Writing Classes and Bumpy Brain Maps

When I was approached about possibly teaching a class at the local Pagan store in the regards to Kemetic mythology 101, I was excited and ecstatic. Now months later, I’m still mulling about what to do. Do I plan on one class? Do I plan on a series of classes? How basic do I keep the information? (etc, etc, etc).  I hope no one is still wondering why I’m pulling my hair out or banging my head on the wall.

Or at least, I was up until a week ago. When I remembered WHY I’m excited and WHY I’m taking the risk.

First of all, I’m excited because I’m able to share my information with others who may have no experience with the realm I work in. There’s a ton of written information and discourse published throughout the years, but digesting some of it can be difficult for people. I want to be a source, since this is MY life path. I live in the middle of this information and it defines much of what I am and what I do with my life. Another detail is something I’ve noticed especially in the last year.

I live in Paganistan. I live in one of the most concentrated areas of Pagans, Wiccans, Reconstructionists, Solitaries, etc. I have lamented in the past of how is it I live among so many yet find so few who are Kemetic or at least have a basic understanding of the background information. The answer I found is that the outreach to community is very small and in a corner somewhere. Public voice among Kemetics in Paganistan is not active enough to seem existent.

This itty-bitty existence is where the conversation of a class started: one of the owners was talking to a friend of mine who works at the store and he pulled out the book I made for him in order to be initiated in my tweaked-divination system. When I spoke to her at a later time, she said that she has had no class in the history of the store that had anything specifically focused on Kemeticism, but said the interest was there. There was no advice on which Kemetic books to sell, or what items to stock for supplies. The past me would have ran away, scared of being singled out. The current me says screw it, let’s do this. Let’s start building dialog and a voice in the community.

One of my long-term life goals is to be a source for people who want to learn about the Netjeru and Their world within our world. I want to teach and to give advice (I’m a priestess at heart and in practice, for gods’ sakes). That’s also where the risk comes in. I’m still muddling about piecing all of the items together and I am in much ways only a smidgen past beginner. I could lead people in directions where it could be incorrect with what I’m striving for, which is doing it right.

There I go again……..I need someone with a pillow to hit me every time the little voice in my head taunts me with “ur doing it wrong”. It still plagues me. The whole discourse is fluid and the definitions are ever-changing. Can I really rely on what it means about doing it right or wrong? Is it perception? My heart can sometimes comprehend the “if it works, go with it”, but my brain will start to analyze and then we go down the deep abyss of self-loathing. I wonder if this is why the brain was considered just an organic mass.

This also leads in to the next risky area: being in a position of power. Granted, it’s not really too much of a position, is it? Well, I think it is. I’m going out there to be a go-to person who has the areas of expertise others don’t have. Information and guidance are very integral for people. They could come to rely on me and I’m a bit worried about having that responsibility. Heck, I can barely keep myself solid.

I know what it’s like being abused by someone who I allowed to be in that position (multiple instances mind you). I’ve been there. I would like to think I would do better, because of the experiences I’ve had, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Maybe I’m just over thinking it, and I will do fine, because I live by the adage “don’t be a jerk”.

Anyways, bumpy road map of the heart and brain is bumpy. Even with the bumps, I have a basic skeleton of an outline. I just need to add meat to the bones, write up a short letter, and send it on its way.

All of the Projects

My life has been chalked full of hectic and stepping back to take a deep breath has not been able to peek its way into my schedule.  I can almost count this post as my deep breath.

Work has been wonderful in the way that I don’t necessarily have to fake I’m working. It has allowed me to be able to sit and work on my beading projects when I’ve had downtime. Whether it’s creating new designs or implementing designs I’ve been able to create a diverse inventory (Etsy shop update will happen soon).

As always, I’m finding more thinky-thoughts and projects to add to my already long list. It doesn’t seem like my brain or my Ib are going to stop anytime soon. That just means I’m the embodiment of the flood. The snow hasn’t even melted yet and I’m bursting at the seams. It must be an ice dam.

I was asked by a local shop last year if I would be willing to present a Kemetic Mythology 101 as a class for their store, and as it would be, I have been letting my anxiety hold me back in different respects to completing the proposal. There is a large amount of information and sourcing I can utilize, but it’s been very overwhelming in my attempts to decide what information I want to present and how I want to present it to the audience. I already know the why I want to do this, and that’s been keeping me from abandoning the project. I told myself I will hone in after my cultural holidays have left and now they are gone.

However, something else has taken precedence. The main focus of my non-work related life has become my costume for the Paganicon Ball in March. The theme is “Primal Mysteries” and the theme of my costume is a tribute to Amon-Re. I have the dress I’m going to be tweaking, but now it is a question of what to use and creating like crazy.

In symbolic terms, I’m currently a spider. I attempt to avoid squishing from large books and weave like crazy, because deadlines and He deserves my attention currently.

Journey Along the Hidden Path

As I hit my month long introspective journey, I’m struck by the footprints I’ve laid down before and what impact I will leave as I walk currently. The details elude me, leaving only the sensation of their vague echoes.

This season marks two transformation cycles, both in nature with Autumn descending upon my home and from within as I enter the month long sojourn that is Opet. As the leaves change their colors and fall, the pieces within me either breakaway, fall in to place, or create something new. Each time I have celebrated Opet there has been the creation or destruction of the defining factors which I am able to weave my path.

However, this year brings unknown factors and results I am not able to predict nor have a guide for.The main reason why the expectations are different are due to the new focuses I have decided to work on to develop myself.

I snicker a little bit at this detail. My Opet is the celebration and a rigorous work period with the Theban triad. The members function within the unseen places and along secretive paths. Their focus is on the work within silence and the hidden. Mut has always been a caring and guiding force in my life when I have encountered/worked with Her. Amon-Re and Khons have been part of my personal retinue for some time, however that bond was deepened this year with the oaths I took on Wep Ronpet . The two of them have a tendency to make everything interesting.

I have no doubts the work I do this Opet will leave a long-standing mark upon me.

Onwards to the hidden path!

 

Wep Ronpet and Resolutions

Wep Ronpet occurred in my location on 8/13. Before that time would have been the Closing of the Year and the five Days Upon the Year.

My Closing of the year went very well and I was excited at the fact the things to be destroyed were different from the year before (based on the notes I found). It was a moment of self-pride and I-did-something-right. I successfully execrated/freed myself from the things to be left behind of this last year.

The Days Upon the Year were a different story. I was not able to perform due to my mindset/emotional state and I stepped away (after receiving permission) from doing anything for the Five on those days.

Wep Ronpet is something I’m still working on. On 8/13 I observed but did not work on the tasks. On 8/16 I participated in a group ritual with the Facebook group I am a part of (Twin Cities Kemetic Network). Today on 8/19, I do the task of mapping a basic idea of the current goals of my year.

Wep Ronpet is about new beginnings, new projects, and new goals. I will be starting a new job in my career on 8/25. With this job, I hope to clean my finances up and better manage that area of my life. I have two new connections where I will be shortly taking oaths and working on new projects helped by Their design. I will be making more of an effort to work on my beadweaving technique and projects.

Other goals are to bring me back to what I have done before and lost due to the storm of my life.

  • I am going to make sure my altar and statues are tended to twice a day.
  • I will be blogging at least once a week.
  • I will make an effort to get a working calendar in order and follow it.

I know I’m not perfect and probably never will be, but I will make the effort to uphold the oaths I have taken and the work I have accepted.  I will continue to walk with honor and dignity in step with the Netjeru and my selves. This new year will bring new beginnings and new outlooks of which will allow myself to both express my devotion and hopefully impart useful commentary to everyone who takes a chance to read my posts.

Happy New Year, everyone!

 

Bodies of Being

This post has been one that I have been avoiding/didn’t know how to word it. Needless to say, there has been poking and here I am. This is a tough topic to understand and describe and I would like to do it some justice.

There are multiple different explanations for the blueprint of the pieces of a being’s existence. I call these “Bodies of Being”, because “soul” really doesn’t capture the whole picture. What would be the equivalent of the western idea of  “the soul” is a small part of the blueprint.

The setup I tend to have includes the Ba, the Ka, the Ab, the Ren, the Khat, and the Khait (also known as the Khaibit).  The Ba is the “piece” who travels the different planes and creates the connection between the physical and the unphysical. The Ba is a conduit of sorts.  The Ka is the energetic connection between the world and the being. It could be translated as the core essence (or as I like to know it, a battery) so to speak.

Before a being is born, the Ba and the Ka are joined and is separated at birth. After the being physically “dies”, the Ba and the Ka reform and become the Akh. From the concept of the Akhu, popularly translated as “the Bright Shining Ones” are the beings who came before us (ancestors).

The Khait refers to the “shadow half” that balances the being and causes the balance to be the whole being.  Think of it not being a shadow self (the things we hide away in shame or fear), but as the  whole picture. A mirror that shows our reflection without hiding anything.

Another term I have seen in reference to the Khait is the Sheut. I personally know the Sheut as the shadow cast by the body rather than the internal self. There is another term, Sahu, which refers to the “shadows from the unseen world”. Sahu refers to what I would translate as wandering non-physical beings that may have previously been physical. A related term, Khu, was an early period Kemetic word meaning “Luminous Man” and would later be adapted by the Romans to mean “ghosts”. These Khu are often beings who were wronged or not buried properly in their physical lives to be able to pass on to the next stage of existence.The other two parts of the Bodies of Being are vessels which holds the others.

The Ab is the heart and the vessel which holds the unphysical selves (the Ba, Ka, Ren, Khait, etc.). The Khat is the physical vessel (the body) that houses all of the selves. The Ren is the name of the being and is the absolute key to identity and control of that identity. There are said to be five Rens the Pharaoh keeps. I personally have multiple Rens as a form of protection; however my one absolute Ren is unknown to even myself. This layer of being can be recognized further in the concept of “shadows”.

The one main thing to remember is each of these pieces all have their own voices, their own desires, and their own goals. There are practices and actions that can be taken to balance, control, and even just understand these parts. The fact there are splinters between selves is exactly why it is VERY important to take care not just of our physical selves, but the non-physical as well.

This entry is meant to be a pocket version of sorts. I have taken from many different sources as well as my own personal interpretation of information. Wikipedia has helped me organize the information, but it wasn’t the major source. I feel it valid to list a few of the sources I have found my information/understanding from. There are many other sources, but these have helped me to organize the information about in my head.

David, A. R. (1998). Handbook to Life in Ancient Egypt. New York: Facts on File.

Rankine, David. (2006). Heka: The Practices of Ancient Egyptian Ritual and Magic. London: Avalonia.

Mertz, B. (1978). Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt (Rev. ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.

Nicoll, K. (2012). The Travellers Guide to the Duat: (Amenti on two deven a week). Stafford: Megalithica Books.

 

The Path onto the New Decade

The first thing I would like to say is best laid plan’s in my world become none of the plans right away. I planned to have a nice post in March after Paganicon and now it’s the middle of June.

So much of my world has been upended, I’m still trying to bend to storm to me rather than my current beings experiencing the chaotic tossing by its design. I figure a short list will give the idea.

I have not been in the dating scene for six years and I decided to take a chance and try to date someone who was interested. After about two maybe three months, he called it quits. I wasn’t dependent enough on him and too independently minded. Considering the signs pointing towards a toxic relationship I saw after the fact, I was in shock for fifteen seconds and heartbroken not even one. I gained experience I didn’t have before and lessons learned in a way that was best case scenario and not world-shattering.

Paganicon was once again an invigorating experience allowing me to once again discover the pieces to organize what I want to do and where I want to go (details will be below).

I lost my job April 1st and have been on the hunt for a few months now. It’s been an adventure forcing me out of my comfort zone and to take chances I never even thought of taking before. It also became a telling sign of how much my job leached out of my life and how much of me was fractured.

Ongoing issues with my heart energies and my third eye caused me enough duress and pain to finally seek out help. This has both helped me get better physically, energetically, but also to get over the I-have-to-do-all-of-the-things-myself. I haven’t asked many times throughout my life for help beyond book-help and opinions from other practitioners when it comes to my spiritual sphere. It’s been a hurdle the Netjeru have been trying to push me through. This event has been followed up with  a decision to join two of my friends in a practicing circle of sorts where we help each other, have a few group rituals/practice sessions together, and hold each other accountable to work on our individual goals.

I’m sure by now, you can imagine at least a basic picture of Whirlwind of Stuff.

Now, here we are in June, but first let’s go back to March, specifically for the outcome of Paganicon.

Baby steps, baby steps, oh wait, I’ve been doing baby steps for quite some time and didn’t even know it. When Veggiewolf was both preparing and presenting the talk, I learned I had overcome a hurdle I thought I was still battling. One of the main ideas with Baby Steps was paring down religion from being this separate life not intermingled with the “mundane” to a life-workable form. This ties in to my own practice with how I operate on a ritual level. I do the daily ritual cycle intertwined with my “mundane” life. I put mundane in quotations because it’s a concept I can use with others, but it is one I stopped using for myself. My life is all-encompassing and all woven together. One aspect isn’t more important or separate from the others. Which brings me to another a-ha point happening at Paganicon.

I work with open statues. To those who don’t know what an open statue is,  the nutshell description is such: It is a statue utilized as a home for a deity. An open statue is different from other statues in the sense it needs to be taken care of as a person is. Food, clothes, water, bathing are some of the basic needs. It is a TON of work, and  I mean a TON. I never put much thought in to how unique it is to have open statues. I thought all Kemetics had them and it was just the way it was. I was incorrect in that belief and surprised at how my own hopes and dreams for long-term temple work were unique. I was elated when others were excited as to how my system worked, especially when the ur-doing-it-rong was never a part of the dialogue.

I’ve spent years hearing what I was doing was wrong and until recently, I just stopped talking about it. I stopped looking for community because community was there in name, but not in practice. I don’t fit the mold of the community I seemed to find when I was looking. I don’t operate in covens or lodges (the dynamics of some of  the vocal groups around here scare me). I don’t have just a God and a Goddess (I can count  a minimum of 32 in a mixed family setting with three of them as my spouses, two as my other halves and four as my current stalkers). I am a purist in the sense of it’s only one pantheon for me. Others may have a blending and I love to hear how people weave together different systems, but when it’s just “I was told all of the many are the same and I don’t know why I’m mixing the way I am,  but someone said it was the way it goes” perturbs me a bit. It’s like walking up to person A asking their name and a brief summary, taking that summary and saying. “oh, you must love to hang out with person B, because the two of you like water”. Rants aside AKA the TL:DR version: it created a complex when all I was finding antagonistic attitudes aimed at me.

I was preparing myself to have to defend myself when I didn’t need to. Which has brought me again to another defining factor, or at least a community defining factor: label. I have spent time trying to define myself to the community in a way not confusing and allows me to not have to have a thirty minute conversation to get basic details. After deliberation and mulling about what to say now, I have come to the conclusion my current label will be “Adaptive Kemetic Reconstructionist”. I am building from studying to make a system comparable to previous practices, but I’m also tweaking for my own use. I find this label is the best of both worlds, the then and the now.

Now we can enter June. As I enter June, I am reminded, ten years. Ten years have now gone by since I took my first oaths to Aset and Nebthet. Ten years since I made the initiative to go this path. I’m looking forward excitedly to where They will take me and where I will take myself. So, onto the new decade.

 

“U” is for Unread Gnosis

I suppose I‘m in the category of a IRAB (I read a book), or better yet, IRBs (I read books) in regards to much of my spiritual background. It however seems to hinder some of my spirituality when personal experience trumps literary sourcing and the logic part of me tries to either shut it down before it flowers or has me questioning whether the “thing” just how I want it to be versus how it actually is.

Over the years I have gotten a bit better from looking at only other sources and took the time to look at one of the most important sources of all of this: myself and my experiences. Now that’s not to say I completely turn my back on sources and go completely contradictory to what things actually are (ie the disk between Het-Hert’s horns being a lunar disk when clearly it’s the SUN according to evidence found everywhere else). I just find myself understanding Them in a different way.

If it works with me, it works with me. Since so much is up to interpretation, it seems nit-picky to deny experience outright (unless there are other unhealthy factors). I don’t have a problem with doing some things contrary to what other sources may say, but I find it troublesome when others expect my word to trump what else is out there. For example, for those who have been following what I do for a while would know I have a divination system I have currently put six almost seven years in to tweaking.

The most recent version included the ability for others to name and choose dice representations of different parts of their being for use with the divination tool. In order to gain these pieces the person wanting to hit that level is given a study guide based on my personal gnosis, so they understand and can join in the understanding of the interpretation.

There is one person who was at that point and when we talk I keep having to remind him, it’s my PERSONAL gnosis. The question I have: should I really be worried when I’m making no claim to absolute truth? I really am making a claim of personal gnosis. It does feel repetitive when I have to keep saying, “This is my interpretation, this is my interpretation”. Should I just let it be or do I need to keep reminding others about “hey, I do this Thing, which is a Thing everyone else may not do nor agree with”?

I don’t like being THAT person. The person who misinforms by their own ignorance and lack of foresight and pushes people down a way that really should not even  be a thing (here’s a nod to you NeWiccanizers). At the same time, my whole work is to share what I know, because I know stuff.

It would really go against my MeryIb since one of His focuses is as a messenger and a keeper of knowledge. Now that’s not to say I mindlessly blabber all of the Things (or at least I hope I don’t). If I did blabber mindlessly I would hope someone would nail me upside a couple of times. Although I suppose I’m just prattling right now, but yeah, nit-picky thinky-thoughts needed out of the brain.

“U” is for unread Gnosis, because I have come to a point where it’s, “put the books down and do”.

“U” is for Unifying Native Culture and My Chosen Path (aka ‘Tis the Season to be Jolly)

It’s coming to be that time again. The time where snow falls from the sky and the area around me is saturated with bright colors, seasonal music (some places now start playing music before Thanksgiving in the USA – the record currently is November 1st at a Culvers in St Cloud, MN), and the time when uncaring people choose to be charitable to affirm to themselves and the world they’re not heartless.

Family, charity, compassion, and happiness are  pillars I build and sustain as I walk along my current path. I used to be a bit conflicted with how to reconcile what I did in my new lifestyle with where I came from. There was a question as to whether I needed to stop what I had been doing (the gift-giving, the decorating, the listening to holiday music, etc) when I was really trying to figure out where I draw the lines between what I do and don’t do.

I have an interesting dynamic with this season. I grew up celebrating Christmas in many of its secular traditions (think New England Christmas minus church). Because of how ingrained the experience of the season is in my life, I won’t toss it aside even though my religious path has changed. The messages scattered within the season are messages I attempt to adhere to all year round. This time of the year just calls attention to all of the good tidings people have for others.

I have a similar perspective when it comes to wishing people “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas”. I worked retail for enough years to have different experiences and dynamics during the wintry season. My conclusion: if someone said “Merry Christmas” to me, I said it back to them. If they didn’t say “Merry Christmas” I said “Happy Holidays” only if it was apparent they were buying gifts (through actions like conversation). Now do I specifically celebrate “Christmas”? Yes and no, it’s not my main focus, but it’s there, and I don’t feel I’m being erased when the greetings come in.

I actually take more offense when someone wishes me a “Happy Yule”, when they place me under the “Pagan” bubble. Just because I’m a polytheist doesn’t mean Yule has any meaning for me. That’s erasing my personal experience. I mean, I wouldn’t walk up to someone who I think is similar and say “Ankh, Uadj, Seneb!”, making the assumption they know what that means.

Basically it’s now welcome to either the bane of existence or to another enjoyable season. I prefer not to be “Bah Humbug” and roll with it all.

“U” is for unifying native culture and my chosen path, because the rituals I do in this season both in my path and fitting within my path are more apparent these next two months.

“T” is for Teaching and Translating Shen

So, everyone,  the word of the day is “teacher” . A word abused more often than not among people.  This word is a curse throughout the history of my religious journey, and I have a horrible trigger when it comes to “teachers”. I have been faced with those who both abuse others and mislabel themselves with this term.  It’s not a rigid role, it doesn’t have singular meaning, and it’s not a role to be taken lightly.

Is this a role I would ever try to obtain?

Considering my own experiences, probably not. I’m not in the mindset of wanting nor feeling qualified to take the steps to be responsible for the guiding and education of others. My mentality is if They threw me off the dock to teach me to swim, others can experience that too. The best lessons are the ones learned the hard way and not handed out. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to be an unhelpful person. If someone asks questions, I’m going to answer. I’m going to help when I can and when I feel like it.

It’s not my role to intercede on everyone’s behalf, but it is in my code to assist those I care about. If they happen to learn something from it, it’s a bonus for all of the parties involved. I take a different approach in regards to my personal path. I have built my own way and refuse to speak in place of others. If I’m asked to speak about my opinions on others and how other paths function from my own perspective, I sometimes will feel inclined to speak, but I will NOT speak the words others (whether they are Kemetic or other paths) are entitled to speak.

Now here comes the complicated part.

My work from my Mri-ib includes Storytelling and spreading Their names to the world.

Isn’t that a form of teaching?

Well now, that complicates things.

Now for even more complication.

For anyone who read the two posts on my system of Shen, the purpose of the Study Guide will be familiar to you. For speedy context and or reminder: I took an already created system (The Book Of Doors Oracle), turned it on its head, and appropriated the system based on my own sensibilities. The system is used as a direct channel to Them and to the connections to the universe around us. For those interested in diving deeper towards the core principles of the system (of which I have one interested so far), I have created a study guide to be studied to allow for the ability to eventually not need me as the intermediary.

Now, this sounded like a bad idea at first glance. Why would I create a system that dives so deeply to the cores of my beliefs and give the potential for others to run amok with it? My answer: It’s not my job to babysit all of the people I meet. If the information I’m going to offer is going to be abused,  it doesn’t matter if I give the system to others to run with the information or if I do the readings myself. If I’m going to completely restrict what others can and can’t do with the system after I’m giving them my trust, how much do I actually trust them?

It was imperative to start my work in Opet by finishing the guide, so at the entry of the festival, I had completed one of my tasks The Hidden One deemed to me.

“T” is for teaching and translating Shen, because both roles define my current thought process and shadow wrestling.

Opet Musing

My hands reach for the surface drifting away.
I sink from the light of Ra towards the silent depths.
The deafening silence roars as He drags me deeper within.
The silence leads to the hidden.

I sink from the light of Ra towards the silent depths.
The Shining King’s beams will soon no longer hold me in His safe embrace.
The silence leads to the hidden.
The Hidden One will soon entangle me in His embrace.

The Shining King’s beams will soon no longer hold me in His safe embrace.
The warm light will give way to the truthful silence.
The Hidden One will soon entangle me in His embrace.
His whispers will carry me away.

The warm light will give way to the truthful silence.
The deafening silence roars as He drags me deeper within.
His whispers will carry me away.
My hands reach for the surface drifting away.

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