In my last post, I mentioned that heka had little bearing in my personal practice, though as a Kemetic concept, it should have run concurrently. It wasn’t until Emky‘s post about heka that I really began to understand the concept. It wasn’t just magic (the most common translation of heka and incorrect) and the power within that heka was trying to convey to me, but it was the work that goes into living in ma’at. This is the most basic of basics in my Kemetic practice. (It’s the foundation and will probably appear in its own PBP entry at a later time.) And it is now that I am finally beginning to see that the two should run concurrent for the two go hand-in-hand.
In thinking about how to write this entry, I’ve thought back throughout my life and wondered where heka has ever played a part. To be honest, I have to admit that the concept has been lacking. I seem to have the issue where that moment before speaking aloud, the one where your little conscience steps in and says, “You can’t say that,” is curiously missing. I have a tendency to just let whatever I want to say come out of my mouth, without thinking of the consequences of said act of speech. I tend to call it “verbal vomit.” It is because of this that I have achieved the status of “legend” amongst my friends, specifically the Sister, when I made a lumber jack cry. (True story. Whiskey was involved, but I get the distinct impression that no one is very impressed with that little excuse.) And I begin to feel, well, beyond merely “sorry” that I am one of those idiots that verbally spew out whatever is in their head’s. I am embarrassed and ashamed that I am one of those idiots that let’s everything spill out without letting it pass by the conscience first.
The embarrassment and the shame aren’t merely just because I’ve managed to say things to hurt other people. These are aspects that I have had to answer for (or will) already. The shame and embarrassment almost entirely stem from the fact that I have been trying to live a good life, a decent life, with ma’at at its focus. I put the grocery carts away. I turn the other cheek whenever someone disparages my religion, whether knowing or otherwise that I am a practicing pagan. I try not to incite riots with my political beliefs. (This one I have the hardest time with…) These are the things that I do on a daily basis so that I can see myself as living in ma’at, but it is the aspect of heka that I should have been paying more attention to. I should have been more aware of conscious speech as opposed to just letting whatever I felt like spouting off about shoot out of my mouth like verbal vomit. I should have been more aware.
Words hurt other people. There is the childhood rhyme that comes to mind here. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me. This is curiously inaccurate. I think our parents and teachers teach us this rhyme in an effort to ignore the bullying, the cruelty of other children that goes on around us. But even though a broken bone aches abominably for weeks (AND ITCHES LIKE A BITCH IN THAT CAST) or a bruised eye is incredibly aggravating until it fully heals, it is the name-calling and the words that come out without thinking before speaking that makes up the most pains. Those are the pains of the soul and the ego. Those are the aches that are harder to heal later on down the road whilst a broken bone can be set and you can help a black eye by icing it down as well as soaking it in comfrey root tea.
And of course, I am guilty of that sin.
This is something that I definitely feel more than just a “small” need to rectify. I take my afterlife very seriously and why I know that my ka will break off to reincarnate in the future, I do not wish to have the other aspects of THE SOUL™ being devoured by Ammit. I do not wish to become part of the wandering dead, the beings who are homeless and flightless and stuck for eternity to roam the earth at the bidding of others. While I can only truly live in this day and age at this moment in time, these future points are part of what I believe and so, very important. I kind of liken it to a good Catholic: they go to confession to confess their sins so that they can, ultimately, achieve the goal of meeting up with St. Peter when they get up to the Pearly Gates. I don’t have anyone that I can confess my sins to aside from my gods, but I think that in the act of living more piously and more in tune with ma’at the negativity of my heart will be outweighed by the goodness I tried to achieve. And part of that goodness is thinking before I speak.