The next step in the birth process happens after delivery occurs. The couple is to save the placenta that protected and nourished their baby and then bury it underneath a tree. Although this may seem like an unpleasant thing to do, the meaning lies in the symbol of the placenta and the tree. The fertilized egg symbolizes the seed that grows into a beautiful, healthy baby—or a strong tree. The idea of burying the placenta connects with the Pagan belief that trees are sacred. They believe that if their baby’s placenta is buried, it will nourish another tree.
Interestingly enough, this connects with the life cycle that is practiced in Hinduism and Buddhism. Hindus and Buddhists believe that life is constantly recycled, and living objects can reincarnate as other living things. For example, a tree may have been a king in the past. Or, a newborn baby may have been a beautiful tulip in another life. Pagans, Buddhists and Hindus share the idea that life and energy never dies. It seems to encourage the sentiment that living things must care for others, and help that cycle along. Cultural relativism works in this circumstance, because the meaning travels across multiple communities. Life is seen as precious in all of these practices, and therefore it should be treated with delicacy.
In this discovery, one may change their ideas from the conclusion that maybe life does carry on after death. There is a possibility that living things connect in a way that the human mind cannot understand. The Pagan belief that the nourishment of one child can pass onto another thing can create a belief in a person that there is a higher, more powerful being at work. An understanding results from this practice through the belief that life is more than just the actions of one person. Maybe there is a cooperation needed for life to continue on.
ARTHEN, SUE CUREWITZ. "Rites of Passage." Celebration of Birth. Fire Heart, n.d. Web. 6 May 2010.
Konick, Lisa. "Welcome Your Baby: Pagan Traditions." Belief Net. Digitaria, 2000. Web. 1 Apr 2010.