The hustle and bustle of today's fast paced world of instant gratification can leave you weary and numb to life. Add to that a back breaking pace that is filled with sound bites and jaw dropping tweets. The quantity of information is overwhelming and can cause our focus to remain addicted to outside stimuli leaving an empty feeling inside. Exhausted and drained, we wake up the next morning and repeat it all again; until one day, when you begin to wonder if there is more to this life, and what your purpose is in it. Some are asking if African spirituality will assist in filling this void.
African spirituality is an ancient system of guidance inspired from within. It can consist of, traditional practices, rituals, synchronicities, and impromptu decisions that could be interpreted as illogical, however, the inklings and sway are compelling enough to move the participant forward anyway. Logic sometimes defies and toys with it. Each practitioner can define their own iterations and offshoots of it to bring greater understanding of the world and their place/role in it. African spirituality is dynamically being formed, re-formed and reshaped to satisfy a greater purpose or a singular one.
A recent analysis of our top ten best selling titles since June 1, 2020 when racial tensions peaked revealed that among the topics which spoke directly to this physical tide, was "Opening to Spirit". coming in at number 7. Yes, in the midst of seekers of answers to the ways of this world were those seeking refuge from it or at least more information on what was behind it. It was refreshing to see that some wanted some spiritual explanation for what was happening.
Where do I begin?
Books on African Spirituality can be found in a myriad of categories. It is in folktales, cookbooks, herbal remedies and metaphysical books. There isn't a single book that has it all, so, begin your journey and weave together the pieces to get a full picture.
A great starting point is, "Opening to Spirit," by Caroline Shola Arewa originally released in 1998. She is a Spiritual Guide and Master of Yoga with extensive knowledge of the Chakra system. In this introductory gateway into African Spirituality, Shola Arewa starts off with an "invitation" to explore and to get in touch with this world within a world by asking some basic questions to tune you in to the subtleties of life you may have previously ignored. For example, on a routine bus ride home from work, you may have stared out the window and gotten lost in the music on your earbuds. Shola Arewa asks you to just take note of the behavior of the people on the bus, how they react to one another, and what vibe you pick up from them.
Using the energy-vibe as her centerpiece, she then moves into an explanation of the Chakras. No need to worry about getting lost in what some call the technical "woo-woo" lingo, because she sprinkles illustrations throughout to further explain her points. For example, the chart on the left shows an array of Ancient Spiritual Systems that compares the term used for a concept they have in common and builds from there. The symbol for creation is expressed in eleven different spiritual "languages." From Ancient Kemetic, The Dogon of Mali, to Carl Jung and Physics.
The novice and the adept will appreciate her expertise in demystifying spiritual terms. She comes as close as you can to painting a detailed picture of the unseen by describing what biological organ, color and emotion each chakra corresponds to. Some of the other areas covered in the book are are, cleansing, meditation, auras, personal rites of passage, and so much more. Experience a personal spiritual unfoldment as you turn each page and participate in the fun just below the surface. I highly recommend this book to get a running start on your spiritual journey.
For a collection of books on African Spirituality, visit the category we have called, "Spirituality and Metaphysics"