Kwanzaa 4 the Kosmos: an excerpt from iiiYansa J. Muse’s New Book

Diary: Year 2018 , December 1.

Pataki: Odun Egbawa Ejindinlogun,

Oje Okan, Yoruba

Shajara: Mwaka Elfu Mbili Kumi Na Nane,

Desemba Moja, Swahili

The moon is third quarter in Virgo, nearing the center of Sagittarius season. I am typing this by candlelight, mediating on Kwanzaa’s more mystic vibrations. You see, I am a woman who seeks the deeper meanings of all, coining me a “strange type.” I’ve come to grow comfortable with it, and even learned to love it. I was raised a Christian deacon’s daughter, and my quest for a deeper connection with the divine ultimately led to my initiation as an orisa priestess of Oya…the journey up to this moment continues to unfold. As a child, Christmas and Thanksgiving were staple holidays to prepare all year for, while Kwanzaa was but a word on my calendar that brought faint visions of candles, colorful fruit and vegetable table arrangements, kinte cloth, and the knowing that it was a black holiday. It was vaguely mentioned, but not celebrated. I found that frustrating, and the more of a mystery Kwanzaa was to me, the deeper my need grew to solve it.

The plot thickens…

Somewhere between soul seeking and forced exile, I ceased to celebrate traditions that failed to feed my true essence. I didn’t celebrate my first Kwanzaa until I was well removed from my mother’s house, and my father since became an ancestor. It was an unbelievable experience! I found it was much more than lighting candles and memorizing Swahili words, pumping my fist in the air, and greeting people “Habari Ghani.” I found so much within, starting with substance that realigned my melanin! I found keys to my visions, my spirit, my history, and the very ancestors that my then Christian religion forbade me to connect with. In Kwanzaa’s early years, it was rejective of the Christian faith, providing an alternative for African Americans to have a holiday that celebrates African roots and traditions in a nation so oppressive of them. It would go on to be practiced and celebrated worldwide by a number of faiths. It allows our people to adapt the Nguzo Saba in their own way, in respect. In this work, I aligned Kwanzaa with mine as a mystic priestess in the spirit of Ifa. My supernatural essence led me again down the rabbit hole, seeking a more esoteric connection with the Nguzo Saba. The result is the birth of this work.

Kwanzaa was founded in 1965 a year of the 3 (1+9+6+5=21/3), a year belonging to Esu’s crossroad, and it was founded by Maulana Karenga. The celebration’s name came from the Swahili phrase “Matunda ya Kwanza,” meaning “first fruits of harvest.” The celebrations within echo African harvest celebrations, known as the “Umkhosi Wokweshwama.” It was first celebrated in 1966, a year number 4, with hints of feminine mastery, 1966 (1+9+6+6=22/4). The year 4 vibrates on new and solid foundations as well as earthly alignment. The 4 resonates with the 4 directions, north, south, east, and west. It also vibrates on the 4 times of day, dawn, noon, dusk, and midnight. There are 4 seasons, spring equinox, summer solstice, autumn equinox, and winter solstice. Another spiritual vibration of the 4 is the four stages of life, birth, adolescence, coitus, and transition. It is no wonder that this holiday celebration quickly spread to the 4 corners of the earth by the spiritual powers that be…

Kwanzaa’s numerology also resonates much with the divine number 7, the number of completion. The original spelling of Kwanzaa only had one “a” at the end, of it, and the second one was added so the name of the holiday would have 7 letters. 7 is also the number of the orisa father of civilization, all metals, and the woods, Ogun, and the number of the orisa mother of all, Yemoja. The 7 Principles, or Nguzo Saba, align with 7 candles over 7 days. Ironically, this work is being written in Kwanzaa’s 52nd year of celebration (5+2=7).

The bandera, or red, black and green flag also aligns with the colors of our orisa fathers. The black of it represents not only the mystery of our melanin, but our ancestors, Esu, and Ogun. The red of it represents the sacrifice of ancestral bloodshed, passion, power, and the orisa fathers Esu and Sango. The green of it is symbolic of our vast lands, our inner and outer growth, our hearts, and the orisa father Ogun.

I scribed this to align the Nguzo Saba deeper with the mystics, orisa knowlegde, astrology, numerology, color vibrations, candle magic, and a few more of the Universe’s secrets. Be advised that this edition, the first, will be aligned with the moon and planetary cycles of 2018, along with a collection of my original poetry, tastes of Yoruba and Swahili language, workbook questions to keep you aligned with the Kwanzaa principles all year, and 7 elixirs for your Kikombe cha Umoja.

In the editions to come, the poetry will change with the planetary alignments. Whether this is your first Kwanzaa, or you are a veteran in celebrating, my manifesting prayer is as you go forth in conducting the daily, nightly ceremonies of Kwanzaa, you will use and enjoy this work in a way to keep Nguzo Saba’s teachings year round!  Ase! 


iiiYansa J. Muse

Goddess in Thundering Firedance

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