ADSactly History : Black Magic Of Ancient Africa

in history •  last month 

It has been proven that the black continent of Africa (particularly the East African Subregion and the Sub-Saharan Africa) is host to the ancient civilization of man, and can also be said to be the birth place of the evolution of modern man from the ancient hominin species. But more so, magic is as old as the known and recorded history of the earliest men. The believers of magic (and magicians) have the strong belief that every occurence has their root in the spiritual and supernatural forces - of course, this is not part of the areas of observable and testable science, because it does not follow scientific methodologies. Those that practice the act of magic are called "magicians".

[Image Source: Pixabay. CC0 Licensed]

Magicians have been looked upon as people that process supernatural abilities to influence and ultimately control events that occur, and they are said to wield unusual spiritual forces. In the pre-colonial Africa, societies (communities and kingdoms) did employ the services of magicians in hunting, birth, death, curing of the sick, warfare and whatnot. A well known scenario is that of the Dogon tribe of West Africa (ancient Mali). In the ancient times, the Dogon tribe was well known for astronomy, and through the use of magic, they were able to predict the trajectory of many Stellar bodies; including the Sirus B Star - which is not visible to the unaided eye. Awesomely enough, modern day scientific discoveries have proven these predictions to be true.

How do these work? People claim that magicians can only wield these excessive powers after they have contacted with certain spirits or deities that carry supernatural powers, and these contacts can be made by incantations, enchantments, tributes, etc. These deities can come in the form of known or unknown figures (spirits of the dead, animals, landmarks, water bodies, trees, etc), which their summon can be for good or evil - according to the practices of ancient Africa; as passed on by "oral tradition".

Come to think of these; how were the ancient men so precise with stellar predictions, meteorological predictions, and understanding of the solar system (sun, stars, and planets) without using any scientific apparatus? That is why there has been a popular belief that magic precedes observable science in Africa; and of course; in the wider world. There is also a close intersection between religion and magic - firstly; both of them believe in the supernatural, and they believe that physical occurrences have spiritual undertone. Secondly; they are not within the jurisdiction of observable and verifiable science.

[Image Source: Pixabay. CC0 Licensed]

The truth is; even with the outburst of science and technology, spirituality has survived till this present times - and more often than not, one can witness an occurence that cannot be explained scientifically; this has led to some people attaching superstitious beliefs to certain happenings. Even in present times, magicians tend to incorporate some bit of science into the act of magic and can be used for stage presentation. Most times, these could have a rather scientific undertone than spiritual, but because of the professionalism they employ in the act (like excessive slight of hand, which; in its remotest sense; cannot be classified as magic) they tend to make people believe it is purely magic: Just like the stage presentation of Chris Angel that has been bursted and revealed in this video.

[Video Credit: FactoFusion]

A very important field where ancient magic has survived till present time is in the area of astrology. This has to do with the belief (which could be superstitious) that the occurrences in people's lives and their future is heavily dependent on the position of the elements of constellations when the person is born. In other words, they believe that stars play vital role in determining the "destiny" of an individual - well, that is what astrologers believe in.

Also, in this modern times, a particular form of magic that has survived; though not very popular as much as astrology; is "palmistry" (which can be called chiromancy), which is a form of reading and analyzing the patterns of the hand to foretell the future of an individual. Palmists believe that everyone's future is represented on the palms of their hands, and reading them can tell what the future holds for someone - though this has been classified by academians and scientists as pseudoscience; of course it does no follow any known scientific methodology. Some philosophy scholars have classified this as a branch of metaphysics. The truth is; your strong belief in either of magic or religion negates your belief in science and vice versa. But whether or not magic does exist is not a question of contention, it is only a matter of belief and everyone is absolutely entitled to their own belief. I ask you; what do you believe?

Thanks y'all

References: Ref 1, Ref2, Ref3, Ref4

Authored by @samminator

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I think you've come up with the key word: believe. For the human being, thank God, there are still things that are a mystery. When we speak of a century in which technology and artificial intelligence predominate in all societies and there are still people attending churches or looking for witches to know their future, we are dealing with an ambiguous and confused society. Many people say they only believe in what they see, but they are still superstitious and leave their lives in the hands of some God. In particular, I like to believe that not everything is under my control and that there are things that have been written about me, even before my birth. Is it a naive way to live? Perhaps, but in such a huge world, I am just a particle of dust in the wind. Excellent topic, @samminator


The context of spirituality has almost gone into the grey zone, particularly with the advances in science and technology, but with all these, we can't rule out the fact that mysteries do exist.
Denying the existence of mysteries is like denying the very existence of mankind. Though everyone is entitled to their belief.

I'm glad you enjoyed the piece. Thanks for coming around, Nancy

I believe that what is called "magic" is the profound knowledge of the secret, of the mystery. This is how it has been shown in the books that collect the mythical stories of ancient peoples. I can illustrate it with what I know best in this field, which is pre-Hispanic literature, particularly Mayan literature, in its fundamental work Popol Vuh. It is not by chance that the word "mago" (according to the translation of the Guatemalan writer Miguel Ángel Asturias) is in the name of several of its gods and foundational heroes, for example: "Maestro Mago del Alba", "Supremo Maestro Mago". Or when it is said that the creation of things was done "only by Magical Science, by the Magical Power".
Thus, magic is the knowledge and power of the occult for the ancients. The word has been distorted and corrupted for a long time, and even more so in contemporary times.
Thank you for your post, @samminator, which I suppose will continue to inform us more about magic in Africa. Greetings.


Thanks for the amazing comment. You couldn't have written it better buddy.

PS: I've heard so much about Popol Vuh. Any idea how I can get an English translation of the original manuscript?

Thanks for coming around buddy


Hello, @samminator. If I get a digital version in English, I copy you here the link.


Here is a link to an English version of Project Gutenberg, which you can download for free. It offers you several options: in HTML, for ebook and others.


Wow! Thanks a lot buddy. I'm so grateful

Awesome article. I enjoyed the food for thought.