So I decided I wanted to call upon some feminine energies. Ultimately this is really just one energy that we are made of but which has different ‘flavours’ to it. These flavours or energies are represented in the hindu tradition in many forms of gods and goddesses. I was really feeling to embody the powerful feminine energies as I passed through the rite of childbirth so I called on a pretty fierce woman-gang. They were, Durga (the goddess that rides a lion. Why? well, because that's what you do if you're badass), Bhairavi (the dark and primal goddess), Kali (the no-bullshit goddess), Lakshmi (the “you've got this baby” goddess) and African goddess, Yemaya.
Now if you look online for the yantras for these goddesses, you'll find something different to what I have painted here. They are painted in particular colours in the yantra tradition. With respect to the whole technology of yantras (yeah, it's pretty huge if you start digging) and without meaning to disrespect the old ways, I felt I needed to paint and interpret them (these energies) in a way that made sense for me on this pregnancy journey.
I’m sorry but I have searched high and low and I cannot find the video that helped me draw the inner triangles of the Durga yantra. They say the channel has been removed. So if you want to learn to draw it, call me up and we can try to figure it out together. My body drew it so it must be stored somewhere my cells.
I bought my canvases from The Range and they all measure 50cm by 50cm except for the Durga yantra which measures 80cm by 80cm. The acrylic paint I use are the luscious 'Liquitex Basics' range of 118mls and I buy them from Amazon. This is a link to one of the many I buy as add-on items.
After I drew the Durga, the rest of the energies somehow became easy to draw. They didn't look scary anymore as i found she was the most technical to draw.
I love this goddess and have been working with this energy from the beginning of my pregnancy till the end and even now. She is the reason my daughter is named after her, Uma.
It is said that once the Gods were having problems with certain demons and could not defeat them and then out of this desire for good over evil, Durga was made manifest and fought the battle with the demons. This battle lasted for 9 days and then She emerged victorious in style....riding her lion.
The demons meaning the demons we carry in our minds. During pregnancy this means all the doubts we go through on this journey which include I can't do it, I can't give birth to my baby, something is wrong with my body, I don't trust myself enough, what if my cervix doesn't open?, what if I never dilate?, maybe my mom/sister/friend/add whoever you want here was right and I am being unreasonable, what if I tear? What will my vagina look like afterwards? How will sex feel after? Will I be a good mother?.....and list goes on and on and on
And SHE says rise up woman, you are a goddess, you have the power within you to slay these demons. You are not subject to these doubts, nay ye are not! Take your sword, pick up your weapons and destroy everything that makes you think less of yourself. Go give it a go and find out because you won't find out trying to play small on the sidelines. Rise up goddess, know who you are and ride that lion!
Gotta love her no? Yep, that’s exactly the energy I needed to evoke going on this journey.
I love this call. Not afraid of the dark or of being totally raw and untamed. On another hand she feels to me like 85% chocolate. Bitter and dark but Ohh soo soo good for you!
When I looked at her linga (the picture on the left), it looked unrefined, primal, raw and down to earth. Relating it to the birth, it felt like tapping into the raw, wild and untamed nature of birth. Not lady-like, just wild and primal. This for me on a physical level showed up when I was poo-ing and peeing myself during labour, lunging my body in and out of the birth pool and that right there felt to me like that Bhairavi energy! Wild, free and just natural
But this is also what most of us are afraid of...what will it look like if I totally let go and allowed myself to be real? I remember giving an Empowered birth session to a couple and one of the nightmares of the lady was that her husband may see her poo. More than the birth, this was her one "thing". And I totally understood how she felt but it also felt like we may not be allowing ourselves to experience life or whatever is coming fully because we are holding back and censoring what comes. I remember after this session, she really gave me something to think about for myself. And I weighed it up, will I let my body close and contract as I tip-toe around my husband so he does't see me poo (which will ultimately stall my birth), or do I want to allow my body to be totally relaxed and not worry about a thing, poo or no poo? It was pretty clear to me. I was going to do anything for this birth which included giving my body the best chance possible to feel relaxed and protected and if it meant my husband seeing me poo...SO BE IT!!
Now, I know some of y'all are like this or snapping your fingers at me and shaking your head from side to side and Ok I get it, I really do but maybe contemplate this. If it worries you so much that you feel you can't relax if your husband/mom/sister/whoever-you-thought-you-were-kool-with is there, then maybe they need not be at your birth in the first place? Just a thought.
Sometimes I feel like us women, we censor a lot from our partners. I'll tell you something my husband said to me. He said I really appreciated seeing you lose yourself and letting yourself go with your birth. This is a side of you I have never seen and I am glad I saw it. It feels like I've met you again on another level. And I know for me for sure, our relationship has shifted a gear because I allowed my wild and powerful self to be seen totally without any censors by my partner. So we just never know, maybe these men or women in our lives are just waiting for us to unleash step into our ourselves as powerful women. Maybe they don't need the censoring. Just maybe...I'm just speculating.
Anyway, one thing is for sure, if you're inviting Bhairavi in to party, be prepared for anything to go down, okay.
So we all know the famous saying," you have everything you need to birth this baby". But is this true? Can you feel it? Like, really feel it as truth? and not just something nice to say at the end of a pregnancy yoga class?
So I went to work (and I still do work with this, what can I say the work isn't never really "done"). What do you need Ijay? What do you want? Why go searching hither and tither? Do I really have it all inside?
So I started marinating in this idea that, there really is an energy inside growing this baby and I don't have to do a thing, I am being breathed abundantly, my heart is beating, a completely new organ is being made to look after my baby (placenta), blood is reaching my baby and I feel pretty well. That's pretty awesome nuh.
Ok look at my life and the abundance in it..shelter, love, family, contentment on the inside of you...what else do you need? I am being given abundantly, always have, always will...so now, will you trust me that you also have within you, all the power, all the grace, all the intelligence, all the understanding, all the compassion you need to birth your baby? Do you trust ? Can you feel the abundance? Oo yes Ma, I did deeply feel it and it made me cry...still does (when I quit whining, that is..)
So as she is the goddess of the seas and I wanted to birth in water, I was calling on that free flowy and watery energy to be preset as I writhe around in the pool on the day. My prayer to this energy was to be as powerful and flowy as the goddess. To be in my power and flow with the waves of intensities on the day. And as water to be strong and unshakeable in the flow of change that may come my way.
I wanted to share this dance because when I was still pregnant, I remember doing something similar to this and I caught my reflection in the mirror and couldn't stop laughing. Imagine an 8 month old pregnant woman doing this, I laughed so hard I thought I was going into labour that day. So if you're feeling low, you could try this in front of a mirror and see if you can stop from laughing at yourself. Haha, I'm chuckling remembering it. I also found this traditional music to Yemaya and wanted to share it because it also has different beautiful paintings of the great mother. Enjoy!