Pregnancy, Childbirth, and your Ancestors

photo courtesy of the author

by Molly KhanIt wasn't until I became pregnant with my third child that I began to consider the more spiritual aspects of childbirth.  It helped that around that time I was becoming more involved in and more serious about my Paganism, delving beyond High Day and Full Moon observances and creating a personal, daily practice.  Pregnancy, and parenting my other two children, was a huge part of my life, and so it naturally figured largely in the deities I connected to and the practice I was d … [Read more...]

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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 biological processes.. … [Read more...]

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When Pagans Adopt: Open your soul, heart, and mind

Question mark made of puzzle pieces

I interviewed Tara “Masery” Miller in June about her experience initiating the adoption process. She writes the Staff of Asclepius blog here at Patheos and we previously published her beautiful essay about facing infertility. This week I checked in on her progress, and she generously answered five new questions:1.      You're further along in your adoption process now. Can you briefly describe what that means?That means we are about half way done with our fostering and adoption classes. W … [Read more...]

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Wednesday Wisdom: Finding calm in the storm of parenting

Meditation by lightDroplets http://fav.me/d2ltrbd

A weekly Wednesday Wisdom post with two or three profound or beautiful thoughts on a theme related to Paganism and childbearing. Parenting, distraction, prayer, nurture, self-care, and stillness... "This is the real challenge of our spiritual lives as parents: to take our distracting thoughts, not to mention the distracting nursing, dressing, schoolwork, sibling fights, family vacations, baths, stories, meetings, and bedtimes, and make of them the prayers that are our lives." - Rabbi Nancy … [Read more...]

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Midwife’s Invocation

I’m working my way through a class at Ocean Seminary College that is based on Karen Armstrong’s book Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life. One early assignment was to find a reading articulating a spiritual perspective/teaching on compassion. I turned to one of my books, Sisters Singing, in which I marked a prayer called Midwife’s Invocation. As a birth educator and activist, I have been devoted to birthwork as a cause for many years, something that for me is rooted in social justice as well as … [Read more...]

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Seven Spiritual Habits to Set During Pregnancy

Weaving Memory

by Kira NuitWhen I was pregnant, people often joked: "you'd better do all those things you've put off, because you won't have time once the baby comes!" I thought they meant things like travel to Europe, play video games all night, or go out dancing. I didn't realize the wisdom included things like cleaning house, any  project requiring more than 10 minutes, or performing the regular spiritual tasks vital to my soul's health. Fortunately, I dove into my spirituality during pregnancy and … [Read more...]

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Prayer Beads as a Pregnancy Practice

prayer-beads-baby-1024x549

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...]

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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...]

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