Series: Traditional Indigenous African Spirituality Part 1

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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.

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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.

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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.

Speaking of the next post, don’t miss it! If you are not subscribed already, be sure to do so. Why? Because you will be notified when a new post is up, this way you will be first on the scene. You know you can’t wait for the next post in this series! Mmmmhhhmm.

If you are not a wordpressor (I made that up), you can subscribe with your email address HERE, on the front page of the site. That’s it for now.

Until next time. Blessed be. Ashe.  

credits:omg voice;easytrackghana

Part 2

Spring Equinox 2017 Rituals

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To many people, myself included, the Spring Equinox is the mark of the new year. Spring is the time of the Maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess, which is to say, there is at this time an overwhelming amount of rebirth and fertility energy. It’s the time for newness, freshness, and  reawakening. To more fully understand Maiden energy, what it is, and how to utilize it, read THIS POST in the Triple Goddess series. The Equinox marks the period of equality between Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine energies. Also, complete balance between the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere of the globe. In all, it’s about Balance.

There are many ways to mark the new season. Here I have listed a few ritual ideas that you may want to perform. One of the first things that I did yesterday morning when I got up was plant my early Spring vegetable seeds as a ritual  to mark the return of the Spring Equinox. I had pre planned and got all the seeds and materials that I needed to start my seedlings indoors before I transplant them in approx 5 weeks to our raised garden box at our local community garden. It’s my way of honoring the Earth and all of nature. I have pictures below. I enjoy sinking my hands deep into the moist dirt. That’s when I know warmer days are ahead! Planting and growing herbs and vegetables remind us that all things are created and nurtured by the elements Earth (dirt), Air (wind), Fire (Sun, heat), Water.

I hope that these suggestions inspire you to honor the change of season in your own way. Be inspired to renew yourself and reroute if needed. Spring Equinox blessing to us all. Blessed be Ase.

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Plant seeds or bulbs

As a reminder of  “you can’t reap what you don’t sow.” Start seeds indoors in pots according to seed package. As you plant the seeds, think of the new beginnings that this season brings for the seeds and for you. If growing food and herbs is not your thing, consider re-potting a houseplant or two. The same energy and intentions can be used as if you were growing vegetables. Visualize yourself growing stronger and fuller as the plant will now that it has a larger space to unfurl its roots and leaves.

Sun salutations

Every morning is a good time to practice yoga sun salutations. As a way of honoring the Earth and the Sun on the Spring Equinox though, doing 103 Sun salutations is traditional. If 103 are too many for you, pick a number that resonates with you. The point is that you are doing enough that the repetition becomes meditative and a portal is opened within so that you can appreciate the process and honor the Sun.

Get outdoors

Go for a walk. Even if it’s brisk out. Go out and notice the buds on trees and the bushes sprouting. Notice, and be grateful. Try to feel the energy of the new season buzzing all around you as you take in deep cleansing breaths. Envision how great this Spring will be for you and your loved ones. See how the seeds of intention will grow an abundant harvest for you come summer. Step into the newness and become who you imagine.

Make your intentions shine

Take one white candle and one yellow candle. Take a piece of paper and a pencil. If you want, you can get a citrine stone and burn either rose, jasmine, or frankincense incense. Set your Spring intentions by writing them on the paper. What figurative seeds to you want to manifest? What new projects etc would you like to see come together?  Write them down. You many carve and dress your candles if you’d like. Light each candle and visualize the things on your paper coming to fruition. If you like, you can say this incantation:

The time of Spring is now at hand, Goddess of the fertile land

take these words and give them wings, as they descend from thoughts to things,

take these things and make them real Lady of the Silver Wheel.

 

Meditate on your intentions. See them coming to pass. Burn the paper with the flame of one of the candles. Be sure to have a heat proof receptacle for the burning paper. As the paper ashes, and the flames burn down, consider your intention seeds planting. Rejoice.

Make sweet love

This is the perfect time to get pregnant! I know how that sounds. The season for planting seeds is not just for the dirt of Earth. Women, as Earth, are more susceptible to receiving the seeds of life in the springtime. Even if you are not trying or wanting to get pregnant, now, is a great time to make sweet love with your partner to honor the equinox and connect with the rhythm of the season. Use sex energy to empower your magick and your life. More on that subject at another time. For now, enjoy springtime sex for the sake of enjoyment.

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I can’t believe that I forgot this one!

Clean House!

It’s time to clean out closets, wash floors, wash front porch etc. Using essential oils, Florida water, or stepping a combination of banishing/cleansing herbs in your floor wash water is a wonderful way to go. After you have done the mundane cleaning, smudge the place from top to bottom. Bring some flowers into the home as well. Cleanse the body as well. This is such a prime time to do some kind of cleanse for your body. There are many. Find the one that’s right for you, and do it! Rebirth and renew.

That is it for now. However you choose, just be sure to mark the change of season. Embrace the new beginnings. How do you usually welcome the balance that the equinox brings? Will you add any of these practices into your flow? I’d love to know.

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credits: onlineholistichealth; alliexpress; papparazziideas

Herbs For Healing Magick

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Herbalism + Magick

My love affair with herbs, and roots began a long long time ago. Just the thought of my little knees, busted from running and falling outside, makes me giggle. My grandmother, in true medicine woman fashion would pluck a leaf from her huge aloe vera plant, and heal the ouch. I was always amazed at how quickly the pain and swelling would dissipate. This really struck a chord with me, even as a little girl. My curiosity and natural by birth given tendency to explore, learn, and heal continues to lead me as I journey along as a Wise Woman.

I believe that on the journey of life, all of the steps and even so called mistakes, all add to our journey’s purpose. There have been several pivotal moments in my life that has urged my healing instincts to surface. I laugh sometimes when I think of how the nickname “dr. quinn” was given to me by my dear mother because I would always proclaim, “I have an herb for that!” At this point, it is just who I am.

The apothecary is my latest attempt to help heal the world. Magickal Herbalism is my way of contributing to the folk medicine healing community. Not many herbalists use magick in relation to their herbal practices and preparations. I do. I believe that everything is connected. We ARE the cosmos. Herbal medicine is the medicine of the people. If you are unfamiliar, let me help guide you.

Below is another herbal list. This list is focused on the natural healing properties of the herb, the planets, zodiac signs, and energy that it carries with it. I have included the link to Triple Moon Apothecary Etsy page where you may purchase any of the herbs listed here. Most are sold in ½ oz., and 1oz., sizes.

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What are your favorite go to herbs? How do you prepare them? I would love to know!

I hope you gain knowledge from this about the uses of the herbs. Until next time.

Blessed be. Ase.

Chamomile, Chamomilla recutita

German Chamomile, is sometimes called the Wild Chamomile. The flowers of the German Chamomile, though aromatic, have a very bitter taste. Chamomile has been used for centuries in teas as a mild, relaxing sleep aid, treatment for fevers, colds, stomach ailments, and as an anti-inflammatory, and that’s just a few of its uses. Chamomile may be used internally or externally. Historically is has been used as an antiseptic, antispasmodic, antipyretic, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-allergenic.

Chamomile is associated with the Sun, Leo, and the element Water. Luck and money attractor. Used for love and purification workings also.

Calendula, Calendula officinalis

Marigold or more commonly Calendula has been used medicinally for centuries. Traditionally, it has been used to treat conjunctivitis, blepharitis, eczema, gastritis, minor burns including sunburns, warts, and minor injuries such as sprains and wounds. It has also been used to treat cramps, coughs, and snake bites. Calendula has a high content of flavonoids, chemicals that act as antioxidants in the body. Antioxidants are thought to protect body cells from damage caused by a chemical process called oxidation. Oxidation produces oxygen free radicals, natural chemicals that may suppress immune function. Calendula belongs to the same family of plants that also includes chrysanthemums, daisies, and ragweed. Individuals who are sensitive to any of these types of plants may also be sensitive to calendula.

Marigold is associated with the Sun. it can be used in workings that deal with positive outcomes. It can also be used in love potions as well.

Mullein, Verbascum thapsus

Used to treat respiratory ailments as well as inflammation. Its astringent and antiseptic properties help with ear infections, cold and flu care, and bursitis. Studies have found that mullein has antibacterial activity against Klebsiella pneumonia, E. coli, and Staphylococcus aureus and epidermidis — two types of bacteria found in the lungs and on skin. Mullein is primarily a respiratory herb, although its benefits reach much further than our lungs. The herb is a diuretic and thus can relieve urinary tract inflammation when taken through a tea. It can also be used to decrease inflammation in the bowels, helping to reduce colitis and other issues. Mullein extract infused with olive oil has been used to reduce the inflammation of earaches, sore joints, insect bites and hemorrhoids because of its soothing properties. Simple poultices made out of fresh, mashed mullein leaves and flowers mixed with water can also be used to relieve, burns, boils and sores.

Mullein is ruled by Saturn or Mercury depending. It is associated with the element Fire. Can be used in workings for protection and guarding. Mullein can also be a substitute for graveyard dirt when none is available.

Black Cohosh, Cimicifuga racemosa

Black Cohosh has been used by Native Americans for more than two hundred years, after they discovered the root of the plant helped relieve menstrual cramps and symptoms of menopause. These days it is still used for menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes/flushes, irritability, mood swings and sleep disturbances. It is also used for PMS, menstrual irregularities, uterine spasms and has been indicated for reducing inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and neuralgia.

Black Cohosh is ruled by the planet Pluto and the sign Scorpio. It is associated with the element of Fire. Used in magick to rid negativity from an area or an individual. Black Cohosh is also used as a talisman for courage.

Each of these are available for you:

Rosehips

Pink Himalayan Salt

Roses

Lavender

Chamomile

Calendula

Mullein

Red Clover

St. John’s Wort

Oatstraw

Mugwort

Black Cohosh

Red Raspberry