|The Energetic Placenta: Healing from Abortion and Miscarriage|
It happened around twenty years ago, soon after I ventured into the field of energy healing. I was giving a healing treatment to a friend, when I sensed a peculiar dense energy in her abdomen. As I started working on that area, this energy did not just transform or dissipate. Instead, while retaining a certain coherent quality, it started moving down the abdomen. For a brief moment it felt as if it got stuck at the narrow area of the coccyx, and then, almost with a push, it released. Once outside of the body, it remained there, held in my hands.
This body of energy had a distinct, almost physical texture, somewhat dense, translucent and almost jello-like. My friend was aware of that energy as well, how it was moving through her belly and now the way it lingered in my hands. She said that as the energy moved out, she had a very powerful sense as if something that was held in her for a very long time just left, a sense of ease, of her body being cleansed and made right in a way that felt very deep and profound.
As I continued to hold that energy, trying to understand why it did not simply dissipate, I kept wondering what it was reminding me of. It was only a year since I had my first child, and suddenly it flashed before my eye: the translucent jello-like energy felt like a placenta. I asked my friend if that interpretation made any sense to her, and she started crying. She said that over 8 years ago, before her marriage, she had an abortion, and in retrospect her body never felt the same since. Only now, after this energy released, she realized that all this time she had the feeling of heaviness in her abdomen, reasons for which she could not explain.
That was my first realization that there was an “energetic placenta” that can remain in the womb if a pregnancy does not continue. I asked what she wanted me to do with it. She said that she knew of placenta burying rituals and wanted us to visualize a ceremony of burying it under a big tree in her yard. We did the ceremony, placing the energy under the shady tree, so that her spirit and the spirit of the baby were reconnected and grounded in the cycles of nature.
I have just read your article on "the engergetic placenta..." and find your description to fit so closely with my experience post abortion. I am deeply sensitive to energy and I have been experiencing the energetic lingerings of my pregnancy since my abortion. I have had the greatest difficulty in finding resources among the mass that provide the "right" type of support for someone like me. I feel that most articles, websites, etc. miss hitting upon my exact experience of abortion. I am someone who had many conversations with the soul before she was in physical form. Although, I considered waiting for a miscarriage to occur, I did not want to create more confusion for the little soul or for myself by going through the process of pretending that she was coming into the world at this time. However, the resources that appear to be understanding for my experience are greatly limited and almost nonexistent.
The human placenta, regarded by western medicine as human waste, is revered and receives ceremonial handling by many cultures around the world. As a symbol of a connection between human spirit, physical body and life, it is often buried outside. New Zealand's Maoris have a tradition of burying the placenta and in their native language, the word for land and placenta are the same: whenua. It is customary among the Navajo Indians of the Southwest to bury a child's placenta within the tribe's reservation as a binder to ancestral land and people. Many traditions believe the placenta has its own spirit. The Ibo of Nigeria and Ghana treat the placenta as the dead twin of the live child and give it full burial. The indigenous Bolivian Aymara and Quecha people believe the placenta’s own spirit, unless washed and properly buried by the husband in a secret and shady place, may affect the health of the mother and a baby. Among the Hmong culture of Southeast Asia, the word for placenta can be translated as "jacket," as it's considered an infant's first clothing. They believe that after death, the soul retraces the life journey until it reaches the burial place of its placenta jacket. In other words, they believe that the soul and the placenta must be reconnected after death to ensure physical integrity in the next life.
Cultural observances ensure that traditions remain. However, we gain deeper insights and understanding of the true meaning that rituals reveal once we go beyond literal interpretations of symbolic meanings encoded in long held traditions and rituals. The shared symbolism of placenta rituals points to the existence of an energetic placenta. Clearly, it is not just the physical aspect of the placenta that has been held in high esteem by many traditional peoples, since one’s spiritual connection throughout life is not with the actual placenta that was originally buried; years later it is no longer there in the original shape and form. Rather the actual burial ground serves as a symbolic reference to some other, non-physical aspect of the placenta — an energetic placenta that continues to live on.
Since the birth of the baby is a natural process, the physical and energetic aspects of the placenta emerge intact. However, when a pregnancy is interrupted either through abortion or a miscarriage, the existing balance between the energetic and physical is disrupted. In fact, medical terminology does not distinguish between abortions and miscarriages; the medical term for a miscarriage is an abortion. Miscarriage is treated as an incomplete abortion because it requires performing a uterine curettage (D&C), a short surgical procedure which is used to empty the uterus and remove the pregnancy tissue called the “products of conception.” In either case the physical placenta is manually removed, and the remaining energetic placenta continues to hold the formed connection to the unborn child. If we heed the wisdom inherent in the traditional believe that the placenta must be retrieved after death to ensure soul’s release and return into a cycle of life, we will realize that we are instructed to complete this unfinished part of the process by removing the energetic placenta and reconnecting to the soul of the unborn child.
This level of understanding can shed light on the lasting physical, mental and emotional anguish, the inner torment experienced by women who undergo a miscarriage or an abortion. Few women are fully prepared for the earthquake of despair, self-doubt, and fear that threatens to swallow them up whole. Emotionally there seems to be some difference between the effects of an abortion and a miscarriage — the issue is the degree of control. While it is in your power to plan an abortion, a miscarriage is always unexpected and renders you utterly helpless, especially if your pregnancy was planned for and welcomed.
Post Abortion Trauma?
But most importantly, whether it happened days, months, or years ago, your shock and grief at the loss of an unborn child remains very much alive. In addition to the mental and emotional anguish, women continue experiencing lingering aches and discomforts in the supposed emptiness of their body. These emotions may resurface on the anniversaries of the event. Because we lack the understanding of how to bring resolution to the process of the spirit/placenta reconnection, it becomes the source of lasting energetic distress and pain experienced by a woman.
This unresolved energetic link takes a great toll on woman’s energy. That is why in many traditions it is regarded as a possession — when the souls of unborn, miscarried or aborted children supposedly haunt the mother by draining her emotionally and physically. Describing this loss of energy as a possession can be misleading and quite frightening. The term generally implies involvement of some malevolent or diabolical source.
However, not every haunting is caused by malevolent or diabolical entities. Catholic religious teachings recognize that some benign hauntings happen when human spirits end up not “moving on.” There is a shared belief in many cultures that this happens in order to attract the attention of the living so that, through prayer or other means, they can be released. So we can understand why the spirit of the unborn baby would hang around until the connection is released through an intervention.
There is intense political fighting taking place between pro-life and pro-choice advocates. Many pro-lifers use all the means at their disposal to emphasize the devastating and irrevocable consequences to women of what they perceive as murders of children. They cite symptoms of post-abortion trauma that include: reliving the abortion, depression and guilt, self-defeating and suicidal behavior, feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, sadness, lowered self-esteem, distrust, hostility towards self and others, sleep disorders, recurring distressing dreams, anniversary reactions, alcohol abuse and other escapist behavior, sexual dysfunction, and an inability to forgive oneself. They use this information as evidence that for the benefit of the woman and the unborn child abortions must become illegal.
Many pro-choice activists seem to downplay the presence of trauma and the serious emotional, physical and spiritual toll of the abortion on a woman. This approach is not ill-conceived; rather it is aimed at protecting the inherent right that a woman has to choose what happens with her life and her body. There is an understandable sentiment that to admit to the devastating impact of an abortion on a woman’s well-being could undermine and threaten the support for choice.
Without putting these considerations aside, we have an obligation to fully acknowledge and embrace women in the aftermath of abortions and miscarriages as they cope with the physical impact and the emotional turmoil, as they try to grapple with the possible causes for what happened. Denying the truth is doing a great disservice to those who live with the anguish, guilt and pain. The following story is a vivid testimony to this.
Amy had an abortion in college. She treated it as something to be done and forgotten. She mentioned it to only two people in her life. After the abortion she experienced a sense of detachment from her sexual body. The blocked energy in the abdomen was preventing her from any sexual sensations. She had never had an orgasm since the abortion and faked orgasm with her current boyfriend who she was very close to.
Amy carried a lot of shame about the abortion. She said, “I am punishing myself for the abortion by not letting myself use this area of a body again because it would be totally irresponsible on my part to let it happen again. I was educated and well off, and therefore I should have been able to adequately protect myself, but I let it happen nevertheless. I cannot let it happen again.”
When Amy connected to the energetic placenta inside of her, it felt like it was holding all the secrecy, shame and anguish she had lived with all this time. Releasing it gave her a sense of peace and resolution, and relief as if the baby’s soul was finally freed up. This enabled her to reevaluate her belief that she needed to be punished. Having a healthy body would be more of a benefit to her when she was ready to have a baby in the future, then creating new life in a body that is constantly being punished.
Cases Affecting Men
While there is an abundance of information on the degree and nature of the emotional and physical toll abortions have on women, there are fewer discussions on the traumatic consequences of abortions on men who are the fathers of these unborn children. We have heard many stories of heartless men abandoning their partners once they received news of a pregnancy they never wanted to be a part of. However, situations can be very different when a woman makes a decision to abort a child that is wanted by the man involved.
Steve, a 28-year-old man was concerned that for the past several years something inside of him was making him unable to be romantically involved with women who were interested in him and whom he found attractive. He was dating women as friends, not becoming sexually active with them. His last relationship was several years ago when he met a woman he fell in love with and wanted to marry. She got pregnant and suddenly started questioning if she was really in love with him. Probably the reality of having a child made her look at the relationship more seriously. She changed her mind, had an abortion and left him. This broke Steve’s heart and he became distraught and very depressed.
From then on, having a sexual relationship with a woman became a potential risk for him of getting her pregnant and then having no control over her decision to terminate a pregnancy. That emotion was held in his abdomen, immersed in dark chasm-like energy, a dark hole where one could just disappear into. It was energy of death, of murder. He could not have sex again because he was left feeling responsible for what he viewed as the murder of his child since he was the one who created that life.
Moreover, carrying so much guilt and responsibility for terminating a life kept Steve’s body connected to the energetic placenta of his former girlfriend, as if it was actually inside of him. He did this because he missed and longed for a direct connected to his aborted child. His attachment was so powerful that it enabled him to release the placenta and establish the personal connection with his child’s soul that he desired. The awareness that no one would again have the power to terminate his connection to the child’s soul infused him with a sense of life and renewal, and cleared the energy of darkness he had held for so long.
For a long time, I sensed that this information about the energetic placenta was given to me by my mother who died early at the age of 33 after already having had 6 abortions. I also felt that I was protected by her because against all possible odds in my life I had had no abortions or miscarriages. There were situations that could have led to that — either through occasional unprotected sex or because I was considered to be at very high risk of miscarriage through my own pregnancy. I had always wondered why she was teaching me about something I had never experienced myself.
This past summer I had a revelation as I was sharing the story of my mother with a good friend who had just experienced her own healing from a second miscarriage. As we marveled at the beauty, ease and grace inherent in the release of the energetic placenta, once again, I found myself wondering why this information was given to me. In an instant, we looked at each other and suddenly it became very clear to both of us: it was given to me so that I could heal my mother.
For years I tried to connect to my mother who died so long ago, yet I was unable to connect to her soul the way I remembered her. Instead I kept connecting to some heavier, sad, conflicted and despondent place which I always interpreted as something that had to do with our own personal relationship and could never figure out how to change it. I had been advised by one of my friends that I was connecting to a place of her own unwellness, not an interpersonal problem between us, and that I needed to connect to the place when she was younger, before she carried these burdens.
Finally I understood, so I performed a healing for each one of the abortions, starting with the last one. I could clearly feel and see the physical and emotional pain that came with each subsequent abortion and why she had to leave the Earthly plane so early — she could not endure living with the weight of that pain. One by one, the layers of that heaviness were lifted and the true light of her soul, beautifully radiant and free, was shining through again.
I gained one more awareness: that “The sins of our fathers are passed onto the generations that follow” is not a call for retribution, but an instruction that we have a responsibility to heal our ancestors. We can reconnect to the unhappy spirits of our ancestors and repair and resolve the unfinished issues in theirs lives. In this process of healing our family members we heal ourselves.
Many non-western cultures have such practices, often carried out in ceremonies, rituals or in a dream state, Among the Senoi people it is common for the spirit of a recently deceased relative who was a healer to appear in a dream in order to instruct the dreamer, who then himself becomes a healer. Similarly, among the Garfuna people, an ancestor may appear in a dream to instruct a healer as to the cause of an illness. In the Japanese healing tradition of Johrei, the Dagara tribe of West Africa, and in Native American Indian tribes, there are rituals for ancestral healing. They remind us that so very often we connect to those who passed over with a prayer of request for personal assistance, yet forget to ask what it is that we can do for them. We can learn how to talk to and help the unhappy spirits of our ancestors, and how to send them lovingly into the light.
There is a profound sense of harmony that exists in this universe. Alongside all the suffering that comes our way, there is an extraordinarily strong pull for healing. Just as the edges of a wound naturally pull together to heal, so do the energetic wounds beyond the physicality of our bodies and lifetime naturally pull together for healing. The aches and pains of our bodies are a guiding force that communicates to us how we can help the body return to balance to achieve the graceful and magnificent results we envision for living in this world. We have the tools available which can lift us to this level of recovery to live in the world with complete faith in the wisdom of the universe.