Friday, January 27, 2012

African Storm - Bringing the music home.

I visited a Reggae Dancehall session tonight in Jo'burg;-)
Thanks to Nick for hooking me up on the guest list at the Bassline night club in town to go and listen to a sound system called African Storm which is run by a very old friend of mine DJ Admiral & his partner former Bongo Maffin band member Jahseed.

I jumped at the chance to attend a reggae session in Africa and I realised that, reggae and ragga were alive in Johannesburg. In fact, it's thriving and has a huge following cutting across all classes and races, who on a regular basis converge on this venue to hear this music played by African Storm as they spin ragga tunes.

Often also called dance hall music, ragga is different from reggae in distinct ways. Ragga is the more popular version of reggae, particularly among the youth since it is mainly for dancing in a club (hall) as opposed to reggae, which is mainly for the listening experience for its inspirational messages of freedom, consciousness and its melodies. Dancehall or ragga is more of a DJ-ing concept, with artists spinning songs of a certain rhythm.

When I arrived at the Bassline, around 11pm I was met by Andy at the door and we went inside and chatted for a while the place was already packed and full of energy with loads of youths with Dreadlocks and performing their version of the famous "Rastaman Skank". Andy's set started about 12:00 so we went backstage and he introduced me to his crew and then got on stage to begin his set.

I stood looking out towards the crowd taking in the ambience and just generally watching the crowd dance and enjoy the music....I slowly zoned out to the hypnotic rythms being played. 

Then suddenly I heard a slightly high pitched Keyboard string resonate out and the crowd also recognised it.......they went crazy!!! 

"Singing don't worry, bout a thing" Bob Marley;-) followed by "Buffalo Soldier" as a wave of hysteria shot through the crowd and they cheered even louder!!! I was amazed and then it totally exploded as the Admiral dropped the classic "One Love" as the crowd joined together and sang the chorus and waving their arms in the air.

Although I was brought up on Reggae and Bob in general as my Mother loves him and would encourage my younger Brother, Sister and I to dance in the front room as the sound of Bob bellowed out of the speakers. I have never heard a Bob Marley tune played at a dance but, it was a real joy to see that crowd go mad for it and I felt especially proud being part Jamaican especially when I heard One love and I felt finally that the music had come home.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I think I'm home

South Africa: A place where time is merely a timeless concept.

A big, fat, huge, enormous smile on my face;-)

Monday, January 23, 2012

First impressions

I’m in South Africa – Johannesburg or Jo'burg to be precise.

AFREEKA!!! The land of my Father's forefathers and Ubuntu (the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity) one of the world’s most profoundly compassionate philosophies originated in South Africa.

It is seen by many Africans as the land of milk and honey perhaps, that’s due to it having the strongest economy in Africa, don't forget that about a year ago they also hosted the first Football World Cup to be held on the African continent in 2010......That takes some serious financial committment.

Johannesburg, South Africa is located at the bottom of Africa. It is surrounded by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho. Since I’ve been here I’ve discovered that there are 11 official languages (English, Afrikaans, Ndebele, Sepedi, Xhosa, Venda, Tswana, Southern Sotho, Zulu, Swazi and Tsonga). Of the 45 million South Africans, nearly 31 million are Black, 5 million White, 3 million Coloured (a term used for mixed African, Asian and White descent) and 1 million Indian.

My view of South Africa as an outsider is made of images from the media during the apartheid era and colored by the same stereotypes as the rest of Africa.
I genuinely believed, South Africa to be seriously poor with an unstable government, seriously violent and you were unable to walk the street for fear of being robbed and killed but, yes I still accepted the challenge.

Can't believe everything you read.

There are glorious South African sunsets for instance and the great blue African skies and the hospitality of really nice welcoming people I have met. They seem open, kind, and helpful. The rough humour, the ready smile, just the way good people make do without complaining, they just seem to carry on.

Don't get me wrong you still have to be on your toes and the Townships remain among the poorest and the least developed parts of the world and poverty in the townships is appalling, some say progress is being made but it is very slow. 
One of the things that is hyped is that when apartheid ended 27% of the population had access to clean water and now that been increased to around 80% of the population although in the rural areas access to clean water is still scarce and the process of recovering from apartheid, which lasted 45 years (Ta Rarse!!) ending in 1994 is quite slow.

And, whilst the Government maybe black, I don't quite think they are pulling the strings, to my eyes corruption seems to be prevalent along with a certain nepotism and you can see it around you.
If you visit the townships you will see tin corrugated iron houses and people living amongst sewage and rubbish but, just a few kilometres away up the road in the white middle class suburbs such as Bryanston or Sandton you will see massive building developments taking place everywhere., the rich and old money hiding behind big walls with barbed wire and electric fences.

I think that within political circles Tribalism has taken a more prevalent position, while of course Racism has not been totally rooted out and that will take a few generations before the black people feel truly equal, it's almost as if the poor will be slaves to the rich here whether they be white or black. 

So far my general consensus is that South Africa "The Rainbow nation" is a country full of contradictions. It definitely has an exotic combination of landscapes, people, history and culture, and is offering me a unique and inspiring experience of dark and mysterious Africa beyond my wildest dreams. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sometimes we take it for granted

We run around at a frantic and sometimes crazy pace, some called it the stress of life (although, I don’t do stress). I often forget about life and what it’s really all about.

Running around to make appointments, meet deadlines, chasing money. In the scheme of things it’s just bullsh*t. Often we just forget the Universe (I know I do) and it’s constant presence in every moment and the miracle it provides called LIFE.

It’s not always easy to understand the Universe and the role we play in the grand scheme of things. I am just starting to be aware of the Universe and the Light it brings into our lives and that this energy, this Force governs the entire world.

Because everything just seems to happen we take it for granted - but perhaps it’s better explained through “Mother nature.”

We see Father Sun rise in the morning and set in the evening, Mother Earth spins on her axis, Sister Moon lights the night, we see the tides come and go, Brother stars guide the way in the night sky. And, we forget it’s all part of a system that seems to just work constantly and on its own. 

Yes, I think in some instances we just tend to take it for granted.

And sometimes just occasionally we get a reminder and The Universe performs small miracles (Yep, he’s lost it – I hear you say).

Well, Yesterday, I had one of those reminders.
I visited an open reserve for Lions and other wild animals here in South Africa. I had the opportunity to sit with a Lion cub and look into its eyes and interact with it, no fence, no security just the cub and I. The cub even allowed me to stroke him and we just sat next to each other for about five minutes (Yes, of course I was apprehensive and scared).
But, I don’t know what it was all about, I just know that something about me put this cub at ease, yes, maybe if I come back in a year or so he would just maul and bite me and that’s why I see it as a small miracle on a number of levels. 

How lucky am I - Not too many people get this opportunity.

The cycle of LIFE itself is a miracle. Nature is simply constant miracles in action. 

Definitely, one of those days where all I can think is “Thank you”;-).

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Nature reserve


                                          Spotted Hyena

Gambit the Giraffe

He who sits with Lions

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Consciousness drives the Universe

The substance of the Universe is not matter.

The Universe consists of consciousness then it should only follow that it is our behaviour that is important and not material wealth.

When will people realise that one?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

What is Chakra and did the Ancient Egyptians practice it - part 2

Chakra as we know it is a Hindu/Buddhist concept but, the ancient Egyptians certainly believed in the idea of Karma they called it Ma' at.

I should be taking therapy or medication. But, I'm happy to stand by that statement.

Anyway, I had a theory about Akenhaton and Moses (another thread;-). So, I went in search of some info to Egypt to see things for myself. After travelling from France through Europe and down through Turkey, Kurdistan and the Levant I got to Egypt. I took a cruise on the Nile and was lucky enough to meet a group of people lead by a couple of very clued up Egyptian Coptic Christians. They introduced me to Chakra. They believed that the Ancient Egyptians practiced a form of Chakra.

They were about to start travelling up the Nile on this cruise and asked if I'd be interested in joining them in doing Chakra energising rituals in the Temples along the way at Sunrise or Sunset.....My first question, Oh yeah right, How much?. Nope, they didn't want a penny but just wanted to share this with me. So, for about 9 days we did this Chakra thing along the Nile. AWESOME.

Let me turn on the light for you.

I had just visited Abu Simbel, which rises up high above Lake Aswan, to see the Temples of Ramses and his royal wife, Nefertari. These sites represent the balancing of male and female energies. I did not know this whilst there.

It began in Aswan

Aswan, a major city with Elephantine Island and the Temple of Hathor, is considered the Root Chakra. The main god of Aswan is Khnum, the ram-headed god — the god of creation who sits on the potter's wheel and forms and makes individuals out of clay. It is said when visiting Aswan, many people experience what we might call "a new birth". I did as I met local people, Nubians and went to a wedding with the Drums going it was awesome. I was with the Nubians, the ancient Kushites dancing round fires and chanting. (Yes I).

We go North from Aswan, to Ko Mombo — at the Navel Chakra. This temple is dedicated to two gods, Sobek and Ra Hr Akhty. Sobek is the crocodile god, representing the lower self, and the god Ra Hr Akhty — Horus Who Is In the Horizon (or heaven) — represents the Higher Self. Here in Ko Mombo we can see the struggle between the higher and lower selves written on the temple walls.

There's a crypt where people used to swim with the crocodiles to overcome your fear and negativity. The inscriptions I was told mention the god Imhotep, whom the ancient Egyptians considered to be the god of medicine. There are loads of pictures on the floor which show people seeking healing.
Always North Edfu — still in the area of the Navel Chakra — struggle of good and evil. The story involves Isis, Osirus, Set, and Horus. When Osirus was killed by his brother Set over the kingship of Egypt, Horus, the son of Osirus, took over the job of getting rid of his evil uncle, Set.

In the story on the walls of the temple, the god Thoth, the god of science and intelligence, is reading a rolled papyrus. Behind the god Thoth is the god Horus, and behind Horus, his mother, Isis, who is lifting his arm as a sign of support.
They outlined Horus in a boat, with Set being represented by a crocodile. Horus is trying to stab the crocodile with a spear. In further scenes, the crocodile takes on another form, that of a hippopotamus. Horus tries to kill the hippopotamus.

Then the hippopotamus becomes a pig under water. What! A pig can't live under water, So it must have a hidden meaning. In the end, Horus overcomes the pig and takes the pig to an altar. There we see the pig chained the High priest holding a knife, but the knife is not at the neck of the pig — it is at its back. This is a metaphor on how you can get rid of your negativity — the evil side — on the altar.

They explained to me If you kill an animal, You kill it by cutting the artery at the jugular or the left front leg.
But in the Temple we see that the high priest has chained the pig, the pig is standing, and the knife is pointed at the back. It was a metaphor saying you can get rid of your sins on an altar......I didn't quite believe that one.
So, they said when you sin, what do you do? You go to an altar, and you confess.
You go to an altar, to a special place to connect to God, and acknowledge what you have done. Many of the temples had an altar in the Holy of Holies.
After the naval we move on to Luxor — or Thebes, as it was called. This is the Solar Plexus Chakra. Again, we see the struggle between the higher and lower energies.

Luxor temple represents people who were partying and drinking. We see the temple's residents living in big palaces, and being more into the carnal life than the spiritual world. Luxuries of life but were far away from God. The high priests were using the people to gain wealth and to elevate their own egos.

Now we come to El Amarna and Akenhaton/Nefertiti and the high priests were abusing the people. Akenhaton became angry about the corruption and decided to move the center of his kingdom to another place. In the texts it says that the Pharoah went into a land that had never known sin (The Desert). There, he established six boundary steles, or sacred tablets, and he swore on these steles that he would never go back to the South meaning back to Luxor. He called the new city Akhat Aton or "the horizon of Aton." It was also called Tell El Amarna, and is the Heart Chakra.

In antiquity the sun had three names. Early in the morning it was called Kheper, which is represented by the scarab. In the middle of the day, when it was in its strongest form, the sun was called Ra. At sunset — when the sun was setting and gentle — it was called Aton. So Aton was one of the forms of the sun god. Akhnaton believed in the concept of one God and the Law of One, so he took the name from the god's form at sunset — the sun in its gentle form.

From Tell El Armarna, we go to Sakkara, which is at the Throat Chakra. It is the old capital that was called Memphis, or Mnfr — which means the "White Beautiful Wall." We know that the kings of the First, Second, and Third Dynasties built tombs in Sakkara and Abydos. Abydos was considered the Mecca of ancient Egypt. Then we travelled upto Cairo to Giza, or the Brow Chakra leaving the cruise behind.

The Giza pyramids were considered to be the center of the world, and the ancient Egyptians talked about a hidden record in the area of the Sphinx.

They showed me carvings of the Pharoah holding the crook or the HaKa. They believed that the base of the HaKa represents the Base Chakra, and that the curve of the staff ends up at the Brow Chakra, or the Third Eye. To go to the Brow Chakra, you must come close to the Crown Chakra. Some people believe that the Crook, or the HaKa, is the symbol for raising the energy up the spine.

After we are finished with the Brow Chakra, we go on to the Crown Chakra. There are two schools of thought on this. One is that the Crown Chakra is in Heliopolis. This was the city of the god Ra — the Sun God. Of course, if you raise your energy to Heliopolis, or to that level, you don't belong here on earth, you are in the Angelic Kingdom. You are with the gods, or you are a god. The Crown Chakra is also represented by the Delta itself which looks like the petals of a Lotus flower.

What is Chakra and did the Ancient Egyptians practice it

Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning wheel, or vortex, and it refers to each of the seven energy centers, our energy system, is composed.

These energy centers are situated along the spinal column and are located between the base of the spine and the crown of the head.
Information on the chakra meanings found in ancient texts has been able to be substantiated by modern man using current equipment.

How did they know?

Ancient healers began to associate various parts of the body with such things as their emotions, their physical state, and their spiritual being.
They worked out the location of various chakras and their meanings. And then they learned how to use them for healing. Using this ancient information combined with our current knowledge we now know that the concept of chakras is actually true.

These chakras, or energy centers, function as pumps or valves, regulating the flow of energy or electricity through our energy system. The functioning of the chakras reflects decisions we make concerning how we choose to respond to conditions in our life. We open and close these valves when we decide what to think, and what to feel, and through which perceptual filter we choose to experience the world around us.

All of your senses, perceptions and possible states of awareness, everything that we can experience, can be divided into seven categories and can then be associated with a particular chakra. Thus, the chakras represent not only particular parts of your physical body, but also particular parts of your consciousness. Deep isn't it;-)

It is the Chakras that transmits life force energy through the body. But before I can outline the Ancient Egyptian Chakra I need to give a brief explanation of each chakra, its Location and its properties.

There are seven major chakras between the base of the spine and the crown of the head and each governs specific bodily functions. There are also chakras located below the feet and above the head.

The first chakra is called the Base Chakra or the Root Chakra... and is located at the base of the spine. It governs survival, base instincts, the sex drive and physical life. red and black

The second chakra is called the Sacral Chakra or the navel chakra... and is located below the navel. It governs the area of the sacrum which is the large bone of the pelvis between the hip bones. It is associated with your emotions, sensuality, intimacy, sexuality and creativity. Orange.

The third chakra is called the Solar Plexus Chakra... and is named after the complex network of nerves in the stomach. It may also be called the Power chakra as it is the area governing personal power. Yellow.

The fourth chakra is called the Heart Chakra and is located in the center of the chest near the heart. It is associated with love, compassion, unconditional love and happiness. Green and Pink.

The fifth chakra is called the Throat Chakra and is located above the collar bone. It governs the area of the throat and the ears. It is associated with communication. Blue

The sixth chakra is called the The Brow or Third Eye Chakra and is located in the forehead above the eyebrows. It governs the area of the pineal gland. The pineal gland has been believed since ancient times to be where 'second sight' or psychic sight was located. Purple.

The seventh chakra is called the Crown Chakra and it is located at the crown of the head right above the top of the head. It is associated with the pituitary gland, spirituality, intelligence and deep thought. Violet and White.
What Do Chakras Do

The chakra meanings are often associated with your spiritual journey. While you maybe aware that energy flows within the physical body, the energy that flows within the etheric body will affect you not only physically, but also emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

If you have some imbalance in your system it may indicate that the chakra is not spinning properly. Chakra balancing may be needed to improve your health and bring the chakras back to a state of perfect balance.

Although you are born with your chakras in balance, it does not take long for life's experiences to cause a state of imbalance to occur. These blocks in the energy flow within the human energy field may cause anything from minor illnesses or a sense of feeling not quite right, through to a major illness.

Particular colors and sounds (vibrations) are associated with each chakra and so it is believed they can be used for healing by using specific colors or vibrations to heal the chakra with healing crystals of those specific colors or vibrations will work on individual chakras.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

So, I finally worked out my resolution for 2012.

Be engaging, be conversational, be humble and learn


Someone asked me the other day "Why is it that people tend to choose the path of least resistance in life, the easiest option".

Well, There's no easy answer - People are a funny lot or as I've heard said before "Nothing as queer as Folk".

In short though I think we all look for the easy, comfortable situations. But staying comfortable doesn’t generate lasting light. In order to really enjoy life we've goto learn to escape our comfort zones and dive headfirst into uncomfortable situations.

Ouch! I hear you say and yes, I will admit that yes, the path of most resistance, you know the one that's normally the most stress or grief (You know I don't do stress) can cause some serious pain only for a moment though, but I'll tell you this and, nope it wont cost you a thing;-)

I've come to realise having taken a few leaps in my time (Oh yeah!) and I recall sitting in a place called Harran in Kurdistan at the Mesopotamian Temple of the Moon God Sin just looking out across the plains across the Ancient Silk trade route capturing a glimpse of a rainbow where I thought that it’s the only way to generate long-term fulfillment, happiness and satisfaction that can come with a certain sense of achievement.

As difficult though it may seem, the people who seem really happy tend to embrace rather than avoid problems and obstacles. So perhaps instead they are true opportunities and the quickest path to transformation, growth, and the ultimate in happiness........

Ya know what I mean, Innit;-)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Problems, what problems

A student says to his spiritual teacher, “I have no money. What am I going to do?” “No problem - pray to the Universe,” the teacher says. “But I don’t know how to pray.” “Now you have a problem!”

Our problems are not problems. The real problem is when we cannot connect to The Universe.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Our Year of Love and Light. A year of Change, a time of Hope.

Hold on, easy for a moment. Just Chill. For a moment. Reflect on all that has happened in 2011. In your life personally and in the World at large

Before these these times pass by and slip into the past let's do something that nobody does anymore.

Look up at the sky;-)

And just call out some of these words below, thinking about their meaning.

Hope, Openness, Love and Light, Knowledge, The Universe, Spirituality, Enlightenment and Change, Global consciousness, Cuddles and Hugs, The awakening of Humanity, Peace, Compassion, The Supreme Being, Fidelity, Utopia, Forgiveness, Esoteric mystery, Mercy, Warmth and Unity.

These are my Thoughts, Ideals, Visions, Hopes and Aspirations as we gather pace and run toward Christmas and crossover through to the year that is 2012.

A Merry Xmas & Happy New Year full of Love and Light from Big Daddy Wayne X;-).

About Me

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Just passing through and enjoying life. I use this blog to keep hold of my thoughts & opinions. In general anything that interest me.