What is a Blessingway?

A Blessingway is a wonderful alternative to the traditional 'baby shower' that is held for a woman approaching birth. A Blessingway ceremony is a safe and scared space where the mother-to-be can explore the challenges and joys that lie ahead in her journey to birthing and motherhood. Surrounded by the most important women in her life she gains a sense of power, confidence and support that will help her rise to motherhood. A sense of community is formed to help support leading up to her birth but also after her baby is born.

Where does the Blessingway come from?

The Blessingway originates from the Navajo people in North America. Blessingways are performed for the Changing of the women which includes puberty, motherhood and entering menopause. When performed in its entirety traditionally, the Blessingway is a two-day ceremony whose purpose is to obtain peace, harmony, protection, and to help realize the goal of a long happy life. This is the origin of the baby shower but our traditional baby shower is baby focused. A Blessingway ceremony allows us to focus on the mother, honoring and supporting her through this journey. The key is for the ‘mother to be’ to allow herself to receive and ‘fill her cup’ as deeply as possible. When organizing a Blessingway the mother-to-be is involved so that we can find out what things are important to her to address. We also want the ceremony to be within her comfort zone, emotionally as well as spiritually. As a culture we don’t give praise and truly express our feelings to many of the important people in our lives. During a Blessingway the guests have the opportunity to not only give a blessing to the mother-to-be but to also tell her how she has blessed them. This is an incredibly powerful part of the ceremony. A variety of rituals can be incorporated into the ceremony. Some of them include:

Bead Ceremony – Each woman is asked to bring a bead for a blessing necklace. At some time during the ceremony a bowl is handed around the circle and each woman gives her bead and a blessing for mother and baby. At the end of the ceremony one of the women threads the beads together and gives the necklace to the mother to have with her during the birth. This gives the mother to be a connection to all her women friends when she is birthing.

Binding of the wrists – The woman running the ritual brings a real of wool or fine thread. This is bound around each woman’s left wrist by the woman who sits to the left of her, as each woman binds the thread on the other woman’s wrist she says ‘ from women we were born into this circle, from women we were born unto this earth’.

This ritual is symbolic of the thread that connects us all as women. It also keeps each women tuned into the birthing mother as she leads up to her time. When she goes into labor, all women in her circle are contacted through the phone tree and each woman breaks the thread and sends a blessing for an easy birth. This circle of women can then be contacted once the baby is born and be invited to support the mother in practical way that allow a new mother to relax and bond with her baby, which is her priority right now.

Massaging the Mother – Take along some lush, pregnancy friendly, massage oils and be sure to give her the full treatment with as many women as possible joining in. Brush her hair, give her a facial, whatever indulgence she wants.

Flowers – Flowers are symbolic of natures’ abundance and beauty just as a woman is when she is in her full pregnant bloom. Be sure to ask all women to bring flowers and create a beautiful alter with them. A flower crown is a beautiful thing to have for the mother.

Singing – The singing of songs to celebrate woman, pregnancy and birth is a beautiful way to honor and share at a blessingway. Each woman may bring a song or poem or instrument to play or you may have a talented friend who can lead the group in song.

Post Birth Support – On the day of the Blessingway Ceremony have a close friend take the names and contact details of each woman present to be put on a ‘support roster’ for bringing meals after the birth. Each woman brings one meal (ensuring the ingredients are breast feeding friendly) to the new mother and helps out in any way she can when she drops it off – e.g. dishwashing, clothes washing etc… This support is invaluable for the new mum at a big transition time in her life.

I am happy to facilitate your Blessingway or for more information on Blessingways please contact me.

Group Blessingways

Join other expectant mothers in a truly unique and meaningful ceremony as we acknowledge and celebrate our transition into motherhood while bonding with one another. Together we will explore our fears and excitement, support one another, set our intention for birth, and have a great time connecting through various rituals. Just as women have gathered together for blessingways for hundreds of years all over the world, women in our community will gain strength and clarity as they pass into a new stage of life.

Group Blessingways will be held at Chinook Yoga seasonally.

Please contact Cindy for more information concerning times and dates.

Summer 2011    - July

Fall 2011           - October

Winter 2012      - January

Spring 2012      - April