Five Spiritual Practices to do with Children Under Three

Offering Flower Petals to the River, by Kira

By Kira NuitThere's this wonderful stage of parenting, I'm told, where your child(ren) have good levels of cognition, empathy, dexterity, and communication skills. Many things become possible, from watching some of your favorite movies together to doing modest rituals. I have a two year-old; this is not that time. However, there are still spiritual things we can do together, and I think it's important to explore them. I hope to share my spirituality with her during our whole lives (or at … [Read more...]

30 days of peace

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By Janet CallahanNot every pregnancy goes according to plan.After 5 years of on-again, off-again fertility treatments, my son came crashing into the world by emergency c-section at 27 weeks and a day, weighing only a pound and seven ounces, thanks to pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome. With that kind of delivery, there isn’t time for setting the mood – no candles, no soft music, no labyrinth or birthing tub….just panic. The spiritual side of that sort of birth defaults to praying, "Godd … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]


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