That’s how things have been in my life lately. I just have a whole bunch of stuff going on at once and it’s hectic. I’ve been focusing on more mundane matters and it’s taking away from my practice. I haven’t got the time for fancy rituals. I’ve been busy trying to get a job and focusing on photography. Instead I’ve been trying to keep things simple. I give offerings once in awhile. And I try to pray but I’m having a hard time. I’m going to start trying to meditate. I also need to work on my other practice. I’m trying to practice a more secular form of witchcraft. It is a learning experience. I’ve learned a lot of false information. I’ve been trying to relearn more accurate information. Since most of the information that is incorrect is religious in nature I’ve decided to remove the religious element. Secular witchcraft seems to be a lot less restraining. I’m digging both the Kemetic and the witchcraft communities on tumblr. I’ll try to post a tiny bit more frequently.
This is a topic near and dear to my heart.
I do have feelings regarding the Netjeru, but they don’t seem to be like others’ feelings for the Netjeru. My own feelings are soft and they’re less my feelings than the feelings I seem to feel coming from the Netjeru. I really don’t feel a lot in regards to religion, sometimes it worries me sometimes it’s a relief.
But its still kind of odd feeling to be floating in a community where everybody seems to be in love with the gods and I’m kind of like “Meh.” Honestly, I have stronger feelings towards ma’at than the Netjeru. And for me, that’s okay. Keeping ma’at is (to me) the most important part of the religion. I see tending to the Netjeru as means to help keep ma’at and less a goal in and of itself. I’m sure some would think that’s disrespectful to the Netjeru. But I think they can take care of themselves for the most part at least. I know our belief is important, but I think that if the Netjeru subsisted on nothing but our belief they’d be thoughtforms not gods. Gods have angency, gods have powers we don’t understand. If they didn’t they wouldn’t be gods.
Back to my point. Its hard being in a community that seems to be tied together by something you don’t feel a part of. Maybe we could make a group for ourselves or something. Something to let others know its okay not to feel strong emotions towards the gods. A “polytheists anonymous” or something along those lines. I don’t know. I’m just thinking out loud.
I have a hard time talking about devotion. The word devotion, much like the word worship, has a lot of baggage tied to it. And if you ask several people how they define devotion, you’ll get all sorts answers back. As it turns out, we all have a lot of different ideas about what it means to be devoted to the gods. And it makes sense why a lot of people would have differing, and sometimes conflicting, ideas about devotion, as the definitions for the word devotion run the gamut:
- a feeling of strong love or loyalty: the quality of being devoted
- the use of time, money, energy, etc., for a particular purpose
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This is hard. It’s especially hard for me being the type of person that I am. But I have to do it. I have to admit I don’t know everything.
The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t really know all that much. There is so much to know. Especially with regards to Ancient Egypt. And especially with the difference between Ancient Egyptian thought and Modern American thought.
You see, the Ancient Egyptians thought about “truth” in a much more dynamic way. The truth was symbolic and symbols were more true than the “truth”.
Then, of course, there were multiple truths. “Facts” were more flexible. Heru-wer and Heru-sa-Aset are both separate entities, as well as the same entity.
In Ancient Egyptian thought, a thing could hold entirely opposite characteristics and both characteristics could still be held to be true. And both could be held to be true without negating the other.
It’s a totally different way of looking at the truth. One that is very foreign to modern thought. Its a hard concept for those of us born in the digital age. An age where everything can be measured and quantified. An age lacking in mystery and mysticism.
What, exactly, am I getting at? I guess what I’m trying to get at is the fact that our “truth” was and is very different than the ancient’s truth and especially the Ancient Egyptians’ truth.
Without understanding this concept one cannot understand Egypt’s ideas, religion or history.
In a world full of empirical evidence, it is the universal truths of the ancients that speaks to us. It is their truths we seek to know.
I think that speaks to a few things. First of all, it should speak to our insecurities. While the ancients knew universal truths, they did not know absolutes.
The ancients knew the sun would rise every morning, but they didn’t know when an eclipse would strike. We know so much more. When an eclipse will occur, how long it will last and even why it is occurring. Now we know all that, but we still don’t have meaning.
The ancients knew when the sun had rose that Ra (and companions) had slain A/pep once again. They knew this. They didn’t know that the sun rising and setting is an illusion caused by the Earth’s rotation. They didn’t need to know that. Their truth had a meaning that ours, while advanced, is lacking.
Now does that mean that our knowledge is useless? Or that their meanings were? What if I suggested that both are needed for us today?
What if I suggested that a lack of knowledge isn’t necessarily bad, in and of itself?
For where humans lack in knowledge do they excel in imagination. And only in imagination lies the bounty of human creativity.
Only our imagination allows us to create. So, is it so bad not to know everything? Obviously, not know anything is bad. But while many would consider every lack of knowledge a bad thing, it is necessary for our imagination to lack knowledge. Everyone lacks some information. We cannot all know every bit of knowledge at all times.
Not knowing something gives us both opportunities to learn, and to use our imagination. So I guess we don’t need to feel so insecure not knowing everything. As with everything, there needs to be a balance. This could be applied further with regards to reconstructionism, but really that’s a whole different post. One that I’m still probably not well informed enough to write. But it’s a thought. Half history as interpretation, half knowledge versus imagination with a health helping of how to find a good source.
I don’t think it’s a post I’m qualified to write, at the absolute least, now. I also know that feelings run high around such topics and I’m not sure I am able to handle such a delicate topic. But you’re welcome to use your imagination.
I’m trying to keep this blog strictly about Kemetic subjects. But there is one thing that effects both my practice and my work on this blog. That would be depression, or in my case, bipolar depression. Depression is just so hard to work around. It permeates through your entire life, dragging you and your dreams down. It saps your motivation. Depression is a constant battle just to stay alive, let alone working on anything “extra”. So when I don’t post for extended amounts of time, keep in mind. This blog is only one aspect of my life , a new and, at least for the moment, small part of it. I struggle with depression. I’m also trying to work on myself in other ways. I’m in therapy. I may be starting a jobs program soon, in hopes of obtaining employment. Now that the weather is turning nice, I may want to try to work on my activity level. As I am a bit more sedentary than I would really like. So I kind of have a lot on my plate. Mind you that’s not really all of it , but rather my personal bit. I also have family stuff to deal with. I need to try to work on my art more. I have a lot of things I need to do, unfortunately my depression effects most of my needs an wants. So if you notice large gaps in my posting schedule, now you know. I haven’t died (most likely), I’ve just been busy and/or depressed.
So I’m waiting for a new tarot deck (and a record) to come in the mail. Why am I buying a new tarot deck? Well, I’ve had my only other deck for years. Something like seven years, I think, a pretty long time. It just hasn’t been working for me the way it used to. Somewhere along the way, the tarot deck began to fight me.
So I decided to get a new deck. I decided on the Motherpeace Round deck. I hope I picked a deck I can get along with. I think the deck and I will work well together.
I’m just a bit worried. I think this deck will be a bit more akin to the “regular” tarot. Hopefully that will help me.
I love a couple of things about this deck. I love the shape. I love the diversity. I love the simple aesthetic.
I am going to work on my divination. I just hope I can figure out a few things. Discernment would be the big one. Possibly how to get myself into a trance. I don’t know. I feel like I don’t know how this stuff works anymore.
Everything is just a bit more mysterious to me. Everything is just a bit more mundane. Things that used to make sense to me don’t anymore. I think a lot of it is just the reality of the times we are living in nowadays.
It’s just a bit different than it used to be. It’s really become the rat race people have made it out to be. Everyone has to worry about money. It’s hard if any part of you is different.
That stuff has become a reality for me. Life is hard when you’re faced with reality. No wonder most people lose their connection with the divine. How is there even time for religion?
I guess we have to make time. And maybe we need to dream. Reality is tough. Maybe we need that other world. Maybe divination will prove to be a way to tap into this other world. I’m not sure. But I am willing to try.
So, I decided to post on my tumblr to get some more ideas on how to recharge my godphone. While the post didn’t exactly get an overwhelming response it did get some responses from people I admire. I will now list their suggestions with a little personal commentary on each one.
The first suggestion was to continue praying, doing ritual and building a connection with the divine through this. While this is one suggestion that I had kind of expected, it kind of went somewhere I hadn’t thought of. I expected to keep up with the prayer and ritual, no doubt about that. I didn’t consider the prayer and ritual making my ritual space an easier place to connect with the divine. That angle just hadn’t occurred to me.
Holding shrine items. This is obviously an extension of the above idea. The idea being that holding certain shrine items may create a connection with the divine. Particularly holding an icon of the divinity you wish to connect with. For me the downside to this is pretty apparent, as I don’t have much in regards to icons. And truth be told, the only icon I have belongs to a deity that doesn’t seem to want much to do with me, currently. (That could all be in my head.)
Dancing, yoga or tai chi. I like this idea. I’m not sure how much it will help with the godphone but it certainly couldn’t hurt and, honestly, some movement in my life could very much be a positive. I’m a lot more sedentary than I would like to admit. I just have a hard time seeing much point to moving, I’m not actually going anywhere. Why pretend?
The next suggested idea is one I’ve already used and which seemed to work. The idea was dreaming. When I did it I simply prayed for some kind of a sign. I had a dream that very night. And while I didn’t remember it too well I did remember enough to identify the god in my dream. (It was Ra, in case you’re curious.) I will probably try this method again in the future, I just don’t want to push my luck too much.
This next suggestion was one of the most intriguing. It was getting back into the right “head space”. This is a little harder to describe. I was told to try to get back in the mood, so to speak. I’m not really sure how to go about this. My life has changed so dramatically since I lost my godphone. I can’t really think of an overarching scent or any other sense that could really recall my youth. I can’t go back in time and regain my innocence or lose this jaded outlook I now have on life. So I’m not sure how I would even attempt this. It is, however, an idea I want to hang on to.
The next suggestion should be a bit easier to deal with. It was suggested that I do as much as possible to cleanse myself and calm the mind. In theory this should be rather simple, however… Calming my mind isn’t as simple as it used to be. I have bills to pay and whole world of grown up concerns marching about my mind. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a shot, but it will be more difficult than it should be.
The next suggestion seems to me to be an extension of the last one. It was meditation and Journeywork. Meditation, much like calming the mind, just isn’t as easy as it used to be. I’ve become a person controlled by my fears, wants and needs. Even just relaxing can be a task nowadays. I’m just not the person I used to be. I’m not a free spirit anymore. That doesn’t mean that this suggestion is off the table, just that it is going to be more difficult than some of the others here.
I will add my own idea. I’ve decided to buy a new tarot deck. Mostly because I feel like the one I currently own is fighting me. The symbolism is beautiful, but I don’t “get” it. I am currently awaiting my new deck. I know it can’t replace the wonderful ideas here or my own practice but I feel like the proper deck will contribute greatly to my other practices.
Now I just have to figure out how to combine some of these ideas with my other practices…