Birthing Rituals

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Melody Capone

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Mar 30, 1994, 8:17:00 AM3/30/94
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I am not sure if this message will go out over the nets but I am willing
to give it a try. (This is my first attempt from this board through the
nets)

I have missed a bit of the conversations going on in here so I am in
high hopes that I am not causing repetition.

I have searched diligently for months on *any* reading materials I could
find in the Pagan community on the subjects of Birthing and Wiccaning
rituals. So far the information seems to be very sparse. My husband and
I (he, Druid, I, Wiccan) are expecting our son in May of this year. I
just *know* there has to be SOMETHING out there related to the birthing
process itself. Can anyone help?

Thanks, in advance!

- Melody

Written on 03/30/94 at 08:07 ...
---
ş CmpQwk 1.40m #176 ş I can't help being me...I was born this way.

Clare Bates Congdon

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Mar 30, 1994, 12:43:58 PM3/30/94
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Thanks, in advance!

- Melody

þ CmpQwk 1.40m #176 þ I can't help being me...I was born this way.


I was the original poster of the request for birthing rituals, so I thought
I'd respond to this. I haven't yet followed up on any of the pointers I
received (I'm not due till October, and I've been nearly housebound with
morning sickness), but I thought I'd pass along those that I did receive.

(I've removed any duplicate suggestions and also stripped people's names
because I can't remember what I received via email and what was posted....hope
this doesn't offend anyone who doesn't see their name here. I was very
grateful for all the kind help I received!)

Clare
con...@eecs.umich.edu

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Hi. Ed Fitch wrote Rituals fron the Crystal Well including what he calls
a Paganing or Wiccaning for new born babies. He discusses the role of
God/dess parents in the light of the Craft. In Eight Sabbats for Witches
by J. & S. Farrar they also include a Wiccaning ceremony and discuss the
role of God/dess parents and why they included them.
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It might be nice to recreate a sort of thing modelled off of the
presence of the three Fates for the child's birth. In a lot of fairy
tales, three fairies or witches must be present at the child's birth and
will pronounce an oracle on the child. Sort of a Maiden, Mother, Crone
dealie -- or maybe even Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos from Greek myth.
Perhaps you can choose three women (or three people) to represent each
of these aspects of Weaver, Spinner, and Cutter who will pronounce good
fortune for the kid.
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I can't remember now which book it was but one of the Mary
Poppins books (not the movie books but the original ones)
had a great 'tale' as told by the new born Annabel to the
bird in her window (and either Mary or the sunbeam; I can't
remember which). If you are interested, let me know and
I'll dig out the book and maybe some excerpts. It was great
something all the lines of "I came from the dark and on my
path I saw.....". I always wanted to use it in a birth
ritual as a celebration of new life.
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>It's naive question time. I'm wondering if there are any pagan rituals
>associated with birth or young children. Pointers to books are also welcomed.

A 'blessing way'. While there was some talk about women only blessings,
being a man, I've never been to one, and cannot comment. But the onout women only blessings,
being a man, I've never been to one, and cannot comment. But the ones'
that I have been too involve gathering the community around the pregnant
woman, or newborn child and parents and everyone wishing (working a spell
for) the child and mother what they want for the child, or wish for the
child. It is wonderful, and I highly recommend it. It can be
accompanied by hands on or other methods to direct the energy. You might
want to create a sacred space first (however your tradition does this)
and to raise energy after to seal the wishes or otherwise bind and
release them.
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In the Farrar's Eight Sabbats for Witches, there is something they
call Wiccaning, which fits the bill.

Data:
=====
Authors: Janet & Stewart Farrar
Title: Eight Sabbats for Witches
Publisher: Phoenix Publishing Inc.
Portal Way
PO Box 10
Custer, WS 98240
USA
Illustrations: Line illustrations by Stewart Farrar
Photographs by Stewart Farrar and Ian David
Copyright: 1981
ISBN: 0-919345-26-3
Price: 14,95 USD for the 1988 hardcover edition I have.

There's a review of it available for anonymous ftp from
ftp.lysator.liu.se in /pub/religion/neopagan/Books/Reviews/farrar8.
Another wiccaning ritual is in
/pub/religion/neopagan/Rituals/Kids/wiccaning.
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> In the Farrar's Eight Sabbats for Witches, there is something they
> call Wiccaning, which fits the bill.

Just for reference, this book is included in "A Witches' Bible Compleat"
in the US -- this volume also including "The Witches' Way"
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_The Heart of the Fire_ by Cerridwen Fallingstar is a wonderful piece of
fiction which gives us a look into what life might have been like at the
beginning of the Inquistion. In it is a beautiful rite to welcome and
protect an infant; it had the feel of authenticity. It makes good reading
while seeking the pages of the rite. Enjoy.
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I can't remember if there was a birth ritual in there or not but
it is a wonderful book. (My editor just gave me the go ahead to approach
the author for an interview. YAY! *8)X ) And I do recommend it. If you
can't find the book try Buckland's Guide to Witchcraft, I'm pretty sure
there's one in there.

[cbc note: I have no idea what the "wonderful book" refers to, but I include
this one for the Buckland reference.]
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[cbc note: this I know was posted, so I leave the original posters name]

I found my notes on the wiccaning rite in _The Heart of the Fire_ by
Cerridwen Fallingstar. I have fleshed them out for my own purpose, and at
this point cannot recall what is mine and what is CF's. I include them here
for those interested:

HPS: Spring is come
The lambing begun
Out of the Earth, out of the Air
Out of the Water, out of the Fire
A child is born.
Welcome we now [child's name]!

The child is dipped in a cauldron of warm water, and then wrapped in a
shirt of the opposite sex. The child is taken in arms and address by the HPS:

Do not forget, what seems the most different from you is not
different, but a part of yourself, a mirror to your deepest
nature.

She offers child to the quarters:

East: Let the air come
That bears the hawk
That brings the clouds
And the life-giving rain.
Let the air come now
To be a friend and guardian
To [child].

South: Let the fire come
That shines in the sun
That shines in the heart
And opens the womb.
Let the fire come now
To be a friend and guardian
To ...

West: Let the water come
That freshens the pool
That moves with the moon
And boils in the cauldron
Let the water come now
To be a friend and guardian
To ...

NAnd boils in the cauldron
Let the water come now
To be a friend and guardian
To ...

North: Let the earth come
That gives the grain
That is flower an dfruit
And the deep hidden caves.
Let the Earth come now
To be a friend and guardian
To ...

The HPS tucks child in a willow basket lined with virgin white linen,
tucking the cloth under the child's chin. The basket is handed to the
mother, who holds it toward the HPS & HP.

HPS says:
"Lord of Grain" while placing a loaf of bread on the cloth
"Mother of Milk" while placing cheese next to the bread
"Fire of immortality" whirling taper of fire 3 times over basket

Mother stands holding the basket in her arms. The HP holds his hands as
high as he can reach over the basket, while the HPS lays her hands upon
the earth beneath it. Slowly, with barely perceptible movement, they
bring their hands closer together as an expectant warbling hum rises
among the gathering. As their hands meet the basket, signifying the
meeting of heaven and earth, shrieks & skirls of excitement burst from
every mouth. The pagan baptismal (seining?) is complete, the survival of
the child as assured as the community's magic can make it.


Blessings upon you all
Amberlyn
ambe...@bga.com
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'Mary Poppins Comes Back' (by P.L.Travers) has the chapter I think would be neat
as a birth ritual. It is the chapter called The New One. In it, Annabel is
talking to the Breeze and the Sunlight and the Starling and his fledgling. She
tells the story of where she came from to the fledgling. It starts with
"I come from the Dark where all things have their beginning. I come from the
sea and its tides. I come from the sky and its stars; I come from the sun and
its brightness...."

I really think it is a nice little piece.

Also, if you are interested, in the same book is a neat chapter called The
Evening Out in which all the constellations come to earth to pay homage to Mary.
And in the first book, 'Mary Poppins' the chapter called Full Moon is another
tale in which Mary is paid homage.

You should be able to find the paperback versions in a good-sized bookstore in
the children's section. I started my collection in Reading at Blackwells and
got the remainder in St. Thomas. There are five books - I only have three plus
the Mary Poppins cookbook which I got for fun.
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I got a chance to type the whole thing in. Sorry it tooks so
long. I was swamped.

Annabel, newest Banks, is talking to the Sunlight and the Breeze.
The Starling brings his Fledgling by to meet her and hear her
story. I'm leaving bits out (the conversation).

"I am earth and air and fire and water. I come from the Dark
where all things have their beginning. I come from the sea and
its tides. I come from the sky and its stars; I come from the
sun and its brightness; And I come from the forests of earth.
Slowly I moved at first, always sleeping and dreaming. I
remembered all I had been, and I thought of all I shall be. And
when I had dreamed my dream, I awoke and came swiftly. I heard
the stars singing as I came and I felt warm wings about me. I
passed the beasts of the jungle and came through the dark, deep
waters. It was a long journey."

She goes on about how she will never forget and the Starling says
she will in a weeks time. And she does. There are lots of other
descriptions that seem to be rituals. The Mary Poppins series is
one I definitely recommend for your library.
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Elspeth Sapphire

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Apr 1, 1994, 2:16:37 PM4/1/94
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melody...@kpalace.clark.net (Melody Capone) writes:
-> I have searched diligently for months on *any* reading materials I could
-> find in the Pagan community on the subjects of Birthing and Wiccaning
-> rituals. So far the information seems to be very sparse. My husband and
-> I (he, Druid, I, Wiccan) are expecting our son in May of this year. I
-> just *know* there has to be SOMETHING out there related to the birthing
-> process itself. Can anyone help?
There is a book called Witchcraft Today: Book Two...Modern Rites of
Passage. It has a chapter on giving birth. Edited by Chas S.
Clifton. It lists the following books as useful guides:

Special Delivery by Rahima Baldwin
Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin
Mind Over Labor by Carl Jones
Visualizations for Easier Childbirth by Carl Jones

And several more. :)

There is a Wiccaning rite in one of the Farrar books, but I can't
remember which. I THINK it is The Eight Sabbats.

Elspeth Sapphire

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