Sacred Embodiment in the Childbearing Year [Kindle Edition]
by Sarah Whedon
Publisher: Patheos Press
The experience of conception, pregnancy, and birth can be an arduous climb up a steep path fraught with anxiety, uncertainty, and fear. But what if it is more like a meditative walk through a labyrinth?
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.
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.