures to acknowledge the work done by our mothers to raise us. Yet, beneath the surface of these loving gestures lies a profound spiritual significance of Mother’s Day that transcends cultural and historical boundaries. 

Mother Earth and the Divine Feminine

Mother’s Day represents a range of deep spiritual themes about the birth, gratitude, and the power of feminine energy. 

Delve into Mother’s Day essence, exploring its roots and the universal symbolism of motherhood as a beacon of spiritual growth and nurturing.

“Motherhood is the ultimate confrontation with yourself. Whatever is there to discover at the bottom of your soul, whether dross or treasure, motherhood will help you find it.”

Lisa Marchiano, Motherhood

Historical and cultural origins of Mother’s Day

The earliest celebrations of mothers can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome, where festivals were held in honor of mother goddesses. The Greeks celebrated Rhea, the mother of the gods, while the Romans had a festival called Hilaria dedicated to Cybele, a mother goddess, around 250 BCE.

Anna Jarvis officially founded Mother’s Day in the United States. After her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, passed away in 1905, Anna conceived Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children. 

The spiritual significance of Mother’s Day and motherhood

The day holds a deeper and spiritual connotation. It’s a testament to the universal reverence for a mother archetype, that symbolizes fertility, care, and the genesis of life itself.

The spiritual meaning of Mother’s Day extends beyond the physical birth and biological motherhood. Motherhood involves the nurturing of our existence and our relationship with the Earth itself. 

Mother’s Day offers a moment to reflect on nurturing forces in our lives, celebrating the spiritual mothers who guide, support, and enrich our spiritual journey. We may express deep gratitude for being brought into the world from our mother, and therefore nurture deep thanks for this moment and our life force. 

Motherhood and the Divine Feminine

The Divine Feminine is the recognition of the feminine aspect of the divine or sacred energy present in many traditions. It is deeply rooted in ancient mythologies, religions, and spiritual practices that venerated goddesses, female deities.

They highlight archetypal qualities associated with femininity such as nurturing, intuition, creation, and compassion. A counterpart to traditional masculine structures in society and patriarchal worship structures that have dominated many religious and spiritual traditions.

Mother and child embrace demonstrating spiritual significance of Mother's Day

The Divine Feminine is often linked with fertility, creativity, intuition, and healing. These qualities are not exclusive to women; rather, they are aspects of the human experience that everyone can embrace and cultivate.

Engaging with the Divine Feminine energy is believed to facilitate healing of the mind, body, and spirit. It encourages a holistic approach to well-being that integrates emotional, spiritual, and physical health.

The Divine Feminine is also seen as a source of wisdom and guidance. A force that challenges deep insight into who we are, particularly in times of uncertainty or when guidance is needed.

The Divine Feminine invites us to explore and embrace a more holistic, interconnected, and compassionate approach to spirituality, emphasizing the importance of balance between masculine and feminine energies within the universe and within oneself.

On Mother’s Day, we can recognize the importance of this balance, and embrace the feminine in the universe. 

Jungian psychology and spiritual growth through motherhood

We’re huge fans of Jungian psychology at Cultivated Zen. It gives such a rich framework for exploring spiritual growth and definitely can apply to the receivers and givers of motherhood. 

The journey of motherhood mirrors Jung’s concept of individuation, where the integration of various aspects of the self leads to wholeness.

Indeed, Jung’s concept of the Shadow, representing the unacknowledged parts of our psyche, finds a unique expression in motherhood.  As Lisa Marchiano writes in her latest book ‘Motherhood’, “Motherhood is the ultimate confrontation with yourself. Whatever is there to discover at the bottom of your soul, whether dross or treasure, motherhood will help you find it.”

Indeed the complexities of maternal relationships can often bring our shadows to light. Often our neuroses in life can be driven by our relationships with our parents and how we managed the separation from the mother. 

“If there is anything that we wish to change in our children, we should first examine it and see whether or not it is something that could be better changed in ourselves”

Carl Jung, Collected Works

Acknowledging and integrating these shadow aspects of ourselves can lead to profound spiritual growth, making Mother’s Day an opportunity for deeper understanding and reconciliation. The spiritual significance of Mother’s Day thus becomes a celebration of the ongoing journey of self-discovery and spiritual evolution that motherhood can ignite.

Practical spirituality in celebrating the spiritual significance of Mother’s Day

To honor the spiritual significance of Mother’s Day, consider incorporating practices that reflect the depth of the relationship between motherhood, the earth, and the realization of your highest self. 

Meditation sessions dedicated to the gratitude and recognition of all forms of motherhood is a good start. We’d also recommend giving your mother a gift that allows her to connect with the spiritual, even if that’s just a link to a hypnosis session on Spotify, or a yoga mat!

Mother's Day bath

Rituals that honor the Earth as our universal mother are popular ways to engage in practical spirituality at Mother’s Day. Mabon House recommends that as we move into Spring and the beginning of Summer, it is a good time to celebrate the fertility and abundance of the earth.  It’s also an opportunity for women to celebrate their own divine feminine power through connection to self, nature and community. 

Other methods include reflective writing on the lessons learned from maternal figures in our lives which can enrich the celebration with spiritual meaning.

Zen word on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day, in its essence, is a profound celebration of life, nurturing, and the spiritual bonds that connect us all. 

The spiritual significance of Mother’s Day is an invitation to honor forms of motherhood that enrich lives and spiritual journeys. As we navigate the complexities of these relationships, Mother’s Day stands as a beacon of reflection, gratitude, and deep spiritual connection.

Of course it’s also important to honour and give thanks to our mothers. If you’re lucky enough to have had a positive relationship with your mother and she is still around, then use this day to make her feel special and connect with her spirit.

Let her know that her nurturing and love were worth it. 

Stay zen folks. 


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