If you like the idea of moon circles, then listen up! Mama blessings and bridal blessings are here to empower. These women’s circles celebrate beautiful life events, as facilitator Janae Bell, the founder of Goodess and the Moon, explained to me in this interview.
Q&A with Janae Bell: Talking about mama blessings and bridal blessings
Janae Bell loves to meditate and practice yoga. Her moon circles are popular, and now she’s offering mama and bridal blessing ceremonies too through Goddess and the Moon. Let’s find out more about what to expect, why how these events empower women and more.
Mama blessings! What are they, and what can we expect from attending this event?
Mother blessings are special and sacred ceremonies for mothers-to-be. The ceremony originated with indigenous traditions of “blessing way” ceremonies, which were traditionally held for women about to embark on a birthing journey. On their passage, one was blessed with song and dance during the ceremony.
Keeping this in mind, we strive to respect other cultures and not appropriate their traditions. Thus, we hold our own modified version of this event within our community, not using the exact same title but always acknowledging the roots of this ceremony.
The concept of a mother blessing is similar to that of a baby shower, but there are major differences between the two events. For example, a baby shower emphasizes gifts to celebrate the birth of a new child, while a mother blessing emphasizes a woman’s remarkable transformation when she dedicates herself to a journey from maidenhood to motherhood. In place of opening gifts, this time is dedicated to a much more important spiritual purpose for the mother-to-be and her family.
It is traditional to start mother blessings by honoring everyone’s birthing ancestors and their journeys, so each woman can be present at the ceremony. During this time, members of the group can get to know one another and become close if they are not already.
Be prepared to cry during the ceremony! An emotional release session is usually incorporated into this ceremony so that the mother-to-be can express her deepest fears to those closest to her, and a ritual is done to release and let go. As we help her overcome her fears and prepare for her journey to the stars to retrieve her child’s soul and bring them safely home- we build her up and help her work through those fears.
The mother can also experience group activities like belly bump painting, creating birth affirmation flags, making flower crowns, drawing a sacred foot bath, or receiving hand or foot massages. Whatever it takes to make her feel empowered. At the end, the group comes together to set wishes and desires for the mama-to-be. Mother blessings are centered around the blessing altar.
My approach as a facilitator takes several forms, and I enjoy working closely with mothers and family members ahead of time so that they may incorporate any family traditions, values, or spiritual beliefs into the circle.
One example is creating a special candle for her – set and filled with intentions of love, support, and positivity. The candle can be prayed to during labor, and it can be used for any instance where light and positivity may be needed for the mother to gain her strength and complete her journey of sacred love.
Bridal blessings is your other new women’s circle service. Why did you create this one?
During the creation of bridal blessings, I was inspired to create a sacred and safe space where a woman in transition could reflect upon the journey that brought her to this point. As well as release what has no longer served her as she moves forward into a new phase of her life.
It is my belief that we in the Western world do not honor our rites of passage enough. Sometimes, we get lost in the traditional ways of celebration that usually involve items of monetary value, and there are emotions that cannot be measured in dollars.
As a result, I want to help others to acknowledge and honor the transitions in their lives that they are going through. This can be a scary process as well as a thrilling one at the same time. In creating these offerings, I wanted to provide a safe and loving space for brides (and mothers-to-be) to express their vulnerability, pride, excitement, and fears in a way that is both safe and loving and where they can slow down with those closest to them.
It is through these blessings that we have a unique opportunity to express our love, friendship, and appreciation, all of which we feel, but are hesitant to express at times or are too caught up in the business of daily life to do so. Through these ceremonies, we gain a greater appreciation for the bonds that connect us to each other, as well as a memory that stays with us as a source of strength and resilience in our life.
What can brides look forward to during one of these blessings?
As a meaningful, thoughtful alternative to a traditional bridal shower, a bridal blessing circle invites brides to share their love and blessings, and it may help the bride prepare emotionally and spiritually for committing to her partner. Our custom is often to gather together as a group with the bridesmaids and other family and friends to bless and cleanse the bride, usually by smudging the space.
Among the items included in this package are candles, incense, crystals, oracle cards, flowers, and more. I will also provide the bride with a custom flower crown. Furthermore, we create a grounding meditation tailored to your circle.
As well as setting intentions, welcoming her into a sacred and safe space emphasizing the sacred feminine, and offering the option of including restorative or yin movements. In addition to heart-opening music played by speakers I provide, I will include affirmations that will lift the vibration.
Sisters of the bride will share experiences and stories about how they are related to her and memories they love about her. My goal is to create a beautiful enriching experience so she can talk to her sisters about her excitement, feelings, and fears with support. A bouquet of flowers will also include a blessing ritual and a wish.
What inspired you to provide these two new women’s circles?
As an experienced moon circle facilitator, I have been conducting moon circles for over a year and have been practicing rituals in my home for over five years. It inspired me to expand my services to include ceremonies outside of my moon circle work in order to honor not only the cycles of nature, but the cycles of my own life as well.
These two new services are just the beginning of my passion for holding space and helping others feel good, safe, seen, and heard. In the future, I intend to facilitate a variety of ceremonies in order to help people reconnect with their roots.
One last question! Where do these women’s circles happen? At home or elsewhere?
I offer these blessings at a venue of choice for either the bride or mother. This can be at their house, my house, or a venue like a restaurant or event space. I am located in Atlanta, GA, but can travel to facilitate these blessings.
Schedule a bridal or mama blessing with Janae Bell
Be sure to check out the rest of the Goddess and the Moon website while you’re there. Find out more about moon circles for the inner spirit, lunar musings, upcoming events, and more.
Questions about these women’s circles? Want to message Janae Bell to talk more? She kindly provides her email firstname.lastname@example.org to reach her directly or DM her on Instagram.