What’s All This Stuff About the Akhu Anyway?

I tend to notice that the blogs I follow go in patterns. This really isn’t as amazing as my title would make it out to be. Most of the pagan blogs I follow, follow one another so when someone writes a post about something, someone else gets inspired and follows along the same theme. However, I do know that there are some pagan blogs that aren’t followed by the same people and in that instance, I begin to grow intrigued when I see numerous people blogging along the same lines. It’s like, “How do they all start thinking about this kind of thing at the same time, anyway?” That being said, can we guess what the hell the current pagan blog trend is? That’s right: the akhu, or for those not in the know and not willing to click the link I posted, ancestors!

Since everyone keeps posting about the Deadz, this has left me wondering what in the world is going on with my practice and my Deadz. To be perfectly frank, I haven’t been doing much in the way of anything. The Old Man gets his coffee every morning (and if he’s particularly snarky, then he gets some rum in there), but that’s pretty much all I’ve been doing. I’ve been kind of obsessing with writing a theology that works for me and this particular project that Hetharu gave to me that everything has fallen to the wayside. Hell, I still haven’t pulled my statuary out of the cabinet since the last set of possible-buyers [of our rental property] came through last week. I haven’t felt the need to do much, and with all of that going around in my head and around me, I get smacked in the face with quite a few people going on about what they’re doing for the akhu. It makes me wonder if this particular spin in the wheel has more to do with what I’m not doing (and have claimed to want to do, as well as made vague movements toward doing) and should be, versus just how the pagan blogging hemisphere is turning at this moment in time.

I’ve been, sort of, working toward and with my akhu. It hasn’t made much of a mention here because it’s been smaller blog entries of a personal nature on my personal blog about my Deadz. I’ve written about both of my grandmothers so far and have had a work-in-progress entry for my dad for the last couple of months. To me, this is more of a genealogy project than anything to do with my akhu, but then again, in regards to the pagan hemisphere, worshiping your ancestors and the genealogical research that goes along with it tend to go hand-in-hand. I’m not one of your typical pagans (as evidenced by the fact that I’m more likely to tell people about my practice/what I’m doing/who I work with/etc., go on and on about how often I screw things up, and talk about the things that people just “don’t discuss” for whatever reason), but when it comes to getting down with my Deadz, I’m fairly typical. In this particular purpose, though, I want to be remembered by my descendents and feel that if that is the case, then I should probably end up working with those who have predeceased me. And if I have it written down in a public venue, it’ll be easier if/when they have to start all over with my family members. (Note to self: think about making a workbook, with memories and pictures, for descendents at some crazy future date.)

But, I’ve begun to realize that my reclusive nature is getting in the way of all of this akhu stuff. I have been out to cemeteries and taken pictures, but I’ve been curiously absent from all of the cemeteries that hold the bodies of my Deadz. It’s like I can talk about them in a public venue, such as my personal blog, but actually going to them and spending time with them is beyond me. I’m not sure what the nature behind this is, actually. I feel like there is something there, holding me back, but I couldn’t really say what it is. My father’s grave is, literally, a five-minute drive down the road from where I live, and yet, I haven’t been by to see him since I went to the Maplewood Cemetery in December. (Sheesh. December? That long? Wow!) I’m fairly eclectic about when I feel the need to visit my dad, which mostly coincides with when I’m having a particularly down phase, but I should go to him more. I should bring him gifts; I should bring him offerings; I should at least talk to him on a fairly regular basis. And yet… There’s that something… holding me back.

And you know, I have never gone to visit either of my grandmothers, my papa, or my great-grandmother, either. I always managed to make excuses that were ridiculous. “I don’t know where the cemetery is.” “I don’t have enough gas to get out there.” “I don’t want to show up empty-handed.” “The office isn’t open to show me where to go.” Some of these excuses are fairly valid, but how hard is it to open up Google and do a search? How often has any of us used our Google-fu to find particularly trying or elusive bits of information about whatever subject matter we were curious about? And how hard is it to go to Find A Grave and look up who I need to look up? Apparently, in my head, it is the hardest thing since I gave birth, or something, because it took me this long before I finally went and did it.

That’s right: I now have the locales of my Deadz.

It’s just a matter of actually going there. And again, that something that holds me back… I seriously have to wonder what all that is about. And why I’ve been keeping myself so distant from things that I’ve made quite clear are supposed to be, and so therefore, are very important to me when it comes to my practice. In the mean time, all I can say is a big thanks to everyone who thought writing about their akhu recently was a good idea. You’ve given me the slight nudge I needed to at least begin this song and dance.

Relevant Posts

  1. Redeeming the Ancestors by Tana.
  2. Ancestor Shrine by Veggiewolf.
  3. The Nine Noble Virtues: Ancestry by Lucius Svartwulf.
  4. Anpu/Anubis by Picklewalsh. (You might not think that this has anything to do with the akhu, but you’re wrong! Wrong, I say! Wrong! But, seriously, Anpu has everything to do with the Deadz.)

14 thoughts on “What’s All This Stuff About the Akhu Anyway?

  1. I knbow this might seem counter intuative beeing that i follow a Kemetic path too, but i myself also find myself never really going the cemetery to worship my ancestors, or even to visit. I think in the past 7 years i have been once. That is because i belive they are around me, not stuck in a box as ash. I have my Akhu shrine in the house and do everything i need there.

    So if i was you i would not feel so bad.

    Thanks for the link back in the article too :)

    • Honestly, I think I’d feel better about it if I did more with my akhu shrine. Pretty much, I dust it once or twice a week… and that’s about it!

  2. I’m with Picklewash on this one, and I’m not even Kemetic! ;-)

    Although my 4th G-grandma was born about 1/2 hour away from where my p’s now live, she’s buried 5 hours away from here. As are my grandparents and most every other relative I am aware of. (I can literally finger walk through the 1920 census of a particular town and highlight people I’m related to. It’s ridiculous. And not even southern!)

    My Peeps are in the spooky room waiting for me. They’re all around me as well, as I know when the cardinals get particularly feisty (grandpa!). I have my grandma’s first wedding ring that I wear as a reminder of that…it helps to remember they’re there.

    I can’t get out to the homeland (only 5 hours away but still) to visit. If Mohammed won’t go to the Mountain, the Mountain comes to Mohammed…;-)

    What you do with the cemeteries is truly a beautiful thing. There are many of the Dead who appreciate your efforts. And sure, I bet you feel you should do the same/similar for your own peeps. But don’t beat yourself up about it. They wouldn’t like that either.

    • I can definitely understand not going to see them, with graves being so far away. About once a year or so, my grandfather and my uncle take a pilgrimage to go to the grave sites of our various Deadz: that’s eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire Deadz combined. So, based on distance and how long it would take to go for a ten minute conversation, I can see that.

      And I have a shrine, but as I mentioned to Picklewalsh, above, I can’t help but sit there and think that I’m not doing enough for my Deadz. I’m so focused on the unknown and unloved Deadz that I’m forgetting I have some, too. I don’t know.

      But, I am worried about the whole being held back thing. It’s like, I’m trying to sabotage whatever relationships I want to build with my Deadz. Yeah, I have a place in my home for them that I could go to and chat, but since I have the Great Atheist at home, this makes it uncomfortable and difficult to say the things I want to say. So, by going to the cemeteries, I can say whatever I want, whenever I want. But, again, something holds me back. I wonder what.

      • That is a good question. And I get it. For a loooong time, I didn’t do much in the spooky room myself. Why? I dunno. It was there, I was here…I just didn’t. And I often felt that same block. Wish I had some tips on how to get over it, but I don’t. I do think that realizing it’s there is a good first step, though.

        Get what you’re saying about the Great Atheist. Hubby’s warming up to the whole thing, but it’s taken me a while to get him there. I’m VERY lucky to have the extra room & the time with him out of the house to do whatever I want. Lucky in some ways, not lucky in others…y’know. There’s a trade there.

        • Isn’t that one of the things therapists always say, “recognizing the problem is the first step” or something? So, at least I’ve gotten that part out of the way.

          I always hope that by talking to him about things, I’ll get through to him. Unfortunately, what ends up happening is that he makes some snide comment that makes me want to brain him with my cauldron.

  3. I’m *very* fortunate with my Hubby. He’s like the opposite of an atheist. EVERYTHING IS TRUE. <–seriously.

    When I set up the spooky room, I showed him around. You know me…you know how crowded and confused it is in there? Here's Papa Legba, here's Eleggua, here's Brigid, here's Baba Yaga, here's Greenman, here's my Ancestors, here's the table for his Ancestors (I left a space intentionally, hoping…), here's Ganesh and Laxmi…and the Easterns are upstairs (Buddha and Kwan Yin). Know what he says? "We need a spot for some American Indian and Nordic…" etc.

    Basically, he's a god-collector. But he does absolutely nothing as far as work or dedication goes. Unless you count reading Art of War. He does that annually. Even has a mini-copy for the car. Lol. Honestly, I think he just wants to honor each-and-every-one because he wants to cover all the bases. You know, one of them *might* be right? Completely different kind of annoying…!!!

    Heh. Like the idea of braining him with my cauldron tho. Problem is, I might just dent my cauldron, and he'd probably barely notice it.

    • That is incredibly lucky. I wish I had a Hubby who at least believed in something. Even if it was aliens or Atlantis, I could work with it!

      My cauldron is cast iron. I definitely do NOT have to worry about denting it. Heh.

        • TH watches those alien discovery shows, but mostly to get on my nerves. I’m all for the belief in aliens out there, but I really just do not hold with them having anything to do with us, whatsoever. If they’re advanced enough, I think, to travel in an intergalactic capacity, then they should know we’re too idiotic and self-centered to be visited, probed, or given ancient knowledge of any sort. And I’ve always believed in Atlantis.

          • Sounds familiar.

            I’ll admit, I’m a little obsessed with those alien shows…and yes, I’ve read all the books…lol. But taking it all seriously…SO seriously that it would be a religion? That, I don’t think I could handle. Mostly because I agree with what you said. It’s fun to read about, but I draw the line there.

            The Atlantis thing…yeah, I believe it existed. I just don’t buy what your average New Ager says about it…again, people who have that zealous belief in Atlantis (and channel spirits from there, etc.) sort of creep me out. Even though, again, it’s a very interesting subject to study…

            • Whenever I rant about things on FB, TH will invariably find a picture of that frizzy haired weirdo from the alien TV shows that has some pertinence to what I’m railing on about. Yet another joy-filled moment of love between the two of us. Sigh.

              What do New Agers say about Atlantis?

              • What don’t they say? *sigh* There’s all sorts of “information” coming from Atlantean spirits. I have a crystal pyramid that someone paid $200 bucks for I received as a wedding present from a study group I used to attend. Why so expensive? Because the directions on how to create it were channeled from a spirit from Atlantis. These things usually cost about $25. But it’s supposed to raise the frequency of energy in the room…whatever.

                If you have any time, just surf around the net looking for stuff…it’ll blow your mind, I promise. I’m out of touch with it all now…that study group was about 10 years ago or more, but I’m sure they’re still out there.

                That alien guy is funny…I’ve never seen one of his shows but there’s all sorts of pics out there making fun of him so I know who he is.

  4. Pingback: Visiting My Deadz, May Visit. « Mystical Bewilderment on The Spiritual Turnpike

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