We again welcome Guest Dr Sarah Lantz explaining what is a Blessing Way and it's history.
Mother-centred Sacred Passage into Motherhood.
A traditional baby shower with a booty of pink and blue decor doesn't feel right? Wanting something with soul to honour the sanctity of the passage into motherhood?
A ‘Mother Blessing’ (traditionally called a Blessingway by the First Nations Navajo People) is a ritual and rite of passage into motherhood that has historically been part of tribe life, community life, deeply ingrained, passed down from culture to culture, generation to generation, woman to woman.
The Navajo have a saying, ‘whatever happens here on Earth must first be dreamed’. It is in a Mother Blessing ceremony, given time, space and in a container of safety, that women come together to weave a place to ‘dream’ and reflect on the pregnancy and upcoming birth of a babe. Mother Blessing is considered sacred space for the witnessing and release of fears and blockages prior to birthing and mothering. They are usually an all ‘shoulds’ cast off space for women to be and feel just as they are. To listen and witness other women, and a reminder of the great power and shared experiences that happen when women come, weave and dream together.
As described by the authors in Mother Rising: ‘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. As women we receive a great deal by coming together in this way. We can raise energy and strength, or provide comfort and support. We can help one another let go of the past, live fully in the present, and embrace the mystery of the future. We learn to honour each other as well as ourselves, and we tap into the vibrant energy of the collective feminine spirit. By connecting on this level, we gain the power to deepen our friendships, build our communities, feed our spirits, and perhaps even to revitalise our culture’ (Mother Rising by Yana Cortlund, Barb Lucke, Donna Miller Watelet, Pam England).
A Mother Blessing are as individual as our fingerprints and can be anything from an intricate, scripted and organised ceremony, to a few close women friends and family, gathering together with the intention to bless the mother-to-be. In any case, here are a few of our favourite rituals:
Candles, Candle and Candles: Placed on the Mother Blessing alter stands a proud Mother (or birthing) Candle; passed between women in circle as prayers and blessings are made; and one given to each woman by the Mother-To-Be to light as the labouring begins.
Beads: each woman brings a special bead that they have picked out for the mother and sometimes strung together into jewellery such a birthing necklace or bracelet, or placed at a birthing or meditation alter (I had a particularly intricate yet beautifully ugly necklace strung together from the women who attended my Mother Blessing. It was a hodgepodge of pearls, amethyst and rose quartz beads, carved wooden beads, plastic beads that looked like lollies, and a sterling silver hugging teddy bear charm on that birthing necklace. It was certainly a focal point during my birthing process and when things took a turn for medical intervention and the doctors wanted to remove that beautifully ugly necklace, it was one of those ‘pry it from my cold, dead hands’ moments’. No one asked again. That necklace still hangs in my children’s room as a reminder that there is no force equal to that of a birthing woman).
Others: Mediations; Flower Crowns; Henna Belly Painting; Art; Readings; Birth Affirmation Flags; Herbal Baths; Belly Casting, Poems, Songs and of course, Food.
Sarah creates wonderful workshops for woman, more details here: