SUN RA - The man, the myth, the legend

Welcome back for our 5th installment of BPEITF! I am so hype for this one! Today we’ll be honouring visionary,  jazz musician, poet, band leader, oracle, mystic, thinker, Saturnian & THEE ORIGINATOR of modern Afrofuturist thought, SUN RA.

Sun Ra, given name, Herman Blount was born on May 22, 1914 in Birmingham, Alabama. He began being professionally trained on the piano at a very young age. Over the years Sun Ra was known as Sonny, Le Sony’r Ra and finally Sun Ra. As a child he was called “Moon Man” because of him writing in his journal about being abducted by aliens and being probed. He said that he was told during his abduction that he would become a teacher of all mankind. After this experience, Sun Ra grew to deny ever being born or having experienced any part of his early life. For the rest of his life, he maintained that he was from Saturn. Sun Ra was a pacifist and was jailed for opposing the war (WW2). Eventually, Sun Ra went on to put together his Arkestra, a band of anywhere from 10-15 people depending on who was playing with them at the time. The band lived communally and Sun Ra demanded a rigorous rehearsal schedule. They practiced around the clock. Sun Ra was said to rarely sleep, only taking short naps. He didn’t have a romantic life, didn’t smoke, drink or do any drugs and was a vegetarian. He devoted his life to his music, his message and praising the divine through sound. Sun Ra was also a poet and an orator. He could talk for hours on end, only stopping to play music or perform, and picking up the conversation right where he left off. As intense as he was, he was said to be a warm person and very funny. He was well versed in mysticism and esoteric topics. He was committed to the same message of black people transcending their earthly conditions and returning to the cosmos for over 50 years. His philosophies were bigger than music, he sought to broaden the collective consciousness. Is it any wonder why I feel so connected to this honourable ancestor? Over his life, Sun Ra released over 150 LPs. The Arkestra was one of the first jazz bands to use electronic instruments (as early as 1956) like the synthesizers and the electric piano. Sun Ra was ahead of his time. 

On an astrology note, everything Sun Ra believed in & his ways of being are heavy, heavy Saturnian energy. The planet Saturn governs limitations, restrictions, discipline, ambition and responsibility. Saturn is The Teacher. You could make the connections to Sun Ra & Saturn easily even if he didn’t claim to be born there. But he did claim that and who’s to say he wasn’t. We aren’t only born at the beginning of our lives, it’s possible to have many births. He also claimed to have visited Jupiter. Funnily enough, Sun Ra was a Gemini Sun, and he had many other Gemini placements in his chart. Gemini is ruled by Mercury which is the planet of communication. Think about every Gemini you know, they are some talking ass mfs. Gemini is associated with thought process and the conscious mind. Gemini’s are conceptual. They are the “mad scientist”, the “mad geniuses”. Sun Ra was cosmic. Sun Ra lived his purpose work. On May 30, 1993, Sun Ra “departed” Earth & went back home to Saturn after a life well lived. Sun Ra’s music has been sampled many times and he is what’s known as a musician's musician. 



It’s been such a joy discovering and learning about honourable ancestor, Sun Ra. To many he was an eccentric and thought to be “crazy”. I believe Sun Ra was not of this world and completed what he came to do. That is what it’s all about. Finding our divine destiny and living it out. Sun Ra is, was and always will be AFROFUTURISM.

- eleven



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