Author Topic: The Serer religion  (Read 199 times)

pi_ramesses

The Serer religion
« on: November 10, 2017, 05:20:40 am »
So over time, an idea (well three really) has been gnawing at me: that I wasn't entirely Christian to begin with; that I was inevitably going to ascribe to LHP practices; and that one day, I will have ascertained the original practices of my ancestors that have since been obfuscated by Christian and Muslim missionaries.

Two of the three has already come to pass. Yet the third remains. But I think I am getting closer. As of late, I read about the Serer religion here:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Serer_religion

Though I am not from Senegal (from Ghana instead), this link comes a bit closer to the region of interest to me - sub-Saharan and West Africa. I just need focus in one more time on the Ashanti prior to its demise from British imperialism. But I was struck by some of the parallels I found with Setian theory:

The use of a star to represent the universe.

No heaven or hell

A supreme god Roog without image or place of worship (nor do they contact it directly)

Spirits, ancestors or pangools, which interestingly were represented as serpents.

No caste system, until it was introduced by foreigners.


EDIT: There appears to have been a Lamanic class that was quite wealthy and powerful. And of course, you can't forget the priests and priestesses who were part of the secret order of the Saltigue.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2017, 01:04:52 pm by pi_ramesses »
Pro omnis dominos viae sinistra, sic itur ad astra
Nylfmedli14

Onyx

Re: The Serer religion
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2017, 08:14:09 am »
I wonder how many ancient/local religions were wiped out by conquerers (evangelists included). Looks like the Serers resisted Islamization, though:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serer_history

I never heard of the religion, but it's interesting. I have a few questions just to clarify my understanding:

1. They are polytheistic, but with a single "mastermind god"?

2. How did they arrive at using a pentagram for the symbol of the universe?

3. There seems to be a focus on personal responsibility and letting people decide the outcome of crimes committed against them:

Quote
In the past, where someone kills another person, the victim’s family have the right to either forgive or seek vengeance.

Fascinating stuff, I never heard of the religion myself until now.

pi_ramesses

Re: The Serer religion
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2017, 08:33:14 am »
It is the first for me encountering it as well.

To answer your first question, yes there is a supreme being although they operate via the ancestral spirits to intercede for them. This could have also indicated either polytheism or henotheism at some point in history prior to Christian intervention.

As for the pentagram, I have no idea. But I want to look more into it for sure.

I am feeling vamachara in this domain. There is a sense of individualism involved.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2017, 06:48:43 am by pi_ramesses »
Pro omnis dominos viae sinistra, sic itur ad astra
Nylfmedli14

pi_ramesses

Re: The Serer religion
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2017, 05:44:49 am »
Found it. This is probably going to develop into an essay to submit for the Star Vol. 4 once I've had time to think about it. I think it's time to start a new topic now:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akan_religion

My greatest suspicions have been realized. My father started out as Christian due to religious syncretism of Christian traditions into the Akan religion that has been ongoing for at least two centuries. So effective was the hijack that the terms for the supreme deity (Nyame, etc) have become exclusively associated with the Semitic corn god that we believe to be Almighty. Should I be delighted or devastated to know this?

At least one of my family members seems to think that I am confused when it's the other way around. This already foreshadows how others would react if I were to share this. But deep down they will know. The Akan and Christian religion must be understood for what it actually is. And undoubtedly, some form of syncretism must have occurred for Islam as others converted to that also.

How do you get a kid to take their vitamins? You take the bitter concoction and blend it into something that you know that they will accept. It is the same with salvation. As with the Serer, so it is with the Akan. The demiurge indeed. One of the classic hallmarks that have made the Church so great. I am still of the opinion that it is by far one of the greatest institution ever if not the greatest. This is objectively true and supported by history notwithstanding that I'm already biased into thinking so due to religious syncretism.

For the majority, the old gods have long been forgotten, Asase Ya and her children discarded as well as the lesser deities and ancestors, which have been demonized. Interestingly, the trickster god Anansi with its clever tales (some involving the supreme god and godess) were passed on via oral tradition through the Diaspora. Anansi was the original Spiderman. Or the Promethean archetype that is responsible for our gift of the Black Flame in Akan theology I think. None but Wikipedia editors explained this to me.


TL; DR:

In short, I am directly descended from the Ashanti, which boasted its own empire and Akan religion. Most of the group transitioned from pagans to Christians via some sort of intermediary process that involved religious syncretism. For others, it was Islam. What I do with this knowledge now is entirely up to me. I can't speak for anyone else.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 06:19:09 am by pi_ramesses »
Pro omnis dominos viae sinistra, sic itur ad astra
Nylfmedli14

pi_ramesses

Re: The Serer religion
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2017, 07:46:10 am »
As an aside train of thought, it was probably prudent for the Akan to comply with missionaries. Things could have played out differently in such a way that the deities and the entire belief could have been obliterated much like what nearly happened with the cult of Set near the XXI Dynasty in Egypt. And then what?

Perhaps it would be more appropriate to contrast the outcomes between the Serers (who seemed to have resisted Islam for nearly a millennia) and the Akan instead.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 06:11:53 am by pi_ramesses »
Pro omnis dominos viae sinistra, sic itur ad astra
Nylfmedli14

Kapalika

Re: The Serer religion
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2017, 03:42:35 am »
That's pretty intense reading about it. Some people never think about what kind of forgotten things we might of lost. Unfortunately Christianity and Imperialism have wiped out a lot of now forgotten traditions and religions. Despite that it's good to see when one can survive, however.
My Music and Blog // My Chatroom
My religion is Satanism & Trika via Vāmācāra (Left Hand path)
"God and the individual are one, to realize this is the essence of Shaivism.” - Lakshman Joo

pi_ramesses

Re: The Serer religion
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2017, 06:24:31 am »
Agreed @Kapalika and @Onyx. Thanks for reading it and giving feedback.

Supposing I were to take a modern conception of either Akan or Serer into practice, certain elements of it would be excluded namely the use of animal sacrifice. Not into that at all.

Initiation rites, symbolism, astronomy and medicine are interesting and may be of utility once I'm sure what it entails.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 06:53:49 am by pi_ramesses »
Pro omnis dominos viae sinistra, sic itur ad astra
Nylfmedli14