in my practice as an art therapist, one area of emphasis is on supporting expectant and new mommas. one of the best pieces of my training in art as ritual during this rite of passage was not only my graduate studies or my own pregnancy/momming experience, but also the pregnancies of my dearest art therapist friends with whom i graduated. as you’ve seen before on my blog, to mark this time as sacred, we hold mother’s blessing ceremonies for one another.
i’ve shared a bit about one of the art rituals from my own blessing ceremony these friends held for me, and i’ll blog more about it another time… but today i wanted to share a beautiful and artful blessing idea from one of my dearest friend’s blessing in autumn of 2009, where a group of women gathered (her closest friends and family) to celebrate the new life on the way.
one of my fellow art therapist friends led the group in a guided visualization about what they wished for the expectant family. she asked us all to notice the images that came to us — the setting, colors, lines, shapes, textures. each person in attendance was then given a piece of watercolor paper, a pallette of watercolor paints, and a selection of brushes. while beautiful music played, each person found a spot in the room where they could work on their piece.
everyone was assured that no artistic expertise or experience was necessary. each of us was asked to just paint the colors and impressions we had, regardless of whether it is abstract or the image of something. we also were asked not to become attached to the image, as it would be torn up to create a larger piece later. (this was very freeing for most of those who might not have been as comfortable making art.)
big-sister-to-be (age 2 here) even got in on the action, as her image is a key piece in the energy of the final product.
after the art was completed, we sat in a circle with the mom-to-be in the middle, and we each told her what we wished for her. the dad-to-be had created a piece on his own, in advance, which we showed to the expectant mom at the blessing. it was so fascinating that their pieces had such resonance!
the next day, the five of us you see pictured up there gathered around a kitchen table for tea, coffee, and paper weaving.
we tore the watercolor pages into strips that were one inch wide, along the longer side of the watercolor paper. we prefer tearing the pages along a ruler to cutting them — this way you get that lovely raw edge.
we chose strips from each of the paintings that were most appealing to the mom-to-be, making sure each person’s art was represented in the final piece.
the five of us wove the strips together, trying different configurations out, and eventually arriving at the final piece.
two months after this blessing ceremony, my friend welcomed her second child, a beautiful boy, into her family (who is now almost two!) this awesome piece of art, holding all of the love and supportive energy of his family, is hanging above his bed.