Release Dec 7 2021 | Vol29 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling its theme of Wata! This volume’s cover features the #SlayBells of @Honey.Scarlette captured by @TheOneWillFocus3. Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick, #BlackLoveConvo: “SPIKE: A Collection of Movie Photography With Contributing Photographer, David Lee” by Dapper Dr. Feel; our Community Spotlight, MAKEDA Maska-Fleurs by FLORAFFIA©; our highlighted Hair Feature with the Moriri project; “Solo Travel: Now That I’m Outside, Here’s How I’m Managing My Travel Anxiety by dCarrie; “A Simple (But Not Easy) Formula for Freedom” by Jashua Sa’Ra; “Pedagogy in a Pandemic” by Janelle Naomi; Our Vol 29 contributed photo story, “Wata;” Fitness Highlight; Vegan Fun with Earth’s Pot’s Creamy Dream Pasta; “Eugenics & Economic Depravity by the Numbers” by M’Bwebe Ishangi, Founder of Cryptowoke Financial Sustainability Movement; Around The Way Girl Da Remix by Kaloni Cush of Seven Essential Creates; Featured Art Piece by @CraigCTheArtist; Comic Appreciation; Black Business Highlights; and more!!
Release Sept 7 2021 | Vol28 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling its theme of Fire! This volume’s cover features features the #SlayBells of @Queen__Reinvented. Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick, #BlackLoveConvo: “Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James is a Music Love Story” by Dapper Dr. Feel; our Community Spotlight, Lady M Mannequins; our highlighted Hair Feature with Debra Hare Bey; “Solo Travel: Audacious Adventure” with Ty Vaughn by dCarrie; “The Value of Values” by Jashua Sa’Ra; “The Childhood Challenge” by Janelle Naomi; Our Vol 28 contributed photo story, “Fire;” Fitness Highlight, Dorian DuBois of EFitBrand; Vegan Fun with Earth’s Pot’s Savory Veggie Flatbread; “What Banks Don’t Want You to Know” by M’Bwebe Ishangi, Founder of Cryptowoke Financial Sustainability Movement; Featured Art Piece by @TheOneWillFocus; Comic Appreciation with INFINITUM by Tim Fields; Black Business Highlights; and more!!
If you type “value definition” into a search engine, the majority of results you will likely get are related to money. That is telling, and we’ll come back to it, but our first question is: what is value if there is no money? Does a child with no money value nothing, or have no value? How does a culture that exchanges energy without a token (dollar, cedi, rand, yen, etc.) set up its value system? What is the monetary value of being in a grandparent’s lap? We need to take time to examine what value is, and why it determines our motivation.
If you look further than the monetary definitions, you will find that value is a noun, verb, and adjective. Its definitions are associated with math, music, light, linguistics, and principles, among other things. My definition of value is the power to activate your own abilities by focusing love on something.
Ultimately, your values are what you think of yourself and the world that you’re in; actions (public and private) are the proof of your values. Low values mean we don’t think we have the capacity to accomplish great things (inferiority) or that there are no great things to be accomplished (apathy). High values mean we expect great things from ourselves (confidence) and see opportunities in the world to show it (vision).
In math, value means it is what it is! The value of 3 is 3. The value of 3+6 is 9. The value of 9×9 is 81. Value is the definition of a math object (number, equation, constant, variable, etc.), and the result of any math operation. The point is that these mathematical values are self-evident and always exist, so they can’t be falsified. If I give you three dollars and tell you it’s seven dollars, the math will prove me a liar or uneducated, instantly. So, it’s crucial to know there are universal values that help us navigate this existence.
Spiritual systems have numerical associations with ritual, celebration, sacred moments and places, galactic calculation, etc. There are numerology systems, zodiac systems, I Ching, obi, enneagrams, archetypes, tarot…and they all come down to assessing the value of numbers and aligning behavior to the numerical order of the universe. So, the principles of these various systems are all formulas/equations to arrive at a value of divinity. In other words, “What equation/ritual equals god?”
Value as a verb means to hold something as important; or to assess the importance of something. The way you get a society where dishonesty, theft, lechery, violence, etc. is the norm, is get the society to believe divinity is beyond reach, and thus an irrelevant pursuit. It encourages you to value earthly accomplishments over spiritual goals. To bring that into clear focus: which is most likely to be brought up in a conversation about dating potential, great assets or great record of community involvement? Which would get us closer to our life goals, vacationing multiple times a year or going into a week of meditative silence multiple times a year? Both have their benefits, but what outcome do we value more, if either?
What we have here are two truths that are at our disposal: 1) there are fixed values; 2) we can assign values. Our nose can smell a rose because it has a fixed chemical value. But once inside of our olfactory, we can assign a value of how we personally experience it. To one person, A/C on 59 degrees may be perfect, but to a “normal” person, that’s a home-sized freezer (bias showing?) Either way, the fixed value is 59. By using this simple understanding, it’s obvious why so much money is spent on advertising because it is suggesting what people should value. The simple truth is, whatever you value, you will spend energy on it. Your lover, family member, your pet, your job, hobby, vice…whatever gives a result that you consider important, you will figure out an equation. I’ll bet you know someone who you consider unmotivated, but I’ll also bet that person has something they do every day. Search those activities to discover their values. This is a crucial assessment tool, especially for parents or those involved in the lives of young people. It can help inform your guidance and allow you to create a space for children to learn cultural values. Use healthy lifestyle choices to celebrate moments (pop bottles of alkaline water). Invite family or friends over for bonding activities (dinner, game night). Make time for a spiritual practice daily. Submersion is how you activate values.
We live in a society where typing “value” in the web of the wide world speaks mostly of money. Money is just a storage battery that is charged by the work that people do. Why is money now the default container for all value? One reason is because all of our community needs have been capitalized, which means we’re paying for everyday humanity (survival). But, also, because it allows you to do business with people who don’t share the same VALUES. That isn’t necessarily to our benefit. Consider how realigned power would be if everybody only exchanged money, resources, goods, and services with people who are aligned culturally (i.e., self-sufficiency).
For a real-time example of how it might look to run a modern nation with high values, study Ghana under the leadership of Jerry Rawlings, or Burkina Faso under Thomas Sankara.
Imagination and spirit give us the ability to do wonders. By setting values, we are deciding how to shape the malleable universe.
Everything is based on values, no matter what system or level you consider. We can use that intentionally to determine if the formulas we’re using in any area actually equal the results we want. If anything doesn’t add up to the right value, we can recognize it and move on. When something adds up to our intended future, then we keep stacking!
Photo by Aude Andre Saturnio
“The greatest nation is imagination.” Everyone who goes there is the ruler. It’s not limited by borders and won’t disappear in history, but do you know what it is? How does it work? Can it be impaired like hearing or sight? How much thought have you given to what it actually does?
Physiologically, imagination is connected to the pineal gland. It’s also known as the third eye and depicted with its associated surrounding brain structures as the eye of Heru or Ra (depending on which hemisphere of the brain you’re looking at). It has photoreceptors, which means it knows when there’s light. The pineal gland produces melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep and circadian rhythms, from serotonin, the day time hormone. It not only tells us what time of day it is, but also what time of year by how much light and darkness we experience in a day. That means it’s specifically there to interact with galactic vibrations. It influences the pituitary gland, which is the master gland of the endocrine system (emotions). The pineal contains piezoelectric crystals which create a spark when compressed (many lighters use this technology). It also has piezochromatic crystals that create all the colors in the spectrum of the rainbow. So, inside your brain is a gland that knows what’s happening in the cosmos, affects how you feel and when you sleep, and can create light and colors inside your head. It’s a spiritual/organic virtual reality kit! Using machinery to download info into your brain is just lazy!
Think about it like this. Chromosome means color (chroma) body (soma). We know that colors are fragments of light. If consciousness is light, then chromosomes are a library of filters that the light uses to project images of its parts into the world. The mind is the control console with access to all the filters, and the imagination is the real-time projection of which filters are being activated.
Consciousness is the “knowing” of existence. It’s the thing that says, “I am.” The mind is a tool of consciousness to interact with creation. Imagination is the result of consciousness using the mind to interpret the various vibrations it encounters. When something moves, our eyes process the changes in light vibrations and our mind interprets what we see (right or wrong). When a co-worker calls our name, ears process the sound vibrations and then we can act like we didn’t hear them. On a subtler level, when someone is attracted to us they secrete pheromones. We may not “know” what those smell like, but when the receptors in our nose are triggered by them, the mind processes it, and you might get a mental image of leaning in for a kiss. The imagination is the faculty that takes all of the vibrations you encounter and projects a “view” of the world.
Simply put, the imagination is the 6th sense. While our 5 external senses perceive the present world around us, the 6th sense is also able to perceive what came before (memories/ancestors) and what has not come yet (possibilities/inspiration). When we close our eyes and imagine, we’re doing more than just seeing an image. We “conjure” holographic representations of a thing, person, or place, in our mind. We can also “hear” things that aren’t in our vicinity through imagination. You can remember a song in your head or makeup one you’ve never heard. You can remember your favorite food and smell it for just a moment, even taste it, until your body starts to act like you’re about to eat. Imagination is not JUST seeing, it’s actually synthesizing that thing/experience in the inner realm known as consciousness. Whatever takes place in this internal plane of reality determines what we experience and how we interpret the world around us. It determines our physical body’s moment-to-moment biochemical balance.
You already know that something in our consciousness affects our physiology as if it is real. If you watch a horror movie from the complete safety of your home, your body will still react as if you were the dummy going in the basement. The thought of a sexual encounter (remembered or hoped for) can get the juices flowing, even if it’s not the right time! Remember that these thoughts have hormonal correspondences that enter the bloodstream. That’s why deep breathing helps to change moods, it helps flush out the rush of chemicals that occur from/as emotions.
When a child is scared of something and you tell them “it’s just your imagination” you are diminishing or denying their reality. Pretending and imagining are not the same. Pretending is one of many things you can do with imagination. But it is not appropriate or intelligent to always dismiss things that children say as pretending or unreal. They are often perceiving something, even if it’s inside of them. You would do best to investigate and communicate instead of telling them to ignore it. Give them art supplies to recreate what they experienced. Acknowledge that they may not have the vocabulary (because of inexperience and, well, English) to actually express themselves. Ask them open-ended questions and encourage creative answers like sounds, movements, dances, etc.
Like any of our senses, imagination can be controlled and honed. You can adjust your vision by squinting or changing focus. You can hold your breath and breathe deeper to control smells. Here are a few ways to strengthen and expand the imagination. It recognizes patterns and makes use of them, so study sacred geometry, starting with the properties of a circle, and how that creates the flower of life. Engage in abstract visualization, like staring at clouds and looking for recognizable images. Imagine the best possible outcome you can think of for your life. Do arts. Enjoy arts. Play with children. Create a lesson plan to teach something you’re good at.
Did you know that western culture leads to the calcification of the pineal gland?
I’ll leave the “why” to your imagination.
Release Jun 7 2021 | Vol27 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling its theme of Utopia! This volume’s cover features the #SlayBells of @UniquelyWiredM and @JaymisonBeverly by @iamNayMarie. Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick, #BlackLoveConvo: “Concrete Cowboy: Becoming a Man and Father” by Dapper Dr. Feel; our Community Spotlight; our highlighted Hair Feature with Tajah Olson; “Solo Travel: Building Confidence Through Travel” by dCarrie; “Just My Imagination?” by Jashua Sa’Ra; “The Childhood Challenge” by Janelle Naomi; Our Vol 27 contributed photo story, “Utopia;” Fitness Highlight; Vegan Fun with Earth’s Pot’s Spicy Sushi Rolls; “How to Fight Racism…Financially” by M’Bwebe Ishangi, Founder of Cryptowoke Financial Sustainability Movement; Featured Art Piece; Comic Appreciation; Black Business Highlights; and more!!
One of the most effective hustles being run on people around the globe is to make “white” culture the standard of validation. It’s systemic, obviously, but it’s also insidious. As it progresses, it creeps deeper, quietly and subtly. Participating in American culture is a poison that makes you think that getting more poison is the cure. It’s a game that you lose by the very act of playing, like arguing with a fool. You can’t beat the beast at being the beast…and even if you can, your reward is that you’ve become the beast, but beastier.
What does freedom look like for maafa survivors? Barack Obama, right? Nah. His administration was white imperialism in blackface. It was under his watch that Ghadafi was killed and Libya destroyed. That was a major loss for African people globally. It happened because of what he was doing with the dinar, the United States of Africa, an African central bank, African satellites, etc. He was getting his people out of their adversaries’ traps.
For us to truly be a free people, it requires a separation from “America.” It requires us to step away from that identification and really comprehend who we are in the world. We will have to be reflective and creative. I don’t like any of the familiar names we go by: black, negro, colored, nigga, African American, etc. I didn’t want to just say African because that’s a continent, not a people, and I don’t have a particular culture I can claim. Plus we got melanin ancestors who were here before Europeans arrived. I tried to switch it up to American African, but nah. I’m pan-African, but that’s political science, not a cultural identity.
We are the people who lost familial, national, and historical affiliations. We’ve had to find something more intrinsic to connect on. We talk about a “Black card” in acknowledgment that we do have a shared cultural reality, though loosely defined. A clear and organized unity amongst us is the single most threatening thing to America — at least that was FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s professional opinion. The recurring response to a melanin unifier is to destroy and/or discredit, whether it’s a person or a group. The fact that it causes the height of their fear response should be assessed thoroughly and used as strategic information.
Why does Black unity threaten the American corporation on such a high level? The basic European economic model is this: take away what you have, repackage it, then sell it back to you. We had community, happiness, spirituality, health, love; now all of those things are monthly bills. Community has been parceled out as child care, education, elder care, restaurants, medical care, therapy, etc. Happiness has been relegated to material accumulation and over-consumption. And the government is a hustle to get money off of all that. The entire system is set up to capitalize on pain and feelings of separation. If we heal our pain and unite, that is, by default, the complete collapse of their system. That’s why it evokes in them hostility with extreme prejudice.
Their cultural psychological diseases provoke them to toss relentlessly from one fear to another. Rather than courage, they have historically turned to anger and violence to process fear. Because they see everything through the lens of fear, then all their actions are to be seen rightly as attacks. Therefore, even the societies they create attack the very people in them. As long as you’re inside the belly of the beast, it’s feeding on you, no matter what you do. An abusive relationship is still abusive on the “good” days.
The obvious question is: “where we gonna go?”
We don’t necessarily know where our ancestral homes were before the maafa. I’ve suggested that the only meaningful reparations the US could offer maafa survivors is to cede at least three southern states for us to self-govern, along with a financial contribution. Maybe there’s an African or Caribbean country that is willing to let us get a few hundred thousand acres to set up our new country.
Really though, it’s not about leaving America physically. The entire earth is our domain! The issue is that when we wake up in the morning, our thoughts start to participate with and empower the poisoners. It’s not that we need to “get out of America,” it’s that we need to get America out of us! We need to move to a different identity and worldview. The solution, I see, is to identify our bodies as the land that we are from, have loyalty to, and dominion over. From this, we have the authority to insist our culture be observed on our land. A nation can identify regions of land as their base, and name it, with governing practices to accompany. But without people to call it a country, the earth is just earthing. If we take off the cultural practices and names from ourselves, then what are we? Just some spirits spiriting around in earthships. We, “Black Americans,” as a group, are composed of many different people, from every continent. Therefore as a group, we are physically related to the whole earth.
I call “Black Americans” Earthiopians, because of the above explanations, and the extreme spiritual heights we’ve had to reach to avoid being destroyed. We can call it whatever we want; the important thing is for those of us who value self-determination and wholistic self-reliance, to have a clear identity and worldview, that is meaningful and inclusive to all of us. We can then retrieve our incredible resources, powers, and capacities from being funneled into an adversarial system, and reroute them to our homeland (ourselves). Then we’ll easily recognize how wealthy and capable Earthiopia already is. Your nation is not where your body lives, but where your heart lives. When we move like this as a group, then it is much easier to get those three states of land for our base, or just buy a few islands!
Photo by Peter Idowu
Release Mar 7 2021 | Vol26 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling its theme of Diasporic! This volume’s cover features the #SlayBells of @TheOnlyWayIsMarbz by @_OKOBE_. Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick, #BlackLoveConvo: “Jingle Jangle: The Film Every Child Needs While Growing Up ” by Dapper Dr. Feel; our Community Spotlight on Greeting Cards by Adeyemi Artistry; our highlighted Hair Feature; “Solo Travel: How Travel Made Me A Better Person” by dCarrie; “The Texture of Education” by Jashua Sa’Ra; “The Chaos Theory of Education” by Janelle Naomi; Our Vol 26 contributed photo story, “Diasporic;” Fitness Highlight: @eliteperformancenyc; Vegan Fun with Earth’s Pot’s Jalapeño Honey Po’ Boy; “Are You Financially Prepared For This “New Normal”?” by M’Bwebe Ishangi, Founder of Cryptowoke Financial Sustainability Movement; Featured Art Piece by Janelle Naomi; Comic Appreciation with Ezerea, Tales of the Zauberer by William C. Davis; Black Business Highlights; and more!!
Release Dec 7 2020 | Vol25 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling its theme of AfroFuture! This volume’s cover features the #SlayBells of @NoriRaneMUA (by @BymshaBrownePhotography with @NYCNory). Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick, #BlackLoveConvo: “Jurnee Smollett Talks Lovecraft Country, Activism, and Breonna Taylor” by Dapper Dr. Feel; our Community Spotlight on Nichelle Consulting; our highlighted Hair Feature by Angela Plummer; “Solo Travel: Are You A Performative Global Ally?” by dCarrie; “Micro Betrayals?” by Jashua Sa’Ra; “Building the Image Nation” by Janelle Naomi; Our Vol 25 contributed photo story, “AfroFuture;” Fitness Highlight: @itsdreamsworld; Vegan Fun with Earth’s Pot’s Wontons; Think Tank, “Lack of Love” by Brianna Burnley; Earth’s Cabinet LLC, Aligning Your Body Holisticly; “The Garden Metaphor Of Finance” by M’Bwebe Ishangi, Founder of Cryptowoke Financial Sustainability Movement; Lovely Leo Skincare Awakens All of Your Body’s Senses; Featured Art Piece; Comic Appreciation; Black Business Highlights; and more!!
Release Sep 7 2020 | Vol24 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling its theme of Curves & Serves! This volume’s cover features the #SlayBells of @ruby_glam (Hair by @hairdoctor_locs, Photo by @PascalChikezie, Wardrobe and Accessories by @udiahgebi and @householdofjewellery1). Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick, organic holistic health detoxes, teas, and supplements from Earth’s Cabinet LLC; our Community Spotlight on Budda by Yvee body butters; our highlighted Hair Feature by Angela Plummer; “Solo Travel: The Adult Gap Year with Stephanie Perry of Vaycarious.com” by dCarrie; “Resolution: Does the Earth Need Surgery?” by Jashua Sa’Ra; “#BlackLoveConvo: Alexis Chikaeze Chats about her Character in Miss Juneteenth” by Dapper Dr. Feel; “Education in the New World Order” by Janelle Naomi; Our Vol 24 contributed photo story, “Curves & Serves;” Fitness Highlight; Vegan Fun with Earth’s Pot’s Mac & Cheese; “Black Honey Toys for All of Your Erotic Needs”; “Forq You Up is Adding Some Flavor to the Spice Game;” Featured Art Piece; Comic Appreciation with “Okemus” by T.J. Sterling; Black Business Highlights; and more!!
Release Jun 7 2020 | Vol23 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling its theme of Golden Wisdom! This volume’s cover features the #SlayBells of Adele Dejak’s Kenyan Photo Series entitled “Benson”. Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick, designer and tailor, T-MICHAEL; our Community Spotlight on Lovely Leo Skincare; our highlighted Hair Feature by Angela Plummer; “Solo Travel: Dance As A Passport with @Jasmine.Noir_” by dCarrie; “Earthiopia” by Jashua Sa’Ra; “#BlackLoveConvo: New Comedy, Twenties, Aims To Stand Strong on the Shoulders of Living Single” by Dapper Dr. Feel; “Help the Children Move in a Time of Stillness” by Janelle Naomi; Our Vol 23 theme “Golden Wisdom;” Fitness Highlight, “Ernestine Shepherd is Still Bodybuilding at the Age of 83”; Vegan Fun with Earth’s Pot’s Jerk Portabella Toast; “I Am Maathmatics” Book Series; “Nicholas Brooklyn is a Necessary Community Staple;” Featured Art Piece by Craig Carter; Comic Appreciation with “Monarchs” by Joshua Bullock; Black Business Highlights; and more!!