Swamped

It appears that my plans for Wep Ronpet will be no plan at all. I’ve been grounded, except since it’s Sobek doing the grounding, it’s more like “swamped.” I did write a post for Friday that was waiting to be edited, but Mister No-Tongue says to leave it.

I have a bad habit of pushing too hard and stressing more than I should. I’m lucky he hasn’t insisted on keeping me off the computer entirely. Astral me is stuck in the muck with the fishies until he decides that I might be let loose again. Probably after Wep Ronpet.

Ordinary

I think a lot of people come to spiritual practice with their triangle pointing up. They have a pretty good grounding in the everyday stuff first. Then through practice of ritual or various systems, they build up. At some point they climb high enough on the pyramid to really experience the divine, but it’s a constant struggle to get up there.

My triangle is upside down. Journeywork and mysticism come about as naturally to me as breathing.  In fact, when I’m cut off from those things, it feels almost like I can’t breathe. This isn’t exactly bragging. I’m fully aware of the downside here. You know all that effort people make in climbing up? I have to expend just as much effort in putting myself on the ground. I don’t take the mundane for granted because I know that it is freaking hard work to achieve.

I want my practice to be ordinary. I know that “every day” are magic words that change lives. I know that labor, in constant, predictable increments, can create wonders over time. I know that the pace of progress seems incredibly slow on the ground, but that’s because we are pushing up against solid things that resist our movement. It is work. It is slow. You can spend day after day pushing those rocks around, and it all feels so ordinary. Highly educated architects put their designs on paper, but the ordinary rock pushers are the ones who build the temples.

In my journeys, in a busy week, I can bring back spiritual ideas to ponder five days out of the week. I can write those ideas in my journal, and it all looks really impressive, if you’re impressed by that kind of thing. I enjoy my explorations, and I do think they help me to learn and grow as an individual. I can look back over the years and see the progress I’ve made internally. But externally? Where’s the progress there? There needs to be a balance. Without any rock pushing involved, paper temples aren’t worth a whole lot. If you’re jealous of those who seem to have mystical experiences every time they turn around, don’t be, not unless they also have a few rocks to show for it.

I’ve noticed that when I spend more time on the ground, my private blog gets really boring to read. I’ll keep writing about the same subject over and over again, marking tiny variations that don’t make a whole lot of difference to anyone but me. Weeks can go by and it doesn’t really look like much has changed. It has changed, but at a snail’s pace. For those of us immersed in blog culture, that seems like a curse, to not have much of interest to say. How dare we be ordinary and boring?

During those times, I am pushing rocks, sometimes literally. It took months for me to dig my goldfish pond because of the huge rocks in my yard. It was long, boring, tedious. I broke at least three steel digging tools. I scraped the skin off of my knuckles many times. I had all kinds of sore muscles. I said many many rude words. But now it’s done and the pond is an incredible thing that adds a little bit of pleasure every single day. I have a row of sunflowers growing along the back side of it now. Birds and bees and dragonflies visit constantly. The desert no longer feels quite so dry. Pushing those rocks was very much worth it.

My advice today is to pick one of those things you’ve been planning, and get your butt out there and push those rocks. Spend weeks, months, or years making your paper temple into something solid. “Rock pusher” can be a very respectable and powerful profession.

Negative Affirmations

This is a new kemetic thing, not a reconstrusted one. It’s something I came up with myself. It is very loosely based on the format of the 42 negative confessions in which a soul in the hall of judgement declares innocence of a list of crimes against Ma’at. (If the negative confessions interest you, I highly encourage you to research more in depth than from a simple tourist site. I just put that one up there for ease of accessibility. I have heard from those who know better than I that Budge is a little outdated in his translations.)

Anyway, I felt a need for this exercise when I realized that I was wasting a lot on internal energy on debating with people who don’t actually exist. I was mentally running in circles trying to justify my beliefs to no one. This is a method of closing the doors to those debates, so you can turn your attention to more important things. It is a banishment of sorts.

To do the exercise, you first list an appropriate power. That power should be one that takes an interest in you and in your progress. The power should also have some relevance to the thing you are closing the door to. Secondly, you state what you are not, to put yourself beyond the reach of the thing that has been wasting your time.

Here is an example:  Hail Aset, mother of the divine child, I am not Christian.

Being Christian is not a sin, don’t get me wrong there. Some Christians do an excellent job of upholding the premise of their faith. I have a great deal of respect for those who do. However, if I openly declare that Christian is something that I am not, then I no longer feel the need to get into debates over what the bible says. It simply isn’t relevant to my religion in any way. I’m better off looking to Ma’at as a guide to good behavior.

Since I invoked a power, it is understood that that power will be paying attention to my declaration. Aset may give me the ol’ raised eyebrow if I start internally trying to justify my beliefs to some TV evangelist or fundamentalist Facebook troll. She will hold me accountable. No more flame wars. No more back and forth. There is no need to fight about it because it is not relevant to my belief system. To quote that line in Labyrinth, “You have no power over me.” Take a deep breath and let it go. Repeat the negative affirmation as needed to remind yourself.

To be fair, I have also declared that I’m not Wiccan. I’m also not Buddhist. I’m not an atheist either. It’s hard to agree to “harm none” when your primary god is well known for his fighting skills. Enlightenment can wait, and I’d rather live in a world with gods than without.

You don’t have to use negative affirmations only for religions. You can use it for anything that acts as an unnecessary drain on your attention. Try it on an ex relationship, or ex job. Just make sure it’s something you can actually accomplish. The powers will be watching you!

KRT: Seeing other Pantheons

Question: Can I work with other pantheons? Can I perform rituals that aren’t Kemetic based?

Yes, you can. It pretty much depends on your personality, your goals, and the gods. As a guideline, the KO says you can work with other pantheons and practices, but try not to mix them up in the same ritual. Don’t mix your Sabbat with your Senut. Do them separately.

Personally, I’m just not a ritual kind of person. As far as deities go, I’ve been something of a serial monogamist. First there was Artemis. Then there were years of nonaffiliation. Then there was Wakinyan. Then Ra grabbed me. Heru has always sat in the background chewing bubblegum, content to let me stumble around from one learning experience to the next. I almost never see Artemis any more, and I rarely speak to Wakinyan. (Ra altered my energy when he showed up, making it difficult to get in touch with Wakinyan.) It wasn’t really planned, but I pretty much have stuck to one pantheon at a time.

Unlike before, I’m not just working with a single god any more. Ra brought me in, not just for himself, but for the Kemetic pantheon. Since Heru has been around pretty much all my life, it seems fair to say that this is where I belonged all along. The Kemetic pantheon is huge. The personalities involved are complex. The relationships between the Names are also complex. I have two divined fathers and three divined beloveds. Beyond that, there are other deities that stick their noses in because they do have important relationships with my main gods. In short, I’m so busy with these guys that I don’t have the time or the attention span to devote to other pantheons. It’s all Kemetic, all the time. But that’s just me.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having relationships with deities from different pantheons. In some cases, it may be important to look to others to give you a different perspective. Seeing the same material from a different angle can help to get the lesson across. Set and Wakinyan are both chaotic storm deities. Both use rather difficult means of teaching, but Set and Wakinyan are not the same at all. Waki taught me different lessons, with a different emphasis, than Set would have. They are not interchangeable.

I have heard stories from people about how a person’s main deity might “loan them out” to another deity for the purpose of learning something new. You can think of it like a foreign exchange program. Your main deity is still there in the background, but they may step back and give you enough space to learn what you need from the other, just as Heru was content to quietly sit back while I was exploring different things. It can give you more of a well rounded education.

Netjeri

I’m a little late this time. The Fourth of July and related fun delayed me a bit. I wanted to do a normal subject, like Names. Maybe I’ll do that one next week. This is the one that keeps coming up in my thoughts. I guess it wants to be told. Yes, it’s full of crack, woo, fluff, etc. You’ve been warned. If you don’t believe or agree with me, that’s fine. That is your right.

It is said that the Nisut, the Pharaoh, is the Living Heru, one who has the Kingly Ka. The Kingly Ka is said to contain the memory-impressions of former kings. That is not what I have. I haven’t made a huge secret about being otherkin, but I haven’t talked about it much on here either. My memory-impressions are not human, other than that they are being experienced and interpreted by a human mind at this time. This most likely colors them. I take them more as symbolic truth than as literal truth. They serve as a starting point for the contemplation of Netjer and netjeri.

Netjeri are usually equated with kemetic spirits, djinn, genus locii and others. It’s a pretty broad term. It can even refer to animal spirits, basically any noncorporeal being that is not human or god. The gods are capable of having a piece split off, either deliberately to make a servitor, or accidentally through trauma. That piece goes on living its own life as a netjeri. The line between netjeri and Netjer can get a little blurry in that area. Sometimes Kemetics talk about a netjeri that lives in a god’s statue that looks and talks much the same way that the god would. There can be thousands of these running around.

I remember a time before I had a form, a time before I had purpose. All my siblings were with me. We didn’t have names, because we didn’t need them. There was nothing to distinguish one from another, and no reason to do so. We flowed together, like in a cloud. It was difficult or impossible to tell where one left off and another began. It was peaceful. The absolute feeling of family and togetherness is difficult to describe. It was the time before separation. Part of me misses it, but the price of going back is the loss of everything I have now. I’m not ready to do that, yet. Another century? Ten? A thousand centuries? Maybe then. We’ll see, but not yet.

The Nun actually wasn’t a bad place to be. They describe it as the primordial waters, a vast ocean. I called it a cloud, but I can see the ocean thing too. It was very fluid with no real sense of up or down. They say it was dark. I tend to picture it as sky blue, but then, I like blue. I might describe it more like Nirvana. They say the gods were inert. Inert is not quite the same thing as dead. I definitely felt alive. You might ask if I would get bored when there’s nothing to do. The answer is no. The human mind is always a little bit unstable. It seeks stimulation to right itself in an ongoing battle. I was at peace there. There was no need to look for something to do just for the sake of doing something.

They say that Shu kicked it all off. He stirred the creator into motion. Shu is a god of separation. He separates the earth from the sky. I’m not sure he realized what he was getting everyone into. I imagine it as if he was saying, “Hey, look what I can do!” We were all a lot more innocent then.

I remember tearing across a battlefield like a horrifying force of nature. The Song flowed through my entire being. My Dance was perfection itself. Any who came near me, fell to my blade. No one could stop me or slow me down. Except…it started to dawn on me that those who stood before me were my own family. I couldn’t stop. The Song was too loud, but the discord of that realization slowed my movements. Finally, someone did stop me. I was glad that they did, but I was never quite the same after that.

Was this Heru-wer’s battle? Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know why I was fighting, or how it turned out to be against my own people. I was definitely not in a normal state of consciousness.  Athletes and martial artists refer to it as being “in the zone.” It was like that, times a thousand. I was barely aware of anything beyond the dance itself. I know how dangerous “He Who Has No Eyes” can be. I feel sympathy for Sekhmet and her rampage. That doesn’t make it any less terrible, but I see how it could happen.

I remember standing guard in an unremarkable hallway in a divine palace. This time the Song was about doing exactly what I was made to do. I was so proud of my job that I glowed. I could have been standing there for five minutes, or for five thousand years. It would have made no difference to me. If someone who didn’t belong tried to walk through there, I would have shredded them with the exact same sense of pride. The goddess who owned the palace came to see me. Out of the hundreds of guards who were exactly the same, she came to see me! I knew I would do anything she asked without hesitation or question, and I did.

This last one seems more netjeri than Netjer. I knew there were hundreds of other guards in the palace. I couldn’t see them, but I could feel them through the Song. Again, time made no difference to me. I had no idea that violence might be a bad thing. No one ever told me that. I was as happy to see the goddess as a dog feels when its owner comes home from work. I was a simple being back then. Which goddess was it? I’m not entirely sure. I suspect Ma’at. I’m not sure who else would get that kind of starstruck reaction from me.

There was one more. It wasn’t exactly my memory. I did something like a soul-retrieval and ended up with another soul-fragment living with me. Part of the time he had the feel of someone just waking up from a nightmare, a little bit panicked and full of shock. Other times he felt very sensory-starved. He craved music, good food, dance, anything he could get. I asked Djehuty why he was like that. I felt as if my skin were turning to stone and I could feel him panicking in the back of my mind.

I believe he had been a statue netjeri who was abandoned. I know wars and disasters happen, but abandoning an open statue is a bad thing. They need to be decommissioned properly. The smaller ones aren’t much more than a spark, but the larger ones can persist in the darkness. Caring for an open statue is a real responsibility not to be entered lightly.  Treat the netjeri with the same respect that you would the god itself.