Though I have found much comfort in labels others have bestowed on me, I don’t think I’ve ever sat down and told people what I consider myself. I’ve been described, and described myself as a witch, and I’m comfortable with that, but this doesn’t really say anything about what I believe.
In a nutshell, I could define myself as an Afrocentric Unitarian Universalist. It’s not quite that simple, but it’ll work.
I find wisdom in the sages, mystics, and esoterics of all faiths that have any, but my comfort zone is African, specifically west African, Nubian, and Kemetic spirituality. I have studied the abrahamic faiths deeply, and appreciate the positives, but the more I learn about them, the more I am drawn to their predecessors and current manifestations of those.
I am agnostic when it comes to something like God, but this is because if it exists then it is beyond our comprehension. It would be both the origin and currently existing in all dimensions and all things in all dimensions, and I am not arrogant enough to believe that humans can wrap our heads around such a be-ing. So for practical guidance on what I, as a human should be doing and strive for, I look to the one sure guide: Nature.
African belief systems were and are still deeply connected to Nature. I can even say that where Kemetic and some others went wrong is in the belief that they could somehow override Nature with belief. That was the beginning of corruption of spirituality, in my opinion. It stopped working because people ignored things that should be carefully observed and understood, and focused on things that don’t matter. There is plenty in Nature that we don’t understand. Many miraculous things can be done within it. What it doesn’t do though, is stop being what it is because we believe it will.
I don’t believe that Yeshua, also known as Jesus, was unique. I believe he was one of many prophets and sages who it is not wrong to call on the way one would call on an honored ancestor, but he was a flawed human being like all human beings. If one is going to follow him specifically though, I believe one should do right by his memory. Feed the hungry, heal the sick, and stop persecuting trans/intersex kids or adults for that matter. In the parts of the book in red, it says eunuchs (of which Gay men are included in the context of the time he lived) have not only a place but a special place in the kingdom of God. If someone claims to believe in the Bible, then that should override Paul.
Yeshua also never attempted to convert or thought police any of the people, some of whom were polytheists, he helped.
In general, I have a problem with all religions of the past when it comes to rape and slavery. For the most part, everybody seemed cool with it, but at least in African beliefs they didn’t demand or expect slaves or the raped to be okay with it. If someone killed their rapist or overcame their oppressors, that was Nature, and a good thing.
So I have a comfort zone, but I don’t romanticize or idealize the past. Humanity in general sucked a lot, and still does, but we don’t have to. I think a good start is not using religion to justify anti social behavior. This goes for all. We all need to be loving and helping one another. Whatever helps you do that, I’m cool with.
What helps me is Eshu.
I won’t explain the principle of Eshu here because there’s plenty information out there for those who want to learn. For those who’d rather label this “idolatry”, there is no reason to bother. They’re not interested in what an Orisha or Netjer is to begin with, so if they want to believe that we literally worship statues, man-made created objects, then they don’t want to know.
What I know is that for me, the Orisha and the Netjer make sense. Not only do they make sense, but contemplating them keeps me moral in a way that none of the abrahamic faiths ever did or could. This may not work for everybody. There are some so-called traditional African spiritualists who are immoral and scammers, but they know they are on borrowed time, and usually suck at it because of this. The clear red flag is that they claim to be able to override Nature as opposed to working within it for the best possible outcome. This corruption is the flaw that leads to more corruption.
As to the afterlife, I don’t believe such a thing actually exists unless or until all matter reaches the edge of the Universe. Once we are in the cycle, what we are made of weaves in and out of life as long as there is life on our planet. Once we die, our identity melts back into the Earth, and parts of us may wake up in multiple beings. Particles circulate. This means we will return to whatever world we leave behind eventually. Good motivation to try to make it a better place.
Whenever whatever happens to the soul, which is most likely the parts of us that exist in dimensions we can’t yet directly observe, at the edge, is irrelevant compared to what we are doing with it here and now. Deep, deep down we know some stuff is cool and some stuff is not cool. One has to get over their programming to really know what that is though. People have fear and anxiety responses based on what they actually believe, and that happens through the mind, which is just, if one has bothered to go that far in their thoughts, the gateway.
You know what you really believe when you get to or close enough to the end. At least that’s how it was for me. Whatever God is, It is not the thought police. Nobody is going to hell based on which story they prefer for the creation of the universe or which prophet they liked best or who they thought was or wasn’t the only begotten son, one of the sons, or whatever. In the end, it’s just you and Love, and your last thoughts will either make you smile or scream. We are shaped through Nature as social beings.
A whole lot of folks who think they are “saved” will be screaming. A whole lot of folks who think they aren’t will be smiling.
After that, who knows? Though I’m not in a hurry to find out, I’m not worried. Today my heart is light as a feather. I strive to make it lighter still.
Blessings and Ashe!