Emerging from beyond the Clouds, from where the Primordial Waters lie, I slowly descend along the Cord of Intentions Woven by the Great Hive Mother. There are Knots in it, Sounds, Words, Images, Hieroglyphs to help me remember, to show me the way. And while going down She is Weaving me into Her Dream, into Her Plan. And while going down I’m Wrapping myself into my Plan, into my Dream.
When I’m almost down I for the last time call out to Her:
Hive Mother, Please, send me the Songs, send me Stories needed to Remember, to Remember My Name.
Send me the right Words, let them spring forth like the Waters from the Source, Sacred Living Waters, for they will be needed as Mantra’s of Medicine.
Then I step upon the Earth and start walking…..And on that very moment I hear the most beautiful Song rising up from the Birth Chambers deep down below:
Great Woman, Mother of birds
Your shrine is sticky with beeswax and feathers
Your shrine is loud with throbs, with the beat of wings
You are the vessel beaked and breasted
You contain us as earth contains us, as sky contains stars,
Our ancestors, our yet unborn
We pour through you life after life
The vessel dips into the river, water pours out on earth
Earth drinks of us as corn sucks rain from your breast, as
rain feeds the river
Great Sky Woman
Your shrine is deep in the cradling earth
Your shrine is the spirit’s resting place, beginning place
We are your vessel
You are milk on the wing
We contain you as the body contains breath as the breast
You pour through us life after life as breath pours through
The ancestors, the yet unborn return,
Our bodies are their vessels
Earth drinks of us as rain feeds the river
The spirit rises on the wing
The room bums with power; you hear bees; you taste honey.
The woman cries out, her contractions ripple through you like
the bee wings that carry you up as you match breath with
breath as you been trained to do.
The bird comes for you and you ride her out into the free sky
where the stars are smeared like breast milk in a vessel of
They are the souls of the dead; they are the unborn.
They are a vast field of grain and here is your grandmother
walking toward you holding three different stalks of wheat
from three fields.
“Plant these together,” she says. Then she is gone.
The bird plucks a star like a glowing fruit with her beak.
The wings beat with your breath. “She’s crowning!” the women
cry. “Bear down. Push!”
You cry out together with one voice The child slides free.
“A girl!” the women cry in delight.
They give her to her mother, who holds her close as the old
women chant a song of praise:
A great gift, a precious gift has come to us . . .
You catch the birth blood in a bowl to pour over the fields.
The child’s skin is covered with the waxy vernix that
protected her in the womb.
The old women rub it into her body and smear some on their
faces. “It make you beautiful,” they say.
The shrine is filled with song and laughter.
Tomorrow you will walk the fields.
You will find seeds of three different kinds of grain and
plant them together.
When you have planted and harvested and planted again, season
after season, your daughters and daughters’ daughters
following after, you will have something new: a heavy headed
kernel, easy to thresh, a gift to the people from the
You have brought the knowledge through, for you are a
priestess of the women’s mysteries, shaman of the birth
chamber, ancestor-speaker, the bird’s rider,
a woman of knowledge.
The Old Women Chant is written by Starhawk dedicated to Marija Gimbutas and the Birth Chambers of Catal Huyuk