martedì 7 gennaio 2020

"The First", a meditation on "Qadamawi" (English)

Praises be unto the King of kings Emperor Qadamawi Haile Selassie.

Qadamawi stands for “The First”.

Among the powerful ones of the Earth He has distinguished Himself for being unique.
He is the first model before all other models, a mold on which perfection was adapted by taking the shape of its margins.
First because complete, a circle capable of eternal extension but at the same time closed.
Well-ordered as the circularity of the blessings that flow and increase from person to person, day after day.
So often in fact, miracles are out there, sometimes man encounters them but sceptically rejects them.
The King of Kings has taught us not to miss the opportunities of this life because today is the time and tomorrow may be too late.
We must learn to read and know time to humbly be its masters.
We must become allies of Ian’I days of life in order to be strong and really see the value and pleasure of our existences. In doing so, Ian’I lives will be pleasing to the Creator, to Ian’Iselves, to all living beings and to Creation itself.
Ian’I was created in His own image and likeness to be custodians of that inner treasure which is the divine presence.
Ian’I potentially mirror the Creator here on this earth… Ian’I are therefore bearers of a 'likeness' just like father and children do.

The King is “The First” (Qadamawi) because he is the Christ, the Word, the Creator, the archetype, the ancient of the days, the brighter morning star, the new Adam who accomplishes the redemption making Creation new and renewed. He is “The First” because He is before anything else.

The miracle is that also Ian’ I was somehow made part of this election and primacy.
Indeed there is a part within each of Ian’I which is before anything else. It is a spiritual nucleus, which not only was present before anything else, but it also resides before all the rest.
It is the place before any emotion, action or reaction. Before thoughts, judgments and mental processes. Before any mistake and wrong choice, before the deception and above all before the pain.
It is the original divine presence in Ian’I, which stands before all.

Here is the miracle.

The Almighty who is “The First” dwells in Ian’ I as the first centre and axis of Ian’I person.
If Ian’I will find and cultivate this original nucleus will potentially become “first ones”, not in boasting or pride against our fellow brothers and sisters but first on our weaknesses, fears, limitations, laziness, narrow mindedness.  Ian’I will so realize that we were created to be greater than what we may think. Small and humble but capable of accomplishing works worthy of primacy.

Ian’I Rastafari trod along a straight and narrow road, many of Ian’I were gathered along the road to Damascus, others were called to be fishermen of souls instead of fishes.
Some dined with the King as the apostles did and others had Him beside but only later did they recognize Him.

It is all part of the plan.

The point is that we all have been called to seek “The First” within ourselves, to seek the original divine presence in order to regain our human presence.
Rastafari is a journey towards that “First”, the “Qadamawi essence”, the original "I", the greater I in whithin I, that place where divine and human are united and can remain inseparable for eternity.

Rastafari is the sound of that original “I” that makes the universe vibrate.

Rastafari is the path to the spiritual and divine reality that simply is. Not by chance, the Father revealed himself by saying: “I am who I am”.
“The First” dwells in the Father's house as He constantly is and exists and this House He fills it with the Spirit.
That is the Power of the Holy Trinity.

“The First” is the divine presence before each notion but at the same time it is the sum and synthesis of every notion. It is the original life.
It is the beginning before Ian’I, yet it is what makes Ian’I without beginning nor end.
It is Ian’I immortal part that really lives, that really is.

It is the place where the mystics of the earth meet and together rejoice for love or together fight against evil, it is there that there is no longer night and there is no error.
It is Ian’I salvation and cure, Ian’I greatest desire, Ian’I essence that makes us unique but at the same time equal.

The divine presence dwells in everyone.
When we recognize it then we abandon differences and structural barriers because we become one. This divine presence becomes Ian’I reference point, universal foundation and we continuously relate to it.
What miracle, what power is found in the divine presence that lives before all.

This divine presence is salvation always attainable, clear water to bathe in, safety in every test.
Before the ages, before the night and the light, before the strength and before the beauty of Creation, before the temples and the sacred books, before the rites and the prayers, before the activity and the quiet, before the sight and the senses, before order and disorder, before simplicity and complexity, before beginning and growth ... The First is.

He brings with Him eternity towards the First origin that will always be.

sabato 2 novembre 2019

Coronation of Haile Selassie The First. A Rastafari perspective

Eighty-nine years ago, in the St. George Cathedral placed in the heart of Addis Ababa, Ras Tafari Makonnen was crowned with the new name of Qadamawi Haile Selassie.
An unprecedented prophetic event that attracted the attention of the nations of the world.
Few knew that that very ceremony would have waken humanity from the sleep in which it had fallen.
Haile Selassie the First, a direct descendant of the biblical kings David and Solomon, who grew up among royal dignitaries and spiritual masters, had Himself a kind of  knowledge and wisdom that left completely astonished and surprised those who knew him.

Even though He was a very humble, balanced and contained person, His name was wrapped up in fame, and about Him people was talking from one border to the next across the Kingdom of Ethiopia.
Since He was a little child, He had created astonishment when he taught priests on spiritual matters and His knowledge seemed to be like an endless well.

He had an awareness of such depth that confirmed, in the memories of the elders, the prophecies that before His birth announced the imminent arrival of a prodigal child.
The most astonishing thing about Ras Tafari Makonnen was the attitude with which He addressed government issues, managing imperial affairs with diligence and spiritual balance.
He handled political affairs with royalty, grace, discipline, and above all with a deep spirit of compassion and mercy.
This attitude was never seen before.
In the eyes of those close to Him, He could only be compared to biblical kings like David, examples of divine government and models of sovereigns who worked as the instrument of the Most High.
Kings like Samuel and Natan, were chosen to be the right hand of the Almighty on earth, and in this spirit they ruled.
It was a type of sovereignty and government that was a true divine mission, not by chance, they were anointed with the holy oil of royalty.
This oil was evoking the anointment of the Messiah whose illuminated sovereigns were anticipation.

On November 2nd 1930, Ethiopia and the whole world witnessed the Coronation of the One who would be the last ruler of the house of David.
Not by coincidence this was taking place in Ethiopia, where Bible stories were so alive in the minds of the population, and where the spirit of Christ was so present in the social background.
In this ancient country the personality of Haile Selassie The First, His actions and His immense compassion, would soon have generated among the people the feeling that He himself was the Messiah who returned in His Kingly characters.

On the other side of the Globe, among those that Isaiah described as the " Islands of the sea", some of the slaves who were deported to the new world, hearing the news of the Coronation in Addis Ababa reopened their Bibles.
Doing so they received the Revelation that the Messiah had returned with the new name exactly as He himself had announced.
Thus the Rastafari Movement was born and what we call the "New Creation" began.

We could extensively reason on the Old and New Testament prophecies; we could also show many theological references to confirm all this.
We could mention the Apostles, the Cristian Fathers, the Rastafari Elders etc. Instead, we will remain on observing what this holy day of Coronation represents for Ian’I Rastafari.
We have to keep in mind that every divine action has a reflection and meaning for us human beings.
If we have a closer look to the act of Coronation we see that it is a recognition of sovereignty, as a ceremony it is an assignment of a title and represents elevation from one status to another superior.

Ras Tafari Makonnen went in fact from the status of Ras (head of the people) to the one of Negusa Nagast or King of Kings.
Similarly, it has a meaning for us mankind: with HIS Majesty Coronation we ourselves are crowned with a new, more complete level of life, we could say a superior one in which we are invested of the government of our lives and of this Creation.

We are the generation that assisted the coming of the Christ Ruler, consequently we are called to rule.
The previous generation has witnessed Christ as a master, a teacher.
That generation was a follower one, a generation student of the Messiah.
Ian’I in this time witness the sovereign Christ as sovereign ruler that wants us to help him in the government of the ages to come.
This means that we must not only be student but also live and behave as humble rulers, responsible for this life.
We must feel within ourselves the mission of taking care of this Creation in a new and more conscious way, not living as followers anymore but as real protagonists of change.

Coronation makes us officially "creators of this Creation".
Coronation is a fulfilment; it marks the end of an age and the beginning of another.
It ends the waiting period in which we were languishing for the saviour’s manifestation because humanity was tired of suffering under the yoke of evil and injustice.
In 1930, the time of the victory of the good over evil began, since then international dynamics were overturned by the person and work of Haile Selassie The First and his example
On numerous occasions, He shown that even in this century David would defeat Goliath, securing the victory of good and justice.

In our lives, therefore, Coronation is a constant warning and unceasing reminder that despite what happens and how the battle may be hard, the Lion of the Judah Tribe has won.
He is the ruler forever breaking the chains of physical and mental oppression.
This means that every righteous mission that we take on will be successful!
Any challenge that puts us to the test will be won if we act in accordance with the divine spirit and behaviour.
For if the King of Kings assures us that victory is certain and He himself is the real and not mythological example of this victory, then what can we fear? What can we worry about?

His Majesty opens the New Creation, which is the last and definitive era whose characteristic is in fact the victory.
In the New Creation, the man of God will have the benefit of working and living knowing that he has already won; worries and tribulations will be overcome by the incessant memory of the Coronation.
In moments of trial and anguish, meditating on the salvific meaning of the Coronation, will bring man comfort, confidence, and courage toward the future.
Coronation is the departure from Egypt. Coronation is Daniel who, thanks to the divine spirit in him, makes lions tame and they submit to him.
In our daily challenges, the memory of Coronation sets us free, empowers us with strength and trust and causes adverse events to submit to us.
Nothing good is impossible when the King of Kings is on the Throne.
Accepting this reality and dwelling in it by keeping it alive during times of difficulty, has an invaluable power.
It is indeed one of the greatest gifts reserved for those who have been called to consciously live this New Creation.
Remaining focused on the meaning of Coronation and maintaining it alive within Ian’I invests us with a new energy that we did not even know it existed in us.
If before we were weaker and insecure, now we know that we can draw on this new strength, it is inextinguishable, renewed, and above all, forever present.

Haile Selassie The First is the Earth Rightful Ruler.
He has perfectly embodied the characteristics with which the Bible described the King Messiah.
He performed wonderful works and actions.
But there is one thing that is at the foundation of all His work and which is one of the greatest teachings he could offer us.
Haile Selassie The First taught us to live in a full and complete way.
He showed us that we have a meaningful life.

In both His work and private life, He has shown us how much potential we have as human beings and how much it can bear fruit if cultivated well.
He has taught humanity to overcome its limitations and to use all the resources the Creator has assigned to us in order to make men incredible beings, so strong and capable at the same time so spiritual and compassionate.

Haile Selassie The First showed us resources we did not know we had, He taught us to work unceasingly for results that we would never have imagined to be able to reach.
He gave us confidence, and showed us the tools by which to build a benevolent and happy place around us.
He has handed us an ancient knowledge, a balance between wisdom, discipline and mercy that is the key to build a healthy and happy society.

HIS Majesty reminded us that we are infinite and we tend to infinity when Babylon stress us with insecurities and constantly reminds us of how weak we are.
As Babylon unfortunately had us educated to live in hope, HIS Majesty has trained us to live in reality and to realize our visions without fear as true creators of this Creation.

The King of Kings has therefore given a fuller meaning to our existences.
His memory and His presence within us keep alive an awareness that makes us happy, filling us with confidence and reasserts us with the power of our hearts and minds.
This consciousness heals the wounds and scraps the dust off us when we get up after falling.

It is the wonderful awareness that we have a meaningful life.

Perfect Love

sabato 5 ottobre 2019

Imparare a celebrare la vita, pt 2: “Sulla strada verso Zion”

Celebrare questa esistenza che abbiamo significa cercare di viverla al meglio.
Per far ciò dobbiamo diventare attenti lettori di ciò che accade dentro e attorno a noi. Una pratica importante infatti è prenderci del tempo per leggere il nostro libro della vita, ovvero osservare le nostre giornate e la direzione in cui sta andando la nostra vita per esaminarla e capire se possiamo esserne soddisfatti.
Dobbiamo leggere le pagine della nostra esistenza come se stessimo sfogliando un libro.
Sappiamo infatti che nessuno può insegnarci come vivere al meglio la nostra vita se non la vita stessa. Questa è la nostra grande maestra e non possiamo celebrarla se non la osserviamo in profondità.

In Rastafari diciamo che il nostro Paradiso è qui su questa terra ed è accessibile a tutti noi ventiquattro ore al giorno.
La domanda allora è: ma se il paradiso è qui in terra, dove lo troviamo?

La risposta è: nella nostra vita.

Può sembrare strano ma non esiste altra dimensione in cui il Regno dei Cieli possa manifestarsi se non nelle nostre esistenze. Non è nulla di trascendentale ma infatti molto reale.
L’Onnipotente ha riservato agli esseri umani la possibilità di vivere al cospetto degli angeli e di poter godere della pienezza di questa vita qui da vivi e di poter gustare dei miracoli dell’esistenza camminando su questa Creazione che è di per sé un enorme prodigio.
Imparare a celebrare la vita significa riconoscere che essa è il nostro potenziale Paradiso ed in essa troviamo la strada verso Zion.

In Rastafari con il termine Zion intendiamo la Terra dell’Onnipotente.
Questo termine ha due accezioni, una geografica ed una spirituale.
Geograficamente Zion è la Terra Promessa da Dio al Suo popolo, la terra dell’Israele biblico che fu garantita alla discendenza di Giacobbe dal Signore stesso, la Terra che sarebbe stata la dimora dell’Onnipotente.
Ian’I Rastafari riconosce l’Etiopia come questa terra.

Zion ha però anche un’interpretazione spirituale e metafisica, come infatti geograficamente Zion è la dimora del Signore su questo pianeta, così spiritualmente essa è la dimora di Dio dentro ogni essere umano.
È il luogo dove divino ed umano si incontrano e vivono nella comunione, è la parte divina che esiste in ognuno di noi e che in Rastafari definiamo ad esempio con il termine Ian’I, ovvero Io e io, dove il primo Io è l’Onnipotente e il secondo io è la nostra persona fisica. Questo a significare che Dio e uomo vivono sempre insieme in profonda unione.
Questo luogo splendente che troviamo dentro di noi è la nostra Terra Promessa, la pura e santa regione che ospita la presenza divina in noi, in un certo senso è la nostra casa. È infatti da qui che derivano tutti i nostri sentimenti più nobili, le nostre aspirazioni positive, i nostri doni spirituali come forza, coraggio, intelletto, saggezza, conoscenza, pietà, compassione, amore verso Dio e gli altri esseri viventi.

In Zion siamo realmente chi dovremmo essere e chi vorremmo essere.

Dentro di noi esiste la persona che noi realmente desidereremo essere, senza le parti negative che continuano a deluderci, senza le nostre cadute e i nostri scatti di rabbia, senza le nostre ansie e il nostro nervosismo.
Zion è lo stato esistenziale dove l’uomo vive nella costante presenza e riconoscimento dell’Onnipotente, fa esperienza della grazia Divina e la manifesta nelle sue azioni e nei suoi pensieri.
Cosa c’entrano allora Zion, la nostra vita e la persona che vorremmo realmente essere?
Nella nostra vita troviamo la strada verso Zion che ci porterà ad essere la persona che vorremmo essere.

Celebrare la vita significa capire che essa è l’unica strada per giungere a Zion e le nostre giornate e le cose che accadono nelle nostre durante ventiquattro ore sono il nostro treno verso Zion.

Ogni evento che viviamo, positivo o negativo, infatti è la nostra opportunità per giungere a Zion. Dobbiamo però sviluppare quegli occhi in grado di riconoscere queste possibilità e imparare da esse.
La strada della Livity Rastafari è usare tutto ciò che accade nelle nostre esistenze per riconoscere Zion e vivere in Zion.
Allora capiamo che spesso bene e male sono soltanto denominazioni dettate dalla nostra mente ma nella “Zion Mind”, la mente che dimora nella saggezza e nell’over-standing e che vede con gli occhi dell’Onnipotente e non solo con gli occhi umani, anche degli eventi negativi sono in realtà dei piccoli o grandi miracoli che ci permettono di realizzare la nostra persona e di giungere alle porte della nostra Zion interiore.

Se la nostra Livity è allenata e solida allora possiamo spezzare le catene dell’inganno mentale o sociale e vediamo che in realtà navighiamo già in un mare di benedizioni e possibili porte per accedere alla nostra felicità o alla nostra realizzazione.
Questi miracoli e queste benedizioni non sono in nessun’ altra parte se non nella vita stessa, in questa piccola ma allo stesso tempo gigante vita che custodiamo qui durante il nostro passaggio su questa stupenda terra.

Così facendo, con tempo e pratica, ci accorgeremo che questa Zion non esiste soltanto dentro di noi ma in verità è presente anche tutt’intorno a noi e l’unica strada per viverla e manifestarla internamente o esternamente è la nostra pratica di vita.


venerdì 27 settembre 2019

Meskel Day and the origin of the name "Rastafari Movement"

If we were in Ethiopia or in the garden of any Ethiopian Orthodox church of the world on September 27th, we would find ourselves witnessing a unique spectacle in the panorama of Christian churches.

We would be standing before a pyramid of firewood several meters high that rises straight into the sky, something unusual that perhaps we would never have seen before.
Surrounded by clergy dressed in celebration garments, this mountain of wood remains the centre of attention adorned with Ethiopian flag coloured banners.
If we were to wait a little while, we would see the priest, after numerous blessings and ritual songs, light the first spark to set fire to the whole pyre (Demera).
Flames and smoke will then rise upwards for hours as in a dance moved by the wind.
Similarly the choir will remain to dance for hours to the rhythm of the drum and of the sacred instruments invoking ancient songs.

It is Meskel Day and, according to the Ethiopian liturgical calendar, occurs every September 27th.
It is a national holiday in Ethiopia and celebrated in the same way wherever there is an Ethiopian Orthodox community.
The word Meskel, in Amharic, means "cross" and this special occasion commemorates the finding of the true cross of Iyasos Krestos.
The tradition recalls that around 330 AD Queen Sant ’Elena, known in Ethiopia as Nighist Eleni, mother of the first Roman Christian emperor Constantine, found the cross on which Iyasos Krestos was crucified.
The queen was deeply devout and lived a life of prayer, some historical sources tell us that she was even a Nazirite practicing her spiritual life in a very profound way according to the ancient vow described in the book of Numbers chapter 6.
One night she received a divine revelation in which she was told to erect a giant pyre of wood and incense and make it burn.
She would have to wait until the flames had subsided and the bonfire almost completely reduced to ashes, when the smoke would have indicated to her the place where the cross lay.
Similarly, to what is described in chapter 40 of Exodus in the verse 34-38 where the cloud of smoke rising above the Tabernacle indicated the way to follow.

It was the Jerusalem of the fourth century AD and the sacred wood was found and divided into parts which were then distributed to the most important churches around the world.
One of these fragments reached Ethiopia where it is still kept in the church of Gishen Maryam in the Wollo region.

Every year on September 27th, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Tawahedo is the only Christian family to celebrate this anniversary. Thousands and thousands of faithful flock to the courtyards of the main churches and, in Addis Ababa, the ceremony takes place in the famous and central square of Meskel Square from which it takes its name.
The celebration then ends when the flames are extinguished and the whole bonfire becomes blessed ash with which the faithful draw a cross directly on their forehead.
 The day then continues between feast and family reunions in which fasting that lasted from the previous day is interrupted.

In 2013, Meskel was added to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the UN Agency for Education, Science and Culture.

The spiritual meaning of this festivity is obviously the devotion to the saving power of the Cross, from there Iyasos Krestos died and then, once in the sepulchre, rose again assuring eternal life.
The Cross is a warning to forgiveness and compassion, to the renewal of the spirit and the body in the way of life that the Gospel expresses.

The cross is the victory over death, or evil, annihilation, despair and division.

The Cross is the element that unites Heaven and earth in the perfect harmony which is the flow of life that does not stop and is not interrupted.
If we enter an Ethiopian Orthodox church we will see many crosses, some hanging from the necks or in the hands of priests and deacons, some very small used as a pendant by the faithful ones, and even much bigger ones carried in procession during ceremonies.
We will rarely see the crucifix, the cross with the body of Christ dying, this is because the emphasis of Orthodox Christianity is precisely life.
Unlike other Christian churches, therefore, Ethiopians celebrate the cross left empty by the risen Christ.

Even in the Rastafari Tradition, of course, the Meskel or Ethiopian cross is present.
Many brothers and sisters in fact wear it around their neck or it is still present on the walls of houses or stands next to their Bible.
If we look closely at a Meskel we will see that it is made up of many intertwined lines according to angular or fluid geometric patterns. Those are in many cases like endless knots.
This symbolizes the life that flows and becomes eternal thanks to the miracle of the Cross, which the Meskel represents.

In Ethiopia, this festival also marks the end of the rainy season and the beginning of a new cycle of sun and heat that takes the place of the pungent humidity and the clouds that rest at length on the highlands during the months from June to September.
The same capital Addis Ababa, located at 2200 meters on the sea level, often during the summer season remains covered for days by dense clouds that then explode in frequent rainfall.
By the end of September, the land is rich in water and the green meadows are covered with a oltitude of yellow flowers called the "Meskel daisies" which in this period colour the whole country.
Families go out to collect them to compose bouquets that they will then take with them on the Feast of the Cross.
The same fire pyre is often decorated with these lovely bright yellow flowers.

Ian’I Rastafari, observing the depth of the events, also meditates on the fact that on September 27th not only is the Meskel festivity but also commemorates another very important event.

On this day, in fact, back in 1916, the twenty-four year-old governor Tafari Makonnen took the title of Ras, or king, leader of the people of Ethiopia.
This investiture was followed by the appointment as Official Heir to the Throne and Crown Prince accompanied by the very important position of Regent Plenipotentiary.

This last title made Tafari Makonnen the de-facto ruler of the millennial Empire of Ethiopia.
Empress Zauditù continued to officially govern the country but in reality and in practice, the young but already highly skilled Tafari was now the one who administered the imperial power.

The thing that is worthy of note is that this prophetic event signified that from that moment He became "Ras" Tafari Makonnen and therefore for the first time in history the two words Ras and Tafari were juxtaposed creating the name of our Movement which is precisely RASTAFARI.

Although the Rastafari revelation would manifest as a spiritual movement only fifteen years later in colonial Jamaica, the name came to life on 27 September 1916.
It is no coincidence that that day fell on the very festivity of Meskel, the Holy Cross through which Iyasos Krestos conquered death and established eternal life.
Death on the cross and then resurrection in fact inaugurated the waiting period for His return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
According to Rastafari tradition, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie The First is the Christ returned in His kingly characters to bring to fulfilment the promise that had been announced just before crucifixion on the Golgotha.
He himself said that in order for the Kingdom of God to be established on earth the Son of Man would have had to leave this world meaning die on the cross (and then resurrect).

Therefore, on the day of the Meskel 1916 the name Ras Tafari was manifested in the world.
That was the first manifestation, even if only at nominal level, of the Movement that would have declared that Christ had returned to earth to reign for the eternity.

Looking at further events, we know that on November 2, 1930, in the Cathedral of Saint George in Addis Ababa, Ras Tafari was crowned by the Church with the titles of King of Kings, Lord of the Lord, Lion Conqueror of the tribe of Judah, Elected of God , Light of this World.
He took on the new name (which was already His baptismal name) Qadamawi Haile Selassie.
From that day on he was never called Ras Tafari again.

An interesting and prophetic thing happened.
The name Ras Tafari did not disappear but became the term used to name the first preachers who announced that Haile Selassie was God on earth, the returned Christ.
They would call themselves in fact “the Rastafari”
In doing so the prophecies were fulfilled: the Messiah assumed His new and heavenly name but at the same time His children took His earthly name giving life to the Rastafari Movement.
 It was the realization in the history of the incarnation of God in man, what is called in the Livity Rastafari "God in man".
On the day when the Messiah became the elect of God, he chose the rest of his people who would respond to the final call.
The day He wore the Eternal Crown by taking the title of Emperor at the same time he crowned Ian'I Rastafari to be Rasses, or humble "rulers" on this Creation devoted to use the Livity or way of life, in order to help him in governing the world according to the teaching of Gospel.

The promises of Isaiah and the Prophets were thus fulfilled.

A new era of light and warmth began.
Perhaps just like in Ethiopia, the Meskel festival marks the beginning of the new hot and bright season.


Festa del Meskel e origini del nome del Movimento Rastafari

Se il 27 settembre ci trovassimo in Etiopia o nel giardino di qualsiasi chiesa Ortodossa Etiopica del mondo, assisteremmo ad uno spettacolo unico nel panorama delle chiese cristiane.

Ci troveremmo dinanzi ad una piramide di legna da ardere alta diversi metri che si erge dritta verso il cielo, un qualcosa di insolito che forse non avremmo mai visto prima.
Circondata dal clero vestito a festa, questa montagna di legna rimane il centro dell’attenzione adornata da striscioni con i colori etiopici.
Se restassimo in attesa un po' di tempo, vedremmo Il prete, dopo numerose benedizioni e canti rituali, accendere la prima scintilla per dar fuoco a tutta la pira (Demera).
Fiamme e fumo saliranno allora verso l’alto per ore come in una danza mossa dal vento, in maniera simile il coro resterà a danzare per ore a ritmo del tamburo e degli strumenti sacri invocando canti antichissimi.

È la festa del Meskel e, secondo il calendario liturgico etiopico ricorre ogni 27 settembre.

È una festa nazionale in Etiopia e celebrata allo stesso modo ovunque ci sia una comunità ortodossa etiopica.
La parola Meskel, in amarico, significa “croce” e questa ricorrenza speciale commemora il ritrovamento della vera croce di Iyasos Krestos.
La tradizione ci racconta che intorno al 330 d.C. la Regina Sant’ Elena, conosciuta in Etiopia con il nome di Nighist Eleni, madre del primo imperatore cristiano romano Costantino, trovò infatti la croce su cui Iyasos Krestos venne crocifisso.
La regina era profondamente devota e viveva una vita di preghiera, alcune fonti storiche ci dicono che addirittura fosse una Nazirea praticando quindi la sua vita spirituale in maniera molto profonda secondo l’antichissimo voto descritto nel libro dei Numeri capitolo 6.
Una notte ebbe una rivelazione divina in cui le veniva detto di erigere una gigantesca pira di legna e incenso e farla ardere.
Ella avrebbe dovuto attendere finché le fiamme si fossero placate e la pira ridotta quasi del tutto a cenere, quando il fumo le avrebbe indicato il luogo in cui giaceva la croce, in maniera simile a ciò che è descritto nel capitolo 40 dell’Esodo al verso 34-38 dove la nube di fumo levatosi al di sopra del Tabernacolo indicava la strada   da seguire.

Era la Gerusalemme del quarto secolo d.C. e il legno sacro venne ritrovato e diviso in parti che vennero poi distribuite alle chiese più importanti in giro per il mondo.
Uno di questi frammenti raggiunse l’Etiopia dove è tutt’ora custodito nella chiesa di Gishen Maryam nella regione del Wollo.

Ogni anno il 27 di settembre la Chiesa Ortodossa Etiopica Tawahedo è l’unica famiglia cristiana a celebrare questa ricorrenza. Migliaia e migliaia di fedeli accorrono nei cortili delle chiese principali e, ad Addis Ababa, la cerimonia ha luogo nella famosa e centralissima piazza di Meskel Square da cui infatti essa prende il nome.
La celebrazione ha poi fine quando le fiamme si estinguono e tutta la pira diventa cenere benedetta con cui i fedeli si disegnano una croce direttamente sulla fronte.
La giornata continua poi tra festa e riunioni familiari in cui si interrompe digiuno che durava dalla giornata precedente.

Nel 2013, la festa del Meskel è stata aggiunta all'elenco rappresentativo dell’ Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity dall'agenzia delle Nazioni Unite per l'educazione, la scienza e la cultura.

Il significato spirituale di questa festa è ovviamente la devozione verso il potere salvifico della Croce, da lì infatti Iyasos Krestos è morto e poi, una volta nel sepolcro, risorto assicurando la vita eterna.
La Croce è un monito al perdono e alla compassione, al rinnovamento dello spirito e del corpo nella via di vita che il Vangelo esprime.

La croce è la vittoria sulla morte, ovvero il male, l’annichilimento, la disperazione e la divisione.

La Croce è l’elemento che unisce Cielo e terra in una perfetta armonia che è il fluire della vita che non smette e non si interrompe.
Se entriamo in una chiesa ortodossa etiopica vedremo molte croci, alcune appese al collo altre in mano dei preti e diaconi, alcune molto piccole usate come ciondolo dai fedeli altre molto gradi portate in processione durante le cerimonie. Raramente vedremo il crocifisso, ovvero la croce con il corpo di Cristo morente, questo perché l’enfasi della Cristianità Ortodossa è appunto la vita.
A differenza delle altre chiese cristiane quindi, si celebra la croce lasciata vuota dal il Cristo risorto.

Anche nella Tradizione Rastafari ovviamente il Meskel o croce etiopica è molto presente.
Numerosi fratelli e sorelle infatti lo portano al collo o è comunque presente sui muri delle case o insieme alla Bibbia.
Se osserviamo da vicino una Meskel vedremo che è fatto di tantissime linee intrecciate secondo dei motivi geometrici angolari o fluidi che in molti casi sono come dei nodi senza fine. Questo simboleggia la vita che fluisce e che diventa eterna proprio grazie al miracolo della Croce che il Meskel rappresenta.

In Etiopia, questa festa segna anche la fine della stagione delle piogge e l’inizio di un nuovo ciclo di sole e calore che prendono il posto della pungente umidità e delle nuvole che fanno da copricapo agli altipiani durante i mesi da giugno a settembre.
La stessa capitale Addis Abeba che si trova a 2200 metri di altezza, spesso durante la stagione estiva è coperta per giorni e giorni da fitte nubi che poi esplodono in frequenti precipitazioni.
La terra è quindi ora ricca di acqua e i prati verdi si coprono di fittissimi fiorellini gialli appunto chiamati le “margherite del Meskel” che in questo periodo colorano tutto il Paese.
Le famiglie escono a raccoglierle per comporre dei bouquet che porteranno poi con loro il giorno della Festa della Croce.
La stessa pira da ardere viene spesso decorata con questi graziosi fiori del colore giallo acceso.

Ian’I Rastafari osservando la profondità degli eventi medita anche sul fatto che il 27 settembre non ricorre soltanto la festa del Meskel ma anche un altro avvenimento importantissimo.

In questo giorno infatti nel lontano 1916 il ventiquattrenne governatore Tafari Makonnen prendeva il titolo di Ras, ovvero re, capo del popolo d’Etiopia. A questa investitura seguirono poi le nomine di Erede Ufficiale al trono e di Principe ereditario della Corona accompagnati dall’importantissimo incarico di Reggente Plenipotenziario.
Questo ultimo titolo rendeva Tafari Makonnen il regnante de-facto del millenario Impero d’Etiopia. L’imperatrice Zauditù continuava a governare ufficialmente il Paese ma in realtà ed in pratica, il giovane ma già espertissimo Tafari era Colui che amministrava il potere imperiale.

La cosa che è degna di nota è che questo profetico avvenimento fece sì che da quel momento Egli diventasse “Ras” Tafari Makonnen e quindi per la prima volta nella storia le due parole Ras e Tafari vennero accostate creando il nome del nostro Movimento che è appunto RASTAFARI.

Anche se la rivelazione Rastafari si manifesterà come movimento spirituale soltanto una quindicina di anni dopo nella Jamaica coloniale, il nome prese vita il 27 settembre del 1916.
Non è un caso che quel giorno rappresentava proprio la festa del Meskel, la Santa Croce con cui Iyasos Krestos vinse la morte instaurando la vita eterna ed aprendo il periodo di attesa del Suo ritorno come Re dei Re e Signore dei Signori.
Ecco, secondo la tradizione Rastafari Sua Maestà Imperiale Haile Selassie Primo è il Cristo ritornato nei Suoi Caratteri regali per portare a compimento quella promessa che era stata annunciata proprio prima di salire sulla croce.
Lui stesso disse che affinché il Regno di Dio potesse essere istaurato in terra il Figlio dell’Uomo avrebbe dovuto lasciare questo mondo ovvero morire sulla croce (per poi risorgere).

Quindi nel giorno della Croce del 1916 il nome Ras Tafari si manifestava al mondo, in un certo senso quello era la prima manifestazione, anche se soltanto a livello nominale, del Movimento che avrebbe dichiarato che il Cristo era tornato in terra per regnare per l’eternità.

Andando avanti con gli eventi, sappiamo infatti che il 2 novembre del 1930, nella cattedrale di San Giorno ad Addis Ababa, Ras Tafari veniva incoronato dalla Chiesa stessa come Re dei Re, Signore dei Signore, Leone Conquistatore della tribù di Giuda, Eletto di Dio, Luce del Mondo prendendo il nome nuovo (che era già Suo nome di battesimo) Qadamawi Haile Selassie.
Da quel giorno in poi Egli non venne mai più chiamato Ras Tafari.

Avvenne però una cosa interessante e profetica.
Il nome Ras Tafari non scomparve ma diventò il termine con cui si nominarono i Rastafari ovvero i primi predicatori che annunciavano che Haile Selassie era Dio in terra, il Cristo ritornato.
Così facendo le profezie erano compiute: il Messia assumeva il Suo nome nuovo e Celeste ma allo stesso tempo i Suoi figli prendevano il Suo nome terreno dando vita al Movimento Rastafari.
Era la realizzazione nella storia dell’incarnazione di Dio nell’uomo, quello che viene chiamato nella Livity Rastafari “God in man”.
Nel giorno in cui il Messia diventava l’Eletto di Dio, eleggeva a Sua volta il resto del suo popolo che avrebbe risposto alla chiamata finale.
Il giorno in cui Egli indossava la Corona eterna prendendo il titolo di Imperatore allo stesso tempo incoronava Ian’I Rastafari ad essere Rasses, ovvero umili “regnanti” su questa Creazione secondo la Livity al fine di aiutarLo nel governo del mondo secondo l’insegnamento del Vangelo.

Le promesse di Isaia e dei profeti così si compivano.

Iniziava una nuova era di luce e calore.
Forse proprio come in Etiopia la festa del Meskel segna l’inizio della nuova stagione calda e assolata.