music and its dance ~ an Africa-centered s/hero's journey perspective

Re-Membering the Goddess

ubuntuThe influx of Divine Feminine energy in 2013, the Year of the Goddess, is about asserting her standing in Ubuntu. The Goddess brings Ma’at ~ Heavenly order, balance, justice, transformation, nurturing, wisdom, and intuition to our Earthly experience. This force is what awakens the Divine Masculine who exists in Her as She exists in Him. Ubuntu allows the power of Their intention and devotion to eliminate all those who inhabit Her realms, stealing energy and robbing souls to feed their dark agendas. In honor of our dearly departed, with this post I begin at Source… 

Lake NyanzaLake Nyanza (Bantu designation) is the largest of Africa’s great lakes. Straddling both sides of the equator in the sacred heart of Africa and cradle of humankind, Lake Nyanza is the primary source of the Nile River whose life-giving waters flow northward to Egypt. Early non-African written information about this lake is provided by Arab traders plying the inland routes in search of slaves, and precious African commodities such as gold and ivory. The Al Idrisi map (circa 1160), named after the calligrapher, depicts the lake and attributes it as the source of the Nile.

The first European sighting of the lake was by British explorer John Hanning Speke – an officer in the British Indian Army – who reached its southern shore while exploring the heart of Africa with Richard Francis Burton in 1858. Speke’s declaration that he’d discovered the true source of the Nile River (while Burton had been resting from illness) caused a public quarrel, because Burton and others in the scientific community believed the question of the Nile’s source to be unsettled. British missionary-explorer, David Livingston, ended up further west in the Congo River system in his failed attempt to confirm Speke’s discovery. It was Henry Morton Stanley, a Welsh-American explorer funded by the New York Herald, who verified Speke’s discovery.

In 1890, at the height of the European scramble for colonies in Africa, Britain and Germany divided this great African lake between themselves with the northern portion which feeds the Egypt-bound Nile River going to Britain. It was John Hanning Speke who renamed Africa’s greatest lake, located at this deeply symbolic and seminal location, “Victoria” – in honor of Britain’s queen. What was her significance to Africa?

QVBritish monarch, Queen Victoria reigned for a record 63 years and seven months (June 20th, 1837 – January 22nd, 1901). Her reign ushered in the modern British monarchy. The great hallmark of her “Victorian Era” as it became known was empire: colonization created British expansion, political clout, economic profit, and superpower status in the world. Africa was the main target of the British colonialist enterprise which sought control of minds, bodies, and land through the dual agency of guns and Christian missionary activity.

Kenyatta2As President Jomo Kenyatta said, “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”

In 1840, Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Inbreeding, that was so prevalent among European ruling classes, had already created a genetic condition in Queen Victoria known as hemophilia. Together Victoria and Albert had nine children who married into European royalty and nobility, thus eventually earning Victoria the nickname “the grand-mother of Europe” through her family ties. Victoria’s last two children were born with the aid of chloroform (a new and potentially fatal anaesthetic) which, because it relieved the pain of child-birth, caused opposition from clergy members who wanted biblical teachings to be upheld. Three of her children inherited the hemophilia gene and, in turn, passed it on to some of their children.

OTThe travails of the poor and disadvantaged in Britain were of little concern to Queen Victoria who basked in her glory and became identified with standards of prim-and-proper-ness. Tales such as Oliver Twist, by author Charles Dickens, were a social commentary on the notorious employment of children as young as four in factories, mines, and as chimney sweeps. Their general life-expectancy was only 25-years. Dickens himself worked at the age of 12 in a “blacking” (shoe-polish) factory while his parents were in prison for being unable to pay their debt. Over-crowded debtors prisons; sweat-shop factories; abusive orphanages; and social ills – the norm in dirty over-crowded English cities where people flocked to work – were all but ignored by the so-called “famine Queen” (a reference to Victoria’s reign during the Irish potato famine).

The most commemorated British Monarch, Victoria is also credited for being big on Christmas rituals, particularly the decorative Christmas tree and distribution of Christmas cards. Around the world, places and memorials dedicated to this “grand-mother of Europe” include “Victoria” Falls (in Zimbabwe), and Lake “Victoria” / Nyanza – Africa’s greatest lake which gave rise to the pre-Graeco-Roman civilization and sacred wisdom of ancient Egypt / Kemet. Surely it is time to revoke the standing of this colonizing queen from the sacred geographies of our African consciousness! In ancient African lore, Set – god of the desert, disorder, violence, and foreigners – served as a foreshadowing of the foreign adversary’s disordering presence…

Holy Trinity

Holy Trinity “model”

  

nileAusar/Osiris, ruler of ancient Egypt and husband of Auset/Isis, was murdered and dismembered into 14 parts by his evil brother Set in his bid to usurp the throne. Auset retrieved 13 of the 14 mutilated pieces of her beloved husband which Set had scattered throughout the diaspora. Literally re-membering Ausar, Auset was then posthumously impregnated by him with their son, Heru/Horus (the original “resurrection,” “virgin birth,” and “madonna-child”). The sacred tears Auset shed over her beloved Ausar are said to be the cause of the annual flooding of the Nile River. This event is commemorated by Egyptian Muslims in “The Night of the [Tear-]Drop” festival. Africa’s heart is broken, and her members scattered. Some refer to this continent as the “sleeping giant” as if anaesthetized by the milk from the cradle-robber’s teat. Each time we invoke the colonizer’s name for the source of our sacred river and allow that name to be inscribed in our geographies, our mind and spirit are usurped – bonded with that dis-membering shadow system. Let the ancestors speakThe influx of the Divine Feminine urges us to now “trouble the waters,” to Re-Member the true Goddess, and to Re-Awaken / Resurrect the Divine Masculine. Ma’at flows from Their sacred union (Ubuntu). Hotep! M

MOTHER OF HUMANITY

MOTHER OF HUMANITY

************************************** The Mother of Humanity(TM) monument (pictured right) – suggesting “Africa” in her outline and shape, and holding up the feather of Ma’at in her right hand – was created by Nijel BPG following the April 29, 1992 Los Angeles Rebellions. One of the largest bronze sculptures to illustrate man’s African origins, it portrays spiritual symbols and features of various ethnic groups to exemplify the cultural diversity of the universal mother. The Mother of Humanity(TM) was unveiled on Mother’s Day – May 11, 1996 at the Watts Labor Community Action Committee head-quarters in Los Angeles.

Malaika Mutere, Ph.D. is author of Towards an Africa-centered and pan-African theory of communication: Ubuntu and the Oral Aesthetic perspective  Communicatio 38 (2) 2012: 147-163

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