A ritual for a baby or young child

First devised by a local Permaculture group


This ritual is performed in the garden, at sunset, preferably when a crescent moon is visible in the Western sky.

Make a centrepiece with flowers etc. & a bowl of earth, a cup of water, a fan or feather, and a candle & matches. (Mark compass points to avoid confusion)

Symbolic gifts ~ These are tiny tokens e.g. a small shell, a feather, a seed, a candle, a ring, to be put into a small box or bag, for child to keep.

Leader says a few words of explanation, then group watches the tree planted over child's placenta, while they chant or sing. A drum, sticks & handclaps mark a rhythm.

Group then forms a circle, with 'Friends' at the compass points. All chant & circle dance for a short while, those who wish can continue chanting & dancing while the ceremonies take place. The child is with his parents & the leader of the ceremony.

Starting with the East, they take the child to the respective Guardians ('Friends').

Leader presents the child to the East, & asks a blessing.

The Guardian faces the child, & makes his/her solemn promise & presents a symbolic gift.

The party moves to the North, where the ceremony is repeated, then to the West, & then the South.

Finally the child is taken into the centre, where the candle is lighted. Leader presents the child to the centre, & asks a blessing. The child is touched with the four elements, & presented with a container holding the symbolic gifts. The parents make their promises, & then the assembled company is invited to do so as well.

Sing, dance & party!!!!!!!!!!!!!


These are the words which were used - but they can be adapted to suit most belief systems. Better still, write your own!


Leader: Spirit of the East, of beginnings & renewal, whose gifts are wit, & wonder, & wisdom, we present this child, (full name), to the Lord of the Dawn, & ask a blessing of the breath of life.


'When you breathe with the birds, your anger turns to blessing' - (Child's name), may you breathe with the birds!

Air Friend: (Child's name), until you are grown into maturity of understanding, I will be your guardian of the air. I promise for your sake, & that of all children, to live my life so as to sustain the purity of the air, as my personal contribution to your future environment, and as an example to you & to others. When & where I can, I will encourage all to do the same.

I will be your air friend, and learn with you the ways of the air. (Place symbol in child's hand)


Leader: Spirit of the North, of growth & change, whose gifts are passion & creativity & enthusiasm, we present this child, (full name), to the Lord of noontide, & ask a blessing of the fire of life.


'Happiness is only a superstition - but joy is your birthright!' (Child's name), may you be open to joy!

Fire Friend: (Child's name), until you are grown into maturity of understanding, I will be your guardian of the fire. I promise for your sake, & that of all children, to live in a way that promotes sustainability in the use of fire, all sources of fuel, & means of power generation. I will do this as my personal contribution to your future environment, and as an example to you & to others. Where & when I can, I will encourage all to do the same.

I will be your fire friend, & learn with you the ways of fire. (Places symbol in child's hand)


Leader: Spirit of the West, of maturity & harvest, whose gifts are patience & flexibility & compassion, we present this child, (full name), to the Lord of Sunset & ask a blessing of the water of life.


'Tears, urine, & sweat are sacred offerings of the waters of life' (Child's name), may you never be ashamed to weep, to sweat, & to nourish the earth with your urine!

Water Friend: (Child's name), until you are grown into maturity of understanding, I will be your guardian of the water. I promise for your sake, & that of all children, to live my life in a way that conserves & shows my respect for water. I will do this as my personal contribution to your future environment, and as an example to you & to others. Where & when I can, I will encourage all to do the same. I will be your water friend, & learn with you the ways of water. (Place symbol in child's hand)


Leader: Spirit of the South, of sleep & death, whose gifts are strength, & endurance, & the fruitful darkness, we present this child,(full name), to the Lord of Midnight & ask a blessing of the womb of life.


'Death follows Life, as Night follows Day - & all around us is the evidence of constant renewal' (Child's name), may Death be your friend, not your enemy!

Earth Friend: (Child's name), until you are grown into maturity of understanding, I will be your guardian of the earth. I promise on your behalf, & that of all chldren, to live my life in a way that sustains & shows reverence for the earth. I will do this as my personal contribution to your future environment, and as an example to you & to others, Where & when I can, I will encourage all to do the same. I will be your earth friend, & learn with you the ways of the earth. (Place symbol in child's hand)


Leader: Ground of all being, nameless with ten thousand names, whose centre is everywhere, whose circumference is nowhere, we bring to you this young life, the child (full name), & ask a blessing of the spirit of life.


'The Centre is the place of perfect poise, from which right action arises of itself' (Child's name), may all that you do have the integrity of centredness

Parents: (Child's full name), you are the product of our partnership in growth, our pledge of trust that life will continue, & our gift to Life of life itself.

We promise to nurture & protect the environment which is your future, just as we nurture & protect you, & to bring you up to do the same.

We will be your soul friends, & learn with you the ways of the spirit. (Place container of symbols in child's hand)


We present you to these friends of ours, members of our community who love the earth, who we ask to make you, & all children, the same promise, & to help us in keeping ours.


Leader: (Speaking to all) Will you shout aloud your promise to nurture & protect the earth & all it's creatures for the sake of this child, & all children, & to encourage others to do the same?

All (Hopefully) yell YES!!Yes!! Yes!!


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