Blessing Way: New Variations on An Old Tradition.The "Blessing Way" tradition is rooted in Navajo ritual, but it is so lovely that it has been adopted by many other American subcultures. While diverse groups adapt the tradition to their own lifestyles, the name "Blessing Way" remains as a tribute to its originators. Ceremonies may be offered to help a person to heal, to celebrate marriage, to acknowledge the onset of menstruation menstruation, periodic flow of blood and cells from the lining of the uterus in humans and most other primates, occurring about every 28 days in women. Menstruation commences at puberty (usually between age 10 and 17). , to bless a house or a journey, to ease major life transitions, or to honor and support expectant mothers.
A pregnancy Blessing Way is easy to organize, and it can give the expectant mother so much "juice" that her experiences of pregnancy, birth, and early parenthood are greatly enriched. It is an opportunity for the expectant mother to bask in the love and wisdom of her friends and relatives. She may take the opportunity to acknowledge and release past difficulties (miscarriage, infertility, relationship problems, ambivalence about the pregnancy), or she may simply enjoy all the attention and support as she prepares for the future.
It may be a women-only event or it may include men and older children. It may be held indoors or out, or in the mother's birthing room birthing room
An area of a hospital or outpatient medical facility equipped for labor, delivery, and recovery and designed as a homelike environment. (if she plans a home birth). Usually, amid much singing, the mother is led in and sits in the center of a circle of her loved ones loved ones npl → seres mpl queridos
loved ones npl → proches mpl et amis chers
loved ones love npl . It's nice if her "throne" has been lovingly prepared with pillows, flowers, colorful blankets, etc. Some people like to purify and bless the space and the participants by "smudging smudging (smuˑ·jing),
n in Native American medicine, the ritual of purifying the location, patient, healer, helpers and ritual objects by using the smoke obtained by burning sacred " with cedar, sage, or incense.
The ceremony may begin with everyone introducing themselves in the context of their maternal lineage: "I am Maria, daughter of Valentina, daughter of Alberta ..." They may say how they know the expectant mother, and how they first heard she was pregnant.
The group may specially honor the mother by grooming her They may wash her feet in warm, scented water, then carefully dry and anoint a·noint
tr.v. a·noint·ed, a·noint·ing, a·noints
1. To apply oil, ointment, or a similar substance to.
2. To put oil on during a religious ceremony as a sign of sanctification or consecration.
3. her feet with fragrant oils. Foot-washing is a symbol of deepest respect in many cultures and religions. Some people keep the tradition of massaging her feet with blue corn Blue Corn (c. 1920 – May 3, 1999), also known as Crucita Calabaza, was a Native American potter from San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico, United States. She became famous for reviving San Ildefonso polychrome wares and had a very long and productive career. meal -- it's like polishing her feet. Another respectful and luxurious way to groom the mother is to brush her hair and decorate it with fresh flowers. This honor may be performed by special people chosen in advance: her mother, her sister, her midwife.
There is usually a great deal of singing. Songs are chosen for their inspirational value, and they must be either very familiar or very easy to learn.
Any talking is consciously focused. Typically, a "talking stick The talking stick was used in Native North American tribes at council meetings. It was used as courtesy not to interrupt a chief when he was speaking. The talking stick was then passed to the next council member who wished to speak. " is passed around the circle. Whoever has the stick has everyone's full attention. She may choose to teach the group a simple song, or describe a dream she had about the baby, or simply keep a mindful silence. The talking stick may be passed around several times, each time with a theme: "What strengths do you see in the new mother that will help her to thrive as a mother? What do you wish for her family?" The "talking stick" itself may be a beautifully decorated wooden wand kept especially for Blessing Ways, or it may be any object that's nice to hold, like a seashell See C shell. or a stone. A rainstick serves well, and adds meditative sound effects sound effects
sounds artificially produced to make a play, esp. a radio play, more realistic
sound effects npl → efectos mpl sonoros
Sometimes people take turns offering small, meaningful gifts that they have made or found for the mother. Such gifts may range from the profound (a newly composed poem) to the silly (a hopelessly outdated parenting manual from 1945). Sometimes they dance for the mother
Often, the group offers blessings for the birth. Each person may light a candle as she says her blessing, and then place the candle in a bowl of sand. When the ceremony ends, the mother blows out all the candles. Then, when her labor begins, she can relight Re`light´
v. t. 1. To light or kindle anew. the candles, and feel the blessings coming back!
Another kind of "labor amulet amulet (ăm`yəlĭt), object or formula that credulity and superstition have endowed with the power of warding off harmful influences. " may be created if each person brings a seed (symbolic of growth and change) and says a blessing as it is placed into a special pouch. The mother may wear the pouch full of seeds during labor. Or, if everyone brings a beautiful bead, they can make her a necklace or bracelet during the ceremony, complete with blessings and good thoughts.
Even if many of the people in the group have just met each other, they may celebrate their unity by weaving colorful yarn throughout the circle, then cutting off pieces for each person to wear on her wrist until the baby is born. If there are enough people, they may lay the mother down, and then lift her off the ground slightly while rocking her and singing.
Then it's time It's Time was a successful political campaign run by the Australian Labor Party (ALP) under Gough Whitlam at the 1972 election in Australia. Campaigning on the perceived need for change after 23 years of conservative (Liberal Party of Australia) government, Labor put forward a to eat together. If the Blessing Way is followed by a traditional baby shower, the shower is imbued with the happy spirit of connectedness and love, and becomes much more than simple cake-eating and diaper-bag-giving. (Though the cake and the presents are wonderful too!)
In my experience, a Blessing Way can be an enormous spiritual boost -- not just for the expectant mother, but for all those present. Often, there are people present who have never done such a thing, or who think it's corny corn·y
adj. corn·i·er, corn·i·est
Trite, dated, melodramatic, or mawkishly sentimental.
[From corn1. . That's okay! Everyone is united in their good wishes for the new family. Reluctant participants can be invited to just "give it a try." The ceremony is homespun and tailored to each group, so there's room for everyone to be herself. I've found that even skeptics can be deeply touched by the feeling of connection and truth that even the simplest Blessing Way sparks inside them. While talking sticks and corn meal are optional, tissues are a must!
Like many Blessing Way enthusiasts, Michigan midwife Rahima Baldwin Dancy danc·y also danc·ey
adj. danc·i·er, danc·i·est Informal
Suitable for or inviting dancing; danceable: dancy music. learned about this tradition from California midwife Raven Lang. Rahima says: "Blessing Way has been very special for those of us who have worked with it. May its blessings extend to you as well."