Posted by: Khepera | Saturday, 19 June 2010

The Original Juneteenth

“June 19th is the longest continuously celebrated holiday in human history.”

I present this premise/theory, based upon my own research.  This is news to some, and may be familiar to others, and in any case, you will likely find some perspectives gathered here new to you. For most African Americans, Juneteenth is a holiday celebrating ancestors overcoming slavery. Ironically, given the dates — when it was signed & when it went into effect — the impact of the Emancipation Proclamation was not really felt in Texas until June 19th, 1865, when General Granger read it to a gathered crowd in Galveston.

Now some will immediately question what is the “longest continuously celebrated holiday in human history” part. The celebration of June 19th was first observed in ancient Khemet/Egypt due to the confluence of four significant events on that day:

  • The heliacal rising of the star Sirius
  • The beginning of the annual flooding of the Nile river
  • The summer solstice;  and
  • Their new year celebration, which is where the English word ‘jubilee’ comes from

Just as elements of African art, music, language and other cultural elements have been transposed here in the Diaspora, the premise is that a similar argument can be made for June 19th.  So, if we are to fully, comprehensively engage what this correspondence between ancient & modern holidays means, we need to be aware of the various symbolisms/meanings.  We know now, within the social dynamic that the use of color, form, activity — each and all bear meaning & insight, and a certain power through repetition and rhythm.

As a reference, it is the celestial event of the heliacal rising of Sirius which was seen as herald to the flood, following weeks of heavy rains in the southern highlands – Ethiopia, Uganda, the Ruwenzori mountain range, which the ancient Khemites referred to as the “Mountains of the Moon.” This flooding cycle has been so consistent, for well over 100,000 years that it was used as a calendrical register.

There is a shaft in one face of the Great Pyramid which aligns precisely with Sirius, on June 19th. This is simply further evidence of ancient Khemet/Egypt’s conscious and deliberate scheme in urban & environmental planning by aligning corollaries on Earth with those of the night sky. This is most evident in Nile Valley sacred architecture.

This ‘mapping’ of terrestrial to celestial is both functionally dynamic, and symbolic in context and engagement. For instance the Nile is seen as the terrestrial reflection of the Milky Way, and the flow of stars which seem to separate the night sky. For this reason, temples were built on the eastern bank, where the sun rises, and mortuary temples/complexes were built on the west. This makes sense when you understand the solar nature of later, and better known phases of Khemetic history.

It’s worth noting that here – as in other blog posts – when discussing ancient Khemet/Egypt, the language references are: Mdu-Ntchr/Greek, as in “Khemet/Egypt”, within an anglicized context so as to not abandon familiarity for many.  One of the key components of Mdu-Ntchr is that it is a symbolic rather than alphabetical  or cuneiform language.  This symbolic vision — and the analogical thought process(the capacity to see one thing in another) at its root — is immensely useful when seeking to discern aspects of Khemetic culture.

Returning to the ‘mapping’ aspect, there are some insightful references to help us link back to our Khemetic roots.  For instance, we know that June 19th is specific to the flooding of the Nile, as a result of the spring rain storms mentioned above.  Mythologically, these rains are referred to as the “tears of Aset/Isis” out of reference to her weeping upon the discovery of the murder of her husband Asar/Osiris by Set.  This is helpful for a number of reasons.

Firstly, The Nile river is unique on this planet as it is the only major river which flows from south to north.  The Nile is also highly symbolic is celestial, terrestrial & human terms:

  • Celestially, The Nile is  a corollary to the Divine Nile/Milky way — not the galaxy itself, but the way the edge of the disc appears in the night sky, as a river of light, dividing the night sky essentially in half.
  • Terrestrially, the Nile is seen as the divider of the nation/Earth, into east & west, sunrise & sunset, birth & death, as referenced above in the mention of the placement of temples.  The Nile is also distinct for having two primary tributaries, each a Nile in its own right — the Blue Nile, and the White Nile — which merge near Khartoum, Sudan.  This lends itself very strongly to any duality(or binary) based symbolism.  This is perhaps most prominently elaborated in the discussion of the Memphis Equation in the Old Kingdom of Khemet…..but that’s a discussion for another time.
  • Within the human body — physiologically — it is seen as an analogue for the alimentary canal — one of the praise-names for Asar/Osiris is the Lord of Aliment.  Asar/Osiris has an aspect where he is  This ties to the dynamic of digestion — where that consumes is transmuted into the body of the consumer.  This is quite likely the first, or most primal process in alkhemistry/alchemy.  NOTE:  Be advised there are qualitative & discernible differences in these two, one being the derivative of the other.  One might carry the metaphor to the formation of the delta, formed by aggregate material brought with the flood, etc.  A significant key is seen in correspondences in form between The Nile River, a standing cobra, the human cerebro-spinal complex, depictions of the winged fire-snake(the primary symbol for the Kundalini principle across many cultures).  It is worth noting, that even today, in 2010, there is a neurological process involving the bathing of the pineal gland of the brain with cerebro-spinal fluid where the fluid falling is identified as the “tears of Isis” in some medical journals/texts.

So the connections to river/sea, which connect us back to Mother Afrika no matter where we may be on the planet.  Similarly, the alimentary/digestion/food component manifest in the celebration itself, significant in all red items — red pop, watermelon, etc. — and correspondences to the blood/lineage/bearer of life(a praise name of Hapi/the Nile, or Asar-Hapi(also Osiris-Apis which later became Serapis).

When we can see in ourselves echoes another more balanced and empowered time, it is a catalyst to being able to see self, differently, to see self in one another.  So, the next time you contemplate Juneteenth, your experience may be different.


  1. Thank You, brother – for sharing such profound information and thought. Though the Juneteenth ‘holiday’ is no social mystery to many – unfortuantely, the science behind the sacred-ness of the Holy-Day and date is. The work of people -like you- bringing truths to light is imperative and worth acknowledgement. On another note -and more personally- you KNOW i am absolutely digg’n your mentions of: 1.) “the tears of Isis/Auset and 2.) the inherent difference of the *analogical thought process* -particularly when it comes to writing or scripting and expressing thought. Of all that was expressed, i found these two points of extreme interest and aspects of truth expressed in this essay the most enduring and useful. But -then again- i would! (((lol))) THANK YOU again brother for the Teaching.
    IAYAALIS Kali-Ma’at / Donalda A. Chandler

  2. I whole heartedly agree with Iayaalis. Thank you for this one. My godmother has been doing an Ancestor remembrance ceremony for many years and I am sending this info to her so we can all appreciate the “attractor to a fixed point” that does occur in nature including (as I believe) in days of history.
    I had noticed this occurrence in days of the year back in 1992(?) during the Northern CA earthquake, it was in Oct on the 18th I think. A year later the earthquake in So. CA Northridge occurred with somewhat devastating effects in Oct(?) of 1993….I remembered thinking that the 18th or 17th was interestingly coincidental. But since then I had noticed many significant natural occurrences (disasterous it seemed) were happening around or on that same day in the same month or on the 18th…after studying more in terms of dynamical systems, fixed points, and attractors, I realized that nature may have these attractors when it comes to days as well, if for no other reason, at least because of cyclical astronomical rhythms.
    I think what you are showing is that this also extends to historical events (ideas/ideals) as well.
    Thanks again for blogging.

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