Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Magic of the Womb and A Bun in the Oven

For quite a few years, I ran my Art of Mindful Birthing workshops from Womenspace, a wonderful organisation providing a soul space for women. Ultimately, they needed to relocate due to structural problems with the buildings, yet continue to offer women a space to connect with the heart. The building my workshops ran from was previously an old bakery, and although it had been renovated, the original ovens remained intact in the wall. This seemed so apt and synchronistic to me; with the obvious symbolism of these ovens for nourishment, and sacrality. The old idiom: ‘a bun in the oven’ would always spring to my mind, when the ripening pregnant women would sit down in circle in ‘the Bakery’.

                          Some Mindful Birthing women and a precious baby – standing in front of one of the old Bakery ovens, Womenspace.

A Bun in the Oven.

Ahhhh, the enticing aroma of bread baking….. our olfactory senses alert our brains in a trice that we have encountered something delicious, something tasty, something wholesome; and the feedback mechanism responds simultaneously. We lick our lips – in anticipation…..

The oven is the Womb; the origin of all humanity: the great cauldron in which sustenance and creation are cooked up through the process and energy of alchemy. Baking buns/bread and being pregnant are both aspects of this process; and archetypically unify with the creative life force of our world. As Joseph Campbell wrote in The Power of Myth: ‘Woman magic and earth magic are the same’. Humble ingredients are placed within the oven/womb, and the fire and mysterious power transform them within - into that which sustains and nourishes life.

For me, conjured up in the idiom – ‘a bun in the oven’, is this acknowledgement of the Mysterious, the Hidden, the Internal, the Container, the Creative - and the Life giving power of the womb. It is the symbol of pregnancy - something new is becoming. This incipient newness is the baby of course; but the newness also manifests as an unexplored pathway for the woman herself, as she mothers this baby for the first time. The woman too, resultantly is becoming new: she is the icon of Ripening Into. This is the epitome of possibility and potentiality. She shape shifts within and without – evolving and emerging brand-new with her baby.

So what a reason to celebrate, for  women with ‘a bun in the oven’! We are transforming ordinary ingredients into a miracle that fits into our open arms; we are incubating Life within us; we are colluding with Nature and the Birth Energy to create, nurture, and bring forth. We are emerging as new beings ourselves. Enjoy the making, the baking, the expectancy: the transformation of a bun in the oven!

                                                                                 ‘Women Baking Bread’. Carl Moon


  1. You are one of my favourite story tellers; I relaxed back into my chair from the first line of your post and soon after was smelling fresh baking bread and newborn babes. Welcome to blogging, so very glad to have you in this space. x

  2. Thank you for the welcome, Shannon, and thank you for all your loving support! x