Category Archives: Mythology

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!

 

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.

 

“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.

“P” is for Priests and Let’s Drop the HGPSS

I find myself getting more irritated by responses on the subject of priests and how they conducted themselves. The reponses suffer from what I like to call HGPSS. HGPSS stands for “Hidden Glittery Priest Shiny System”. Priesthoods have been popularized as hiding themselves away to do the work for deities/spirits and in their piety (see the Scandal of Elephantine in about the time of Rameses IV-V, in regards to Penanukis and ask what higher-than-thou piety was present there), are a separate unit from their parallel “mundane” counterparts.

I can only speak from what I have studied, which would be the ancient Egyptian system. This post is only going to scratch the surface of the subject.There are records of schedules for shifts, as in, there are people who come and go and don’t stay at the temple. I’m sure the highest priests probably lived there, but all of the other people who assisted in the ritual duties, they went back to their HOMES, as in they didn’t live at the temple they worked at. The work in the temple was carried out by people who didn’t just pray all day/night for the majority of their lives. They had livelihoods outside of their temple. Yes, the “general public” was denied entrance to the temples (interpretation of that mindset: would you want uneducated masses upsetting a pillar of the world and a home of a Netjer?). It’s not like I let everyone walk through my space and touch everything.

In my own opinion of this whole thing (UPG): The statue is a vessel of the Neter it symbolizes. It is kept away in a temple as the link between the seen forces and the unseen forces of the world. On festival/feast days it is paraded in celebration of that connection between the seen world and the unseen world. The priests (ahem carefully picked nobles) have shifts to uphold ma’at as the balance of the universe. They tend to the Netjeru’s connection to ensure they are judged in the unseen world as pious. Then that means their heart is LIGHTER than the feather of Ma’at because they are a facet of Ma’at not below it and not without it. Common people are upholding ma’at because of community, because Ma’at is about community, and they are given different yet similar standards. Nobles have to try harder to get judged because their roles are adminisitrative in origin vs actually doing work for the world.

In this period, the temples were the law, and as such, they were HEAVILY involved in “mundane” dealings. In fact, the dealings were done by the royals and the nobles, moreso the nobles, because royalty eventually had their hands tied by the temples, mostly that of Amun (see political reasons why Akhenaten did what he did. He outlawed the temples, but didn’t deny the existence of other deities, just their importance, so it wasn’t a break-out session for monotheism).

In regards to admittance to the temples, heirs/bloodlines (Herodotus attests to this: “When a priest dies, his son is appointed to succeed him”) and educated people (who in this case were pretty much all nobles) ran the show. They ran the show internally in the temples and externally in the administration of society. The whole hidden away aspect was a Greek interpretation of the priest work after they were initially denied access to any “Mysteries” they thought were occuring (think about how important the Eleusinian Mysteries were in Greek society). Greek philosophers would flock to Egypt to learn the knowledge coveted by the priests (they were the noble/educated class after all). The priests would do the equivalent of frat-boy hazing to try and deter the philosophers from pursuing that knowledge (and they probably did it for shiggles too).

Between how the Greeks interpreted the practice and modern depictions/adapted practices (Ceremonial Magic, I’m looking at you), it’s no wonder there is so much misinterpretation, which happens, and I’m guilty of it at times too. To make a blanket statement and say HGPSS is how ALL of the temple practices are, is aggravating and hand-wringing to say the least (and now above is an example as to how that argument doesn’t hold up).

If people are interested in the subject of the “Priest System” in ancient Egypt, there are tons of books I haven’t even touched yet, but there is one I highly recommend called “The Priests of Ancient Egypt: New Edition” by Serge Sauneron and translated by David Lorton. If anyone has any other recommendations or want to discuss, please comment below. I’m always up for discussions and sources. “P” is for Priests and Let’s Drop the HGPSS,because come-on, if you’re going to make a statement of culturally/historically documented systems, source it beyond ooky-spooky secret stories.

“O” is for Overcomplicated Calenders and Onto the New Year

It’s that time of year again. It’s almost to the new year (Wep Ronpet) and a very important festival season for me personally. I am proud of myself for calculating when the year starts so I can plot out all of the other feasts and festivals I want to do. Yes, it’s a matter of what I want to do, not need to do, because the Egyptian empire had a very complicated system of calenders. The only uncomplicated aspect was that they had 360 days with five added for the births of Heru-Wr, Asar, Set, Aset, and Nebt-Ht. Which is the same amount of days I’m used to having being from a westernized society.

The complicated part was the ancient Egyptians utilized a solar calender, a lunar calender, a civil calender, plus different regions sometimes followed different Netjeru families/cosmologies creating different sets and levels of importance of festivals. If I was regionally based, it would be a little easier, but I’m not, and I don’t want to be limited in how I work/They have voiced They don’t want me to be limited in such a manner. The lack of limitation leaves me to sitting with books/other people’s input and here at a computer entering data for personalized lists of schedules. I also tweak the calender to match my region and its characteristics, rather than basing it on the Egyptian region.

Since I live in Minnesota, it could be said we have less than four seasons. In one system we have two seasons: snow and road construction. A second system has three seasons: Spring/Summer, Fall and Winter. Our springs and summers tend to blend together and flip between the two at odd times. I like to joke about being able to coordinate the two season systems, for the sake of my practice, it really doesn’t matter. I can make everything work when it needs to, because that’s how I do it. If it doesn’t work for me, it doesn’t happen a second time.

I count myself lucky to have had some time to plot out the new calender at least for Wep Ronpet, Wgy, and Opet. This gives me a little bit of a breathing zone to plan those three festivals before I have to worry about after those three events. Now, the fun begins with planning the rituals. I haven’t done very well with rituals I have found from books so I write up my own rituals for myself. I respect the people who record their methods, but it’s just not for me. Planning rituals is a calender in of itself. If rituals don’t function like calenders, they are least syllabuses, which are micro calenders, so they are calenders (anyways). With how sporadic and fluid my practice has been, I have found myself writing up rituals for the same festivals over and over again, trying to find what feels right to me.

The process starts with brainstorming what the focus/goal is for that festival and what do I want to get out of it. From the brainstorming I pick activities that are relevant to the goals. The activities can be anything from beading, meditation, prayer, reading passages from translated works, tributes, poetry, story-telling, conversation, etc. After I make the final decision on scheduling, any of the parts that need the creative touch are prepared and compliled. I found the more time I have to think about what I’m doing, the better I feel and the better the result I get in regards to the goals for each festival.

Wep Ronpet is probably the most complicated and work-heavy out of three major events. The festival does cover seven days and each day has a specific focus. I will be taking as much free time as I can to prepare between now and the 7th when it all begins. I will be having fun updates for anyone who decides to read my ramble-mode, because it will be ramble-mode. “O” is for overcomplicated calenders and onto the new year because it is overcomplicated with attempting to build the blocks without having them topple over, and overcomplicated calenders are discovered as I head to Wep Ronpet.

“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.

“M” is for Making Musical Lore

I’m sure some of you who are reading are tired of the angry whinging I have been spewing out the orifice of my brain to my fingertips. This post is everything but the anger, the depression, and all of the stupid negative crap. I’m done with all of THAT for a while (it will be ritually execrated on the 7th of August for the Closing of the Year).

Music speaks on so many levels. It can excite me. It can sadden me. It can bring unconscious tears to my eyes and down my cheeks. Music defines my life, how I live it, and how I interact with others. It is a connecting web to vocalize with others and self.

A little while back when I was faced head on with community and other people outside of the experiences I’ve been plagued with locally, I encountered a new phenomenon: music for deity representations. Now, I have a collection of music that has tracks named for different deities, but thinking of popular music lyrics as songs for deity was not something I ever thought about.

After reading posts and talking to others I started to look at the songs I listen to over and over again and what drives me to be addicted to them. I found they capture stories and inserts of stories.
For example, here is the beginning of the song “Eye of the Storm” by Cruxshadows. The lyrics listed below captured my attention from when I first heard it, and even drove me to make an AMV (Anime Music Video) back in the day where I was doing things like that.

“The trials you now are facing
They are not greater than your will
For there is nothing under heaven
You cannot overcome

See the door that lies before you
And know this too shall pass
The confrontation of your tears
In strength drawn from the past
When the silent voices whisper
Find the course that is your own
And however great the obstacle
You will never be alone

For I have watched the path of angels
And I have heard the heavens roar
There is strife within the tempest
But there is calm in the eye of the storm”

The thought of overcoming anything and everything appealed to me because of the experiences I have had throughout my life. I strive (not just desire it) to overcome everything however great or small. It was brought to my attention some time ago that this song can also be equated with Set. I started to think about it deeply. The lyrics really speak towards being that epicenter to drive everything along and breeze by those who don’t matter. It is Him. It is me, and all of a sudden it made more sense as to why He has invested so much in to me. We are one and the same in the path we have chosen to walk.

I am considering a large project that would catalog my music in to playlists for different Netjeru, so I can maybe get past my own dense nature and lack of connecting my life with Theirs. It has been an ongoing breaking down the walls series, and is going to be used more for breaking down the walls than trying to capture ALL of Their essence.

Another twist was recently added to this thinky-thought. The other day I was listening to a walkthrough of Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance (Nintendo 3DS game) and one of the worlds (Symphony of Sorcery) is based off of Disney’s “Fantasia” where Mickey is an apprentice caught in the trance of a dream-eater and music has to be obtained to wake him up. The music obtained at the end of it all with the two combined pieces between Sora and Riku was the musical theme of friendship used in the different entries to the series called “Dearly Beloved”. I had forgotten the power that simple little musical piece moved me. Yes people, video games move me.

It isn’t just the lyrics of songs that create a literary connection to self and others. It is the rhythm, the notes, the speed and other standardized guidelines of musical quality that can drive emotions and connections within me. Which leads me to ponder MANY things.

One of the essences of my “work” that I’m actually able to talk about is storytelling. I have beem entrusted to share who They are with the world. One of the aspects of this work is to tell the stories using different mediums other than lectures and powerpoints (I’m not bashing those who do traditional mediums, it’s just not MY method).

The challenge has been to take what’s washing around in my head and translate it to something others can understand. Hence why I have a degree in Art and Film. My original plan was to go in to animation and game concept design, but that has shifted to work in as many mediums as I can, for example jewelry, film, painting, drawing, and now potentially music.

In the coming times I may have some pieces for the internet to feast upon (or barf upon as it may be). My goal is to experiment with the idea and run with it for a bit. “M” is for making musical lore, because it can be done. Well, not just it can be done, it has already been done for thousands of years, now it’s just me connecting the dots and having it go along with my work.

“E” is for Envisioning the Evolution of the Embrace of The Neteru and I

This is a bit late on the upswing, but life is life, and it happens. Surprisingly the letter “E” was a hard one for me to ponder. I didn’t want to have anything with “Egypt” in the middle of it. I felt I should dig deeper, and voila! I decided it was fitting to take “Embrace” (specifically in regards to me and my own history with the Neteru), and run with it.

The word “embrace” has a few meanings. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (as found on the internet), the definitions (in a nutshell) are hugging, cherish/love, to take up a cause, to welcome, to take part of, and to be equal to. All of the listed definitions relate to how I go about with my relationship to the Neteru, and how I view Them.

I have been in this role for long enough to know I want to stay there, but it is still early enough to where I can keep growing under Their guidance fueled by my determination to learn and act alongside Them. I know there are varying views as to what we “humans” (for lack of a better word) are to the Neteru.  A strong belief I have is the Neteru view myself and others as extended family members with no limits on the roles we and They can enact. This is my conclusion from experiences throughout the years as I have picked at connections of stories along with my work with the Neteru. I strive to continuously embrace and be embraced by the Neteru as both a servant of Ma’at and as a member of Their family.

The roles some of the Neteru play in my life manifest through the interpretation of “acts” of tough love, understanding, acceptance, challenge, and the very distinct elements of Their own personalities. I view the Neteru individually as a part of a greater whole, but not permutations of one being. I’m included as a part of that whole. We don’t exist without Them and vice-versa as we are all the instruments of Ma’at.

The Neteru are constantly present and their energies have been supportive towards me. It has “felt” like they have “hugged” me at my low points in support and have celebrated alongside me in my triumphs. I feel cherished and loved by Them. There are a few who I have had rough dealings with, but as with co-existence with anyone, there is no way to please everyone and I just do the best I can. Even the rough happenings have simmered down as I have evolved in my understanding of Their ways. As I go through the periods from first contact to now, it has always put in to perspective exactly how much the different Neters have done for me, and how much I may mean to Them.

I was enthralled by the stories of the Neteru when I was young. I count myself among one of the lucky ones who had parents that encouraged learning about the world and the world’s history at large. I was seven when I received a picture book talking about Tutankhamen’s tomb, and I fell in love with it at first sight. As the years went on, I had decided I wanted to become an Egyptologist. I would go on to hoard any information I could find, and by the time I hit high school, when I was bored with the lack of learning that comes with the MN public school system, I would transcribe hieroglyphics and practice telling some the stories (granted I know many of the story versions I learned are not the ones I know want to latch on to, but I’m getting ahead of myself).

High School also brought many difficulties to my life and from what I could glean from the murky memories is still very vague. I was at the end of my rope, and I couldn’t see the end of the tunnel. I contemplated running away and at the real low points ending it all. I went through the motion of waking up, going to school, and hiding in the corners out of sight. I however, wasn’t “living”, and it would have been at night when I found my solace in games and later in dreams. At this point in my life, I wasn’t raised nor considered myself a spiritual person. The stories I read and studied were just stories from long dead religions.

I had a series of dreams of content, I don’t remember very well except the presences of Aset and Nebt-Het telling me to hang-on and I’m not alone. Now, throughout the years I have had arguments and debates with others about the fact that “the gods came to me in my time of need, which is me trying to be special or succumbing to a ‘mental illness’ (yeah, WRONG!)”. I have thought about why and how They were able to reach out.

The why (foresight is 20/20) is simple: I was technically doing Them good by keeping their memories alive by sharing and studying. The imprint the Neteru have on the world will always be remembered by my effort and the effort of others. Am I special, yes, but I’m not more special than others who follow similar paths. I am merely another vessel to promote Ma’at. The how they were able to find me is easy to describe now (once again, foresight has perfect vision, unlike me). I inadvertently called to Them before knowing They “existed”. I made the unconscious effort to latch on to Them through the knowledge I was gaining. I spoke their names and brought them in to my world.

Anywho, I wrote off the dreams as overactive imagination, but I took the message to heart. Enter senior year in High School. I went Post-Secondary to St Cloud State University in St Cloud, MN. It was there that I meant a few cool people and every Wednesday or every other Wednesday the Pagan Alliance Group on Campus had a selling table for their crafts. I talked to a few of them and met a couple of other Pagans in classes and learned the religions I had thought were dead, was actually spiritual paths very much alive. I confided in a few of them the dreams I had, and the consensus was “revisit the dreams and decide if you want to visit Them, because there is something there”.

I revisited the dreams and I did start to look at what it meant to “believe” in the Neteru and “listen” to Them. My “listening” to the Neteru isn’t done by words; it’s by impressions and empathetic/emotionally based responses I discern differently from my own psyche. As I looked beyond scholarly works, I came to the conclusion (don’t know how this happened) of being a “priestess” for only Aset and Nebt-Het. Since I was female, I should only follow goddesses (facepalm moment allowed). Oh and for more facepalm fun, Set was the evil brother that I shouldn’t even look at (my religion’s own Lucifer). I sat comfortably for about two years, then the “real tests” began.

I noticed there was a quietness emanating from Aset and Nebt-Het and decided I was overdoing it and decided to take a small break from the constant attention I wanted from them. The itsy-bitsy point of emptiness was filled not too far after that point, but not too early either. Shu was the first and he’s like a father figure to me, even still to this day. I can communicate through the winds with Him easily. The next to “appear” before me was Ra. Ra must have an abundant amount of patience to put up with me at times. His presence is very distinct and I know when it’s a “quit the moving mouth and ‘listen’” moment. The next was the very “Brother” I scorned for two years. He didn’t seem offended, almost proud, but now knowing His nature, I’m not surprised. He scared the crap out of me back in the day, and trolled me hard. His father, Geb, came in a little later and is much quieter than His children. I have more of a connection with the sky then with the earth so it’s been a learning experience to learn how to talk to a “source” of earth.

At this point, the gears in my brain (aka my ego) said, “Oh I guess I got everything I needed from Aset and Nebt-Het and they are leaving”. I even still have the letter I wrote as thanks for the support and goodbye. The laughter that ensued from the actions of that letter, dear gods, I have yet to feel as wondrous and thunderous of a response in any situation in my entire life. I settled in to knowing that They would never leave, or so I thought. It would sit steady like this for two more years.

By this time I chose to switch from being an Egyptologist to being an artist. I felt and still feel a disconnect between being able to be scientific/unbiased about deep emotional experiences and my focus within the study was the stories. It became more of a path of a spiritual storyteller than a path of a scientist. This led me to meet others from the other side of the spectrum than I was used to. I don’t want to dwell too much in to this next part as the lessons were very hard and are still hard to talk about. In a brief nutshell: I collected a few friends along the way and I decided to try experimenting (for lack of a better term) with maybe incorporating information from their practices. The aftershock was horrendous. I lost the contact I gained with the Neteru for enough time to do damage to myself.

Whether it was anger on their part or an inability for me to connect due to damage I received and brought on energetically from some very toxic people and practices, I don’t know. In my panic, I ripped at my energy pathways (mainly the one surrounding my heart), and I can sometimes feel the “scarring” to this day. The one thing I do know, a lesson needed to be learned and I learned it. I took for granted what I was given by the Neteru, and I now knew I wasn’t invincible or too shiny to chuck away. I also decided to look at the basics on energy and how to deal with people. I didn’t know how to ground, or center, or any of those basics. I had worked with mostly “god-energy” and not my own. Asar and Anpu would be instrumental in helping me along the way in this period.

A couple of years later, I would find a different group that brought a whole new dynamic to perceived reality and “actual” reality. With respect for the individuals involved, all I will say is “Spechul Snowflake” times four with a group of fifteen plus, and I was caught up in the momentum. I had some very legit experiences, but it also pointed out to me some of my own overkills and the instinct to buffer with many Neteru (granted the Neteru didn’t leave when the dwama stopped, so I guess that means something).

I would go on and now almost nine years since I took my first name of “Selene Aset-Nebthet”, I have a nice-sized list of Neteru I can turn to and learn about and learn from. My goal isn’t to collect them all, my goal is to “know” Them and “work” with Them.  The path I take as a priestess is that of a “crafting storyteller”. I tell Their stories through” Installation Art”, writing, speaking, painting, drawing beading, and soon to be a mix of all of the above. As my understanding changes (which is daily), I feel myself change along a parallel path. I will never stop walking as I whole-heartedly choose this path and I would never do anything over again. I embrace and am embraced by the Neteru.

The crack of twilight before the dawn

I figured I may as well let people know I’m not dead yet (the blog has been for awhile, but not me). I am in deep preparation for my first post for the “Pagan Blog Project 2013”. I’m stoked and nervous all rolled in to one. The post will be about an aspect of my practice that is near and dear to my heart. I don’t want to give anything away so on to other topics.

Many of the grandiose plans I had to get my lazy bones moving on projects fell by the wayside because of trying to get a handle on a very stressful period on my rollercoaster of a life. Here is a breakdown on what I have scrapped, half-assed, and achieved success at.

Remembering ritual days and working on a good calender has been put on a backburner for the time being. I have found my sensibilities and active Netjeru are so fluid that if I catch a day, it’s meant to be. If I don’t catch the days or feasts, it wasn’t meant to happen yet. I have yet to get backlash from the Netjeru and until I do, I’m not going to stress the little details.

I was working on a usekh (the collars we all know and love) and had put over 60 hours in the blasted thing and in that time, scrapped and started over at least five times. It’s been put on hold for the sake of my sanity. I’m determined to finish it, but gods, it’s too much at once. I am still beading, but necklaces and other smaller experiments are being created. Along with this is a mixed media project including canvases and beads.

I have begun to paint again and am working on an eight-piece minimalist/hieroglyphic series chronicling the creation of the Universe based on my “interpretative” creation story. I will have photos of the paintings as they progress, but they are in the beginning stages, it’s not as interesting as I hope they will be later on.

I have begun to revisit my books and re-collect how and what I know along with digging deep to find what I want to know more about. I would like to think I have a wealth of knowledge, but I know I’ve only scratched the surface. Given how much mis-information I am finding I learned, it’s going to be a long path. I’m looking forward to it.

I have created the candle-holder that is the symbol of me in the hearth my roommate and I have at our home. We have yet to fully consecrate but we are in steady preparation for the time it will be. You can see what it looks like below!

Hearth Candle

There is probably much more I am forgetting on my long list, but I needed to blow some steam off as I have been in spiritual-work-overdrive mode since I came home tonight. In that flurry, I had a hankering to revive the old-young blog before Friday and give people something to read. I would say I’m sorry if I bored you, but that’s just not true in my book. I always like to hear what others are working on, and I hope there are some souls out there who feel the same way and enjoyed my rambling. Until next time, cheers!