Wednesday Wisdom: Ancestors

By Tomascastelazo [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

A weekly Wednesday Wisdom post -- two or three quotes on a theme related to Paganism and childbearing, inviting us to meditate.  This week in honor of Samhain, we observe how our descendants and our ancestors are intimately linked through us. "The dead are our friends and family, our ancestors, who gave us life. We call them our 'beloved dead.'" - Starhawk, Diane Baker, & Anne Hill in Circle Round   "I feel deeply connected with mothers everywhere. A million stand behind me, … [Read more...]

Wednesday Wisdom: On our knees

By Rosser1954 Roger Griffith (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Wednesday Wisdom series returns! A weekly Wednesday Wisdom post -- two or three quotes on a theme related to Paganism and childbearing, inviting us to meditate.  This week birth brings us to our knees. “Rigid plans work best if you’re building a skyscraper; with something as mysteriously human as giving birth, it’s best, both literally and figuratively, to keep your knees bent.” –Mark Sloan, MD (Birth Day)   "Birth is not an event; it's a series of sophisticated … [Read more...]

Midwives Make a Difference

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Not only is this International Babywearing Week, it's also National Midwifery Week! Both of these weeks of education and celebration are something Pagans can get behind. We don't have a whole lot of social scientific data about what Pagans want, choose, or experience in birthing, but we do know that they favor midwifery care. According to Kimberly Hedrick's Pagan Health Survey, "The majority of Pagans would opt for natural childbirth attended by a midwife, with less than 20% saying they would … [Read more...]

Birth Guardians: Leslie Stager RN, LMT

Leslie Stager RN, LMT

Today’s profile of Leslie Stager, RN, LMT is part of our series profiling people who work with pregnancy, birth, or the postpartum period (prenatal massage therapists, childbirth educators, OB/GYNs, doulas, midwives, lactation consultants, labor & delivery nurses, pediatricians, etc.) and are Pagan or work with a Pagan community. Check out the previous Birth Guardian profiles. If you would like to be a part of the series please send an email to paganfamilieseditor@gmail.com.   Now … [Read more...]

August link round-up: home birth, cesarean birth, body image after birth and more…

Birth Art Goddess Sculptures From Talk Birth http://www.etsy.com/shop/talkbirth

I love putting together these monthly link round-ups because I get to revisit my favorite articles and websites from the previous month. In August we celebrated World Breastfeeding Week (Aug 1-7) and we observed "the Day of Hope and Healing, a national remembrance day for families who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, infant or child loss." Then we read articles about home birth, cesarean birth, body image, raising Pagan children, rites of passage, and more: From Witch Mom - Teaching … [Read more...]

Birth Warrior?

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After the birth of my daughter in 2011, I received a small package from a Birthing from Within mentor friend. In it was a sweet little t-shirt imprinted with the words, My Mama is a Birth Warrior. The words on the shirt surrounded a labyrinth image, which I love as a metaphor for birth and life.  Written on the enclosed card was the following: Imagine a tribe in which a woman is prepared for childbirth in the same way warriors are prepared for battle. Imagine a Ceremony for this … [Read more...]

Link round-up

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"What is more mysterious than the great unknown existing beyond the frontiers of birth and death?" - Amy Wright Glenn in Birth, Breath, & Death, the Sacred Readings: A Global Book Club book in June. It's time for a round-up of the best links shared on the Pagan Families Facebook page in July. On Pagan Pregnancy and Parenting: From The Allergic Pagan: The Challenges of Family Rituals: "Paganism can be incredibly intricate. In simplifying it for my children, is something lost in the … [Read more...]

A Mother’s Nest

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“Although pregnancy and birth is a richly intuitive and instinctive process, a woman will prepare her ‘nest’ and birth according to the style of her culture, in the same way that a particular species of bird will build its nest with whatever is available.” –Pam England I am planning a mother blessing ceremony for a good friend in September. In addition to fun plans like a belly cast and henna, she asked for something a little different than our usual "roster" of blessingway … [Read more...]

A gallery of birth altars

Jacquelyn shares, "This is my birth altar for my third baby. At the center is a Frigga doll by the lovely Dancing Goddess Dolls. A picture of me while pregnant with my 2nd, various birth goddess statues, candles (fire), a fan for labor (air), seashells (water), a decorated gourd rattle (earth) and birth jewelry I made for the journey. "

I posted a call for birth altar photos on our Facebook page and you guys came through with a whole bunch of beautiful, inspiring, individually intimate birth altar photos. Here are the ones that I've gotten permission to share on the blog. Aren't they lovely? Thanks to everyone who shared!         Also, check out Molly's photo-packed description of building a birth altar and Lily's ideas on how you can build a birth altar. … [Read more...]

Book Highlights: Birth, Breath, & Death

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I just finished reading a lovely little book by Amy Wright Glenn. Lyrical, gentle, contemplative, and touching, Birth, Breath, and Death explores Amy's meditations on life as a doula, mother, and hospital chaplain. Amy Wright Glenn was raised as a Mormon and eventually found her way onto a different faith path, Unitarian Universalism. Her reasons for connecting with the UU church actually closely mirror my own. Amy mentions that she first finds the UU church through her interest in poetry, … [Read more...]