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Birth on the Labyrinth Path
Sacred Embodiment in the Childbearing Year
You step through the gate into the labyrinth, and a seed of life stirs in your womb. Your feet tread the path’s twists and turns, your belly swells, your body softens, and your heart opens. Earthquakes shake your body at the labyrinth’s core, then time seems to stand still. Here at the center, you have dropped all unnecessary burdens so that your soft animal body may open, enabling this most holy of passages: the birth of a human child. Gathering the babe to your breast, you begin the journey back on the winding path, out of the labyrinth of this, your childbearing year.
Countless mothers have walked this path before you, and your instincts will lead you along its well-worn grooves. But wouldn’t it be sweet to be guided by one who has walked this path before, a companion to help you anticipate the sharp rocks that crop up underfoot and to guard the tender places of beauty and mystery?
Birth on the Labyrinth Path is a Pagan guide to pregnancy based on the increasingly popular spiritual practice of a meditative labyrinth walk. The book’s three sections are inspired by an ancient three-part model: purgation (conception and pregnancy), illumination (labor and birth), and union (postpartum). Each section offers a body-positive discussion of that phase of the childbearing year with insights from the meditative labyrinth walk, plus suggestions for ritual and connecting with the sacred.
About the Author
Sarah W. Whedon holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies and Women's Studies from UCSB and teaches at Cherry Hill Seminary, where she has developed a community course on Paganism and childbirth. She is trained as a doula, focusing on support for birth and abortion. She has experience as a Pagan priestess, teacher, and organizer, and is a mother of two.