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Have you ever asked “Why are we here?” “What’s the purpose of living?” “Is there a heaven/hell and how do you know?” “Who is God?” or “Where is God?” Using music, folklore, history and mysticism Derric answers these questions and more in this vivid memoir of self-discovery by learning from numerous people such as his Five Percenter friend who first taught him about Knowledge of Self to an old Cuban babalawo (Santeria high priest) who taught him the importance of cultural heritage and the tenets of using a bóveda (spiritual altar). He explains in a down to earth, straight-talk manner, how he lost his faith in God only to slowly reclaim it by overcoming pruebas (spiritual tests) like homelessness, bad relationships and even a bout with lupus. Written by an actual spiritual practitioner, he explains how we are all made in the image of God, have aakhu (ancestors) and netcharu (guardian angels) that guide and protect in life. By connecting with them anyone can tap into the Power of God to improve their life.
Discovering more Hidden Hands
By Derric "Rau Khu" Moore
That’s when it happened. While following the Spirit and allowing it to guide me, one day out of the blue I was led to look at my late grandmother’s obituary that had passed a year after meeting my wife.
My grandmother, my mother’s mother, the one that approved of my wife, was a strong and loving woman that was married to my grandfather for over 60 years, who passed away a year before her. My grandmother loved children and between her and my grandfather the two of them they had nine children, two adopted children and not to mention the children that would come to the house from their church or the neighborhood to play with their own. People loved my grandparents because they were God-fearing, hardworking people that established a standard based upon the old ways. It was because of this standard they were both looked upon and treated in our family as royalty. To give you an example, unless they were participating in a conversation, when they spoke everyone literally was quiet. This is how all the elders in our family were treated. Another thing that I noticed about my family because of my grandparents is that we didn’t have a large number of divorces and infidelity issues because there was something that my grandparents instilled within their children and grandchildren that for the most part curtailed that behavior.
Now, there were a lot of traditions that my family practiced and were passed down to succeeding generations, which I later learned was not created by them. Some of these traditions were created or at least given to my grandparents from my great-grandparents whom I had the pleasure of meeting before they passed. But there were a lot of other cultural traditions that were in practiced before them and clearly came from someone else I had never known.
Both of my grandparents lived good full lives. Then, my grandfather passed away and a year later my grandmother followed. Both my grandparents were well loved and when she passed away. People from all over the state of Michigan (and country) came to pay their respect. Unlike most funerals, that I attended (especially where the deceased dies at a young age), my grandmother’s funeral was not a somber event full of gloom, but a jovial event. The choir tried to sing somber and soothing gospels songs to comfort the family and guest, but the tempo would always change and it would turn into a spiritual party. This explains the reason why it wasn’t even called a funeral but a “home going celebration”.
As I looked at the photo of her on the obituary and began thinking about some of the experiences I shared with her. I noticed that beneath my grandmother’s photo it read Sunrise: (Her birth date) and Sunset: (The day of her death).
Now, I had looked at this obituary several times before but I never noticed that it said that. That’s when a familiar voice that I hadn’t heard for years spoke to me and revealed that if a person outside of our culture saw this obituary they would jump to the conclusion that we, black folks were worshiping the sun.
I am not sure if my grandmother’s spirit was the one that showed me this or not but the fact that I had a fond memory of her and was directed to her obituary continued to verify for me the old African belief, that our loved ones are not dead but continue to exist as a spirit. As spirits or ancestral spirits, they still take an interest in the lives of their descendants that they left behind. I imagined my grandmother smiling and looking at me over my shoulders, which verified to me that my grandmother was definitely was a aakhu (ancestral spirit guide) that was watching over me.
At that moment, things began to instantly clear up because I began to see the common misconception held and publicized by Egyptologists, archeologists and all other authors that claimed that the ancient Kamitic people worshipped the sun. Simply put these western scholars just didn’t know how to interpret what our people did because it was and still is a foreign concept to most of them.
The equating one’s life to the sun was not something that the people in the church my grandparents attended created. It was created thousands of years ago. The concept that most Afro-Americans are familiar with I learned came from the Kongo-Angolan region during slavery and was called the Yowa Cross.
The Kongo Yowa Cross
The Yowa Cross also called the Dikenga, Tendwa Nza Kongo and the Kongo Cross, according to Robert Farris Thompson author of Flash of the Spirit: African and Afro-American Art and Philosophy was a simple diagram predating Christianity that showed the evolution of the soul. The horizontal line of the cross is believed to be the dividing line between the mountain of the living (above) and their polar opposite the mountain of the dead (below). The mountain of the living is called ntoto (earth) and the mountain of the dead is called mpemba (white clay), which is believed to be resting under the body of water symbolized as the horizontal line called kalunga. In fact, in some interpretations the whole bottom half of the cosmogram is referred to as kalunga to signify that the land of the dead is complete, whole in regards to understanding the both sides in the cycle of life.
The discs surrounding the Kongo cosmogram (from right to left) are the sunrise, midday, sunset and midnight (when the sun is believed to be shining on the other side) and the four stages of life – birth, growth, death and rebirth, thus indicating in the Kongo belief. That the righteous will never truly die but will be reborn like the sun either in the body or name of their descendant or as an everlasting spirit of nature called a simbi, which I learned from Papa Raúl is the equivalent to a Christian saint.
Then I began to remember that in the Story of RA and Oset. When RA was asked what his true name is he responded by saying,”I have a multitude of names and a multitude of forms”. It was in this response, I noticed that the ancient Kamitic people used the word “RA” as a prefix and suffix to create words, names and places like Auf RA, RA-Ptah, KhafRA, MenkauRA, Asr RA, Khnemu-RA, similar to the way the ancient Hebrews used the word “el” to create words, names and places like EL-Shaddai, EL-ohim, EL-Olam, ang-EL, Rapha-EL, Micha-EL, Gabri-EL, and Isra-EL (Israel).
When I looked up the word/name “el”, I found that it roughly translates to mean “might, strength, action, work and power” and was used to signify the true God of Israel. Exactly like the ancient Kamitic word “RA” which means, “To do, act, action, power, the act of working, etc.” and was made into a pronoun to become RA. When I found that the Ancient Semitic name EL - Ro'I or El Rohi (The God of Seeing – meaning we rely upon God to help us to humble ourselves by allowing us to see our faults and weaknesses because God is our shepherd) was phonetically and etymologically simlilar to RA, that’s when I realized. That the ancient Hebrews borrowed this concept and practice of using El as a prefix and suffix from the ancient Kamitic people because the latter were older and had a far longer history of using this exercise. This meant that the Hebrew El was the Kamitic version of RA.
That’s when it became crystal clear, that if I was able to see this connection. I am sure that archeologists, Egyptologists and other Western scholars including theologians could have found this as well and either they chose to ignore it, or totally disregard it in order to continue to perpetuate the myth that the ancient Kamitic people (and all people of color) worshipped deities, idols, animals and other things like the sun.
Then I remembered the various testimonies that were given at the church of my youth. The people that testified made claims of how they were able to accomplish miraculous things because of the power of the Holy Ghost that they had within them. The Holy Ghost, which they claimed is “like fire shut up in their bones”, gave them according to Galatians 5:22-23 “…joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”. Other gifts of the Holy Spirit I remember were generosity, modesty, chastity, and patience. As well as the ability to exorcise evil spirits, see angels/demons, perform miracles and speak in tongues.