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Mother Earth

  • By: Gillian M. E. Alban
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

The concept of the Earth as a mother or the nurturing female as the source of life goes back to the Paleolithic age, when many cultures associated human fertility with plant life on Earth. Mother Earth as the source of everything has been an almost ubiquitous idea. The Earth as the creative womb or matrix of an immanent goddess was powerfully felt by ancient peoples, as seen in many ancient artifacts of pregnant or birth-giving females. Such respect for the divine body of Mother Earth is reflected in Native American cultures, where “killing” their mother's body is considered sacrilege; it continues in the neo-pagan belief in the spirituality of all life.

Ancient Greek Origins

The Ancient Greeks explained creation as Mother Earth emerging from an original chaos, ...

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