“I wish for you a life full of ritual and community.” –Flaming Rainbow Woman
Last week we created some sweet, simple little birth spirals by request for a Sacred Pregnancy retreat in Illinois. After doing so, we felt inspired to create some more simple little designs specifically intended for gifting for a birth blessing bracelet or necklace at a mother blessing ceremony. We priced them in order to make them affordable for nearly any budget.
My inspiration for these birth blessing charms were two quotes from Jeannine Pavarti Baker that I shared in a past post:
The entire Blessingway Ceremony is a template for childbirth. The beginning rituals are like nesting and early labor. The grooming and washing like active labor. The gift giving like giving birth and the closing songs/prayers, delivery of the placenta and postpartum. A shamanic midwife learns how to read a Blessingway diagnostically and mythically, sharing what she saw with the pregnant woman in order to clear the road better for birth…
Baker goes on to describe the potent meaning of birth and its affirmation through and by ritual acknowledgement:
“Birth is a woman’s spiritual vision quest. When this idea is ritualized beforehand, the deeper meanings of childbirth can more readily be accessed. Birth is also beyond any one woman’s personal desires and will, binding her in the community of all women. Like the birthing beads, her experiences is one more bead on a very long strand connecting all mothers. Rituals for birth hone these birthing beads, bringing to light each facet of the journey of birth…”
For almost all mother blessing ceremonies that we hold locally, we incorporate beads in some way—either for a birth bracelet or necklace or some other creation (for mothers who have had prior mother blessings and already have a bracelet or necklace, we’ve done wreaths, mobiles, and even a “gourd of empowerment.”)
After this project, we worked out some example projects for participants at MamaFest 2014 to make for FREE in the Red Tent. They turned out pretty lovely as well!
And, considering the role of ceremony in our life passages, I appreciated this beautiful, pictorial exploration of a birth release ceremony designed for a mother who experienced a traumatic birth:
…if a woman PERCEIVES that she or her baby is threatened with damage; or FEELS horror, fear and helplessness at a procedure…even if this procedure is ROUTINE to medical staff; she can experience that as a traumatic event.This is REGARDLESS of her level of pain relief at the time.It is REGARDLESS of the fact that she and her baby leave the hospital alive and physically healthy.” ©Birthtalk.org, Melissa Bruijn & Debby Gould
via Birth Release Ceremony | – Jerusha Sutton | Doula Sydney- Jerusha Sutton | Doula Sydney.
And, speaking of support from other mothers, I enjoyed and identified with this poignant look at the longing for community experienced by so many women:
“…I miss that village of mothers that I’ve never had. The one we traded for homes that, despite being a stone’s throw, feel miles apart from each other. The one we traded for locked front doors, blinking devices and afternoons alone on the floor playing one-on-one with our little ones.
What gives me hope is that as I look at you from across the park with your own child in tow playing in her own corner of the sandbox, I can tell from your curious glance and shy smile that you miss it, too…”
On a not-particularly-related note, but just as something I shared via my Facebook page recently, I also appreciated this new bed-sharing flyer from some of my very favorite LLL authors!
It is available to download for free as a pdf via: Resources | Pinter & Martin Publishers.
Mark and I hit our sixteenth wedding anniversary at the end of July. We went to a BBQ restaurant and took the kids to the county fair, because that is kind of what life after 16 years of marriage looks like. We also had a nice life-and-biz-marathon planning session and garden cucumber-and-cream-cheese sandwiches dinner while my dad watched the kids too.
These little drummers, while not sale-ready yet, symbolize the harmony and joy of co-creating our lives, love, and work together...
“…There, in the unplanned darkness,
was unlooked for wonder,
joy beyond ornament,
song beyond instruments.
At last the bride came and like a white flame
blazed among her maidens,
in brilliance more stern and starlike
and vastly more magnificent
than the ribbons and confections
we had planned for that day…”
(This post is from three years ago with a poem from a friend that she wrote in 1998 after our wedding.)
Backing up a little further into July (I’ve been really busy lately and my blog has languished accordingly!). July first was my “priestessaversary.” It is also my husband’s birthday AND his “quitzaversary”—the anniversary of his entrance into self-employment and a home-based life. A couple of weeks later, I got my newly completed M.Div diploma via email (physical copy coming later) and the date on it is….July first!