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Great Mama, Scorpio, Cosmic Red Tent.

April 12, 2021

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We are mamas and birth workers who decided to do birth differently– and bring others along with us. We are kind, fun to work with, and great at (lovingly) calling people on their bullshit when necessary. With 11 children and 16 years of midwifery between us, we’ve learned a thing or two along the way, and Indie Birth is our space to share it all with you.

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The Menstrual Cycle, which means moon cycle, begins with blood. It begins with decay, with shedding, with darkness, just as the moon. But darkness isn’t always bad, and wasn’t always bad before men made us the villains in cute fairy tales. 

The seasonal year, too, begins with darkness: Earth winding down, trees having shed their leaves. The darkest part of the year. (Late September/ Early October with its vibrant colors that almost leave me breathless – that was Great Mama’s PMS – Earth’s New Year’s Eve). Actual New Year is dark. 

All Soul’s Day – Il Giorno dei Morti, Samhain, and something like Allerseelen would have been my ancestors’ flavors. The veil is thin. I make bone cookies that taste like almond and clove. I pack them up with some hot coffee and other goodies and we picnic at the graves of my 3rd great grandparents who lived and farmed here on my road. Their tradition would have been different, but I prefer my father’s Sicilian lineage when it comes to food (who wouldn’t?). Before we leave, we poor what’s left of the hot coffee over their graves. I hope they like it.  New Year for Earth and Seasons. 

The Sun is in scorpio, and it sets so early. Dark Scorpio, ruler of “the secrets” or the reproductive organs. 

I have heard said that when women are in labor, they leave their bodies and go to the stars and bring back with them the souls of their babies. I have take this trip. It’s real. I believe this. Only those with a womb can take this trip – to Great Mama’s Womb, to the cosmic Red Tent. 

One day some man will probably “discover” our out of body journeys and call them “science”. 

I hope not. 

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Women were persecuted and killed 

for understanding the secrets. 

In the words of men, 

midwives and healers were dangerous 

because we “understood the secrets of women”. The secrets of the shedding of blood, 

of letting go, and of bringing forth life. 

Any and all. 

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Women are mirror images of Earth. Or we are Earth. Truly, in the most practical way – look at us. Life, Death, Decay, Growth, Rest, Regeneration, Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, Productivity and Repose and all embodied within us. Born out of Great Mama’s womb above. When we bleed we go get more secrets. I am bleeding now. 

The body of Woman is the human example of right relationship with Work and Rest. And of Death and Life. 

Why do women need a dark, warm space to birth? Why do bleeding women want to curl up in a warm space and disappear for a few days? Because Great Mama’s womb is dark and warm. And because you can’t get to heaven on roller skates. To roller skate is to ovulate. 

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Big Parentheses 

(Men have built the tower of babel in every sense, and in each of its rooms there are women running on treadmills and pretending not to bleed. We are in a state of bizarre over growth. Unproductive growth. Explosive rather than implosive and that is science right there. Every modern technology relies on explosion – which Mother Earth uses for clearing out, for destruction.  

At what point did we begin to believe that the seasons had no real significance? Was it when women began to be disregarded and their own seasons were not setting the rhythm for the village any longer? How out of control that was. Or when women we “liberated” into the ways of men?)

**********************************************************

I am in a prenatal visit with a beautiful mennonite woman. We spend most of the visit talking about livestock raising, about heritage hog breeds, about chicks hatching and goats kidding and the consistency of their milk. It is beautiful. 

In the morning I get a cup of coffee and do chores while the sun comes up. I put some wood in the woodstove and get a fire going. I gather eggs and spread a little snack for the chickens before they are off to forage. I feed the goats their grains and alfalfa and dried beets. I milk Chicory and I try again to feel the baby(ies) in Yarrow’s belly, but I am not a goat midwife. I give them fresh water, and bring them into the yard to graze. I’m thankful that they mow my lawn pretty good.  Maybe I take the laundry out to the line. Pretty soon I’ll be picking veggies. 

I have tried to get into yoga, but it doesn’t seem to want to stick. I find a peacefulness in this practical work. I am glad to serve women (all kinds) who at this moment are probably out gathering eggs and milking goats. Giving birth fits right in. Midwifing fits right in. 

The starting up, the feeding and milking and organizing of the morning,

the weeding and child raising and foraging and visiting and cooking and cleaning and getting and storing and maintaining of the day

The sitting down and cleaning up and mancala playing of the evening 

And the rest of the night

It’s a micro year, it’s a woman’s body in practice. 

My body is a map, it’s a day planned out. If I follow it, if I can follow it, my estrogen and progesterone will stay in their delicately balanced dance. It’s a contra dance, I imagine. 

I can use it as a reference. 

For what to buy, what to eat, 

when to turn the lights out, 

to use lights or not in the first place. 

I personally love a lantern. 

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Easier said then done. That’s why we were put in villages but… 

As I sit with women, I hope to help in making these connections easier to see and live by. For the whole health of women, which is the whole health of us all. 

Take care of women. We are the source of life. We hold up 99% of the sky. Of this, I am convinced. Let us slow down at the end of pregnancy and forget, so we can be slow with our babies and raise strong individuals. Let us curl up (with each other in a dreamy world) and eat comfort food, listen to music, take baths, and do nothing for a few days so we can go back with the strength to hold up the sky. Because right now, it’s falling. 

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Meet the duo behind the Indie Birth Midwifery School

We are mamas and birth workers who decided to do birth differently– and bring others along with us. We are kind, fun to work with, and great at (lovingly) calling people on their bullshit when necessary. With 12 children and 18 years of midwifery between us, we’ve learned a thing or two along the way, and Indie Birth Midwifery School is our space to share it all with you.

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