Don’t feel like organizing another standard baby shower for the countless pregnant girlfriend with all the Olvarit jars and diaper cakes that necessitates? The Blessing Way party is growing: Everything revolves around the mother that day, because of the “new life” she begins.
The Blessing Way Ceremony originated with the Navajo tribe, but has also made its way to the West. The transition from a woman without children to motherhood is celebrated, but above all it is about supporting the mother.
During such a celebration, all the important women in the life of a pregnant woman attend: mother, sisters, nieces, friends – in order to exchange advice and experiences from one woman to another about pregnancy, childbirth or motherhood.
“But if a woman wants it, an important man in her life can also be present at the party,” says Jesica Biselsen and Rowan Laurentia who organize Blessing Road celebrations with their company Mama. It can be staged as a surprise, but it doesn’t have to be. It usually occurs towards the end of pregnancy and lasts approximately two and a half hours in the pregnant woman’s home or other chosen location.”
Strength and love for a mother
How’s the blessing road ceremonies going? “First, we created a circle on the site with cushions and decorations, where everyone will gather and where we will light the birth candle. The idea is that that candle embodies all the goodwill and love of those present and that the pregnant woman lights it again during childbirth.”
The baby will get all the attention after birth. But when the baby is born, the mother is born too
Activities include making a bracelet and geometric slab of gemstones, the so-called grid. For such a bracelet, all those present can choose a precious stone with a certain meaning, the same applies to the network of precious stones. “These things are meant for the mother during childbirth and while the baby is still there. Working with gemstones has a spiritual aspect, but above all it is a tool for communication,” says Besselsen.
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Magnesium bath and encouraging words
Aisha de Frudi, the pregnant woman herself who experienced the Blessing Path ceremony, believes that the beauty of such a day is that it is only about a pregnant woman. “This is important, because a woman should not be overlooked in becoming a mother. The baby will get all the attention after birth. But when a baby is born, the mother is born too.”
Another important element of the blessing method is when the attendees read their letter to the mother. “I’ve heard from everyone what they appreciate about me and what they want to pass on to me in my transition to motherhood and in preparation for childbirth. While enjoying the magnesium foot bath, it was a very relaxing and soothing experience,” says de Frodi.
From Navajos to Holland
How did such a celebration in Holland end the Navajo culture? Anthropologist Erin Stings attributes this to “the fragmentation of celebrations of the life path.” “It was clear a while ago that you were going to get married and then have kids. Now it’s not all that obvious, and so people feel the need to celebrate things like pregnancy or childbirth separately with a baby shower or some other kind of celebration.”
Such a celebration is especially popular among people who find each other in their values such as spirituality and communication and those who consider ancient rituals to be authentic and valuable, says Stings. She says this applies not only to the Netherlands, but all over the world. “That’s why you don’t see the ceremony just here, but everywhere in the world where people see the value of the blessing method. After all, it’s a special way of celebrating becoming a mother, and that’s something that appeals to many people.”
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