What is the idea behind SENEB?
SENEB is a House of extraordinary babes invested in healing.
SENEB comes from the ancient Kemetic word/symbol meaning health, but it also means sound or rather 'to be sound' or 'to have soundness'. I find this relationship divine and fascinating. The power of sound to heal is deep, and beyond music or chant but in the actual physics of sound, how the vibration of energy patterns at the most subtle level can have immense transformational affects. So SENEB is about harnessing the power of vibration to heal our wounds - may they be physical, emotional, technological, historical or spiritual.
‘Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates’ is the third axiom of Hermetic philosophy which originates from the Kemetic teachings of Tehuti. Now acknowledged by Quantum physics, African spiritual philosophies – beyond Kemet – have been knowing. The fundamental principle of vibration is central to many Bantu cosmologies.
We - and everything around us - are energy vibrating at different frequencies, which gives us the illusion of being separated, but we are a connected mass of energy. I just read a book on Bantu-Kongo cosmology that speaks of waves and radiations (minika/minienie) as responsible for ills in societies, sicknesses and change. That is the law of vibration: the food we eat, the sounds we hear, the thoughts we have… are cosmic waves that we emit, receive or pass on. We affect and are affected by all those different vibrations, watch out for energy vampires!
The house of SENEB is a community of people engaged with African and Diasporic healing technologies, an energy center for us to remember, feel, (re)connect, share and vibrate high to nurture our health, energy and wisdoms.
The world most of us live in aka racist-cis-het-capitalist-patriarchy is designed to break us down and keep us in a state of lower vibration which makes us emotionally, mentally, politically and spiritually unbalanced. We are not living according to divine laws; that’s why we feel like shit.
Health for me is not about a moralistic lifestyle (being vegan, ‘healthy’, ‘fit’...) rather it’s a state of being grounded, feeling connected and living your purpose. No righteousness here, its about having soundness, and there are as many ways as there are people. It is a deep feeling of belonging and being looked after by the universe because you live in a higher vibratory state.
Health is obviously tied to politics as the pharmaceutical-medico-legal complex directly benefit from our energetic imbalances. How can we sustain our health outside of this exploitative machine that keeps us vulnerable and dis-eased for profit? Especially for Queer/Trans/Femme/Black/Brown/Indigenous/Poor people as targets of racialised gendered capitalist violence(s).
This is the continuing legacy of colonial history, the same bodies are denied humanity and exploited, the same people whose knowledge(s) are being erased, or capitalized on while made shameful, the same people hurting and the same people living of it all.
Reclaiming our agency in taking care of ourselves, in healing ourselves is an urgent necessity. We need tools to protect ourselves from energetic and biological warfare. Understanding health more holistically outside of a western obsession with pathologies and symptom solving is also part of decolonization.
Health It’s about awakening spiritually for a more efficient struggle. Whatever practice may help you to connect to yourself and everything around you: gazing at the sun, gardening, religion, BDSM, art… the possibilities are infinite, but it is always about the mechanics of vibration.
Why is the focus on health important to you?
I believe water can heal, because water remembers, water knows, and it is soothing af. Water is energy. Water is life. Literally. We are also made of up to 60% water so we are water, and we all come from the water of a womb. The same way it is weaponized against us as biological warfare – industrial pollution, forced chemical consumption, unfair distribution – water can be used to heal. It has been used as a healing technology forever in many traditions – for libations, ritual baths, as medicine or through the worship of water deities…
Last May I was invited to Cairotronica and I ended up in Nubia – home of the Black African population of Egypt. I stayed in Hessa, a small Nubian island on the Nile off Aswan. It was one of the most beautiful place I ever been to, and it’s also one of the few places you can still swim in and drink Nile water. It felt so right, I don’t remember feeling so at peace, ever. I believe it was the water. I have a really strong connection to water – I have been told once by a Sangoma that I should stop looking for home and that the ocean is the closest to home I’ll ever feel.
I guess I felt home in this river, I know I was supposed to be there (infinite love to Islam, Farra and Khaled). I sent and received so many blessings in this water that I brought some home with me. I spread it in jars around my house, gave some to friends and I thought more people should benefit from its power.
So yes on my website you can write what you need healing for and I’ll make a little offering of Nile Water and send those healing energies your way. I’m just following a long tradition of worshiping Nile water for her healing power. I believe in her power, and believing is the first step of manifesting.
There is this phrase in The quiet violence of dreams by K Sello Duiker that struck me: ‘We’re not all mystics who can extract beauty from our pain.’ Well if you can, I feel it’s your responsibility to serve those who can’t yet.
On Seneb’s website you provide Nile water healing? How does it work?
Hoetep Blessings is an offering from Elizabeth Mputu, Fannie Sosa and myself. This trilogy of Black diaporic remembrance celebrates spiritual knowledges and Black femme technologies. It is a celebration of the divine power of the cunt, a litany for survival and pleasure, and a means to weaponize our melaneted femmeness.
In a world that murder, deshumanize and exploit femmeness and blackness, that works hard at alienating alliances between us, it is important to (re)imagine ways of connecting the healing feminine energy to a politics of radical liberation.
Hoetep Blessings is an affirmation of unapologetic hoeness into political distress.
How or where can we seek refuge from these dark times? What do we do with all those feels? I saw Angela Davis last night and she said ‘the young generation of activists stand on our shoulders, but we do not provide a steady foundation’. How do you keep walking when the ground is crumbling?
SENEB’s trilogy proposes Hoeteping as a healing strategy.
Hoetep is about reinstalling the power of the kemetic-bantu word hotep – meaning to be at peace or altar – against what it has recently come to mean on the Internet – a problematic category of Black men. Hoetep rescues the spiritual power of the cunt, of femmeness, of the hoe, within Blackness, that which those trolls try hard to disgrace. There is this Kemetic adage: ‘As for us, we do not use words but sounds filled with power’; Ho(e)tep is one of these we should respect.
Hoetep Blessings is an offering to spiritual Black femmeness.
Elizabeth’s gift is a meditation on police brutality. She says of her work:
"This particular meditation was birthed out of the need to feel in control of my own well being as well as out of the belief that efforts rooted in the drive of the collective conscious have a better chance of integrating into the framework of our society's makeup. As a black femme online the sensibilities that plague us in our daily lives concerning safety and longevity follow us into this virtual realm. The media that strives to cause insecurities to arise in us is heightened on this platform, and when news of violence against our people enters into these arenas it can send us into hysteria that makes our virtual world a simulation of the perpetuated violence we work at all angles to escape. After the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, I found myself asking in my body what resistance looks like and how that frame of mind could be channeled even in settings that otherwise trigger us to feel powerless. This piece seeks to take oppressive tokens like the phrase "Hands up, don't shoot", the imagery of blue and red flashing lights made infamous as police insignia, and the mentality of the punishment society our culture banks on for false illusions of security and repurposes them as catalysts for change in the imagined world this guided meditation encourages us to create.
In a society where trans people of color are 7 times more likely to experience brutality at the hands of the police than their cis counterparts even within queer communities, with no media coverage-- it's important that we take the time to acknowledge that all of us are subject to this violence not just black men. Our compliance in sustaining this system is imminent if we first and foremost do not address our own emotional attachments and social conditioning that causes us to accept the U.S. crime and punishment process-- this piece intends on challenging the participant to re-examine the ways in which our institutionalized mechanisms for protection have failed us, and hopes to provoke fresh insightful visions of reform and abolition."
Fannie offers us a sonic journey into womb, bass resonance and orgasmic healing.
"This video is a cristalisation of several threads that have been going around in my life for a while. The threads are: the healing and evolutionary power of khunt orgasmic experiences, the blatant disregard of Black dance and song and their technologies as healing devices ie scientific and epistemological racism, the amount of research and resources that go into weaponising these same technologies against the very people that first conceive them, this experience that I had a couple of years ago when I literally felt bass fill my womb and make it vibrate into orgasmic release… A lot. Around this time my friend Shookofeh told me about this vibrator called “the womaniser”. When I first experienced it I realised that it made so much sense to conceive a vibrational device that is round and hollow, in the image of the cervix, instead of designs like the “bullet” that reinstate phallic and warfare language even in clitoral stimulation. I had been lending it to all my friends and my roommate at the time left me a note saying “I need this in my life” after she experienced it. At that moment I had a bit of a revelation: we need this round, vibrational, healing technologies in our life, and sort of was able to channel all of what I had been thinking and knowing into this video."
Liz, Fannie, thank you for your guidance and s/o to all the SENEB babes out there <3.
More divine juice from our tribe. New technologies of struggle. Seneb Summit. A IRL space. Land. A village. A place to be, to thrive, to be sound.
What’s next for Seneb?