In some religious traditions or movements Heavenly Mother (also referred to as Mother in Heaven or Sky Mother) is the wife or feminine counterpart of the Sky father or God the Father. Teachings about the Heavenly Mother are promulgated by various religious groups, to one degree or another.
Nut was thought to draw the dead into her star-filled sky, and refresh them with food and wine.
Ascended Master Teachings
Orthodoxy and Catholicism
Orthodox Christians and Catholics believe that Mary was assumed, body and soul, into Heaven, referred to as the Assumption of Mary. This could make her a "heavenly mother", as she gave birth to Jesus, and was granted the title Theotokos at the First Council of Ephesus. However, she is more often referred to as "Our Mother", since Christians alike refer to themselves as "Brothers and Sisters in Christ". There is a parallel in calling Mary "Our Mother" as calling God "Our Father", though there is a Pater Noster but no Mater Nostra. Mary is not considered the "Heavenly Mother", the same way that God the Father is referred to as the "Heavenly Father". Mary, although highly venerated as the first among the Saints, is never viewed on an equal status with God (cf. hyperdulia vs. latria), rather she is viewed as a Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix.
In the Latter Day Saint movement, particularly The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, many adherents believe in a Heavenly Mother as the wife of God the Father. The theology varies, however, according to denomination. The only clear declaration regarding a Heavenly Mother figure is that she exists. Some off-shoot denominations disavow a belief in her, some do not make her a part of the official doctrine, and others openly acknowledge her.
Collyridianism was a heretical Christian sect of feminist theology. Collyridians worshipped the Virgin Mary as their Heavenly Mother and as a Goddess. The Catholic Church condemned the Collyridians of Marian Heresies, holding that Mary was to be venerated but not adored like God. The Collyridian service was similar to that of the Catholic Mass, except that the sacramental bread was not considered Christ, or a sacrifice to God, but a sacrifice to the Virgin Mary. Epiphanius of Salamis wrote about the Collyridianism and their multiple heresies against the Catholic Church in his work entitled Panarion.
In the Unification Church some members occasionally address God as "Heavenly Mother" when emphasizing the divine attribute of femininity, but not indicating a distinct person. Unificationists consider God a unified being of masculine and feminine characteristics, but they nearly always address God (in prayer) using masculine references and refer to Him as "Father" or "Heavenly Father."
World Mission Society Church of God
The World Mission Society Church of God is a Korean group founded by Ahnsahnghong. The church believes that Ahn Sahng-hong is the second coming of Christ because of his fulfillment of prophecies. Ahnsahnghong claimed that the members should believe Zahng Gil-Jah as "the Heavenly Mother" or "God the Mother", female image of God in the flesh.
In the Hindu context, the worship of the Mother deity can be traced back to early Vedic culture, and perhaps even before. The Rigveda calls the divine female power Mahimata (R.V. 1.164.33), literally Great Mother and also called Mother Earth. In places, the Vedic literature alludes to her as Viraj, the universal mother, as Aditi, the mother of gods, and as Ambhrini, the one born of the Primeval Ocean. Durga, the wife of Shiva, is a warrior goddess who represents the empowering and protective nature of motherhood. An incarnation of Durga is Kali, who came from her forehead during war (as a means of defeating Durga's enemy, Mahishasura). Durga and her incarnations are particularly worshipped in Bengal.
Today, Devi is seen in manifold forms, all representing the creative force in the world, as Maya and prakṛti, the force that galvanizes the divine ground of existence into self-projection as the cosmos. She is not merely the Earth, though even this perspective is covered by Parvati (Durga's previous incarnation). All the various Hindu female entities are seen as forming many faces of the same female Divinity.
- ↑ "Papyrus of Ani: Egyptian Book of the Dead", Sir E. A. Wallis Budge, NuVision Publications, page 57, 2007, ISBN 1-59547-914-7
- ↑ "The Role of Women in the Church". Restoration Church of Jesus Christ. http://home.netcom.com/~utahdude/rcjc/rcjc_wom.html. Retrieved 2006-07-17.
- ↑ http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/COLLYRID.TXT
- Bickmore, Barry R., "Mormonism in the Early Jewish Christian Milieu", http://www.fairlds.org/pubs/conf/1999BicB.html#en112 (1999).
- Derr, Jill Mulvay, "The Significance of 'O My Father' in the Personal Journey of Eliza R. Snow", BYU Studies 36, no. 1 (1996–97): 84-126.
- Hinckley, Gordon B., "Daughters of God", Ensign, November 1991: 97-100.
- Joseph's Specked Bird, Letter to the Editor, Times and Seasons 6: 892 (May 1, 1845).
- Jorgensen, Danny L., "The Mormon Gender-Inclusive Image of God", Journal of Mormon History, 27, No. 1 (Spring 2000): 95-126.
- Origen, Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of John: Book II, ¶6. Included in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, 10 vols. (Buffalo: The Christian Literature Publishing Company, 1885–1896) 10:329-330.
- Pearson, Carol Lynn, "Mother Wove the Morning: a one-woman play" (October 1992) (ISBN 1-56236-307-7) (depicting, according to the video's description, Eliza R. Snow as one of "sixteen women [who] throughout history search for God the Mother and invite her back into the human family").
- Pratt, Orson, Journal of Discourses 18:292 (Nov. 12, 1876).
- Smith Jr., Joseph, King Follett Discourse, April 7, 1844, published in Times and Seasons 5 (August 15, 1844): 612-17, and reprinted in the History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, edited by B. H. Roberts, 2d ed. rev. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, (1976–1980), 6:302-17; see also "The Christian Godhead--Plurality of Gods", History of the Church, 6: 473-79.
- Smith, Joseph F. et al., "The Origin of Man", Improvement Era (November 1909): 80.
- Wilcox, Linda P., "The Mormon Concept of a Mother in Heaven", Sisters in Spirit: Mormon Women in Historical and Cultural Perspective, edited by Maureen Ursenbach Beecher and Lavina Fielding Anderson (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987), 64-77. Also Wilcox, Linda P., "The Mormon Concept of a Mother in Heaven", Women and Authority: Re-emerging Mormon Feminism, edited by Maxine Hanks (Salt Lake: Signature Books, 1992), 3-18 
- Woodruff, Wilford, Journal of Discourses 18:31-32 (June 27, 1875).
- The Shekhinah in Judaism
- Article about the Matronit/Maggid as an aspect of the Shekinah
- The Hebrew Goddess, Raphael Patai (Wayne State University Press)
- Hymn to the Sabbath by Rabbi Isaac Luria, the 16th century Kabbalist
- Extensive collection of studies by Lois Roden and others on the feminine, motherly, aspect of the Shekinah/Holy Spirit as it relates to men and women both being created in the image and likeness of the Godhead, and Christ being the literally begotten Son of God
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