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African Religion Its Origins and Cosmology Islamic Propagation Centre 09 December 06

African Religion Its Origins and Cosmology Islamic Propagation Centre 09 December 06

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AFRICAN RELIGION, ITS ORIGINS AND COSMOLOGY

by Prof. Mathole Motshekga B.Iuris, LLB (UNISA), LLM (Harvard), LLD (UNISA) FOUNDER DIRECTOR: Kara Heritage Institute and Kara Development Ministries Paper presented for ISLAMIC PROPAGATION CENTRE

Venue: Suite 215 IPCI Building 124 Queen Str, Durban Date: 09 December 2006

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A German scholar found that the theosophists or Gnostics of Great Zimbabwe and those of Meroe (or Saba) in the Sudan had a common astral (Sabian) religion based on the observance of the stars. The Ultimate Principles of African Theosophy The Great rift Valley (Lupata) running from North of Pretoria. Hence. Osiris and Isis. The provincial cities of Ancient Ethiopia were Karama (Kerma). like that of the Sabians of Harran(Asia Minor). the lion (Simba/Tau) God called Apedemek. and Dendera in Egypt. this wooden platter is called the Zodiac of Maphungubwe or Metendere. religion and the hieroglyphic art of writing. spiritual knowledge) and popular religions. their religion.e. The Astral or Solar religion of Maphungubwe was recorded in a wooden platter which was discovered at the ruined city of Matendere some ten miles outside Great Zimbabwe. The Ancient African empires of Ethiopia (Atape or Atpu) and Egypt (Hakaptah) were named after God Ptah. and Akacham (or Achum). through the Great Lakes. Mudzimungale at Mutokolwe. The Zodiac contains the African cosmology which is substantially the same as that of Great Zimbabwe. the province of Naphta (now Kordofan) in the Sudan.e. was called Sabaism (i. This paper gives the background of this theosophy expounds on cosmological framework and practical application Historical Background In Southern Africa the remains of African theosophy or gnosticsm (i. Lwandali (now Tshiendeulu) in the Zoutpansberg. The ultimate principles of African theosophy or Gnosticism expounded in this paper are based on Memphite theology that is the religious philosophy based on the Word (Mphe or 2 .AFRICAN RELIGION. Great Zimbabwe. Naphta (or Napata). The archeological evidence confirmed Ancient Ethiopian (Sudanese) claims that Egypt was their colony which was founded by Osiris and that they gave arts. more specifically. Hence. In 1979. to Ethiopia and Egypt is named after the African creator God called Tapa (or Pata). the temples of Amuni. Marib in Ya-Amun (now Yemen) and Achum (now Axum) in Abyssinia (Modern Ethiopia. Meroe (or Saba).e. He also established evidence of the oldest divine monarchy predating that of dynastic Egypt. Solar) religion. planets and in particular the sun and the moon and the rulers were sacred Kings (or Queens) who’s life spans were regulated by a Lunar Calendar. an American archeologist discovered archeological remains at the ruined city of Meroe (or Saba) in the Sudan which included pyramids.e. popularly known as Ptah. Limpopo Province. astral religion or Karaism (i. Meroe (or Saba). popularly known as Axum. ITS ORIGINS AND COSMOLOGY Centuries of slavery and colonialism destroyed the sources of African religion and its institutions. science. spiritual knowledge) was rediscovered at the BaRozwi Ba Mbire ruined temples of Maphungubwe. The BaRozwi builders of these temples came from the Ancient Ethiopia. During the 19th and 20th centuries astro-archeologists discovered the ruined African temples and Holy Scriptures which revealed that African is a cradle of both humanity and theosophy or gnosticsm (i.

also known as NeDemba or NeDomba. This cosmic energy (Hara or Kara) is symbolized by the Phyton (Demba or Domba). The African Creator-God. the Self begotten One or First One to live).Memphe) of God Ptah. These symbols represent the Decade (i. Thus Ptah became the First Cause that unfolded itself into the Decade (i. is known as • The First Cause • The Unknown God Unknowable God • The Principle of Principles • The Self-begotten God The African popular religions are known as Umveliqani. The Universe evolved from these principles. The cosmic energy embodied in the Universal Mother (Hathara) is called Hara or Kara.e. The Mother principle manifested itself not only as a stone of Wisdom but also as a Python (Domba or Demba) or ten concentric circles. These ten principles are aspects of the First Cause. The first emanation of this cosmic energy is called Harana (or Arhana). These three stars represent the spiritual trinity consists of: • Usara • Nuba • Mena + + Maat + + Maat + Maat + Ra Ra Ra = = Usarmaatra = Nubmaatra Menmaatra 3 .e. This theology is contained in the Sabaka manuscript which was inscribed on the stone (the Sabaka stone in the British Museum) which was published by Pharaoh Sabak of the Ethiopian (or 25th) dynasty of Ancient Egypt. These principles are expounded on below. Ptah.e. This little cosmic energy is symbolized by an equilateral triangle corresponding to the three stars of the Orion (Urhana) belt. Karana (or Arkana). tenfold principle) that came out of Nothingness. Evolution of the Ultimate Principles of Being African Sages (theosophists or Gnostics) taught that the beginning there was Nothingness or Nonbeing (Nahas or Nehes) and that Ptah was the first being that emanated from Nothing [O] and manifested itself as an encircled point [ Θ ]. tenfold prince) that emanated from the First Cause. or Mutangiwakugara (i. A A A A + + + + M M M M + + + + U E OU A + + + + N N N NI = = = = AMUN AMEN AMOUN AMANI The Evolution of the Universe The Universal Mother (Hathara or Sabanyadatja) is the cradle of the universe.

• Usara + • Osiris + (m)usasi + Isis + Hara = Horus = Spiritual Trinity Spiritual Trinity The Spiritual Trinity Father (Osiris) Child (Horus) Mother (Isis) The three spiritual beings created the universe through the Law of Squares which says in a rightangled triangle the square on the hypotenuse is equals to the square on the other two sides. The Law of Squares C2 =Horus2 a2=Osiris2 b2 Isis2 a2 Usara2 Nuba2 Mena2 Usara2 Osiris2 Nahara2 32 9 + + + + + + + + + 16 25 σ25 5 b2 Maat2 Maat2 Maat2 Usasi2 Isis2 Mara2 42 = 25 = 25 = σ25 = 5 = = = = = = = = c2 Ra2 Ra2 Ra2 Hara2 Horus2 Kara2 52 4 .

and earth) which make out all spheres of being. popularly known Archanges (7) and Angels (7). and Horus. water. called the Bemben stone. and Dendera. soul and body) 22 = Isis (water. Thus Heavenly Door 1 7 1 11 + 11 = 22 22/7 = 3. The Constitution of the Universe The Universe consists of 32 spheres of being made out of: • • • The Decade (10) that emanated from the First Cause The 10 planetary bodies The 12 fixed stars This Universe is a living organism. The three personalities of spiritual trinity unfolded themselves into three individual gods. Chain of Being or Ladder of Perfection. earth and air) 7 = Horus (Isis (3) + Osiris(4) = Horus (7) The number 3 is the spiritual trinity while the number 14 is the number of light beings. namely. This structure or organism. The structure of the Universe is contained in the Zodiacs of Maphungubwe (or Matendere). Great Zimbabwe. Osiris. is depictd below. Isis. fire. These gods are symbolized by the Door to and from Heaven. Meroe.In this Law of Squares the number 25 represents the 25 spheres of being while the number five represents the five elements (ether. fire.14 ------------------ In this diagram 3 = Osiris (mind. 5 . The 14 Light Beings form the Ladder of Heaven. These Archangels and Angels are messengers of the Horus (the Bull of Heaven).

Krishna. The African prophet. The Tablet of Ham was copied by both Phythagoras and Plato during their studies and initiations into the mysteries of Isis and Osiris. The two (macro-microcosmic) stones make out the living organism that is called the universe. 6 .D. popularly known as ThauThau-Harama (Greek Thoth-Hermes) inscribe this law on a Tablet called the Tablet of Ham or The Emerald Tablet of Hermes. Apollonius of Tyana copied the Tablet and circulated it among the theosophists or Gnostics of Alexandria. was called Thoth-Hermes the Thrice Greatest. The Tablet of Ham or Emerald Tablet of Hermes contained three quarters of the Wisdom of the World. So Below. The macro-microcosmic order is based on the Law of Analogy or Correspondence which says As Above. Lord Ham or Thoth Hermes is called Idris by Moslems and Enoch by JudeoChristians. Thus its author. Jesus and Mahommed. Thus African prophet pre-existed Moses. Buddha. During the first century A.The Bemben Stone Mercury (Kara) Suturn (Patara) The Sun (Ra) Mars Tara Venus (Mara) ThauThau-Harama(Thoth-Hermes) or Mbekara/Mberaka This Bemben Stone is a little reflection image (microcosmos) of the great (macrocosmic) Bemben Stone. Ham (or Khem).

e. The Hermetic (or Al Chemical ) texts. Saint Augustine of Hippo. St. notably. The Hermetic art found its way into the Moslem world where it came to be known as the Al Chemical Art. Augustine.D. During the European Renaissance the Hermetic writings inspired renewed interest in Khemetic or Hermetic) philosophy. These gospels were used by early Coptic priests and monks. his Ethiopian Son-in-law and successor. The Corpus 7 . where Plotonus and Proclus taught Hermetic philosophy. Ficino’s Hermetic Book underwent sixteen printings before the end of the sixteenth century. For instance. Plotonus (204-270 AD) and embraced the Hermetic philosophy of Union with the Divine. Hermetic (or Gnostic) gospels were found hidden in a jar in the Southern Egyptian Village of Nag Hammadin in 1945. The Hermetic (or Gnostic) gospels contained the astral (Sabian) or Karaite) religion which was popularized by the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (Akhetaton) and Tutankhamun. Egyptian theosophist. including the Tablet of Ham or Emarald Tablet of Hermes were translated into Arabic. These Hermetic texts were held as evidence that philosophy existed before Plato. dedicated several chapters to Thoth-Hermes Trismegistus. It had been translated from Greek into Arabic at the time when Caliph Ma’amun stayed in Egypt in 832 A. The Latin translation of the Arab Alchemical texts appeared in Europe as early as 1144. This letter came from an inscription concealed under a statue of Isis –Hathor. A medieval Arab manuscript entitled the Great Circular Letter of the Spheres cited the Solar (Osirian) religion as its inspiration. closed by Justinian in 529. and the Corpus Hermeticum. In 1460 Leornado of Pistoia brought the Corpus Hermeticum from Macedonia to the Platonic Academy in Florence. They were translated by the same author who also translated the Koran. In Arabic writing Al Chemy was often described as the “Wisdom of the temples”. These Hermetic texts included Imhotep (Greek Aesclepius i. In his book entitled the City of God. He also quoted from Imhotep ( Aeclepius). These texts appeared in the Arabic language as early as the eighth century A. Saints Anthony and Pachomius. the perfect word). This institution was founded at the court of Cosmo de Medici to resume the legacy of the Athenian Academy. founder of modern monasticism in the Egyptian desert. including the passage which describes Egypt as “The Temple of the World”. It described a King (Osiris) in the process of decaying who engendered an heir (Horus) in whom he would live again. some of the were ascribed to the Ummayad Prince Khaled.D. From then on. Al Chemy (or Hermetic Art) became part of the Western tradition as well. mother of Kara (Greek Krios) or Hara (Greek Horus) in the Crypt of the temple of Dendera. He considered Thoth-Hermes to be a “wise man” and a precursor of Western Christianity. Many of the early Roman Christian church fathers were profoundly influenced by Hermetic or Gnostic philosophy. The author of Hermetic Art or Al Chemy was the African prophet Khem or Thoth-Hermes Trismegistus.The Influence of Hermeticsm on Modern Religious Thought. studied the works of the Egyptian theosophist. Marsilio Ficino translated the Corpus Hermeticum from Greek into Latin at the request of Cosmo de Medici.

presenting itself for judgment in the spiritual world. It is to this Osiris or King within us. At the centre of the Maphungubwe (or Matendere) Zodiac we find a crocodile (Zambe or Nyambe) or turtle (Haramanuba) which symbolises the macrocosmic sun (Kara or Hara) which is the physical manifestation of the word (Ham/Cham) or the First Cause (Ptah) called Hamptah or Chamttah. The nativity of solar (Karate) or Astral (sabian) theology and religion in South Africa appears in the Maphungubwe Zodiac. our higher reason. Moreover. was the image and correspondence of this macrocosmic Sun: the regenerating principle within man. the soul. the manifestation of deity in the universe.e. The Emerald Tablet of Ham or Hermes summed up Hermetic or Gnostic philosophy of Ancient Ethiopia and Egypt.Isis is thus the secret motive power of Evolution. Both sabaism and karaism found reference in both the Bible and the Koran and their influences are evident in these Holy Books. Osiris is the ultimate ideal of Humanity toward the realization of which that evolution moves: (See Bojana Mojsov Osiris-Death and after life of a God Blackwell Publishing Oxford 2005 pp 121-126 African Religion has reappeared in different guises within the New Age Movement The Rebirth of African Solar Theology and Religion Recent astro-archaeological discoveries have renewed interest in the solar (Karaite) or Astral (Sabian) theology and religion of Ancient Africa. Secondly. The story of Osiris continue to live in the Hermetic tradition. are found in this text which still exists. the true world of God. Christianity and Islam. the ideal type of humanity. In the English edition of the Kore Kosmu (i. Maitland took on board Darwinis theory of evolution and explained the Hermetic teachings in the context of evolutionary principles.Hermeticum studied at the Florentine Academy revealed a universal spiritual science that predated Judaism. Edward Maitland. Thirdly. and the New Kingdom doctrine of God as One and all. is described as an Osiris. From Latin it was translated into many European languages. God in man. the exaltation of the sun. Orbiting the central sun (Kara) and the four light 8 . The sun (Kara or Hara) or word of the First Cause is surrounded by four triangular slab one in each pair facing in the opposite direction. that owe perpetual reverence service and faithful allegiance. “The Hermetic books admit three expressions of deity: first. the Redeemer of Osiris……… The microcosmic Sun or Osiris. abstract and infinite God. that is substantially the same with those of Great Zimbabwe. eternally self-subsistent and unmanifest. Virgin of the World) and Imhotep (Aesclepius). begotten by the means of the soul’s experience in Time and Generation…………. or essential ego. the Supreme. The Latin translation of the Emerald Tablet was first published in 1541. Meroe (or saba) and Dendera. the only-begotten. who wrote the introduction gave his own interpretation of the Solar (Kara) or Osirian religion: “Osiris is the reflection and counterpart in man of the supreme Lord of the universe. The correspondence of the stars with the elements. published in London in 1885. Hence. the union of the heaven of Ra and the underworld of Osiris.

The creative function of Bemben or cubic (Kaba) stone is performed by the sun (Ra) and the moon (Ra) or their Union (Mara or Maria) Queen of Heaven and earth according to the law of Analogy or correspondence which says everything emanated from One or Divine Mind (Pamandara) and the father thereof is the sun and the mother thereof the is Moon or the Union of the two. The earth (Kumara or Tamara) symbolised by the cubic (Kaba) stone is a variant of the Ancient Pillar (Djed or Zindj-ka-Fura). Thus Africans worship both the One or Divine Mind and the Queen of Heaven and Earth (Mara or Mari) Mbekara or ThauThau-Harama (Greek Thoth-Hermes) is the first born light child or Mara or Mari. These sacred objects are made out of the five elements (ancient 9 . The Bemben or cubic (Kaba) stone is the city of the sun (Annu or Zaun) and motive force of the universe. All these stars and planets are encircled by the twelve fixed or Table of Isis known as the zodiac. The Divine Baboon In this monogram • The solar disc mounted on the Lunar crescent symbolise the union (Mara or Mari) of the sun (Ra) and the moon (ma) • The baboon. This baboon squats on a Cube (Kaba) symbolizing the earth (Kumara or Tamera) and carries a Lunar Crescent with a Solar [ Θ ] disc mounted on it. This light child or Word of the Divine Light is symbolized by the Ibis (Bannu) bird and the baboon (Soko Mbire). Next to the planets are triangles and three stars of the orion (Urhana) belt.beings (Kheru) are seven outer planets (Kabiri) with the moon (ma/maia) and the sun (Ra) featuring prominently. in short mbekara or mberaka also known as ThauThauHarama (Greek Thoth-Hermes). Ibis bird symbolises the Light child (Kara) or word (Mbe) of the Divine Light to (Kara).

African people established solar (Kara) temples and shrines where they draw down divine powers from the fourteen light beings during specific phases of the moon. 10 . the stones of the Queen of Heaven and Earth).e. These sacred objects give expression to the Law of Analogy or correspondence. This means that the African Heaven and Earth are interconnected. The fourteen Light Beings make out a Ladder of Heaven or chain of being which interconnect heaven and earth. A popular African shrine included an elevated land mound with a tree. The African Popular Region The hierarchy of the gods in the African popular religions consists of: • The universal mother • The god of Light that holds quarters of the world • The fourteen Light Beings who are messengers (angles) of the god of Light. This ladder is also used for the computation of the Lunar months and year. • The twenty-eight (14+14=28) Light Beings which correspond to the twelve hours of the day and twelve hours of the night.pillar) which underlie both the spiritual and physical reality. trunk of the tree or three River stones (Mabweadziva) called Mabwea-mwari (i. interrelated and integrated into one living organism. seasons of the year. the two equinoxes and two solstices.

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