The stories of Goddesses cross all cultures from Egyptian to Greek, Nordic, Roman, Celtic, Hindu and Asian. Goddesses represent the seasons, times of harvest, moon and sun, physical and emotional attributes. Goddesses have existed based on archetypes of human traits that are deep in our psyche. Archetypes stem from unconscious and instinctive patterns that we learn through our experiences. Goddesses become expressions of these traits and experiences through iconic representations and stories.
Goddesses are not necessarily all good or all bad. They have both light and dark sides to their personalities. This idea of light and dark is the same yin and yang concept found in Chinese philosophy and medicine. All things in nature have light and dark, mountains and valleys, rest and movement, feminine and masculine.
Why are we talking about goddesses? There has been a greater conversation and in-depth study of women’s changing roles in society. Stories about goddesses can provide a compass for navigating and discovering our inner strengths and weakness. Most women today are self directed and able to fulfill their own dreams.
Women in most recent times do not need the consent of a man to create their own destiny. The issues that women dealt with hundreds of years ago however are still relevant today. The darker aspects of our nature can at times hold us back. We may have deep down feelings of self-doubt or lack the confidence to completely attain our goals. I particularly see this happening with women getting pregnant and birthing.
Aphrodite is the goddess of love and female physical maturity. Demeter is the mother goddess representing maternal instinct, nurturer and provider of grain. In the realm of pregnancy and birth, much of our goddess power has been taken away by current medical practices. Birthing has gone from being a normal bodily experience to a medical disease (ie a functional abnormality) that must be managed with interventions.
I have recently been a volunteer as a doula at a local hospital. A doula is a woman who helps another woman labor and birth. She can also assist Mom in getting baby to first latch on with breastfeeding. There are also doulas that can help post-partum to assist Mom at home after birth. It has been exciting to help women labor and see them through to the birth of their child. There are so many emotions that a woman goes through from pregnancy to labor and birth such as excitement, fear, anxiety, fatigue, pain, hope and joy.
It has been frustrating to see that women do not have the full freedom to express themselves in birth. Some women have abdicated to current medical practices by asking for infusions of medication to “do the work” and take away the pain. Women need more freedom to move around while laboring to help the baby down the birth canal. It is against gravity to have a woman laying on her back while trying to push the baby down and out the birth canal. I hope that more doctors and hospitals will see the value of returning to a more natural approach to birthing. Hospitals should always be available for when emergencies arise. It is Moms who need to take back their goddess power by demanding an uninhibited and natural birth.
Quote of the Day:
“If your mind is strong, all difficult things will become easy; if your mind is weak, all easy things will become difficult.”