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Greetings in the name of Ras Tafari, King Haile Selassie I the First,
Conquering Lion from the Tribe of Yahuda, Root of King David, Elect of Yah, and Defender of the Faith and Light of this World. We also greet InI in the name of Her Majesty Queen Menen Asfaw Living through the lineage of Prophet Mohammed.

We give thanks for King Haile Selassie I who is the divine inspiration for this initiative.
This is a short preview of Emperor Haile Selassie’s legacy "Rastafari", in which we give some basic overstanding about the livity. On the left the different subjects will be explained in more detail.
First of all it is good to mention that the Rastafari Livity can not be explained in one way, as there are many different faiths, opinions and aspects to it. We don’t All follow the same principles or have the same faith. Even though there are guidelines within the different mansions  there is enough room for personal insight without being judged or condemned by other members of the family. Also one doesn’t have to be a member of one of the mansions to be Rastafari (most are not) and is often something personal between I and I the creator.  therefore ones with different ideas can find something to identify themselves with as part of the Livity and wont have to reject it as a whole because of something that doesn’t fit in their or someone else’s  mindset. Even people that are not interested in the fullness of Rastafari can be a part of I&I because of its personal, accessible, multifaceted and multicultural nature.

KING HAILE SELASSIE I

As our name reveals Rastafari hold High regard for the King of Ethiopia Haile Selassie I, who was born with the name Lij Tafari Makonnen, and received the title of Ras when He became heir to the Throne (Ras meaning Head or Ruler), that is where the name Rastafari comes from.
Some worship H.I.M. (His Imperial Majesty) as Christ ánd YAH as One, some see H.I.M. as the return of Christ but not YAH, others see H.I.M. as the rightful King of Ethiopia and Ysrayl with a Christ like nature, but not the Christ. There are some differences but still we all acknowledge His Majesty as someone very special living on a Higher level of consciousness and have deep Raspect and Love for H.I.M.
We know most people outside of the Rastafari community have difficulty seeing Haile Selassie I as YAH or Christ and will therefore often reject Rastafari as a legitimate faith. To those we would like to say that this is not a Must or an obligation. One of the larger mansions within Rastafari (the Twelve Tribes of Israel) don't hold this faith either. Second, if we do some study on it, you might find out that this faith some have in the King has a solid foundation and that His Majesty fits very well into the so called “requirements” of being the Christ and therefore also YAH for many.

MARCUS GARVEY

Marcus Mosiah Garvey is also very Important for Rastafari, being seen by many as a prophet who brought the idea of a Black Messiah to light. Born in Jamaica Marcus Garvey was one of the first and most successful Black Freedom Fighters in the world and leader of a large movement the UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) with millions of followers all over the word in his time. His main goal was Civil Rights, Self Reliance and Repatriation forward to Africa for those under the downpression of the west. Marcus Garvey prophesied about the arrival of a Black King in Africa, and that He would be the Redeemer. When Ras Tafari was crowned as Haile Selassie, King of Kings, Conquering Lion from the Tribe of Judah in 1930, this prophesy came true for many Jamaicans and this was when the movement was born.

LEONARD HOWELL

Leonard Howell was one of the pioneers and had a big part in the rise of Rastafari in its early stages. Howell was a Garveyite and when Marcus Garvey spoke about King Haile Selassie I, Rastafari as a way of life  came in to his consciousness and from there he developed his own ideas about this. Howell set himself and his followers apart from society and moved to the hills of St. Catherine in Jamaica and formed a 5000 strong self sufficient community called the Pinnacle, also growing Herb as a means to get by, rebelling against the system, with Emperor Haile Selassie I and the Bible as a Guiding light.
From there the movement developed in to different Houses, Mansions or Tribes that make up the structure of Rastafari at this moment.

THE NYAHBINGHI

The Nyahbinghi (Theocratic Reign of the Ivine order of the Nyahbinghi) was the first mansion within Rastafari founded in the 1930’s. The name Nyahbinghi stems from a Kenyan Warrior Princess who successfully fought against colonialism.
It is more a spiritual then biblical order but still often (not always) using the Bible for guidance. Nyahbinghi is more about natural and positive living, following a divine spiritual way of life inspired by His Majesty and His teachings and mostly regard H.I.M. as YAH. Nyahbinghi have gatherings or Binghi’s where we come together, playing the harps (drums), burning Fire day and night, Praising Rastafari, reading Pslams,  singing hymns, smoking Herb and Chanting. Special Dates for these gatherings are 23 of July (Haile Selassie’s Earthday), 3 April (Empress Menen Earthday), 17 August (Marcus Garvey’s Earthday), 11 September (Ethiopian New Year) 21 April (Groundation Day, the day Selassie visited Jamaica), 2 November (The coronation of Emperor Haile Selassie I), 6 February (Bob Marley’s Earthday), 7 January (Orthodox Ethiopian Christmas).

THE BOBO SHANTI

The Bobo Shanti, or E.A.B.I.C (Ethiopia Africa Black International Congress) is also one of the early mansions and was founded by Charles Edwards, or Holy King Emmanuel I, who is known to be the 7th black Christ with H.I.M. Haile Selassie I as God and Marcus Mosiah Garvey the Prophet forming a holy Trinity and function as the Priesthood of Rastafari. Bobo Shanti follow many principles of the Bible, and are more devoted in doing this compared to the other mansions. Some of these principles are keeping the Sabbath (from Friday 6 pm to Saturday 6 pm), Praying at certain times, reading Psalms, having a dress code with the Turban and African Robe as most distinctive features, strict Dietary Rules, totally Vegan and don’t smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol. We have a big part in the restoration of the Nation of Ysrayl because of the Biblical nature and knowing we are the ancient Ysralites. Repatriation to Africa is one of the main Focuses . The Bobo Shanti are also the most outspoken, disciplined and militant of all the mansions.

THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL

The Twelve Tribes of Israel (T.T.O.I) was founded by Vernon Carrington in the early stages of Rastafari and has the most registered “members” of all the mansions with reasonably large establishments in some countries like the USA,  England and Germany. We have a strong following among different races saying that being part of Ysrayl is more a spiritual connection and not so much a physical one. Twelve Tribe members have less strict rules, alcohol, cigarettes and eating of flesh is permitted as long as it’s in accordance with the Bible, having the philosophy that it’s more important what comes out of the body (in the sense of words and behavior) then what goes in. As a principle the Bible is read one chapter a day to get a deeper overstanding about the book. Therefore we have less written guide lines then the other mansions as this is left to one self to find out by reading the Bible. Twelve Tribe members don’t see Haile Selassie as the same person as Christ or God, But King of Ethiopia with a Christ like character and stand for the restoration of the monarchy in Ethiopia so the future Messiah can take its rightful seat on the throne of David.  

OTHER TRIBES

There are some smaller Tribes or Mansions, like the Bongo Dreads, the Iyesus/jesus Dreads, the Coptic Church, Selassie I School of Vision, the Messianic Dreads, Remi Rastafari, The House of Melchizedek, The Selassie I Church, The Fulfilled Rastafari, Zion Rastafari, and some more small ones.
There are also Rastafari that follow the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as this is Haile Selassie’s faith. There are even Muslim Rastafari…
There are many Tribes each one taking part in the upliftment of Rastafari but Most Rastafari worldwide are not a n official member of any group and have their own interpretation of things with their own house as kingdom, their own Empress and princes and princesses.

NUMBERS

When we search on the internet how many members Rastafari have they come up with a number of about one million (source wikipedia). Now we don’t know exactly how they came up with this, but we expect by simply making an estimate of the official members of the known mansions, Nyahbinghi, Boboshanti, Twelve Tribes of Israel and maybe some smaller ones... But these Mansions are stationed in Jamaica with smaller branches in some other countries, so it’s not so easy to become a member if you are not living there. The Twelve Tribes of Israel are supposed to be the biggest of all the mansions with an estimated 700.000 members. But they have a structured and more accessible way of becoming a member and have reasonably large branches in other countries.  So this is probably why it is estimated that there are only a million Rastafari worldwide (it has been one million for more then 10 years according to wikipedia, as if we are not growing when this is surly the case. The reality is that we don’t have to be part of one of these mansions to be Rastafari, and most of I&I are not part of any group. So if we would count the people who feel they are Rastafari in their Heart ( which is the most important place), it could add up to multiple millions.
So don’t let Iself be fooled by propaganda, and let Rastafari be downsized to just One Million. We are a mighty force...

LOVE

Love is one of the most Important teachings within Rastafari. Most of InI, no matter which Tribe, know the Importance of true Love and see it as a remedy for all the problems in the world. Through the livity and Incientsy many of us are connected to the Heart and Spirit where this Love energy dwells, and from living in this Hearticall way we find Truth and YAH in our own personal way. Love provides the energetical qualities for Kindness, Forgiveness, Tolerance, Honesty, Sharing, Caring, Compassion and Trust, so it’s not difficult to overstand the Importance of Love if we want Peace and a better, higher form of living.

HERB

Herb is something that brings InI in a meditative state and in the present moment, it gives insight and inspiration. Also knowing about the medicinal properties of the plant we use it for physical healing, as well as spiritual upliftment.
It relaxes the mind, body and soul, this is very useful when we know that stress is one of the biggest causes of death in the world (triggering all kinds of diseases).
It can also give the feeling of being closer or connected to YAH, thus using it as a sacrament.  
It is good to know that there are many Rastafari that don’t smoke Herb,  Some might not feel comfortable with it, some might think it’s unhealthy (to smoke), others don’t feel the need because they are already connected to YAH without using Herb. Whatever reason it’s not necessary but always Raspected. Herb is something that connects I&I together and is therefore also used for social reasons.

THE BIBLE

The Bible or the Ible how we like to call is the central book of reference for many within Rastafari although there are also plenty that have less faith in the scriptures. many have found our Roots in it which explains our present situation, the reason for it ánd the way out. Many of InI have faith and find overstanding in the Bible and feel connected to it. The Ible is I&I-story and Guidance book for the Future. This is a book where we get a lot of our Knowledge and Inspiration from. Most Africans living in the west who are descendants from slaves don’t know much about their early African heritage. Rastafari make people aware of the biblical heritage by speaking, singing and living this connection we have with the Bible.
The King James Bible is mostly read by Rastafari as this is the version issued out in Jamaica and recommended by Haile Selassie I (H.I.M. also said the version doesn’t matter because the main message is in all of them). Although Rastafari know the Bible is tampered with, it is still regarded as a book of truth, guidance and inspiration. The Bible teaches us about a new covenant wherein the law of YAH is written in the Hearts of the Ysraylites, and this is what Rastafari are expressing. Rastafari often have a natural overstanding about Life. This quality is also used when reading the Bible to decide what feels as truth and what not. This quality also makes it possible for Rastafari to live in Love, truth and righteousness without having to read the Bible.

OTHER SCRIPTURES

Some other Scriptures that Rastafari read are :
- The Kebra Nagast, this Ethiopian book tells about the meeting between Queen Makeda of Ethiopia and King Solomon Of Ysrayl and the child they had together (Menelik). The Royal lineage that started from this union Lives on all the way up to King Haile Selassie (fulfilling Biblical prophesy that the scepter or throne would never depart from Judah).
- The Fetah Nagast, is the book of Law which was found in Ethiopia and teaches about all the different Law’s for each different group within Ethiopian Christianity like the Patriarch, Monks, Priests, Nuns and so on.
- The autobiography of Haile Selassie “My Life And Ethiopia’s Progress”

There are more books people can read that have a lot of value, we will cover these on the left.
Not all Rastafari read these books, because they are simply not available for most poor people and also not specificly needed. But for those fortunate and interested enough…

ZION

Zion can have different meanings, it can be Africa (especially Ethiopia), it can be Yerusalem in Ysrayl, Heavenly Zion or our own inner Zion. It’s a place of peace, and a promise to look out for. The Bible tells about the coming of the Kingdom of YAH, Zion or New Yerusalem and the judgment that comes before that. What Rastafari do is warn about this, and should not to be taken lightly because this day Might not be so far away and if not listened to could have great consequences for your Life and loved ones.
Rastafari will often say Zion is a place we cannot enter without having a certain level of consciousness or righteousness which would make it possible for us to live in Love, Peace, Harmony, Raspect, and without Judgment.
This consciousness is greatly lacking by the majority on this planet, so this is of great importance for us. Rastafari have a big part in teaching about this energy or consciousness and has the potential to transform our society in to a more Loving Zion like one or to prepare us personally so we might be ready for a heavenly Zion. 

REPATRIATION

Repatriation has always been one of the main goals for Rastafari.
As we were taken from the motherland against our will, scattered all over the globe, stripped from our identity and treated in the worst of ways. But now we Rastafari stand for reparation and repatriation to a place we can call home, which is Africa. Even though this is scriptural prophesy which must take place in the appointed time, when we feel the time is right we can begin doing this ourselves (the ones who can afford it), for the ones who are less fortunate, this will be done with the assistance from personal initiatives and projects of the more fortunate. Otherwise with the assistance from the people who brought us into this slavery in the form of funds and maybe diplomatic assistance (for those that wish to Repent). When King Haile Selassie I visited Jamaica He told the Rastafari that if we wanted to repatriate we should first liberate ourselves in Jamaica and to organize and centralize. Haile Selassie I granted land in Ethiopia (Shashamane) for anyone who wanted to Repatriate. There was a fairly large Rastafari community living in Shashamane at some point, but because of the resistance and unwillingness of the leaders after His Majesty’s Rule this has been become more difficult and only a couple hundred of Rastafari remain there.

YSRAYL

This is a subject that Rastafari are not really outspoken about but is a big part of the livity still, it’s just not the main subject of reggae artists, and as they are the main messengers for the wider public it is not as widely known about. But most Rastafari who have done some research know about the connection between Ysrayl and Ethiopia when King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba had a child (Menelik I) who eventually succeeded King Solomon and in doing so moved the Ark of the Covenant with a multitude of Ysraylites to Ethiopia. Some Rastafari (often Twelve Tribes of Israel members) say this is the only connection between Ethiopia and the Ysraylites, who in time physically became a part of this family through the interrelations of the first born Ysraylites that came along with Menelik from Ysrayl. But there are also Rastafari like the Bobo Shanti and Nyahbinghi that take this connection further, knowing that the Ysraylites were African people to begin with and when reading the Bible know that this is about them. The Reason why this subject is not on the forefront can be found in the scriptures where it says this knowledge will only come to light in the appointed time. Obviously we have not reached the appointed time yet (otherwise this knowledge would have been widely accepted). So if it’s not the time yet, why let it be known? remember it is often YAH that inspires and puts the words in our mouths. Which would make it clear why great motivators like Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King, Malcom X etc. etc. who had a lot of knowledge did not speak about this. It would have been too soon...there is a time for everything.

EDUCATION

Education is very important for Rastafari, education expands the mind and makes us self sufficient and less reliant on others. This is something King Haile Selassie I always stressed and is one of His main achievements as King of Ethiopia, to implement a modern structure of education, building many schools and universities educating millions. Most Ethiopians have Haile Selassie to thank for there education. Rastafari have always stressed the importance of this also…

RASTAFARI WAY OF LIFE

Rastafari is a way of Life and not a religion. “A religion is a set of rules, regulations and rituals created by man which were supposed to help humanity grow spiritually. But because of Human imperfection religions have become corrupt, political, a cause for disagreement and a tool for power struggle” (Haile Selassie’s words). The Rastafari way of Life is living in a Simple and Pure way following a set of basic Principles given to us by the most High. Universal Laws so to speak that are not tied to one religion in particular, but are the most Important teachings for most of them. The main ingredients for this way of life are; having Deep Respect for Life (nature, animals, other people, I&I self.), upholding a Healthy Life Style, Living in Love, being Honest, Caring, Sharing, Kind to others, Non Judgmental, Forgiving, being Reasonable and Tolerant.
Even though some Rastafari have principles, regulations and rituals just like in religions, our main focus is on this Way of Life which could be for everyone Rastafari or not.

DREADLOCKS

Dreadlocks is a big part of Rastafari Livity, it is our main physical identification sign.
It stems from the Nazarene vow in the Bible numbers 6.5 ("All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the Locks of the hair of his head grow.") and Leviticus 21.5 ("They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in the flesh."). Dreadlocks are a symbol of devotion to YAH and rebellion against the system. It is also seen as a crown, or the manes of a Lion, giving a feeling of pride and power. Growing Locks is often seen as a spiritual journey with needed patience to let the Locks mature. Attention, discipline and Care is needed for someone who would like to have neat and tidy Locks. Others choose the freeform method and just let it grow naturally without twisting the hair.
Having Dreadlocks is not a necessity as Rastafari is a Divine Inception from the heart, knowing that the inner thought is more Important than physical appearance (although some have a different opinion about this, and is still often a subject in reasoning). 

THE SABBATH

Just like Dreadlocks, keeping the Sabbath is an identifying Sign, setting us apart from modern society and is also a sign of devotion to YAH. The Sabbath is kept by Rastafari within all mansions (although not applied by all most of the time, and is more a personal choice). The Bobo Shanti are the most devoted about this. For the Bobo Shanti the Sabbath begins on Friday 6 pm, and ends Saturday 6 pm. Before the Sabbath begins we make sure all work is done (like shopping, cleaning, farming, building, cooking etc.). On the Sabbath day no work is done, no money is spent and traveling is kept minimal. There is a Fast from Friday 10 pm until Saturday 6 pm and wear white clothing. Smoking Herb is also kept to a minimal or not at all from Friday midnight, sometimes incense (frankensense/merre/herb) is burnt and Bitters can be taken to cleanse the body. Dancing, Singing or Chanting are also part of a Bobo Shanti Sabbath. The Sabbath ends at 6 Reading Psalms from the Bible and a closing prayer.
Other Mansions have similar practices but might only keep the Saturday (or other day) holy and might have less rituals and rites. How to keep the Sabbath holy is mostly a personal choice for Rastafari in the other mansions and there is not one way of doing things. It is something between InI (unless we are part of a group, like Bobo Shanti who have clear principles about this, and are expected to be upheld). 

ITAL LIVING

Something else Rastafari is known for is our healthy Life style, treating our body as the Temple of YAH that should be nourished and taken care of, seeing it as a sign of disrespect or unconsciousness to the Most High if not treated in this way. By looking at our body in this manner, we are more motivated into taking care of it. We stay away from as much as possible of contaminants by eating and drinking healthy, avoiding chemicals that are in processed food or the pesticides that are on the vegetables that they sell in big supermarkets, we try to eat things we have grown our self or by an other Rasta or otherwise from the shop but as organic as possible (if affordable), we take natural herbs and spices that cleanse and heal the body and try to get plenty of exercise. In Jamaica there are many Bush doctors that have great knowledge of natural health care and use a wide range of plants, flowers, leaves and roots to heal I&I. We try to avoid modern medicine.

LANGUAGE

In Jamaica most people speak Patois which can be learnt here on the left. Rastafari also have their own unique way of using words called Iyahric. JAH is the most common name we use for the Almighty God, as this is found in some older versions of the King James Bible. More recent the YAH is also more often being used as that is a more Incient way of writing the name, stemming from YHWH (YAHWEH), although this is not the original name still, that would be in Hebrew.  
I&I is something you will hear a lot, “I&I” can be a replacement for me, you, he, she, we, us, our, him, her, them and is meant to stress the connection we all have with One another. I&I means ONE, You, I, and YAH everyone one. Rastafari is very much about this oneness and togetherness, no matter what color, race or personal believes, I&I are One and should show compassion and overstanding to One another. The use of I&I is one way of bringing this connection to I&I consciousness as it breaks down all divisions and barriers.
Within Iyahric Rastafari use the I in many words to stress our personal connection to a word and giving it more meaning. Some examples/Isamples are… Istory instead of his-story or Ifrica for africa, Inite for unite, Ible for bible, Iveryone for everyone, Incient for ancient, Iportant for important, Ivolution for revolution, Iditation for meditation, Ital for vital etc...
We also use words like overstand instead of under-stand, Raspect instead of respect, forward instead of backward, Livication for (dead)ication, and no “con” words like content = Itent, contact = Itact, consideration = Isideration ect.  This is meant to give a positive twist to words that have a negative aspect to it.

RASTAFARI COLORS

The colors Red, Gold and Green stem from the Ethiopian flag and have these meanings to it.
Red stands for the blood of all living things,
Gold for the wealth of Africa,
Green for the Land of Africa,
Black is also used and stands for the African blackness of the movement.
Nyahbinghi use the Ethiopian flag with the colors in the order Green, Gold, Red.
Bobo Shanti use the flag from Ghana in the order Red, Gold and Green.

REGGAE/NYAHBINGHI MUSIC

Music is a big platform in how we spread the message of Love and Rastafari. The best known form is Reggae with a long list of top singers all singing for the same cause, singing about the same things. Reggae singers are the messengers of YAH being much more then just entertainers.
Nyahbinghi (African) drumming and Chanting is the most original form of Rastafari Music, usually played by all the mansions within Rastafari and have a lot of spiritual meaning and power in it. It is used to honor and get closer to YAH and to fight against evil forces. 

BABYLON

Rastafari have a strong resistance against the system, babylon, or the illuminate…We know them and rebel against them, by exposing them with our music, warning about them and by giving better alternatives. 
Rastafari do this in word and by example. We have left information about babylon out side of this website because learning and talking about them usually causes negative thoughts and vibrations, something we don’t want in Zion. So if you want to learn more about babylon, it can be found outside Zion’s Gate of this Isite. 
Rastafari fight for Peace, Justice and Freedom. Not surprising as we come from downpression, physical and mental slavery. We can defeat babylon by letting go of all the negative feelings they have created within us. This is part of their plan…by mistreating the people so much that we get filled with stress, hatred, vengeance, or anger, so that the positiveness subsides within of us and can therefore not live to our full potential and destiny.

POOR PEOPLE DEFENDERS

Rastafari is for everyone, every color, race or religion… but Rastafari is here especially for the poor and underprivileged, the deceived and down pressed. Rastafari is here for the people from the ghetto that suffer every day. Rastafari is here for the redemption of Africans and our journey Home. Rastafari is here for the lost Tribes of Ysrayl that have been living in downtrodden circumstances. This should appeal to a large group of people (especially if we consider about 80% of the people in the world live in poverty). This is the group that needs the most assistance, because long term lack of resources (schooling, money and such) have caused disobedient behavior within our communities (part of babylon’s plan). Still even the most distracted people from righteousness have a lot of Love and Raspect for Reggae and Rastafari.
Rastafari know babylon is the main cause of the circumstances we live in, and that their false teachings will only lead to destruction and death.
Rastafari will lead us to Zion. Many Bredren and Sistren have been saved by Rastafari teachings, who maybe would have chosen a path of crime, gang life, or an other unconscious life style…

RASTAFARI FOR EVERYONE

Not only are we here for the poor and needy, we are here everyone. The rich, the happy and careless, black, white, yellow, brown, red, people from all religions and faiths all over the world. We are all in the same situation wherein we influence each other and the outcome of our Destiny. Rastafari have the knowledge that we are all One and connected to each other. This is one of our main teachings, and makes us Raspect others no matter how they live or what they believe in. Like mentioned before Rastafari is a way of Life and we know that if all of Humanity would follow this way of Life and keep their own set of personal believes and rituals, that this will make us live in Peace, if lived to its full potential. Whatever personal believes there are within a community, this is of secondary Importance. It doesn’t matter if you are Muslim, Hindu, Christian or Jew, etc. This way of Life is what it is all about and is for everyone. 

These are some of the basics of Rastafari, meant to encourage you to take time and learn more about us.

May Ras Tafari, King Haile Selassie I be I&I Guide, with most loveable Blessings.

Last Update : 24/02/2017