Earlier in the year I had the opportunity to be a part of a learning group focused on the sacred Navajo ceremony- the Blessing Way. It was trans-formative for me and falls deeply aligned with my personal views of birth as a rite of passage and the spiritual and powerful nature of motherhood. I decided to certify as a Mother Blessing Planner and I have been completing pieces of that process these last months.
I have loved each and every part and now I am ready to share with you. Isn't that a lovely bit of life? We gain truths and knowledge and then we turn to bless our fellow sisters and brothers with that abundance. I just don't see it mattering in any way unless it's shared as gift to edify all.
Please enjoy some tidbits about Mother Blessings and when you make it to the end of the post there's a fantastic offer for you there.
What is a Mother Blessing or Blessing Way? Is there a difference?
"A mother's blessing is an intimate party inspired by an ancient Navajo ceremony called a blessing way. The ceremony is held to prepare an expectant mother for her upcoming birth journey — to shower mom-to-be with love, support and encouragement. The act of birth is seen as a rite of passage for women, and this is meant to help a woman feel mentally, physically and emotionally ready to give birth. A mother's blessing is a modern ceremony that can give moms-to-be a similar sense of support and honor as Navajo mothers-to-be have received in traditional blessing ways." (Lara Carlos, The Barefoot Mamas Network)
So as not to crudely appropriate this sacred tradition we will always use the term 'Mother Blessing' when referring to this modern adaptation. We are looking to honor it, the past, and our future Motherhood when we gather in this way. A dear friend of mine once taught me about 'Sankofa' it means looking back or going back in order to go forward. There is wisdom in our ancestors and our ancient cultures, it is all around us.
What happens at a Mother Blessing?
A Mother Blessing is a ceremonial gathering of the most important women in the expectant mother's life. Surround and uplifted by these women, the mom gains confidence in the journey that lay before her.
"Surrounded by the most important women in her life, she gains a sense of power, confidence, and support that will help her gracefully enter the initiation of motherhood."
Each guest may bring a poem, scripture, quote, song that they wish to present to the mom and also a bead (of significant meaning) that will be made into a bracelet for mom to keep with her during her labor. There may also be a cleansing ritual with sage smudging, the telling of positive birth stories, henna tattoos, honoring mom with massage or foot baths, art, salt bowls, and so on. It is the preference of the mother, how she would like to commemorate her passage. There is usually also yummy food, tears, laughter, and of course, connection.
Is a Mother Blessing right for me?
Any woman who feels drawn to the divine and would appreciate an intimate gathering of "mother friends" while preparing to become a mother for the first or twelfth time can have a Mother Blessing. There is no specific religion, creed, spiritual path necessary. A Mother Blessing is not a "baby shower". Most women who choose Mother Blessings have a separate baby shower to gather more family and friends together and then she participates in the Mother Blessing with her closer circle of sisters (10-15 or less, usually).
What about traditional gifts?
Other than the bead for the Mother's bracelet, a poem, something of art made there and maybe a plate of food to share, there are no gifts given at Mother's Blessing. The memories and powerful connected-ness experienced there, along with the solidarity of that circle while mom is in labor is the gift we bestow upon her. As a participant, you may go home with a string bracelet, specially blessed bath salt, and/or candle to light when mom goes into labor.
When should you have your Mother Blessing?
A Mother Blessing is usually held toward the end of the pregnancy, 35 weeks - 40 weeks. It serves as a boost of good energy for the Mother and can help to resolve any outstanding fears or trepidation holding Mom back as she approaches her birthing day.
How can you plan or have a Mother Blessing?
It's not overly complicated to plan or host a Mother Blessing. It can be even simpler than a baby shower! You may do some internet and pinterest searching, blog reading, and hunting around in local stores to bring together a Mother Blessing for yourself or your expectant friend or family. You may also want to consider hiring a planner so that you and all other attendees can just be present and edified. Each woman who offers this service is usually also a doula, childbirth educator, midwife, Red Tent host, or otherwise enlightened individual. Their rates vary with the size of gathering and which elements the expectant mother would like. They can organize, handle invites, help you find a location, decorate your locale, find a henna tattoo artist, do your belly casting, bring all the supplies, call your sister circle when labor begins and some even handle food dishes!
Of course you guessed from the beginning that something amazing would happen here at the end--probably because I said so up there! :) Well here it is-
I am looking for a mother birthing in the months of January to April 2017 who is interested in a Mother Blessing.
To complete my certification as a planner, I must plan and carry out one entire Blessing. This is not so much a "giveaway" as it is an offer and blessed gift from me to you, to participate in this vital and powerful ceremony for your upcoming passage from Maiden to Mother.
UPDATE- MAMA FOUND and BLESSING HAPPENING NEXT MONTH!!
Please contact me if this speaks to your soul and you are my 'mother'. You can comment below, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me directly at 832-518-7879. I would love to hear from you and help you have the sacred experience that you deserve.
Love and Light- Katrina
The Gift of Giving Life (Essay on Mother-Centered Baby Showers, Robyn Allgood)
Sacred Essence- Mother Blessings 2016, Jessica Booth and Jessica Smithson
*If you enjoyed reading and learning about Mother Blessings, please comment and let me know! And consider sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media outlet and connect with me online!