Healing the Mother Archetype

In the ancient shamanic trinity of Maiden, Mother, and Crone, the Mother energy is the most familiar, and also the archetype in the most need of healing.

Mother energy isn’t necessarily about having children; it is about honoring the creative force within us to generate Life: babies, books, businesses. Mothering is about nourishing, showing up, doing what is needed in the moment to support growth and healing.

A few days ago I was unexpectedly placed in the middle of a Warrior Goddess Mother moment. We had arrived in Cusco, Peru, which is about 12,000 feet, a few hours earlier. As I walked into the hotel after lunch in town the front desk asked me “Are you the trip guide?” “Yes.” “Someone is sick, can you go see them?” I thought to myself, “I’ll just call them and see if they are okay, then I’ll go rest and write.” I was excited to have some time to myself, to write and sleep and get ready for the journey ahead.

A young man from the hotel motioned me to follow him and the front desk women pointed towards him, so I abandoned my idea of making a nice and tidy phone call and walked up to the second floor. The husband, I’ll call him Fred, greeted me anxiously, saying that his wife Laura had fainted, her oxygen level was seriously low, and was not doing well.

Death was in the room, which made no sense. How could someone who was vibrant just a few hours ago now be barely breathing? As I walked over to her I saw that she was blue. I told the young man; we need oxygen. He told me no, she has already had oxygen. I ran downstairs and told the front desk to call the doctor. “We are just checking on the cost.” “It’s an emergency, tell him to get here immediately.” I went back upstairs and sat by Laura and listened to Fred’s story, how she was doing better after oxygen then went to go to the bathroom and collapsed. Her fingers were blue up to the first knuckle, her ears were purple, and it was almost impossible to feel her breath. I ran back downstairs and told them to bring the oxygen upstairs again; there was some resistance but I stayed firm. “Now.”

And then all we could do is wait. We hooked her up to the oxygen and I sat down and held her hand, stroked her forehead. And I felt the Mother fill me. The one who stays by your side when you are fevered. The one who holds your hair when you throw up. The one who demands, the one who holds, the one who waits.

“Breathe, sweetheart.” This woman who I didn’t know suddenly become my precious child, and I touched and spoke to her and prayed she would live. “Breathe, sweetheart, you are doing great.” And in that moment whether she lived or died or threw up violently didn’t matter. Nothing mattered but being with her fully, letting her know the Mother was near, that she was held, no matter what.

The look on the doctor’s face when he checked her oxygen level confirmed how serious her situation was. Her lungs were filling up with fluid, and her oxygen was at 40%. From this amazingly low point she is fine after a night in the hospital, oxygen, fluids, and medication, thank the goddess. Due to the severity of her reaction to the altitude (which I’ve never seen in my 20 years coming to Peru, and neither had our guide Jorge) she and her husband got on a plane yesterday and returned to sea level.

This experience got me to thinking about holding Mother energy and being put in the right place at the right time by the Mother. I believe if we open to being in service we are vessels that She uses to bring in love, care, heavy lifting: whatever is needed.

But so many of us women and men don’t know how to Mother ourselves, or to receive. We give in hopes of getting approval, being good, being seen, being loved. We caretake without filling back up, we give without truly, deeply taking in.

Questions that rattled around in my head today as I walked in the glorious mountains for Peru: Where do we get filled up? How can we reclaim the Mother energy in a way that nourishes us rather than depletes us?

When I asked Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) how to fill up she showed me how to connect to nature and rest into the land. I’ve done this practice instinctually for years, but there was a way it hadn’t connected completely. Spirit, Life, Unconditional Love, Energy is in everything. The Mother is all around us. She is Life, which is regenerative, eternal, unending. When we tap into her we are full to overflowing. Then in times of sorrow or challenges we can show up for the hard things without flinching, knowing she is within and without.

I know that we also need each other. Community is a Mother, a place we can rest and be held and be seen and nourished in the circle.

Today may you honor all mothers, and the Mother within you. May you stay steady in love. May you spend time receiving, filling, taking in so you are full to overflowing. May those who have forgotten or abandoned or rejected the Mother find her in their hearts again, where she has always and will always be.

14 thoughts on “Healing the Mother Archetype

  1. There’s a reason you were there, Heather. Not only to feed the soul of this woman, who needed both your love and your expertise, but to also remind you of the powerful being you are.

  2. HeatherAsh it was indeed such a blessing to uphold the mother within you and to share such a blessed experience with us I have to thank you. You were at the right place at the right time.

  3. I’m so loving this perspective. It resonates deeply with me. I’m sending you and your sweet fellow journeyers love and strength. You were exactly where you needed to be. Love love love.

  4. You were re-reminded of home being in you, through you, and all around you. You are a life giver, and capable of inspiring one to sustain their life and keep going through spirit even in the most duress imaginable! Your spirit is so strong! It is pure love! You never cease to amaze me!

  5. Beautiful story of universal love and nurturing. Thank you for sharing and for reminding us of its abundant eternal flow ~ lovely.

  6. I found myself holding my breath as I read your words. So happy things worked out and that you were there in that moment.

  7. I should not be amazed that you always somehow send the message my heart needs. I am struggling with decisions to continue the process of keeping custody of my nephew. I struggle with trying not to be his “mother” yet providing him with the mothering he needs. Raising him has also shown me how mothering I need to do for myself too. Grateful for your words as I need more support and connection to stay ful at this time of struggle.

  8. What an intense experience. That couple was very lucky to have you to help them through it. The intention I set for 2016 is “to show up”. I never considered that from a mothering perspective before and how that can support growth and healing in myself and others. Thank you for your words. They really resonated with me.

  9. When I read your words. I could see you and hear your voice. I know you gave great comfort to that woman. And everyone around you. You are such a angel.

  10. Your story reminds me of something that happened to me a couple of weeks ago. An older man crashed on his bike as I was walking along the opposite side of the street. I ran over to him to help. Long story short, he had had a heart attack and I didn’t know that. I held his hand and stroked his back and talked to him as the first responders were minutes away. He passed as I held his hand. I knew it was meant to be that I was there for him in that moment. But, more than that, it was a sense of everything coming to a stop and in that short period of time, the man, myself, the woman who stopped and called 911 and the other two men who came to help were connected on a very spiritual level. Connected in the way spirits are connected, we are all as one, but let our day to day lives disconnect us.

  11. Through tear-filled eyes I write this to you, dear HeatherAsh Love Mama! I send you heart-filled energy of love and light and Home and Mother to surround you and your group, to help you refill your cup and to acknowledge you for the gifts you bring to the world! Blessings to y’all in Peru and to the woman who was so close to the threshold. Love prevails!

  12. What a beautiful testament to your deep connection to “the Mother” and your willingness to TRUST yourself and the messages you receive.

  13. Thank you for this. Your email popped up exactly when I needed to see it. I have no child yet mother many. I forget to replenish myself with nature. No wonder I call the sea my mother when I dive. There are still broken parts of myself I need to mother and that explains why I was feeling so unlike myself. Time to go outside since mother ocean is too cold to dive right now.

  14. Dear Heatherash. Really enjoyed all you shared and your thoughts about mothering. As a wellness physician I know I come up short in allowing myself to receive the mothering and nurturing that is special wonderful and necessary for us all. Thanks for being there for all of us. LeRoy

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