Wise Woman Ezine with herbalist Susun Weed
January 2006
Volume 6 Number 1
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What's Inside Wise Woman Herbal Ezine this Month...


Childbearing & Mothering ...
Remember Me: Sacred Ground
The Deep Ecology of the Family
by Jeannine Parvati Baker
Author of Conscious Conception


A woman who fills rooms and hearts with so much love and energy can never really die. Jeannine Parvati Baker won't be there to answer emails or phone calls but don't ever doubt that she gets all messages from our dreams and our ecstacies. Our friend, our sister, and our champion Jeaninne is now in HER lap. ~ Susun Weed, 11th of Dec, '05

Remember Me: Sacred Ground
The Deep Ecology of the Family

Copyright © Jeannine Parvati Baker
Author of Conscious Conception

"The primitive experience of the Goddess is not one of fear and torment, it is one of perfect familiarity and respect. When the Nez Perce Indians of North America were presented with the prospect of agriculture as a means of survival, their spokesman, Smohalla, very rightly replied: ‘My young men shall never work. Men who work cannot dream and wisdom comes in dreams. You ask me to plough the ground.

Shall I take a knife and tear my mother's breast? Then when I die I cannot enter her body and be born again. You ask me to cut grass and make hay and sell it and be rich like the white man. But how can I cut off my mother's hair? It is bad law and my people cannot obey it. I want my people to stay with me here. All the dead humans will come to life again. We must wait here in the house of our ancestors and be ready to meet in the body of our mother.’" (Caitlin Matthews, Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom, 25)Art by Sue Miller

The devastating decline in the quality of our environment dovetails with the degeneration of the psychological sensitivity to conception, birth and the breastfeeding period in technocratic cultures. Co-arising with psychotherapy in these last few generations is the medicalization of the perinatal experience. How has psychology (unwittingly) contributed to the decline of childbirth and our planet?

Birth has been removed from the sacred ground of home and brought to hospital. The separation from the spiritual context of family and community has lent its imprint to life's beginning. Treated largely as a manageable physical event devoid of mystery, obstetrics has transformed woman into an object from which the patient is extracted.

Coincidentally our planet has been transformed from living source, our sacred ground, into a thing to exploit.

Psychology, in its behavioral, scientific modalities, likewise emphasizes subject/object relations and child developmental models, fixes symptoms on the Procrustean bed of the dominant culture, and shores up the ego's illusion of linear time (to name just a few ways theorists and therapists contribute to ecological disaster).

Pre and perinatal psychology would benefit by revisioning its theories in the light of partnership culture. Conscious conception and freebirth focus on a sacred sexuality, which is gender balanced and remembers our integral relationship with the earth. A deep ecology of family is supported by reclaiming the perinatal period from the experts, be they medical or psychological. Pre and perinatal psychologists can empower by divesting ourselves from the dominant model of birth as secular event and reminding one another that fertile sexuality and the bringing forth of new life is potentially sacred work.

Honoring the mother as sacred ground, we can remember that we are of that holy source. Pre and perinatal psychology holds the possibility of realizing that we are still related to our original ground. Soul holds us in that primal relationship and as psychologists and perinatal professionals, we have the responsibility to remember that healing one mother, is healing the earth.

Birth offers us the remembrance that each of us is the One Mother. And who is She? She was Creatrix, Source, Weaver of Life. From Her breasts streamed the Milky Way. Now she is anesthetized patient, surrounded by paid paranoids who, rather than witness the Mystery whence all life comes, MANage the medical event.

Art by Sue MillerChildbearing offers access into ecstatic dimensions of consciousness yet how many women and men becoming parents realize this? The thrust of this presentation focuses on spirituality (or lack thereof) in technocratic culture and how this has an impact on the felt experience of conception, pregnancy, birth and lactation as sexual experience.

In Judeo-Christian culture, which constellates believers as children of God, embodying mature sexuality is problematic. Further, in patriarchal religions, woman as powerful creatrix is also missing. Our dominant religious milieu evokes obstetrics- doctor as priest to deliver us from our original condition, which is embodiment through a woman's body, spirit encased in flash.

"... because of human alienation from the Ground of our Being, we have developed gender definitions that are distorted. And then Christians... have legitimated those gender distortions by settling exclusively into certain biblical metaphors for God until those metaphors have developed the force of an idol. We have spoken of God as our Father, our King, and our Master so exclusively that we have forgotten the many other biblical metaphors that depict God in ways that would undercut male primacy and female secondariness and teach us a partnership model of relating." (Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, Sensuous Spirituality, 84.)

New body parables that express the creative power, the wilderness of woman's soul and the holy nature of pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding are sorely needed. Pleasure and pain must be revisioned through a metaethics of partnership, in light of the new gender complementariness rather than dominion and separation. Our fear of pain, the other gender and a punishing God are related- and traditionally the opiates of childbirth anesthesia, avoidance of conscious heterosexuality and religious dogma have been the strategies employed to distract us from realizing that, from the soul’s perspective, sexuality is spiritually.

From the current "war on drugs" to the obstetrical theater, to the church and temple, people are seeking safety from the raw power of life. Yet birth is as safe as life gets. The ways we scare ourselves from being wild woman, mother, midwife and healer are rooted in fears fed by the dominant culture. To revision God from being only Father, or Father and Son, or even Divine Parents can help us become free to be fully inspired lovers, connected to our power to be our own healers.

If we can embrace ecstasy as original condition, rather than the Gnostic view that we are imprisoned in matter, we can be co-creators of this world. Thus empowered as mature, sexually and spiritually alive adults, we can more effectively help heal our earth. Rather, if we are like children, where conception, birth and the postpartum period are things that happen to us and through which we are rescued from our responsibility, how effective can we be in changing the condition of our shared planet?

"Within our own time, the attempt to reevaluate the birth experience has gone hand in hand with feminism. It is no longer necessary for most women in the West to endure the most painful of birth positions which has been the Western ‘norm’ in hospitals: that of lying on the back. Creative application of ‘primitive’ birth positions- walking, squatting, and kneeling—have been adapted by Western women with great results. Birth is, after all, something a woman does herself, not something that is done to her.

"We have tended to treat cosmology in the same way- it has been laid on its back and the forceps applied to produce a strange metaphorical product. The birthing Goddess has been replaced by the Father, Son and Spirit. Physical creations, the Goddess and Woman have been polarized to the preferred metaphors of mental creativity, the Divine Masculine and Art by Sue MillerMan.

"The earth wisdom of the surviving native traditions of our planet speaks of a simplicity which our world lacks. It is a wisdom which addresses the heart, recognizing our kinship with each other and the rest of creation.

It is sacramental and incarnational rather than transcendent in its approach to spirituality. It has humility, which frequently underscores our ‘civilized’ paranoia.

For the native traditions, the Earth Mother is a reality: the earth which feeds us and gives us plentifully all that we need." (Caitlin Matthews, Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom, 24-25)

A spirituality which recognizes that matter is holy, sexuality is life-force, and the genders are partners can bring ecstasy back to birth, not as hyperbolic possibility but actuality. Living ecstatically in the present moment can bring a greater ability to respond to what presents itself for healing. This is where spirituality, sexuality and ecology all converge. Let us take solace in our eccentricity as pre and perinatal psychologists. This is how circles work in evolution: as spirals. Outcaste—out of the circle—cast out—incarnation—birth—death. Yes. How can anyone be outside the great round of being, for wherever we are in the journey we are always, already home.

This is my organizing question: When will the Goddess return to our culture?

"When every woman can deliver naturally. When we hold women high enough to have true respect for women’s bodies & power of birth, the Goddess will be honored. In order for this to happen, we will have to honor differences in men and women. When sex & birth become sacred again, and we respect her ceremonies, she will return." (Hygieia College student)

I say, She is here now already.

In summation, pre & perinatal psychology cares for the deep ecology of the family through conscious conception and freebirth, soul-making partnerships at source. Healing one mother is healing our earth.

Remember Me: Sacred Ground; PPPANA 6th International Congress

Jeannine Parvati Baker ~ mother, eco-activist, healer and midwife. Her Master’s work in Psychology is on female sexuality. Founder of Hygieia College, a Mystery School for perinatal professionals and others who care about birth. Co-founder of Six Directions, a nonprofit educational and charitable corporation devoted to optimal family and planetary health. Her work has been published several times in our PPPANA Journal and widely anthologized (see Who Is Who in U.S. Writers, Editors & Poets, Who Is Who Women’s International, for a more complete listing).


Jeannine Parvati Baker
Wise Woman, Writer, Healer and BirthKeeper

passed from this world
December 1 at 11:11am

Jeannine Parvati Baker devoted her life
to protect the rights of mothers and babies
to enjoy safe, beautiful, nonviolent births.

"As a spiritual midwife,
my primary responsibility
is to empower the mother
to give birth spontaneously."
Jeannine Parvati Baker

Conscious Conception by Jeannine Parvati BakerConscious Conception by Jeanine Parvati Baker is the comprehensive reference for fertility awareness. All natural methods of family planning, both ancient and current, are presented within the larger context of sexuality and an evolving spirituality, which embraces the religious wisdom traditions and goes beyond.

"This book is a beautiful, breath of fresh air! Ms. Baker is a goddess, and will thoroughly help you to see the goddess within yourself. What can I say about this lovely work of art? As you meditate through the words of this "bible", you will begin to cultivate a fertile self you never knew you had. I bought this book to help with my fertility problems, and it is wonderful in this aspect, but it is oh, so much more! Please read this book."

Order Jeanine Parvati Baker's book at our bookshop
Or order via mail: Ash Tree Publishing PO Box 64 Woodstock, NY 12498 include a check or money order for $29.95 (CONSCIOUS CONCEPTION retails for $25.00 plus $4.95 shipping)



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