EarthSpirit Ancestors

EarthSpirit Newsletter Lammas 96

An Open Letter to the EarthSpirit Community and Other Participants in Rites of Spring '96

Hello Everyone.

I am writing to bring some closure to the piece of my personal work I chose to share with the community at this past Rites of Spring.

I travelled to ROS early in my ninth month of pregnancy to participate for the weekend and, more specifically, to participate in the Web Ritual. As you may know, for that ritual I served as an obvious symbol of fertility, but on a more significant and deeply personal level the energy manifest in my piece of the ritual was that of labor - 'the struggle to bring forth.'

For a variety of personal reasons I was struggling with my fear of the labor and delivery which awaited me and I chose to share my struggle with the community with the hope that I could draw on the energy we raised together as I prepared to face my fear and birth my baby. For those of you not in attendance, the ritual symbolized the process of transformation in which an intent is conceived in passion, the struggle for manifestation is faced as a labor of love by opening to the process itself, and finally, at the point of fullness, the result is released into the world with power and joy. Such was the intention I held for my pregnancy, and internalizing that intent and storing magical energy for the process was my personal work during that circle.

The birth of my son Matthew on June 17 was an incredibly healing experience - a gift from him which I was able to accept through the support of my community and because of the magical preparation I had done. The labor was long and difficult and scary. It was also the most empowering thing I have ever done as a human being. Yet, as many of you already know, my son's birth was bittersweet. Matthew died that night. Efforts to revive him were complicated by a congenital condition which we were later told was 'incompatible with life.' My beautiful little boy gave me many gifts during his brief stay and I miss him each and every day. He taught me lessons about fear and power, about living fully and ultimately about facing death. At another time, I hope to share the lessons from Matthew's birth and death with all of you in all their depth and fullness.

I have heard 'through the grapevine' that some people have expressed the concern that my participation in the Web Ritual may have been harmful to Matthew and me. I am writing this letter, in part, to address those concerns. I hope that by sharing my understanding of the ritual and my own intent at the time, I have reassured those of you with concerns. In any case, many of Matthew's difficulties were genetic and there were enough of them for me to believe that it was never his intention to stay very long. As one dear friend observed, 'Some babies are born to learn, others already know - they come to teach.'

The depth and strength of our community was made manifest before me in all its beauty and magnificence in the days and weeks which followed Matthew's brief stay. My husband and I were sustained physically, emotionally and magically through the heroic efforts and bountiful love of our family and friends. I am both awestruck and grateful to realize how fully and deeply I am blessed. Let the phrase 'in perfect love and perfect trust' really sink in for a moment, and contemplate all its implications. It is not only an ideal; it is ourselves, at our best.

With love,

Dawn - Matthew's mom

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