This is just a brief overview of Blessingways...
The Blessing Way ceremony is inspired from ancient customs and traditions that embrace the spirituality of motherhood with the collective power of a community of women's support. (this is concidered a "sacred circle" and is attended only by women...and often their young children too)
A blessingway ceremony,in any form,is a celebration of a rite of passage of some sort (blessingways in native american traditions include first menarche,and "croning" for women as well,and weaning from the breast for young children male or female,for example)... in this case,with the capitol "B",it's for the transition into motherhood,and includes blessings for a "good" labor & birthing experiance,and a healthy mother & child. It can include many customized parts,as I do belly castings,and henna art too...and if done here at my place it's usually done outside by the water and can include gentle swimming meditations or a drumming circle....but most all ceremonies include some interactive rituals,such as: weaving flowers in the woman's hair, giving her a massaging foot bath, beading her a keepsake necklace, candlelight blessings, poetry readings.
The ceremony begins by gathering everyone around the mom-to-be and all are focused on her while listening to the friend chosen to lead the ceremony. One person will weave flowers into her hair or place a floral wreath on her head; another is beading a necklace with beads everyone has brought. Everyone else can participate by massaging her feet in a foot bath and again by giving a wish and loving words of encouragement for her during the candle light segment. A "food train" list is made for any volunteers to bring a dinner to the family after the child is born,and the ceremony ends with a beautiful poetry reading. I usually ask everyone to bring a healthy "mama" snack to share...something the mama can actually eat and it benifits her & the child's health,usually grains or something "earthy"...and I supply the herbal tea :)
My fees vary depending upon what is to be included,anywhere between $40 and $200 most of the time.
My Baby Welcoming ceremonies are much the same,though citing different traditions and involving friends & family (read here: "male as well as female"),and the basic ceremony is $30...just in case you are interested :)