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


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.

Here are # more lessons from Ancient Kemet that you can use to become a powerful Black leader.

Click the next tab below to see the next leadership lesson.

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