A color with mystical and noble qualities, purple/violet is associated with royalty, spirituality, creativity, and higher realms. Representing the upper end of the visible color spectrum of Light, purple/violet is both a completion (spiritual mastery) as well as a beginning of the energy vibration beyond the physical. This is the energy field in which one realizes the eternal union that exists between one’s self and the All (one’s infinite/higher/pure consciousness) – which is the goal of the soul’s journey in this life and beyond. Purple/violet governs love and the crown chakra, at the top of the head…
This post offers a brief look at the symbolism and meaning in the crowns worn by some of Africa’s sovereigns – gods and goddess archetypes from Kemet (ancient Egypt) – along with some of the fundamental cultural wisdom that governs their being and evolution. It’s posted during African American Music Appreciation Month (June), in remembrance of the late Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016 … Sometimes It Snows In April) – Purple Rain composer, performer and interpreter [*] of African symbols of love and royalty. This post honors the god(dess) who meets, supports and delivers us with such gifts of genius in our epic life quest for truth/consciousness/light, repair, and harmony.
Holy Trinity: AUSET~AUSAR~HERU…
One of the earliest most beloved representations of the African Goddess – AUSET (pre-Greek “Isis”/ pre-Christian “Mary”) – was known as the Queen of Heaven. Goddess of the home and person rather than of the temple and priest, AUSET’s signature crown represents the throne of Kemet – the “lap” upon which her true King rules. “Justice and judgment are the foundation of thy throne” [Psalm 89:14 KJV] originated from her Goddess principles of Right, Justice, and Truth – Ma’at. AUSET’s journey through the wilderness (African diaspora) in search of the mutilated pieces of her beloved Ausar (murdered in Set’s coup for Kemet’s throne) becomes a hallmark of how this goddess came to be identified over millenia by her numerous followers as the Divine Mourner. (As Ausar’s funerary deity, the Nile River – Maziwa Mkuu meaning great milk/Milky Way in Swahili – is said to flood 4 the Tears in [Her] Eyes – i.e. the sacred tears AUSET sheds equates to the river’s annual flooding & south-to-north flow.) The Throne-Mother’s nature-based powers of resurrection are said to have then come into play, restoring her husband’s manhood thus enabling AUSET to conceive their son, Heru – an Africa-centered matriarchal mystery that’s been re-scripted to fit a Europatriarchal/homosocial Christian agenda.
As the Divine Seeker, AUSET has been strategically interchanged with HATHOR, Goddess of Fertility …Childbirth …Motherhood …Music …Dance – alongside her other key attributes as Mansion of Heru and Celestial Nurse. Renderings of HATHOR wearing a cow-horned crown while holding the suckling infant Heru on her lap were supplanted by Christian “Madonna-Child” iconography. (Alternatively, as Celestial Nurse, HATHOR is sometimes portrayed as a sacred cow.) Representing the Milky Way (Nile River “…on Earth as in Heaven”) the crown this Fertility Goddess wears emphasizes her maternal role towards the life that issues from her. Several Kemetic temples, in addition to those dedicated to the worship of HATHOR, depict her face in the semblance of a triangular-shaped uterus with her elongated ears representing the fallopian tubes. As such, Goddess HATHOR-AUSET is the divine “mansion” and “portal” from which the resurrected God Ausar‘s implanted seed came into its fully-realized life as Heru – Son of the Holy Trinity and pre-cursor “Savior”-figure.
With Auset as his wife, AUSAR (pre-Greek “Osiris”) was the bringer of civilization and wise ruler of Kemet before his murder and mutilation at the hands of his jealous brother and usurper, Set. The 14 mutilated pieces of Ausar which Set scattered throughout the wilderness, in some interpretations, constitutes the African diaspora. Auset was able to locate only 13 of these pieces in her search, minus her beloved’s manhood and symbol of his resurrection which remains a deep mystery to this present day. AUSAR wears the Atef Crown, the centerpiece of which resembles the White Crown worn by Pharaohs of Upper Kemet, but with the addition of two feathers at the sides, and sometimes with a small solar disk at the top.
HERU (pre-Greek “Horus”) – the posthumously conceived son of Auset and Ausar – in manhood avenges his father’s murder and mutilation when he overthrows his uncle Set’s evil rule. Besides being the immediate precursor to the Biblical account of the “resurrection” and the “virgin birth,” the saga of this African Holy Trinity (AUSET~AUSAR~ HERU) can be appreciated for its many S/Hero’s Journey insights. HERU wears the unification crown (pschent) depicting the peace treaty that was worked out between the North/Lower (red – deshret) and South/Upper (white – hedjet) divisions of Kemet. The third, inner eye, is also associated with HERU which, when open, represents one’s spiritual enlightenment – the reconciliation of divine creative order and purging of the lower from the higher natures or competing cosmic principles of godhood. As a proverb from the Luxor Temple states: The key to all problems is the problem of consciousness.
Divine Consorts: MA’AT~DJEHUTI…
As goddess who is searching through the wilderness (diaspora) for her beloved, Auset’s journey is destined to evolve into a deeper realization of her own truth. As such, goddess MA’AT exists as the representation of truth, repair, harmony, & heavenly order in the African cosmology – all of which are determined and activated in relationship with her divine consort and beloved. Queens of the First Dynasty bore the title “She Who Sees Heru and Set” in keeping with the evolution of the African goddess as seeker. Dispensing one of her primary roles of preventing the world from descending into chaos, it is MA’AT who decrees Heru over Set as Kemet’s rightful ruler. Goddess MA’AT’s crown symbol is a single feather of truth against which souls of the departed are weighed in the afterlife. Her 42 Principles of Ma’at (humanity’s oldest written sources of moral & spiritual instruction) foreshadow the biblical Ten Commandments.
DJEHUTI (pre-Greek “Thoth” and/or “Hermes Trismegistus”) is MA’AT’s beloved and divine consort. It was his ritual that enabled Ausar’s “resurrection” which made possible Auset’s “virgin birth” of Heru. Regarded as god of the magical arts and scribe of the gods, it was said of DJEHUTI’s powers that without his words (oratory) the gods themselves would not exist. One of his major roles was acting as a mediator between good and evil (notably Heru and Set) ensuring, it’s been suggested, that one does not have a decisive victory over the other. DJEHUTI mentored both Heru and Khonsu (children of African divinities), the latter of who was one third of the Trinity of Waset (below). DJEHUTI’s crown is often portrayed as a lunar disc sitting on a crescent moon, depicting his origins as a lunar god.
Holy Trinity of Waset: MUT~AMUN~KHONSU…
MUT – who giveth birth, but was herself not born of any – is the mother aspect of the goddess, just as her divine consort Amun is the father aspect of the god. Regarded as the divine world mother from whom the cosmos emerged, MUT is queen of all gods and goddesses, and mother of pharaohs. As such, the African goddess gives passage to life into this world and the next after determining one’s moral standing against her principles of Harmony, Justice, and Truth (Ma’at). The hieroglyphic depiction of MUT’s name is the same griffon vulture used to write the letter “A” (alpha in Greek) and the word “mother”… Thus Alpha-Omega (“A-Z” used to symbolize “beginning”-“end” by biblical scribes & scholars) represents the consortium of MUT~AMUN. Her vulture crown thus symbolizes beginnings, divine motherhood, and her purification role in the afterlife which is mysteriously linked to the ecological role a “wake” of vultures would play in the natural world. Many portrayals of Goddess Mut (see ‘family portrait’ above) also include her wearing the unification crown atop her vulture crown.
AMUN means “The Hidden One.” Expressed as Amen in Hebrew – meaning “let it be” – at the end of prayers, the name of this African deity is used to magically evoke divine response. AMUN is the patriarchal divinity of the Triad/Trinity of Waset (pre-Greek “Thebes”) which includes his divine consort, MUT, and their son Khonsu or Montu. Waset, meaning “City of the Scepter” or alternatively “City of the Set” relates to the Was scepter’s representation of the power and dominion of pharaohs, priests, and gods over the chaos, disorder, violence and foreigners that Set represents. AMUN wears a double-feathered crown, in addition to carrying the Was scepter, Ankh and other amulets of power and godhood.
MONTU/KHONSU – son of Mut and Amun – is a moon god who is said to be unable to show his whole glory for the entire month because he lost a wager in the ancient game of senet/ “passage” against his elder, Djehuti. His lunar aspects are reflected in his mother Mut’s Isheru, a moon-shaped lake at her precinct in the Karnak Temple Complex of Waset, more commonly known by its Greek designation “Thebes” – hence the reference to this African Trinity as the Triad of Thebes. Amun‘s precinct is the only one open to tourists in present-day Egypt, but MONTU/KHONSU, like his mother Mut, has his own separate precinct in the Karnak Temple Complex of Waset. Typically portrayed with a side-lock of hair (symbol of childhood) and wearing a crown depicting the crescent of a new moon subtending the full moon disc, MONTU is closely linked to other divine children such as Heru-Sema-Tawy [aka Ihy] and Shu.
MONTU/KHONSU is depicted holding five royal amulets, two of which are the crook and flail. The shepherd’s crook, an insignia of pharaonic authority or kingship, is most commonly associated with AUSAR (above), but also appears on the coffin of Tutankhamun (AKA “King Tut”). In both instances the crook is paired with the flail, the latter of which is said to stand for the fertility of the land. The striped Nemes crown Tut’ankh’amun wears (pictured) is said to represent his death mask.
The other three amulets are the Was (scepter), Djed (pillar representing god’s backbone/stability), and Ankh (“Key of Life”). The Ankh‘s depiction of an oval surmounting the crucifix constitutes the balance between the divine feminine and masculine creative energies that are necessary for life to be generated, sustained, and evolved to be as one with the higher, heavenly order. A proverb from the Luxor Temple states: If you search for the laws of harmony, you will find knowledge… A biblical passage states: “Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries” [SoS 7:5]. Another passage states: “…Hold fast that which thou hast, that no one take thy crown” [Rev 3:11]. As divine consorts, the African goddess/queen and her god/king each thus represent complementary creational forces that explain and necessitate each other and – from their higher collective vibration as Divine Counterparts – inform the structure and harmonious workings of the universe.
“When there’s blood in the sky – red and blue = purple… purple rain pertains to the end of the world and being with the one you love and letting your faith/god guide you through the purple rain.” – [* Prince’s quote on the meaning of his song]
UbuNtu… Purple Reign… #YesWeCode… Let No one take Thy Crown… Let There Be Light!