When I was young, I lived for a couple years on the bank of an inlet of Lake Springfield in Illinois. I lived alone with my mother in a small house. My reeds were cattails. My lotuses were actual lotuses, not Egyptian lilies. I often perched in a tree on a branch that overhung the water. I remember listening to the ducks and water birds call out in the evening. I remember the red-tailed hawk that perched on the telephone pole on the other side. My friends and I explored the muddy banks and nearby woods. We swam in the murky water. We paddled around in the canoe. I remember coming home so covered in brown smelly muck that my mother insisted on spraying us down with the garden hose before she’d let us back inside the house. Of course, we laughed while she did it.
That mud was absolutely awful. It would swallow an adult sized boot with one step. Putting your foot down while swimming would give you the most horrible squish on the bottom of your foot. Even worse, you couldn’t see what you were stepping in, or on, at all. I earned a tetanus shot doing that once. Many years later, in college, during my agricultural studies, I learned that that kind of muck is the best thing in the world for growing things. It’s incredibly rich and full of the kinds of nutrients that plants love. It was exactly that kind of stinky horrible muck that the ancient Egyptians depended upon for their continued existence.
I look around at the modern Kemet that we have built, and I can’t help but wonder, where is the good black land? Where is the exploration and wonder of the vibrant power of life that remains untamed and untameable? What good is it to have your mother hose you down if you never got dirty in the first place?
Ritual purity is the polar opposite of the rich chaos that life requires to flourish. The effluvia of Wesir is sacred. Blood, sweat, tears, spit and seed are all sacred. Passion, in varying forms, is often a driving force for the deities in our myths. Our gods are not tame, unless they choose to be. After playing in the muck, it is wonderful to have a bath and put on fresh clothes and enjoy some peace and quiet. It brings balance to the day.
But if you never play in the mud in the first place, where is the balance then? Can your ka survive on such meager nourishment? You can’t grow food inside a temple.
(Just in case anyone tries to take this in the wrong way, I’m not advocating anything that could lead to hospital or jail time!)