Last year, while browsing through the Kindle store on Amazon, I made the chance discovery of a delightful little treasure of a book called Birth on the Labyrinth Path. Written by Sarah Whedon, the editor of Pagan Families, the book was very affordable and so I snapped it up and devoured it right away! (I don’t think I had any idea that it had literally just been published within a few days of my purchase.) The book’s lyrical explorations inspired a brief blog post, through which the author then discovered me. After some time spent enjoying each other’s writing on our respective blogs, she invited me to become a contributor at Pagan Families. While I don’t actually self-identify as Pagan, but instead as something more unwieldy like a Panentheistic Goddess-oriented Unitarian Universalist, I was delighted to begin contributing and find that I have stretched my horizons and come to learn new things about myself through the process of writing for a collaborative project. This week we’re celebrating the anniversary of Sarah’s lovely book with a fun giveaway and a series of thematic posts.
****Giveaway is now closed. Michelle was the winner****
This post is a companion giveaway to the book birthday celebration! You can enter to win your own e-book copy of Birth on the Labyrinth Path. The giveaway will end this Sunday at midnight, so make sure to enter soon 🙂 I’m not fancy enough yet to figure out a Rafflecopter giveaway, so I’m doing this the old-fashioned way. To enter, just leave a comment sharing anything you’d like to share about labyrinths or birth or the two together!
Also, make sure to check out my long post today at Pagan Families on the subject of life and labyrinths—perhaps better titled, “labyrinths I have known and loved,” or “labyrinths as birth art.” Here’s an excerpt:
It took me a little while, but I eventually discovered that a labyrinth is a perfect metaphor for birth and could be of potent use during birth education, as well as a tool for birth preparation and for processing one’s birth story, feelings about birth, and birth experiences. I was inspired by Pam England’s work with the LabOrinth and began to incorporate the concept into my own birth classes. Most couples seem to connect with it, regardless of their own religious background, though I think on the surface it feels a little too “New Agey” to some of them. Labyrinths are actually ancient (oldest found is 3500 years old!) and have been found in many cultures and places. According to England, they were used by midwives in England 500 years ago as tools for healing. And, centuries ago, mosaic labyrinths inlaid in the floors of churches were walked by pilgrims on their knees (those who could not actually make pilgrimages to the Holy Land in person, would crawl through the labyrinth in the church on their knees as their pilgrimage). I use the crawling example in class to explain that in the “labyrinth” of birth, you can go at your own pace and speed and you can even crawl if you need to! You can also find your own way blindfolded or walking or running or dancing.
On our last vacation day at Pismo Beach, my husband and I drew a labyrinth in the sand together with our toes and then we walked it with our family.
My best friend and I walked a labyrinth on Winter Solstice a few years back. It was made of pine and fir boughs and the large room it was in was lit with candles. One of the most memorable and beautiful solstice moments I have had. It is such a transformation, walking the labyrinth. I love the metaphor you use for birth being a labyrinth journey, each of us has a different experience on the magical path.
“While I don’t actually self-identify as Pagan, but instead as something more unwieldy like a Panentheistic Goddess-oriented Unitarian Universalist” Ha! Love it 😉 Would love to read the book!
I love your wisdom of labyrinth as metaphor for birth… It is on so many levels! Thank you, for sharing your journey with us. Blessings.
The last two labyrinths I walked were with my kidlet. One at the last spring Equinox, dancing in and through and out. He enjoyed that. The one before that, near the Autumn Equinox a year and a half prior. Dancing there too—he boogeyed inside me. So much dancing to do!
I too love the labyrinth as a birth metaphor, and heard of it through Birthing From Within Training I attended years ago. When my husband and I were on our honey moon we came across a labyrinth in a church yard and walked it together.
I am 35 weeks pregnant right now and have plans to make a labyrinth with my sisters when they arrive in a few weeks as part of my blessingway. I purchased some lovely labyrinth pendants from here (https://www.etsy.com/listing/151579823/2-labyrinth-beads-stoneware-oval?ref=shop_home_active) to give as gifts to my lovely sisters for taking my full due month off to be here for the birth.
I love labyrinths! I frequently print out a finger labyrinth as part of my Mother Blessing gift, and use it as a metaphor for the birthing process. If you stay on the path, you WILL find the center!
I have walked one labyrinth as part of a neopagan ritual (part of my native religion). I do feel how labyrinths have so much in common with preparing for birth – taking all that time to venture deeper and deeper into your mind and soul to find new beginnings and hidden strength. I will be organising a blessingway for my friend this month and plan to include a labyrinth. Liked the idea of just drawing it in sand (we live near the sea)
I love labyrinths and always want to learn more about them.
I have walked through a couple of mazes for fun but had not come across the spiritual (Pagan) aspect of walking a labyrinth until a few years ago. I was especially intrigued when I learnt recently about their use in preparing to give birth. I am yet to experience pregnancy or birth but already fully intend to find and walk local labyrinths while pregnant, I would love ti win this book and learn more.
Woohoo! I drew numbers and you’re the winner, Michelle! Congratulations!
I’ve known about labyrinths for a while but my interest has been rekindled recently as I’ve started training with Tamara Donn in The Birth Art Cafe. Tamara has trained with Pam England and I plan to incorporate labyrinths in my Birth Art Cafe sessions for mothers and I’m sure this book will give me lots of inspirational ideas!