Guest post from Rikki, one of our newest IBMS students.
Midwifery is one of the world’s oldest professions. Since the beginning and across cultures, women have joined other women/birthing people through the ceremony of pregnancy, labor, birth and beyond – offering their wisdom + ancient knowledge, passed down for generations. The midwife was/is more than just someone who attends birth, she was/is often the community leader, the wise woman elder, the healer. She’s a highly respected member of the community ~ an edge walker who joins the creators of life as they venture deep into the realms of mystery.
Patrisia Gonzales cites that “the Mohawk word for ‘midwife’ 𝑖𝑒𝑤𝑖𝑟𝑜𝑘𝑎𝑠, means ‘She is pulling the baby out of the water, or out of the earth, or a dark wet place.’” This is the description I honor and resonate most deeply with as it is true both literally and symbolically. The birthing body is the earth from which new life comes into being, the dark wet + watery place both the womb and the cave of all yet to take form. I interpret “pulling” to be within the same context as the moon that pulls on fluid both internal and external. Her very existence a sacred song that calls to you.
The herstory of midwifery is both beautiful and deeply painful. I can feel the trauma of systematic generational oppression and the forceful cold of manufactured patriarchy with every breath. I recommend diving deep into the herstory of midwifery and obstetrics to better understand the harmful, disempowering, and unfortunately prevalent modern birth practices of today and how this informs and perpetuates the current state of our world. Even with all we face, I know that the divine feminine is stronger than any capitalist, imperialist, violent/manmade regime. I, one day, hope to honor the title of midwife and share in sacred space with my global sisters. I hope to see you there.
I’m immensely grateful for our midwives that so courageously continue this essential lineage. Endless thanks and blessings.