Updated: Dec 31, 2020
In Kemet (ancient Egypt) the king wore the White and Red crown, called Hedjet (White crown) and Deshret (Red Crown), symbolic for Upper and Lower Kemet. When the king ruled over Upper and Lower Kemet, he was known as the unifier of the two lands. His title was Nesut-biti, meaning he who is of the sedge and bee. The sedge and bee are representations of Upper and Lower Kemet. On the king's brow was a cobra (serpent) and a vulture (bird) also symbolizing Upper (vulture) and Lower (cobra) Kemet. In Kemet, along with many other cultures of antiquity, things were done based on metaphysical principles. It also needs to be noted the term Pharaoh means great house, which is referring to the king's palace.
In Yoruba culture in Southwest Nigeria, the bird and the serpent are also very powerful symbols. The bird is sacred to the Iyaami (the Mothers) and the serpent to the Ogboni society. The serpent is from the earth which is feminine, but the Ogboni is mainly a male society with the exception of Osun (this is the balancing of the opposites). The birds are sacred to the Mothers because birds are from the air, which is masculine (this is the balancing of opposites).
From my view point, the best way to connect and awaken your Ori (consciousness) is through meditation and the awakening of kundalini; the serpentine fire. The awakening (or raising) of serpentine power is told in all myths, including Ifa, for those who can see. Serpentine power are the Mothers.
The breath is the essence of life. In Ifa we say Olodumare (God) is the breath of life and Osumare are the eyes of Olodumare. It is through the breath we are able to raise kundalini (Osumare) energy by feeding the fire within. It is through feeding and raising of this fire (awakening or stretching of Osumare) that enables one to become spiritually awakened and gives the ability to spiritually see. In Aswan, Egypt, at the Philae temple, there is an entry way on the backside. As you approach it (the entryway), a cobra (on the left side) can be seen wearing the white crown and on the other side (the right) another cobra can be seen wearing the red crown, each cobra winding up a plant consisting of three stems. The middle stem is elevated higher than the other two on its left and right sides.
The cobra wearing the red crown is winding up the papyrus plant and the cobra wearing the white crown is winding up the lotus plant, and above the entryway is the winged solar disk flanked by uraei (two cobras). This is the unification of the two lands; the cobras are representing the law of opposites being reconciled. This theme is illustrated in many cultures. In the Yoruba tradition this would be the divine twins (Ibeji), Taiwo and Kehinde and their brother Idowu. In Indian culture this is the Sushumna, Ida and the Pingala. These three are synonymous with three stems of the plants. The Ida (feminine channel) and Pingala (masculine channel) represent the opposites of the two lands being unified in the middle, which is the Sushumna. The energy channels are known as nadis in the Hindu text. In Sanskrit nadi means river, and are channels or pathways that energy in the human body flow.
In Kemetic culture, Usir (Osiris), the neter (god) of rebirth is associated with the Nile river and his two sisters, Auset (Isis) and Nebt-Het (Nepthys) assist him in his rebirth. Usir (Osiris) was born in the Djed (spinal column), which is where Sushumna nadi dwells. Looking deeper into this, we have Nebty, the two ladies, known as the Wadjet (cobra) and Nekhbet (vulture). They were both married to the two Hapis.
In the illustration above, the two Hapis, Hap-Meht (Lower Kemet) and Hap-Reset (Upper Kemet) are symbolically tying the two lands with lotus and papyrus plants in a knot on a sema. The sema is the glyph for union in the Metu Neter (Egyptian hieroglyphs). The sema being a pair of lungs attached to the trachea is alluding that the union of the lower and higher self (Lower and Upper Kemet, i.e. the two lands) comes about with the proper use of the breath. Moreover the sema represented the genitals in sexual union and was used as a charm for love making. In addition the sema was also placed on the chest of mummies giving it the breath of life in the underworld.
Through the breath( lungs and trachea), and through sexual alchemy, sexual tantra, and etc., the two lands (the opposites) can be unified, through the raising of the serpentine fire (kundalini), which is represented by the Nile river (Hapi, Usir, (Osiris)), inside the djed pillar i.e. the spinal column. All of this is done in the human body, the great house i.e. pharaoh.
Oloye Akasanmon Alatunse (Christopher W. Brown)
Ifá Priest & Astro-Numerologist