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Blessing the Way

mahcialtarll.jpg Johanna is my son Josh’s peer, a Blue Mountain School alumni, Floyd High School salutatorian, a young German-born woman that many of us here in Floyd watched grow up. She’s getting married on the summer solstice.

Forgoing a wedding shower, or even the traditional Floyd Blessingway, she requested a Machitun, a shamanic drumming healing ceremony. The ceremony was brought back to Floyd after my friend Katherine, a ceremonialist, and other Floyd women traveled to Chili and learned it from the Mapuchi women shamans. rootjohannax.jpg

Burning sage wafted in the air, cultrun drums reverberated, and the shaking of rattle conversations opened the way for good visions to come.

Following the ceremony, we gathered around Johanna with big smiles on our faces to tell stories and give her our blessings.

“A jiggly jolly girl in pig tails with her head in a book and roller skates on her feet” was the way some of us remembered her. As a young girl she created miniature fairy worlds. Now she’s making the world a better place as an environmental organizer. Sipping from the chalice of fruity herbal liquor, we sealed our wishes for her and her partner, Nick.

Then we held court upstairs at a long dining room table. The wine flowed as we were treated to an Eastern Indian feast fit for Queens, Priestesses, and Machis, prepared and served lovingly by two of us. Gifts were presented and oohed over. Laughter and chatter filled the air.

Post note: Johanna’s mother, Starroot, is a well known Floyd visionary artist. You can check out her work HERE. Read about Johanna and Nick's wedding HERE.


Sipping from the chalice of fruity herbal liquor sounds so cool. You always do the most unusual things! I'd take a wedding like this over those with the formal 15 bridesmaids spending $100,000 anyday.

And this is just the warm-up. The wedding should be really spectacular stuff!

makes me feel good all over to know this blessed woman is here among all of us ..

girl, we are coming to floyd one day to meet these wonderfully fascinating people with whom you surround yourself! now tell me - was the feast east or west indian? i am an addict for east indian food, and thankfully my east indian husband can cook!

So horrendously busy recently that I just had time to read this one post. I realized once again that living in a small and NOT ever changing community gives you such a deep life perspective.

The weddings in Floyd are always so interesting.
I remember yours well and loved it. xo

It was east Indian food and the woman that cooked it is a former nun who once cooked for Mother Teresa! Her partner, who cooked with her is a dancer and DJ!

I will be pounding my little drum this morning, adding to your good wishes for this lovely young woman. I'm not much for showers, but this one sounds wonderful!!!

wow, what an interesting tradition! Chalice of fruity herbal liquor...that just sounds so cool. The whole thing sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

What's "the traditional Floyd Blessingway"? Did I miss it?

Hi Bonnie, A blessingway is a ceremony adapted from a Native American tradition. It's usually done for a women about to have a baby, but we have had them for women about to get married. Ours involves a wildflower crowning, giving the woman a foot bath, giving blessings, wishes, gifts, poems, and telling stories. I've added some links to the front page on the blessingway and my friend Katherine, who lately mostly marries folks, but also guides most of our ceremonies.

Thanks for going back and adding live links, Colleen. It's such fun to read about all the things happening in and around your part of Virginia. Some day I really would like to visit Floyd ... and meet you face to face.

I had a blessingway for my son, Herne. It was wonderful and I am still honored to have been a part of it.

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