In the Navajo tradition, when a woman is pregnant she is thrown a celebration which is called a Blessingway. It’s basically a rite of passage into motherhood. In the Western culture, the equivalent to that is called a Mother’s Blessing for cultural sensitivity. I was blessed to be a part of the Mother’s Blessing for my younger sister as she prepares to give birth to her first child.
The Mother’s Blessing was a way to honor and celebrate my sister as a soon to be mother. We gave her a foot soak and massage. The water had essential oils that are safe for pregnancy. I did Henna tattoos on all of the women with a symbol that my sister chose that represented motherhood, fertility, protection and family. We shared affirmations and positive birthing stories, and lessons we’ve learned being mothers or in the position of a mother. We also wrote out affirmations on fabric which will be sewn into a quilt at a later date. We tied a ribbon with a bead around our wrists in solidarity with each other. Once my sister goes into labor we’ll all get the call and cut the string bracelet off of our wrists to symbolize the labor and celebrate.
My daughter was able to join us during this celebration and see how we honor women. She was able to see the bonds, the strength, and the sisterhood among us. This is something that one day my daughter will need from her own tribe, and will need to give to the women in her life as well.
When my daughter starts her menstrual cycle we’ll do a similar celebration for her. Instead of teaching her to hate the natural hormonal cycle her body goes through, instead we’ll teach her to embrace it and to understand her body. It’ll help her in the long run when it comes to understanding the different cycles and changes of her body. It’ll also help when it comes to her own health management.
It was nice to hear how much she appreciated being a part of the Mother’s blessing. I included some pictures of our celebration so you can see how we celebrated her. I think all mothers to be should have a Mother’s Blessing done for them. It shows them just how much they are loved and appreciated.
Washing of the feet done by one of our sisters
Henna tattoos done by yours truly
Laughs and good times while getting Henna done
My sister’s Henna tattoo
Playing the drums as we spoke well wishes to our sister (My baby boy took over)
Family enjoying themselves and sharing the love
Sharing laughter and love
Ending the night
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