Blessingways: A Guide to Mother-Centered Baby Showers–Celebrating Pregnancy, Birth, and Motherhood is a wonderful guide to creating a Blessingway – traditional or all your own – for a mother-to-be in your life. It's chock full of ideas for making a meaningful and special ceremoney. I was impressed and very refreshed by the mother-centered approach the book takes.
Author Shari Maser pulls from the experiences of hundreds of women, numerous cultural traditions, and deliberate ceremoney to create a guidebook that will serve you well. I really liked the approach Maser took in Blessingways – that a Blessingway is truly a ceremoney – a ritual – something to be set apart from the ordinary, and something to uplift the mother.
Maser begins the book by explaining just what a Blessingway is. She explains why it's something to be set apart from the ordinary, and why it's different than a traditional baby shower. I love the quotes she sprinkles liberally throughout the text. She quotes mothers, grandmothers, midwives, caring friends.
She also includes quotes and information from other information on Blessingways. Her book is themed around creating a quilt – how building the Blessingway can be thought of as such. And including information from other books and papers on Blessingways along with input from individual women really makes her book a lovely work of art drawing from so many places.
After explaining what the ritual is, Blessingways dives right into how to plan them. The information is solid and again, there are many real-life examples. These range from quotes to pictures of real invitations.
Maser covers all the important information, including the what, when, why, and even the who. I appreciated that she paid special attention to selecting who should be invited to a Blessingway.
Blessingways moves into actual ideas and suggestions for the Blessingway after establishing groundwork. There is information on planning the feel and progression of the ceremony, then a huge section of ideas.
Again there are comments from real women on how each idea worked during their own ceremonies, or those they planned or attended. I really found this valuable to help get a feel of how each of the ritual ideas worked during a real Blessingway.
Maser's idea compilation includes thoughts on music, speeches, song, circles, touch, hairbrushing – and much, much more than that. It is an extensive section and most definitely the section you'll find yourself referring to the most as you plan a Blessingway. There are ideas that will suit any and every Blessingway, regardless of background, culture, or religion.
Blessingways includes some ideas for special Blessingway ceremonies such as for adoption and loss of a baby. Then there is another extensive section of thoughts from real women and some music and reading suggestions. Maser rounds out Blessingways with extensive book and website recommendations for more reading.
This is a great book and will be a wealth of information for you!