by Jamie Wallace, CLD
In August I had the honor of hosting a blessingway (or Mother Blessing) for my brother’s wife, Nicole, who was about to welcome their first baby into the world. Although this event is new to most people it is gaining popularity as people look for alternatives to traditional baby showers.
A blessingway is a sacred pre-birth ceremony. It is a tradition of the Navajo people to celebrate a woman’s rite of passage into motherhood. Unlike a traditional baby shower, the “Mother Blessing ” which is the term I am going to use out of respect of the Navajo people, focuses on pampering and nurturing the mother. Typically, the gathering is only women and the closest to the mother, such as mothers, grandmothers, sisters, close aunts, best friends etc. to come together, celebrate and honor the mother-to-be. There are hundreds of ideas and different ways to conduct a mother blessing. There is no right or wrong way. Now you can go as simple as you like or as crunchy as you would like depending on the mother-to-be’s preferences. Since this is all new to everyone I decided to keep it pretty simple as not to weird anyone out. Ha! I scoured the internet and came across this book which was a huge help in planning.
Mother Rising is full planning ideas, prayer ideas, recipes, rituals, checklists and so much more!!
The idea of a mother blessing is to keep the space a sacred and safe environment and help a woman prepare mentally, emotionally and spiritually for birth, so please, no traumatizing birth stories during this time
I personalized invitations from a seller on Etsy. The name, date, location is printed on the front. The back (shown) tells about a Mother Blessing and also had different options for “gifts”. We chose for everyone to bring a word of encouragement, prayer or blessing on the enclosed card for a keepsake and some sort of food dish that could be frozen and cooked later after they were home with the baby. Little tidbit of info; I chose the bird on the invitation because Nicole loves red birds. They remind her of her late grandmother.
Some other gift ideas could be having everyone participate in making an affirmations poster or banner for the birthing day, asking everyone to bring a bead to string for a bracelet or necklace, gifts from nature, or rocks painted with blessings or quotes.
Personalized invitations from Etsy
The day of, things were pretty simple. A few bouquets of flowers were placed around. Yummy finger foods were ready, the space was dimly lit with candles, lavender in the diffuser and music playing in the background was from an album on Spotify called Sacred Pregnancy.
Note: It is important for guests to arrive on time so as not to disturb the “circle” once things get underway. Once everyone arrived, we gathered around the room in sort of a circle.
Ideally, the blessing should be organized into these five distinct stages:
- Beginning- establish safe and special place
- Shifting- move from individual consciousness to realm of circle consciousness
- Focusing- attention on mother to be as we honor, pamper, and prepare her
- Completing- Affirm our connections with the space and with one another
- Feasting- help move from sacred space back to social space
Our time went like this:
- Opening prayer was a prayer I went by in the book and tweaked accordingly
- Song from Sacred Pregnancy by Nina Lee album
- Nicole’s flower crowning, rose foot bath, hair brushing and braiding and henna foot design
- Closing prayer, again, from the book and tweaked accordingly
Beautiful rose crown from Kaleidoscope Florist, Muscle Shoals
Grandmother-to-be matching corsage from Kaleidoscope Florist
Rose foot bath
Henna Design by my 14 year old, Layla, with natural henna made by Andi Ludlam CLD, HCHD
And there you have it! A beautiful way to honor a beautiful mother! If you would like to take advantage of our blessingway planning services please contact us. We would love to help you honor a special mother-to-be in your life!
” It is within every one of us to make a difference. We can’t wait until we know how, or hope someone else will do it. More powerful than your experience, it is your loving, positive intention that will move the mother, open her, ground her, and enrich her in ways you cannot imagine.”
-excerpt from Mother Rising-
Jamie Wallace, CLD