The above symbol is called “kqatenaan”, the easy description for the pronunciation is “kuh-teh-naan”. It’s technically more complicated than that, but if you’re interested hop on over to the Square Bracket glossary to find out more about the linguistic side of things.

This symbol and a similar one that I have tattooed in my skin means lots of different things, it’s a BIG idea. But the simple definition is that Kqatenaan is a declaration of intention to embody all aspects of a Divine path. It’s not a religious idea, but a spiritual one that is compatible with any religion. In this context, a Divine path sees an individual dedicated to truth, to knowledge and understanding, and most importantly to universal compassion for other beings. More specifically, Katenaan is used to declare the intention of a person to see every individual as a person first, and to work towards stopping oppression and hate in the world.

If you learn and understand as much as you can about the world. If you see the humanity in other people and not their differences to you. If understand compassion and fairness. If you embody compassion for others, you cannot stand by and do nothing. Understanding brings a desire to reduce suffering in others.

It is my hope that one day folks will use this symbol to declare safe spaces for oppressed groups and stand with this symbol (peacefully) against oppression and hate. Like some folks do with a rainbow banner.