Ceremonial placenta burial

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This week we got to bury my first grandchild’s whenua/placenta. 😭

In New Zealand, within my Maori culture there is an ancient practice of burying the placenta after birth which is seen as a ‘gift’ to Papatūānuku – Mother Earth . I didn’t get to partake in this practice with my children. But now I have the ability to so of course I was happy when Jontae and Lily said Yes.

And as part of an even more beautiful connection is that the same word is used in the Maori language for placenta and land, ‘whenua’. 💫

Usually the whenua is placed in woven baskets but I did not have access to these and decided I would like to use items from the piece of land we are burying this life giving organ to.

And I felt this fit perfectly with the proverb ‘He taonga no te whenua, me hoki ano ki te whenua’ – What is given by the land should return to the land.

I chose the Jacaranda Tree to plant as I’ve loved these for a long time and my son and his partner were happy to agree.

I then discovered that according to an Amazon legend, a beautiful bird named Mitu landed atop a Jacaranda tree bringing with him a lovely woman. The woman, who was actually a priestess of the moon, descended from the tree and lived among the villagers, sharing with them her knowledge and ethics. Having fulfilled her mission, she returned back to the tree adorned in Jacaranda blooms and ascended to the heavens where she united with her soul mate, the son of the sun.

And I thought how beautiful 💜 It is known as a tree of knowledge and is often found planted at universities.

I wrapped the whenua in paperbark from our land to symbolize Jontae and Lilys connection to this land, Australia, bringing two of Saphiras heritage together in this ceremony.

I also placed this white orchid that is a plant that has been growing in our whare/house for a few years now and white orchids symbolize purity and innocence as well as elegance and reverance. Orchids were also the first plant I was ever able to keep alive. They were my first sign of reconnecting with Papatūānuku deeply for me.

I can’t wait to share the story of her tree with Saphira 😍

Xo S

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