“N” is for Navigating Practice
There was a question posed to me the other day by Naomi (her blog is at: http://leithincluan.wordpress.com/) about suggestions for introductory documents for my path. She will be giving a talk at the UK Pagan Pride event (the title of her talk is “Beyond Earth Worship: Diverse Paths Under the Pagan Umbrella”), and she asked if I would give her some input as a solitary Kemetic. I thought about it and I hit a blank. Instead of supplying sources I basically described that I started scholarly and built from there, which is true. The gears in my head started turning and so I decided to maybe scratch through the layers of what is my practice.
I had started studying ancient Egyptian mythology from a scientific perspective at a young age, unaware the very stories I was reading about were still alive to this day, unaware They were alive and there. A book I acquired in my Sophmore year of high school called “The Mysteries of Isis: Her Worship and Magick” by DeTraci Regula at a bargain bookstore was pretty cool in my view as it had recipes, information, and crafts I thought were for the purpose of study (yeah, I was dense and not able to put the circle in the circle slot back then).
I started myself with nothing more than “They reached out to me and I will reach out to Them”. With my arsenal of a few scholarly books, an Isian-Wiccan biased book, and a Tarot deck (here is the deck I started with: http://www.loscarabeo.com/lang-en/tarocchi-esoterici/295-egyptian-tarot-set.html) I got myself rolling.
I held a belief that as a female I would be a priestess to only goddesses (if anyone asks: logical stupidity). In my defense, it was Aset and Nebthet who reached out first and hung on to me. The other Netjeru didn’t appear to me until later on. I sat with building and writing my own material until I hit about 2006 when it seems the reality kicked in.
I was faced with Set looking over my shoulders and pushing me in to the waters without a lifejacket. I had a view of him (based on the couple of books I had looked at) he was the devil I shouldn’t speak of nor to. He wasn’t having any of that, and after I finally turned around to Him, I figured out I really didn’t know much at all beyond the stories I have looked at (and moreso, stories from a Greco-Roman worldview, not the Egyptian I was aiming for).
I went down to Magus and dumped a buttload (dare I say hundreds if not thousands of dollars) in to sources influenced by practices. There was a trilogy by Mogg Morgan that dove a little bit in to working with the more chaos magic/darker forces. I didn’t do as much work with them as they were more essay-worthy than practice-worthy. The next to come would have been Rosemary Clarks’ duology (which turned out to be SO, SO, SO Hermetic it wasn’t even funny; but I wouldn’t find out until later on). From this book, I took some of the concepts, but not many to further my practice. I would appreciate it for it’s ritual translation as some of the intonation work was hella-strong.
Enter the next phase in where I felt the unneccessary need to learn universal concepts, and THAT fell by the wayside as They promptly pointed out I don’t need that shit to define myself. I went from trying to find connections in community (Ancient Egyptian practices share Shamanic traits, their Temples function like circles, Their holidays can be tweaked to follow the Wheel of the Year, etc.) to walking my own way even if it meant I walked it alone. There was a sense of empowerment I didn’t feel before. I found myself making less excuses and telling others to let ME do it MY way and screw off.
After some fun times (not really) I had a moment to breathe before I entered another community: eCauldron. The people there are intelligent and they not only do their work, they do it well. It was overwhelming with my personal point-of-view being hit by the freight train of “I didn’t even know this before”. I had a difficult period with feelings of being under-prepped and not good enough. When I took myself out of that damn cesspool of self-insult, I buckled down and worked on what I wanted to do for MY practice.
I re-read the books I have that had multiple stamps of approval, maybe acquire a couple more along the way, and I just sit down as the need arises. My practice has become fluid, ever-changing, and about an unorganized as it can be. This dis-organization is due to me building the blocks for me. A book, a person, and a website isn’t going to give the whole picture, because I am a PART of it. There isn’t a book that tells me how to be me. I tell myself how to be me. They interact mainly with me, not the books I read (unless they make sure I see some subject matter as time goes on).
The advice I would give to those starting up: just jump right in and don’t feel stupid. If you don’t make the effort to swim, They will let you drown. It’s not just the Netjeru that will let you drown, it’s the world, and it’s you. No effort put in is nothing received back. There are oddities in thought processes, but I’m not here to define stupid or wrong. I’m not here to be the “true” voice. I’m here to define me, uphold Ma’at, and share Their presence with the world. If others try to tell you otherwise, whack them.
“N” is for navigating practice, because there is a ton of navigation needed in my practice and the path I walk has borders defined by my own footprints.
Posted on July 30, 2013, in Kemetic, Mythology, Pagan, Pagan Blog Project and tagged Egypt, Kemetic, Magic, Myth, Neteru, Pagan, Pagan Blog Project, Path, Reconstruction, Spiritual Experience. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.