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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-23-2012 02:05 AM
bioshannon

Surprisingly, your statements about baptism aren't correct.  Any baptized person can legitimately baptize another person, baby or not, including in the Catholic church.  You don't need a priest, though one is encouraged.  Same is true for marriage!  This is from an official Catholic website:

 

While the Church has an extended rite of Baptism which is normally celebrated, which includes roles for both parents and godparents, the essentials of that rite are two: the pouring of water over the head of the person to be baptized (or the immersion of the person in water); and the words "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

Since the form of baptism requires just the water and the words, the sacrament, like theSacrament of Marriage, does not require a priest; any baptized person can baptize another. In fact, when the life of a person is in danger, even a non-baptized person—including someone who does not himself believe in Christ—can baptize, provided that the person performing the baptism follows the form of baptism and intends, by the baptism, to do what the Church does—in other words, to bring the person being baptized into the fullness of the Church.

I had no idea that this was true until my priest mentioned it in passing at a baptism yesterday.  Really interesting.

 

 

04-18-2009 11:06 PM
kriket
Quote:
Originally Posted by futurmama8 View Post
bumpity bump

great thread, seeing a lot of this (having blessingways) on MDC lately.
I just saw the one, and I think she's Navajo!

I wonder how this caught on... I've always thought 'sprinkle' was a fun word if you don't want a 'babyshower'
04-18-2009 09:34 PM
jimblejamble :
04-18-2009 08:08 PM
Ldavis24 Oh man

I just read this entire thread....all 14 pages and now that I am utterly exhausted and have to go cook some dinner I will say that I really enjoyed reading every post even the heated ones (ok especially the heated ones)

I enjoyed greatly learning about something that I was totally and utterly unfamiliar with. I had no idea there was even such a thing as a blessingway. I had a frilly stupid baby shower with lots of gifts, but the primary motivation behind that was that I couldn't afford all the stuff I need for DD and my fam was happy to help...I feel so unenlightened now!:

I will certainly never use the word blessingway to refer to, well pretty much anything now except the actual dine ceremony or ritual, which I doubt I will ever witness! If certain members don't want it said no skin off my back. I have thought about it a lot but it basically comes down to a very superficial thought process for me...

"Ok so you don't want me to use that word for a babyshower or any kind of ceremony, cool! Thanks for the heads up"

Then again I think my brain is fried from trying to read this entire thing in one sitting!

Bump bump for one of the most interesting topics I have read about on here!
04-18-2009 08:05 PM
Cali2SC Thank you for sharing BellyMama.
04-18-2009 04:55 PM
futurmama8 bumpity bump

great thread, seeing a lot of this (having blessingways) on MDC lately.
02-27-2009 12:01 AM
talk de jour
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kells97 View Post
Except for the people you invite, who then think nothing of it and tell all the other people they know expecting a baby about this "cool new thing" and then they tell others . . .

And since when does others not knowing about something make it okay to do?

: And this is how this whole cultural appropriation mess happened in the first place!

02-26-2009 11:51 AM
Kells97
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3pink1blue View Post
call it whatever you want. no one is going to know anyway.
Except for the people you invite, who then think nothing of it and tell all the other people they know expecting a baby about this "cool new thing" and then they tell others . . .

And since when does others not knowing about something make it okay to do?
02-26-2009 10:53 AM
talk de jour
Quote:
Originally Posted by BethSLP View Post
Still TOTALLY disagree.

The Navajo/Dine don't use the word "blessingway." They use the word "Hózhójí." Blessingway is not even a direct translation!

XOXO
B
Yes, there is a specific word in the Dine language, but as Native languages and traditions are dying out (thanks to white Americans' oppression of natives) it becomes even more important that we respect what tiny things that they have held on to and ask us to leave sacred to them.
02-26-2009 10:37 AM
3pink1blue call it whatever you want. no one is going to know anyway.
02-26-2009 10:16 AM
Swan3 Thank you VERY much for this post, I was struggling with what to call my next "shower" as I didn't want gifts...I will not be using this term.
02-26-2009 01:16 AM
herins Aaacckk. I posted that a reeeeeally long time ago. I can't believe how some of these threads get revived endlessly.
02-25-2009 03:21 PM
BethSLP
Quote:
Originally Posted by herins View Post
I have read this entire thread over the past couple of hours, and my mind didn't settle until JacquelineR started posting. I think that had BellyMama explained in the beginning (not that she should have known we needed to be told) how much power a word has, *some* of the arguments may not have started.
......Hopefully, upon hearing that the name, in itself, has life power they will choose to find a term that is powerful for themselves.
Still TOTALLY disagree.

The Navajo/Dine don't use the word "blessingway." They use the word "Hózhójí." Blessingway is not even a direct translation!

XOXO
B
02-25-2009 02:42 PM
JessicaS
08-11-2008 05:07 AM
Lizzie9984 I think it's just as offensive to hold a Blessingway and call it your own as it would be for someone to circ and hold a Bris and call it their own. Borrowing from another culture can be a respectful thing, IF and ONLY if the exact cultural expectations are followed, and not merely refined to suit the outsider's party flavor of the month.

In short, knowing Native cultures' ceremonies are highly sacred, I find it profusely offensive and disrespectful to hold a Blessingway without either being Dine, or following exact Dine customs and receiving blessings for the ceremony AS the outsider. Otherwise, it's no different than physically taking what is not yours.
08-10-2008 08:32 PM
Mommy StormRaven Whiel I do have the utmost respect for native american (actually more correctly termed aboriginal americans since any american born on US soil is a "native" american" - this was just pointed out to me recently by an Elder friend of mine - I am of the Cherokee Nation) I do have to raise one issue. The Dine' nation doe snto hav ethe copyright on the term "Blessingway".

I had a blessingway for my second daughter - which was performed BY a medicine woman and a Shaman. Though not in the Dine' tradtion it was nonetheless called a blessingway by those performing the Rite. And yes - friends and family WERE incorportated into the rite as well.

Educate oneself by all means but remember this. All of the tribes were originally brances of the same Nation and therfore many of their traditions, ceremonies and paths are very similar if not virtually identical.

Thatsaid - what ever celebration I have for THIS child will nto be a blessingway - the medicine woman has since crossed the Bridge and I no longer live near the Shaman that was present either.
08-10-2008 04:59 PM
bellymama
Quote:
Originally Posted by herins View Post
I have read this entire thread over the past couple of hours, and my mind didn't settle until JacquelineR started posting. I think that had BellyMama explained in the beginning (not that she should have known we needed to be told) how much power a word has, *some* of the arguments may not have started.



I think the essence of the thread is that some people honour (without necessarily understanding) many aspects of the Blessingway, and feel that there is something lacking in the baby-shower culture of today. Hopefully, upon hearing that the name, in itself, has life power they will choose to find a term that is powerful for themselves.

Damn, I hope I managed to say what I mean. If not - I'll use the pregnancy-brain card too!
i agree that a lot of the issues have arisen because of the cultural differences that non-NA have with the NA in terms of how they use names.
08-10-2008 04:57 PM
bellymama
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belle View Post
I've only read the first 10 pages or so.

One of the pillars of Islam is to go on a journey to Mecca. It is called a Haj. The (rather poor) English translation of this word is Pilgrimage. Now say I were to go on a journey of religious significance. I would call it a pilgrimage and not a haj. Should Muslims be offended because I used the word Pilgrim? I would expect them to be offended if I called myself a Haji after I had gone. That would be inaapropriate of me to do so. But the word pilgrim is kind of generic and not related to their journey.

Now relating to a blessingway. I understand the original name is a Hózhójí. I really don't understand why the (rather poor) English translation to this word is more offensive than calling it a Mother blessing ceremony. I have never used the word blessingway, I would probably use the Mother blessing ceremony, because nobody I know would understand what a blessingway was. But I really don't see how it would be offensive to anyone what I would call my ceremony. Neither Mother Blessing nor Blessingway convey the original meaning of Hózhójí.
i don't know how many times i have mentioned this in this thread but because the NA's were FORCED in most cases into using english, this point is totally moot. if you have been FORCED to take on a language then you shouldn't be blamed when you use it. i get what your point is, but this argument to me is weak sauce...it just doesn't hold.
anyway, Christmas is also known as Noel by the French, Navidad in Spanish and Grischtdaag in German...but it's the same damn holiday. you see? it doesn't matter what language you say it in, it's the same.
08-10-2008 02:32 PM
lil_miss_understood
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belle View Post
Now relating to a blessingway. I understand the original name is a Hózhójí. I really don't understand why the (rather poor) English translation to this word is more offensive than calling it a Mother blessing ceremony. I have never used the word blessingway, I would probably use the Mother blessing ceremony, because nobody I know would understand what a blessingway was. But I really don't see how it would be offensive to anyone what I would call my ceremony. Neither Mother Blessing nor Blessingway convey the original meaning of Hózhójí.
Imagine I came to your country, put you on a tract of land 1/20th of what you used to live on, and told you that you could only speak my language. Then, when your children and grandchildren knew very little of your language, I said "Sure, speak your own language. Oh, and we're taking back these words you've taught your children to describe the ceremonies which are sacred to you (which you did illegally, by the way, good for you). They're ours. Sucks to be you. Hope your family learns your language in the 2 years you have left to live."
Is your opinion still the same?
08-10-2008 01:05 AM
herins I have read this entire thread over the past couple of hours, and my mind didn't settle until JacquelineR started posting. I think that had BellyMama explained in the beginning (not that she should have known we needed to be told) how much power a word has, *some* of the arguments may not have started.

Quote:
Basically, it's not "just a name" or "just a word". In Native American beliefs, the name *is* the thing. This is why Natives who follow a traditional path will not name their children for a living relative. By naming their child *for* that person, they take some of that person's life power.
I think the essence of the thread is that some people honour (without necessarily understanding) many aspects of the Blessingway, and feel that there is something lacking in the baby-shower culture of today. Hopefully, upon hearing that the name, in itself, has life power they will choose to find a term that is powerful for themselves.

Damn, I hope I managed to say what I mean. If not - I'll use the pregnancy-brain card too!
08-08-2008 03:40 PM
avivaelona I think what I'm understanding is that the Dine have been so culturally seperated from their language that in order to communicate even with each other, they have to use English for many things. Blessingway is their attempt to translate the Dine word into English and avoid using English words that were already in use...so its a term they coined. Pilgramage is a word that was in frequent use and was just applied to the idea of a Haj, because it was the closest English word in use, it isn't a term that muslims coined trying to rename Haj in a language that most of them used even if it wasn't their original tongue.

People who are using Blessingway are using a term the Dine feel they coined to represent the Dine word (I don't know if the Dine really did coin that term or not) If some other group insisted they coined it too at the same time independently I guess they'd have to duke it out. If no one else does claim that than it seems like not such a big deal to just let them have that term.

Of course I'm biased because I think Blessingway sounds awkward and I prefer other terms better.
08-08-2008 02:07 PM
Belle I've only read the first 10 pages or so.

One of the pillars of Islam is to go on a journey to Mecca. It is called a Haj. The (rather poor) English translation of this word is Pilgrimage. Now say I were to go on a journey of religious significance. I would call it a pilgrimage and not a haj. Should Muslims be offended because I used the word Pilgrim? I would expect them to be offended if I called myself a Haji after I had gone. That would be inaapropriate of me to do so. But the word pilgrim is kind of generic and not related to their journey.

Now relating to a blessingway. I understand the original name is a Hózhójí. I really don't understand why the (rather poor) English translation to this word is more offensive than calling it a Mother blessing ceremony. I have never used the word blessingway, I would probably use the Mother blessing ceremony, because nobody I know would understand what a blessingway was. But I really don't see how it would be offensive to anyone what I would call my ceremony. Neither Mother Blessing nor Blessingway convey the original meaning of Hózhójí.
07-25-2008 10:52 PM
bellymama thanks for sharing that, MommyHawk!
07-25-2008 03:30 PM
MommyHawk Mother's Blessing Celebration
I like this one if you are having a celebration for the mother, either for a first, second or so on child. It's really nice to be celebrated as a Mother. I think our culture can really benefit from this sort of focus on Mothers and Motherhood.

I agree that "Blessingway" is not the way to go in describing or titling your celebration unless you are having an authentic Blessingway in the Dine tradition and the ones giving the celebration/ceremony are Dine.

I admittedly had a Mother's Blessing party/shower, however it was called a Blessingway incorrectly by me since I didn't really think past the name at the time. I wanted to do something for my second child and someone online suggested a Blessingway. I didn't do any research until afterwards.

I then thought it would have been better to have called it a Mother's Blessing Celebration. People were very confused, most didn't attend or participate since they were not NDN and thought that it was only for NDNs. I was quite embarrassed when I did look into what one actually was and then realized why most people didn't show up. It didn't mirror a Blessingway at all which is good looking back. The name was the only thing used. None of the ceremony which would have been wrong since we are not Dine and don't have an understanding of the culture/spirituality.

Really unless you and your guests are in understanding of what one really is, you should call something else.

A real Blessingway is a spiritual ceremony. I wouldn't have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah for my son if we were not Jewish. Nor would I have a Baptism for a child if we weren't Christian.

I think that anyone having an actual Blessingway that isn't Dine/Navajo is just as disrespectful to the true meaning of one and the culture to which it is belongs as it would be for someone doing any of the above mentioned ceremonies and not being a part of that spiritual community.
07-13-2008 01:41 AM
bellymama bumping because i have been reading this collection of essays, Becoming Part of It and there have been some really insightful pieces of information in some of the essays, that are helping me understand more of why using the word blessingway is distressing to the Dineh.
from the essay, Become Part of It, by Joseph Eppes Brown:
a little more on explaining the cultural differences in the importance and use of words and names...and why that it makes sense that some people are having a hard time grasping what the big deal is about using the name.

Quote:
One must mention the special nature of NA languages, which contrasts with our understanding of language and our use of words. In Native languages the understanding is that the meaning is in the sounds,it is in the word; the word is not a symbol for a meaning that has been abstracted out, word and meaning are together in one experience. Thus, to name a being, for example, and animal, is actually to conjure up the power latent in that animal. Added to this is the fact that when we create words, we use our breath, and for these people, in these traditions breath is associated with the principle of life; breath is life itself. And so if a word is born from this sacred principle of breath, this lends an added sacred dimension to the spoken words. It's because this special feeling about words that people avoid using sacred personal names, because they contain the power of the beings named, and if you use them too much, the power becomes dissipated.
from The Man Made of Words, by M.Scott Momaday:
Quote:
(The Native American) locates the center of his being within the element of language...It is the dimension in him in which his existence is most fully accomplished. He does not create language but is himself created within it. In a real sensem his language is both the object and the instrument of his religious experience.
and then there are these:
from The Trees Stand Deep Rooted by Sam Gill:
Quote:
The Navajo ceremonial, the Blessingway, demonstrates how the Navajo envision the way thought and speech become manifest in the creation of the word and the sustenance of life. Of the 25-30 major ceremonial ways known to the Navajo, Blessingway is generally recognized as fundamental to all others; it is an indivisible body of story and ritual and a whole religious ideology.
Quote:
The occasion for the first Blessingway ceremonial was the creation of the Navajo world; consequently, the ways of creation are the model for all versions and all performances of the blessingway It is because the Blessingway is the way of creation that it is called the backbone of Navajo religion and is recognized as the source, and pattern for the Navajo way of life and thought.
Quote:
"A prevalent non-native attitude is to associate ritual and tradition with lack of innovation and creativity. This may be the biggest contrast between Native and Non-native views of life. This view is alien to the native american because they have accepted the charge of responsibilities for performing the acts upon which life and reality depend.
basically, the Dineh perform the Blessingway almost as a way to keep the world turning. if they weren't to perform it, or if it is performed incorrectly, it sends out some bad medicine, and basically messes up their whole world and religious view. so for them, it's like the greatest act of blasphemy for people to be using this powerful term and participating in a bastardized version of what they do (because as i have found, every.last.one of the New Age Blessingway websites or books i have looked at says that the new Blessingway is directly "borrowed" from "native american traditions".)
anyway, i just found those articles to shed more light on the subject for me, so i wanted to share them.
05-30-2008 08:25 PM
lil_miss_understood From this site:
http://www.ausbcomp.com/Redman/navajo.htm

Quote:
Blessingway, Hozhoogi, is life to the Navajo. From birth onward this is the center and foundation of all ceremonies.
So my analogy earlier about taking away meaning from Life was (shockingly to me) dead on.
05-30-2008 07:06 PM
bellymama the Dine woman i spoke with was unable to go into detail about certain aspects of the Blessingway, but she was happy to share with me that she wished people wouldn't do it.
i actually think it's a really good idea to contact the Navajo Nation. i am going to call the SPIRIT network and talk with them about maybe working on a clear statement to send out to these websites, authors and even magazines like Mothering so that they can begin rectifying the situation.
there is not a lot of info on it that can be found, so i can understand a lot of people's reluctance simply to take a few people's word for it. so i am hoping to start getting some more information out there, so that when people google blessingway they will see that information up with the other information, and then be able to make an informed decision.i simply want people to be aware of this. i don't want to force anybody to do anything. i just want all the information to be there when people decide.
05-30-2008 05:32 PM
lil_miss_understood I asked my foster mom about this, how to explain it and such. She told me that I would need to talk to a Navajo Elder about it. So I have called the Navajo Nation. Unfortunately, the person to whom I need to speak is out of the office today, so I will have to call them again on Monday.
ETA: Although it occurs to me that bellymama is *already* in contact with a Navajo (Dine) Elder who has simply said "Please don't do this."
It reminds me of something my foster mom once said, "We don't invite outsiders to our ceremonies because they don't understand and don't respect us nor our wishes."
05-30-2008 04:13 PM
lil_miss_understood
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
It would be more like if people of a completely different religion and cultural background, who had traditions of their own that went with their culture, came to the US and planned a bunch of Christmas celebrations that were a little like Christmas but were mainly a distortion based on their own background and culture, but still called it Christmas and said they were celebrating your holiday with you. But then imagine that this culture were not the dominant culture in the US and that the culture were getting overshadowed.
I can understand what you're trying to say but I don't agree. The dominant culture is the one doing the distorting, first of all. Secondly, it would be more like the dominant people doing something similar to Mass and calling it Christmas... This was the original analogy I came up with in my head but it still doesn't convey it all which is why I didn't use it.
05-30-2008 03:41 PM
mamazee I'm not a Christian, but Christianity is still my cultural background, and it is the dominant culture in the US. So it's not really the same thing. It would be more like if people of a completely different religion and cultural background, who had traditions of their own that went with their culture, came to the US and planned a bunch of Christmas celebrations that were a little like Christmas but were mainly a distortion based on their own background and culture, but still called it Christmas and said they were celebrating your holiday with you. But then imagine that this culture were not the dominant culture in the US and that the culture were getting overshadowed.
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