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"The Way of God": walking with the Netjeru

To walk on the road of God is to be filled with light,
Great are the advantages gained by those who
Discipline themselves to follow it.
It’s a monument raised by them on this Earth,
Those who follow the Paths of God,
Those who cling to the Ways of God,
Spend all their lives in joy,
Gathering riches without equal.
(…)
The West is the dwelling place for he who has not transgressed the Rule.
Happy is who reaches there!
Nobody can reach there unless
Their hearts have conformed exactly to the Rule.
Down there there is no distinction between rich and poor,
Unless it is in the favour of he who is found to be righteous
When weighted in the scales of justice before the master of Eternity.

-- The inscriptions from the tomb of PetOsiris, high priest of Thoth (4th/3rd century B.C); quoted from: Cristian Jacq, “The living wisdom of ancient Egypt”


Living as a kemetic is walking your path of life together with Netjeru.

Come to the Netjeru with open heart, embrace Them with joy, let Them help you to get better when you are in sadness. Bring Them flowers, water, bread, say Their names, dance for Them, dedicate to Them your actions, listen to music you associate with Them and assemble your devotional playlists. Look at the images of the Netjeru - online or in art albums you may have, marveling at Their beauty. Sit before the shrine and just think about Them. Share with Them your thoughts, your worries and doubts. Don’t be afraid of asking questions.
Look at the wonders of nature and see the manifestations of Netjeru in the sky, in the sun and moon, in every flower and every bird.

Your goal in the kemetic religion is to maintain Maat and keep relationship with the Netjeru.
Religion should bring happiness and fulfillment, and while trials and tests happen, the Netjeru are not here to make your life miserable. In turn, they are loving and caring, and They are willing to help you on your path of spiritual growth.
Devotion begins in the heart;
And “going in Ma’at” is the primary “way”. It’s the way of life; it’s not “practicing religion”, but Living the religion.
The first step in walking in Ma’at, walking with the Netjeru, however simple it may sound, is: “Place God in your heart”.

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First steps in Kemetic Religion

"Come, let me cause you to know them,
namely, the four principles of life…
to bind with them -
Set your heart upon god!
Adhere to the law!
Make revenge!
Go in ma'at!"

Be small of wrath!
Be thoughtful!
Be a good man!.."

"Conversations in the House of Life" ("The Demotic Book of Thoth" - 388-390)

 

If you feel called to Kemetic religion and wonder what should be your first step, my answer always is “Just make that step”. Come before the Netjeru to walk on the path of Ma’at and prepare a place in your heart where your honored Gods will reside, making your body and soul into their temples; guiding your boat on the waters of life.

If you have attraction to certain Netjer, by whatever reason, try talking to that one.
Even if you just consider the deity to be handsome. This also is a valid reason :)
If you are attracted to the pantheon as a whole, address them all, as one divine family… and ask if someone wants to take a larger role in your life, to “step in”.

Once you let them in (as living gods- they may reside in your heart), even if you don’t think about them often, they think of you :)

It’s not required to think about the Gods every single minute of your life, but it makes one happy when you know that deities are loving, caring, helpful and ready to hear your prayers, your praises, and the sharing of your concerns and worries with them. They are like your family and friends; think about your prayer/shrine time as about divine phone call or skype chat with a close friend who is not physically present, but always ready to answer your call and listen.

If you are drawn to several Netjeru already, then start doing more for them and learn more about them.
 
You do not have to have one central Netjer to work with. There is more likely to be several. In Ancient Egypt it was not common to choose only one Netjer to serve/“work with”. People had personal devotions, and may be had their favorites between Netjeru; but more common case was that there was a group, or “family” of the Netjeru who were closer to that particular person.

Frequently it was defined by the place they lived in and other circumstances. We know accounts of ancient Egyptians who had Netjeru appearing to them in dreams, and this causing their focus of devotion to significantly change. There are recorded stories of people who were called for intense devotion by Mut, Aset/Isis and Djehuty after the Netjeru making clear appearance in a dream. But most of the people simply followed their hearts, natural attraction, tradition of family and home town.

Choosing one “primary” Netjer doesn’t mean that you can’t have “many”. Historical example again: even the high priest of one temple could also have priestly ranks and offices in other temples, dedicated to other Netjeru. So, Egyptian priests could bear titles “high priest of NN, and priest of NN, and NN, and having a shift in the temple of NN”, and it totally worked.

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“I want it all”: Entering the Joy of Priesthood

* To: A.K., E.H., P.N-U, M.M. – hmw-Ntr & my friends


If you’re not Kemetic but feeling “the call” of this religion, it can be said that any aspiring Kemetic is called for two simple and important tasks:
- Maintain Maat and oppose Isfet (help keep the Universe running by maintaining the Balance and All-Things-Proper – even on a small level of your simple things and daily life)—this is not simply our duty; this is also the duty the Netjeru undertake in far grander scale.

- Commune with the Netjeru – and from simple honor, veneration and worship, driven by love and attraction to their perfection and beauty, achieve the blessed afterlife (that may come in many various forms – there are a lot of things to do in the Duat besides watching your crops in the Aaru/Hetep fields grow!) Choices for eternity are indeed very important.

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Absent Lover/Hidden God

I spent my adolescence listening to Nana Mouskouri: sentimental, schmaltzy songs, yes, and none more so than “I Have a Dream.” Yet the lyrics have stayed with me:

 

I'll bring to you the secrets of my life

Like petals in my hand and you will understand…

 

Demand of me all that I have to give

And while I live I'll give it gladly

Command me to deny the world I knew

I'd give it all away if you but asked me to.

 

It used to make me a little weepy back then. Perhaps it still does. The singer addresses a unknown beloved, who may only be a figment of her longing. But that longing was one I shared. The idea of complete surrender had a strange attraction, as did the undefined perfection of the distant lover. It doesn’t really leave us, this need for a deeper solace, for intensity of experience and blissful oblivion both. We may direct our desires to gods or lovers or just into the void of mystery, but deep down we know—or hope we know— that somewhere out there is the beauty our souls were made for.

 

But lovers disappoint and gods remain elusive.

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At the Couch of the Gods

At a recent occult meet-up, the topic of the discussion was "Goddesses" and we had gotten to the point where we were discussing our experiences and perceptions.  Perhaps because there was a light focused down directly where I was sitting, I was especially talkative at that meeting.  

During one of my ramblings, the following description dropped out of my mouth: "With my art, versus my personal practice, I can't say that I'm specifically aligned with any certain deity or pantheon.  Rather it's like there's this mystical psychiatrist's couch in my studio, and They line up to have a lay down and tell me Their problems and what They want for art."  Up until that moment, I had never really voiced it, but that's exactly what it feels like to make my art. 

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A Valentine for Your God

A Valentine for Your God (Written together with A.D. Kent)

"The whole thing is to love God
and to taste His sweetness.
He is sweetness and the devotee is its enjoyer.
The devotee drinks the sweet Bliss of God.
God is the lotus and the devotee the bee.
The devotee sips the honey of the lotus.

As a devotee cannot live without God,
so also God cannot live without His devotee.
Then the devotee becomes the sweetness,
and God its enjoyer.
The devotee becomes the lotus, and God the bee.
It is the Godhead that has become these two
in order to enjoy Its own Bliss."

—  Sri Ramakrishna, "The Sacred Jewels of Yoga"


St.Valentine's Day!
Ahh, it's the Secular Day of Love made popular by greeting card companies-- and the Feast of Saint Valentine, which has more significance if you're Catholic. Most people get through not having the traditional secular day of love “valentine” by ignoring the public displays of affection or out and out having an “anti-valentine” of some kind. Ie ask why expend that energy being negative? There's enough negative energy in the world already. If you have no other valentine you may do a variety of loving things for yourself-- or in devotion for your God. That's really what I want to talk about.

Divine Love. Love of the Divine. Bhakti.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhakti

There's the wikipage on it, so wiki away if need be, and then come back. If not then good, you're just that much ahead. The important thing is Love is an experience that grows-- sometimes faster, sometimes slower, depending on how you nurture it. If you even WANT to love your Goddess or God deeply, then probably you are already on the way of growing that love.

“Teach me how to love you”, “Let me love you more and more every day”.
These are absolutely legit wishes for you to present your deity and no one is pushed into that type of relationship with a deity-- (consent is a very big thing. A powerful thing.) If you want it, just ask for it. (If you don't, please make that clear too) Just ask for it in a prayer. Ask the deity to help you to “grow more in love” with them, and if that feeling between you is mutual, They will definitely help! You may notice the changes coming into your life, emotions and feelings that burst forth. These small changes will build into a sense of renewal and well-being.

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May you spend the eternity…

May you spend lifetime with your gods, pleased with you without displaying anger.
May your reward be received after old age.
[…]
May you enter your tomb of the necropolis and mingle with the excellent Bas. May you be judged among them and be declared righteous in Busiris before Wennefer and be well established in Abydos before Shu-Onuris.
May you cross over to the district of Peqer in the god’s retinue and cross the divine region in the retinue of Sokar.
May you join the crew of the Neshmet barque without being turned away. May you see the sun in the sky when it initiates the year.
[…]
May you be triumphant in the sky, a shining one.
[…]
 May you transform yourself into whatever you wish, like the phoenix, with each of your forms being that of a god, just as you desire.

—    Quoted from: Ancient Egyptian Tombs: The Culture of Life and Death © 2011 Steven Snape.(Translation from Papyrus Anastasi I, based on that of Wente 1990:100-1 (Wente,E.(1990) “Letters from Ancient Egypt”)




Is your ultimate idea of paradise to spend your eternity with chosen deity, to enter the sacred marriage, hierogamy of the soul? Some people follow the path of spells that will make them take permanent residence on the fields of Offerings with Osiris but Coffin text spells of the Book of the Two Ways were written especially for "hermopolitan devotion". The selected few CT spells are precisely aimed at making your residence "in the mansion of the Moon" and joining the suite of all devotees of Djehuty who want to "admire his beauty all the time". And why wouldn’t you? When you start a devotional relationship with a deity, it means you align your soul and desires with that deity’s values and personality - and, with all deep and core aspects, not simply something that lies on the surface. You undergo a transformation with each divinity you touch.

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