Motherhood is wrapped in many cultural meanings. Birthing and nurturing new life physically has led to a conflation of “feminine,” “maternal,” and “feminine spirituality” in many cultures and religious traditions. Motherhood has been painted as a sacred and powerful spiritual path.
One of the beliefs of the people of Ghana is that if the mother’s labor is difficult, she has done something wrong to a person and needs to go back to that person and make the problem right. Childbirth is the number one asset of womanhood in Ghana. Matter of fact it is believed that without birth womanhood is incomplete. Children are the parent’s old age security. Delivery is normally done in the home in the bathtub because it is easier to clean. The placenta is buried near the family house so that the child will not grow wayward. Forty days after delivery the child is deemed safe and then is named during a special ceremony.
But what about reincarnation?
The Hmong people believe that when a man dies he is reborn as a woman and when a woman dies she is reborn as a man. Every child is seen as a reincarnated soul. The Shaman puts the soul into the child after he is three days old and places a silver necklace around his neck to keep the soul from wandering. If the child dies before three days no funeral is planned because the child had no soul.
African religions believe reincarnation manifests itself only in humans, not so much in animals or things. African reincarnation is vastly different than that of Asian religions. Hinduism and other Eastern spiritual beliefs weigh heavily on the need to obtain redemption or salvation. Hindu followers and others find the Western perspective problematic and unjust. Reincarnation, however, in Eastern traditions is based on morality, meaning a soul that has been reincarnated lives a life according to the way it lived its past lives. African reincarnation is based on the continuation of power through ancestry because in many beliefs, a soul is reincarnated into the same family.
Another scholar says that partial reincarnation is also prevalent in Africa, meaning that a part of a soul is reborn through features and personality traits of babies, while the other portion of the soul continues to live in a separate existence.
Now why would I be thinking about this topic??? It’s time to take a pregnancy test. 6 years ago, my oldest daughter past. We had a son. 2 years later, my mom past; we had another boy. About two years ago my grandfather died……and guess what? Yup, another one. Well, I just found out that one of my favorite aunts is in hospice………..we’ll see!