Heavenly Mother

Heavenly Mother

In some religious traditions or movements Heavenly Mother (also referred to as Mother in Heaven) is the wife and feminine counterpart of God the Father.

There are numerous Jewish and Christian groups who see the Holy Spirit as being our heavenly Mother. They base their thinking regarding the gender of the Holy Spirit on the fact that the Hebrew word for Spirit, "Ruach", is feminine, attaching little weight to the fact that the Greek word for Spirit (Pneuma) is neuter, and the Latin one is masculine, because the Logos ("oracles" - words) of God are said to be given unto the Jews (Rom. 3:1, 2).fact|date=October 2008

Foremost among these groups, and the most vocal on the subject are the Branch Davidian Seventh day Adventists. In 1977, one of their leaders, Lois Roden, began to formally teach that the feminine Holy Spirit is the heavenly pattern of women, and is the heavenly Mother of whom the "born again" are spiritually born. In her many studies and talks she cited numerous scholars and researchers from Jewish, Christian, and other sources.

They see in the creation of Adam and Eve a literal image and likeness of the invisible Godhead, Male and Female, Father and Mother, who is "clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made" (Rom. 1:20). They take the Oneness of God to mean the absolute Unity which exists between Them, which unity is not seen in any other depiction of the Godhead by the various non-Hebrew peoples.

Thus, having a Father and Mother in heaven, they see that the Bible shows that those Parents had a Son born unto them before the creation of the world, by Whom all things were created. The final element in their belief that mankind is literally made in the image and likeness of Gods is that of a divine Daughter, a feminine counterpart of the Son. They say that the concept has it roots in the Bible and Jewish concept of The Matronit. They see that the King James translators understood the concept of Christ having His own Spirit (feminine counterpart), by using the terms "Holy Spirit" (Mother - Spirit of God), and "Holy Ghost" (Daughter - Spirit of Christ).

These concepts are also taught among other groups, to one degree or another.

Hebrew Asherah

The Hebrew Bible mentions a heretic cult involving worshiping a goddess. [See Jeremiah 7:17–18, 44:17] A number of ancient texts have been discovered that refers to Asherah (also called Astarte or Ishtar) that have been interpreted by some as referring to a goddess. [See Asherah]


In the Hindu context, the worship of the Mother entity can be traced back to early Vedic culture, and perhaps even before. The Rigveda calls the divine female power Mahimata (R.V. 1.164.33), a term which literally means Mother Earth. At places, the Vedic literature alludes to her as Viraj, the universal mother, as Aditi, the mother of gods, and as Ambhrini, the one born of Primeval Ocean. Durga, the wife of Shiva, is a warrior goddess who represents the empowering and protective nature of motherhood. An incarnation of Durga is Kali, who came from her forehead during war (as a means of defeating Durga's enemy, Mahishasura). Durga and her incarnations are particularly worshipped in Bengal.

Today, Devi is seen in manifold forms, all representing the creative force in the world, as Maya and prakriti, the force that galvanizes the divine ground of existence into self-projection as the cosmos. She is not merely the Earth, though even this perspective is covered by Parvati (Durga's previous incarnation). All the various Hindu female entities are seen as forming many faces of the same female Divinity.

Latter Day Saint movement

In the Latter Day Saint movement, particularly The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, some adherents believe in a Heavenly Mother as a wife of God the Father. The theology varies, however, according to denomination. Some denominations disavow a belief in her, some do not make her a part of the official doctrine, and others openly acknowledge her.cite web | title=The Role of Women in the Church |publisher=Restoration Church of Jesus Christ |url=http://home.netcom.com/~utahdude/rcjc/rcjc_wom.html |accessdate=2006-07-17 ]

Roman Catholic

Catholics believe that Mary was assumed, body and soul, into Heaven. This would make her a "Heavenly Mother" of sorts, as she gave birth to Jesus. However, she is more often referred to "Our Mother", since Catholics and other Christians alike refer to themselves as "Brothers and Sisters in Christ". Additionally, there is a parallel in calling Mary "Our Mother" as calling God "Our Father". So it is not absurd to think that one can say that Mary is the "Heavenly Mother", the same way that God the Father is referred to as the "Heavenly Father".

Unification Church

In the Unification Church some members occasionally address God as "Heavenly Mother" when emphasizing the divine attribute of femininity, but not indicating a distinct person. Unificationists consider God a unified being of masculine and feminine characteristics, but they nearly always address God (in prayer) using masculine references and refer to Him as "Father" or "Heavenly Father."

ee also

*Goddess Worship
*Godhead (Mormonism)
*The Hebrew Goddess

*Mother Goddess
*Mother of God
*Pistis Sophia
*Restoration Church of Jesus Christ
*Sophia (wisdom)


*Great Goddess
*Great Mother



* Bickmore, Barry R., "Mormonism in the Early Jewish Christian Milieu", http://www.fairlds.org/pubs/conf/1999BicB.html#en112 (1999).
* Derr, Jill Mulvay, "The Significance of 'O My Father' in the Personal Journey of Eliza R. Snow", "BYU Studies" 36, no. 1 (1996-97): 84-126.
* Hinckley, Gordon B., " [http://library.lds.org/nxt/gateway.dll/Magazines/Ensign/1991.htm/ensign%20november%201991%20.htm/daughters%20of%20god.htm?fn=document-frameset.htm$f=templates$3.0 Daughters of God] ", "Ensign", November 1991: 97-100.
* Joseph's Specked Bird, Letter to the Editor, "Times and Seasons" 6: 892 (May 1, 1845).
* Jorgensen, Danny L., "The Mormon Gender-Inclusive Image of God", "Journal of Mormon History", 27, No. 1 (Spring 2000): 95-126.
* Origen, "Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of John: Book II", ¶6. [http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-10/anf10-38.htm#P6457_1075919| Included] in "The Ante-Nicene Fathers", 10 vols. (Buffalo: The Christian Literature Publishing Company, 1885-1896) 10:329-330.
* Pearson, Carol Lynn, "Mother Wove the Morning: a one-woman play" (October 1992) (ISBN 1-56236-307-7) (depicting, according to the video's description, Eliza R. Snow as one of "sixteen women [who] throughout history search for God the Mother and invite her back into the human family").
* Pratt, Orson, "Journal of Discourses" 18:292 (Nov. 12, 1876).
* Smith Jr., Joseph, "King Follett Discourse", April 7, 1844, published in "Times and Seasons" 5 (August 15, 1844): 612-17, and reprinted in the "History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", edited by B. H. Roberts, 2d ed. rev. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, (1976-1980), 6:302-17; "see also" "The Christian Godhead--Plurality of Gods", "History of the Church", 6: 473-79.
* Smith, Joseph F. et al., "The Origin of Man", "Improvement Era" (November 1909): 80.
* Wilcox, Linda P., "The Mormon Concept of a Mother in Heaven", "Sisters in Spirit: Mormon Women in Historical and Cultural Perspective", edited by Maureen Ursenbach Beecher and Lavina Fielding Anderson (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987), 64-77.
* Woodruff, Wilford, "Journal of Discourses" 18:31-32 (June 27, 1875).

External links

* [http://www.chabad.org/k2473 The Shekhinah in Judaism]
* [http://www.pantheon.org/articles/s/shekhina.html Article from the Encyclopedia Mythica, which describes the Shekinah's role as a goddess connected with Judaism]
* [http://www.wheeloftheyear.com/reference/matronit.htm Article about the Matronit/Maggid as an aspect of the Shekinah]
* [http://wsupress.wayne.edu/judaica/folklore/pataihg.htm The Hebrew Goddess, Raphael Patai (Wayne State University Press)]
* [http://www.kheper.net/topics/Kabbalah/Sabbath_Hymn.htm Hymn to the Sabbath by Rabbi Isaac Luria, the 16th century Kabbalist]
* [http://www.the-branch.org/Studies_by_Lois_I_Roden Extensive collection of studies by Lois Roden and others on the feminine, motherly, aspect of the Shekinah/Holy Spirit as it relates to men and women both being created in the image and likeness of the Godhead, and Christ being the literally begotten Son of God]

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