Top Ten Tips for Writing with Babies at Home

Since I was a child I have written, but the challenges of writing with babies and small children at home took me unawares. All through my pregnancy I wrote academic books and then as soon as my babies were born I had no idea how I was going to continue to write. Here are some tips that helped me, and positively changed my writing... Prioritise your writing - whether it's ten minutes or two hours, give yourself a pocket in the day to write. It's important for your sanity, for your well being … [Read more...]

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Flash Points: Birthing the Mother-Writer

This post is part of our June Pagan Flash Points series on "Beyond Mommy Blogging."After my first son was born in 2003, I felt silenced. Stifled. Shut down. Squelched. Denied. Invisible. Dissolved. Muted. I felt suffocated, chewed up and my bones spit out, erased, deconstructed, worthless, and useless. In hindsight, I see the PPD-ish glint behind these feelings, though some of these feelings also featured in my pre-motherhood neuroses, and the postpartum time following my first baby's birth … [Read more...]

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Cesarean Courage

“Her courage is written on her body.” –Molly (Talk Birth) Last year I made several cesarean birth art sculptures by request. It felt like a “risk” of sorts to make them, like I was trying to interpret another woman’s experience artistically, but I did it and they were well-received. I chose to imprint words in the figure’s cesarean scar because I kept thinking about how that mother’s love and hope and courage are all permanently written on her body. Recently, I had requests to make more figures … [Read more...]

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Breastfeeding as a (s)hero’s journey?

Every single human being was drummed into this world by a woman, having listened to the heart rhythms of their mother.  ––Connie SauerRecently I re-posted an article I wrote about breastfeeding and parenting as spiritual practices. I received a comment on the re-post that really gave me pause and some food for thought: I've really liked your writing about preparing for birth as a warrior's rite. I only wish I'd had materials that prepared me for breastfeeding similarly...I'd like to hav … [Read more...]

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Book Review: Rooted in the Body, Seeking the Soul by Tara “Masery” Miller

The past few weeks I've been reading Rooted in the Body, Seeking the Soul: Magic Practitioners Living with Disabilities, Addiction, and Illness by Tara "Masery" Miller, and containing articles and interviews from a diverse group of Pagans.  It has been an absolutely fascinating journey.  The book accepted contributions from a variety of Pagans (as the title says) living with disabilities, addiction, and illness.  Perhaps of particular interest to those reading Pagan Families, it also has four ch … [Read more...]

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Birth as Initiation

“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 called Return t … [Read more...]

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Top 10 Posts of 2013

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...]

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Hollekreisch: Honoring Childbirth

In one of my history classes at Ocean Seminary College, I read an article called Holle's Cry: Unearthing a Birth Goddess in a German Jewish Naming Ceremony by Jill  Hammer. The article addresses the merging of a Jewish naming ritual with the childbirth-celebrating ceremonies of the early Germanic goddess Holle and her later folk image, Frau Holle. Since my background is in birth education and activism, of course I was very interested and intrigued by Hammer’s article about Holle and the ritual as … [Read more...]

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