Kem Graduation

The Challenge to Improve the Self

The Shemzura Generation

The Shemzura Generation (from left to right) Kefaibra, Hamiba, Jazra and Hatnima

The Earth Center is happy to announce the graduation of the Shemzura generation. They are the 15th generation of M’TAM initiates in the colonial world.  This graduation symbolizes the first mile-stone of their initiation, an important gateway into the beginning of their journey of spiritual growth.  Even though the first year of initiatic education is just the beginning, it does not come without tremendous challenges for the initiates. The first part of the initiation challenges the student on a deep psychological and emotional level, and it forces the student to become very honest with themselves. Honesty is not easy for us as humans. We strongly congratulate the Shemzura generation. The 14th of Penipt, year 409 (October 24th 2009) marks the date of this special occasion.

The graduating students hail from the New York branch of The Earth Center. They are Hatnima Shemzura (formerly Gordon Reneau), Jazra Shemzura (formerly Jennifer Zachariah), Kefaibra Shemzura (formerly Menelik Livingstone), and Hamiba Shemzura (formerly Brandon Glaude). “Hatnima” translates as “Body of Truth”, “Jazra” translates as “Ra Commands”, “Kefaibra” translates as “Loyal to Ra”, and “Hamiba” translates as “Shining Soul”.  The generation’s name as a whole is “Shemzura”. This means “Followers of Ra.”

This generation is unique in a couple of ways. Hatnima was born in Belize, and Jazra was born in South India. Also, Kefaibra and Hamiba are both the youngest graduated initiates in the history of the Earth Center in the US, graduating at 19 and 21.

Jazra Shemzura

Jazra Shemzura (formerly Jennifer Zachariah)

Hatnima and Hamiba have completed the first level of all three of the courses offered; Medu Myeet (Initiatic Language), Ka’at Ibi (Kemetic Meditation), and Sounnt (Traditional Healing). Kefaibra has completed the first level of the Medu Myeet, and the Ka’at Ibi, and Jazra has completed the first level of the Ka’at Ibi.

This generation started out with more people, but the challenges they faced along the way narrowed it down to these four individuals. Their persistence and humility has gotten them this far, and it will be their persistence and humility which will continue to carry them through this great privilege and responsibility of the M’TAM education.

The Medu Myeet class challenges the student in very unique ways. It is the class where the student learns to speak and read the Hieroglyphs (Medu). This class consists of a lecture portion where the student receives a lecture on a topic, and a language portion where the student learns to read, write, and speak the Medu.  The lecture topics in this level of the Medu course focus intensely on the fields of philosophy, culture and values from a traditional perspective. For the average American, regardless of their ethnicity, this alone is enough to challenge the very core of their being. For many of us, it is hard to let go of the destructive thinking that has been pounded into our minds by our American upbringing. We tend to be raised in this culture in a way that makes us own the damage that it has inflicted upon us.  Because many of us believe we own it; many of us feel threatened when something comes to cut it away from us. Because the system has done it’s job so well, many of us feel personally attacked by the changes that the traditional perspective offers. Therefore, flexibility and humility are necessary for a student to truly learn. This alone is a commendable achievement.

Hatnima Shemzura (formerly Gordon Reneau)

The language part of this class is extremely challenging as well. The task of learning to speak and read the Medu demands a serious modification in thinking for the typical American student. In order to express oneself in Medu, the ideas have to be purely logical, and the concepts have to be expressed in a syntax that is very different from English, or any other modern colonial language. This again presents a huge challenge because it requires a change in thinking for the student, a change that does not come without hard work and persistence. While learning the Medu, the student’s mind begins to shift on a fundamental level, not only because of the structural realities of the Medu, but also because of the spiritual realities of the Medu. It is a divine language that comes with powerful vibrational healing that affects the individual to their very core.

The Ka’at Ibi class comes to challenge the student in many different ways. This class, like the Medu class, consists of a lecture portion and a technical portion. The technical portion of this class consists of the practice of the Ka’at Ibi exercises. These exercises include meditation, stretching, breathing, and movement sequences from the Kemetic traditions.

The lecture portion of the Ka’at Ibi class focuses largely on the spiritual domain from a traditional Kemetic perspective. These concepts come to challenge the fabric of the student’s reality. We have been raised in a materialistic culture. Most people will admit to this, but many are unaware of how very deep the materialism goes in each one of us. For the individual raised with modern thinking, it takes a great deal of open-mindedness and flexibility in order to begin to absorb many of these concepts. This is not easy, and is a huge challenge for most people. We have been raised to be ignorant. And once again it is worth mentioning; we have been raised to own our ignorance. It is not an easy task to get rid of something that you consider to be a part of yourself.

Hamiba Shemzura

Hamiba Shemzura (formerly Brandon Glaude)

The exercise portion of the Ka’at Ibi class comes with many challenges for the individual on a mental level, and on a physical level. These exercises demand a great deal of discipline and consistency in order to do them correctly. In our lives here in America we have bent our bodies into rigid and inflexible forms, and we have accelerated our minds into a state of retardation and instability. Ka’at Ibi comes to break us out of these destructive states of being. It is not easy to re-train the body and the mind so, as you can imagine, these students must work very hard in order to do these exercises correctly.

The Sounnt class presents a very rigorous and intensive curriculum. In these classes the student receives extensive knowledge about the human body and it’s systems from the traditional perspective. This class covers a lot of ground and is continually progressing. It demands that the student constantly study the wealth of information from each class in order to be prepared to receive and understand the information given to them in subsequent classes. If this information is not diligently studied, the student will not be prepared to understand the new information as it comes to them. This is a class that prepares the student to enter the world of traditional healing. As a healer, people put their lives in your hands, so as you can imagine, this knowledge is not to be taken lightly.

Each of these three classes come to shake the very foundations of the student who enters onto the path of traditional initiation. Completion of this first level comes as a great accomplishment. It is a big step that represents the beginning of their initiation. From this point on they have taken the first steps to show that they are serious about their education, their commitment to spiritual growth, and their culture.

Kefaibra Shemzura (formerly Menelik Livingstone)

The names that they have received come from traditional readings that are done on “earth energies”. These are the fundamental energies of the planet. These readings are done in the traditional way that has been done for thousands of years. They are given these names in the same way that traditional babies are given their names at the time of their birth in the bush. These names reflect the student’s identity in relation to the energies of the planet. This is much different than receiving names such as “Jonathan” or “Claire” which our parents have arbitrarily given to us based on their own personal preferences.

The Shemzuras are now beginning their journey as initiates, born to their identity that is linked to the planet on which they exist.

There are many challenges that are yet to come for these initiates in their great journey. We come to support them with the encouragement and the tools that it will take to face this future while standing upright.
This first step is no small feat. We commend these individuals for having the courage and persistence to change their thinking and behaviors, and the bravery to re-claim their culture against such great odds.

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