by Sobonfu Somé Chapter Excerpt from Sacred Seed: (pages 31 – 32)
At the core of the world is the power of the sacred. It holds all things together in life, and gives each species a sense of identity and purpose. Without the sacred there is no meaning to life. All our relationships reside within this sacred bond. It is the root of our well-being and that which seeds the soul. In sum, it is a divine blessing, a miracle of life that gives us the capacity to procreate. Throughout our existence this sacred alliance will be our compass. Thus, every day we dance to the tune of this sacred song that is never ending, to bring balance and meaning to life.
Because of the nature of our constitution, we have been gifted with a diversity of seeds and nutrients to ensure our survival. These gifts are not about reinforcing our human propensity to dominate; rather they are about how we can learn to be a steward, within the sacred contract. It is only when we can humble ourselves enough to bow to this sacred contract that our survival is assured.
Traditionally, indigenous people have known that the seeds gifted to them are the direct translation of the love and trust of the divinities. Thus, they have never considered these gifts possessions or something to be taken for granted. They know that they are dependent on the welfare of this sacred bond, and work to keep it viable. Because they also know that neglectful actions, beliefs, and behaviors can break or disrespect the sacred bond, which is an invitation for ill to set in, so before planting their fields, rites are performed to invoke the divine alliance and to seek their blessings. Throughout the growing season continuous prayers are sent out to maintain the sacred bond between the natural world and humankind. The same thing is done at harvest. Before the new crops are consumed samples of each crop from the various fields are taken to the village shrine to be offered to the divinities with gratitude, so that they may bless the fruit of the collective labor and ensure prosperity. A feast of gratitude is also offered inviting the divinities to do their sacred dance as the villagers celebrate with them. These rites take place every year to remind us that we are but part of a larger world whose gifts must be respected.
Sobonfu Somé is a respected lecturer, activist, and author. She is one of the foremost voices of African spirituality to come to the West, bringing insights and healing gifts from her West-African culture to this one. Sobonfu often tours the United States and Europe teaching workshops. Her books include: The Spirit of Intimacy: Ancient Teachings in the Ways of Relationships, Welcoming Spirit Home: Ancient Teachings to Celebrate Children & Community, and Falling Out of Grace: Meditations on Loss, Healing, and Wisdom. She also authored the CD set, Women’s Wisdom from the Heart of Africa. Sobonfu founded Wisdom Spring, Inc., an organization dedicated to the preservation and sharing of indigenous wisdom, and fundraises for wells, schools, and health projects in Africa. For more information about Sobonfu’s projects and teaching schedule, please visit: www.sobonfu.com · www.wisdomspring.org