Category Archives: General

16Aug/17
Bodybuilding Power Couple

Bodybuilding Power Couple Share Their Love For Fitness

There is nothing like sharing love with someone, but sharing the love of something you have in common is something even more special. That is the case with bodybuilder power couple Jeanitra Moore and Kevin Johnson. Their love for fitness has been heavily inspired by bodybuilding champion Kai Greene. Based out of Louisville, KY the couple has been competing for many years and has won several competitions, including Jeanitra being the 1st novice class A champion at the Kentucky state championship.

Kevin and Jeanitra both offer free health advice online because they love what they do and they want others to be healthy as well. They understand that many people need motivation and or cannot afford to get what they need to increase their health. They also have a family together that embodies love of life, love of fitness, and working together.

They train everyday as each other’s support and partner while taking on a growing number of clients that range from beginners to those that are amateur bodybuilding competitors. They train clients in person but also provide online training for those that live outside of the state or who are on the go out of the area. It’s nice to have some support when you’re on a business trip surrounded by unhealthy foods.

When asked about approaching fitness in life, Kevin explained his view stating, “In your 20’s you don’t care about drinking, partying, food,etc. because you are young. Then when you are in your 30’s you start looking at your health and your physical shape. When you look at some of the physical jobs out there, they require you be in shape to perform the jobs and if you can’t perform the job, you can’t work for them. You have to put things into perspective, how you want to look, and ultimately how do you want to feel for the rest of your life.” Jeanitra’s advice to all people is to just “Go for it! Love yourself. Be dedicated. Don’t worry about the results too soon and just go for it!”

They are well known on instagram with a combined following of over 35,000, including celebrities. Jeanitra was even acknowledged by Megan Fox on instagram and has been featured on other fitness websites. Kevin has been known for his work ethic and his powerful inspiration to others. In 2012 he had an well directed biographic documentary (directed by Antonio Pantojia) that would make Spike Lee shed a tear.

When questioned if they knew of any fitness couple out that they knew of, they both agreed that they had a unique system. “[Not] here in Louisville, KY. Not trying to sound cocky, there are not a lot of couples doing what we are doing. Not a lot of paired trainers in regards to nutrition, planning, exercise, etc.”

Kevin also added “There are a lot of people that struggle working together because of their ego and they have their own system that they are not willing to change. We have a system that works well for the both of us. Plus, we do this not for the money but the positive effects we have on people’s lives.”

The fitness star duo also raise three children together, ages 3, 7, 14, who they try to include in their healthy living, although Kevin mentioned “they eat the healthy stuff, but they also eat some of the unhealthy stuff like pizza rolls, but they are kids. They will learn and hopefully join us in healthy living one day.” Jeanitra stated that the kids sometimes keep her in check. “My 14 old will tell me sometimes that I need to not eat certain things or let me know it may not be a good idea to eat too much of something.”

When asked about their favorite bodybuilders, they both agreed that Kai Greene was their favorite. Jenitra mentioning that he reminds her of Kevin. I guess that’s one reason to like a bodybuilder, usually it’s the other way around. But they explained how humble and dedicated to fitness he is. Kai Greene was at one point homeless, a orphan, and a troubled youth, then made a turn around with the guidance of one of his teachers. He is now a world renowned star and multiple bodybuilder award winner. His popularity has his fans lining up at airports to greet him worldwide. Kevin and Jeanitra both explained how much of a great guy he is because you never really hear anything bad about him from anyone.

Bodybuilding Champion Kai Green

To show how much dedication they have for their clients when asked if they would take a celebrity client that was preparing for a movie over their current regular clients Jenitra said, “ I treat every client with respect. I would like to know their schedule because I also have a realtor business that my clients currently work around. Ultimately I wouldn’t bump my regular clients for a celebrity.”

Kevin stated “Let’s say that a celebrity did call about training for a movie in NY. I would have to be compensated for all the times I would take away from my clients. Then I need money to hire someone to train those clients, living expenses if I travel, etc. Once I break down all that’s needed to hire me, they probably wouldn’t want to… Now if it’s an opportunity to further my career, like it would be nationally televised, I would make arrangements, but I would make sure that my clients are taken care of.”

These two have used Kai’s passion for fitness to inspire them to be the healthiest that they can be and teach others how to do the same. Many can use their story of love and partnership to venture into a healthier lifestyle. Although you don’t need to be an award winning champion in body building like Kai Greene, you can be a champion of your health.

Kevin is next competing in the Amature Olympia and Jenitra will compete in the Kentucky Muscle.

Be sure to check out Kevin and Jenitra at www.1manstalent.com!

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09Aug/17
Maimouna Youssef

Shine Your Light with Songstress Maimouna Youssef

Grammy nominated music artist Maimouna Youssef has just released a new hot single “Shine Your Light” with DJ Dummy. Bringing back the old flavor of fun fueled concept music that had blazed the air waves in the 70s. Talented and beautiful, Maimouna Youssef allows listeners to escape melodically to an acoustic utopia. Taji Mag had the opportunity to interview her about her new single, her influences, and her sage like wisdom on life.

Taji Mag: What sparked your influence for your new single?
Maimouna Youssef: I wanted to develop music to make people feel good about themselves. Being that I grew up informed about the struggle through my family, I have not been surprised by today’s hardships. I feel like people that didn’t have similar upbringing, don’t know how to deal with some of the issues of today. I hear people say that they don’t know what to do with all this negativity going on in the world and I want them to know that it is going to be ok. That they can keep moving forward because what we are going through is nothing new.
TM: How did you combine dance and concept music in your new single “Shine Your Light”?
MY: I took influence from the 70’s that fused concept and dance music together for people to enjoy. Music shouldn’t have to be really serious or just dance music, it can be both and the 70’s were good for that.
TM: Would you ever consider doing a socially conscious album similar to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On?
MY: I would love to do a concept album like that. The beauty of being an independent artist is that you are able to put whatever you want to put out without any questions. I love making whatever music I feel moves me. Instead of having someone tell me I can’t put out certain types of work, that limits me as an artist.
TM: How did you learn to keep self love?
MY: My mother inspired me and taught me to love myself. She told me no one else is going to give me that love, so I needed to learn to give it to myself. Everybody should have that love for themselves. I think that it is important now especially with what is going on today that you really have to have that self love.
TM: What advice do you give to your son about life? Women? Society?
MY: I talk to him everyday about his experiences and dealing with emotions. That’s why I have him in boxing in Baltimore with his uncle. To teach him about discipline and dealing with his emotions. I feel like some men of color don’t have that. A way to let out their emotions and not have it bottled in. You see a lot of men with good careers, lots of degrees, money, and are able to function externally but internally they are dealing with a lot of anger and frustrations that they don’t know how to handle. I don’t sugar coat things with my son and keep it real with him. I homeschooled him because during his time in pre-school I felt he wasn’t learning some of the things I wanted him to learn. An Example, in kindergarten he had the daily lesson of differentiating similarities and differences between objects. One day the assignment was to circle all the clowns with red noses and put an X on the ones with different colored noses. I noticed that he had a positive attitude towards the clowns that he was circling because clowns with red noses are the norm but when he had to X out the clowns with different colored noses, I noticed his attitude towards those clowns were more aggressive and dismissive as he was X’ing them out. Then just as an experiment, I asked him instead of using X’s which in our society connote something negative to be excluded and Circles to be something positive to be included, I asked him to use triangles and rectangles which don’t have social connotations neither positive or negative. So, he began doing the assignment and his whole attitude changed. He was feeling positive to all the clowns no matter what color noses they had. I knew right then that that assignment he was being asked to do everyday was teaching social intolerance in the most subconscious and insidious way. Its also teaching self hate because as a boy or color in this society, he’s going to routinely be the one that is different that society will want to X out. If we don’t have self love we didn’t have anything.

TM: Which artist made you fall in love with music?
MY: My mother and grandmother both made me fall in love with music. Especially my grandmother having a gospel background. They kept me exposed to artists like Mahalia Jackson and Donny Hathaway. I wanted to listen to groups like Total back in the day and they kept me on artist like Ella Fitzgerald. Both of them kept me into old school good music, that helped shape the artist I am today.
TM: Which other Artist influenced you?
MY: I have done some background work Lalah Hathaway who inspires me because she is awesome! There have been times where I have not been able to focus on my part as background vocalist for Lalah because she was so great during the performance. I also worked with Cody Chesnutt and I love his work as well. I always try to pick his brain and seek his mentorship because I think he is so talented and has great musical skills. I love working with Eric Roberson, he is another gifted artist. All these great artist are my mentors and I’m always asking them for advice to make my skills better.

Maimouna Youssef’s newest album “Vintage Babies” will be out soon and she also has an album release tour coming. Follow her on twitter @maimounayoussef and @mumufresh on instagram.

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01Aug/17
braids beauty vol 12 taji mag

Taji Vol12: Braids and Beauty

Release Sep 7 2017 | Vol12 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling it’s theme of Braids and Beauty! This volume features professional model Marsha Larose. Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick: Ites Int. – Designer Devoted to Indigenous Textiles, Positive Vibes, and Flow; the Community Spotlight on International I Love Braids Day; Hair Feature by Debra Hare Bey of OMhh Beauty Oasis; “Yemaya” by II-Kaya Ises; “5 Things You Could do That Are More Meaningful Than a RIP Post After a Suicide” by Tajh Sutton; The Men of Sigmafied; the elegant soaps, scrubs, and body butters of TheCelestineCollection; “The Science of Black Love” by Afica Jackson; “#BlackLoveConvo: “How Black Love Stole the Show at the ESPYs” by Dapper Dr. Feel; our Health & Fitness Advice Column with Trainer Clint & Vegan Fun with Delliz the Chef – “Falafel Patties”; Featured artist Will Focus; Must Have Graphic Novel: Therians by B. Van Randall; and more!!

Purchase your copy now at ‘Purchase Taji’!

braids and beauty

Purchase Taji Mag | Vol 12

Taji Mag is a Black Beauty & Culture specialty publication highlighting the artistry of our essence.

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30Jul/17
International I Love Braids Day

International I Love Braids Day 2017 Was LIFE!

International I Love Braids DayInternational I Love Braids Day (IILBD) 2017 was all things braided godliness! This July 29th, the Queens came to make a statement, and that they did! From traditional styles with ancestral meaning to modern spins on staple techniques, these hair styles left everyone in awe. They proved that braids can be worn by anyone for all occasions, at all ages and stages in life. Your royal can be clean and simple or adorned with cowry shells and jewels, whatever makes you strut and walk with your head held high. This inaugural celebration made history.

International I Love Braids Day

Debra Hare Bey with International models Diandra Forrest & Mari Malek at International I Love Braids Day 2017

International I Love Braids Day received it’s official Proclamation on July 21, 2017 by the Brooklyn borough president’s office to the founder of IILBD, master hair braider Debra Hare Bey. Debra has been styling natural hair for over 30 years in Brooklyn. Her current salon, OMhh Beauty Oasis, is located at 407 Lewis Avenue, Brooklyn, New York. At the salon she services clients with a multitude of natural hair styles, but she specializes in braids. Debra is the originator of the style Nu Locs, most popularly worn by “Maxine Shaw” on the television series Living Single. Go ahead, question it. You thought Erika Alexander was rocking locs back then? Nope, those were yarn braids done by Debra. Debra also has a line of nourishing vegan hair and body care products that smell so good you’ll never want to stop using them. Fall in love with all things Debra Hare Bey and OMhh at www.OhMyHeavenlyHair.com.

International I Love Braids Day

Some of the other participating stylists were Ayana Card of Kinky Rootz, Shaquora Bey and her daughters Fajr and Suhailah of Sophisticated Loc Salon, and Ngone Sow of Soween.

International I Love Braids DayIf you slacked in your mackin’ and slipped in your pimpin’, check the images here to see what you missed. Be sure to mark your calendar for July 29th next year for International I Love Braids day and follow @internationalilovebraidsday on IG to be notified of the #BraidLoveBK celebration for 2018!

 

 

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28Jul/17
richard sherman

Richard Sherman Comments on His Locs at the ESPYs *Video*

richard shermanWhat is a great way to grab the attention of a NFL star on the red carpet at the ESPYs? Just take time to compliment them. That is what happened when Taji Mag stopped Richard Sherman to ask him about his locs. When asked how he keeps his locs well conditioned against the strenuous conditions of football he simply relies on lifestyle as mentioned in the video below.

Sherman showed much humility engaging with many around him and sporting an equality pin on his fashionable jacket for the ESPYs, expressing that he believes in allowing people to be themselves and not conform to what society thinks. He has spoken out against the NFL about taking away the individuality and the freedom of players, ultimately affecting the play of the players and the ratings of the NFL.

Richard Sherman is always a class act and a true display of being a positive Black man. Not only is he a pro bowl cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks, but he is also a graduate from Stanford. His education and charismatic personality have helped him dispel any negativity placed on his character from the media. Most notably is the situation with Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady, where he was called a “thug” after passionately asking Tom Brady “Are You Mad Bro?”. He let the media know how offended he was being labeled a thug and eloquently explained how it is comparable to the N-word.

There are other times that Sherman has been vilified but he finds ways to defy them and he also shows compassion with his acts of kindness. During a #BlackLoveConvo twitter chat, we discussed how he recently paid the tuition of a Virginia high school student. He met her at a charity dinner in Richmond, VA and made an agreement with her that if she was able to bring up her grades her senior, he would pay her tuition.

Hopefully Richard Sherman will continue to inspire and contribute to society, allowing for the Black community to have yet another positive role model.

Link to video

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16Jul/17
Woman Gods, NayMarie Photography

Woman Gods They Don’t Want You to Know About

They do not mind telling you of Santa and the Easter Bunny and Kwanzaa…
The fables of angry and jealous gods.
They erased all of our power from the books.
This is a list of Woman Gods that I have been compiling. It is BIZARRE how many names are on this list that are never mentioned as a source of POWER, Relief or Hope in our day to day musings.
Why are women whores or helpers or the failure of man in the Bible?
Where did our stories go?
We were GODS and respected as such. Now we are Queens and Princesses and bad bitches … so on
It’s like mourning a death I never knew happened.

________________________________________

Woman Gods (Africa)

woman gods

Photo by Joey “Islandboi” Rosado

Abuk – In Sudanese Dinka mythology, she is the first woman. She is the patron goddess of women and gardens, and her emblem is a small snake.

Aja – This forest goddess is honored by the Yoruba of Nigeria. She instructs her followers in the use of medicinal herbs found in the African forests.

Aje – A Nigerian Yoruba goddess of wealth.

Akonadi – An oracular goddess of Ghana.

Akwaba – This goddess symbolizes welcome and is always placed above the door. Maidens receive her image from an elder mentor as they come of age, welcoming them into their motherhood role in the tribe. In Togo, a giant Akwaba always precedes the chief in tribal procession, signifying that the Mother and reverence for Nature are the foremost communal values.

Ala -She is the earth and fertility goddess of the Ibo people of Nigeria, as well as a goddess of the underworld. She is the daughter of the great god Chuku and is considered to be the mother of all things. In the beginning she gives birth, and at the end she welcomes the dead back to her womb. In Nigeria, where she is still worshipped, she has temples situated in the center of the villages, where she has a statue surrounded by the images of other gods and animals.

Agwe – Mother of the sea in Benin. She is affectionate and nurturing to humans who honor her.

Aha Njoku – This popular goddess is worshipped by the Ibo people of Nigeria. She is responsible for yams, a central ingredient in the Ibo diet, and the women who care for them.

Aida Wedo – In Benin and Haiti she is the snake companion to Damballah-Wedo, the most popular god, who is also in snake form.

Aje – Yoruba goddess of wealth in all its forms.

Akonandi – (Ghana) An oracular goddess of justice.

Amirini – An early goddess of the Yoruba of West Africa.

Anansi -The spider goddess of Ghana, she is considered the creator’s chief official, and a hero of many tales.

Asase Ya (Asase Yaa) Ashanti earth goddess. Ghanian creator of humanity, and wife of Nyame. She was also the mother of the gods.

Ashiakle – Goddess of wealth of the Gan people of Ghana.

woman gods

Photo by NayMarie Photography

Atete – Fertility goddess of the Kafa people of Ethiopia.

Ayabba  – Hearth goddess of the Fon people of Benin.

Azeman – A name given to a female vampire or werewolf in Surinam folk belief. At night, she transforms from human to animal form and travels around drinking human blood. According to belief, the best way to stop her is by sprinkling grains or seeds about, so she will be compelled to stop and pick them up. Another way of stopping her is by propping a broom, which she won’t cross, against a door.

Aziri – The goddess of possessions.

Bayanni- (Yoruba) Sister of Shango. She was sacrificed to make her younger brother, Shango, a stronger god.

Bele Alua -(Ghana) Tree goddesss

Bomo Rambi – A moon Goddess of Zimbabwe.

Bosumabla – A sea goddess of Ghana, one of the minor deities.

Buk (Sudan-Nuer) She is the goddess of rivers and streams and the source of life. Her children are Deng, Candit and Nyaliep.

Bunzi – A rain goddess of Zaire, depicted as a rainbow-colored snake. She took over her mother’s duties as rain goddess when her mother was killed.

Buruku – She is a creator goddess of Ghana, associated with the moon and sometimes considered male.

Candit -The goddess of streams in Sudan.

Dewi Nawang Sasih – In Sudanese myth, a celestial nymph who taught people how to cook rice. The myth says she gave the women a simple recipe; place one grain of rice in a pot, boil, and wait until it sub-divides again and again until the pot is full. Her one restriction was that no man ever touch a woman’s cooking utensils. The people feasted fully, and easily, following her instructions until one king who felt above all others deliberately touched a cooking implement. The goddess in disgust departed the earth, and since that time it takes a whole bunch of rice to fill a pot, because although the grains swell up, they no longer divide and reproduce.

Dziva -The generally benevolent creatrix goddess of the Shona people of Zimbabwe. There is, however, an awful aspect to her nature.

Edinkira – An African tree goddess.

Egungun-Oya  – Another form of the Yoruba goddess of divination.

Eka Abassi – The creator of life. Her son and consort was Obumo (god of thunder and rain)

Enekpe – Goddess of the family and guardian of destiny. One story relates that when she saw that her tribe was losing a battle, she offered herself as a sacrifice to save her people, and was buried alive on the battlefield; her tribe was saved.

Eseasar – An earth goddess married to the sky god, Ebore.

Fatouma – She was born in a village near a lake in Mali that was inhabited by a virgin-devouring dragon who each year claimed a village virgin as payment for the use of the lake’s waters. The day came when Fatouma was the only eligible virgin remaining so she was left on the shore for the dragon to eat. Along came a hero named Hammadi who slew the dragon, married Fatouma, and lived happily ever after with her.

Gbadu- The daughter of Mawu. She is the goddess of fate of the Fon or Dahomey people of Benin, and she is saddened by the fighting among her mother’s mortal children.

Gleti- The moon goddess of Benin. She is the mother of all the stars (Gletivi). An eclipse is said to be caused by the shadow of the her husband when he comes to “visit”.

Gonzuole -The first woman of Liberia. Without a mate she gave birth to many beautiful daughters; they lived together in a village without men for many years. Eventually some men nearby trapped them all and Gonzuole, fearing for her daughters’ safety, agreed to give them in marriage to the men.

Hyrax -The wife of the creator god I Kaggen (praying mantis) revered by men of the western bush.

Ilankaka – The sun goddess of the Nkundo of Zaire was trapped by a man who was hunting during the night. She begged to be released and promised him much wealth for doing so, but the only wealth he wanted was her, so she agreed to marry him. Soon pregnant, she refused to eat anything but forest rats. Because it was known that a man had to provide for any whim of a pregnant woman, the man was kept very busy trapping for her. One night, however, she awakened to realize she was no longer pregnant. Shocked, she discovered the baby had slipped out of the womb and was already eating meat. He grew up to be the hero Itonde, who captured the heart of the Elephant Girl Mbombe.

Inkosazana – A female spirit of the Zulus who makes the maize grow. The deity of agriculture, she is venerated in springtime.

Lissa – The Dahomey mother goddess. Mother of the Sun god Maou and the Moon god Gou. Her totem was the chameleon.

Mami Wata – A water-spirit, sometimes described as a mermaid figure, who can found throughout the western coastal regions and into central Africa. Mami Wata is described as having long dark hair, very fair skin and compelling eyes. Although she may appear in dreams and visions to her devotees as a beautiful mermaid, she is also said to walk the streets of modern African cities in the guise of a gorgeous but elusive woman. She is interested in all things contemporary: some of her favorite offerings include sweet, imported perfumes, sunglasses and Coca-Cola. Nonetheless, the spirit appears to be related to other water spirits (known in Igbo, a language of southeastern Nigeria, as ‘ndi mmili) who have a much longer history on the continent. Mami Wata’s colors are red and white. Those she afflicts with visions and temptations, and who experience her as an obsession or an illness, may wear the red of sickness and dangerous heat. Others who have a more positive orientation towards the spirit may show their blessings by wearing white. Most devotees wear a combination of red and white clothing. Mami Wata is also said to have a number of avatars on earth- mortal women who have the same look as the deity and who act as her “daughters.” Mami Wata may give wealth to her devotees, her “daughters” or to her (male) spouses, but she is never known to give fertility. Some Igbo stories suggest that the fish under the waters are her children, and that she uses them as firewood. Mami Wata is sometimes seen as a metaphor for modern African conditions — having the knowledge of global wealth and the desire for large-scale consumption, but lacking the actual wealth or access to the world’s wealth that would enable Africans to participate in that system.

Mamlambo – The Zulu goddess of rivers.

Marwe – A Chaga folktale heroine.

Massassi – The maiden created for Mwuetsi, in the mythology of the Makoni tribe of Zimbabwe. She bore to her husband grasses, bushes and trees.

Mawu – Mawu is the Creator/Moon Goddess known among the people from the Dahomey region of West Africa, the female aspect of the divinity Mawu-Lisa. She is associated with the moon, night, fertility, motherhood, gentleness, forgiveness, rest and joy. The cosmology of the Fon has the Earth as floating on the water, while above circle the heavenly bodies on the inner surface of a gourd. The son of Mawu-Lisa, Da (Danh) the cosmic serpent, helps in ordering the universe; he had 3500 coils above the earth, and the same number below. Together these coils support Mawu-Lisa’s creation. After creating the earth and all life and everything else on it, she became concerned that it might be too heavy, so she asked the primeval serpent, Aido Hwedo, to curl up beneath the earth and hold it up in the sky. When she asked Awe, a monkey she had also created, to help out and make some more animals out of clay, he boasted to the other animals and challenged Mawu. Gbadu, the first woman Mawu had created, saw all the chaos on earth and told her children to go out among the people and remind them that only Mawu can give Sekpoli – the breath of life. Gbadu instructed her daughter, Minona, to go out among the people and teach them about the use of palm kernels as omens from Mawu. When Awe, the arrogant monkey climbed up to the heavens to try to show Mawu that he too could give life, he failed miserably. Mawu made him a bowl of porridge with the seed of death in it and reminded him that only she could give life and that she could also take it away.

Mbaba Mwana Waresa – A beloved goddess of the Zulu people of Southern Africa, primarily because she gave them the gift of beer. She is the goddess of the rainbow, rain, harvest, and agriculture. The story of her search for a husband is well known, and recently appeared in a beautifully illustrated children’s book.

Mboze – Mother of the Woyo people of Zaire, and mother of Bunzi. When her husband found out he was not the father of Bunzi, he killed Mboze.

Mebeli – In Congo, she is the mother of the race of man (given life by Massim Biambe) with god Phebele.

Moombi  – She is the creator goddess of the Kikuyu who mothered nine daughters by Gikuyu.

Mujaji – The rain queen of the Lovedu people of the Transvaal.

Musso Koroni – The goddess of disorder among the Bambara of Africa and the first woman to be created. She is the daughter of the Voice of the Void, and wife of Pemba. She planted Pemba in the soil, but disliked his thorns and so forswore the god. Now she wanders the earth, causing sadness and disorder among mankind.

Nambi – (Buganda) The first woman.

Nana-Bouclou  – (Benin) Primal god of the Ewe people of the Dahomey, both male and female, who created the twins from whom all the Voodoo gods descended.

Nana Buluku – (Nana, Nan Nan, Nana Baruku, Na Na Baraclou, Boucalou) As Nana Buluku she is the primordial creator goddess of the Fon Nation of Benin (Dahomey). As Nana Buruku she is first Grandmother to all the Divinities and first human woman in the religion of the Yorubas. It was of Nana that the Cosmic Twins Mawu and Lisa were born. From Mawu and Lisa came the Cosmic Egg, and the Cosmic Seed that germinated the Egg. This egg was formed about the center of Ashe, the realm of Ikode Orun. From this egg hatched the Great Irunmole. So Nana Baruku is the Womb of Olodumare, Mawu is the Cosmic Egg, and Lisa is Olodumare’s Seed. Once set into motion, they are the creation of all that is, was and ever will be.  When the Orisha called Obatala formed the first human head upon the face of the earth, it was Olodumare who came down from the great Adobe of the Spiritual Realm, and breathed life into it. It was through the mysteries of the breath of Olodumare that Nana Baruku first came forth and took up residence within a clay figure, becoming the first living soul. Thus Nana Baruku was both Great Divinity, first of all ancestors, the great Grandmother of the Divinities, but also the Ancient Grandmother and progenitor of the human race. In human form Nana Buruku was known by the name Ayizan. Ayizan, (Nanan) is envisioned as an ancient black grandmother, her face covered with palm fronds in honor of the palm trees which she used to create shelter upon earth. In her arms Ayizan carries a woven basket containing bark, roots, and herbs. Ayizan was the first human herbalist, sacred to her is the mandrake root, which resembles a human form and is a symbol of her human husband Osanyin. With her vast knowledge of herbs she attracted the attention of the Orisha Osanyin, whom took form and became known as Loco. In life Ayizan lived in a marshy swamp, she was a powerful ancestor who was unsurpassed in the knowledge of herbs and root magic. Sacred to her is quicksand, which surrounded her home and protected her from wild animals.

Oboto – The goddesses of serenity.

Oduduwa – A creator deity and earth goddess of the Yoruba.

Oshun  – (Osun) The Orisa of Love and Sensuality. The Yoruba peoples of Nigeria brought Oshun to the New World via Brazil and Cuba. She is depicted as an old wise woman sad at the loss of her beauty. Alternately she may be shown as tall, light brown-skinned and with the sensuality of a prostitute. She is patroness of rivers and the bloodstream, and wears seven brass bracelets. She wears a mirror at her belt to admire herself, is companioned by the primping peacock and cricket, and carries river water in her pot. Powerful spells are worked through this lady of opposites. Love and sensuality are the domains of Oshun. Tall and brown-skinned, she is patroness of rivers and the bloodstream, always carrying her mirror. Powerful love spells are worked through this Lady. Oshun, the Yoruba Goddess of Love and Life-Sustaining Rivers, is the Goddess of all the arts, but especially dance. Beauty belongs to Oshun and represents the human ability to create beauty for its own sake, to create beyond need. It is also said that she is the knitter of civilization, since great cities have been founded, for the most part, along rivers in order to supply water to their populations.

Oya -The Yoruba warrior goddess of the wind, the primeval mother of chaos, the mother of nine children (the nine tributaries of the Niger River). She creates change of fortune, and her power is associated with lightning, tornadoes, earthquakes and other storms, cemeteries and death. Her motherly strength inspires us to embrace change and learn from it. Using her machete, or sword of truth, she cuts through stagnation and clears the way for new growth. She does what needs to be done. She is the wild woman, the force of change; also the queen of the marketplace and a shrewd businesswoman who is adept with horses. As the wind, she is the first breath and the last, the one who carries the spirits of the dead to the other world, which is why she is associated with cemeteries. Oya is tall, stately, and fierce in battle. She is the orisa of creative power and action. They say every breath we take is the gift of Oya. The other two Ancient Mothers are Osun and Yemaja.

Pamba – The creator and sustainer of life in Ovambo mythology. The Ovambo, a matrilineal people, declare that ‘the mother of pots is a hole in the ground; the mother of people is god.’

Yemayah –  (Yemaja, Yemoja) She is one of the great goddesses of the Nigerian Yoruba. The Orisha of the Ocean and Motherhood, Yemayah was brought to the New World by the Yoruba people of Nigeria via Brazil and Cuba, where she has been venerated for centuries as Protectress during the middle passage of slavery. She was the sister and wife of Aganju, the soil god, and mother by him of Orungan, god of the noonday sun. She was said to be the daughter of the sea into whose waters she empties.  She is also an avatar of Mama Wata, the mother of waters. Even as she slept, she would create new springs, which gushed forth each time she turned over. The first time she walked on earth, fountains that later became rivers sprang up wherever she set foot. Sea shells, through which the priestesses and priests could hear the voice of the universe, were among her first gifts to the people. She is known by different names in many localities; As Yemoja (Yemayah) she is the power (orisa) of the ocean and motherhood. She is long-breasted, the goddess of fishes, and wears an insignia of alternating crystal and blue beads. She has a strong, nurturing, life-giving yet furiously destructive nature. She is considered the Great Witch, the ultimate manifestation of female power.  As Yemanja (Imanje) in Brazil she is ocean goddess of the crescent moon, as Ymoa in West Africa she is the river goddess who grants fertility to women. In Cuba she is known as Yemaya (Yemaya Ataramagwa, wealthy queen of the sea; Yemaya Achabba, the stern goddess; Yemaya Oqqutte, the violent goddess; or Yemaya Olokun, the dream goddess). She is known as Agwe in Haiti. She is also referred to as Yamoja, which is a contraction of the the sentence “Iyamo eja”, meaning “our mother” or “my mother of fishes”. Among the Brazilian Umbandists, Yemaja is the goddess of the sea and patroness of shipwrecked persons. In Santeria, Yemaja (Yemaya) is the equivalent of the Catholic saint Our Lady of Regla. The river Ogun is associated with her, because the water of this river is considered to be a remedy for infertility.

_______________________________________

Woman Gods (Various Regions)

Aphrodite (Greek) – The beautiful Goddess of love and fertility. No man could resist Aphrodite when she wore her magic girdle.  Her name means foam born or raised from foam as she was birthed from the churning sea.

Arianrhod (Celtic) – Goddess of fertility, rebirth and the weaving of cosmic time and fate.  The last aspect of her nature is contained within her name which means “silver wheel” or “round wheel,” suggesting her importance in the cycles of life.  Other common spellings of her name are Aranhod and Arianrod.

Artemis (Greek) – An independent spirit, she is Goddess is of the hunt, nature and birth. There are several different theories about the origin of her name, one school of thought says it comes from an ancient word for “safe” and another argues that it means “strong limbed.”   Either way the suggestion is that this maiden Goddess has the strength and ability to protect herself from any unwanted attention.

Athena (Greek) – Goddess of war and wisdom and domestic crafts. Plato believed her name meant “mind of God” whilst others suggest it comes an ancient word meaning “sharp.”  Both these words point to Athena’s great intellectual ability to see the true nature of a situation and to develop successful strategies.

Bast (Egyptian) – The famous cat Goddess, she protected pregnant woman and children. Bast was a very sensual Goddess who enjoyed music, dance and perfume.  Her name comes from the bas jars used to store perfumes and ointments.  Other versions of this Goddess names include: Bastet, Baset, Ubasti and Pasht.

Ceres (Roman) – This Goddess of agriculture and grains name comes from the Indo European word root, ker meaning “to grow.”  In turn her name has become the origin of our modern word cereal.

Cerridwen (Celtic) – Goddess of moon, magic, agriculture, nature, poetry language, music, art, science and astrology. She was also keeper of the cauldron.  Her name means “chiding love.” Ceridwen, Caridwen, Kerritwen, Keridwen, Kyrridwen are other variations of her name.

Demeter (Greek) – Goddess of the harvest who possessed great knowledge of the best way to grow, preserve and harvest grain.  She was also the devoted mother of Persephone.  Her name reflects her nurturing personality as it means “earth mother” in Greek.

Diana (Roman) – Goddess of the hunt and wild animals.  She later took over from Luna as the Roman Goddess of the moon, responsible for fertility and childbirth. Her name means  “heavenly divine,” reflecting her celestial role.

Eirene (Greek) – This Greek Goddess name means peace in her native language, expressing her diplomatic nature.  Her name also often appears as Irene.

Eos (Greek) – A sunny natured Goddess whose name means dawn.

Epona (Celtic) – Protector of horses, donkeys, and mules.  She was also an ancient fertility Goddess.  Epona’s Goddess name comes from the Gaulish word epos meaning “great mare.”

Ereshkigal (Sumerian) – Goddess of Attalu, the land of the dead and ancestral memories. Her name translates as “great lady under the earth.”  Irkalla is an alternative name by which this Goddess is identified.

Freya (Nordic) – Goddess of love, beauty, fertility, war, wealth, divination and magic. Her name comes from the ancient Norse word for lady or mistress.  There are several variations of the spellings of this Goddess name including: Freyja, Freyr and Freyja.

Frigg (Nordic) – Goddess of marriage, childbirth, motherhood, wisdom, household management and weaving and spinning. Her name means “beloved” in ancient Norse and is derived from fri “to love.”  She is also known as Frige, Friia, Frija and Frea.

Gaia (Greek) – Goddess of the Earth and prophecy. She is the primordial mother and a personification of Mother Earth. She gave birth to the Titans. Her name is also spelt Gaeo.

Hathor (Egyptian) – This heavenly cow’s areas of influence included music, dancing, joy and fertility. Her name translates as “house of Horus”.  Alternative names for this Goddess are Het-Hert, Hetheru, Mehturt, Mehurt, Mehet-Weret, and Mehet-uret,

Hebe (Greek) – Hebe’s name literally means youth or in the prime of life. She was one of the daughters of Zeus and Hera.  Her role was to serve the nectar and ambrosia to the Gods and Goddesses that prevented them from aging.

Hekate (Greek) – Goddess of the wild places, childbirth and the crossroads. She is closely associated with magic and witchcraft.  Her name is said to be derived from the Greek word hekas meaning “far off” describing her unworldly, shamanic nature.  Also known as Hecate.

Hella (Nordic) – The fearsome Goddess of the Nordic realm of the dead.  Her name is derived from the word kel, meaning “to conceal.”  There are numerous spellings of her name including Halje Hell, Hel, Helle, Hela and Holle.

Hera (Greek) – Queen of the Olympians and Goddess of marriage and birth.  The meaning of her Goddess name has been lost.  One historian claims her name could be connected to the Greek word for seasons “hora,” suggesting she is ripe for marriage.

Hestia (Greek) – The domestic Goddess of the Greek Pantheon, she rules over the hearth and home.  Her name comes from the Greek word estia meaning “she that dwells or tarries.”  This reflects the importance of the role that the ancient Greeks attributed to this Goddess in sacrificing her position as an Olympian to guard the fire and maintain a happy home.

Inanna (Sumerian) – Goddess of love, war, and fertility. Inanna was the personification of the morning and evening star.  Her beautiful name means “lady of the sky.” This Goddess is closely linked to Ishtar and Nin-anna.

Indunn (Nordic) – Goddess of youth and springtime.  Her name means she who renews and has several alternative spellings including Indun, Iduna and Idhunna.

Iris (Greek) – Goddess of the rainbow and messenger to the Gods. Her name means rainbow in her native language.

woman gods

Photo by NayMarie Photography

Isis (Egyptian) – This famous Goddess has so many different aspects, her most important roles are as Goddess of life and magic. Isis’s name comes from the Egyptian word aset and means “she of throne” in other words the Queen of the Goddesses.

Juno (Roman) – Goddess of marriage, pregnancy and childbirth.  She protected the finances of the citizens of Rome. Her name is mystery, it speaks of a contradictory role for this Goddess, before her alignment to the matronly, Greek Goddess, Hera. This is because her name is derived from the root yeu meaning “vital force” indicating a more youthful, maiden Goddess.

Lakshmi (Hindu)- Goddess of abundance of material and spiritual wealth.  Her name is derived from the Sanskrit word “laksya” meaning aim or goal

Maat (Egyptian) – Goddess of truth, justice and balance.  She prevented the creation from reverting to chaos and judged the deeds of the dead with her feather.  This Goddess name stems from the word Mayet meaning “straight.” This reflects her unbending nature in upholding what is right and just.

Minerva (Roman) – Goddess of wisdom, medicine and crafts.  Her name is linked to the Latin word mens which means “intellect,” suggesting the intelligence and inventiveness of this ancient Goddess.

Morrigan (Celtic) – The terrifying crow Goddess associated with war and death on the battlefield.  She was queen of phantoms, demons, shape-shifters and patroness of priestesses and Witches.  Her name means “great queen” in the old Irish language. Morrigan was also known as Morgane, Morrígu, Morríghan, Mor-Ríoghain and Morrígna.

Nephthys (Egyptian) – Goddess of death, decay and the unseen.  Her name speaks of her priestess role as it means “lady of the temple enclosure.” Other variations of her title include Nebet-het and Nebt-het.

Nike (Greek) – This Greek Goddess name means victory, she represented success especially in the sporting arena which is why her name was chosen for a famous brand of sportswear.

Ostara (Germanic) – The spring Goddess whose name is linked to the East and the dawn. The early Christians took her fertility symbols of eggs and hares and incorporated them into the Easter celebrations.

Parvarti (Hindu) – Goddess of love and devotion, her name means “she of the mountain.”

Persephone (Greek) – Daughter of Demeter and Queen of the Underworld.  She was also none as Kore reflecting the Maiden aspect of this Goddess.  Other variations of her name include Persephoneia, Persephassa, Persephatta and Pherepapha

Pomona (Roman) –Protected fruiting trees and gardens.  Her name is derived from the Latin word pomus, meaning “fruit tree.”

Rhea (Greek) – The ancient Titan Earth Goddess, responsible for the fertility of the soil and women.  The name is most likely a form of the word era meaning “earth”, although it has also been linked to ‘rheos’ the Greek term for “stream.”

Selene (Greek) – Selene was the Titan personification of the moon, unsurprising then that her name means moon in Greek.

Seshat (Egyptian) – The great scribe and librarian Goddess who was responsible for accounting, architecture, astronomy, historical records and mathematics.  Her Goddess name means “she who scibes.”  It is also appears as Safkhet, Sashet, Seshata, Sesat, Sesheta and Sheshat.

Themis (Greek) – Goddess of divine justice, order and customs.  She also had the gift of prophecy. Her name simply means “law of nature” or “divine nature.”

Venus (Roman) – Goddess and love and beauty.  Her Goddess name has become synonymous with her role as the woman who all men desire.

Vesta (Roman) – Guardian of the sacred Flame.  Vesta’s name and function is derived from the Greek Goddess Hesti

Chela Noldon | Twitter & Instagram  : @hollysaucy

Featured photo courtesy of NayMarie Photography

 

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05Jul/17
blerd city con

Calling all Black Nerds! BLERD City Con is Celebrating You in New York City

blerd city conBLERD City Con is about to bring a revolutionary event to the historic Dumbo Spot in New York, NY — and you’re going to want to grab your tickets soon. BLERD City is an innovative, unique, creative, and challenging celebration of the Black community and all the glorious nerdiness held within. Art, science, film, literature and technology; it’s all going to be on display from Sunday, July 29th through Saturday, July 30th. This family-friendly festival is going to be hyperactive and fueled with fantasy and fandom.
“What is a BLERD?”  A Blerd is simply a “Black Nerd”. They are those who have an interest in what others would say are strange and specific things.  An interest in talking about unrivaled passions for characters, stories, and forms of art that often outweigh real celebrities.  The goal of Blerd City Con is to honor creativity of the Blerd culture, encouraging inclusion, community, and awareness in the process.
Clairesa Clay, the founder of BLERD City Con, has a simple and inspired mission: “I want the audience to experience Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy by the talents of leading African Diasporic filmmakers, writers, coders and creators who are serving the community of Black and Nerdy.
BLERD City is a conference dedicated to showcasing the multi-dimensional complexity of black nerdiness through all spectrums of creativity, invention, and innovation. We’re going to have panels, workshops, film screenings, special guests, presentations, and so much more. Visit our marketplace for gaming and comic books and take your kids to our all ages science and technology exploration center.
This year, BLERD City Con will be honoring L.A. Banks for her outstanding contributions in fantasy horror speculative writing and non-fiction with an award in her name. BLERD City Con has worked with some of the most renowned, accomplished, and critically-acclaimed presenters within the community:
Sheree Renée Thomas, award-winning fiction writer, editor, and poet, and author of Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora and Dark Matter: Reading the Bones. Sheree will be honored with the new L.A. Banks award.
 Tim Fielder, graphic artist, cartoonist, and animator, best known for Afrofuturism: The Next Generation.
Warrington Hudlin, veteran producer of film, television, and online media
Floyd Webb, an award-winning filmmaker and groundbreaking film festival producer.
Regine Sawyer, owner and writer at Locket Down Production a press comic book company. Also the founder of the Women in Comics Collective International.
BLERD City Con’s mission is to provide the Black community with a tangible connection to the talented and cutting-edge professionals working within the arts and sciences, providing room for inspiration, networking, and education.
In addition to featured guests, BLERD City Con panels and workshops include:
People of Color Gaming
Venture Capital for Technology
Women in Comics
The Great Black Panther Debate
Afropast, Afrofuture
Black Karate
Coders and Writers
SciFi/Fantasy/Writers Reading
AfroCrowd: A Wikipedia Workshop
This expansive cultural celebration will be held over five areas: The Dumbo Spot (Panels), Creative Chaos (Book Readings), Automatic Studios (Film Screenings and Panels), The Green Desk (Workshops), and Brooklyn Bridge Park (Children’s Corner). You don’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind event and experience. Tickets are available now.
 
About BLERD CITY
BLERD City Con is a two-day conference celebrating the fantastic NERDiness in you! Join panels & workshops in Games, Tech, SciFi/Horror/Fantasy film screenings and book readings.
Get your tickets to BLERD City Con here!
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07Jun/17

Taji Vol11: Ethereal

Release Jun 7 2017 | Vol11 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling it’s theme of “Ethereal”! This volume features rising cover model Aïssata. Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick: Khinky.com is the Only Black Woman Owned Loc Extension Manufacturer; the community feature on the fitness trio “The Mix-Tape”; Hair Feature by Sophisticated Locs Salon; “Beginners Advice for Building your Savings from Phil Small” by Nay Marie; “Spiritual Technology of Freedom” by Jashua Sa’Ra; E.M.E.R.G.E. founded by Master Pioneer Hair Stylist Diane C. Bailey; the elegant jewels and body butters of TheCelestineCollection; “13 Reasons Why We Should Discuss Misogynoir by Tajh Danielle Sutton; “#BlackLoveConvo: Affection Between Black Men” with Dapper Dr. Feel; our Health & Fitness Advice Column with Trainer Clint & Vegan Fun with Delliz the Chef – “Personal Pan Pizza”; Featured artist Will Focus; Must Have Comic Book: Ajala by N. Steven Harris; the Taji Model Winners; and more!!

RSVP for the Vol 11 June 4th Release Event at TajiMagVol11.eventbrite.com!

Purchase your copy now at ‘Purchase Taji’!

Vol11

Purchase Taji Mag | Vol 11

Taji Mag is a Black Beauty & Culture specialty publication highlighting the artistry of our essence.

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05Jun/17
Glamourina

Glamourina Announces New Collection of Athleisure Wear

Local Washington, DC designers Kia Renee and Nekol Choo are thrilled to announce the premier of their Glamourina Kente Athleisure line. Glamourina is an online athleisure apparel store. Co-founders Kia and Nekol are working mothers who have always had a passion for fashion and desire to encourage women and uplift women. “Our mission is to provide affordable, comfortable, and quality athleisure apparel to average, and above average working women and girls in efforts to promote self-esteem through beauty, health and fitness.”

Glamourina

Why Kente? Kente is a traditional tribal fabric originating from Africa.  Africa is a strong and powerful continent.  They are here to motivate and encourage women to be strong, powerful and confident. “We are especially excited about our Kente line of athleisure apparel,” said Kia and Nekol. “Our followers are in for a treat this year.  When we premier the new line in April, everyone will finally get a glimpse of a very special design we’ve been working on for the past two years.”

Glamourina’s Kente Athleisure line will be available for purchase online exclusively at www.Glamourina.com before expanding to other retailers. Follow them on all social networks @shopglamourina!

Glamorina

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03Jun/17
yoni steaming

(Re)Discover Yoni Steaming to Heal Your Womb

yoni steamingMeet Yendys Nefer-Atum, Khametic Priestess of sacred feminine wellness, natural hair care professional, maker of Ancient Blends organic hair and body care product line, holistic health educator and founder/owner of The Cowrie Shell Center for Holistic Hair Care and Scalp Wellness Therapies Located in Brooklyn for the past three decades.
Yendys is also known as a Yoni Alchemist, so it makes perfect sense that she is the creator of Earth Yoni Blessing Oil (Vaginal Massage Oil) and Yoni Steaming herbal remedy. Her company is also known for Yoni Steaming.
The Yoni is the vagina, womb, and refers to the whole reproductive area. Yoni is an ancient Sanskrit word for the vagina as a divine opening and a sacred temple. Yendys has cultivated a sacred, intimate connection with many women’s yonis. Her company provides Yoni Steams as well as traditional steaming herbs.
Yoni steams are known by numerous women of many cultures to:
· Significantly reduce pain, bloating and exhaustion associated with menstruation cycle.
· Decrease excessive menstrual flow.
· Regulate irregular or absent menstrual cycles.
· Improve fertility.
· Speed healing and tone the reproductive system after child birth.
· Treat uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, uterine weakness, uterine prolapse & endometriosis.
· Assist with the repair of a vaginal tear, episiotomy, or C-section scar.
· Assist with the healing of hemorrhoids.
· Treat chronic vaginal/yeast infections, and works to maintain healthy odor.
· Relieve symptoms of menopause including dryness or pain during intercourse.
· Detoxify the root chakra and womb
· Release stored negative emotions or traumas that hold us back.
· Tap into the root energy that gives rise to our visions and creative potential.
BOOK YOUR YONI STEAMING APPOINTMENT TODAY AT THE COWRIE SHELL CENTER!
EMAIL: info@cowrieshell.com
YONI-STEAM QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS!
Yoni Steaming
Yoni Steaming
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