Mothering the Dying - Dropping Into the Mystery

Monica Sjoo
Leslene della-Madre
This weekend I had the honour of taking part in Leslene della-Madre's profoundly moving workshop - Mothering the Dying: Midwifing the Final Passage. What an incredible and deep experience of Life. What a revelation to truly understand that when we embrace the sacred threshold of Death as a return to the Ancient Mother, we then truly learn to Live.

The gift that Leslene gave to me was the reminder of permission to 'drop it'. We spend so much of our life trying to fix or heal difficult issues and relationships. In fact I feel we spend most of our time obsessing about what we feel is 'wrong' and trying to make it 'right'. When truly all we have is this moment and to be present in it's mystery is all that is required from us. And so I gladly embraced 'dropping it' and in that moment embraced so much more of my life energy and space. Creating sacred space around Death also teaches us to create the same sacred and clear water around ourselves in our daily living. We cannot be all things to all people. We are here to honour our spirits and live its full expression. And this expression is felt so deeply when we drop into the mystery of presence. When we give up all need to 'know' we are in the presence of something far deeper and sustaining: belief and faith. And what we believe and have faith in, is totally our own choosing - no need to give any explanation.

My heartfelt thanks to you Leslene for bringing this celebration of return to our wise women's ways as we reclaim our belief in our ourselves and our innate and sovereign ability to mother the dying. It is such intense and deep work - not fearful as we have been taught to feel about death but a process of facing and then dropping our deepest fears to discover the bliss and joy that awaits when we do. I regained such a strong trust in the regenerative powers of nature, the cosmos and my own spirit.  And an enormous thank you to The School of Shamanic Midwifery for bringing Leslene to Australia and for the endless work you do to create pathways or memory back to the Women's Mysteries. 

I am still in the fathomless depth of this experience and so when I have few words I create with encaustic. Encaustic is an artform that requires you to drop out of the mind and into the heart - hot beeswax cannot be controlled or tamed, merely held in a space of deep trust in the process. So similar I now understand to what is required from us when we create and hold sacred space for the Soul as it journeys through the threshold of Death into the arms of the Ancient Mother again. I urge those of you called to understand more of the sacred practice of holding space for the dying to seek out Leslene's work and her book, 'Midwifing Death'. We are all remembering that there is no need to ever fear, Mother Earth is a constant source of love in the endless dance of Birth - Death - Rebirth.