Search the Dark Waters of Nun

Sunday, August 29, 2010

My Path to Ptah

After a warm chat that I had with my mother and father quite recently, I kept thinking about how the lessons that they taught me as a child growing up laid the foundation for me being the man that I am today. My mom, who was naturally my first teacher, destroyed much of the mental conditioning that I was subjected to while walking through that pediatric Valley of Death known as the public school system.

Although I grew up in a Rastafarian household, I was exposed to the many schools of thought that comprised the living corpus of Black liberation theology. More importantly, I was consistently reminded that I had a history that extended far beyond the African slave trade. It’s comical to me how so many whites say that African Americans need to get on with their lives and forget about slavery. They conveniently ignore the fact that the only thing that African Americans learn about themselves in school is that their ancestors were once slaves who were legally discriminated against upon being released from the cotton fields. Financially speaking, I came from a very modest family but we were rich with history and culture.

My mom took my sisters and I to museums, libraries and numerous cultural events that reinforced our true identities which the public school system sought to erase. They willfully tried to destroy our minds with the hope that we would become faithful parishioners in their Beasthood. Even as a child I was drawn to ancient Kemetic culture. Although some people may not believe it, I specifically remember trying to build Heru Em Akhet (the Great Sphinx) in the sandbox as a student in Kindergarten. I did not know what this great structure was called, or its symbolic significance, but what I did know was that it had captured my imagination in a way that my words could yet describe.

Like my dad—who was born in the sign of Libra as I was—I took a special liking to the arts. It didn’t hurt that I was good at it. My dad was a great bass guitarist who also liked to paint, while I loved to draw and play the drums. My mom recognized my interest in ancient Kemetic culture as a child and would tell me stories about this mysterious book that predated the Bible called the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Through the independent research that I did much later in life, I learned that it was actually called The Book of Coming Forth From Night By Day. Nevertheless, if the lioness had never given me my initial point of reference, I probably wouldn’t have researched a thing, so I am grateful to her for that.

When I was 12-years-old my mom gave me one of her favorite books which I still own to this day. It was a 1972 copy of Black Man of the Nile by the great Master Teacher Dr. Yosef Ben Jochannan. One afternoon around that time we were both listening to WLIB on the radio and they aired an excerpt of a lecture by Dr. Ben who talked about Ausar (Osiris) and his dismemberment at the hands of his brother Set. Not many 12-year-olds knew who Osiris and Isis were, but needless to say, I did. Those were my pre-teenage years so my study of Kemet did not go far beyond that.

Back then I was more concerned with getting a pair of designer jeans in my failed attempt to impress the girls that I liked (Guess jeans, Columbia jackets, ACG sneakers...I turned styles, but still never made it into their subways) playing basketball, and listening to EPMD’s new Business As Usual album. Reading about Imhotep or the invading Tamahu weren’t exactly on my To-Do list, so to speak. Still, I never lost my interest in ancient Kemetic history and culture. The rap group X-Clan enabled me to explore that love in a way that was more palatable to my young mind which was deeply rooted in art and entertainment. Their song Earth Bound” remains one of my all-time favorite hip hop songs.

When, I got into my late teens my dad’s influence on me became stronger although he always lived in the household. Although I did not realize it at the time, he was the one who introduced me to the world of metaphysics. Ironically, my dad wasn’t one to read many books. Still I remember that many of our conversations were of a metaphysical nature. My dad’s a Libran (Air Sign) so I guess he’s a natural mentor in that area just as Elijah Muhammad, another Libran, was to the intellectual giant Malcolm Little. My Father would say things pertaining to the purpose of life and the nature of the universe that I had often considered in my private moments. However, if my dad did not place a frame of perception around my deepest, most abstract thoughts—thereby confirming them as a tangible reality worthy of acknowledgement—I would have ignored them altogether and risked missing out on an important part of my evolution from a boy to a man.

It’s funny to me now, because he told me that when we talk about metaphysics these days, he doesn’t know what the fuck I’m talking about half the time. He joked that he just shakes his head in agreement because it sounds good (I’m laughing while I write this). My mom agreed with him. My mom was more hands on in helping me to cultivate my intellect and character, while my dad, in his unique way, helped me to understand my personal connection to The Infinite. He put me on the path that would eventually lead to Ptah.

In ancient Kemet Ptah was worshipped as a patron of aspiring artists and the Grand Architect of the physical universe. Etymologically speaking, the word "atrophy" means to "break down and decay." The opposite of "atrophy" is "trophy" which must have originally been a reference to the process of building. The earliest trophies ever made were cast in the image of this great builder god. Ptah is the Master Draftsman of the cosmic blueprint and Father of the Gods. Through his divine words, Ptah uttered the cosmos into being (John 1:1). Ptah gives order and structure to all things. Ptah’s wife, the lioness “Sekhemet,” was the “Shekhem of Kemet”. The Shekhem is the most fundamental projection of spirit as the animating force in all sentient life forms. The shekhem also enables man to positively influence his environment through his mere presence. In calling Sekhemet the wife of Ptah, the Kemites were artfully conveying the idea that Ptah was completely devoted to that which invigorated and sustained his beloved Black land.

Since man is a microcosm of a macrocosmic God, the Kemites recognized that Ptah also represented a mental faculty that we all have, albeit some are more in tune with this faculty than others. A man or woman with strong Ptah attributes generally isn’t very talkative. They’re reserved in their speech, dependable and hard working. They are good long term planners and organizers who know how to manage their time wisely. You will notice that Ptah is usually depicted wearing a blue skull cap. This is the blue war crown that was prominently worn in Nubia, which suggests that Ptah’s origins can be traced further into the Nile Valley's interior.

One might ask why a deity known for being a patron of artists would be depicted wearing a war crown. The answer is that one who aspired to master the Art of War had to study in the priesthood of Ptah. According to Kemetic cosmology, Ptah arose from the primordial black waters of Nun to construct the universe, hence today, you have the private military company Blackwater Worldwide. But before one could become highly proficient in the art of war they had to master the Art of Facts (from which you get the word artifacts). Men Nefer (Memphis), Ptah’s city of worship, was home to ancient Kemet’s greatest fact finders, record keepers, and scholars including the great master builder, Imhotep. Also there were two other crowns that were prominent in ancient Kemet: the red crown (Lower Kemet) and the white crown (Upper Kemet).

The red, white and blue motif you see in the British, North American and French flags was taken from ancient Kemet, but then what didn’t they take from our Nile Valley ancestors? The royal families of Britain and France were all blood relatives. Their kings were literally distant cousins. Meanwhile, more than a few U.S. presidents trace their lineage to the British crown. Historically, Britain, France and the United States (Jubilo, Jubila, Jubilum) have been physically (red) and spiritually (white) united in their war (blue) against the descendants of Kemet who were struck in the head and then laid to rest in the west as Tehuti had forseen in the Corpus Hermeticum (Body of Tehuti).

In the Kemetic Paut Neteru (Tree of the Gods), which Hasidic Jews call the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, Ptah occupies the third sphere. The Jews call this sphere Binah (it’s pronounced “bean-ah” and means “understanding”) which represents the 32nd path of wisdom on the Tree of Life. The fact that Ptah’s sphere occupies the Kabbalistic Pillar of Severity further confirms my assertion that he is THE tactical god of war. Ptah’s sacred stone is onyx and his color is black. This is why you often see Orthodox Jewish men wearing black slacks, black blazers, all black everything. Their Yarmulkes are a variation on the theme of Ptah’s skull cap which is black in some stelaes. Muslim men wear Kufis which is clearly a holdover from the Ptah priesthood. The Tefillin, that mysterious black box that the Jewish Rabbis tie to their foreheads, is symbolic of the dark matter cube of space constructed by Ptah, who is a manifestation of Ra as dark kinetic energy.

When we adhere to the precepts of Ptah we are casting our ballots to Elect Ra’s City so that his monstrous energy can course through every filament of our being, filling us with gigawatts of divine light. This is why Orthodox Jewish men wear white dress shirts under their black blazers. The white shirt is symbolic of the copious inner light that can only be housed by a black body. The wide-brimmed black hat is their spin on the Haitian vodou god, Baron Samedi. Even the Jewish sabbath is on a Saturday, which is the Baron's day of worship. That's no coincidence.

In ancient Rome the Baron was called Saturn and in Kemet he was known as Ptah. If more Black people embraced their magic as much as other ethnic groups do they would live more progressive lives. Blacks cannot be upset with members of other ethnic groups who practice the magic that they have discarded in favor of religion which is little more than a tool for mind control. In many respects, Ptah is the Jewish god Jehovah/Yahweh, the infamous Demiurge. As the archetype of the 3rd sephiroth, Ptah is the god of 3rd Density. This aspect of the holographic universe that we occupy is called 3rd Density becasue it is the realm of earth, air and fire. Water is not a pure element. It is actually a combination of air and fire.

In one conversation I had with my Father when I was about eighteen he told me that God presents us with challenges to test our characters and see how we will react to different life circumstances. He specifically said that we are playing a chess game with God and what we call the devil might actually be God testing our metal. My Father did not get that from a book. The only book I ever saw him read was the Bible. He got that from the personal insight that only a Father can pass on to his son. What he said to me in our small apartment hallway is the most insightful thing that I have heard from a metaphysical standpoint to this day. I often refer back to what my Father said to me when I am encumbered by the feelings of self-doubt that life’s challenges often bring. As a result, I consistently find myself doing what I am told I cannot.

When I was 22-years-old I came across a book that elaborated on what my Father told me. The book is called Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil by Liz Greene. It said:

“In traditional astrology Saturn is known as a malefic planet. Even his virtues are rather dreary—self control, tact, thrift, caution—and his vices are particularly unpleasant because they operate through the emotion we call fear. He has none of the glamour associated with the outer planets and none of the humanness of the personal planets. In popular conception he is devoid of any sense of humor. He is usually considered to be the bringer of limitation, frustration, hard work, and self-denial, and even his bright side is usually associated with wisdom and self-discipline of the man who keeps his nose to the grindstone and does not commit the atrocity of laughing at life. By his sign and house position Saturn denotes those areas of life in which the individual is likely to be frustrated or met with difficulties. In many instances Saturn seems to correspond with any weakness or flaw on the part of the person himself but which merely “happen,” thereby earning the planet the title “Lord of Karma.”

The Bible says that the man who strays from the path of understanding (Binah) comes to rest in the company of the dead. I am eternally grateful to both of my parents for putting me on my path to Ptah. I will not stray from it