Amy Haderer’s “Mother Moon”
Mother Moon, Copyright 2010, Amy Haderer (artist formerly known as Amy Swagman). All Rights Reserved.
Although unproven, many within the birth community suggest that the moon’s cycles have some influence on when a mother goes into natural labor and gives birth. Birthsource’s website provides data on some of the studies related to lunar cycles, gravitational pull and birth. We do know that the moon, as Earth’s only natural satellite and the fifth largest satellite known to the Solar System, has an impressive influence on the earth itself, its gravitational pull responsible for the earth’s tidal system. It seems plausible that the moon could have some influence on the bodies of both humans and other animals on our planet.
Regardless of whether the moon is in fact linked to the way that women give birth, however, there is a symbolic connection that it has with women. Just as the moon passes through monthly cycles of its orbit around the earth, women go through monthly cycles of menstruation. On a visual level, a pregnant woman’s belly grows, ultimately becoming full like the moon, at which point it releases the baby within, thus beginning a new cycle.
Artist Amy Haderer created her mandala piece, Mother Moon, as part of a two-piece project, Mother Sun/Mother Moon related to the work of her own homebirth midwife (Mother Moon also reproduced at the bottom of this page). She describes the mandalas in her own blog writing:
The idea for these pieces originally came from a photo I saw of my amazing home birth midwife Jessica Nipp. It was of her and her first baby, bathed in sunlight and it was such a perfect, beautiful picture of how tender and intimate motherhood can be. So once I started with that I moved on to the lunar side and how women have such ties to the lunar cycle. Midwives often notice a lot of babies are born on the full moon, so I made her belly into the full moon.
Haderer’s mandala is helpful to other pregnant women in the visualization of birth. Specifically, in looking at the pregnant figure at the center of the mandala, other pregnant women may envision their bodies as connected to the natural cycles of the earth, world and cosmos. Reminding herself that her pregnancy is part of nature, the pregnant woman senses her own unity with the universe and all other beings. This sense of unity is calming, helping to bring about the realization that pregnancy and birth are rites of passage many women and other animals have gone through over the course of time. Humans are connected to all elements of the universe, and knowledge of this is relaxing.
Amy Haderer is a mother, doula and active member of the birth community in Denver, Colorado. Pregnant women can use her mandalas as powerful tools in helping them to visualize the births of their own children. She may be reached through her website, The Mandala Journey.
Mother Sun (Copyright 2010, Amy Haderer. All Rights Reserved.)