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Posted on 05-06-2017

Blessing the Birth

by Deborah Shouse

“The blessingway ceremony helps a woman prepare mentally, emotionally and spiritually for the work of birthing, opening her to instinctive abilities that will guide her in mothering,” says Donna Miller Watelet, interfaith minister and co-author of Mother Rising: The Blessingway Journey into Motherhood.  

Miller Watelet, a facilitator of dozens of blessingway rituals, shares an example of a nourishing gathering: In a comfortable and safe room, a group of friends circles the mother-to-be, signifying their support. They discuss the intention for the blessingway and invite the mom to symbolically let go of any fears blocking a harmonious experience. Once her fears are emptied out, they fill her up with affirmations, appreciations and adornments. Women can gift an object that has meaning to them, such as a bead, flower or scrap of cloth, as a sign of their commitment to her. These gifts will then be fashioned into something lasting, such as a necklace for the mother. The circle may then bind themselves together, each woman wrapping red yarn around her wrist before passing along the skein until everyone is connected. As they discuss this intertwining, they cut the binding yarn and keep the bracelets, a reminder of their caring for the new family.

“Finally, we enjoy a feast together,” Miller Watelet says. “Sharing a meal reminds us to bring the intentions of the blessingway back into everyday life.”

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