Monthly Archives

June 2016

Doula, Tarot

The Doula’s Journey: The Magician and The High Priestess

(To learn more about my motivations for this series, click here!)

On the Journey, the first two cards encountered are the Magician and the High Priestess – the great balancing forces that make up the perceived world. The Magician is bathed in sunlight and looking forwards, the Priestess sits beneath a crescent moon and is gazing at the past.

This was an important step for me on my doula journey. Having spent my life in flux and hurt, I needed to get to a more balanced place in my life and within myself, in order to be able to focus on my training and eventually be able to give to others. The culmination of this healing was Gaia’s birth, truly a transformative moment!

Like the Magician with action and the Priestess with inaction, I have had to learn to accept what had happened in my past, particularly my first birth experience, and to use that to move forward positively. Finding the metaphorical ‘silver lining’.

When exploring the stronger and weaker balancing aspects of myself, I have discovered that I have a great capacity for love and sharing that with others. Alongside that though, is a need to feel like I am connected to others by bringing personal empathy. Whilst this is fantastic in general life, as a doula, I have to work hard on bringing that love and energy to the space, but not bringing with it the baggage and projecting my own personal experiences onto the mother. Connecting with them and being what THEY need at that moment. Giving without expectation of anything in return, simply for the joy of giving is something I am continually working on to benefit myself in my role as a doula. Indeed, it’s something that I strive to do in my everyday life. I’m an inherently selfish human being so I have to work hard to give and be generous with myself, my energy, my time, my money… My husband really inspires me to give always, without judgment, exactly something I need to bring to being a doula! (He’d make a brilliant doula actually!)

 The MagicianThe High Priestess

Doula, Tarot

The Doula’s Journey: The Fool

(To learn more about my motivations for this series, click here!)

The Fool card typically represents beginning, starting out, with strong overtones towards innocence and naivety.

In this deck, the Fool is a tiny chick, vulnerable and new. He is perched on a branch with one foot ready to take a step into the unknown below.

This card made me reflect on the beginning of my journey. I thought that it started when I had my amazing birth with my youngest child, Gaia, but really, it happened before then. It started with Ru’s birth, my very first one in June 2009. Feeling afraid and scared, unempowered, leading me to allowing myself to be manhandled and bullied, and not standing up for my rights or trusting my own intuition. I knew then that I would never let this happen again. It led me to be even more informed for my second birth, Pixie’s in September 2011, and then even further to Gaia’s birth in June 2014.

I openly recognise that that need to care for others comes from a very deep-seated issue from my own childhood and overwhelming feelings of not being cared for,  and an inherent need to make sure others don’t feel the same way I did. I have taken many years to get to a place where I can do that simply for the joy of love, rather than to heal something inside myself.

This card is also me at the start of my doula journey. Brand new, unsullied but untested. I was ready to embrace whatever came on my path, but I had no idea of the depth and breadth of work, the time and energy and effort that the journey ahead would take. Stepping out into the unknown, just like the chick.

The number O is important too; it is neither positive nor negative. It simply is. The same as we are at the start. Not good or bad. You just are.

The beginning of that relationship as a doula with a mother, and her partner and family, starts at that first interview. Where your heart feels like it’s beating in your throat and you might throw up in your mouth a little. *wind whistles, crickets chirp* Nope, just me then. Seriously though, whilst I have felt positive going to my all my doula interviews so far, those nerves are a strong reminder that this is a Big Deal. Birth is a Big Deal. A reminder to treat the woman and the situation with the simultaneous feelings of joy at new life growing and respect for the gravity of it all. Fill it with joy and love and kindness, but also know that it’s not an insignificant thing.

That tiny chick also represents every newborn babe that I will ever hold in my arms as a doula, the huge and overwhelming honour of being asked to support a woman during her pregnancy, birth, and in the postpartum period, welcomed into an incredibly sacred and intimate environment. To have another human being feel enough trust towards you to say “Yes, be there.”. Giving me the shivers just thinking about it.

I recently attended my first birth that will count towards my DoulaUK recognition process, and I cannot explain how that feels! What an amazing blend of emotions to be there at the beginning. Watching this amazing mother breathing, being, feeling every exquisite second of birth. That child’s first breath and cry and milk. She was a Goddess.

So there we have it, The Fool. Reflecting on the beginning of what is turning out to be an incredible journey, as a woman, a mother, and as a doula.

The Fool
(Once again, tarot cards used are from The Wild Unknown deck)