This post is the first of a series on Traditional African Spirituality.
The topic of Traditional African Spirituality is varied and extensive. I am not going to get into every nook and crannie of the cosmology of it. This series is going to be more about creating a timeline of sorts. A timeline of spiritual practices by indigenous Kemites, alllllllllllllll the way thru to how traditional spirituality is practiced throughout the African diaspora.
There is a massive amount of information on the subject, scholarly and otherwise. I am not here to convert or convince anyone of anything. I am of African descent. Some of the practices that my great grand parents, grandparents, and parents engaged in were constant reminders of my African ancestry even though they were all very american. Throughout my years, I have refined, adapted, and evolved into and beyond things that were GIVEN to me as my religious and spiritual beliefs. Practicing some aspects of African Spirituality is as natural as breathing to me. Even so, I came to a point where I wanted to go deeper, understand more. I studied, and studied and followed bloodlines, followed spiritual lines, mapped the course of slave trades and found my indigenous roots.
I am many things. You are too. Why are you a witch? How did you know? When did you become brave enough to take the journey inside to be reborn into the ways of the wise? If you are wise, then you know that the journey truly IS the destination. There is such beauty in discovery.
This series is about sharing the beauty and variations of Traditional African Spirituality. Not sure how many posts will be in this series. I promise that each post will be a fulfilling snack and not a whole dinner plus dessert! Just enough to get a general understanding and move on to the next part.
If you have anything to add to the topic or the ideas presented throughout the series, feel free to add on in the comment section. I hope to inspire a dialogue from our community.
Here is some food for thought. The abrahamic religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have made tremendous strides in colonizing the minds and lifestyles of many countries and continents throughout the world. Unfortunately Africa is no exception. Presently approx 45% of Africans throughout the continent are Christians, and approx 41% are Muslim.
There is hope however. Dr. Jacob Olupona, professor of indigenous African religions at Harvard Divinity School and professor of African and African-American studies in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences said once, “…there are signs of the revival of African indigenous practices in many parts of Africa. Modernity has not put a total stop to its influence. Ritual sacrifices and witchcraft beliefs are still common. Moreover, the religions developed in the Americas impact Africa in that devotees of the African diaspora have significant influence on practices in Africa. Some African diasporans are returning to the continent to reconnect with their ancestral traditions, and they are encouraging and organizing the local African communities to reclaim this heritage.” That makes me happy and hopeful to know that.
We can all play a role in keeping indigenous spiritual traditions alive. The beauty is that you can be and practice whatever you choose to. Understanding and incorporating African spirituality into your current practices is perfectly acceptable.
More about that in the next post.
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Until next time. Blessed be. Ashe.