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Placenta and Tree Planting

By Yonit Lea Kosovske


It is a tree of life to them that hold fast to it and all of its supporters are happy.
Etz Chayim hi l'machazikim ba v'tomkhekha mei'ushar.

Chant (with drums, tambourines, and bells):

The earth is our mother
We must take care of her
The earth is our mother
She will take care of us

Vlad (Father(Tato)):

Talya, our precious Dew of God, turns one year old today according to the Hebrew calendar. As she completes her first circle around the sun, we complete the circle and return the placenta to the earth.

Sing Happy Birthday in Hebrew:

(Yom Huledet Same'ach)

Yonit Lea (Mother (Ima)):

We return my placenta to the earth beneath the roots of a baby oak. May it provide nutrients to the soil so that this tree grows big and strong. May she grow to be sturdy and survive the changes of the seasons. May she grow tall and sway in the wind. May birds and squirrels nest in her branches. May children swing from her limbs. May all who come to her find comfort.

Grandparents' letter about how the placenta symbolizes the nurturing of the baby and the world is read.

Friends' words of inspiration:

(A friend recited the prayer she says to her baby every night. Other women friends read from some beautiful mama prayer books.)

Plant the placenta! Plant the tree!:

(We all took part in digging the hole. At one point, Vlad was digging and the four of us mamas were sitting around the hole in a circle nursing our babies. Jill announced, "This is quite an omen!" We gave each of the girls a live worm to hold. Talya kept eating dirt, but fortunately not the dirt. A friendÕs little girl kept shouting out, "Placenta! Placenta!" Then we ALL (babies in included) filled in the remaining space with the loose dirt and watered the tree.

Then we went back to sitting in a circle and chanted the following:

The earth, the air, the fire, the water
Return, return, return, return
Ayeh ayeh ayeh ayeh
Ayo ayo ayo ayo

Many thanks to our synagogue for providing the land on which to plant,
And for providing our own family and the community with spiritual nourishment.

Used by permission of the author

Complete Ceremony