Kemetic Round Table: Here Be Dragons

Subtitle: The Dragons are Really Crack

I think part of the reason I chose the “spiritual turnpike” for the name of this blog, and my path to be honest, is because I was hoping that there was a map. The only thing was that I had to find the map. No problem, though – I would search everywhere and eventually, the map would appear when I was ready. I think I expected this map to have very clear instructions on where my relationship with my gods and, more specifically, my relationship with Sekhmet was going to eventually end up. It would be a nice clean environment; it would be full of unicorn farts and glitter; and there would definitely be peanut butter cups and heart eyes. What I learned instead is that there is no map; there is absolutely no fucking anything to help guide you into unexplored territories. If I did have a map, I would probably be mired in the sections labeled “here be dragons.”

I’ve been mired so long in this place with the dragons that I’m beginning to suspect that this is normal [for me]. Since I was obviously going to be hanging around with these dragons for a fair length of time, I had to go looking for ways to overcome them. To borrow from fairy tales a bit here, the knight always goes out to kill the dragon so that he can rescue the princess. It occurred to me, though, that this was probably not the best mindset to have if I was going to (A) continue to encounter dragons and (B) it seemed to me to be a rather a dick move [against the dragons]. Instead of looking for ways to successfully beat them, I began looking for ways so that we could coexist. For the most part, I think I’ve been successful – I have my moments, of course; I think everyone does when things come out of nowhere. I think my dragons and I, while maybe not the best of friends, we at least don’t try to eat each other.

The gods began throwing me for a loop when they introduced me to dragon the first. We’ll call her Astral Dragon. She was glittery and frilly and had blue whiskers. I ignored her for a long time. It was easy enough, at first, because she was a baby dragon. She had cute little wings and didn’t breathe anything like flames or ice at me. She just sat on top of my head and periodically picked a little hole until I had a nice, steady fissure for her to stream woo in my direction. I was able to write that off, too, because I couldn’t recreate it, ergo it did not exist. My first response (as you’ll see) is to ignore something. I ignored Astral Dragon, as adorable as she must have been as a baby dragon, until she grew so large that I couldn’t breathe under the weight of her. I began paying a bit better attention then.

I started off by researching what was happening and networking with people who had advised that they experienced similar happenings. This helped me get over the idea that I was all alone in a cruel world, surrounded by weirdness that only I went through. I will admit here that I was lucky: there were resources for people like me. I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like for the first person who began having Astral Shenanigans pop up and into their brains. So, I looked around and found that I wasn’t alone. I didn’t actively encourage Astral Dragon; she just kind of threw some more at me whenever she felt the need arose. And thus, I was introduced to woo.

I don’t think I have a very positive relationship with the woo and I have to say that may be par for the course. I get bitter. I get angry. I get irritated. I get frustrated. There is a lot of unexplored territory especially within the Kemetic community. And since most of the woo tends to happen within a Kemetic context (not all of it has, but much of it has), there are still limited resources available. It can be very irritating to have to map out areas of the Duat on your own because you just want to confirm something that you dreamed about… only to have it confirmed in a book and getting thrown for a loop all over again. I have a lot of moments where I doubt entirely what’s happened to me either because I haven’t found a correlation within a dry resource book written for Egyptologists or because it’s just too much to take in all at once and there’s no fucking way this is really fucking happening. Give me proof or give me doubt; so I doubt instead.

The thing is that Astral Dragon brought a friend. This friend was red and flame-ridden and he had gray whiskers, puffs of smoke streaming from both nostrils, and a ferocious bite. We’ll call him Initiation Dragon. He showed up after a while and began leading me in a direction that can only be described as initiation. On this, I fought very hard against it because no fucking way. He and I got into a lot of fights and I spent a lot of my time in a dull funk about the whole experience. It was almost like because I had found a decent groove where I had been able to work closely with Astral Dragon, she had to up the ante by bringing a friend along. That seemed like some bullshit right there. But after enough kicking and screaming, I began going through what I had to go through.

About a year ago, I died. It was while I was in the middle of this painful death (just because you aren’t dying in this realm doesn’t make it any less painful, bee tee dubs) that I began looking into what the fuck I was experiencing. I needed some form of frame of reference. This is when I came upon the word “initiation,” which had been cropping up in circles a little too frequently for the six months or so prior to my astral death. The really big problem was that in the grand scheme of Kemeticism, there isn’t much initiation talk outside of Kemetic Orthodoxy. I have found a little bit of information, which seems to work with what I went through, but it doesn’t fully explain it. I had to start looking elsewhere for more information.

Outside of that, I have found next to nothing regarding initiation. So, it didn’t really make a lot of sense to me. I had to look elsewhere for my answers. And while I found them, I have to admit that the subject matter is pretty problematic because it relates to shamanism… yeah, that’s right, the culturally appropriative word that anthropologists use to designate people with other. So, I went looking and found a lot of parallels with my path and what I had just gone through. It got worse because death was actually a beginning –this was all building to “bigger and better things” (the quotes are fucking air quotes and yes, they are sarcastic). I will admit that it was kind of nice to find something like what I was experiencing even if anthropologists are pieces of shit that steal words and then use it to encompass a way of life that is probably better described as KEY SMASHING.

I know for a fact that I don’t have a very positive relationship with this particular brand of the woo. Again, I think it’s probably normal to go through an experience of this magnitude, which fundamentally changes you on a level that you can’t even fathom, and be a little frustrated and embittered by the entire experience. What makes this worse is that there is no way to map anything out here. It’s one thing to find confirmation of your UPG in a book, but quite another when you’re flying solo and blind on a mad dragon, doing barrel rolls in the air to see if you fall off.

As if Astral Dragon and Initiation Dragon weren’t hard enough to handle, I ended up accidentally bringing home yet another dragon. And this was completely accidental – I didn’t go seeking this on purpose, looking for this particular dragon. We’ll call this particular one Hmmphmm Dragon. This dragon has aqua and lavender swirls up and down its side with a white beard, pink google eyes, and a lopsided grin. I think most people can infer what the hmmphmm is a metaphor for. For those who haven’t caught on, it means sex. That’s right, folks; I have a relationship with a deity – consensual – that would best fall under the category of “god sex.” It is not a romantic relationship. It is not a marriage. There is no oath involved. It is a relationship between a devotee and their god that has sexual overtones periodically. Talk about totally off the fucking map, right?

I’ll tell you what – there is absolutely nothing I can do as far as looking for information on how to handle this. The deity relationships that include sexy times tend to fall within the godspouse dynamic (not saying all by any stretch just that many do) and most of those relationships are not within a Kemetic background. I think I can count on one hand how many people who have admitted, in private, that their relationships fall within this particular paradigm in the Kemetic community. And I think I have only spoken with two Kemetics who have stated that they have god sex. And that’s great – I have a tiny niche that I can reach out to if I need advice. But that doesn’t help in the long run or the fact that I don’t really know what the fuck I’m doing or how this happened to me. What happened to having a nice normal practice?

I don’t have a good way to handle any of this. There are a lot of reasons for it, but at the core of this is that I’m ace, remember? It can be really difficult to handle the fact that one facet of my person is not ace while the rest of me, right now, really fucking is. How do I handle waking up from sexy times with a god? I get crotchety and bitchy; I get frustrated enough to the point where I want to fucking break everything around me. I get snotty and depressed. I deny everything going on as some kind of sick fucking subconscious fantasy. Sometimes, it’s easier to deny it all than to figure out a way to handle the fact that super ace me has a part of her who isn’t so super ace.

Another problem is that, at least with Astral Dragon and Initiation Dragon, I have some resources. I don’t have that for Hmmphmm Dragon. I want books that I can read. I want an Egyptologist to write about how the ancients had sex with their gods, either under the influence of mind altering substances or not. I want them to explain to me what the hell is happening, why it is happening, and to give me sources from antiquity. The thing is that I can’t get this information. It’s either not available or this is a new metamorphosis from the gods or the ancients just never bothered to mention it (always possible) or the resources that do discuss it are completely lost to us. Whatever the case may be, I’m wandering around with Hmmphmm Dragon completely at a loss of what I’m doing or how I wound up here.

This is me at any given moment of the day.

This is me at any given moment of the day.

Looking back at all of that, I think I could have probably handled any of these experiences with a lot more grace and aplomb. The thing is that I am so completely out of my depth that I don’t know how to handle any of this with either of those things. All I have done and continue to do is cry (and I have… a lot) and whine about it, hoping that I haven’t completely made shit up. I have spent a lot of time, hoping that someone would tell me that they had seen it in a dream or that they had tangible evidence that what I have been going through is legitimate. The problem with craving legitimacy here is that none of these dragons can really provide that to me. I don’t think anyone really can provide me with that and even if they could, I don’t know if I would believe them. It’s a vicious circle when things go off the map – your lines in the sand are constantly getting moved back and no matter what it comes down to, you will always have those moments where you just deny everything.

My religious life has long since wandered off the carefully mapped out section of what I thought it was going to be. Honestly, if I sit down with Five Years Younger Me, I would have said that my religious life would have been fulfilling, happy, exciting, making and/or had made me into a better person, and all about the laity: what that means, how that works, and being an “unexceptional, not speshul snowflake.” That is what the person I was five years ago would have said.

What I can say now is that my path is definitely making me into a better person. It definitely falls under the broad definition of “exciting.” But more often than not, it can be frightening and worrisome, with strategic stops at “bitter,” “irritated,” “confused,” and “angry.” I was knocked for a loop a few years back and I’ve been kind of reeling from it all ever since. That is why, in my opinion, a map would be fucking useful right about now.

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3 thoughts on “Kemetic Round Table: Here Be Dragons

  1. I think that when we look at how little is really preserved of Egyptian theological texts, it’s not surprising that something we encounter in practice isn’t to be found there, and definitely shouldn’t be taken to imply that the experience is somehow invalid or can’t be encompassed within that theology. Moreover, not everything going on in Egyptian religious life was going to be written down. Additionally, the translation of Egyptian theological terms and texts is an enterprise more ambiguous than is commonly appreciated. All this adds up to the necessity for a creative engagement with the tradition, in which we try to incorporate experience into the interpretation of the texts in a fashion that broadens our understanding of those texts, rather than expecting the texts to determine our experience.

  2. *hesitantly raises hand* I have sexy astral relations and sometimes they’re with deities besides my spouses. I am not Kemetic so idk how much my blog and experiences are useful to you but I wrote a post on this subject recently.
    (I do work with Bast, Set, and Sekhmet sometimes though. And dragons, funnily enough although I’ve never written about it.)

  3. *also hesitantly raises hand* I just broke new ground with my god, and I’ve no idea what to do about it but I’m avoiding Him. We had sexy times in the astral, and I’m kind of mind numb from it. Do you have any.. erhm… advice?

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