A big barometer of self-love is how well we are able to parent ourselves through difficult times, mistakes, disappointments, grief and other challenging emotions.
All too often, this is where our wounds are triggered and we enact ways of being that perpetuate the cycle of wounding within our psyches. If we keep treating ourselves and our inner worlds the way we internalized, the way we learned to treat ourselves, then we continue the cycles of pain in our lives without realizing it.
This is the realm of the death mother and one I see most common in clients and my own soul life.
Grief is a very common reaction not only to loss but heartbreak or rejection or disappointment. We make mistakes. We are human. Life has its ups and downs. Things happen. We feel things in response to it.
Living in a world that values what image we project over who we really are, what we can produce over what we express, how we look over how we feel is a culture that is emotionally and spiritually neglectful. It is a culture that values the external to such a degree that we have become codependent this culture, a death mother, in an attempt to receive the nourishment our psyche is so deeply craving and getting ourselves lost in the process.
We have been split in two...our inner nature and our rational nature. Animal and divine has become animal OR divine. The splitting creates a deep chasm in the in-between, a place that rests in our hearts...where we are actually meant to embody the in-between...to be both instinctual and divine, logical and filled with the creative loving energy of eros; to hold a safe container, respect knowledge and wisdom equally and to navigate through the world fully alive in our cells with feeling, wisdom and grace. We should feel safe to be whole. Yet most of us do not.
This is the essence of the soul wound, the split between our two sides; logos and eros, masculine and feminine, animal or spirit, spiritual or science, dark or light, love or hate, good or bad...and on and on.
When I stopped drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes, I had an intuition that a lot of my addiction was related to mothering. It was then I began to explore not only my relationship to my own personal mother but what it is to cultivate a conscious relationship with myself. This is when I first encountered the archetype of the death mother, a representation of the oppression/abuse of the healthy feminine. She is also the shadow side of the Great Mother archetype.
Archetypes are universal energy patterns that humans have experienced through out time. It is also expressed within cultures, as well as personally in each of our lives. This forms the foundation of our internal mother, a combination of universal energetics, cultural expressions and our personal lineage.
The death mother archetype appears in other cultures as an archetype of the soul stealer; the soul ultimately being the feminine, embodied expression of the divine.
The "patriarchy” doesn’t have to just do with men or the masculine principle. Everything is a part of the wholeness and the wholeness lives within all things. There is also very much a feminine counterpart to the patriarchy, a system designed to function through domination, control and power.
This is a system that rose from the transition of worshipping mother nature to seeking to domination not only over mother earth but over our own feminine nature deeply tied to the earth body itself.
The death mother is the counterpart to the death father. These are archetypal energies that exist in the collective psyche. If they did not, there wouldn’t be the kind of situations we are dealing with on the earth at this time.
These archetypal energies influence each of us and are confounded even more if they’ve also arrived into the blueprint of our nervous systems via our actual parents.
The death mother is the shadow part of the feminine who seeks to express herself through power, domination and control of the elemental feminine, of the soul of both men and women. She represents the "cultural subjugation of the wild and unruly feminine (Toko-pa)" and to survive she's become like the death father in order to thrive. Her soul was stolen and now she steals to feel like she has one.
There's a saying about resentment that goes something like resentment is like drinking a poisonous substance and expecting the other person to die from it.
It's anger and hurt wrapped up in a frustration that our mind projects onto others but an energy we attack ourselves with. It's painful living inside the trance of resentment, a trance we get so used to that we don't even realize how much we are punishing ourselves and attacking life on a very deep, subconscious level.
Beneath resentment is often trauma or grief over needs that were never met.
Trauma means disconnection. It is a broken form of trust in life, love, others and in our ability to meet our innermost emotional and spiritual needs.
Where we have resentment, there is an inner wounded one that didn't get needs met, has a hurt that was never expressed/acknowledged, or there is simply grief over what never was. These kinds of disappointments are real and not to be glossed over.
In order to truly individuate into our true sovereign adulthood and move into our highest potential, we must soothe the inflammation of resentment through watering it with our tears of grief.
There are so many patterns we learned to survive as children that are ways of being that are acceptable, almost cherished qualities, in our consumer driven, future focused society; one that idealizes perfection as a goal wildly unattainable by the nature of being human.
These internal patterns and habits of perfectionism and people pleasing are soul killers.
They further the split between our "ideal" self and our inner, tender, feeling and creative nature. It creates a deep divide between the wise animal of our body and the divine nature of our hearts.
Perfectionism and people pleasing are expressions of the soul wound, not who we really are individually or as a culture. But, these very pattens enforce us to not reveal the truth of our pain, the roots of our habits because it will wreak havoc to a system that relies on our pain remaining out of our awareness. This leads many to feel ashamed of the truth of their hearts, the wisdom of their bodies, true purpose or calling, or the particular ways genius wants to be expressed in the world.
There are no emotions that are a lower frequency than other emotions. We may have preferences, and that is different. There is no hierarchy of energy that exists within the energetic patterns that life force energy uses to communicate with you.
Every single emotion has wisdom. No emotion is more spiritual than another.
It is simply no longer acceptable to wrangle these “lower” parts to get them to behave and be on board with higher frequencies or at the request of some “higher” version of yourself.
Our highest self, our deepest self, the soul, is all love and would never be cruel or unkind to aspects of you that are stuck in pain or feeling the pitter patter of old trauma surfaceing for healing.
We cannot clear away being human.
The death mother is an archetypal energy coined first by Jungian analyst Marie Louise von Franz, then elaborated on by Marion Woodman. This energy is so, so very much alive today in this domination heavy culture, as well as in our own bodies.
This energy gets conflated with the darker aspects of the divine feminine and they are not the same thing. Not even in the slightest.
In order to begin to truly liberate the feminine archetypal energies and heal the masculine archetypal energies as well, we must understand the difference and how the death mother rules our unconscious realms.
The death mother is the dark side of the mother, the shadow side that no one talks about. The cold mother. The resentful mother. The mother that didn’t want to have children. The mother who was not mothered herself. The addicted mother. The depressed/anxious mother. The rejecting or abandoning mother. The intruding mother.
The one who did not nurture or nourish or celebrate or love the way we are trained to think mothers are supposed to be. So much so that we think it’s our fault if this was our mother or that we are not worthy of love because she didn’t know what love was.
This enters our hearts in such a deep way that when we have the impulse towards creativity, new endeavors, life transitions, more soul and life affirming expansion, she enters and pulls us back in.
This is addiction and food issues. A search for a nurturing, soothing energy and returning to what we know..the death mother.
In a trauma culture it’s incredibly important to become aware of ways that we make the aftermath of symptoms of trauma wrong. It is not true that the universe only gives us what we can handle. If that were true, trauma woudn’t even be a thing since the very definition of trauma is an experience that is too much for the system to handle, metabolize or make sense of whether it is physical, sexual, emotional or spiritual. (Note that most physical and sexual trauma also involves emotional and spiritual dimensions).
Indifference to the truth creates complacency and shaming of trauma survivors, people suffering with symptoms of trauma like addictions, anxiety, eating disorders or depression. Isolation. We are wired with needs that need to be met by others. If we start to program this out of us, it is supporting trauma at its core. We aren’t supposed to get used to not needing anything from others.
People are not addicted to their trauma. Nervous systems wired via fear because environments were not safe run on adrenaline, which creates a deep feedback loop. There is a deep disconnect to one’s own vital life force energy. It’s not just physical. It’s also emotional, spiritual and impacts the quality of consciousness through which life is perceived.
Awakening out this trauma trance can be quite intense as our whole inner (and outer) world must shift. We must learn that safety and joy are okay, that our own energy is safe because trauma at its most basic level impacts the very way we experience life. That it’s safe to be here in a real way, rather than the mind yelling at the inner one trying to convince it is safe when it doesn’t even know what safe feels like.
There is a collective theme through the dreaming brought to me in sessions, shared with friends and in my own dream realms. It is the archetypal feminine via the wild cat that is circling, attempting to enter the psyche in order to merge with the soul. There is also resistance to this primal energy, a pushing away, building of fences, an attempt to control or destroy or run away from while watching the outside world try to kill her.
It’s Persephone returning from the underworld wild, raw, fresh and whole that threatens the parts of ourselves that truly long to embrace and restore this energy in our hearts but are terrified of it at the same time.
This is the pulse of where we are in our relationship to the feminine, longing her return and yet fearing all that comes with reigniting her flames within our hearts. A world we can only make safe by allowing her love to enter us, to blow our ideas out of the water of what swimming in her love really is.
There is something we must let go of in order to let the wild cat in and claim her in our hearts.