Friday, July 22, 2011

Seventh Birth Story Gate:: the Poetress

Dear Birth Peeps,

Seventh Gate: The Poet

There is a time and place for everything. The Poet cannot be awakened in us, before it is our Time. If we try to “fake” it, our poems will be superficial, shallow, sound byte affirmations that sound good, but do not truly resonate in us.
When a birth story is told too linearly or objectively, the storyteller and story-listener may not tap into deeper feelings, images, bodily sensations and poetic metaphors that capture the heart of the story.

There is irony in this part of ascent homeward. While the woman is ascending out of her underworld, suddenly she finds herself in a private descent, turning her attention inward. Instead of looking to others to affirm, validate, approve, or explain her experience, she finally begins to listen deeply to her own Heart’s Questions and to her own counsel.

Almost parallel to the Poet is the solitary figure of a mother walking, carrying her infant on her back. She represents the storyteller's journey into new territory as she searches for her scattered story bones and bits. This she does even as she goes about caring for her baby and other activities of daily living.

Golden Paper
The folded stream of paper upon which the Poet writes is a continuation of the electronic fetal monitor paper.
Gold represents balance and the sun; the moon is associated with the Feminine, and the Sun with the Masculine. The woman returning home from a profoundly Feminine—almost wordless experience—is finding her words (often associated with the masculine energy) to describe—for herself—the meaning of what happened and what she now knows about herself.

Two Snakes 
When I was in Peru, I visited a small hidden cave. The entrance to the ancient cave had been known to the ancients who painted, on either side of the cave’s opening, two snakes; a black one and a white one. Snakes often get a bad rap nowadays; the mere mention of snakes elicits a squeamish response. But the ancients made positive associates between the attributes of snakes and human psyche. Snakes shed their skin after they grow. When the Poet writes and speaks from her belly and heart, she too is shedding a former story for a new one that has been growing in her.
Two Ducks
“Getting our ducks all in a row” needed to be painted in the Preparation Quadrant of this mandala. That’s what novice initiates try to do and to maintain during their Descent. After the shattering and during the Return, we try to get those scattered ducks back in a row. We want things to go back to “the way they used to be.”

Ha! After an initiation, after the old self dies and the new self is born, things will never be and can never be the way they “used to be.” Hence, you can see two squawking Ducks in close proximity to the Sixth Gate!

* * *

If you want to be a Birth Story Listener and healer, become comfortable with solitude. You must be able to carry your own Deepest Question into new territory. Only then can you reach your yet unspoken Words, your personal myth and "poetry," and be able to write and speak your own truth on Golden Paper.

If you want to see the images better, click on them They should open. I look forward to your comments and responses.

In-Love & Solitude,




  1. This has been the most powerful gate for me so far. I had a wonderful birth experience and got so used to the story I would tell. When my son, now 15 months, was about 8 or 9 months old, my doula sent me some pictures she had taken during the birthing process. They really caused me to sit and think about what had actually happened during my experience, and an entirely different story appeared before me, one that taught me more about myself than I had imagined.

  2. Dear Pam,

    This snapshot brings with it some great revelations.

    It is indeed so important that we learn as a society to embrace the woman on her Return. This piece of life, when you have been initiated and finally have the ability to really recognize what it is you have been through is very powerful and full of great wisdom. Unfortunately for most of us, there is a cultural sense that the Birth Story is not important or valid once you his three or four months post-Birth. Isn't this when the story is just forming fully and cohesively and really getting its momentum?

    And referring to her as the graceful. It truly captures that part of the Birth Journey and how a woman feels as she finds herself in solitude more frequently, diving inwards, recognizing all of her triumphs and set-back on the journey thus far.

    I feel like that title "Poetress" will stay with me throughout my life-time. Thank you for it.