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Tuesday, April 29

Baby E's Blessing Ceremony & First Birthday Party

My baby-love turned 1 year old at the end of March.  It was quite the occasion.

Family and friends drove and flew in from as far away as California and Florida (we are in PA) to join us.

Not only was it time to celebrate a full year of bustling life, it was time to recognize her spiritually.  I had been raised Catholic and had attended plenty of Baptisms over the years.  I skimmed through my books and cruised the internet for a Pagan option.  There are a few, but there was nothing that caught my eye.  Sainings.  Wiccanings.  Dedications.

I wanted to acknowledge her spirituality, but did not want to dedicate her to any particular Pagan path.  My own identity has changed several times, so I didn't want to limit her... BUT I dislike Pagan parents who spout that "We're going to expose her to all religions and let her choose." drivel. 

I thought, perhaps, simply dedicating her to the ways of Earth and Goddess might work.  I started down that creative path, but found that most of what I came up with would be more appropriate for a young girl's coming of age ceremony after first menses... not a baby's blessing.

I consulted with a Spiritualist in our area and he passed along a stroke of genius!  Baby E was going to be surrounded by multiple generations of family... so why not point her ceremony towards heritage?

I took that creative nugget and ran with it.  

The finished ritual was exactly what I wanted.  Not so much Paganism that it frightened uninformed family members (Papa J's family are not all in-the-know about Mama Stacey's faith), but just Earthy enough that it met my religious needs.

We focused on family.  I hunted around on Etsy and found a Tree of Life style pendant, in a gold finish (she is a fire sign, so gold it is).  We gifted it to her as part of the ceremony to symbolize the rich and vibrant family tree that she is the newest leaf of.  

I took details and ideas from various rituals I'd seen online, substituted some of my own words, and created a whole ceremony that brought tears to more than a few eyes.  We acknowledged her heritage, we announced her full name, and we blessed her with sacred rosewater.

My mother dug and found the simple, 1980s era cream-colored dress that I had been baptized in a lifetime ago.  I paired it with a pair of tights and some flowered sandals and a pink sunhat (that she wouldn't allow to remain on her head for even a moment!)

As this was also a birthday party, we decorated with pendants, balloons, flowers and ribbons, all in a citrus-colored theme.  It was my desire for this to be a bright and sunshiny event and citrus lends itself greatly to that.

We served up deli platters and a spinach & strawberry salad along with ice buckets full of soda in glass bottles.  We used THIS recipe for Mimosa Punch and it was a delicious hit.

It was such a delightful day of love and celebration.  Papa J and I were honored to be surrounded by so much happiness.

I will post a transcript of Baby E's Blessing Ceremony tomorrow for all to see.

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