Hosting a Blessing Wayby Elizabeth MacDonald
Blessing Ways, also known as a Mother’s Blessing, are the latest trend. Today's new moms are looking to change up the baby shower world and reconnect to more natural and soul-filling gatherings. Blessing ways are a tradition that dates back to the beginning of pregnancy celebrations!
Blessing ways are not just for hippies anymore.
The History of a Blessing Way
Women used to sit in circles, around fires, sewing or weaving together. They used to sit in sacred circles where their souls were fed by the nourishment of belonging.
It is something our recent generations have lost, but something we need to regain. Circles heal, uplift, and empower.
The Blessing Way ritual is inspired by American Indian traditions, in which family and tribe members bless any significant endeavor. The participants at a Blessing Way would pray for the help of spiritual forces to safely guide the recipient on their path, and would offer their prayers and symbolic gifts of power and meaning.
This ritual was a way to ceremonially mark significant transitions in life, in a spiritual and meaningful way. With roots in this American Indian tradition, Blessing Way ceremonies have an inherent respect for nature, spirit, animal and plant life. These traditions direct us to experience pregnancy, birthing, and moving into motherhood as a sacred transition.
Within the Blessing Way ceremony we practice being in tune with the cycles of life. We experience the support of our elders, be that our friends who have become mothers first, or our elders. These traditions encourage us to become humble as we pass through the gateways of motherhood initiation.
Today's Blessing Ways
The entire point of a blessing way is to show support and love toward a woman who is becoming a mother. This can come in any form. There can be religious aspects, spiritual aspects, cultural aspects - literally anything goes. I have yet to attend two similar blessing ways. You can create affirmation banners to bring into your hospital room. You can make candles to have friends and family light when you are in labor. That’s the beauty of this event… Just as every woman is different, every labor and birth is different, and every blessing way is different.
Henna artists can come, mobile spa treatments can be included, mimosas can be poured. Include all the things that will lift you up, make you feel supported, and surround you with love.
Other Ideas to Include in a Blessing Way:
- Labor of Love Necklace: All guests bring a handpicked bead to be strung on a necklace that can be worn while the mother labors.
- Drums/Music: You can chant a short lyric or quote welcoming the baby or supporting the mother.
- Yin Yoga: A prenatal yoga instructor can lead the group through a meditation.
- Belly Casting: Creating a mold of the belly.
- Hands-On Prayer: All guests place a hand on the mother’s belly and repeat a blessing or prayer.
- Candle Lighting: A prayer/blessing said while lighting candles.
- Prayer Flag: Similar to the affirmation banner, but hung as flags.
- Quilt Making: Everyone brings a square of fabric that is later pieced together to make a quilt.
- Pampering: The mother (and guests) can be pampered with pedicures, manicures, massages, etc.