Grave Moss & Stars

Posts Tagged ‘sekhmet’

Merry Moomas!

Today, in the Kemetic calendar, is the Establishment of the Celestial Cow. As my Mother, Hethert-Nut, is Hethert-as-Nut, cow-as-sky, I feel this is particularly appropriate to continue my research into the Book of the Celestial Cow.

Snippets obtained from the links found here. I am fairly sure the person who translated these into English and German was originally a francophone, because some of the English really doesn’t match the French. When I have time, I’m going to go back through and see if I can’t reckon some slightly more accurate translations. Thank Netjer I can still read French pretty well. For now, however, the bits involving (Hethert-)Nut:

“Be not disappointed, be not weary.
You have power over all You wish.”
Then said the majesty of Re
to the majesty of Nun:
“My limbs are feeble as in primeval times,
I will not return until another cycle overtakes Me.”
Then the majesty of Nun said:
“My son Shu!
Let Your eye look upon Your father, and protect Him.
My daughter Nut,
place Him on Your back!”

Nut became a cow,
and the majesty of Re was on Her back.

Men were astonished when,
from the location to which they had fled,
they saw Him on the back of the cow.

His majesty proceeded to His palace
on the back of this cow,
and He was together with the gods.

Then this god said to Nut:
“I placed myself on Your back to be elevated, what then?”
So said He, and Nut
became the sky.
The majesty of this god begged:
“Be far from them and elevate Me, that I may see them.”
And the On High came into being.
Then the majesty of this god
looked into Her,
and She said: “Make Me into a multitude!” And stars came into being.

Then Nut began to shake, owing to the height.
And the majesty of Re said:
“Had I only the Heh gods to support Her!” And then the Heh gods came into being.
Then the majesty of Re said:
“My son Shu,
place Yourself under My daughter Nut
and guard for Me the four Heh gods of the east and the four Heh gods of the west
who live in twilight.
Place Her on your head and keep Her.”

Read the rest of this entry »

meeting kin

My heart is flying right now and colored a familiar shade of red.

FenCon was fucking amazing. I have never been to a con before, but this one was about 15 minutes from where we work, and J was so excited about it because Joe Bethancourt would be there. It was Friday evening, Saturday all day, and then most of the day Sunday (closed at 5).

I met a fellow Sekhmet follower, one of the ladies in the dealer room who was selling beautiful jewelry that was way too brilliant and vivid for me. I bought a beautiful antler-tip pendant with subtle curly carvings on the top from her, the only item that she had that jived with my style; I kept putting it down and picking it back up again, which is usually a sign that I’mma get something.

I was wearing a silver Celtic/Nordic lion pendant, and she said, “I see you like Nordic stuff,” and I said, “Well, yeah, Celtic, Nordic, and Egyptian.” She said, “I’m right there with you on the Egyptian stuff,” so I did what I will occasionally, rarely do, and I pulled the Sekhmet pendant from beneath my shirt and showed her.

She broke into a grin. “Sekhmet!”

“You recognize Her!” I replaced the pendant beneath my shirt. “Not many do.”

She smiled at me. “She’s my goddess.”

My heart leapt at those words. Click, there you go – two strangers beaming at each other across a card table, excited and happy and a little awed at making that connection, at sharing something intimate and unusual.

PS~ There was a live SJ Tucker concert in Redmond this weekend, and it was recorded! You can watch it here – there are a lot of songs I haven’t heard before, which surprises and delights me. =3

thinkin’ o’ de spirit

So I read this, which compares spirituality to martial arts as an intro and asks if your spirituality is good enough for you. (My phrasing, not the writer’s.)

And I thought about it. Hmm. What has my spiritual path, in all its twists and turns, done for me?

I took up martial arts in Sekhmet’s name, which deeply affected my self-identity and my physical health and my ability to relate to people, all for the better.

At Sekhmet’s request, I learned (and continue to learn) an amazing amount about ancient Egypt, not just religion and mythology but also magic and their forms of ethics, which parallel nicely my Eastern-based ones. And I have bonded deeply with friends and met wonderful people, found an entire community in fact, through this.

I completely revolutionized my personal paradigm in order to drop all the shoulds and keep only what was true to me, in experience and belief. This process also meant leaving my attempt at being a hard polytheist and adopting the “diamond metaphor,” which I later learned represents what’s called monolatry. Conveniently, this is the Kemetic Orthodoxy point-of-view – and my paradigm-shift had Sekhmet as its catalyst.

I committed to improving and caring for myself, in all ways. Part of that was physical work, again in Sekhmet’s name, but all the emotional and mental bits have been zen-based, working towards peace and compassion and gentleness. That zen work, seeking to live in Tao (and in ma’at, as it turns out), has been possibly my greatest challenge.

“An’ it harm none, do as ye will” was also a world-changer for me. The harm-none part goes hand in hand with the above-mentioned peacefulness, but the other part stands out brightly: I can do whatever I want. I don’t have to play by the rules or abide by expectations. I can make my own life, forge my own path, and seek my own fortune. So I have, and I have a wonderful, amazing, rather unpredictable life; it is not as adventurous as some, nor as secure as others, but it is mine, and I dearly love it.

My entire worldview is entrenched deeply in the natural world, its soil and its creatures, its rhythms and its cycles. This has not so much changed or catalyzed my life as grounded it, buried it with the roots of the mountains, kept it safe and solid as long as I remember to reach down and touch the earth. I understand more, about anything and everything, when I look at things through animal eyes. I grok the human animal, and I find more compassion for my fellow living people of all species by knowing how the brain and body work. Life makes more sense when my heart lives in the soil.

Yeah, I think I’m pretty okay with my spirituality. :D

have some gleeful babbling

So, to some/most people, my sudden obsessive interest in Kemeticism is probably a surprise. And since the whole package deal fills me with happy wriggles and excitement and connection, I might as well ramble and explain some of it! At least the basics, right?

First, some pertinent links:

About Kemetic Orthodoxy
About the creator and leader of Kemetic Orthodoxy
Kemetic Orthodoxy forums aka the House of Netjer (I’m Emky on all forums)
Kemetic Interfaith Network forums (a place for all Kemetics, not just Kemetic Orthodoxy, to come together and talk and socialize and share and learn)

And pertinent terms (put into my own words):

– Netjer = the Universal Soul, the divinity and life-force within all things (also: godhead, the Source, etc)
– Netjeru / Names = Netjer pluralized, the forms that Netjer takes, gods

Years ago, I came up with a diamond metaphor to explain how I view the Universal Soul and gods/archetypes. To my shock, I found the exact same metaphor used, entirely independently of me, in the teaching materials of the beginner course. Basically, if one considers Netjer/the Universal Soul/the Great Spirit/God/etc as an infinitely faceted diamond, so huge and shining as to be incomprehensible by the human mind in Its whole, then each facet – distinct, individual-yet-connected – is a Netjeru/god/archetype/etc. And each facet can be further faceted down (for example, Sekhmet-as-destroyer and Sekhmet-as-healer), even going so far as to get completely subjective views (Sekhmet-as-She-appears-to-me). That’s what monolatry is, somewhere along the spectrum of hard and soft polytheism, and that’s the Kemetic Orthodoxy view. Which, apparently, I adopted before I even knew about the religion. :D

– ma’at = the concept of rightness, justice, truth, and order; not exactly “good” (similar to Tao but not the same)
– isfet = bad shit, anti-ma’at; the concept of wrongness, chaos; not exactly “evil” (similar to sin but not the same)
– heka = authoritative utterance; spoken or written magic
– henu = a physical gesture of deep respect and praise, often phrased as “offers henu”; see illustration, can also be done with forearms/hands/forehead pressed to floor in a kneeling position
– nekhtet! = “victory”, used when one might say “huzzah!” or “booyah!”
– dua = praise/hail, phrased as “Dua [deity]!”
– the Duat = the Unseen world; the horizon
– Hemet / the Nisut = the leader of Kemetic Orthodoxy
– Wep Ronpet = Kemetic new year, based on the rising of Sirius over the horizon (and thus close to the inundation)
– em hotep = “in peace”, a Kemetic greeting
– ka = part of the human soul that is the psyche/personality of the current incarnation; one’s essence, which one can feed/nourish by doing awesome things for oneself; this is the bit that gets venerated as an ancestor after death
– ba = the eternal part of the human soul, that which outlasts the body’s death; this is the bit that reincarnates or resides forever after with Netjer
– Remetj = “the people”, friends of the faith, folks who participate in and follow the tenets of Kemetic Orthodoxy but have not committed to it as their foremost path
– Shemsu = devotees, those who have sworn to uphold Kemetic tenets and honor Kemetic deities before all others (but are still totally allowed to have other practices/worship non-Kemetic gods, which is awesome)

I don’t expect anyone to remember all of this, of course, but I figured an entry to reference might help the unfamiliar when I drop a term and forget to define it afterwards. ^^;

To sum up the path that led me to Kemetic Orthodoxy… In 2005, I initiated a relationship with Sekhmet; for a lot of reasons at the time, I needed Her. For the first couple years, it was a request-based relationship, but we got much tighter when She requested that I study Egyptian religion and mythology. (I had protested that I was no good with ceremonialism, but She wanted me to know as much as I could so that I could blend Her culture with my own organic spirituality as well as possible. I figured it was a fair compromise. Knowledge can’t hurt, right?) I did an initial round of study, deepened my devotion to Her, and this year, came into the urge/calling for another round of more in-depth study.

As a part of that study, I took the beginner course offered by Kemetic Orthodoxy, acquired like ten new books (with so many more on the wishlist…), and found people I respect and adore in the community. Turns out that (this brand of) Kemeticism is not nearly so ceremonial-magicky as I thought; some state practices are formal, but most personal practice is spontaneous and/or flexible. I never really thought I’d find a spiritual community that resonated well with me, that so supported individual experiences and subjective differences and tolerance, but I have, and I love it dearly. Also, for the first time in many a year, I feel drawn towards deities other than Sekhmet, which is amazing and a little nervous-making, but I’m eager to explore. Hell, I’m even wanting to turn this ravenous appetite for knowledge-experience back on Celtic mythology, which I never realized felt like home turf until I ventured back into the green.

I am just… utterly amazed by the vibe the Kemetic Orthodoxy community gives off. It’s like basking in sunlight, wanting to roll around to absorb every last bit of warmth and brilliance. These people aren’t just devoted to what they believe, they aren’t just worshipping and taking joy in their gods, they’re learning and studying and debating and doing. They fuse mind and spirit, body and word. The primary personal rite, Senut, even has suggested maximums of typical time spent in it because one should be out living this life they’re celebrating, not staying in shrine dawn to dusk. (Uh, priests have slightly different expectations, of course, but the emphasis on Living Life remains.) That’s so cool to me. And, while Kemetic Orthodoxy does have certain tenets central to the faith, they aren’t The Only Way. It may be the Kemetic Orthodoxy way, but if you don’t jive with that, if you don’t believe it or practice it, no problem – it doesn’t make you wrong, even though it may make you not-Kemetic-Orthodox. Tolerance for the win!

And yes, everything about Kemetic Orthodoxy and the friends I have made within it is infused with NRE (new relationship energy; the buzz, the dazzle, the endorphin glow). I am excited and giddy about my fellow beginners, about the upcoming graduation process that will see us offered a place within the religion as either Remetj (see aforementioned terminology list) or Shemsu, depending on where we want to be and the level of commitment we wish. I want to keep challenging myself to learn more, experience more, and do more. It’s an amazing, eye-opening thing, and since my core beliefs and worldview parallel or overlap the Kemetic Orthodoxy tenets, I can stay true to myself while engaging fully.

tl;dr version: Kemetic Orthodoxy is crazy-awesome and jives with me really well and I’m super-happy with it. :D

My Opposite

Where She stands tall in light, I lie low in shadow.
Where She roars in fury, I am quiet in calm.
Where She loses control to violence, I maintain self-control in pacifism.
Where She is pacified by blood and wine, I am horrified and riled by both.
Where She stalks the endless desert, I pace the wooded mountains.
Where She is fearless and feared, I am cautious and unthreatening.
Where She is blinding and burning, I am dark and cool.
Where She is a god and a ruler, I am a mortal and a citizen.
Where She is an instrument of hard justice, I am a subjective mediator.
Where She is solar fire and dry wind, I am flowing water and deep earth.
Where She is fierce yet feminine, I am gentle yet masculine.

Where She is a woman with a lion’s face, I am a lion with a woman’s face.

Where She is the sun, I am the moon, reflecting Her brilliance from a different angle.