This episode of Pregnancy Birth and Beyond Radio features an interview with Pam England, author, midwife, artist and founder of Birthing From Within. Her first book 'Birthing From Within An Extra Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation' released in 1998 has sold over a 1 million copies. Pam's newly released book is called 'Ancient Maps for Modern Birth'. One of the themes in this new book explores the Hero's Journey as a of map for childbirth preparation. In this interview I ask Pam What is Birth as a Hero's Journey.
Just a quick note on the HJ, a very basic Analysis of HJ consists of three parts, preparation, ordeal and return.
The term or more so the map so to speak of a Hero's Journey, was coined by the late Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist, write and lecture born in 1904 and who passed away in 1987. Best known for his seminal book The Hero with a 1000 faces.
In 'Ancient Maps for Modern Birth', Pam England likens the HJ to the parents journey through pregnancy to parenthood, which too at a basic level consists of three aspects – pregnancy (preparation), labour and birth (the ordeal) and the postpartum journey (the return of the hero).
Additional key features of this episode include:
The Sumerian myth of Inanna Decent.
Fathers and partner in their own hero's journey to becoming a parent.
Joesph Campbell on birth as a heroic journey for the mother.
Postpartum, birth story integration as part of the hero's return journey.
Here are a couple of great quotes about the Hero's Journey.
“The journey of the hero is about the courage to seek the depths; the image of creative rebirth; the eternal cycle of change within us; the uncanny discovery that the seeker is the mystery which the seeker seeks to know. The hero journey is a symbol that binds, in the original sense of the word, two distant ideas, the spiritual quest of the ancients with the modern search for identity, always the one, shape-shifting yet marvelously constant story that we find.”
by Phil Cousineau
The Hero Path
"We have not even to risk the adventure alone
for the heroes of all time have gone before us.
The labyrinth is thoroughly known ...
we have only to follow the thread of the hero path.
And where we had thought to find an a-bom-I-nation
we shall find a God.
And where we had thought to slay another
we shall slay ourselves.
Where we had thought to travel outwards
we shall come to the center of our own existence.
And where we had thought to be alone
we shall be with all the world.”
by Joseph Campbell
NE PLUS ULTRA
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