Today, I started having a very interesting topic of conversation with two other recon-oriented Kemetics that I commune with on a daily basis. The topic began when WB asked Devo about a specific book regarding Wesir. The book in question is not important, the subsequent discussion was. What came about was a moment in time that Devo wanted more information on Wesir, and not just the standard “Sutekh killed him and he was the god of the dead and he fathered Heru because Aset was super awesome with her magix” shit that most Kemetics here on an almost daily basis. She wanted information about the cult and the history and all of that fun and exciting stuff that we’re not going to pick up because we’ve read the mythos a thousand and ten times. She wanted to peel back the layers of the god that we see today – an oversimplified example being that he hates Sutekh because his brother slaughtered him – and see him as he was prior to this.
And someone actually replied to her that she should look to Plutarch.
Now, as any good Kemetic knows, you need to take Plutarch with a grain of sand or not at all. In my practice, Plutarch has absolutely no bearing whatsoever. I have a few reasons and I’ll list them. First of all, I tend to find him as a Greek propagandist. If I wanted the Greek version of everything, I would be Graeco-Egyptian in my practice and not a full-fledged Kemetic. Secondly, his stuff is fucking boring as hell. If I refuse to read Shakespeare and Shelley and Tolkien because I find them boring, why in the world would I make an exception just because someone wrote their boring drivel years and years before those people? And lastly, I am not going to buy a book that was written in the Roman era of ancient Egypt. Again, if I wanted that kind of watered down mythos, I would be a Romanic Egyptian in practice instead of a Kemetic.
There’s something that most people who pretend to be recon and actually aren’t don’t seem to understand: those of us who are recon-oriented in our practice tend to choose from a specific time frame and work our paths from that. I know, I know. That’s probably pretty crazy, right? Why take something from a time frame when all of the information is available in later time periods as well? And maybe those time periods have more information than some of the older ones that we may choose to work from. The thing is that the later time periods’ information is probably pretty watered down. Let’s go with an example from Kemetic practices.
Sutekh. He is the biggest and best example a Kemetic can show in all of the changes to mythology. At first, we have Sutekh as a necessary and loved god. He had a cult center; he had people who went to him. He had an entire kingdom all to himself before the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt happened. After that, he gets a little shunted to the side. No big deal; he’s still pretty important. He makes sure Re can get past Ap*p every night. Then, we go through changes in socio-political, specifically the changing of various religious and politic capitals in ancient Egyptian history, and Sutekh gets shunted some more. But it’s still not a huge deal… until the Second Intermediate Period when the Hyksos came down, overtook the entire country, forcing the kings to pay them homage as supreme awesome bitch-slappers, and start worshiping Sutekh as the greatest god ever. After that, when we hit the 18th Dynasty, we start seeing more and more that Sutekh is considered an “evil” god. This probably had more to do with the fact that foreigners had come in and ruled the country while worshiping this god of chaos and the desert. (Any Kemetic worth their salt knows just how much the ancient Egyptians hated foreigners.) And things kind of just went downhill from there for Sutekh until we have how evil he is in what he did to his brother and his nephew and no one should ever give him lettuce as an offering and we should all be careful in working with him because, HE IS THE EGYPTIAN DEVIL.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: gods have facets. They change; they grow; they learn; they repent; they forgive. If we only look to this super selective aspect to a god, such as Sekhmet’s blood lusting and war faring capabilities, then we are doing her other portions a complete injustice. She is also the goddess of healing. She is also the goddess of protecting the pharaohs. These are all aspects, or facets, of who she is that other people forget when they see her as a “wrathful goddess.” And the same can be said of Sutekh and Wesir, Hetharu and Heru, Re and Amun, Wepwawet and Djehuti. All of these gods have specific arenas that they are well-known for, but they have other portions as well. And people forget that. And I honestly believe that part of the reason that people forget this kind of thing because they only take the most watered down and newest versions of the cult centers and the myths, things written by the likes of Plutarch for example, and forget that ancient Egyptian history spans three thousand years.
Three. Thousand. Years. Of. Information. And people just want to take the newest portions they can?
This is me, shaking my finger and shaking my head.