#148 Birth Work, Ceremony, and Rites of Passage with Caitlin Priday
Caitlin Priday has been devoted to the path of women's healing and birth work, weaving her threads of medicine through nourishing food and ceremony into future generations of women for over a decade now. A Kinesiologist, full-spectrum birth worker, shamanic practitioner, women's work facilitator, ceremonialist, and co-author of the brilliant book, Nourishing Those Who Nurture (More than a Food Bible for new mother's). Caitlin is an embodied full feminine force of integrity, supporting, teaching, honouring, and witnessing women as they traverse the many seasons of life, meet their shadows, and journey through sacred rites of passage. There is currently a remembering, a renaissance of women's work and birth work, rising up in communities globally. A new (but ancient) paradigm of birth work is emerging, with increasing numbers of women choosing to transition through the realms of birth at home while being supported and held by birth workers like Caitlin. Everywhere women are reclaiming birth, and with it comes both the shadow work and generational healing.
In this full spectrum conversation, Tahnee and Caitlin journey deep into the birthing portal exploring all facets of doula work, postpartum planning, the inextricable relationship between fear and pain, birth as a rite of passage, and why we need more advocacy and education around birth. Caitlin discusses her powerful ceremonial work with the obsidian egg, womb boundaries, her upcoming workshops, and the sacred act of living life as ceremony.
"I feel comfortable in my experience. I don't want to escape my feelings or leak my energy somewhere to get something back. And that is what women, I believe, need to learn through their lives; How to have strong womb boundaries and be firm in themselves. I think this is how femininity will heal. When women can be comfortable with being in their bodies and being firm in their womb boundaries".
- Caitlin Priday
Caitlin and Tahnee discuss:
- Birth work.
- Postpartum care.
- Rites of passage.
- Caitlin's doula work.
- Closing of the bones.
- Kinesiology and birth.
- Integrating the shadow.
- The history of doula work.
- The potent energy of obsidian.
- Working with the obsidian egg.
- Honouring the maiden season.
- Community and supporting the mother.
- Father's and their important role in birth.
- Shadow work; Identifying and working with it.
- Rebozo; A way of life and how it is used in birth.
Who is Caitlin Priday?
Caitlin Priday is a Byron Shire-based Kinesiologist, Shamanic Practioner, Doula, Ceremonialist, and Co-Author of Nourishing Those Who Nurture: More Than A Food Bible for New Mum's.
She is passionate about supporting women in all facets of life, from pre-conception, fertility, birth, postpartum, and beyond. With vigorous training and dedication over a ten-year period, Caitlin has learned the teachings of strong energetic boundaries, discernment, and psychic hygiene and how to hold these within everyday life. She prides herself on holding a sacred, grounded space no matter what the container is for and is a fierce advocate for women to reclaim their voices, bodies, and wombs for themselves, their lineage, and their descendants.
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Check Out The Transcript Here:
Tahnee: (00:00 )
Hi, everybody. Welcome to the SuperFeast Podcast. It's Tahnee here today with Caitlin Priday. Really excited to have her on the podcast. She's a business partner actually to Tahlia, who we had on last year. They have this amazing book called Nourishing Those Who Nurture and I actually saw it under a few Christmas trees this year, Caitlin, so you'll be happy to hear that.
Caitlin Priday: (00:20 )
Tahnee: (00:21 )
Yeah, and she's also a kinesiologist, shamanic practitioner, doula, does ceremony and she wrote all the beautiful recipes in the book as well as contributed to the content. So I'm really stoked to have you here today, Caitlin. Thanks for joining us.
Caitlin Priday: (00:37 )
Thank you so much.
Tahnee: (00:39 )
Yeah. So great to have you here. We only recently met, but I just was so interested in our brief chat. Your story, your personal journey, just sounds so interesting. So I was hoping, if you don't mind, if you could share a little bit about how you got to be here, writing the book that you just wrote, and what was your kind of initiation into this world that you now inhabit?
Caitlin Priday: (01:03 )
Oh God. I feel like [inaudible 00:01:06 ].
Tahnee: (01:05 )
You start it, "I was born in..."
Caitlin Priday: (01:09 )
But I don't like that. Well, I'm a Shire local, so I feel like the Shire kids have always got some kind of alternative edge. So yeah, I was born in the Byron Shire. I've travelled the world for a little bit in 2012 and kind of started getting into spiritual awakening, I guess. It was that year that everyone started opening up to everything then. And I was just travelling around India and Canada and Mexico and just trying out all types of different things.
Caitlin Priday: (01:40 )
I actually got into to more of the shamanic aspect of things by working with cacao in Guatemala in 2012. So that was actually a really big part of my journey and my story. But when I got back to Australia, in 2014, I met my teacher, who's still my teacher now, Sharon Bolt. Her business is called Shamanic Energy Training and she also goes under the business of the Temple of Mythical Magick now as well.
Caitlin Priday: (02:10 )
So I started working with her, and that was more in the realm of workshops, women's work, ceremonial work in the sense of working with cacao and blue lotus and different plants like that. So I got quite thrust in quite early. She loves to tell the story that I told her that I could cook, but I couldn't really. But I'd told her that I could cook so that I could get a job with her basically, which is quite funny because that's-
Tahnee: (02:41 )
[crosstalk 00:02:41 ].
Caitlin Priday: (02:41 )
Yeah, it was... I was a sneaky young lass.
Tahnee: (02:42 )
What you just did for your book?
Caitlin Priday: (02:45 )
Pretty much. Yeah, so that actually was the baseline of learning how to cook and getting into recipes and all that kind of stuff. But yeah, back then I was only 22 when I met her. So I spent pretty much like the better part of my maidenhood working with her and just learning space holding through workshops and just being immersed in retreats and that kind of thing. So interfacing with people a lot, learning a lot about energy, learning a lot about how to be a good space holder, how to be grounded and also how to work through my shit...
Tahnee: (03:20 )
Caitlin Priday: (03:20 )
... through that mirroring. So I kind of went a bit backwards. A lot of people go as a practitioner first and then go into group work later, but I worked in group work first and now I've moved into practitioner work. The thread that's always been the same is wanting to assist women. So, that's quite a full spectrum thing. I like working with women that want to get pregnant all the way through to pregnancy and then in postpartum, which is my real deep passion and commitment now. And that's how the book also came about because Tahlia and I met around that same time that I met Sharon and we just had a really deep bond, and then Tahlia and I were like, "Let's do this book, because postpartum is such a gap." So yeah, it's a pretty broad thing, but I'm predominantly now a kinesiologist and I work one-on-one. Yeah.
Tahnee: (04:13 )
Yeah. Where do you think that drive to work with women came from? Was it something you observed in your community or yourself or just a calling or?
Caitlin Priday: (04:22 )
To be honest, I'm very much a shadow worker and it actually came out of wounding. It came out of feeling the wounds of my experiences with the sisterhood and also the wound with my mother, so that deep mother wound and that deep desire to connect with women on an intimate, true, authentic level. But I had had a lot of wounding around that in the past. So it was through being thrust into environments with women that I realised that that wound was there and I felt like being able to heal that wound would be through interfacing and connecting with women in a deep way. Yeah.
Tahnee: (05:04 )
Can you talk a little bit to shadow work because I love this topic, but I don't think we've actually really talked about it on the podcast. I'm trying to think maybe a little bit with Jane Hardwicke Collings. But yeah, I guess I'm just interested in your take on that, like how you... You said that's sort of the work that you do or your personal journey. So yeah, what does that mean to you? How do you kind of work through that in your life?
Caitlin Priday: (05:33 )
Definitely a shadow dweller. I definitely am. I mean, don't get me wrong, I-
Tahnee: (05:39 )
[crosstalk 00:05:39 ].
Caitlin Priday: (05:40 )
Yeah. No, I find that terrain of the underworld, like that really mythical aspect of the feminine which is like that Persephone journey. Persephone was in the Underworld and that's how seasons were created on Earth because Demeter, her mother, went through seasons because of her daughter Persephone being in the Underworld with Hades.
Tahnee: (06:00 )
Being taken away.
Caitlin Priday: (06:02 )
Yeah, exactly. And I'm really view my life as a seasonal journey and a cyclical kind of journey. And obviously that's the same with menstrual cycles, but that's another topic. So I really honour the shadow when it needs to come to surface. I think a lot of it has got to do with working with Sharon. Sharon's very much a shadow woman and a shadow worker and it's helped me realise that shadows are not enemies, shadows are friends. And so I've discovered this more in going to my own therapy as well, learning more how to bring the shadow up and out of that shadow and bring it to light and learn its mysteries and its power and help integrate that, and that's how we become more of a whole and integrated person.
Caitlin Priday: (06:50 )
When we say we don't want to be something and we shove it away, that's when that thing will come up and try to dominate us even more. So within the feminine psyche there's a lot of that shadow work as well, like in women's work and women's workshops, if people are familiar with that kind of world, there's a lot of promotion around the dark feminine or the shadow feminine. Even in motherhood, there's a lot around the dark mother. So I think-
Tahnee: (07:20 )
Caitlin Priday: (07:21 )
Kali, yeah, that kind of thing.
Tahnee: (07:22 )
I was thinking about the sort of eating heads. Yeah.
Caitlin Priday: (07:25 )
Yeah, even like the [crosstalk 00:07:26 ] mother-
Tahnee: (07:28 )
Well, how do you define shadow for yourself? Like, is it the stuff that you avoid or feel triggered by or is it just anything in the sort of subconscious? How do you define that in terms of your work?
Caitlin Priday: (07:44 )
If something triggers me, then I definitely know that I'm looking at a shadow. Obviously you've got family stuff, that's a perfect place to do shadow work is just go stay with your family for a week. I just-
Tahnee: (07:57 )
You think your spiritual, go hang out with your family.
Caitlin Priday: (08:00 )
Exactly. I just had my family here for three weeks, so I'm just like decompressing.
Tahnee: (08:05 )
[crosstalk 00:08:05 ].
Caitlin Priday: (08:07 )
Tahnee: (08:07 )
Caitlin Priday: (08:07 )
Actually, it's a good point though, because my mum and I ended up having a fruitful conversation after she stayed, which was her telling me that she gets triggered by me because she sees so much of herself in me. And I think that's a really good way to look at the shadow is that like when you're having that mirror come up and place that thing in front of you, you've got to look at where that is unintegrated inside of yourself that it's becoming a problem. And so we've gone into that a lot in more of the shamanic workshops that we've done with Sharon, but also in our women's work, The Empress And The Dragon, which is the three month women's programme which I'll be running up here soon.
Caitlin Priday: (08:49 )
We work with the obsidian egg. So the obsidian egg is known for bringing up shadows and known for bringing up mirrors and triggers. And we work through that in the workshop on the weekend and the months after. Because we want to be able to bring things up and have a look at them, but I'm really a big believer on there being a firm and held container for when shadows come up.
Tahnee: (09:14 )
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Especially when you're learning to work with that energy, I think, because-
Caitlin Priday: (09:20 )
Tahnee: (09:21 )
... it's powerful stuff.
Caitlin Priday: (09:22 )
Tahnee: (09:24 )
Caitlin Priday: (09:24 )
Yeah, I'm not about going into shadow work and flinging your energy all around and getting crazy on it. Shadows are things that we learn how to tame and that's a very Daoist perspective, which I know you're really into as well. And that's the background of our training as well, is Daoism, so learning how to do it with containment and befriending and also a right relationship. Because when we don't, when we allow an emotion to own us, we are just being dominated by it. So it's [crosstalk 00:09:57 ].
Tahnee: (09:56 )
It's a possession at times.
Caitlin Priday: (09:58 )
Yeah, exactly. So it's learning how to not allow shadows to possess us, but for us to find how to dance in a relationship with them. So yeah, I think shadows are mostly a mirror.
Tahnee: (10:12 )
Yeah. I'd like to go jump back to that workshop quickly.
Caitlin Priday: (10:17 )
Tahnee: (10:17 )
You're talking about... This is an in-person one that you do.
Caitlin Priday: (10:22 )
Yeah. We also do them online.
Tahnee: (10:25 )
Yeah, because I thought I saw on your socials that you had online versions.
Caitlin Priday: (10:28 )
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.
Tahnee: (10:29 )
So for people that are interested in this, it's learning to work with jade eggs and energy practices. Can you explain a bit about the container of the work [crosstalk 00:10:37 ]. Yeah.
Caitlin Priday: (10:37 )
Yeah. We work with obsidian eggs, so jade-
Tahnee: (10:41 )
Oh sorry, yeah.
Caitlin Priday: (10:41 )
No, that's okay.
Tahnee: (10:42 )
It's my brain.
Caitlin Priday: (10:43 )
She's got baby brain, everyone. Baby brain.
Tahnee: (10:46 )
[inaudible 00:10:46 ]. Yes, eggs. I should have just... yeah.
Caitlin Priday: (10:49 )
It's all right.
Tahnee: (10:52 )
Those things in your vagina that you move around and helps with itching.
Caitlin Priday: (10:57 )
Tahnee: (10:58 )
Caitlin Priday: (10:58 )
So obsidian a bit unique. Obsidian comes from the Mexican protocol. It's quite strong. I discovered the egg in Mexico about 10 years ago. And then I came back to Australia with it and had to contact for it for a while. And then I told Sharon about, and she said, "Oh my God, I've had this programme written for ages." And she'd actually been told by a psychic that she'd write a programme around the egg. And she was like, "Oh no, no. I don't want to do that." Because she'd worked with the jade egg when she was a Daoist monk and had gone, "No, that's not for me." But when I brought the Mexican egg in, she got really excited because Sharon's actually Mayan, so it was very lineage aligned for her.
Caitlin Priday: (11:45 )
We kind of started working with egg ourselves and we were like, "Okay, this is really powerful." And so we wanted to honour the protocol of working with the obsidian egg, which is very different to jade. Jade works with vaginal strength, also just like pelvic floor, sexual energy, that kind of thing. But we are really firm believers on if you don't have a cleansed and clear womb before you get into doing sexual and central practises with the energy body, you actually can amplify a lot of the wounds that you already have there.
Caitlin Priday: (12:18 )
And the obsidian really, really is like a cleansing and clearing stone. So we put it in at nighttime and it helps bring up the subconscious. So the subconscious will come up via dreaming and it's also a mirror stone, so it will... It's very special the way it works. It will bring people in and out of your life to help you realise what you're working on deeper. Like pretty much every time, at least four or five people in the group will have an ex-boyfriend pop up. Every time. It's magical, because... It's a womb Buddha. The womb broom, that's what we call it. It helps clear the womb.
Caitlin Priday: (13:01 )
So things will stop popping up, and it will also amplify things, like I was saying before, like sisterhood wounds or the mother wound or where we're unstable in our energy bodies, that kind of thing. Because obsidian really grounds you into your body. So people that disassociate easily, it's a really good stone for that. It helps people like come firmly into the body. So yeah, that's been one of the most potent tools I've had for doing shadow work because we've been working with it for about five years now and we've had over 500 women go through the programme and it's also developed into working with other eggs as well. Working with rose is the second part of the programme, and then working with amethyst is the third part of the programme.
Tahnee: (13:44 )
Caitlin Priday: (13:48 )
Yeah, it's a fully embodied programme.
Tahnee: (13:50 )
So kind of womb, heart and then third eye. Is that what [crosstalk 00:13:53 ]? Yeah.
Caitlin Priday: (13:54 )
Yeah. Well, it's very Daoist, like I was saying. So the Daoists actually work with the three cauldrons. Yeah. So you have the womb caldron, the heart caldron and then the upper dantian, which is the pineal gland. So it's like a full embodiment programme.
Tahnee: (14:09 )
Caitlin Priday: (14:10 )
Tahnee: (14:10 )
But that's this Empress and Dragon or that's another [crosstalk 00:14:13 ]?
Caitlin Priday: (14:13 )
Yeah. No, that's The Empress And The Dragon. I just specifically run an obsidian... I'd love to run the other ones at some point, but I'm just an obsidian woman.
Tahnee: (14:21 )
My shadow friend.
Caitlin Priday: (14:22 )
That's what I am.
Tahnee: (14:24 )
Well, I'm so interested that... You know there's heaps of obsidian here in Byron, like in the hills?
Caitlin Priday: (14:28 )
Tahnee: (14:29 )
Yeah. So it's [crosstalk 00:14:30 ].
Caitlin Priday: (14:30 )
Tahnee: (14:31 )
Yeah. And we lived on a property with a really deep underground obsidian reservoir and man, whew, that was a time.
Caitlin Priday: (14:41 )
Tahnee: (14:43 )
Okay. It was like, we conceived our child, but also just like the psychic kind of downloads and the awakening on that land was really powerful.
Caitlin Priday: (14:53 )
Tahnee: (14:53 )
It's an amazing stone.
Caitlin Priday: (14:57 )
Well, you know, on that point, thanks for bringing that up, that's why people come to the Byron Shire. Generally they'll come and have... They'll break up with their partner or they'll get pregnant, or they have a massive awakening.
Tahnee: (15:09 )
Caitlin Priday: (15:10 )
Obsidian is volcanic, and obviously good things are formed under pressure, like diamonds are. It's the same with obsidian portals. High obsidian places are usually places of deep transformation, like Bali's obsidian.
Tahnee: (15:25 )
Caitlin Priday: (15:25 )
Yeah, Mexico, Mount Shasta.
Tahnee: (15:27 )
Caitlin Priday: (15:28 )
And they're the places that people are drawn to in order to hear. So once you pop that inside of your body, you have the possibility for deep transformation.
Tahnee: (15:38 )
Well, I will definitely link to that in the show notes for your upcoming one. So you've got one coming up in the Shire.
Caitlin Priday: (15:43 )
Tahnee: (15:43 )
And then in you guys run them online sort of regularly, is that?
Caitlin Priday: (15:47 )
I've got one here in March. I've got one in Bellingen for the first time in April.
Tahnee: (15:53 )
Caitlin Priday: (15:53 )
And then I'll run one online, and Melbourne if the... If Mr. Andrews permits, I will come to Melbourne.
Tahnee: (16:02 )
Throw some obsidian at him and... That's unkind. Maybe it might help.
Caitlin Priday: (16:05 )
Tahnee: (16:10 )
Yeah, I'm interested in that link you have with Mexico, because I think your book was one the first I saw where... I mean I've heard a lot of postpartum books, and you actually had Rebozo in there.
Caitlin Priday: (16:21 )
Tahnee: (16:22 )
The tying and... I'd read about that online but never in someone's actual postpartum books. I thought that was cool. So could you speak a little bit about that impact on the kind of Mayan lineage has had on you and your work. And obviously is Sharon's into it, that's obviously [crosstalk 00:16:37 ].
Caitlin Priday: (16:36 )
Yeah. Yeah. It's an interesting thing. I don't know how it's happened. I lived in Central America for a year. And it's funny, without having any cultural appropriation, that's definitely not my style, and I love having right relationship with all indigenous rights of passage and ceremonies and all of that. But it's interesting if I revise my journey to getting here, how much the Mexican practices have impacted me as a person. I think living there and being able to be in such a deep connection and honouring of the land really helped me understand their magic and their way. But yeah, obviously I worked with cacao. That's definitely one of my master plants. I don't work with-
Tahnee: (17:21 )
With Keith, right?
Caitlin Priday: (17:21 )
With Keith, yeah.
Tahnee: (17:24 )
Just for those listening, we were both in the same... Probably not the same time. I was a 2015, I think. But yeah, in San Marcos La Laguna in Guatemala. So it's a great cacao shaman who's very well known around the world.
Caitlin Priday: (17:40 )
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.
Tahnee: (17:41 )
So you worked with him or you [crosstalk 00:17:43 ].
Caitlin Priday: (17:43 )
Yeah, I worked with him a little bit, but I also mostly just had cacao all the time, which I don't do anymore. I don't recommend it, definitely fried my adrenals. And I've been on my SuperFeast Jing Herbs since then trying to put myself back together.
Tahnee: (17:59 )
Caitlin Priday: (17:59 )
Tahnee: (18:02 )
Especially the ceremonial cacao, it's really... I get high off it. I can't touch it really.
Caitlin Priday: (18:04 )
No. A tiny little bit for me, and oh gosh. Anyway, I made chocolates and all that kind of thing. I've had my massive journey with cacao, and I love it dearly but I don't need to indulge in it so much anymore.
Caitlin Priday: (18:17 )
But yeah, as I've gone more into my birth work, I found that that Mexican lineage has really come through. And it was no surprise that I found a teacher that is Mayan, like very Latino. She's got her other practises as well, but having that Mayan thread in there has been really deep and resonating for me. But with the birth work, yeah, Rebozo... Look, I really am not an expert on Rebozo. I still have a long way to go. I really honour the Rebozo and how it's even created. It's like all of the South American and Central American countries, like they have their own special weave. So their weave is like their creative signature. And so most Rebozos will never be the same because it's created by a woman whose signature is that weave or that colouring. So Rebozos-
Tahnee: (19:12 )
Could you just even quickly explain what it's because I was just thinking that-
Caitlin Priday: (19:12 )
Oh yeah, sorry. Of course.
Tahnee: (19:13 )
... people probably don't even know. That's my bad.
Caitlin Priday: (19:16 )
Mm-hmm (affirmative). No way, that's also my bad.
Tahnee: (19:20 )
Like, "What even is this thing?"
Caitlin Priday: (19:20 )
Yeah. So they're actually this beautiful long piece of fabric. They're quite thick. And like I was saying, they all have different colours and different weaves and designs on them. And Rebozo basically means like the way of life. It is such an integral part of Mexican women's lives. Like they use their Rebozo to carry shopping, they tie it up. They use it to tie babies on. They use it in birth work. And it is used in postpartum a bit, that's with closing of the bones, which I can go into in a moment. But in birth itself, it's a labour technique.
Caitlin Priday: (20:00 )
Again, I've learnt, but I'm not fully, fully trained. So it's not something that I necessarily offer because I'm really integral in wanting to understand something before I go and put it on the table for myself. So I'm by no means a Rebozo expert. But they do, in Mexico, use it for helping if interventions kind of starting to creep in, or baby's not moving or there's a lot of techniques that they can do. They call it sifting, so they'll pop the Rebozo underneath the womb and the woman will be on all-fours, and they'll sift the Rebozo.
Tahnee: (20:42 )
[crosstalk 00:20:42 ].
Caitlin Priday: (20:42 )
Yeah, to get the hips kind of jiggling and open. It's a really integral part of their work. If people do want purchase Rebozos, I highly recommend finding a really good source for them because some of them are just getting pumped out of China and if we're going to use indigenous tools, we want to make sure that we give back properly. So yeah, so that's Rebozo. But we use it in closing the bones as well, which is a postpartum technique where we basically help put a woman back together, so that's physically and also energetically. It's kind of like helping shut down the story of the birth. Because there so many women I've heard, I haven't had a baby yet, but obviously I work with women a lot in this realm. Most women say, "I have to reach out to the stars to find my baby and come back with my baby before I could birth it," which I'm sure you can definitely resonate with. And so-
Tahnee: (21:40 )
It's a portal, that's for sure.
Caitlin Priday: (21:43 )
Yeah, exactly. Where there's a portal... mm-hmm (affirmative). I see closing the bones, you know, shut the portal down.
Tahnee: (21:47 )
Yeah, well it's like any... We've both done plant medicine and it's like you don't just walk away at the end of the journey. You have to have that ceremonial ending and then beginning the integration process. I think that birth is the same, right?
Caitlin Priday: (22:05 )
Tahnee: (22:05 )
We have to honour it with ceremony and... yeah. So you work... because we've spoken a bit ourselves about your doula work.
Caitlin Priday: (22:13 )
Tahnee: (22:13 )
So you offer that sort of pre, I guess, natal support or during the prenatal period, and then also into maybe the pregnant period. Prenatals before that, yes? I don't know what I'm talking about anymore. And then you also do of this aftercare, so can you speak a little bit about your work with that and how you work with women and I guess what you observe as a... Because it's interesting, I think. I actually don't know that many doulas who haven't... You and I both know, Oni. There's a couple of people I know that haven't kids, but most women seem to come to this work after they've had their own children. And so it's interesting there's all these young women in this area really picking up the torch, I think. So yeah, I'd love to hear your take on all of that.
Caitlin Priday: (22:59 )
Yeah. Well, I think like for me at the moment, I definitely feel like I'm not completely maiden anymore. I feel like I'm transitioning more into mother, but I've had the exuberance of the maiden for the last 10 years and mothers need maidens. And I'm very, very into helping other maidens in my community learn how to look after mothers properly, because mothers are the backbone of our society. So that's been my driving force as a birth worker to really, really help mothers be strong and able to support this next generation. So that's kind of my passion, to make sure that this next generation are coming through in a strong and supported way, like in a village.
Caitlin Priday: (23:41 )
I can't really explain why that's been my thing, but that's just my heart calling, so I'm just... That's what I've followed. But postpartum kind of comes naturally. I think having that backbone of cooking and also space holding and helping people just in workshops and that kind of thing, I think it's easy to see where a gap can be filled. And postpartum is such a gap. It's just horrific. We think that we're doing well in the West, but you have to just turn to the East and see how well they're doing it to see how much more we could be doing.
Caitlin Priday: (24:18 )
Initially with the book, that's what Tahlia and I talked about a lot, because I was there with Tahlia when she was in her preconception period with her firstborn. And then I also was at her secondborn's birth, Ochre, and helped with postpartum as well. It really became the fuel to our fire, and just realising that the village is really... Not even necessarily missing, but it actually needs to be retaught.
Caitlin Priday: (24:43 )
There's something about our culture that because we haven't experienced or we haven't seen our mothers experiencing it, we don't know what to do. And so we need other people who say, "This is what you do and this is how we care for them." So essentially, that's how the book was created, like a really easy go-to manual for that. But in postpartum, I'm all about nourishing, and that's across the board, but predominantly with food. Yeah.
Tahnee: (25:11 )
It's super interesting you say that about the cultural piece, because I had a friend have twins recently and another friend of ours, who's in her maybe late forties, she... I said, "Oh look, I've set up a meal train." And this person was like, "A what?" And I was like, "A meal train." She was like, "I've never heard of this." And I was like, "Well, we all make food and bring it to the family." And she was like, "Oh, when I had kids that wasn't... you didn't do that." And I was like, "What do people do?" She's like, "I know you just ate... Your husband made food or..." And I was like, "Oh."
Tahnee: (25:43 )
It's such an interesting... It's only been... She's what, 10 years older than me? That still wasn't even on her radar when she had children. And yeah, I think there's stuff we really take for granted, especially in the Shire, where there is such an awareness, I think, of postpartum being important. It's still not perfect, but it's getting better.
Caitlin Priday: (26:03 )
Tahnee: (26:04 )
Yeah. I think there's this real lack of awareness of... I think when there's those big changes, like grief births, people often back away.
Caitlin Priday: (26:12 )
Tahnee: (26:12 )
It's almost like, "I'll give you space and then I'll kind of lean in later."
Caitlin Priday: (26:17 )
Tahnee: (26:19 )
It's almost like a reminder to people that it's actually really great to lean in and maybe they don't know what they need or what to ask for, but bring them food, bring them a treat, make them a cake, you know? There's some sort of basic things we can do. And that's what I loved about the book. You guys had some stuff around boundary setting, which I thought was really awesome, with families. It had all the great recipes. You talked about different ceremonial aspects around whether it's closing the bones or any of those kind of things.
Caitlin Priday: (26:46 )
Tahnee: (26:46 )
I think that sort of stuff more and more... You know, bringing that awareness through is so important. And it's kind of what your work is about, like with this shamanic dimension of your work. It's like we need to honour... You're feeling that transition already, like your maiden to motherhood transition. So many women I speak to don't even observe that change until they're a couple of years postpartum and they're like, "Oh my god, I'm a totally different person."
Caitlin Priday: (27:09 )
Tahnee: (27:11 )
Yeah. Have you been tuning into that through your practice or is it just like an awakening that you're feeling that motherhood is calling? Or what's that feeling like for you?
Caitlin Priday: (27:22 )
Well, it's interesting that you just brought up this like people backing away and death, and birth. Because I've always wanted to be a mother, but when my father died three years ago, that's when I really, really realised more about that nature of death and birth being such a similar portal, very much not like Hollywood, as we are all shown in the movies. Very gentle, humbling. Yeah, very different, very ceremonial act. So that really concreted that for me. Yeah, it's been hanging around for a while, but what I'm starting to realise more is, and I wrote a post about this the other day, is again honouring that season within, like honouring the maiden while she still is here. And by doing that, that's like having fun, enjoying moments of silence, doing all of things that I want to do because I watch my friends around me not be able to do that anymore.
Caitlin Priday: (28:30 )
And in society, I think we have a lot of lost mothers who have a tendency to hold onto the maiden because they haven't been celebrated or witnessed in that shift or that rite of passage correctly. And so like you're saying, in postpartum it's four years down the track and they're like, "Oh my god, what just happened to me?" So I try to really honour those seasons within myself, but I also like to facilitate that for other people. And as much as closing of the bones is a postpartum practice, there are some people who open up closing the bones for people that have gone death as well. And so I even experienced my own closing in the bones on the grief and the death around my father to help close that portal down as well. So yeah, motherhood is something that I think about and I feel like I do embody that archetype of the mother for many people. But I do like to honour the maiden as well because she has a place and I don't want to be a mother in a few years that's still trying to hold on to my maidenhood.
Caitlin Priday: (29:35 )
You know, obviously we have an internal maiden that lives within us, as we do a chrone and a maga, which is the menopausal season. But when I become a mother, I want to be embodiment of the mother, not holding onto aspects of myself that don't need to have the stage. You know?
Tahnee: (29:54 )
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. I think it's really interesting. And I remember when I was pregnant with my first child, my daughter, feeling this... It was a grief, but it was like a poignant grief. It was kind of like, "Oh, I'm changing seasons." We talk about that in TCM, like the full, the autumn season, like things falling away and the sort of dying that needs to up for something new to happen. And I think our culture is so afraid of death in all of its forms that we kind of lose the beauty of those transitions and those seasons. And motherhood is a death. You do have to, to some extent, kill the person you were before to become the person you're becoming. It's not a bad thing, and it doesn't mean you don't integrate. But it's like, yeah, there's a bit of a... Well, it's certainly been my experience and I've really enjoyed it. But I think it's something that we...
Tahnee: (30:53 )
We conceived this child, my partner got the call to go to Sydney. His father was dying. His father died. You know, we were at the funeral within... I think I was six weeks pregnant or something.
Caitlin Priday: (31:03 )
Tahnee: (31:05 )
And it's just like there's something for me that's so beautiful about that transition, even though it could be... Like people were saying to us, "Oh my God, I can't believe what you're going through, and you're pregnant." I'm like, "It's actually... " You know. My partner did all the death care. He washed his father, he dressed him, he cut his beard. And his ability to hold that, that's the kind of... that I'm birthing with this person, it's such a... and that I'm getting to share this goodbye and this ritual with him. I think it's something really powerful about that and that's given me a lot of confidence and faith in the other side of the coin, right, which is birth.
Caitlin Priday: (31:44 )
Tahnee: (31:44 )
Birth and death are the same portal really.
Caitlin Priday: (31:47 )
Tahnee: (31:48 )
So yeah, I think those death and grief teachings are very powerful when it comes to motherhood. And that's what I think people don't get, like of having a doula or someone around who can support that process if you aren't someone who maybe naturally is drawn to that work on your own.
Caitlin Priday: (32:07 )
Tahnee: (32:07 )
And I think that's where people... I don't know. What do you see when you first meet with women? What do they think a doula does versus kind of what you feel like you do? Do you have any experience with that or?
Caitlin Priday: (32:21 )
I think it's interesting. What comes to up a lot actually is that they want... Generally what I've found is that the doula wants the woman to be there to do all of the things that she thinks her partner can't do. But what I've actually really realised is that this thing that we placed on to men in the birth world, about men being redundant, or this is how a lot of men say, "I feel redundant," actually breaks down the family unit a little bit. So when I go into my initial meetings with people, I'm very focused on supporting and talking with the father, just as much as I am talking with the mother who's pregnant. Because if we talk again about that rite of passage aspect of things, a woman is very visibly going through a rite of passage. Whereas a man is also having a rite of passage, but there's nothing visceral or physical about it.
Caitlin Priday: (33:19 )
So, a lot of women that want a doula, I think, are quite familiar with what a doula is, which is that emotional support or that physical support, or if there's other kids involved, somebody that can cater to and hold space for the family as a whole. But I'm really into making sure that dads are included in that as well, because we can't have a society of women that are going through a rite of passage, and men that are just ignored or forgotten about. So for me, as a doula, that's been a pretty strong part of my work. I'm not sure if that's what is happening for other doulas, but it seems to be a theme with me that I'm actually there to help equally empower men as I am to the woman.
Caitlin Priday: (34:06 )
But yeah, I think we're lucky now. I think people do know what doulas are more often. If people that are listening don't know what a doula is, it actually means woman's servant. So midwife means with woman and doula is woman's servant. Doulas have been around forever. We were wet nurses back in the Greek times, or we were nannies or... Women have been assisting women for thousands of years in this way. Doula, isn't a new thing. It's actually a Greek term from thousands of years ago, so it goes to show that we have been here forever.
Tahnee: (34:41 )
Caitlin Priday: (34:43 )
It's just that now people are realising that they need us more. I think it's challenging at the moment for doulas because COVID has really put a strain on our ability to work. Women that are home birthing generally are in a different state of mind. And sometimes they don't need a doula as much, because if you're home birthing you're going to have a private midwife, or your free birthing and you don't feel like you want that support anyway. So that's a different thing. Like doulas are really needed in that hospital environment at the moment, and it's really challenging. All the births that I've had in the last few months that were lined up, I haven't been able to attend. So [crosstalk 00:35:25 ].
Tahnee: (35:25 )
Just for people who are listening, they've basically said there's no support people allowed, is that right?
Caitlin Priday: (35:30 )
Yeah. Just the partner. But even in Sydney at the moment, they've had really intense birth restrictions where-
Tahnee: (35:36 )
No partners have been allowed.
Caitlin Priday: (35:37 )
... not partner. Mm-mm (negative).
Tahnee: (35:39 )
Which is just horrific.
Caitlin Priday: (35:41 )
Tahnee: (35:42 )
Yeah. And talk about fracturing the family unit.
Caitlin Priday: (35:44 )
Exactly. Yeah, because women come out completely disturbed. There's a lot of birth trauma going on, not to discount people who have had beautiful experiences in hospitals. Because even in the Shire, I love hearing the stores that come out of Lismore.
Tahnee: (36:01 )
Caitlin Priday: (36:02 )
There's so many positive obstetricians and midwives out there. But on a predominant basis, if you look at statistics, we are failing women in the hospital sense of things. There's cascades of interventions, as my birth working teacher, Ria Dempsey, calls it. So yeah, we are needed, but we are not able to be there, so it's... Not for the portal itself when the baby comes through.
Tahnee: (36:29 )
Yep. Yeah, I think when we met, you were having to phone support the partner in one birth and-
Caitlin Priday: (36:35 )
Yeah. That's right. I forgot about that.
Tahnee: (36:38 )
Yeah, I think it's actually really devastating for women. I mean, I also believe in the power of the female body and the energy to be like, "This is my space." But it's a lot to hold if you aren't experienced and you don't know the system in you. I think that's what's so valuable about having someone who's like a birth keeper of some kind with you who navigates that world regularly. It's like they can be of support and help. And it's quite scary that that's all happening at the moment.
Caitlin Priday: (37:09 )
Yeah. It's wild. I mean doulas are advocates essentially, but as I've spoken to other birth keepers who are obviously... We're all having the same problem. Once the other woman can't go to hospital, realising that doula support is not just holding your hand as a baby comes out. Doula support is like teaching women how to advocate for themselves, what their rights are, teaching their partner, "This is how you rub her back properly. No, not quite there. A little bit down, you want to know now or she'll scream at you in labour if it ain't right."
Caitlin Priday: (37:43 )
Other things like postpartum planning, people really hone in on, "Oh, this is my birth plan." But postpartum planning is... if not more important, I think, than birth itself. Because you're got to have your structure and your village set up. So doulas are stepping into different roles now. We're learning how to work with what's going on. We can FaceTime, you know?
Tahnee: (38:09 )
Caitlin Priday: (38:10 )
We can call.
Tahnee: (38:12 )
Well, I think that piece around education and advocacy is super important. I think, I even can reflect on my first pregnancy being... Like wanting to be nice to this midwife suggesting something I didn't want to do, just a prenatal test. But it's that sort of conditioning we have as women sometimes to be like, "Okay. Well, I don't want to do it, but you're the professional so I'll agree." You know?
Caitlin Priday: (38:40 )
Tahnee: (38:40 )
It's just like... And I'm pretty stubborn and strong and I'm easily affected by that stuff. I think having someone there that can be like a sounding board and just provide that mirror, that reflection back to the couple around speaking to fear, speaking to... having someone to voice those concerns to I think just can be really helpful, that isn't your care provider necessarily, that isn't... you know? Because I think they can... I don't know. Like you said, it's just a mixed bag because some people have great experiences and other people, they get the fear of God put into them.
Caitlin Priday: (39:12 )
Tahnee: (39:12 )
So it can be really different for everybody.
Caitlin Priday: (39:17 )
That's where at the moment I'm... because I'm a kinesiologist as well, that's my kind of-
Tahnee: (39:22 )
You're psychic. That was literally my next question. Yeah, I'd love to hear how you see that kind of intersection, because I think...
Caitlin Priday: (39:30 )
Tahnee: (39:31 )
I see that as a really helpful tool to have the doula as well.
Caitlin Priday: (39:35 )
Mm-hmm (affirmative). I mean you touched on a really important thing, which is what is your relationship to fear or stress or pain. You know? These are things that most doulas will go into anyway before the... Like, when we take on a client, we have our paperwork and we're generally having that rapport with not just the mum, the dad as well. If the dad is fearful of birth, that's going to come into the room. So it's important that we have these kinds of conversations with people.
Caitlin Priday: (40:02 )
At the moment, I'm really incorporating that into my kinesiology work. Because I did that workshop and retreat work for such a long time, I really felt like even with Empress And The Dragon, I could be doing more. And I'm really into integration, like helping people actually understand what's going on. Because I think people can have really spiritual experiences, but they have no grounding. They'll come out kind of going like, "What just happened?" Like you said with plant medicines, people come out and go, "I don't know what just happened to me."
Tahnee: (40:32 )
Caitlin Priday: (40:34 )
Yeah. "I've been blown open, now what?"
Tahnee: (40:35 )
Caitlin Priday: (40:35 )
So that's why I got into kinesiology. But what I've actually been really finding is helping women in kinesiology prior to having birth. So really using their birth as a goal, like the kind of birth that they want to have, and helping them move stress and fear around that to help them get more mentally straight around the kind of birth that they want to have.
Caitlin Priday: (40:58 )
Kinesiology's amazing because it goes into your own birth story, and that's an important thing even without kinesiology. I think if a woman's preparing to get pregnant even, or is pregnant, unpacking your own birth story, which I'm sure you and Jane would have talked about on her podcast.
Tahnee: (41:14 )
We talked about menopause.
Caitlin Priday: (41:17 )
Tahnee: (41:17 )
But I've done her workshops and obviously unpacked that. I think it's really helpful... I mean, I was very conscious after my birth of my daughter that my mother was very big on physiological birth, and like, "You're like a horse. You pace around. You don't lie on your back." But it was also this very stubborn kind of... I don't know, like almost a masculine approach to-
Caitlin Priday: (41:43 )
Tahnee: (41:44 )
Yeah, like kind of a tough approach. Like, "I don't need anybody. I can't do..." And I could feel elements of that where I was like, "Don't touch me. Get away from me. I've got..." You know? And I think partly is necessary because that's who the person I am, but also I can feel that being some of her energy.
Caitlin Priday: (42:03 )
Tahnee: (42:04 )
Yeah, so I think it's really interesting to reflect on it and... yeah.
Caitlin Priday: (42:07 )
Tahnee: (42:08 )
And I mean, I imagine doing it with kinesiology where there's an embodied response that you're able to translate or... yeah.
Caitlin Priday: (42:14 )
Yeah. You've got that really somatic response of where it's at and what's going on. But I believe that you don't have to go and see a kinesiologist to get fear out of the body before birth. I think that there are so many practices that women could be doing prior to even getting pregnant. The preconception journey is just so important to start as a maiden, like you were saying before. Like unpacking these things, "What was my birth? Like what was my first period like? What's my relationship with fear?" Doing things like dance, movement, like meditation, shamanic journeying, drum journeying. There's so many different avenues that we can go into to start helping us unpack our relationship with our body and our relationship with the internal mother or the mother, the mother wound, that is really important to go into prior to having your baby.
Caitlin Priday: (43:14 )
I know that people have mother wounds that still have amazing births, but I think that anything that you can do to help you get prepared for a normal physiological labour, if that's what you want, is just so deeply important. And we do go into that a little bit in the book as well. But even what you're saying before about the people pleaser. You know? Like how you're saying that, "No. Yeah, you can do that. I'll do that." I do believe that the good girl archetype is something that needs to be talked about more in society, for women.
Tahnee: (43:49 )
Yeah, nice girl.
Caitlin Priday: (43:52 )
Like, "Okay, I will do that." Yeah. I think [crosstalk 00:43:54 ].
Tahnee: (43:54 )
I agree. And I mean it's a shadow really of what you're actually thinking, which is, "No." But I think that's an interesting... I think that's one of the things people underestimate. I actually wanted to bookmark this a while ago. At the very beginning you spoke about therapy, and for me, therapy has actually been a really important tool over my life. Probably at like 19 I started going seriously for quite a long time, probably close to a decade. And then I had a bit of a break, and then I've gone back at other phases of life. Now I work with more like a somatic therapist I guess.
Caitlin Priday: (44:36 )
Tahnee: (44:37 )
But I just find for integration and for self-reflection, it's just such a useful tool. But it's not often... The spiritual world, in my experience anyway, poo-poos therapy a little bit sometimes.
Caitlin Priday: (44:49 )
Tahnee: (44:50 )
I'm interested in your own journey with therapy and how you sort of see that affecting the integration of your work.
Caitlin Priday: (44:56 )
I'll say one thing, never trust any practitioner that doesn't go to a therapist. That's just my opinion.
Tahnee: (45:03 )
Caitlin Priday: (45:04 )
If you are seeing somebody that isn't getting supervision, run. I really believe that we have elders and therapists for a reason, like we have people that have gone through rights and passages before us to call us out on things. So for me personally, I have a lot of supervision, mostly because I obviously offer a variety of different things. Sharon is a supervisor for my shamanic work. My teacher, Parajat, supervises me for kinesiology. I call Anna, who's my postpartum teacher for birth stuff, if I'm not really sure what's going on. And then I also just have like normal therapy, which I use EMDR as a tool for me. That's been great because I've of early childhood trauma. If people don't know what EMDR is, I really recommend looking it up. It's an eye movement, very sensory experience where you are basically just helping turn off neural pathways. And I also do parts therapy, which is definitely a shadow thing.
Caitlin Priday: (46:13 )
Do you know what parts therapy is?
Tahnee: (46:16 )
No, and EMDR interestingly enough, when I studied Daoist stuff with Mantak Chia, we used it... We didn't call it EMDR, it's actually a Daoist technique that we use in energy work to clear patterns or loops that people get stuck in. It's interesting you're using that because that's... yeah. We're taught at very effective for trauma and loops.
Caitlin Priday: (46:36 )
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. Well, we do it in kinesiology as well. It's more like a subconscious... like sabotage programmes we call them, where it's like the brain goes into internal conflicts or reversals. So the brain kind of fries itself when it's gone through trauma.
Tahnee: (46:51 )
Caitlin Priday: (46:52 )
But EMDR has been really helpful for me because it was predominantly used to people that have gone through really hectic PTSD. They started using it on like war victims and stuff, and it just kind of helps turn off a memory. Because when somebody's rerunning a traumatic memory and over and over again, their amygdala is unable to get out of fight or flight. So it just helps people calm down the fight or flight, or freeze response.
Caitlin Priday: (47:16 )
So that's been helpful for me, but parts therapy has been more interesting. That's what I've been going into recently and that's more shadow work. It's like calling out archetypes within ourselves and letting them have the chair. We move in the room and we'll sit on the chair and it's a bit more interactive and you actually let that part say what it wants to say.
Tahnee: (47:38 )
I've actually done stuff like this with this anthroposophical therapist I saw years ago. I did it about five years with her. But yeah, I would sit and I would talk to... and then I would go over there. And then I would also have to move as that kind of aspect of self and throw things.
Caitlin Priday: (47:55 )
Tahnee: (47:56 )
Make shapes. It was quite... At the beginning I was like, "What the fuck am I doing?" But it actually was very powerful. Yeah.
Caitlin Priday: (48:06 )
Yeah. And with parts therapy as well, you find the opposite of the parts. So when you have a very dominating part, you'll have a part that's very quiet.
Tahnee: (48:12 )
Caitlin Priday: (48:12 )
Timid. So, that actually is also a shadow. It's not a bad shadow. This is what I was saying before, shadows aren't good or bad, it's just a part that that's been suppressed. Recently I found one of my main shadows was the nurturing quiet woman, because most people that know me personally will know that I'm quite loud and vivacious and extroverted. And that's partly my family conditioning, but that's also my personality.
Caitlin Priday: (48:39 )
But I also have a very nurturing, quiet, internal side of myself, and I really shoved that away. That was a shadow as well, so that was really helpful. But yeah, I've just found having any form of therapy... I mean, I've done most things, to be honest. I've drank plant medicine a million times, I've done kinesiology, I've done ecstatic dance. I've done ceremonies, but I've actually just found traditional therapy helps a lot.
Tahnee: (49:07 )
Caitlin Priday: (49:08 )
Tahnee: (49:09 )
And I mean, in terms of your ceremonial work, what does that look like now? Because I think life is ceremony to be a bit... you know?
Caitlin Priday: (49:19 )
Tahnee: (49:21 )
But how do you integrate this element or this idea of ceremony into your personal life and work, given that it's something that you've obviously had a lot of experience with?
Caitlin Priday: (49:29 )
Hmm, it's interesting you ask that. My relationship with ceremony's interesting at the moment. Website thing keeps coming up. Yeah, it's different at the moment because I put it on the back burner a little bit. I think I've become quite masculine in the last few years. That's a product of the grief and just things I've been going through, practicality-wise. I find ritual and ceremonies very feminine and I haven't, funnily enough, made enough space for the feminine.
Caitlin Priday: (50:00 )
As you were saying, a lot of people are like, "Ceremony is life." And they'll poo-poo it, but actually life is... it really is ceremony. And you know, five years ago I'd build altars and light candles and incense, and it's a big show. And actually, to be honest, I think it was more of a performance. Like, "I'm so spiritual, look at the spiritual things I do."
Tahnee: (50:22 )
"Look how much incense I can burn." Yeah.
Caitlin Priday: (50:23 )
Exactly. But now I'm older and I'm more integrated. I mean, I've also done a huge ceremonial training with Sharon. And like I said, I've sat in ceremonies many times and serve cacao ceremony, blue lotus ceremony. But yeah, to be honest, now it honestly is the mundane. It's just like watering my plants or having a little bowl of food for the ancestors in my therapy room. That's really important for me. And even just ritualistically having energy hygiene in my clinic space, like a bowl of salt water for every client that comes in, or a candle when I feel like the presence of my dad. It's not such a full blown thing anymore.
Caitlin Priday: (51:06 )
But even just... like I got to go over and see one of my really close friend's newborn babies two days ago, and that was a ceremony. You know, flowers and-
Tahnee: (51:17 )
They're baby Buddhas too, you can't be in-
Caitlin Priday: (51:18 )
Exactly. I was like-
Tahnee: (51:20 )
You can be in the presence of a newborn and not be like, "Hello, special being."
Caitlin Priday: (51:23 )
Oh my god. That is holy.
Tahnee: (51:29 )
Caitlin Priday: (51:29 )
And then big ceremony in my life is being with my dad when he passed as well. My relationship is very different. I don't need to post about it on Instagram to know that I'm a ceremonial woman. You know?
Tahnee: (51:40 )
Yeah, it's interesting. I did a workshop earlier this year. I actually can't remember the guy's name right now, having such a blonde day. But he's a teacher from... He's been initiated to Native American lineage, but he is actually also like a pastor in the Christian tradition, and he's also just studied theology. And his point was really around... and I know this life is ceremony thing can feel sarcastic. But his point was like "It's container, it's intention." You know?
Caitlin Priday: (52:13 )
Tahnee: (52:13 )
It's this sort of idea of also having enclosure and then integration. And we can do this when we get in a car. We can do it when we... you know?
Caitlin Priday: (52:23 )
Tahnee: (52:23 )
It's like how many times you get in the car and you're on your phone and picking music and you're putting your seatbelt on and you're trying to reverse. And it's like, "Get in the car. Get clear on where you're going. Save attention. Be present with the moment." It sort of just really landed for me how much that changes in my life as well. It used to be I had to practise and I had to do this. It has to be all these things. I have to look like something. And now it's like tending my family, and my chickens, and myself. It's very boring and not particularly... Like you said, not Instagramable, but...
Caitlin Priday: (53:00 )
No, it's the beauty of the mundane. But I will say in terms of actual ceremony, like when somebody is intentionally running a ceremony... I just have to bring it up because...
Tahnee: (53:13 )
Caitlin Priday: (53:16 )
... I promised Sharon that I'd be real on the call. Because I'm a part of her lineage, and so I'm like a spokesperson for the lineage and ceremony is a big part of our lineage. I've obviously apprenticed to her and worked with her for a long time. It's unfortunate in these times where Western people want to put a dollar on Eastern practises and really sell it out, in a way. I am a very, very big advocate for people that want to run ceremony for a job or to have a financial exchange that they actually get proper training for it, because ceremony works with spirits. That is what it is. That's how it always has been. And a true ceremony needs to be run in a proper grounded container, which is also generally known as a medicine wheel. Medicine wheels are in all types of cultures. They vary depending on the culture. But even if you're Celtic, they've always had medicine wheels as well.
Tahnee: (54:28 )
The Daoists have the turtle.
Caitlin Priday: (54:28 )
Yeah, exactly. And the native Americans have got their wheel and... Anyway, so there is always somebody there is the holder and the spokesperson and the leader of that wheel, if there is a ceremony that's going on. That's why there's always wise people or sages or whatever. I do have a problem with ceremony being thrown around and I do have a problem with ceremonies being put on the internet, because I believe that true ceremony isn't shared in that way. I do think that we could do better. People that post pictures of altars and things like that, they're sacred portals, they're sacred spaces where the spirits come in to do their work. So I don't believe that posting sacred pictures online is doing that work justice. If anything, it's diluting the magic and the ritual that people have been putting their energy into.
Caitlin Priday: (55:22 )
It's like if you're building an alter for manifestation and then you put it on Instagram and then everybody looks at it, it can really actually do the opposite. It can actually dilute the energy from it. So ceremony is sacred, but I do believe that ceremony is also contained. And if somebody wants to run ceremony that they definitely need to get proper training because a real ceremony will bring up shadows and triggers. And if the facilitator doesn't know how to handle that and hasn't done that work themselves, you're not going to be in a good space.
Tahnee: (55:54 )
Hmm. I'm really glad you've said all of that. And when I think about formal ceremonies I've attended, the casualness with which an experienced facilitator operates belies how much is going on underneath the surface. I've sat with people in their 60s and 70s who have been holding ceremonies for a very long time. They seem so nonchalant and relaxed. But then if you really tune in, there's like this eagle perception of they're literally above it all, watching and holding and architecting. You know?
Caitlin Priday: (56:31 )
Tahnee: (56:32 )
It's just this very interesting dynamic to observe. And yes, I think that's a good distinction around, I guess, life is ceremony and our own personal relationship with that aspect. I'm a yoga teacher, and I find posting... My personal practice, I can't share it. I cannot. I've never been able to record. I watch people on Instagram. I'm like, "It's so interesting that they can record their practice." Like, I can record a class that I'm intending to share, and share it. But if it's like my practice, I'm like, "This is..." It's like recording myself having sex with my partner. It's very intimate for me. And yeah, I find it really interesting. Not to say other people are wrong, but it's just something I've never been able to cross as a boundary for myself.
Caitlin Priday: (57:18 )
Yeah. I mean, that's a really good point because we have to question before we post things, why are we actually posting it? Do we want validation? Do we want other people to think we're spiritual? Do we want to sell a workshop that we're bringing out in three months? You know? When something is truly sacred and intimate, why would you feel like you need other people to be involved in that? That's between you and the divine, or you and your ancestors or you and your spirit team. Yeah, I think it's a good point for us to put into the podcast. I think that would be a thing in itself.
Tahnee: (57:52 )
Yeah. Totally. It's like its whole-
Caitlin Priday: (57:54 )
I can feel the mystery between you and I going, "Well, that can be a whole other conversation."
Tahnee: (57:59 )
Yeah. I find this stuff... and I guess I find it valuable to discuss with people who have relationships with these things, because a part of me values that if someone saw someone's practice and was moved by their intentionality and their self connection and... I can see the value in that being a transmission that people can receive and maybe inspire them into their own version of that. You know?
Caitlin Priday: (58:27 )
Tahnee: (58:27 )
I get it. I get that seeing someone's alter can inspire someone else to go and maybe... I remember last year seeing pictures from people on All Hallows' Eve kind of connecting with their ancestors and I thought, "Oh, that's actually really beautiful."
Caitlin Priday: (58:45 )
Tahnee: (58:45 )
But I agree with you that part of me was also like, "Urgh. Did the ancestors want to be like on Instagram as well?"
Caitlin Priday: (58:52 )
Tahnee: (58:54 )
Yeah. And I don't have a black and white answer for it. I have a very uncomfortable relationship with social media as it is. But I do think it's interesting when it comes to these things that are deeply intimate, like how do we maybe inspire or serve others through our work and our practise, and also keep something for ourselves. So just a constant-
Caitlin Priday: (59:13 )
We just embody it.
Tahnee: (59:15 )
Yeah. Constant dance, I think.
Caitlin Priday: (59:17 )
Also, as we learn to grow our power and embody our power in a true deep way, we don't... People come, you know?
Tahnee: (59:24 )
Caitlin Priday: (59:25 )
When you sit truly deeply in your power, it's like you could be in a room with heaps of people and the person that is magnetic... And you remember this from Daoism as well, power and magnetism. Somebody that's magnetic is very obviously out there and they are showing that they have a sense of power, but mostly it's magnetism. People are drawn what they're emitting. But then you look into the room and if you can scan and find a person that's got true power, they're quiet and hidden. And when somebody's ready for particular types of work, they'll find their power.
Tahnee: (01:00:00 )
What they need.
Caitlin Priday: (01:00:02 )
Because real power comes from deep containment, I believe. But that's a very Daoist perspective as well.
Tahnee: (01:00:08 )
I mean, I completely agree.
Caitlin Priday: (01:00:10 )
Tahnee: (01:00:10 )
Actually it was something my mum taught me years, and years, and years ago when I was a little girl. She would say, "The people that want to look rich or want to impress you or..." she's like, "They're the people that don't have the thing that they're promoting. Look for the people that look poor and look..." She's like, "They look like their lives aren't together. They're actually probably the ones you want to be talking to or learning from."
Tahnee: (01:00:34 )
And I remember it sat with me, especially when we moved to the Shire, where so many... We call them two-minute noodle shamans. There's so many people that are self-proclaimed gurus and healers and spiritual people. I have such a strong radar now. I'm just like, "No." You know?
Caitlin Priday: (01:00:49 )
Tahnee: (01:00:50 )
But I think that's partly from that teaching she gave me which was, "Yeah, don't take things at face value, and trust your instincts as well around, I guess, energies such as..." It tells us everything we need to know, really. So then you can tune into it.
Caitlin Priday: (01:01:06 )
Yeah. I mean it's like somebody that's really deeply grounded in their power, and it comes back to womb work, to just finish that off is in Empress, we teach people how to clear their womb out. They become grounded in their womb and their lower dantian so that they have strong womb boundaries. Because women are programmed by society to be leaky, to be like, "If I give away my energy or my sexiness or whatever." They put their energy out in order to receive something back. Not all women. But I mean, I've been there. I was horrific in my early twenties, just leaking my energy everywhere to try and get attention because I hadn't had enough therapy yet, or my inner child wanted mommy and daddy to validate me, so I would put that energy everywhere. But as I'd learnt how to be more contained and cleansed and clear in my womb, I feel more solid in my power that I now can like sit comfortably in my body.
Caitlin Priday: (01:02:03 )
I feel comfortable in my experience. I don't want to escape my feelings or leak my energy somewhere in order to get something back. And that is what women, I believe, need to learn through their lives, is to how to have really strong wound boundaries, to not be the good girl or to not cross their own yeses and nos, you know? To really be firm in themselves, I think that's how femininity will heal in someone, when women can be comfortable with being in their bodies and being firm in their womb boundaries, like authentic to who they are. Not to say that you don't want to be sexy sometimes. It's not like that, it's just being sexy with the right person in the right place.
Tahnee: (01:02:47 )
Yeah. With the right intentions or...
Caitlin Priday: (01:02:49 )
Tahnee: (01:02:49 )
Kind of understanding why you're drawn to that expression and integrating that, I think.
Tahnee: (01:02:55 )
I'm interested, to sort of lead us toward a conclusion, if your... Obviously you've done all this work and very deep work, and now you're more... I feel like I'm hearing you saying you're more integrated in terms of day-to-day kind of living this stuff and really embodying it and not it needing to be the thing where you have to leave your home and go out in the world. It's like bringing it back to your little container in your home, in your life. What do you do or what are your practices that you use to stay energetically in balance? I mean, especially being a practitioner working in the birth space. I think birth is like... I seriously think in terms of ceremony, it's the most powerful ceremony I've attended.
Caitlin Priday: (01:03:42 )
Tahnee: (01:03:44 )
I remember my husband going to visit a friend of ours who was birthing. It was when my daughter was very little. He just went to take them food and some drinks or something, and he came back and his pupils were all dilated and he was on this oxytocin high kind of thing. He's like, "Oh my god, birth is so amazing." And I was like, "This is a guy, who's walked into a room and walked out again. It's not like he's swallowed anything. And he's so high right now on this energy."
Tahnee: (01:04:14 )
But I think it took him a while to come back down to earth too. And I was like, "I wonder how, as a doula and as a bodyworker you harmonise yourself at the end of the day?"
Caitlin Priday: (01:04:26 )
Yeah. I mean, I'm not perfect.
Tahnee: (01:04:28 )
No, none of us are.
Caitlin Priday: (01:04:30 )
Message to all the listeners out there, I am a devil as much as I am a saint, but I am okay with that. I drink cocktails sometimes, ladies.
Tahnee: (01:04:40 )
Caitlin Priday: (01:04:42 )
I still drink alcohol and I eat meat.
Tahnee: (01:04:44 )
Caitlin Priday: (01:04:45 )
Tahnee: (01:04:45 )
Caitlin Priday: (01:04:47 )
I do eat meat, okay? But actually, that said, I have found meat for me, good quality meat, is really helpful for me.
Tahnee: (01:04:55 )
It's so grounding.
Caitlin Priday: (01:04:57 )
It's so grounding for me. Of course I have periods off. I detox and do things like that. But I'm a human. I drink margaritas, I go out for fine dining. I do all of those things, but I actually find that that does help me be integrated. The more that I've accepted my humanness has been the biggest blessing ever. Because when I felt disembodied and traumatised as a younger woman in my 20s, I wanted to escape my body and be a vegan and not wear shoes and all of these things, but I was so out of my body. Whereas, I'm now so in my body, which is very annoying sometimes but-
Tahnee: (01:05:32 )
Having a body?
Caitlin Priday: (01:05:33 )
Tahnee: (01:05:36 )
Caitlin Priday: (01:05:36 )
It's a dense journey in this hate suit, isn't it? Oh my god. But I let myself feel the feelings that I need to go through. I'm not perfect all the time, but I'm learning how to be better. And yeah, routine. My partner's been amazing at helping me with that. Going to the gym, being strong in my body, going for beach walks, having swims, going to bed at 9:00 every night. Finding better boundaries with social media, which can be challenging when you run your own business but I'm getting better at that. Drinking lots of water. And then just with my actual clinic practice, when I shut the door and a clinic session is over, I shut the door. They don't come home with me.
Caitlin Priday: (01:06:17 )
I wash my hands. I throw out their salt water bowl. I blow the candles out and I say, "That's enough." And that's my boundary that I've learnt with spirits and with people's stuff. I don't compassion fatigue out the way that I used to five years ago. I don't absorb people, but that's because I've done enough therapy that I feel sovereign in my own self that I can be caring and compassionate for someone else but I don't need to absorb their shit to feel like I'm a good practitioner.
Tahnee: (01:06:47 )
Caitlin Priday: (01:06:47 )
Yeah. So for me it's very much about routine.
Tahnee: (01:06:51 )
Caitlin Priday: (01:06:52 )
Yeah, it's, "Goodbye. Shut the door. Session is over." Yeah. But again, that's another topic.
Tahnee: (01:07:00 )
Yeah. Well, a really interesting one. And I think when you touch people in any capacity or spend time with people in a therapeutic way, that tendency for the energy to move from, "I don't want to deal with the person that's not well." In Daoism, we call it sick energy, which I don't like because it implies that the person is sick. But it's like energy moves to where there's cleanliness and faith and positivity and light. It's like, you can pick up a whole lot of stuff if you're not careful.
Caitlin Priday: (01:07:35 )
Yeah. Well, I do get clearnings a lot, which is part of my shamanic work as well, because I offer clearings. But I'm fortunate enough that we have a big group of people that I trust. So I exchange.
Tahnee: (01:07:47 )
[crosstalk 01:07:47 ].
Caitlin Priday: (01:07:47 )
I get a clearing once a month, but I also work with other energy workers as well that I trust to help me just to make sure that my vessel's good. And I know when something's not right. If I've picked up something from somebody, I've got tools that I can use to clear that out. But at the end of the day, if I don't have someone, I just go to the beach.
Tahnee: (01:08:06 )
Yeah, god bless.
Caitlin Priday: (01:08:08 )
Yeah. Thank you, Mamma Ocean.
Tahnee: (01:08:10 )
Cold water and sunshine [crosstalk 01:08:11 ].
Caitlin Priday: (01:08:11 )
Tahnee: (01:08:13 )
Caitlin Priday: (01:08:13 )
Or a bath. You know, a bath with Epsom salts and a handful of salt and some essential oils.
Tahnee: (01:08:18 )
Caitlin Priday: (01:08:19 )
You know, there's plenty of tools out there. But maybe you need to get Sharon on the podcast.
Tahnee: (01:08:22 )
Yeah. I was thinking about that. She sounds like fun. Yeah. Well, that sounds like a really amazing spot to wrap up. But I want to remind people that obviously your workshops are coming up in March in this area, Bellingen, and then you'll have something online. So I'll put the links to your website on the show notes. Will they have all those events?
Caitlin Priday: (01:08:44 )
Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Tahnee: (01:08:45 )
And we'll also link to your social media. And for those of you who are interested, Nourishing Those Who Nurture is the book that Caitlin worked on with Tahlia. I'll link to her interview as well, because I think you guys are just such a great pairing and both have so much wisdom.
Caitlin Priday: (01:09:01 )
She's the best.
Tahnee: (01:09:01 )
Yeah. I think it's really beautiful. I can just totally see how you guys connected to [crosstalk 01:09:08 ].
Caitlin Priday: (01:09:07 )
Tahnee: (01:09:08 )
You're sort of like almost yin and yang in a way.
Caitlin Priday: (01:09:10 )
Tahnee: (01:09:11 )
It's really beautiful. But then a lot of overlap as well. Like [inaudible 01:09:14 ] of how you guys-
Caitlin Priday: (01:09:15 )
Yeah, best business partner ever.
Tahnee: (01:09:17 )
Yeah. And your book is such a testament obviously that you guys were able to produce something so beautiful.
Caitlin Priday: (01:09:24 )
Tahnee: (01:09:25 )
And yeah, I've had so many women write to me since we had Tahlia on saying they loved the book and everything.
Caitlin Priday: (01:09:31 )
Tahnee: (01:09:31 )
So yeah, for those of you who are in that sort of space of whether you care for mums or you're just interested in how you support, or if you're pregnant or postpartum yourself, get a copy of that. And if people want to see you, like if you're based in the Byron area, clinically are they able to work with you or?
Caitlin Priday: (01:09:47 )
Tahnee: (01:09:48 )
Caitlin Priday: (01:09:49 )
I work online as well.
Tahnee: (01:09:50 )
Caitlin Priday: (01:09:50 )
So if people are interested in more of that wound stuff, I offer sessions via distance, which is just as powerful, and I love it so much. And also run kinesiology and closing the bones and postpartum support in the Byron Shire as well so if there's any-
Tahnee: (01:10:06 )
Yeah, that more has to be done in person?
Caitlin Priday: (01:10:09 )
Yeah, closing the bones is not something I can do online. It's a very manual thing.
Tahnee: (01:10:14 )
Caitlin Priday: (01:10:14 )
But there's lots of information about that on my website as well. But I love working with absolutely anyone, woman or man or child. So if you feel a resonance, I'm here.
Tahnee: (01:10:24 )
I actually didn't know that what you said about closing the bones being for grave mother sort of things, I think that's a real beautiful takeaway that you can use these things for multiple purposes.
Caitlin Priday: (01:10:36 )
Tahnee: (01:10:37 )
Yeah. So, for those of you... I'll put this link in the show notes, but it's Caitlin Priday, C-A-I-T-L-I-N P-R-I-D-A-Y, dot com.
Caitlin Priday: (01:10:45 )
Tahnee: (01:10:45 )
And there's also links there to your social media. So if you're keen to follow along, and... Yeah. Caitlin's sharings are really good. That poem you wrote about enjoying your maidenhood I thought was really beautiful. Made me a little bit jealous.
Caitlin Priday: (01:11:00 )
Tahnee: (01:11:00 )
I want to keep having fun.
Caitlin Priday: (01:11:02 )
We can swap. I'll hold your baby.
Tahnee: (01:11:06 )
Yeah. I mean, I actually love being pregnant. But sometimes I'm like, "Oh yeah." I'm in the baby-making stage of life. I'm reproducing.
Caitlin Priday: (01:11:15 )
But you've always got that inner maiden.
Tahnee: (01:11:17 )
Yeah, trust me, she'll come out when she can for a margarita.
Caitlin Priday: (01:11:20 )
I can't wait to see.
Tahnee: (01:11:23 )
Maybe we can have one together. Yeah.
Caitlin Priday: (01:11:24 )
Tahnee: (01:11:26 )
All right, well thanks again so much for your time today.
Caitlin Priday: (01:11:28 )
Tahnee: (01:11:29 )
It was such a great chat, and like I said, for those of you who want to reach out and connect, you've got Caitlin's details there. So thank you for your time, and have a [crosstalk 01:11:36 ].
Caitlin Priday: (01:11:36 )
Thank you so much. Thanks, darling.