The flower of Myriam is a plant of the Arab or Muslim lineage, used by women in the Middle East and Pakistan to help ease the pains of labor. This shrub is known to survive in very arid/ dry and harsh conditions. When given water, it will flourish, bloom and reconstitute. When a woman goes into labor, the dried Myriam flower is submerged in water. It looks like a placenta. As the mom labors, the flower hydrates. When it blooms, the mom’s cervix will bloom and she will be ready to give birth. She drinks from the water to support her labor and to decrease the pain of contractions.
This flower was introduced to me while I was in Pakistan, learning about the birth stories of the village women living just outside Islamabad. I was given the dried flower by one of these women and when I looked at it’s intricate design, I instantly saw women’s bodies, all reaching up together, holding hands, intertwined….holding and nurturing all the seeds of the young mothers, supporting them in their labor and birth. The symbolism is very deep for me personally and professionally. It represents the resilience of woman, of Birthing Mothers. It represents the unity we have and the power of life that we support TOGETHER.
It represents our interconnectedness. The root tethers us to Mother Earth and is the anchor for our nourishment and love, even during drought…..we survive together.
The fact that it blooms when submerged in water is just as magical as a woman’s body blooming in labor! Labor and birth is such a mystery and miracle! Water is the womb element….by submerging this dried plant in the womb of the earth…..she comes to life. This represents the infinite healing powers of sacred womb, sacred water.
When a mother drinks this water in labor, looks at it, connects with it, she is simultaneously connecting with all the birthing mothers who came before her, all the women birthing with her in that moment, and the Mother Earth herself. To me, the Flower of Myriam is the most sacred and divine plant on this Earth.
Shelley Rahim is a mother, daughter, wife, birth worker, artist, storyteller, bodyworker, modern mystic and guide and founder of Sacred Birth Journey. She lovingly serves women and families during the childbearing year, as well as supports the emotional, physical and sexual health throughout all phases of life.
Shelley provides a loving and non-judgmental space where women can let go of fear, shame, control, and inhibitions while embracing trust, vulnerability, body wisdom, wild-woman instinct and motherly love.
Serving San Diego women and families with a wide array of offerings. She holds weekly prenatal yoga classes, provides birth and postpartum doula services, teaches Birthing from Within workshops, as well as a variety of healing services and ceremonies.