What’s the Difference Between a Shaman and a Preacher?

14 07 2014

Hetepu (Peace) Family

It’s been a long time. Hope all is well with you all.

shaman2  Preachers

I wanted to share with you a discussion that I had with someone recently.  They had read in one of my books how I mentioned that back in the day, due to slavery African American shamans were  preachers, priest or priestess, teachers, counselors, healers, psychics, herbalists, diviners, etc. because they all preformed some type of healing for their respective communities.  However, not every preacher, priest or priestess, teacher, counselor, healer, psychic, herbalist, diviner, etc. is a shaman. How is that possible? What’s the difference between the two and why do I follow a shamanic path?

Well, without going through a long dissertation, besides the obvious like attire, ritualistic approaches for seeking spiritual assistance etc. like chanting, drumming, dancing, etc.  The key difference is based upon how one sees the Divine. Shamans typically don’t follow any type of dogma, whereas most adhering to an organized religion or haven’t adopted shamanic principles into their life, usually do.

This approach is very significant and we see how it plays out when it comes acquiring spiritual assistance.  For instance, when an adherent seeks spiritual assistance in help with some issue they are facing. The adherent from the organized religion is instructed to seek the Will of God through prayer, meditation, divination, etc., because they have been taught (or believe) that they are a humble and sinned servant that needs to be saved.  From this approach, it would appear that God is doing the individual a favor, which explains the reason why so many feel they have to beg and plea to be saved, and if they breach a moral code of conduct, they must beg for forgiveness. This is not the case in most shamanistic traditions.

In shamanism when the shaman needs divine or supernatural assistance, they simply seek the solution to their problem through prayer, meditation or divination, etc. because they see themselves as a co – creator with the Divine. It is not solely left up to the Divine if they will live or not, but responsibility is also shared by all of those involved. For instance, if one wants to overcome an illness, then the patient has to also take responsibility for his or health and do what is necessary physically and spiritually to acquire good health. This is because from a co – creator’s perspective, the Divine is literally the Source and will support you in whatever you choose to do. This is the reason most shamans don’t concern themselves with spiritual enlightenment or seeking to expand their consciousness, because it is like acquiring knowledge without experience. Instead, shamans focus upon practical objectives because in resolving these issues they not only achieve tangible goals but in the process may also acquire the wisdom when dealing with similar issues. In this case, spiritual enlightenment is seen as fascinating side effect that if it occurs great, but if not there’s no problem because it wasn’t the intention in the first place. This is because shamanism focuses upon practicality, which is based upon Maa - that is, Objective Truth not what belief is popular at the time.

So in essence, most belonging to an organized religious structure (or still harboring this mindset) focus on the future (and the hereafter). Everything they approach is from this same dogmatic perspective whereas they feel if they don’t do this they will be punished. If they don’t eat right, they will be punished. If they act and treat their neighbors right, then they will be punished. If they don’t belong to this particular group or affiliates, then they will be punished. Everything is based upon the fear if they don’t do a particular thing, then they will “reap what they sow” because it is based upon catastrophe.

Shamans on the other hand, focus on the here and now in order to make a better future. Since shamanism is pre-religion, it doesn’t force people to live their lives out of fear of sin, karma, etc.  When something doesn’t work or doesn’t produce the desired results, it is not looked upon as being the will of God or some divine act. If God doesn’t punish animals for their animalistic behavior, why would God punish human beings for their animal behavior? This was seem contradictory, which in shamanism the Divine is not. So when something doesn’t work or doesn’t produce the desired results. It is simply seen as being botched like too much of one ingredient was added to a cake mix.  Basically, it is due to things not being in balance.

shaman

Shamanism basically assists an individual in saving themselves, instead of depending upon someone or something outside of themselves to save them, because most have been Called like preachers who have been Called to the pulpit.  The main difference being that most shamans consisted of them overcoming an deadly illness, destructive and negative behavior that is destroying their family and/or community, etc.. In their mysterious rebirth, they learn what to do and what not to do not because it offends the Divine presence within them. In other words, it separates them from their divinity, thus inhibiting them from creating miracles in their life.  This is why elderly black men and women in southern churches use to abstain from certain behaviors, practices, obscenities, perversions and substances. It was this shamanic practice that was brought from Africa that assured that the one being Called would not adjust their concept of God in order to accept, ignore or overlook their wickedness. This age old African tradition has rapidly become extinct in most Black Churches, which is why there is a lack of spiritual development today in the Black community.

Maa-The Path of the Feather

Maa-The Path of the Feather

I personally chose and continue to follow this path because it establishes a rapport between you and the Divine. When something is right, you instantly see the results. When you have done something wrong, you get that feedback as well and learn to make adjustments. No one needs to tell you what you is right or wrong.  If you have your right mind, we all have commonsense.  We all know what is right or wrong because the Divine is within all of us, so no matter how much we try to sugarcoat it you know. This is why it is not even necessary to persuade people of what is the truth or not the truth, because Truth is Divine and the Divine’s spark dwells within us all. So, it is not a matter of not knowing the Truth or Maa, it is about choosing not to believe it and in that case.  God doesn’t have to punish you. You are simply punishing yourself.

Maa Aankh with Utchat

Now, shamanism is not about making up your own rules as you go, but a lot of people due to Western thinking are use to rules and feel that if they don’t have any rules. They don’t have any guidelines to maneuver around.  For those people, I say that according to the Maa Aankh, when we physically die our soul will stand before Osar in accompany with our ancestors, where we will give account for everything that we did while among the living.  If our soul is boggled down by confusion and guilt, then we will become a confused, misguided and tormented ghost or aapepu. This means that if you can’t imagine standing before you beloved ancestors and proudly telling them everything that you did in secret with no shame. Then, you might want to give that thing, substance, behavior, etc. up.

And, this is the difference between a shaman and a preacher.

Hope that helps.





Spiritual Revolution: How to Fight Jesus

9 01 2014
Hetepu (Peace) Family, 
How was your New Year? Hope all is well with you and wishing you many blessings on the success of your resolutions.
Ok, here recently I was talking to a good friend of mine and we were talking about this whole thing with Christianity and the negative effects it is having on many people in regards to self-hatred. This subject we both agreed was not new. As I wrote in Maa Aankh, I remember my grandfather and uncles saying the same thing, how they were not going to get into “the white man’s religion” when I was younger, and before long they finally conceded and joined the church.
Cross-at-Sunset_web
Yeah, both of my grandfathers and many of my uncles joined the church after fighting against it. And, I am pretty sure many of your family members did as well. So, let’s look at it what the Church has to offer and why even the staunchest amongst us finally end up joining. Then, we will look at why it is so hard to break from it.
What the Church offers?
For starters, the Church has been (and will be for at least a few generations) the glue that binds our community together. It was the institution that our ancestors fled to for emotional, psychological and economical support. Many of our families (mine included) live by the 3 rule model: God first, family second and everything else is third. These three rules have kept many families together especially during the hard times.  Family members found not abiding by these three rules in this exact order have been met with a number of accidents and tragedies, which has convinced them (you got it), that they need to get back into the Church.
Now, besides the basic human needs such as fellowship, camaraderie and emotional support, some churches within our community also offer a number of services i.e. credit unions, small businesses, senior citizens complexes and services, drug rehab support, marriage counseling, family planning and some even offer hospice care and are partners with others to support hospitals. It doesn’t stop there. A number of churches have daycares and private schools or sponsor charter schools, not to mention their outreach programs in other countries, particularly in Africa.
456px-Negro_Baptist_Church_Silver_Hill_Plantation
So part of the reason you can’t get rid of the church is because every major movement that has swept through our community has come and gone, but the Church is the one institution that has continued to stand.
On to the psychological reasons you can seem to shake it.
giftsusa.biz - 284 × 450 - Search by image
It is a proven fact that whatever religion you are born into will always have its hooks on you subconsciously in the end. Just to give you an example, I knew this guy who went to church when he was a little kid but, his mother became conscious and they stopped going. This was way before he was a teenager. His mother had joined an ATR, so he had been in this ATR for at least 15 years.  When he was 19 years old, he had an accident and was in a fire. In excruciating pain he called upon anyone and everyone that would help him, even Jesus. The reason is because Christianity was his birth religion.  There are many people that have converted to other religions from Christianity that still have this in their blood and can’t shake it.
So, why is the Church in our community so strong?

Portuguese ship

There are a few reasons, which I have discovered based upon my own research. Besides the ones mentioned above:
1.       Again as I wrote in the Maa Aankh series. Contrary to popular belief, the Black Church did not begin during slavery. Many of the descendants from the Kongo-Angolan region willingly converted to Christianity prior to being enslaved and brought this religious syncretism to the Americas.
2.       Many of our ancestors contributed to the development of the Church mentally, physically, spiritually and even economically.  A number of our elders when they passed donate their monies to the Church. 

Kongo Cross used for Ventilation during Underground Railroad

3.       Many of our ancestors were able to practice their tradition under the radar because of the Church as well. More about this later, because it is relevant on how to break from it.
What this means from a psycho – spiritual perspective is that not only are you hooked subconsciously to follow your birth religion, but from a cultural perspective, you are hooked because it ties you to your history. It can’t be divorced.  Every time someone tries to divorce it, they are brought back into the fold because of circumstances outside of their control.  Do you see the issue? 
Think of this way. Imagine a gigantic bank that provides mental, emotional, cultural and economic funds sitting smack dab in our community; and the only way to make a withdraw is to be approved by an officer within that attends one of the local churches.
Ok? As you can see, breaking from the Church is a lot more complex then it seems.  Most people aren’t going to find mental, emotional, cultural and economic support from any other institution in our community besides the Church. Note, I didn’t say none exist. I said most people are going to find it.
What’s wrong with the Church Anyway?
Alright, some of you may be asking, “What’s wrong with the Church anyway?”
faces_black_jesus-thumb-400x318-18981
Well, everyone has their own problem.  For some people, they find opposition with the Church because they portray Jesus as being a Caucasian. This is not my issue, because the church I attended when I was a child didn’t have any images of Jesus.  They taught that Jesus could be any color (yeah pre-multiculturalism). In fact, the only time I saw an image portraying Jesus as a white man was in my parent’s home. It did sort of play tricks on my developing mind, but it was countered by a picture one of my uncles gave my grandmother during the 70s Cultural Movement, that portrayed Jesus as a black man with a fro.  So, that wasn’t my hang up.
dogma
My beef with the Church is with the dogma.  I understand that the purpose of dogma is to prevent people from treating religion like Burger King. You know, you can have it made your way, so that you don’t have to do better. The problem with the dogma is that it creates division amongst people, as well as promotes docility and blind faith due to lack of proper spiritual training, resulting in one’s demise.
paullongsramblings.blogspot.com
I remember the last time I went back home to Detroit. I went to visit my god-sister. Within a two-mile radius, I counted 20 churches. That’s right 20 churches and the area around her was so dilapidated it was ridiculous. You would think with all of those churches things would be different. The same goes for a number of major cities where there’s a lot of churches. There are at least two churches on one city block, yet teen pregnancy, crime, etc. are steadily on the rise.  I mean everyone was called to the pulpit? Come on? So one of the reasons I have an issue with the Church is because some people want to be preachers because they want to make money, plain and simple.
YouthprayingIsGodListening
The other reason is because if you talk to a preacher about the current social issues, most will tell you that it is a sign of the times.  This was the same response that preachers gave when the crack cocaine epidemic hit back in the 1980’s.  I mean kids are just dying in the streets and their response is “It’s a sign that the end is near” or they tell you, “Just pray.” Whenever I hear a preacher say this, to me it is like saying, “You’re screwed. Deal with it” as if God is playing dice with your life to see if you live or not.
hurstrobert.wordpress.com
In all fairness, we have to remember that the people running the Church are human beings. I hate to use that excuse but the fact is that these people aren’t perfect, so there are a lot of gross errors on their part. My time however is too precious for me to be waiting to see when someone comes into knowing. That’s why I wanted to know how to break from this tradition without causing major rifts to your psyche.
So the question is how do you break?
Well, as I mentioned. You really can’t. You are who you are in part because of the Church. It is part of your makeup. Even the part that doesn’t like certain aspects of the Church, so you need to either deal with it or it will deal with you.  As I said in the beginning, your birth religion will always have its hooks on you. Fight it if you want, but your subconscious is too strong and in the end it will win.  It is a simple truth, that if you focus on what you don’t want, it only magnifies it.  Trust me I know.
What you can do.
nat-turner-6
What my friend and I were discussing that a lot of people forget is that most of the revolts were biblically inspired. Go back and read the history of Gabriel Prosser, Denmark Vessey, Nat Turner, etc. In fact you will find that everywhere Africans were taken and the slave masters were Protestants, the revolts were biblically inspired. People can say whatever they want about Martin L. King but the Civil Rights Movement was a success because it was biblically inspired. It (the Civil Rights) just wasn’t properly planned to deal with the post-Civil Rights era.  Most of the revolts weren’t successful because of self-hatred issues, which we will deal with shortly.
The question that comes to mind is how were our ancestors able to use the bible (the same bible that other people used) as a weapon against racism, injustice and the fight for freedom, whereas we can’t today?
It should be noted that the current issues that are facing our community existed back in the day. The difference is that people knew how to deal with them, whereas today people aren’t equipped to do so. In fact, we can trace a lot of our problems back to the post-Civil Rights era and the Second Women’s Liberation movement. There’s your hint for those who really want to know where our contemporary problems began.

Martin L. King Jr. Arrested

As to how did our ancestors use the same bible that other people used as a tool for their liberation?  It was by tapping into their ancestry and conjuring it. You see, our ancestors developed a double consciousness ever since they learned the hypocrisy of white America. Many of them accepted Christianity during the First and Second Awakening because they thought it was going to free them from slavery. When they learned that Christianity wasn’t going to free them, they continued to practice their traditions on the side.  This combined with segregation and poor healthcare made them rely upon their tradition more than anything else.
To_Sleep_with_Anger_Film
Like everything else that went downhill as soon as our people received civil liberties, our people abandoned the traditions or our bread and butter because they didn’t want to have anything to do with slavery.   If it had not been for Alex Haley’s Roots, many probably would have forgotten that they were the descendants of slaves because many African Americans wanted to forget that this occurred. So everything that was associated with it was abandoned as well. As a result, a sort of voluntary soul loss occurred and those who practiced our tradition were viewed as being uneducated, backwards and simply not hip to the changing times watch To Sleep with Anger starring Danny Glover. Instead of following our own traditions, people during the Cultural Movement encouraged and embraced traditional African religion based upon the belief that they were more “authentic”, not understanding that their own tradition had properly prepared them to deal with the social ills they were currently facing in America.
To_Sleep_with_Anger_FilmPoster
The issue you see is that back in the day, our folks didn’t buy into the American Dream, whereas today many do.  Back in the day, most black people were very suspicious of white Americans and knew that the American Dream meant compromising your ethics, morals and principles, through self-hate in order to prosper.  Whereas today, it seems that many simply don’t care.
This brings us to today. Most of the young adults from the Cultural Movement have gone in three directions spiritually: back to the Church, an ATR, Islam or nothing at all.  Self-hatred is on the rise, which many agree is the major cause of most of the social ills affecting our community.  This means mental slavery is in full effect.
So, how do we use the bible as a tool for our liberation the way our ancestors did?
We have to move beyond stating historical facts and began using them or conjuring them like our ancestors did, because history doesn’t save souls. History just provides a temporary cultural pride. To save souls, all I can tell you is what I have done and what has worked for me. Feel free to share your own, but what I have found to be successful is complete religious syncretism.
What do you mean Rau Khu?
mosesrodsnake rodasclepius
I mean, knowing that most of the biblical concepts were adapted, adopted and borrowed from the Kamitic spiritual traditions is good. Yes, the concept of forgiveness is based upon the Maa principles and epitomized in Maat.  This is all great and it gives me a nice fuzzy feeling inside but, that is all that it does.  However, syncretizing Djahuti (Tahuti, Tehuti, Thoth in Greek) with Moses based upon the idea that both dealt with snakes (Djahuti’s or Hermes caduceus and Moses staff), both dealt with interpreting the law, both helped solved their peoples’ problems (Djahuti repaired Hru’s eye, Oset’s crown and mummified Osar, Moses provided for his peoples’ needs), both were wise and knowledgeable of esoteric teachings, and there are other similarities; provides a bridge in my mind for me to go to Djahuti to help me to solve any problem.
Thoth offers Seti I an Ankh Sign
Understanding that early Christian writers in their haste set up the God in the Old Testament and Jesus to be identified with our Higher Self provides a bridge for me to identify my Higher Self with Osar. When it comes to Christian rituals like Communion, which are a direct rip off from Kamit, they can easily be recovered by seeing the unleavened bread as the 14 pieces of Osar and the wine as his blood. 
images
Therefore, Communion for Osar (Asar, Ausar, Osiris in Greek) is done so that one does not sin against his or her Osar (Higher Self). I am not saying you have to do it, I am just offering a suggestion.
The whole point of this post is to get you to see that through religious syncretism, we can recover a lot and recreate our own way without damaging our psyche.
Hope this helps.
If you have more suggestions please share. :)




Kamta: Kamitic Shamanism

11 03 2011

Kamit (Kemet, Ancient Egypt) has been a source of inspiration for people all over the world, but to many people of African descent, who lost their cultural heritage due to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Kamit serves as a beacon of hope and a doorway, where all that has been lost through slavery can be found. The reason is because Kamit is the greatest, most memorable and the longest standing African civilization that was built. Thanks to the numerous contributions made by black and white scholars like Sir E.A. Wallis Budge, who went against his colleagues by stating in his book Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection (1911),

“There is no doubt that the beliefs examined herein are of indigenous origin, Nilotic or Sundani in the broadest signification of the word, and I have endeavoured to explain those which cannot be elucidated in any other way, by the evidence which is afforded by the Religions of the modern peoples who live on the great rivers of East, West, and Central Africa . . . Now, if we examine the Religions of modern African peoples, we find that the beliefs underlying them are almost identical with those Ancient Egyptian ones described above. As they are not derived from the Egyptians, it follows that they are the natural product of the religious mind of the natives of certain parts of Africa, which is the same in all periods.”

Although it remains debated because no solid anthropological proof of has been found. Kamit is believed to be the ancestral homeland that many existing Sub-Saharan African cultures migrated from, to their present locations in Africa. This is based upon cultural correspondences that have been found between the Kamitic and other African cultures such as belief in One Supreme God, greater importance upon the Moon than Sun, transmigration of the soul, the importance of dreams, the significance of the color white and its association with the purity, the honorable ancestors and legendary deceased king Osar (Asar, Ausar, Osiris) known as Khenti-Amenti. What this means to many African descendants, is that those Africans that were enslaved and shipped to the Americas carried within them a cultural memory that unites them back to Kamit.

It is this cultural memory that survived mainly through the Kongo-Angolan lineage in North America, that was responsible for the development of the African American church. To this day, these post-Kamitic Kongo-Angolan cultural influences can still be seen amongst African Americans who wear white roses in honor of their ancestors. Who believe in the importance in dreams, recognize concepts like spiritual rebirth (especially through baptism), believe that when they die they will see their ancestors in the heavens, and although not a Christian concept, also believe that children are “old souls” or reincarnated ancestors.

It is these surviving cultural beliefs and practices, which I have syncretized with the Kamitic theology, African American folk beliefs and Afro-Caribbean Spiritism, that I call Kamta, which resides deep in our spirit.

It is through Kamta I discovered that we all have aakhu (ancestral spirits/spirit guides) that walk with us and never went away just because the dominant society suppressed the belief in them. Our aakhu encourage and inspire every aspect of our life, from the prosperity of our family, success in school, peace within our communities to our personal health and wellbeing.

We also have our share our aapepu (mischevious, malevolent, misguided spirits/ghosts) that create mischief in our life as well.  The aapepu, which means “snakes” or “worms” in the Kamitic language are like snakes that lay in our path. They cause us to become alarm when we see them because their negative influences encourages accidents, illness and chaos. This is why I see Set (the envious brother of Osar) as the Lord of the aapepu.

Fortunately, we also have netcharu (benevolent forces, angelic spirits or guardian spirits)  that walk with us and help us in our development. For instance, we all have an Npu (Enpu, Sobek, Sebek, Anubis) that acts as our personal guardian and guide. We all have an Osar, Oset and so on that is totally unique to us.

This cultural religious syncretism was made possible, because although the early African Americans brought to North America were not able to preserve all of our cultural traditions. They did manage to preserve enough precepts to provide their descendants with a road map on how to get back home culturally. Thanks to our ancestors we don’t have to adopt, borrow and imitate another’s culture. All we have to do is re-learn about our own.





How To Make the Transition to Kamitic/Kemetic Spirituality?

10 04 2010

Peace Family. Sorry I have been gone for a minute but we’re back.

In recent years there has been a lot of information that has surfaced on the net about Kamitic/Kemetic spirituality, Jesus and the Council of Nicea. So much so, truth seekers are at odds with each other and/or confused as to where they want to go. Zealous truth seekers are so excited about what they have learned, that they are ready to intellectual “blaze” anyone even their own grandma, which is understandable but it is wrong because you’re doing yourself and others who could benefit from your growth spiritually a disservice.  So, to prevent this Kamitic/Kemetic spirituality thing from being turned into a new fundamentalist movement, I was inspired using my experience to set give some pointers on how to make the transition, before going out and as Bob Marley says, “Catch a fire” on everyone and everything.

1.    It must be understood that the reason why you know what you know is because at this point in your growth (evolution) , the religion in question has not or is not serving you like it should be. There’s a snag that has caused a major rift or tear in your belief system, your paradigm and this is why you are here reading this today. This is the reason why you have learned what you have learned and are questioning everything in regards to the religion you were reared in.

2.    It must be understood that everyone has not experienced the same thing you have experienced. I tried to get saved in order to escape the violence in Detroit due to the crack epidemic and the Holy Ghost as it was taught in my church didn’t work for me. That’s not to say that it or Christianity didn’t work at all for anybody. It just didn’t serve me or help me at that particular time.  For someone else, it may be helping them and improving their life, so there is no need to try and convince them of anything otherwise.  It would be a serious violation and taboo for me to try and get my family to see things from my perspective.  If they ask I can try to explain in the simplest way possible but, othr than that nothing else is given because they didn’t and haven’t walked in my shoes, and therefore don’t understand the path.   Why is this so important? It is important because if you haven’t learned already you soon will years later, that it is a serious waste of breath, time and energy to try to convince others about the hidden truths of Christianity. You can argue until the cows come home scriptures and theories but you can’t argue experience because no one can take that away from you.  So, don’t’ throw you ).Jpearls to the swine (sorry for the swine reference

3.     With that understood, the question is now where do we go from here? To keep you from wandering all over the place from faith to faith, religion to religion. You have to understand what it is that you are looking for or what is it that you want, which is why the first two pointers are very important. The reason you’re in search or questioning things is because something was broke and you’re trying to fix it.  The spiritual pipeline had a serious leak because it was not reflecting your divinity. This is the true purpose of religion as true practitioners will tell you, that the purpose of religion is to tie you back to the Creator, but what does that really mean? It means that if you are made in the image of God, then you have the divine potential to accomplish anything in your life and solve any problem that you have as well. You just have to discover how to do it, so your religious foundation should begin with this first and foremost.  If the spirituality you deal with doesn’t begin or support this, most likely it is man-driven (political, financial, etc.) …can we say “Jim Jones”.

It is very important that these three pointers be understood that spiritual development is a form of healing.  A lot of people I have encountered didn’t understand this and this is why they (myself included at the time) was so confused about the whole spirituality thing. I know when I first embarked upon this path I was thoroughly confused. In fact, I was upset about Christianity for a long time, until I learned that it wasn’t the early Christians (Coptics, Gnostics, etc.) who messed things up.  It was men (Council of Nicea, Southern racists, and other politically motivated individuals, etc.) that screwed it up for so many.  And, if we don’t understand this we will throw the baby out with the bathwater and end up perpetuating the very behavior we despise or simply adopting someone else’s cultural perspective and neglecting our own.

This is what has worked for me. Have any comments or suggestions? Please share :)

For a complete discourse and in-depth analysis see:
MAA AANKH: Finding God the Afro-American Way, by Honoring the Ancestors and Guardian Spirits.





Why other people’s faiths don’t work for us?

5 04 2010

It is my belief that because we have been so accustomed to believing that we were left in North America with no culture and no roots. Many of us when we go out looking to fulfill our spiritual quest, we replace the cultural religious perspective of our enslavers with some other foreign cultural perspective.  We replace the Eurocentric version of Christianity with the Arab-centric version of Islam, the Asian-centric version of Taoism or Buddhism, or the Indian-centric version of Hinduism, and so on. Then no matter how much time, energy and effort we put into these various faiths, it always seems like something is missing. It never dawns on us that maybe the reason why we feel so out of place is because our ancestors don’t approve of what we are doing.

It needs to be understood that one of the main objectives of religion is to affirm in its followers their ability to accomplish anything because they are made in the image of the Divine, but when you are in another’s religion, which does not reflect your divinity. That religion simply establishes and perpetuates your cultural and racial inferiority to others.

Our ancestors are waiting with open arms for us to return home. All we have to do is answer their call. (I felt that this video was appropriate especially since it features one of my favorite groups Olodum.) Enjoy.





Is Your Victory in Your Peace?

31 03 2010

Have you ever heard the saying that your victory is in your peace? When I was growing up the older people in the church use to sing this song called Victory Shall be Mine, which went as follows:

Victory, victory shall be mine.
Victory, victory shall be mine.
If I hold my peace, let the Lord fight my battles.
Victory, victory shall be mine.

For the longest time I didn’t understand what they meant by this because to hold your tongue, not fight for yourself, etc. was seen as a sign of weakness, softness or simply just being a punk; and, of course, if you’re a punk you get beat down.  I also thought this was about not being able to defend yourself.

It wasn’t until I learned about the maa aankh and compared it with the story or Legend of Osar (Ausar, Asar or Osiris).  According to legend, king Osar was responsible for bringing peace, prosperity and order to the Kamitic/Kemetic people. He was loved by everyone until his envious brother Set (Set-an or Satan) murdered him and usurped the throne. Thanks to Osar’s devoted wife, an heir to the throne was conceived named Hru (Heru, Hrw or Horus) who challenged Set when he came of age. Now for a period of time, when the two engaged in battle, it usually ended in stalemate because Set was more conniving; after all he is the author of chaos, confusion and master of war. It wasn’t until Hru who had a gouged out eye repaired so that he could see clearly, and allow the deceased Osar to intercede on his behalf, that Hru was able to finally defeat Set and win the war.  After doing so, he was awarded the double crown called the Pschent.

Set’s color is the color red, which according to ancient African symbolism is the color of life, mediation, fire, aggression and masculinity, which is why the Kamitic/Kemetic people called the northern region of their country, Lower Kamit/Kemet, TASETT (The Red Lands), symbolized by the red crown they called the Deshret. Basically, it is what our elders use to call a “hot head”.

The southern region of the country further into the interior of Africa, the Kamitic or Kemetic people called it Upper Kamit/Kemet or KAMTA (The Black Lands) but they symbolized the dark fertile grounds of their country with a white crown they called the Hedjet. The color white in the ancient African mystery systems symbolizes purity, cleanliness (hence ethics and morality, thus a clean heart), knowledge, wisdom, stability, the honorable dead or the ancestors.

This means that Hru was given the double crown because he was able to keep a cool head and not allow his passion for victory to defeat him. In the Japanese martial arts systems the samurai Code of Bushido teaches and I paraphrase that a “the best warrior is the calm warrior”. In the Afro-Brazillian martial arts Capoeira mestres (masters) are forever telling young adepts not to just kick all widly but to exercise control. Even in the Hip Hop world, jokers are told that they need to “CHILL”.

I understand now that your victory is in your peace is all about exercising self-control, self-discipline and inner strength.  It is not about not defending your self but about not worrying and having any fear. This is why Set is considered evil in the Kamitic/Kemetic tradition, it is because he doesn’t exercise any self-control and simply allows his emotions (arrogance, lust, greed, jealousy, his hater mentality)  to control him.  He had a hot head and/or a hard head, which reminds me that my grandfather use to say a hard head makes a what??? Yeah, soft behind.  He also use to say, “Don’t let your mouth write a check that your butt can’t cash”, which all deals with excessive emotions or no control.

When we exercise a little control, the blessings of God (peace, wisdom, stability, etc.) manifests themselves in our life as hunches, intuitive thoughts, ideas, dreams, etc. delivered to us through our ancestors.  It is through the blessings of God that we solve our problems.

What do you think?

For a complete discourse and in-depth analysis see:
MAA AANKH: Finding God the Afro-American Way, by Honoring the Ancestors and Guardian Spirits.





What is Kamitic/Kemetic Shamanism?

24 03 2010

A couple of people I have spoken with online have looked at my book, website and asked what is Kamitic/Kemetic Shamanism and how did I come up with it? I couldn’t clearly actually sum it up in a few words or sentences because it was something that I just sat down one day and decided to make. It was something that was given to me and at the same time, something that I was initiated into. Let me explain.

Like so many, I had read and studied all sorts of books regarding the Kamitic/Kemetic way of life. The only difference from most is that I am the son of a preacher who was prophesied upon by numerous people that I too was going to be a preacher.  This of course is something I staunchly and stubbornly rejected, as if I was the biblical Jonah before being swallowed up by the whale.  I refused to follow in my father’s footsteps for a number of reasons; one of the main ones was because I was disgusted with Christianity and God in particular. After undergoing a few episodes of depression because I felt that God didn’t give a hoot about me, a voice spoke and inspired me to study the Ancient Egyptians in order to learn how they used the power of God to build their society. And, every since then, I read and studied about the Kamitic/Kemetic tradition with no true purpose or reason in sight.

It was after years of reading, studying and overcoming a few experiences that I met a priestess of Oshun who did a reading for me.  It was through the reading that this priestess told me that I was supposed to be a shaman.  Now, I didn’t know what a shaman was supposed to be. My idea of a shaman was a Native American medicine man or woman brewing some bubbly, smelly concoction with peyote mushrooms inside in order to induce a state of trance, like the one Wade Davis claimed to have experienced in the movie Serpent and the Rainbow when he visited the indigenous people of South America.

Naturally I didn’t want to believe what the reading had told me either but it wasn’t until the priestess convinced me to stop running from my calling and accept it; that I decided to read about shamanism.  Upon doing so, I learned that the basic understanding of shamanism is that it is a generic term that has been used throughout the world by anthropologists to describe practitioners that communicate with the spirit world in order to resolve problems that exist in the physical realm.  Michael Harner author of The Way of the Shaman gives a better understanding of what a shaman is and defines a shaman as “a man or woman who enters an altered state of consciousness, at will, to contact and utilize an ordinarily hidden reality in order to acquire knowledge, power, and to help other persons.”

When I first read this definition it took me a little while for me to truly understand what it meant. Then when I became deathly ill and had my near death experience (twice because I didn’t listen the first time) I began to get a better understanding what shamanism was all about and why the practice was needed.

As I submitted to my calling and allowed the Spirit to lead me, I was reminded of how I watched a number of preachers prepare to give their sermon.  It was randomly picked as some may think.  Many of them especially from the Pentecostal background that I had observed said a prayer to God and allowed the Spirit to guide their hands and eyes to turn to a page in the bible that the people needed to hear from. This practice is what is known as bibliomancy a form of divination.

As I submitted to my calling another thing that I was shown was that I was quite fond of certain ministers in my childhood church especially the ones that had the ability to lay hands upon individuals.

Another important aspect I saw but didn’t understand at that time was that my experience in the church gave me a unique understanding about Christianity, but my research and study gave me new type of theology. This allowed me to receive messages in my dreams, see omens and be able to explain them.

It was this experience and understanding that convinced me that the reason it was prophesized that I was supposed to be a preacher.  Is because the African American preacher is the contemporary shaman of the African American community. The reason I was inspired and instructed to read and study the Kamitic/Kemetic tradition was because the theology of our ancestral ways had been lost or temporarily misplaced due to slavery. As a result, the spirituality of many of our people lies in jeopardy, evidence of the social issues plaguing our families, community and society, as various churches compete to become the next super church for souls. It was through the intervention of my ancestors and guardian spirits that I was able to learn and establish a relationship with God that could not have been established through books.  The only purpose the books served in this whole experience was that they helped me to understand the ancient ancestral philosophy behind the experience.

It is for this reason out of respect for the traditions of old that a new general term had to be created to give some idea as to what I had experienced. That term is what I refer to as Kamitic/Kemetic shamanism.

Kamitic/Kemetic shamanism is not a reconstruction or resurrection of the old Kamitic/Kemetic kingdom and the cultural practices of ancient Egypt. It is not dedicated to reviving the old Kamitic/Kemetic religion or religious ways, nor is it a New Age appropriation with pagan and European deities. Kamitic/Kemetic shamanism simply put is an ancestral practice based upon the Afro-American cultural experience that focuses upon attaining and maintaining balance according to the Kamitic/Kemetic philosophy. It is the spiritual practice that helped me to greatly improve my life because our ancestors preserved this knowledge that they acquired as part of our legacy.








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 695 other followers