All women are cyclical beings, constantly in motion, ebbing and flowing like the endless tides. We rush outward in welcome and warm to all around us, and then retreat to nurture ourselves and replenish our energies. We move through phases that echo the Earth’s seasons, her spring is our maiden, her summer our mother, her autumn our enchantress and her winter is our crone. As we deepen our awareness of these connections and what they mean for us as individuals, the greater our ability to support ourselves and maximise our potential to achieve all that we aspire to.
In this series of articles, I am acting as your guide to the four archetypes which correspond to the four moon phases… maiden/first quarter, mother/full moon, enchantress/third quarter and the crone/dark moon. Each phase last for roughly 7 days, peaking on day 3 or 4, yet as well all know each one of us are different and our experiences belong solely to us.
As the warmth covers the land and the sunlight languishes longer and longer each day, we come to the Mother phase… the summer… the full moon.
Meeting The Mother
In every corner of the world we have come to know the archetype of the mother through the religious figure of the ‘Divine Mother Mary’. Whether we identify as Christian or not, western culture for centuries has had this example held up as the ideal mother and often the only representation of womanhood after the maiden years have passed. This ideal brings great pain to those who desire but cannot have biological children. It brings frustration and a sense of being invalidated to those who choose not to follow the path of mothering children, and an often impossible, expectation to those who as mothers find themselves unable to see this image reflected when they look in the mirror.
Our second popular Mother imagery centres on the Earth Mother archetype. The image of the abundant and nurturing feminine, deeply rooted into the earth so she can stand strong enough to offer her love and care to all who need her. But again, this is image has become associated with an image of a planet abused and taken advantage of until she has little left to give.
As an archetype the divine mother has been used against women for far too long and needs to be reclaimed and re-embodied. Whatever our age and whether or not we have children, as women we all embody the mother archetype, so it is time for us to choose for ourselves what the Mother means and how we relate to her.
Our personal image of the mother archetype will always bare some shape of the relationship we had with our own mother. The effects of that can shape our perception in different ways… making us resistant to embracing this aspect of ourselves, confused about what it should look like if we didn’t have a consistent figure in this role, doubting our capability to take on the role or fearful we can’t live up to high expectations … hold this awareness in the back of your mind and go gently with yourself, use the mother archetype’s compassion firstly and most importantly, toward yourself.
The energies of the mother archetype enter our lives with the full moon of the Luna cycle or around the 14–20 day point in our menstrual cycle, and with the shift from maiden to mother we experience a fundamental shift in our emotional landscape. It’s almost as though the fog of self-obsession and single pointed focus lifts and you look up and see the people around you almost as though for the first time, your heart softens and a sense of love blooms.
We let go of the feeling of frustration and annoyance that seem so all consuming only a few days before and begin to surrender to the empathy and compassion that rush in to take their place. Our communication and thoughts turn like the tide and rush outward to meet the shore.
If you imagine the height of a traditional summer. It’s the time where we take advantage of the long slow days to be as social as possible. We head outdoors, arrange gatherings with friends, family and likeminded souls, we feel in the mood to celebrate and connect, and to surround ourselves with talking, music and laughter. Each month a lesser version of this feeling surges within us, allowing us to nurture existing relationships and forge new ones, to network, bring teams together and communicate in an empowered way. If there is a party to be hosted or a difficult conversation you need to have, this is the week to do it!
For many women the summer phase is when they feel most ‘normal’, most like they fit with what society expects of them. They are not overly driven, ambitious and focused as the maiden can be, with her impatience and irritability with lesser mortals who cannot multi task and juggle a thousand plates with the ease she can. They are not yet fed up with ‘doing’ for everyone else, feeling frustrated by the lack of acknowledgement or appreciation that the Enchantress feels is her due once in a while. And they are not quietly withdrawn and distant as the Crone can sometimes be in her deepest moments of winter. But these are the extremes of the negative aspects of the other phases, each one magnified by how well, or not, we treat ourselves. It is easy to understand why the selfless nature of the mother, so idolised by society would feel like a relief, like a return to normal, but the Mother has needs too and when unmet and unacknowledged they can tip the balance and leave her depleted and experiencing burnout. Parents to children or not during the Mother phase when we feel abundant in love, the desire to please can work to our detriment if we are not mindful.
There is a sense of groundedness which comes during this time which connects us deeply to the Earth and our awareness widens out to encompass not only the people around us, but the environment also. Just like the full moon illuminating the world below, we radiate our joy, love and creative thinking out to all areas and aspects of our lives. The image of the fertile woman is a potent one and it reflects our potential to birth life of all kinds. A woman’s ability to birth is not solely for the purpose of populating the Earth. We hold a gateway within ourselves to incredible creatrix energy that enables us to breathe life into endless amounts of projects and ideas, limited only by our imaginations and our self-belief.
The mother is not just the nurturer, she is the healer. Love, compassion and patience are some of the most powerful tools we have for healing ourselves, and this phase offers us the opportunity to slow the forward motion down enough to look up from our projects and our work, and look around as well as within, checking in on ourselves as well as everyone else. It is important we take these few days to offer ourselves the acknowledgement and appreciation we crave and deserve. Summer is a time of celebration, so take a moment to celebrate all the successes and achievements you have drawn to you. Properly acknowledging all that we do gives us the strength to continue by offering proof of all that we have already thrived at. Knowing who you are and what you are capable of, is all the positivity you need to fill the well within and sustain yourself over the coming weeks as your energy lessens, and you head toward the winter of your cycle.
The feminine cycle echoes the tides of our oceans and the breath in our lungs sustaining our lives. There is always the balance between inhale and exhale. The maiden is an exhale of activity, of drive and of energy, and the Mother in balance is a gentle inhale, a gathering in, of tending and strengthening all we are creating ready for the next rush of dynamic energy. The Mother phase is a gift, we just need to learn to apply its bounty to ourselves as much as those we love.
So, what does she want…
The Mother wants to nurture connections, and relationships. She wants to replenish and restore all around her. By using her amazing communication skills to express herself, she wants to share herself through her love, her art and her ability to heal.
What are her superpowers…
There is a sense of emotional strength during the Mother phase that the brings self-confidence necessary to be less sensitive to criticism. Instead she aims to understand the viewpoints of others and the motivation behind their words and actions. This solid and deeply rooted sense of self enables her to stay within conflict and difficult situations to find a compromise, rather than feeling the overwhelming need to back down, walk away or resort to confrontation, which we may feel at other points in the cycle.
Not everyone enjoys being the centre of attention and a lot of us struggle with being truly seen. If you have presentations to give, or speeches to make the extroverted tendencies of summer can work to your advantage.
The Mother is the Queen of persuasion. She does not manipulate but instead in an empathic and understanding way offers the right motivation and support to enable others to see things through a different lens. This makes her the master communicator and our greatest ally in all our relationships.
What are her challenges…
The greatest emotional challenge during the Mother phase is setting limits on how much of ourselves we can offer out to others. Sacrificing our own needs, depletes us and at times can lead to us feeling taken advantage of and martyr-like in the Enchantress phase just days away. In addition, when our sense of self and purpose is wrapped up in others, our sense of worth and achievement also depends on those relationships, setting us up for disappointment and resentment later on.
In a practical sense, the greatest challenge lies in the Mother’s lack of masculine, analytical and logical thought. It is harder for her to motivate herself if the goal is for material gain. She craves interaction and thrives within a team, so to muster her drive to meet deadlines alone during this phase will be a challenge.
Self Care essentials…
The greatest gift you can offer the Mother archetype is to get social and have some fun.
Allow her the opportunity to voice in her beautiful way the things that have been playing on your mind. She is the ideal person to send into sensitive conversations, or meetings in which you need to make yourself very clear in a way that is crystal clear yet easy to hear. Those situations won’t go away and if you leave them for the Enchantress to deal with, the self-expression will be possibly not as happily received!
We all know how much gratitude and appreciation can fuel our positivity and experience of happiness. The Mother is abundant in this feeling. Allow her to express herself fully and shine that light on all around you as you gift them with the love you have for them.
Use the Mother’s Earth connection to enable to you remain grounded, this will allow you to be involved in people’s lives without becoming overwhelmed by their needs.
Most importantly allow the Mother to mother you. List your gratitude and appreciation for yourself. Acknowledge all that you have done and achieved. Nourish both your body and mind and offer yourself a little time and space for self-expression in whatever form that takes for you, but get creative. Summer is a time of celebration, and no one deserve to be celebrated more than you.