|Harlem couple Jabari Osaze and Anika Daniels-Osaze are opening a Kemetic temple|
The religion of the Pharaohs is now calling Harlem home.
A husband and wife who practice the Kemetic spiritual rituals of ancient Egypt are transforming their W. 131 St. brownstone into a holy site fit for King Tut.
College sweethearts Jabari (Heru Djeden Ma’at Aten-Ra) Osaze and Anika (Nfr-Ka Ma’at) Daniels-Osaze are putting a modern twist on the 5,000-year-old way of life — anchoring their budding movement in the capital of Black America.
The Center for the Restoration of Ma’At, named after the Egyptian goddess for balance, is searching for its first class of 42 “initiates” to join a 14-week summer conversion course where disciples commit to becoming a Kemite.
“We have a lot of issues in our community. Issues of diet, issues of self-esteem. People don’t have anything to look up to,” said Daniels-Osaze, 39, a Cornell University-educated linguist who is a honcho at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and teaches “medu neter,” commonly known as hieroglyphics.
The pair also has a television show, “Kemetic Legacy Today,” on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network and host pro-Kemetic tours in Egypt and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Egyptian wing.
“We have to return to what we used to be; we used to be kings and queens,” the priestess said. “It is unfortunate what we have become.”
Ancient Egypt went by many names before the Greeks colonized it during fourth-century B.C., including “Kemet,” an ancient Egyptian phrase for black soil.
The spiritual-minded prayed to the sun god Ra and goddess of wisdom Ast, later called Isis by the Greeks.
Osaze, 42, learned about the bygone practices as an Africana studies major at Cornell, and introduced his future wife to the complex archaic culture.
“The people who need it the most were taken away from Africa, taken away from who they are,” Osaze said. “We aren’t meant to be in the projects. We are meant to be in the pyramids.”
Harlem’s Kemetic followers of 2014 will have to adhere to a predominantly raw vegan diet that allows only sporadic meat and dairy dishes.
“Constipation is real,” warned Daniels-Osaze, extolling the virtues of the purge.
“You have to cleanse the body in order to live in it,” her husband added. “You find that obesity disappears. Anger disappears.”
Traditional Kemetic garb is also mandatory. Practitioners have to dress in specified colors each day of the week, to honor a specific divine energy. People wear blue and white, for example, on Mondays, which is dedicated to Ast.
Osaze estimates there are only “a few thousand” Kemitic practitioners in New York, though there is no official count.
Still, its style is becoming a pop cultural sensation.
Rihanna rocks a sprawling tattoo of Isis under her bosom. The songstress also has an Egyptian falcon — known as the god Heru, or Horous in Greek, on her right angle.
And Kanye West has sported a pricy Horous pendant around his neck.
“It is speaking to them,” Osaze said. “But they don’t have a guide.”
3 Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.
7 But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.