Preparation for Mother and Baby
Amazing, simply amazing. A new level of preparation indeed.
First of all, I was nervous about writing this blog. The words I would choose, the fear of being judged. It’s not fair for me to expect a person who has not worked sufficiently with the Medicine to truly understand what it is physically and spiritually, and the benefits on all levels to the body, mind and spirit.
It is not uncommon for shamans to allow their children to participate in ceremony, and often encourage their pregnant wives to participate in order to strengthen the baby, physically and spiritually.
These plants are the best thing I can imagine putting into my body, and years of working with them has continued to reinforce this as my physical, emotional, and spiritual health continues to grow and soar. The Medicine is truly a gift from Mother Earth.
That being said, there are not many female shamans out there. There are very few female Western apprentices, and of them, very few write about it publicly. Out of that tiny percentage, how many are pregnant?
They are out there, as I know several mothers who felt intuitively drawn to work with the Medicine for baby (though again, nothing shared publicly.) I feel like I’m creating a path through vast jungle – a path of a person’s right to be themselves and cultivate their lives accordingly.
It was time for me to bring my strength to a new level. To face my fears of judgment, and stand up for the right to walk in integrity for myself, and I what I believe in for me.
This week I was challenged, tested, and given the golden opportunity to walk through and crumble not only another glass pane/veil of ego, but release the fear it was protecting. My intention of the week:
Teach Me How to Be a Mother
“La Madre Medicina, feed this child the way only you know how, and teach me how to be a Mother.”
Parts of this story will have to be vague, in order to protect confidentiality lines. I had an opportunity to be challenged by a person close to me, someone who has the potential to effect my home life. And it was his first time in the Medicine.
Standing in Integrity
He brought to voice every one of my fears of judgment. “How could you do this to a child? You know this is poison, right? You’re totally brainwashed – a crackhead thinks crack is good for a baby. I could go to a shrink and act crazy in order to take you all down. If this baby comes out f*cked up, I’ll call Child Protective Services and take him away.”
Standing in my integrity can be difficult under perceived attack. Everything I love the most (Infinite Light and the Medicine, as well as my family out in Peru, and now my new incoming child and family as well) felt threatened.
Whether or not what I was hearing was actually what was being said doesn’t matter. I panicked, and my defenses went flying up all over the place.
I did the best I could given the situation. While I know how something like this can look from the outside, most people who work sufficiently in the Medicine understand…why wouldn’t I give such a gift to my child? I spend a lot of time preparing for the homebirth, avoiding the use of too many products (and I already do not use Western meds).
This child deserves everything I have to give him. And I’m not going to hold back because someone who has no experience in the Medicine doesn’t understand it.
So the week continued. Tensions heightened. I moved from the place of trying to help him break through his walls so he could receive his healing (it’s not like I’ve never seen this before, I’ve just never had it so personally focused on me and my choices).
After awhile I stopped worrying about his healing and moved into a place of recognizing that we needed to be okay, for the child’s sake.
I refused to walk around in fear of someone looking over my shoulder. So I decided to ease the defenses and was willing to make the sacrifice, letting him feel he “won” (though not to the point I could lie.)
As soon as I shifted, I began to recognize that while any mother may feel the same way, my ego was still very much in there. It takes two to battle, even if on the defense. The ego as I see it is a defender – a protector of fears. In my panic, I fueled the fire.
I tried to move his process along at the pace I wanted to see it, instead of staying in my own lane and letting the Medicine take care of it. I panicked and called my boyfriend (a third in the triangle) when it felt like it was to be a serious threat to our child, crossing confidentiality lines. My ego was half the battle.
When I began to see it, I had no other choice in order to stay in integrity but to admit it, not only to him, but to the group as well. When I did so, everything began to soften. There was no one to fight anymore.
In ceremony another glass pane shattered as another deep fear was faced. The only way to access these vulnerability levels is to have them physically provoked – and I can’t think of a safer way than in a controlled environment like in the Medicine.
So it smoothed over. He even had another ceremony, and while mild, his views started to soften on the Medicine as well. Far from BFF’s, but in an okay place of agreeing to disagree.
Brilliant Light in Utero
Meanwhile, before the fourth ceremony, I got a vision while sitting alone in ponderence. Words cannot describe it, since it was much more energetic than anything else, but the deeper concept of what was actually happening here in sharing the Medicine with the baby in utero. I didn’t see much myself, but I felt it happening. I asked to see more. They wouldn’t let me.
This ceremony isn’t for you.
But they did open up my womb a crack (in a vision) to show me the rays of powerful light shining out from the work they are doing inside.
A gift from Mother Earth is La Madre Medicina (all these considered sacred feminine) as an induction for a new mother and child. The wisdom of the Earth spirits sharing God through the body. A gift from Mother to mother.
Again, Teach Me How to Be a Mother
Last ceremony, I asked again, “Teach me how to be a mother.” I was immediately brought to my heart, and felt a block over the space of “satisfaction”.
One thing I’ve learned is than I when I find a block, it’s usually fear, and I must ask the right questions. “What is the fear?” I ask. “Fear of letting go of the past, into the new now.”
I explore this more until I find the correct heartstring and release the deep energy through a cry. I find another, and another. I keep plucking the chords and releasing the fears until I get down to the core belief of being alone – fear of not being loved.
I crumble the belief system I had created when I was a child. I find myself intensely squirming in the fear and hesitation, finally pushed into sitting in the place I had spent years developing complicated belief systems to avoid touching. But my intention and will trumps my fear, and I do what needs to be done to allow myself to be the best mother I can be.
It strikes me that as deeply as both of my parents have always loved me, they were not capable of loving each other at that level. So the heart trinity – two parents and child in love at the deepest level – I had never experienced it.
I felt it from each of them to me, but not as a triangle. It has taken me a lot of work to clear out enough fear blocks and ego defenses to allow me to be able to love at that level, and only after this latest chapter is the space cleared and prepared.
Once the fear is released, I physically vomit. Upon return, I look up into a space of a clear forest, full of white trees and singing birds. The sacred connection now has space to grow.”Do I need to do something now, like plant seeds in the new space?” “Nope. Now that the fear has been removed, all will happen quite organically.
Love Without Fear
You want to know how to be a mother? Teach this child to love without fear, by example.” It strikes me this is exactly what the Medicine does – loving unconditionally as we release our darkness into her open arms. “All is in Divine Order. The second you lay eyes on that child, any doubts you have in regards to that will completely disappear.” “For real for real?” I ask.
“For real for real.”
Not Separate Worlds
On the last day, I lay in a hammock with Luco’s three month old baby girl in my lap (“you’re sitting on your cousin,”) I tell her in Spanish. She feels like family already. I had been afraid to bring my boyfriend into my Peru world, my Peru family. But I’m not afraid anymore. I cannot wait for him to be a part of them, just as he has become a part of my family in Virginia.
These parts of me do not need to be separate, and while it may look funny to the outside (Luco and I being ex-engaged) love has no set form. I believe in the spirit world, relationships may change in one lifetime to the next (be my brother in one, my mom in another). We just did it while still in the physical. Love is love, and if not limited by fear, has room to grow in a million directions.
So here we are, me sitting in a new level of preparation for the birth and raising of this already beloved child. Not my child, God’s child. My responsibility to guide him to the best of my ability, but he is not mine to own. He has no idea how much of a fuss has already been made over him, and only six months in utero! He has been rolling and kicking and playing with me from the inside:)
Applying What I’m Learning
Thank you Medicine. Thank you for showing me what to do, and clearing out what was preventing me from doing it. Thank you for this very deep fear-facing opportunity, therefore allowing me the strength to share about it. I don’t need everyone to understand.
I just need to be willing to stand in my truth, for me, as I see it. And now I am ready to do that. By practicing now, I will be able to model this for my child. I want him to know it is possible – to be who he is and cultivate a life that is in integrity for him. Otherwise I’m all talk.
NOTES FROM THE FUTURE (2018):
People often ask in Ayahuasca groups about whether it’s safe/a good idea to participate in ceremony while pregnant. Inevitably, about 75% of the comments approach it like a drug, asking what kind of horrible mother could conceive of such a thing.
A few mention the female shamans and children who participate (in proper dosage) in native traditions to strengthen the child.
Personally, I think if a person doesn’t have enough experience in the Medicine to not be able to feel the answer clearly in their soul and intuition, the answer is no. This was my 236th ceremony, and done in proper dosage. I know how healthy it is in my body, and those effects on the heart, mind and soul.
I’m used to my own relationship to the Medicine and my purging process. I did not participate for myself, I did so to strengthen the baby and give him an extra spiritual boost starting out in life.
He’s six now, and is one of the strongest, brightest spirits I’ve ever known. That being said, that was me, my path, my child’s spirit on board, etc. If you can’t tell without asking outside opinions in a Facebook group, it’s probably best to abstain.
~ Meghan Shannon Elder (@beyond_meghan)
Ayahuasca Preparation and Integration Specialist at Beyond the Ceremony
Accelerated Spiritual Development Coach at Beyond the Whirlwind
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