Thursday, April 1, 2010

Washing of the Feet

During the middle pregnancy of a Pagan woman, one of the traditions to a good delivery is to plan a Blessing Way. A blessing way is in an interesting ceremony in which the pregnant woman gathers with her close friends on the night of a full moon. During this ceremony, the women brush her hair and wash her feet. The pregnant woman’s feet are washed with specific herbs such as calendula symbolic for a strong heart, rosemary symbolizing remembrance, and lavender symbolizing endurance. After her feet are washed, she is presented with a candle to use during the birth process. When the ceremony concludes, the women enjoy a feast with symbolic foods such as seeds, eggs, and roots. These actions symbolize the purification of a woman before she gives birth. Her feet are washed and her hair is brushed to symbolize the cleansing of her past life and her preparation for her new life. The candle symbolizes the new life that will be lit through her pregnancy.

To me, this tradition seems relatable to a woman’s baby shower. It is a celebration of the life that is about to be brought to life. Women gather to talk and prepare the pregnant woman for her coming offspring. At showers, there are gifts given and food is shared. It is a very common norm to have a party that welcomes the birth of another member of an extended family. There are also other religious ceremonies across the world, which take part in the washing of the feet. It symbolizes the washing away of past mistakes. It relieves a person of the bad they have done in their life. In this case, it seems to wash the past away from the mother so that they can start a new life as a parent. This information was gained through a website explaining how to welcome a pagan child into the world. Looking at this ceremony, it should be clear to see that pregnancy is a celebration through many different cultures and thus the party should be understood by almost anyone.

Konick, Lisa. "Welcome Your Baby: Pagan Traditions." Belief Net. Digitaria, 2000. Web. 1 Apr 2010. .

ARTHEN, SUE CUREWITZ. "Rites of Passage." Celebration of Birth. Fire Heart, n.d. Web. 6 May 2010. .

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