A Kemetic Journey: A Kemetic Round Table Entry

Kemeticism as a journey- how has your practice changed since you started out? How did you find your place within the Kemetic sphere? Are there things you do now that you didn’t then? Things you weren’t expecting? What have you learned through trial and error that newbs may find helpful or useful?
This post goes along with the Kemetic Round Table, which can be found here. This is my first try at writing for KRT, so please judge me gently.

I start practicing Kemeticism about a year and half ago. Much has changed since then. I’ve developed somewhat deep relationships with Sekhmet and Djehuty. My library of books on Ancient Egypt has grown immensely. I don’t have a godphone, though I have become “god-bothered.” I still read a number of blogs by Kemetics. At times, I still feel like my practice doesn’t line up with theirs. It doesn’t. It doesn’t have to match. I can learn a lot from other practitioners even if we have differences. I am working on embracing my viewpoint within the Kemetic community. No one has to agree with me, but my opinion is important. Learning to let go of others’ standards has been difficult for me. It is important for my growth, however, so I will continue to work on it.

In the beginning of my practice, I was extremely focused on rituals. I like rituals, so this was good for me. It helped me to start relationships with the gods. I fell away from the ritual practice somewhat as my relationships with my gods grew deeper and other things were required from me. Now it is time for me to return to ritual with a deeper love for the gods. Ritual is only one way to connect with the gods, but it is an important one for me. I started out creating my own small rituals from scratch. Now I am learning how to build upon the rituals of others.

My practice is expanding, but fear is holding me back. I am not afraid of the gods, but I am a bit hesitant to invest myself fully into such unknown relationships. When I started, I wanted a godphone so badly. Although some days I still think it would be nice, I realize that there are other ways that the gods can communicate with me. I’ve discounted my intuition in the past, but it is one of my strongest allies. Sometimes I just know what the gods want, even if I don’t want to admit it to myself. Other times, I don’t think even a godphone would help me figure it out.

I mentioned fear. Right now I’m a bit stuck. I can’t move backwards, and I don’t want to. Moving forwards, however, is scary. Part of loving anyone, corporeal or not, is giving up a bit of control. You don’t have to give up all control, and I don’t recommend that most people do. However, you have to give up some control and begin to trust. I need to trust the gods that I choose to follow that in the end I will come out a better person. This doesn’t mean following them blindly, but it does mean venturing into the unknown. I’m not good at trusting with my heart. I have put up many walls to protect myself. I am slowly working on taking some down.

I have learned the importance of ma’at in Kemeticism. In the beginning, I thought Kemeticism was all about the gods. It isn’t. Kemeticism is about living in ma’at and fighting isfet. Both of these concepts are action oriented. I am striving to better understand the concept of ma’at and the little ways in which I can contribute. I am also learning that fighting isfet through execrations is something I want to incorporate in to my practice.

My practice may have hit a speed bump, but that doesn’t make it any less valid or make me any less of a Kemetic. Kemeticism is not the only part of my spiritual journey, but it affects how I see the world. It affects how I view other religions and approach other gods. It is a part of my life, both religious and mundane. Just because my rituals or prayers might not be up to my own standards at present doesn’t make me a bad practioner. It means I’m growing. My standards have changed and what I need has changed.

The two most helpful things to my growth has been reading and finding a supportive online community. Books and blogs are wonderful resources. Books give me the historical perspective, while blogs show me some of the different ways that people are practicing Kemeticism. I’ve gotten good ideas from both. The important thing is to realize that your practice is not going to match up exactly with the next person, but you can still learn from them. The people that I know might practice differently, but they support me in my practice. There are many resources available and people willing to help those looking to develop a Kemetic practice. They are there for anyone who is willing to look.

A Blot and Sumbel, an Execration, and Finding My Homes

I attended my second blot and sumbel with Nebraska Heathens United on Saturday. It was amazing and very interactive. Next time, however, I need to make sure I drink some water after I’ve had the mead. ~_^ My friend performed seidhr. It was her first experience as a public oracle, and she did an amazing job. I finally got a straightforward answer from Odin. I’ve been wondering what he wants from me. I had been told that I already knew and was just ignoring it. That was true. The answer I received during the seidhr confirmed what I had been ignoring from my heart. I’m not sure how I’m going to do it, or how I’m going to fit it in with my love for and practice of kemeticism. I feel as if I’ve been growing towards leadership. The way I answer questions and respond to situations still needs some work, but I am becoming more direct and decisive with each passing day. I’ve never really thought about myself as a leader. A support role or even a loner role is what I’m most familiar with. I still have to come out of my shell more and make a concerted effort to get to know people. Opening myself up more is something that I’ve need to work on for a while. I’ve been putting it off, taking shelter with those whom I already know well. It is time to start branching out. It is time to make myself heard.

Saturday was also the new moon. Some of the kemetics on tumblr came up with the idea of performing an execration every new moon, called “Poopacolypse 2k15” to fight A/pep and uphold ma’at. I am proud to say that I finally participated this new moon, and I plan on participating the rest of the year. Watching the bonfire burn after the sumbel, it hit me that I needed to execrate. Since that wasn’t the place to do it, I waited until I got home and then did some burning of my own. Execrations have never been a big part of my practice, but I feel it is becoming a permanent part.

I have been neglecting my ancestors. I have been avoiding my altars and shrines in general because I have been feeling that I won’t be doing enough. This is a silly feeling. The Gods have made that clear to me. Yet it is a feeling that I will have to work through all the same. I talk to my ancestors somewhat, and they still help me, but I know that I am shirking my duties in honoring them. I want to form a strong bond with them, however, so I need to work through my fears of not being perfect. Trying and failing is better than not trying at all in this particular case.

Here I am, a person with at least two religious homes. Both heathenry and kemeticism feel natural to me, though for very different reasons. I’ve always identified with the liminal, so perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise. I will have to see where the future takes me. I oathed to study runes at the sumbel. I have a pile of books on Ancient Egypt that I want to get through. I would like to complete the dedicant’s path in ADF by the middle of next year. I also have some things to learn about Wicca and Witchcraft in general. It is all interconnected in some way. In the last two years I have made a great deal of progress. It is still slow going, especially since I still have mood swings to deal with, but at least I feel like I’m headed somewhere.

Odin, ADF, My Schedule, Intuition

Odin has been a definite presence in my life of late.  I feel drawn to him.  I am hesitant delve deeply into a relationship with him because I know that he asks a great deal from his followers.  I want to let go and immerse myself.  My kemetic gods are supportive, but they also want me to be careful.  Djehuty doesn’t want me to be completely owned by Odin.  Sekhmet is worried that I will need a lot of healing when I am done working with him.  However, they are still supportive of my interest and wish me the best.  I am still kemetic, but I am also now exploring heathenry.  I prefer to honor the gods in their own ways.  I know that I am supposed to learn independence from the heathen gods.  I also know that goal probably involves some painful lessons.  As someone who doesn’t like pain, I’ve been avoiding asking for lessons.  However, it is time to move forward.  I want to move forward.

I went to a day long ADF festival in Topeka, Kansas, last Saturday.  The head of my local grove was ordained as official clergy.  The grounds were gorgeous with blooming tulips and a large lake.  There was a discussion on theology, a discussion on mindfulness, and a panel by the heads of different groves.  It reminded me how much I love festivals and how much I can learn from ADF.  I want to finish the initial self study program for ADF so that I can take advantage of other classes.  It was very motivating to see all the hard work of my grove leader pay off in her ordination.  I don’t think I am meant to be ADF clergy, but I do feel that moving forward in the organization would help me grow overall.

My schedule is busy these days.  I’m not complaining.  I enjoy having so many religious functions to attend.  I attend an educational session with the Order of the Red Grail on the first Saturday in April.  Then next Saturday was the ADF festival.  This Saturday is a private blot and sumbel that I’ve been invited to attend.  The following Saturday is our local grove’s Beltane ritual.  It is good for me to get out and participate.  Hopefully it will help me to make new friends and break down some of the walls that I’ve built around myself.  It is also good to see how different organizations are structured and run.  If I do decide to try to start a local kemetic group, I will need all of the information that I can get about the different ways to set up and run an organization.

I haven’t spent much time at my shrines or altar recently.  I’ve been worried that if I honor one god or pantheon then the other gods will be upset.  It is a silly worry.  My gods have been supportive of my differing interests.  I need to get back into the habit of a daily routine.  I miss it.  I still talk to my gods on a daily basis, but it is not the same as spending time in shrine.  I’m starting to get back into doing divination for myself.  It has always been my way of communicating with the gods, but I’ve felt unequal to it lately.  I’ve been very dependent on other people’s divination.  Their divination has been wonderful and enlightening, but I need to renew my faith in myself.  I need to trust my intuition.  It has carried me this far.  Along with the gods, it will take me to my goals.

Bipolar Ramblings

It has come up a lot over the past few years in readings done by people whom I don’t know that who I am and what I project are two very different things.  I am not sure how to change this.  I am slowly trying to break down the walls that I have built over the years.  As with most people, there has always been stress to meet certain expectations of others.  I am slowly trying to find myself again, but it is difficult.

I thought I had a life path all figured out, but it went down the drain when my bipolar disorder became too overwhelming.  I picked up some bad habits with negative thinking, fear of failure and fear of success.  Although I have been feeling better recently, my fears have kept me locked in a rut.  I am moving forward, but it is slow and painful.  I’m fighting myself.

In kemeticism, there is a concept called Zep Tepi.  It is a new beginning.  You can find Zep Tepi in every day, every second.  You can and are constantly starting anew.  I need to remember this.  I need to let go of the stagnation, the shame of the past, and the fear of the future.  I need to focus on the now and be mindful.  I need to trust my intuition.  The most important thing for me, however, is to accept happiness.  I have experienced such deep lows that I am afraid to be happy.  I feel undeserving.  I also feel that if I let myself be happy then the drop to depression will be more severe.  This is not to say that I don’t enjoy things, but I do tend to sabotage my chances at harmony and consistent happiness.  I find a great deal of happiness in my relationships with my gods.  I need to focus on what I need and what I want.  I need to celebrate my joy.

Protection and Execrations

The topic of execrations has come up in my divination readings again.  It has been a while since I’ve done one.  I actually bought a pot a while ago, but I never painted or smashed it.  I usually just draw and write on paper, rip it up and burn it.   I am not the best at protecting myself.

I’ve done a little research into wards, but I’ve never implemented any of it.  I often don’t even think of asking my gods or my akhu (ancestors) for protection.  I have been building (a little) my relationship back up with my guardian angel (or whatever you want to call them), so that is someone else whom I could ask for help.

However I decide to go about it, my readings are making it quite clear that I need to do something.  External forces are bothering me.  It is time for an execration, simple though mine may be.  Since I have let things slide for a while, I may need to do a few execrations.  Trying to put up wards of some kind or asking for help wouldn’t be a bad idea either.  At the worst, they wouldn’t work, but I would be no worse off then when I started.  I guess I should get on that.

Spring Equinox, Not Being Social, and Stagnation

On Saturday, I celebrated the Spring Equinox in a public ADF ritual.  We wrote a Vedic ritual honoring Savitr and Pusan, two solar deities.  Our grove likes to celebrate different pantheons in our public rituals to be more inclusive.  Vedism was the religion that preceded Hinduism.  Although some of the deities are shared between the two, there are a number of differences.  This article on the ADF website talks about Vedism for those interested.  All told, the ritual went off well despite a few minor issues.  It was a bit cold and windy outside.  The candles wouldn’t stay lit.  We had three adorable children (the daughters and son of our treasurer) help with the offerings.  Nothing spilled and nothing broke.  There were a few rather long pauses in certain points, but as I am always in a rush, it is good practice for my patience.

I did notice that my desire to be sociable seems to be regressing a bit.  At the times when it hit me that it would be good to introduce myself to new people, I refrained.  I don’t know how I expect to be any sort of community leader if I can’t interact well with people whom I don’t yet know.  That is something which I will have to work hard on this year.  I can blame it on still coming out of my mixed episode and feeling vulnerable, but these are things that I will have to continuously overcome, so blaming does nothing.

I also have to fight through the not doing that comes out of fearing of “doing it wrong.”  I am not a reconstructionist, though I may be recon-inspired.  The gods would prefer that I try something that may or may not be exactly correct as opposed to doing nothing out of fear of messing up.  I have started stagnating and have been having trouble getting a daily practice back up and going.  Learning about things is good, but it does not replace doing.  Part of religion is to practice it.  Even if all I can do is light a stick of incense and offer it up to the gods, that is what I need to do.  I really need to get past this fear that comes from comparing my practice to others.  It benefits no one.

Visiting a Friend and Choosing My Path

I just got back from meeting with a friend of mine, I’ll call her L. L is a spirit worker for Hel. She has been helping me to figure out some confusing readings and put the pieces together. L has also reaffirmed what I have initially felt. My home is in kemeticism. The Norse gods have something to teach me right now, which is why I am being drawn to them. Eventually I may be drawn to other pantheons, but kemeticism will always be my home. I have a future as a community leader and possibly as a priestess. I may even help to establish a local kemetic group some day. Right now I need to absorb all the information that is around me and solidify my daily ritual routine. I need to connect with other pagan groups in the area to learn as much as I can and to form bonds.

In the future, I may devote myself fully to Djehuty. Right now, I have much to do for him as well as other gods. Now is not the time for oaths, but it is time for activity. Thankfully Djehuty is all about gaining knowledge, so I can dedicate some of my studying to him. ~_^ I will hopefully become a student soon of the local wiccan coven. I don’t identify as wiccan, but I can learn a great deal from them if they are willing. They have taken other pagan leaders under their wing to help grow them to maturity, and I have hope that they will help me on my path.

Magic and meditation are two very important things that I need to integrate into my life more. It will take work and dedication, two things from which I sometimes shy away. I need to invest time and energy into these practices, however. They will become an integral part of my path. I also need to trust my intuition. I’m not an empath, but I can intuitively feel energies a little bit. I need to trust this. I need to have confidence that I can differentiate my own feelings and energies from external ones.

I always wanted to be god-bothered, and now I am. It will be an interesting ride. It is likely that I will never have a direct “god-phone,” but that doesn’t mean that I can’t work with and for the gods. Hopefully I can live up to their expectations. More importantly, hopefully I can live up to mine. The path is mine to choose, that much is clear. I am choosing to work with and for the gods and the community. I have a long road ahead of me. Wish me luck.

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