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Shara's Blessingway

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S: Shara Free's Blessingway April 16, 2011

FC: A Blessingway Tale

1: For My Soul Sister Shara. May you always remember all the magic and love that was brought to you on this day! Love always, Mariah Rain

4: Simple Outline for Guest– Beginning: Gentle Lead- In Smudging: Line up Oldest to Youngest. One by one will be smudged. Bindi: After being smudged you will take a step forward to pick your Bindi Forming an Arch: Form two lines to represent a birth canal, that Shara will walk through and under. Mother Dominique at the entrance of circle. As she passes through the birth canal”we say, ''through a woman you were born to the Earth & through women you are born into the circle.'' Two by two everyone follows behind Shara into the space forming a circle but still standing. Salt Water Purification Define the circle The circle has been cast, everyone will be asked to be seated. Shifting: Intense Stating a purpose, setting the tone and intention Call on the Four Directions: We will ask 4 women to volunteer. One woman will go to each of the four altars and read the birth-inspired summons that will be provided (in order East, South, West, and North) and then rejoin the circle. Naming Ritual: Each woman states their name and their mothers name, “I am (name), daughter of (name).” Lighting the Goddess Candle and Evoking Goddess Meditation: Releasing of Fears: Burning Ritual Evoking symbolic Purpose to help Scotty Focusing: Intimacy Pampering and Adorning: Hot foot soak two women massage her feet, while others massage her arms, shoulders, back. We will need volunteers. Mariah will be doing her hair. This will all be taking place while her belly is exposed for henna tattooing. Applying Henna: We will need 4 or 5 volunteers for applying Henna to Shara's hands, feet and belly and for the reading on Henna. We will also provide enough Henna for all. Spiritual Transformation: Rejoining the circle Gifts from the heart: This will be the time you can present your gift and its symbolisms. This could be a bead, card, letter, poem, song, jewelry, personal from past or present, or even a once childhood trinkets, cherished treasures, affirmation poster for the birth, birth pouch, blessing basket, gifts from nature, and even well loved hand me downs, things of this nature. Completing: Weaving a Web Ritual: Release the Four Directions: (We will need volunteers) One woman will go to each of the four altars and read the birth-inspired release (in reverse order North, West, South East) and then rejoin the circle Closing & Giving Thanks To the Divine Opening the Circle Feast Welcoming Scott and new guests Opening of Mother and Father to be gifts

5: Ritual supply List: Supplies for the Alters and creating the circle Folder holding readings and Outline/script Matches Music Goddess Candle Pitcher of water and little cups Scissors Smudging Stick and Ashtray Bindis Sea Salt Water and a clear bowl or something nice to carry it in Herbal Mix Aventurine Stone Lavender oil Foot Scrub Foot Bathtub Henna supplies Red Ball of Yarn Broom

6: Beginning: Gentle Lead- In Smudging: (Laura) Have the women stand in a line youngest to oldest with Shara at the end, one by one ... ''Take a deep breath relax, and let the smoke from the burning sage carry away all that is not needed here today.'' Women will take a step forward to pick Bindi. Bindi: (Mariah): ''Open your gateway to the Divine (your third eye) and pick your Bindi.'' Forming an Arch: Have the women form two lines to form an arch, that represent the birth canal. (Dominique at the entrances to the circle.) As she passes through the “birth canal we say, ''Through a woman you were born to the Earth & through women you are born into the circle.''”Two by two everyone follows her into the space forming a circle but still standing. Salt Water Purification: (Mariah): While walking clockwise-“''May these waters from the West renew and ready this space for the important work we will do today.''” Define the circle: (Laura): Follow whoever is purifying the space with a smudge to define the circle. (Laura) “The circle has been cast, everyone please sit.” Shifting: Intense (Mariah) Stating a purpose, setting the tone and intention: “''Welcome everyone to Shara's Blessingway. The ceremony we are about to partake in has been conceived with love, and it is assumed that all who are here have come to bring wishes of love and well-being to Shara and her Baby. The stringing together of certain rituals performed with special intent is called ceremony. Ceremonies are important because they serve to gather up all of our energies and to focus them on one specific thing; in this case, the welcoming and safe delivery of Shara's Baby and to celebrate Shara as she embarks on her new journey as a mother. Choosing a predetermined time place and setting for an event; using symbolic word, aromas, sounds, and actions with the participation of special people has the effect of lifting us out of our everyday frame of reference into the realm of the extraordinary, where anything and everything is possible simply because we wish it to be. (Laura) Though some of the things we do today may seem unusual; know that is has all been carefully researched in the hopes of recreating centuries-old multicultural practices that serve to harness the positive power of the saints, spirits, angels, gods and goddesses that surround us to make our will known to them. We ask that everyone stay mindful, flexible, and speak consciously. We ask that everyone stay present during the ritual, focusing your attention on Shara and sending her love and support while she is doing her spiritual work. Last we ask that if you need to use the restroom please do so quietly. Now we ask that 4 of you volunteer to help us with evoking of the 4 directions”

7: Call the Four Directions: (ask four women to volunteer) One woman will go to each of the four altars and read the birth-inspired summons. Everyone is to face in the direction as it is read (in order: East, South, West, and North) and then rejoin the circle. Naming Ritual: (Mariah) Each woman states their name and their mother's name, “I am (name), daughter of (name).” Lighting the Goddess Candle and Evoking Goddess: – Have Shara read, ''With the lighting of this candle, we invite the Divine Goddess to join us today. She is earth herself, her body reflecting mountains and valleys, fields and rivers. Her palpable sensuality is a celebration of physical existence. She represents the waves of primordial waters from which all life and consciousness arises. The great Goddess is woman's faceless, ego-less, primal self. She is peaceful in her body and her truly miraculous power- as a woman, as earth- to create life.” - Shara lights candle and returns to circle. Meditation: ( Laura) Music meditation Releasing of Fears: (Mariah) “Expressing fears helps let them go, releasing them from the heart and placing them in the hands of Spirits. Expressing fear is not the same as giving energy to it; in fact, it is the opposite. For when you deny that your fear exists, you leave it locked up deep within yourself - in a dark, cool, damp place-giving it the perfect conditions in which to grow. Releasing fears and expectations creates space within. Space that can then be filled with wishes, blessings, and other positive love-centered energies through the remaining work of the blessingway.” Burning Ritual (Mariah) A burning ritual is a dramatic and effective way to release fear. I'm going to pass out paper and pens, please everyone take a moment to think about any fear that you do not want to carry with you today... Once you have it please write it down. I will be passing a jar of fear-releasing herbs around the circle. Place your fear in the jar and if you wish share with the circle what your fear is. Once we have all placed our fears in the jar we will gather out side to burn them a way. Evoking symbolic Purpose to help Scottie (Mariah or Laura) Have all the woman hold hands, reader approaches center Alter while raising the stone to the heavens and says “We offer this stone of Aventurine which is known to enhance visionary powers, intuition, perception; bring good luck, prosperity, and emotional tranquility, supports independence, health, well-being, and positive attitude toward life; aid in releasing anxiety and fear; and brings one into alignment with their center. Divine Goddess we ask that you bestow these healing powers on Scott Kunkel, so that he may know his truth and center and carry it with him always.” Bring stone down and place on Alter. - Return to circle

8: Focusing: Intimacy Pampering and Adorning: (Mariah or Laura) – “To give birth, a woman must let go. Perhaps for the first time in her life, she will learn the lesson of what it truly means to surrender to something greater than her-self. The birth process, like breathing happens on its own. A mother-to-be must be willing to openly trust and surrender so the birth can unfold from deep within her. Receiving intimate attention is a wonderful exercise in trust. As Shara slowly surrenders to the circles loving hands, she’ll begin to let go, entrusting herself to us, who envelop her-and beyond, to the open arms of divine grace. If everyone will move in closer we can begin. Shara today we will be giving you an up –do as a symbolism of the transformation of giving birth. We will be massaging your shoulders to help prepare you for bearing the responsibilities of mother-hood. We will massage your hands to ready them for the physically hard work of motherhood. And we will bathe your feet to soothe them and clear the way for a peaceful journey. We need 2 women to volunteer to give her a hot foot soak and foot massage. Please take turns in massaging other parts of her body like her shoulders, arms and hands. We also need a volunteer to read the provided knowledge and symbolism of Henna while we set up.” Applying Henna Spiritual Transformation: Bring everyone back to the circle. (Mariah or Laura) – “If we could now have every one gather up their “gifts from the heart” and rejoin the circle please.” Gifts from the heart: (Laura or Mariah) (One of us or other needs to write down each item and its meaning for Shara to keep track of the gifts and maybe send out thank you cards if she wants) “Starting from the right of Shara one by one please stand and share with us what you have brought to day and its symbolism”. Completing: Weaving a Web Ritual: (Laura or Mariah) “Please stand for the Weaving a Web Ritual. The act of weaving a web enables us to stay connected to Shara beyond this day through labor, birth, and on into her postpartum period. Weaving a web also symbolically reinforces our connection to each other, as well as to Spirit. To begin, Shara wrap the tail end from the ball of yarn around your wrist several times, you want it taunt but not tight. When you’re done Shara, toss the ball of yarn to the woman across form you, who will then wrap the yarn around her own wrist several times and toss to another woman across from her in the circle. We will continue like this till everyone has wrapped their wrist. Now that the web is completed, everyone pull back slightly to feel the strength of the connection we just made. Please recite after me “We are the flow, We are the ebb,We are the weavers,. We are the web..” “Finally as we pass these scissors please help your fellow women to cut and tie off the yarn on one another’s wrists. With these bracelets we have created we will all be connected to symbolize the work we have done today and the support we will continue to give to Shara until she lets us know that her milk has come in and all is well.”

9: Release the Four Directions: (We will need 4 volunteers) One woman will go to each of the four altars and read the birth-inspired release (in reverse order North, West, South East) and then rejoin the circle. – Closing & Giving Thanks (Mariah, Laura or other): Having Shara in the middle at the Alter we all hold hands while reader says, “Divine Goddess, we are grateful for your loving and powerful presence here with us today. We release you from this circle with our thanks, asking that you remain with Shara from now until the birth of her baby.” Have Shara blow out the Goddess candle Opening the Circle (Laura, Mariah or other) While walking counterclockwise around the circle and, with a broom, sweep away the outline of the circle that we originally created by walking in a clockwise direction. This is done while another reads.. (Mariah or Laura or designated reader): “Today, we have succeeded in forming a beautiful, sacred space for Shara’s blessingway. The strength and energy we have helped Shara to raise is shining inside her and radiating out for us all to see. The power of the feminine spirit has been unveiled in each of us today. May we carry the knowledge and gifts we’ve received on into everything we do from this day on. Let us stay connected to Shara, creating a cradle of support, as she awaits her birthing day and beyond, as she learns to mother her new baby. This has been a powerful day. Our circle is now open, but remains unbroken.” Feasting! Welcoming Scott and new guests Opening of Mother and Father to be gifts

10: Open your gateway to the Divine (your third eye) and pick your Bindi. | Take a deep breath, relax, and let the smoke from the burning sage carry away all that is not needed here today.

11: Through a woman you were born to the Earth & through women you are born into the circle.

12: “May these waters from the " West "renew and ready this space for the important work we will do today.

13: We welcome the spirit of the ''East'' who brings the breath of new life and gives relief from difficult laboring energy. Please be with us today. | Wind

14: We welcome the spirit of the ''South'' who inspires fiery determination and prompts a baby's first cry. Please be with us today. | Summer | Fire

15: “We welcome the spirit of the ''West'' who calms the water of a baby's uterine home and ensures the plentiful breast. Please be with us today. | Autumn | Water

16: “We welcome the spirit of the ''North'' who comes from the land of quiet, rejuvenating space to tell tales of surrender and of our ancestors. Please be with us today. | Earth | Winter

17: 1) I am Shara, daughter of Dominqiue 2) I am Mariah, daughter of Amy 3) I am Chana, daughter of Janet 4) I am Quinta, daughter of Puala 5) I am Luara, daughter of Sally 6) I am Daniell, daughter of 7) I am Rachelle, daughter of Nancy 8) I am 9) I am 10) I am 11) I am 12) I am 13) I am 14) I am 15) I am | Heritage

18: “With the lighting of this candle, we invite the Devine Goddess to join us today. She is earth herself, her body reflecting mountains and valleys, fields and rivers. Her palpable sensuality is a celebration of physical existence. She represents the waves of primordial waters from which all life and consciousness arises. The great Goddess is womans faceless, egoless, primal self. She is peaceful in her body and her truly miraculous power- as a woman, as earth- to create life.” | Mother

19: Fearless | Expressing fears helps let them go, releasing them from the heart and placing them in the hands of Spirits. Expressing fear is not the same as giving energy to it; in fact, it is the opposite. For when you deny that your fear exists, you leave it locked up deep within yourself - in a dark, cool, damp place-giving it the perfect conditions in which to grow. Releasing fears and expectations creates space within. Space that can then be filled with wishes, blessings, and other positive love-centered energies through the remaining work of the blessingway.

20: We offer this stone of Aventurine which is known to enhance visionary powers, intuition, perception; bring good luck, prosperity, and emotional tranquility, supports independence, health, well-being, and positive attitude toward life; aid in releasing anxiety and fear; and brings one into alignment with their center. Devine Goddess we ask that you bestow these healing powers on Scott Kunkel, so that he may know his truth and center and carry it with him always. | A truly rich man is one who's children run into his arms when his hands are empty. | To the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world

21: “To give birth, a woman must let go. Perhaps for the first time in her life, she will learn the lesson of what it truly means to surrender to something greater than her-self. The birth process, like breathing happens on its own. A mother-to-be must be willing to openly trust and surrender so the birth can unfold from deep within her. Receiving intimate attention is a wonderful exercise in trust. As Shara slowly surrenders to the circles loving hands, she'll begin to let go, entrusting herself to us, who envelop her- and beyond, to the open arms of divine grace. Shara today we will be giving you an up do as a symbolism of the transformation of giving birth. We will be massaging your shoulders to help prepare you for bearing the responsibilities of mother-hood. We will massage your hands to ready them for the physically hard work of motherhood. And we will bathe your feet to soothe them and clear the way for a peaceful journey. | Love | Adore | Pamper

22: We Love You

23: The art of Mehndi, (Henna) has been practiced for centuries in India, Africa and the Middle East. Mummies have been found with Henna designs and it is well documented that Cleopatra herself used Henna for cosmetic purposes. We use the word Mehndi (pronounced me-hen-dee) to describe the practice of applying Henna to the body. Mehndi is the actual word in the Hindi language that describes Henna painting, so we apply Henna but we are practicing the art of Mehndi. Henna is the plant, it's the Persian name for the flowering shrub Lawsonia Inermis, which grows to be 10 - 15 feet high. It can be found in the hot climates like Egypt, India, Africa and Morocco. The Henna leaves are dried and crushed into a bright green powder, then made into a paste using oils and tea. This paste is then applied to the skin, staining the top layer of skin only. Henna in it's natural state will dye the skin an orange to brown color, even though it looks dark green when applied, this green paste will flake off revealing a light brown stain. Natural Henna when applied and stained properly cannot be scrubbed off and no chemicals will take it off. Natural Henna stains slightly deeper than Henna mixed with colored food dyes and has a longer staying power. | Henna

24: Henna is considered an herb, and has long been known to posses healing qualities. In ancient times it's been used for such ailments as headaches, stomach pains, burns, open wounds, as a fever reducer, athlete's foot and even the prevention of hair loss! Henna during pregnancy is an ancient practice and is soothing as well as calming. It is believed to help bring about an easy birth and healthy child. Many countries including Morocco and India have traditions of applying henna during the third trimester of pregnancy. The red coloring of the dye and protective images used in the patterns guard against the evil eye and are thought to protect the pair during the child's difficult passage into this world. Special attention is given to the hands and especially the feet as they are considered to be vulnerable connections to the world. Today we are going to use henna to decorate not only your hands and feet Shara but your belly as well. This is a wonderful way to celebrate your body's physical changes during your pregnancy and embrace this special time.

26: Gifts from the Heart One by one please share with Shara and the circle what you have brought to day and it's symbolism,

27: We are the flow | We are the ebb | We are the weavers | We are the web

28: Earth | Winter | Spirit of the North, we thank you for your presence. You are free to leave our circle. Please remain with Shara to give her the ability to surrender to her changing role as she births her baby.

29: “Spirit of the West, we thank you for your presence. You are free to leave our circle. Please remain with Shara to facilitate her rapid physical healing after the birth of her child. “ | Water

30: “Spirit of the South, we thank you for your presence. You are free to leave our circle. Please remain with Shara to give her all the courage she will need to birth her child.” | Summer | Fire

31: Spirit of the East, we thank you for your presence. You are free to leave our circle. Please remain with Shara so the burdens of mothering will become light as a feather. | Air

32: Divine Goddess, we are grateful for your loving and powerful presence here with us today. We release you from this circle with our thanks, asking that you remain with Shara from now until the birth of her baby.”

33: Today, we have succeeded in forming a beautiful, sacred space for Shara’s Blessingway. The strength and energy we have helped Shara to raise is shining inside her and radiating out for us all to see. The power of the feminine spirit has been unveiled in each of us today. May we carry the knowledge and gifts we have received on into everything we do from this day on. Let us stay connected to Shara, creating a cradle of support, as she awaits her birthing day and beyond, as she learns to mother her new baby. This has been a powerful day. Our circle is now open, but remains unbroken.

34: Friends

35: Never Forget You are Loved Shara xo

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  • By: Mariah R.
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