Have you heard of a Blessingway? It’s basically a more ceremonial, mama-centered version of a Baby Shower. We held it on the banks of the Rogue River and the day was absolutely magical.
I'd planned it for June and wanted to have the ceremony outside at Griffin Park. I remember saying to someone, "What if it rains??" and them reassuring me that it wouldn't be raining in June. Well, it's Oregon, and it thundered and rained ALL DAY. I figured we could just set up a shade structure or have the ceremony in my friend Christine's cute little camper; but miraculously, the clouds parted right at 5:30pm as the event began. The sun shone and the air was fresh and clean. It was perfect. Had the day been sunny the riverbed probably would have been overrun by other people but we ended up having the place to ourselves. Perfect for sacred ceremony!
Oming, Singing & Guided Meditation
We opened with a round of Om's and singing with Lynette, a retired midwife and kirtan singer. After coming into resonance with each other, my aunt Jody led a guided meditation. Relaxing and grounding, she took us on a journey during which I realized I was sitting just downstream from where my partner Janen and I had had an impromptu commitment ceremony almost exactly a year prior.
Every guest was asked to bring a flower that reminded them of the mama-to-be. The flowers were woven into a gorgeous crown by my talented friend Mena. During this ceremony, as my friends stepped up to handle various tasks, I realized the beauty of all the different gifts and talents each person brings to the world. I have no idea how to make a flower crown and I'm sure it wouldn't have ended up as fabulous as it did without Mena's skills. As she was weaving, all the women of the circle went around and shared which flower they brought and why. It was a deeply moving outpouring of appreciation and love.
River Rock Painting
Each guest was asked to find a river rock and to paint a word or symbol to have on my altar during the birth. Every rock was a beautiful and unique reminder of the well wishes, prayers and love that would be surrounding me while birthing.
Written Blessings for River
Everyone gathered around the fire and wrote a blessing for Baby River that was placed into a Blessing Box. The blessings will be read to River after s/he is born, during the placenta burial ceremony. I did this with Shasta in Maui and I cried my eyes out as I read all the words of love from friends around the world.
And finally each person received a small beeswax candle. I lit my larger candle and as everyone lit theirs I shared my gratitude and appreciation for each of them. I asked them to make a wish as we blew out the candles, only to be re-lit when birthing beings. Everyone took their candle home and will light it when they receive news that the baby is on its way.
And then... we feasted!!! And sat around the fire talking and laughing until late into the night.
We camped out (illegally) alongside the river in my friend Christine's adorable little Rpod trailer.
Thank you to Christine, Julia, Jody, Mary, Megan, Ashley, Mena, Sarah, Chelle, Erin and Lynette for bringing your beauty and sharing your magic and love. I'm so grateful to have you goddesses in my life!!!