Pagan Paths

A blog about Kemetic practices, myths, deities, and concepts, as well as the realities of worshiping the gods in the modern world.

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Em Hotep (In Peace/Welcome)

Dear Readers!

I'm Sihathor, and welcome to this, the maiden post of "A Thousand of Every Good Thing"! Titles are always hard-- Names, whether of people or projects, are important to me, as a person, and as a Kemetic (being a part of the spiritual anatomy,the Ren, in the latter). The title comes from a common phrase on offering lists in Egyptian tombs. The phrase jumped out at me, and then the interpretation. On the one hand, I haven't restricted the phrase to its funerary context, and on the other, I have extended the concept of offering farther, not just to the dead, but also to you, my very-much-alive readers.

I feel that this is a smaller vision of what I've come to do as a Kemetic. I had started off years ago, trying to do everything the way the ancients did it. Over time, I came to realize that while it's a good method sometimes, it's not always possible. As such, while my foundations are Kemetic, I don't only do Kemetic things.

So, in this blog, I will write about practices, myths, deities, and concepts. Sometimes I will also write thoughts relevant to the realities of worshiping the gods in the modern world. If I should mention other things, I will clearly say what is from Egyptian practice, or modern Kemetic consensus, and what is my own.

Having gotten the meaning and subject of the blog out of the way, I'll tell my story. I was brought up as a Roman Catholic in a Puerto Rican and Gutemalan family. I stayed as a Roman Catholic, not for presence of faith, but lack of questioning, until the age of 15. I had since already developed bad associations due to having had to go to languages in Spanish, a language I would not understand until high school. As a result, My Sunday Masses would be spent sitting in the pew with my family,reading the Bible or the missal to stave off boredom-induced sleep.

There were a number of things, mostly concerning Catholic doctrines on sexuality and reproduction, as well as general monotheistic ideas about God, that simply did not make sense at all to me. As a matter of fact, another thing that bothered me was the treatment of (the Egyptians in the book of Exodus. I empathized with the innocent ordinary people who (according to the story) were punished with plagues and misery for no reason other than being subjects of the wrong king, and felt, unsurprisingly, that such a deity would be a monster, unworthy of worship, even if he existed. Taking all those things together, and seeing no other option, I became became an atheist, and stayed that way until age 18.

In Fall 2005, during the last months of my 17th year, I started dating the woman who would be, and still is my long-time girlfriend. She was, and still is, a Pagan. I sometimes chuckled at her for her beliefs, but still, she was patient with me. She showed me, not through any attempt at conversion or proselytism, just through existing and her good example, that Paganism and in particular, polytheism, were perfectly viable options, rather than just the Coke vs. Pepsi of conventional monotheism and conventional atheism. It is because of her that I am here writing this post.

I was curious enough about her beliefs regarding polytheism and magic, that I asked her, and even learned a little magic, though most of the time I never did anything with it. In August of 2006, in a moment of desperation (the specifics are private), I cast a spell calling on the goddess Hathor (and prayed to Her--with some kinds of magic, the distinction is almost meaningless), and it worked. Nothing would be the same after that. It is because of Her that I am here, writing this post.

In fact, this is why I use Sihathor as a religious name. Sihathor is the Greek/later Egyptian rendering of the name "z3 Hwt-Hrw" or "Sa-Het-Heru", meaning "son of Hathor". I don't mean it in some special sense, but in that Hathor was the goddess who brought me to Kemetism, led me to my metaphorical "birth" as a Kemetic, but this is ahead of the story. I wouldn't take the name till later.

I devoured all I could about magic, as I didn't yet gain, or re-gain the religious sense for some time. One fascinating name that popped up was Hermes Trismegistus (who lends his name to the Hermetic art). I found that he was the god Thoth, dressed as a Greco-Egyptian sage. This led me to look into the Egyptian stream of magic and esotericism. Over the next year, I came to eclectic Paganism, but also felt I needed a rooting in a specific place or tradition, and so I came to Kemetism, and I have been learning growing, rooted in the sweet soil of Kemet ever since.

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  • Tess Dawson
    Tess Dawson Friday, 31 May 2013

    Welcome, Sihathor! I'm glad to see you here.
    I'd love to see a post sometime about Egyptian symbols (ankh, nefer, djed, wadjet, etc.) if you're feeling up for it...

  • Sihathor
    Sihathor Friday, 07 June 2013

    I'm glad to be in good company. There's a good idea right there! A daunting one ( The ankh and nefer-sign, at least for me, are rather mysterious) but a really good one. :)

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