Summoning and listening to life

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It happens even today in West Africa, in the nation of Burkina Faso. Here there is a tribe called the Dagara and they believe every mother dreams her child into being.

For the Dagara, the life of a child doesn’t begin the day they are born. Nor does it begin just after conception. Instead a child is “born” the day it first becomes a thought in the mind of its mother. Once a woman feels it’s time for her to have a child, she walks off by herself and finds a tree. Under its shade, she sits and waits, until she hears the song of her child. Soon as she’s heard it, she returns to her village and finds the man who will be the father of the child. She teaches him the song. And while they make love, together, they sing their child’s song, inviting it into this world.

After the woman becomes pregnant, the mother teaches her child’s song to all the other women of the village. On the day her child pushes out of her womb, all the women gather together and sing the child’s song, welcoming it into this world. As it grows up, whenever the child gets hurt, any villager can comfort the child by singing their song to them since each member of the tribe knows everyone’s song. Later, when the child is older and has done something worthy of praise, the tribe will sing the child’s song to him or her. And when they’re ready to undergo the rites of puberty, the tribe will gather and sing the child’s song. When a child becomes an adult, and they get married, the bride and groom’s songs are sung together as a way of linking their lives. Finally, at the end of their life, as the child prepares to die, the tribe gathers and sings the child’s song to him or her, for the last time.

It is also customary for pregnant women to go through a hearing ritual. The purpose of this hearing ritual is to listen to the incoming baby; to find out who it is; why it’s coming at this time; what it’s purpose is; what it likes or dislikes; and what the living can do to prepare space for this person. The child’s name is then given based on that information. Four weeks after the birth the naming for a baby girl takes place, and three weeks after the birth, a baby boy is named. In the Dagara tradition, you own your name up until the age of five. After the age of five, your name owns you. Your name is an energy; your name has a life force. It creates an umbrella under which you live. That is why it is important to hear the child before they giving him or her the name, because the name must match the purpose.

Excerpt from: Welcoming Spirit Home: Ancient African Teachings to Celebrate Children and Community New World Library ~ by Sobonfu Some

It is a very interesting tradition that goes in line with some of the writings of the Romanian author Scarlat Demetrescu, who in his 1944 book “On the secrets of Life and Universe” describes that when a spirit decides to come to physical life, as it descends to the inferior planes into the material, an astral music accompanies it to give it hope and courage. Maybe the Dagar young women are listening to this astral music.

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