In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s look at a Greek goddess who most overlook.
Brief History: As most Greek Myths do, this one starts with Zeus being a habitual predator. Maia did not like the company of other gods, so she lived in a mountain cave, yet somehow Zeus managed to knock her up. Hermes, the result of this assault, was a difficult baby as he liked to sneak out of the cave when his mom slept and mess with Apollo. She stood up for her child, refusing to believe an infant could do such things (nevermind that gods do weird stuff as babies in all of these stories). Beyond her own son, Maia acted as surrogate mom to another of Zeus’s kids, Arcas, when his mother Callisto was turned into a bear by Hera. Arcas grew up to be a king who taught his people how to weave and bake bread, talents he probably learned in a cave from his foster mom.
Analysis: Maia is also a Greek word for midwife. The Romans celebrated the introverted nurturer at the start of the moth of May. May is also when the U.S. celebrates Mother’s Day in May. Coincidence. . . probably since most mother’s day festivals in the Roman times were to two entirely different goddesses, Rhea and Cybele.
Blame It on the Victorians (technically Edwardians and Roaring 20s): Before the American Civil War, an activist named Ann Jarvis started a club of women called the Mothers’ Day Work Club. Their goal was to improve sanitation and health care especially when it came to sick children. The clubs volunteered during the Civil War to help keep down disease in the camps. In 1908, three years after Jarvis died, her daughter Anna petitioned for a holiday honoring the sacrifices of mothers. President Woodrow Wilson (who I have other choice words about that will remain out of this particular blog) made it a national day in 1914. It didn’t take long before capitalists turned Anna Jarvis’s day into a commercial gain. As more greeting cards and flower sales began each May, Anna Jarvis hated what her own idea had become. ‘Merica strikes again.
Last Thoughts: In honor of Maia, these blogs will be on hiatus until Phoenix Fan Fusion. . . no it’s just cause prepping for con is exhausting. Blogs will return in late May/early June.