Ephesian Artemis: the child is the precious fruit of mother nature

Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder, Nature and Her Followers or Nature Adorning the Three Graces, circa 1615. US Public Domain.
Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder, Nature and Her Followers or Nature Adorning the Three Graces, circa 1615. US Public Domain.

The image titled Nature and Her Followers or Nature Adorning the Three Graces, was painted in 1615 by Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel. This painting is a wondrous celebration of the fruitfulness and fertility of Mother Nature. In the center of the piece we see a sculpture of the many-breasted goddess, an image is based on Diana of Ephesus [1].

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Gayatri: the mother plays an important part in the woman’s unconscious

 A representation of the Gayatri Mantra by Raja Ravi Varma. US public domain via wikimedia
A representation of the Gayatri Mantra
by Raja Ravi Varma. US public domain via wikimedia

Carl Jung speaks of the importance of the Goddess in the life of women, for instance:

“the Earth Mother plays an important part in the woman’s unconscious, for all her manifestations are described as ‘powerful.’ (CW 9i, para. 212)

Western spirituality is dominated by the image of the Father God. This may be a detriment to feminine psyche, as well the male. We need the mother goddess, she play an important role in the unconscious. As Jung says, we need her “power”.

Hinduism understands this. In the Hindu pantheon, there are many Goddesses. As the ancient Hindu texts seem to understand, the many goddesses are forms or ectypes of the great mother goddess, the Devī (the Sanskrit word meaning Goddess). In Tantra, the Goddess (as Devi or Shakti) is realized as the “power” of the cosmic Self (Shiva).

One form of mother Goddess is Gayatri. In the image above, we see Gayatri with five heads, seated on a lotus. It is said that her four heads represent the Vedas and the fifth head represents the supreme Self.

Gayatri is also one of the most important Vedic Mantras. Gayatri offers herself as a wonderful healing hymn for all beings on the path to enlightenment. Singh says,

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Yoni and the mother archetype

Idol at Kamakhya temple, Guwahati, Assam. Photo by Subhashish Panigrahi. Creative Commons.

In the image above, we see an icon photographed at the Kamakhya temple, Guwahati, Assam. The image is of the goddess, her yoni clearly exposed. Yoni is a Sanskrit word for the womb or vagina.

In Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, Carl Jung speaks of the relationship between the yoni and the mother archetype. This relation expands to include anything that takes the form of the vagina or womb: “Hollow objects such as ovens and cooking vessels are associated with the mother archetype, and, of course, the uterus, yoni, anything of a like shape.” (Carl Jung, 9i, para. 157)

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