Vocation

Blessings be upon all of those who worked to bring this meal before me.

When I was younger, and Christianity seemed like the only spiritual path going, I questioned the idea of thanking God for my food. I developed my own brand of thanks. The food did not magically appear on my plate. God didn’t cook it, or buy it, or transport it, or harvest it, or grow it. I blessed the animals that gave their lives, and the plants that grew in the soil under the care of sun and rain.  Maybe God had something to do with growing conditions, and that’s all fine and good. He’s included in the prayer too, somewhere down the line. Thanking God alone is like cutting out the middlemen, and that’s no good.

In Kemeticism, the priests bring offerings to the gods’ tables. We honor the priests for their dedication, but seeing them alone in their efforts neglects the many people behind them that make the entire thing work. A smart god would know this, and may offer a blessing like the one I wrote above. We talk about the reversion of offerings where the god accepts tribute, and then returns the offering with added value. We know the priests often dined on such meals. But is that the extent of the reversion? It would be a poor god if it was. The lines of connection are drawn all the way back to a single grain of wheat, down to a single drop of the river’s water.  All the way back to Ra, the sun. That blessing completes a circle that is upheld by many hands. That, in a nutshell, is the true strength of Kemet.

Vocation is about finding your place within that great circle. There are many hands and many roles to play. We may value one profession over another, but what would happen to our circle if one job disappeared entirely? What if it was filled by one who was not suited to it, hated it, and did their work poorly? The lines of connection would be weakened, perhaps broken. What good are our value judgements then? They distract from the reality that we need both the low and the high to succeed, to survive. The people of the land are the foundation of any great state. It cannot exist without them. The noble elite might raise their noses at the lowborn stink, but who mined their jewels? Who wove their garments? Who keeps them fed?

The circle needs you to play your role well, whatever that role may be.

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4 thoughts on “Vocation

  1. I think the reason why we don’t hear about the people behind the food, linen, and other items in ancient Egypt was because of ancient Egypt’s culture.

    Also, from what I understand, the gods owned the land that produced Their offerings. So when priests presented that food to the god, it was like presenting the spoils of the land to a landowner, if I’m making sense. Once the god was done with the food, it got passed on to the lucky dead, and then finally the priesthood. It really wasn’t about the people at the idealized cult level. It was about the production.

    Of course, there’s no reason why we can’t say a prayer of thanks to the proverbial “middlemen”. And I doubt the gods themselves ever forgot who did the work to make the lands They owned produce.

    I think finding vocation is part of maat. Maat is the beautiful order woven into this world, and we each have to find out where we belong in that order. If you try to force yourself somewhere you don’t fit, it won’t work. I can attest to this. Respecting others’ vocations is also important, too, even if we don’t think much of those vocations or the people who practice them.

    When people perform their vocations to the best of their abilities, they form a sort of ring of reciprocity at all levels of the universe.

    Reciprocity is also encompassed by the idea of maat. We should be giving AND taking, and that’s what begins to happen when you find out where you belong and milk it for everything it’s worth.

    Anyway, long and annoying comment is long and annoying. So I’ll shut up.

  2. shezep says:

    “I think the reason why we don’t hear about the people behind the food, linen, and other items in ancient Egypt was because of ancient Egypt’s culture.”

    Exactly. The people doing those things weren’t the scribes. The writing is mostly what we have left, so it would be very easy to forget about them. In modern practice, it would be good to remember that it existed as a complete and integrated system. The writings alone would have us focus primarily on a select few.

    “When people perform their vocations to the best of their abilities, they form a sort of ring of reciprocity at all levels of the universe.

    Reciprocity is also encompassed by the idea of maat. We should be giving AND taking, and that’s what begins to happen when you find out where you belong and milk it for everything it’s worth.”

    Yes, exactly.

  3. your post prompted me to read up on Kemeticism, love posts that make me want to learn more!

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