“Enki (Ea) was traditionally depicted as the Serpent-Lord of the Euphrates. Meanwhile, Enlil (aka Jehovah) was very much against humans… as is shown in the Garden of Eden story where the ongoing feud between the Anunnaki half-brothers is recounted in part. Enlil was insistent that humankind should be kept in ignorance, and should be maintained solely to toil and to bear the yoke of the Anunnaki (a task the Roman Catholic Church has zealously endeavored to accomplish). But Enki was insistent that the black-headed people should be educated.”
The following is a report from the following website: http://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/voices/erin-fitzhenry/embodiment-enkaithe-mau-forest-and-maasai-spirituallity
“In January 2001, the Kenyan government announced its plan to excise an additional 412,000 acres of the Mau Forest, which is currently home to the pastoralist Maasai. While a number of NGOs have protested this latest initiative, few have addressed the spiritual significance of the forest to those who know it most intimately.
Meitamei Olol-Dapash, founder of the Maasai Environmental Resource Coalition, explains, “The land is not just the foundation of our livelihood; it is also the foundation for our spirituality. Land is central to our spiritual beliefs because we believe that God dwells not only in and beyond the deep-blue skies (keperr or shumata) but also in the thick forests, rivers, and beneath the earth.” Although the natural landscape is widely held in high spiritual esteem, the Mau Forest has particular resonance for the Maasai because it has, since time immemorial, been considered the “Maasai Promised Land.” Notes Olol-Dapash, it is our Promised Land because “[it holds] our future, our prosperity, the resources for our cultural reproduction, and the cohesiveness of our society.”
“It is from the forests,” he continues, “that leaves and barks of holy trees such as the Olorien and Olretei are obtained and used in the process of offering sacrifices to God.” Not only do these trees provide sanctuary for the cattle that are ritually sacrificed as part of every age-set ceremony, but they themselves are possessed of a certain “intrinsic” holiness, and are “used to perform solemn ceremonies such as Emuratare, or initiation, and Eunoto, or graduation to elderhood. These ceremonies involve the use of sacred trees and herbs and even retreats into the forests for reflection and dialogue with God, depending on the ceremony taking place.” For example, Eunoto, which takes place every 10-15 years and commemorates the passage from warrior to elder, is preceded by a period of forest retreat, in which 50-100 elders, “sponsors” or “patrons,” search for “walking sticks” to award the graduates as symbols of maturity. During this period, as they search for sticks that are of sufficient length and straightness, they pray, meditate, and “communicate with God all the time.” Thus, the forest is a place for Divine conversation—a “holy shrine” where Maasai elders not only retreat to collect ritual implements, but come to know the “spiritual aspects of their God.”
The God of the Maasai, Enkai, is the “creator of the forest, mountains, lowlands, and cool highlands that sustain the lives of the people, their cattle, and wild animals.”
“Powerful, invisible forces of nature in our world,” explains Olol-Dapash, “such as rain, thunder, drought, and lightning represent both gifts and punishments from Enkai,” who not only created, but dwells within the Mau Forest, particularly in the form of “fog or mists.” Although “He” is defined by colorful dualities that animate nearly every aspect of the life of the forest, in essence “He” has two qualities: Enkai Narok, which is associated with the Good, the Black, the Superior, and the North, and is embodied by thunder and rain, and Enkai Na-nyokie, which is associated with the Angry, the Red, the Minor, and the South, and is frequently embodied by lightning. These “divine aspects” permeate the forest, which is regarded as a microcosm of Enkai—both fertile and ferocious, creative and destructive, good and angry. “The forest,” summarizes Olol-Dapash, “is whole, in every aspect. It symbolizes creation in its complete state. It holds life, holds hope, holds misery, holds lightning.… The forest represents so many things. It is not just a creation, but an expression of God.”
“The forest, and in particular the Mau Forest,” he concludes, “has, for centuries, played a significant role in the passage of our … spiritual beliefs … from generation to generation.… The subsequent appropriation [of it], therefore, has [undermined] and continues to undermine our spiritual identity. With little or no economic resources to seek legal redress, the Maasai could very well lose these sacred lands altogether,” and along with them, the heart of their ancestral religion, the center of their spiritual sanctuary, and the “body” of their God.
“The very survival of the Maasai culture is intricately dependent on our people’s relationship to the land.” — MERC