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The Queen of My Self


MAY

May is the month of the goddess, the Great Creatrix and all other mothers. The mothers of children, mothers of invention, mothers of causes, mothers of endeavors, mothers of one’s Self.


In the times of the ancient Greeks, Rhea, the Mother of the Gods, was honored with a special festival. In seventeenth century England, “Mothering Sunday,” celebrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent, honored England’s mothers.

Jumping across the ocean, the first observation of a Mother’s Day in the United States took place in 1872 when Julia Ward Howe, social reformer and poet who penned the words to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” suggested a day to honor mothers. This day, which she felt should be dedicated to peace, was celebrated by gatherings that she organized and held in Boston. This tradition spread, and was later organized in other areas of the country as well.

In 1907, Anna Jarvis took Howe’s idea a step further and began to campaign for a nationally recognized Mother’s Day. In the late nineteenth century, Jarvis’s own mother had tried to establish “Mother’s Friendship Days” as a way to heal the scars of the Civil War. Persuading her mother’s church in Grafton, to celebrate Mother’s Day on the anniversary of Jarvis’s mother’s death – the second Sunday in May – our Mother’s Day holiday as it is now celebrated was born. Jarvis also began the tradition of wearing a carnation in honor or memory of our mothers – a coloured carnation if your mother is still living, a white one if she is deceased.

Jarvis’s push to make Mother’s Day a national event involved letter writing to ministers, politicians and businessmen. By 1911, Mother’s Day was being celebrated in almost every state in the country. On 9th of May 1914, President Woodrow Wilson made the official proclamation that Mother’s Day would be a national holiday to be celebrated annually on the second Sunday in May.

Mother’s Day is still celebrated around the world at various times throughout the year. There are some countries, such as Finland, Denmark and Australia that do observe the holiday on the second Sunday in May.

–Geetha Manoharan

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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

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