Listening to the earthy tones and rhythms in the music of the women of Ghana takes me back to a very special gathering of friends. It was a day when a light breeze of warm air played with the tall summer grasses, cicadas chirping their happy sounds, and butterflies reflecting golden sunlight on yellow wings as they twirl in a spiral dance. A crow flies overhead, cawing—piercing the softness with the latest mountain gossip.
On a day like this, years ago, a small circle of women—six of us—met in a clearing in the woods. Our ages ranged from one and a half years to forty-five. We were learning about how to be together in a ritual space. None of us were experienced with ritual, but we all brought an intention of wanting to live in greater balance with ourselves, our families, and the planet which is our shared Mother.
As we stood around a firepit, I was wondering how we should begin. Someone put on a tape called “Traditional Women from Ghana.” It was Emma, the toddler of our group, who first felt the calling. Standing there in her diapers, she started drumming the earth with her feet, beating a rhythm to the sounds of the native women. She then bent down and picked up a rattle and offered its primeval sound to the group.
As if struck by a thunderbolt, we all got the same idea at the same time. With Emma as our guide, we began to peel off and cast aside various layers of clothing until we too were in our “diapers,” feeling the warm breezes softly caressing our bareness. We were soon dancing with abandon and playing a jubilee of rattles and drums.
Sweet rhythms were coming from deep within each of us as we stomped out a message to the grandmothers: “I am here—I awaken you—I will listen to you.”
And a crow gathered more tidbits of mountain gossip as she flew overhead.
Note: Emma, known as Isis Emma Rose, is now an adult with a growing family. Dance is her main connection with numinous, divine, primordial energy and wisdom. She shares full moon ceremonies. You can find her on Instagram @isisemmarose