When Pagans Adopt: Open your soul, heart, and mind

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I interviewed Tara “Masery” Miller in June about her experience initiating the adoption process. She writes the Staff of Asclepius blog here at Patheos and we previously published her beautiful essay about facing infertility. This week I checked in on her progress, and she generously answered five new questions:1.      You're further along in your adoption process now. Can you briefly describe what that means?That means we are about half way done with our fostering and adoption classes. W … [Read more...]

A Mother’s Nest

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“Although pregnancy and birth is a richly intuitive and instinctive process, a woman will prepare her ‘nest’ and birth according to the style of her culture, in the same way that a particular species of bird will build its nest with whatever is available.” –Pam England I am planning a mother blessing ceremony for a good friend in September. In addition to fun plans like a belly cast and henna, she asked for something a little different than our usual "roster" of blessingway activities, in that s … [Read more...]

Can children appreciate nature?

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Last week John Halstead wrote about his family vacation and his disappointment in his children's reaction to natural beauty: I find myself wondering what has changed between my childhood and now that I enjoy these drives. The contrast is all the more acute since I have children of my own. This past weekend, I hiked with my family up a mountainside to show them a beautiful meadow and a vista I had happened upon. My kids, now 11 and 14, enjoyed the view for all of 10 seconds before becoming … [Read more...]

A gallery of birth altars

Jacquelyn shares, "This is my birth altar for my third baby. At the center is a Frigga doll by the lovely Dancing Goddess Dolls. A picture of me while pregnant with my 2nd, various birth goddess statues, candles (fire), a fan for labor (air), seashells (water), a decorated gourd rattle (earth) and birth jewelry I made for the journey. "

I posted a call for birth altar photos on our Facebook page and you guys came through with a whole bunch of beautiful, inspiring, individually intimate birth altar photos. Here are the ones that I've gotten permission to share on the blog. Aren't they lovely? Thanks to everyone who shared!    Also, check out Molly's photo-packed description of building a birth altar and Lily's ideas on how you can build a birth altar. … [Read more...]

Blessing the Wait to Become an Adoptive Parent

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By Cindy McPherson. This post is reprinted with permission from her blog Pearls.Last week was the week before my 44th birthday. I had hoped to become a mom this year. A year ago James and I signed on with the Independent Adoption Center, and it’s nine months since we leaped through the hoops required for us to go into circulation and begin waiting to bring a baby into our family through open adoption. Last week also a baby was born to a Berkeley couple that contacted us in November when they … [Read more...]

Book Highlights: Birth, Breath, & Death

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I just finished reading a lovely little book by Amy Wright Glenn. Lyrical, gentle, contemplative, and touching, Birth, Breath, and Death explores Amy's meditations on life as a doula, mother, and hospital chaplain.Amy Wright Glenn was raised as a Mormon and eventually found her way onto a different faith path, Unitarian Universalism. Her reasons for connecting with the UU church actually closely mirror my own. Amy mentions that she first finds the UU church through her interest in poetry, … [Read more...]

Birth Song, Life Song, Death Song

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"A woman can spin a primal umbilical rope within her womb through which she passes life-energy to the future." --Melissa Raphael "In some indigenous cultures of the Americas there is the practice of finding one's death song while alive. This song becomes the ally of the person throughout their lives, so that they become very acquainted with what the song means in their lifetime. Death then, is a companion of life, and is never forgotten. In the hour of death, these people would, if they were … [Read more...]

Burying My Eggs: A Ritual to Accept Infertility

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By Cindy McPhersonA good friend of mine terminated a problematic pregnancy, and she wrote about it online in a courageous and beautiful way. Now she is taking a priestess program, which I have been part of for many years, and after seeing one of her mentors recently, she told me, “I’m planning a ritual for the child I lost.”“I want to hear about it!” I said, “And remind me, when we meet, to tell you about the ritual I did to bury my unborn (and un-conceived) babies.”My journey with in … [Read more...]


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