Mother Blessing Circle
I don't like baby showers, at all!
Now you know.
Mountains of gifts for the baby, a ´diaper cake´, silly games like eating peanut butter from a diaper or drawing baby bodysuits... YIKES! NOT for me!
Worst of all? All the ladies attending seem to think it's a good idea for the mother-to-be to hear their horror birth stories and then one tries to top the other!
That is my idea of a nightmare before I would have to start my own birthing journey.
Are you also not a big fan of baby showers and looking for a less commercial way to celebrate a mother that is soon to give birth?
An alternative for a baby shower is a mother blessing circle
A mother blessing circle is a meaningful and thoughtful way to honour the mother-to-be.
Never heard of?
In our every day lives there is not always time and awareness enough to express these wishes and desires we have for the mother-to-be. By creating a special time and space where we dedicate ourselves to celebrating and honouring the woman that will very soon put new life into this world we create a possibility to share and connect more deeply with each other. A beautiful memory of a ceremony in which you feel empowered can be a source of strength and resilience throughout your live.
A mother blessing circle stems from indigenous traditions of “blessing way” ceremonies to honour the rite off passage through motherhood, when a woman goes from maiden to mother or from mother to mother anew. For this ceremony women close to the mother-to-be (mother) gather and are asked to bring their warmth and wisdom to share in an intimate women's circle. The women present represent the village of the mother that will be there to support her during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Don´t worry this does not have to mean they will be physically present at birth ;), but in spirit they can connect and support.
A blessing altar is nothing creepy or woo-woo.
The women sit literally in a circle on the ground around the blessing altar. The blessing altar might sound a bit too much out there for some, while in fact it is just a beautiful centre piece around which the women gather in a circle. The mother can sit on a special chair if she´s uncomfortable on the floor. The altar can consist of flowers, candles, incense or essential oil steamer and crystals.
During and after the ceremony the women are asked to be aware that they fill the space with a warm and embracing energy. Birth is a big energy field and different women experience different stories. The story of the mother should be a fresh story, her own story, without the burden of others. The mother receives the beautiful wishes of the women and everyone can share their wisdom and love in a positive and nourishing way.
The mother blessing can be performed in several different ways. When inviting the guests you can ask them to bring a savoury and sweet dish. This way you can start the gathering with a little bite. Besides that this is a nice easy way to start this also plants the first seed towards creating a habit to bring the new mother food.
To continue you can think of starting with an introduction round; every woman saying their name and telling something about the relationship with the mother and how they got to know each other. Not everyone will know each other and this creates an atmosphere of familiarity with each other that makes the women feel more at ease.
Then you could sing a song together or do a meditation or relaxation exercise to clear the air and get the awareness to the room and the mother. The mother can be asked to write down her fears and then ritually let go of them by burning the paper for instance. This is also something that can be done in a meditation if you don´t want to literally light a fire.
Then you could organize a group activity if that fits to the mother-to-be. Activities you can think of are belly bump painting, cooking healthy meals for the mother she can keep for after birth, creating birth affirmation flags, making a massage oil for during the birth, drawing a sacred foot bath, or receiving hand or foot massages. Whatever it takes to make her feel comfortable, nourished and empowered.
Then the group of ladies sit together again in the circle and one by one express their wishes and desires for the mother, her birthing and/or her postpartum period. This can be done while every woman puts a precious stone on a string which in the end makes up a bracelet that mom can keep with her while birthing.
A beautiful ritual to end the circle with is the red thread ritual. The ritual can be used as a reminder of every woman´s role within the village of the mother. It emphasis the love, support and wisdom every woman in the village holds and can share. With the thread each woman in the chosen village is connected to the other women.
A ball of thread is passed around the circle from woman to woman and placed around the wrist. It starts with the mother and ends with the mother. When everyone is connected the thread between the women is cut and the thread each woman holds is tied into a bracelet. The women keep the bracelet on until the labour starts or until the baby is born and serves as a nice reminder to check in with the mother during the last part of pregnancy and the postpartum period. When the labour starts the mother can (if she wishes) notify one of the women of her village and then the other women are notified of the start of labour and everyone can cut the thread as a sign of opening and letting go. The individual women can then pray, make wishes for the mother, send positive thoughts or burn a candle. Whatever fits to the individual woman.
I had the privilege to hold a mother blessing circle for a good friend and it was amazing, emotional, beautiful and fulfilling not just for the mother-to-be, but for all the ladies present. I enjoyed it immensely and can recommend it to anyone!
This is the blessing altar we created for my friend. I don't have more pictures since we were all so caught up in the ceremony that we forgot. A good sign I would say. 😉 Later that morning we decorated the altar and food table with fresh flowers, which looked amazing! All the ladies brought nice and healthy homemade dishes which we enjoyed together.
You can hold the ceremony yourself for a mother-to-be or you can ask a circle facilitator to lead the circle. With the explanations of this blog you will be able to do it yourself. If you would like to and are not sure how, you can contact me for more tips and tricks or to come and lead your mother blessing! I´ll be delighted!
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