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...]

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...]

What’s in a Name?

by Kira NuitImagine one of your kid's friends at the door asking “can Floribunda come out to play?” Or, when young Floribunda gets into trouble, imagine how you might feel barking out, “Floribunda Oregano Sunbeam!” I've heard some names on the playground that I would not want to holler out my back door at suppertime.One of the first things confronting pregnant couples is what to name their baby. Throughout history we have bequeathed the names of our ancestors, named our children to honor … [Read more...]

Spiritual practice in pregnancy

Note: This essay by Suus is a slightly revised reprint from Heart of the Witch.  Many of the practices described in this essay come from the Feri tradition.Recently one of my pagan friends complained on facebook that there is not a lot she could find around pagan pregnancy, so I guess it is about time I share my experiences, having gone through a pagan pregnancy myself.Is there any difference to a non-pagan pregnancy you might wonder? And I must say that I honestly don’t know, because I ha … [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...]


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