Breastfeeding and Parenting as Spiritual Practices

February 2014 003

  Every single human being was drummed into this world by a woman, having listened to the heart rhythms of their mother. ––Connie Sauer When I became a mother, many things in my life changed. I was startled and dismayed by the magnitude in which my free time diminished and one by one many of my leisure pursuits and hobbies were discarded. The time for one of my favorite hobbies increased exponentially, however: reading. As a child I was a voracious reader—my mother had to set a … [Read more...]

Birth as Initiation

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“Childbirth is a rite of passage so intense physically, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, that most other events in a woman’s life pale next to it. In our modern lives, there are few remaining rituals of initiation, few events that challenge a person’s mettle down to the very core. Childbirth remains a primary initiatory rite for a woman.” –from the book MotherMysteries via Thesis Tidbits: Birth as a Shamanic Experience | Talk Birth. I just finished reading a short book … [Read more...]

Birth Mystery

January 2014 120

“Women’s mysteries, the blood mysteries of the body, are not the same as the physical realities of menstruation, lactation, pregnancy, and menopause; for physiology to become mystery, a mystical affiliation must be made between a woman and the archetypal feminine. A woman must sense, know or imagine herself as Woman, as Goddess, as an embodiment of the feminine principle…Under patriarchy this connection has been suppressed; there are no words or rituals that celebrate the connection … [Read more...]

Pregnancy, Childbirth, and your Ancestors

Idesa

by Molly Khan It wasn't until I became pregnant with my third child that I began to consider the more spiritual aspects of childbirth.  It helped that around that time I was becoming more involved in and more serious about my Paganism, delving beyond High Day and Full Moon observances and creating a personal, daily practice.  Pregnancy, and parenting my other two children, was a huge part of my life, and so it naturally figured largely in the deities I connected to and the practice I was … [Read more...]

Top 10 Posts of 2013

intuition

This is an entirely unsystematic, unscientific, personally biased list of my top 10 favorite Pagan Families posts from 2013. It's obviously not all the good posts, or even all the great posts. It's not necessarily the most read or shared or commented on posts either. But I tried to include posts from all our regular (and irregular) contributors, and to represent the range of topics we now cover. From pregnancy to postpartum, from sex education to adoption, from spiritual practice with toddlers … [Read more...]

Inhabited by the Divine: Cut, Stapled and Mended

Recently I found myself totally absorbed by Roanna Rosewood’s birth memoir: Cut, Stapled, and Mended. In an overlap with my interests that I didn't anticipate, I discovered that in many ways Rosewood’s book is about a journey to the sacred feminine within herself. This thread of her discovery of the larger forces of what it means to be female that runs throughout the book and I was especially interested by several mentions of a sense of being inhabited by the Divine, the Sacred Feminine. … [Read more...]

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...]


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