Saturday, April 1, 2023

Mother Earth by Diane Burton


credit: Wayfair

Mother Earth can't make up her mind here in Michigan. She teases us with warm sunny days then--wham!--a snow storm.

How easy it was to refer to weather as Mother Earth. Did you ever wonder where the name came from? Maybe it's the plight of a long-time learner 😀 to be curious about the origin of words and phrases . . . or epithets. 

In modern day, we associate Mother Earth with environmentalism, sometimes New Age spirituality. Many cultures have created a personification of the earth. A goddess, perhaps. 

In Greek mythology, she is Gaia, the mother of all creation. The Romans called her Terra. A Terran is the name sometimes often used in science fiction for the people from Earth. I used that term in my first published novel, a science fiction romance, Switched.

Many Native American cultures call her Spider Grandmother or Spider Woman. Despite the fact that I'm squeamish (okay, fearful) about spiders, referring to her as Spider Grandmother makes me think of a giant spider hovering over the planet, protecting it. 

The old Norse religion refers to Mother Earth as Joro (Jord), the mother of Thor.

Early Chinese mythology refers to her as Houtu, Queen of the Earth, also Deep Earth Lady. 
credit: Wikipedia - Temple of the Queen of the Earth

The indigenous peoples of the Andes worshipped the goddess Pachamama, who protects earth by her powers. 

credit: Wikipedia - Pachamama Museum in Argentina

Whatever she is called, different cultures embrace her as the embodiment of protector, motherhood, fertility, and creation, who nourishes Earth. Some see her as responsible for its destruction, like earthquakes. 

I remember a commercial in the 1970's for Chiffon margarine, that "tastes like butter but it's not": It's not nice to fool Mother Nature.

Side note: last month I wrote about my anticipation for the third season of "The Mandalorian", a Star Wars spinoff on Disney Plus. If the first five episodes are an indication, it's better than I anticipated. The over-arching theme seems to be that the evil Empire is still around, just underground and getting stronger.


Nancy Gideon said...

Mother Earth left us with a flooded basement last night and wouldn't you know our sho vac decided that was the time to retire. Of course it had to be in the family room where it's carpeted. Off in search of a wet/dry vac. And yes, Mandalorian was a nice surprise. Really enjoyed it.

Diane Burton said...

Oh no, Nancy. Flooded carpet is no fun. Mother Nature was not nice to you. When our sump pump quit, we had about 2 inches of water over the entire basement. What a mess! Hope your new shop vac helps. That and lots of fans to dry out the carpet.

Jessica E. Subject said...

We've been getting a combination of snow, freezing rain, and rain. Rural buses were cancelled yesterday due to the freezing rain. But, I've heard warm weather is coming. I'm excited, even though it's only supposed to last a day or two.

I do love learning about other cultures! I think that's important for us authors who write sci-fi and paranormal, as we have to include that info in our own stories, even if only a quick mention.

I hope you have a wonderful April, Diane! All the best to you!

Maureen said...

Not sure I can for the spider name either, lol

Diane Burton said...

Hopefully the warm weather will get to you soon, Jessica. I love learning about different cultures. You're right about how useful it is to those of us who write sf. Happy April to you, too.

Diane Burton said...

Maureen, I really don't like spiders, and when I think of them I remember that giant spider in Lord of the Rings.

Nightingale said...

interesting post, Diane. I really like Mother Earth's name: Gaia.

Tena Stetler said...

Oh, Diane, I loved your post. Very interesting. Mother Nature has been difficult here in Colorado too. Very Cold for days on end then boom a 70 degree day then back to the deep freeze. No moisture to speak of, and we really need it. I too am a The Mandalorian fan and agree it's getting better and better. Thanks for sharing!

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Linda.

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Tena. You are so kind. I'm looking forward to putting our winter coats away.