Sacred Birth in Pam England’s “Celestial Mother”

Celestial Mother,
Copyright 2014, Pam England, All Rights reserved.

For artist Pam England, who is also a Certified Nurse Midwife and author, the importance of expressing the sacredness of birth through art is foundational to how she creates her works. The artist views the meditation on mandalas and on historic images of birth as a sacred part in how a woman prepares for birth as a rite of passage. In Celestial Mother, England re-conceptualizes and re-sacralizes a Tantric image of a divine figure giving birth. Visualizing Birth has previously discussed the Tantric image here.

In England’s work, the viewer meditates on a birth image similar to the one found on the South Asian relief. However, in England’s work the arms of the figure stretch outward, one hand holding a small parent and child, while the other lifts up a baby on the other. Behind the figure rest the sun, moon, and cosmos. Fruits of the earth, including a large placenta and umbilical cord, rest beneath the figure.

Pregnant women feel calmed when looking at England’s work or reading her books on birth. They can visualize birth through England’s Celestial Mother by focusing on the figures squatting position and magical downward movement of the child. Warm and cool colors are soothing, as are the connected images of placenta and fruit, and sun and moon.

Pam England, MA, CNM, is a home birth midwife, mother, writer and artist. She has written and presented prolifically on the topic of birth, as well as on how spirituality and art are often part of birth as a rite of passage.  Pam may be contacted through her website, Birthing from Within, named after her foundational book of the same name.