Sunday, September 1, 2013

Kirsten's mother blessing

Today was really beautiful. I had the special privilege of attending my good friend Kirsten's mother blessing.  Kirsten is very pregnant with her fourth (and possibly) final baby. As you can imagine, with being mama to 3 busy boys already, she's not had time to notice yet alone celebrate this pregnancy. 
So this is what today was, a celebration of Kirsten as mama, to offer her our support and love and to honor this very sacred passage of birth. 

We began by creating space for the ceremony. An altar was made on the coffee table, to welcome in the elements and power of the four directions. A candle and a symbolic representation of the 4 seasons and all of their power and strengths in each of the four directions.
 In the middle a candle (and also some knitting and a recipe book later added) representing Kirsten herself. Also in the room there were pictures of Kirsten's husband and her 3 older boys to honor their presence in their absence.

 Before we came into the space we cleansed our hands with rose water, we left all our thoughts at the door and entered the ceremony with clear minds and hearts completely present.
 Kirsten's mother in law Trish started the ceremony with a mindfulness meditation. We lit the candles on the alter and Anna told us a little of their symbolism. Then we took it in turns to share how we knew Kirsten and what our friendship meant to us.
There was so much love there for this mama, it was almost tangible in the room.

 To honor her motherhood, and her body that is carrying this precious baby within I painted her belly with henna.
 It was my first time doing this, I had seen a few images online, but I really wanted to just start and let the design emerge organically.

Every so often baby shifted and stretched or kicked, it was really special to feel so close to this unborn little one.
 While I was painting we talked of birth and motherhood and women and community.

 I was unsure of how to finish the design, until the phrase 'reaching for the stars' popped into my head, so I suggested a star on top. Anna asked if I could make it a five pointed star then each of there could add a dot on one of the points to represent our support and love.

While the henna was drying Trish led us on another, loving kindness, mediation connecting with and sending loving kindness to all mothers everywhere and to Kirsten herself.
 Kirsten had asked us each to bring a bead for her to thread onto a necklace that she will wear up to and possibly during the labour, her mother and 3 sisters-in-law had also sent some over from Scotland and it was very touching to be able to include them in the ceremony too.

 We told her a little about the bead we had chosen and why.

 When the necklace was threaded and put away (out of little boys' reach) to preserve the good energy that had been poured into, Kirsten took a ball of yarn and wrapped one end around her wrist. She passed the ball onto Trish who also wrapped some around her wrist then passed it on to Anna, then Claire, then I. We acknowledge our connection here together and with Kirsten then broke the yarn and secured the part around our wrists which we shall wear until the baby is born.
 To end the ceremony we each were given a white candle. We lit this from Kirsten's candle in the centre of the altar and held the space for a while longer before blowing them out. We have taken our candles home and when Kirsten's goes into labour we will light them here in our own homes, holding Kirsten in our hearts.
 and what would any ceremony be without a feast,
we eat together and drank tea and coffee chatting of this and of that, until I realised that suddenly it was time for me to go and pick up the kids.

I felt very honored to be part of this ceremony and Kirsten, for you I wish you the happiest, most peaceful birth journey and I look forward to welcoming this new little person into the world x x


  1. That sounds absolutely beautiful. I always wished I had family and friends close enough to do something like that. (:

    1. i'd never really heard of them before a few years ago, it was a very special day.

  2. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing! Such a lucky Mama!

    1. thank you, I was delighted to be part of it for her :-)