Kemetic Round Table: The Mysterious Godphone!

The Kemetic Round Table (KRT) is a blogging project aimed at providing practical, useful information for modern Kemetic religious practitioners. For all the entries relating to this particular topic, take a peek here!

The amount of times that I’ve seen someone reach out, in desperation, asking about godphones is enlightening. It leads me to believe that many newbies enter into their chosen paths with this intense desire to have one. I honestly suspect that newbies seems to think that the ultimate culmination in a fulfilling and intensely personal devotional relationship is the ability to hear their deity clearly and concisely on a regular basis. Considering all of the myriad of things that can go into a devotional relationship and considering all of the different little side paths that relationship can wander down, I honestly have to wonder if maybe the focus on the godphone thing is a good idea. I mean, of all the things to aspire to, newbies want to talk to their gods on a regular basis and hear things back? Just from an outsider’s perspective that may sound kind of silly. From an insider’s perspective, I have to admit, it still sounds pretty foolish.

And to be perfectly frank, I wouldn’t ever think that the ultimate culmination in a devotional relationship has anything to do with hearing the gods, but has to do with feeling as though you are doing it right. But, that’s just me; people often tell me that my opinion on various subjects isn’t exactly mainstream or normal.

If only it were as simple as dialing a number...

If only it were as simple as dialing a number…

For those not in the know, the godphone is exactly what it sounds like: it is the ability to have open lines of communication between yourself and your deity. The phrase, “godphone,” actually began its life as a joke, but has since metamorphosed into the thing seen today: the intense and earnest desire to be able to communicate with the gods on a regular basis. As with all forms of titles and linguistics, aspects to its original definition (in this case, a trait specific to individuals who were capable of communicating regularly with their gods) have since changed to encompass the heart-wrenching cries from the neophytes for some sign from their gods (in this case, the desire to be able to communicate regularly with the gods).

It honestly astounds me with how many people have posts running around, specifically on Tumblr, discussing the desire for one. It honestly goes to show that the desire to have that personal relationship with the gods appears to be universal, no matter what type of path one may be on. It also goes to show that my suspicions regarding Christianity and the lack of ability to have that kind of personal relationship is possibly why so many people are converting to other forms of religious traditions. Be that as it may, and my suspicions have no bearing on anything, the godphone phenomena is picking up speed and there are no breaks on this particular crazy train…

Having a godphone is incredibly painful, incredibly difficult, and can open a giant can of worms for those afflicted. Of course, outsiders, who are very busy looking in without knowing the specific nuances of the relationships they’re stealing peeks into, are just going to assume that we’re bitching and moaning. The thing is that having a godphone can lead to a lot of doubt, a lot of issues, and a lot of hemming and hawing over your own grip on sanity. These are aspects, though, that most people aren’t going to take into consideration if they’re looking in. All they see is the glitz and glamor of being able to communicate regularly with the gods; they’re not going to take into consideration what those messages may contain or even what those messages may mean to the person who is receiving them.

This is actually what it's like more often than not.

This is actually what it’s like more often than not.

As someone with a godphone, I can tell you just how much I doubt my sanity – daily. Every morning, I wake up after having had some intense dreams or experiences with various netjeru and I have to wonder if I’m making it all up. Just because there is historical contexts for communication via dreams, especially within the ancient Egyptian religion, doesn’t matter much to me. Historical information is well and fine, but I have to wonder if the ancient Egyptian priests or the people of ancient Egypt who did dream divination in their temple of choice ever had moments where the gods told them, “do the shadow work or your life is forfeit,” or “I need you to kill this spirit for me in as painful a way as humanly possible and no, I’m not going to tell you why,” or “Can you please just shut the fuck up about how much you hurt and kneel on this stone floor for months on end without me telling you why you’re doing this?”

Something tells me that my godphone-like experiences and their godphone-like experiences are two aspects of a single spectrum… with a huge fucking brick wall in the middle.

What makes it worse are the glimmers of feelings that I get regarding something.

I can go for days with this intense need to go and sit on the lawn, for example, for absolutely no reason whatsoever. And if I don’t do it, then I start to get really fucking bitchy and annoying to those around me because I have this inexplicable fucking desire to SIT ON A LAWN FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER (and no, it couldn’t possibly be my lawn because that makes sense) and it won’t go away until I finally do it. And of course, it’s only as I do it that I realize that this is some weird act of devotion to –insert deity here–. Or, the really fun part where I have incredibly random song lyrics stuck in my head on endless repeat until I figure out the meaning behind such things.

And of course, we can’t possibly forget those intense moments where I am sitting in a slightly meditative state and I have actual conversations with the deity in question.

This is all just so joyful.

I know, I know. I’m sounding about as bitter as I probably feel. And I really do apologize for anyone who came into this entry, hoping for something that wasn’t bitter. I can’t help that there are moments where I honestly have to wonder if this is even worth it. Like, is this helping me at all? I don’t think so, but I can’t know that because I have a godphone and it works. So, I can only wonder if the grass is really greener on the other side and of course, those without are just assuming that the grass really is greener on the other side.

But how do I live with it and still manage to live my life?

In all honesty, I tend to ignore things a lot. While the gods may think that whatever message they’re pushing on me is important, I have things to do like pay the bills, tuck in my son, walk my dog, and any other random and mundane things. The gods’ time lines and my time line may not exactly add up, which is quite possibly why I can get so bitchy about not understanding the message or feelings that I am receiving. Whatever the case may be, I just continue to do my regular and mundane thing, hoping that at some point in the future, it will become clear.

And if it doesn’t become clear to me in what I feel is a timely manner, then it’s a back burner kind of thing. If it’s not important enough for the gods to tell me in a way that I would clearly and truly understand on the first try, then it’s something that I will pull out and mull over when I have a free moment or three to do so. However, if they feel like using some form of confusing hand gesture or Wing Ding to communicate with me, then they’ll just have to be patient with me.

The thing about godphones, too, that many people don’t seem to understand is that they arne’t always reliable. Things happen and life happens, which can cause “reception” to go down. It’s very much, in my experience, like a bad cell phone connection: the call is crackling, words are echoing, and there are whole aspects to the conversation that you’re missing out on because it went silent for about 30 seconds. The cell phone companies may go on about “better and more reliable networks” but the gods haven’t upgraded, in my opinion. There are still long stretches of time where I have to hope that I’m getting the message down properly.

This is, honestly, why I will put off things for as long as I do. I like to be sure that the intense desire, for example, to randomly sit on some stranger’s lawn is because an OTHER™ is telling me to do it versus, I just think that they are telling me to do it. When it comes to godphones, discernment is important. And maybe, the message came in all garbled. Perhaps there is more to all of this than just sitting on a lawn: maybe I was given specific instructions, but the message came through on such a shitty connection that all I am getting is the need to sit on some random person’s lawn.

If the feeling goes on long enough, I assume that I’m either losing my marbles or it’s time to sit down on some random person’s lawn, hoping that I’ll get something in return for all of it. Unfortunately, usually it’s more garbled messages that I have to parse out on my own.

I think, though, that the one thing most people without a godphone just don’t take into consideration – even with all the other things I’ve listed here – is that it can and will go down, for no reason. Phone lines go down fairly often enough. Usually, the actual lines themselves won’t go down but there will be an issue on the carrier level that prevents calls from connecting properly or at all. In this technical (and possibly boring) metaphor, we can make the correlation that the same thing can and will happen to those with godphones – and then where will you be after having been informed that you really need to rely entirely on your godphone?


Godphones are capricious things, in my experience. I mean, just look at it from here:

  1. Not everyone has one.
  2. Not everyone has them utilized in the same way.
  3. Not everyone can confirm others’ godphone-ing.
  4. Not everyone can use theirs all the time.
  5. Not everyone has clear reception.
  6. Not everyone hears the godphone in the same way.
  7. Not everyone can use the godphone regularly.

These are all things that I’ve mentioned and discussed in this very entry. Based on this list, it looks like godphones are not really an effective form of communication when it comes to devotional relationships. But again, that’s just me! Outsiders are always going to formulate an opinion on something they have no experience with based on minute glimpses into what seems like the “promised land” or, on the flip side, what seems like “a bunch of bullshit.”

When my godphone starts acting up, I honestly just enjoy the respite.

After months and months of having intense and regular communication with the netjeru, sometimes I need a break. And I would like to assume that they need a break from me. You can’t always be in the presence of your family, your friends, or your partner, can you? Possibly not without wanting to kill any of the above mentioned. I would assume that it’s the same for the gods with their godphone-enabled devotees. And possibly even the same when it comes to those devotees with their godphone-enabled. I mean, I can tell you that there are long moments where I would very much like a break, need a break, and damn it, Sekhmet, just shut up for five minutes okay?

This is what it used to be like before I discovered that I have the godphone.

This is what it used to be like before I discovered that I have the godphone.

I can remember when my godphone wasn’t very active. It was always there since, I feel, it’s something that you either have or you do not, but not having it turned “on” all the time made my life much easier. I didn’t doubt myself as much and I didn’t worry as much about what I was seeing/being asked to do/thinking about/feeling the need to do. Since I didn’t need to rely on this internal thing that allowed me to have these conversations and nudges, I often checked in with Tarot cards or oracle decks, hoping that what I was doing was all right.

And since divination is an imperfect science, it meant that I was left frustrated and angry because I couldn’t hear what the fuck they were trying to tell me. I could only hope that I was interpreting what I was seeing properly. But even with that frustration in the background, it was still easier. Even if I was completely misinterpreting whatever the hell the cards were telling me – and I had on quite a few occasions – I was still able to go back and check either with another deck or with another user of divination at some later date in time.

Without the godphone, I was always able to double and triple check myself; I could confirm what was being said or done or seen in the cards. Confirmation via the cards now is iffy at best since I’ve been told, repeatedly, that relying on “outdated communication is no longer necessary.” Too often, I spend hours trying to figure out why the hell that card is in the same reading as this other card and… well, it’s just not working out as well for me now that I have the ability to communicate “regularly.”

There are days, and I’ll admit that it’s at least weekly, that I miss the simplicity of divination to figure out what in the world is happening in my devotional relationships.

Further Reading

  1. The Godphone
  2. Entries Tagged “Godphone” by Devo
  3. What is a Godphone? by Del
  4. The Godphone Thing by Alex
  5. GLE on Godphones
  6. Godphones and Godspouses at Adventures in Vanaheim
  7. Everywhere a Godphone by Myriad
  8. Discernment by Devo

Kemetic Round Table: Offerings.

The Kemetic Round Table (KRT) is a blogging project aimed at providing practical, useful information for modern Kemetic religious practitioners. For all the entries relating to this particular topic, take a peek!

I tend to associate the act of giving things to the gods as the “next step” on anyone’s religious path. It’s one thing to say that you are a devotee of X deity or a specific pantheon, but it’s still a realm of theory. It’s easy to debate that theory, both with yourself and with others until you’re blue in the face, without having anything concrete to back it up. You’ve read all the books; you’re hip to the lingo; you follow all the “proper blogs” everyone has recommended; you’re down with it. But in my experience, it was only once I began to actively do in the name of the gods I was working with that I began to feel as though I were an established practitioner. Everything, to me, prior to that was just something that I could wipe off easily from a chalk board. When I went to the next level by actively providing things to my gods, I realized that I had carved a message into the slate and going back would be a hell of a lot harder then.

When it comes to providing offerings, I think what to offer is probably the most popular question asked.

I honestly think the more important question is less about what and more about who, if anyone. The thing is that most people, when it comes to offerings, they’re ready to explore the next step, but it usually means that they have a specific deity in mind, usually termed as the “patron deity.” While I don’t necessarily discourage the practice of feeling the need to have a patron deity, I don’t necessarily encourage it either.

By focusing all of their newbie excitement and willingness into a single deity, perhaps one who may not even be interested, they are willingly excluding themselves from other deities who may be interested. We’ve all heard about deity collectors – those “weird” people who “collect” deities on the regular, such as myself – but I think what people are neglecting to take into account is that those who “collect” deities as often as I do is why the hell some of these deities are approaching established devotees when there are whole avenues of newbie blood available.

I think, too, that by giving an all-encompassing offering to all deities within a pantheon, the person in question will be better able to establish themselves as someone serious about this polytheistic life. I have always maintained that it was the act of giving an offering on a daily basis that established me on this path – it was the ability to do that daily rite, day in and day out, that gave me the ability to feel like I was actually living my religion, which was important to me. By moving forward with not having a specific deity in mind, they’re leaving themselves breathing room before the fun begins and a relationship begins to become fully formed.

Pictured: two priestesses provide food and wine offerings. Temple of Ramesses, Abydos.

Pictured: two priestesses provide food and wine offerings. Temple of Ramesses, Abydos.

As to what is to be provided to the gods, most often people get stuck here. Personally, I always recommend the more tried and true offering methods as shown in ancient Egypt to start off with. According to every offering related picture ever created in ancient Egypt, things like bread, flowers, figs, wild game, incense, cool water, water fowl, meat hanks, grains like wheat and barley, onions, lettuce, and wine were all used as providing offerings to the gods. Any of these items can be provided to the gods without worrying too much based on legitimacy. Since this comes from historically attested sources, you can’t really go wrong with using any of those.

(Obviously, I’m not going to recommend that you place a pair of live ducks or go and hunt down a deer to give as an offering to the gods. Unless that’s how you roll, just don’t do that.)

Another form of measure is to decide how modern the food product is. I can show that you won’t find a bag of Doritos or a can of Arizona on any of those offering images depicted in ancient Egypt. If possible, it’s always a good idea to stick to as historically accurate an offering as one can get when first starting out. Offering junk food, like chips or overly processed foods is okay, but it’s always best that the beginner go with as natural an offering as possible. There’s no need to have to defend oneself against the “you’re doing it wrong” brigade and again, you know that you aren’t entering the realm of UPG, so therefore, won’t have to defend yourself to anyone who feels like saying anything.

As time goes on, however, and a level of comfort is established in the act of providing offerings, then I highly recommend branching out of the established patterns the ancient Egyptians have set for us. We live in a modern world and I am a very vocal person when it comes to providing a more modernized practice for the gods. This will include items like chocolate, soda, Doritos, and ice cream. While I don’t think it’s a good idea to give these things every day, I think it can be an added bonus or a sort of treat to provide on “big occasions,” such as festivals and feast days or to celebrate something big that you accomplished [for or with your gods].

Fruit offerings provided to Sekhmet during one of my services in her name. Chocolate is hiding on the outskirts of the image.

Fruit offerings provided to Sekhmet during one of my services in her name. Chocolate is hiding on the outskirts of the image.

Some more modern offerings that I can and do give to my gods include chocolate. I will also give shots of vodka and diet Coke to my gods. I’m not sure if the ancient Egyptians had cheese (and I’m too lazy to give it up), so I’ll give that in lieu of milk. All of these things are things that I ingest regularly (to a degree) and so, in my eyes, by giving them as an offering to my gods, I am actively sacrificing something to provide it. Even though I will revert it later, it’s still hard to just plunk it down in front of them and not immediately gobble up that chocolate square or drink down that perfectly chilled glass of diet Coke.

When it comes to offerings, obviously, the most commonly cited things are food. But in ancient Egypt, sweetly scented oils and incense were often provided to the gods. Nice smelling things were very important to the ancient Egyptians and so, these things were provided to the gods. Based on what I can find historically speaking, some of the more common incense blends were kapet (which is most often known today as “kyphi”), frankincense, and myrrh. Scented oils included scents perfumed with lilies and roots of iris.

(When searching for a good incense blend, I will often look for something that is organic. The ancient Egyptians abhorred bodily waste and most often, modern incense is made with urea. While I don’t hold too much with ritual purity, which can vary from practitioner to practitioner anyway, I do attempt to find incense blends without urea within them.)

Offerings can include non-historically attested items, as well. Usually, when it comes to giving things that aren’t historically accurate, it depends highly on the deity the item is being offered to. I have a knife blade on my altar to Sekhmet since she is a deity of warfare and bloodshed. The knife type isn’t something found in ancient Egyptian annals, but the concept behind the blade is. I have offered pink quartz to Hetheru, which is not attested to in my research on her, but it’s a pretty item and she is definitely a deity of “the finer things in life.” I have a rock with the word “magic” etched in it that I gave to Aset when she and I began working on strengthening my heka together.

None of these are things that, on the face of it, would have been given to the gods in the temples. It’s possible these smaller items would have been given in family shrines in the home, if these types of items existed back then. However, these are all items that make sense to me and are specifically entrenched in my UPG. As time goes by, a newbie will begin to create their own UPG that perfectly encapsulates the relationship(s) they are building with their deity(ies).

The final form of offering is to do things for the gods. Since most ancient religions are orthopraxic, I think it makes a perfect kind of sense to get up and go in the name of the gods. Sometimes, actions that I choose to provide to the gods are specific to that deity – I am cleaning for Hetheru as a household deity; I am singing and laughing with my son in the kitchen to Bes as a fun-loving and child-protecting deity; I am execrating my enemies for Sekhmet as a justice deity – but sometimes, they are all-encompassing actions to all the gods on my steady, but sure progress to live in ma’at.

Spongebob, telling it like it is.

Spongebob, telling it like it is.

I think that most people will get a little more nervous when they decide to offer actions to their gods, mostly because they’re not sure about how to go about it. Do you announce what you’re doing? Or do you just do it? Won’t it be weird if you just say that you’re going to do something for the gods? But won’t they already know what you’re doing? Personally, I used to announce that I am doing X for a specific deity just to ensure that they were listening. As time went by, however, I found that it mattered less and less if they were listening because I was going to do the thing anyway. While I reflected later that I had done that thing for the deity in question or possibly mulled over whether or not they liked that thing, it didn’t matter at the time of action if the deity was aware of that. All that mattered was that I was doing it and upholding ma’at in my own little way.

And above all else, upholding and maintaining ma’at, no matter how we define it ourselves, is probably the greatest action that can be given to the gods. It is to them that ma’at is upheld with their actions and it is our ability to assist them with our own actions that it continues. Even if cleaning the bathroom for the gods doesn’t seem like you’re upholding ma’at or even if it doesn’t seem like a suitable offering to the gods, it actually is. It’s something you are doing. It is maintaining your household. It is a part of your life, for good or ill. No matter how big or how small the task may be, if you decide it’s an action offering, then it’s an action offering and so be it.

When it comes to offering foods to the gods, we always talk about reverting the offerings. In ancient Egypt, the priests would disseminate the food items out to the people of the temple and eat them down. This is most often what Kemetics are discussing when we mention “reversion of offerings.” It’s one thing to sacrifice a food item to the gods and quite another to just throw it away afterwards. Sometimes, it may be a part of the offering to feed the birds with bread offered to the gods, but especially for those of us on a very strict budget, we can’t just throw food out because it was the gods’ food first.

However, sometimes, even the idea of offering food on a regular basis can be kind of dicey because of strict budgets. Another work around would be to offer meals that you are eating to the gods. This way, you don’t have to feel like you need to leave something out for “long enough” so that the gods take their fill before you whisk it away and devour it yourself. Offering what’s already going into your stomach also provides you with the ability to hide what you’re doing if you are living in an environment where you have to practice your religion on the down low.

Getting right down to it, the things to provide to the gods will vary from practitioner to practitioner. Whether or not the offerings are overt or quietly; whether or not they are done each day or once a week; whether or not they are provided with play food (like dollhouse food items) or with real food… it all depends on what works best for the person in question. And of course, the only way to find out how it will work out for each one of you is to give it all a try.

Related Posts

  1. Offerings 101
  2. Offerings 201
  3. Offerings 301
  4. On Offerings

Kemetic Round Table: Living and Breathing.

The Kemetic Round Table (KRT) is a blogging project aimed at providing practical, useful information for modern Kemetic religious practitioners.

From time to time, I will look down at the ankh I wear around my neck in an effort to remind myself that I am the sum total of all my parts as opposed to a human-looking Zord composed of different, autonomous parts. In those moments, I grip that pendant in my hand and hope beyond all hope that I am doing the symbol it stands for – my religion, my life, my gods, my family, and everything in between – justice as opposed to a disservice.

Whichever the case may be, I tend to feel a little stronger in the face of whatever it is that is causing my consternation and am able to move forward with the hectic nature of the day. Sometimes, just the grip is enough and sometimes, it is a matter of minutes before I can feel strong enough to continue. Oh gods, I always think, let me be able enough to live this life. Whether or not I am able to do it justice is another story.

When it comes to life and living and having a religion that must be kept covert, I will usually think that the things I don’t do matter. They probably don’t. There is no one better at making me feel like a guilty, shame-filled terrible devotee than myself. And there are extreme moments, daily sometimes or just periodically, where I’m pretty sure I’m doing everything wrong and I’m not “living” my religion the way I should be. During those moments, I pause and remind myself that since I haven’t been smote to fuck yet, I must be doing something right.

Sometimes, that’s all it takes me to get through.

Sometimes, I need more than just reminding myself that I’m still breathing.

I used to think that if people were living their faith appropriately, they would just know. I always looked forward to that moment, in the hopes, that the doubt and fears that continuously plague me, even now so many years in, would just go away. I would wake up one morning and think, oh, I’ve definitely got this, and be on my way with that knowledge. I think I may live in books and movies too much; isn’t the hero or heroine supposed to have a magical epiphany regarding things?

I’ve had plenty of epiphanies since I started walking this path, but I can’t think of any that have been particularly magical. Or even awe-inspiring. They’ve all just been a bland and boring, oh, well now I understand a bit, and I move on. But I always kind of expected bells and whistles or something. Instead, I have those freak moments where I’m gripping my ankh in my hand, with eyes narrowly focused on the feel of the arms biting into my palm.

I think I’m living my faith as capably as I possibly can, but I just always kind of expected something a bit more rainbow and unicorn farts when I got to this point.

I guess I just always assumed that, one day, when I was “adult enough” to do all of this, then things would be easier. I’m not really sure what made me have that assumption. I just remember, looking forward in moments of acute stress and panic, and knowing that it wouldn’t always be that hard. And in the grand scheme of things, I suppose I wasn’t all that wrong. Things aren’t always that hard; they’re just hard in different ways now. I suppose things got easier somewhere, but when I ask myself what it is that’s easier, I usually get muddled with all the things that are hard [in the moment of asking].

So, I guess I can safely say what living a religion, in my opinion, is not.

  1. It’s not no longer having doubts, fears, panic attacks, or stressful moments.
  2. It’s not having an easy time.
  3. It’s not having a clear moment of realizing you really are living your religion.
  4. It’s sure as shit not living fancy free.

Well, I’ve talked about what I thought it would be like and have found it to not be like. But what is it, to me?

When I sit down and think about it, I think back to what I said earlier. I said that I have intense moments, throughout the day, the week, the month, the year, in which I clutch the ankh pendant I wear daily around my neck. Sometimes, I have it nestled beneath my shirt and I have to pop it out in order to grasp it in my hand. Sometimes, it’s out and glinting in the light, waiting for my palm to clasp it. No matter what the purpose or how hard I grip it or the intensity behind my fervent wish that I am enough to get through my life, I think that is what living a religion – any religion – is all about.

By gripping that damn thing in my hand, I am reminding myself in the most tangible way that I am a Kemetic. I am also reminding myself that I am a living, breathing human being who may or may not be successful in their endeavors. (And the amount of success, of course, always varies depending on the moment and what it is I am enthusiastically wishing about.) And lastly, I am reminding myself that the life I am living is the only one I have available to me and by golly, I’m going to fucking live that shit the way I want to fucking live that shit.

To me, living my religion is characteristically summed up as clutching the ankh and feverishly hoping for the next moment to hurry the fuck up already.

It isn’t, though.

That’s not all of it.

It’s just that moment of such intensity where I need to feel the threads of my religion underneath my fingertips that leads me to cause the distinction.

Everything I do and say and write and breathe is an aspect to my religion, whether it looks like it is or not. The advice I offer to people who don’t know anything about my religion is part of it. The looks I give people walking down the street is part of it. The songs I listen to on the ride into work are a part of it. The books I read on my breaks at work or when I get home are a part of it. The way I sit in a chair is part of it. How I grip the steering wheel is part of it. The air that I breathe, the food that I eat, the clothes that I wear are all a part of it too. Everything I do is a part of it because my religion is as integral a piece of me as my hair color and my eye color; it’s just, maybe, a bit more hidden than all of that.

I say that the grip of the pendant is what living my religion is because it’s the most physical and obvious aspect. But everything I do, really, is summed up as living my Kemeticism. Everything is microcosmically interwoven together to be a part of who I am; it’s just the macrocosmic parts that seem a bit out of whack.

I thought I would be able to give advice on this topic, honestly. I thought I could write some things and then end it with how others can be like me, or something, and live their Kemetic ways. Or, other religious ways. But as I think back and I look down at the ankh around my neck, I have to wonder if how I live my religion is even something that others do or others should even remotely aspire to. I say that they’re all interwoven in some big cosmic Aubs that exists in the world who does the Kemetic thing and does the work thing and does the driving thing and drinks vodka on the regular like and it’s all a part of my religion.

But is there any way that someone out there could possibly look down at their pendant of choice, whisper a few words (possibly soaked in foul language) and know that they’re living their religion? Maybe, it’s just me that’s like that. Let’s be real here – it’s probably just a me thing. And I honestly don’t know if I would recommend how I do this to anyone else. Or even remotely have anyone build what they will do off of what I do.

I don’t think how I do this is, maybe, the right way or even the best way, but it works for me.

I can give some advice, though. Sometimes I have that stuff in spades; not so much today. But the bits I can assure you on are these:

  1. Don’t assume that because you don’t feel like you are living your religion that you aren’t actually living your religion.
  2. Don’t assume that how anybody else lives their religion is the “one twoo way” because that’s just ridiculous. There’s no one way on any of this shit, no matter who says otherwise.
  3. Don’t assume that you’ll just automatically know when you’re “actually” living your religion because, clearly, epiphanies of that magnitude are probably never going to happen.
  4. Don’t assume that you’re the only one out there constantly doubting your shit even if you do feel like you’re living your religion. I doubt it all the time.
  5. Don’t assume that I’m bugnuts because I equate clutching a piece of metal as living my religion. I can assume I’m bugnuts because of that all on my own.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that you can read my post and think about it however you want, but it doesn’t mean that how I go about this will work for anyone else. I honestly hope it doesn’t work out for anyone else because I can assure anyone who has made it this far in the reading that shit is fucking hard and there are moments that I’m clutching that fucking pendant less for a steadying influence or anchor and more out of intense anxiety at the belief that I’m doing everything fucking wrong, wrong, and more wrong. It’s a tethered link, so to speak, with my religion that I hone in on often enough, but it’s my tethered link and doesn’t do a damn bit a good for anyone else, I shouldn’t think.

I suppose the best way to do this for anyone who isn’t me would be to stop periodically and assess yourself. In effect, that’s what I’m doing with my ankh. Step out into the day and look up at the sun or down at the grass or look at the flowers in bloom on the bushes or in the yards and assess yourself. Come to your own conclusions about what it is to live a religion and whether or not it’s an integral part of yourself. If you think it is, then I think… maybe, you’re probably doing this just the way you need to be.

Kemetic Round Table: Hush-Hush.

When people start looking to other religious choices outside of the “usual fair,” there’s a lot of waffling back and forth about whether or not this is a thing. Not only are people worried that what they’re looking into may not actually be in their best interests, but they also have to take into consideration public opinion. Even though, in my opinion, religion and religious choices should be a private affair that’s taken into consideration on an individual basis, this isn’t the case in this country or in this hemisphere or on this fucking planet. Everyone has an opinion, sadly, about everything else and that includes religious persuasions. What makes it worse is that some of the newer religious choices are looked down on by other people for various reasons: some people think that they’re worshiping the devil and going to hell while other people think everyone with a religion is full of shit and making stuff up. In either case, these are things that must be taken into consideration when it comes to choosing what sort of religious practice, or not, is best for them.

This pretty much accurately represents this post in its entirety.

This pretty much accurately represents this post in its entirety.

Personally, I am both in and out of the “closet,” so to speak, when it comes to my religious practices. The short answer is that all of this is really fucking complicated and it comes on a case by case basis. I’ve been burned and I’ve been supportive, so it is truly dependent both on the status of my relationships with people as well as what reactions I believe they may have if I discuss it.

When it comes to family, I’m technically out. I don’t really discuss it with either my family or with TH’s family, however. It’s a subject of conversation, briefly, when it comes up, but I tend to shut those conversations down as quickly as they begin. I think part of this is because, in all honesty, to explain everything to a regular person is very difficult. Polytheism is easily explained as long as you understand what that word actually means. But when it comes to the devotions to various gods, the levels of those devotions, and everything in between, one can be looking at having a few hours’ long conversation that leaves heads spinning. Another reason why I tend to shut those conversations down is because I can see how some people react or based on inflection in their comments – if they sound like an asshole, I’m not going to want to discuss it any more than I normally do (and I don’t normally want to discuss it because, again, it’s kind of personal and not anyone else’s business).

My mother’s family is not supportive of my choices – they’re all staunch Catholics and so, as far as they’re [probably] concerned, I’m going to burn in Hell with all the other people who have chosen not to follow “the one twoo.” But my mother is supportive. She is ecstatic that after years of saying “I’m an atheist,” I finally found a religious tradition that works for me. She’s watched as I’ve changed dynamics and created something that works for me. I think, honestly, it’s based on my mom’s statement, “finally, you have faith,” that made me realize that the subject matter of that faith doesn’t matter so much as if people have faith. And I do. I believe. I believe in more than just myself and while things are weird and rocky and can be uncomfortable when my family makes asinine comments about it, it’s fucking mine.

TH’s family doesn’t really understand how many different branches of paganism there are and I don’t have the patience, usually, to enlighten them. They understand that I am a pagan and that I do practice magic (heka), however they don’t fully comprehend all the dynamic changes, on a personal level and on a spiritual level, that have happened since I first discovered this path. But at the end of the day, they’re supportive. They might make jokes and TH’s mom may end up using me as a threat against her students to behave properly (she told one student I would turn them into a frog if they didn’t cut the shit, which I’m just like, I can’t do that but that’s fucking awesome especially since the student actually did cut the shut). Of course, TH is aware because I do [occasionally] talk to him about this.

But when it comes down to it, I still have this staunch belief that who says what or who knows what doesn’t matter. All that does matter is if it makes me happy. And as much as I have to admit that this shit drives me up a wall with the wants and desires and the constant doubt, at the end of the day, it fulfills me.

And then I have so many different types of friendships that to discuss something that, to me, is as personal as my religious practice is is just not up for debate. I have acquaintances who have asked to read this blog and I have flatly refused, knowing that my blog may not be the best introduction to what a pagan religious tradition can look like. I have had Christian friends who read this blog and grew offended over what I said. (We’ve made up since that blow up, but we both leave one another alone when it comes to our differing faiths now, which is seriously downer.) I have pagan friends who know about this blog, but don’t know much about my personal life.

I guess you can say that when it comes to my friendships and how open I am about myself really depends, highly, on how much trust I place in them. And I have to be honest here. After having the person who was supposed to me the best get up in arms over things that I’ve written on this blog, based on my observations and based on my religious choices, I have to say that compartmentalizing my life like this works out for me. Does it suck? Yes. Ask anyone on Tumblr who I have spoken with about this – sometimes, there are just moments where I want to cry in someone’s lap because I’m pretty sure I’m not practicing a real religion but I’m just having taken a long walk off of the short pier of sanity. But I’ve been burned by the person I trusted and loved the most – and learned the lesson that compartmentalization with my friends is better off for me when it comes to our friendships than not doing so.

Of course, I have two friends, locally, who know a lot about what I believe in. One is a local Hellenic pagan. We don’t really talk as much as we used to and that’s… well, that’s nothing to do with religion but she knows what I’m up to. And if she doesn’t that’s only because she’s not reading this blog. My other friend allows me to wax poetic about the nature of souls and takes my spiritual advice even though she’s a Christian, but she is just like me: it doesn’t matter what faith is had as long as faith is had.

And of course, to make things even more complicated, I work for a Tea Party Republican who also just so happens to be very much a Christian. I honestly don’t know how Christian she is but she’s told people that she’ll pray for them when things go wrong (and then maybe she does, but I don’t know). And I can tell you that if she knew that the ankh I wear wasn’t just a fashion statement but a religious statement as well, she’d find a reason to fire me. The things she says about people who aren’t Christian (and I’m not talking about pagans, but about Muslims) is disgusting and disheartening. The things I could imagine her saying about me if she were to find out… Well, I need the paycheck so I have further compartmentalized my life.

Work. Friends. Family. Religion.

Very rarely do any of these in-roads meet. Yes, I am “out” and my Facebook profile even labels me as a “pagan.” But the people who are friends with me on Facebook, most of them, don’t look at that. Some of them because they like to ignore things – such as my mother’s family – and others because they don’t care and I’m not going to enlighten them. I’m a little open on my Facebook account regarding beliefs and whatnot, but I always second guess and third guess before I post something religion specific. As much as it sucks, and it really does, my life is a many-spoked wheel with me at the middle. And nothing really touches at all.

In case I haven’t really mentioned it, while doing things this way makes life easier and safer for me, it really kind of sucks. There are moments, at work, where I want to scream at Djehuty for not watching over a phone system when it goes down. Or, I want to meditate to Sekhmet, but instead, I’m stuck silently saying words that may or may not have power, depending on the spoon allotment and energy reserves I have at that moment in time. There are moments where I want to scream at my mother’s family and tell them that all beliefs are good beliefs as long as they’re taken to a good place and not used to condemn others for what they feel, think, believes, or are. There are moments in my life where I just want to scream because of how compartmentalized my life has suddenly become when even two years ago, it was hella easier.

I tend to feel, a lot of times, that this segregation is actually detrimental to everything going on around me. I can’t really pinpoint when I started to feel this way, but I noticed that carefully and purposely dosing out different portions of my life in this way began to tire me out. I would go off and be at work, followed by coming home and doing religion things and then I would spend time with my family and never the multitudes to meet. And I have to admit that it’s kind of dragging, a lot, to have to keep things so differentiated. It sucks. And I think a lot of times making sure that everything is not touching as carefully as I do, it takes a lot of spoons out of everything else. It leaves me breathless and bitchy and tired and depressed a lot of the times and I end up coming home and just staring at the television or reading a book.

I don’t think people are really meant to do this to their lives. Even if there are valid reasons for it, I just don’t think we’re made to keep anything separate from anything else. We are a multifaceted people and facets should touch. They should integrate. But in this day and age, especially with asshole bosses or unsupportive family members, we have to do these things, possibly even to our own detriment, if we want to have our cake and eat it too. (If that is even remotely apropos here because I honestly don’t know.)

Based on what I’ve shared, I have to say that if a new Kemetic wants to tell others, I strongly recommend not doing what the fuck I’ve done. I’ve kept myself so separated that I hardly know what the fuck way is up anymore. So, if anyone wants to tell their friends and family and their coworkers what their religious situation is – not that, I attest, it’s any of their fucking business – then I think that not doing what I’ve done is a good idea. It’s seriously just not healthy, in my opinion, and it ends up causing a lot of problems for you later on.

But the thing about telling people is that you have to be sure that telling them is even remotely useful to you or whether or not them knowing has any benefit to you whatsoever. You can shout whatever the hell you want from the rooftops and back, but if there’s no real point in telling them, other than you think you should, then you have to seriously taken into consideration the reasons behind why you want to tell them. Do you just want to share something new and exciting with people you care about? Or do you want to shock them? What is the point in telling them something that, quite feasibly, will not impact them in anyway? So, it comes back to having to decide of announcing your personal religious choices is useful to you. If you think that’s the case, then I think the next thing to take into consideration is whether or not they’ll be supportive.

And this is the crux of the matter for many pagans out there. We live in areas that aren’t supportive of anything outside of “the norm,” whatever that is. And there are people who we love and adore who may react very negatively towards whatever choices we make in our lives if those choices are deemed to be outside of “the norm,” whatever that is. So, if the person you believe you are telling will be supportive and benefit you, then I absolutely think that you should move forward with what you want to do. However, if the person is going to behave like an asshole because you’ve made a choice about your life, then maybe keeping it quiet is in your best interest. As much as you may feel that telling them is a good idea, if they’re going to be a complete dickface about it, then I strongly recommend just not doing so.

Honestly, I have to tell you that when it comes to telling people things about you that, in my opinion, are personal and private, such as one’s religious decisions, doesn’t really gain you much. Hell, in my experience, it seems to have caused more anxiety than when I was quiet about it. Just because you think someone will be supportive and nice about it doesn’t mean that they will be. Or maybe they’ll start off that way and then change their mind later because you say something they disagree with or because they convert to a religion that doesn’t tolerate others’ “differences.” While I can’t say that all people are going to react the way I’ve come to find many to most of them reacting in my life, I do have to think that what I’ve experienced (as generalized as I’ve described the experiences) should at least be taken into consideration when someone decides they want to tell others.

But of course, how one decides to live their religious life – privately or publicly – is entirely up to them. And anyone who tells you that your choices are wrong are assholes and anyone who doesn’t support you in doing something that makes you feel good about yourself is, also, an asshole. And people like that… well, they really shouldn’t be in your life anyway.

Kemetic Round Table: Secular Holidays.

The Kemetic Round Table (KRT) is a blogging project aimed at providing practical, useful information for modern Kemetic religious practitioners. For all the entries relating to this particular topic, take a peek!

Holidays in Western culture have long since changed from the days of religious observance. If you study Medieval history, then you know how very pious many of the large holidays were. In Catholic countries, observances of saints’ days were held in high regard along with the other major religious holidays we still celebrate today. Christmas was a twelve-night affair that ended in January; Saint Valentine’s Day was not filled with sappy cards and boxes of chocolate; and Easter was a four day affair, spanning from Friday through to Monday. We don’t celebrate the holidays the way that our ancestors would have and many of our ancestors would probably scratch their heads of they could see what we do for those types of celebrations. In addition to this, we have national holidays that have never had religious observances thrown in the mix: Martin Luther King, Jr Day; Veteran’s Day; Independence Day; and Thanksgiving. Some holidays that would appear to be national are celebrated by individual states, too, such as Patriot’s Day being celebrated in Massachusetts and not in the state in which I work, Connecticut. This adds a whole ‘nother kettle of fish to the whole holiday question.

For most of these items, I tend to associate them as secular holidays and little else. They’ve become less religious inspired, or never were religiously inspired, and more about having an added day off from work or school. In other cases, their focus is more about things rather than the silent reflection that probably should accompany these holidays. For ill or good, most holidays in America are seen in this light. Hell, even atheists and agnostics celebrate Valentine’s Day and Christmas. We can’t very well just decide to cut them on out of a celebration that takes our nation by storm. If atheists can celebrate these holidays, then I don’t really see why a Kemetic can’t participate, either.

The thing is that, in some instances, it can be a little uncomfortable, as an outsider, to enter into some of these observances. In the case of Christmas, which did begin as a religious holiday, there are bits and pieces of the holiday are still entrenched in religious observances. People go to church and observe certain religious traditions that were ingrained in them as children. Some aspects are cultural in nature more specifically relating to food: panettone in Italy and in American Italians while the French Americans, French descendants, and the French will celebrate with a tourtiére. However, if the family traditions are ingrained and you’re entering into those traditions, as they always used to say, “When in Rome do as the Romans.”

In my particular instance, since my family is French Catholic, we celebrate quietly on Christmas Eve with family. No midnight masses – most of my family is too old to stay up that late, but they do attend mass. In the case of the Husband’s family, we spend a rowdy Christmas Day eating heavily and drinking copious amounts with Italian inspired dessert dishes. (His legitimate Italian family members would make meatballs and sausages for Christmas Eve dinner instead of the “seven fish dinner” people tend to associate with Christmas Eve and American Italians.)

But, even with the adage of “When in Rome, do as the Romans,” how does a Kemetic really negotiate through the holiday?

Honestly, it never really bothers me. It doesn’t matter what the holiday is. My religious observances aren’t in tune with the religious or secular observances going around the country. They hardly, if ever, match up. I may pay attention to a holiday that’s coming up because I don’t mind celebrating the holiday. I celebrate Thanksgiving in the conventional manner as everyone else; I eat turkey and then bitch about how full I am afterward. I celebrate Christmas by handing out presents and having fun with family members. I celebrate New Year’s Eve by attempting to stay up late and watch the ball drop (I don’t think I have the last few years though). I celebrate Valentine’s Day by buying sappy cards and giving them to the Husband. I celebrate the rest of the secular, national holidays in the country by having a day off and bumming around the house. And that’s effectively it. That’s how I negotiate them all.

However, it is also possible to incorporate your current religious practices with the secular holidays that are coming around, as well. Last year, I did some celebrating with my OTHERS™ on Thanksgiving as well. I ended up having a nice celebration with family during the day and then did a little bit later on with the gods and land spirit around my home. While I didn’t celebrate in this fashion this year, I did feel like I had successfully breached a barrier between the secular and the religious when performing the celebration in question. Emboldened by the Thanksgiving success last year, I ended up incorporating the netjeru into my Christmas celebrations as well: each of them got presents from me. While, again, I haven’t done this and don’t intend to this year, it still makes me feel like it is at least feasible to incorporate your religious identity with the secular holidays that Americans have in abundance.

Now, aside from the major holidays that happen around the end of the year, there are other holidays that happen throughout the year. As I indicated, there is Valentine’s Day, Labor Day, Independence Day, and so forth and so on. There is usually about one or two major holidays throughout the year, per month. Those traditions can easily be incorporated into a religious tradition if the desire is there. In same vein, you can celebrate the holiday however one so desires with their family members and then, later on, incorporate the netjeru into the celebration. Or you can incorporate them all together. However one decides to approach it is, frankly, their decision. What works for me isn’t necessarily going to work for anyone else.

We are all individuals here and how we approach major holidays is going to be as individual as we are.

Kemetic Round Table: Bribery and Threats.

One of the things that we often forget when it comes to working with the netjeru is that we are very needy creatures. I say, a lot, that we always need to remind ourselves that when it comes to our offerings and the like, we are giving them because they require these things. However, what we also tend to forget is that humanity, as a whole, is very young, very new, and often come into open or veiled conflict over things. In many instances, a lot of us end up thinking about how things aren’t fair or how things are so hard. And I’m not denying that those thoughts aren’t legitimate. As someone personally going through a pretty fucking trying time right now, I get it. So, when it comes to us turning to the netjeru, we also need to remind them that as much as our relationships can be specific to their wants and their needs; sometimes, they need to fulfill ours as well.

We can only do so much to get the push to the next level past whatever it is we are currently experiencing. We can sweep the path, we can walk the path, we can set up the blocks to build whatever foundations we need, but sometimes that’s not enough. And that’s usually when our faith gets called on to get some things done. Now, in many instances, a prayer is sent out to whomever and that’s the end of it. You feel better for a while because you turned to your faith and you think, “Maybe things will get better.” But maybe they don’t get better and you can only spend so much time tossing those prayers at deities that may or may not be paying attention to what you’re looking for. So, then it comes up to the point where you have to ask yourself what you may or may not do next.

Another thought is that as important as our offerings are, our words are, the intended actions, and our upholding of ma’at may be, the gods are also kind of busy. We’ve all had moments when we haven’t felt such a close connection with our netjeru. We’ve all mentioned how we’ve had our fallow times or we’ve just felt like they weren’t there for one reason or another. Frankly, we don’t know what it is that they do when they aren’t in our faces. And it’s also possible that, perhaps, they sent a netjeri as stand in while we were tossing those prayers in their direction. And perhaps the message taking netjeri forgot the message amid all the abundance of items we’ve been offering to the gods. Whatever the reason, there comes a breaking point where each devotee has to stop and say, “When is enough, enough?” And what exactly do you do next?

Historic evidence shows that the ancient Egyptians were not above getting their needs met in any way possible. They may not have even let a single prayer go unanswered before demanding results. Whatever the case, they would absolutely demand that their needs were met by the gods in question. In the Demotic Magical Papyrus of London and Leiden, the user phrased their demands, “The fury of Sekhmet thy mother and of Heka thy father is cast at thee, thou shalt not be lighted for Osiris and Isis, thou shalt not be lighted for Anubis until thou hast given me an answer to everything which I ask about here to-day truly without telling me falsehood. If thou wilt not do it, I will not give thee oil.” And this is just the threatening of a lamp for divination purposes! I think we can suffice to say that, at least in antiquity, the people had no problem telling the gods that they had better listen if they want the offerings.

Now it comes down to whether or not, just because we have evidence of such things in antiquity, if we should be able to do likewise.

And I think we absolutely should.

In cases like I’ve mentioned above – they’re either absent or they are so busy getting their jollies off of what we provide for them that they forget about us – our needs are not being met. And in order to provide the things they want from us, we need to have those needs met. In cases like they aren’t there, if you start threatening to withhold something that they like, then they’re more likely to pay attention to the situation. And again, in instances where they’re wrapped up in their own personal stuff, if you threaten to remove something they enjoy, you had better believe they’ll start paying attention. Just as a child will begin paying a little bit better attention to what you want from them when you threaten to take away their toys in punishment, so too can we expect the netjeru to react.

Some people may think that threatening the gods to provide for us is disrespectful. While I can see the point that they make because many of us come into a relationship with the gods thinking of them was omnipotent and omniscient, I think this is more often a holdover from having come from a religious tradition where that is supposed to be the case. As I’ve mentioned numerous times in the past, many of us come from a monotheistic background, more specifically from Christianity. And we are taught to believe that God is an all-powerful being that can see and do whatever God wills. The thing is that we can’t continue to force those beliefs onto a group of deities who have been around for far longer. And truly, if they really were as omnipotent or omniscient as some people believe, then why would the ancients have threatened them?

I think the netjeru have a lot of power and have some pretty good information to give out. I think, too, that they like us and that’s why they stay around. However, I don’t think that they are perfect. And I think that it is the fact that they are not perfect, and have other things going on, that leads people to require something like threatening the gods. I think, too, that we need to keep in mind that just because an omniscient or omnipotent deity that we may or may not have had relationships with prior to our entry into polytheism doesn’t necessarily equate to having similar relationships with the netjeru. We can’t put our past relationships on the current relationships we have. Just like we can’t really have our current significant others pay for the mistakes of our last relationships, we can’t assume that how it was with one particular deity is going to be how it is with any other.

While I strongly believe that threatening the gods to get what we need is something that we need to consider, if not outright follow through on, I have to admit to having not done this. I don’t tend to remember that I have a bunch of deities at my back who are interested in my welfare for whatever reason. I tend to just rely on them in the hopes that they hear my prayers and do something about it. Or, if I don’t hear back from them, then I just assume that they are demanding I deal with the follow through while they wait around in the wings for whatever it is I need help with to finally be over. I always forget that I can punish them, or at least threaten to do so, to get what I need.

I think, too, another reason why I don’t end up doing this is because I’m frightened of it. What if I do this and they end up leaving? What if I do this and nothing happens? I think, above all else, it’s that second question that makes me pause the most. What if I threaten them and nothing happens? While I can’t quite take the time out needed to attempt to answer that rather existential question, I have to admit that this is a failing of mine. If the ancients could do it, then why can’t I?

I have been known to bribe the gods for things that I want. While most of my bribery tends to be minor, I ended up developing this tactic when I began working with the lwa. It’s quite common in voodoo to tell the lwa that if they want a certain item or another, then they have to help make it happen. Case in point, I’ve told the Bawon that if he wants rum, then I need more money in my paycheck in order to purchase the rum. I’ve left it up to him at this point – he can provide more money in my paycheck (that I won’t have to pay back because my boss miscalculates or something) or he can wait. I do similar items when it comes to the gods. While the lwa and the netjeru are not one in the same, tactics used in one set of my religious path can and will be utilized in other arenas.

And it works.

When it comes to bribery, this is something that we need to keep in mind when it comes to things that they are saying, “we want,” and we are unable to provide. Bribery is usually a kind of thing that we use with children, as well. “If you eat all your dinner, you get a snack,” or “if you clean your room, we can go to the park.” These aren’t necessarily bribes, per se, but they are in a way. We are explaining to these children of ours that if they do what it is we need them to do, then they will be paid for their time. In same vein, we need to do the same with the gods. Just because they want something – booze, cookies, a clean room, whatever – doesn’t mean that we have the ability to manifest it for one reason or another. So, in the case of offerings, we may say, “Bring the money into my paycheck and you’ll get what you want.” If they want that item badly enough, then they’ll see through.

In same vein, if it comes down to their desiring you to clean your room or have more time to write stories for them, then they have to provide you with the means to see those projects done. They can request that you get a project going and see movement on it, but it’s just not feasible since we do live regular, mundane lives as well. We don’t have the ability anymore, like the priests, to just spend all of our time in silent reflection on their wants and desires. We have lives to lead and we have things to see done. And maybe that means that the things they want us to do are not our top priority. So, in order to make them happy and feel like you are an adequate devotee, you need to remind them, periodically, that we are not mindless automatons who are only here to provide for them.

Thus, the bribes.

While I don’t advocate discussing the netjeru as children when speaking with them, it helps to have this kind of mindset when thinking about the things you feel that you need to see movement on and being unable to do so. Sometimes, we just need a little bit of divine help to get shit going. And sometimes, we need to remind them that we’re still works in progress.

Kemetic Round Table: Mythology.

The Kemetic Round Table (KRT) is a blogging project aimed at providing practical, useful information for modern Kemetic religious practitioners. For all the entries relating to this particular topic,
take a peek here.

As a polytheist, one of the easiest ways to get to know the gods to whom you want to devote yourself to is to start looking into the mythology associated with them. While introducing yourself to the deity in question is also a fine example of how best to “get to know” a new god to whom you wish to work with, the mythology surrounding that god is the best non-direct way to learn about the gods. Reading the mythos will grant you a perspective relating to the gods and goddesses that you may not get merely in any one-on-one interactions. It will also give you a better background of information for when you want to begin networking and interacting with other polytheists who work with those gods. As some of those practitioners may be historically informed or recon-oriented in their practices, the mythology relating to the deity could mean a good deal to them and their practices. So, all in all, for any polytheist, it’s a really good idea to at least read the mythology once or ten thousand times.

The problem with Kemeticism is that not all the myths are still extent, if they existed at all. The Kemetic pantheon is made up of numerous deities, some of whom are little more than a name. These deities are associated, usually, with specific nomes in ancient Egypt. And unfortunately, much of the writings relating to them have passed into the realm of mystery. Most of their names are remembered because they were written in Books of the Dead, Coffin Texts, and in some cases, the Pyramid Texts. While this is very well, it doesn’t give us much to go on when it comes to things like how to approach the netjer, what they would have been like, or what all their realm of “expertise” would have been. In cases like that, we can hopefully find things like epithets or look to those surviving sources for more information, but a main source is closed to us, sadly.

Sometimes, it can feel a little like this.

Sometimes, it can feel a little like this.

In other arenas, there are so many variations of a myth that it may be near-on impossible to get an accurate depiction of what the netjer would be like just based entirely on what may be read. Each mythology that was written regarding any of the netjer would have varied from scribe to scribe, as each would have learned specific myths associated with their temples. They may have even added flourishes from possible oral traditions that we are unaware of. In same vein, the myths would have changed over time to include various additional items when one of the netjer usurped aspects from another of the netjer. The ancient Egyptians were also very fond of satire and they had satirical versions of popular mythology, as well. As an example, I believe it is the satirical version of the contending between Set and Heru that infer that Djehuty is the love-child between Set and Heru, as caused when Set ate Heru’s semen that was placed on his lettuces. (For more information regarding this particular myth, please reach out to Devo.)

While the sources themselves may vary, so too can the interpretation of those myths by the modern-day practitioners looking to worship those netjer. While one person may interpret the contending of Set and Heru as allegory, another may literally interpret the mythology as an actual event, recorded for posterity. Another person may only see the contending as a clear indicator of just what a mean netjeru Set is and another may see his actions as maintaining ma’at, even if the way of that maintenance may seem odd to us years later. And yet another person may interpret what they are reading as something that humanity made up an in an attempt to associate with the netjer better. So, while each person may read the exact same version of the mythology, the interpretations are going to vary from devotee to devotee. What makes this even more difficult to find common ground, in some instances, is the simple fact that each version really does vary, as shown above. Without the ability to have a standardized version and without all of us humans practicing this religion being boring, mindless automatons, variations are bound to crop up!

So, mythology is a really excellent jumping off point for getting to know the netjer to whom you may want to devote or to whom you may be interested in. However, you may find that the mythology leaves a sour taste in your mouth. A primary and obvious case in point is Sekhmet’s mythology. The Destruction of Mankind is a pretty basic myth about how Sekhmet went down and killed humanity for seven days before she was pacified by red-dyed beer. It may end up leaving you feeling as though that’s all there is to her and that’s okay! It’s not the be-all, end-all of Sekhmet, of course, but it’s one of the first interactions many people have with her. By reading this myth, we see that she can get pretty mindless at times when it comes to destroying things, but that we can also prevent her from doing so by giving her beer!

Now, as far as the laity that I have seriously begun to cultivate in my practice, I have to admit that after the initial “oh, well that’s interesting” read through, the myths have had little daily interaction in my practice. They can give me good indicators of what type of offerings the gods may want – Sekhmet may want red beer; Aset may want heka; Hetheru may want me to tell her stories – but they’re not items that I interact with, ponder on, or even think of very often. I think that learning them is important, for the very reason I mentioned initially, but I don’t think that, once you get to know those mythologies, that they need to continue to play such an integral part to your practice.

Personally, they work out as interesting tidbits to add as devotional poetry for the netjer. Sometimes, I integrate them into stories that I’m writing. In other instances, they become an addition to the bed time story I will tell my son before bed. But, after having interacted with them heavily in the beginning of my practice, they don’t really figure in as anything more than a solid foundation. And that, above all else, is why I have to advocate why newbies start reading them. They really are an excellent fallback position for where to begin and how best to learn about the netjer. With a concrete historical basis as a foundation, it becomes a little easier, over time, to not only interact with the netjer but also to interact and network with other Kemetics out there.

Kemetic Round Table: Holidays.

The Kemetic Round Table (KRT) is a blogging project aimed at providing practical, useful information for modern Kemetic religious practitioners. For all the entries relating to this particular topic, take a peek here.

This is pretty damn accurate, if you ask any other Kemetic out there.

This is pretty damn accurate, if you ask any other Kemetic out there.

The world of Kemeticism is filled with holidays. There are numerous calendars to choose from when it comes to holidays. We all joke about it, but legitimately, just about every day of the year is some form of feast, festival, procession, or major celebration. In some cases, we have a multitude of various celebrations to choose from on any given day. In other case, there are holidays that span quite a few days at a time (I think there is even one that spans an entire thirty days, if I’m recalling my calendar information correctly), which accounts for much of the “multiple celebrations to choose from” thing. While spoons are a serious consideration when deciding how many, and how frequently, one spends in regards to their holy days, there are so many to choose from that you could celebrate whichever ones you want and may not find a single other Kemetic who celebrates the same one! Both an exciting and frightening prospect, in and of itself.

While holidays aren’t the be-all, end-all to anyone’s religious practice, incorporating them into what we do, I believe, is rather important. It is with daily devotions, of course, that we build our relationships. But just as with interpersonal and mundane relationships, things begin to grow. And with those things growing, we must begin to look outside of our “usual bag of tricks” in an effort to move forward with those relationships. While the metaphor I just used may be a little sloppy, it’s accurate for the relationships we are building with our gods, as well. Giving offerings and praying to our gods is an excellent way to begin our connections and continuing in those devotions with a larger focus, such as a holiday, is an excellent next step one will inevitably take.

I think that while, also, facilitating a deeper association between gods and their devotees, holidays are also a very good way of letting off some steam. While I do advocate piety in one’s practice, I also believe that we need to keep the fun in all of this, as well. We can’t just sit around and have deep philosophical conversations all the time or discuss historical tidbits to death. Sometimes, we need to let loose and in order to do that, we need to let down our hair, so to speak. As a prime example, one of my last celebrations – prior to this year’s Intercalary Days and Wep-Ronpet – was a procession of Sekhmet. I tend to refer to this as Sekhmet’s version of the Roaming Gnome because, quite frankly, that is exactly what it was. I took my deity’s statue around the house, snapped a picture, and called it a night. While there are a lot of things that one may want to put into a festival or feast, from supplies to intention, we can’t forget about just exactly how much fun we can all have while celebrating them.

There are numerous ways to go about figuring out when those celebrations are.

Some people choose certain days of the week as kind of impromptu celebrations for their deity of choice. For example, people may take the planetary associations with days of the week and incorporate them into festivals of some sort for their gods: Sunday would be days to celebrate for the solar deities (so about 99% of the Kemetic pantheon). Or, you may choose a day of the week that “speaks” to you on some level for the deity that you are looking to celebrate for. And again, you could just put the seven days of the week up on a dart board, throw a dart, and see where it lands. With the humorous and slightly sarcastic invention of “Bitter Tits Tuesday” in honor of Djehuty, I think it had more to do with the T in the word “tits” than anything else. (Devo and Desh are the two to ask about that. I just pay attention to it). But really, that stems from personal preference. If you want to choose a particular day of the week and use it as an all-encompassing way to celebrate your gods in various reasons, then do so.

Another way to go about figuring out when celebrations will be is by overlaying the Kemetic calendar (which one?) to the Julian calendar that we use now. So, in instances like that, people would choose Wep Ronpet to coincide with New Year’s Day and the Intercalary Days being the five days immediately preceding New Year’s Day. If you can associate the months that are of Kemetic design with the months that we currently have in use, then it makes things a little easier. However, in so doing this, one must take into consideration that there will be celebrations for holidays that are not in line with your local area’s weather patterns. Actually, this may be the case no matter how you end up creating your calendar, but it’s something you should keep in mind. I did attempt this, myself, and found it lacking. Part of the reason I had so many troubles with it was because my calendar was so far removed from other Kemetics’ calendars that it seemed like I was running solo even though the Kemetic community has quite a few players within. However, it’s something to keep in mind when debating on how best to begin your own holiday calendar.

Some other ways to begin the whole “when” question is to find out when the star Sirius (Sopdet) rises above the horizon for the first time in your area. Of course, you may want to base your calendar off of a specific city, either where you live or in ancient Egypt, so you will need the proper coordinates in order to do this. I won’t get into the nitty gritty of specifically how and where you go about this information. I will, however, provide a link to the entry that helped me with this. Suffice to say, this is probably the most labor intensive (and I don’t recommend doing it without being fully caffeinated) but also one of the most liberating and exciting ways to discover your calendar. From there, it’s only a matter of time of counting down the days to start interspersing the celebrations you want to celebrate – such as Wep-Ronpet, the Wag Festival, the Opet Festival, et cetera – into your own calendar system.

Celebrating holidays, and the how, is something that is highly dependent on the aim of the celebration. I wrote about this not all that long ago and I think the items that I listed in that entry are just as valid today. I can tell you, however, that when it comes to celebrating your holidays, you may want to make a list of the things you want to incorporate into this holiday. The questions I’ve highlighted in the post I just linked to are important aspects to ask yourself when you begin to celebrate and how best to plan out your celebration. Now, I’m a huge fan of pulling things out of your butt at the last minute. Without planning and foresight, then you are better able to have fun, in my opinion. Obviously, that’s not always the case, but it also makes it less likely for you to feel like you’ve failed or fucked up if you don’t have a game plan in place. However, if you’re just starting out, I highly recommend that you move forward with planning things.

I also highly recommend that you start off with minor celebrations. Some of the bigger things, like the Opet Festival or the Wag Festival, may leave you with star struck eyes at the possibility of celebrating them. However, moving into this whole holy day thing with some of the largest Kemetic celebrations out there isn’t necessarily recommended. If you choose something minor, such as a feast day, to begin with, then you can at least begin to get a feel relating to what it is that you are about and what it is you are hoping to achieve with all of this. Just as you don’t start swimming by diving off of the high board, you need to take small steps to build yourself up to a comfort level with your Kemetic holidays.

This is how we celebrate "Bitter Tits Tuesday," some water and pictures on our breasts.

This is how we celebrate “Bitter Tits Tuesday,” some water and pictures on our breasts.

There is no tried and true “you must do this” when it comes to what types of things you decide to add into your calendar. I think many people are frightened away from adding their own interpretations of celebrations to their religious calendars because “woo” in the Kemetic hemisphere is predominantly looked down upon. We’re so focused on how recon we are that we forget that this isn’t about us so much as what we can provide for them. And if you go right out and create your own religious celebration, then you are obviously snorting down the “woo.” The thing is, however, that recon is all fine and dandy until you realize that you could very well be preventing your relationship with the god in question from moving forward by allowing what other people think to hold you back. Case in point: a group of us Kemetics began seriously celebrating “Bitter Tits Tuesday” in honor of Djehuty. Not a single aspect of it has to do with anything except all of us having fun and a great laugh. I actually made a little bitter tits face that I tape on to the breast of my icon each Tuesday. Does this reek of being kind of an asshole? Maybe. Is it fun? Shit, yeah. Do I care what other people may think? Not really because I’m having some damn fun while I’m doing it.

My best advice on the whole subject of holiday is to have a lot of fun and to do whatever makes you most comfortable. This isn’t really about what we can do or what we can’t do. This religious path is here because we decided it sounded like a grand old time. In same vein, we need to take that attitude and incorporate it into the holidays we are looking forward to adding to our religious practices.

Kemetic Round Table: Multiple Pantheons.

The Kemetic Round Table (KRT) is a blogging project aimed at providing practical, useful information for modern Kemetic religious practitioners. For all the entries relating to this particular topic, take a peek here.

Occasionally, when we begin exploring alternate religious paths, we start off with some of the more complex questions out there. One of these happens to be whether or not following another tradition is feasible, possible, or likely. While I don’t think asking oneself this type of question when you’re first beginning to explore areas of paganism without really knowing what particular subsection holds an interest, it is a question that we all have to answer at some point or another. I think a lot of times these questions get posed to ourselves so early on is because it can be a hot topic of debate.

Mix 'em like you're at a bar.

Mix ’em like you’re at a bar.

In many instances, we have examples of people who seem to float from one religious tradition to another, jumping from deity to deity, in a personal attempt at finding acceptance or finding something that works for them. In those instances, we see the word “fluffy” thrown around a lot or “Pokemon polytheist.” Since both of these terms tend to have some pretty negative connotations, I think, that many people tend to view multiple pantheons/multiple traditions in a religious practice as deeply frowned upon by the outlying polytheistic and/or pagan communities. In other instances, we have some big name people telling us that flouncing from deity to deity or tradition to tradition is just a bad, bad thing. In those same cases, they may even tell you that you must be this single, miniscule thing for definition purposes and for consistency purposes and and and. The problem there is that you’re letting someone else dictate to you what you should or should not be doing with your religious practice. And if you’re going to go that far, you may as well stick with a tradition that has codified dogma and leaders aplenty.

While I really do not believe in tackling this topic as early on as all of that, I do think it’s something that each person must decide for themselves at some point in their religious life. It’s definitely not an easy task, pleasing various deities with various interests in a single household. It’s, also, not very easy when you feel like you are being pulled in numerous directions by all of these added traditions, beliefs, and gods into a religious tradition that you felt would be this “one thing only.” However, it may be something that you have seeming no choice with: it can be exceedingly difficult telling a deity “thanks, but no thanks” as I am a clear indicator. (Being a deity collector at ten deities and counting – pretty sure I may have picked up number eleven – I am hardly the person to explain how to tell you no.) So, it may come down to setting yourself ground rules early on and being completely aware that whatever early-on ground rules you’ve set can and will be thrown out later.

The real question is about possibilities here. It’s not just a question of “can I” or “will I” but, is it even possible? While I have had many moments where pulling my hair out and/or crying about how difficult shit is, I am a [not so] sterling example that it is possible. In many instances, you may find that the secondary and/or tertiary practices you are interested in flow almost seamlessly with the main branch you started off with.

For example, Devo has often mentioned that there is quite a bit of similarity between beliefs in Shinto and Kemeticism. While it may not be a seamless fit, these two seeming incongruent religious practices can create a cohesive, single-unit practice. Keep in mind that this may not always be the case. As another example, I don’t believe that the voodoo side of my practice meshes very well with the Kemetic side of things (since voodoo tends to make it difficult for a hard polytheist who has always had issues with the single, all-powerful deity dynamic). While there are some items that relate to one another – both Kemeticism and voodoo tend to be heavy in the realm of community, this isn’t always the case, which can make my life difficult as I attempt to create something between the two.

I will say this, though, that if you are going to start working with multiple pantheons, the best advice here is to take your time. Don’t rush into anything. There seems to be a desire by people who have had gods knock on their doors to jump right into it. I’m all for taking a daring leap, however I think in many instances, barreling into a situation such as adding an entirely separate religious tradition requires a lot of work and dedication.

To use myself as an example again, I didn’t just run off into the wide open arms of Papa Legba (even though he kind of wanted me to) when he showed up at my doorstep with his makout in hand and his devil-may-care grin. I have taken a lot of time and put in a lot of effort to work on that relationship. I have also done extensive research, of which I have not even remotely scratched the surface on all of the information, regarding everything I could get my hands on in the area of voodoo. While also working to formulate that relationship and everything that it entails, I have also had to continue to keep my Kemetic practice going. As I indicated above, some items that I do for the voodoo side of things are not reciprocated in my Kemetic practice. Some days, it feels very much like I’m straddling a fence and getting ready to be split in half. On other days, it can be very much like I’m actually working something into a single cohesive unit.

Another common question in this area of meshing multiple religious practices is if it’s okay to take what you have perfected in one tradition and using it on another. While the question for this particular entry is specifically asking if it’s okay to perform rituals that are not Kemetic based, I think this question is a lot more shades of gray than its innocuous phrasing would lead us to believe. In some instances, I absolutely condone the usage of outside elements. However, I also think that some rituals and festivals should be maintained in the tradition that they are a part of. Let’s use some examples to make my point clear.

Let’s take a look at my ancestral practices. Both of my religious traditions focus heavily on this area. Both Kemetics and Vodouisants are always talking about the ancestors in some context or another. However, while I do work heavily with the akhu and I refer to them as such (instead of Guéde), I do not mesh the two types of celebrations that I do. If I am celebrating a festival of the akhu as based on my Kemetic calendar, then all items therein are going to be based off of my Kemetic practice with very little voodoo influence. However, if I am celebrating those very ancestors because of a voodoo holiday (like Fet Guéde in November), then I am going to utilize very little Kemetic influences. It’s not just a simple matter of having different ways and foci when celebrating, but also because the very OTHERS™ that govern this area (Bawon Samedi and Anup, specifically) have asked for this separation of practice.

However, when working in the realm of magical endeavors, I will pull information from both sides of the fence. While I am specifically doing something under the auspices of Aset and her desires in each instance, I will use wanga as blessed by Papa Legba (and other lwa, if the need arise) to create whatever magical item/spell I am looking for. In same vein, I will mix hoodoo items* into a jar spell while also practicing careful heka in creating the words for the spell in question. There is no particular rhyme or reason, no clear delineation between which practices a certain aspect may come from, in this area.

* Hoodoo is not the same as voodoo. At the behest of both Aset and Papa Legba, I began looking into to assist me in future magical endeavors. However, I used this as an example to show how very eclectic my “ritual performance” for magical effects can be.

As far as what items get mixed and what items do not, I think it’s entirely dependent on the OTHERS™ in question. It’s possible that Persephone may want to get added to a holiday that you are celebrating for the netjer of the underworld. However, she may also not want anything to do with Wesir, Anup, and all the rest. In that case, I think it needs to be taken in on a case by case basis. Everyone, not just yourself, but also the deities and spirits in questions need to be given full vote on what does or does not get added in.

Kemetic Round Table: Satsekhem’s Story.

The Kemetic Round Table (KRT) is a blogging project aimed at providing practical, useful information for modern Kemetic religious practitioners. For all the entries relating to this particular topic, take a peek here.

I’d like to be able to tell everyone that when I first began exploring paganism in any context, I immediately latched on to Kemeticism and I’ve been doing this ever since. Unfortunately, just because something makes complete sense [now], it doesn’t necessarily mean that it has always been that way. Point of fact, I did a lot of wandering, soul-searching, running, and crying when it came to my pagan path in those early years. I always seemed to be searching for something that was fulfilling and that I would enjoy. The answer was right in front of my nose, obviously, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t turn down every available path before I realized the answer was right in front of me. Honestly, if I had just been able to accept Kemeticism back then, however, things would be massively different from what I have with my practice today. And while I had a lot of heartache because I was constantly searching for the right fit, I think it was probably pretty important that I had all of that time for soul-searching and making mistakes.

As a child, I was introduced to cultures’ mythologies from the de rigueur single class that elementary schools [in America] spend on such topics. While we did not fully discuss the ancient Egyptian culture or many cultures outside of Greek and Roman (that I can recall), this class was a defining moment for me. It honestly opened me up to a love of history that I hadn’t realized I had until then. Even after the class was over, I spent many hours in the library, carefully pouring over what books to take out. And while I spent much of my time checking out books in the horror section, I also spent a lot of my time checking out mythology books. I know that there weren’t many about ancient Egypt (and ancient India) but I looked into them as well. I was intrigued by the stories of the Greek and Roman era, but I was more interested in cultures outside of the Mediterranean. While my mother fully believes that my love of ancient Egypt stemmed from my die-hard need to watch The Ten Commandments without falling asleep, it was really because my elementary school taught a smidge or three about ancient cultures’ religious beliefs.

Even back then, when re-reading D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths, I often wondered why we didn’t believe in multiple gods anymore and if we did, how our culture would be different. I can remember going through the pictures in that book and thinking, What if they really are really real?

Though, I did spend much time pouring over those Greek and Roman books, I did do my best to research ancient Egypt. And I will admit that even back then, I would often stop and pour over the limited mythology I found regarding Sekhmet. While I’ve since incorporated this into my own personal UPG regarding my relationship with her now, I have to admit that it was with real desire that my question of them being real pounded through my brain. And quite often, I would ask that question to myself over and over again while reading and re-reading the bits and pieces I found regarding Sekhmet. Maybe I’ve always been drawn to her or she was always drawn to me and that’s what this whole thing we have now is. But, frankly, it doesn’t matter how, when, or why these things happened. All that matters is that it was a lasting and important moment in my [future] religious life.

When I was 19 or 20, a mutual friend of my and my ex-husband’s introduced me to Wicca. He had been researching the religion for quite some time. The ex-husband and I were living in Texas at the time and it was with very real intrigue that I found someone who was well read and interested in exploring alternate religious choices in such a Christian environment. (As a quick note: the first time I met this man, I was reading Bob Brier’s book, The Murder of Tutankhamun. And his first words to me were, “Don’t you know he was killed by a leg infection?” And that is how we became friends, though I still harbor the probably incorrect belief that he was helped along into his next life.) He explained to me the bits and pieces he had gleaned from books he had purchased and I was smitten. The thoughts of animism, polytheism, and non-God related religions was enough to make me fully begin to research Wicca.

And I did.

I spent many nights at work, as I worked the overnight, haunting websites and lurking in forums while I tried to pick up information. It was back then when I asked a “fluffy” question on a forum that made me realize I needed to back off and go at this from my own angle. While I don’t remember what the fluffy question is now, I do know that it taught me to be more careful about what I shared and how I shared it. It also left a particularly bad taste in my mouth for Wicca. If that was the reaction a neophyte was going to get for asking a question that they didn’t know was “fluffy,” then why did I want to be part of the religion? If I wanted to get treated like dirt for not knowing, then I could easily do as such in a Christian background. And in those instances, I would get the nasty commentary straight to my face, or at least behind my back, and not over a computer screen. I stopped researching Wicca and its various beliefs, types, and all of that back then. In fact, I stopped researching everything that had to do with paganism in any way for a good few years, but I always wondered if I had someone to practice with if things would be different. And I’ll admit that, back then, I still spent a lot of time researching Sekhmet.

Over and over again, I would end up on the same websites, re-reading the same things I already knew. Over and over again, I would start researching something for a short story I was writing and end up on pages associated with her. While it’s possible that I was doing an Internet search version of Wiki-clicking, I have since incorporated this into my UPG with Sekhmet, as well. I’ve always wondered if this wasn’t a sign of some sort. And while I know that it probably was, now, I ignored whatever little flutters I had regarding her back then. I have a habit of shutting shit down when I’m upset and confused and the argumentative and vitriolic responses I received to my “fluffy” questions was enough to make me back-burner my religious thoughts and beliefs.

I’ll tell you one thing, though. It sure pleased my ex-husband (Christian) that I was no longer researching alternate religious choices. And maybe, just maybe, it was because of how happy he was that I began looking again.

I started looking into polytheism when I finally went back to it. I had enough of Wicca and it’s weirdness, so I went to polytheism. Considering my childlike naïveté and the questions I would ask about the gods being really-really real, it really isn’t so surprising that I began looking into it. Since my ex-husband really kind of liked the whole “thou shall have no other gods before me” thing, I kept it pretty quiet. I began looking into monolatry, henotheism, polytheism, pantheism and all the rest. I found myself really liking hard polytheism on a whole. Even though I knew that the ancient Egyptian gods were syncretized with one another more often than not, hard polytheism fit with my desire as a child to have all the gods really-really real. It was during this time that I also stumbled onto Kemeticism for the first time.

I avidly looked into all of the temples that the webpage mentions. I found KO and I looked hard into. I remember, back then, thinking that this was what I needed and wanted. I had begun speaking with the ex-husband’s best friend’s girlfriend (the Sister) and I knew she was pagan, though not the exact flavoring. I didn’t discuss with her or the ex-husband about Kemeticism. But I remember staring at their page for hours and reading through the content there. I can remember looking over and over it again and thinking, I need a temple to belong to. There won’t be as much hard work for me in the future if I belong to a temple. But since I wasn’t sure how to get the process going, I invariably backed out of my open tabs and putting it on the back burner. There was always something in the not-too-distant future that needed to be attended to before I could get into the Kemetic Orthodoxy and everything it entailed.

All those things never ended up getting out of the way long enough for me to send in my application.

I’ve thought about this a few times in the intervening years and I’ve often wondered if this was, also, a sort of UPG experience with Sekhmet. I honestly don’t think she would have liked to see me join their temple. And back then, I was young enough and impressionable enough where I may have just bought everything they sold to me hook, line, and sinker. While I don’t want to sound like I dislike KO or anything, I have to say that from what I’ve seen and heard from other members there, I really don’t think I could have towed the line long enough to go anywhere with it. And frankly, I’m a lazy little shit so I don’t know if I would have or could have made it to the meetings and done all the readings I needed to in a timely manner. There’s a reason why it took me over a year to get my calendar perfected to how I want it – and why it’s still not 100% complete. I am a lazy, lazy person a lot of the time, so I think it was probably for the best that I didn’t join KO. I may not be where I am today. Hell, I may not even have kept up with polytheism if I washed out of the beginner’s course.

After years of exploring with a quasi-coven with the Sister, I remember thinking that I really liked Sekhmet. That was towards the end of our friendship with the EM (the “leader” of our quasi-coven). And I’ve mentioned before the reaction both the Sister and the EM have had. For those new to this blog, I’ll refresh: they were appalled at the idea that I would be overly interested in a destructive deity like Sekhmet because I, myself, was fairly destructive. While I will admit that I was and am a fairly destructive person, I honestly don’t know why turning to Sekhmet to curb these tendencies in myself was a bad idea. Oh, I kind of understand where they were coming from and in some weird way, I think Sekhmet does, too. But, I remember thinking about all those times I spent researching a deity I had been researching off and on for years. And I can remember thinking about Kemeticism. And I can remember thinking about how whatever little fucked up thing we were doing wasn’t really doing it for me anymore and my magical spells were always failing and everything was always centered around the EM and her drama… And even amid all that drama and suckitude, I can remember being calm, cool, and collected at the thought that I should really, really introduce myself to Sekhmet.

When our group fell apart, with the Sister and I going our separate ways from the EM, the two of us stopped practicing. But, I remember thinking about Sekhmet a lot back then. I really hate to rub it in everyone’s faces that she seems to have been a driving force in my life for so long (because I think that sounds like I’m some stuck up Sekhmet snob or something). However, it really is because of everything I had learned about her and my intense intrigue over her that I got into Kemeticism in the first place. I remember reaching out to any number of gods, both ancient Egyptian and otherwise, and never really feeling like I had a good fit until Sekhmet finally showed up for the first time and really turned on my godphone.

Over the years, my practice has changed a lot. You can go back through this blog and see what a ridiculous git I was in the beginning. (And while this blog shows as starting nearly three years ago now, it’s actually four years old and those entries are reblogged from an old LiveJournal that I deleted when I came over here.) I was a ridiculous, childish, clueless fool back then. I tried out every possibility of deity before turning to Sekhmet. It is because of Sekhmet that I came to this path, after years of searching, and it is through her that my practice has really become as full-fledged as it is now. And, honestly, as that poem I like so much says, “and that has made all the difference.”