Mag al die kosbare moeders 'n wonderlike moedersdag hÍ.

Gaea, she who "gave birth"
Hier volg 'n stukkie geskiedenis.

The concept of Mother Earth arose in Greece. In the 7th century BCE, the poet Hesiod gave the "deep-breasted" earth mother the name Gaea, she who "gave birth" to the sky, sea, and mountains, as well as the ruling gods called the Titans. A few centuries later, Gaea's daughter Rhea, was honored each year with festivals called "Hilaria". The festivities lasted for three days and by all accounts were great family entertainment, with revelers bringing Mothers Day gifts and flowers to honor the mother of the Olympians. Throughout Asia Minor, similar Mother's Day festivals were held in honor of her counterpart, the goddess Cybele.

And here the stage was set for one of the great struggles of all time, a battle that the classicist Robert Graves described as one between the pagan Goddess and the Hebrew and Christian God. Known as the Magna Mater (Great Mother), Cybele was widely honored. Her worship, however, was associated with some rather repellent rituals that eventually led to the banishment of her followers from Rome, gravely weakening the goddess religions.

Graves notes that the Christian church declared war on the White Goddess, also known as the Triple Goddess, the ancient European deity who appeared as the new, full, and old moons, representing "The Female Goddess of Birth, Love and Death". The Christian Trinity, said Graves, eventually triumphed over the trinity of the Goddess. The Western male conquered the Eastern and agricultural female.

In victory, the patriarchal Holy Roman Catholic Church subsumed and welcomed its former opponents by calling itself ''Mother Church.'' A new variation of Mother's Day, was put in place, this time in honor of the church itself. On the fourth Sunday in Lent, people brought gifts to the church where they had been baptized. This custom changed during late Medieval times when many children had to move away from home in order to find work and were only allowed one holiday a year, and it was on this fourth Sunday that the children went home to see their mothers. Thus the custom of "Mothering Sunday" was begun.

Similarly, in the Celtic countries and the British Isles, the powerful goddess Brigit was transformed into her Christian successor, St. Brigid. Brigit's sacred day, which was connected with the ewes coming into milk, became St. Brigid's Day. Though formal mother worship was never completely eliminated in the British Isles, by the 17th century Mother's Day had been almost completely submerged into Mothering Day. Not surprisingly, with the disappearance of a female deity, the devotion to Mary, Mother of Jesus, would soon emerge as the new Mother cult.