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The Mother Blessing

I had such a great weekend! Saturday, I had a photoshoot with an old friend from high school, Alanna, and her husband Steven and little girl Bella (Hi Alanna!!). We had a lot of fun despite the random cold snap and I got some super cute pictures. After that, Amy came over to spend the afternoon with us.

On Sunday I attended a beautiful “Mother Blessing” or “Blessingway” baby shower for one of my clients, Daisy, whose maternity portraits I captured last month. I had never heard of a Blessingway before until I received my invitation and was so excited and curious as to what it would behold! I had such a great time. There were so many beautiful aspects of the ceremony/ritual, I thought I would highlight some of the things I really liked.

  • The Blessingway began with the leader lighting a smudge stick & passing it around the room. As each woman received it, they introduced themselves to the group.
  • The leader described the history of a Blessingway very briefly (that it is a special ceremony inspired by the Navajo to mark transformations in a woman’s life).
  • We were asked to close our eyes and listen to a meditation read by the leader. The meditation talked about a woman’s power to create life. I wish I could remember everything it said but it was beautiful!
  • We sang a really beautiful Native American song, The River is Flowing, while the leader (Daisy’s midwife) honored the mom-to-be by washing her feet in water fragranced with special oils and rose petals. Daisy’s mom also put a garland of flowers in her hair.
  • Everyone was asked to bring a special bead for the mom-to-be’s labor necklace which would be made as a focal point to concentrate on during labor. We presented our bead along with a word to describe it and our wish for Daisy as a new mom. My word was “serenity.”
  • Each woman was given a blank card to write on and a pen, and were asked to think of special traits about themselves that they love the most and would like to pass along to the new baby. I chose passion, creativity, lightheartedness, and kindness.
  • The mom-to-be is asked to write down three things (worries, fears, etc) that she wanted to release from herself before giving birth. This paper was burned to symbolize the release. We all went around the room and read our words, and some people read poems or quotes too that they wanted to share. I read a line from the Dar Williams song that I shared the other day on the blog, “The One Who Knows,” since it has significant meaning for me as a mom.
  • There was also a “rain ceremony” with a rain stick, and we read affirmations to encourage Daisy and support her that she would have a perfect birth, quick healing, etc etc.
  • We used hemp cord to join our wrists and make a bracelet to bind our energies and wish for a healthy birth for the baby. The bracelet is cut when the birth is announced.
  • There was a candle lighting ceremony where each woman lit a candle and placed them all on the table/altar to burn.
  • After the ceremony was over, everyone enjoyed lunch and cupcakes from Misha’s! While having lunch, we decorated special posters that Daisy plans to put up around her home with affirmations to encourage her during the laboring process.

Check out the embedded YouTube below to listen to the song, The River is Flowing, which we sang during the ceremony.

I really loved all of the symbolism from the Mother Blessing/Blessingway. It was such a great day for everyone who came. I think it would be fun to incorporate some of these traditions into a new tradition for myself when I have my next baby.

Here are a few photos from the day:

Daisy during the ceremony | Me and Daisy after the ceremony

All of the participants' candles lit on the altar

Images photographed with the Canon PowerShot G11.

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judyFebruary 14, 2011 - 9:57 pm

Beautiful song and beautiful thoughts! Love the pictures and the concept of the celebration of new life.

DeniseFebruary 20, 2011 - 8:54 pm

This is a beautiful post that really captured the sweetness of that day. Thank you for sharing your photos and words. It was wonderful to meet you during such a special time. I am sure you will be able to have your own Blessingway one day too. Hope to meet again soon!

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