Image credits: Olga's Blessingway for the Return to the Self Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training
Pregnancy: Blessingway Ceremonies and Rituals
Pregnancy is a special time for a woman to be revered and honoured by her loved ones and community. Every pregnant woman is on a unique sacred journey. It is a time for her to know her strength, her inner wisdom and her vulnerability, to sit with the wisdom of the community, to be supported and cherished, loved and nurtured.
Image credits: Alexia Campbell & Mama Laurie
Reclaiming the feminine through ritual
Ritual Celebration makes an incredible difference in a woman’s life and the life of the community. Supporting womanhood through a strong sense of sisterhood and communally recognizing the significance of powerful events is incredibly powerful. If a woman’s life stages are honoured and held, rights of passage become thresholds to power. This starts with recognition of young woman’s menarche (first moon), honouring pregnancy and the postnatal period (such as closing the bones ceremonies) and then ceremony to mark the transition to menopause in the wisdom years.
I am the tree of life
root, branch and flower.
Energy flows from the center of the earth
the power of all creation.
I share the birth of every growing thing
and my opening
and each passionate urge
is a shout of joy.
(Birth Passion- Sheila Kitzinger)
The origins of the Blessingway ceremony
Blessingway Ceremonies are a Native American Navajo (Diné and Enemyway) rituals at key life stages to promote harmony and balance in the individual and community. For pregnancy, a woman’s rite of passage into motherhood is celebrated and honoured with song and ritual. Such ritual was tribal life, deeply ingrained, passed down from culture to culture, generation to generation and woman to woman. The ceremony honours the cosmos herself, the elements, nature and spirit. It offered an opportunity to explore the challenges and joys that awaited. Such traditions have parallels all over the world.
‘Blessings’ painted by Veronica Petrie
Her modern counterpart is the baby shower, which emphasizes the baby’s gender (gender reveal parties), gifts and games. Fun, but commercialized and not especially woman centered or nourishing. A ritualised ceremony is in recognition of the sacred nature of new life and unconditional love and is now moving fast into the ‘conscious community’ of yoginis and women’s circles and beyond.
“The transition from Maiden to Mother is immense, it is a Rite of Passage. It is one of the greatest thresholds you will ever cross. Be brave my sisters, if you are being called to the great calling of becoming a Mother. It is truly a gift that will herald you into your fullness and you will blossom more than you could ever imagine. Yes, it is not easy, but you have all that it takes.”
Suzanne Zephyr Blake, Wild Mother Queen, Mother of Kaileb
Ideas for the Blessingway Ceremony
Before the ceremony day
A written note for a Blessing Box, An object for a centerpiece, A special bead for a bracelet or necklace, A beautiful flower for a floral crown, A gift for to include in a care package, A plate of healthy, nourishing food to share
On the ceremony day
Shopping list and preparations
Blessingway Ritual Overview and Ideas
Welcome the woman, seat her in her throne of comfortable pillows, offer drinks, make her comfortable
Sit in circle, open the circle, call the directions & ancestors
The women each introduce themselves (in their matrilineal line) and how they came to be in the mother to be’s life and describing the mother with love
“I am Jo, daughter of Christine, Granddaughter of Hilda, Great-granddaughter of Lilian, mother of Caesar and Ananda….”
Ritual ideas – chosen according the individual woman
bead necklace for a Blessingway made of beads offered by each woman: source unknown
Candles for each woman: source unknown
Pampering and adorning the mother to be
The mother is seated in her own throne
Suzanne Zephyr Blake @suzannezephyr, Wild Mother Queen, Mother of Kaileb, Blessingway Ceremony held in Dubai, led by Willow of @womanspaceme
Each sister worships her in the form of divine unconditional love. She can:
Closing the circle
Dedications and calling the directions.
Sharing from each woman
Woman chooses a tarot card from a pack
Sharing of nutritious food
Books About Blessingways
Yana Cortlund Barb Lucke and Donna Miller Watelet,
The video shared features experienced doula and ceremonialist Alex Alonso (contact her at [email protected]) for more details and bookings for ceremonies in Portugal).
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