The Initiation Into the Great Mysteries of the Motherhood


The scriptures talk abut how the great mysteries of God are unfolded to men in the temple, more precisely the Holy of Holies. I've come to believe that this really does mean "men," and the mysteries revealed are those of God the Father. For, you see, there is another temple to which women alone are privy, and in which the mysteries of God are unfolded; God the Mother, that is. And that temple is the woman's own body.

I was reminded of this today when I stumbled across a really nice quote (in an otherwise so-so article). Here it is:

"How to articulate the transfiguration from not-mother to mother? I am the same person, and yet everything I wrote before feels naive and misinformed. It is as though I have been made party to some great secret. As though, when I stepped out of that taxi and into the old, looming Victorian building, with its ghost sign saying “women’s receiving ward”, just as my own mother and thousands of other women had before me, I was initiated. Though that could, of course, be the drugs."

The Motherhood really is a radically decentralized "hood." We future mothers are like Special Forces A teams, parachuted behind enemy lines and prepared to fulfill our mission even in hostile territory, even cut off from all others of our kind. The Great Plan would grind to a halt almost immediately if this radical decentralization of the authority of the "hood" were not in place.

And behind enemy lines and often isolated, we may not fully "get" our mission. We may even be diverted, dissuaded, coerced in hostile territory. So there has to be a radical decentralization of communication to those agents of the Plan. And yes, such communication must be considered a form of revelation, from those of the Motherhood in the divine realm to those of the motherhood in the fallen realm. The apprentice must be introduced to the holy mysteries, even if they are living in locations or times where the apprentices have no rights and are treated as little more than slaves.

But how?

Yes, through her own body-as-temple. The aforementioned quote captures this process well. Giving birth is a revelation, pure and simple.

I remember when I was initiated with my first birth, a son. I was in back labor for 38 hours. I was in a hospital setting (first and last time I gave birth in such a setting!), and the only pain relief was a shot of Demerol. It did no good at all--I was woozy between contractions and pow! right back in my body with full sensation when each contraction hit. (And that was the first and last time I used pain relief for labor.)

The long and drawn-out bodily pain and suffering (at one point blood from a poorly inserted IV line to give me fluids had my blood in rivulets on the floor; there's more, but that's enough for one post) was transformative. Though I would never have chosen to undergo that amount of pain and suffering, I was not the naif I had been before. I was deeply, permanently changed right down (it felt) to the cellular level.

And then they put him in my arms. When they did so, I was like the Grinch whose heart grew five times in size in a moment. I could feel my heart enlarge, and it was filled to overflowing by God with love for this little son. And as it did, I grasped the Great Plan. Not intellectually, but again, with every fiber of my being. Every cell of my body testified to the Truth and the Good of the Great Plan, like a great swelling choir of songs of praise.

I had been transformed, I had been enlarged, I had been filled, and I saw everything clearly as if my eyes were brand new. I was Informed. I was Initiated. It was nothing less than a revelation from Heaven, more particularly, from my Mother in Heaven, about the Mysteries of the Motherhood and their relation to the Great Plan of Happiness.

I had been a hot-and-cold member of the Church up until that point in my life. It had a lot to do with the insanely dysfunctional birth family in which I grew up, and also being a reluctant convert. But the moment they placed that child in my arms and I looked in his eyes, I knew I wanted him to be able to go back to Heaven one day, and I wanted to be there with him. My testimony became rock solid from that day, and I was truly converted.

And it had knock-on effects, too. I thought of all the women in my family line who had also crossed that great threshold, and felt a deeper kinship with them. When I teach my students, I see shining in their eyes the love their mothers have for them, and the day their mothers brought them into the world with immense hope--and I cannot help but honor their love by giving the best of myself to their children. And I tell my daughters what a wonderful thing it is to become a member of the "hood," and we celebrate each step on that road together.

Yes, yes, it is a great Transfiguration, with all the miraculous new visions and understandings we associate with that term. And this Transfiguration is not mediated in the least by men. It is available, directly, Woman to woman, at all times and in all places--even where there is no knowledge of the Gospel and no priesthood authority. Even where women are treated as subhuman creatures. Even in the worst of circumstances, it comes undiluted, Woman to woman. It is right there in our body, that personal temple mount.

Isn't that a wonderful thought?