Every I has their own particular way of giving Ises - I do too. But this guideline - as is the entire aim of RasTaWifeLine - aims to provide information on the communal ways of RasTafari, the shared Livity of RasTafari, the Foundation Tenets that established RasTafari that I and I can each individually take from and grow in faith and vow. So I hope it will provide some inspiration for ones to pray more individually and as a family, casting all pride and criticisms aside to worship and give love.
Ivine Ises Order
In order to boost the effectiveness of our Ises, it is important that I and I follow a regular Ivine Order when we go about praying and praising JAH. Everything that defines and affects us daily, is paused for reflection when Ises is being offered to Zion. Ises is the time we put aside daily to open the sense that connects us to our own source of JAH and Zion, which we carry in our hearts and pineal gland or third-eye of Ivine sight and wise mind.
Order is important to this process, and the way in which we pray goes hand in hand with the principles that enhance our prayers. Having a set order to successfully enter this realm of spirituality repeatedly allows Rastafari to call upon our faith and commune with JAH naturally and wholeheartedly. A set order is also beneficial in keeping us Inified and “speaking the same language” in terms of our livity. How I and I give Ises is the unifying factor behind our Binghis and gatherings, and should not be shirked by any individual or camp or conference of Rastafari Beta Isra’el. Ises should start and end all meetings and our days.
While every I has their own way of praying silently and in solitude, there are Biblical and Ethiopian observances which all Rastafari should become familiar with, and which can help us pray as one body or church when together.
- Raspect and reverence are the disciplinary powers that require us to humble ourselves as we stand in our place of worship. The first aim is to therefore have an appropriate place of worship in the home and for the communal tabernacle in which we can commit to and fully raspect our time of worship and the God of our Iration. It is good to have a special room or corner where one’s banners or other Iritual Ethiopian symbols can be seen.
- It is good to cleanse the face, mouth, hands and feet if possible before giving Ises. The principle is that “cleanliness is Godliness,” and one should come before JAH with a clean mouth to speak holy words, clean hands to touch holy words and clean feet to stand before holy Zion.
- Meditation is the same as prayer in that we use it to seek oneness with JAH. It can precede the speaking of prayers as we prepare ourselves by first finding the presence of JAH within, which is that peaceful, holy and true state of mind where our spirituality can flourish. Iditation is a tool for achieving single-mindedness, where the mind and Irit are quieted and stilled to focus solely on God. Iditation can be aided with deep breathing, and burning marijuana. It is important to Iditate before Ises or after, in order to harness that energy and awareness of JAH’s Irit in and around I and I.
As a note, Iditating outdoors is the best as one can be fully exposed to JAH. Praying indoors is often necessary living in Babylon, but we cannot truly connect with JAH being in houses built by men. Yesus did much of His major teaching and miracles on mountain tops or among trees and rivers – not only in homes. The earth is the body’s healing just as Ises is the mind’s healing.
- Sistren wear a head covering, or shash or shamma every time they give Ises. For the Brethren is depends on their stance within the faith. Those who do not consider themselves as priests, standard bearers or elders, generally don't cover their dreadlocks. All of us must dress appropriately, in nothing that reveals our legs, middle torso, chests and shoulders.
- A Sistren who is menstruating does not give Ises aloud in the company of Brethren or any others whether in her home or tabernacle – she does not even enter the tabernacle until she has passed seven whole days since her last spot of issue. She may give Ises alone, or when in the privacy of her household, allow her Kingman to supplicate for the family. The Bobo Shanti mansion stipulates that when one is issuing, cooking, Scriptures or herb should not be touched until the eighth day, or when the flow has stopped. The unfree sistren does not go to Taba until she has fulfilled her days of purification.
- While sitting is not a problem, standing erect is part of the ancient way of Isra’el, as shown in Psalms 5:5, Mark 11:25 and 2 Chronicles 29:11. Prostration is also a stance many use, especially for Senbet Ises. Prayer mats are certainly beneficial to the order of Ises as well.
- Rastafari turn our heads and bodies to face the East, because it points to Jerusalem, the Motherland, The Throne of David, Ithiopia and the Ark of the Covenant. The East where Judah lies represents our physical liberation from exile as the scattered tribes of Joseph or Ephraim. The Feta Nagast quotes King David as saying: “Sing to God who has risen to the heavens, and from heaven, from the east side, has made His voice heard, the voice of power” (Strauss 2002, pg. 88). The idea is that JAH answers our Ises from His seat in the East. Banners of the faith usually hang before us as well, when we face this direction.
- Hands can be placed in a variety of positions, but two popular ones are: the five point star seal (or star of Jacob) of placing the opened left palm over the heart/chest, and the star of David seal which was a personal trait of JAH Rastafari Haile Sellassie I. The hands are joined at the fingers, not the palms. Fingers are inter-laced except the thumb and index which touch at the tips, while the palms remain stretched far apart.
- Aside from personal prayers, Rastafari also recite what is called the Nyahbinghi Creed but which is patterned after the Shepherd's Prayer of the Holy Piby. Biblical verses and Psalms are also common prose.
- Many seal Ises with seven words of love: “JAH is love let us all love.” JAH can be substituted for other words such as Negus, Rastafari or Menen. Some say “Holy Immanuel I Selassie I JAH Rastafari” or “Blessed Love.” All of us seal with “Sela/Selah” or simply “JAH Rastafari.”
Finally, though these observances stand for many of us Rastafari, there is also another order and Iditation that I and I must remember also:
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:5-8).
Be still and Know HIM
Hola King Selah! Sela-See-I JAH RasTafari!
Hola King Selah! Sela-See-I JAH RasTafari!