Ausar Auset Society
The Ausar Auset Society is an African- and Kemeticcentered spiritual group founded by Ra Un Nefer Amen I (formerly Rogelio Straughn) in New York in 1973. The members, initiates, students, and community participants study and implement spiritual practices that Africans developed in ancient Kemet and in the Indus Kush civilization. Ausar Auset has 28 chapters and study groups across America and abroad in Toronto, Trinidad, Bermuda, St. Thomas, and England. The branches replicate the structural archetype established by Ra Un Nefer Amen I, Shekem Ur Shekem of the Ausar Auset Society in New York. The title Shekem Ur Shekem is Egyptian and is taken to mean “king of kings,” and there are kings (Ur Aua) and queen mothers (Ur-t Aua-t) who reign in other regions.
In the New York Het Neter, free weekly classes are held in spirituality, meditation, qigong, vegetarian cooking, homeopathy, medicine, family relationships, health, nutrition, and business ventures. A store selling products for inner development, a vegetarian restaurant, and a school comprise the multilevel complex. Ausar Auset is an independent and functional African spiritual organization that offers, primarily to people of African descent, a way of life.
The philosophy of Ausar Auset is to awaken the sacred potentiality in men and women. Through the initiation system and the oracle, adherents of Ausar Auset experience a connection to and interaction with divine instructions specific to them individually. Through the oracle that Ra Un Nefer Amen I is said to have received, the participants obtain metaphysical guidance for life situations and problem solving. In his text, Tree of Life Meditation System (1996), Amen presents the 11 realms of African and Kemetic conceptions that respond to the subconscious and conscious states.
Ra Un Nefer Amen I was born Rogelio Straughn in Panama on January 6, 1944 and raised by his mother and stepfather, Guricku and Bertram Straughn. He attended the Conservatory of Music, where at age 6 he studied piano and music theory. As a child, he also read periodicals and texts to his grandfather, Panama's first dental surgeon, who had become nearly blind. He read to his grandfather Times Magazine, Newsweek, newspapers equivalent to the New York Times, and philosophy texts such as Plato's Republic. In a 9:00 a.m. third grade class, his history teacher told the students that civilization started in Egypt. Amen saw stars and awoke at 7:00 p.m. at home in bed. Neither the family nor the school would discuss what happened in those lost hours. At 14, he read Thomas à Kempis's Imitation of Christ and The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Soon afterward, he began secretly practicing the spiritual exercises that influenced ascetic theology and monasticism.
Straughn attended a high school that produced Panama's presidents, where he studied history, political science, music, and literature. He read the works of Che Guevara, Pablo Neruda, and Jose Marti. As the youngest member of the Federation of Panamanian Students (FPS), he protested with the peasants who fought against Panama ceding land to Costa Rica. After coming to America with his parents in 1960, he protested against the Vietnam War with Students for a Democratic Society. He also continued his spiritual search. In 1962, he completely changed his diet after learning about the effects of vitamins and minerals on health. He concluded that divine spiritual potency combined with healthy living could solve the world's problems. During the 1960s, he participated in various black power organizations until he established his own group based on achieving higher realms of consciousness.
Ausar Auset members attempt to live according to divine laws from ancient theologies. Ausar Auset schools teach standard academic subjects, spiritual culture, and meditation. Men and women in Ausar Auset are entrepreneurs, priests, priestesses, queen mothers, and skilled laborers. Through the guidance of the oracle, they have the choice to participate or not to participate in polygamous or monogamous relationships. All of the children are treated like extended family. Mothers are called Mut (pronounced moot), from ancient Kemet, meaning “Mother” and “Goddess.” Fathers are called Atef, meaning “Father” and “Crown.” Ausar Auset combines the names of the ancient Ausar (Osiris) and Auset (Isis).
- Amen, Ra Un Nefer. (1990). Metu Neter, Vol. 1: The Great Oracle of Tehuti and the Egyptian System of Spiritual Cultivation. Bronx, NY: Khamit Corporation. This is the major statement of the philosophy and approach of the Ausar Auset society. This work is Amen's most important philosophical statement.
- Amen, Ra Un Nefer. (1994). Metu Neter, Vol. 2. Bronx, NY: Khamit Corporation. This is volume two of Amen's philosophy.