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Egyptian Paganism Brief

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Forums -> Other Paths -> Egyptian Paganism Brief

Egyptian Paganism Brief
By:
Post # 1

One of the paths that I follow is Egyptian Paganism. I know several people when they get into magick a lot of them, not all, will look into the Greek and Egyptian culture. This is primarily because it's one of the first cultures they learn about rather it be in or outside of school. Plus they're more common to children.

This path is also considered Kemetism in today's modern times. Egyptian Paganism focuses on the practices of ancient Egypt and what the main beliefs use to be. My best guess is that in today's world these beliefs are not as common with in the country do to the number of religions that have spread from Europe, the Middle East, and some parts of Asia. In the Kemetic path they also follow a good number of Egyptian mythology. I've seen several people in the path call them by their Egyptian name whether than their common names people mainly know them as. An example of this: The main goddess I work with is Aset and most modern day people call her Isis. Though it is not her only name. She can be consider a big part of the Kemetic culture, but she is not the only one. A lot of the gods that are within this path are very common ones like Ra, Wesir (Osiris), Horus, Bast, Set, and more. Some believe the gods are very understanding as well, but in cases with a god like Set if you say something bad about him intentionally something bad might happen to you. I've once had that experience where I wanted to test it and spiders would not leave me alone. It was like one spider pops up and then I turn around there was another one. I eat a few hours later and I see one crawling down right next to me. That was one crazy experience. However, it is common to see spiders where I live, but it's not usually like this situation. However, more spiders are moving up North because of snakes in the South. I do believe these gods might try to use natural occupancies for their own will sometimes too.

A lot of the beliefs within the creation of the universe is different in some form or another. I don't focus on the Egyptian belief of creation myself, but according to something I read it is most likely people who follow the path today might have a scientific view of it. With the creation story we probably know the most common one but I won't explain it here. If you are interested you can look it up on YouTube. It isn't very long so you should be fine. It is said that the big Netjer is thought as the creator as well. A little Netjer is basically any god.

The Kemtic/Egyptian path also believes in a balance like several other paths as well. It's part of some basic understandings of the path itself. Others include things like Neteru as well. If you didn't know, Neteru can have several meanings. Some include spirits and others may include guardians as well. The main meaning I have read is that it means deities. Each god in the Kemetic path has their on personalty as well. They have different jobs yet they will share them as well. These things have no complete meaning to them because some believe they can thousands of names too. There are other groups within the path as well as some outside it that work with neopagan stuff as well. Another basic principle would be that we all have our own interactions with the universe. You should get closer with the gods you follow as well. Understand them more. Get closer to them by yourself. The path can also be complicated as you first look into it also and can be hard to explain so it is best for you to look into it yourself sometimes.

There are also certain items used in this path, but I won't discuss them here because if you know some common ones like an Ankh then you should be able to find the rest and can go into farther understanding and different opinions about them as well.

Yes, several people do believe in an afterlife but not all. They believe in a Duat which is the underworld. There are several test you follow after you die. To my best knowledge, there are muliple beliefs about the afterlife and getting into to it. A common one includes The Weight of the Heart which is to decide if the person is basically worthy or not. If they succeed in the test become Akhu (a blessed ancestor) and will live in the Duat can come in contact with humans on Earth as well. Someone who flees the test will become a Muet (an angry dead person that terrorizes people). An interesting topic in the Kemetic Orthodoxy is that we have divine parents that actually created our ba (our eternal soul) and beloved ones which created our ka (kind if like us having a life in the afterlife and we need food to survive in it). It is believed we have one parent, but we can have up to two and gender does not matter. This means we can have like two moms or two dads. We sometimes have suspicions of who our parents are, but we don't know until we die. The Rite of Parent Divination is just a ritual for members with in the Kemetic Orthodoxy who wish to find out, but it is not fully determine and just gives possibilities. Hence the word "divination". Several people disagree with this type of practice though. They believe it gets rid of the purpose of someone's experience. What is said that people don't know is that many know who their parents are before the rite takes place. In the modern day some Kemetics actually believe in reincarnation until all lessons are learned or it is just continuous. It is believe if someone is not mummified that their soul will stay alive so people need a picture or family memories.

There is more to this but this is a brief summary of some topics of the Egyptian path from my knowledge and my research as well. Google is your friend, but don't always trust the internet. If you have any other useful information, opinions based on your belief, and more please do reply. I'm sure people would like to learn.

Sources and other helpful links:

http://www.wepwawet.org/wiki/index.php?title=Rite_of_Parent_Divination

http://pagan.wikia.com/wiki/Egyptian_Paganism

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/pagantraditions/p/EgyptianPagan.htm

http://www.sekhmetspride.com/tamera/netjeru.html

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Re: Egyptian Paganism Brief
By: / Beginner
Post # 2
Very extensive. Something i should really look into sometime, thanks for posting.
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Re: Egyptian Paganism Brief
By:
Post # 3

Thank you for sharing!

I have a friend who finally went into the Kemetic Orthodox church, it is very interesting hearing her talk about it.
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Re: Egyptian Paganism Brief
By:
Post # 4

This is very informative. Thank you for sharing, Saturn.

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Re: Egyptian Paganism Brief
By:
Post # 5
Good to note. Thanks, :)
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Re: Egyptian Paganism Brief
By: / Novice
Post # 6
Its very good i have to say Saturn! My only issue is when you say Isis in't Asets name. We all know Gods under different names such as Odin. Wod , Danu , Don Etc.. As much as it is the Greek version of as Aset , it is still a name she responds too
Other than that, Great job!
Thanks, I enjoyed reading it .
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Re: Egyptian Paganism Brief
By:
Post # 7

Welcome back Grg. Good to see an old face around. Please excuse me as I make a few corrections to your post (especially those considering the Kemetic Orthodoxy as I am a Shemsu of that faith).

Kemetism is also called Kemeticism in some circles, though the Kemet portion of the term focuses the reader on what they are talking about. Kemeticism involves not only the main beliefs of ancient Egypt (which I will refer to as Kemet), but also on their practices and to some extent their lives. There are some Kemetics who get up before the sun rises so that they can perform a House of the Morning ritual that purfies the self for the day, and others who use this time to worship, care for, and give thanks to their gods. While those in Egypt itself are prodominetly Muslim, I have heard that they take a huge amount of pride in their ancestors' beliefs and practices, to the point where one person commented that they quite enjoy people who attempt to revive the old ways.

(I would hope a Kemetic path follows Kemet mythology, otherwise I am a bit boggled.) The use of these Kemet names is due to there being from a small to a huge amount of differences between the Kemetic stories and those that the Greeks made up based on the Kemetic ones. (Plutarch is an excellent example of why I don't refer to Aset as Isis unless among people who only know her as Isis.) Aset, Wesir, and others are indeed a big part of the culture then as today, however the biggest role she really had until the New Kingdom and the times after that was due to her connection to Wesir, who allows us an afterlife once we have died. As her popularity increased, she became more important. There are, however, tons of lesser known names such as Qadesh, Qebhwt, Nebethetepet, Meret Weret, Werethekau, Serqet, Mut, Wepwawet, Min, etc. These names are rejected or left unconsidered by many simply because not much is known of them, or they are of a less than "love and light" slant. And I personally think that learning about a deity before you go working with them would be best.

In many of the Kemetic circles I have run into/been a part of, I have found that creation stories are taken one of two ways; either the person adopts a particular creation myth they enjoy, or they accept all as equally true and equally false. I cannot recall running into anyone who looked at the myths scienficially however. The idea of big Netjer and little netjer is one involved in monoaltry, which the Kemetic Orthodoxy (as well as others outside of it) follows. This idea has no direct involvement in creation myths, as it is considered that out of Nun (nothingness) a netjer representing Netjer or being a part of Netjer appeared and began to create and continue other parts of Netjer. Netjer itself is a part of Nun and also a part of the created world, however it is only through the created world that it can be experienced.

The balance you are speaking of is Ma'at, who is known as truth, justice, and balance. She is a goddess who represents universal concepts, rather than human concepts of right and wrong. Due to this, you will find several Kemetics struggling to be closer to Ma'at, as by doing so they attempt to keep themselves "pure" (purity being a concept that keeps one aligned with Ma'at rather than virginal). I feel that an understanding of Ma'at is essential to any Kemetic path, as the concept of her was one that was quite important in Kemet. Netjeru are different from netjeri in that netjeru are the gods, while netjeri are any non-human spirit. This differentiation is made by the Kemetic Orthodoxy and does occur with several other Kemetics. Spirits, guides, and guardians who are not gods are netjeri, however the gods have several netjeri which are aspects of them and/or mini-gods; the Seven Hetheru's/Hathors would be a good example of this.

There are literally thousands of symbols that could be used to represent oneself as Kemetic, the ankh, netjer symbol, and Eye of Heru/Horus being the most common ones. However there are several other things out there. I own an ankh made of serpentine as well as a sistrum my step father and I made. (Sistrum are musical instruments that can be used to honor the gods or work within sacred space among other things.) Eventually I'm hoping to make for myself a good w'as scepter to use in ritual, but that's a ways away yet.

To be fully honest, I have yet to meet a Kemetic who doesn't believe in some form of an afterlife. Not all believe in the Duat, etc, some believe in reincarnation or that our ka (spirit body) remains in the Duat while our ba (soul) reincarnates. Most of those I have spoken to are of the the persuation that the Duat is the afterlife or that part of us goes to the Duat while part of us reincarnates. The original journey through the Duat is taken from the Book of Coming Forth by Day (Book of the Dead), and each of the versions of these books are a little different. Most of them include specific passages, but not all are the same in content. The Judgment of the Heart is not the only happening in the Duat, it is just the most famous. To get there, you have to pass several other rigorous tests, most of which can easily fail as the gatekeepers are not the most benevolent of beings. If you pass the challenges of the Duat, then yes, you do become an Akhu, however Muuet are created for different reasons than dodging the judgement or failing it. There are those who are confused away from it, who didn't receive proper offerings, who couldn't find the place of judgement, those who held onto their deaths and/or loved ones, those who were held onto by loved ones, etc. None of these are exclusive, as it can be a combination of things. (Please refer to my Akhu and Muuet post in the links below as it explains them more in depth.)

No, the Rite is not "just a ritual". It's more than a ritual as it is also a duty and an oath. In learning who your Parent(s) are, while you are not required by the Kemetic Orthodoxy to honor them, you are morally obligated to do so. It is a sense of, "these gods created me, they took their time out to tell Hemet (aus) that they are my Parents and my Beloveds, what can I do to give back to them?" At least, that is what my reaction was. I specifically remember crying while I was going through the results of the Rite with Hemet (aus), I think I burst into tears about four or five times and had to stop each time because this was so important to me. I had decided the night before to become a Shemsu no matter who appeared or what was said to me, because I personally owed my gods for what they have done for me. I was not surprised by Sekhmet-Mut (though the Mut part threw me a loop for a few seconds), nor by Yinepu-Wepwawet, though my Mother Serqet-Aset suprised me quite well. About a week later I was in bed thinking about it, and thanked her so much for showing up, to the point I again, started crying. It's not just a ritual that should be done all wily-nily in my opinion, simply because it can and does make your life infinitely more complex. This is why several members decide to remain as Remetj (friends of the faith) rather than undergo the Rite.

Again, you are incorrect that it is not fully determined and just gives possibilities. The Rite does allow for some changes at later times, specifically to the number of Beloveds, however this is very rare and only occurs after much thought by the individual and much discussion with Hemet (aus). There have never been and will never be any changes to the Parents. Hemet (aus) spends an entire day performing the Rite, and asking if she is correct in her results and if anything additional is wanted. If you do not have faith in her abilities as both a diviner and as the spiritual leader of the group, you really shouldn't be undergoing the Rite. Also, no, divination doesn't mean that it is any less accurate, Hemet (aus) is literally using a divination system in order to see this. Divination is used very often to gain answers within pagan groups and should not be looked down upon or treated as a hit and miss system, especially one that is one in the way the Rite is.

Those who disagree with the Rite tend to do so out of a personal wish to choose their own gods, which is perfectly fine and equally right. The Rite is meant for Kemetic Orthodoxy members only, and is not offered to just anyone who wants it. Many of those within the Kemetic Orthodoxy who disagree at first with the Rite usually come to a better understanding of themselves and their gods. A few do leave the group before long, as they find they cannot reconcile not having the specific person they want to show up show up. As I said above, I was not expecting Serqet to show up, and truth be told I expected Aset as a Beloved and Sekhmet (in one of her forms) and Yinepu or Wepwawet (in either form) to appear as my Parents. I spent the next few weeks looking back into my life, wondering if Serqet ever showed up, and ran into a "dude, look at all the scorpion stuff in your home." I have a yarn painting I made in 6th grade above my computer desk, and the focal point of the painting is a black scorpion for goodness sakes. While some are surprised, many find that the deities they worked with previously do appear, as I experienced.

These links may be helpful to you on some of the concepts in here, especially those regarding the Kemetic Orthodoxy:

http://www.spellsofmagic.com/read_post.html?post=536035
http://www.spellsofmagic.com/read_post.html?post=517322
http://www.spellsofmagic.com/read_post.html?post=536084
http://www.spellsofmagic.com/read_post.html?post=516570
http://www.spellsofmagic.com/read_post.html?post=485910

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Re: Egyptian Paganism Brief
By:
Post # 8

Lewis, I would like to note that while Isis is technically Aset, the name differences aren't just used for pretty looks. For several people who are Kemetic, Aset/Auset/etc is a better name than Isis as the spread of her worship changed her myth from that of a purely Kemet stance. While some use the terms interchangably, I personally am one of those that considers Isis a form of Aset who went abroad and came up with a different face. She's the same lady in some senses, but in others she is not, and so I like to use the most appropriate name for the conversation. Also, it is not a Kemetic idea that all the gods are the same god under another name. While groups like the Kemetic Orthodoxy feel that all are aspects of Netjer, they also acknowledge that all are their own beings, and I have met next to none who are Kemetic/Tameran and feel that all gods are the God and Goddess.

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Re: Egyptian Paganism Brief
By: / Novice
Post # 9

Thank you for clearing that up, Raawy. I enjoy your posts.

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Re: Egyptian Paganism Brief
By:
Post # 10

Your welcome Espy. :) I love talking about my path. Brightens my day right up.

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