The Blessing Way is a ceremony that prepares and celebrates the passage a pregnant woman and her child experience in birth. It may also be a time to prepare an adoptive mother (or both parents) for their journey into parenthood. The term “Blessing way” is borrowed from the Navajo, who practiced this kind of ritual within their own time-honoured traditions.
The Blessing Way is a time for a woman and her close female friends and family to join together with sacred, ritualized intent, focussed on her safety, strength, and well-being. It is about women joining together to share their protective, empathic energies. Blessing ways may be held to include male friends and family as well. The exact size, time, activities, rituals, prayers, and composition of a BW gathering is up to the woman or parents who are the focus. Blessing Ways can be created for any spirituality or religion, and usually take place soon before a birth (whether that’s a homebirth, hospital birth, or scheduled C-section). A Blessing Way may also occur post-birth or at the homecoming of the baby, and be more focussed on the healing of the mother and the welcoming of a new baby. They may be held in-hospital or birthing centre, especially if the baby or mom needs some extra blessings and support. For moms or both parents who are birthing again, it may be a time to focus on the journey of parenthood.
I have attended and received Blessing Ways. They are a real comfort and help a pregnant woman feel pampered, protected, invigorated, cherished and loved, at a time when she may be exhausted, anxious and overwhelmed. I felt joined in a circle of strength and comradery, which was something I clung to fiercely during my very difficult and prolonged labours.
Combine bellydance, belly casting, henna, and ritual for a real feast of the senses that will leave everyone feeling proud to be women. Be careful with henna! Many essential oil additives may trigger labour. For more information, ideas and resources about Blessing Ways, please contact me at 957-7520 or <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Resources for Blessing Ways:
BOOK: Blessingways: A Guide to Mother-Centered Baby Showers–Celebrating Pregnancy, Birth, and Motherhood by Shari Maser
BOOK: Mother Rising: The Blessingway Journey into Motherhood by by Yana Cortlund, Barb Lucke and Donna Miller Watelet