Could this ceremony be the new baby shower?

 

Words: Yasemin Trollope // @Yaz_Trollope

Imagery: Annie Molenaar // @celebrantladylove

 
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I remember my first Mother’s Blessing like it was yesterday. My girlfriend was pregnant, and instead of a traditional baby shower, she opted for an ancient Navajo ceremony known as a Blessingway (out of respect for the Navajo culture we call it a Mother’s Blessing) that celebrates a woman’s journey into motherhood.

 

She invited all the important women in her life around for this sacred ceremony to help prepare her emotionally, mentally, and spiritually for what lay ahead. Our job was to alleviate any fears and empower her to embrace her in-built feminine powers.

 

We gathered in a circle around her, sitting on cushions while showering her in love and timely advice. We tied a red string around our wrist and promised to cut if off only when we got news she was in labour, sending her positive vibes as she journeyed into birth and then motherhood. We laughed, we cried, we ate incredible food. It was pure magic.

 

Clearly, this wasn’t like any baby shower I’d ever been to before. There wasn’t a nappy game or plastic dummy in sight, just a group of women doing what we do best - supporting the sisterhood. It made me reflect on my own baby shower a few years earlier, and as grateful as I was for such a gorgeous day, in retrospect, I would have preferred to switch out the games and present opening for something more enriching, like a Mother’s Blessing. It just seemed so much more meaningful.

 

I noted the depth of this experience in my psyche and went about my life. I moved overseas (and back again) with my two young sons and husband, started a modern funeral business and then, one day, realised that it wasn’t just end-of-life ceremonies I needed to focus on, but beginning-of-life ceremonies, too.

 

I was immediately transported back to the magic in the room all those years ago, reliving the intense energy that was harnessed by big-hearted women gathering together. My intuition was guiding me towards this work, and I knew wholeheartedly that this is where I needed to be, especially knowing how alone I’d personally felt at times after having my two boys. There were moments when I felt like the only mother in the world… but perhaps if I’d had a Mother’s Blessing to reflect on, I would have known that my sisters were right there with me, even when they were busy in their own lives.

 
 

“Clearly this wasn’t like any baby shower I’d ever been to. There wasn’t a nappy game or plastic dummy in sight…”

 
 

I now know that, when done right, the power of ceremony is undeniable and I believe that in our disconnected world, it’s imperative we find ways to reconnect with our support network - especially in motherhood! Today, I help other mums-to-be create memorable and meaningful ceremonies around this important rite of passage. Every Mother’s Blessing I create is completely unique to that mum. From henna to tarot to letter writing to cooking - it’s my job to capture my client’s essence and create a Mother’s Blessing that nurtures her heart and soul.

Sound like you? Here are my top five tips for creating an incredible Mother’s Blessing ceremony:

 
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1. consider your guest list

Like with any ceremony, the energy you harness is only as good as the people around you. Pick your crew wisely. You want your ride-or-die’s with you - the girls who lift you up, support you, love you unconditionally and who you feel safe being completely yourself around. The more you can open up and surrender during your blessing ceremony, the more moving it will be.

 

2. choose your venue wisely

When you’re pregnant, you’re naturally on high alert for danger. It’s just how we’re wired. So it’s crucial you feel safe in the space where your blessing is being hosted. Your home, a friend’s home, a private function room… any of these are great options. If you want to host your blessingway outside, that’s great too, I just recommend creating privacy with a teepee or marquee that everyone can gather in without prying eyes from strangers (although they’ll probably want to join in too!).

 

3. Create Meaningful Rituals

Almost every blessing ceremony has a ritual of some description, but my advice is to go with what feels aligned to you personally. Some of the most common rituals are belly henna, the string ritual or lighting a candle, and these are popular because they’re meaningful, but don’t do them just for the sake of it. If they’re not resonating, think outside the box and get creative.

 

4. Set The Scene

Creating a sacred space is one of the key components of any good Mother’s Blessing. I love to use crystals, oracle cards, candles, flowers, incense, and lots of rugs and pillows to set the scene, so that the women can enter into this gorgeously feminine space and just chill out. The purpose of this ceremony is to really celebrate the mum-to-be, so creating a space that caters to her personal tastes is good, too.

 

5. SEEK HELP if you need it

If you love the idea of a Mother’s Blessing, but don’t have the time to create something yourself, look for outside help. Having a facilitator create a bespoke ceremony for you will not only ensure it’s as unique and special as it can be, but it means the organisation of the event won’t fall on your shoulders. I personally work closely with my women to create rituals that are just for them - sometimes that means making something up from scratch if the more traditional avenues aren’t moving them. Having a guide there on the day also helps anchor this moment in time; giving it more authority and really getting the most out of the ceremony for everyone.

 
Yasemin Trollope, ceremony specialist

Yasemin Trollope, ceremony specialist


 

Yasemin Trollope is a ceremony specialist for beginning and end-of-life journeys and the founder And head funeral guide at Rite of Passage Funerals. She is passionate about creating modern, conscious ceremonies and rituals that honour those sacred transitions in life.