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This ritual, can be performed at any time during the pregnancy; however it is most often included as part of a baby shower celebration. While traditionally pregnancy and childbirth are the domain of women, tit is common knowledge that in this day and age our guys do play a large part in the whole child birthing and rearing experiences as well. Feel free to include the father-to-be, grandpas, uncles, big brothers and male friends in this ceremony.
You’ll will also need to ask the attendees to gather a collection of stones ahead of time, (one for each guest present and an extra for each element and Deity being called into the Circle). Label each stone with its corresponding attribute (the following list should assist in some ideas to get you started), if you have someone who is handy with an engrver you may wish to engrave the sttributes directly into the stones. (those on a budget can collect river stones and simply charge and lebel them with appropriate energies - alternatively you may wish to label riverstones with runes and charge each with the appropriate energies - whatever you choose will be appropraite for your child)
Decorate your baby's altar with the colours of the baby's nursery room. Include flowers (Spring blossoms are perfect, because they symbolize birth each year) and symbols of motherhood such as a mother-goddess figurine, and other representations of fertility. If the dad and male family members are being included in the ritual, make sure to include a god-figure as well, phallic symbols are perfectly acceptable here. You‘ll also require a blessing oil.
Cleanse the space, by smudging or asperging the area.
If your tradition requires you to cast a circle or call the quarters, do so at this time.
All guests should stand as a circle within the cast circle.
The High Priestess announces: We gather today for a blessing. (Mother) and (Father) are expecting a child together. Soon, new life will enter this family. We ask that each of you join us in celebration, welcoming this child into the community. We ask the gods to guide and protect this child when she arrives, and welcome her into your hearts.
The High Priestess anoints the mother (head heart and womb) with blessing oil, saying: Child of this woman, child of the gods, child of this community, child of the earth, your mother awaits you with love and joy.
The High Priestess anoints the father (head heart and groin) with blessing oil, saying: Child of this man, child of the gods, child of this community, child of the earth, your father awaits you with love and joy.
The High Priestess then should take the attributes box (or pouch) from the altar and hold it before the guests, saying: We gather these gifts and blessings for you, dearest child, so that they will be here awaiting your arrival.
The High Priestess should make the first offerings by placing the stones for each of the elements and the Deities into the box followed by her stone. As each of the stones is placed within the box, the attribute blessing should be said aloud: (example) "I offer you a Moon stone on behalf of the Great Mother so that you will be blessed with magick and intution throughout your life, I offer you a Moss Agate on behalf of the Lord of the Forest, that you will be blessed with spiritual well being throughout your life, I offer you Amber, as your High Priestess so you will be protected throughout your life".
The parents should place their own blessings in the bowl next, also sharing an attribute blessings.
Then the bowl is passed around the circle allowing each guest to place a stone in the bowl, and offer an attribute blessing.
When the bowl returns to the High Priestess, she should hold it before the parents, saying: These are the blessings of those who love you, and have promised to love and watch over your child who will soon walk with us in this world. Take these blessings with you, and share them with your child, as you raise them with love, honor, and in the lightand the presence of the Gods.
The High Priestess then asks the parents to turn to face the guests.
She asks the guests to then hold a single happy wish for the baby in their minds. As they do so, everyone begins clapping slowly and softly. Allowing the tempo to speed up, and but maintaining the energy and the intent, until the clapping builds to a crescendo.
At this point, the lHigh Priestess gives a signal for everyone to stop clapping and raise their hands upwards at the same time, releasing the energy into the universe. If you’re not crazy about the sound of clapping, you can have everyone intone a power chant, or you can utilise drums or bells. (again what you do is not important it is the intention to raise, direct and releade the energy)
To end the ceremony, close your circle as required by your tradition, dismiss the quarters, and be sure to thank any beings who you have invited to join your ceremony.
(Note: The parents-to-be should keep the bowl of stones, either on their family altar or in some other place of honour in their home. You may choose to keep it in baby’s room until the child is old enough to get into it, and then put it someplace safe)