$50 – $85

Birth as Initiation: Dar a Luz "to give light"

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Tompkins County Public Library

101 East Green Street

Ithaca, NY 14850

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The experience of giving birth has been for millennia an experience of female initiation, moving the birthing woman and members of her family from one state, one status in life, into another. “To give birth” is expressed in Spanish as dar a luz, “to give light.” This is one simple example of how cultures infuse childbirth with symbolic meaning. Our contemporary tendency is to polarize childbirth into opposites, like natural vs. medicated birth, home vs. hospital birth, the midwifery vs. the medical model, a good vs. a traumatic birth. In this workshop, we will take a step back to explore birth rituals through historic, cross-cultural, psychological, religious, and mythological perspectives, using film clips, poetry, family stories, images, and art. The goal of the workshop is to support women and men, therapists, analysts, midwives and doulas, childbirth educators, obstetricians, and grandparents in becoming conscious of our community roles as “holders” of the initiatory birth container.

Objectives:

1. I can identify the differences between a polarized, either-or view of childbirth practices and a broader, cross-cultural view.

2. I understand four ways to support a pregnant woman, or members of her family, in determining the particular birth model that most aligns with her values.

3. I understand how to help women reframe past birth experiences by differentiating personal choices from systemic and cultural forces beyond their control.


Speaker: Jane Margaret Hunt, MSW, IAAP, is a Jungian analyst, a graduate of the C.G. Jung Institute-Boston, and a member of NESJA and IRSJA. She has a private practice in Ithaca, NY, and serves as co-director of the Fall Clinical Intensive at the Jung Institute-Boston. For more information, see her website at: www.janemargarethunt.com.

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Tompkins County Public Library

101 East Green Street

Ithaca, NY 14850

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