Editor’s Note: Patheos has an ebook publishing arm called Patheos Press. I’m very pleased to announce that the first Pagan e-book has been launched by Patheos Press, and it’s a lovely volume on Pagan pregnancy titled Birth on the Labyrinth Path. As Butterfly McQueen once famously said: I don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ babies! So I’m going to let author Sarah W. Whedon tell you about her book herself. – Star
Where are the mama goddesses?
It’s hard to be a Pagan and not run into a few mother goddesses. They abound in Pagan books, rituals, and art. But real Pagan mothers are trickier to account for in Pagan culture. I already knew this because I’d watched my best friend have her babies, become a mother, and struggle to find support for herself and her family in the same Pagan communities that had carried her to the threshold of motherhood.
I was nevertheless newly saddened when, during my pregnancy with my first child, I searched and searched for a book that would offer Pagan guidance on this huge life transition, and found nothing. My bookshelves reveal my hopeless bibliophilia. I had books about fertility awareness, pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, the postpartum period, and midwifery. A few of them are especially Pagan friendly, but none of them is really Pagan.
That’s why I started Pagan Families last year. I wanted to begin to gather and share Pagan resources for the childbearing year. What I really wanted was a whole book on the subject, but the website allowed me to start sharing right away.
In the course of setting up the website, I did discover Pagan Pregnancy, an entire book precisely on the subject. But the book had been withheld by the publisher for years. Happily, that book was finally released just this winter, as an ebook only and with little fanfare. You can get your copy at Amazon and read my review at Pagan Families.
And now I’m pleased to announce that my own ebook Birth on the Labyrinth Path has been released by Patheos. I wrote this book in the second half of a pregnancy with my second child, taking the opportunity to put down in print as much as I could to aid other mamas and their families on the Pagan path of pregnancy and birth.
It’s a fairly short book, which is cool because digital publishing allowed me to write exactly as much as I had to say right now. In the course of publishing Pagan Families and writing Birth on the Labyrinth Path I’ve come to realize just how much more there is to say about how Pagans can navigate the beautiful and dangerous places of making babies (or choosing to avoid making babies!).
If you choose to read my book I hope it gives you inspiration and information that eases your own experience. Your purchase is also a vote in support of this work that I and Arin Murphy-Hiscock and the contributors to Pagan Families are doing to honor not only the mother goddesses of the pantheons we worship, but the mama goddesses who walk amongst us — growing new human life within their wombs, choosing when it isn’t time to bring a baby into the world, pushing fresh infants out into our waiting arms, and raising children in our Pagan communities.
Books and Babies Due
I’m writing this before the book is due out, because my second baby is due out around the same time. I’d love to hear feedback on the book as well as the website. If you don’t hear back from me right away, you can assume it’s because I’m busy taking care of my new Pagan baby.