Last Sunday, we mamas all gathered to honor our sister Colleen, expecting baby #2, with a traditional blessingway ceremony. The circle began with smudging - the burning of herbs for clearing, prayer and purification. We used a bundle of dried sage from Maggie's garden, swirling the smoke around each of us, from head to toe, making the air heavy with its ancient & earthy scent. Candles were lit to call in the spirits of the north, east, south and west. More candles were lit, one by each woman, to introduce ourselves and honor our mothers and grandmothers. We sat with all the women who have come before us, ready to honor Mother, birth and life.
Colleen received blessings for her birth, offered from the heart of each mother present, along with symbolic beads that she will string together to form a birthing necklace. It will carry the energy and power of all of us and can be worn for strength and endurance during the birth.
Showered with blessings, it was time for a little pampering. Harmony, the midwife, scrubbed Colleen's feet with sugar scrub in a basin of water, symbolizing her readiness for a journey and new beginning. Maggie lovingly rubbed her hands to send away any fears. And Colleen's mother brushed her hair, honoring the transmission that occurs between the generations. A crown woven of flowers, sage and mint was placed upon her head - transforming her into a goddess mama. So beautiful!
Tears flowed as our dear friend Heidi, who moved to Sweden two months ago, joined the circle via phone, and led us in song: "Woman am I. Spirit am I. I am the infinite within my soul. I have no beginning and I have no end. All this I am." The ball of red yarn that has been used at all our blessingways - and symbolizes the blood that runs through the veins of every woman - was passed around the circle. We each wrapped a bit of yarn around a wrist or ankle, joining ourselves in a web of sisterhood. The yarn was cut, and we will wear it in support of Colleen until her baby is born. The circle was opened and we ate all the yummy, nourishing food prepared for this special day. It was a beautiful mother blessing and I am sure Colleen will have a very sweet birth.