Pagan Families has mostly been a place to amass our collective resources related to Paganism and the childbearing year, and I’ve tried to mostly be a quiet editor behind the scenes. But I don’t want to seem like the pathetic Wizard trying to pull one over on Dorothy and her friends from behind a curtain, and I do want you to feel like this is a welcoming space where you can bring your experiences and questions. So I’m going to try out being less the silent editor and more the welcoming host here at Pagan Families.
To that end I’m setting myself a schedule of posting at least once a week, usually on a topic of seasonal or other timely significance. These posts might not be the most carefully thought out meditations on Pagan spirituality and reproduction, but they’ll give you a better idea of who I am and how I’m situating what we’re doing here at Pagan Families within larger conversations about Pagan spiritual life and reproductive health and justice.
Meanwhile, I’ll still be recruiting diverse voices to continue to build up our library of resources. I hope you’ll chime in on the comments here, on FaceBook, or Twitter, to let me know where you’re reading, how you’re thinking, and what’s lighting up your soul.
Enough business, let’s move onto this week’s timely topic: pregnancy loss. October 15th was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Most of us are touched in some way by miscarriage, abortion, stillbirth, or infant loss. Families of color are touched disproportionately.
Yet there is huge stigma and discomfort around speaking about any of these experiences. It’s time to break this silence.
A small group of mourners and ritualists came together last year in San Francisco to host the first annual Spirit Babies ceremony. Silverwing was kind enough to share with us how that ritual went. They’ve announced that the second ritual will be December 16.
- * Look up the prayers and rituals for pregnancy loss and termination in The Pagan Book of Living and Dying
- * Check out Footprints on My Heart: “A childbirth educator writes about miscarriage, birth, life, and loss”
- * Call Backline: “Our Talk Line offers a free, confidential and nonjudgmental space for you to talk about your feelings and decisions related to pregnancy, parenting, abortion, and adoption.”
- * Organize a Spirit Babies ritual of your own
Different Pagan traditions have different ways of understanding why a Spirit doesn’t come fully through to incarnation. What do you believe happens to the spirits of these babies?
Sarah Whedon is Chair of the Department of Theology and Religious History at Cherry Hill Seminary and is the founding editor of Pagan Families: Resources for Pagan Pregnancy and Birth. Sarah’s teaching, research, and advocacy work center around topics of spirituality, feminism, and reproduction. She makes her home in San Francisco with her partner and their children.