There is such a deeper side to life that very few ever encounter. What makes it even worse is that many who actually encounter this deeper side don’t know how to use it to guide them, or to express their gift to the world, or simply enjoy the world in a fulfilling way. I have found that the power behind symbols brings a rich focus to my day-to-day journey. As I look at them, I remember to remember as with the Sankofa Bird, I see the beauty in our queens, as with the Duafe, and on the flip side, I see the symbols that have brought on a sense of hatred and inhumane ideals as with the Nazi use of the swastika and the confederate flag being proudly waved all across the southern states.
The symbols that have represented my stance for some time now are the ever present Ankh, of Kemet, and Akofena, an Adinkra symbol of the Akan people signifying the swords of war, standing for courage, valor and heroism. These symbols will always be at the forefront of my journey because their meanings have been such a stronghold in my mental make-up over the past couple of decades.
My introduction and understanding of the Ankh pre-dates the Erykah Badu explanation. Until she defined it on her Live album as the female-male principles, I always saw it as a protective talisman, a source and bearer of energy. So, combining the two brought about a grand meaning, an ultimate partner for me in life. And I have been with it ever since. Akofena on the other hand was a more recent understanding for me. A symbol realized in the light of rhythmic and poetic artistry a.k.a. the Griot Project out of Cleveland. The realization deepened when this particular artistic journey showed me how long the struggle for the Afrikan Diapsora would be and how the enemy of Afrikan unity and progress was a relentless beast. Thus, the swords of war.
Furthermore, the experience of the Afrikan in America calls for an understanding of symbolism above most disciplines and aspects of culture. Why symbolism? Because the meanings and visual stimulation that resonates stand firm over centuries, and they are proven commodities.
I choose to live in this moment with these symbols at my side because it is a necessary move! I encourage you all to find that deeper meaning of life. Don’t bandwagon jump, don’t piggyback, search and find something that speaks to you, guides your actions and manifests your greatness from within. Use these symbols (and others) to take your mind to another level, to reach our youth, to bond with others, to learn the history of a great civilization, or perhaps to create a family crest.
There is no limit… simply enjoy and be empowered.
Here are a few resources to check out a number of symbols:
Books (that can found at your local library):