Within Pagan, Goddess, Wild Woman's spirituality we often hear the terms Maiden, Mother, Crone, the Triple Goddess. Sometimes a fourth aspect, Lover, is added. Carolyn Hillyer has written about the eight phases of womanhood Girl Seed, Blood Flower, Fruit Mother, Spin Mother, Mid Woman, Earths Crone, Stone Crone, Bone. All very valid journey points through a girls/womans life and ones which I use a lot for chanting and honouring ceremonies.
Girl Seed - Our Pre Moontime Maiden Years
Blood Flower - Our Bleeding Maiden Years
Fruit Mother - Our Years of Creation (not always meaning a physical birth of child)
Spin Mother - Ours years of child/project rearing, 'the juggling' years lol
Mid Woman - Pre Menapouse
Earths Crone - Menapouse
Stone Crone - Elder/Wise Woman
Bone - The final journey of Death back to the earth.
So we bleed, then the wheel turns towards ovulation. The promise of fertility, that bright spark of life which stirs within us. The journey towards motherhood is a massive Path of change...changes in your emotions, your body, relationships, outlook, priorities you name it, it changes! But a great blessing and joy it is too!
For the first trimester, the first three months, a tiny seed has been brought into life. But from that small seed great trees grow, as the saying goes! To the on-lookers eye changes are small, subtle. You may feel the best you've ever felt, completely elated, but on the other hand you may feel as sick as a dog and constantly tired. I personally have been very lucky with both my pregnancies and wasnt too sick, I suffered with nauseau yes but wasnt puking all the time which was nice ;o) Come the second trimester around 12-15 weeks for me I would feel fairly normal and start to bloom. This is when I would start to think about my Belly Blessing.
If you've not experienced a Belly Blessing or have never heard of such a thing I can promise you after reading this you'll be wanting to convince the next pregnant friend you know to have one! In some ways it can be seen as a Spiritual Baby Shower.....but really its not. Its more about the coming together of your girls, and that can be friends, sisters, mothers, grandma's etc etc. A ritual celebration of your journey into Motherhood and the safe travel of you and your child during this enormous rite of passage. My first Belly Blessing was done at Summer Solstice 2003 and I was about 35 weeks pregnant. We camped in my friend Pam's family orchard (yes I camped that late in my pregnancy lol), we'd planned to see in the Solstice Sunrise and then do my Belly Blessing later in the day. I was throned in a lovely seat and crowned with a circlet of flowers. Stories were shared, prayers offered, spells of protection cast and I received wonderful gifts too.
My second Belly Blessing was preformed in 2007. Since my inital Belly Blessing we'd had a few other pregnancies within my circle and so had come up with a few new ideas to incorporate. As part of the celebration we now incorporated Belly Painting. Using safe Face Paints or Henna. Such good fun and all the girls present got involved and added a bit of their creative selves to the piece of art created on my Baby Belly. As you can see in this pic of the gorgeous Natalie, we painted her belly to match that of the Gaia statue she's holding. The other picture is from Lucy's Belly Blessing, we used Henna that time.
I preformed a ritual some years ago for a lady and her husband. To mark her transition from Maiden to Mother. A very simple ceremony in their lounge with a small altar. We cast a circle and called in the elements and Lord & Lady. We used a dark sheet to represent the birth canal and I guided her through a meditation with the finale being her uncovered and re birthed as 'Mother'.
A Belly Blessing can be as great or small as you desire. Its also something which you can honour on your own or with your partner. Hopefully I've given you a few ideas on how you can honour another part of your or another Wild Woman's journey! Then once the lovely baby is born you can look to planning the baby Naming!!! Tee~Hee!