2019 marks a historic realignment and opens the door to healing in Africa’s collective soul and consciousness. Slavery’s cruel time-portal, symbolized by the “door of no return” on the western shores of the continent, has in 2019 become an entryway for reconciliation and ascension in this Year of Return after several centuries of forced separation and exploitation. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana has been a powerful champion of formalizing this return, exemplifying ancestral wisdom through hindsight, foresight and example.
Sankofa ~ an Akan word which contends that: “In order to move forward, you must return to reclaim that which may have been lost, forgotten, or stolen” ~ is symbolized in one of two adinkra…
Africa’s children are star-seeds within a time-space continuum that has been lost, forgotten, stolen, hijacked through slavery, colonialism, and the subsequent self-entitled narratives of her antagonists. Indeed “2019” is a Gregorian year, based on Vatican manipulations (via Pope Gregory XIII in 1582) of time, space and human consciousness. Sophisticated understandings of time, and linkages with nature, the divine feminine, and the cosmos existed in ancient Egypt prior to the Greco-Roman worlds re-ordering of it.
The main western calendar is a reformation of the Julian calendar – after Julius Caesar, whose name remains on the Gregorian calendar as the month of “July”… followed by August, named after Roman Emperor Augustus. Weekdays of the western calendar similarly invoke Roman gods and their planetary associations: Sun day (Sunday); Moon day: Fr. Lundi / Sp. Lunes (Monday); Mars day: Fr. Mardi / Sp. Martes (Tuesday); Mercury day: Fr. Mercredi / Sp. Miércoles (Wednesday); Jupiter day: Fr. Jeudi / Sp. Jueves (Thursday); Venus day: Fr. Vendredi / Sp. Viernes (Friday); and Saturn day (Saturday).
In other words, humanity has been living in the colonized space-time frequency of elite western patriarchs. African life in particular has suffered under the shackles of this homosocial and false matrix. The Year of Return in 2019 has felt like the authentic beginnings of a dismantling of this Eurocentric order and the resurgence and ascension of a pan-African consciousness. This is conveyed through Nsoromma (“children / stars of the Heavens”) and Fawohodie (“freedom, independence, emancipation”), the adinkra chosen to symbolize spiritual consciousness during this momentous Year in Ghana. Translated as “what is lost in the sea is returned by the waves,” the symbolically-colored waves in the Year of Return logo additionally encompass Sankofa…
December 21st, 2012 – exactly seven years ago on the Gregorian calendar – was a date predicted by some to mark the dawning of the Age of the Water Bearer, called Aquarius and depicted in the west as a Euro-patriarchal harbinger of New Age consciousness. So… more of the same in terms of who colonizes and controls the human narrative [*sigh*]!?! In Africa, the Water Bearer has always been a divine feminine representation for various reasons connected organically to nature and divine order. An alternative depiction of the feminine dominion over the waters is Mami Wata, revered by several million spiritual followers from Ghana all the way to the Congo. Often depicted in the form of a mermaid, Mami Wata almost always holds a looking glass.
The looking glass is an intriguing puzzle piece when it comes to understanding African concepts of mirroring in the theater of oral-aesthetic or ancestral timelines. For example, December 21st, 2012 hasn’t yet occurred in the Horn of Africa, where today [December 22nd, 2019 on the Gregorian calendar] is April 12th, 2012 on the 13-month Ethiopian calendar which traces back to the ancient Egyptian calendar. There’s a seven/eight-year lag between the 12-month Gregorian and this African timeline, owing to alternate determinations of the date of the annunciation of the Messiah’s birth. (This lag would also push the “December 21st, 2012” Age of Aquaria launch to August 27th, 2020 Gregorian time. See Calendar Conversion link)
Upon the inner walls of Ipet Resyt – “the southern sanctuary” built for God/dess consorts Amun-Mut known today as the Luxor Temple in Egypt – lies the blueprint of this “Annunciation.” According to John Anthony West (click the picture for video link), surrounding transcriptions of the communication depicted taking place between Amun and his consort, goddess Mut indicate that, in this conversation, Amun is informing his beloved that she will give birth to a divine son/savior. Roman-Catholic appropriations of this depiction in biblical accounts are presented as the angel (“Gabriel”) announcing that a virgin (“Mary”) will conceive and become the mother of a divine savior (“Jesus”) who is the son of God. Furthermore, the propagandized image of the Vatican’s “Jesus” is said to be modeled on Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander VI. “Lacking images, men invent idols…. Better to found images on realities that lead the true seeker to the source” [proverb from Ipet Resyt].
Enkutatash (“gift of jewels”) – the Amharic word for the Ethiopian New Year – occurs on September 11th of the Gregorian calendar, except for leap years when it occurs on September 12th. The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church uses a calendar identical to the Ethiopian for its liturgical year. On the Eritrean Ge’ez calendar, New Year is called Ri’se Awde Amet (“Head Anniversary”). The Ethiopian Enkutatash tradition comes from a time when the Queen of the South was showered with gifts of jewels (enku) upon her return from Jerusalem where she’s said to have made her legendary visit with King Solomon. This visit began the Solomonic line from whence hails Emperor Haile Selassie [July 12th, 1892 – August 27th, 1975 Gregorian]… the Messianic Lion of the Tribe of Judah in Rastafari spiritual consciousness.
In hindsight and with some authentic insight, perhaps the Year of Return is calling all of us (rather than a single “savior”) to an ascended re-membering of and return to UbuNtu …our Africa-centered unity-consciousness that has always said “I am because we are…”
“The kingdom of Heaven is already within you; if you understand yourself you will find it…” [proverb from Ipet Resyt]. Hindsight, Insight, and/or Foresight… It’s my wish that 2020 [Gregorian] or 2012-13 [Ethiopian] will lead to greater self-clarity and humanity’s Higher Ascension… Happy Sankofa! ❤ ❤ ❤
“Only the black woman can say ‘when and where I enter, in the quiet, undisputed dignity of my womanhood, without violence and without suing or special patronage, then and there the whole …race enters with me.’” [Anna J. Cooper, 1892] Dr. Anna Julia Cooper was born into slavery on August 10th, 1858 [d. 2/27/1964]. An activist during her life, Cooper triumphed over race and gender barriers to become a prominent scholar, educator, author, sociologist, and speaker. She received her education at St. Augustine’s University (NC), Oberlin College (OH), Columbia University (NY), and the University of Paris (Sorbonne) where, in 1924, Cooper became the 4th African-American woman to earn a doctorate with her Ph.D. in history. Author of the 1892 book A Voice from the South, which became a classic black feminist text, Cooper is often referred to as the Mother… or Matriarch of Black Feminism. Read More
“Every strand of American music comes directly from Congo Square,” musician and trumpeter, Wynton Marsalis once said of this national treasure – the historic birthplace of jazz and Rhythm-‘n’-Blues. Situated in what is now the Louis Armstrong Park in Tremé, the oldest African-American neighborhood in the tricentennial city of New Orleans – at 2.35 acres, today Congo Square measures approximately half of what it was in its heralded 19th century years.
New Orleans, Louisiana [NOLA] is a major US port whose strategic location facilitates the trafficking of commercial goods between the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River system, which historically included trans-Atlantic cargoes of enslaved Africans. Congo Square was a gathering place Read More
“Great, another broken white boy for us to fix!” One of several funny lines from Black Panther delivered by Shuri in reference to CIA Agent Everett Ross. “What the hail!” My line when I left the theater on President’s Day with mixed feelings about the movie, but mostly about the droplets of ice which had just begun falling from LA’s South Bay skies onto my African head-wrap. Was this a sign? Movie promos had gone hard with Gil Scott Heron’s classic The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, I mused while trying to extract pieces of the odd weather from my son’s fro for inspection. But why not build a strategic alliance between African cousins rather than having T’Challa, in true bourgeois liberal fashion, make a Wakanda charity-case out of Killmonger’s Oakland after the fact? Mom, it’s not your story… Huh?! Read More
~ Posted in honor of African-American Music Appreciation Month, June 2017 ~
“The artist is meant to put the objects of this world together in such a way that through them you will experience that light, that radiance which is the light of our consciousness and which all things both hide and, when properly looked upon, reveal. The hero journey is one of the universal patterns through which that radiance shows brightly.” [Joseph Campbell, Pathways to Bliss] Read More
The biggest night in show business is the annual Academy Awards show which pulls in a television viewing audience of 40 million (give or take). It’s where the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (founded in the 1920s) recognizes the merits of its most talented artists/craftspeople and honors them with a golden idol, a statue whose nick-name Oscar means ‘divine spear.’ The specter of Hollywood as an ideological battlefield where dreams and stories as cultural artifacts fight, bleed and die for acceptance in the dream factory run by mainstream [white] gods is not farfetched from the industry’s competitive, often cut-throat reality. Harsher still are the ironic implications of the Oscar award itself whose form Read More
“Sky God… God of Hunting… Warrior God… Lord of the Horizon… Divine Falcon… He who came forth from Hapi [Africa’s Nile God]… Dweller in Sopdet [Star of Auset]… God of Kingship… Heir of his Father…” are some of the epithets ascribed to Heru, one of Africa’s most storied gods of salvation. Heru‘s hunting prowess is represented in the falcon or hawk whose right and left eyes respectively denote the sun and moon; and who is said to hold the stars in his speckled feathers as his wings create the wind. The circumstances of Heru’s placement in the Holy Trinity which includes Ausar (his father) and Auset (his mother), and his triumphant role in the battle against evil [Set], make him a model for saviors, heroes, and the super-heroes of story, religion, comic-book universes and their silver screen adaptations. The Kemetic Trinity itself may conceivably be connected to the older African Triad of Waset, namely Amun~Mut~Khonsu. Among his many epithets, Amun (“Amen” in prayer) – Lord of All, whose name means “invisible… mysterious of form… the hidden one” who encompasses every aspect of creation – is referred to as “Eldest of the Sky.” [Papyrus Boulaq 17]
The classic battle of “good versus evil” evolves in the immortal myth of Heru versus his “uncle” Set who not only murders beloved King Ausar in order to usurp the throne of Kemet, but mutilates Ausar’s body and scatters its pieces throughout the wilderness (diaspora). Auset roams the wilderness in search of her husband’s 14 pieces which she reassembles and mummifies, minus his penis which remains missing. However, through the summoning of magical powers, Ausar is enabled to posthumously impregnate Auset with the seed of their son, Heru. (In some versions, Heru is interpreted as the newborn sun rising “from a lotus bloom that expanded its leaves on the breast of the primordial deep.”) Ausar’s “resurrection” creates Auset’s “virgin birth” of “savior” Heru who, in his later years goes on to avenge his father’s murder and challenge Set for the throne of Kemet. This epic struggle – which additionally exposes the pedophilic proclivities through which Set tried to overcome his “nephew” – is eventually settled before a Council of Elder Gods in favor of Heru as Kemet’s rightful heir and victor of the battle over evil/chaos.
Over the millennia Set became associated with the Hyksos – hostile foreign invaders from the desert or wilderness who enslaved the native men along with their wives and children. Thought to have the white skin and red hair attributed to his followers, Set’s links to Africa’s parched, infertile desert (the “red place”) expanded to represent all deserts and foreign lands. His glyph appears in the words for “turmoil… confusion… illness… storm… and rage” which eventually cemented Set’s negative brand as god of the desert, storms, disorder/chaos, violence and foreign oppressors.
While Heru represented Lower Kemet, his eventual victory over Set gave him the distinction of being a unification god, which is symbolized in the pschent crown the avenging hero/Heru is typically portrayed wearing. The deshret (red portion of the crown) represents the North/Lower Kemet, while the hedjet (white portion) represents South/Upper Kemet. Sema-tawy – an expression meaning “Uniter of the Two Lands” – was an alternative depiction, showing the human trachea (like the Nile) unifying Kemet with the entwined plants of the papyrus (native to Lower Kemet) and lily (native to Upper Kemet). Heru, the falcon sky god, was worshipped at KomOmbo in a temple which was also dedicated to Sobek, a crocodile god associated with Set. There are depictions of Heru alternatively wearing the double feather crown that is characteristically associated with Amun – “Eldest of the Sky” – who in his own right also holds the title “Lord of the Throne (Nst) of the Two Lands.” [Papyrus Boulaq 17]
A proverb from the Luxor Temple of Amun~Mut~Khonsu adjures: “Popular beliefs on essential matters must be examined in order to discover the original thought.” Several scholars have discussed at length the relationships one finds between original African mythology and the later popular beliefs of Christianity, including those mentioned above (“holy trinity… resurrection… virgin birth… savior…”) and Heru’s association with the Messianic star of Auset – Sopdet – which heralds the annual flooding of the Nile. A related proverb from the Luxor Temple advises: “Men need images. Lacking them they invent idols. Better then to found the images on realities that lead the true seeker to the source” …
One only need look at the Oscar statue to begin to understand how deeply bound the American image industry is to African Gods and their mythologies. So it’s unfortunate that the silver screen has become a showcase for white self-idolatry with scripts that continue this type of exploitation and cultural imperialism including (i) Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Heru in the 2016 release of Director Alex Proyas’ vision of Gods of Egypt; (ii) Superman – as some would argue (ref: “Atlanta Black Star” article); and of course (iii) Star Wars:
Djedi were Masters of the Force in Kemet (ancient Egypt), magician priests who guarded powerful kings and their immortality. As with Star Wars, “Holy Grail” legends such as those of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table evolved much, much later out of these Djedi histories from Kemet. The Djed – meaning pillar or backbone – is one of the symbols carried by kings of Kemet which is key to their immortality. The ‘dj’ root of the word denotes the serpent which has been awakened by the Djedi, and is raised up through the pillar to the crown of the Djedi King. Harnessing the Force for this inner ascension thus distinguished the Djedi, enabling successful initiates to advance in their abilities to access supernatural powers for use in feats of magic, overcoming enemies, healing, teleportation, resurrection, and so on. The ultimate Djedi Master of the Force is said to be Djehuti (“Thoth” in the later Greek appropriations), Chief Scribe to the Gods of Kemet who himself mentored Heru and intervened in his struggles against Set. Djehuti is consort to Ma’at – goddess who represents the Kemetic concept of truth, balance, order, harmony and justice. It was Ma’at who is said to have decreed Heru as the rightful ruler of Kemet over Set, thus dispensing one of her main roles of defending the order of the universe from the chaos of the dark side.
In the alternate Star Wars universe, the battle between good and evil is waged by the “Jedi”/Djedi knights such as Luke Skywalker against the “Sith”/Set forces of darkness. Thus, some would extrapolate that this highly popular franchise is just another example of how Tinseltown’s “entertainment”-industry elite itself, and through such practices, acts as Set – profiting while programming consumer masses for dysfunction in its questionable custodianship of Africa’s cultural and spiritual resources; at the very least by not attributing proper credit, but also with its racist circumscriptions of “black” versus “white” roles…
Enter the “True Seeker” mentioned in the proverb – AKA the African Djed-I Queen! (Note: the linked post discusses the bond between the Djed pillar and one of the African Queen’s roles.) As yet another proverb from the Luxor Temple of Amun~Mut~Khonsu states: “A phenomenon always arises from the interaction of complementarity. If you want something, look for the complement that will elicit it. Set causes Heru. Heru redeems Set.” Queens of the First Dynasty bore the title “She Who Sees Heru and Set” in relation to the Djed-I Queen’s ideal consort being worthy as Heru (in His divine-masculine/higher nature) who has overcome Set (his chaos-inducing dysfunctional-shadow/lower nature). As discussed more fully in my post “Pyramid Wisdom & Story” – which offers an interpretation of the “true love written in the stone” [EW&F] (see music video link, plus interior design of the Great Pyramid of Giza below) – the archetypes actively embodied in the Djed-I Queen’s Heru/Hero are: (i) King; (ii) Warrior; (iii) Magician; & (iv) Lover.
Heru – as “God of Kingship” and African Hero – is the Djedi Sky Walker represented in the Hunter/Warrior constellation that the shaft in the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid of Giza points to. In Her aspect as Auset, the Djed-I Queen is the “Divine Mourner” and “True Seeker” who searches through the wilderness for Her true beloved – as Heru, in turn, hunts for His Djed-I Queen. She partners in the reparation of their Royal and Holy consortium, which weakens Set the stronger it gets. In Her aspect of Ma’at, the Djed-I Queen has discovered Her Truth and the Balance that must exist with Her beloved (Heru in His aspect of Djehuti ~ Magician & Scribe to the Gods) that will instill the Heavenly Order which prevents the universe from returning to a state of chaos (represented by “evil” Set). Her Lover – the Djedi King – is her Amun/Amen, and perhaps their Heru–S/Hero journey is the quintessential telling of the epic and timeless story of the Love-of-Power [Set] being overcome by UBUNTU ~ the Power-of-Love ❤ ❤ ❤
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. Read More
Extremely popular throughout East Africa, the kanga (sometimes called leso) is a colorful rectangular piece of fabric that is distinguished by the different Kiswahili sayings or proverbs adorning each piece. Artifacts of the Swahili culture dating back to the mid 19th century, kangas are a well-admired form of clothing worn by women and often paired as shawls or headdresses, but are also used as curtains, tablecloths, bedding, mats, etc. Used by people of all faiths, kangas also often play a key role in major life passages such as birth, puberty, and marriage. Read More
ADINKRA are ancient visual symbols created by the Akan of Ghana that represent and convey essential cultural concepts, values and traditional wisdom. As such, each Adinkra often has a corresponding proverb which imbues the symbol with rich meaning. According to Akan oral tradition, Adinkra images came into existence in the early 1800s as a design element on fabric. Traditionally Adinkra cloths were only worn by royalty and spiritual leaders on special occasions such as funerals. Read More