Blessingway: A return to ritual.
It is actually a very interesting phenomenon which parallels much of what I find interesting and valuable in henna body art.
The Blessingway is a summoning of support for the mother. The baby shower is lovely but as a simple showering of gifts, it is not satisfying women’s needs. Now women are asking for a deeper experience, connecting the mother more meaningfully to her support group, her society, her own experience. Something most cultures already had not so long ago. It’s a search for ritual to invest depth, meaning and connection to our experience which can be confronting, frightening, profound, and blissful.
We need these powerful moments to be seen and we need to be supported through them. But where are we finding recognition of this wave of emotion and experience around us. Well, it’s hard to find.
Materialism, industrialisation and science were the witch hunters who have drove ritual and connection to nature from our lives. These dry priests of modernity have driven out a basic human response to powerful life events. Ritual.
Just think about your own reactions to that word… It summons up images of dry church sermons, witches stirring pots and useless moments of repeated mindless traditions.
Ritual drives my vision of henna’s place in society, I imagine it as a simple, beautiful way to formalise and mark a change in life such as pregnancy and marriage. The Blessingway too is a call to fill the void of our forgotten rituals that can link us to each other, the natural world and our own inner universe.