When does a child turn into a grown up and begins to be responsible for own actions? According to most, adulthood begins when a child reaches the legal age and receives a passport. Our Slavic and Aryan Ancestors had it very differently. The name, which was given to a child shortly after birth, served as a name only for the first several years. Also, before a certain age, for our Ancestors there was no distinction between genders. All children were referred to as “Chado” (child). Only later, when a child was able to take responsibility for own actions (before that parents were responsible for all actions of a child), a child became an adult and there was a distinction between genders.
The ritual of transfer from childhood into adulthood was called the ritual of Naming. The ritual of Naming took place at the age of nine for a child that displayed mystical abilities, at the age of twelve for all children who displayed warrior abilities, and at the age of sixteen for all children who displayed love for peaceful labor. From the name of the ritual itself, it can be seen that a name was given to a child (or children) who went through this ritual. This ritual was of utmost importance for our Ancestors, for a name is not only the Fate of a human, but is also his keepsake.
The ritual of Naming was performed so: a priest entered the child into a state of meditation-trance, so the child himself could figure out his life’s purpose. The priest also entered this trance, in order to be able to help the child understand what he saw; his purpose was that of a guide. Truth was revealed at the end of this journey. The child was given two names: a communal name and a secret name (which was known only to the child, the priest and sometimes to the parent of opposite gender). The communal name became his personal name, which was used in his community for the rest of his life. It was not rare for miracles to happen during such a ritual, but the result was always the same – the learned names helped to determine the Fate and the Purpose of the human. The ritual of Naming was one of the most important steps in the lives of our Ancestors.
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