Blessing the Way
Recently, at The Mother magazine camp 2009,
http://www.themothermagazine.co.uk/tm_camp_2009.html a blessingway ceremony was held for two pregnant women, Vedina and Amelia, who were due to bring their babies Earthside in September.
The ceremony is as old as the Navajo Indians, and as young as the babies in their wombs. Each wombyn in the roundhouse, which was lit by a circle of candles, affirmed that the pregnant women would have a beautiful, ecstatic birth experience. That was, and is, our wish. We acknowledged that these women are sacred, they are goddesses, and that they are the Mother Earth made manifest.
A circle was cast, and in that sacred space to witness these women on their journey into motherhood, we called upon our mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers throughout time to be with us during this sacred time. We celebrated the long line of women who gave birth to us.
We sang: Circle Surrounding
There’s a circle surrounding the circle we are in (3x)
The Angels, Beings of Light
Calling in the Angels, to be by our side
Knowing, when we call them
Their light is here to guide our way
Their light is here to guide
Flowers, candles and incense were set upon the inner altar as we called in the ancient mothers. We introduced ourselves as such: My name is Veronika, and I’m the daughter of Angelikah, granddaughter of Leiselotta and Minnie.. and around the circle we went, calling in our mothers.
Our next Blessingway song was: Ancient Mother:
Ancient mother, I hear you calling
Ancient mother, I hear your song
Ancient mother, I hear your laughter
Ancient mother, I taste your tears
O la ma ma wa ha su kay la
O la ma ma wa ha su om
O la ma ma ka way ha ha ha ha
O la ma ma ta te ka kay
Birth is a spiritual vision quest. It unites the mother-to-be with all wombyn in her community. The beads we gifted them with on that day are, in reality, just one more bead on a long strand which connects all mothers across time: their mothers, and our mothers. They bring light to the birthing journey.
As each wombyn placed her bead in the bowl, she whispered her wish for each mother’s birth. The birthing wombyn will thread these beads into a necklace while in labour, remembering the powerful energy of the wombyn who connected with them during the Blessingway ceremony.
We then sang the (new) theme tune for The Mother magazine camps:
Sisters you give me courage
Sisters you give me courage to carry on
To open to, the strength I know inside
You help me unlock the love in my heart, And I am grateful
The women then gathered around to make bellymasks ~ a keepsake of pregnancy.
We’ve had articles on blessingways and bellymasks in The Mother magazine
TM1, Rituals for birth: The blessingway by Jeannine Parvati Baker
TM4, Blessingway for Ciaran
TM5, Celebration of Life ~ bellymasks
TM13, Thaddeus’s blessingway and lotus birth
Weaving the thread
As women, we’re all connected. Something which always makes me smile is that knowledge that we once lived in our mother’s watery womb. As an unfertilised egg, we lived in our grandmother’s womb. This beautifully illustrates that motherhood is a story written within each one of us, regardless of whether we are mothers, daughters, sisters or friends.
As a circle, we affirmed that women are powerful. A ball of yarn began with Vedina and Amelia, who then tossed it to another wombyn in the room. She wrapped it around her wrists a few times, then tossed it to another wombyn. This went on until the whole circle was woven into a beautiful red web. Each wombyn was invited to wear these bracelets (or anklets) until the birth of the babies.
As we closed the circle, we remembered that although the circle may be open, it will remain unbroken.
I promised to post a blog when the babies were born, so that the wombyn who attended the ceremony would know that they could remove their bracelets. I created an altar on our mantelpiece to honour these births with birth candles, a sunflower opened wide (to represent the cervix at full dilation), and the blessingway necklaces of my daughters.
Today, September 15th, Vedina gave birth to a baby girl ~ a calm, free-lotus birth. Gorgeous news! I'm so thrilled and proud of you for listening to your body, Vedina.
A copy of the Blessingway songs cd can be purchased from here:
Association of Radical Midwives
3rd National Conference
Saturday, 21st November 2009-09-15
9.30am – 4.30pm and 6pm – 9pm
“Safeguarding Normality ~ It’s our choice”
Speakers: Michel Odent, Caroline flint, Denis Walsh
Workshops, exhibition area, and showings of The business of being born and Orgasmic Birth. Evening sessions available as well as complementary health workshops.
Come say hello to me and my daughters, Bethany and Eliza, at The Mother magazine stall!
ARM members/students/unwaged, £30
RM waged/ £50
Non members ~ students £35
RM waged £60
Turn up on day £60
Evening session only £10
Contact: Amanda Garside email@example.com
Andi Simpson firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re looking for articles on breech birth, issue 18 of The Mother (Summer 2006)
is the place to look. http://www.themothermagazine.co.uk/back_issues.html
 Honouring the breech choice, Cecil Tamang
 Natural remedies to turn a breech, Veronika Robinson
 Breech and unavoidable c-sections, Emma Lewis
 Breech (innately intelligent choice in a confined environment), Dr Rozeela Nand
Sour Dough Bread Making
Mother Camp 2009 with Alex Kramer
If you attended The Mother magazine camp last month, and took away some sourdough starter, here are the instructions from Alex. My first loaves went in the oven baking this morning. Smelt lovely! Paul even walked into the room and asked what the lovely smell was. Er, flour and water? They tasted fabulous...
1. Take the Sour Dough culture and mix it in a large bowl with a few cups of wholemeal flour and warm water until it is the consistency of porridge. Cover with a tea towel and leave overnight. The mixture in the morning should now look bubbly. Grease your bread tins thoroughly. Add the rest of your wholemeal flour and add warm water whilst kneading until the dough forms one piece and does not stick to the sides of the bowl.
2. Very Important: Now take out a fist-sized lump of the dough and put into an airtight container. This will be your next starter and should ideally be kept in a fridge or cool.
3. Take a piece of dough about as long as your tin and enough to two-thirds fill the tin. Splash some water on top of the dough and smooth the dough on the top so that it is smooth and even.
4. Place a tea towel on top of the tin and leave the dough somewhere warm to rise. This might take two or three hours. When the dough has risen above the top of the tin, place in an oven, gas mark 7, for about 50 mins, or longer for many loaves or large tins.
5. Turn the tins upside down for the last 10 mins of cooking and leave in tins upside down for another 10 mins when out of the oven before trying to remove the tins.
6. Enjoy your lovely bread. It should keep for up to 7 days if it isn’t eaten long before this