Monday, December 29, 2014

INSIGHT: happy kwanzaa

I was wondering how to create a spread to commemorate Kwanzaa, the African American cultural holiday from December 26 - January 1, when I stumbled upon one already created by the amazing Rachel Pollack. I changed "I" to "we" and read it as an insight reading instead of a personal journal reading. If you want to know more about Kwanzaa, here's the official website.

Day 1: Umoja (Unity)
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
How can we promote unity?

Making sacrifices for each other. Helping others, providing assistance. Ministering to body, mind and spirit. 

Day 2: Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
How do we claim who we are?

This card suggests that we must define ourselves collectively instead of individually. As an African American, I see this type of solidarity in action every day.

Day 3: Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together.
How do we help others with their struggles?

Wow, this is pretty profound. In order to help others with their struggles, we must put ourselves in their place and understand their struggle. Why are they labeled troublemaker? What do they run from? What are they trying to escape? 

Day 4: Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
How can we help bring genuine prosperity?

Typically, I see this as a card about dividing assets. But is it also suggesting that things cannot always be equal from an economic perspective? One person has to get to the top and then help others up to their level.

Day 5: Nia (Purpose)
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
How can we encourage the best in ourselves and others?

I'm stumped by this card here. Any ideas?

Day 6: Kuumba (Creativity)
To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
How do we express our creativity?

This card may be saying we need to reject the status quo and choose our own path to creativity.

Day 7: Imani (Faith)
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
How do we deepen our belief, in ourselves and others?

We need to pat ourselves on the back and take pride in our accomplishments.

Seven is the numerical theme showing that Kwazaa is a time of reflection and determining our direction for the new year. There is a two of a kind with the number 2 which is about choice. Our choices not only affect how we live but also affect others around us, our community, and our race.

Feel free to share your thoughts on how you might interpret these cards for this reading!

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