Did you know?
In Mexican culture it is believed that a women, during her child birth experience, will travel to to the stars to collect her baby's soul.
How beautiful is that? It certainly would explain all the feelings, emotions and energy women feel after birth and that sense of vulnerability and rawness as if everything before that moment has vanished and all you ever knew takes on an entirely different meaning.
I am more and more curious to learn about how other cultures view and honour this sacred time in a woman's life and how they treat childbirth and the women in their communities. What rituals and ceremonies are held and the spiritual links. When I heard about “Cerrada” this morning, from a lady I follow on Instagram who had documented her Closing the Bones ceremony, I wanted to learn more...
This ‘closing ceremony’, “Cerrada” (Spanish) is a postpartum healing ritual to honour and nurture the mother in the setting of a sacred space after her journey through conception, childbirth and her destiny into motherhood. It is known as “closing the bones” ceremony and is widely practiced in Latin America and Asia. It is a celebration of the woman’s incredible body and to honour all the mother’s hard work of carrying her baby, the intense process of labour and the creation of new life and assists with returning her spirit back into her own body. (I LOVE this!)
The intention is to provide a space; a wonderfully nurturing and supportive environment in which healing can take place on the emotional, physical and spiritual planes.
The ceremony acknowledges the immense changes a woman has undergone in pregnancy and childbirth. There has been a huge shift and transformation that has occurred and so by holding space to acknowledge this it really aids the healing of heart, body and mind.
The ceremony assists physically by
guiding bones back into place
helps the uterus shrink back dow stimulates blood flow.
Emotionally it helps by
providing a sanctuary and sacred space
a sense of calm and security
an opportunity to experience grounding, helping to reestablish a sense of self.
It can be practiced right after birth or years later but brings about a sense of closure for
Mothers after their transformational rite of passage from maiden to mother.
A herbal foot soak begins the relaxation and offers a soothing way into the ceremony, there is opportunity here for birth story to be shared; exploring all feelings that arise within this. A short reflexology relaxation can follow before moving into the sifting/massage with the Rebozo, it is used to rock the pelvis gently back into alignment and physically bring the bones closer together, followed by more specific abdominal massage using warming oils.
This sealing element of the ceremony is where the woman is held and honoured at various points from her crown to her toes, using the Rebozo fabric scarves to physically encourage this bringing back together or her bones, with particular emphasis on the hips and womb area. A woman's whole being has opened during her birthing experience, allowing for the baby to arrive and so it becomes vital to begin a closing process Holding this space for her to reflect, acknowledge, feel, release and re-gather her energy inwards, allowing for as much time as is needed while she soaks up and processes her experience and journeys back to herself in a safe and nurtured environment.