Originally posted 2/1/10 from the Land of Kam website under the title
“The Paut Neteru (Netcharu, Netjeru): The Emissaries of the Holy Spirit – Ra”
Who or what are the netcharu? Well, let me first tell you that the first time I wrote about the neteru, netjeru or netcharu, it was based mostly upon scholarly research and theory. I had a little brush or experience with these divinities but no real relationship with them. I was just very zealous and like most, I was just happy and wanted to get the information out there about the Kamitic tradition.
Ok, for those of you that haven’t heard, I underwent a serious change in the past few years. I was gravely ill and almost died on two occasions (three is the charm number signifying that you better make some changes or else). I basically survived because I had to for a lack of a better term, “Sho’ N Prove” by putting what I had learned into action. I had no get serious and find out quickly what worked for me. I had to get down with some real juju, real fast and with no one in the so-called “spiritual” mindset to help me. I really had to do some things. Meditation wasn’t getting it…no fluffy bunny stuff for me. I had to get seriously FUNKY! It was through this experience I made a very interesting discovery.
The one thing that I learned was that the roots of the Kamitic tradition is essentially ancient African shamanism. This was interesting for two reasons: The first reason is because it dispels the myth that the Kamitic people had a pan-religion, meaning they believed in the same thing, worshiped the same way, etc. as often depicted and described by most authors, books, movies, etc. In other words, everyone did not belong to the same priesthood or tradition because there were various traditions that existed and many of these traditions differed per geographical region.The one thing that the Kamitic people did have in common is that they universally believed in the existence of one God, whom they referred to as Nebertcher – “The Lord of Everything”.
The second thing that made understanding that the roots of the Kamitic religion is essentially African shamanism interesting was that like most African religions and traditions, the belief in ancestors was very strong. This meant that there was a unique relationship that the living had with their dead. It should be noted that most of the grand edifices of Kamit are actually memorials dedicated to their ancestors.
Now, when I was laying up on the hospital gurney, it was my ancestors that helped me to change my perspective about the neteru, which I was informed to call netcharu (such as in nature). The generic word for God is Neter or Netchur, which is why people commonly refer to natural events as Nature. The energies/spirits controlling those events the Kamau called the netcharu.
The netcharu I was informed were similar to the other divinities but they were basically deified ancestor spirits, similar to the Basimbi of the Kongo. I was shown this because like I said, I was literally on a death bed and when you are close to death you see things completely different and not from an intellectual perspective, because you’re not concerned with what’s right or wrong. You’re only concerned with “What WORKS” when you’re on a deathbed. And, I am not saying that anyone is right or wrong. I am just telling you what I saw and what helped me to escape Death’s grasp. So, I was informed that there are a number of netcharu that are similar to the Yoruba orishsa (but for me they weren’t the same) that exists but the main ones and their Christian/Roman Catholic(1) correspondences are:
First there is only One God. The common name for the Supreme Being is Nebertcher – “Lord of All”. Under Nebertcher there is:
- Osar (Asar, Ausar, Osiris) the Lord of the Dead is the guardian spirit of peace, wisdom, purity, knowledge and fertility. Associated with the Resurrected Jesus and La Virgin de las Mercedes.
- Oset (Aset, Ast, Auset, Isis) the Mother of Revolution is the guardian spirit of positive change and motherhood. Associated with the Virgin Mary, Virgin de la Regla and Virgen of the Miraculous Medals.
- Hru (Hra, Heru, Horus) the Heir of Osar is the guardian spirit of victory, success and triumph. Associated with Samson, King David and St. Barbara.
- Djahuti (Tahuti, Tehuti, Thoth) the Lord of Change is the guardian spirit of divination. Associated with King Solomon and St. Francis of Assisi.
- Nebhet (Nephtys) Lady of the House is the guardian spirit love, beauty, pleasure, money and peace. Associated with Mary Magdalene and La Virgin de la Caridad del Cobre.
- Sokar (Sokher, Seker) Lord of the Cemetery is the guardian spirit of resurrection, renewal and illness. Associated with Lazarus.
- Npu (Anpu, Enpu, Anubis) the Messenger/Traveler between the Living and Dead, is the guardian spirit of guidance. The master of the cross-road. Associated with the Moses and El Nino de la Atocha.
- Maat the Gatekeeper of Life/Death is the guardian spirit of balance, righteousness and sanity. Associated with Joshua and St. Norbert.
- Hruaakhuti (Ra-Hor-kahuti, Bedhuty, Herukhuti) Lord of the Double Horizon, is the guardian spirit of justice. Associated with the disciple Peter and St. George the Destroyer of Dragons.
The Kamitic devil (sort of speak) is called Set. Set is the spirit of War, chaos, destruction, confusion, imbalance. You name it. He has his hand in it, which is why he later became Set-an and Satan in the Christian tradition. It is too bad that the early Christians didn’t completely understand the Kamitic tradition and just changed the names while copying it word for word. If they had, they would have caught that Set, the red one who is King of the North, is the spirit of sensory overload, excess, chaos, destruction, etc. So, when it comes time for Christmas (Winter Solstice Dec. 21-25) they would be cautious of the jolly Red Man (spirit) in disguise that makes this season for many – the worst time of the year, due to burglary, depression, homicide and suicide.
The netcharu I was shown are the eldest and earliest of our benevolent ancestors. They are very high up, so high that they are considered the founders of clans and tribes. Like true essences, it is impossible to truly possess them because it is like possessing the sun in the palm of one’s hand. The closest that we can come to possessing them, is possessing an ancestor that worked with this spirit. And, when I say worked with this spirit, I mean possessing an ancestor that has encountered or dealt with this spirit because they were a priest, priestess or some how a devotee of that particular energy/spirit. In our ancestors’ times, a priest, priestess or devotee of a particular spirit, was one that had to learn how to work with a energy/spirit in order to overcome a trial, tribulation, etc. The energy/spirit taught them in their dreams, visions, hunches, etc. how to achieve certain goals provided they do certain things for the spirit. This same relationship exists in the Black Church today even though it is masked with rituals like sacrament, baptism and offering.
There were a lot of things that I was shown as I lay on the gurney listening to the numerous patients cry out to Death to take them from their misery. One of the things that I learned was that, it is said that when we physically die, our ancestors (usually a familiar one) comes to us after our soul leaves the body and assists us on the other side. This I believe to be true because I was visited by a group of spirits. It was through this experience that made me conclude that the Kamau (Ancient Africans of Egypt) used animal parts and so forth to illustrate the functions and responsibilities of these numerous spirits or entities that exist around us all. What this means is that we all have an Npu spirit – that is a spirit (or group of spirits) that guides us provide us with direction and so forth. We all have Djahuti, Hru and Hruaakhuti spirits and they are not just imaginary, archetypical beings. They were physically real, living people, with real feelings, beliefs, etc. and are real spirits with real power and guess what real taboos. This is why they are still fond of the things of the earth or physical things. It should be noted that while we all have netcharu no two spirits are alike. Meaning, one individual’s Npu might favor pipe tobacco, while another prefers cigars. Although, they may have different characteristics, they will both have the same purpose, which is to assist, guide and help one find their Way.
Who and what are the netcharu? They are guardian angels but not in the thinking that most people believe in the west. You see, most people in the west are under the influence that our guardian angels only appear to steer us away from harm. They completely miss the point in the Bible that when Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden, a great guardian (the archangel Jophiel) with a fiery sword was put at the entrance. Most interpret this to mean that God placed the archangel at the entrance to keep man and woman from ever returning to the Garden of Eden. God is not that cruel. It is my belief that God placed the archangel there to protect the Tree of Life. In others words to prevent the unrighteous from using that was so sacred wrongfully.
This is what the netcharu do, sure they steer us away from harms way but their main objective/purpose is to protect and guard the sacredness of the Spirit. How do you know when you have offended one of them and have crossed over to the Red Zone ruled by Set? Oh, everything goes wrong, you feel burned, you have nothing but problems everywhere you turn, etc., etc., etc. Everything is out of whack! There is imbalance everywhere it seems and no peace. How do you keep from offending the netcharu? You work with your ancestors, since the netcharu have been gone for such a long time and forget how physical life can be, who help teach you the taboos as it relates to the Spirit.
1. Many will question why I included the Christian and Roman Catholic syncretism. The reason is because there are different spiritual technologies at work. Living in the West, many of us have become accustomed to “plug and play” spiritual work based upon our intellect. This eventually leads to becoming a culture vulture, an individual that adopts the cultural ways of others without having any true understanding of the content behind the form. Since most of us have had some dealings with Christianity and/or Roman Catholicism, our spirits will be familiar with these icons. It is through these icons they can help us to understand our ancient ancestral masks.
See Part 2 of this post:
How to Communicate with the Netcharu (A Personal Experience)
For a complete discourse and in-depth analysis see:
MAA AANKH: Finding God the Afro-American Way, by Honoring the Ancestors and Guardian Spirits.