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Blessingway Ceremony?


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  #1  
December 4th, 2007, 04:21 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Hello! I'm normally just a lurker, however have just read a post that recommends Blessingway Ceremonies...

I was just wondering what that is and what it involves?
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  #2  
December 4th, 2007, 07:21 AM
LaLa's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 11,576
A blessingway is a ceremony for the mother, whereas a baby shower focuses more on the materialistic things for the baby. A blessingway is meant to be a ceremony for the mother emotionally & physically to prepare her & bless her as she enters motherhood. Whether its for the 1st or 5th time. IT is generally all women who are on board & supportive of the mtoher - her closest female friends & family members. It helps her overcome fears, gives her strength, inspiration, etc. Often times baby showers are full of "my hardest labor" stories, and all the 3 am disturbances... but a blessingway is a "positive stories only" event.

Usually a few things will happen (though it can be made up of anything you like):

- labor bead necklace - eveyrone brings a bead, they pass around a string, and string the beads, each bead symbolizing a blessing or wish for the mother. She wears the necklace (or bracelet) through labor to remind her of all the women in her life that love & support her & the well wishes they have given her.
- Belly casting - to preserve the memory of the baby while inside her.
- Candle lighting - lighting a candle for her to symbolize strength & serenity. Often times theyll send a candle home along with "phone tree" instructions. When labor begins - thef irst person on the list calls the next, and they call the next and so on. When you get the call -you light your candle to show your support of the mother. The thought is usually that by the time the candle burns out - the mother is holding her baby.
- An herbal footbath - to prepare her feet for the journey, to wash away her fears, to cleanse her, etc. Its also supposed to be a lesson in letting go, allowing others to care for you, etc. Many equate it to the way jesus' feet were washed, etc.
- Fear burning - sometimes everyone or just the mother will write her fears on a paper, and then in a large bowl or fireplace they burn & release the fears - largely symbolic but it is so entirely therapeutic (and a really emotional activity!).

So often the emphasis is on the baby, and the mothers feelings, fears, emotions, etc get lost in the mix. She enters into it alone feeling like nobody understands, usually hearing one disaster story after another, never really getting hte support & attention she deserves. Our society has forgotten what a big life change it is, and what a transofrmation it is, and it has really been "demoted" (birth, that is). We throw huge celebrations & rituals when we get married, that mark the transition in our life, for proms, for sweet 16, etc... and then when were about to become a mother, perhaps the single most important day in our life - we have a party for the baby! lol. So this brings the focus back to the mother, and to helping her through a time when she needs people the most.

Heres some good links:
http://www.preggiepeggy.com/blessingway.htm
http://www.naturaltouchdoula.com/blessingway.php

Lala...
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  #3  
December 4th, 2007, 12:43 PM
shadowdweller's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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wow, that's a great response, lala, thanks!
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  #4  
December 4th, 2007, 01:30 PM
Lash's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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can I say that I LOVE this!
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  #5  
December 4th, 2007, 10:43 PM
MrsPil's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I so wish that I had the kind of people around me that would have done a blessingway. I think they are a great way to usher in your labor.
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  #6  
December 5th, 2007, 02:57 AM
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Thanks Lala! That sounds so wonderful!
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  #7  
December 5th, 2007, 06:21 AM
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I've had two blessingway ceremonies and have given one for a friend. I think of it as a spiritual baby shower so to speak.

This is what happened during mine. We begin the ceremony with lighting candles and incense, sing a song and a call to the ancestors. Then we made a circle of support with string all around me and blessings were said over me for a safe, healthy delivery. The string was cut and each person tied part of the string around their writsts to wear in support of me until the birth. It was so sweet to see my kids wearing their braclets everyday for me and promising to keep them on until the baby came. Then my friends tattoed my belly with henna, washed my feet in rosewater, and braided wildflowers into my hair. Then gave me gifts for the baby and for myself. Then we went outside and gathered flower petals into a basket. We hiked through the woods and sent the flower petals down the stream while everyone spoke their wishes for me and the baby.


It's a beautiful experience and I highly recommend it!

You can see pictures of my tatooed belly on my blog.
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  #8  
December 5th, 2007, 07:08 AM
LaLa's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I just gave a blessingway for a friend of mine - she had a vaginal breech birth 3 weeks ago!

I actually still have my bracelet on - I wanted to wait until he was through the 3 week growth spurt lol.

Lala...
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  #9  
December 7th, 2007, 06:48 AM
ragmama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
I so wish that I had the kind of people around me that would have done a blessingway. I think they are a great way to usher in your labor.[/b]
Same here...I'm sure my friends and family would think it was just weird.
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  #10  
December 7th, 2007, 09:55 AM
shadowdweller's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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me too. most of the people around me think i'm just weird, period, so to start talking about a spiritual baby shower...but i'm still going to bring it up to my best friend and my sister- they tend to humor me in a lot of my weirdness!

also, i was sort of thinking that maybe we could do sort of modified blessingways with the girls in my ddc- i mean, we can't really all get together, but we could mail each other beads and wishes for the labor bead necklace, and maybe even the candle-lighting phone tree. i mean, we send each other baby dust and sticky dust, and labor dust, and positive thoughts and prayers, why not a tangible symbol of those good things in the form of labor beads?
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