Did You Know
The Blessingway was one of the many traditional Navajo (Native American tribe) healing ceremonies.
There is no greater miracle than the birth of new life, nothing on earth but a mother has the power to create life. The Blessingway ceremony celebrates womanhood; it embraces the power of feminine forces coming together to commemorate, by far, the most significant change in a woman's life.
While baby showers are centered around the unborn baby, the Blessingway ceremony marks the journey of a woman into motherhood. Most people see it as an alternative to a baby shower, but we say, why not do both? A Blessingway is more of an intimate event where the close gal pals of the mother-to-be send good wishes out for her. They send out feminine energies and making her feel that she is not alone.
We'd like to call the ceremony a ritual of preparing the mother-to-be for the process of birth by sharing their own birthing experience, pampering her, and sending out good wishes to the mother and the unborn child. The best part about this ceremony is that it is a very intimate affair, doesn't require much hassles, and it really connects people together.
You can either plan one for yourself or for your besties. Here are some ideas to plan a unique Blessingway ceremony. You can alter the activities as to what suits best to you.
Where Do You Plan the Ceremony?
These ceremonies are usually very intimate and homely affairs, the place where this ceremony is performed is said to be filled with positive vibes and good energies plus, you wouldn't want to expose your belly bump at a place with people you're not comfortable with. It is good if you could plan the ceremony at the house of the mother-to-be, so she and her unborn baby can take in all of it and be happy and content.
Many people burn sage at the beginning of the ceremony in order to cleanse and purify the area.
What About the Invitations?
Not many people are aware of what a Blessingway ceremony is. Your invitations need to do the explaining to your guests. Certain activities in the ceremonies require them to bring certain things along with them, these need to be mentioned, and of course, the time, date, and venue need to be mentioned as well.
What Are the Activities that You Could Plan?
The Blessingway ceremony is all about pampering the soon-to-be mother and making her comfortable for what lies ahead. There are a number of activities that you plan.
One of the most important activities of the ceremony requires the guests to bring a bead which, according to Navajo tradition, represents the mother-to-be. Now, all the beads brought by the guests are beaded together to form a necklace. Every bead represents strength, blessings, and good wishes for her. There are many birth necklace kits that are available. The guest could explain their reason behind choosing a particular bead, and why that bead represented the mom-to-be best.
Pampering the Soon-to-be Mother
In this activity, the guests brush her hair and decorate it with flowers, while brushing the hair, the guests are required to bless her. You can also get your guests to make a crown made of flowers for her. Another version requires her feet to be washed―by the guests or the midwife―with warm water scented with herbs or flowers.
In this activity, the wrist of the guests are tied with a cord, that stays on throughout the ceremony. At the end of the ceremony, the cord is cut and the guests have to wear it like bracelet till the time of birth of the baby. While cutting the cord, make sure you leave ample amount of thread so that the guests can weave it into a style they like. This signifies that she is not alone during the process of giving birth.
Painting the Belly
According to Indo-Persian culture, henna is used to mark the beginning of anything auspicious, the belly of the mother-to-be is painted with henna or body paint. It is also painted on her hands and feet. It is important that you choose a chemical-free henna so that it is safe for both the mother and unborn child. There are many kits available in the market. A guest with an artistic touch can make a few designs, and the others could add a few elements to it.
Making a Belly Cast
Some people choose to commemorate the form of a woman on the verge of motherhood with a cast of the belly. The guest can paint on the cast once its dry and can give it to the soon-to-be mother. The only problem with this activity is that it can be a little messy.
In this ritual, each guest is given a small unlit candle. Each guest lights her own candle and shares her birthing stories making the soon-to-be mother comfortable. These candles are lit when the mother goes into labor. Another version includes a single candle being lit and the guests sharing their stories by sitting around it.
Decorating a Quilt for the Baby
This is an activity where the guests can choose to either to paint or embroider the quilt in which the baby will be wrapped. This signifies the blessings of the guests for the newborn baby. It is important to make sure that the paint or threads used are safe and hypoallergenic.
What is a celebration without some good food, bustling chatter, music, and dance. These ceremonies usually involve having a potluck where the guests can get something that the mother-to-be loves to eat. Involve the soon-to-be father and his friends too, into this celebration. Guest are usually not required to get any gifts for the baby, but they can do so if they wish to.