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Wise Words
Our authors and book editors offer these choice written selections for your contemplative reading and inspiration.

Catherine Shainberg: Dream Birth


Waters of the Creative Imagination

What are these waters of the imagination? We know that without water our planet would be uninhabitable; that we ourselves develop in the slightly saline waters of the amniotic sac; that our bodies are 85 percent water. Looking into clear waters, we see our own image reflected back to us. Water, mirrorlike, supports us in emptying our minds and allows us to see the true images and patterns that float in the deeper recesses of our minds. For this reason, it is the medium most commonly used in divination, the art of seeing the potential future, of looking into the vast emptiness and conceiving newness.

So it is in the waters of your body that you first dream of conceiving and bringing forth. Often called the waters of the unconscious, they are only unconscious because you are not focusing your attention on them. Focusing is all it takes to consciously begin the process of dreaming forth a new life.

All around the Mare Mediterranean, from Egypt to Palestine to Greece, to Italy, France, Spain, and North Africa, women used dreaming as their language of choice. Dreaming was an integral process in rituals, mysteries, healings, and procreation. In Egypt the residence of the female goddess of creation, Isis, who protects fertility and motherhood, is surrounded by water. To reach her temple, Philae, women traveled by boat across deep waters. Through water they were induced into the dream state that is at the source of fertility.

Creation or transformative stories generally begin with a vision or a dream. Your imagination, birthed in the waters of the body, is the secret to preparing both your body and your psyche for becoming a happy and successful parent.

We are reminded of the connection between fertility and dreaming through the many ancient records of women’s dreams that deal with conception and childbirth. Women’s healing dreams are inscribed on the great steles of Delphi in Greece. Women went to Delphi to be healed of barrenness or other womanly disorders by entering into womblike sleep in the Asclepion, the temple room for dream incubation. In their dreams a god appeared to them and showed them the way to fertility.

In spiritual traditions around the world the Divine partners with us in our ability to conceive and bring forth. By contemplating a god’s image through the many images that arise within them, women learn to create.

This book is not a how-to about becoming a parent. Rather, it is about imagination and accessing our dreaming power in the creation of new life. It is about restoring the creative act to women and their partners who have lost it to the Western medical model and the belief that we reproduce through genetic accidents.

Where do babies come from? Are we just flesh, and is creating new life, on any level, purely mechanistic? How do cells differentiate to become lungs, heart, kidneys? Does something animate us that we are not taking into account? Is our godlike ability to “make images” involved? And if so, can we harness our imagination?

Can we plunge again into our sea of dreaming and create our babies perfectly, birthing them in exhilaration and with ease?

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