When Christopher Columbus arrived in th Americas it was a paradise beyond words or description. Today due to the greed arrogance and corruption of man it is fast becoming a wasteland. Corporations and governments are taking control of agricultural land and the food supply and individuals are becoming enslaved to a system that makes them more and more dependent. There are few countries that are exempt from monetary collapse, disease, famine, destruction, massive demand and ever increasing consumption and waste. This trend is very disturbing to anyone with a heart. To live simply so others may simply live is vital and to practice an aboriginal spirituality utilising light and sound yoga.
Community, humanity and a utopian society. This involves sharing, humility, simplicity, laughter, joy, health, peace and compromise. Amid the doom and gloom people are standing up one by one, they are saying enough is enough. Whether they are planting a garden, helping a friend, turning vegan, picking up rubbish, refusing to permit their governments to allow greedy heartless people to control their food and water. It is not the time to lose heart, Rasta seed is everywhere.
Rasta is not religion or an “ism”. It is a philosophy and way of life that reveals itself bit by bit in a mystical way. The consciousness opens and so it gently enters into the spirit like a wave gently rolling to the shore. It is about how you live your life with love in your heart. The beauty of this philosophy of life is that it is seen through the eyes of the beholder. It may come to know you from the beginning, but only fully open your eyes to it when you are ready to accept the manifestation in the image of Rastafari. Magically it will reveal itself.
You might get a feeling, read a story, hear a song or see a picture, visit a place or meet a person. A feeling, a science, a quote, a song, an outlook, a history, a life.
To the Rastas life is about living and learning. It is full of mystery and JAH will let us know as much as we need to know at any given time. You don’t become a Rasta, it is something you work at every day of your life and it continues to grow in mind body and spirit.
Ras Tafari originated in Jamaica and means head creator. It has its roots in black-empowerment and back-to-Africa movements and evolved due to a need to stand up to oppressors with their controlling religions, cruelty and systems, reclaiming African identity, part of which was to live within the laws of nature. The movement was based in peace love and unity and was simply saying “We see the world another way and we have the right as human beings to live another way.” They also say the bible was incorrectly translated from Aramaic and through experience and intuition they can correctly discern the truth.
This attitude is not embraced by a system that functions on control and so the Ras Tafari movement was discredited and its people persecuted. The original Community in Jamaica known as The Pinnacle is now under threat but the struggle to remain continues.
Despite efforts to discredit and destroy it, Rasta has spread throughout the world. It is not about dreadlocks or the color of your skin. It is so pure it is open to be embraced by anyone and everyone. Rastas know that it liberates the mind giving the individual the ability to be truly free.
True friends are like stars; you can only recognize them when it’s dark around you.
Rasta is the truth – Rasta is Love – Rasta is simplicity – Rasta is Livity All praises unto Jah The Almighty who made all things possible.
Frequently asked questions
What do the Rastafarian colors represent?
The Rastafarian colors have great significance to Rastafari. Red is for the blood that has been shed and the unites us all. Green for Homeland Ethiopia and the natural world we live in. Gold for the gold that has been stolen and the gold of the sun, that gives all life and black for the people from which we all originate.
What are the names of the Twelve Tribes?
I and I Tribes of the children of Israel.
Judah Reuben Gad Asher Naphtali Dan Simeon Levi Issachar Zebulun Joseph Benjamin
What is Rastafari?
There cannot be said to be any one identifiable and logical origination of the Rastafarian personality and consciousness I-lusive as very spirit of Jah himself. Yet Rastafarian is an outpouring of spirit, ever the more present in the world of today. An uprising out of the past moving into the present, a striving of the Israelite to establish salvation in a world hell-bent upon destruction and annihilation of the being known as ‘man’.
A progression and metamorphosis of the spirit evolving through the prophetic years of the ‘coming’ towards the reality of the revelations of the written words being manifested; the ruler and creator of the universal world in his majestic glory present in our midst.
Rastafari as a manifestation of the Father’s spirit upon the earth in this millennium, a present day Christ consciousness moving towards the formation of a living spiritual awareness; a movement without boundaries, as Israel was, when every man lived a conscious life and did that which was right in his or her personal I.Several organised groups on the I-land give praise unto the King each in their own way, variations based upon the central themes. Rastafari exist here there and everywhere as a reflection and inspirational force of unification, a reality and potential resting in the hands of Jah. Acceptance and doubt is, as it has always been, a fine and subtle thread of perfect personal choice. When each soul/spirit sees and knows the glory of the I-heights, then in I-ssence the eureka will be experienced as Rastafarian know and live reality.
Truth and its essence cannot be communicated fully by words as it is an intuitive process light years ahead of its continual birth and rebirth; truth as an eternal, uniqueness in born within the heart of life as the supreme gift of God/Jah as love and inspiration within one’s personal Iration.
ISAIAH Chapter 11; Verses 10-12: “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathos, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hammath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nation, and shall assemble he outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth”
What is the significance of the ‘Holy Herb’ to Rastafari?
Up until the 1950’s Herb smoking was not an identifying mark of the Rastas. Chevannes believes that the smoking of herb became formalised by the group, Youth Black Faith. This group founded in 1949 were active in attempts to reassess basic Rastafarian beliefs. There were public in their use and Chevannes says (1995 p. 84) that ‘by giving it ritual sanction they were in fact expressing their contempt for the state and society.’
Chevanne’s evidence is limited and cannot be taken as a definitive analysis. Availability, recreational use and peer group reinforcement would explain its continued use within the commune. Also of importance would the rebellion implicit in illegal activity and a visible symbol of freedom from the laws of ‘Babylon’
As the Rastafarian movement grew, the acceptance of use of the ‘Holy Herb’ appears to have grown with it. Since the 1960’s the use seems intrinsic and the reasons for its use unquestioned. Bob Marley said that the smoking of the herb was to ‘aid were meditations on de truth’ (White 1991 p. 25) Barrett quotes a Rastafarian as saying ‘It gives a good meditation: it is a door inside, when it is open, you see everything that is good (Barrett, 1977 p. 136)
Peter Clarke quotes a Rastafarian who says ‘Ganja is correctly used when Rastas wish to become more aware, more receptive, when one wants to assimilate something one has just heard or read or seen, and this is best done in groups, at a reasoning sessions. (Clarke, 1986, p 89)
These ‘reasoning sessions’ are also called ‘groundings’ or ‘grounation’ Such sessions have a historical link with the Rastafarian ‘Universal convention’ held in Kingston, Jamaica in March 1958. The nature of these sessions will depend upon many variables and a reasoning session held in the Jamaican Blue Mountains will be markedly different from one held in the tenements of large inner city. Nonetheless, the essential purpose is similar, that is ‘Members come together in informal social interactions to discuss spontaneously partially any issue concerning them personally and how this related to the movement’ Such discussions were aided the the insights offered by Ganga.
Of primary importance is the use of ganja to develop insights into God and the Universe. According to a leading Rastafarian:
Man basically is God but his insight can come to man only with the use of the herb. When you use the herb, you experience yourself with God. (Barrett, 1977, p. 217)
In recent times the ‘Holy Herb’ has been revealed to mainstream as the powerful medicinal and divinative plant that it is. Greed and Trickery have held this herb in contempt for nearly a century. It is always important to remember as the corporate takeover, modern breeding and dismantling of this plant are now in full swing that seed genetic purity and personal growing of this medicine are both essential for maximum individual benefit.
Where are Dreadlocks referenced in the Bible?
Judges 16:19 (King James Version)
And she made him sleep upon her knees and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.
Judges 16:13 (King James Version)
And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web.
Song of Solomon 4:3 (King James Version)
Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.
What are the Twelve Principles of the Rastafarian High Priesthood and Priestesshood?
- Vegan and vegetarian dietary regimes
- Positive celibacy or monogamous “become one” marriage
- Horticultural based earth caretakers
- Commune with nature and avoidance of intoxicants
- Live simply in service and in peace with the dreadlock hair symbolised
- The practice of aboriginal spirituality via light and sound yoga
- Conduct reflecting the “Golden Rule towards all things
- Sustainable and small-scale enterprises
- Utilise Preventative sickness and nutritional and curative medicinal herbology
- Sustainable technology and techniques
- Create, perform and enjoy music and visual arts in your everyday life
- In thoughts, word and deeds strive to be Human Gods