We expect our mothers to be infallible— all-knowing, all-caring superwomen who can solve every problem and care for us in every situation. Combined with the lack of connection to the divine feminine in society, we can feel an extreme lack in our lives and deeply crave this lost female influence.
By healing our Motherwounds and tapping into the power of the Divine Feminine, we can click these pieces of the puzzle into place to help ourselves flourish rather than getting stuck in our never-ending ‘lack’ mentalities.
Today I have the absolute pleasure of interviewing someone that you may know from Love and Light, Lauren Gandharva.
She’s the project manager and community manager for the Love and Light School so you may have seen her around in our Facebook student group popping in and answering comments online, or helping you with emails, but she’s also an amazing tarot and oracle card expert. I just love the connection that I’ve made with Lauren over these past few years. So Lauren, thank you so much for being here with us today.
Lauren Gandharva: Thanks for having me on Ashley. It’s exciting to get to talk to you just about crystals for a while because we talk every day, obviously, but this is kind of fun to get together and chat.
Ashley: Yeah. It’s fun to just kind of switch things up and do it a little differently. I’m really happy to be talking to you about this topic for today, which is Crystals for the Motherwound.
Can you tell us a little bit about the Motherwound and how this got brought forward into our consciousness as something that we work through with healing?
Lauren: Yeah, absolutely. So, it’s a pretty complex thing and it’s so amazing when you kind of get into it, because you can go so deep with this topic. But the Motherwound is this idea that there is a wound in our souls that we have. It seems on the surface that it might have something to do with our own mothers and the relationship that we have with them, which is such a sacred bond. They are the people who birthed us, or who raised us, so we can have a really interesting dynamic with our own mothers.
When we look closer, we really see that the relationship we have with our mothers can be a reflection of the relationship that we have with the divine feminine in our society and the lack that we’ve had of that growing up. Especially here for us, we grew up without this presence, without knowing that this was something that’s happening in our lives in so many different ways. It’s important to look at both aspects: both our relationships with our mothers and with the divine feminine as a level of consciousness.
Ashley: Do you have a few examples of what the Motherwound might look like in terms of our relationship with our own mothers? How does it manifest in our lives?
Lauren: I think for a lot of us, it kind of builds up as a little bit of resentment. That doesn’t mean that we just hate our mothers and we are out to get them and we think that they’ve done terrible jobs with us. Instead, it’s like, even if we have an amazing relationship with them, we feel that maybe they could have done things differently, or that we wished for this constant affection from them and this constant perfection in the way that they nurture us.
That’s obviously impossible for them to do, because they’re also women who have been living in this society and they’ve been nurtured in different ways and had a lot of lacks in their lives as well. So, we kind of want this nurture so badly from them and we start to resent them in different ways when they can’t give us everything that we need and all the support that we need in the different phases of our lives.
Sometimes, we take it out on our mothers when really we should be focusing on connecting with the divine feminine as a whole to nourish that hole that’s left in our souls.
Ashley: That’s such a good explanation. I do think that you’re absolutely right. It doesn’t even necessarily mean that you’ve had a negative experience or a negative upbringing. All it means is that there is something left to be desired, something that still feels somewhat unfulfilled. And you’re right, we can’t expect the world of our mothers, they’re just humans too. They’re doing the best that they can in most circumstances.
So, then turning into that relationship with the divine feminine and that support that we seek from the larger community and the larger society… How is it that the motherwound influences our relationship with the divine feminine?
I know that’s an- just an entirely different thing. Some people say it takes a village to raise a child, so in many ways, we have this motherly connection with other people in our lives that can be really powerful, really beneficial, and really healing. But in some ways, on that larger scale, society also lets us down too. In recent times there has been this huge shift back toward divine feminine and away from the patriarchy.
How are we still healing from that and what does that look like in our lives, this relationship with divine feminine in terms of the motherwound?
Lauren: Yeah. So, I think that because so many of us grew up, wherever you are in the world, with this society that kind of devalued the feminine and then devalued both the divine feminine and women in general.
Women are constantly stereotyped for different things, so we kind of deal with both sides of that spectrum. So, we don’t have a goddess figure in a lot of our main religions in the world. A lot of us grew up not even knowing that that exists, not even knowing how much history has been erased by the patriarchy in so many ways.
We form these really close attachments with any women that come forward, any women that love us. That’s something I think about a lot. Our mother’s friends or our grandmothers of course, our friend’s mothers, our friend’s big sisters, any kind of female connection that we get. We’re so hungry for that and we’re so willing to latch onto that, onto anyone who can give us that nourishment.
It’s important to look at our lives and see how much we’ve lacked with feminine relationships and how this can be fulfilled through recognizing that there is a divine feminine experience and a goddess waiting for us to connect with her.
Ashley: You know as you were speaking, it really got me thinking about something. I think as women, we have this kind of stereotypical association of being competitive with other women, right? That’s like very much something that often goes unspoken just as much as it does go spoken. I think it’s something that as women we don’t often want to acknowledge that this stereotype exists, but I think it does exist for a reason.
As you were talking, it made me think about how we’re hungry for these relationships, for this influence and guidance and connection with other women, and that I think occasionally it can kind of manifest in competitiveness and in competition. I think in many ways it’s because we are so hungry for it and we’re lacking it. We can feel like, “Well if someone else has that relationship then I won’t have that in my life” and it’s like, it’s you or them.
I think that mentality is something that we need to grow out of as women and realize that we can lift each other up. There is an abundance of supportive women out there.
We don’t need to be in competition with our sisters and our mothers and our friends and our grandmothers. We can lift each other up and embrace one another.
Lauren: Absolutely. You’re so right. We have this idea that our mother’s love is so finite, and that is partly true because our mothers are humans, so they can love us unconditionally, of course, but their time for us is sort of finite and they can only do so much for us.
I know that because I’m a mother and of course I have to take care of myself as well, but I think that we do develop that really strong lack mentality around that nurturing. We just think that there’s no way we can ever get enough, so even when we do start shifting into a belief in the goddess or in the divine feminine as a whole, we think “Oh, there’s another person who’s really into this goddess stuff, she’s so into it, how can I be into it.” And you do feel that sort of jealousy or competition with her and that’s so easy to slip into because we’re so used to that lack mentality – which is not our fault.
The lack mentality is a result of the patriarchy, it really is.
We’ve grown up to be so individualistic from the society that we’ve grown up in being so male-centered that we forget that we can connect together and that women are supported by each other. We don’t have to just wait for a little bit here and a little bit there. We don’t have to be the only people who are connected to the goddess. We’re all connected and we strengthen each other in that connection.
Ashley: So true, and this is so interesting because I was just listening to a keynote speech yesterday by Terry Crews, the actor, NFL star, all that stuff. Big, muscular, manly dude, right?
Lauren: He really is.
Ashley: He was giving this talk on toxic masculinity in our culture and the result that has on men as well as women. One super important concept that he brought up was that as a man he had to realize and awaken to the fact that he was participating in this culture of toxic masculinity and that it was something he was contributing to. He felt he had to take accountability for his own influence on that role in society. He started to feel sorry for men because they’re so motivated and ruled by pride and by ego, but then he was looking at how that affected women and the women in his own life.
Just as men are really ruled by pride and ego, women have learned from this patriarchy to be ruled by fear.
He was in such admiration of his wife who became truly fearless and left him when she didn’t know what her plan was, she didn’t know what she was going to do. He said, I’m so grateful to the fearlessness that my wife had because it caused me to turn the introspection on and realize what I was doing in my own life that was contributing to this. It wasn’t just coming from outside of me, and it wasn’t just our society, it starts with me.
Sometimes it takes a strong, fearless woman to speak up and take action and vocalize what’s happening.
He said: “I’m so grateful to all the mothers and sisters and daughters and grandmothers who are fearless and speak up about what needs to be said to get more men to awaken.” Toxic masculinity is influencing and affecting and impacting our society.
I think that as much as we’re talking about the motherwound right now, there are roots to where that comes from. A lot of those roots, like you said, comes from the patriarchy. Because of the way our society operates, we seek more than ever for that motherly love, and because our mothers are only human, they give as much as they can, but we can’t expect a hundred percent of it to come from them.
You said something else, which is as a mother I understand that that’s not possible because I also need to take care of myself. I’ve talked to a lot of women about this and some funny different views on parenting and I’ve seen women who run themselves ragged, trying to do everything for their children. Their children always come first no matter what for years and years and years. They end up suffering from burnout and they’re in the end, not the best mothers they could have been because they’re not taking care of themselves.
As a mother, I was wondering if you could speak about the role of self-care and its importance in our lives?
Lauren: Absolutely, that’s something that’s so incredibly important to me because my child is a girl and I want her to really learn more than anything about self-caring. Of course, there are so many other things she needs to learn about in the world. However I think that self-care is the basis of everything.
By self-care, I don’t just mean a bubble bath or meditation, I mean really just knowing that we need care.
I think when my daughter was younger, it was really hard for me to do that because I wanted to give, give, give all the time and I wanted to be the perfect mother and just take her places and do things for her all the time. She’s five and a half now so obviously, we have a long stretch still to go and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot more as we go. But at this point and for the past year really I’ve been so focused on self care and I’ve noticed a shift.
When I’m feeling irritable or impatient as a mother, I can’t communicate with her clearly and I can’t be a good mother because I haven’t taken care of myself. I might be tired, I might be hungry, I might be just stressed out about other things. When I’m in that mindset, it’s impossible to really communicate with your child and connect with your child the way that you want to. It’s hard to nurture them in a selfless way, in a loving way, which is what they need. They need love so badly and they just need clear communication and trust and respect.
When I do take care of myself by doing things such as meditation, crystal healing, extensive reading sessions for myself and going outside, I am the best mother that I can be.
Not only for her, I know that I’m a good mother for her because I can see how good she feels, but for me as well. At the end of the day, I’m not exhausted and I’m not burnt out and I don’t feel like I yelled at anyone or I don’t feel like I messed things up all day. I just feel at peace and that’s so important. Ultimately, I want her when she grows up, if she doesn’t remember anything else, I just want her to know that and I want her to think about how I nourished that part of her. I might not be able to teach her college algebra or something like that but at least I already know that I taught her self care and how important that is as a woman.
Ashley: That’s the one thing I admire about you so much Lauren, literally you’re the best mom I know. You really are, I mean that like the way that you approach motherhood in your relationship with your child, I think is so special. I think that this idea of self-care, for all parents, not just mothers but fathers too, is so important. It just provides something and you’re leading by example and of all the things like you said that you could teach your daughter, this is I think is one of the most important – and you’re doing it by example which really says so much. Thank you for sharing that.
Now, let’s talk a little bit about crystals…
Looking at this idea of the motherwound with our own mothers and with larger society and community… How can we work with crystal energy to start to heal this part of ourselves? Because many of us have been impacted by this deeper than we know, and if we start to think about things- at least I know I can say these things about myself that I’m not super proud of. There are things that I’d really like to change and grow about myself. Many of them if I look at those really deep roots of the parts of my personality from those aspects itself. I can take them back in some way to the motherwound and I’m just wondering…
What crystals could we work with to really start to repair and heal these aspects of self?
Lauren: Yeah, absolutely. There are several, I mean there are tons that we can work with but I have a few favorites. When I thought about this, when I started thinking about crystals that I feel like are the best to work with the motherwound, of course, the first thing that came to mind was the heart chakra, and that’s vital but I don’t feel like we can heal the heart chakra until we’re really connected in our lower chakras, our root and sacral chakras.
A lot of the crystals that I use are deeply grounding. That kind of brings me down to reality while I can also focus on the higher dimensional energies of connecting with the goddess. But without those crystals to ground and help connect the root chakra into these energies, I just don’t think we can do anything without those.
Nuummite is one of my absolute favorite crystals for grounding.
There are so many good crystals for grounding but Nuummite, which comes from Greenland, there’s something about knowing it comes from Greenland which I just love for some reason. It only comes from that one place in the world and I have one here.
It’s just for me nothing feels more grounding, I feel like my root chakra goes down to the very center of the earth and attaches. I feel so grounded when I work with this stone. So, that’s what I like to recommend to people to start out with just so they can really get their head on straight before they start working, so you have a clear picture of what you want to work on with your motherwound progress.
Ashley: That’s so smart because a lot of us, we immediately want to like skip ten steps ahead and go to that highest spiritual level and do all the work there but we need to bring it back down to earth first and really start slow. It’s like kind of unraveling the layers of an onion, like peeling away those layers and starting at that root chakra is brilliant. So, thank you for sharing that.
Lauren: Yeah, I love that stone, so that’s one of my favorites.
Another crystal that I love to work with and that inspired me to start thinking about this practice in general is Iolite.
I first got a piece of iolite about a year ago which is pretty recent in terms of my whole crystal journey. The first time I looked at it, I just picked it up and I was actually at the Yellow Sky Emporium here in Knoxville, which one of our students owns. I picked it up and I kind of felt like when you look into a telescope or when you look up to the really clear night sky and you’ve seen all the stars and you just have this really humble moment of knowing that you’re just one small piece of this amazing cosmos that’s doing so many amazing, magical, mystical things at one time.
That got me thinking about my connection with my own mother. She’s amazing, I know she’ll listen to this, she’s absolutely amazing, and we’re really close but it’s like anyone else, you have to think about how they feel in that relationship even if you don’t have anything that you think needs you. There are these wounds on our really subconscious level that you want to work on so I’ve started thinking about how the cosmos kind of brings us together with our mothers and then with our daughters and our other children and that’s my favorite stone for that.
Iolite encourages cosmic awareness, which brings us together with the females before us.
Ashley: It is so interesting how people have lots of different beliefs about how this happens. Some people feel that our soul moves us or that pairing is totally random and has no meaning or purpose at all. No matter what you really believe about this, I think that we can all agree that there is something to be said about how we do end up kind of paired with the people that we deal with.
I think it’s totally natural at one time or another for us to all question that either as children, like how did I become your child specifically or even as adults it’s so funny that I had just a mom that I needed to help me during this really difficult time or I had just a mom that I needed to teach me this important lesson even if things were difficult or whatever it may be. Ultimately, I find that whether you think that’s destiny or complete randomness, we all kind of do get something that our soul really needs from that.
I love that you started with a really grounded, earthly approach to healing the motherwounds. Then you zoom out to how our souls are connected to divine feminine energy. That’s really cool.
Lauren: Yeah, iolite is a good one. That’s definitely good. Then I think once you kind of have that solid base to stand on in this practice, you can obviously move on to the heart chakra where a lot of this progress is going to be happening.
There are two stones that I use for this that balance each other and both work with the heart chakra but in very, different ways: ruby and pink opal.
The ruby I have is a record keeper one- it’s pretty intense. So, this one is so opening, I feel like it’s going to blast out any stubborn, stagnant energy in your heart chakra– it’s okay, all the stuff is going to hurt for a minute, you’re going to be exposed to these wounds and you’re going to feel really deeply, things that you might not want to feel because you’ve tried to cover them up consciously but you need to address these things that are really holding you back in your life.
When I had meditated with this particular record keeper ruby, I had a lot of experiences with thinking about things like the witch trials and things like the sort of mass exodus of the goddess from religious literature in basically every religion in the world and every in culture in the world. It’s so prevalent and it’s something that I didn’t know about until about ten years ago, I was in college and I didn’t even know about Sophia and the beginning goddesses of a lot of religions, I had no idea so now that I’m older and I’m really diving into that.
I think I needed to see those experiences with my ruby that I had while I was in meditation to think about all the women that had been persecuted and killed and just all the stuff that has happened to erase the goddess from our memories and bringing that back into our consciousness is so important.
I love ruby because it really opens my eyes up to the world and to our past.
On the other hand, I love the pink opal because it’s so soft, and so if you’ve been working with ruby all day and you’re having super intense experiences, the pink opal doesn’t cover it. It’s not a band-aid, it doesn’t make you forget about it, but it softens that to the level where you can kind of start to cope with it and realize why it’s important in your life and that’s the sort of a feminine energy.
At the core of femininity, I think there is extreme power, but also this extreme ability to nurture and the pink opal relates to that for me.
Ashley: Yeah, definitely that concept of compassion, acceptance, forgiveness that definitely all comes to that pink opal which is so needed when you’re dealing with those energies like you just talked about with the ruby, all that stuff is kind of coming up and bubbling to the surface.
I love that you mention about the ruby- like okay it might be a little cracky, it might be a little difficult to deal with or like these are ultimately things that you need to be clearing out. So, if you’re really ready to move into that place of healing and getting in touch with that and understanding that and then letting it go. That’s the first step to releasing and moving forward is really acknowledging.
You have this acknowledgment with the ruby and then this acceptance with the pink opal and that’s where things can really start and your healing journey begins.
Lauren: Absolutely, that’s kind of magic. Where the magic happens I think is when you start opening to that. It might not be something that you’re ready for right away. Everyone might not want to grab the ruby the first day that they hear about the motherwound and blast open all those healed wounds from the past like two-thousand years or so but it’s something at some point to consider working with. And I think it’s really helpful.
Then, after you’ve done that through the ones that I like for that kind of moving over aspect after you kind of cleared out that stagnant energy and all these wounds that you’re having. The ocean is so serene when you think about the ocean and the energy of that, and the waves and everything like that. And then also the moon and when you think about both of those things as being very feminine.
Two more stones that I love to use are White Moonstone and Larimar.
They’re both the most soothing things. When you have them together, I have them both here, it’s like, I don’t know, it’s literally like standing on the beach at night under a full moon.
What could be more healing than that? If you’re just standing there, letting these gentle waves wash onto your body and you’re clearing away all these negative energies from you and the moon is shining down on you. It’s just incredibly magical to experience that. So, those are two absolute recommendations that I could just, I can’t even imagine my life without these two crystals at this point because they’re so soothing in this journey.
Ashley: You also mentioned the feminine aspects of the water and the moon themselves and those had been part of our feminine for thousands of years, both of the major energetic influences on not just us as individuals but for us as humanity.
I love that you’re bringing these two soothing and really powerful energies together, especially these two energies that do work together: the moon and the ocean tides.
They work in tandem all of the time so I love that you found a way to bring these crystal energies, that kind of embody both of these like archetypes, these powerful symbols in our culture as humans to bring them in personally and release a sense of calm and just kind of letting things go and letting those energies wash over you whether it’s the ocean water itself or the moonlight bathing down on you, that’s a really beautiful combo.
Lauren: Yeah, absolutely. I love that combo. Like you said, it’s so soothing, but it’s also when we think about water and how we think about, oh we’re on the beach because there’s a little bit of water but it’s also such a powerful force.
The combination of powerful and gentle, soothing energies. That really exemplifies what the divine feminine is to me.
Ashley: So, we’re really close to Mother’s day, right? So, that’s kind of why we timed this particular interview for this time of year. It’s a leap year in the US and we’re getting close to our Mother’s day. So, what we can do during this time of the year because we all have a different experience of what Mother’s day is and that even changes in our lives, right?
When we’re young we think of maybe making our mother’s breakfast in bed, picking her flowers and all those like cute things that we do as children to show our appreciation and gratitude for our mothers. As we become adults maybe, even more, we have more conflicted emotions about this. Many of us have lost our mothers and that can be kind of a painful day or many of us have become mothers and our role kind of changes.
How can we work with these crystals around Mother’s Day? What can we do with them to actually help support us on this very special day with all these complex emotions?
Lauren: Yeah, absolutely. There are so many things you can do with them. You could set up a little crystal grid or a mandala just with the different stones. You don’t have to have more than one, you can just make a little free-from grid.
Another option is you could put them in your pocket or you could make a medicine bag with them. But I think really, the things that I think about with Mother’s day now, when I was a kid we dressed out in our little church dresses which was adorable. We all gave our mom flowers and breakfast in bed. That was so special. I think of Mother’s day as being this really kind of sweet day where you celebrate your mom and you go and eat lunch and these cute things and that’s all good and that’s certainly something I still do with my family.
Now that I’m older, on Mother’s day I like to have a really intense ritual to connect with the divine feminine.
That’s something that’s just become non-negotiable for me in the past few years. Yes, I want to be a mother. I want to go visit my mother. I want my daughter to give me a billion hugs a day. But at some point and I usually include my daughter in this. I want to really sit down, light some candles, light some incense, do my thing and have these crystals work with me to just go into a deep meditation to connect with the divine feminine and to just let her pour this incredibly nurturing, limitless light into me that I need.
It’s kind of like getting this cosmic refill like on this day of Mother’s day and we can do that any time of course. But Mother’s day has become so much more to me now. That’s what I want to be, I want to have a big ritual and just all out, have these crystals out, these ones that I’ve mentioned and just really go into the zone with those. I like to make a herbal tea and I like to just really go all out with this.
Ashley: Do all our traditional Mother’s day things because those fill us up and nurture us and makes us feel good but also make time for showing our gratitude and appreciation to the divine mother.
Ashley: and necessarily nourishing that connection as well.
This whole conversation has got me thinking about our dear friend Nicholas Pearson, and his book Stones of the Goddess…
This is an amazing, amazing book, so if your curiosity is changed by what Lauren has been talking about during this time about this return to divine feminine, this acceptance, and inspiration that we can find in our own lives through connecting with different goddess archetypes and goddess energy. Definitely check out Nicholas’s book, because if you’re a crystal lover and you’re really curious about this topic. He has some amazing, amazing knowledge and wisdom to share about this as well.
Lauren: Yeah, absolutely and how amazing is Nicholas? First of all, that he’s a man who’s writing about the divine feminine, like we need so much more of that. He’s such a pro, he knows so much about crystals. That’s brave and that’s something that we could use a lot more of in this world. I really just applaud him for taking that step in writing that incredible book about stones for the divine feminine. So, yeah, absolutely.
Ashley: And we have a preview of the interview with Nicholas about that subject so I’ll be sharing a link to that in this blog as well.
Lauren, thank you so much for being here, for sharing your experience about this thing that some of us may have heard of but not quite known as much about as we should have, for talking about some crystals that we can use to support us during this time. I’m just so grateful for you taking the time being here and sharing your wisdom and knowledge.
Lauren: Thanks Ashley, this was really fun. It was such a great thing to talk about and it’s always fun to chat with you, of course, because you’re such an expert on crystals so I can always bounce my crystal ideas off of you which is fun.
Ashley: You’re quite the expert yourself and to everyone listening, I hope that you really got a lot out of this interview and learning a little bit about these crystals and how they can support you as you heal the motherwound in yourself. So again, Lauren thank you so much for your time.
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