Divine Feminine

Re-birthing Sammy-Owl

Eight weeks ago I was in the “in between”.  Waiting for my dear baby to make his appearance earth side. The scene was set for our delicious home birth and I was doing everything I could think of to welcome him into our world... but things were not flowing as I had hoped.  The natural labour I had wished for had to be brought on by a stretch and sweep and from that moment things began to shift and change.

Our beloved home birth rapidly became a transfer to hospital and a whole range of different interventions that ended in the crescendo of an emergency c-section and being painfully separated from my baby for two hours after birth due to some more complications. 

Although I was so happy to finally have my baby in my arms, the sadness and trauma of what we went through was thick in my cells.  All of my judgements of c-section mamas (and yes I had them) had dissolved as I realised the bravery and strength that it takes to have your plans completely change minute to minute.  I felt like a viking warrior steering my ship into the storm as I allowed myself to be cut open in a strange room under bright lights… and then surrendered my precious skin to skin time, my desired delayed cord clamping and let them take my baby away from me.

My healing has been big. 

Big in my beloved body that is still tender; in my womb that was cut open; in my yoni that was robbed of the experience of feeling my baby pass through.  Every day I try to place my hands on my scar to infuse it (and the process) with love and acceptance and to remind myself that this was the doorway that my baby passed through to arrive on this earth.  Although I have pushed it aside as I need to step up as mama and fully show up for my son, the pain and grief runs deep and I yearn for the birth I had prayed for.

So we felt to try a process - a rebirth ceremony.  The idea was sparked by the fact that all of our home birth equipment was still in our house and I caught myself looking at the packed up pool, the bags of towels, the plastic sheeting and the labour aide in the freezer (that I have now been adding to my smoothies) and couldn't help but fantasise about what could have been.  So I chatted to my dear photographer friend Louisa who was going to capture our birth and gave her the download of our story and she offered to come and take some new born shots… and I thought - let’s go one better!  Let’s recreate our home birth.

So at 3.5 weeks postpartum we did it (although I almost called it off as the thought of setting up for our home birth again was so devastating.)  Once again the bedroom was rearranged to fit our birth pool and my beloved husband began pumping and filling it.  I had a flash back to when he did this last time - I was in labour and riding intense waves but really excited that I was on my way to birthing (little did I know what lay ahead of me).

Our altar (or more crystal grid) was still set up for our birth complete with gold and silver, orgonite, a variety of quartz and our sacred tools.  We cleared the space with sage and palo santo and infused the room with frankincense.  We lit candles and said our prayers, calling in the ancestors, Guides and energetic teams for extra clearing and healing support.  I gathered the dried petals from all the roses we received when Sammy-Owl was born and scattered them in the pool and then took a moment to fix my hair and put on a little make up (possibly not so authentic to a real live labour and birth but I figured I had earned this privilege).

Although we had already been talking to our son about the birth journey we had - and to release the energy we were all holding about it - we took a moment to explain our intentions to baby Sammy.  We told him that this was the gentle birth that we had dreamed of… mama and dada in the pool, daddy supporting mama as she breathed you into the world. 

So much love.  So much power.  In our own sacred space.  Surrounded by those who love us.    

No bright lights. No hospital beds. No drugs. No intervention. No mama being cut and baby being wrenched out. No separation from mama.

We stripped off and hopped into the pool and took a moment to breathe and tune in.  Immediately my tears were rolling as I caught a glimpse of what could have been.

Gently we guided Sammy into the water as this was his first bath so we took a moment to make him comfortable, washing his little body and floating him around in our hands.  My beloved was behind me, holding me tenderly in my big release and I was on one knee as I feel I would have been in my final stages of transition.  Then we simulated his arrival as it could have happened.  His journey out of my yoni and into the waters and his own natural process of finding his way up my belly and onto my breast.

It was potent, raw, deeply emotional and utterly beautiful.  And I am so glad we did it. 

You may find this a bit stunt-like to get a photo, and I have to say photos were a big motivation for me.  I was so sad to have missed out on having photos and video of my birth and felt robbed when I saw my sisters posting their own birth journey captures … so it felt empowering to make our own as we wanted them to be.  You can see the gallery below (loving shot by the divine goddess Louisa Seton). 

Although this process was but a small step in my healing journey, and that even writing about this reminds me of how much energy I still hold from this experience, I feel grateful.  I know the learning goes on from a big birth and I affirm my readiness to receive the gifts of knowledge and experience that are coming my way,  

My scar is a reminder of the battle I fought and won when I received my magical Sammy-Owl in my arms.  I am learning to love my scar and I celebrate myself for my strength.  I am a warrioress and I am so damn proud of myself. 

And I am proud of all of the mamas and now have an even deeper respect for those who navigated massive changes and surprises like I did.  Our initiations are HUGE.  We walked through the fire and rose like the Phoenix from the ashes.  Reborn as the wise, brave and strong women we are.

Releasing the Maiden Ceremony

I remember a few weeks back when I felt a massive tap on the shoulder from Spirit... and this tap told me it was time to release the feeling of not being ready and to fully welcome our baby earth side. 

I must note that I am writing this in retrospect and that when this ceremony occurred I felt baby was coming early due to so many signs.  My intuition and guidance told me. My body's readiness and baby's engagement told me.  My dreams told me.  My pre-labour sensations that ramped up... only to peter out again... told me.  But here I am now at 40 weeks + 4 days and nada... just some super strong medicine for me to process and many lessons continually learned. 

When I felt the tap from Spirit - and I write about it here - I acknowledged that I might be the only thing that was holding up baby from arriving earth side.  It was as if my body and baby were ready and my own nervousness was holding up the show.

So I cleared the decks.  I cancelled all of my Priestess Calls, I told my groups I might be quiet, the birth space was set and all of the last minute things arranged and it was as if I drew a line in the sand.

And naturally we did ceremony.  A beautiful ceremony to release my maiden self and my beloved's pre-papa self (I'm not sure there is a masculine name for it?) and affirm our readiness to meet our magical baby. 

This journey from maiden to mama is massive. I remember bawling my eyes out in India when I discovered I was pregnant not because I was sad to be having a baby (as it was my deep yearning) but because the mourning process of who I had been had already begun.  Along with my blossoming body (which was more nausea and exhaustion back in the early days), life was changing before my very eyes and it felt so hard!  The year of adventures we had planned needed to be rescheduled.  The international festival teaching slots postponed (maybe forever), retreats scaled back and I prepared myself for a very different year than my usual nomadic existence which had been known to consist of being in 15 different countries and on 60+ flights.  

On one hand I was happy for a change in pace as I knew that without the baby's arrival we would probably still be riding the wave of our creativity which was rapidly leading to burnout.  I mean - our life is amazing to any observer but those who live on the road will know how taxing it can be... so on some levels we were both ready for year of a different kind of creativity.  

Then came the fears of surrendering my beloved business that I had worked so hard to create.  Would I be able to teach much or still run retreats?  What will life look like in this brave new world of parenthood? This is still terrain I am navigating but I have to say the deep changes that occur when entering mama-hood takes care of most of this for you.  It is as if the other stuff doesn't really matter any more.      

This maiden to mama journey has been so potent for me it has triggered the birthing of a book that has been tenderly created over my pregnancy.  Like our baby, I'm not sure when it will officially arrive earth side but it is coming soon (I promise).

Back to the ceremony... 

As many of you know I love to create potent ceremonies for all things.  To honour my mystical moon time, the seasons, the portal days and the lunar cycles.  For me there are never any rules when in comes to creating ceremony and I always do what feels best in the moment and simply allow the prayers to pour forth from my being as I know whatever comes is perfect in that moment.  But here is a little idea of what you can do to help welcome your baby:

  1. Create an altar - I like to use the medicine wheel and honour all of the elements (Air in the East, Earth in the South, Water in the West, Fire in the North and ether all around) and I place all of my favourite tools (like feathers, crystals, frankinscence, picture of goddesses etc) on my altar to be charged and to help me weave magic.   For our ceremony we created this altar in our birth space and it is still there to this day patiently waiting for baby's arrival.
  2. Smudge the space, yourself and each other - I like to use palo santo or sage for clearing but if you do not have it is not necessary.  Just work with what you have got.  I also incorporate clearing of unwanted energies as part of my grounding meditation which you will hear about in a moment.   
  3. Anchor your energy with a grounding meditation - this is part of my minute to minute practice these days as I feel it is so necessary in these high energy times.  I get quiet and breath deeply into my belly / womb and open my central channel (prana tube) to be a clear vessel for the energies of earth and the Universe.  I plug my roots all the way into Gaia / Pachamama wrapping around her great central crystal and drinking all of her nourishing energy into my being.  I then open my crown chakra to receive the energy of the stars / sun and galactic centre and feel this potent energy (which will likely feel different to the earth energy) pouring into my being.  I often ask this solar light frequency to cleanse and clear anything that is stuck and unhelpful in my energy field.  I feel these energies of heaven and earth meeting in my heart and from here I begin to expand my field.  This should make you feel more connected, integrated, grounded and ready for ceremony.     
  4. Open the space - Once I am grounded - and if I have not done so already - I like to say a few words to cast the spells of intention for the ceremony.  Why we are doing this in this moment.  So for this ceremony it was to welcome our baby earth side and to release and fears and feelings of un-readiness that could be holding us back.  To release the maiden and step into the mama.  As part of this process I also welcome in our Guides, our Multidimensional Selves, the Angels, Ascended Master, our ancestors and keepers of the land, the Galactics all of those beings that love us unconditionally and work with us for our highest good. 
  5. Clearing of fear - next we did a fear clearing / purification ritual.  My beloved and I both wrote on paper and spoke our fears and sadnesses of this major transition.  I spoke my fears of birth and the loss of my identity and we had a bowl / vessel ready with a candle to be our sacred fire (even better if you have a roaring fire!).  My husband and I help space for one another to speak from our hearts about what we were ready to released and what had been troubling us and yes - there were tears.  Our writing was offered up to the sacred fire and we sang and drummed as we watched it burn.
  6. Calling in our intentions - next we once again held space for each other as we spoke our wishes for the birth of our baby.  We spoke our dreams of the life we are creating together and we went big and there were more tears!  We offered these prayers out to the unified field that they may make manifest in the physical.  Remember our words are spells and we are truly the artists and dream weavers of our reality! 
  7.  Singing in the soul of the baby - my beloved and I love to make music together so we sang in the soul of our baby.  One of us was drumming (I forget who), sometimes our songs had words and other times just sounds but it was deeply potent and beautiful.      
  8. Closing of the space - once we felt complete in our ceremony we closed the space... but I have to say it was not in the usual way I would as this space was (well still is) to be our home birth space so we asked that the energy and sacredness remain and that all of our energetic team remain with us to support us through this time which is still in process (OMG)!  If I am usually closing a space I would thank the team, thank the energies and call us all back into our hearts to weave the magic, to drink the wisdom into our cells, to integrated what has taken place here. 

But really... I urge you to you to do what feels best for you.  When Joe and I started this ceremony we didn't know what was going to happen, we simply allowed ourselves to be guided by the energy of the moment and our inner wisdom.  Fully receptive ceremonies are always the best kind of ceremonies from my point of view! 

I hope this helps you in some way... perhaps in your own transition from maiden to mama and to welcome in your baby.  I have to say I thought ours was going to come in the days following but this ceremony was over 2 weeks ago - PHEW - so it appears I have some more lessons to learn in patience, trust, letting go and deeper surrender... or maybe our baby needs to be a Libra.

What I do know is that I am doing my best to be present and to affirm to our baby every day that... 

I am ready

I am ready





The girl who cried labour

Here I am... still sitting in the "in between"... waiting and yet not waiting for baby to arrive. 

The stage has been set and just when I thought the grand finale was coming I was proven wrong..

It appears that this play has many acts.  

and, like the boy who cried wolf, I feel like the girl who cried LABOUR!

only to have to say "err - nope... - as you were people - I'm still in pre-labour!"

I know I open myself to much public feedback by sharing my journey so openly and I have to admit I have felt a bit of "I told you so" coming down the line from other mamas in the comments that remind me that first babies often come past due date and that a watched pot never boils.  I 100% get this but my feelings of having an early baby have come from my intuition which is usually so on the money and the fact that my body and baby's position (of being fully engaged for over 6 weeks now) has supported this theory.   

The funny thing is that I am actually in no real rush here.  

My body may be big and getting more uncomfortable and I do feel a bit like I'm in a house bound holding pattern as walking out in the world is both a pain and very energetically intense as, right now, we live in the city ... but I am truly happy sitting here resting and riding the waves of big womb sensation / cramping and then feeling it all simmer down into peace rather than the grand crescendo I was expecting.  

If anything I have felt a little guilt... 

Guilt that there could be something I am doing to stop this progress.  Maybe it was my Mum arriving and needing to press the PAUSE button whilst I integrated to having a new (although beloved) energy in my space... or the change of midwives I've had last minute due to some unforeseen events.  Whatever it is, I have felt some responsibility that I am trying to shake for not allowing this baby to come.

My innate tells me to be in my bubble... that the tides will turn when I am fully allowed to just be and feel the flooding of oxytocin and endorphins enter my system giving my body and baby the green light.  Like a cat would find a dark corner to birth her kittens I too feel like quietly hiding away from the world.

So this is what I am doing.  Holding my ground, speaking my truth and being sociable and chatty when I feel to be and going deep within when baby and Spirit calls me there.  Such is my guidance in this interesting dance or entering the birth portal.  

As everyone keeps reminding me (and I know in my heart) this baby will make their own decision as to when they need to arrive earth side.  There is the specific vibration of the day and moment to take into account and I know this baby - although he/she keeps affirming readiness - is doing what they need to do and will be here when the divine timing is right.  Such is our co-creative dance of birthing together.   

And I am acknowledging I may remain in this place of pre-labour for sometime (and I have already been here for approx 2 weeks) ... this space of the "in between" and of packing my back pack for the journey ahead with good nourishment and rest... this space of enjoying lots of love and skin to skin intimacy with my husband which really is so delicious.

An old teacher of mine used to remind us of the necessity of "packing our back pack" in preparation for big spiritual initiations.  He would say "would you climb Mt Everest without supplies?  I think not - so make sure you do your preparatory ground work before you rush ahead of yourself."  I bow down to this wisdom every day - thank you Dr Reza.

Really I feel so grateful for this time... and am in no way inclined to do anything to hurry this process along as my due date of September 16 is still coming.  Yes I have eaten some chilli (but I do this all the time) and clary sage has made an appearance in my diffuser (it was quite the moment when we felt ready to release the clary sage as it had been sitting well sealed for this whole pregnancy as my beloved bought it because he liked the smell some weeks ago).  But I am trusting that this whole pre-stage is preparing my body gently and slowly for the deep initiation of birth. 

In no way do I really feel as if I am holding on... my sacrum / pelvis has shifted again and just when I didn't think the baby could get any lower without falling out they have descended again (great for breathing - hard for walking and sitting as I feel as if I am literally sitting on my baby's head and I guess I am) and I sounding and singing this baby down more and more each day.  I feel as if I were checked for dilation I would be a couple of centimetres open now so trusting in this beautifully steady process of deep preparation.

I feel so grateful that is it this way as I know how prepared my body is becoming for birth.  Slowly and gently, rather than kicked into gear for a fast evacuation triggered by my baby's urgent need to be born.  

I am deeply connected to the energy of my baby and this moment.  Deeply connected to the womb of Pachamama and fully backed by the Collective Sisterhood.  And it feels so good! 

But sorry if I keep getting you prematurely excited that the baby is about to arrive.

A dear sister reminded me that whatever happens the baby will come out one day... and I laughed to myself as I acknowledge that I sometimes feel that this pregnancy will go on forever... so I promise this baby will be revealed to you soon...

but until then I will be over here... resting, writing, sharing, listening, snuggling and nesting.