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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. Sept. Theme: "Sexuality" Volume 1 Issue 6 ISSN# 1708-3265

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A Blessingway
by Grace Tran

Celebrate the seasons of womynhood by creating and participating in a Blessingway ceremony. The Blessingway is an ancient Navajo tradition and a wonderful way to acknowledge the changes in a womyn's life. Significant events; such as first menstruation, marriage, pregnancy/birth, menopause and even divorce.

Hosting a Blessingway for someone close to you is an incredible experience and a wonderful alternative to a baby shower, which typically focuses on things for the baby, whereas a Blessingway focuses on the mothers needs.

A Blessingway encourages womyn to surround the mother, creating a circle of loving energy which she will keep with her throughout the rest of her pregnancy and on into the birth experience.

When planning a Blessingway keep in mind the location. A nice intimate setting is preferable and if possible in the mother's home where rituals like smudging, candles, incense and essential oils will leave physical lasting memories of the event.

A Blessingway can be a way to prepare her for a homebirth by creating a sacred space and readying the home for the incredible journey ahead. It's nice to include the mother within the planning of this celebration, choosing which rituals she feels most comfortable with, as well as helping to compile the guest list.

Invitations need to be sent out to approximately 10 guests. Keep in mind her very personal journey and invite people close to her who will bring positive energy to the gathering.

Include in your invitation a description of the Blessingway, explaining it's origins and how it celebrates this mother's journey. Make sure your invitations go out with a month's notice, as it's important to give your guests plenty of time to gather their thoughts and tokens.

Each Blessingway is unique and can be tailored to the mother's wishes and desires. We invited 10 womyn to participate in my dear friend's Blessingway. She was about to give birth to her seventh babe. This is how our celebration unfolded.

Lighting of Candles
Gathering; Why a Blessingway?
Honouring the mother with poems, songs and well wishes
Flowers, Hair Brushing, Washing of the Feet, and Bracelets from the red string
Presenting the mother with gifts
Belly Dancing
Potluck, to end the evening

A Candle

Upon arrival, each womyn will light a candle from the "Mother Candle". The lighting of each candle symbolizes their connection with the mother on her journey through pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. They can each say a prayer, special thought or mantra as it is said to create energy, which will unite all who participate, supporting her during her labour. Each womyn will take her candle home with her and relight it when the birth begins.

The Red String

During the Blessingway, a red string will bind the group, symbolizing the circle of friendship and the incredible bond we share. The string will be divided and each womyn will receive enough string to create a wrist or ankle bracelet, which can be worn for the remainder of the mother's pregnancy. Again the string represents the connection of these womyn to the mother! When they look at their bracelet of red string they think of her, sending positive energy her way.

"Buddhists have a tradition of tying a piece of red string around the neck or wrists of a pregnant woman's family as a way of keeping vigil for the birth. The string is a daily reminder to hold the woman in their prayers as she approaches the moment of motherhood."
Mothers Nature

"Pass a yarn or ribbon around the circle/ weaving it in front and behind each woman, to symbolize the interconnection and solidarity shared with the mother, cut the string between each woman and tie it around her wrist. This reminds each woman to think of the birthing woman and send her support In labour"
Birthing From Within

The Journal

A Journal is a wonderful keepsake! Participants will receive a page from the mother's journal to create their own entry. We encourage people to have them ready before the event or bring it with them the night of. This is a wonderful opportunity to let your creativity shine! We will present the book to the mother at the Blessingway.

Some ideas for entries are: photos, stories, poetry, inspirational quotes, sketches, drawings, reflections, artwork, a letter to the mother etc.

The Seven Gifts

Guests are asked to collect the following items:

A non-toxic Bead (no plastic)
A Stone or Rock
A Perennial from your Garden

The beads collected will be strung to create a nursing necklace for the mother and her wee babe. The stones will become a wonderful addition to her garden, along with the perennials creating an everlasting memory. Her very own "Blessingway Garden".

Those are the first three of the seven gifts presented to the mother, the last four items are up to you. There are no limitations except you choose your gifts for the mother rather than for the baby. Some suggestions are: a card, a chime, handmade crafts like soaps, oils, knitted and/or sewn items, candles, fridge magnets, a bottle of essential oils, poetry etc.

There is no need to wrap your gifts; upon presenting them to the mother they will be placed in a treasure basket. Note: you could use space in your journal entry to describe why you chose those particular items.

Soon after the Blessingway, one person will create the nursing necklace and be sure the mother gets it in time for the labour and birth. It can be a beautiful charming reminder that she is surrounded with positive thoughts and energy during this incredible experience.

"In it's primitive form, belly dancing was a form a worshipping the ancient earth mother goddess. It was a childbirth ritual; the dance mimes giving birth. The basic movements of the abdomen are similar to the natural childbirth methods touted by Fernand Lamaze."
Mothers Nature

A Blessingway will forever be a treasured memory of the mother's pregnancy and birth experience. I hope others receive and share in this truly wonderful gift of sisterhood.

Grace lives in Ontario, Canada with her soul mate and their nine incredible children. She enjoys drawing, sculpting, knitting, sewing and writing. Grace also keeps herself busy running a parenting store Forever Family. When online she likes to check in at a forum she created 9 years ago for likeminded Mothers - The Earthy Birthy Thought Swap.

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Any advice given is for informational purposes only.