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,
Remember Me: Sacred Ground
The Deep Ecology of the Family
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
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)
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.
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
"... 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
"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
"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 Man.
"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,
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
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
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
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
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."
Jeanine Parvati Baker's book
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64 Woodstock, NY 12498
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