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Kokopelli ~ Fertility God, Full of Mischief and Hope. And Love Blog Feature
Lisa Rosenthal

By: Lisa Rosenthal on January 8th, 2014

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Kokopelli ~ Fertility God, Full of Mischief and Hope. And Love

Fertile Hope | The American Fertility Association | Pamela Madsen | Kokopelli

Fertility God Kokopelli

Fertility God KokopelliKokopelli has been a friend for a long time. A long, long time.


Fascination with Kokopelli started with looking for something, anything to give me hope while trying to conceive. The fact that he is a mischievous southwestern, Native American God was not surprising to me. Fertility God that he was, yes, he had a sense of humor. One that I found quite warped at times.


Here’s the Oxford definition of Kokopelli:

Syllabification: (Ko·ko·pel·li)

Pronunciation: /ˌkōkəˈpeli/

  • a fertility god of the southwestern Native American culture. Depicted as a hunchbacked flute player, he is known as a playful prankster and storyteller.

The American Fertility Association (AFA) Ball

He become bigger and brighter for years as the Kokopelli Ball through The American Fertility Association. Pamela Madsen and I, for the first year, went around and rallied support for the black tie affair to raise money to support men and women who were trying to conceive. I remember, quite clearly, the excitement that the infertility community had around the Kokopelli Ball~reproductive endocrinologists, fertility centers, pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies and more.


The Kokopelli Ball was a chance to honor those professionals that gave of themselves to the fertility community. We carefully chose individuals and organizations that had truly furthered the field of fertility treatment. And yes, we celebrated. We celebrated the possibilities of fertility for those who were struggling with infertility. We celebrated the successes and the possibilities of more successes. We celebrated the making of new families and expanding existing families. We celebrated the important and very special work that we all did.


That was who Kokopelli used to be for me. He has evolved over the years and transformed yet again last week. Being the mischievous God that he is, that seems entirely appropriate. Of all the Gods and Goddesses out there, he is among the least likely to be what you expect him to be.


When I think of Kokopelli from the past, I think of The AFA galas, replete with tributes and accolades to the professional community dedicated to fertility treatment. I think of the Kokopelli images and icons adorning a small house on an island where so many new plans for The AFA were born. I think of the abundance of Kokopelli’s in Arizona where I have been a visitor so often in more recent years.


Expanding Fertility Community 


And now, I see Kokopelli through personal eyes once more. I see a friend, a Fertile Yoga student, a RMACT patient, share small, silver Kokopelli charms with her fellow fertility travelers. I see Kokopelli as something precious, a way to expand community and remind all of us that we are not alone.


I see Kokopelli as love. And laughter, ringing from Ladies Night In and Fertile Yoga. I see Kokopelli as dark, twisted humor when necessary, that mischievousness coming through, yet again.


I see Kokopelli as Hope, with a capitol H and a sense of humor and a sense of love.


Great time for transformations. And sharing. And love.


And fertility. 


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About Lisa Rosenthal

Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.

Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.

Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.

Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.