Give the familiar fairytale of “Sleeping Beauty” a twist, and it may give you a hint about another of your Tasks of Preparation and utilizing the special powers and gifts that are supporting you now, and will continue supporting the birth of you as a mother or father.
Sleeping Beauty has deep roots in fairytale history and our collective unconscious. The first oral version of Sleeping Beauty—the Völsunga Saga—dates back to 13thCentury Iceland; the oldest written version, 1528, France. In this blog, it’s not necessary to retell the whole lovely fairytale for you to appreciate this metaphorical teaching. I’ve taken liberty as a storyteller to modify the ancient story to fit modern childbirth preparation.
Make-believe that you are planning a special Birth Warrior Tasks of Birth Preparation dinner party in anticipation of your upcoming birth, and you have invited fairies who specialize in blessings for the childbearing year. There are only seven teeny tiny elegant gold trimmed plates, golden forks and spoons ,and crystal goblets. You know there are eight birth fairies, but unfortunately, with only seven place settings you can’t invite one birth fairy. After deliberating, you decide not to invite the fairy that is likely to tap her wand and wish for you the thing you are hoping won’t happen or won’t need during birth or postpartum. You think, maybe if I don’t invite her or think about that, “it” won’t happen.
In your mind’s eye, see your fairy guests arriving and taking their mushroom seats at your Tasks of Birth Preparation dinner table. When the first fairy taps a crystal goblet with her wand, turn your ear and begin to listen closely (because fairies speak barely above a whisper); listen as each fairy endows you with a power-gift, such as concentration, endurance, discernment, divine and human support, ancient knowing, facing a Birth Tiger, being as ferocious and in your truth as is a tiger—any particular ability and skill you will need during labor and postpartum. (These are not magical fairies granting you the outcome of your dreams, these are very wise birth fairies.) Imagine the powers the birth fairies are granting you: all that you are wishing for and will need, and maybe a few welcome surprises you didn’t even think of yourself.
As you are counting your blessings (six so far) with wonderment and gratitude, the eighth fairy—the “uninvited” but wise fairy—flies through the window making a surprise, if not awkward, appearance. The fairies try to make room for her at the table; she is given a paper plate and Pixie cup and plastic utensils. She is feeling a little miffed because she—and the powers she offers--were not invited and never talked about. Without ado, she utters the thing you might have been reluctant to name or acknowledge even to yourself, one of the things you’ve been hoping won’t happen.! Oh Dear! It’s not a curse—it’s just the gift of the outspoken fairy to have spoken it for you—allowing you to hear it! To feel it; feel what you are feeling; notice what you are telling yourself about this possibility. Before anyone can catch that frisky fairy and make her take it back, she is out the window and hidden in the night garden.
For a bit, there is a lull over the festive dinner party. Then, the Seventhbirth fairy—who has not yet offered her blessing—gently moves her wings and floats above her seat. With a dramatic sweeping gesture of her magic wand, she boldly pronounces her blessing: “Should fate decree this unwished-for event, or any other, happen, I bestow upon you three Powers: The Power of Knowing What to Do in that shadowy moment when think you don’t know what to do; the Power of Courage to do it; and the infinite Power of Compassion, may it open your heart to Self-Love and Far-Seeing.”
“Hear now! Hear Now!” In unison, all seven fairies flutter their translucent wings. With wild enthusiasm and conviction, they begin tapping their crystal goblets with their tiny wands—making such a wonderous clamor that every heart and soul in the queendom is roused and your preparation and initiation is sealed.
What are the powers your birth fairies gifted you?
The 8th fairy’s utterance is not a curse, it too is a gift.
Open it and complete the Birth Warrior Tasks necessary to benefit from it, such as: being inquisitive about research; exploring your worry or weariness around it; talking about it with others; and preparing to cope with it (should it actually happen) using all the powers gifted you from the other fairies.