The First Big Event: Your Own Conception
Conception, gestation, and birth; you’ve been there, or you wouldn’t be reading this. You wouldn’t exist. Every human goes through them, but how we experience them is uniquely our own.
This series of articles is about my experience. If you read it and resonate with it, or if you find it affecting you deeply, I invite you to understand that healing the trauma of your time in the womb can have a profound effect on your life. It did for me.
The Journey of the Egg: Ovulation to Conception
Even before conception, both sperm and egg are on a great journey, the Journey of Life. Their purpose is clear: to become someone wonderful.
Think of your maternal grandmother when she is pregnant with your mother. As the fetus that will eventually become your mother develops in your grandmother’s womb, special cells come into being in her tiny womb. More than ten years after she is born, when your mother reaches puberty, they become viable egg cells, capable of becoming a new human being. One of them is the egg that will join with a sperm cell from your father to become you.
Twenty-seven years before I was conceived, the egg that would be me was formed in the womb of my grandmother, in the fetus that would become my mother!
Grant McFetridge and I did not begin our research at that earliest time. He was interested in the possible traumatic aspects of conception, so he chose a time about midway through my mother’s menstrual cycle, when her body began to prepare for ovulation by choosing which egg to release.
In my role as Guinea Pig Number 2, I began the session by using shamanic visualizations and breathing techniques to enter a deep meditative state.
The next step required me to apply three shamanic techniques, though in a different context than I had ever used in my shamanic practice. They were time travel, moving from my current age and time to the time before I was born; Spirit travel (or astral projection, whichever term, you like), projecting my identity into my mother’s body; and shapeshifting, to take on the full identity of two different beings, first the egg and then the sperm.
When Grant instructed me to move to the selected point in time and space, I found myself in my mother’s left ovary just as her ovulation began. Opening my awareness to my surroundings, I realized with a thrill that I was an egg cell, and that I was the Chosen One.
The moment when a particular egg is chosen to be released into the Fallopian tube is charged with anticipation and excitement. I had an unshakeable knowing that I would not die and be released from the body in menstruation. Instead, I would be fulfilled. I would unite with a sperm cell, and in so doing I would attain my purpose.
From a spiritual point of view, I the egg was held energetically within a sphere of white light. Yet there was no sense of being protected, and therefore no sense that there was anything to be protected from.
There was a beautiful innocence to this time. There was also a sense that I was loved by something immense, sacred, and powerful — a Mother of cosmic magnitude who cared about more than words can express. The feeling was like that of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah, amplified many times.
I was in bliss! Until the moment of release from my mother’s left ovary, I was unaware of anything outside myself except love, other eggs, and a shared sense of destiny. This was Oneness with all of creation — a beautiful experience of community consciousness.
It is no wonder that I, like many of us, yearn in our adult lives for that state of Oneness. We have known it before.
Later I came to understand that this anticipation and excitement occurs every time the womb prepares to release an egg, whether or not the egg experiences conception. I also came to understand that the Mother I felt loved by is Gaia, the spirit of the Earth.
Up to the moment of release from the ovary I had developed in an environment of safety and comfort (There are exceptions: think of a girl or woman who struggles with alcohol or drug dependency, or who experiences ongoing trauma and whose system is constantly flooded with cortisol and worse. These can affect the development of the egg.)
I left behind the familiar environment where I had been for nearly three decades. (remember, my mother was 27 when I was conceived). The minuscule being that was me the egg — about one tenth of a millimeter (the thickness of a human hair) in diameter, yet still by far the biggest cell in my mother’s body — was brushed into the Fallopian tube. There I awaited the arrival of the Other, the sperm cell who would merge with me.
I encountered a whole new range of experiences. One was separation from the serene and beautiful environment of the ovary. Another was exposure to new hormones and chemicals, which I perceived as odors. They pervaded my entire self with new and sometimes unpleasant sensations.
The movement was unlike anything I had known before, but not frightening. Remember your first day at school or university, or your first time in a sports tournament? Most likely you were looking forward to the event, but could not imagine it because you’d never been there before. It was like that for me as I entered the Fallopian tube.
Through all of these journeys I was talking, describing what I was experiencing. At this point Grant instructed me to move ahead in time, to a few moments before conception. Still in the Fallopian tube, I now felt excited anticipation. I knew that something magnificent was about to happen. I knew that I would unite with another, and that he (the sperm feels masculine regardless of whether its genes are male or female) was on his way to me.
As an adult I had read that there are millions of sperm cells “competing” to fertilize the egg. Yet as the egg in that moment, conscious of sperm cells all around me, I realized that they were not in competition. I knew which one I would join with. The choice had been made by a power greater than either the sperm or I, greater than my mother. My role was to surrender actively, to carry out my part in the unfolding of this wonderful event.
I “watched” the Chosen One among the sperms cells approach, shining as it came to me, and I opened myself to it fully. But the moment of conception was not what I expected. In that moment there was absolute fulfillment, yes — and there was also profound, shocking violation.
This was the first major trauma of my life.
The Journey of the Sperm
The sperm’s journey begins in the body of your paternal grandmother when she becomes pregnant with the male baby who will be your father. As he develops in her womb, specialized cells form in his minuscule testicles. Then, twelve or so years later, when your father reaches puberty, these “germ cells” begin to divide and eventually produce viable sperm cells.
After a boy reaches puberty, his sperm cells mature over about ten weeks — up to a hundred million per day. They are viable for about five days in his body. If they are introduced into a woman’s body, nutrients there can keep them alive for five more days.
My journey as a sperm was similar to my journey as the egg in several respects — leaving a safe and familiar place, adjusting to a new environment, and facing an unpredictable new experience. Unlike the egg, as the sperm I was driven by an irresistible impulse to move, and a powerful intention to be The One.
Grant instructed me to enter the consciousness of the sperm as it was approaching the egg. The egg looked enormous. I knew she had already chosen me. Then the moment of conception: I was welcomed in, enfolded, and fulfilled — and I was annihilated.
For both sperm and egg, joining together at conception is simultaneously wondrous and traumatic. The trauma is an almost complete loss of individuality, with a feeling of violation on one side and obliteration on the other. Eggs and sperm know nothing of the need to combine their DNA or genes; they know only their own experience.
Grant’s intent in this meditation was to investigate the traumatic aspects of the coming together of egg and sperm. From his point of view the experiment was a success. For me, having been deliberately guided to experience the traumatic aspects of conception, the pain was unexpected and nearly unbearable, even for my adult self. For the sperm and egg, it was indescribable but mercifully brief, as I entered a whole new phase of existence.
As part of the research, I later revisited the event and heal the trauma of violation on one side and annihilation on the other. When I did so, my perception changed profoundly. The pain was completely gone. I understood and accepted that it was necessary for the sperm and egg cell to lose their identities in order to bring a greater being into existence. After the healing, my conception had the feeling of a royal wedding where I was both bride and groom, but without the politics. This event became one of the most beautiful of all human experiences, an exquisitely choreographed dance of destiny, in the presence of the unified consciousness of the Earth, a magnificent being that I instantly knew as Gaia.
In the next article I will describe my experience of implantation in the wall of the uterus and the general environment of my mother’s womb during gestation.
To learn more about these journeys, and what I do, I invite you to have a look at my website: www.windwalker.ca.
February 18 2023