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Blessingway

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I was honoured this past weekend to be a part of a Blessingway ceremony held for myself and a close friend. She and I are due just weeks from each other. It will be her first babe, and this of course is my third. I had actually never been to a Blessingway before, though I had read some beautiful stories about them and was very excited to be a part of one with such a special friend.  Some of my closest friends and family were in attendance – a few of the girls I’ve known since early elementary school.

If you have never heard of a Blessingway before, it stems from a Navajo Ritual created to spiritually support and empower a mother for her journey of birthing and motherhood. More recently, this lovely gathering has been adapted as an alternative to Baby Showers, where the focus tends to be more on the gifts and the baby, rather than on the Mother and her experience.

It was such an uplifting and memorable experience, I would love to share some of the unique and beautiful rituals we shared.

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With the magical scent of diffused Frankincense filling the air – a very high vibrational therapeutic grade essential oil, we started the gathering.

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One of the co-hosts (and one of my dearest friends) Tanya, made gorgeous head pieces for Karlie and I.

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The “famous” Tanya 😉 and her beautiful flower head pieces! We love you!

The evening started with a group circle of all the women in attendance. We lit beeswax candles, 2 large pillars in particular were for my friend, Karlie, and I. We were to each meditate with the candle for a moment, set our intentions for a positive, peaceful, harmonious birth, then light the candle and place it in the middle of the circle.

One of my very dear friends opened the circle with a beautiful meditation. The focus was to connect us all in our heart space and to set powerful intentions for our upcoming births. We focused on deep breathing to center and connect us to Mother Earth, hand holding to connect our personal energies, and then sending positive love, intentions and high vibrational energy to the Mama’s and new babies. The circle in itself was so powerful and moving. I felt like everyone connected on a deeper spiritual level and it really was the perfect way to start the Blessingway.

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Since the group was diverse in nature and many attendees were meeting one another for the first time, we all created name tags and placed one word on our tags that we felt described us. We went around the circle with introductions, and from there stemmed timeless stories of birth, motherhood, as well as childhood memories from when some of us first met.

We then set to creating Blessed Birth Boxes. The wooden boxes were adorned with our names and positive affirmations. Stones were also passed around the circle and everyone wrote words to empower Karlie and I during our labour and mothering transitions.

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For the candles, each woman was asked to make and bless 3 bracelets. One to tie around each of the large pillar candles Karlie and I lit at the beginning of the ceremony, and one for themselves. This time was full of more story sharing, and most definitely some laughs. The pillar candles are to be lit while the Mother is in labour.

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Feast – did we ever!!! Each guest was asked to bring a Gluten Free Vegan dish to share with the group. The food was absolutely fantastic and ranged from homegrown Sprouts, ferments, gorgeous salads, veggies, fruits, dips, Vegan Chili, Vegan G/F Lasagna, and some of the.most.decadent desserts you had ever seen! (not to mention the Baby Belly Vegan G/F carrot cake with “cream cheese” icing!! – can you tell I’m still drooling over this one?!)

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Vegan Carrot Blessingway Cake with “cream cheese” icing

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There was also some very thoughtful, simplistic gift giving. Some gifts focused on very practical things a Mama would need for herself and her new babe (can I get an “AMEN” for cloth diapers anyone?!) Some things were just for the new Mama, other things were hand made or even second hand. All were given with love and utmost care for the new Mamas and babies.

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Since we are almost all very avid Essential Oil Enthusiasts, each guest was made a parting gift of Essential Oil Infused Bath Salts to take home to pamper themselves after pampering the Mama’s to be.

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It was truly an experience I will never forget. I have been blessed with having traditional showers for each of my babies, which I am so thankful for, as I believe each child should be celebrated. This Blessingway was no exception to how unique and special each birthing transition is.

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Myself with Grandma Maddy (my Mom) and Grandma Mary (Colin’s Mom)

Having been surrounded by some of my closest friends and family for this ritual, I am so humbled and excited for this next chapter in our lives.

There’s many examples online if you are planning a Blessingway, but I’ve included here some simple steps from the book Mother Rising: The Blessing Way Journey into Motherhood by Yana Cortlund, Barb Lucke and Donna Miller Watelet for creating a ritual that can help you structure a Blessingway:

“STAGE 1: Beginning
We create a ritual space that looks and feels special. Guests need to become centered and ready to participate in a sacred ceremony. We form a circle to create a container of support for the mother-to-be.
STAGE 2: Shifting
We state the Blessingway’s purpose so we all know what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, and while we’re at it, we share our intention with the powers that be. Introducing ourselves helps us connect with one another. We help the mother-to-be let go of any negative beliefs or fears she may be carrying so that she can embrace all the blessings, prayers, and honor we wish to bestow upon her.
STAGE 3: Focusing
We honor, pamper, and adorn the mother-to-be to fill her with positive and empowering energies. We tell her stories to encourage her, offer blessings to support her, and give her gifts that will help guide her on her journey.
STAGE 4: Completing
We raise energy to affirm and charge the work we’ve done and to send our good intentions out into the world. We weave a web to maintain our connection with one another beyond the day of the ritual.
STAGE 5: Feasting
We end our ritual by sharing food together in celebration. We eat together to ground our energy, help us shift from sacred space back to social space, and bring the work of the ritual into our everyday lives.”
“When we create Blessingways for each other, we women reach outside of ourselves and weave a web of community: a living breathing web of women who are blessing, teaching, and supporting one another-and as a result, we help to give birth to each other’s children.”

With love and utmost gratitude for the amazing spiritual family I have in my life,

Rebecca