This image is from Ur 4000 – 3500 B.C.E., and Adele Getty says in her book Goddess: Mother of Living Nature:”… this Babylonian Goddess presents an ancient and haunting image of the sacred mother. Holding her child to her breast, she stands upright like Tiamat, the dragon woman, naked except for her magic belt of triangles, which serves to emphasize as well as beautify her own fertile delta. The triangle represents the triple aspect of the Great Goddess as Maiden, Mother and Crone, and is recognized in the Tantric tradition as the primary symbol of life. The serpent force is the great life-affirming, maternal blessing. The snake is always associated with immortality … .
Thus I name Her Tiamat. Also “Tiamat” is the name Thomas Berry gave to the supernova that birthed our Solar system (in Swimme and Berry, The Universe Story)
The ubiquitous image of the Mother and Child in the Season of Winter Solstice, and this an ancient one, surely represents something essential about the human sense of eternal creation – eternal Cosmogenesis, the pulse of Creativity: something essential about the nature of the ever-unfolding Universe. It is worth deep contemplation and gazing. Mother and Child of this Season expresses the cosmogenetic quality of deep bondedness, the relational reality in which we dwell – which in these times is even becoming a field of scientific research (See Charlene Spretnak’s Relational Reality).
I love this image of Tiamat, as an image of eternal Cosmogenesis, as the ancients must have understood it, and as we may understand it anew in our times with all our added scientific understandings. And it may express the essential Communion experience that this Cosmos is, the innate and holy Care that it takes, and the reciprocal nature of it: that is, how one is always Creator and Created at the same time. We cannot touch without being touched at the same time. We are in-formed even as we give/create form.
In our times, we are required more than ever, to give birth to a New Era. We are in the midst of the ending of the 65 million year Cenozoic Era. Much is unknown, unpredictable. We need to pay attention, have the courage of both Mother and Child, to participate in the shamanic creative act of birthing New Being.
(c) Glenys Livingstone 2020
Getty, Adele. Goddess: Mother of Living Nature. London: Thames and Hudson, 1990.
Spretnak, Charlene. Relational Reality. Green Horizon Books, 2011.
Swimme, Brian and Berry, Thomas. The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.