About six months ago, I performed my first Mother Blessing for my friend and grovemate Cassandra. During my protogrove’s Spring Equinox rite, I had the honor and pleasure of leading a baby blessing, or saining, for the bundle of joy who arrived around Imbolc. I performed the blessing as one of our magical workings. It was largely inspired and informed by the saining Rev. Skip Ellison performed for my daughter.
I blessed the baby in the name of the Kindreds – by fire, well, and tree. As I recited the prayer, I circled the child, held by her mother, with a beeswax candle. Then placed some of our blessed water upon the baby with a silver charm handmade by one of our grove artisans, Tan. Next, I placed my oaken wand against the child. Finally, as I recited a translated charm from Carmina Gadelica (page 192 from the CJ Moore edition), I sprinkled the baby three times with “wavelets” from our holy well. This resulted in much squirming from the wee one, and chuckling from the circle of onlookers.
Next I presented the child and mother with a quilt the protogrove put together. Secretly, I reached out to our members near and far, asking for bits of fabric representing the baby, her family, and protection. I received such a variety, and some of the personality of the group came through. I practiced using my growing needlepoint skills, Bee scribbled on some with fabric marker, there were fluffy foxes, whimsical owls, fireflies, spirals, a Goddess symbol, and several runes. It was the biggest thing I’ve ever quilted, and although it challenged me, I’m quite pleased with how it turned out! We passed it around the circle, touching in and putting our love into the blanket. Charged with care and protection, it represents the safety, love, and guidance of the community. Muin Mound presented a similar quilt to my daughter at her saining, and I loved the idea of a communal quilt as a sacred object – a child’s first magical tool. When feeling sad or scared, the child can wrap up in the blanket and feel the support pour in. As my protogrove grows, we develop our own special traditions.
After taking an omen for the child, I moved on to thank the Kindreds. I don’t think I planned the end of the working all that well, but my grovemate seemed moved and very happy with the working. Perhaps I should have some sort of musical signal, or a final exclamation? I also wish I had thought to set aside a special chair ahead of time, as I had to awkwardly find one right before initiating the magical working. As always, I’m growing and learning as I go along! Serving my community is such an honor. There’s definitely a pressure in that I want to do it to the best of my abilities, but it’s extremely fulfilling.