The uneducated kemetic

Many people who work with the kemetic deities do so out of a lifelong love for the culture.  They were attracted to ancient Egypt from a young age and devoured everything they could find about it.  The worship of the deities is a natural progression.

This is not the case for me.  I have my historical loves (Russia and England), my contemporary loves (India and Japan), and those places that have fascinated me throughout their history (Ireland and Wales).  Egypt is not among them.  I was called to work with these deities, and I’m still unsure as to why I was picked.  Other pantheons make so much more sense for me, and in fact, I do still worship with the Celtic pantheon, but it is not their voices that guide me.  I could begin a Reconstructionist path from any of the above listed places with far less trouble than the Egyptian-

-but it is not about the trouble, or the stacks of books I’ve been researching to become even somewhat literate about the region and its history.  It is about the messages I receive from Them.  This is where They want me, regardless of what I would want.  These are the gods that call to me, speak to me, encourage and lecture and comfort me.  So when They say “honor us,” I do, even if it means being the equivalent of the least educated kemetic in the room.

In the meantime, I’ll keep learning and growing, and I know I can count on Them for help.

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As of today, I’m officially a remetj within the Kemetic Orthodox House of Netjer.

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This is me, on a boat, leaving my island

It’s scary, putting my faith out there.

I’ve been pagan for half my life now, and while I’ve rarely been “in the closet”, it’s always been something of a “need to know” basis.  Once my daughter was born, I eased away from pagan communities.  Quite bluntly, I didn’t want her to be treated poorly by other adults because they might disagree with my religious beliefs.  Adding to that, I live in a fairly conservative area- conservative enough that my facial piercings and (at the time) blue hair caused a ruckus when I became a Girl Scout leader.

When I returned to the internet pagan communities, what I found was a fractured mess.  No one liked anyone anymore.  Well known bloggers were full of themselves, smaller bloggers were not worth reading (I actually saw someone ask where another blogger was in the “food chain”!), factions were formed and battle lines were drawn, and anyone with a blog was fodder for what we used to call witch wars.  (Even those low on the “food chain”.  Can you tell the phrase disgusts me?)

Here’s how I see it.  Everyone has something to say.  Everyone is worth hearing, if only because it makes you say, “Hey, I don’t like that idea,” and work out why.  Reading something that makes a person think is important, and I don’t give a damn if a blog has one follower or one thousand, their words are worth hearing and sharing.

Even mine. (I keep telling myself this.  It’s my new mantra.)

While I’m academically minded in my reading, my writing style has always been more conversational.  I prefer sharing the personal aspects of a faith- what it means to me, how it has shaped my practice, the changes it has wrought, what works and what doesn’t.  My practice is an ever evolving thing, and currently it is going through the largest changes in quite some time.  It’s going to take a while for the dust to settle, and I’m sure a lot of what will be here will be me trying to figure things out.  And hopefully, while I’m figuring out my own path, I’ll be able to glean ideas and inspiration from other pagan bloggers out there, no matter what the size of their readership.

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KRT: Mythology

The Kemetic Round Table (KRT) is a blogging project aimed at providing practical, useful information for modern Kemetic religious practitioners. For all the entries relating to this particular topic, click here.  This topic:  Mythology: How necessary is it? Does it affect your practice? Should it?

How important is mythology to a budding kemetic?  Priceless.

A little background: My practice has been Wiccan for years.  I started drifting more into pagan witchcraft as I became more polytheistic, but I still honored divinity in a Wiccan context, until both Bast and Aset made it clear to me that they did not want to be worshipped as such.  The gist of it was they let me know, in no uncertain terms, that there was a precedent for their worship and they expected it to be upheld.  Alrighty then!

What was I to do?  I was unable to worship the gods the way I always had, but I still felt compelled to honor them.  Unlike many kemetics, I did not have a strong love affair with ancient Egypt.  In fact, what I knew about AE was nothing more than I had learned in history class.  Aset was pushing me to go towards a reconstructionist path but I knew next to nothing about the culture or the faith.  Oy.

The first books I picked up were ones that covered the mythology of the region.  I needed to be introduced to the gods, as I had worked with almost none of them.  (Picture me sitting puzzled: How many Herus again?)  I knew the basic pantheon but through researching the myths, I came to know the gods in a more intimate fashion, and doing so enriched the beginning steps of my reformed practice in a way it had not been for some time.

The mythology that has been handed down to us is a primer on the gods.  It tells us, from the filtered-down perspective of those who lived it, what the gods liked, what their strengths and weaknesses were, how they interacted, what they expected of their followers, what offerings to give, what personalities to expect.  It is a crash course in how the politics and culture of the region colored their divinity.  To ignore the mythology means ignoring the entire cultural background of the faith at best, and Really Messing Things Up at worst.

Is mythology infallible?  Nope.  There are multiple tellings of the stories.  Sometimes a child becomes a spouse, as the family tree gets shuffled around.  Gods are added and taken away.  But I firmly believe that these myths are the best starting point for a fledgling kemetic.  They have given me a road map through the unfamiliar landscape of a new faith.

Should it affect your practice?  Until the training wheels come off, yes!  As one learns and grown in a faith, of course, people change some things and look towards their own gnosis.  It comes with experience.  As the understanding of the gods deepens, people may find they don’t work as closely with the “known” aspects of their gods.  And that’s fine, but I do feel it’s important to have a good grounding in the basics before branching off.  To me, it’s the difference between growing within a faith and making kemeticism “whatever you want it to be”.

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Turn and face the strange

Expect changes.

Those of you who followed my makeup blog might want to unfollow, as what will come will be less about makeup and more about life.  I plan on making this a more general space and talking about many things, including my faith.  After looking beneath the surface of the makeup community, I found little to recommend it.  I will only say that someone having good makeup skills doesn’t make them a good person.  I like shiny things, but I prefer good people.

I’ll be opening up here in a way I didn’t before.  If that appeals to you, if you are comfortable with talk of Paganism, then stay and be welcome.  My path is constantly evolving, and I look forward to sharing it with you.

Brighid Walks the Land by Helena Nelson Reed

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Shiro Cosmetics Notebook Collection

Hi guys!  Have you missed me?

Today I’ve got swatches of an older Shiro Cosmetics collection.  This one came out last summer, and it’s one of my favorites.  Based on the manga and anime Death Note, the Notebook Collection is on the darker side, and is perfect for those days where the weather has you longing for fall.   As usual with Shiro, the colors are buttery smooth and blend easily.  The standouts from this collection are Detective, Second Kira, Heaven Nor Hell, and Perfect World.

Shiro’s pricing is in line with other indies, at $5 for a full sized shadow in a 5g jar, and Caitlin also offers minis in 3g jars, as well as samples.  Keep an eye out for swatches of the new Intertubes, coming soon-ish.  My prior review can be found here.

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