the midwifery

Reaching my arm into her opening, I felt powerfully the midwife energy surge through me, as if I’d actually dressed in Her Kachina garb and danced Her spirit into my body. Her larger- than-life archetype rushed into the opening in me as my own curious arm plunged into the opening in the broken root of the old mother tree. Though no longer standing, she was somehow more vital to me in her falling, pushing something to life in me.

I felt Her again, later, on that sacred morning, as yet another woman revealed to us her sacred landscape. Wrapping my arms around her from behind, the opening between her ‘legs’ opposite mine, I was certain that I was supporting the shoulders and back of a woman laboring to push new life into being. I heard my whisper in the ear of her trunk, as if it were not my own voice at all, loving her, exhorting her.

The night prior, I had drawn forth my mandorla, that vulvar shaped opening created when 2 circles conjoin. I hadn’t known what would be poured forth onto the page as I sat before it; I followed only at first the feeling that told me the intersection this time was WIDE, the sacred so close as to be practically lying atop me in this place.

I’d wanted to stop there. There was no more to draw really, the vastness of that opening felt like everything; the emptiness of the page, full; the walls stretched thin – like the walls of a woman’s opening as new life is crowning. (Crowning!! What a word to come forth in the telling of this! One of the women noticed that my mandorla looked like the letter ‘Q’. , “for queen”, she’d said)

The lake had been drained in preparation for dredging before we’d arrived. The directors had apologized profusely for its ugliness. They had no idea how perfect it was. Like the womb of the Great Mother, scooped out and made ready to flow in a new way, lying fallow for a season while its insides were reorganizing, we loved her fiercely.

Likewise, out of this Yoni shaped opening on my page emerged a new kind of flow, no longer blood-red with shedding, but royal blue and dancing, like the dress in my dreams. Like a song, it flowed to quench the parched and long-waiting landscape, to drench expectant seeds with vitality.

Moving in to stand guardian to the entrance to this cavernous womb on my page came my Babushka of old, like the old Hags -the snags- of the lake. Clad in her blue dress and red kerchief, I noticed she wore the colors of the virgin, the spot of red on her head mirroring the flame that the maiden tends. Like any well-constructed beaver dam, She controls the outflow with great wisdom, and likewise protects the sacred opening from being entered by those who would desecrate this life-giving space with detritus that belongs not within.

Within the tomb/womb, the long-sleeping maiden builds a fire, a fire to see by, a fire to awaken by, a fire to create some heat. She builds it with logs from the jam, logs that I now saw as a blanket, stitched tenderly, protecting the blue eggs that lay buried like treasure in all of their shimmering potential, an infinite store of creative potential waiting to be inspired by flame. With each log gathered, they are freed to expand, to become, to fill up the space with their capacity, to enter the fabulous flow.

I have mentioned to some, upon my return, that I feel as if something has finally broken in me, some threshold crossed, some transition traversed. I realize that the transition phase of labor always must feel as intense as these past months have been. Perhaps the waters of birth have broken at last, for it feels like something fresh has come alive in me, as if pure joy  is flowing once more, a joy that is mine, but also available and free to be shared. This lusty-for-life, vibrant, voice has been liberated to come out and play, to sing .. and to cry out loud… at last. Escorted to life by the Wise Woman Crone, the midwife of my soul, they are free to give of their beauty to this place , to dance like a child, unafraid of whoever is watching.

“When what you are doing draws upon the archetype of the midwife, you know that you are engaged in sacred work” -Jean Shinoda Bolen

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