Sunday, July 19, 2015

When Spirit Moves in Children

On this sunny Sunday morning I want to very briefly illustrate in pictures the beauty of spirit moving in children. There is nothing more touching than seeing how kids experience spirituality and religion, from their own perspective. Yesterday two things happened that really moved me. In the morning, I was sitting in the living room when my young son, Gabriel, came and said that he wanted to give his silver toy car to his Elegua. I told him that I thought it was a lovely idea, and I helped him balance it on his shelf.
Later in the evening my 8 year old daughter was working on crafts at the kitchen table. We've been working on rearranging her room, and part of that process has prompted her to organize her copious art supplies. When I walked into her room after her craft session, I realized that she had created her own little altar to her guardian orisha by placing a circle of shells around an image of Yemaya that she had cut out of a larger piece of paper.

These are seemingly "little" actions that in reality are hugely significant. They are the pure impulse of children to connect in a physical way with spirituality, an early, innocent, beautiful demonstration of spiritual practice. I have nothing else to say but: aché!


  1. This is so beautiful and it shows how strongly children are still connected to Spirit.
    Does each of your children has their own Orisha and how do you know who this is? Please forgive me for asking if it is too personal

    1. Oh I'm happy to answer! Yes, all of my kids, husband and I know our guardian orisha. Incidentally all of us have a different one! This is usually determined during ikofa/awofakan, which is a 3 day initiation where the hand of Orula (mano de Orula) is received. On the third day you receive your itá (life reading) and three babalawos determine your guardian orisha. So for instance, Lourdes is daughter of Yemaya, Gabriel is son of Ochún, Isa is daughter of Elegua, Jorge is son of Chango, and Obatalá is my father. I hope that makes sense! :-)

    2. It does, after a bit of Googling, It is all very new for me. I guess you can compare it with a patron deity or a guardian angel or saint? Do you have shrines or altars for them too?

    3. Yes, that's accurate - actually we often call them our guardian angels :) Yes we do have places in our home where we honor them (our head orishas, our Warriors, Orula), and once you become a santero (priest/priestess) you often have an entire room dedicated to the saints.

    4. Thank you for explaining. I appreciate it

  2. Beautiful, spontaneous and from the heart in children. Thank you for sharing BB