At some point during my pregnancy, I learned the term “Blessingway”. I believe it was because I saw an ad for this book (Mother Rising) in an issue of The Mother Magazine (a nice resource for alternative-type mamas, by the way).
Essentially, the idea of a Blessingway is similar to a baby shower, but emphasizes preparation and support of the mother rather than just the baby. Instead of an event that centers around the giving of material gifts (which admittedly, are very helpful before a baby!), the importance of a woman’s journey to motherhood is also acknowledged.
As I tried to explain a Blessingway to my mother, I realized that we could go in a lot of different directions. Some women have support systems which allow for rituals like belly painting, foot massage, yoni cupcakes, and group chanting. I didn’t know how that would go over with the people in my circle of support, but I still wanted to include some type of ritual that focused solely on supporting me as I embark on this most courageous of journeys!
I chose to partake in a common Blessingway ritual where members of a woman’s circle of support provide her with specially chosen beads. These beads are then incorporated into a necklace which can be worn during the birthing time to feel the support of the community.
As I was given so many wonderful beads, I also decided to make a sun-catcher cord to hang in the window which will make for a nice centering tool to gaze at during the birth time.
Some people chose beads simply because they were beautiful or spoke to them on some unconscious level, but there are a few that came with special stories.
One, for example, is from Africa. This individual explained how she envisioned women all over the world giving birth while she was in her birthing time. She was especially intrigued to imagine women giving birth in circumstances that are hard for us to imagine in first world countries with running water, heated homes, and access to emergency medical services. Thus, she gave me a bead from Africa to help remind me of the women from around the world giving birth in very different situations.
There are also rose hip beads made by my great aunts, beads from a baby bracelet of a family friend who has since passed on, and shells from the beaches of the Pacific Ocean. It truly is an eclectic and wonderful treasure that I hope to keep near me during my birthing time and beyond. For now, the necklace is resting on the birth alter I’m creating as yet another tool to help keep me focused and confident during the birth day!
Have you heard of a Blessingway before? Have you ever attended one?