Today is an auspicious day, both for what is going on within and the celestial bodies surrounding us. June 21, 2012 is a day that we honor fathers in the Northern Hemisphere, a new moon in Cancer, the Summer Solstice, and a solar eclipse. With all the big things happening in our country and our world, it’s no surprise that our skies are reflecting this!
By the time you read this you the eclipse will be over, but don’t worry, you wouldn’t have been able to see it anyway since it was not visible on the American continent. This particular eclipse was an annular one, also known as a “ring of fire” eclipse because it is not a total eclipse and edges of the sun can still be seen around the moon.
We mothers have another context for the term “ring of fire” because it refers to the intense burning that is felt when our baby’s heads are emerging during the birth process. As a midwife, the lens through which I view major transitions, both in my own life and the collective, is heavily influenced by the countless times I have sat at the feet of laboring women. Birth becomes a useful metaphor for these turbulent times and gives me access to familiar tools that are useful in our current chaos.
Where we are feels a lot like the phase of labor that is appropriately called “transition” because we are literally changing from pregnant body to mother body.
This is often the most difficult stage of giving birth, and one that requires deep surrender and trust.
We often feel out of control, like we are failing or dying, and it feels like it will never end. As old systems and structures in our country and our world begin to crumble, we may be feeling this same kind of disorientation.
We are having to face the shadows--both personally and collectively--that have been holding us back from birthing a more evolved version of humanity.
We are having honest, difficult conversations. People from all over the globe are sharing experiences of injustice and a strong desire to be free.
Just like birth, the new moon is both an ending and a new beginning. Just like birth, there is a part of us that must die before we can bring our babies forth.
If it feels really hard and heavy, know that this is a normal part of the process, you are not alone, and this will end. In the meantime here’s what you can do:
Be with all the parts of you and discard nothing.
The annular eclipse symbolizes the need for us to bring our shadow aspects, both personal and collective, into the light. When we shine the light of our own awareness on these lost, fragmented, and rejected parts of ourselves and hold them with compassion, without trying to fix or change them, something magical happens. They begin to shift and change all on their own. Simply witnessing them is a powerful and transformative act.
Your breath is the bridge between your physical form and Spirit. When these shadowy aspects begin to emerge from the depths, our first instinct is often shallow breathing or holding our breath. The quickest and most powerful way to transform something is to change the physiology of it in your own body. So breathe, move, cry, release. Just like we do in the transition phase of labor. Trust that something beautiful will be born.
Transition is the phase of labor when we really need someone to mirror back where we are, hold space for its intensity, and provide encouragement. The sensations of this phase can be so overwhelming—shaking, purging, sweating, pressure, expansion—that without support it can feel very traumatic. So reach out, ask for what you need, know that you are worthy.
And above all, remember that this work is worth every painful moment.
This work will require all of your energy and attention, but just like the new moon and birth, it offers a new beginning. It asks us to grow, to expand, to connect, and to bring deep compassion to ourselves and others. Be both gentle and fierce with yourself, knowing that this is in service not only to your own children, but to the evolution of humanity as a whole.
You got this mama. You were made for this work!
And if you need support, I am here.