Sometimes, I think I’m an oddity in the Kemetic community, considering how very important veneration of the akhu is in my practice. Most of my community doesn’t have as much in it as I do. They have moments where they say prayers or where they offer items for their akhu, but they don’t hold as much… not faith or stock… they don’t do it as often as I do. I am very careful to remember my akhu on their birth and death anniversaries. I set lights for their souls and feed them at every opportunity. I also don’t care too much about akhu who would be considered… jerks or assholes, I suppose, by some of the others in my Kemetic community. To me, an akhu is an akhu is an akhu. And while I never knew the grandmother on my biological father’s side, I know that she has passed from this world and she has joined my general remembrance of all my akhu.
I’m also exceptionally strange in the fact that I have added people whom I never knew, with no biological connection to me, as part of my akhu veneration.
The thing is that, now, when I think of akhu, I don’t tend to just refer to the people who I venerate who are my specific biological ancestors or the ones who are a part of my family via adoption or intermarriage any longer. I tend to view all the work I do in the cemeteries, going there and remembering them and feeding their spirits, as part of my akhu veneration. I don’t know these people and they never had a slip to do with how I ended up on this planet and in this body with these particular genetics, but they have vastly become part and parcel to what I refer to when I think akhu veneration. And I think that’s also part of the oddity, as well; what some people would think of as simply working with the Deadz, I’ve long since jettisoned that terminology and those feelings to encompass a large group of people who most wouldn’t categorize as part of their practice.
I find myself exceptionally amazed at the transition of my path in just the one year I’ve solidly put into this work. I went from working with the intention of just cleaning up some cemeteries and possibly aiding some genealogical researchers to suddenly feeling that if I cannot do these things – go the cemetery, leave my offerings, take my pictures – then I am as good as dead, myself. It’s so all-pervasive that with the possible future change in weather, I am nearly champing at the bit, ready to get back out and into the cemeteries, to clean up, to feed, and to love and remember.
Who would have guessed this was what I could expect?
Certainly not me.
It’s funny, though, how things transition without you realizing it. You start a practice and you think, this could be fun. And as time slips by, you get into the swing of things or into a groove. And when that groove becomes commonplace, then you realize that it truly becomes a part and parcel to what it is you are looking to building, looking to do. And before you know it, you are not merely venerating akhu as is commonly associated in a Kemetic standpoint, but you are suddenly surrounded by akhu, akhu whom you’ve never known or will ever know, but there they are.
This whole veneration thing… it certainly takes on a life of its own…