When people say “Rastafarian” they often think dreadlocks, reggae music, Bob Marley, and of course huge amounts of marijuana or “ganja.” Rastafari is in fact so much more than simply growing out some impressive dreads and getting stoned out of your mind on daily basis, it’s a philosophy, religion, and way of life that we could all incorporate in our own lives on our path of self improvement. Here are a few interesting things about the Rastafari movement which show it’s much more than an excuse to smoke the ‘herb’ and make reggae music.
Not all Rastafarians smoke Marijuana
While a large percentage of Rasta’s regularly smoke ganja all day every day, not all Rasta’s do. The smoking of the herb is actually optional and doesn’t mean you have to smoke marijuana to become a Rasta. The weed smoking is partly the reason people haven’t always taken the religion very seriously around the world. Often those who smoke weed are drawn to the Rastafarian way of life but misunderstand what the faith is all about.
Rastafari stick to a specific diet called ‘Ital’ which comes from the word ‘vital.’ The Ital diet is very similar to the vegetarian or vegan diet but it actually differs slightly and depends on the person. Rasta’s are against what they call ‘the system’ and therefore will not eat any processed foods whatsoever. Rasta’s generally do not eat meat, and most definitely will not eat any red meat as they believe it putrefies in your stomach causing all kinds of illnesses. Sometimes fish is eaten because they believe it is allowed and written in the Bible. For the most part, it’s all about eating natural organic food grown from the land as God intended.
The return to Africa
The Rastafari religion incorporates much of the Bible and as so many of their beliefs are based around some of the things written in it. Rastafari believe that they are currently suffering in hellish conditions as their ancestors were taken from their homeland Africa against their will. Often you will hear Rastas talk about Zion which relates to their homeland Africa and a paradise on Earth. The goal of the Rasta is to return to Africa and live in Zion as God intended.
Haile Selassie Is the second coming of Christ
This is often the strangest part for many outsiders to understand about the Rastafarian movement. Many Rastas believed that the Ethiopian Prince, Haile Selassie, was the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Marcus Garvey prophesied in the early 1900s, that a new black king would rise in the homeland Africa and he would be the messiah. Shortly after this prophecy a new king was crowned in Ethiopia, his name was Haile Selassie I. Many took Selassie to be the Messiah but not all Rastas agreed with this prophecy. Selassie always denied he was the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Keep it natural
Rastas believe that the body is precious and should be treated like a temple. They are against wearing makeup, hair products, covering the skin in tattoos, and even cutting hair hence the dreadlocks. It’s all about taking care of your body and allowing it naturally flourish. Nothing bad for the body should ever enter the body which is why some Rastas won’t smoke ganja as they feel smoking, in general, is bad for their health.
No to Babylon
The Rastafari religion originated from Jamaica, where most of the black population were enslaved and shipped from Africa to work the lands. As a result, the movement became a source of empowerment for the black population and rejects the system of western society.
The Rastafari religion is against the oppressive Western “Babylonian” corrupt system and seeks to take back their own culture. When you look at the state of the Western world today, you can hardly blame them. Babylonian worship is evident throughout all Western music via symbolism and rituals hidden in plain sight.