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Mother Nature

Posted by ESC on May 26, 2000

In Reply to: mother nature posted by Carol Neal on May 24, 2000

: I homeschool my 6 year old daughter and she asked me where the saying mother nature came from. Anyone know?

The concept of "Mother Nature" and "Mother Earth" comes to us from ancient myths and religions. People used what they knew - mothers and fathers -to describe the unknown or supernatural.

From "Primitive Mythology: The Masks of the Gods" by Joseph Campbell (Penguin Books, New York, first published 1959): ".(4500-3500 B.C.) .a multitude of female figurines appear among the potsherds. These suggest that the obvious analogy of woman's life-giving and nourishing powers with those of the earth must already have led man to associate fertile womanhood with an idea of the motherhood of nature."

You go girl!!

And of course Mother Nature and Mother Earth is a recurring theme in literature. From the good old "Famous Quotations" by John Barlett:

"For all that nature by her mother wit
Could frame in earth."
Edmund Spenser (1552-1599)

"My father! The Great Spirit is my father! The earth is my mother -- and on her bosom I will recline."
Tecumseh, chief of the Shawnees. (1768-1813)

"I (Nature) am called a mother, but I am a grave." Alfred de Vigny (1797-1863).