I am lying by the fire, scent of sage and the trance like voice of Osher River Oriyah leads me in. When my inner vision awakens I am unable to move as soldiers raid the temple. I am unable to move – why? My vision pierces the scene and I see that I am birthing; my wrists are bound to the birthing posts so that I can comfortably drop to release my baby; my baby is crowning as the soldiers burst in. That is why I am squatting on this altar of a birthing chair, unable to flee. The soldiers came in and the women surrounding me are screaming and chased way, slashed at with swords.
The temple was beautifully whitewashed, warm and light. Now it was chaos and fire and I am trapped. As my baby birthed with a thud onto the straw, no woman present to receive it, a soldier confronted me. He ruthlessly kicked my babe from between my feet, umbilical cord and placenta, ripped from my womb with a sting. My newborn skittled across the stone floor. He stood tall and smelly between baby and me, his sword dangling between his legs. Was he going now to kill me?
Aha. Here is the ancestral source of anguish in motherhood.
He looked at me hanging here, once elated and orgasmic with childbirth, now frozen in shock. He snarls and walks away, stomping on baby’s chest as he leaves. I struggle to release my wrists, do so, and dive for my child. I know that he has just crushed lungs and heart and my baby is not going to survive. I guide suffering newborn lips to my breast; a few feisty sucks and the spirit leaves baby, unable to breathe.
The temple is burning; the wooden and thatch roof is falling so I duck into a stone corner and howl with injustice at separation. My survival instinct arises and I scamper outside. I am high on the steps of the temple, seeing below the fragrant spring countryside and the soldiers rounding up my sisters in the gardens. I stand shaking in the penetrating sunlight, bloody babe in arms, wrapped in a white woven sari which is stirring in the sea breeze. My hair is dark and curly and sweaty. I feel fear beating adrenalin through my body for the first time. I do not recognise it.
Only now do I move aside the placenta and look to see her sex. She is a girl. My heart skips beats.
Soldiers grab me and drag me away down the steps. I have no force of resistance. I lose my baby’s body but I see baby’s spirit rise in gorgeous lightbeams met by sun streams, and crazily I smile. She is beautiful.
My physical heartbeat quickens as I bring them both into my etheric heart. I bring the priestess and her baby into my heart. They are together, reunited here. The baby girl has big blue eyes which twinkle and smile. The priestess holds her up towards me, they are laughing and so happy, and I welcome them in. I savour this moment. Life is whole once more. Briefly. Tears flow down my cheeks and my heart expands. I have reclaimed her.