This is the first in a series of articles exploring symbols as they pertain to pregnancy and birth. If you’re not already a symbolism junkie, get ready to be a convert! Read on to discover how easily you can use the power of form as you deepen your hypnobirthing practice.
As the adage goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Symbols, including letters and numbers, are the currency of the subconscious mind. Whereas logical, linear thought is the domain of the conscious mind, non-rational, instantaneous, global thinking fills the subconscious, and archetypal symbols can connect with the collective unconscious. The readiness of the subconscious to accept symbols provides us with a powerful method of facilitating change.
Symbols can be interpreted on several levels: personally (what it means to you), culturally (what you’ve been taught it means by your society) and universally (what cultures around the world have generally used the symbols to represent and/or how the symbol is found in nature). With respect to pregnancy and birth, it is especially important for women to reclaim symbols that represent the feminine principle in order to be more happy, healthy and whole. A good example of this need is the widespread familiarity with the Cross in our culture, which flows from the dominance of Christianity. This is a masculine (phallic) symbol, and it would serve us all well to balance its presence with a feminine (yoni) symbol. Also, as we explore specific symbols in-depth over the next several months, we will see how feminine symbols have often been co-opted or redefined in such a way as to oppress and denigrate the feminine principle, and how reclaiming and restoring these symbols will do much to heal the collective feminine psyche and the expression of the feminine in the world.
HypnoBirthing® materials have an abundance of symbolism built in! If you are coming to classes currently, see if you notice any of the symbols already in the space. Think about the seating in the class… it’s not random.
As we discover more about particular symbols together, may you enjoy the richness of symbolism and deepening your understanding of the forms within and around you.
written by Lara Stewart-Panko, BA/BSW, CH, HBCE, Doula, who taught me all about symbols and their power to speak straight to the heart at the Hypnobirthing conclave in Florida this past Sept.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy reading these two blog posts.
Growing Your Symbolic Appetite : The Circle (part 2)
This is the second in a series of articles exploring symbols as they pertain to pregnancy and birth. Further to last issue’s introduction to symbolism, this time around we’re looking at the Circle, a form well-attuned to birth, indeed. Universally, the circle represents completeness, infinity, wholeness, focus, and unity. As Hermes said, “God is a circle whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” In nature, we find circles in the celestial bodies, in the cycles of women and the seasons, in cells and seeds, in tree rings, and as ripples in water. Keep Reading
Baby’s Spirit : How Does A Soul Come to Earth? Part 1
I guess for me – it really all started back in 2000 when I read the book The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche. Although I’d been both religious and spiritual all my life, up until that point I had never really given much thought to the process of crossing from this world into the next. The book opened my eyes to the idea that there was steps to this process of dying. Much later when my husband and I started our family, I came back to this idea of birth and death being gateways and I became curious about what exactly is the process for a new soul to come to Earth.
The subject fascinates me and over the past 5 years I done as much reading as I can about how exactly a new spirit arrives in their human form. I’ve asked priests, midwives, spiritual teachers and yoga gurus and just about anyone else to will talk to me about how this process might occur, and though their answers might vary there are some common themes. Keep Reading
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3 thoughts on “Whetting Your Symbolic Appetite”
Great article! I am a Birthing From Within childbirth educator and Doula and in the BFW trainings the talk a lot about symbols as well. Good stuff!