What are Soul Midwives?
Soul Midwives are non-medical, holistic companions who guide and support the dying in order to facilitate a gentle and tranquil passing.
‘It should be a sacred day for you when one of your people dies – a sacred day, when a soul is released and returns to its home.’ (Black Elk)
We all die. But there are good deaths, and less good deaths. Most of us hope to die, pain free, at home, with our loved ones around us, given the choice. But not many of us actually achieve this. Some modern deaths are efficient, but clinical, institutionalised, functional and soul-less. Soul midwives want to facilitate a dignified and peaceful experience.
In traditional cultures around the world, death has always been regarded as an important rite of passage, an initiation, a journey across a spiritual threshold. Modern soul midwives are able to draw on these ancient skills and traditions, applying them to our modern world and using them to ease the passage of those who are dying.
Soul Midwives lovingly assist and accompany a dying person on their journey, and can provide their services within a home, hospital or hospice.
The Soul Midwife’s most important role is to provide comfort, continuous support and reassurance in helping a friend to experience the passing he or she wants.
The 12 Principles of Soul Midwifery
– To work as non-medical holistic companions who guide and support our friend in order to facilitate a gentle and tranquil passing.
– To support and recognise the individual needs of our friend and ensure they feel loved and supported.
– To create and hold a sacred and healing space for our friend (whether in a hospital, a hospice or at home).
– To respect and honour a friend’s religious/spiritual or atheist/agnostic beliefs and practices.
– To work as non-denominational, multi-faith practitioners who honour our friend’s beliefs about life, death or the afterlife.
– To listen, provide gentle therapeutic techniques, and ensure compassionate care at all times.
– To ‘serve’ our friend; not aim to ‘fix’ or ‘rescue’.
– To give healing, using sound, touch, colour, scented oils or other gentle techniques to alleviate pain and anxiety.
– To keep a loving vigil.
– To work holistically with the spirit and soul of our friends at all levels and stages of transition.
– To support families and their loved ones, giving loving care with a human touch.
– To provide comfort, continuous support and reassurance in helping our friend to experience the passing he or she wants.