Pagan Paths

Alchemical and spiritual journey together with Thoth-Djehuty – exploring Kemeticism, Hermeticism, spiritual alchemy, and following the path of devotion.

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Devotional journey: Together with Djehuty

You, Djehuty - and only You - I think I know all Your holy names and hundreds of epithets, recognizing the hieroglyphic signs from the first glance sometimes,
but all these names are here just to bring more light to certain aspects of your wonderful Wholeness.

You can be so different. Sassy and sarcastic, demanding and cold, trickstery and full of ecstatic laughter, kind and full of compassion, your immense greatness reaches the far corners of the universe, when you calculate the orbits of most distant stars,
and still You are here for me - one who took my heart, who has my love and trust, who called me to stay in the Mansion of the Moon and bring all my sorrows before Your throne, so you could lift my burdens and wipe my tears.

You came to me - dark, sad, sorrowful and determined, and full of love - to give me Your hand, to give me strength, to lead me through the path of ordeals to the future You wanted for us, together.
You smiled upon me when I started to study my first hieroglyphic signs.
You smiled upon me when I touched the Legend of the Book of Thoth.
You answered my call when I wrote You the letter of devotion.
… and I knew that I don’t want to follow any other God or Goddess so deeply as I want to follow You.
I know others, I know Their love and greatness, but you are the Only-One, my First and Foremost; “Sole God, no one other is like You”…

And sometimes I say numerous praises for You and sometimes I want to learn the sacred  Silence,
to drink your sweet water from the well-in-the-desert.
You are the one-who-created himself; the Word that was “in the beginning”, the divine Logos, quintessence of omniscience of the Supreme God, Netjer/Netjeru: tongue of Ptah, heart of Ra, throat of Amun, heka of Atum.
Blessed under many names, guised as sage Trismegistus, connecting together Netjeru and Theoi as Divine Messenger, called Hermes; and known as Mercury for the romans; but ancient Kemet knows you as Thoth-Djehuty.
Lord of Medu-Netjer, Divine Language; lord of Hermopolis.
All Your holy names are not enough to explain and define You.
Djehuty “as You are”, and how can I say I know You?
But I can say indeed that You are the one I love,
and this love binds us together,
stronger than everything in existence.

May be Your name was the first Word I’ve heard when my soul was created for this life on this Earth, before hearing the voices of the world.

You are the moon in the night sky, watching me closely.
You are the sweet breathe of the quiet wind in the nubian sanctuary of Dakka.
You are the one who comes to your sanctuary Qasr-el-Agouz, near the Mound Djeme - Iat-Djamut, Your beloved place, every night, and leave at dawn.
Divine avenger and recorder of souls.
Inventor of writing and all sciences.
Many people call You upon Your many names, and You hear every prayer.

I may not surely remember when exactly in my childhood years I first met mentions of Djehuty. I already learned much about egyptian mythology when I was in 5th grade, this means, when I was 11-12 years years old. However, I visited Hermitage Museum even before, and spent some time in Egyptian Hall as well, so probably I saw there statues of Djehuty among other Netjeru as well as his images on papyrus and stelae.
It was year 1995 when my love to Egypt went to the whole new level and I started a cycle of poetry “Country of the setting Sun”, trying to imitate egyptian lyrics style and themes. I was drawn to Egypt and its wonderful culture more and more, but real turning point was reading “Joseph and his brothers” book by Thomas Mann.
The story of biblical Joseph’s journey into Egypt was a revelation for me - travel to wonderful, bright, vivid world of ancient polytheism.
And also, the adoration before Djehuty, the moon, lord of all knowledge and writing, was very clear in this book. Not like He played noticeable role in the story itself, however, the author’s admiration before the hieroglyphics and art of writing was very clear, and I started to feel the same.
I have read the moment in the book where Joseph gives the speech before Pharaoh, interpreting his dreams, and also telling tales about inventing the musical instrument by Hermes-Djehuty, Hermes as “brother or another form of The Ibis-Headed One”.
The speech of Joseph before Pharaoh was amazing piece of literature.
And also Joseph talked about hieroglyphs. He talked about Ankh, he talked about Nefer, and then, suddenly, I realized that it’s indeed possible to study egyptian hieroglyphics.
It was illumination and revelation.
“I can study this language. It’s real. I’m in the university, so I can look in the library and find the appropriate books”.
This was a life-changing decision. This was a first moment when probably the Cupid’s arrow did hit my heart: study hieroglyphics!

And I started studying, and because xero-copying of the books was not allowed in the reading hall, I decided to copy the hieroglyphic textbook by hand.
I believe Djehuty was already watching this with amusement and appreciation...
And so I was counting the hieroglyphs I learned, keeping in mind “so many you need to know to be qualified as a scribe, so many you have to know to be a scribe in the pharaoh’s court; so many you have to know to apply for job in the temple of Thoth” =)
And this was my goal, - even if I tried to think about it as a joke, it was the True Will that led me, becoming more and more defined. He has been waiting me approaching, with admirable patience. Not throwing strange signs around, not bothering me with dreams and voices.
Studying the sacred art of hieroglyphics was already following his call.
I remember first time when I mentioned his name in my poetry. It was a poem imitating egyptian funerary inscriptions, and it has the words of the scribe:

“I have not seen for myself destiny
most honorable than drawing on the papyrus sheet
the sacred ornaments, creation of Thoth”

And I have read the legend of the Book of Thoth too - first, in the adapted version for “easy reading”; it sounded like a funny tale with talking mummies and adventures of unlucky prince Setna breaking the divine copyrights.
But my friends from the Egyptology department of Oriental Studies faculty, secretly brought me the best available russian translation of the legend of the Book of Thoth, made directly from original demotic.
There was deep night when I started reading the sacred (indeed) manuscript, and while I was reading it in the dim light of the night, hiding in my room, I reached some strange state of “quantum leap”. i started understanding egyptian words and their sacred meaning behind the text. The story of prince Naneferka-Ptah and his wife Ih-Urit (Ahura) became the universal archetypal story of the initiation, story of human soul.
And as I followed it, it seemed to me that hieroglyphs left the paper pages and were shining and trembling in the air like the neon lights.
I reached the tragic point where Naneferka-Ptah receives the punishment-and-reward; the “power of Great God falls down” and he, already embodying the all-knowledge of Thoth, through the book, realizes what his actions caused.
“Give them to me. Naneferka-Ptah should not return to Memphis”
And Ra agrees with the claims of Thoth - and so, Naneferka-Ptah probably should have realized what is happening with him and his life. His soul, x-rayed and examined, is given to the hands of Thoth who was not pleased to see his Book stolen.
This is a moment of tragedy and also miracles and wonders.
I looked at these lines in the text, in awe and admiration before Djehuty. I did not feel any fear. I imagined the scene so brightly - the magician Naneferka on his boat, with the sacred book; his sister and wife Ahura, also possessed by the divine knowledge; between heavens and the water, they were there, facing their fate, and Thoth went before Ra to claim their souls.
And I dreamed about the chance. The dream that I may touch the Book of All-Knowledge just for a chance to see Djehuty asking curiosity why I ever want to touch his Book if I know the consequences.
“You are so great. I want to serve you in all eternity”



It’s very dangerous to read ancient-egyptian texts of initiatory nature thinking that deities will not notice it - or that they don’t hear your wishes and prayers unspoken.
But this is what I really wanted, most deeply inside my soul.
I made my life into an offering to Djehuty before fully realizing what I do - and he accepted this gift.
“Do for me the same thing as You did to Naneferka-Ptah. Speak about me before Ra, that You want my soul. Tell this to him: make me Yours”

And at the next day, the power of the Great God fell from the sky; and my former life was broken and torn apart; there was an initiatory death to be reborn anew.
There was pain of breaking body and bones, there was pain from ropes and ties on my hands. There was drinking alchemical poison, alcahest and spagyrical Absinthe, to be born anew, to enter the Chamber of Darkness and go to the light of the day, seeing the flaming torches of Knowledge, illuminating the path.
All these things were yet to come.

Back then, in 1997, it was just a dark night, and handwritten translation of the demotic text, ancient as eternity, and my admiration “Djehuty, you are so great”…

This is the first time how we really met one other, face to face, yet Him still hiding behind the veil of his holy signs, from which the fabric of Universe is woven.
And this is how I traded my soul for the Book of Thoth.

And we were together through long, difficult times.
For me these years were long. For You may be they were only fractures of your eternity, but You cared about me - gently, with lots of love and patience.
You were here when I tried to believe that You are just an archetypal projection in my unconscious.
You were here when I tried to believe that I’m just talking with an imaginary friend.
You were here, watching me discerning vocation and looking for the path destined for me.
You were here to support me when I was harshly rejected by the catholic monasteries and congregations I was begging about joining.
You were here when I was forgotten. Betrayed. Alone. Battling for mental health, when all my friends were losing hopes, You were the only one who believed in me.

On the edge of the darkness, in spite of the snares of despair,
I knew that I wanted to follow You.

I’ve been waiting for Something to happen,
for Someone to come,
to take my hand and lead me,
when all the world was breaking around, and splinters of my former life were sharp and blood-stained.

And You were here, with me, always, when I’ve been walking the path, to see the new light of the day.
Through the pain, blood and loneliness.
Through the hells of being thrown to mental facilities against my will.
Through the job losses and colleagues bullying.
Enemies and haters were plotting against me, and You stood like shield around me, revealing their plans and giving me protection.
You saved me from abusers when I called upon Your name.
You were here for me - and are here - every time I call You, every time I repeat Your beautiful name, every time when I walk through the hall of mirrors or look for new ways to fight in the Chamber of Darkness:

I know You care about me. I know you hear every prayer. I know that you see all my thoughts, and questions, and doubts. You write Your name in my mind; and it makes me happy to give You my heart as an ink-well.
I wake up with thoughts “What can I do for You today”; I light for you incense and candles, or I just kneel down before the shrine, or I just think again and again about your temples I visited in Egypt, and your numerous blessings.

When in 2013 we with my friend, who is like a brother for me in Egypt, came to visit El-Kab, ancient city of Nekhen, to see the small temple of Hathor, and rock-cut sanctuary of Nekhbet, and small chapel of Thoth,
my friend talked to the temple guard and then told me
(and this is Egypt, a muslim-dominated country!)
- I asked the guard; he will let you to come to the sanctuary and he will close the doors:
so you may stay there in the darkness,  -
And my heart was trembling, because they said:
To feel the God.

They believed that these ancient sanctuaries are alive.
They believed the Netjeru are very much real and can come again to their temples and present there.
And they called You a God.

Not the archetype, not a myth; not the imaginary friend, not an “angel of the Creator mistakenly worshipped by ancients”…
I stepped inside, and they closed the doors, and I was alone inside of this small chapel, only seeing thin rays of the sun touching the images of sacred baboons on the entrance.
I moved the door just a little, to see the reliefs on the walls better. I looked at the ibis-headed figure crowned with the sun-and-moon headdress. I kneeled down and touched Your hand.
And there was a silence.
No other tourists in the ancient Nekhen.
My friend, temple guard and the taxi driver were watching outside.
And I was there in the darkness: To feel the God.

When we left El-Kab, after looking at the sanctuary of Nekhbet and the tombs,
I noticed the large bird of prey moving rapidly in the sky -
and there was a word flashing in my mind, when I looked at this bird:
“Following your fate.

I felt that I already chose the road. I promised to walk it. I already made my dedication of a devotee in the temple of Dakka, and I knew that You accepted me on this path.
You wanted me to say “for eternity” in my dedication.
I said these words exactly as You wanted it; -
and it was You who wanted us to spend the eternity together.

On the photo: Statue of Ibis-Djehuty in Vienna State museum of the History of Art; Photo mine, 2016

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Born in USSR and living in St. Petersburg, Russia; my spiritual journey started when I was a young teen. After more than 20 years of being practicing Russian Orthodox and later, Roman Catholic, I followed my heart always calling me to honor the Gods of Ancient Egypt. My devotion belongs to Thoth-Hermes-Djehuty, Thrice Greatest, Lord of Khemenu (Hermopolis), and I try to serve him as a priestess (hmt-Ntr). My path is independent, solitary and not hardcore reconstructionist, and I don’t belong to organized Kemetic temples.I studied biology in University, but after graduation, for many years have been working in telecommunications and computer networking. Now I work in international trade; but this is what I do “for a living”, as I’m poet and writer before all. I write poetry and prose since early childhood (of course, my writings are mostly in Russian) and I have some published books, science-fiction novels and poetry. I follow hermetic philosophy and viewpoints, and my interests, besides Ancient Egypt, include medieval history and art, Spiritual Alchemy, traveling around the world, translating books from English and studying more foreign languages (including Egyptian hieroglyphics). I am also president of the St. Petersburg chapter of the International Alchemy Guild.  


  • Karen Burch
    Karen Burch Thursday, 01 June 2017

    Thank you for this article of love. Moved my heart.

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