The Blessingway

Want a special way to celebrate the transition into motherhood?  A Blessingway is an event that focuses on you and your baby, and all those involved in your birth.  It is a great way to mark this transition and may be just what you’re looking for!

A Blessingway is, for many, the best ‘baby shower’ a mother can have. Mixing ceremonies of old with new traditions and celebrating with friends and family in a gathering focused on the well being and happiness of the mother, baby and her whole family.

If you are interested in holding a Blessingway,  Contact me (form below) to talk about what you are thinking and how I can help facilitate one for you. It is a lovely way to start the journey of bringing a new life into the world.

Traditional Roots

Traditionally the Blessingway is a Navajo ceremony that honors the divine feminine and the natural order of things. It affirms happiness and a long life. It is a known as a ‘chant way’ ceremony where songs are sung over a person to bless them with good luck, good health and all things good. It is used for many different purposes such as the coming of a new life, the blessing of a new home, for rain and good crops or the good health of a family.

The Navajo have many chant way ceremonies within their culture. There is one called the Protectionway, which honors the divine masculine. Another called the Enemyway, performed as a healing ceremony for warriors to help them return to a state of balance and beauty after the hardships of war.

The first Blessingway is said to have come from the Holy People, and was performed for the Earth People upon emergence into the world. The chant was sung to them to show them the way of the natural order and to teach them about the abundance of the earth and the wisdom of the cyclical path of the universe and it’s seasons. It is closely connected to Changing Woman and in the traditional ceremony she is depicted in sand paintings.

Changing Woman represents fertility and reproduction and sustaining the people through the earth. She is known as First Mother who protects humanity through ceremony. Closely aligned with plants, she changes with the seasons. In the spring she is a young girl, in the summer a woman, in the fall a crone and in winter she passes to be reborn again in spring. One of Changing Woman’s promises to the people was to provide them with corn of all colors, and that with the ripening of corn so too would the woman ripen with life. It is interesting to note that the drying of the feet during the ceremony is done by the midwives ‘in service to’ and ‘with woman’ using cornmeal.

In Modern day, the Blessingway has been adopted by many peoples and cultures and has shifted and changed over time. There are many adaptations to the ceremony and there is no right or wrong way to give a Blessingway. At the core remains the spirit of tradition in representing the circle of life, the seasons, and the passing of motherhood from Grandmother, to Mother, to Daughter to Granddaughter.

Planning a Blessingway

There are many common threads in the blessingways held  today, and many of the components have ties to the past. Some common parts of the ceremony include:

  • The Cleansing and Preparation of the Home
  • The Spirit Food plate
  • The Arrival of Guests
  • The Blessingway Circle
  • The Songs
  • The Foot Bath
  • The Drying of the Feet
  • The Changing of the Hair
  • The Gift Giving

Some of the plants used in the ceremony are:

  • Cedar & Sage: To cleanse the space and the people.
  • Fresh Mugwort: Used to upon entry into the home as a way of cleansing the body of outside energies.
  • Bee Pollen: Sometimes used on the spirit food plate in today’s ritual because of its ties to the Navajo sand paintings that represent Changing Woman. It is believed that bee pollen brings the sand paintings to life and is a bridge between belief and action within sand paintings.
  • Water, Corn, Berries and Meat: These are traditional spirit foods and are represented at the ceremony to feed the Holy ones.
  • Lavender and Roses: Used in the Footbath to represent everything good. Lavender for removing unwanted energies and Roses for calling in ‘all good things’.
  • Blue Corn or Colored Corn: Used to dry the feet and represents the connection to Changing Woman.

 

Contact me to talk about planning a Blessingway: