Kemmioo (practitioners of Kemetic spirituality) are focused on their afterlife and the greater evolutions of energy. However we feel about death, we cannot deny that it is the most stable phenomenon we can perceive. We all will one day meet our demise -- this is our reality, whether we choose to admit it or not. Our Ancestors accepted this reality and incorporated it into their paradigm. They knew that they were born on Earth for an opportunity to perfect their quality by resisting the corruption and evil temptations that the physical dimensions have to offer. Much of their lives was spent focused on preparing for death, and the complexity of their burial customs proves it with the respect given to the spiritual aspect of human existence.
The education of the Kemetic schools enlightens humanity on the Ancestral Neteru which represent the source of the blood that flows through our veins. Our Ancestral Father Wsr (also called Osiris, Ausar) is known as the King of Imentet (World of the Dead). The Imentet is a world He established after being murdered in a plot in which the God Seth gifted Him a coffin. In order to give His descendants a true home where the destructive forces which hunt us on Earth (represented by the God Seth) could no longer chase us, Wsr created the World of the Dead.
One of the words in Medu (Egyptian hieroglyphic language) for cemetery is ankhtet, which means the land of life. The World of the Dead is our true home, and so ensuring our existence after death was the most important preoccupation of life on Earth to a Kem. This is no secret. For millennia, invaders coming to the continent of Meritah sought to conquer these fundamental tenets of the value system. It would take them over two thousand years of attempts before the priesthood and royalty would decide to take their culture into hiding and flee the Hapi (Nile) Valley, moving inland.
Today’s world looks much different from the one in which our Kemetic Ancestors lived. Though the natural elements of our planet which fight to survive our grand influence haven’t changed, the human’s approach to life on Earth is drastically different than what it was just a millennium or two ago. The refusal to inherit the wisdom and values of our predecessors has left modern man vulnerable. So, many of our actions are a result of fear and insecurity as we face the uncertainty of our future in such a vast existence. More and more individuals are realizing that the simple wisdom and quiet strength of indigenous culture and its harmony with nature and Earth are huge assets we are missing today.
Amongst the colonial territories of the world, there are various organizations sprouting up to contribute to our reconciliation with our Ancestral cultures. A unique example is The Earth Center, an organization started by a Dogon Spiritual Master, since revered as the latest Prophet of Kemetic traditions. The Prophet Neb Naba Lamoussa Morodenibig, after travelling around the globe assisting the world’s spiritual authorities in their temples, started an organization to provide humanity with the tools necessary to reconnect to Kemetic traditions and spirituality.
The Earth Center consists of three branches: The M’TAM School of Kemetic Philosophy & Spirituality, Firefly Productions publishing house (from which this magazine is published) and Ankhkasta Natural Healing. In addition to its activities through these three branches in the colonial cities and around the globe via the internet and today’s media avenues, The Earth Center also leads various projects on the continent of Meritah (Africa), specifically in the areas where the Kemetic culture is being preserved. These projects deal primarily with supporting the traditional communities with maintaining their lifestyle and customs that ensure their survival in this age of imperialism. In addition to projects which ensure clean water supply, there are projects to encourage and promote traditional farming, healing and cultural preservation as well as reinforcing cultural institutions. The latest project of The Earth Center’s Projects in Meritah division concerns death itself.
Today, colonial powers (political & religious) continuing their campaigns to take control and wipe out indigenous life, are seeking to control the business of death - a business every human being must one day patronize. Many of today’s functioning cemeteries and funeral homes were controlled by the church and/or private religious or governmental organizations. In Western territories it is now almost impossible for individuals to bury their dead privately on their own land. And to bury the dead in their own house... almost unheard of. In America, within many states the law says it’s legal but the regulations and protocols necessary to do it make individual burial next to impossible. One must go through the process of getting a permit to start a private cemetery on their land and this opens their land up to public burials.
In America, mega national and multinational corporations are now purchasing more and more cemeteries and funeral homes and taking control of the business. However, over the last few hundred years in America, much has transpired within popular culture that keeps individuals from paying close attention to the dead and their own inevitable death. In places like Togo in Western Meritah, where Ancestral traditions are still apparent, it is a problem of politics by occupying governments and religions. The tactics of these institutions are far from subtle.
For the last thirty years in the city of Tchaoudjo (Sokode) in central Togo, Islam has quickly become widespread. One of the most penetrating methods used to convert inhabitants of the city was to take over the funerary business. Currently, when traditionalists die they are given poor funerary accommodations. The Imams leading the funeral service often belittle them in front of their families as they lower their bodies into the ground. They talk about the fact that they never converted and will now face an afterlife of suffering. Often the family of traditional priests and priestesses are denied funeral services and sometimes even materials for the family to bury their loved ones themselves.
The Prophet Neb Naba explained that the tactics to overtake the funeral customs throughout the city were so aggressive that on multiple occasions a person thought to be dead, while being carried away by over zealous Muslim morticians, woke up before they reached the cemetery. In this aggressive tactic, people were often buried within hours after they went unconscious. This continued until Muslims gained control of the cemeteries, and funerary resources at which point they could afford to deny traditionalists burials all together, which continues today.
During this past year’s Earth Center’s Annual Pilgrimage to Meritah, attendees honoured the Prophet Neb Naba with all the ceremonies proper for the fifth year anniversary of his death. The celebratory ceremonies took place across three countries: Burkina Faso, Togo & Benin. In Tchaoudjo many ceremonies and activities that brought out the traditionalists of the area: Kings, ministers, priests, priestesses, temple caretakers, Deity dancers, drummers, healers and initiates. Following one of these ceremonies that took place at The Earth Center’s Tem House (House of Tradition), the group of local traditionalists made the following request to The Earth Center:
We are asking for [The Earth Center’s] assistance for the youth and elders that are fighting for the traditions here. We are asking for a coffin. We are traditional people. We need a coffin for traditional people. The Muslims, the Christians even sometime the King will refuse to give us the coffin to carry [our dead]. They say what we’re doing is against their principles. This [Tem] house has become our house. We are not asking you to buy us a coffin as if you are wishing death upon us. We are living for death, anytime it will come we are ready... We are asking you for a coffin so that we can live as we want to live. We are asking you in the name of the Prophet.
Naba Iritah Shenmira, a disciple of Prophet Neb Naba and the director of the Projects in Meritah division of The Earth Center added, “It’s true, when we buried our sister Adiza Ourogbanga, an Ankhkasta priestess/healer, they refused to give us even the shovels to dig the grave.” He then responded to the traditionalists’ request,
The problems that you are having when someone passes away, the Prophet saw that coming long ago. He asked his students to buy lands. He told us to buy the lands that are sacred and keep them away from those who don’t know their spiritual value. He told us to buy a house and cars. He told us to have a cultural center where every time young people can go to see how the culture is, in case colonialism is still growing. This way they can go to the cultural center and experience what the people really have. Those were his projects. He bought the house, he called it the Tem House to show the community that the people here living by their Ancestral ways have value too, and that value will keep growing. Those plans, some of them have been forgotten, so I’m thanking you all for reminding us. Whether it is you or it is him speaking through you, I thank you.
The Earth Center, in order to fulfill the instruction of the Prophet and the request of the community of Tchaoudjo, is planning to donate a plot of land that will serve as a cemetery devoted specifically to the burial of traditional people who are fighting for their Ancestral heritage. This way, traditionalists are free to execute all of the necessary burial rites and customs specific to their clan without Muslims preventing them, or worse, imposing Islamic rites on them. The project will entail providing coffins and necessary burial materials made available at the Tem House for those in the traditions who pass away. The EC will support their dignified burial according to their specific Ancestral ways. The families of three deceased traditional priests have already utilized these services.
The power of the Ancestral ways of Tchaoudjo have influenced cultures around the world. The Tem are the predominant ethnic group of the city. This group named itself after a Neter (God) of the first trinity of HetPtahKa (Memphis). Since the arrival, and influence of Islam, “Tem” is slowly becoming synonymous with primitive or backwards and many modernized individuals refer to themselves by the term Kotokoli. The Tem clan which founded the city of Tchaoudjo is named Mola. The Mola are a Kemetic clan consisting of powerful priestly, royal bloodlines. The name Mola was adopted, in honour, long ago by other cultures and today one can see that Middle eastern cultures call their Kings Moloch.
A son of the Mola priest who served as the director of the temple caretakers of the city of Tchaoudjo spoke at the gathering. His father had recently passed and The Earth Center had supported with his traditional funeral. He explains,
When we’re talking about Tchaoudjo, don’t think the officials are the ones making Tchaoudjo: its us sitting here. Without the Deities, the temples, the caretakers, Tchaoudjo has no reason to exist. It’s existing because of what we’re doing. What you [Naba Iritah] are saying is good for us. We see a lot of people who come from abroad, even our children come back with money. The money you all are bringing is nothing in front of theirs, but they don’t have the mind to support their own culture, and where they’re coming from. So, that is good. That is what keeps us coming to the Tem House... You can have money and still see people running away from you, but its the respect, the honor that we see you all giving to the Ancestors and Deities. We are not coming because of the tribal pacts between us and the Prophet. We are coming because we thought about everything and we know now is the time we need to stand up and do something for ourselves.
In the midst of the storm of information that rains on modern man we will have to calm our minds and consider why some things have been so important to our Ancestors for longer than we could fathom. Most of our scientific theories and ideas of common sense are not much older than two thousand years, and those are even the ones we oddly call old or “outdated”. The pillars of life for our Ancestors are things that we have long ago sacrificed to the institutions and services of colonial government. Taking responsibility for the growth of our own food; building of our own shelter; maintaining of our own family’s education, records, and history - and specifically human birth and burial - define the reality of humanity’s existence on Earth. If we sacrifice these traditional responsibilities and follow whichever way we are led, we have given up on our survival.
Through The Earth Center’s Ankhkasta Natural Healing branch, priest/healers offer traditional funeral and burial rituals in the colonial territories. Though they are unable to execute all of the traditional ceremonies due to colonial legislation, they are able to properly purify the body, and recite the proper chants and spells over the deceased. Priest/healers are also available to lead funeral ceremonies and accompany the body to the burial site for additional ceremonies. The Prophet instructed his disciples, “If these tactics have been used to lead us away from the traditions, we will use them to bring Kemet’s children’s back home.”
For an individual to go back and explore what Ancestors have left for him/her proves their humanity. It is becoming glaringly apparent that the modern institutions are running out of shallow solutions to our existential problems. Today, more and more people are being led to even burn the bodies of their loved ones. In the same territories where the law forbids people to burn religious texts or the national flag, we are burning our parents. May we have the courage to get behind institutions like The Earth Center for the sake of our descendants who depend on - and will copy - the quality of life that we leave on Earth and in human society.