Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Heidi's Blessingway

All of us sporting the feather crowns and Heidi's final belly henna

Heidi reclining before the Pledge to My Child

Heidi's Goddess Nest Crown

A massage for baby

The Goddess and Element altar

The Henna artist and the Family altar in the background
(I didn't take a picture of it...darn)

As promised a more detailed post about my best friend's blessingway. My other best friend Matthew and I planned this for about three months. It is amazing that it stayed a secret because he often lets the cat out of the bag. But we managed to completely pull the wool over her eyes and she was pleasantly surprised when she arrived. As I wrote previously Blessingways are a more Mother centered and meditative event than Baby Showers. They can follow many patterns, not necessarily pagan in nature but since both Heidi and I are pagan the ritual was typical of a pagan format. We based the ritual on the book Mother Rising ; which we later gave to Heidi so she can use it in her doula work. In the planning process which they take you through in the book we chose the theme of "Nesting". It has been something that Heidi talked about often in her pregnancy, not to mention she started nesting at 4 months pregnant. Most of the ritual that follows ( circle casting, Pledge to My Child, and circle release) was found in the Mother Rising book.

Heidi's Blessingway Ritual
Over a bowl of salt water:

“May these waters from the west renew and ready us for the important work we will do here today” (We all wash our face with the water)

(We then did a Grounding to center our spirits and release fears.)

Circle Casting:

“We welcome the spirit of the East, who brings the breath of new life and gives relief from difficult labouring energy. Please be with us today.”

“We welcome the spirit of the South, who inspires fiery determination and prompts a baby’s first cry. Please be with us today.”

“We welcome the spirit of the West, who calms the waters of a baby’s uterine home and ensures the plentiful breast. Please be with us today.”

“We welcome the spirit of the North, who comes from the land of quiet rejuvenating spaces to tell tales of surrender and of our ancestors. Please be with us today.”

“The circle is cast. Blessed be.”

Invoke goddess Isis at the center altar.

“Winged Isis was a teacher and Mother of all Life. As a moon and wind Goddess she gave birth to Horus who was the God of the sun. Together they sustained all life. We welcome your spirit to our circle.”

(Have Heidi light the Goddess Candle)

Statement of Purpose:

“We are here today to honour you Heidi, to help you prepare for the next phase of motherhood. To soothe your soul, rest your mind and allow the magic of this time to come forth.
We are also here to honour the new baby, to celebrate his impending arrival and send him love as he completes his growth in your womb and prepares to join us outside you.”

(Heidi finds a comfortable laying position on the floor; we can have an area ready with blankets and pillows. Everyone takes a position around her and places a hand on her belly. Everyone can offer any blessings to the baby if they wish. Before removing our hands…)

Pledge to My Child:

“May you anticipate your child’s birth, his childhood, and his life and encourage him to look forward to.
May you watch him flourish and discover his home in this magnificent world.
May you nurture his innocence and never forget the sacred place it comes from.
May you show him the way of wonder and walk strong along beside him.
May you stand for him as parent and a friend, valuing his dreams just as you value your own.
May you voice your feelings honestly, and honour the promises you make.
May you listen to him thoughtfully and give him the freedom to expand his own mind.
May you envision his happy future, always mindful of the precious, present moment.
May you embrace him and enjoy him with your heart wide open.”

(Massage & Henna)

(Once henna is done we can take pictures etc. and then gather on the floor seated in a circle)

Weaving a Web:

“This will symbolize our connection to each other now and once the baby is born. We wrap the cord around our wrist and then pass it to the next person with the Goddess candle as the center.”
(Once the web is woven we can raise some energy with chanting)

“We are the flow, we are the ebb, we are the weavers, we are the web”

(Chant dies down naturally and we can ground out the energy raised into the candle)

“We will now cut the web leaving enough room for each of us to tie the cord around our wrists. We will wear the cord until the birth is over and Heidi’s milk is in.”

Circle & Goddess Release:

“Thank you great Isis for your presence. You are free to leave our circle. Please encircle Heidi with your strong and powerful wings, and breathe life into her efforts as she prepares to birth her second child. At the time of the birth please place your great shield in front of her and help her proceed with her work unafraid and safe in her nest.”

“Spirit of the North, we thank you for your presence. You are free to leave our circle. Please remain with Heidi to give her the ability to surrender to her changing role as she births her baby.”

“Spirit of the West we thank you for your presence. You are free to leave our circle. Please remain with Heidi to facilitate her rapid physical healing after the birth of her child.”

“Spirit of the South we thank you for your presence. You are free to leave our circle. Please remain with Heidi to give her all the courage she will need to birth her child.”

“Spirit of the East we thank you for your presence. You are free to leave our circle. Please remain with Heidi so that the burdens of mothering will become light as a feather."

“Our circle is open yet unbroken. Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again. Blessed be.”

We had a wonderful time with good food and lots of relaxing for Heidi. I really enjoyed making the decorations and crowns. It was lots of work but worth it, I think it is harder Moms the second (or third etc) time around to make their pregnancies special. They spend so much time looking after family matters that they don't have as much bonding time. So these events are nice to honour the process and the new arrival. We also honoured the new big brother and Dad with gifts. A "Big Brother" Cloak(which I made and am very proud of) (pic to come) and a lovely art print of a family of four birds for Dad.


Unbalanced Libra said...

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mrsb said...

Oh, wow, what a wonderful celebration! That is truly beautiful, and your friend looks so happy! Many blessings upon her and her family!

I can't wait to see the big brother cape!

shadesongs said...

WOW, what a great celebration! My daughter and I were just looking at my year book from high school, as today is her senior picture day. It seems like time goes like the sand in the wind....