A Ritual for Childbirth and Naming

By Sarah

Spells for Childbirth and Naming

Before my second son was born, I did these spells. At the time, I wanted my husband and son to feel that they were important parts of this journey that I was more obviously taking. When I started the ritual, I repeated the blessing, over and over, and felt moved to decorate my hands with henna. A few days later, my blessed and adorned hands caught my second son as he was birthed in the water.

The Childbirth Blessing*

Supplies:
A green or white candle (a long burning one to relight as you like)
The Empress and/or Two of Cups cards (or item that reflects and represents creation to you)
Grains or Grapes
Cauldron or bowl (for the grains or grapes)
Item of sympathy for the baby (ultrasound photo, booties-especially if you’ve made them)
Pink and blue ribbon for the candle (optional)
Item of sympathy for the mother (hair, photo)
Item of sympathy for the co-parent (hair, photo)
Items of sympathy for any siblings (hair, photo, freely given gift)
Fresh seasonal flowers

Set Up:
Set up the spell where it will stay visible as you go about your day. During the pregnancy, repeat this spell once a month. Closer to the due date, repeat it as often as you like whenever you feel you need a bit of encouragement! Earlier in the pregnancy, I felt moved to do this blessing early in the day. Later in the pregnancy, only the middle of the night would do, but my young firstborn son didn’t participate for the late night version.

Place the grains or grapes in the bowl or cauldron- these, along with the fresh flowers, are your offering for the working. Replenish them as needed. Prop up tall the items on your working altar where they will be visible. Artfully arrange everything else as you like.

Invite your partner and any siblings or other caregivers that will be a primary part of the baby’s life to participate in the working. Explain that the purpose of the ritual is to bless the mother for labor and delivery, bless the new baby, and for them to pledge their support of the mother, the new baby and the new-made family. I included a photo of myself, my husband and my firstborn in the ritual when I was pregnant with my second son.

The Working:
Begin as you normally do for rituals, if you cast circle, for example, do that. Call on the Goddess that you feel close to during this pregnancy. Many people use Frigga, Freya, Bes, and/or the Great Mother in this instance.

The blessing is spoken by the mother while any other supporters participating are holding her hand or her waist.

(Insert Goddess of choice here, for example: Great Mother of pregnancy and childbirth)
(Goddess) I do call, protect and watch over me today.
Bless this child that I carry as it grows stronger each day.
Tokens of fertility are the grains (or grapes) and the flowers.
The cards (or your tool) are symbols of a blooming mother’s power.
Candle flames symbolize the baby’s bright spirit.
The new father’s love and support is shown in it.
Guard us both during labor and delivery.
Help me to be strong and have a healthy baby.

Meditate for a bit and feel the closeness of your baby, your family if they are there, and think of childbirth. Think of all the women before and after you that will go through this same rite. Close as your normally do or continue to ask for a name for the child (rite follows).

The Blessing of a Name

Many people wait to meet their child before naming them, but still others feel that a name is an anchor for our baby to be brought into the world.

Supplies:
A pen or other writing implement
A small (name sized!) piece of paper in any color
A list of names that you’ve thought of (if applicable)

Set Up:
Set up the supplies where they will stay visible throughout your day. You want to be able to catch the moment for a name when it comes. I left mine with a pen with my candle from the Childbirth Blessing.

Leave space on the small piece of paper for the first name and middle name and write the last name on the right-hand side.

For a boy:
Our new child will be a son.
We wish his life to be a happy, fulfilled one.
But before this, we would like to find him a name.
One that will suit him throughout his life just the same.
As is our custom, we would like to name him before he is born.
Great Mother and Father, guide us to a name that will gladly be worn.

For a girl:
Our new child will be a daughter.
We wish her life to be a fulfilled one and one full of laughter.
But before this, we would like to find her a name.
One that will suit her throughout her life just the same.
As is our custom, we would like to name her before she is born.
Great Mother and Father, guide us to a name that will gladly be worn.

For either:
Our new baby will arrive soon.
We wish for our child a full and happy life as a boon.
But before this, we would like to find a name.
One that will suit throughout life just the same.
As is our custom, we would like a name before our child is born.
Great Mother and Father, guide us to a name that will gladly be worn.

Meditate for a bit and close your ritual as you normally do.

 


*Thanks to Ellen Dugan’s Book of Witchery for inspiration.

 

Sarah has always taken her own, sometimes Green, mostly eclectic, path. She tries to feed her spirit through her senses and awareness in everyday life. She has two boys (three, if you count her husband; five, if you count her cats), a shiny new Ph.D., a garden, a little hobby shop, and is always working on having things like serenity, patience, and joy. It’s always a challenge with a houseful of boys!


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