The Mother Tree Acquisition, Goddess Summary & Closing the Bones

MoM has acquired the Mother Tree for our permanent collection! Thanks to each of you who donated through our GoFundMe, our website, or by private contribution. Thanks too, artist Helen Hiebert, artist and creator for trusting us and for additional support. Thanks to all of you we have succeeded in achieving this wonderful milestone.

This purchase represents the culmination of two years of fundraising for our permanent collection and we couldn’t be more pleased to share this success with each of you. If you have been fortunate to have seen the Mother Tree at the MoM Art Annex or one of her other previous exhibitions spaces, lit up and beaming, then you join an exclusive group who have indeed been fortunate. Moving forward we look forward to future large scale exhibition spaces where we can share her for public display.

May has been an incredible month for forging new connections, completing projects, and travel. For those of you who have been keeping up with travel blog reports from founding director, Martha Joy Rose, travels to the Goddess temples of Malta have been transformational indeed. You can read more about the Goddess’s of Malta at our founder’s blog.

Throughout June, July, and August, operations will continue at the MoM Art Annex though outreach activities are paused. Our team will be busy strategizing a year’s worth of exhibits for our 2023-24 season which commences in September. During the summer, internships, grant writing, renovations, and curatorial activities will be in full swing.

Finally, we want to share news from our recent experience at the Modern Herbal Apothecary in Tampa for a ‘Closing the Bones Ceremony’. Lyani Powers, doula and owner of MHA presented at this year’s annual academic MoM Conference on ‘Maternal Landscapes’. This ritualistic ceremony can be traced to South America, Africa, and Asia, yet here in American this ritual is not common. Founder Joy Rose was graciously invited to Lyani’s studio post-conference.

During the conference, Lyani shared that she performed ‘Closing the Bones’ on her mother-in-law so it seemed the ceremony could work on new mothers as well as older mothers. Here at MoM we recognize the ways in which many women continue symbolically, and in real life, remain attached to grief, trauma, and even may stay stuck emotionally or become over-involved in their adult children’s lives. Could this be a way to honor those sacred bonds while allowing space for closure and release? We were hoping so.

Nestled into a residential neighborhood Lyani’s gorgeous space is stocked with teas, herbs, and scents that are both delicious and healing. The ceremony itself involved sage, touch, a holding of the body and swaying gently while being gently cradled. This was followed by a tight body- wrapping, a rest, and it concluded with a ceremonial tea and washing of the feet. There were low mutterings, incantations, and prayers for releasing old patterns and welcoming new energy and new ways of being.

This was all a marvelous closure to our founder’s extended trip to visit the Goddess Temples of Malta. The divine feminine has been with us and the world for at least five-thousand years BC. How do those threads get lost? How do the rituals that sustain us disappear? We must weave our way back in time together to activate the symbolic strength of women as respected and glorious members of society.

The Museum of Motherhood’s first online exhibition was in 2010. The launch featured a Sacred Feminine exhibit created Polly Wood online. Now, thirteen years later in 2023, Batya Weinbaum began work on the Goddess mural at the MOM Art Annex for her ‘Artist in Residency’ project. There is a lot of herstory in this world to be mapped – indeed, there is a link to all our shared legacies and experiences. We encourage you to do some research on ‘Closing of the Bones’ rituals. There is much to learn and much to celebrate if we can stay strong in our bonds to each other and continue to find ways to collaborate. Find our more at or search ceremonies online. And, please, whatever you do, make sure to stay strong. You are beautiful!

The Closing of the Bones Ceremony brought a SONG to mind and is summed up well here:

I can’t really explain it
I haven’t got the words
It’s a feeling that you can’t control
I suppose its like forgetting
Losing who you are
And at the same time
Something makes you whole
Its like that there’s a music
Playing in your ear
And I’m listening, and I’m listening
And then I disappear (Lyrics from the song Electric- Billy Elliot, the musical )

Published by MOM

The MOM Art Annex (FL) is a certified 501c3 designated non profit, connecting Students, Women, Men, M/others and Families through Reproductive Identities, Music, Art, Activism and Education for Cultural, Economic & Social awareness. By creating, producing and presenting visual, literary, educational, academic, performing arts exhibits that celebrate, nurture and support individuals with a special emphasis on identity, experience, and community, MOM acts as a safe space for healing and illumination. We create unique opportunities for people that they might not otherwise have; free of age, race and socio-economic barriers.

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