When I was asked to review these two books I thought, how timely! One of our daughters is expecting her first child in December. And, with that excitement comes the memories of my own pregnancies and the five (including twins) beautiful children that we were blessed with. I wish there had been titles like these when I was pregnant. So, I will most definitely be sharing these with my daughter.
Pregnant Goddess: Your Guide to Traditions, Rituals and Blessings for a Sacred Pagan Pregnancy by Arin-Murphy Hiscock. Adams Media, 978-1507213834,224pp, June 2020
….When a woman is pregnant, she becomes the very essence of the Goddess: she who carries life within her, she who will rebirth new life created from old…
The first of our books is Pregnant Goddess: Your Guide to Traditions, Rituals and Blessings for a Sacred Pagan Pregnancy by Arin-Murphy Hiscock and is a perfect gift for the Mom-to-be. The information is separated into nine (9) chapters covering a range of topics including the Divine Mother of folk wisdom and cultures, unexpected events, using energy effectively and with consideration of your body’s changes, labor, post-partum and more.
Chapter 1: Preparations and Beginnings reminds us that each pregnancy is unique and cannot be compared in expectation with any other, even if this is not your first. Amidst all of the worry, appointments and daily goings on, the emphasis is on taking time to simply “be” with your pregnancy and be fully present in the emotions, thoughts and physiological changes. The attention of this chapter is immediately given to the sacredness and spirituality of conceiving and makes use of ritual, meditation and creation of a “pregnancy shrine”.
The importance of knowing the lineage of Divine Motherhood is beautifully outlined in Chapter 2: Exploring the Universal Mother. This was a lovely addition to the book and really allows the reader to not only recall many of the stories already known, but now see the deeper meanings as the resonance of pregnancy is brought to the forefront.
Moving through the subsequent chapters of Pregnant Goddess: Your Guide to Traditions, Rituals and Blessings for a Sacred Pagan Pregnancy the author provides a list of Goddesses traditionally associated with pregnancy/childbirth and highlights their attributes offering an opportunity to connect and call to the wisdom and assistance of the Divine Feminine.
I particularly enjoyed Chapter 4: Using Energy for Strength, Support and Insight. Here, we find a compendium of correspondences, meditations to align with the alchemical elements, Tarot, animal guides, plants and flows into Chapter 5: Responsible Energy Work. Physiological changes that occur during pregnancy change the energetic signature of the individual and it is very important to be mindful of the energy expenditures and styles you engage in during this time of great change.The author gives particular attention to the need for caution in working with certain magickal supplies while pregnant and the potency for toxicity.
Chapters 6: Preparing for Change is written in a way that truly celebrates the pregnant goddess within any expectant mother. Self-care, pregnancy journaling, techniques for relaxation and massage exemplify the many ways of honoring your body.
With any pregnancy there is the possibility of things not going as you had hoped. Ms. Murphy-Hiscock discusses some of the concerns and potential outcomes such as pre-term labor and delivery, miscarriage and grieving in a way that is comforting and realistic. Chapter 7: Dealing with Unexpected Events, in keeping with a spiritual practice, provides suggestions to ritually honor the pregnancy, fetus and decisions for adoption of your or another’s baby.
Chapters 8: The Rhythm of Labor and Birth and 9: Postpartum Changes and Challenges honor the power, joy and pain of birth and what to expect after the blessed event. Birthing charms and talisman, and a ritual “Creating a Spiritual Birth Plan” allow the intention of birthing as a sacred event to flow through the actual experience. And, the time after birth, post-partum and beyond ensures that the gamut of feelings will be broad and many with a reminder to be kind to yourself and patient with the extraordinary changes occurring physiologically and spiritually within the new mother.
The concluding Bibliography shows the breadth of research and information that went into the crafting of Pregnant Goddess: Your Guide to Traditions, Rituals and Blessings for a Sacred Pagan Pregnancy. The book clearly lives up to its title, making it a beautiful fusion of information about pregnancy and what more can be offered to that sacred state of being when entered into with the intention of the sacred.
About the Author:
Arin Murphy-Hiscock is the author of Spellcrafting, Wicca, The Way of the Green Witch, The Green Witch, The Way of the Hedge Witch, Pagan Pregnancy, Power Spellcraft for Life, Solitary Wicca for Life, and The Hidden Meaning of Birds: A Spiritual Field Guide. She has been active in the field of alternative spirituality for over twenty years and lives in Montreal, Canada.
And, For the New Parents!
Babystrology: The Astrological Guide to Your Little Star by Judi Vitale. Adams Media, 978- 1507213797, 224 pp., June 2020
The second book, Babystrology: The Astrological Guide to Your Little Star by Judi Vale is the perfect addition for the new parents. This book takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the twelve (12) astrological signs and what predispositions you may anticipate in your baby’s temperament based on his/her Sun sign (date of birth). Each chapter provides the reader with core astrological information relating to your child’s birth sign and an additional section mapping how the parent’s birth sign interacts in combination upon that core sign.
Babystrology: The Astrological Guide to Your Little Star begins with a brief introduction to the basics of astrology to make the information useable by anyone. It continues from there with twelve (12) chapters, each dedicated to a specific astrological sign moving around the great wheel from Aries and ending with Pisces.
Descriptive titles, such as Aries: The Wild Ram – Leo:The Dramatic Star – Scorpio:Still Waters Run Deep and more set the tone for what to expect from your little one. Each chapter begins with five(5) immediate correspondences – Born Between (date timeline); Ruling Planet, Exalted Planet; Color; and, Gemstones.
The journey around the sun is complete with lots of information about the basic proclivities of each sign and how they are expressed as a son or daughter, talents and affinities, challenges, and discipline style. A chart lists songs, movies, games, books and foods specific to your child’s sign and continues with tips and techniques for calming, environment, stimuli and style.
The next section of the chapter offers suggestions relating to skills and considerations in “Parenting…”. This section goes through the twelve (12) astrological signs aligned with the parent(s) and what type of interaction that will ensue in combination with parent and child.
There is lots to reveal and feast on in this book. And, having it useable and specifically written for what is already the joyous and exciting adventure of new parenthood gives an extra dose of fun to getting to know your baby. In recommendation of this book, my thoughts are aligned with the reminder of the author. Anything you read of astrology should be held in the spirit of pre-dispositions, not fixed qualities that are written in stone and will always be true. There are many things that go into the development of an individual and part of the human experience is one of opportunity for change and growth. And, especially when making application of these attributes and qualities, the developmental changes that occur from birth into the early first years is exponential in potential outcomes.
About the Author:
Judi Vitale is a writer, speaker, and empowerment coach. Her horoscopes have been published by Marie Claire, Redbook, Seventeen.com, and Tarot.com. She is certified as an astrologer by NCGR Professional Astrologers’ Alliance. After thirty years in New York City, she now resides near Pittsburgh, PA.