"In Meritah (Africa) the notion of spiritual taboos are taken very seriously. A taboo is essentially a restriction, or boundary imposed by Ancestors, Divinities, and/or nature itself. These taboos are highly regarded because they help protect and preserve the individual as they live out their destiny. "
Pregnancy is a fragile and phenomenal time for any woman, whether it’s her first experience or not. So many changes take place in our hearts, minds and bodies, that we find ourselves having little control over what each day may leave us feeling. This is a reality shared by mothers around the globe and will continue for generations to come. Carrying a child to term and birthing that child in the best way is of utmost importance. Therefore, there are some behavioral and dietary restrictions that are imposed during pregnancy on the mother to ensure she stays healthy (physically and spiritually) while her unborn child is growing and maturing inside her.
In Meritah (Africa) the notion of spiritual taboos are taken very seriously. A taboo is essentially a restriction, or boundary imposed by Ancestors, Divinities, and/or nature itself. These taboos are highly regarded because they help protect and preserve the individual as they live out their destiny.
Age-old traditions are founded on the understanding that our Ancestors were masters of interrogating Earth and all of nature to find solutions to their problems and seek harmony with our environments. It is through these interrogations (readings/divinations) that we are able to uncover the spiritual influences behind our challenges, successes and journey through life. These spiritual readings are especially integral when expecting. A reading, or divination, normally sought by the father, (baby’s bloodline) will reveal the identity of the arriving spirit (ancestor) and the circumstances they require in order to fulfill their mission on Earth in this life, this time around.
Readings are essential in caring properly for the child throughout infancy and childhood. They also give the parents and family the clear idea of what their child will need, or should avoid and how best to assist him/her on the journey of life. Those responsible for raising and guiding him/her rely on readings to provide what it is the returning Ancestor may require. At about three months, the father will check on the pregnancy to ensure that things are developing well and smoothly on the spiritual side, while the mother tends to her daily physical needs and those of the baby growing.
In traditional societies there are many taboos observed among spiritualists, or traditionalists – meaning those who specialize in understanding the influence/effect of the material and non-material upon one another. Why is any of this significant? Well, in many traditional societies, including Meritah (Traditional Africa) this consideration is so prevalent that our day to day actions are determined by what exists in nature. Within traditional communities, members constantly seek to harmonize themselves with nature to positively fit and contribute to the ever-changing universe. This is especially true for pregnant women, who are in the process of bringing new life.
When a woman is pregnant, typically after three months, she is in the stage of what is called “an open casket”. This means that her life and the life of the baby growing inside her are very fragile. Her diet changes as a result of the cravings associated with pregnancy. But, not just the cravings, she will also start eating foods that are conducive to the baby’s growth and health, even the day she delivers. This is a normal consequence of growing a human being inside her body. Because of this grand journey both mother and unborn child have embarked on, the focus is to ensure the safety, protection and overall health of both mother and baby. This consideration requires the mother’s compliance to many things that perhaps prior to her pregnancy, she was “free” to do, or not do.
When you see a pregnant woman, it’s hard not to ignore the fact that she has a protruding belly. Perhaps something inside you says, “how can I help her to be a little more comfortable in her day as she carries another life into this world?” If you’re of quality character, maybe you have given up your seat on the bus, or train to allow an expecting mother to rest her feet and back. Maybe you even helped carry her groceries to the car because you saw how physically carrying a human life is not an easy task to add to her daily regimen. All of this is only proof that as human beings, even if we don’t have the experience, we recognize that a pregnant woman is ultimately fulfilling her biggest responsibility . This is why she is tasked with observing certain protocols. The family and community at large also assist her throughout. What do some of these protocols look like?
Normally, by the third month of pregnancy in Meritah, it is the father who starts looking to see which Ancestor is returning to life as every birth is seen as an Ancestor returning.arriving, Divination will seek to find out what the returning spirit requires and the mission he/she/they are coming to fulfill in life. Even the name and all of the predispositions of the baby coming are revealed during these divinations. Any assistance such as offerings, spiritual works that are needed, the father will work hard to take care of. The father takes on all of this so that the mother is able to focus solely on carrying the life within her, and maintaining her health.
An unborn child is something very pure, therefore everything tends to be attracted to it. The late hours of the night are when spirits/entities/genies come out and do their work. These spirits have different influences. Some spirits are favorable and some may be dangerous, especially to mother and baby. An unborn child is easily at risk of being exposed to negative genies (entities, or spirits) that may attach themselves to the pregnancy and cause the baby to be born with handicaps, or trade places with the child altogether. Pregnancy is the most vulnerable stage of a woman’s life and is why she must protect herself and her baby at all times. As long as she is aware of these kinds of realities, she can ensure that her child remains exposed to certain energies that can affect him/her in the womb.
How entities can affect pregnancy
An entity, or genie, is essentially any spirit that exists among human beings, but on the non material, or invisible side. There are different types of entities, just as there are different types of people. They can support and assist us in our respective journeys, or they can cause challenges and have a negative influence that may disturb us in our lives.
For example, mom may want to go out one night and listen to music at a bar or nightclub. However, the baby she’s carrying may be negatively affected by this kind of environment. During pregnancy, the mother is like a playground for outside influences. What’s good, what’s not, what’s favorable and what’s not, are all attracted to her. They all want to see what is accessible, and/or penetrable. Negative spirits can disturb the pregnancy and cause problems for both mother and baby during the pregnancy, and after the mother gives birth. This is why traditionally it is understood that the freedom, or independence a mother may have had before, is confined a bit more during pregnancy for the benefit of the child.
Keeping TV/Film interests modest
A traditional Elder explained that a few generations ago, it was even advised not to look at certain animals like monkeys. When asked why she explained, in short, there are certain images, or let’s say energies that affect a baby, while they are on the inside, that may not particularly affect the mother. This goes to show that there are spiritual, or invisible components to every aspect of life that project itself into existence and we may not perceive or receive that projection the way a forming child does in the belly of his/her mother. The same goes for watching violent, suspenseful or thrilling images, or movies because they make us react emotionally, or get a rise in our blood pressure that the baby feels twice as much. It’s advised to refrain from watching anything violent on TV, or even outside such as car accidents, fights and the like because of the energetic transfer that can go from mother to baby when seeing these types of things.
For example, if a woman is pregnant and walking through the market where they sell meat and fish, it is common in most places to hear the tap of a blade or machete as it is cutting through the meat. The energy of that blade can project itself towards the baby on a physical level if the mother stands close to the point where the baby can be born with scars from cuts. This is only an example and doesn’t apply to everyone. But, it goes to show that whatever we as mothers expose ourselves to, that manifestation can be more than what we may realize in the non material reality of things. When the baby is born, we may attribute their handicaps (spiritual, or physical) to a disorder or something our modern physicians attempted to explain, but in reality, maybe that child had certain taboos the mother did not know and therefore didn’t refrain from.
Crowds and/or Markets
This avoidance is similar to why pregnant women are advised to avoid going out at night. In crowded environments, it’s possible to be brushed against, bumped, which can physically put you in harm’s way if the train, the store, or market is particularly crowded and space to move, or pass is limited. Surely, in the West mothers don’t often have a choice in avoiding these circumstances. But, there is again, the spiritual potential for someone to impose on the mother’s pregnancy will sometimes limit, or even forbid her from going to the market if there are others to do so for her. In a crowded area like the marketplace, you have all types of people, different minds, hearts and intentions. It is even possible for someone to see the baby in your belly, maybe the same way the doctor will see the baby in an ultrasound. Whether the intentions are good, or not, it’s an imposition that can open the door for unwanted influences.
These are only a few of the spiritual realities behind why, in traditional Africa (Meritah), every culture has it’s way of bringing life into the world. Whether it is observing their spiritual taboos, or simply maintaining a clean diet, the phenomena of an Ancestor coming into life is and always has been a big deal. It happens everywhere, every day, but the more we are aware of how to properly bring that Ancestor into the world and take into consideration all of the material and non material realities that affect the process, we can prepare them to fulfill their mission as best they can. The most important part of a baby’s life is ensuring they are properly received by their family and by the Earth according to what their life and destiny holds for not just them, but the world itself.
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