Because I’m thinking about these issues of late, I’m trying to be extra careful with events for which I’m responsible. Which brings me to my wonderful friend Kat, who is not at all disabled, but is pregnant. (You can read more about her journey at Aurora’s Dawn.)

Many Pagans believe in some version of a goddess like Gaia, who created the earth.

For convenience’s sake, insurance companies classify pregnancy as a “short-term disability,” but I prefer to think of it as “doing something really awesome and miraculous.” (I’ve never done it myself, so have no memories of morning sickness to de-romanticize my view!)

Nonetheless, it does place certain limitations on a woman’s body. I know Kat would let me know if she needed anything special at the Red Temple gathering I’m hosting next month. Still, I’m trying to be proactive by making sure she has a place to park near the event. And I’m pretty sure we’ll all be willing to get RIGHT out of her way when she needs the bathroom!

Pregnancy is not exactly an “invisible” disability, but some pregnant women have a tougher time physically than others, even at stages where they may not “show.” (This might be a good time to remind everyone of Dave Barry’s rule that you do not ask a woman if she is pregnant until and unless you actually see a baby emerging from her. If she has merely put on weight, believe me, she does NOT want to hear it.)

For some women, this may be the first time they’ve experienced much in the way of physical limitation. Despite the ads that show happy pregnant women doing yoga and strutting off to work in perfectly coordinated maternity outfits, the reality is that many women experience pain and fatigue along with other symptoms that may make it less comfortable for them to participate fully in Pagan rituals and experiences.

Of course, in a perfect world every woman (Pagan or no) would have access to caring medical professionals and a supportive community to make sure all her needs — physical, emotional and spiritual — were met. I know Kat is blessed in many ways, and I also know there are many Pagans in our community who already feel a bond to her daughter Mary Athena. I can’t wait to meet her!