She of 7 Points

African Goddess Seshat was referred to as Sefket-Abwy – meaning “she of seven points” – by Pharaoh Tuthmosis III (1479-1425 BCE). She wears a signature seven-pointed crown which has led to speculation about the hidden Africa-centered significance of the crown which adorns Lady Liberty’s head and her symbolism as a whole. Standing tall with words of welcome on Manhattan’s Liberty Island in New York, the statue itself was brought as a gift from France in 1886 to strengthen democracy and bilateral alliances following US Civil War gains and the end of slavery. The initiative was launched by abolitionist and Chair of the French Anti-Slavery Society, Édouard de Laboulaye. Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was the sculptor.

A proverb from Ipet Resyt (“the southern sanctuary” built for God/dess consorts Amun/Mut) says: Lacking images, people invent idols… Better to found images on realities that lead the true seeker to the source.

Seshat is the African goddess who represents the consciousness of an order far superior to the matrix of knowledge that was installed and is currently governed by a patriarchal elite. Represented in Kemetic mythology by Set – god of the desert, storms, disorder, violence, chaos, & foreign oppressors – who destroyed Heavenly order when he usurped Kemet’s throne after murdering and dismembering King Ausar – this false trauma-based matrix is now said to be in its death-spiral. Humanity has experienced it as slavery, colonialism, racism, misogyny, pedophilia, thievery, rape, & other perversions. Alternatively, Set represents the dysfunctional shadow poles of the Masculine versus a potential, fully incarnate Divine King, Warrior, Magician, & Lover. Seshat’s crown is one of several potent African symbols of Divine Feminine power which speak to how, when, and where She, as Ma’at, enters to help re-pair, anchor, & balance Divine Order from her own sovereign, fully incarnate, and complementary truth.

Seshat ~ Point #1… SCRIVENER is the meaning of Seshat’s name. Sesh, meaning ‘writing’ was a communication technique using hieroglyphs (Greek, meaning ‘holy writing’) which, according to Kemetic legend, were created by god Djehuti. Djehuti passed the skill on to select scribes (typically men) to aid, he believed, in the development of wisdom. The god Re disagreed with this premise, saying that written documents would weaken people’s memories and ancestral wisdom that was organically passed down through generations, nature and oral tradition. As a proverb from IpetResyt advises: Images are nearer reality than cold definitions.’ Hieroglyphs, the oldest and more pictographic form of writing, over time evolved into Hieratic and then Demotic scripts as scribes worked to simplify the writing process itself. Each efficiency-upgrade in writing as a communication technology meant an increased abstraction (hence “alienation”) from the organic world, as Re might have feared. This trend has continued up to the highly abstract western alphabet of the present-day, which has been characterized as ‘aggressive’ by communication scholars such as Marshall McLuhan. Goddess Seshat stands at the crossroads of this communication debate vis-à-vis Divine Order…

Seshat ~ Point #2…RECKONER OF YEARS – God Djehuti, whom Goddess Seshat appears to mirror in her attributes, is credited with creating the ancient Egyptian calendar which forms the basis of the ancestral 13-month calendar used in the Horn of Africa where the current year is “2012.” The Gregorian calendar (after Pope Gregory XIII) – a reformed Julian calendar (after Julius Caesar) – forms the basis of the main western calendar where the current year is “2020.” Seshat’s lunar-based time-reckoning and recording skills were used in service to royal and religious leadership and concerns such as life-spans, length of reign, appropriate scheduling of ceremonies and rituals… some of which she and Djehuti would record on the sacred ished – the Tree of Life at Heliopolis – which was said to hold eternal knowledge of the Divine Plan. Goddess Seshat stands at the crossroads of competing space-time frequencies and a Divine Age of Aquaria schedule…

Seshat ~ Point #3…MISTRESS OF THE HOUSE OF BOOKS – Among Seshat’s duties was her role in the temple Library of the Gods which housed the works of Khemet’s foremost scribe and alkhemist, Djehuti. She was Djehuti’s personal librarian and keeper of his spells (called hekau) and writings. Djehuti’s canon of writings includes the Emerald Tablets and 42 Books of Knowledge on all matters connecting the heavens and the earthly realm, with a forewarning about the fall of Khemet to outsiders – represented in mythology by Ausar’s murderer Set. After pieces of Ausar’s body were retrieved, reassembled and mummified by his widow Auset, it’s said that Seshat helped cast Djehuti’s resurrection spell for Ausar’s missing 14th piece which enabled the posthumous conception of Heru. This event was appropriated and translated in later biblical accounts as the Immaculate Conception of Jesus. The ‘t(kh)n’ hieroglyph for obelisk – architectural symbol of Ausar’s resurrection – is the identical word and spelling for ‘to beat a drum’ or ‘musician,’ which connects organically to African oral traditions… our collective Akashic Record or Book of Life

Seshat ~ Point #4…FOREMOST OF THE PER-ANKH was the prestigious title bestowed upon Seshat and god Khnum – ram-headed potter and guardian of the Nile River source. ‘Per-Ankh’ were ‘houses of life’ attached to temples where libraries were housed and where knowledge, considered sacred, was attained. Given her proximity to Djehuti, of whom it was said that without his words the gods themselves would not exist, Seshat’s footprints can be traced through those of the ‘Shulamite’ in the biblical Song of Songs. (Shul, Yiddish for “school/synagogue” is related to shule/scuola in German; schola in Latin; and skholḗ in Greek – all meaning “school”). The term ‘Shulamite’ as emphasized in this particular book suggests that the “black and comely” female protagonist is highly educated. How different biblical Revelation would be with Seshat as the ascended True SeekerGenesis recalibrated to the Song of Songs!

Seshat ~ Point #5…GODDESS OF ARCHITECTS & BUILDERS – Though there were no temples built for the worship of goddess Seshat, she is paid homage for her prominent role in the foundation of major Khemetic temples in Heliopolis, Edfu, Abydos, Dendera and elsewhere. The temple of Horus in Edfu (c.237BC) has the inscription: “I take the measuring cord in the company of Seshat. I observe the progressive movement of the stars. My eye is now fixed upon Meskhetiu. The god of time-keeping stands by me, in front of the merkhet. Then, I have established the four corners of the temple.” Meshketiu, the ‘Big Dipper/Plough’ of the constellation Ursa Major, was known as ‘the Drinking Gourd’ by Africans who followed the North Star to escape slavery on the Underground Railroad. The merkhet was the instrument that oriented the harmonious alignment of temple foundations with the heavens, according to principles of sacred geometry… 

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.[Djehuti aka ‘Thoth’]

Seshat ~ Point #6…  “PANTHER GODDESS – Besides her signature 7-pointed crown, Seshat’s dress is made of panther skin which can denote royalty status within the Nile Valley reflection on earth of the Milky Way, particularly at the source of the sacred African river in the Bantu kingdoms of Buganda, Ankole, Busoga, Toro, Bunyoro, etc. There’s a sacred totemic relationship each of these Kings has with the panther, who is known in Buganda as Mayanja. Karamojong and Acholi warriors also wear panther skins as part of their regalia. In Khemet – “the gift of the Nile” – sem priests wore leopard skin garments in similar fashion to priests in Zimbabwe, southern Africa. King Tut’Ankh’Amun – the last of his royal family to rule during the end of Khemet’s 18th dynasty (c.1334 – 1325 BCE) – is famously depicted traveling through the afterlife on the back of a black panther.

Seshat ~ Point #7…  “OPENER OF HEAVEN’S DOOR – The mystery of Seshat is bound up with Africa and within the cultural codes of her 7-pointed crown… panther totems… sacred architecture… t(kh)n-ology… proverbial wisdom… the Nile Valley as ‘Temple of the World’ Ancestral vs. Gregorian timelines… ‘entry’- vs. ‘exit’-portals…

The mystery of Seshat is key to how we navigate the spaces between worlds in our ascension journey… decode the Song of Songs through Her dance… ‘Follow the Drinking Gourd’ via Her merkhet… exit Set’s 3D matrix of the elite’s false controlling-narratives through Akashic self-revelation… collapse slavery & colonialism’s karmic cycles… and enter sentient Mother Earth’s true Ma’atrix to the Age of AquariaAge of Miracles / Golden Age / Heaven / Zionreturn to UbuNtu…

As proverbs from Ipet Resyt state:If the Master teaches what is error, the disciple’s submission is slavery. If he teaches truth, this submission is ennoblement… The kingdom of heaven is within you. Whosoever shall know Herself shall find it.” 

Mother Tree

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 tombs 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…

One ancient version of King Ausar’s mythology tells of his body becoming enclosed in the trunk of a sacred tree. Ausar had been tricked by his brother Set into entering a wooden chest which was promptly sealed and disposed of in the Nile River, becoming Ausar’s coffin. Set, who had been jealous of Ausar’s successful reign, thereafter usurped the Egyptian throne as Ausar’s coffin ran aground and became merged with the sacred tree at Byblos. The King of Byblos, not knowing that Ausar’s body was contained within, ordered that the tree be cut down and installed in his palace as a pillar. Upon learning of this outcome, Ausar’s widow – Throne Goddess, Queen Auset – gained permission from the King of Byblos to extract her deceased husband’s body from the heart of the sacred tree/pillar.

It’s been said that this version of the Ausar-Auset mythology and eschatology gave rise to the Egyptian concept of the Djed Pillar – a sacred symbol of strength that represents Ausar’s backbone. The Djed Pillar simultaneously epitomizes the powerful support by which the sky-goddess as Mother Tree operates by extending favor to her chosen, and providing them guidance on their destined path. Pyramid Text 825a-d states: “Thy mother Nut has spread over thee in order that she may protect thee from all evil. Nut has protected thee from all evil, because thou art the greatest among her children.” The tree which was said to be sacred to Heru is mentioned in Pyramid Text 436a-b: “Horus who comes forth from the acacia to whom it was commanded: ‘Beware of the lion’. May he come forth to whom it was commanded: ‘Beware of the lion’.” 

From the creation story of Heliopolis [called On in Lower Egypt], we learn that Nut is mother to Ausar, Auset, Set and Nephthys – each of whom represent different archetypical roles in the theater of human journeying and ascension. From the 18th Dynasty, Nut was portrayed on the inner ceiling and later on all sides of coffins, so the dead would rest in her complete embrace. Ausar, “the greatest among her children,” epitomizes the masculine archetype of the King, whereas Set represents the low-frequency shadow of chaos and oppression which Ausar must rise above in order to restore Heaven-on-Earth aka The Golden Era. Of Queen Auset it was written: “She brings him to the great throne which is made by the gods, which is made by Horus, which Thoth has produced. Isis has received him; Nephthys has taken care of him; he has taken his seat on the great throne which is made of the gods” [Pyramid Texts 1153b-1154b].

Commonly depicted as a mortuary goddess besides Nut was Goddess Hathor who was known as Lady of the Southern Sycamore… Mistress of the Necropolis… and Lady of the West [where the sun goes to rest before rising again in the east]. However, Hathor was often additionally portrayed as the Goose That Laid the Golden/Cosmic Egg with a lotus plant wrapped around Her neck. This associated Hathor with the older creation story of Hermopolis [called Khmunu in Upper Egypt, meaning “the city of eight” or Ogdoad – 4 goddesses and their male consorts] in which Amun-Re was the Bird of Light (Bennu or Phoenix in several interpretations) who emerged from the Golden Egg at the Nile River cradle to create the World as His Heaven-on-Earth. Hermopolis – “city of Hermes” (Greek god with mercurial trickster tendencies) – was a major cult center of God Djehuti/Thoth (Khemetic masculine archetype of the Magician… consort of Ma’at) who decreed of the Nile Valley Mysteries he’d helped conjure: “If the truth must be told, this land is indeed the Temple of the World.”

According to Marie-Louise Buhl, The Papyrus of Ani confirms the original eastern horizon location of the sycamore[s] – the World Tree or Axis Mundi of Creation’s initial rising as the sun [Re] from the Golden/Cosmic Egg of the Goose [Hathor]. The Book of the Dead [Ch. 109] declares: “I know the two sycamores of turquoise between which Re comes forth, when he passes over the supports of Shu to the gate of the lord of the east from which Re comes forth.” The two sycamore Mother Trees are identified with Nut and/or Hathor: “Hail thou sycamore of Nut, give thou to me of (the water and of) the air which are in thee. I embrace this throne in Heliopolis. I guard the egg of the great cackler. It grows, I grow. It lives, I live. It snuffs the air, I snuff the air… I the Osiris Ani, triumphant.” [Ch. 59 – Book of the Dead]

Hathor’s name [Hwt.Hr] means the “House of Heru,” or “Mother of Heru” – i.e. mother as the house of her child. As Hwt.Hr, Hathor represents the divine feminine fertility aspect of Auset, which includes her nursing of the divine child – hence Her alternate depictions as divine cow [Milky Way… Nile waters… Maziwa Mkuu…]. Heru – whom Christianity’s Madonna-Child interpretation presents as Jesus – evolves to become the masculine archetype of the Warrior who avenges Set’s coffin-ment of his father Ausar. Heru eventually wins back the Heaven-on-Earth throne on behalf of a World that’s been disordered under an illegitimate, self-serving matrix system (slavery… colonialism…). As “Lady of the Southern Sycamore” and “She who remembers Heru,” Hathor uses the milk from Her tree to restore sight to Heru after one of his bruising battles against Set, hence facilitating the restoration of Ma’at – truth, justice, balance, and divine order – and refinement of sight (Heru‘s “3rd-eye” vision) within Her organic/authentic dominion as the Mother Tree. “His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk and fitly set.” [Song of Songs 5:12 KJV]

“The high places bring him to the places of Seth and to that high sycamore of the eastern sky when it has bent down (its branches) on which the gods are.” [Pyramid Text 916a-b] Heaven-on-Earth is the collaborative universe that is in a process of ascension between divine feminine and masculine forces. The Mother Tree is nature’s connective structure, nurturing guide, and portal between worlds as the soul journeys through its human experience and challenge to rise above Set‘s low-frequency agendas. The Mother Tree herself is challenged in the latter-day Garden of Eden narrative, where her fruits were made symbolic of feminine “evil/guile/temptation,” while her sacred role in this patriarchal/homo-social rendering was turned into a sacrament of communion involving the flesh and blood of a male savior and self-declared portal: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the father but by me” [John 14:6 KJV]; the olive tree whose natural branches represent Jewish people, as opposed to grafted-on Gentile branches [Romans 11: 11-24]. 

The ankh – ancient Egyptian ‘key of life’ – reminds us symbolically of the shared narrative between complementary forces, both divine in their masculine and feminine roles of begetting, caregiving, and awakening to truth. A proverb from the Luxor Temple says: The best and shortest road towards knowledge of truth is Nature. When departed souls show up in ancient Egyptian depictions as ba-birds who eat and drink of the Mother Tree’s bounty, they remain organically aligned with her natural sovereign role as divine feminine who brings seed [masculine] to life/resurrection and is its source of nourishment. “Hail thou Sycamore who protects the god under which the gods of the underworld are standing.” [Pyramid Text 1485a]

When Doves Sing… Musings

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 cautions 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… DJs R droppin’ beats like mad Grand Mixers… Homie’s joint. jumpin’ time-lines. like: “Yo Twenny/Twenny, W’sup!? [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] ❤ ❤

The Womb of Time ~ Dendera

DENDERA ZODIAC

Of the many 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; AtumLeo; Auset Virgo; scales of Ma’atLibra; KhepraCancer; 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 SopdetHathor’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 sistrumsrattles 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/uterusco-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 Aquariusthe Golden Age […UbuNtu]

DENDERA LIGHT

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  

Nile Guardians of The World Temple

The longest river on EARTH flows unlike any other ~ from south-to-north. Out of the sentient HEART of Africa and birthplace of humanity, the Nile River travels well over 4,000 miles through 11 African countries: Kenya; Tanzania; Uganda; Rwanda; Burundi; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Ethiopia; Eritrea; South Sudan; Sudan; and Egypt. A Kiswahili term for these countries is Nchi za Maziwa Mkuu – meaning ‘countries of the Great Milk’ or EARTH‘s ‘Milky Way’… Its 2 major tributaries, the White and the Blue Nile, meet in Khartoum, and then flow together as the Nile River confluence into the Mediterranean Sea.   

Once the earthly domain of Divinities, Africa’s land of temples and pyramids in the northern deserts is regarded as the Gift of the Nile. As one Divinity proclaims: “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…” Djehuti then laments a time when this heaven-on-earth Nile civilization will become “filled with strangers” & “widowed of the Gods” : “To thee I cry, O most sacred River, to thee I announce the coming doom!… Egypt, once the holy land beloved of the Gods and full of devotion for their worship, will become the instrument of perversion, the school of impiety…”

It’s not clear what point in time Djehuti’s fore-warnings were specifically targeting, or whether the impact of colonialism in Africa should be seen as an outcome of his Nile Valley prophecy. Ethiopia (then Abyssinia with current-day Eritrea), under Emperor Menelik II, successfully resisted colonization by Italy during Europe’s craven “Scramble for Africa” rubberstamped at the 1884 Berlin Conference. Britain played a significant role in exploring, exploiting and claiming sovereignty over humanity’s womb in the HEART of Africa, colonizing this sacred space through ‘divide-and-rule’ parasitic arrangements. Not only is the source of the White Nile still named after Africa’s Victorian-era adversary, but current Nile River conflicts about water-security are tangled up in old bilateral agreements with Egypt and Sudan, designed in Britain’s self-serving interests against the Eurocentrically-divided continent.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam [GERD] – a hydroelectric powerplant in construction since 2011 on the Blue Nile (the reported source of 85% of Egypt’s water) – has become a flashpoint between the two countries. Egypt is a dry desert country with a growing population that has always been heavily reliant on the “gift(s) of the Nile” as its primary resource for water, electricity, agriculture, spiritual moorings, etc. Some Egyptologists have suggested that during Egypt’s era of Divine habitation, the ancients were familiar with this sacred river only as far south as Khartoum where the WhiteBlue Niles meet in present-day Sudan. Whether or not African Divinities possessed such limited knowledge about their land, Egypt’s current stance is that GERD violates treaties they and Sudan entered into with Britain in 1929 & 1959 respectively, which guaranteed Egypt a majority share of Nile waters.

For hundreds of years, Ethiopian rulers in the south knew of their powers to divert the waters of the Nile River. Egyptians argue that this will be the impact of the Ethiopian dam on their future, thus the reason why they should maintain veto powers and all other privileges of their bilateral treaty with Britain. Other former European colonies in the Nile region argue that they cannot be held to such treaties since they were not parties to them during Britain’s imperial rulership. Tanzania rejected the treaties at Independence in 1961, and Ethiopia has since argued against both treaties [1929 &1959] as being outdated, not to mention divisive and dismissive of Africa’s regional makeup, history and needs.

As the current US administration helps Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan broker a resolution, it is unclear whether Africa’s ancient Nile Guardians are at this same table…

KHNUM – one of the earliest deities from Egypt’s pre-Dynastic period [- 3150 BCE] – was known as God/Guardian of the Source of the Nile River. The Nile River was the sacred earthly font of the Egyptian Mysteries and of subsequent derivatives within the major religions of the world beyond. Life throughout the Nile Valley was regulated and sustained around the river’s annual flooding which also brought silt and clay with its waters. Khnum earned the titles “Divine Potter” and “Lord of Things Created from Himself” by molding the river’s clay into human figurines and other objects at his signature potter’s wheel.

Other theophoric names capturing his significance included Khnum-Khufwy (meaning ‘Khnum is my Protector’), the full name of Old Kingdom Pharaoh Khufu under whom the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World the Great Pyramid of Giza  – was built [completed in 2560 BCE]. The Giza pyramid complex was deliberately constructed to be in precise astronomical alignment with the heavenly constellation belonging to Divine Hunter & Fertility God, King Ausar (and his Consort, Queen Auset) whose legendary heaven-on-earth reign was disrupted by Set god of chaos, violence, perversion & foreign oppression… 

A story told on the Famine Stele of the Ptolemaic Dynasty (332-30 BCE), illustrates the correlation between Nile God Khnum and the well-being of the Nile Valley peoples. During the reign of King Djoser (c. 2670 BCE) when Egypt was struck with famine, Khnum appeared in Djoser’s dream to register his displeasure at the fact that his shrine on the Nile River island of Elephantine had fallen into disrepair due to neglect. Djoser’s vizier, Imhotep, advised the king to travel to Elephantine to verify the dream and make any necessary amends. Satisfied with King Djoser’s follow-through, including subsequent renovations of his temple shrine, Khnum lifted the famine and fertility returned to Egypt.

Elephantine (in the River Nile’s 1st cataract & city of Aswan) and Esna (further north) are the two principal Nile River sites where temples were built for the worship of Khnum. In Edfu and Esna, hieroglyphic inscriptions refer to Khnum as ‘Foremost of the per-Ankh [House of Life].’ This high recognition was one he shared with Goddess Seshat who worked closely with Djehuti, God who decreed Nile Lands as “the Temple of the World” and prophesied Set‘s disruption of Divine Order… Heaven-On-Earth… the World Temple. The per-Ankh were learning centers attached to ancient Egyptian temples where knowledge, aligned with nature and the cosmos, was considered sacred and taught by Priests of ReInitiates of the ancient Mysteries

Elephantine – where Khnum’s southernmost worship center was located – demarcates the ancient boundary between Upper Egypt & the Kingdom of Kush which, according to historical records, took over Egypt from 760 to 656 BCE. However, this location is not the “source of the Nile River” as distinguished in the Papyrus of Hunefer – copied from the ancient Book of the Dead – which states… “We came from the beginning of the Nile where God Hapi dwells, at the foothills of The Mountains of the Moon”. Hunefer, owner of this papyrus/paper, was a steward of Pharaoh Seti 1 during the 19th Dynasty [c. 1300 BCE]

“We…” refers to Africans in the northern Nile Delta region

“…beginning of the Nile…” refers to the Great Lake estuary & African HEART… WOMB… [southern Nile region SOURCE]

“…Mountains of the Moon” are the Rwenzori Mountains bordering present-day Uganda & DR Congo.

“…Hapi” was a pre-dynastic Nile fertility God who depicts the North-South bonds of the region in the tying together of Nile Delta papyrus and Nile Source lotus plants. Like the Ankh [“Key of Life”] Hapi‘s hermaphroditic features by extension also represent the sacred union between divine masculine and feminine. The life-bringing inundation which has always sustained Nile Valley civilizations is EARTH‘s celebration of this renaissance” …an annual [re]union referred to as theArrival of Hapi.’  This event – always heralded by the return of Sopdet (celestial Nile Star of the African goddess) to the night skies – was ritualized annually between God/dess Amun/Mut within the sacred compounds of their Karnak‘ and ‘LuxorTemples in the legendary, communally-celebratedOpet Festival.’

Ipet-Resytthe ‘southern sanctuary’ of God/dess consorts Amun/Mut along the Nile banks – is a temple [‘Luxor‘] whose unique architecture was strategically designed to resemble a human figure in repose. One of several proverbs written on its interior walls states: “Routine and prejudice distort vision. Each man thinks his own horizon is the limit of the world.” Another proverb says: When the governing class isn’t chosen for quality it is chosen for material wealth: this always means decadence, the lowest stage a society can reach.” Humanity’s SOURCE/HEART should by now be awakening from impositions of Britain’s Victorian-era exploits of Africa’s material wealth as its own and, by extension, the prejudicial routines of predatory foreign interests… should be reclaiming its organic Ma’atrix & setting its own horizons with Heaven-centric &/or enlightened 2020 vision.

Sankofa an Akan saying from Ghana – contends that: “In order to move forward, you must reach back to reclaim that which may have been lost, forgotten, or stolen.” Visionary Father of pan-Africanism, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah stated in 1960: “We face neither East nor West: we face Forward”…

Other proverbs from Ipet-Resyt (Amun/Mut’s Luxor Temple on continental Africa’s Nile Valley side) state: “Your body is the temple of knowledge… The Kingdom of Heaven is within you; and whosoever shall know themselves shall find it.

Amun àṣẹ Let There Be Light  

Sankofa ~ 2020 Foresight

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 1350 BCE blueprint of this Annunciation.” According to John Anthony West (click picture for video: link @ 1:17:20), 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!

When & Where I Enter

“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 Womanism. Read More

“I Am a Black Man” ~ George Tait (poem)

Andreas Woods, 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. Distancing himself from Rhodes, the notorious racist & agent of colonial chaos in Afrika […‘Set’ of Kemetic mythology], Woods recites a poem by George Tait entitled I Am A Black Man – unambiguously staking his claim to the identity and mission of Afrika-descended manhood [aka ‘Heru / Horus / Hero’ in Kemetic mythology]. Read More

Blessed Be…

♥♥♥

“A Blessing on a Home” [from Blessed Be]

Rise… Enter…

♥♥♥

Messages in Maps… [re-post]

[CLICK TITLE BELOW TO LINK TO ORIGINAL 2/11/17 POST]

Messages in Maps: Psychogeography, Cultural Ecology and the Prefigured Place

Travis Hedge Coke

Ta-Nehisi Coates rewrote the map of Wakanda. Of all his work on Black Panther and related comics, the new map impresses me the most. It is, while not wordy, the most literary action. While seemingly nonjudgmental, the most political. He de-anglicized some of the place names and outright removed those with – at best – unfortunate connotations, such as the Primitive Peaks and what is listed on earlier maps as Domain of the White Gorillas (Mostly Uncharted). He concretized Wakanda’s six major cities, in opposition to earlier versions of “mostly uncharted” or generic “Woods” surrounding a centralized city that counts.In passing, this might not even register with the average reader. Some people jump over extras, anyway, but more than that simply don’t sight-read everything and put it into an orchestrated context with a story set in the place a map is illustrating.

People do not often interpolate place names, nearness to waterways or distance from agriculture as even purposeful decisions made by an author. We do not consider it when we know the map is a fiction of a fictional place. We don’t question it when we know it’s an engineered clarification of a real space. And, to be fair, we really aren’t taught that we should, or taught how we can.

Sidenote: Coates and Stelfreeze are talking to something like seven different completely-formed and articulate audiences with every release of Black Panther.

Our primary introductions to maps probably presented them to us as objective and inarguable. It would feel different if a person went around naming everything and claiming it, in real time before us, as theirs or belonging to this ally, etc. Walk up to a local and go, “This thing you call _____ is now _____ because that’s my language and this is about me and what fits well in my mouth,” and the sense is very different than when it’s been done quietly, beforehand, without our witnessing.

The authorship of a map is usually entirely erased by the time we peruse it. That there was an author is obscured from us, in the case of real maps, so they will have the power of truth, and in the case of imaginal lands, so they have the power of conviction. To read a map without questioning the choices of labels, boundaries, or distortions is to be as colonized as the land is as the map is drawn.

We grow up reading maps and we spend year after year in school, most of us, learning cultural ecologies in History, in Cultural Geography, World Cultures, what have you, and yet, don’t consider these systems and narratives to have an angle. We expect the explanation of city life in Italy or rural life in Uganda to be as objective as the multiplication tables in Math class. We extend this to maps of fictional locales the same way we do not anticipate the math or science in a story will be false unless it highlights its falsity.

Sidenote: Anecdotal facts couched within otherwise pure fiction are still treated as objective truths by many in any given audience.

A smart author and in this case I am considering all major contributors as authors, visual artists, wordsmiths, anyone making a significant choice in regards image or text. Of course, not all comics – not all of any media – is up to the nominal authors, and sometimes you’re tasked with something, as Eliot R Brown was. A former technical artist and designer for Marvel, the first serious effort at a map of Gotham City was Brown’s first work for DC. And, it was a work where revisions seem to have piled onto revisions to the point where the work may be said to have lost any cohesive authoring, and not really, even, a steady hand stitching the piecemeal together.

In fact, the map as it has been published and republished/reused (in movies, advertisements, comics, etc) does not line up with the final version that Brown turned in.

Further down the control-scale we have the map generated for Marvel’s Age of Apocalypse, which just knocks out South America and the Middle East as “Atrocity Zone” or just irradiated wasteland, but also gives us San Francisco, Dallas, and Chicago while the “Human Settlements” in Africa (which, in comics scenes, plenty of exoticism and nonsense) are given no names or clarification.Sidenote: A cognitive map is a mental representation (and thereby a useful distortion) of the relative locations and attributes in a spatial environment. All maps of Wakanda, in print, are representative of cognitive maps.

The anglocentric nature of the map, that the only details are given over to the United States and to England, even in an anglophone comic, seems to run contrary to the intent of a map of the world, illustrating a world issue. It’s a serviceable map, but barely even that. And, even some people who worked intimately on the comics seem unsure how the map really came to be what it is. While the Gotham map may lack an authoritative author, it has authority, while this map does not even have that.

I mention these, primarily, to show the strength of the authorship and cohesive intent of the Coates and Manny Mederos map. But, divers hands or not, cognizant expressions or not, all of these maps are subject to the purviews of cultural ecology, behavioral geography, psychogeography, implicit history and the privileging of information and assumptions. Just because the Coates and Mederos map uses the phrase “political geography,” right on it, does not mean it has more of a political geography than those generated by cartographers or authors who did not use the phrase.Not intending something is never the same as not doing something. Intent does not govern effect. Warrior Falls and Black Warrior Creek to the east of “Mostly Uncharted” and north of Primitive Peaks, no matter how well-intended, had certain effects back when that map of Wakanda was created, and it has different, and perhaps more sharply-felt-by-a-wider-audience effects when considered today. Knocking out all of South America as “wasteland” and leaving Australia completely off your word map has effects. The AoA map isn’t a map of the world, but a map of an embarrassingly childish American perspective of the world. The Gotham map is articulate and full, and its use by storytellers as a settingSidenote: Cultural ecology is the study of human adaptations to social and physical environments. But, in fiction, the near-opposite occurs, and social and physical environments are adapted to primary characters and prefigured plots.

All maps are representative of cognitive maps. Presence and repetition, familiarity and novelty encourages our reflex perceptions and tells us our left from right, our uptown from downtown, why Australia is a continent and why Europe is one (and why some people expect Central America to be one). Maps aren’t topographies and geography. Maps, illustrate.

How we describe worlds describes us. What we accept, how we engage with maps, with the cultural and political ecologies drafted and concretized by authors can define us as readers. When I refer disparagingly to aspects of some of these maps, when I question or beg questions, I am not trying to insult, or even accuse the cartographers and authors. I am grateful for their good work, and for them having done it. Having done their work, the maps are – in many significant ways – no longer about them.

Unbreaking the Egg

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction…”

While butterflies symbolize the transformation of life, they become as iconic of springtime in the west as rabbits which, due to their energetic breeding, represent fertility. Rabbits are designated as the token animal of Germanic goddess, Eostre [Eos in Greek]. Easter, for many is a season of blurred lines between the Christian celebration of the resurrection of a crucified patriarchal savior and the celebratory pagan ritual of bunnies delivering decorative and chocolatey eggs, all representing the bounty of new life springing forth throughout nature. The Easter Bunny joins a winning cast of rabbit characters we’ve grown up fondly with: Peter Cottontail… Roger… Bre’er… Thumper [from Bambi]… the Velveteen Rabbit… Alice in Wonderland’s White Rabbit… Bugs Bunny… We might even add the Duracell and Energizer Bunnies to this roster.

I’m one who’s loved Springtime all on its own, who hasn’t needed an extra excuse to indulge in unhealthy amounts of chocolate treats which [ahem!] I do year-round. The Easter Bunny was never a seasonal distraction for me. But looking through a #MeToo lens, it’s now not a big leap to see the dark side of EOStre‘s animal-spirit. From bedtime fairytales to movies to Easter, masses have been seduced & groomed through cute but de-natured props of patriarchal predation; a mostly male character lineup that’s won over hearts and minds. And somewhere there’s probably a Playboy Bunny tie-in…

Over the top? I ask, perturbed about how Easter has become such a distraction for me this year, and a dark one at that. As I scour the Internet for my own ‘easter eggs’/clues and disclaimers, a popular Mother Goose Rhyme plays like a riddle on a loop in my mind. Then the pictures below pop up as if to illustrate to me that various renowned architects have long been on this next-level trend of appropriating and translating EOStre‘s symbols. Is this their version of putting “Humpty together again”? My question seems to suddenly render Mother Goose mute… 

Eostre‘s Greek counterpart – Eos “goddess of the dawn” – has been compared to Khemetic goddess Tefnut, in part because of the latter’s status as goddess of the morning dew. The dawn, like the vernal equinox announces a new day… awakening… new life/birth… springtime’s resurrection/rebirth of nature from the dark sleep of winter, etc. Figurines from the Neolithic period lay an ancient and abiding claim to the divine feminine as goddess of birth, regeneration and resurrection. Iconographies of a hybrid bird-serpent-goddess appear in ancient Khemet and Mesopotamia, which represent her co-creative powers as nurturer, transformer and deliverer of the resurrected seed from her divine masculine/god. [Left figure: Egyptian Predynastic Naganda “Bird Lady” IIa c. 3500-3400 BCE. Brooklyn Museum.] This ancient symbol has been adopted in recent times by a movement in the west whose focus on Goddess worship and femininity was precipitated by the imbalance created by homo-social male-dominated organized religions. The serpentine spiral represents kundalini energy – a life-force which both triggers the formation of the child in the female womb, and also holds the potential to uncoil from the spinal base to awaken consciousness or “3rd-eye” opening… as in Let There Be Light! [Genesis 1:3]

Hathor [Hwt-hr, meaning ‘Mansion of Heru’ ] was worshipped in Khemet as goddess of music, dance, beauty, fertility, childbirth, women, children and foreign lands. At the Temple of Dendera which was built for worship to the Goddess during the first Intermediate period of Khemet, Hathor‘s high priests were musicians and creative artists. The ancient personification of feminine love, joy, mother-hood, and nature – Hathor was the original Nile Goose that Laid the Golden Egg, which was the sun god. Women particularly aspired to embody this deeply loved goddess’s conjoined roles as wife, mother and lover which gained Hathor the titles: ‘Lady of the House of Jubilation,’ & ‘The One Who Fills the Sanctuary with Joy’. Known to assist the dead in their afterworld journeys, Hathor also used milk from her sacred sycamore tree to restore sight to Heru‘s lunar/left eye after his legendary bruising battle against Set – usurper of Khemet’s throne. “His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk and fitly set.” [SoS 5:12]

The relief on the left comes from Hathor‘s Temple of Dendera. Resembling a modern-day light bulb, the Dendera Light as it’s referred to is a depiction from the Hermopolis theology of creation. This theology presents the Ogdoad [8 primordial male-female twin deities] and the Cosmic Egg – from which all life is born. The lotus flower from the primordial sea of Nun gave birth to the sun god, Atum-Ra in a stage known as the first occasion (Dunand, 2004). This flower – pictured around the neck of the goose & at the base of the Dendera Light – is symbolic of Upper Khemet, from where the Nile River flows. The surrounding bulb in the Dendera light relief represents the field of the universe or Cosmic Egg/”Golden Egg” within which the process of creation… birth… enlightenment… springtime… resurrection occurs, and kundalini awakens – as depicted by the rising serpent within. Originally accessible only to high priest initiates, the accompanying texts at Dendera warn against abuse of such knowledge… seemingly in agreement with and reference to the West African mythology from Mali of the Dogon

In the beginning, Amma, alone, was in the shape of an egg: the four collar bones were fused, dividing the egg into air, earth, fire, and water, establishing also the four cardinal directions. Within this cosmic egg was the material and the structure of the universe, and the 266 signs that embraced the essence of all things. The first creation of the world by Amma was, however, a failure. The second creation began when Amma planted a seed within herself, a seed that resulted in the shape of man. But in the process of its gestation, there was a flaw, meaning that the universe would now have within it the possibilities for incompleteness. Now the egg became two placentas, each containing a set of twins, male and female. dogonAfter sixty years, one of the males, Ogo, broke out of the placenta and attempted to create his own universe, in opposition to that being created by Amma. But he was unable to say the words that would bring such a universe into being. He then descended, as Amma transformed into the earth the fragment of placenta that went with Ogo into the void. Ogo interfered with the creative potential of the earth by having incestuous relations with it. His counterpart, Nommo, a participant in the revolt, was then killed by Amma, the parts of his body cast in all directions, bringing a sense of order to the world. When, five days later, Amma brought the pieces of Nommo‘s body together, restoring him to life, Nommo became ruler of the universe. He created four spirits, the ancestors of the Dogon people; Amma sent Nommo and the spirits to earth in an ark, and so the earth was restored. Along the way, Nommo uttered the words of Amma, and the sacred words that create were made available to humans. In the meantime, Ogo was transformed by Amma into Yurugu, the Pale Fox, who would always be alone, always be incomplete, eternally in revolt, ever wandering the earth seeking his female soul.

In Genesis1:28: “God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth‘” (NRSV). As a well-intentioned environmental steward mansplains from biblcal text: “First the word “subdue”. In Hebrew this is kabash. You can’t get around it; it does mean… “enslave”, and even in the harshest instances “molest” or “rape”Ummh, Yurugu/Set better stay in his lane!!! In my own well-intentioned effort to not throw the baby out with the bathwater, I’ll follow the lead of the Shulamite sistah who knows love is strong as death” [Song of Songs 8:6]. She is the Southern Queen to whom the God of Revelation [3:11] says: “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” May our circle 4ever B unbroken... ❤ ❤ ❤ 121

 

Refs:

Dunand, Françoise, and Christiane Zivie-Coche. 2004. Gods and Men in Egypt: 3000 BCE to 395 CE. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.