"When two people are married and have built an intimate relationship, there is a desire that they make themselves available for other souls to come through, that they create a safe and sacred space for spirits who want to bring their gifts and fulfill their purpose.

"And so people in our village would say that children do not belong completely to the parents who gave them birth. They have used their parents' bodies to come through, but they belong to the community and to the spirit.

"Each person chooses her or his life purpose before he or she is even born. I, for example, chose to work with the great mysteries, to explore the unknown, to let myself be swallowed by the mysteries so that others might learn. And I made the commitment to travel outside of the village someday so that others might see into the unknown and remember the old rituals.

"Now, how is one's purpose learned? When a woman is pregnant, a hearing ritual is performed. In this ritual, elders will ask the unborn child, 'Who are you? Why are you coming here? Why do you bother, this world is too messed up. What can we do to ease your journey?'

"The baby takes over the mother's voice and speaks back, 'This is who I am. I am coming to help uphold the knowledge of the ancestors,' or, 'I am coming to do this and this.' And based on that information, the elders will prepare an appropriate ritual space in which to receive the child and make sure that everything is ready here before the child is born.

"After the birth, the elders make sure they surround the child with things that, will help her remember and accomplish the purpose she has described. And when she reaches adolescence and goes through initiation, she has to go back to the time before she was born to remember what she said. This is because growing up is a process of forgetting; this body, as the elders say, takes away certain things from us as we grow. Up until the age of five or six, children remember things perfectly, but after that something starts to happen in the body that makes them forget."