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Ancient African Religions

By T. Hasan Johnson, Ph.D.

North African History Timeline

Kemet or Ta Meri (Egypt)

Ancient Origins of World Religions

The Nile River The Sun

The Basis of Egyptian Spirituality

After developing a calendar to predict seasons and chart the stars (which takes at least 1,000 years), they could then predict the seasonal Nile River flooding, helping Egyptians create the largest agriculture in the world. They fed their newly developed society with non-perishable grains & beans in contrast to just cattleresulting in villages forming cities, and multiple cities forming states. Theyd soon develop a class of craftsmen, technicians, and intellectuals whod develop architecture, literature, philosophy, & spirituality.

Two Hints From Dr. John Henrik Clarke

#1: They pulled from African folklore the story about the child and the manger Only in retrospect, did they name him Jesus Christ... #2: [In reference to God] I have no problem with the she

Anthropomorphic Astrotheology
Anthropomorphic: when a concept is personified as a human figure, often within a narrative to display how theoretical or metaphorical concepts interact with other qualities in nature. Astrotheology: usually beginning with the deification of the sun, the use of the movement of the planets and star constellations in relation to the sun to articulate religious doctrine.

AfricanAfrican-Centered Scholars on Religion

Solar Myth Theory: crucified saviors were inspired by the ancient African concept of Heru (Horus). They serve as anthropomorphized representations of the sun, and their life stories are analogous to the sun passing thru the 12 constellations of the zodiac; while the Sun is analogous to the spirit.

Egyptian Creation Memphite Theology (The Pesedjets) 4,000 BC Pesedjets)

Amun or Atum sitting atop the mountain Ptah out the Nun (some say Ra-Amun) Amun or Atum speaks the Ogdoad (the 8 offspring - Deities of Chaos):
Naunet & Nu, Amaunet & Amun, Kauket & Kuk, Hauhet & Huh

The Ennead (The Nine Gods of Order)

Ptah/Atum produces: Shu (Air) & Tefnut (Water) Geb (Earth) & Nut (Night Sky)

Ausar (Osiris) & Auset (Isis)

Set & Nephthys

Heru (Horus)

African Spiritual Worldview

Bringing down or spirit possession gave spiritual authority to African women, while incorporating African themes to new world religious practices like Santeria (a key theme in most black religious practices). Catching the spirit today is emblematic of the philosophical belief that there was no institutional separation between God and human beings. It underlies the ancient African notion that solar messiahs were allegories for ones own spiritual potential. Furthermore, the possession of a black body by a divine entity is in direct contrast to white superiority and stereotypes of blackness.

Egyptian Astrology

Gemini Taurus


Leo Virgo



Pisces Aquarius Capricorn

Scorpio Sagittarius

Ten Commandments vs The Book of Coming Forth by Day and by Night

Originally mis-titled The Book of the Dead, it contained the 42 negative confessions listed in the Papyrus of Ani
Ex. - I have not committed murder became Thou shalt not commit murder

Egyptian Mystery Tradition

Egyptians traversed the man/god gulf with the anthropomorphic god-man (the Christ); suggesting that god or christhood is accessible to all, not to just one historical figure. This is why the sun was synonymous with the spirit within.

Kemetic to Christian Trinities

Birth/ Creation Preservation

Ausar (Osiris) Auset (Isis )

God, the Father Virgin Mary/ The Holy Ghost* Jesus Christ**

Death/ Rebirth

Heru (Horus)

*Because of Europes attempt to denigrate women, Jesus is the only God-Man whos female counterpart is a desexualized ghost. Simultaneously , from a Gnostic context, both the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene represent the different stages of the feminine Goddess-Woman removed from Christian ideology. The virgin (also mother-Isis) symbolizes the divine Mother, while Magdalene (wife-Isis) represents the divine feminine as the conduit for the next stage of lifes process (the birth of the Christ-child). **Christ is also a Greek derivative of Ka Res, a Kemetic (Egyptian ) term meaning the anointed, where ka is in reference to the spirit within.

Ecumenical Councils
Emperor Constantine of Rome started the ecumenical conferences in Nicea in 325 AD to Romanize and de-Africanize Christianity (sever all pagan ties). This gave Rome the political authority over the faith to articulate a European agenda to colonize in the name of God. Catholic Bishops spoke for God on earth and often determined who went to heaven and who were considered pagans.

Gnostic Findings
The findings of Gnostic texts in 1945 termed The Nagammati Scrolls gave crucial information regarding the Africaninspired Jews who incorporated Ancient Egyptian narratives and astrotheological ideas in the first 3 centuries of this millenium.

Other Ancient Pre-Christian Trinities PreThe Father - The Son - The Holy Ghost (degendered feminine goddess) (Rome) Auset - Ausar - Heru (Horus) Egypt Brahma - Siva - Vishnu (Krishna) India Zeus - Dionysus/Bacchus - Semele/Demeter (Greece) Zeus - Apollo - Parthenis (Greece) Attis - Nana (Mother)/Cybele (Wife) (Phrygia) Adonis - Myrrh (Syria) Aion - Kore (Alexandra)

Other Solar Messiahs

Ausar (Osiris) (4-3,000 BCE) Mithra (Persian) (1200 BCE) Attis (Phrygia) (1200 BCE) Krishna (India) (900 BCE) Dionysus (Greece) (500 BCE) Buddha (India) Adonis (Babylonian) Births, deaths, and resurrections were often consistent with the vernal equinox (Easter) and the winter solstice (Christmas).

Solar Messiah Narrative Themes

Believed to be God made flesh The Savior Son of God Father is God & mother is virgin (mortal, but often presented as 3 to signify the goddess in 3 phases: mother/sister/wife) Born in a cave or cowshed on December 25th in front of 3 shepherds Offers followers the chance to be born again through baptism Turns water into wine at a marriage ceremony Rides into town on a donkey while people wave palm leaves to honor him Dies at Easter as a sacrifice for the sins of the world descends into hell after death, then rises on the 3rd day and ascends to heaven in glory Followers await his return as the judge during the Last Days his death and resurrection are celebrated by a ritual meal of bread and wine (which symbolizes his body and blood)

Representations of the God-man Godas White

Heru (Horus)

Contemporary Africana Societies & Religions Christianity is the largest religion practiced amongst African Americans Islam, however, has the largest population of practitioners of African descent globally