“Earth mother” and “mother goddess” worship dates back to prehistoric times and it was a phenomenon which was widely spread in most of the ancient societies of the world. There is enough proof in human history to suggest that we had always believed in living in balance with nature and in fact we revered “nature” and “earth” in a motherly form. be mothers
Earth mother: The revival of the mother goddess phenomenon
During the Christian period the ancient tradition of reverence for “earth as mother” or “mother goddess” was largely suppressed and it was only in the 18th century that again open references were made about the female earth as Mother Goddess. In the 19th century there was a widespread revival of the worship of “earth mother and mother goddess”.
Further this was also a period when discoveries were made around the world of native tribes and indigenous people who worshiped the “Earth” as a female deity from thousands of years. In fact it was found that these societies practiced the matriarchal form of social organization where the authority of the family or tribe was in the hands of the women.
In these matriarchal societies the worship of the “supreme female earth deity” was a spiritual and cultural practice of paramount importance. These societies existed in perfect balance with nature and believed in a philosophy of peaceful cohabitation with the other manifestations of nature. Research into these indigenous people and primitive tribes gives us an indication about the cycle of human evolution.
It is now thought that in the early days of human evolution societies were mostly matriarchal in nature. The various discoveries of the Palaeolithic “Venus” figurines show that indeed the early human societies would have been matriarchal in nature. These ancient societies followed a goddess cult and worshiped the supreme feminine deity in the form of earth goddess or mother goddess. So we can clearly emphasize that the worship of the supreme feminine deity in the form earth goddess or mother goddess is a prehistoric phenomenon dating back to the Stone Age.
Further the archaeological excavations also indicate that the supreme feminine deity in the form of earth goddess or mother goddess was revered as a sign of fertility and creativity with immense generative capacities. This can be seen with the emphasis that was given to the figurine of “Venus” of Willendorf’s vulva which was found to be marked with red ochre pigment signifying the life cycle. In this form the earth mother or mother goddess serves as general fertility deity representing the bountiful embodiment of the earth.
Prominent depictions of “earth as mother” can be seen in the native tribes and indigenous societies like the Aztec. Some of these important depictions are as mentioned below
Earth Mother: Itzpapalotl
Itzpapalotl is the goddess who is considered as the darker aspect of earth mother figure and she is the patroness of warriors. Goddess Itzpapalotl would have been revered and called upon by the Aztecs for their numerous expeditions for territorial expansions. She is depicted as a mixture of butterfly and hunting bird. She has the claws of the eagle and she also has the fangs. She is shown to grasp the sky with her claws. She was worshiped even before Tenochtitlan and was considered as a prominent Aztec deity of war.