Musician Challenges Christianity in Ghana – A Call For the Old Ways
“History has it that the colonial masters came with the Bible and the gun, gave the Bible to the Africans, as they pointed their guns at their heads.” — Azizaa
“They took away our spirituality and gave us religion; they banned us from gathering under a tree by the fireside and herded us into churches.”—Wanlov
According to a 2012 Gallup International Survey about religiousity around the world, Ghana is one of the most religious countries in the world. Indeed its the kind of country with a church on every street corner (or maybe four or five). Many of these churches are places where rich pastors prey on the poor. A quick google search of pastors in Ghana will pull up a list of the richest pastors. This expresses a clear message: Christianity is a big business in Ghana (as well as elsewhere in Africa). A fundamental part of this business is poor people going to mass and giving away a substantial part of their income to rich pastors.
These churches also demand that the African people abandon their ancient spiritual practices in favor of the new religion put in place by Western, colonial forces.Yet many people in Ghana still invoke the ancient juju when nothing else works.
Music artist Azizaa and rapper/video director Wanlov the Kubolor have recently collaborated together make a music video that directly challenges Christianity, the song is called “Black Magic Woman.”
In the video a woman is being harassed by two Christian missionaries. When these missionaries run after her, they are confronted by the forces of an ancient and powerful magic.
Rik Garrett’s “Earth Magic” Photography Book – Witches of the Earth
Rik Garrett‘s “Earth Magic” photo series has recently been collected into a book, and is now for sale here (US) and here (International). “Earth Magic” portrays women in nature, in a raw, but very natural way. The women are one with the landscape of the wood, mysterious weavers of the weird within the forest’s primordial depths.
In the making and binding of the book, Garrett was inspired by the style of the Malleus Maleficarum, which was a sort of pocket-book for witch hunters in the 15th century. Garret’s intent is obviously more positive, but his theme is similar. If you are looking for witches in the forest – this is what they might look like.
Each book contains 13 photos (like the number of members in a coven) and each book is different. The pictures are picked from a pool of 30 total photos and randomized. So even if you buy two books, they will most likely be different.
Here are some photos from the Earth Magic series:
What is Magick?
The Science and Art of Causing Change in Conformity With Will ~ Aleister Crowley
Nature and Magick: A Struggle For Power
Nature represents a struggle for power, an exertion of will over one’s surroundings.
This is the beating heart of existence.
Anyone who has spent any length of time observing the wild understands this fact.
Wolves will fight a bloody struggle over who will be the alpha of the pack.
Even a vine will overtake the trees and flowers of the forest, oppressing what it can in order to live.
Dominance and submission are the natural state of all things. All relationships are a struggle for power in their own way. Even in the intimacy of romance – there is always one person who holds more power than the other. There is a chaser and a person being chased. Of course nothing is so black and white – but the power struggle is there nonetheless.
Magick is the most primeval form of the human will to achieve this power.
Anthropologists have found that the evidence of ritual is as old a humanity itself.
Druids and shamans of old wandered the forest, and learned how wield their power over the spiritual realm. It is said that a true shaman could command rain from the heavens, invoke fertility from the earth, ask for victory in battle and discern visions of the future from the flight of birds or patterns in smoke.
One who could manipulate the spirits, held a fire that an army of men could not smolder.
Over time priests realized that they could control large groups of people, towns and civilizations through the arcane power of spirituality.
Eventually Christianity came on the scene. Priests told their followers that they must submit themselves to God’s Will. In Pagan times, a powerful, strong, cultured and intelligent person was superior. Yet in Christian times, leaders advocated meekness, mildness and mindless submission to authority. In short: the qualities of the ideal slave.
But of course, there was always a Shepard needed to stand watch over subservient sheep: A pope, priest, etc.
Through the tool of organized religion a small group of elite old men could command several civilizations to do their bidding.
In the Christian world, people were convinced that nature was a mere tool for man’s use. And within this world, the machinery of the industrial revolution took place. Man developed science, a most crude magick, in an attempt to subvert the elements and conquer the Earth. Man arrogantly believed that he could control the rains, the floods, pestilence and fertility through the use of his science. The druids of old attempted these things too, but understood that they were working with a complex life force.
Two competing world ideologies emerged from the industrial era: Capitalism and Socialism. While they may seem as opposites, they are both two sides of the same coin. Socialism spreads the lie that all men are equals and that if they just all act the same they can live in a harmonious and peaceful world. Capitalism is the notion that life is a meritocracy – where all men have an equal chance to grab their slice of the pie if they just work hard enough. Yet in both systems, a small group of elites command large swaths of the population. Much like the Christian Shepard commanding his passive flock.
In ancient times, a just king would rule over a population of people. If this king became corrupt, the people would rise up and kill him. People today are too passive to do such a thing, even when their oh so wise Shepard is leading them to the slaughter house.
The forces of Capitalism and Socialism competed with one another over who could make the most progress, not realizing that the progress they so desired was an idol and empty prize. Like a tireless leviathan, the machinery of civilization churns on, and we cogs on the spokes of the wheel of torment. We are consuming and destroying all the resources we need to survive: poisoning the skies, the water, and the soil of the Earth. We have killed a large majority of the species of animal on this planet.
So does this mean we are winners in nature’s game over power? Hardly.
Even the most blood thirsty wolf will not kill all the deer in the forest. For the wolf knows that some deer must survive in the future so that it will have a continuous food source.
What compels the wolf to know this fact? Text books on Biology? No. Primitive, gut instinct. It is instinct that calls flocks of birds to migrate to the warmer south in winter time. It is instinct that compels a mother bear to viciously defend her cubs. Instinct that sends the animals of the forest into a frenzy in the face of a coming storm. Instinct is the primordial call, the knowledge that shoots forth from the back of the mind like a weed bursting from Earth. A subconscious truth communicated in dreams. It is the hairs that prickle on the neck when one is about to walk down a dark alley. It is that feeling when you wake up in the morning and know that something bad is going to happen.
Art, music and spirituality are the expression of the human subconscious. This is our version of calling to one another in the forest. Within the world of art and music we are awakening to a coming storm. There is a global realization that the current culture we live in is synthetic, unnatural – and not just dysfunctional – but evil.
Yet the power of nature is persistent. Weeds and vines will always threaten to overtake a well manicured garden. As people emerge from a Christian World Order, the power of sex and violence too will overwhelm our nice neat little astroturf lives.
Shamans will walk the forest again and hear the call of the wild. They will open their eyes to the darkening storm clouds and warn others of the thunderous tumult to come. These shamans will manifest themselves as artists, writers and musicians – rather than as politicians. For art and music are hundreds of years ahead of politics. They will be masters of listening to their instincts – to the voice of nature – the primeval power of the forest. Those who listen to this voice will survive. Others will try to numb it with drugs, alcohol, and television – they will perish.
We must hear this call and return to a natural system. A system in which we realize our own power within and pay attention to our instincts. We must understand that the heart of nature is a brutal struggle for survival and be strong enough to endure.
Are you a passive sheep my friend, or a hungry wolf? Does the ferocious gleam of the predator yet shine in your eye?