Pregnant women in our society often feel like a beached whale during the last trimester. However, an expectant mother in the later months of pregnancy should be honored, respected, cherished and nurtured. Her billowy body, her time of approaching labor of birth can seem quite overwhelming ~ not to mention impending parenthood. The mother needs reassurance and pampering.
The Blessing Way ceremony is based on Native American Indian (Navajo) ritual that has been passed through the generations. It is based on the spiritual guides and the collective power of community. This ancient custom focuses on the spiritual aspects of motherhood and through symbolic gestures of love and support, the mother is empowered to face the important work of labor and birth ahead of her.
A Blessing Way can also be a beautiful addition for a baby shower. Wouldn't it be wonderful to create a unique occasion that showers a mom-to-be with blessings of love. It can be a celebration that gathers friends and family in a sacred circle to honor of her transition into motherhood as a rite of passage. This magical ceremony will relax her mind, lift her spirits and fill her soul with joy. She will leave here feeling embraced by her loved ones and empowered to brave the journey before her.
The ceremony begins by gathering everyone around the mom-to-be in a circle. It can be done indoors or outdoors. Everyone in attendance is focused on the expectant mother while listening to a friend chosen to lead the ceremony ~ directing the different activities. One person is chosen weave flowers into the expectant mother's hair or place a handmade floral wreath on her head. This is her crown and identifies her as the honored one. Another person is busy threading beads on a necklace with special beads everyone has picked out and brought especially for this occasion. Others in the group can participate by massaging the expectant mother's feet in a footbath. Later, everyone participates by verbalizing a wish and loving words of encouragement for the mother during a candle lighting segment. A "food train" list is made for any volunteers to bring a dinner to the family after the child is born. Think of how great it would be to have 5 or 10 days of NOT having to worry about meals during the postpartum period! The ceremony ends with a beautiful poetry reading. Everyone involved comes away with gratitude and joy for being involved in this intimate and unique celebration. The value of life, work and birth is rediscovered by those who have attended a Blessing Way.
The Blessing Way may not be appropriate for everyone or every community. Yet, cherishing expectant mothers and valuing the work that they do is appropriate for all of us and for our society! To learn more about Blessing Way ceremonies, click here.