Tuesday, December 7, 2010

#14 continued: Learning How to Initiate Birth Peeps

Dear Birth Peeps,

We may need to start a new blog thread in 2011 for Rituals, Retreats, and Ceremonies for Birth Peeps--so that we can fully explore the potential of this much-needed change. We need an ongoing dialogue to fully understand what is needed, and to begin to deliberately and mindfully experiment to find out what would work in our culture--and then to do lots more of it. Perhaps in a decade or two, this idea of "initiating birth peeps" will have deep roots and bear fruit. It is not a change that can come quickly, or easily. This is because in the West we have not been raised to understand, expect,participate or lead, rituals and ceremonies for education/career transitions in life.

We must acknowledge that the holistic education of a Birth Peep must include personal and spiritual growth, and not merely the accumulation of facts, the demonstration of skills, or the passing of a certification/licensing exam.

There are many reasons and ways to experience ceremony. In general, Western people tend to think of ceremonies as "celebrations." Most of us have no training or tradition in creating ritual and ceremony, so we are experimenting--and this is a start. We like to keep things fun, light, and safe--so we set a date and place and invite people to come, including the "guest of honor." And then events, the "ceremony," the beading or singing....unfolds. Like being invited to a wedding where we "watch"...

It will not be enough to throw the Birth Peep graduate a party in which a novel ceremony is done "for" her or him. In traditional and wise cultures (now disappearing from the earth), the initiate had to fully participate in preparation for her/his ceremony. They were guided by "One Who Knows" (an elder), often put in seclusion, fasting, and had tasks to complete. Traditionally, a Great Story was told as "map," and preparation included risk, near death risk... so that the initiate's old self would die allowing a new self to be born. The preparation was itself a soulful journey, taking the initiate away from an old life, perhaps healing the wounds of the training itself, toward new understanding and self-knowledge.

We don't know how to do this anymore. We can't imitate it or we might cause literal loss of life as happened in Colorado with the "warrior" sweat lodge. We must learn it. Let us acknowledge that we are pilgrims on our own journey of preparation.

This Change is not everyone's Call. If it is yours, you must undergo patient preparation and training in order to plant these Seeds of Healing.

In-Respect, and in-Hope for Change,
I am,

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much!
    Your posts on Initiation have struck me deeply, my heart has opened upon my own unique path and my eyes are seeing it more softly.
    Your work is affecting others on so many levels and it reaches further than just the birth community.
    Thank you and blessings!