Have you read the prayer: “Our Mother“, by Aisha Wolfe?
I first saw it on facebook, wonderful mirror of the world as it is.
Every time I read it, it sends shivers down my spine. Having grown up in a Christian tradition, the “Our Father” has been part of the rituals I learned about growing up.
I prayed it numerous times before giving in to the bit of me that gets offended every time I go to church and really listen to the words of the teachings. (The spirit of the teachings I could live with, but the actual words are not in harmony with what I feel to be true.)
And if working with Clean Language has taught me anything, it is that words DO matter.
Looking at the two prayers next to each other gives a pretty good insight into two very different ways of looking at life and Sacredness:
‘Who art my body’ or ‘Who art in heaven’
Feeling the connection with the Divine inside yourself, tangible, or far away, up there in a place that we have to imagine.
‘Thy love be done’ versus ‘Thy will be done’
Love as a connecting theme, love that we can all relate to and feel inside ourselves. It is up to us to love. Or a guiding theme that exists of a will from an entity outside of us, a will that needs interpreting as well (something that can lead to much confusion and worse).
‘On Earth, this garden of our Heaven’ or ‘on earth as it is in Heaven’
I’m not sure there is a ‘Heaven’ where all is as it should be. I think there is a greater whole, encompassing much more than our Earth and our physical forms, and much more than we can currently perceive. Whatever it is, for me, these versus remind me to make our current life on Earth as good as we can make it. For ourselves, each other and our planet.
The next lines require more attention. (And you know I am no expert on this, but I’m sharing the sense it makes for me at this point. Do add if you have additional insights!)
‘Forgive us for nothing. We are always in compassion’ or ‘ ‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.’
Sins or trespassing are taken from a worldview where there are absolute good and bads. And once we overstep those lines, we need forgiveness granted to us. I’ve always taken the Our Father to remind us that we all can or will be on both sides of the equation at times.
The Our Mother does not operate from the same paradigm. There is no outside entity that we need to seek forgiveness from. We are our own judge. And there is not so much sin, as there is action and consequence. We all learn by taking action and then take responsibility for the consequences of those actions. What we need to practice instead, is compassion. For ourselves as well as for others. We all take steps in life that we regret afterwards. Have an open heart for those experiencing this, as well as people around them being effected by their actions.
‘Lead us into temptation, until delivered from duality’ or ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil’
This is the hardest verse for me to explain. The Our Father builds on the paradigm good and bad, actually taking it one step further bringing in ‘evil’. Evil is what can tempt us to commit sin, so it has to be banished from our thoughts and actions and we call on Him to help us do that.
The our Mother acts from a paradigm where all is part of nature and of us. And everything in human nature that we try to ignore, will find it’s way back into our life in ways that we didn’t see coming. (Try pushing a ball under water, it requires a lot of attention and energy to keep it there.) Rather, let’s examine the things that ‘tempt’ us (of course taking into account the ‘law’ of action and consequence’), until we no longer have the need to keep it separate from us. Find out about the things that could lead to seperating emotions like anger, shame or jealousy. Find a wholesome way in which to incorporate everything that we encounter that speaks to us. And by wholesome, I mean for your own health and benefit, that of others and that of our planet. That’s how we can go beyond ‘good or bad’.
Do you get a sense of how the Sacred Feminine is different from patriarchic Christianity from this? I am very interested to hear your thoughts.
When writing this, it was so easy to call the post “Our Mother” versus “Our Father”, as the aim of this post is to compare and contrast. It’s not at all the sentiment in which I want this to be read though. With this blog’s tagline ‘on a path of the Sacred Feminine’, you can guess which of the two speaks to me more. But I don’t write this to point out a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ prayer. The aim is to share the breath taking insights I get into exploring the Sacred Feminine when I compare a new text with something I’ve known all my life.
If the “Our Father” works for you, enjoy it. If “Our Mother” speaks to you, enjoy her.
May we be beyond duality and value what is important for us.