I wrote this for my friend to use during her daughter’s Naming Ceremony. I am happy to share it with you, but please always quote me as the author if you use it in your ceremonies, or pass it on to others. It is important to acknowledge authorship.
Little Tree of Life
written by Jennifer McCormack
Little tree of life
Child playing in your branches
Cosmic nourishment surging between roots and the fruits
You grew from the body of this babe as the stars sung their song of creation
Little pillow of protection
This child’s first comfort to hold and snuggle,
wrapped up together in a warm blanket of mother love.
Little flat cake
To you we now pay homage for the life you once gave us
Let us light a candle in joy to remember our beginnings
and celebrate our birth
You are this child’s first gift to the world
Lay now in the earth and nourish again
Give of yourself to the earth
That we may once more
feed from the fruits of your branches.
Did you know that the word ‘placenta’ means ‘little flat cake’ in latin? This is the origin of our tradition for baking cakes for birthdays: honouring the first nourishment that our bodies received. Ironic that most birthday cakes we make now are far from nourishing for our bodies!!
“Little Tree of Life” refers to the pattern of the veins on the underside of the placenta. If you have the opportunity to observe it carefully you will see the trunk and branches, the plant-like formations stretching out, transferring nourishing blood between mother and child.
“Little Pillow” was the name we affectionately called our daughter’s placenta when our son asked what it was. We said it was like her companion, her soft pillow when she was in mamma’s womb. He was quite attached to his own little soft ‘cuddy’ blanket at the time, and easily accepted this notion.
I knew that we would be having a lotus birth and in preparation I made myself a meditation mat to honour this. One side was the lotus flower, with the phases of the moon on each petal, and the other side of the mat was the raw energy of the placenta, represented as the ‘tree of life’: