Birth mandalas


Pagan Families reader Sarah wrote to recommend Amy Swagman’s Birth Art Mandalas.  I was stunned by them and immediately wrote Amy to ask if I could share them here.  She said yes!

Making birth art can be a beautiful spiritual practice.  My partner and I made birth art when we took a Birthing From Within class to prepare for our daughter’s birth and my God children got to paint all over my big round belly at our Blessing Way, but Amy takes birth art to a whole other level.

Amy is a mother, birth doula, La Leche League leader, and artist.   She says on her site, “Especially for birth art the mandala is perfect because it is the shape of pregnancy itself.  The circle holds, for me at least, feminine energy and endless perfection.  It is soft and curvaceous and represents the continuation and cycle of new life.”

If you like these you should check out her site where she’s posted many more.  Some of her artwork is for sale and she also takes commissions.

Have you made your own birth art?  What’s your favorite birth art?

About Sarah Whedon

Sarah Whedon is founding editor of Pagan Families, the author of Birth on the Labyrinth Path: Sacred Embodiment in the Childbearing Year, and former Chair of the Department of Theology and Religious History at Cherry Hill Seminary. Sarah’s teaching, research, and advocacy work center around topics of spirituality, feminism, and reproduction. She makes her home in the Boston area with her partner and their children.

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  • Sarah

    I’m glad you featured these! They’re wonderful.

  • Amy Swagman

    Thanks so much for posting! I love what I do :)

  • Christina

    These are really cool!

    I did some smoke drawing birth art, which was fun to play around with. I used a big candle with a smoky wick (though maybe incense or a smudge stick would’ve worked better?) and moved a sheet of paper over the candle, so that particles from the smoke accumulated on the underside of the paper. You can get different textures and shades depending on how close you hold the paper to the flame, but basically I just got suggestive blobs. Then I used my finger to outline the details I wanted by smugding the smoke particles.

    My favorite smoke drawing was a picture of a very pregnant woman that I kept on my altar. I put her behind a little bear statue that had belonged to my mom, and she looked uncannily like the bear’s shadow.

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