Series: Traditional Indigenous African Spirituality Part 2

Welcome to part 2! If you flew here to this blog by way of this post and have not yet read part 1 of this series, I encourage you to do so now.kemet-way-of-life-paprus-image-triple-moon-alchemy

We begin the journey through African Spirituality in ancient Egypt (Kemet). The term African Spirituality is generic. Once you delve into the subject, you learn how many directions it takes, full of twists and turns.  Yet, no matter the direction, there is still a very similar underlying cord.

Harmony, order, justice, and proper conduct, Ma’at, were the broad and enduring beliefs of ancient Kemet (Egypt). Ancient Egyptians believed that the physical body was khat and that the life force was ka. Ba, is the personality or the psyche. This was the primordial science that clarified what makes up a Being.

maat-egyptian-goddess-of-order-and-justice-image-triplemoonalchemy

I suppose that from as early as 6 years old I loved nature. Playing outside would turn into a forage mission. Interesting looking leaves, flowers, old birds nests etc., became my outside “toys”. Unfortunately, much like many other things in life, we unlearn our innate instincts and childish enthusiasm. Thankfully though, my cells, spirit, and mind never let me totally forget who I am. I believe that it is the same way when it comes to finding our spiritual paths. Spirit is always available to answer the questions that we may have.

Following a family tree gets muddled before too long. It is virtually impossible to follow one cord back to its original singular state. Yet, once you have a basic understanding of your bloodline, and understand the cultures of the world, you can asked the Great Goddess to assist you in the journey inward to find the truth and put the pieces together. Throughout my life there has been an unraveling or awakening to my African blooded self. My African blood called to itself within me, and my journey began. This is what brings me to this series.

tangled-colorful-lights-image-triple-moon-alchemy

According to quantum physics, our DNA carries an ancestral imprint. This is part of the reason we that seek spiritual enlightenment, journey deep into our spiritual, and cultural legacies. I believe that time is an illusion, and that what IS  is what was, and what will be. All energy is malleable yes, therefore the way things take shape changes constantly. In the truest sense, you ARE your ancestors. Even if we choose a different spiritual path than our ancestors, knowledge of indigenous practices would still offer clarity of self.

I developed a keen sense of Spirit early in life. It is who I am. When I began the journey inward and outward to learn my ancestral roots, I was pleasantly awestruck to learn that lots of the ideas, concepts, rituals and practices that I am drawn to and had been practicing, were not too far from African Traditional Spirituality. The Earth, the Air, the Fire, and the Water. There is no magic without the elements. Ancient Kemet was the beginning of understanding nature and our relationship with it.

ancient-egyptian-temple-image-triple-moon-alchemy

 

Egypt! The Jewel of The Nile! The principle of duality governed the spiritual beliefs of ancient Kemites. Natural wonders gave great inspiration of the Universal view for the ancients. The rise and wane of the Nile River, the recurring actions of the Sun and the Moon, also day and night were all naturally reflective of existence. The duality of man and woman also inspired foundational spiritual beliefs. It is these natural ebbs and flows of developing nature that shaped the spiritual practices of ancient Egyptians and allowed them to understand the universe as renewable instead of linear.

Circa 5500 BCE- 3050 CE is the period of recorded history when ancient Kemet was a self contained and flourishing empire, a time when gods ruled the Earth. It is well known that Greek philosophers like Pythagoras and Plato borrowed or stole, depending on how you look at it, the creation and reincarnation beliefs from Egypt. Let’s not also forget, that the ancient Romans took many religious practices from ancient Egypt and made them their own. It is accurate to say that both Greek and Roman religious philosophies and ways are built upon many of the ways of ancient Kemetic culture.

Before the unification of Egypt all the towns and villages venerated, or honored their own unique totem. It was customary and acknowledged that each town revered different deities and were welcoming to the concept of numerous deities existing at the same time (polytheistic), while preserving their loyalty and devotion to their own deity. Approx. 2,000 gods were available to be worshipped in ancient times. After Upper and Lower Egypt joined, certain cults began to rise and so did their gods and goddesses. The more well known Egyptian gods and goddesses are the result of this unification. The lack of doctrine made Egyptian religious beliefs more of a system built on harmony, balance and constancy of the cycles of life.

egyptian-temple-entrance-image-triple-moon-alchemy

Religious practices day to day by various family cults were upheld through generations. Deceased family members were still considered a vital part of the family. That is why it was imperative to pay respect to immediate family members who had passed on. Bestowing them with offerings was the best way to honor dead relatives. Similarly to how we, in modern times, visit the grave of a lost loved one. We take them flowers and such. This is an ancient way of honoring and giving offerings.

Every culture around the world has a creation story. It goes something like this: There was nothing, the great void, then there was something, creation. That’s pretty much it! Simplified sure. The thing is though, humanity BEGAN in ancient Egypt (Kemet) so THIS creation mythology is what allllllllllllllllll other creation mythology was made from. There are many many books and resources that tell the Egyptian creation story. That is not my purpose here.

The ancient Kemetic viewpoint was that our (humanity) existence is a tiny part in the journey through eternity. All the deities and supernatural beings coordinate and rule over the course of our voyage. Sound familiar? Sounds like this perspective is the overarching belief of MANY of the world’s religious and philosophical cultures. In each culture of the world this statement takes shape differently, but most all have borrowed from this Kemetic outlook of existence.

Ancient egyptians believed in the Afterlife. It was conceptualized that how one lived their lives on Earth, would directly impact their life after death. In essence, if one desired a peaceful/great life after death, then they ought to live their life in such a way.

human-sacrifice-image-triple-moon-alchemy

Ritual was a huge aspect of Kemetic culture. Ritual was performed for religious, spiritual, and seemingly practical reasons. Ritual for seeking guidance, to protect the dead, to maintain peace and order, and various other reasons were the norm. There were animal and human sacrifices. Daily, Egyptians would bring offerings to the temple for the Gods such as food, clothing, carvings and the like. Temple Priests would oversee the daily offerings. As far as animal and human sacrifices go, particular animals were chosen for a particular reason, some more powerful a sacrifice than others. I won’t go into the whys and wherefores of human sacrifice in this post but I will say that mainly, over the course of time in Egypt human sacrifice became a thing, mostly prisoners, rebels, or criminals were used in human sacrifice. The subject of sacrifice is too in-depth for this post and will be revisited in another.

That’s it really. I could go into Egyptian Goddesses and Gods and how they are related to one another and how they are related to us, and how these goddesses and gods became even further synchronized with other cultures and religions, and how many of the goddesses and gods in popular culture were once Egyptian but morphed to fit the motif of the story of a different region…but I won’t. I simply needed a jumping off point for African Spirituality, and since Egypt is the cradle of civilization, we had to begin here.

heka-egyptian-magic-image-triple-moon-alchemy

The next post will be all about Heka, ancient Egyptian magick and how certain religious and spiritual practices of the Kemites spread throughout other parts of ancient Africa, and which areas and tribes believed/believe what. Until then, be well. Thanks for continuing this journey with me.

I am so happy that many of you have subscribed. If you haven’t, you can right HERE, and on the homepage. It appears that this subject is something many of us have wanted to delve into. Feel free to share this series with anyone that you know would be interested. I have no problem with you sharing this or any other post with your social media groups as well. Ok, the end…

Blessed be. Ashe

credits: kemetway; angela sleeping; egyptiantoursplus
references: egyptian mythology, stephan weaver; Egypt, roy jackson

 

Series: Traditional Indigenous African Spirituality Part 1

african-village-image-triple-moon-alchmey

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.

traditional-ceremony-african-image-triple-moon-alchemy

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.

african-masks-image-triple-moon-alchemy

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

Herbs For Healing Magick

104e3636d1e21b57f84db3395ea1fb24

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.

wp-1489419621503.jpg

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