My recent birth expereince bringing little Livia Nimue into the world was completely life changing for me and something that I am so grateful to have been able to experience in my life.
The birth was what I call an 'Ancestor Assisted Birth' or 'Free Birth' where I felt I was in such a safe and powerful space both physically and metaphysically - supported by the innate ancestral birthing wisdom that I hold within the DNA of my body, as do all mothers and all the mothers that have come before us - that I was able to deliver my baby freely at home without intervention. She arrived beautifully and peacefully before our midwife even arrived, in part due to the fact that we had such confidence in ourselves and the ongoing support from our midwife who we were in communication with all throughout the labour that we felt we didn't need to call her in until right at the last minute, which by that stage Livvee was born very shortly afterwards in the birthing pool.
To hear my full birth story click here
At around 6 weeks postpartum, our wonderful midwife Debbie MacGillivray (Goddess Birthing) facilitated for me what's called a 'Closing the Bones Ceremony' - A sacred healing ritual that allows a woman to physically and spiritually 'close her bones' to her birthing experience and nurture her in her postpartum recovery as she emerges through the divine passage of giving birth and the sacred and wild journey into motherhood.
Using the ancient practice of herbal 'Yoni Steaming' to help cleanse and heal a woman's vagina, as well as ritualised 'letting go' processes, deep meditation, and wrapping the woman up in cloth to physically and metaphysically close her body after the opening up process that is pregnancy and child birth.
As during pregnancy and labour a woman goes through a literal and metaphorical process of opening up her body and soul, so this ceremony allows her to spiritually and physically close her body once again and complete the sacred cycle that is pregnancy, labour and birth - the right of passage that is becoming a mother.
According to The Full Moon Effect, the origins of the Closing the Bones Ceremony come from the ancient Mayan traditions of Mexico.
" There is a calling of her spirit back to herself as she has been a portal for carrying new life, and has walked the threshold between worlds. A transformation has also begun as the mother embraces new aspects of herself through this rite of passage into new stages of motherhood. "
The intention is to provide a space as a nurturing and supportive environment in which healing can take place on these many levels, as during pregnancy and after birth is a vulnerable time for a woman, and this sacred healing ceremony can help a woman reflect, release and let go from her birth story and help to rebuild and regain her strength as she emerges out into the world again as a new mother.
After a beautiful herbal yoni steam, I took notes to reflect on the energy, power and memory of my birthing experience...just simple and spontaneous...then we burnt this in a ceremonial gesture of release and letting go. After burning, you recover any words that remain on the page and meditate and reflect upon on what is left. In this process for me none of the words I had written ramained distinguishable, which was rather apt, as for me this birthing experience really was completely healing and an experience of full embodyment of my true self. So it was not surprising that nothing was left for me. This part of the ceremony can be very illuminating for women, to reflect on what words remain for her, particularly if they've had a traumatic birthing experience, and it can allow a woman to explore deeply her birthing experience in a sacred way.
Then finally, after the yoni steam and note taking and burning to release the energy, we did the 'closing' part. A process in which the woman's body is wrapped up and guided through a deep meditation to honor her body as the divine vessel that carried this new life and soul forth into this realm. To honor and thank the power of her mind to hold strength and resilience through the intensity of childbirth, her heart for giving love, her breasts that give nourishment, her womb the sacred vessel, her hips for carrying her and opening, her knees for flexibilty and her feet that carry her forward and hold her to this earth.
To honor the body and give thanks to all that we are capable as women, as divine creatures of this earthly realm.
It is said in various Indigenous cultures that when a woman is in labour her soul leaves her body and enters the cosmic realm to retrieve the soul of her dreaming baby and bring it back to this earthly realm - a sacred honor, completely transcendant, and something that requires great strength and courage. I have experienced the power of this and can say how important it is honor that with a closing ceremony to culminate, and bring the power of that experience back into your body.
This experience has been so empowering for me to embrace the sacredness and intimacy of childbirth, allowing me to create that powerful space to transcend this realm with ease and joy, and to honor my body as the divine vessel for pure creation.
This ceremony and this birth has also really allowed me to let go of a lot of past sexual traumas and helped me to heal through this process of honoring the sacredness of my body and childbirth as intimately connected to my sexuality - something that I think has been lost in this modern world where we have become so diconnected with our bodies and our natural instincts as animals. A message I really hope to pass on to other women, young girls and mothers-to-be in this act of sharing my personal experiences and discoveries.
Honor your body, honor your sexuality, honor your Yoni - they are sacred
Thank you so much Deb @Goddess Birthing for this Closing the Bones Ceremony and supporting me throughout this pregnancy and labour.
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