“In the beginning….was a very female sea. For two and-a-half billion years on earth, all life-forms floated in the womb-like environment of the planetary ocean….In the beginning, life did not gestate within the body of any creature, but within the ocean womb containing all organic life. There were no specialized sex organs; rather, a generalized female existence reproduced itself within the female body of the sea.”*
(Praying the rosary in a secular way including the stories of Mary’s relationship to and with Jesus as is demonstrated in the joyful, sorrowful and glorious).
Ahhh… water, a soothing balm, nourishing, a newness, the ocean we all have walked out from. A beginningless time and through the flow of Mary giving birth to Jesus, this continuation of wave-like undulations and my own birthing experiences:
A home birth with Alex, in 1987, exactly 2 weeks before the due date arriving at 3:06 am in the quiet of our 3rd floor apartment with midwife and friend. Three goddesses holding the portal open carrying in new life.
The father, away on a work assignment 800 miles north arriving home the following day. Walking and carrying the placenta a short distance to Lake Michigan and throwing it into rough and raging waters. It was the harmonic convergence and a storm that became known as the hundred year flood.
The appropriate honoring and giving back to this elemental and the extraordinary housing system that kept my son alive and safe swirling about in the amniotic fluid for nine months. Water; the connector, our originator, where we all walked out from. Water as mother, as home, as conduit of electricity; the electricity generated from our heart center.
My second child was born nearly seven and a half years later after false hopes and a miscarriage which I don’t want to dismiss. Acknowledging the interweaving of all three of the mysteries: the joy of an impending birth, the sorrow of loss and the release of finding true understanding in all its glory. No placental sac to discard. No large body of water to throw something into. No real tangible evidence that resembled a fetus at that point. A seemingly inconsequential passing of a deep red gelatinous substance. Of course it did have consequence, served a purpose and carried elements of water within its chemistry.
Ian was born in a blow up kiddie pool nestled between our futon and altar with the elements of water and fire. Sun in Pisces, Scorpio on the horizon and the moon in Sagittarius (fire) on February 22, 1995. Inching first one toe, one foot and then the other, that first pinch of hot water, slowly immersing my big bellied body fully into the pool. The hot water speeding up the contractions and his arrival 3 and a half hours later. This time with father in the pool and our doula at my back.
(the midwife arrived a half hour later).
This is what I originally had written for this mystery, but there was this niggling at the outer edges of my awareness, what really wants to be said? Thinking and writing about my childbirth experiences, and the work that I’ve done on myself, brings me new revelations around the true impact of how the process of giving birth actually affected me then and continues to reverberate, not just in the physical sense but all the many energetic layers that are only revealed at the right & correct time and space.
I was 30 when I had my first child. Honestly, up until that point in my life, I hadn’t given it too much thought. I wasn’t feeling any ticking of a biological clock. In fact, I could say, I was barely in my body at all. But, you don’t know things until you know them. I used to jokingly say how I related to the quote in James Joyce’s short story, “A Painful Case”; “Mr. Duffy lived a short distance from his body.” For me, travelling back into the physical Mary began when I worked through the 12 steps in recovery. In particular, generating an inventory, part of which involved one’s sexual history. Writing down all of my experiences (and mis-adventures) brought up 2 very distinct points. I had experienced sexual assault and there was abuse as well, asking for and awaiting my attention.
Abuse of any kind is a tricky, complex, and multi-layered subject to discuss and the historical journey in recovery was just the first opening into what is still being uncovered. I think I always knew something was amiss, that there was something calling to me from way out in the peripheries of my consciousness. There were many pieces from my childhood that weren’t fitting together, floating and indiscernible, adrift. One of those pieces came in the form of a dream that repeated over several years until it abruptly stopped when I was 14. In the dream, concrete is being poured down my throat filling up all my body cavities to the top of my neck. I simply didn’t have a clue at the time. But the subconscious had found a way to close off and contain the inner Mary, concretize it, if you will. A place where the true essence of me could not be harmed. Of course, what this did was shut me off from living as full a life as I could have had. But the soul finds homeostasis for survival, innately protecting itself in whatever way it knows how.
A few years ago I was at a gathering where a somatic bodyworker was speaking about clients being triggered and issues coming up for them while they were receiving bodywork. She said, “For many, the incidents occurred pre-verbal”. And my insides shouted YES! As I sat in my chair, in the audience, there was so much aliveness happening in my cells, in my bones and through and into the marrow. You know when something is happening so intensely on the inside and you’re certain it’s showing on the outside?! It was such a profound revelation. Over the course of the next few days and weeks many of the individual puzzle pieces; thoughts, memories and intuitions began to fit together and found a place to land. This puzzle revealed a story of being inappropriately touched most likely by my pediatrician, and perhaps others, I can’t say, before I had the words to speak, defend/stand up for myself. The message, given to me at such an early age, directly into my cells, “your body is not your own”. And, as I moved through puberty and my own sexual awakening I thought, was being directed by these same cells, that I was supposed to be available to anyone who wanted me.
Water as source, as womb and beginning as birth as death as cycles. The tides of the ocean. Always having felt this deep knowing and connection with Our Lady; bringing children into this world was at first a surprise and then a direction given from HER. It’s time. These births awakened history that was calling to be brought into my awareness for healing and forgiving and for integration.
“What I am asking of you is what a parent asks of a child who is being taught to swim. First they must learn to trust the water and know that its embrace will lift them up. Children are born knowing that they can float and need only lift their heads and move their arms and legs in order to swim. The knowledge that will guide you through the trials you are currently entering is a thousand fathoms deep. I am your Mother who tells you these things. I tell you nothing but what is true.”
Our Lady Speaks 5/16/2020***
* The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth,
by Monica Sjoo & Barbara Mor*
Our Lady Speaks: found on Way of the Rose website:https://wayoftherose.org/