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.
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.