What is Kamta?
By Derric "Rau Khu" Moore
Kamta is the name of the spiritual system that focuses primarily on obtaining and maintaining balance by using shamanistic practices. It is comprised of Ancient Egyptian philosophy and the remnants of Kongo practices that survived in North America.
The origins of Kamta stems from the fact that a large majority of the Africans that were enslaved and brought to North America, came from the Bantu people in the Kongo – Angolan region of Central West Africa. These people known as the BaKongo or Bantu-Kongo were familiar with European Christianity due to their initial peaceful interactions with the Portuguese that occurred around 1482. Although a number of African ethnicities have contributed to present day African American spiritual thought.
The core of African American spirituality is essentially BaKongo in nature and centers on the spiritual concept of rebirth, which totally overlaps the Christian idea because it is based upon the classic Kongo cosmological system called the dikenga dia Kongo, tendwa kia nza-n' Kongo or known simply as the Kongo Cross.
The Kongo Cross as Robert Farris Thompson defines in Four Moments of the sun: Kongo art in two worlds, is "Coded as a cross, a quartered circle or diamond, a seashell spiral, or a special cross with solar emblems at each ending - the sign of the four moments of the sun is the Kongo emblem of spiritual continuity and renaissance par excellence. In certain rites it is written on the earth, and a person stands upon it to take an oath, or to signify that he or she understands the meaning of life as a process shared with the dead below the river or the sea - the real sources of earthly power and prestige, in Kongo thinking... The intimation, by shorthand geometric statements, of mirrored worlds within the spiritual journey of the sun, is the source and illumination of some of the more important important sculptural gestures and decorative signs pertaining to funerary monuments and objects designated for deposit on the surface of funerary tombs, or otherwise connected with funerary ceremonies and the end of life."
Basic understanding of the Kongo Cross is that just like the sun rises in the east (Kala), peaks at midday (Tukula), sets in west (Luvemba) and is mysteriously reborn at midnight (Musoni). The human soul which mirrors the cycle of the sun through birth, life and death, provided he or she is righteous will also be mysteriously reborn.
However, due to slavery, mainstream American prejudice and the lack of familiarity with African spirituality, the theology behind the Kongo cosmology in North America was eventually lost, resulting in a loss of cultural traditions. As a result, even though cultural practices continue to be observed in North America. The lack of African theology prevented one from overcoming their fears, guilts, inhibitions and other negative emotions learned through social conditioning, thus inhibiting one from discovering their true self, and developing spiritually.
Fortunately, through cultural comparison with the Kamitic (Ancient Egyptian) spiritual system a similar cosmological guide was discovered called the Maa Aankh, which reintroduces African theology. Thus allowing for individuals to achieve balance and overcome their inhibitions, while developing spiritually.
The Principles & Beliefs of Kamta
The principle beliefs of Kamta is that the human being is composed of nine divisions, which can be subdivided into three categories that roughly correspond to the three concepts of the human mind, called the ba (superconscious or Higher Self), sahu (subconscious or Lower Self) and the ab (conscious mind, also sometimes called the Middle Self or simply the human soul). According to Kamta belief, the sahu division of the spirit is tasked with maintaining our autonomous bodily functions, storing all of our memories and is the seat of our emotions, while the ba is intuitive, corrective, divine and concerns itself with us reaching our highest potential, but due to our familiarity with the sahu and all of the things that we have learned. The sahu often rejects to do what is correct due to egotistical reasons such as anxiety, fear, selfishness and other inhibitions. Thereby preventing one from achieving fulfillment, happiness and peace in his or her life. As a result, a spiritual and physical imbalance occurs, resulting in illness, bad luck, financial demise and various other problems. The remedy is to use the ab to consciously connect to the ba (superconscious or Higher Self), which in return will overpower the sahu (subconscious or Lower Self). Thereby restoring balance to one’s life.
It is believed that the Kamitic philosophers knowing the relationship between the ba, sahu and ab allegorized the entire spiritual process as the Legend of Osar. In the legend, Osar (Osiris in Greek) realized his divinity and discovered the divine law of Maa, so he decided to teach all of his people and all humanity what he had learned. But, his youngest brother Set who was very desirous of power, and jealous of Osar murdered the legendary king, hid his remains and usurped the throne. Thanks to Osar’s devoted wife Oset, Osar’s body was recovered and magically Oset conceived an heir for Osar who she named Hru that challenged his evil uncle for the throne. After a series of stalemates, Hru finally defeated his uncle on the battlefield with the help of his father’s wise vizier Djahuti. However, due to Set’s sway over the courts and the government, he managed to convince the public that Hru was not the legitimate heir of Osar. Finally, after taking the matter to court and much deliberation, the spirit of Osar returned and proclaimed that Hru was indeed his true successor and that Set had committed numerous injustices in order to ascend to the throne. Through the intercession of Osar, Hru was awarded the throne, given the double Pschent crown and declared the unifier of the kingdom.
Osar is therefore seen as one’s great ancestor (commonly associated with King Narmer) or personal guardian angel that can be talked to anytime and anywhere. Set on the other hand is considered the Kamitic devil or Set-an (Satan), but unlike the Christian idea of a malevolent entity that personifies evil and wars against God. Set is similar to the Hebrew Satan that acts as an “accuser” or “adversary” and corresponds to one’s ego. Hru therefore, symbolizes our conscious decision to follow either Osar or Set, or said another way our Higher or Lower self.
The Meaning of the Name Kamta
The basis of the name Kamta stems from the idea that the relationship between the Ba (superconscious), Sahu (subconscious) and Ab (conscious) is believed was further allegorized geographically by the Kamitic philosophers when they decided to name the northern arid region of Kamit, Lower Kamit or TASETT, which means the Red Lands and they chose to symbolize it by a red crown called the Deshret.
While the fertile southern region of Kamit, known as Upper Kamit was called the KAMTA, which means the Black Lands referring to the fertile dark soil due to the inundation of the north-flowing Nile River. However, the white crown of Osar called the Hedjet was used to symbolize KAMTA, thus indicating that the term doesn’t just refer to the soil of the land but is a reference to mysterious unknown.
When the white Hedjet and the red Deshret crowns are joined together, they create the double Pschent crown, symbolizing superficially the unification of both lands into one kingdom.
A more profound perspective indicates balance between the spiritual and physical reality, and balance due to following one’s Osar instead of Set. Metaphorically speaking it can be said that the calming and cooling effect of one’s guardian angel’s wisdom, tempers the excessively passionate and destructive nature of one’s lower self, which is symbolized on the Maa Aankh.
Hence Kamta is a pun referring to the return to the invisible and hidden spirit realm, the dream world, where Osar, our spirit guides and our benevolent ancestors reside.
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