Monday, March 12, 2007


Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia 1892-1975

Rastafarians believe that Haile Selassie is the living God for the black race. Selassie, whose previous name was Ras Tafari, was the Emperor of Ethiopia. ‘Ras’ in Amharic is the title given to Ethiopian royalties, and Tafari is the Emperor’s given name meaning “the one that is revered and/or feared”. Ras Tafari has become not only a holy appellation and a ritual invocation, but also the name of the movement itself. “Ras Tafari” is the name given to the members of the Rastafarian movement. According to Rastafarian philosophy, the scriptures phrophecied him as the one with “the hair of whose head was like wool (matted hair of a black man), whose feet were like unto burning brass (black skin)”. Rastas are said to believe that Selassie was the Jesus that Christianity speaks of and that the white man tricked the world into believing that he was a White man.

Several Rastafarians do not believe Haile Selassie is dead. They perceive news of his death as a trick that is aimed at destroying their faith. Rastafarians believe that true Rastas are immortal. Allegedly some Rastafarians believe that Selassie’s atoms spread through out the world and became part of new babies, therefore, his life is never ending. The Rastafarian name for God is Jah.

The common expression by Rastafarians “I and I” means that no person is priviledged than another in the basic truth of life as all people are equal. This is why Rastas use “I and I” instead of “you and I” because they believe that all people are bound together by the one god, Jah.

ZION AKA HEAVEN: Ethiopia is considered the Rastafarians heaven/zion on earth. There is no afterlife or hell as Christianity believes. The Rastafarians in the West Indies feel that their ancestors did something to offend Jah which brought them into an exile of slavery in the Western World.

AFRICA:The Rasta’s believe that Jah will send the signal and help finance the blacks exodus back to Ethiopia, their homeland. These belief has been attributed to Marcus Garvey’s theme, “Back to Africa”.

BABYLON:Babylon is the Rastafarian term for the white political power structure that they regard as the suppressors of the black race for centuries. In the past, the Rastafarians see that blacks were held down physicaly by the shackles of slavery. Whereas in the contemporary society, Rastas feel that blacks are still held down through poverty, illiteracy, inequality, and trickery by the white society.


Ganja a.k.a Marijuana

Ganja (Marijuana) is considered the "wisdom weed" by Rastafarians, as its use helps one to gain wisdom. Rastafarians use it as a part of a religious rite and as a means of getting closer to their inner spiritual self, Jah and Creation.

Ganja is also seen by Rastafarians as the herb of life mentioned in the Bible. Rastafarians use of ganja is justified by the following Psalms 104:14 that says, "He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle and herb for the service of man, that he may bring forth food out of the earth." Rastafarians also claim that ganja was found growing on King Solomons grave.

Rastafarian consume it through smoking and eating. The smoking of Ganja is a part of a religious ritual Nyahbinghi.

Rastafarians do not smoke cigarettes as it is seen as un-natural and dangerous to one's health. Ganja is not the only plant or herb used by Rastafarians. They use a wide variety of herbs, plants for medicinal and dietary purposes, however, ganja is the most popular.

Biblical texts that Rastas embrace as reasons God, or Jah, gave them the use of the Ganja:

". . . thou shalt eat the herb of the field " (Genesis 3:18)
". . . eat every herb of the land " (Exodus 10:12)
"Better is a dinner of herb where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith" (Proverbs 15:17)
“He Causeth the Grass to Grow for the Cattle, and Herb for the Service of Man” (Psalm 104:14)

Last Supper Rasta Style

The dreadlocks on a Rastafarian head symbolizes the Rastas roots. Their biblical justification: Leviticus 21:5, "They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in the flesh".

Bob Marley Dreadlocks

LION OF JUDAH: The Lion of Judah represents Haile Selassie, the Conqueror/the King of Kings. Selassie wore a Lion of Judah ring that was given to Bob Marley at the time of Selassie's death. The where-abouts of the ring is unknown because it disappeared after Marley's death.

Lion of Judah Flag


Further reading:


luihamu said...

kwanza kabisa
nakusalimu katika jina la mfalme wa wafalme Haile Selassi I.Greetings in the name of the most High Selassi I.

Nimependa sana jinsi ulivyo lainisha kuhusu Rastafarian.Imani ya Rasta ni ya kweli,kujitambua wewe au mimi ni nani,upeo wa kuweza kuelewa nyakati.

Hongera Saharan Vibe.
who knows it feels it who Jah bless no man curse.Jah live.

Anonymous said...

Wow! How People interpret things amazing!