Morning Prayer


Mother to All That Is
Mother to All That Is

This Morning

this morning I am pregnant with all that is to come today.

may i give birth joyously to that which longs to be.

may i no longer fear the birthing process.

may i let go, knowing that all that holds me is Grace itself.

This photo is one I took on my trip through Ireland. It is an image of a Sheela na gig on the underside of the Kildare Cathedral tomb of Bishop Wellesley, in County Kildare, Ireland. The image is occluded, or hidden, on the underside of the tomb.

There are many theories as to the origin of and meaning behind the Sheela na gig, but nothing is known for sure. Maureen Concannon, in her book titled “Sacred Whore“, speaks of the Sheela as a representation of the Mother Goddess, and that it is an ancient symbol of Birth, Death and Re-birth. This symbol can be a powerful entrance into the consciousness of the Great Mother.

Others have different definitions, and some question if all labeled Sheela na gigs are really Sheelas and hold the same meaning.

For me, with the little I know at this point of what the Sheela represents, what is most important is finding some opening into the realization that all women are created in the image of the Great Mother. We are all, by simply the fact we were born into a female body, capable of bringing life into life. Our bodies know things. Our bodies have instincts and intuitions. Our bodies are wise and are sacred vessels that can bring spirit into the material world.

There is something of great importance in this for where we find ourselves now as a species. Something old is dying and something new is being reborn. Women have something important to bring to this death and this rebirth, something different than men bring.

Let us discover this together, and let us be midwives to each other’s birthing of that which longs to be born. It will certainly take a village, a large and connected village, to birth that which is crowning now, right now.

And, you?

What are you birthing?

What do you fear?

Who can you ask to midwife for you?

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12 Replies to “Morning Prayer”

  1. You always know how to hit me right where my heart is, dear friend. I am feeling so much energy around the birthing process right now – trying to birth Sophia in my own life an in the people whose lives I touch.

    1. How lucky we all are that you are birthing Sophia and her wisdom. I imagine you have many midwives…I count myself as one more, one of those lucky to know you and to witness all you are becoming.

  2. Julie I know you know the power of grief to strip away layers and birth a new wholeness. I am being reborn through Ben’s death – the biggest work of my life to date. I am rediscovering and discovering who I am – both forever changed and closer to my child self than ever before. My biggest fear is that I will somehow fail in this process to shed old skins, old masks that no longer serve me. I don’t know where I’m going but I have been handed a gift that will take me to exactly where I need to be. As for midwives, I have been blessed with many and have no doubt I will need more. In celebration of all of our collective powers – as women, as the feminine, as mourners, healers, artists and seekers…let us give birth to a new world.

    1. Alana,
      Your heart, wisdom and strength never cease to amaze me. You are deep in the rebirthing process. I understand your fears…as much as I can, not being you and yet having been through the fires of grief, too. It is an intelligent process…grief that is. If you surrender to it, it will bring you out the other side. I know you know this, as you are doing it right now. In whatever way I can be of service, count me in as one of your midwives.
      As you’ve written so wisely, with such genuine hope, “let us give birth to a new world.”
      Blessings to you,

  3. Dear Julie
    What an important message to read this Monday morning!
    It resonates on so many levels and coincides with so much I can’t even begin to say!
    I am mostly, beginning (at nearly 50!) to recognize and RESPECT my bodies’ signals to me, giving it the voice that it has been longing to sound for so many years.

    And also, I am birthing…I know it, yet I have no idea what shape it’s taking yet…does that sound possible? (it’s about my work in this life) One thing I know, to accept myself through this process is KEY, yet how hard it is for me!
    With love and appreciation

  4. Yael,
    How wonderful you and your body are becoming more deeply in tune. Embodiment is the blessing.
    What you speak of about birthing, I am hearing from so many women…and I know it well myself. We know something is being born through us, yet we have no idea what it really is. It is not only possible, but is one of the many ways the feminine moves through us.
    I’m really taken by how much you do know. Sometimes the mind wants to know it all, but when we stop and see how much we know in our bodies, in the soul, we realize there is much there to move forward with. Yes, accepting yourself is key, knowing you are sacred and worthy and full of so much wisdom and gift.
    I know personally how hard it is…one reason I started Unabashedly Female, to own our worth and value as women, to live it, to share it, to realize that what we are is exactly what Spirit created us as…no accident, and nothing to apologize for.
    With love and appreciation to you, too, dear.
    Many, many blessings.

      1. Yael,
        I love that term. I remember with my first child thinking that there was nothing I could do but wait. In much the same way, our gift to give in this life is coming out, one way or another…we can wait, and we can also aid its birth. Good breathing helps, too!

  5. I love the Sheela na gigs. 🙂 They are also completely linked with laughter for me, in a cross-cultural mashup that I once stumbled on:
    There is a story about the Japanese sun goddess Amaterasu hiding her face in sadness and anger, and only being lured back out to shine her light upon the earth by Uzume, a naked laughing goddess who also spreads her vulva open, for the sake of causing Amaterasu to laugh in kinship and delight.
    Women together, sheela na gigs, bloggers, laughers, goddesses, all.

    What am I birthing? I am finally birthing my blog,
    What do I fear? That if I try to tell y’all about it, the only response will be resounding uncaring silence. Or resentment for what I feel is my clumsy self-centered, self-aggrandizing effort to get noticed. “She just wants attention” like it’s a bad thing. Even though Uzume’s efforts are completely about getting attention, the Sheela na gigs exposing themselves for the sake of new things birthing, joining together the laughter and the sunlight, women with each other. I’m still scared nonetheless.
    Who can I ask to midwife for me?
    I want to ask this community of women bloggers, readers, commenters; friends, fellow-travelers, supporters. Laughers and birthers in the sun. I want to ask to join the community, I want to ask for midwiving assistance. I’m afraid I don’t merit it, somehow. But I ask, anyway. I ask for some laughter, some sunlight, and some, ah, revealed feminine intimacy 😉 to help me birth open new possibility.
    Thank you.

  6. Karen,
    I am completely taken by your beautiful vulnerability and truth-telling. In the end, as far as I can see, that is what this is all about…to tell the truth. To be real.
    I am so glad you asked for this community to help midwife your birth, to support you with intimacy, laughter and tandem sun-birthing.
    One of my teachers has said the less confident we feel the better, because then the ego is not getting in the way.
    I love the story of Uzume (sounds a lot like Baubo, too). This myth shows up in so many cultures…there is something very strong and powerful in it.
    I look forward to following your blog. I will be adding services here to help aid women in birthing these gifts, but there will also be a forum and community.
    Blessings to you, Karen.
    With love,

  7. Ha! What am I NOT birthing in this wild time. Thank you for posting this today, just when I needed to read it, and to meet Sheela Na Gig – just as my own birth of fire, to fire, into fire begins.


  8. Thanks Julie for this lovely piece. How precious to witness each other’s birthing process. What an honor and how exciting!!
    “may i let go, knowing that all that holds me is Grace itself.” Beautiful
    The more I trust, the more life flows into more powerful forms of expression.
    Blessings my dear!!

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