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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The flight to Egypt; dancing in the moonlight

I just recently came back from my [5th, this time] pilgrimage-journey to Egypt; and, I want to tell many stories about my journeys to the land of Netjeru, and my experiences and my spiritual findings and illuminations… so, this would be the first post dealing with the topic, and I need to begin with a story of how I went to Egypt first time ever, and what happened after.

I’ve been drawn to Egypt since my childhood. It was a connection deeper than just fascination by Egyptian art, history, and mythology. In fact, I didn’t like Egyptian mythology much, even, because there were not enough myths in books for children in Soviet Union available, and the myths that were, lacked the adventures which make Greek and Norse myths much more dynamic.

I loved Ancient Egypt as a whole thing. I studied the history, and enjoyed historical fiction; I taught myself not to be frightened in the dim lit Egyptian Hall in the Hermitage, and taught myself not to be disappointed that Egyptian deities look rather obscure, compared to their greek/roman counterparts in the museum halls “next door”. Greek and roman statues of Gods looked like statues of humans, just having all the beauty and perfection. The Netjeru guarded the mysteries.

The late Soviet Union still had Iron Curtain around the borders, and we didn’t really dream about visiting other countries that are not included into “allowed” list of the friendly countries of the socialist camp. Only after the years of Perestroika, the curtain fell, and travels to any country suddenly became possible, and I started collecting newspaper advertisements of the tourism agencies offering tours to Egypt. I hoped that one day I will visit the country of my dreams, to which I dedicated poems and stories.

However, I postponed the journey because of many reasons: finances, work, health problems, all separately and together. And I didn’t feel “ready” to go to Egypt, until my knowledge of hieroglyphics improves (but I’ve been studying slower than I really wanted).
There was long time period in my life when I was alone, and going through long and exhausting battle for my mental health and stability. This was a road where I was falling again and again, and crambling out of the pits of darkness and despair. Many people dealing with mental illness, become ostracized in the socium, and I was not an exception. Even trusted friends were turning their backs to me sometimes, pushing me to the trap of guilt-trip that my illness is not caused by brain biochemistry problems, but is a result of my own faults. But when many friends, naturally, decided that my life has ended and I will be a prisoner of mental health facilities until the end of my days, I continued the battle. Bracing myself, taking the medication, trying to find a new job and re-build a career, truing to re-assemble my life, build new things and repair what could be repaired.
And trusting Djehuty.

My long journey “to the darkness and back again” began with my trust and faith. There was a peak moment in my spiritual journey when the Christianity, with which I tried to keep connection, stopped being enough. It was not satisfying my spiritual thirst anymore, as it used to. I kept holding the supportive hand of St.Dominic, to whom I owed a life debt and with whom felt very deep personal connection, but at this very moment, when I was on the edge of the night, of the darkness and the road to unknown future, I needed another guide.

All my theological questions exploded at one moment, and all the arguments against polytheism I learned from the Christian books, suddenly fell down. These borders fell down for me, just like the iron curtain around our country once did. I was free in my choices and following my heart desires, and I was also a refugee seeking shelter from all the world waging war against me.
This was the night when I called to Djehuty as a God, and when he answered my prayer, I knew that I will follow him wherever he goes.

And only in 2010, when I finally found that I passed the turning point in my battle for mental health and now climb the stairs “back up” from the pit, I saw the announcement in a blog of online buddy about music and animation festival that was going to happen in Egypt.
Luxor temple at night By that time, I took the rest from office job and was freelancing for my friends. I suddenly had the time, and no need to ask the boss for vacation, and even my financial situation wasn’t terrible, and I saw this announcement and suddenly realized that I can afford it.
I didn’t tell about my plans to anyone, except very few, until I had the tickets and booking of my participation in the festival.
I was flying to Egypt – and fleeing to Egypt.
It was my reward after long journey through the darkness, defending my health, my boundaries, my very right of being myself and following the path of highest Truth.
I went there, to escape the cold of Russian winter, and also escape the cold of spiritual winter that was still surrounding my small island of newborn spring.
I finally wanted to see the glorious temples, and taste the water of the Nile, and fulfill the dreams of the childhood, and be prepared for opening of the new ways.
I was not sure about the future, by that time. I was not sure about the career path. I was not sure if I may change my opinion about not having family and children by choice, or not. I still needed to come “to the light of the day” and see the new roads.
And I kept trusting Djehuty, and recalling my promise “I will follow you, wherever you go”.
And finally I went to see his “homeland”, the holy land chosen by Netjeru as first reflection of the heaven on earth.
Sometimes it’s very important to have the connection with the land, and with “homeland” of the Gods. To make your connection and understanding stronger, you may need to touch the sacred ground, to have physical contact with it, to look at the temples, and not just their photos in art albums or on the computer screens.
I needed to visit the land where the Netjeru dwell, and their beneficient energies are flowing together with every move of wind.
I was not certain about theology by that time. I kept the connection with catholic church, mostly out of custom and tradition I was already used to, but the Netjeru were real, and not just real and existing independently – I felt them in my very world. They knew about me, they cared, they watched, and they did not look offended when I tried to explain their existence with some Jungian and psychological theories, using these as a coping mechanism for the society.
Beyond the theology and definitions, there was live experience, and love and devotion that were filling my heart.
It was the full moon day – incredibly bright full moon was shining in the dark skies over the Luxor temple, when we entered it. I was in a group, following the guide, but did not care too much about what he was saying. I was just marveling at the illuminated columns of the temple, going up high to the skies. I felt a moment when the childhood dreams were coming true.
And I was also thinking about my friends who, pretending to care about my health, in fact, were forbidding me to follow the spiritual call and trying to prevent me from communication with the Netjer. Some of them believed that I need to keep myself “grounded” in the “normal” world, and some of them thought that I should at least keep myself in “normal” borders of Christian church, as they didn’t ever experience that spiritual thirst that can be quenched only by the living waters flowing from the sycamore of Nut, from under the throne of Osiris, from the well in the desert which is Djehuty himself.
They caused me much pain while trying to forbid me to say His name aloud, even.
And I was in Egypt, and it was my will to say His name aloud again, and call upon him, and confirm him again my trust and my love, that was only increasing with time.
”Look at that beautiful image on your right”, - said the guide, - and he pointed to the illuminated image of Djehuty and Seshat behind the throne of colossal statue of Ramesses II.
And I waved to him, saying his name again, my whisper getting louder.
”Thoth, Hermes, Trismegist[os], the Thrice-Great” -- 
and the hermetic formula of the divine union of the human soul with the God was flashing in my mind:
”You are in me, and I’m in you – I am you, and you are me”

And I went to the middle of the temple courtyard, turned on one of my favorite songs – “Time, burnt out aloud” by Russian singer Rada Anchevskaya, - this was always a song of great personal significance for me, which became a symbol for my relationship with Djehuty; and I started the dance.

[below is my loose attempt of translating the lyrics into English from Russian]

And the time, burnt out, aloud
Will echo with gala lie;
And, being lost in the three trees (*in the broad daylight)
I have to go in circles by the circular road,
And see the passersby having the black holes
Instead of hearts,
And I have to fall into autumnal pond
Like evergreen leaves.
I'm a bird of the days of your youth,
Let me fly tirelessly,
I sing with your voice
And forty eyes stare after me,
And my endless gifts
I drop into blue sea,
And I offer my praises,
When I see the first track of light.
Your dreams are in my eyes,
Just look, carefully and closer,
And the image of your heart
Will freeze in my mouth.
Don't be afraid to give me your hand -
Today I'm most gentle and most quiet:
Today, you may take rest
In my invisible wings.

... To be continued...

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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.  


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