Sacred birth

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.

Am I holding up my baby?

It’s hard seeing women who were due after me give birth.  I feel so happy for them but there is part of me that feels like I am failing at such a natural process.  A process that is my birth right. 

This is a raw post - one that I began this morning and actually feel deeply grateful that I have turned a massive corner since allowing these words to flow out of me.  And a chat with my dear sister Avalon Darnesh and channelled message via my Mama Sandy helped too!  I feel back in the JOY... but more on that in a moment.  

In these last weeks I feel as if I am holding up my baby's arrival in some way and with this comes a deep feeling of guilt and responsibility.  Whether this is rational or not is yet to be revealed but I have no doubt I am not alone in these feelings. 

In Australia 1/3 of women are induced (please don't quote me on these stats - this is just what I have heard).  As far as I know this is because the hospital system will not happily allow women to get to 42 weeks (despite the fact that 37 - 42 weeks is the usual gestational period) but all medical industry bashing aside (as I know it has its place) what I am really wondering is why it is that babies stay in so long?  Is it actually because they need more time to develop? Or is it because women these days - as we have been somewhat removed from our natural way of being, pulled into our survival instincts and our need to be in control that we find it harder to let go.  Our cervixes are locked tight like our jaws and our babies are patiently waiting to come earth side…  yet getting held up by up-tight mamas who are just not quite ready to fully surrender.   This can be seen in our sex lives too... not quite ready to surrender and lose control... to fully dissolve into divine union.     

I mean we say all the prayers, we do all the stuff we need to be ready for baby, we get our birth playlist ready, we pre-cook and freeze food, we prepare the home birth space or pack our hospital bags (depending on preference), we talk to baby and ask them to come - doing our best to affirm our readiness… BUT ARE WE REALLY ALL THERE?  Or is there some energy blocking us and holding up the process?

Many women will say “babies come when they are ready” and I firmly believe this - but, as I type away at 41 weeks + 2 days I am aware of something in my field.  A reminder or sense of responsibility that this might be my shit and not just the baby’s need for more incubation. 

And it is so upsetting. 

So upsetting as this feels like the first primal task as a mama - to be the vessel for this baby to enter the world with as much ease as possible... and it hurts because I feel like I am failing.

As women, we tend to put so much pressure on ourselves to be a certain way.  And, although we know we cannot have expectations of our birth (despite all the prep we can do) it is inevitable that they creep in.  Take me for example - I work with women to connect to their yonis, their divine feminine-essence, to release womb trauma, to reconnect to the Earth and I have been doing my darnedest to practice what I preach in this pregnancy but I now have this overwhelming feeling of fucking it all up!  An intense sense that I am unable to let go in some way and it is perplexing me so much!  Failing to let go so my baby can come… and it makes me so sad.  It also alerts me to how - once again - I am placing undue pressure on myself to achieve "perfection" in the most uncontrollable of environments - crazy I know!  

And the funny thing is that I don't really feel like I am holding on.  In fact my cervix feels as if it is dilating and baby is so low and in position (I have felt he/she burrowing lower and lower over the last few days - an intense feeling you have to experience to grasp), I am sounding, singing and visualising the baby earth side.  

The only thing I do know right now - after the last month of living in some weird baby waiting holding pattern - is that this third trimester is by far the hardest mainly because it is such a head fuck!  There are so many times since 37 weeks that I have felt at the crest of the mountain, ready to take the leap of ultimate trust and then something has stopped the process.  And before you say it as I know you are thinking it - yes - everything is happening as it should be but it doesn’t make it any easier right now.  And now having gone "over due" now (in the medical sense) I am questioning everything.

Cue a need for deeper acceptance and surrender... 

I know I live my life very publicly and perhaps this is part of the problem.  This is by no means a yearning for stardom (although I do enjoy being seen) but more of my way of navigating situations… especially difficult situations - I share.  I am on this earth to guide and teach and usually this is through my own lessons and experiences - hence I share it all in total authenticity with the intention that it might help you too.  But now I am really not sure what I should be doing… this is new territory and it feels wobbly.  

Should I be shutting my computer and putting a cork in all of the words and feelings that want to flow out of me right now?  Should I write my heart out but not share it online... yet?  Should I just meditate, play my drum and pray for baby to come before I get any more induction pressure?  I am genuinely at a loss yet feel so much responsibility that it could be something I am doing that is holding up this process.

The hilarity is it is so rare for me to be so in my head... so questioning... as I usually just KNOW but these last weeks have really been the kicker.

People are telling me to eat more spicy food and have more sex.  I would LOVE to be having sex but - if I am honest - my yoni is so sore and sensitive and I am so big it just does not flow.  Self pleasure maybe but even reaching my yoni is hard. 

As a life long experimentalist who calls in experiences and lessons for my own evolution - often to give me more depth to teach from as this is my purpose in this earth walk I feel a sense of gratitude for what I am navigating right now.  Maybe it is part of my future of working with mamas (as feels to be coming) that I need to experience the induction talks at the hospital, the extra tests to check is baby is OK, the extra long pre-labour that I have had and the feeling that baby would come early due to all of the body stuff I have had go on… I feel the joy and the gratitude for all of this...

but I am really ready to LET GO! 

Earlier today I wrote that I need to practice acceptance.  Acceptance that this is where I am at right now… that my birth may not be what I have imagined it to be.  That baby will be OK and come out in the perfect initiation for both of us.  

But now I realise - with a huge smile on my face - I actually just need to be in JOY.  To stop listening to everyone else and do what makes me feel EXPANDED.  To write and share when I feel to write, to rest when I feel to rest, to watch Netflix without guilt that I am looking at too many screens or watching too much trash, to cuddle my husband and eat chocolate and parmesan cheese.  To dance to dirty deep house music naked in the mirror...

why?  Because this all feels fun..!

and when I am in JOY and FUN I am relaxed and happy.  All is well in the world.  And I get the fuck out of my own head and this ridiculous space of worry, guilt and responsibility I have wrapped myself in.  And goodness knows we do not need to be in our heads when we enter the birthing portal! 

I do know one thing thing that might physiologically hold up birth - and that my friends is cortisol... and cortisol is released when we are in a stress response.  Oxytocin and endorphins are what I am asking to flow now and these comes from being in a space of safety, connection and happiness... so I'm going to listen to what my body needs to be in this space and ask my baby what they need to be OK.

Body and baby know best after all...! 

For mamas in the same space as I am right now... I feel you.  I love you - please know that everything is going to be just wonderful!  You are being wrapped in the most divine rainbow colour light frequency and are totally supported by your energetic team (of Guides, Angels and those of other dimensions).  You team is cheering you on with so much love and excitement and you are doing an amazing job at sailing through the tricky new waters... just trust that you have everything you need to get through this time. 

Stay in that joy.

Create that joy and laughter with all at your disposal

Turn towards laughter. 

Turn towards love and light. 

Turn towards the plans for the coming months.

For in this you are creating the perfect field of light and love that this baby is being drawn towards on a minute-by-minute attraction.

Love, SJ x




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