The Blessing Way ceremony is a healing ceremony that focuses on the physical, emotional, and spiritual well being of the expectant mother. Often, the ceremony takes place during the latter part of the pregnancy, and is understood to help provide the mother with all the resources needed to ensure that the birth of the child and recovery from the pregnancy progresses in a healthy manner. The practice is thought to have originated with the Navajo tribe of Native Americans, although many cultures observe some form of a ceremony of this kind.
In many instances, the Blessing Way is understood to be a healing endeavor that only involves the women. In more traditional settings, men are not allowed to participate. During the progress of the healing ceremony, the expectant mother is engaged in a number of rituals that are intended to help ease any anxiety about the process of child birth. In addition, the Blessing Way ceremony is meant to restore emotional and spiritual balance to the mother, and promote a feeling of physical strength that will help carry the mother through the pain involved in giving birth to a child.
A Blessing Way ceremony may be conducted in a relatively short period of time or last for several hours, depending on the circumstances and the wishes of those who are participating. Often, the ceremony serves as a time of bonding among the participants and provides everyone with the opportunity to meditate on the miracle of life and what it means to the welfare of the community. The ceremony is also a time when younger women can receive counsel and support from other women who have gone through the experience of giving birth.
In recent years, the Blessing Way ceremony has been adapted into a number of faiths and traditions. Some women are opting for a variation on the Blessing Way ceremony rather than hold a more commercial baby shower. The ceremony is often a wonderful means of gathering women into community and allowing for knowledge to be passed easily from one generation to the next.