What is a Blessingway
A wonderful alternative to the traditional baby shower which is primarily baby focused. A Blessingway ceremony is a safe and sacred 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 community support is formed from the women attending the Blessingway to help the mother-to-be in the days 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 for the “Changing” of women, which includes puberty, motherhood and entering menopause. When performed in its entirety, the ceremony spans over two-days with the purpose of obtaining peace, harmony, protection, and to help realize the goal of a long and happy life. 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 she can provide guidance to what is important for her to address and so the ceremony stays within her comfort zone, emotionally as well as spiritually. During the ceremony the guests have the opportunity to not only give a blessing to the mother-to-be but 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 include:
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 birth. This gives the mother-to-be a spiritual 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 woman 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 ways that allow a new mother to relax and bond with her new 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 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 also a fun thing to make and give to the mother.
The singing of songs to celebrate women, 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 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 (ensure the ingredients are breast feeding friendly) to the new mother and helps out in any way she can when she drops off food (ie. starting or folding some laundry, washing dishes, dusting, etc..). This support is invaluable for the new mom at a big transition time in her life.
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.