May 28, 2012

Downward Pointing Triangle 3 Havan Kund

Few are aware of how the havan, which comes from the Vedic Sacrificial ritual, parallels sexual intercourse.  Just as the coupling of the male and female in sexual intercourse can bring into being a new human life, so making offerings into the fire with intention and incantation, can transform reality, bringing the desired objective into being.

In this image we see a downward-pointing triangle—we can tell the directional aspect from the stone at the point of the triangle—which has been used for a havan. Although most havans have been constructed in a square shape, this image shows one in triangular shape.

The sacred texts have many references to this symbolic equation of sex, fertility (that is the manifestation of the desired outcome of the ritual) and the role of the female element as holding the transformation process (just like the womb holds the unborn fetus). A few quotes from the series Sacred Books of the East—particularly from the Satapatha-Brahmana which deals with ritual procedures and details.

(Vol. 12 Part I) As seed is poured into the womb, so here. If, on the other hand, he were to make the offering before the vashat, it would be lost, as would be the seed poured not into the womb.

From the sacrifice offspring is assuredly produced; and that offspring produced…is from the union; and the offspring produced from union is produced after the completion of the sacrifice.

The altar is assuredly female and the veda is male. For the union the veda was made, accordingly when he touches the alter with it during the sacrifice, a union productive of the offspring is thereby effected.

Vol. 41, Part 3
And again, why he does so at new moon—when he performs the initiation, he verily pours out his own self, as seed, into the fire-pan, the womb.

May 20, 2012

Downward Pointing Triangle 4 Rajasthani wall painting

This contemporary Rajasthani wall painting continues the theme of the downward pointing triangle-yoni symbolism...the emanation, at the bottom even echoes my first posting of the Harappa seal.

Downward Pointing Triangle 2 Kobars

Kobars are marriage frescoes traditionally painted in the bridal chamber of some tribal peoples in the Bihar area. There are many kinds of kobars---representing the desired fertility of the couple, an invocation for many children to be born of this union.

However the focus of this image is not schematic as many kobars are, nor is it of the yoni or the belly or the breasts of the woman. Rather the downward pointing triangles (one with the third eye as her face) and the other depicted by the shape of her head, speak of female fertility.

Interestingly the energy, or chakra, on the top of her head, connects the bride with the ethereal world of spirits, perhaps ancestors…and of course the leafy thrusting of vegetal life omnipresent referent to fertile growth and life force.

May 17, 2012

Downward Pointing Triangle 1--Yoni---Harappa

The Downward Pointing Triangle Series

Harappan Dancing girl
The downward pointing triangle has been a sign for the female genitals for millennia. I’ll start with an image that Sir John Marshall, the British archeologist who excavated Harappa and Mohenjodaro, wrongly called ‘the dancing girl.’ She is not a dancing girl at all, but merely a nude, confidently posed young female. Marshall, with his British Puritanical point of view, saw such nudity and confidence with a 19th century ‘male gaze’(and 20th and 21st) —she must have been ‘dancing’ for the enjoyment of men.

Even the Government of India, Department of Health and Family Welfare, has continued this downward triangle motif in their efforts to promote family planning/birth control. 

An image of the worship of a schematic yoni—downward pointing triangle, with clitoris shown as well—from the temple at Kamakhya in Gauhati, Assam

More to be added later....

Havan-fire pit (jan’s collections)
Kobar (childbirth traditions)
Rajasthani wall paintings

May 05, 2012

These stories I just read in Jan Tritten's FB page seem so important, I just wanted to share them

Tell us a story where you were able to resolve a tough situation in a birth with creative, outside the box thinking.
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  • 4 people like this.
    • Debby Sapp I felt a hand up by the baby's head and lightly pinched it. Baby moved hand; mom was in less pain; and baby was born soon. Another time, I felt a foot and tickled it. Baby moved the foot up!
      11 hours ago via mobile ·  ·  14
    • Amy Willen Mom's cervix had swollen in transition and was not opening any more - she was exhausted. We filled a sterile glove with crushed ice and used it as an cervical ice pack (!). Swelling disappeared, as did the rest of the cerivx, mom felt energized by the change in plans and soon began bearing down.
      11 hours ago ·  ·  11
    • Billie Ferrell Harrigan Mom was stuck at 9cm and her cervix was swelling hugely. The midwife agreed to wait for another 20 minutes before the OB was called for a consult, and I gave mom homeopathic gelsemium.Shortly after, all the swelling was gone and she was pushing out her fully posterior 10lb baby.
      10 hours ago ·  ·  7
    • Patricia Couch This question just made me lol. :)
      10 hours ago via mobile ·  ·  1
    • Steph Landis Bernholz While supporting a stillbirth induction, turned c-section @ a hospital where Doulas aren't allowed in the OR, I followed the anesthesiologist out of the labor room and told him how important it was to the family that they have support during the surgery. We had already been told, "no", by the ob. I told him that if he had any authority over the decision, it would make such a huge impact on all of our lives. He came back w/ scrubs for Lexi & me:-) We were able to photograph and help clean up baby & care for her till Mom & Dad were ready to receive her. Such a blessing!
      9 hours ago via mobile ·  ·  3
    • Tessa Neilson As a doula/TCM, I walked into a home birth where the midwife had called me because she had 'failed to progress'. The midwife told me how she'd be in labour 20 hrs and was only 4cms and what could I do. I told her a couple ear points and within an hour she should be good to go. I could tell she didn't believe me. She was stressed!! I spoke calmly and with assurance to the Mama Supreme. I told her how her body had the innate knowledge to do what's best. And then I told her that her contractions or 'birth sensations' were about to get a whole lotta strong, but that is a GOOD sign and to go with it. I made everyone stop chatting. No more noises to allow her to concentrate and connect and open up to what was going on inside. And then I connected and meditated on the same. Baby born 20min later. Check:)
      9 hours ago via mobile ·  ·  6
    • Tessa Neilson PS midwife told me she was ready to transfer. Sometimes you gotta gound out the stress in the room. Feel the fear and push it through yourself. And then everyone else follows suit and chills out. Haha. Birth is about allowing what is natural. Grounding energy. Do it yourself first.
      9 hours ago via mobile ·  ·  1
    • Beth Bailey Barbeau Labor for first baby had been moving along briskly, expected birth within the hour as grunting began. Progress slowed dramatically as pushing became more intense and then is just got more and more muddled. Pretty much every thing tried over next 6 hours. Finally asked sister if just passed over grandmother was a worrier ("YES!") and would she hold on to the baby ("YES!"). Asked permission to talk to her mom, respectfully asked Grandma to release the baby, and to end her daughter's suffering by trusting her work. Then sister asked in their native language. We were interrupted at this point by the doula calling from the bathroom - baby suddenly coming!
      5 hours ago ·  ·  1
    • Benson Milimo While conducting a birth in a rural nursing home, baby born with mucus unable to breath, ambubag absent. I put a gauze over the babys mouth and used mouth to mouth lung ventilation. Baby improved.
      49 minutes ago ·