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...]

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...]

The Pagan Health Survey on Pagan pregnancies

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Did you take The Pagan Health Survey last year?  The results of this survey were interesting for many reasons, including the little bit they tell us about how Pagans approach pregnancy and birth.Cultural anthropologist Kimberly Hedrick conducted the research using participant-observation, interviews, and an internet survey with 1,598 respondents.  She presented her results at the American Public Health Association conference in Denver, Colorado in fall of 2010 and the Pagan Studies Co … [Read more...]

Responding to Ina May: The sacred is multiple

Editor’s note: I asked some of our regular contributors to each respond to a quote from midwife and natural birth advocate Ina May Gaskin.  In her new book Birth Matters Gaskin wrote: Birth… matters because the journey through pregnancy and birth offers an irreplaceable way for women to explore their deepest selves – their minds, bodies, and nature… There is a sacred power in the innately feminine capacity of giving birth.  It is one of the elemental, continuing processes of nature that women ha … [Read more...]

Responding to Ina May: Not a universal experience

Editor’s note: I asked some of our regular contributors to each respond to a quote from midwife and natural birth advocate Ina May Gaskin.  In her new book Birth Matters Gaskin wrote: Birth… matters because the journey through pregnancy and birth offers an irreplaceable way for women to explore their deepest selves – their minds, bodies, and nature… There is a sacred power in the innately feminine capacity of giving birth.  It is one of the elemental, continuing processes of nature that women ha … [Read more...]

It’s a Girl!: Gender and Pagan Birthing

Promote Acceptance Work for Justice

I just got the word that I'll be making a presentation at the Pagan Alliance's 1st Annual Conference on Earth-Based, Nature-Centered, Polytheistic & Indigenous Faiths, 2011 Theme: Gender & Earth-Based Spiritualities. The conference will be on Saturday, September 24 in San Francisco (the page linked to above has all the conference details, but the time of my presentation is going to change). My presentation will be It’s a Girl!: Gender and Pagan Birthing It’s a girl!  It’s … [Read more...]


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