Three Powerful Ways to Use the Kemetic Kongo Cross for Spiritual Healing

10 11 2018

Hetepu (Peace & Blessings) Family.

When the Africans were kidnapped and brought to the Americas, contrary to popular belief, the Africans taken to North America did not lose their culture. What the Africans taken to North America loss was the philosophy and theology behind their cultural practices, which regressed into a superstition.Never Forget

“Superstition” Luisah Teish author of Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals defines as “…a belief or practice whose origin and context has been lost to us and/or is in conflict with the beliefs of the dominating culture”.

So when I learned that the first Africans brought to the Americas and North America were from the Kongo-Angolan region, and that remnants of their culture survived through slavery such as: 1) the cultural practice of placing images of deceased loved ones in the western direction of the home; 2) the belief that ancestors visit us in our dreams and reincarnate as “old souls” through our children; and. 3) Most African Americans have a common understanding of the crossroad concept, and much more.  I was very excited to learn about the Kongo religion in hopes of learning about my loss heritage.

Kongo Cross used for Ventilation during Underground Railroad at First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia.

But, because the Kongo-Angolan people were the first of the Africans to be brought to the Americas, their region was also the most devastated through slavery, imperialism and later ravaged by various civil wars. Consequently, this meant that most of the Old Kongo cultural beliefs were either lost and/or obsolete.

Thankfully, understanding that the Kongo-Angolan people were Bantu speaking people and that the Bantu or Ba-Ntu migrated from Kemet, helped me to understand my ancestral heritage from a more profound perspective. Through one-ton-one correspondence between the Kemetic and Kongo traditions I discovered a cosmogram, which became known as the Maa Aankh.

Maa Aankh with Utchat

The Maa Aankh cosmogram is based upon the remnants of the Bantu-Kongo spirituality that survived in North America that has been syncretized with Kemetic (Ancient Egyptian) philosophy.  Like most cosmograms or medicine wheels, the Maa Aankh can be interpreted in numerous ways. The general understanding is that our universe is composed of two worlds or two lands and they are: above the imperfect world of the living called TASETT (the Red Lands or the Land of Set/Set-an and Ku Nseke in KiKongo), and below. The perfect world of dead called KAMTA (the Black Lands also known as the Land or Kingdom of Osar/Osiris, hence the Underworld and Ku Mpemba/the Land of White in KiKongo). These two lands are divided by a thin veil called Nyun, but are bridged together through Maa.

Surrounding these two lands are four discs symbolizing the four attributes of Ra (the Life Force) and the four moments of the Sun: Khepe Ra (Sunrise or Kala in KiKongo), Ra (Midday or Tukula in KiKongo), Ra Atum (Sunset or Luvemba in KiKongo) and Amun Ra (Midnight or Musoni in KiKongo).

The Four Ras also signify:

  • The Evolution of the Soul: Khepera (Sunrise/Birth), Ra (Midday/Life), Ra Atum (Sunset/Death) and Amun Ra (Midnight/Rebirth)
  • The Four Directions: Khepera (East), Ra (North), Ra Atum (West) and Amun Ra (South)
  • The Four Seasons: Khepera (Spring), Ra (Summer), Ra Atum (Fall) and Amun Ra (Winter)
  • The Four Elements: Khepera (Air), Ra (Fire), Ra Atum (Earth), and Amun Ra (Water)
  • The Four Phases of Life: Khepera (intellectual), Ra (physical), Ra Atum (emotional) and Amun Ra (spiritual)
  • The Four Stages of Life: Khepera (infancy), Ra (adolescences), Ra Atum (elder-hood) and Amun Ra (ancestors)
  • The Four Temperaments/Humors: Khepera (Black Bile), Ra (Blood), Ra Atum (Yellow Bile) and Amun Ra (Phlegm)
  • The Four Sons of Hru (Heru or Horus): Khepera (Tuamatef protects the stomach and guide the dead), Ra (Hapi protects the lungs and navigated the dead), Ra Atum (Qebehsenuf protects the intestines and refreshed the dead) and Amun Ra (Amset protects the liver and was used to revive the corpse of the dead.)

And there are other correlations that can be made as well such as the stages of consciousness,  family dynamics, etc. but to mention them all would take us beyond the scope of this post.

The center of the Maa Aankh represents a culmination of one’s spiritual and physical gifts, one’s physical and spiritual balance, and/or one’s ability to ascend from the Four Ra to an enlightened position in the center.

Therefore, there are numerous ways you can use the Maa Aankh all depending on what feels right to you.  However, below are three powerful ways that I have benefited from the Maa Aankh.

The Maa Aankh as a Guide for Spiritual Progress

The Right Eye of Ra (Also known as the Solar Eye corresponds to literal and physical sight.)

The Right Eye of Ra (Also known as the Solar Eye corresponds to literal and physical sight.)

“Live in the moment” and “Understand your past, so you can determine your future” are all relevant sayings when it comes to contemplating on the moments of the Maa Aankh.  To perform this simple exercise simply think about which moment resonates with you the most and your spiritual spiritual progress. For instance, whenever I begin to see a lot of problems (financial, health, family, career, etc.) occurring in my life. Depending on the severity, I can look on the Maa Aankh and see that I am entering the Ra Moment.  Since the Ra Moment corresponds to the youthfulness or adolescences, which is fully of rashness and folly.  The Ra Moment signifies where most of our problems occur due to social conditionings, peer pressure and the lack of spiritual insight or wisdom, hence the Right Eye of Ra.  Therefore, during this time I am reminded that I need to seek wisdom and spiritual insight or an oracle as signified by the polar opposite to get a full or holistic picture.  (The polar opposite of the Ra Moment is the Amun Ra Moment).

 

The Maa Aankh as a Crossroad

The Maa Aankh naturally symbolizes two intersecting points thus making a crossroad where two worlds meet.  From this perspective, the Maa Aankh can be found anywhere because it represents where the known (TASETT) meets the unknown (KAMTA).  For instance, the Maa Aankh can be found where a town meets the forest/woods, the city meets the cemetery or the city meets a park, a beach shore meets the ocean, your home meets the outside of your home, and even psychologically where your subconscious meets your Superconscious.  Therefore, the threshold between these two “lands” is the powerful center, which can be used to say your prayers, to meditate, place offerings such as candles and/or express your gratitude.  Simply draw or trace it on the ground and use it as you feel.

The Maa Aankh as a Spiritual Guide

However, I personally prefer to use the Maa Aankh as a spiritual guide alongside the Story of Osar based upon African tribal history, metaphysics and spiritualism.

To understand this perspective we need to go back to a time before Kemet was a united kingdom and consisted of warring tribes. From this perspective, the Story of Osar is not a mythological legend consisting of numerous gods and goddesses, but a metaphorical story between two opposing tribal leaders.

According to legend, before Kemet was united into one kingdom, it was divided into two regions and governed by two brothers:  Upper Kemet in the southern region was symbolized by the white Hedjet crown and governed by the eldest brother Osar.  While Lower Kemet or the northernmost part of the region, which was symbolized by the red Deshret crown was ruled by the youngest brother Set.

Now, at the time when these two chieftain ruled, the people of Kemet were constantly at war with one another. Until one day Osar dreamt of ways of uniting the two lands into one country, which led him to developing spiritual teachings (or some say a religion).  After applying these teachings, Osar traveled the country teaching all of his countrymen how to live in peace with one another, and the science of agriculture, which he learned from his wife/sister Oset (Isis). Consequently, the teachings of Osar spread like wildfire and in a relatively short time, brothers ceased warring with one another.  Osar later became king and he was loved by everyone for unifying the two lands and bringing peace and prosperity to the region. All were grateful to Osar except for Set, who was so envious of Osar that he plotted and killed the first king of Kemet, then usurped the throne. 

Everyone feared Set’s tyrannical rule except for Oset (Aset) who fled and magically conceived Osar’s heir, Hru.  When Hru came of age, he challenged Set for the throne but was unable to defeat his father’s youngest brother. Then, in one critical battle, Set managed to gouge Hru’s eye, thereby forcing the young prince to barely escape with his life.  Hru fled to see his father’s old friend and vizier Djahuti, who repaired the young prince’s left eye perfectly.

The Left Eye of Ra (also called the Lunar Eye corresponds to intuition and spiritual sight, hence insight.)

The next time Hru engaged in battle with Set, he swiftly and quickly defeated him and forced his uncle to surrender.  Even after being defeated militarily Set, refused to yield and campaigned against Hru by claiming that he was not Osar’s legitimate heir.  As a result, the campaign was so successful that a tribunal was convened to decide who would rule the kingdom, but after hearing the both sides.  The tribunal still could not come to a decision for some favored Hru while others ruled in favor of Set. Finally, Djahuti made it possible for Osar to speak from beyond the grave.  After which Osar verified that Hru was his heir and encouraged the tribunal to rule truthfully because he established a kingdom in the Underworld where he was now the head judge.  Upon hearing Osar’s testimony the tribunal ruled in Hru’s favor and awarded him the white and red Pschent crown.

There are numerous ways that this story can be interpreted but my understanding of the Story based upon the Maa Aankh is that: 1) Hru defeated Set in battle because he had his spiritual eye repaired, and. 2) Hru reclaimed his inheritance because of his ancestor, Osar.

Therefore, the Maa Aankh can be used as a spiritual guide for working with one’s ancestors and spirits. It indicates that the relationship between the living and the dead should be more like a business partnership, where both the living and the spirits benefit. The Maa Aankh explains the difference between the living and the spirits of the dead by indicating that the living are limited because of the physical laws of time and space. Meaning although we can experience life (eating food, pleasures of friendship, sex, etc.), our physical bodies are a trap that prevent us growing spiritually, because we cannot see beyond the physical. Hence the reason we have so many problems in our life is because we lack insight and wisdom, and must rely solely upon our intellect and what we have previously learned.

On the flip side, since the spirits of the dead have the ability to see anything and everything because they are not limited by the physical laws of time and space due to not having a physical body.  However, the lack of a physical body prevents them from truly experiencing life and thus spiritually growing.

However, by forming an alliance or partnership between the living and the spirit of the dead, the living are able to use the insight and wisdom of the spirit of the dead to improve their life, while the spirit of the dead are able to use the physical body of the living to spiritually evolve.  In other words, neither the living or the spirit of the dead are more superior than the other. Both, the living and the spirit of the dead are on equal footing are suppose to profit the relationship, hence the relationship between Hru and Osar.

By using the Maa Aankh as a spiritual guide for working with spirits, we can see that many (if not most) of the spirits that give churchgoers the “gift of the Holy Ghost” via speaking-in-tongues, etc. are really trickster spirits taking advantage of peoples’ ignorance. Proof that these are trickster spirits can be seen in the fact that no true wisdom or spiritual power is being offered, which is the reason as soon as people leave Sunday worship they lose their Holy Ghost and return to their ill-behavior ways.  Another sign that trickster spirits are leeching off of uninformed churchgoers is that the physical church is steadily growing while communities they serve are steadily seeking in despair.

At the same time, benevolent spirits of the dead will only approach the living if they believe that they can profit from the relationship and offer spiritual insight in return. This is the reason everyone does not have a La Madama or Uncle/Nkisi (Bucket) spirit guide. By using the Maa Aankh as a spiritual guide, you are able to set the rule between you and your spirits that your relationship is basically a “quid pro quo” meaning “I give you something and expect to get something in return (because that’s Maa)”. Therefore, every time you pray, meditate or do a ritual, you should make an offering in return.

The Double Pschent Crown

The Double White & Red Pschent Crown

When you are working with a higher spirits you will sense flashes of insight as if suddenly the “light is coming on”, which symbolizes the white Hedjet crown of Osar.

It was through working with my ancestors in this manner that I learned that Osar corresponds to the Superconscious or Higher Self and Set to our subconscious or lower self.

So, these are some of the ways that I have truly benefitted from using the Maa Aankh. Hopefully, these methods can help you in your spiritual road as well.

Hetepu





Ancient BaNtu Connection: Kamitic/Kemetic Color Symbolism and African Cosmology II

11 05 2013

Hetepu Family.

Summer is almost here and I hope to be travelling to some historic places where our ancestors once stood. A few years back I visited Jamestown and Williamsburg, VA where the Williamsburg Museum actually acknowledge how the first Africans on North American shores were from the Kongo Angolan region. For those of you who don’t know and are new to my blog, the Kongo people prior to be taken to the Americas were not forced into Christianity. Many of them willingly converted to the new faith before the start of the Maafa (the Africa Slave  Trade/Holocaust).  At the Williamsburg Muesuem they actually have a Kongo rosary from the late 1600s or early 1700s. The interesting thing about this rosary was that it didn’t have Jesus on it but instead Queen Nzinga. (I wish I could have taken a picture…I really tried and even tried sketching it but lost the drawing). It was a clear fact, that the Kongo people actually Africanized Christianity prior to their arrival. So this year my family reunion is in Atlanta, GA and I hope to visit Savannah, GA to see the First African Baptist Church.

First African Baptist Church 1775

First African Baptist Church 1775

First African Baptist Church was built in 1775. It claims to have been the first church originally founded in 1773, but it is contested by First Baptist of Virginia. My interests in this church is that this is where the Kongo floor diagram was found.

Kongo Cross at First African Baptist in Savannah, GA

Kongo Cross First African Baptist in Savannah, GA

According to historians, the church was also on one of the stations on the Underground Railroad. Escapees were hidden under the church and the holes in the floor boards acted as vents. It appears that in typical African thinking to identify where the runaways were they marked the spot with an X.

Kongo Cross used for Ventilation during Underground Railroad

Kongo Cross used for Ventilation during Underground Railroad

But, I was wondering if there were more signs of the Kongo influence that have gone unnoticed.  Since the money to build the church was donated by slaves who were saving to purchase their freedom and everything was hand built by them also.

Court of the Kongo Kingdom and First African Baptist Sanctuary

Court of the Kongo Kingdom and First African Baptist Sanctuary

A look at Fist African Baptist sanctuary is very similar to the Kongo court.  Can you see the Kongo Upper Land and how it was converted using the archway?

First African Baptist Sanctuary

First African Baptist Sanctuary

The lights above give an allusion that something glorious is taken place, while something within is sacred.  This is where the idea appears to have originated from.

The queen is depicted in the position Funda Nkata, a very common pose among the noble class and religious authorities that indicates dignity or authority.

The queen is depicted in the position Funda Nkata, a very common pose among the noble class and religious authorities that indicates dignity or authority.

Notice how the enclosure begins or opens up at the bottom.

Kongo Yowa Cross

Kongo Yowa Cross

If you will recall, the Kongo Cross or Cosmogram begins from the Musoni moment as well.

Maa Aankh Cosmogram

Maa Aankh Cosmogram

Also, in the Kamitic / Kemetic traditions, Amun Ra is said to be the True Creator. Correction, not Creator but the Originator because the Kamitic thinkers liked to personify concepts in order to better understand them. Amun Ra as you can see is not a god nor is he The God.  The God in the Kamitic / Kemetic language was called Nebertcher or “Lord of Everything”.  Amun Ra we see simply means the Hidden Ra (Energy or Force).  Now, a closer look behind the pulpit of First African Baptist and there are stain glass windows of their pastors.

First African Baptist Sanctuary stain glass windows

First African Baptist Sanctuary stain glass windows

Notice how it forms a cross, but here’s where it stretches back to Kamit/Kemet (Ancient Egypt). Notice that there are nine marks or small discs encircling the image. Again, it should be noted that these were made around the late 1700s and early 1800s by ex-slaves and enslaved African Americans.

First African Baptist Sanctuary stain glass windows

First African Baptist Sanctuary stain glass windows

 This same number also appears in the patchwork ceiling, which resembles a quilt.

First African Baptist Sanctuary patchwork ceiling

First African Baptist Sanctuary patchwork ceiling

The number nine is a sacred number in Kamit/Kemet because it refers to the Kamitc Tree of Life also called the Paut Neteru, which was introduced by Ra Un Nefer Amen in his Metu Neter series. The number nine is also sacred in various African traditions as it refers to the gestation period and thus the completion of a cycle. When you look at the ceiling you see that each segment is composed of nine smaller segments. It is another way of drawing the Kongo Cross using diamonds and squares.  It basically is another illustration of an individual’s life term.

White Hedjet Crown

White Hedjet Crown

The fact that the ceiling is white gives another meaning, which reveals African cosmology at its best in North America. This is because remember, the color white in African thinking symbolizes the ancestral dead.  Remember, this is a symbolic concept that early Africans as far back as Kamit / Kemet created, which is why Osar’s (Asar, Ausar, Osiris in Greek) is known as the Lord of the Dead (Ancestors).  The name of Osar’s backbone or column is called djet, the symbol of strength. Even the root term of Osar’s crown ‘djet’ refers to inner strength.   Are you starting to see the picture?

Djett: Osar's Backbone

Djett: Osar’s Backbone

When we put together the color white with the concept of completed cycles on the ceiling. What we have here is the Kongo Cross turned upside down. The larger squares symbolize those who completed their cycle in the land of the living. That’s right. What we have above is an African view of Heaven. Where one would hope to die and see their deceased loved ones, but there’s a double meaning. This means the reason the pastors each have nine marks surrounding their image is because the Africans found another way of honoring those who lived a full term.

First African Baptist Stained Glass Window

First African Baptist Stained Glass Window

The other meaning or I should say the most important interpretation is that the ancestors above are looking over (protecting) their descendants, thus the church itself has just become a Kongo Cross or Maa Aankh, and in case you’re wondering.  Above the ceiling of course is where the Almighty God Nebertcher or Nzambi is imagined to be over it all, hence the Lord of Everything.

FAB Ceiling

Of course, all of this is just my theory but, when you look at the floor of the sanctuary, which is red or reddish brown.

FAB Sanctuary

FAB Sanctuary

What comes to my mind is the land of the living or TASETT on the Maa Aankh.

TASETT - The Red Lands. Literally also known as the desert region of Lower Kamit or Egypt. Metaphorically, it symbolizes our Lower Self and the Land of the Living (Physical Realm).

TASETT – The Red Lands. Literally also known as the desert region of Lower Kamit or Egypt. Metaphorically, it symbolizes our Lower Self and the Land of the Living (Physical Realm).

It should be clear that our ancestors thought about God, their ancestors, and the heavenly realm on a daily basis as indicated by this quilt, which also resembles the patchwork ceiling.

Woman holding African American Quilt from 1700s

Woman holding African American Quilt from 1700s

Now, another interesting fact that I have found about African First Baptist is that even their logo is a Kongo design.  Of course, it is not known if the artist was aware of this or not (most likely not).  Whatever the case, that is not the point.

FAB Logo

FAB Logo

 The point is that our ancestors really did leave instructions for us in stone.

Colonoware

Kongo Cross on Colonoware

We just need to take the time and investigate our culture, practices and traditions, instead of running behind everyone else’s.

Basic Kongo Cosmogram

Basic Kongo Cosmogram

No we do not need imitate, mimic, resurrect or reconstruct an exact replica of what our ancestors did because culture is not static, it is always evolving.

This is what the Kongo Yowa Cross (above) and Maa Aankh (below) indicate.

Maa Aankh

All we have to do, is search for God and we will find our ancestors there waiting to point us in our cultural direction.

Hope this helps.

Hetep.

Like this post? You may want to check out: Ancient Ancient BaNtu Connection:
Kamitic/Kemetic Color Symbolism and African Cosmology I,
So Early Christian Stole From Kamit/Kemet Now What? Part 1 or So Early Christian Stole From Kamit/Kemet Now What? Part 2.

To learn more visit the Land of Kam or 1 SoL Alliance.