Mary is most closely allied to the Middle Eastern moon goddesses; like them, she is a creator goddess. Associated with both the heavens and the sea or other waters, she is worshiped by Catholics as the Moon of the Church and as "Sella Maris," the Sar of the Sea. The moment of the annunciation is when she confronts the truth of her own great creativity, symbolized by Gabriel, the angel of truth, made from fire. This is the moment at which she accepts the imperative to create, the need to bring forth life from the very center of her being. Mary is the goddess as womb, as source of all life and of regeneration. She is the mother of mercy and infinite compassion, the one we turn to in times of need. She is a reminder that compassion toward oneself fosters creativity; she reminds us to be gentle with ourselves.