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The Blessingway Ceremony

The Blessingway Ceremony held before childbirth is as old as the Navajo people. In its myths and chants it chronicles the birth and puberty of Changing Woman and the birth of her twin sons. As a ritual centered on the feminine rites-of-passage, this ceremony has been a major source of inspiration to midwives and birthing mothers in creating new birthing rituals. Giving credit to their inspired source, these contemporary rituals have come to be called Blessingway by the women creating them. I first became acquainted in the 1970’s with Blessingway while practicing midwifery in Santa Cruz, California, through Raven Lang (1). Immediately I began to hold these ceremonies in my own practice and found it to be a remarkable “prenatal ritual”. The Blessingway Ceremony radically changed my way of assisting the full empowerment of the woman-with-child and how I helped parents give spontaneous birth. It provided me with the first public demonstration of shamanic midwifery. It clarified my role in birth as ally, rather than savior, priestess, or doctor. Through birth rituals, I became more aware of how to empower a woman to birth her own baby. Ritual has the ability to tap into the roots of ones’ soul and access the multiple levels of reality involved in pregnancy and birth. The Blessingway Ceremony has stood the test of time in helping actualize the visions and dreams of the family and community for the upcoming birth.

Read the original article at: freestone

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