A quick check-in

Hello wonderful Pagan Families readers!  It's been a while since we've posted anything new here, but we haven't forgotten you.  The editorial team has just been preoccupied with things like a vacation, a cross-country move, and new writing projects.We do have a couple of great posts in the queue, nearly ready to post, but waiting for some final input from various people.  If you make a submission, don't be surprised if we ask you for a little revision.  We're not trying to be mean -- we're try … [Read more...]

A Birth Altar

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 Our son was conceived very deliberately in a ritual designed to bring forth the baby that visited my partner and myself in a series of dreams. So when the time came for birth preparation, of course we wanted to have him born that way-intentionally and in a sacred context. One of the ways we devised to make that happen is to design and build a birth altar. I have several different kinds of altars in my home- some are for specific deity or the dead, and some altars that hold “works in p … [Read more...]

Review: Bless This Child

"Here, under my heart you'll keep till it's time for us to meet..." --Erica Mann Jong (33)Edward Searl is a Unitarian minister and the editor of Bless This Child: A Treasury of Poems, Quotations and Readings to Celebrate Birth.  He writes that the collection, "gives voice to the many hopes and wishes that accompany the arrival of a new child." (vii)These prayers, poems, and meditations are "culled from antiquity and from our contemporary world, written and spoken by parents, priests, … [Read more...]

What color is your pain? Magic for pregnant aches

By C. B. CabeenMidway through the second trimester, my ribs started hurting around the bra line, like something was cutting into them.  It wasn't my bra's fault, though, because taking it off didn't help, and changing bras didn't help.  It messed with my ability to exercise and cook dinner, and after a few weeks I was sick of it.  I was even more sick of hearing myself talk about it.So many of the ways we describe pain are boring.  If I describe exactly where my ribs hurt, how much does that … [Read more...]

Review: Circle Round

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The day before Samhain, Diane Baker stood in her kitchen thinking about needing to plan a celebration for her family and wondered, "Why isn't there just a book I could open?"  So she collaborated with Anne Hill and Starhawk to write the book she wanted to read, Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions.Circle Round offers resources divided into four sections:*Part One: Welcome to the Circle introduces the book and the practice of Goddess traditions with children. *Part … [Read more...]

How to make birth art

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Note: Were you inspired by Amy Swagman's birth mandalas yesterday? Read this short essay in which she describes how to start making birth art of your own.The state of mind you're in when you create artwork is the same state of mind you are in when you labor and birth.  It is a fluid, intuitive, timeless space where you accept everything as the whole and have a harder time reasoning, rationalizing and compartmentalizing.  By making lots of art during pregnancy you are practicing being in that … [Read more...]

Birth mandalas

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  Pagan Families reader Sarah wrote to recommend Amy Swagman's Birth Art Mandalas.  I was stunned by them and immediately wrote Amy to ask if I could share them here.  She said yes! Making birth art can be a beautiful spiritual practice.  My partner and I made birth art when we took a Birthing From Within class to prepare for our daughter's birth and my God children got to paint all over my big round belly at our Blessing Way, but Amy takes birth art to a whole other level.Amy is a mo … [Read more...]

Frequently asked question: Why is it called Pagan Families?

As this site launches, it's been really gratifying to get lots of positive feedback.  One reader commented on FaceBook:What a great page! I wish I had found found a page like this whilst I was pregnant! Pretty hard to find pages like this Blessings ♥That is exactly why Pagan Families was born!We've also been getting a lot of questions about the name and scope of the site.  Why is it called Pagan Families if it's only about pregnancy and birth?First of all, I reject the idea that a baby is … [Read more...]


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