This is my calendar of life, the start of life as a family. Mine started in the autumn. Families start in different times, different places and different ways.
In our journey to family there have been many times our children have spoken to us in many ways and at different times. Before conception, during pregnancy, at the moments of birth and as they enter into this world. They have spoken in words, pictures, thoughts, dreams and feelings.
The journey from maiden to mother is a spiral that pervades all things, the dawn, noon, evening and night.
Spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Planting, cultivating, harvesting and leaving fallow.
Maidenhood is like a tree gentle and frail, new, still bending in the wind, still finding its roots. The wind may blow you in many ways until you feel comfortable in the place you are now.
Motherhood is a time of bearing fruit, having put down good roots.
Cronehood is a time to enjoy the knowledge gained over the years and to support others with the strength you have gained. They will return the strength to help you.
Autumn Equinox, a time of rich fruitfulness
The fields are all brown and seem to be empty but within that emptiness there is great potential. The potential of all life to come and the nourishment for that life to take place.
In the woods the trees cast down their fruit and seeds into the womb of Mother Earth as the egg within you falls into the softness of the womb.
All is potential for new life.
Long before the child is conceived in the body it is conceived in the mind. The thoughts, prayers and wishes for the child lead the journey into the cycle of life, birth and beyond.
A child is journeying to you. Where will you meet? Who travels forth first? The mother or child?
The relationship between mother and child begins the first time the child is thought of, the life becomes into being. As a thought or prayer. The ground and seed of the child, the body of the mother and the father should be ready for the child physically, emotionally and spiritually.
This is a journey you should try to make together so the child can be nurtured into a strong and healthy fruit. Starting with a conscious conception, love, thought and knowledge and empowerment for the child’s being. Physically there is much that can be done to aid the journey of the child into this life. Ensuring that the body is in the best health to support a pregnancy can ensure that the harvest is good and strong.
Good reading, good food, good thoughts and happiness where it is possible.
Cleanse your body and your emotions. Take time to work through your thoughts about birth.
Follow your intuition and enjoy the things that make you feel good.
Love life. You are miraculous.
Eat well, live well and think well.
Nurture your mind, your body and your soul.
Samhain to Winter Solstice
In the woods the trees are growing, deep in the earth gaining their strength from the leaves that fell in the autumn, making the soil fertile.
Learn from those who have gone before you in your life, your mother, grandmothers, aunts, sisters. Their leaves are on your family tree. How can they help you gain knowledge?
The gales are blowing outside and the very first points of green are beginning to show in the fields. Below the ground where no one sees there is a wealth of activity.
The seed is swelling and growing and great things are happening invisible to our eyes.
Since the sowing there has been much sun, wind, and rain but the seeds sit firm and tight.
Within the womb your child takes shape. Your outer eye sees nothing. Use your inner eyes to see your child.
Some seeds may be lost, others make firm roots and grow strongly long before you see the outward signs of the harvest to come. It is hard to just trust what is happening, but we must.
In the darkness of your winter contemplate the warmth of the spring time to come.
Imbolc to Oestra
The power of the sun is all-pervading. It gives life to all things.
Reach for your full potential for within you is the whole universe.
Look at the sun, the moon and the stars.
The moon guides you along its orbit.
Your child now swims in a sea of tranquillity, turning and eclipsing, reaching out into space, catching stars.
Peace brings joy, quiet time with your child within you.
Contemplate the moon and the stars and the pure light they reflect on you. Reflected from the sun across the universe.
Take time to communicate with the child within you, feel the sense and wellbeing of living in the light, care for your child, trust and work with those who follow the same light as you.
Take time at night to go and watch the moon, see the stars, the infinite variety and number; each child is such a star.
Lie in the sun if possible, feel its warmth against your skin, show the sun the waxing moon of your belly.
As summer comes the strength of the sun develops. Its energies pervade all things, adding strength and power. The child within pervades all things, using the strength and power you share.
Beltane to Summer Solstice
Look forward and past. Look what has come before; from the beginning of time women have been birthing their children with ritual and thought.
Letting Nature take its course in the spiral of life. You have accomplished a great deal.
Enjoy your body doing its work. You are the union of knowledge and power, the union of male and female, the union of darkness and light.
From here in the cycle of the seasons the sun begins to fade in strength. It journeys to cooler days; it has reached its zenith.
Nature’s growth is at its most dynamic within the fields, within you.
In the fields the wheat grows green and tall, the seeds within it are formed but in need of more time in the sun, the wind and the rain, time, space, peace and love.
The pregnancy continues like the ears of wheat growing and maturing, filling out.
The seasons move on, the daylight becomes less. The dark times are longer but time remains the same. The moon waxes and wanes, swelling to its greatness, as you begin to. Watch with the moon; watch her swell as you do.
The moon has waxed and waned as many times as women have birthed; you follow one of those cycles. So did your ancestors.
Mother moon guides your cycles. Trust her, enjoy her, wax and wane with her. Contemplate pregnancies past, present and future.
Within you is your child; with that child is the potential for life of their children; within you are generations to follow. You carry your grandchildren and those beyond.
In the fields the sun’s power with the wind and rain has ripened the wheat to near perfection.
The wheat has changed from green to gold. It bows its head as your child does within the tightness of the womb.
The fruits of summer are ripening, swelling and sweetening.
The sun begins to lose its intensity; it has given much to the harvest. You too tire easily, your harvest swelling and sweetening within you.
From the grain, to the shoot, to the ear of wheat full with grains for the next generation.
The wheat will be harvested and separated from the earth.
The child leaves the earth womb to be born into the light of the new world.
The spiral continues.
Take an egg and contemplate the gold of the sun surrounded with the white of the Goddess in her maiden’s gown surrounded safe within the shell of protection.
Consider the potential of the egg to nurture the chick as you encourage your child to grow within you.
Consider Persephone and the journey from the underworld and Brigit the keeper of the sacred fire.
What sparks fire your imagination? In your inner being what do you find?
From the first whiteness of the snowdrop, the white of the Goddess to the yolk yellow of the daffodil.
The sunshine time moves on apace to Oestra and the potent symbols of eggs. The life within protected by the life without.
Kirsten Millinson lives in Lincolnshire and is a qualified nurse. She has four children, three born at home, and is a homebirth support worker. She also supports those leaving this life, and assists children and young adults who have lost a sibling. (Accurate at the time this issue went to print).
First published in Issue 31 (Spring 2013) of JUNO: