Rites of Women: Celebrating Motherhood

Published: 01st June 2009
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As a woman awaits the birth of her child, there is a ritual that is practiced in America and it is called a baby shower. It is the closest that we come to celebrating the state of being that a woman is in: the anticipation of the "almost here time."

There is another ritual that is becoming popular known as the Blessing Way Ceremony in honor of the Navajo Tradition. Some call it a Belly Blessing or Mother Blessing but it came to me as the "One Who Carries Life Within Blessing". These celebrations usually take place in the latter part of the Oneness. Women who are family members and/or friends come to celebrate the wonders of Motherhood.

When women gather in SiStarhood there is a healing effect that is in place. The bond that is formed in ritual is very strong and lifetime friendships develop.

The celebration is usually planned by female members of the family, close friends or even a woman who facilitates these types of rituals and ceremonies. In fact the Mother to Be can create her own ceremony if she is so moved.

On the day of the ritual, those who arrive to participate in a day of celebration are smudged with the smoke of sage, cedar and lavender. If the smoke is irritating to the Mother especially, then an aromatherapy blend of the same ingredients can be added to spring water and sprinkled instead or they can be symbolically "swept clean" with a broom.

The women then gather around the expectant Mother, encircling her and giving praise and thanks for the sacred space that is being created at that moment. Giving thanks for love and bless the space with moon water, moving in clockwise motion, making a joyful noise, gathering around, sharing birthing stories and tales of Motherhood.

A specially decorated chair, designed for comfort is where the expectant Mother is seated, with flowers strewn about giving off a fragrant bouquet. Colorful pillows are placed on the floor for the adoration of the belly with henna painting or belly casting.

Pampering can include tending the hair with loving strokes ... all the while affirming a most beautiful birth with ease and grace. Women have traditionally given their community of SiStars a footbath scented with oils and herbs to comfort, rejuvenate and refresh one another. Follow through with a foot massage and the senses are truly pleasured. It is a time of sharing birthing stories that speak of joy, courage and love.

In Africa, India and various cultures throughout the world there is a custom where the women of the clan paint the swelled belly with henna designs that speak to health, luck, joy, prosperity, spiritual awareness and protection. This beautiful work of art will adorn her belly until the day the child comes forth through the Web of Destiny. The painting, created only weeks before the day One became Two, is a reminder of the love, support, strength and courage of the SiStarhood.

Women like to help their SiStars look and feel beautiful from the inside out. The Hair Ritual is a relaxing experience that will prove to be beneficial to the body, mind and spirit. Weaving flowers into the hair or placing a crown of flowers upon the head is a way of showing honor to the initiation process of this Shamanic Priestess.

A special piece of labor jewelry is presented and given by the Elder of the clan. This piece of jewelry is symbolic of all who gathered together in SiStarhood, that the Mother would be well prepared spiritually, emotionally and mentally for the journey that she is about to embark on.

The dance of the belly is always a great way to end the festivities. That is when all of the women circle around the One Who Carries Life Within and they move their bodies like the ocean waves in celebration of an easy birth. It is a fun and joyous time being shared.

Rites of Passage mark a very special time in our lives. These times should be acknowledged, honored and remembered for years to come. The ritual for the One Who Carries Life Within is inspired by the Ancestral Mothers and created for modern women.

"Giving birth is priestess work; it requires a woman to pass through a painful and dangerous initiation in which she journeys to the threshold between worlds and risks her own life to help another soul to cross over." Jalaya Bonheim - Aphrodite's Daughters

About Diva Mama Tonya:

Dr. Tonya K. Freeman, affectionately known as Diva Mama Tonya is Co-Founder of MOSA Radio Network with her husband Dr. Bill Pinder. On MOSA Radio, she is the host of Wisdom Talks, a program on Women's Empowerment and Wellness.

She is the organizer and facilitator of Awakening the Diva Within and Ancient Mysteries for Modern Women Workshops. Dr. Tonya is a Diva Advocate, Womb Shaman, Keynote Speaker, Inner Growth Consultant and Ancient Femi9 Wisdom Keeper.

Visit her at her website for more information.

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