The Black Panther Movie was fantastic! I love how the characters and storylines were developed. I loved the depth and beautifully complex narrative presented in the movie. The Hero and the villain were Black which blurred the lines between good and evil within complex layers of humanity.
I had to cheer for the villain when his dying wish was:
Nah, bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from the ships because they knew death was better than bondage.”
I was like, DAAAYYYUUUM! That line sent chills through me because I could identify with how he was thinking.
I loved the Scenery of Wakanda and the costumes. Going into the movie I wondered how it would mimic pre-Colonial Africa and its belief systems; its cosmology. I wasn’t disappointed.
Wakanda is a fictitious country. But many of the concepts about Africa were based on “real” African philosophy, history, and cosmology. What were some of those ideas depicted?
What did Africans believe before slavery?
Pre-colonial Africa was a matriarchal society. That means that they recognized and operated from the “divine feminine” aspect. They were as introspective a society as many Asian societies are today. That introspective perspective is connecting to the divine feminine.
The women in pre-colonial Africa did not have to fight for their rights. They were seen as the “seat” of the house and the male was its occupant. If you notice the symbolism of Auset (means she of the throne) she has a throne on her head. Through her, the masculine must operate. In all pre-dynastic myth and symbolism, the masculine and feminine were represented.
This brings us to the deeper subject of this post, The Black Panther was said to have the power of Bast. Bast was the Neter Represented by the cat. “She” was the protector as was T’Challa was the protector of his people. Bast was the defender of the Pharoah or king.
Many people still think that ancient Africans worshiped animals and nature. This was not true. The bird head or lion head on the carving of a neter was not a form of worship but a symbolic representation of a function that animal had that was keener and/or stronger than a human naturally possed. The way ancient African symbolism worked, the more you know about the animal the more you can understand about the characteristics the Africans were communicating through the animal symbol on the most subtle of levels.
It was the ingeniously sophisticated way of using “natural symbols” for how the Africans expressed these ideas. These natural symbols become keys to deciphering the myths after the knowledge has been buried or forgotten. The ancient Africans did not have our modern concept of worship.
Only after the teachings were lost or forgotten did we begin to incorporate the idea of “worshiping” an entity. The mythology and symbolism of ancient Africa was assimilated into the Christian religion throughout the bible. The spiritual aspects of Christianity originated in ancient Kemet. As Christians, we were taught to worship concepts because there was no understanding of the spiritually scientific knowledge the concepts were attempting to convey.
I loved the subtlety of ideas represented in the Characters of Black Panther. It was the use of Symbolism and metaphor at its finest.
If there was no worship what did Africans do?
Today we have been taught to get a relationship to God. As Christians we are taught that God is different from us and to even consider ourselves as a god is blasphemous and sinful! The Ancient Africans did not think this way.
They KNEW there was only ONE. And that EVERYTHING is the ONE in its own beautiful and unique form. Not different than the ONE. Simply an aspect of the one in its own form.
Christianity erroneously changed that distinctly empowering African philosophy to an idea that has trapped us in a cage of self-hate and its effects of mediocrity.
The ceremony of T’Challa incorporating the powers of the Black Panther cat was closer to how ancient Africans saw what we call “worship” in modern times. Not the ceremony, but what the Africans believed about developing their own natural divinity.
In reality, our concept of worship would be foreign to ancient Africans. They didn’t worship. Why would you need to worship what you are? The idea for the ancient Africans was establishing a metaphysical connection to the object (in this case a Black Panther) and incorporating the desired function of that object within themselves.
Today we might think of this concept analogous to the saying, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” because our ancestors thought in terms of all things being the source in another form they believed they could incorporate any function of that source into their being. They BECAME all the powerful aspects of the panther.
Because of our biases we just don’t give ancient civilizations much credit for their knowledge. It is becoming more evident that they knew a lot more in many areas than we do today. The ancient civilizations had a different paradigm of thought. If you understand the science of manifesting by being a vibrational match to the object or experience of your desire then you already know this ancient African concept. They simply had taken it to another level.
In a sense, they would become the Panther and have the powers that animal possed. For the animal it was natural. In the movie, T’Challa gained superhuman strength and agility after ingesting an herb. This established a relationship metaphysically to the subject (T’Challa) and the object (the Panther). By identifying with (paying homage in a way) the object T’Challa would then take on the quality or function of that object (the Strength, power, and speed of the Panther). The animals natural abilities became the humans’ superpowers when incorporated.
The other thing to recognize is that these “powers” were not reserved for one special person. ANYONE that acquired the knowledge and wisdom had/has access to the transformational “powers.” Back in ancient times, it was mainly the initiates that had the access to the knowledge.
I am really simplifying the idea here. It goes much deeper and is connected to other concepts within this ancient African cosmology. However, it does give you an idea of the ancient African paradigm and belief system. It was completely different than our western thought processes.
Ancient Africans extended the concept and functionality of the “natural world”
In the movie, the herb was the cause. This is our modern way of thinking. We consider something outside ourselves that gives us the power. But in ancient Africa, it was a recognition of claiming that power from within them. Being source in human form the ancient Africans recognized that they were already connected to the rest of nature.
Because the abilities of the animals exceeded the abilities of a human, the symbolic object (The Black Panther) became representative of “superpowers.” One example is, the cats’ ability to see in the dark became representative of a power the Ancient Africans wanted to incorporate within themselves. It would be the ability to see at night or in the dark.
However, it wasn’t just physical sight to be enhanced. It was metaphysical and “spiritual” sight being enhanced as well. The symbols ALWAYS have multidimensional levels of functionality. Because of our western training, we view the natural world as only things that can be experienced through the five human senses.
The Ancient Africans paradigm of “natural” extended beyond the five senses of a human. It also included the metaphysical. It makes sense when you understand that they did not view the physical world as the “real world.” For ancient Africans, the metaphysical world of the soul was the real world and the physical body only a transitory experience. In other words, according to the ancient Africans, the metaphysical world caused the physical world to materialize into existence.
To understand this idea of extending beyond the senses from your own experience think in terms of a dog whistle. The range of the whistle is beyond human ability to hear it. But it is in the dogs “natural” range to hear the high pitch sound.
Africans recognized this range and beyond as natural. Within their spiritual science the “natural world” is an extension of a metaphysical world that we are connected to from within. For ancient Africans, the body is a spiritual as the soul and the soul as natural as the body. There was no separation as we have done through religion and science in modern times.
By turning inward you would then be able to tap into your own well of spiritual wisdom that we call the divine feminine in modern times. However, most only consider the divine feminine as female. For ancient Africans divine feminine describe a function of nature, not a woman. It would be the ability to also turn within one’s self and connect to your inner self; your intuitive expressions. Men have this ability as well. The function of the black panther’s sight becomes our superpower of inner sight just as the cat can see in the dark, we can see through our own darkness and become enlightened.
The Black Panther is Stronger and Faster than a human. It is fierce fighter and protector. Again, all these characteristics or functions is why the ancient Africans would put an animal head on a NTR (NeTeR = NaTuRe). It became a symbolic expression of much deeper ideas and “superpowers” not naturally possed by humans. Not worshiping the animals, but incorporating the powers of the object (the animal).
Because it is a natural symbol, you have been left a key to decipher the coded messages within the ancient symbolism.
In contrast to ancient Africans, Christianity has always taught a brand of worship that becomes debilitating because you believe you are dependent on the power of God and his whims.
Based on Greek error and misunderstanding of their Egyptian teachers they humanized God. The Egyptian anthropomorphized nature. In other words, they used what is natural as an analogy to give you an idea of a world beyond our physical expression. It was not human in any way. But a human characteristic may be used to express an abstract metaphysical concept.
The Greek way of thinking causes you to think in terms of a relationship you form to a superior being outside of you. Because you have no idea of the science behind the physical world you have to hope the superior being will be sympathetic to you at the time of your requests (prayers).
He may be sympathetic unless he is punishing you (because just like humans, God can be mad at you according to the infantile Greek way of thinking). You can never really be sure if you are in a punishment phase or not. I mean God would punish you for masturbating but turn a blind eye to starving children in Africa.
Colonialism and changing African spiritual science and traditions
Colonialism was motivated by greed and justified with religion. For the African diaspora, the Christian religion is a repackaged fringe aspect of African spirituality given to black people AND the world to enslave us mentally, physically, and spiritually.
For thousands of years, Africans had a cosmology that helped them build one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever known (Egypt). After colonization, we were given a bible that we weren’t allowed to read and images to ensure that our mind was in bondage.
Slave masters NEVER gave our ancestors anything they thought would empower them. Yet the slave masters gave them the bible and as Christians, we didn’t question the motives behind the “gift.”
I don’t intend to disparage Christianity with the above statements. But they can’t be disputed based on empirical evidence.
Because of many of the doctrines of religion and racism, many of us of the African diaspora have high self-esteem, but low group esteem. Low group esteem has been the prescription for lack of cohesion among the African diaspora. It was a nice touch to see Africans begin the Wakanda outreach center. Implying that Africans and African Americans need to connect.
The mythology that was so much a part of African spirituality was not “real” characters. However, they were representations of deeper meaningful ideas and concepts.
The movie represented a fictional country in Africa and were not “real” characters, but on another level, it subtly expressed the ancient African cosmology. It also touched a deeper chord within a people that were starving for powerful representations of Africa.
Make no mistake that Africa had rich traditions. As Christians, we were given a glimpse of those traditions through the bible. But the knowledge was malformed and misunderstood due to Greek then Roman ignorance and misunderstanding the culture and traditions.
Worship is what the ignorant (not knowing, not meant as an insult) do. Invoking your inner strength is what the powerful and confident do. Black Panther gave you a glimpse of Precolonial African civilization.
Now, call on the power and wisdom of the ancestors. You can incorporate it into your inner wisdom and be proud. You are the universe experiencing itself as human for a short time. THAT is the ancient African paradigm!
Members of the African Diaspora have been made to feel ashamed of Africa. NO MORE! You have been given a glimpse of the power and Majesty of Africa through the fictional country of Wakanda. There is so much more to our African ancestors, their way of thinking, and their cosmology.
It’s time you learn the science rather than perpetuating superstitions of the fringe science repackaged as Christianity. Rise, my beautiful brothers and sisters! The knowledge has been left for you with keys to decode it. Ancient Egypt was the mouthpiece for the continent of precolonial Africa and their belief system. It is all there for you to gain the wisdom of the ages.
Namaste (the divine in me, recognizes the divine in you)