Blessed Empress Menen Day to the beloved Dawtas of Rastafari!
Although the correct date in the Gregorian calendar is April 3rd for the Empress’ Earthstrong, March 25th will always be our day to honour and selahbrate our Mighty, Fearless Queen Menen Asfaw.
Historically, March 25th was celebrated as the resurrection or birth of the Christ, the opening of the New Year and the beginning of spring. Being so close to the vernal or spring equinox (when the Earth faces the Sun broadside or flat on, instead of being tilted towards the North or South as during solstices), it is a time of year when cosmic and terrestrial birth or rebirth were honoured through fasting, feasting and festivals.
The mighty Mother Goddess ruled supreme, having given birth to her beautiful babe, an allegory for the Creatress bringing the beauty of vegetation back to the land. She was called Easter, whose symbol was the egg or ovum, for fertility. On the masculine side, the crossing of the Sun over the vernal equinox was indicative that the Draconian Devil was conquered, as the glorious King emerged from the tomb of the Underworld or winter.
I think it is important for all Dawtas to truly capture the essence of this time of year, as a time of rebirth and shedding darkness and death (winter blues), looking forward to renewal in our lives. As wombman in tuned to our inner Light, our inner Kristos, it can be a truly transformative, invigorating experience to embrace the seasonal changes and align ourselves with the renewing shifts of the cosmos. For the Tewahedo Rastafari, this has been a time of cleansing and renewal of faith as well.
The Kemetic Sisters usually fast for the equinox, performing self-care rituals to heal and purge their minds and bodies, so that they bring new life to their thoughts, their words, their actions. Some common spring time renewal and healing rituals are: smudging the home with various cleansing spices, gums or leaves; surrounding oneself with quartz and citrine crystals; salt, flower or essential oil baths; exercise; clean eating; parasite purging and drinking tons of water to hydrate and replenish the body on a cellular level. My goal for this year has been to drink no less than 1.5 L of water daily. Having reiki, massage, sauna and bush baths are other types of restorative work that I have seen Rasta Dawtas bring forward as well. Cleaning out the house and getting rid of clutter is also a positive renewal ritual practiced by women all over the world. Spending time in nature or tending to a new kitchen or flower garden are also important activities for this season of rebirth, welcoming the new earth and new light.
Aries, the strongest Fire Sign, the Sign of Empress Menen’s birth, is an enthusiastic, passionate and ego-directed sign overall, but its greatest qualities are enterprise, leadership and tenacity. Aries are natural born leaders, just like Leos, known for their intense sense of self will and success. The Aries woman is typically hot-tempered and domineering, yet spontaneous, full of life, intelligent and creative.
Empress Menen definitely expressed some of these qualities openly for us to observe and be inspired by. We know she was an excellent business woman, and an exceedingly capable queen. We know that She did not let the loss of Her beloved children put a stop to Her works for the greater good. She was not a queen that spent Her time indulging in Her riches – She was livicated to enriching the lives of the women of Ethiopia and Eritrea. His Majesty relied on Her counsel and trusted in Her strengths to head the household and finances.
Empress Menen for me epitomizes the spiritual, hardworking, patriotic and nurturing mother and wife. But she also represents the sacred Feminine Goddess or Womb Energy that lives within each and every one of InI. This Feminine Force has taken millions of names on this Earthly plane since the dawn of time. In Christianity She has been named Mary, which in Semitic languages was Mari, and in Kemetic Meri, meaning Beloved or Mother or Woman. Her title is “Mother of God” which is the same as Neter Mut, the sacred mother in Kemet. Mary was also the “Great Virgin” which is Parthenos in Greek. Auset/Isis and Neit were all called HWNT “the Great Virgin” thousands of years before Mary. Neit was known as a perpetual virgin too.
I draw references to the similarities between these different languages, nations and ultimately religions, because it is important for the Rasta Wombman in this time to grasp the universality of The Sacred Feminine, whether as Mother, Wife, Queen or Goddess. It is all one and the same, regardless of religion or race or culture. By all peoples, the healing, nurturing and restorative power of the Wombman is celebrated and cherished through the Gods - the Lioness being one of the oldest animals associated with the Mother Goddess, along with vultures, fish, serpents and cows. We are reflections of that Divine Energy of many names and womanifestations. She is in our wombs, in our touch, in our words, in our style and grace, our fierceness, our love. She is in the animals, the plants, flowers, the earth, the waters and the Heavens.
The Rasta Wombman culture now, as caretakers of the Earth and its children, is Goddess Energy or Vibes. This is what InI have inherited from the Empress. The same power existed then and will exist in our daughters and their daughters. It is so diverse, and is expressed in so many ethnicities, but it is the One True Sacred I. We must remember to care for Her and Nurture Her in our livity, in the way we treat ourselves. We must teach our daughters to honour Her as well, and of course our sons and kings.
I give thanks to be a strong wombman and fruitful goddess in this life, in this time, in this space. I give thanks to see that thousands of women from all races, are now awakening to their own latent goddess energy, and are now living Ital and harmonizing with their spiritual or Iyah selves. I give thanks for Empress Menen’s example and the example of all women worldwide, my beloved sistren, my friends, my customers, my readers, my own mother and daughter, my sisters, aunts, nieces and cousins. I give thanks that we are all here, and that we are all part of this season of renewal and unfolding beauty.
Remember as the strong-end opens up from tomorrow which is Friday – Freya’s Day or Venus’ Day - that:
You are a Sacred Wombman.
You are beautiful.
You are intelligent.
You are creative.
You are deserving.
You are strong.
You are capable.
You are doing your best.
You are winning
You got this.
Love and Light in Jah Rastafari,
Sis. Ila Addis