Review: Birth, Breath & Death: Meditations on Motherhood, Chaplaincy, and Life as a Doula

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Reading Birth, Breath & Death makes me want to hold my family close and also hold my heart open to strangers. And it makes me wish that Amy Wright Glenn had written more.Glenn, who's been a philosophy teacher, birth doula, and hospital chaplain, meditates thoughtfully on birth and death and the body-spirit through-line of breath that connects them both. She observes, "So many women never witness childbirth until it is directly upon them, until they themselves are in labor. Death, like … [Read more...]

October Link Round-Up: Blessings, births, babies, and more

Spiritual Pregnancy

Observances and Events October was a busy month around here! We celebrated National Midwifery Week & International Babywearing Week as well as observing Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. This year's Spirit Babies ceremony was announced: This year, the Spirit Babies ceremony will be at the Mudd Building, Room 100 of the Pacific School of Religion at 1798 Scenic Avenue in Berkeley on Sunday 12/15 from 1-2pm. This is an interfaith service for people to come together to remember, … [Read more...]

From deprivation to ease: Pagan parents taking care of ourselves

Toasting a marshmallow at the retreat, because sometimes self-care looks like indulgence.

I had the great privilege last month of attending the  #femfuture retreat at the Omega Institute in Rhinecliff, New York.Zerlina Maxwell wrote after the retreat that "The key takeaway for me and others was that the notion of self care being selfish is woefully misguided and unproductive. No longer is deprivation and sacrifice a source of pride." She was writing about feminist activists, but she could have been writing about all kinds of folks who chronically put their work before the … [Read more...]

Wednesday Wisdom: Ancestors

By Tomascastelazo [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

A weekly Wednesday Wisdom post -- two or three quotes on a theme related to Paganism and childbearing, inviting us to meditate.  This week in honor of Samhain, we observe how our descendants and our ancestors are intimately linked through us. "The dead are our friends and family, our ancestors, who gave us life. We call them our 'beloved dead.'" - Starhawk, Diane Baker, & Anne Hill in Circle Round  "I feel deeply connected with mothers everywhere. A million stand behind me, … [Read more...]

The tale of the dog who fell in love with the cat

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People write me all the time asking me to share their web page or promote their project. I ignore most of the emails because they're either laughably off our topic, shabbily done, or unpleasantly slick and salesy.But I slowed down and re-read Nancy Furtado's email asking to help with her Kickstarter for Slumber Stories, a homemade story dice game. Storytelling has been a popular theme around here and I like to support small businesses and stay-at-home parent projects, but I wondered why … [Read more...]

Wednesday Wisdom: On our knees

By Rosser1954 Roger Griffith (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Wednesday Wisdom series returns! A weekly Wednesday Wisdom post -- two or three quotes on a theme related to Paganism and childbearing, inviting us to meditate.  This week birth brings us to our knees. “Rigid plans work best if you’re building a skyscraper; with something as mysteriously human as giving birth, it’s best, both literally and figuratively, to keep your knees bent.” –Mark Sloan, MD (Birth Day)   "Birth is not an event; it's a series of sophisticated biological processes.. … [Read more...]

Midwives Make a Difference

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Not only is this International Babywearing Week, it's also National Midwifery Week! Both of these weeks of education and celebration are something Pagans can get behind.We don't have a whole lot of social scientific data about what Pagans want, choose, or experience in birthing, but we do know that they favor midwifery care. According to Kimberly Hedrick's Pagan Health Survey, "The majority of Pagans would opt for natural childbirth attended by a midwife, with less than 20% saying they would … [Read more...]

International (Pagan) Babywearing Week!

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Do you practice babywearing? It's International Babywearing Week! Babywearing is good for babies because being close to a caregiver's breath, heartbeat, and physical movement is good for fragile nervous systems. Babywearing is good for the baby-caregiver pair because it fosters positive emotional attachment and the ability to read baby's cues and communicate. Babywearing is also good for the caregiver whose hands are then freed up to hold an older child's hand, get a chore done, or lead an i … [Read more...]


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