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...]

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...]

Welcome Serena Rose!

Baby Girl

Note: This birth story by Sierra Black is a reprint from July 15, 2007 on ChildWild.  The story of her first child's birth is here.Serena Rose Hunter Black was born at 10 pm EST on July 9 at The Birth Cottage, as planned. She was born in the birth tub and caught by her dad. Her sister cut the cord like she’d been wanting to. Serena Rose weighed 10 pounds 7 ounces, is 23 inches long and has very soft golden hair and dark blue eyes.The birth was attended by my wonderful and beloved ca … [Read more...]

Walking the spiral

Walking the Labyrinth

Scenes from the labyrinthThe kids all banged on their drums and shook their rattles, following me on the snaking path into the center of the labyrinth and back out again.  It was a noisy, sloppy, joyful, sunny couple of minutes.Rewind one year to find the scene of me leading a group of adults in a slow, contemplative evening walk through the labyrinth's twists and turns.Having a baby has really changed my spiritual practice.Purgation, Illumination, IntegrationIn Walking A … [Read more...]

We celebrate the birth of another Witch on Earth

Note: This beautiful birth story by Sierra Black is a reprint from June 1, 2004 on ChildWild.I am a mother!Rio Willow Hunter Black was born at 4:10 p.m. EST on May 24, 2004.She weighed 9lbs 4 oz, and has a thick head of dark brown hair and dark blue eyes.Though we did have to transport to hospital to birth her, Mom, baby and Dad are all in perfect health and happily settled at home now. Martin caught her as she was born, and laid her on my belly, and she hasn’t been out of my sight f … [Read more...]


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