There are many ceremonies across all cultures that celebrate the various rites of passage and initiations for individuals from Birth Day, to adolescence and adulthood. As I reflect on my own upbringing and the way life events are celebrated within my family – often with over eating and lots of dancing- I felt that I needed to start my own tradition and create sacred ceremony for the life events that are happening within the family unit I have co-created with my husband; ceremonies that resonate with the people we are rather than what ‘tradition’ has dictated.
I have been consciously calling in sacred space in every aspect of my daily life for the past 2years. I do what feels natural, avoiding religious labels and constructs and simply sitting with the elements of nature. With this philosophy of living that I embrace I wanted to honour my firstborn child, my beautiful Laleh, as she completes her first 7year cycle.
I wanted to celebrate her ‘Birth Day’ on a deeper level to truly give my gratitude for her presence in our lives and for the amazing human she is forming into. Rudolf Steiner theorised that human development is accented every 7 years. The first 7years being about the formation of the personality. The Jesuits say “give me the child and at age 7 I will show you the man /woman”. In terms of spiritual development, the first 7 years connect to the root chakra- the laying down of our foundations, connection to family, the earth and our sense of self emerges. Certainly, in Persian culture the number 7 holds great significance as a marker of major life events. In Iran children start schooling at age 7, age 14 is celebrated as the entry into adolescence and at age 21 individuals are considered adults and ready to start their own lives. These first three cycles of 7 are deeply attached to the parents and extended family.
What we have seen emerge in Laleh these past 7 years is a crystal child of the earth. A strong, yet gentle soul who thinks and feels deeply about the world around her. Laleh loves drum circle and working with crystals, singing to the fairies and animals, painting and dancing. She is our mini-Shaman, always finding feathers and connecting with the crows. As her mother, I am constantly in a state of awe. She makes me feel brave and I am compelled to be the best possible version of myself as she mirrors everything back to me. Laleh has a maturity beyond her years. I know we have walked together many lifetimes. She is fiercely protective and incredibly generous.
I have often heard Elders of various Indigenous cultures speak about the importance of including children in ceremony. Children’s place is in the center of the circle, held and nurtured. In honouring my child and all children I held my first Earth Offering Ceremony on the day of her 7th birthday. Laleh helped me with the preparations and as we all gathered in collective prayer of gratitude it made my heart sing to watch all the children participate and be present in this beautiful offering. In that moment I felt the power of this ceremony in holding and empowering the children.
In creating this offering, the importance of ceremony and living a sacred life was highlighted for me. The realisation that this generation of children, born in the 21st century, need to connect to nature and sacredness more that ever. They are the potential green leaders that carry the hope for a better future for this planet. What I have noticed in my own children and over the last 15years of Teaching is the increasing sensitivity and intuitive ability these millennial children have. Holding sacred space for the children is THE most important aspect of my life vision to date.
The lessons I have taken away from this experience are profound: be in nature, be in a place of beauty, allow your children to get dirty and explore their imaginations and above all else keep them lovingly in the center of the circle.