I'm a new Pagan and I'm expecting: how do I continue to explore both identities? #I've got a parenting question!#medical conditions#pagan#pregnancy September 23 2013 | Offbeat Editors offbeatbride Offbeat Home & Life runs these advice questions as an opportunity for our readers to share personal experiences and anecdotes. Readers are responsible for doing their own research before following any advice given here... or anywhere else on the web, for that matter. By: MIKI Yoshihito – CC BY 2.0 My husband and I have recently found that that after a mere six months of marriage I'm pregnant. We're happy but surprised: we were told by my doctor that conceiving would be more difficult since I have Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). I've recently decided to explore the path of Wicca, but since I'm new to Wicca and pregnancy, I'm lost. I'd love your help: Are they any blessings we could do either Wiccan or Asatru-wise to welcome this unexpected addition to our lives? How do I continue to explore my identity as a Wiccan and as a mother? — Ang Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS Use a bag of water to stretch out your shoes NEXT Ever wonder what a TARDIS tastes like? Show/Hide comments [ 15 ] Do you have an altar? You may find that it gives you a good solid touch stone for your practice, especially when you are tired, nauseated, or busy with a newborn. It's something you can glance at across the room and be reminded of your intentions, or just walk up to and light a candle and focus for a minute. It's fluid and can change as your life changes. You can set one up with a family focus, or explore the idea of the graduation from Maiden to Mother. And during a sabbat day, if you are completely worn down or up to your eyeballs in laundry, you can at least run outside and find an appropriate element to add to your altar and feel in touch with your beliefs. 13 agree Reply At its roots, Wicca is a fertility religion! So although many Wiccans choose not to or cannot have children (I may be in the 'cannot' category, but we won't know for while), the idea of exploring both together sounds pretty lovely to me. I don't know where you are or what you're looking for in terms of study or community or whatever, but IF you're interested in seeing who else might be out there to talk to, I recommend checking what are basically classifieds on The Witches' Voice webpage (www.witchvox.com). Before I became involved in the community I'm in now, that was my main resource for possibilities (and where I check whenever I'm temporarily living in a different city). In terms of pregnancy itself, you might explore linking the trimesters as you go through them to different aspects of the goddess: maiden, mother and crone. Many groups will mark each trimester with a ritual celebrating both mother and soon-to-be child, asking for blessings from the different aspects of the goddess for your development together and a safe delivery. 1 agrees Reply I am in the same boat. Luckily, we belong to a great community of like minded persons who have opened their hearts to our son. Maybe try a meetup or other social locator to find a group you feel comfortable with. Blessings! Reply This may be a really dumb questions, but… you were exploring Wicca before. What makes it different now that you're pregnant? Can't you just keep doing what you're doing? Once we have kids, we're a bit shorter on time than we used to be, but if you were into Wicca before, you can be into Wicca now, in much the same way. As for welcoming ceremonies, you can do like a Pagan naming ceremony thing. 8 agree Reply As a fellow Wiccan with a 9 week old baby, I don't see that your new pregnancy should be a barrier to your new spirituality. While pregnant I managed to attend most of my covens full moons, new moons, and sabbats, while maintaining (for the most part) a fairly intense daily practice of meditation and various developmental exercises. Where there's a will, there's a way. You may find things take longer or that some stuff gets put on hold, but most practices can be done, adapted or can wait till after the baby's birth. Granted the newborn phase is intense and my practice is currently on hold (slowly trying to bring it back into my life as baby permits) but that hasn't stopped me from reading (more slowly) or contemplating spiritual issues. In fact, in many ways motherhood has made some of the core ideals of service and love far more concrete in my daily life. If you're worried about the pregnancy taking your focus, do as another poster suggested: create a small altar that catches your eye and reminds you daily of who you are and what your aspirations are. Or create a small, simple ritual devotion that you can maintain throughout your pregnancy to help you connect with the divine. As for things you can do for your child, there is a naming ritual or you could look and see if there's someone in your community who does pagan ceremonies. If not, you can create your own ritual to introduce the little one to the God/dess. Best of luck with your pregnancy and spiritual path. 5 agree Reply I agree with the altar. I've been practicing paganism since I was 12. Now at 26, a wife, and mommy to a beautiful 6 month old there's so little time for much of anything! You just incorporate your beliefs in daily life. I have a permanent altar set up in the bedroom and go there from time to time just for a little me time. Meditate, pray, whatever I need that day. It's nice to have that reminder. 2 agree Reply Oh my goodness- it is an amazing and beautiful place you are in. Take the opportunity to revel in your own transition from maiden to mother. I highly recommend placing a tribute on your altar (or if you don't have an altar, any visible honored place) to your pantheon's mother goddess. You mentioned Asatru, so you're looking for Frigga I believe. Spend time reading and researching about her. I am a "celtic heathen," and I am actually typing this holding my 4 day old son. All blessings to you on your journey! 2 agree Reply I agree with the question above about how is your Spiritual practice different now that you are expecting. Congratulations on your blessing to be. Continue with your reading, growing, developing. Have a Babymoon- where your family and friends womenfolk come together and give blessings to you and your child (you can change blessings to best wishes for the non pagans in your family). There are a lot of lovely rituals disguised as activities the elder women in your family/ community can do with you such as each bringing a length of string the colour of the blessing/ wish/ memory they want you to have and weaving them all together into a bracelet for you. When your brain is foggy from disrupted sleep that bracelet can be used to remind you of the collective wisdom and love of other women in your life and also if breastfeeding what boob you fed baby from last 🙂 2 agree Reply Thank you to everyone for the amazing ideas and suggestions. It's not so much that I've been a devoted follower but reading these make me feel a little better. I'd like to blend our lives with this child's to make a happy home. Reply I borrowed this book from the library when I was a teenager! Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions It helped me get through the teen years and meditate on my hopefully Mother phase. Many of mentioned honoring the Maiden, Mother, and Crone phases. I think it is as important to honor aspects also such as the Dark Mother, the one who does what is necessary. 4 agree Reply Little off topic but I believe an important discussion; please don't think you have to birth a physical child to enter the Mother phase of life. We become Mothers when we start nurturing the world around us; giving back instead of simply taking from. We become Mothers when we learn to control and direct our energy instead of continually succumbing to the wild, passionate outbursts of Maiden. We become Mothers when we plant seeds, care for them and watch them grow. This can take many forms such as starting a business, creating an online community, starting a food pantry. There are legions of women who are childless whether by choice or circumstance. Every life path is full of joys, sorrows and challenges. It is this experience and what we bring to it that entitles every woman of a certain age and/or experience to call herself Mother. Blessed Be! 1 agrees Reply Congrats on both your new endeavors! I would recommend the book "Birthing From Within" by Pam England. Not necessarily Pagan, but resonates with many ideas. You may also be interested in her "Labyrinth of Birth". I found her writing to be inspirational and helpful as it focuses on the initiation of motherhood, and pregnancy as a sacred journey. Our society so often overlooks or overshadows the woman in pregnancy; we're really missing out on an extremely important milestone in a woman's life when we focus only on the new life. You may also perhaps turn to midwives (especially direct entry or CPMS) and doulas in your area or online for inspiration. Obviously not all are Pagan, but many get into the practice of birth precisely because of the disconnect between traditional western medicine and the process of the mother-to-be…in other words, the increased medicalization of birth. Also, I will share one personal story–I requested that all attending my shower write down an intention they had for my labor (be safe, best wishes, whatever) and each was attached to a candle. My partner lit these candles during my labor and I really felt I drew the strength and good intentions of family and friends who weren't physically there. There are definitely ways to incorporate your two paths. 3 agree Reply Knowledge is power. Know that Wiccans have a stricter faith than Pagans. Also, Asatru is the Norse pantheon. You can't call yourself that unless you find out more about the religion. Find out more about what is in the area for resources. Most importantly, surround yourself with supportive people. If a person won't accept you as you are, don't waste your time. Reply I've been a practicing pagan for many years, and I have always been under the impression that "pagan" was a generic term encompassing polytheists, including Wiccans. Saying that "Wicca is a stricter faith than pagan" is akin to saying that Catholicism is a stricter faith than Christianity – true in some cases but not in all. I have known plenty of pagans who maintain a very strict practice, and others who are much more relaxed. I encourage the OP to keep reading and learning, seek community, but don't get discouraged if your path is solitary for a while. 3 agree Reply It makes me a bit misty-eyed to read all the lovely comments from pagan mamas with their little ones. My fiancé and I run our own coven and we're having our handfasting ritual on Samhain. I can't wait to add to our little family and bring our wee ones up in the pagan community. 3 agree Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Subscribe me to your mailing list No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.