The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
I found this wonderful book at a half price bookstore, and it has been such a treasure! It's actually #2 in a series of books called "Witchcraft Today". This book is subtitled "Modern Rites of Passage". The chapters include "Having a Magickal Child", which includes getting pregnant, being pregnant, birth, miscarriage, stillbirth and welcome rites. It goes on to explore raising your child, puberty rites, marriage, and death, and more.
As you can see, it's a wealth of knowledge, and if you can find it, BUY IT!! I'm copying/typing the birth and welcoming rites here for you. I might take some license, using summations of long passages. Print it out for your pagan moms!!!
At home, you have the option of choosing birth attendants. Each attendant should have a chore, such as chanting softly to help with concentration, keeping an eye on music or incense, and another to get water/food/other drinks for the MOTHER. The mother should be bathed in warm water and herbs to relax her, and candles lit to soften the atmosphere. Songs to the God/dess may be sung, and gentle prayers lifted for the safe delivery of the young one.
At this point, before labor becomes difficult, gifts may be given. which can be symbolic or useful. The best items are those which signify endurance and laughter, both of which will be needed in the hours ahead. This may be the origin of a baby shower! The birthing space should be tidy and friendly. Visualizations of water moving downward are extremely potent after the water has already broken. ALL attendants should be smudged, and someone should have marked the sacred space according to the parents wishes. This is hallowed ground, where a new soul is about to join you. Greet with joy, respect, and love.
In some ancient cultures, it was traditional to have a linen cloth prepared by painting a special verse, or the name of a favored God or Goddess on it. This cloth was then steeped in protective calming herbs and laid across the womb to insure safe delivery. Chamomile is an excellent choice for this, in that it is perfectly safe and naturally calming. This chore can be done by someone in attendance, perhaps even another child to help them feel included.
Some women feel that, in labor, time ceases to exist. Chanting may help keep a woman focused on the task at hand. "Solid as a rock, safe within the harbor, ancient as a stone, and strong as the sea. Solid as a rock, set deep within the mother and water that flows around me".
"born of water, cleansing, power, healing, changing,..we are"
or, one that I used, from a Tori Amos song that struck me as a birth/woman chant:
"Give me life, give me pain, give me my self again"
Ginger root compresses are used to help ease the pain of passage, and everyone should give gentle touches of reassurance, unless the mother requests NOT to be touched(LOL).
When the child is born, it should be washed in warm water, (not a problem in water birth) and immediately given to its Mother. Those in attendance join hands and sing or chant or laugh in thankfulness for the miracle before them. Offer flower petals to the wind, so that others may be similarly blessed.
Wiccaning: The amount of time you wait after birth to dedicate, bless or name your child is up to you. Ancient cultures waited three days to three months +. Choose a moment that has special significance to you. Some suggest a year and a day after conception. This date should remembered, as it could be commemorated with a passage rite when the child becomes an adult member of the family. The welcome and naming ritual should be filled with items and words that are comfortable on your lips and that reflect your feelings. The altar can be decorated with fresh flowers for new beginnings, white candles for purity, a container of milk, salt, incense and soil. This way, by touching the child's third eye, you can bless him/her life with the protection of all the elements and guardians. Everything in the room, including the gifts, should be well thought out.
Most children enjoy lively colors and clean smells. This is a joyous occasion, where you introduce your new magickal being to the world of friends and loved ones. These people need roles in this ritual, too, for their lives will influence the child in years ahead. It is also their responsibility to answer the call to tend a new soul even as you are now.
Words need not be fancy. In fact, one of the most beautiful welcoming dedications ever done was depicted in Alex Halley's novel, ROOTS. Holding the child to the sky and saying, "Behold the only thing greater than yourself" is a very empowering action. It tells the young one of all that he/she can be, and the wonders of the universe. they have entered. If you continue to foster this attitude, you cannot help but to have a very beautiful child who naturally lives in reciprocity with Mother Earth.
Do not stop your physical and spiritual care of self and child once all the commotion of birth and naming are over. This is only the first step of a long journey in which you will learn as much as your child! Now you must consider how to best raise this spirit in the magickal home and unique atmosphere which you have created from the beginning of your desire for a baby.
Gods and Goddesses for Pregnancy and Protection of Children:
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