The Crook And The Flail: 5 Lessons From Ancient Kemet That Will Make You A More Powerful Black Leader

The Crook And The Flail: 5 Lessons From Ancient Kemet That Will Make You A More Powerful Black Leader

Table of Contents

Black leaders are not born, they are made.

Yes, you can be born with traits that might make you a “natural’ leader. But if those traits are not cultivated and refined, they deteriorate.

History shows us that our Ancestors spent a great deal of time educating young leaders, cultivating their work ethic, and giving them the skills they would need to lead an empire.

And thanks to that long and thorough process of leadership cultivation, Kemet became one of the greatest empires in human history.

Your Ancestors in Kemet – known today as Ancient Egypt – used symbols to communicate. Symbols were more effective than alphabetic scripts since they had the power to communicate complex ideas in one image.

And of all the symbols in Kemet, few where more recognizable than the crook and the flail.

The Meaning Behind the Crook and the Flail

To decode the crook and the flail, you must first understand Kemetic Spirituality.

In the beginning, Atum – the supreme being in Kemetic Spirituality – rose out of the disorder of space. Using ‘divine speech’, Atum then called the elements in the universe to order.

Once Cosmic order was established, Atum separated the heavens from the Earth. Finally, Atum established order on Earth by setting the cycles of night and day.

With its work done, Atum ‘set sail’ on a journey that represented the repeating cycles of life, death, and rebirth.

Just as Atum was responsible for maintaining order in the Divine realm, two humans – Ausar and Aset – were responsible for maintaining order on Earth.

Both Ausar and Aset were “divine incarnations, sent to earth to lead souls, incarnating as human beings, toward righteousness, prosperity and spiritual enlightenment.”

What Atum did in the heavens, Ausar and Aset did on the Earth. They maintained the earthly cycles of life by cultivating the land to sustain the lives of those they led.

To do so, they used the nekhakha – a flail used to open the shells of grains so they could be eaten – and heka – a staff used to guide livestock. Because caring for the land and the flock was their first priority, Ausar carried both the crook and the flail at all times.

Crook and Flail

These symbols were not just signs of authority, but reminders of the responsibility that every leader has. And when Ausar passed into the Duat (Afterlife), his successors would take up the crook and the flail to continue his legacy.

So when you meditate upon the symbol that is the crook and the flail, remember the lesson that they represent:

To lead the people you must be able to feed the people.

1. Black Leaders Surround Themselves With People of Great Stature

Ausar Aset And Heru

Truly great is a great person where their men and women of stature are great. Strong is the Suten who has Councillors and wealthy is the one who is rich in persons of stature. – The Book of Kheti

Have you ever said “If I knew then what I know now I would have done things differently?” Of course. we all have.

This is where Councillors come in. By surrounding yourself with wise Councillors, you become both stronger and richer. That is because the right Council has the knowledge to advise you and the experience to warn you before you make critical mistakes.

More importantly, if there is one thing the writings of Djehuty teach is it is this: there is no such thing as neutrality.

Whether you know it or not, you are deeply influenced by the people you surround yourself with. If you wish to become a more powerful leader, seek out and surround yourself with more powerful people.

2. Black Leaders Dont Just Learn – They Do

Examine every matter that you may understand it. Do not say I am learned but rather set yourself to become wise…It is in the development of character that instruction succeeds. – The Book of Ankhsheshonqui

Our Ancestors teach us in the passage above that without both learning and wisdom, a Suten is limited in their ability to lead.

Learning is the process of gaining knowledge or acquiring a skill. However, that is only part of the process. Wisdom is the combination of learning, experience, and good judgement.

In other words, you must put what you learn into action in real time, analyze the results, and use the outcome to make better decisions in the future.

The sooner you stop learning and start doing, the sooner you cultivate the wisdom you need to lead.

It is just as important to understand that not every skill is useful and not all knowledge is relevant. You only have so much time and energy to devote to learning and practice. Make sure that you are giving that energy to the knowledge that is most relevant and useful to your desired outcome.

3. Black Leaders Build For Legacy

The Crook And The Flail: 5 Lessons From Ancient Kemet That Will Make You A More Powerful Black Leader

If you are a leader, see that the plans you make are carried out. Do great things which will be remembered long after you. Where there is praise, detraction cannot survive. But where those of ill-will enter, like crocodiles, strife also comes. – The Husia

The passage above gives us two important leadership lessons.

Lesson 1: Finish what you start.

Starting new projects without finishing old ones is why so many people are busy without being productive.

Husia advises Black leaders to ‘see that the plans you make are carried out’. To that end, decide which area you will be great in – economics, entertainment, politics, religion – and be singular in your focus.

Lesson 2: Build in such a way that those who live on after you are gone are happy to continue your legacy.

In Kemet, the people who live on after you are gone had the power to make sure your death was permanent. Any leader that was cruel, unpopular, or unwise could find their names, faces, and accomplishments erased for all time.

Not only did this ensure that no one would remember the fallen leader, it also meant that person could not travel to the afterlife. Having one’s name erased meant a second – and permanent – death.

The leadership lesson here is clear: the only way for your plans to be carried out long after you are gone – and for you to live on in the Duat – is by working for the good of those who will live on after you.

4. Black Leaders Understand The Power of the Medu Neter

Give commands only where necessary and fitting. Be not silent when it is your duty to speak, but be cautious in your speech lest you offend. – The Husia

In Kemet, medu neter translates as ‘Divine Speech’. Behind the translation lies the importance that your Ancestors put on the power that words have.

Kemetic Spirituality teaches us that Atum used sound to create everything in existence.

Even the written word has the magical ability to change the physical world – which is why the act is known as spell-ing.

When a person passes into the afterlife – the Duat – they are required to confess their innocence before they are allowed to live on in the realm of the Neteru.

Reflections on The 42 Laws Of Maat

A few of these declarations are

I have not multiplied my words in speaking.
I have not uttered lies.
I have not uttered curses.
I have not blasphemed.
I have not slandered.
I have never raised my voice.

What this means to you as a Black leader is clear: Remain silent until it is your duty to speak. And when you do speak – be righteous. For your words have the power to shape reality.

5. Black Leaders Feed The People Before They Lead The People

Real leadership is not given, it is earned. And you are only able to earn the honor of being a leader by being of value to others.

At the beginning of this article, the symbol of the crook and the flail are used to demonstrate the first priorities of any leader. That priority is feeding the people and guiding them to greener pastures.

But what does it mean to ‘feed the people’?

The Crook And The Flail: 5 Lessons From Ancient Kemet That Will Make You A More Powerful Black Leader

Feed the people knowledge and they will follow you.
Feed the people inspiration and they will follow you.
Feed the people with resources and they will follow you.
Feed the people with solutions to their hunger and they will follow you.

What you feed the people differs based on your chosen field of service. Entertainers can feed the people inspiration and – in cases like Professor Griff and Killer Mike – education, thus becoming leaders in their field. Entrepreneurs feed their followers with solutions to problems. Educators provide knowledge that help their students fulfill their highest purpose in life.

No matter what the area of life that you are called to lead, you must have something of value to give to your followers.

Here are the 5 rules once again:

1. Black Leaders Surround Themselves With People of Great Stature
2. Black Leaders Dont Just Learn – They Do
3. Black Leaders Build For Legacy
4. Black Leaders Understand The Power of the Medu Neter
5. Black Leaders Feed The People Before They Lead The People

Copy, paste, and commit these rules to memory to become the leader you were meant to be.

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