Eating and spirituality Part 2: From the fields to our bellies

Food is the product of the earth; the earth is a mother goddess, literally the matrix of our physical existence. We are all products of the stars: earth, animals, plants; all the elements were forged in the reactions in the heart of stars. We are what we eat, so it is important to eat healthily & well. --Yvonne Aburrow In Part 1 on Eating and Spirituality I talked about getting started incorporating food into your spiritual life during pregnancy.  I also had the pleasure of introducing … [Read more...]

Eating and spirituality when you’re growing a baby

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Food, nutrition, and nourishment can raise a bewildering array of questions during the childbearing year.  Can I eat a healthy vegetarian diet while I am pregnant?  What foods should I eat and what should I avoid?  How much weight should I gain?  Should I be concerned about gestational diabetes?  Will I breastfeed or bottle-feed my baby?On top of all that, Pagans who celebrate their physical bodies and their connection to the natural world may also have ritual and theological questions about … [Read more...]

Ten Moons: The Inner Journey of Pregnancy, Preparation for Natural Birth

A review by Niki WhitingI admit I am completely intrigued by the idea of shamanic midwifery. Jane Hardwicke Collings, an Australian, has forged this path, combining traditional midwifery with shamanic concepts and work with the Divine Feminine. She trains other women, midwives and doulas, in this process, which, from her websites, is more of a set interpersonal skills and mindset, than an actual magical system.I was sent the e-book version of Collings's book on preparing for natural … [Read more...]

Prayer Beads as a Pregnancy Practice

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by Kira NuitGrowing up Catholic, I’ve prayed a rosary or thirty. The experience is meditative and calming. Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam also have rituals involving beads. Beads may have been among the earliest ornaments created by humans. Their colors please the eye; their textures and weight please the hands; their soft clicks please the ears.During the inescapably visceral experience of pregnancy I felt fully connected to my body for the first time. It seemed the perfect opportunity to … [Read more...]

Review: Birthrites

Birthrites

Birth is the archetypal rite of passage for a woman, containing the essential elements of any ritual: separation from normal life, a profound transition during which the participants occupy a timeless time, followed by re-entry into society in a changed state.  It can also be seen as a holy sacrament; the entry of a soul from another plane into this earthly dimension. -- Jackie Singer, Birthrites Birthrites: Rituals and Celebrations for the Child-bearing Years was a fortuitous find for me, a … [Read more...]

The first Spirit Babies ceremony in San Francisco

Candles and rememberances

By SilverwingOn the night of the Winter Solstice this year, between fifty and sixty people gathered in the chapel at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in San Francisco.  Women and their loved ones came to honor their ‘spirit babies’ - those who had been lost due to a miscarriage, abortion and stillbirth.  It was standing room only.As people entered the chapel, we invited them to write out thoughts and prayers and place them on the altar.  For those who couldn’t make it to the cerem … [Read more...]

How the Spirit Babies Interfaith Ceremony came to be

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By SilverwingMany years ago, a friend told me about the Mizuko Jizo, a Japanese deity that watches over the spirits of those who were miscarried, aborted or stillborn.  There are temples with gardens of hundreds of these jizo statues.  There is a place in Japanese society for women to grieve openly about their pregnancy losses.  There are ceremonies in Japanese temples for this, called Mizuko Kuyo.  The spirits of the unborn are called ‘mizuko’ or ‘water babies’ and they may come back again s … [Read more...]

Meditations during pregnancy

Birthrites

By Jackie SingerGreetings to all of you from the UK.  Sarah Whedon contacted me recently when she found a copy of my book, Birthrites, in a bookshop in San Francisco.  I'm touched that it was an actual physical book in a real life bookshop!  I imagine the pages in her hands, and feel a connection across acres of land and Atlantic waves to our little island, and me in my attic on a grey November morning.  Birthrites is not a book for Pagans per se, but it does deal with matters of Pregnancy, … [Read more...]


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