New (and improved?) Shrine space. Note my akhu area in the forward left hand corner.
Ugh, my life feels like such a mess right now. Due to more mundane issues my spiritual practice has become stagnant. I really haven’t done much for a couple of weeks. I mean not so much as an offering of water.
I’m going to change that tonight. I can at least afford to offer some water and incense. If nothing else, I can manage that.
I want to talk a little about what has been so overwhelming. You know I’m mentally ill. It’s not much of a secret. I’m bipolar. It can be hard at times. On top of that I’ve been struggling to find some work.
My husband just resigned from his job, under the impression that we had to move. We had planned to move quite a way away. However, at the last moment my family decided he could come live with us.
This was a shock, as this was something we had been trying to convince them of for three years. But no, it couldn’t happen until we were a week away from moving and he had quit his job.
I’m still convinced it was a decision made with ulterior motives. In particular, control. She can’t control us if we’re that far away.
I may be being slightly paranoid, but I somehow doubt it.
But I digress. All of this has been preoccupying my mind and taking my time and precious energy. It has made my religious practice come to a stand still. I’m not giving up however. I just need to start over, maybe with a bit more consistency.
I plan on doing something tonight, but my real start over point will be the epagomenal days and Wep Ronpet. I’m going to decide on a day of the week and make that my shrine day. Since, apparently, daily practice is a bit too much for me right now.
So, it’s back to the start with me. It’s not so bad. I have knowledge now, that I didn’t when I started this path, oh, about ten months ago. I’ve learned so much since then, and that’s just the tip of the pyramid.
I’m excited and I feel guilt. Not for being excited, but because I ordered some books. It was right before we found out my husband couldn’t withdraw his resignation. Thus the guilt I feel. I spent nearly thirty dollars on three books. Not much, but still it’s a lot when you don’t have much.
It will be the first physical copies of books I have bought on Kemetic topics to date. I have three digital books, but no physical copies so far. So I am very excited. I also am very excited by which books I’ve bought. I won’t give deets on here, but I’ve already posted the names of all three on tumblr, so if you want to know you can find them there. My blog shares the title of this one, so you should be able to find it.
The first book I bought is about Ra. (If that isn’t a dead giveaway to what it is, I don’t know what is.) The second one is about Egyptian gods, a sort of encyclopedia of them, as a matter of a fact. The third is about Egyptian art.
I think the first two will be especially useful to me. Particularly as I am looking at becoming a Ra devotee. I say looking at as if I have a choice, when, really, I’m not sure I do. What can I say, when I prayed to Them (the Netjeru) for a sign that they exist, I had a dream about Ra. This was when I really didn’t know much about Him and as a matter of a fact I though He was Heru at first.
I was extremely unfamiliar with Ra and, honestly, He was the last god I would expect to show up for me. Like, the very last. So, yeah. That’s how I met Ra. I doubt it was a coincidence that one of the only metaphysical stores in town (and the only one that stocks statuary) happened to have a Ra statue and it happened to be both lovely and discounted. So I bought it. (Despite it being erroneously marked as Horus.)
Speaking of statuary. I had to move my shrines. They’ve sort of become one big shrine with a section reserved for my akhu. I’ll have to post a picture once I’ve finished this post.
So tl;dr: I have had some shit going on and it has halted my spiritual practice, but I plan on using Wep Ronpet as an opportunity to start over.
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.