Earth Mother

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NeutralThe Earth Mother
Gender Female
Race(s) Unknown
Occupation Embodiment of nature and life, "creator" of the tauren
Status Unknown

The Earth Mother, also known as the Earthmother[1] or Mother Earth,[2] is a gentle, seemingly transcendent and immortal being worshiped primarily by tauren (although also acknowledged by some orc shaman, the centaur[3] and at least one frost nymph)[4] as the creator of the land. Her eyes are the sun (An'she) and moon (Mu'sha).[1]

Background

Creation of the land

Before the Age of Memory, the Earthmother breathed upon the mists of dawn. Where the golden clouds came to rest, there were endless fields of flowing wheat and barley that became the great basket of life and hope - the basin of her works.[1]

The Earthmother's eyes shone down upon the lands she created: one gave warmth and light and the other gave peace and sleep to the stirring creatures of the dawning. The creator's loving gaze was so powerful that she closed one dreaming eye for every turning of the sky, thus turned day into night for the first dawning of the world.[1]

When the creator spread her arms out across the golden plains, the shu'halo arose from the soil wherever the arms' shadow had passed. The first tauren thanked and prayed to their mother and swore to bless her name until the ultimate darkening of the world.[1]

Blinding

As the tauren roamed the newly created fields, they fell prey of dark whispers of the earth that thought them of war and deceit. With her heart heavy with her children's fall from grace, the Earthmother tore out her eyes and set them spinning across the skies.[5]

Though sightless, the shu'halo's mother could not long stray from the world she loved. Keeping her ear to the winds and listening to all that transpired across the land, her great heart and loving wisdom would always be always with her children.[5]

The exodus of the shu'halo

When the murderous centaur horde came from the black lands of the west and the Earthmother's blessed ones could not defeat them, the tauren were forced to leave their ancestral holdings behind and become nomads forever after. However, it was held that one day the scattered shu'halo tribes would find a new home under the loving arms of the Earthmother.[6]

Philosophy and cultural purpose

The Earth Mother is regarded in tauren culture the same way Elune is in kaldorei culture. Both are meant to be the stabilizing factor in the shifting lives of their respective peoples.[citation needed]

Notes

  • According to Bena Winterhoof, the Earth Mother spoke to her and told her to save the Forsaken.
  • According to Torwa Pathfinder, the gorilla U'cha is one of the Earth Mother's greatest sons.[7]
  • There is also a Sky Father.[8]
  • It appears that some orc shaman also revere the Earth Mother.[9][10][11][12][13]
  • According to Loh'atu, a tauren quest-giver in Azshara, the Earthmother "is in all things on this planet and beyond [and] her eyes, one dark and one light travel across the skies always gazing down on us."[14]
  • According to Sergra Darkthorn, "the land, the water, and the sky are all as one. It is your eyes that deceive you with such separation. The Earthmother is all those things and more."[13]
  • The Earth Mother is, at least, known by the frost nymphs.[15]
  • It is said that during the Year 25, the Earth Mother sent the Blue Child away to learn about the universe because of the coming of the Burning Legion.[16]

In the RPG

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

The Earth Mother is the tauren ideal of all the spirits of nature.[17] She is the benevolent goddess of the tauren, who believe that the deity is responsible for all the natural beauty of the world. They see her smiling face in the sky, the stones, the sands, and the seas.[17]

She lives in the rivers, trees, plains and mountains of Azeroth. She is the embodiment of nature. All lesser nature spirits come from the Earth Mother, and return to her upon death. The Earth Mother represents all the animistic forces of nature. River-spirits, sea-spirits, tree-spirits, rock-spirits, and animal spirits all reflect one facet of the Earth Mother.[17]

In a sense, tauren see the Earth Mother as a sort of universal consciousness. While individual spirits represent a particular location, animal or object, such as the spirit of a single tree or the spirit of a valley, the Earth Mother represents the land. She is everywhere life and nature is. The only spirits separate from the Earth Mother are the spirits of sentient creatures. Tauren ancestor spirits live in harmony with the Earth Mother, but are not part of her.[17]

Tauren religion teaches to respect and love the Earth Mother by treating her body, the land, and her children, the plants and animals of the world, with respect. Tauren disrupt the natural balance of the land as little as possible. They take only what they need from the land and eschew mass logging and mining. They respect the animals they hunt and never wastefully discard animal carcasses.[17]

The shaman and priests of the Wildhammer dwarves entertain the people on cold nights with myths of nature and the Earth Mother.[18]

Priests of the Earth Mother can gain access to the Animal, Elements and Spirits domains.[17]

Notes

Speculation

Questionmark-medium.png
This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

The Identity of the Earth Mother

The Earth Mother is often speculated to be the same individual as many other similar deities in other cultures.

  • One theory holds that the Earth Mother is Therazane the Stonemother, an ex-elemental lieutenant of the Old Gods. While the benevolence of the Earth Mother and the incomprehensible evil of the Old Gods and their servants may make this identification seem tenuous, Therazane is described as the most benevolent of all four Elemental Lords (not actually evil but lawful neutral). However, the primordial role that the Earth Mother is described as serving seems far greater than the power that a lieutenant of the Old Gods would have wielded. She is believed to have created the world itself, the sun and moon, and the tauren people as well. Druids of the Wild see her as the embodiment of all that is peaceful and calm about the world.[20]
  • Another theory contends that the Earth Mother is Alexstrasza the Lifegiver, of the red dragonflight.[21] However, the Dragon Aspects were empowered by the titans to look over Azeroth, and are not recorded as taking such a major role in the shaping of Azeroth as the Earth Mother does in tauren myths.
  • Yet another being sometimes considered to be the tauren's Earth Mother is Eonar, a member of the Pantheon and patron of all life. In the shaping of Azeroth by the Pantheon, she would have likely been responsible for creating fields of grain and the tauren themselves, just as the myths describe the Earth Mother doing. It was she who empowered Alexstrasza and Ysera to watch over her creative works on Azeroth. It is often noted by supporters of this theory that the tauren, along with the trolls, are depicted in the carvings and statues of Uldaman, along with depictions of the Earthen. Recent revelations of an offshoot of the tauren race called the taunka in Northrend may also suggest a titanic involvement in their creation, due to the presence of Ulduar. Another support of this theory is that Eonar is thought to be based on Demeter, greek goddess of agriculture and sister of Zeus, who is supposedly Aman'Thul's base. Demeter means "earth-mother" in greek.
  • One speculation is that the Earth Mother could be the tauren's embodiment of all of the Titans, giving a single face to all of the working force that the titans put into the creation of Azeroth.
  • Adversely, the Earth Mother may be a groundless belief; a construct designed to explain the existence of Azeroth itself.
  • She may be the tauren's perception of the slumbering world-soul in Azeroth.

Given her status in tauren culture, which is extremely similar to Elune's existence in the night elven culture, it is possible that the Earth Mother is none of these things, but something else entirely or some peek at something greater than what we have discovered.

Inspiration

The connection with the Earthmother and the bovine tauren, probably indicates to the Hindu legend of Aditi the Cow, a primordial entity from which all life began. She is similar to that of the Earthmother with her connection to nature, with the injunction "Do not injure Aditi the Cow" as a warning to protect the Earth and nature.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Mists of Dawn
  2. ^ Spirit Walker quotes
  3. ^ H [35] The Wilds of Feralas
  4. ^ N [72] Unfit for Death
  5. ^ a b Sorrow of the Earthmother
  6. ^ Hatred of the Centaur
  7. ^ N [55] The Mighty U'cha
  8. ^ The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, pg. 207
  9. ^ Earthmender Wilda: May the Earthmother watch over you.
  10. ^ Earthmender Torlok during N [70G] Escape from Coilskar Cistern: Praise the Earthmother. I am certain that Wilda will find her way home. Please accept this as a token of our appreciation.
  11. ^ Aggralan during H [12] Victory!: May the Earth Mother watch over you.
  12. ^ Aggralan during H [99] Target of Opportunity: Telaar: Earth Mother willing, you and the shadow hunters will expel the Warsong from Telaar.
  13. ^ a b Sergra Darkthorn
  14. ^ Loh'atu during N [47] A Land Filled with Hatred
  15. ^ N [72] Unfit for Death
  16. ^ File:Bluemoon.jpg This information was presented as coming from a Blizzard Game Master and it should be noted that it has not been made clear if Blizzard representatives hold the authority to create or even clarify lore, so this information may or may not be canon. It is also possible that the screenshot is not authentic and legit at all, so this information should probably be taken with a grain of salt until confirmation.
  17. ^ a b c d e f Bennie, Scott; Richard Farrese, Bob Fitch. Horde Player's Guide, 92. ISBN 9781588467720. 
  18. ^ a b White Wolf. Alliance Player's Guide, 144. ISBN 9781588467737. 
  19. ^ Lands of Mystery, page 135
  20. ^ Arthaus. Shadows & Light, 107. ISBN 9781588469731. 
  21. ^ Arthaus. Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 52. ISBN 9781588460714.