Blessing Way Circle Ceremony

by Genevieve Munoz

When I entered the building of the big Coppertop Methodist Church in Duluth on October 15, 2011, I was surrounded by vendors, families with babies strapped to their chest’s and many women with beautiful, full, ripe bellies.  This was the location for the Birth and Baby Fair Expo, which is a bi-annual event sponsored by the Northland Birth Network, Women Circling Women and Magic Box Photography.

I was delighted to be one of over 40 vendors/professionals in the area where families could stop by our booths to chat and gather information.  There were classes and events going on throughout the day:  Infant Massage Demos, Baby Signing, Information on Doulas and Breastfeeding, and the Importance of Attachment with your new baby.

I gave a 45 minute sample Blessing Way Circle ceremony (also referred to as a Mother Blessing or Blessingway) which celebrates a woman’s transition into motherhood.  Blessing Ways create a sacred and safe environment where a mother-to-be can explore the challenges and joys that lie before her as she approaches birthing and mothering.  Participants honor the pregnant mother as a woman and as a friend, blessing her way into childbirth and caring for a new child.

There are five stages to a Blessing Way

1. Beginning:  Helps us establish the safe and special space that is needed to do the work of the ritual.

2. Shifting:  Moves us from individual consciousness into the realm of circle consciousness.

3. Focusing:  Centers our attention on the mother-to-be as we honor, pamper, and prepare her for her journey.

4. Completing:  Affirms our connection to the important work we have done during the ceremony as well as our connection with one another.

5. Feasting:  Brings the work of ritual into our everyday lives and helps us move from sacred space back to  social space.

 

We formed a circle on the floor.  The honored Mamas sat on beautiful colored cushions and placed their photos symbolizing “Motherhood” at the base of a large woman shaped vase filled with gorgeous flowers.  We introduced ourselves, blessed one another with a rose, named our Matrilineal heritage, shared our strongest quality we bring to motherhood and family, released old, outdated fears and expectations, blew blessing wishes into colored blown out eggs, wove a web of community, pampered one another with hair brushing and massage, repeated Mama Mantras (birth affirmations and shared a communal circle shape loaf of bread.  It was a lovely and sacred time together.  I leave you with a poem that blesses mothers everywhere:

—A Mother’s Blessing—

Breathe deeply and know that you are not alone.

The Mothers of all the ages are smiling as you walk the well-worn path to Motherhood.

Breathe deeply and know that your questions

Will be answered.

One by one, like seeds sprouting in the garden,

And trust yourself.

Breathe deeply and know that you are blessed.

Sacred life stirs in you, awaiting its time to shine forth,

Like nothing you have ever known before.

It will astound you with its overwhelming brilliance.

Breathe deeply and know.

May

Your body be strong

Your womb be open

Your support be wise

Your birth be well

Your baby be born

Your mind be peaceful

In Health, Happiness, and Harmony.