Dreadlocks Are Of A Spiritual Nature, Not Racial

Dreadlocks Are Of A Spiritual Nature, Not Racial

What has become a weapon between races is, in its purest form, meant to be used as a spiritual tool.

As a white woman, it is difficult for me to defend White Americans knotting their hair without eyes glazing over, but for two years, I had three locks nestled in my mane.

Unfortunately, I allowed my thoughts toward my dreadlocks, thoughts toward my hair and energy, to be influenced by those around me. This resulted in me cutting the locks out.

I can't even describe how hard this blow hit. I cried for an hour after cutting the last one out.

I am young enough to have faith and old enough to ask questions, yet am still a believer in the human spirit or soul.

Derryl Hermanutz, author of "The Physics of Spirit: God, Heaven, and Human Consciousness" said in his book, “Our spirit is made of the same kind of electromagnetic wave energy that its ideas are made of, and our spirit is motivated by its own desire to experience the amplified light of truth.” Energy exists in numerous forms; reacting with chemical compounds, zapping through our wires in the walls, and seeping out of our own human pores.

It is common in both Eastern and Western societies for humans to believe that these bodily, mental, and spiritual energies may exit the body through the top of the head and hair. If the hair is knotted, however, the energy remains tight inside to aid in the strength of mind, body, and spirit.

Think of the story of Samson and Delilah. Samson was known for his superhuman strength. He gave the credit for this strength to both God and his hair. Delilah, working with the enemy, stole this strength by cutting off his locks. Immediately, he was weakened.

After I took the scissors to my head, I felt more low than I had in years. Suddenly the connection I felt to those dreads, my babies, was gone. My energy shifted.

Just as Samson got his hair and power from God, Rastafarians receive their strength from Jah. Dreadlocks can be used as a protest against Babylon. The areas where Africans were held captive after Europeans overtook Africa, or Ethiopia, were known as "Babylon." These lands were materialistic in nature. The people of Babylon placed their value on wealth and the ability to be "professional." Babylon roots were in serving a utility.

The Rastafarians, who sharply contrast with these ideals, place emphasis on the personal and subjective understanding of one's purpose in life (rather than having a purpose assigned to you). Rastafarians place high value on the natural world. It should be lived within harmony rather than controlled.

Materialistic nature can be seen as vanity and attachments to excess. Locs are a direct denial of this. They are seen as an extension of natural.

I protest materialism, excess, and attempt to live as natural as possible in my day-to-day life. I believe in compassion, empathy, and harmony. I place my values on connection to the consciousness.

I absolutely believe in the protest of Babylon. I resonate with many of the Rastafarian precepts. I believe in the deity Shiva, who was the first woman of color to be mentioned in literature with dreads. I believe the pharaohs wore locked hairstyles to connect them to their god. Cultures all across the board use this technique.

Dreadlocks are a representation of my natural spirit, a hint at my flesh free diet, a symbol of my spirituality, and proof of my inquisitive mind.

They have become a piece of my culture.

Cover Image Credit: Everypixel.com

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.

It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semicolon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.

2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."

3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.

4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."

5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."

6. Greek symbol of Inguz: Where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."

8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya).

9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty, and artistic creativity.

10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love, and creativity or to put yourself into whatever you do.

11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from "The Hobbit." It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.

13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength and stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.

16. A glyph means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."

18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe and the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can remind us of the inconsistency of life. It also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.

SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos

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Shaving My Head Taught Me That Self-Confidence Does Not Depend On How I Look

Shaving my head helped me gain more self-confidence than I ever thought possible.


Hair is something that has more power over us than we think. Historically, hair was viewed as a way to identify your gender, marital status, religion, or social position. In the Quapaw tribe, single Native American women wore their hair in braids, while the married woman wore it long and loose. Hair can be sacred, as well. Many Sikhs believe that hair should not be cut in any way, as it is a gift from God.

In most of Western society, hair serves simply as a gender marker. Although we are straying away from traditional gender roles, long hair usually signifies femininity and short hair represents masculinity. The media portrays desirable young women with long, silky, effortlessly perfect hair.

For me, my hair served as a comfort. Although I struggled with its frizziness, brittleness, and tangle-ability, I relied on it to make me feel secure. When it hung to my waist in high school, I would use it to cover up my arms and shoulders when I wore sleeveless tops, as I didn't like these parts of my body.

As a child, I remember watching Natalie Portman on the Oprah Winfrey show, talking about having to shave her head for a movie role. Even though I thought it was extreme, her calm and pragmatic demeanor about it changed my perceptions on having a shaved head. I remember her saying, "I always wanted to do it once in my life, anyways. It'll grow back my natural color eventually."

Months before I left for college, I began to devise a plan. I would dye my hair the fun colors that I wasn't allowed to in high school, and then shave it all off for the new year. I got started the week after I moved into my dorm and bleached my hair. As the chemicals burned my scalp and made my eyes water, I realized that there was no going back now. I had committed to shaving my head.

When January rolled around, I was starting to get apprehensive. The weekend I had marked on my calendar approached, and I trekked through a snowstorm to the nearest SportsClips. The barber seemed bewildered at my request but didn't give me any time to reconsider. She took the clippers right to my head, and I watched as my bleach-damaged locks fell to the ground, much like the snow outside.

The first week was hard. I didn't recognize my reflection and often caught myself reaching up to play with my non-existent hair out of habit. I only went out in girly outfits or a full face of makeup, as I felt the need to assert my femininity.

As the weeks went on, however, I began to fall in love with my stubbly head.

Would I recommend shaving your head? I would. Although the journey has been challenging, the benefits make the shave well worth it. Not only do save time in the morning, but I also have learned how to stop hiding behind my hair.

Shaving my head taught me how to stop relying on my appearance for self-assurance. When I had long hair, I would often base my validation around how I looked. Although it provided me temporary confidence, it meant that I wasn't placing any confidence in my other traits. I cared more about how the world saw me than how it heard me. Now that I've stripped myself of my comfort blanket, I feel as though I can conquer anything, no matter how I look.

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