The following question was posted on the forum and I felt that both the question and my response should be posted here…
My question: as modern followers of Kemetic paths, how important are Shai and shai? Do we believe destiny is preordained, or do we believe we control our destiny…with or without Divine intervention? Should we be honoring Shai on a routine basis?
I think the importance is entirely based on the personal spin you put on your religion. Some of us are reconstructionists, others are revivalist, and still others are a conglomerate. It depends on what you bring in with your preconceived notions about just such a thing: how important is destiny and what does it mean to you?
(My rambling thoughts are entirely based on UPG here, so…)
I think destiny is pre-ordained, but only to a certain extent. I think that certain basic elements of a human life span are set into being at the moment of conception. Person A will live a good life in middle class suburbia and go on to be a doctor. Person B will grow up in the ghetto, but will pull him/herself out because good schooling is hammered into their brain. Etc. Etc. However, there is the entire aspect of divine intervention but I think we also need to consider free will. In a lot of books, both historic and fiction, free will is the problem.
Person A was supposed to have a great life living in middle class suburbia, but Mom and Dad got a divorce when s/he was eleven and this just about devastated him/her. S/he takes it personal and a tail spin ensues. In the end, instead of becoming a doctor, s/he fails out of college and ends up working in a truck stop. Person B grew up in the ghetto, but decided to join a gang for protection and now s/he is living the dangerous life. Both of these non-existent people made decisions, either conscious or otherwise, to have lives but not the ones that Shai would have meted out to them.
And again, here comes divine intervention. A spiritual experience pulses through Person B and s/he “sees the light” so to speak. They go to college, get a doctorate in philosophy, and teach at Harvard. Person A “sees the light” for whatever reason and ends up going back to college, gets that doctor’s degree, and discovers the cure for cancer.
As for the honoring of Shai… well, I guess that is dependent on how much control you think she has over your current life. Do I think she had everything I’m doing planned out for me? Not exactly, but I think a lot of the major instances in my life were pre-ordained. I think she wanted me, specifically, to go through those personal experiences so I can be the strong-willed b***h I am today. I think she wanted me to be the way that I am so that I would take the fancy of Sekhmet and follow the path that makes my heart cry out with such joy.
Do I believe that divine intervention has come into my life, either by the hand of Ma’at or Amun? (I’ve read that Ma’at can take a specific liking to certain people and follow them through their lives, like a guardian angel or something, which is why I mentioned her.) Yeah. I do. I think there were a couple of times where divine intervention swiveled down and said, “No. You will stop this. You are better than this. You will get better.” And here I am: I’m still alive, I’ve survived a helluva lot of shitty things and I’m kicking ass. I have a beautiful son who is just destined for great things, I’m married to the guy who was just about made for me and I have an okay job with great pay.
So. After having written all of this and thought about it some… I think some basic, “Thanks for being there,” to Shai is definitely called for now and again. Every day? Who knows. I’ll wait for that thwap.