Did you ever want to see that collab between Prince & MJ?! YouTuber Raphael Tavares delivers this mix of Pince’s “Shut This Down”  as a soundtrack to MJ’s provocative moves in “Black or White” . Besides this mix being reminiscent of the “Bad” [’87] collab that didn’t happen between the two for reasons Prince gives in his 1997 Chris Rock interview with a wink-&-nod, Tavares’ posthumous rendering conveys a prophetic reading of the black panther‘s Africa-centered totemic symbolism & role …a whole nutha-level cultural narrative that’s resonant with current events, alongside Sopdet‘s journey in her zodiac today.
Posted in honor of African-American Music Appreciation Month – observed in the United States during the month of June since 1979 under the presidency of Jimmy Carter. The first and last years of Barack Obama’s presidency saw the transitioning of the two African-American musical giants: Michael Joseph Jackson [6/25/09] & Prince Rogers Nelson [4/21/16]. RIP… Don’t get lost in the forest…
❤ ❤ ❤
AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSIC APPRECIATION MONTH, 2016
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A vital part of our Nation’s proud heritage, African-American music exemplifies the creative spirit at the heart of American identity and is among the most innovative and powerful art the world has ever known. It accompanies us in our daily lives, and it has rung out at turning points in our history and demonstrated how our achievements as a culture go hand-in-hand with our progress as a Nation. During African-American Music Appreciation Month, we honor the artists who, through this music, bring us together, show us a true reflection of ourselves, and inspire us to reach for the harmony that lies beyond our toughest struggles.
Songs by African-American musicians span the breadth of the human experience and resonate in every corner of our Nation — animating our bodies, stimulating our imaginations, and nourishing our souls. In the ways they transform real stories about real people into art, these artists speak to universal human emotion and the restlessness that stirs within us all. African-American music helps us imagine a better world, and it offers hope that we will get there together.
This month, we celebrate the music that reminds us that our growth as a Nation and as people is reflected in our capacity to create great works of art. Let us recognize the performers behind this incredible music, which has compelled us to stand up — to dance, to express our faith through song, to march against injustice, and to defend our country’s enduring promise of freedom and opportunity for all.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2016 as African-American Music Appreciation Month. I call upon public officials, educators, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate activities and programs that raise awareness and foster appreciation of music that is composed, arranged, or performed by African Americans.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.
A song of adulation, love and fear
No one loved him better, no one better sacrificed
She gave her angels that summer night
Destiny and love don’t always go hand in hand (Hand in hand)
As the world lay waiting like an embryo in a womb
She gave her angels that night in June (She gave her angels)
To watch over him till she returned – her man, her lover, her son
Her father for all these things he meant to her, she felt it right
She gave her angels that summer night [Repeat: 2X]
- Songwriter/Artist: Prince Rogers Nelson (as )
- First Released: 29 January 1998 – Crystal Ball album
- Fan Music Video by VDJ Vivacity …“This is a beautiful Prince song and definitely deserved a full music video beyond the snippet performed on Muppets Tonight.“ (LINK added by me 🙂 …SEE ‘She Gave Her Angels’ Muppets footage @ 17:42)
On May 25th (“5/25”) 2020, two recorded events made headlines in the African Diaspora. Both were horrific in the degree to which they were racially-charged and played out from the standpoint of white privilege and callousness against black lives. One was a blatant attempt to provoke a potentially dangerous police-confrontation against an innocent bird-watcher (Christian Cooper) in New York’s Central Park; and the other which demonstrated that potential when George Floyd lived his final 8m:46s under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. Unfortunately, such occurences as these are not uncommon, and the long list of African victims goes back to the era of slavery whose evils live on and play out in toxic ways from that unexorcised and overly-policed space which nonetheless claims to be the land and home of the free and brave. Officially commemorated as Memorial Day, May 25th – the date of these occurences and America’s unofficial start of summer – is, perhaps ironically, also observed as African Liberation Day… Read More
In no other place on earth were deities so closely associated with their trees as in ancient Egyptian mythology and eschatology, Trees of Life upon which an external god later attached “forbidden fruit” as his rationale for humanity’s exile from Eden. Trees in ancient Egypt were revered as sacred, and regarded as the organic dominion of ancient female sky deities whose role included facilitating the passage of the soul [ba] into the afterlife. The sycamore [nehet] became perhaps the most important of Egyptian sacred trees which include the date palm; acacia; and persea or ished tree. Although male deities were mythically connected to sacred trees and the wooden coffins that transported them to the afterlife, they were never identified with the trees themselves. Often planted near tombs, the sycamore represented the womb to which the departed were returned, sometimes in coffins made from the wood of this Mother Tree. Goddess Hathor and Nut in particular – as anthropomorphic Mother Trees – were depicted connecting the worlds: heaven/underworld… above/below… within/without… now/hereafter… Read More
April 21st marks the anniversary of a day, four years ago, when Majesty and Divinity fell uncharacteristically silent. I learned about this after hearing their voices on a hauntingly beautiful music track that I’ve only recently discovered. I’d been drawn by the title of the track as I waxed nostalgic about the teenage version of me who’d walk several miles between my family home in Spring Valley to Kenya High during holidays just to play one of my school’s pianos for an hour or so. Granted that was less time than it had taken me to get there on foot, but I had the return trip to consider. Along the way, I’d pass by the Chiromo campus of the University of Nairobi where I’d always feel rejuvenated by the lush greens and natural habitation of the adjacent arboretum…
Arboretum, the moving piano piece in question that Prince recorded in his atrium at Paisley Park, is the 10th and final track on his 25th studio album entitled One Nite Alone… Released by NPG Records on May 14th 2002, Prince thoughtfully noted, “Ambient singing: the doves – Divinity and Majesty” in his Album Credits. Prince’s beloved pets are heard and warmly felt, presumably from their cage on the balcony overlooking Paisley Park’s sky-lit atrium as the artist performed & recorded his composition. At the end of Arboretum, the sound of heeled footsteps on an uncarpeted floor come through, painting an image on my mental screen of the artist walking away from his piano, perhaps retreating to a more personal recess of his creative complex that has now become a museum in suburban Minneapolis…
Chanhassen (said Minneapolis suburb) is a First Nation name in the Sioux language of the Dakota, meaning the tree with sweet sap – or sugar maple tree. Arboretum (trans: ‘botanical garden devoted to trees’), may well have been Prince’s musical alignment with & nod to the Minnesota city of his residence. Inspired by this thought, my memories meander between Nairobi Arboretum & western Kenya’s Kakamega Forest where I wasn’t an unfamiliar presence. I remember rhythmic singing suddenly breaking out from the perches of Red-eyed Doves (Columba semitorquata), which made me want to celebrate in dance each time. [Ref. Dove #2 in Lynette Rudman’s video below: #1: Tambourine Dove; #2: Red-eyed Dove; #3: Ring-necked Dove; #4: Mourning collared Dove; #5: Laughing Dove; #6: Emerald-spotted Wood Dove; #7: Namaqua Dove].
I’d like to imagine that my late father, a zoologist who specialized in the study of bats, would indulge my efforts to do due diligence to scientific inquiry [*ahem!]… albeit in service to these belated musings on the environs of Paisley Park and its mysterious, dove-loving nester. Speaking of which, in his first hit from Purple Rain – the 6th studio album that was released on June 25th, 1984 – Prince may creatively have been going for the ambience of Zenaida macroura [*cough!] – aka Mourning Doves. Now every time I hear the haunting and sad cooing sound for which this ubiquitous species is named, I think When Doves Cry…
Majesty and Divinity simply “stopped talking” after Prince crossed over, according to his sister Tyka in a 2016 Today show interview. Upon realizing this, Tyka instructed the Paisley Park staff to “play some Prince music” for his pet doves in order to help bring them out of their mournful silence. Just wow! Mother Nature’s collective consciousness is a font of endless fascination, particularly for me as a somewhat quirky expression from humanity’s African source. From his space in the diaspora, Prince was tapped into this same source on levels I’m only now beginning to appreciate. Beyond his music, there’s coded mystery in the architectural choices of the artist’s Paisley Park nesting and creative space that awaken my own epic memory. There are the pyramid skylights on the main building… the separate yet connected ‘Egg building’… and even the address itself…
…7801 Audubon Road is Paisley Park‘s street address which for me recalls renowned ornithologist John James Audubon. Born in Haiti in 1785, Audubon was noted for his paintings of birds, over 1,000 of which were documented in his book, Birds of America. The National Audubon Society was founded in his memory in 1886 to focus on the preservation and study of birds.
But beyond their zoological details, birds are profoundly symbolic as winged messengers who navigate the skies and/or heavenly realms. Doves in particular symbolize love, hope, peace, gentleness, inner initiation, the Holy Spirit, eternal life… In the biblical Song of Songs there are several dove references in the communication between the Shulamite and her Beloved’s conjoined Spirit. One of the references that I visit time and again is: “His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk and fitly set” [SoS 5:12]. In the pre-biblical Auset-Ausar-Heru mythology of Kemet, Goddess Hathor – “Lady of the Southern Sycamore” – used milk from Her sacred tree to restore sight to Heru after one of his epic battles against Set (usurper of Ausar’s heaven-on-earth throne). Heru – a precursor savior-figure and defender of his father Ausar’s throne (depicted as Auset’s crown) – is himself portrayed as a falcon-headed god. *******
“ARBORETUM”… The messages that a gently-played piano and a well-placed mic cause my quirky African ears to hear in 5D+… The ambient coo-ing of Majesty and Divinity, who raise homing frequencies into realms that cloak ascended masters from far too many robotic eyes & ears… “Don’t get lost in the forest,” Mother Tree entreats, long after his retreating footsteps have become silent… He ventures forth with the sweet sap of other trees which cause 3rd-eyes to open & soulful consciousness to reign like Purple… “Yo Twenny/Twenny, W’sup!? DJs R droppin’ beats like mad Grand Mixers @ homie’s joint. We jumpin’ time-lines… 2012 Party Override!”
If I could be the Red-eyed Dove’s lyricist during these roller-coaster times, my words to its rhythmic song would be: “I. Am! B’Cuz? …We. Rrrr!” Nothing fancy. Just a cultural mantra that takes me back to Mother Nature’s embrace & the free-quency of the great “I AM.” Throw some dance-floor swag up in that Song of Songs, like back in the day 😉 Old-School-style...UbuNtu, the guiding narrative of our 5D+ uni-verse: “I Am because We are!” In order to move forward on our S/Hero Journey, Sankofa adds that: we must first recover & reclaim that which was forgotten, lost or stolen. ❤ ❤ ❤ So Keep Your Vibrations High, Dearly Beloved ❤ Don’t let ‘the elevator bring us down’ ❤ Know that U R Majestic and Divine ❤ Let no one take Thy Crown [Rev. 3:11] ❤ ❤ ❤
Of the countless artifacts stolen from Africa, France takes special pride in displaying the Dendera Zodiac at the Louvre Museum in Paris – a legacy of the Napoleon Bonaparte era. Using gunpowder and explosives, engineer Jean Lelorrain dislodged the zodiac from the ceiling of Goddess Hathor’s temple on the west bank of the Nile River at Dendera. He took it to France in 1821 where the country’s best scientists, astronomers and mathematicians struggled to decipher the dates of the celestial events within the constellations depicted on the artifact. Many began to believe the Dendera Zodiac to be thousands of years older than the biblical Creation date, which troubled the church until Jean-François Champollion (France’s famous Egyptologist) reassured them otherwise.
The Dendera Zodiac – representing the heavens from its ceiling location – was the only circular portrayal of ancient Egyptian astronomy available. Its circular frame depicts Divine Feminine space while simultaneously reflecting the curvilinear path of the sun’s orbit. Employing a metric that western astrologers continue to use to this day, the zodiac depicts the Egyptian year [360 days +] divided evenly between 12 signs or constellations which are arranged within the circle. [Days beyond 360 were regarded as a 13th month on the ancestral annual timeline.] Each constellation was as unique as the particular deity which ruled that calendrical season. In the later western zodiac, ancient Egypt’s ram-headed deity Amun became the sign of Aries; Ausar – ‘the Bull of Eternity’ – became Taurus; Khnum… Capricorn; Atum… Leo; Auset… Virgo; scales of Ma’at… Libra; Khepra… Cancer; etc.
Concerning the grand scheme of ancient Egypt, god Djehuti proclaimed: “Art thou not aware that Egypt is the image of heaven, or rather, that it is the projection below of the order of things above? If the truth must be told, this land is indeed the temple of the world…” The ancient Nile Valley is where monomyths and the god/dess archetypes embedded within our collective psyche took their original form. They’ve since journeyed through life’s theater, or the ‘WOMB OF TIME’ – as Goddess Hathor’s Dendera Temple was known. Her stolen artifact in France’s Louvre Museum depicts the movement of Sopdet – Hathor’s Nile Star whose rising presaged the sacred river’s annual inundation which began each New Year in ancient Egypt. When the ‘Milky Way’ on earth poured forth her annual bounty of gifts into Egypt’s desert lands, it became a celebratory period of reunion and renewal between the heavens, nature, and humanity within the Temple of the World. In our modern-day ‘matrix’-oppressed psyche – ruled in Egyptian mythology by Set – the organic Nile Valley heaven-on-earth relationship remains a distant dream some call the ‘Age of Aquarius’…
Set (ancient Egypt’s notorious antagonist) and Yurugu (the Pale Fox in Dogon mythology) both represent adversarial forces against the sacred and sovereign Divine Womb and Milky Way – of which Africa’s Goddess Hathor was the quintessential archetype. Yurugu violated Goddess Amma’s sacred womb in his impatience to be born, thereafter sealing his fate to always be alone, incomplete, eternally in revolt, ever wandering the earth as the Pale Fox in search of his female soul. Set – god of chaos, violence, the desert, perversion and foreign oppression – violated the communal womb out of jealousy when he usurped heaven-on-earth’s throne after murdering and mutilating his brother Ausar, King of ancient Egypt. Furthermore, the historical rape of Mother Africa’s womb and misappropriation of Her spiritual, cultural, natural, and human resources towards western imperialist ventures has led most of humanity into a profound sense of isolation, alienation, disconnection, and disorientation…
HATHOR ~ DIVINE WOMB
Hwt-hr – the Kemetic version of Hathor – means ‘Mansion [Womb] of Heru.‘ The goddess is the fertility aspect of Auset, whose posthumous conception of Heru via the mummified remains of her husband Ausar was translated into biblical text as the ‘immaculate conception’ of Christ. Hathor was worshipped at Dendera (her sacred site for over 10,000 years) as goddess of music, dance, beauty, fertility, children, birth, women and foreign lands who personifies feminine love, joy, and sensuality in Her conjoined roles as consort, mother, and lover. Facing the direction of the Nile-Star Sopdet’s rising, Dendera Temple itself was a nourishing space for healing, learning, and birthing. It housed a sanatorium with magic bathing waters and a sacred well; labs where ceremonial perfumes were concocted; a papyrus library; a birthing place; and chapels devoted to the mythologies of Auset/Ausar/Heru…
Hathor’s priestesses and priests were musicians and dancers whose rituals of worship were entrancing and entertaining as they filled the sanctuary with the sounds of song, drumming, and various other instruments such as lyres, pan-pipes and sistrums – rattles that reportedly sounded like “the cackling of geese or the rustle of papyrus flowers.” Sacred to Hathor as ‘Lady of the House of Jubilation’ and ‘The One Who Fills the Sanctuary with Joy,’ the sistrum’s rattle helped create a sonic shield of protection against wrathful deities.
Music is recognized as a profound oral-aesthetic phenomenon in the symbols at Hathor’s Dendera Temple. Sound/Word/Nommo, in Africa’s oral traditions, is understood to fundamentally act as the Divine Masculine seed. Rising from the earth/floor and holding aloft the heavens/ceiling, Hathor’s temple pillars represent the shaft of Her sistrum. At the top of each pillar is Hathor’s face, portrayed symbolically as the womb/uterus – co-creative organ of the Divine Feminine – its fallopian tubes depicted as elongated ears through which she receives sound… word… nommo. Heru – goddess Hathor‘s Divine Masculine consort who helps frame & uphold the heavens [see Dendera Zodiac above] – likely plays the role of master-musician in some of the deeper Mysteries of Goddess Hathor’s Temple. Though Heru’s temple is in Edfu, as Divine Twin deities [‘Gemini’] they are highly attuned to each other’s oral-aesthetic freequency, resurrection modalities, and co-manifestation of humanity’s current grand progression as the Age of Pisces transitions into Aquarius… the Golden Age […UbuNtu]
As ‘Madonna and Child,’ Hathor was often depicted as the heavenly cow; her belly filled with stars of the Milky Way which on earth is represented by the Nile River aka Maziwa Mkuu (meaning ‘The Great Milk’ in Kiswahili)… the true Ma’atrix – or ‘Temple of the World,’ according to Djehuti. Alternatively, Hathor was portrayed as the goose that laid the golden egg with a lotus plant wrapped around Her neck. The lotus plant symbolizes the sacred Nile’s southern source or womb – located in the sentient heart of Africa – whose gifts, transported on the sacred river’s northward flow, facilitated the flowering of ancient Egypt and its Mysteries that were taught in the temples. Located on 3 stones of the interior walls of Hathor’s temple, the Dendera Light artifact’s depiction of one of these sacred Mysteries has given rise to a few controversial interpretations…
A Norwegian electrical engineer was the first to interpret the depiction as an electrical lamp, encasing as it does a snake-shaped filament with a cable at the end. The lamp is held upwards by a priest and a few smaller figures. Peter Krassa and Rainer Habeck published a book entitled Lights of the Pharaohs based on their similar interpretation of the relief. Later, a working model of the Dendera Light was constructed by Zeichnung Garn-Birne [click for video]. These interpretations may be oddly prophetic of Ethiopia’s hydro-electric dam on the Blue Nile outflow from Lake Tana which, given Africa’s scrambled post-colonial landscape, has generated concern in Egypt – the Nile’s most ecologically-vulnerable African country, yet ‘Temple of the World‘…
Mythologically interpreted, the Dendera Light artifact depicts the Hermopolis theology of creation via the Ogdoad (8 primordial male-female twin deities) and the Cosmic Egg from/into which all life is born. Pictured around Hathor-as-goose’s neck and again at the base of the Dendera Light in her temple, the lotus flower from the primordial sea of Nun (Nile womb) gave birth to the sun god, Atum-Ra in a stage known as the first occasion. The encasing bulb of the Dendera light relief represents the field of the universe or Cosmic “Golden Egg” within which the grand progression of creation… birth… enlightenment… resurrection occur; and – like the symbolic journey of the Nile’s climax in Egypt – kundalini awakens and Mysteries become known. Hence ‘Temple of the World‘…
This mythological interpretation reinforces the significance of Hathor and Her temple as HwtHr – ‘Mansion [Womb] of Heru – and as the Seven Hathors [Pleiades in later Greek myth] who purportedly appear at a child’s birth to announce its destiny. Representing several aspects in the Ausar-Auset story, Heru – as Hathor’s Divine Masculine consort – is the quintessential protagonist embedded within humanity’s collective psyche of our destined S/Hero’s Journey. He largely champions the warrior archetype of the Divine Masculine. As “Lady of the Southern Sycamore,” Hathor used the milk from Her tree to restore sight to Heru after one of his bruising battles against antagonist Set (usurper of Ausar’s heaven-on-earth throne). “His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk and fitly set.” [Song of Songs 5:12]… The 7 Hathors are said to question and assist the soul’s journey which, in death, is accompanied by the sky-bull [Ausar/Taurus] who has joined the Hathors in their cow form. Hathor, “Lady of the West” (where the sun sets/’dies’), appears on sarcophagi as their Protector.
Heru also represents spiritual revelation – the light of the 3rd-eye which opens during the True Seeker’s journey through time… “The kingdom of Heaven is already within you; if you understand yourself you will find it” [proverb:- Ipet-Resyt]. ❤ Amun ❤ àṣẹ ❤ Let ❤ There ❤ Be ❤ Light ❤
Andreas Woods aka Kwaw Imana, the mathematics-major Morehouse class of 2000 Valedictorian who would go on to get a Ph.D. in Egyptology, used this moment in the Morehouse spotlight to explain why he rejected the Cecil Rhodes Scholarship for himself. Morehouse is an all-male HBCU. Rhodes’ legacy is that of an avowed white supremacist, reported pedophile, architect of apartheid, & agent of other colonial chaos in Afrika [i.e. ‘Set’ of Kemetic mythology]. Rhodes remains buried in Zimbabwe [colonial ‘Rhodesia’] since his death in 1902, while Britain unveiled a statue (an altar to honor Rhodes) at Oxford University in 1934! Reciting a poem by George Tait entitled I Am A Black Man, Kwaw Andreas Woods Imana – like Heru [‘Horus/Hero’] in Kemetic mythology – appears to align the mission of Afrika-descended manhood with the collective struggle against the evils of European self-idolatry and the complicity of its knowledge industry, which has more-often-than-not acted to codify and perpetuate systemic racism. #RhodesMustFall Read More
“We came from the beginning of the Nile where God Hapi dwells, at the foothills of The Mountains of the Moon” ~ is a declaration in The Papyrus of Hunefer, which was a copy of the ancient Book of the Dead. Hunefer, owner of this papyrus, was “Scribe of Divine Offerings,” “Overseer of Royal Cattle,” and steward of Pharaoh Seti 1 during Khemet’s 19th Dynasty period [c. 1300 BCE]
“We…” refers to ancient Egyptians in the Delta region [papyrus symbol]
“…beginning of the Nile…” refers to the River Nile’s Great Lake estuary cradled in its East-Central African source [lotus symbol]. Nile comes from ‘Neilos’ – a Greek corruption of ‘nwy’ meaning ‘water’ in Khemet, though locals referred to it as ‘iterw’ meaning ‘the river.’
“…Mountains of the Moon” refers to the Rwenzori Mountains which border present-day Uganda and DR Congo. Some of the Nile waters flow from the peaks of these mountains.
Hapi [Hep/Hap/Hapy] – was a pre-dynastic name for the Nile deity of fertility who was also known as ‘Lord of the Fishes and Birds of the Marshes’ – provisions along with the annual inundation [known as the ‘Arrival of Hapi’] which have always sustained Nile Valley civilizations. So Hapi was often revered by citizens above other gods with chants, prayers, and sacrifices. Even Akhenaten [the so-called ‘heretic king’] could not banish Hapi as he had other gods during his reign. Instead, he tried to suggest that Hapi was an incarnation of Aten – the controversial solar disk god whom Akh’en’aten promoted himself as being the likeness of:
“I propitiate him who lives by truth,
The Lord of Diadems, Akhenaten,
Great in his lifetime.
O Hapi, by whose command
One is powerful
The food and nourishment of Egypt,
The vital ruler who forms me,
Makes me, fosters me…”
Hapi‘s blue or green skin denotes his status as a deity of fertility. God of both Upper and Lower Khemet, Hapi‘s portrayals included the lotus [symbolizing the life-giving/resurrecting source of the Nile’s Upper region] as well as the papyrus [which symbolized the Lower Nile Delta region where the river’s journey climaxed]. Depictions of twins ‘Hapi-Reset‘ [Upper Nile/lotus] and ‘Hapi-Meht‘ [Lower Nile/papyrus] tying together of these two plant symbols reflect the uniting of the “Two Lands.” Similarly, Hapi’s depiction as a hermaphrodite who was endowed with both feminine and masculine features [breasts and a penis], symbolized this same unity in human form, while the false beard of the pharaoh denotes Hapi‘s authority as Nile Valley god/dess. As a “key of life” principle, the co-creative unity and balance that must exist between divine feminine and masculine is a consistent and sacred African ideal, commonly portrayed as a ‘feminine’ oval surmounting a ‘masculine’ crucifix in the ancient ankh symbol.
To tarot deck readers, Hapi might be compared to the World card [#21 or XXI] – the final Major Arcana card which in some decks is depicted by an androgynous figure suspended between heaven/above and earth/below. The World card represents cosmic consciousness – the completion of a significant S/Hero’s journey cycle and a pause in life before the next big cycle begins once again with the Fool [usually the #0/“zero” card of the Major Arcana]. As such, the World amounts to our perfect union with the One uniting force of the universe [Ntu, in the Bantu world-view] which, seeded within the divine feminine womb, contains all the potentials for the next phase of our ascension journey.
The adinkra symbol of conjoined halves of a heart represents Sankofa – an African term that reminds us: “In order to move forward, you must reach back to reclaim that which may have been lost, forgotten, or stolen.” The process of truth-seeking in our respective journeys as divine feminine and masculine which provides the elixir that leads to our collective re-pair and ascension – is one of traversing the arcanum from “the fool” to “the world.” The elixir that is discovered in this process is ideally what ushers in humanity’s next-level, soul-restoring unity-consciousness which is referred to in Africa as Ubuntu, meaning “I am, because we are.”
The testimonial of the Papyrus of Hunefer thus presents a dilemma by drawing attention to the waters at the “…beginning of the Nile where God Hapi dwells” – a spiritual resource which was stolen through the violence of colonial assaults, nonsensical geographic constructs, and subsequently-falsified texts [biblical… historical… philosophical… geographical…]. In Kiswahili, these waters at the source of the Nile are referred to as ‘Maziwa Mkuu,’ meaning ‘great milk’ – a tacit African recognition of the Milky Way flowing as the nurturing heavenly river on earth which blossomed in ancient times as Khemet. “Victoria” – the river’s yet-to-be-reclaimed source – has, by her blatant presence, poisoned sacred waters, created a false matrix, and maintained a state of arrested development [the Fool] over a consequently colonized human consciousness [the World]… even as we stand today at the cusp of the emancipatory Age of Aquaria [card of the Star/Water Bearer].
Nut – Goddess of the Sky whose arms and legs create the four pillars between heaven and earth – is the primordial water-bearer, as depicted in her crown. (She is often synthesized with goddess Hathor – prototype of the Madonna-Child as Divine Womb and Celestial Nurse [milk-provider].) As I’ve posted previously, the water-bearer is epitomized by the African woman whose water vessel symbolizes humanity’s womb and portal into life. Culturally she is regarded as maternal in her element as the ocean, seas, and lakes – such as the veneration given to the Yoruba orisha [deity] Yemaya. On the other hand, as the river orisha Oshun, she is associated with sensuality, playfulness, fertility, love and beauty. Both are aspects of the same goddess archetype which, according to followers throughout the African world, unite in the figure of Mami Wata – a figure who is commonly depicted as a mermaid holding a mirror and/or a fan. All three orishas prefer the color gold, interchangeably with yellow.
For me, the confluence in Hapi’s S/Hero’s Journey through this Nile Valley Mystery becomes a ground-breaking revelation when the right pieces are understood within a non-linear [read: “non-Eurocentric”] playing field. The proposition: “We came from the beginning of the Nile where God Hapi dwells, at the foothills of The Mountains of the Moon” [from the Papyrus of Hunefer] signals the divinely-sanctioned return and reunion of the African God/dess. The unbreakable bonds of their sacred union [“Upper/Lower… North/South… above/below… within/without…”] are represented through Hapi‘s imagery and symbology, including the significance of the papyrus and the lily respectively, as well as within their sacred tethering. This revelation-through-symbol to me also connects with Tut’ankh’amun [pictured right. See posts here & here]. Corresponding biblical references abound, e.g.: “The queen of the south shall rise… behold, a greater than Solomon is here” [Matthew 12: 42]; “Make haste my beloved…” [SoS 8: 14]; “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown” [Rev 3: 11]…
In Khemet, crowns represent an evolution of consciousness resulting from the respective journeys of the divine feminine in concert with her divine masculine who, as Tut’ankh’amun, travels through the after-world on his necessary mission. Their successful outcome and bond becomes the nucleus of a collective/communal levelling-up… Hotep ❤ M
The “KING TUT: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh” tour ends its world premiere today [January 13th, 2019] before moving on to Europe and eventually back to Africa where the exhibition will remain permanently at the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Since March 24th, 2018, the California Science Center has been hosting the only scheduled US exhibition of over 150 personal belongings from 18th Dynasty King Tutankhamun’s 3,300 year-old burial site that were among those removed after the 1922 European discovery and raid of his tomb in Africa’s Valley of the Kings, west of the Nile River. Each of King Tutankhamun’s burial artifacts are presented in the exhibition as narrative pieces of the pharaoh’s quest for immortality as he journeyed through the underworld after his death at the young age of 19 to find his place in the afterlife.
Of the several culturally-significant pieces in the exhibition, two are particularly striking:
1. King Tutankhamun’s gilded ankh-shaped mirror case ~ One of the best-known ancient symbols that is often depicted in the firm grip of a Khemetic deity’s hand is the ankh. With its feminine oval and masculine crucifix, the ankh represents what the ancients regarded as the key of life. When used in hieroglyphic writing, the ankh may mean “mirror,” “floral bouquet,” and/or “life.” Several ankh-shaped mirrors were created in ancient times and, like the one now missing from King Tut’s belongings, were thought by many to reflect eternity. Mirrors/looking glasses were believed to possess magical properties which would respond to the user’s intent, ranging from superficial vanity [Old-School ‘selfies’?] to revelations of the light/shadow afterlife from the reflected physical prism…The Khemetic mirror thus potentially became an imaginative portal to the multi-dimensional realms expressed in the words “as above, so below… as within, so without” – words which are also reflected in proverbs from Amun~Mut’s temple: “All is within yourself. Know your most inward self and look for what corresponds with it in nature… Men need images. Lacking them they invent idols. Better then to found the images on realities that lead the true seeker to the source… The key to all problems is the problem of consciousness… The Kingdom of Heaven is within you…” The Festival of Lanterns honoring Goddess Neith involved the burning of oil lamps through the night to create a reflection of heaven on earth… a scene depicting a feminine portal opening, or a parting of the veil between mirrored worlds. Similarly, Goddess Seshat – dressed in her signature panther-skin dress – is known in her own right as the “opener of Heaven’s door.” Thus the key of life [‘ankh’] in essence infers the creative interplay between multidimensional and complementary creative forces – within/without… above/below – which in turn confer special standing upon rulers in the earthly realm such as King Tutankhamun.
Tut’ankh’amun was originally named Tut’ankh’aten [“living image of Aten”] after his father Akhenaten, the controversial King who upended Khemet’s centuries-old religious system in Uaset [Gr. ‘Thebes’], to the worship of the singular sun disc Aten from a new religious center in Amarna. Following Akhenaten’s death and a brief intervening period of rule by two pharaohs, aided by powerful advisers, the 9-year-old prince ascended the throne his father had held. During his own 10-year reign, the young pharaoh reversed his father King Akhenaten’s legacy by restoring Khemet’s long-standing god Amun to supremacy and its religious capital to Uaset. He then reaffirmed this allegiance by formally renaming himself Tut’ankh’amun – the name we’re most accustomed to, meaning “living image of Amun.” Thus, the king chose the image ‘above’ and ‘within’ that he wanted to mirror and/or to become as…
2. The King’s mode of underworld/afterlife transportation ~ The black panther depicted in this artifact from Tutankhamun’s tomb acts as a fascinating spiritual and cultural “mirror” between past and present. The biggest movie of 2018, Black Panther, was released in the month just prior to the “KING TUT: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh” exhibition opening at the California Science Center. As I wrote in a previous post, the scene in the movie in which a presumed-dead King T’Challa journeys through the plane of his Wakanda ancestors… mirrors this specific rendering of King Tutankhamun whose other, signature golden image is itself a “death mask” – perhaps implying that his physical death was an illusion.
The fictional name ‘Wakanda’ in turn reflects the names of real-life kingdoms such as Buganda through which the source of the great Nile River flows, and from where powerful panther kings – entitled Kabaka – still hold sway. As the earthly mirror of the Milky Way in heaven [called Maziwa Mkuu in Kiswahili, meaning ‘great milk’] this sacred River is the true, nature-based Ma’atrix that gave rise to the spiritual-consciousness of ancient Nile Valley civilizations such as Khemet and Buganda. Black panthers are a melanistic variant of the African leopard whose skin features significantly in the regalia of Kabakas and royalty of surrounding kingdoms in present-day Uganda, as well as in the dress of Khemetic deity Seshat – the above-mentioned “opener of Heaven’s door.” Conferring high status on the wearer, this skin [which may also lie beneath a royal leader’s feet] represents the musambwa or territorial spirit in the Uganda region who appears in the form of a panther/leopard and acts as a supernatural guide and protector of the kingdom…
The Baganda have a saying about their royals: “A Kabaka does not die, but gets lost in the forest.” It alludes to their immortality and the possibility of return for those chosen ones who are able to find their way through the forest. Depending on how one examines the mirror/ankh, this ‘forest’ could metaphorically reflect the prophesied 400-year wilderness period [Genesis 15: 13-14] since enslaved Africans first set foot in America. The timing of Black Panther‘s release, T’Challa’s mirrored visual of King Tutankhamun’s crossed crook and flail which are symbols of the biblically-mirrored Great Shepherd – reflects this larger, multi-layered Savior narrative… A true visionary, Ryan Coogler re-links the cultural elements while critiquing the European world’s appropriations, e.g. through Eric Killmonger’s retort to the British Museum director: “How do you think your ancestors got these? Do you think they paid a fair price? Or did they take it… like they took everything else?”
Now, as the “KING TUT: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh” exhibition moves on from America for the last time, I can’t help wondering what happened to the King’s priceless mirror/looking glass…?
May this ‘Year of Return’ reawaken humanity to its best reflection and most magnificent Heaven-on-Earth manifestations…
From ancient times to the present day, Africa’s collective imagination has to one degree or another been influenced by the leopard as a symbol of its cultural and spiritual potency. The black panther is the melanistic color variant of leopards in Africa, so perhaps the phenomenal success of the movie of the same name can be used as a current barometer of that potency. North, south, east, west, and diaspora – the leopard is a powerful symbol of African warriors, sages, magicians, priests, gods, goddesses, queens, and kings. In West Africa, sculptures from Ife and Benin portray the leopard as a symbol of wisdom. This statue from ancient North Africa depicting King Tutankhamun riding through the underworld on the back 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