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Blessingways: the reason for ceremony instead of just a Baby Shower

Yesterday I had the honor to help curate and hold a Blessingway for one of my dearest friends and soon-to-be mama. For those that don’t know, a Blessingway in place of a Baby Shower, is a ceremony to bring a village around a mama or family, and bless their way forward as they embark on the sacred and challenging path of shepherding new life through them and this world. A ceremony to me is fundamentally different than a party, because while it is very celebratory and often has unstructured food and hang time before/after, it is also a sober space to share and really be initiated into the biggest moments in our lives.

A few people there had never been to one before and their reflections to me made me desire to make this post. They were very moved by the intention of gathering everyone together and no matter our beliefs inviting spiritual, emotional and physical support from every participant now to this family and through the child’s life. Our ceremony was a blend of many traditions (Hawaiian, kirtan, gospel, animist, mystical, etc) and invited everyone to bring their heart and whatever authentic spiritual connections they had to help resource and fill this mama, papa, and baby with love.

When I help co-create such ceremonies, I really love to create two. One for the family, for them to feel held in this journey, and know who is supporting them. Another one is for the mama, as a way to spiritually prepare her for birth and motherhood. Most of my friends have natural home births and it is an extra courageous and transformative experience to say yes to in our times. Having that spiritual support from your dearest friends really does strengthen you.

I was touched yesterday, by how impactful this ceremony was, especially for those who had never received or even seen a whole circle giving love, prayers, songs, blessings and encouragement like this. I’m so glad I live in a community where I can gather with people to be sober together in the psychedelic presence of what’s happening for each other. I am so happy people were blessed by it in that way and it really made me wish more of this type of support was happening everywhere, all the time. Especially for the people who don’t usually like to get support, be emotional, or receive attention… I think they may need a free day to receive, be seen, and melt into their vulnerability the most.

So, may this be a public prayer…

May the community practice of circling together, sharing song, food, and honoring each other be remembered more and more every day.

May we go into huge life endeavors like birth, marriage, divorce, death and other key moments of transition with a knowing of our community and spiritual support.

May all families know they are supported by a bigger village holding them as they bring forward life.

May all mamas, everywhere, be seen as sacred temples of life and have time to soften and listen to the new spirit coming through them and have a birth experience that honors them.

May more and more people feel courageous enough to ask for support, to pray, to reach out to their ancestors, and to speak to the land they live on… because everything is listening.


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