The Beauty of Rituals
In the Dagara tradition, a nation of Ghana, a child is born with beautiful rituals. Her life will be committed to these rituals. The purpose of these rituals is to keep the child connected to her own essence and to help her collective spirit.
Still in the womb, the mother will go through a hearing ritual. The purpose of a hearing ritual is to listen to the incoming baby;
to find out who she is; why is she coming at this time; what her purpose is; what she likes or dislikes; and what the living can do to prepare space for her.
Her name is then given based on that information. The child will own her name up until the age of five. After the age of five, her name will own her. Their name is an energy; their name has a life force. It creates an umbrella under which they live. That is why it is important to hear the child before giving her or him their name, because the name must match their respective purpose.
Later on, the first few years of the child’s life will be spent with her elders, not her parents. What the grandparents and grandchildren share – is their close connection to the spiritual plane. The grandparents in the near future will be returning to where the young soul came from – so the grandchild is the bearer of news the grandparents need. As such, the grandparents need to receive this knowledge before the child forgets.
Another beautiful ritual of the Dagara people is the fact that every child is conceived in a sacred space which she will then visit every year on her birthday. We deeply respect the African traditions and the treasure of wisdom their ancestors have handed down to them.
Learn more about the Dagara people in Malidoma’s wonderful book “Of Water and the Spirit”. Get it here.