Mount Kenya – A spiritual mountain.

A spiritual mountain.

Mount Kenya– A spiritual mountain. The mountain has been thought of and held in reverence by the local communities and far as Egypt, Ethiopia as God`s residence

Mount Kenya has been thought of and held in reverence by the local communities as God`s residence. The snow on the peaks astonished the explorers who could not figure out its existence right at the equator. The roads were initially dug for military purposes to help access the forest to flush out Maumau freedom fighters. The mountain has not escaped the attention of notable filmmakers who shot awarding cinemas and documentaries. {Nowhere in Africa, The Night Climbers of Cambridge, No Picnic on Mt. Kenya are just but a few.} Book writers have also written with some best-selling titles “The Ascent” Mt. Kenya was recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and later to UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mt Kenya is regarded as the most visually stunning of the ice-capped African peaks and is home to a great diversity of wildlife, including leopard, elephant, and buffalo. Many would argue that Mount Kenya, whilst not being as high as Kilimanjaro, is certainly the more enjoyable, interesting, and dramatic of the two mountains.

Mount Kenya was formed about 3.5 million years ago by successive volcanic eruptions. It stood higher than today’s height of 5,199m with a diameter of about 120km at the base. It was formed as a result of successive eruptions of the volcano. Traces of this theory are evident in the lakes and tarns as a result of terminal moraines extending as low as 3,000m asl. Kikuyu’s oral version of the creation of the mountain states that a star {“Riuki” – direct translation denotes foreign object came} fell from the universe to the ground with a huge bang. This shook the land to the core oozing magma {“gicurucuru”} and volcanic ashes {“uumbi”}. Geologists have named the rock Kenyte, to their astonishment the Kenyte is only found in two locations – Mt Kenya and the Antarctic in the South Pole.

Apprehension of riuki” came from God’s {“Ngai”} abode. Gikuyu seers put pebbles of riuki in their defining gourds together with white chalk. In the spiritual context, riuki represented the throne of God {Ngai}. The white chalk or ira representing snow hence purity. Gikuyu medicine men regard riuki as the pathfinder.

The Kikuyu believe that Ngai gave the sign that created the form. He gave the word that made the event. When the physical entity was complete, Ngai approached a floating spirit in the spiritual world and gave instructions.

“I am removing your presence in this dimension, where you live a life of an angel, to a physical dimension that you are at liberty to do good or evil. I am taking you there to bring forth your own offspring’s who will fill the earth and when they die, I will call them to this spiritual world because they have a share of my soul through you”. “Whenever you have a problem, just face the mountain and talk to me, I will hear”.

The history of Kikuyu and Mt Kenya can be fetched from far and wide. In the mythology, they mingled and integrated with Egyptians, Ethiopians and Jews. The Egyptians refer to Mt Kenya as “Ta-Neteru” the abode of their gods “hapi or lotus” the gods of Nile floods. It should be noted that the farming communities who settled in Egypt around 7000 BC had already realized the inundation of the Nile River corresponded with the heliacal rising of the star “Isis” (Sirus). When the waters receded, a fresh deposit of rich dark silt collected from Ethiopian highlands and Central African countries and was deposited, on the soaked earth ‘ready for planting. This led the early Egyptians to name their land “Kemet” or black as opposed to the desert, “Deshret” or red. The deposited black silt renewed’ the fertility of the land before the planting in autumn.

Such predictable natural phenomenon, of rising and setting of the sun on daily basis, the complete moon cycle consisting of four phases, precession, etc. created a sense of the order of both land and the sky. This order was central in the development of their religion. Egyptians took the Nile and every aspect of nature to manifest gods in anthropomorphic. The Kikuyu thought the light was a manifestation of their God’s power, “Utheri” which coincides with “the Egyptian god – osiris”. In that line of argument, this is the place goddess Isis hid his son/husband “Horus” after raising him back to life. The Pharaohs had to pay homage in the south to the gods of the waters of the Nile in Ta – Neteru. They also received a cosmic generative force.

The Jewish/ Ethiopian connection.

The narrative goes back to the reign of King Solomon” of the Jewish empire”. King Solomon had constructed the temple to house the covenant box forever. But he married foreign wives who introduced the worship of foreign gods in the temple he had dedicated to the God of his father David. Queen Makenda of Sheba” “Ethiopia” visited King Solomon’s court after hearing about his great wisdom. She stayed and learned from him for six months. She became pregnant before she returned to her kingdom, where she “bore Solomon a son, Menelik”. After the death of the Queen, Menelik 1” was made king by his father, thus founding the “royal Solomonic dynasty of Ethiopia”, which ruled until the deposition of Haile Selassie I” in 1974. His entourage with the consent of Levites carried the covenant box (“managi”) to “Sheba” (Ethiopia). Finally, after years of a temporary location in Ethiopia, the covenant box was put to rest in Axum.

The proto-Gikuyu (“Kabiru”/Hebrew) are Levites. They had come from “Baci” (Ethiopia) at a place called Axum”. They had to leave Axum because “Nguo ndune” (people of red costumes) or “Tunyaga” (the people of the cross – Knight Templers) had conspired to steal “Managi” The Ark of the Covenant and “Gikunjo”- the Scrolls. In the escape to hide the treasure, war erupted and was through Thagana” (Tana Island). From Tana Island the war entered “Punt”, Somaliland, Kaya forests down to Kwale. In Digo, a fabricated covenant box was broken into pieces. The “Kabiru” hurriedly buried “Managi” (The Ark of the covenant) and the “Gikunjo” ancient Moses scrolls at Mount Kenya region.

This war lasted for two generations, it fulfilled the prophecy of King David when he said “The Ethiopians will raise their hands in prayer to God”. As a rule, they oriented their doors to face Mount Kenya and in payers, they raised their hands high facing Mount Kenya. This reminds one of the books of Exodus Chapter 19 and 20 in the Old Testament.

With the description given, it became clear the early “Kabiru” were fighting the Templers for the cross and the red costume brings to mind the Croix patlae”, the Templers emblem adapted after the synod to Troyes. Going by the Seers date, the relics should have been buried in circa 1210 AD. From this date the “Kabiru” settled to guard their treasure and sealed off the Mount Kenya region from foreigners, this sheds light on why the slave trade did not take place in the Mt Kenya region.

In the 7th year, the “Kabiru” destroyed the 9 stones erected in the worship of the sun and stars in Mt Kenya. Putting down the covenant box and destroying the 9 stones was the greatest spiritual hallmark. From then, the Mountain became the earthly dwelling of God- “Ngai Murungu”, who created heaven and earth. Judaism (“Kirira”) negated the Memphite theology and heliopolitan concept. Traditionally this act is enshrined in the Gikuyu sayingTutigathwo ringi ni aka referring to feminine gods Isis and Hapi

Before the partition of Africa, the Ethiopian empire extended to Mt. Kenya. It must be noted that there are two routes known to reach the shrine. One comes from the forest upwards that in all recorded visits, Kikuyu Seers follow. The other route passes through a jagged cliff atop the shrine. The latter whose walk seems incredible is known to the Seers as “Mugirito wa Abaci” literally “Ethiopian muscle-flexing path” or for better foreigners’ route.

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Before the arrival of white missionaries at the turn of the 19th Century, the three communities surrounding Mt Kenya namely the Kikuyu. Embu and Meru; after every 50 years they observed 3 days of total dedication to their mono deity “Ngai Murungu”. According to this old tradition, in the three days, they renewed their solemn conviction that it was one God who created the form and God manifests himself by the normal order of things in the universe. They believed God’s earthly dwelling is in Mount Kenya.


Other ethnic communities in Kenya shared their belief though not as conspicuous as the communities in the Mt Kenya region.

The Samburu/Maasai are semi-nomadic people, who use the land to the north of the mountain and extends south to Tanzania to graze their cattle. They believe that their ancestors came down from heaven via the mountain at the beginning of time. The Maasai name for Mount Kenya is “Ol Donyo Keri”, which means “mountain of stripes”, referring to the dark shades as observed from the surrounding plains. Also “Ol Donyo Eibor” meaning the white mountain, “Ol Donyo Egere”, which mean “the speckled mountain” 

At least Maasai traditional prayer refers to Mt Kenya, translated to

“God bless our children, let them be like the olive tree of Morintat, let them grow and expand, let them be like Ngong Hills like Mt. Kenya, like Mt. Kilimanjaro and multiply in number”.

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