A Blessing Way was traditionally a Navajo Ritual created to spiritually support and empower the new mother for her journey of birthing and motherhood. In recent times, this beautiful Ritual has been adapted as an alternative to Baby Showers, where the focus tends to be more on the gifts and the baby, rather than on the Mother and her experience.
There is a lot of information on the web and wonderful books that you can buy that can give you great ideas about how to create one for the new mamma in your life, whether friend, sister, daughter, relative. I will list some ideas below but really, just have fun and make them your own.
“If creating a Blessingway ritual seems at all daunting to you right now, we empower you to explore this idea in any way that feels right. A Blessingway doesn’t need to be an overwhelming, overcomplicated undertaking. If in doubt, try planning a ritual that is very simple, rather than abandoning the entire concept.”
“Perhaps you’re thinking all this stuff is too hippy-dippy or touchy-feely for you. Well then, stay in your comfort zone and don’t design a “way out there” event. There are so many ways to put a blessingway together that no matter how you end up doing it, it will be an amazing experience.”
“We create a ritual space that looks and feels special. Guests need to become centered and ready to participate in a sacred ceremony. We form a circle to create a container of support for the mother-to-be.
STAGE 2: Shifting
“We state the Blessingway’s purpose so we all know what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, and while we’re at it, we share our intention with the powers that be. Introducing ourselves helps us connect with one another. We help the mother-to-be let go of any negative beliefs or fears she may be carrying so that she can embrace all the blessings, prayers, and honor we wish to bestow upon her.
STAGE 3: Focusing
“We honor, pamper, and adorn the mother-to-be to fill her with positive and empowering energies. We tell her stories to encourage her, offer blessings to support her, and give her gifts that will help guide her on her journey.
STAGE 4: Completing
“We raise energy to affirm and charge the work we’ve done and to send our good intentions out into the world. We weave a web to maintain our connection with one another beyond the day of the ritual.
STAGE 5: Feasting
“We end our ritual by sharing food together in celebration. We eat together to ground our energy, help us shift from sacred space back to social space, and bring the work of the ritual into our everyday lives.”
“When we create Blessingways for each other, we women reach outside of ourselves and weave a web of community: a living breathing web of women who are blessing, teaching, and supporting one another-and as a result, we help to give birth to each other’s children.”
Here are a few of my favorite ideas from Blessing Way ceremonies that I have been a part of:
~Every guest is asked to bring a flower that reminds them of the Mother. These flowers are used to make a simple crown for the for the mamma which is then placed on her head at the beginning of the circle, while everyone is talking and getting acquainted. At a certain point everyone can say which flower they brought and why.
~Guests are also asked to bring an offering from nature like a small crystal, a feather, or a rock. These are offered to the Mamma and placed in a box or on a special altar plate that she can keep to remind her of everyone’s well wishes for her during the birth.
~Another sweet idea is to ask each woman to bring two beads, one for mamma and one for baby. During the ritual these beads are used to bead a necklace for the Mother and a bracelet for baby.
~Another wonderful idea is a candle that is lit and then passed around the circle. Each woman offers a word they wish for the mother like “strength” or “endurance,” and when the candle reaches the Mother, she blows it out and it can be re-lit by her when she begins her labor! Also a nice take away gift to give every woman in attendance is a small candle to take home with them that they can light for the Mother when they receive news that she has gone into labor.
~Lastly, it wonderful to close the circle by having some yarn or thread which each woman wraps around her wrist and the passes to the woman next to her who does the same. Once it has gone around to each woman in the circle including the mother, some words can be spoken about the web of connectivity and support within her circle of woman friends. Then each woman takes a turn to cut the strings of the woman next to her and help tie the yarn or string onto the wrist. Everyone ends up with a string bracelets that stays on until the mother goes into labor. A chain system can be set up where the Mother or father to be lets one person know when it happens and she is in charge of texting or calling the rest of the women to let them know. At that point everyone can cut them off and the blessings can be immediately releases to the birthing mother.
As you can see and imagine, it is an incredibly moving experience and it really does help prepapre the Mother spirituality and mentally for what is to come.
Our culture is so devoid of meaningful RITUAL so we need to have the Vision to create sacred space for ourselves to honor and support eachother through these most meaningful Rites of Passage.