The biggest problem that those of us who consider themselves to be a part of Kemetic Faiths is that we constantly have to put up with the craziest level of ridiculous, crackpot theories and beliefs imaginable. Every day the prosteletizers of the theoretical stumble onto our forums and our Facebook communities or Tumblr feeds. These are the ones who are worthy of the constant eyerolls that they receive every time they open their mouths or put their fingers to a keyboard. Partly mystic woo-woo sisters and brothers, part conspiracy theorists; rarely is even the slightest shard of what they pontificate as “the hidden truth” in any way credible.
I know of no other group of Pagans et al who have to put up with this level of outright idiocy. If I had a dime for every time that I have met someone who was convinced that they were either Cleopatra VII, Nefertiti, or Rameses the Great in a former life, I’d have more money in the bank than if I had won the latest Powerball jackpot. Almost everybody with a past life in ancient Kemet that I have met were convinced they were nobles or royalty. Far fewer have ever said they were a slave, a lowly house servant, a soldier, an illiterate farmer or a worker in the House of the Dead. Reincarnation is a fine idea, however, let’s be realistic, now.
But I am getting ahead of myself here.
Kemetic beliefs are no better than any others in that they are sometimes plagued by those who bring the baggage of their past religions with them. They bring their taboos, their commandments, their thou shalt nots and an ye harm none’s along with three fold laws and all sorts of other modern moral constructs that have little, if anything, to do with what was practiced in antiquity. Below are some of the most common, and yet rather annoying things that come to visit Kemetic practitioners.
The 42 “Laws of Ma’at”
Kemetics subscribe to the idea and ideals of Ma’at. That’s more than enough for us. It is not just “truth”, it is not just “balance”, it’s a complex concept that is both represented by an ideal and takes the form of an actual goddess and you will spend your life trying to grok it in detail. That’s why the idea is so wonderful. Ma’at is so complex and so vast, and it is by necessity. It makes you have to ponder your choices and take responsibility for them. It cannot be encapsulated on a page or in a single paragraph. However, we in the Kemetic Community are often assailed by the so-called 42 Commandments (or Laws) of Ma’at, which are absolutely nothing of the kind. What is being referred to and re-translated as a sort of 10-Connabdnebts x4 Plus, are really the 42 points of the Negative Confession of the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. They are designed to get you through the various gates between death and the Field of Reeds or Afterlife. If you see these online, remember, they are not commandments. To quote my favourite pirate from the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Captain Hector Barbossa, “They’re more like guidelines than actual rules.”
Aliens built the Pyramids or The Egyptians Were Really Expat Atlantens, etc.
None of us are really sure about how the fixation with Atlantis or Space Aliens founded Ancient Egypt got started. What is fairly annoying to some of us is this quickness to ascribe any technological, architectural, linguistic or any other sophisticated action to human advances, but rather to some external force that somehow showed these superstitious primitives how to think big. If it wasn’t some aliens from Sirius, it was some Atlanteans in search of a new place to live since their own place was sinking into the sea. The problem with the whole Atlantis theory is that no one can ever seem to decide where it actually is or was. One year it’s said to be in the Bermuda Triangle, the next year it is off the Coast of Santorini, then it somehow moves to the Island of Bimini. It seems to have moved off the coast of Cuba now, so I guess it is back in the Bermuda Triangle again. I am thinking that’s because that whole region is now up and coming and considered “fashionable” again.
While I am sure that there were sea migrations of people throughout prehistory, the fantasies and the urban legends have endlessly tried to replace scientific facts. When you are Kemetic, you tend to correspond directly and sometimes make friends with the very scientists and researchers that are experts in underwater or field archaeology. So far, no Atlantis. While absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, so far the evidence currently is far too weak to sway many of us. It doesn’t mean that it can’t and won’t happen, but at this point, it is highly doubtful that we will be rewriting the history books any time soon.
The Blocks of the Pyramids Were Levitated Into Place
Yeah…I pretty much fell off of my chair laughing at that one when I first heard it, too. There are some saying that the ancients used the technology of sonic levitation and that the King’s Chamber in the Great Pyramid is “proof” of this. No. That theory that originated from the channeled messages of Edgar Cayce have pretty much been disproved over and over again. (What do you expect? He missed the whole limestone casing on the exterior of the pyramids while he was in trance, too.)
I could literally go on all day, but I have clients waiting for articles that are due today, and really, it isn’t something that we all have not heard before. There are those that are adamant that there is a Great Library or Hall of Records underneath the body or between the two paws of the Great Sphinx and that “conventional Egyptologists” are hellbent on making sure that mankind never realizes their birthright by continuing to keep this highly classified and earth-shaking ancient knowledge secret. Really? Have you been watching too much Stargate SG-Whatever re-runs lately?
Give it a rest.
From Ancient Egyptian “power rods” that Russian scientists “discovered”and are now marketing online that supposedly heal illnesses of every kind including cancer, to pyramidal shaped devices of every description, more conjecture is forwarded about what the ancients could have been doing with these “devices”. From hieroglyphs in Abydos attributed to the reign of Seti I and his son, Rameses II, that kind of look like helicopters and submarines, it just never seems to end. If ever you want to legitimize something, just slap on some ancient Egyptian motifs and iconography, add names like Cleopatra, Isis and Thoth, and call it “ancient” and people will flock to it and gobble it up. If it looks nice and tell a good story, some idiot somwehere is bound to buy it and you are all but assured of a bestselling product.
Unfortunately, however, those of us for whom Kemet is not just an interest, it encapsulates what we believe, what we hold dear and a deep part of ourselves, this buying and selling and remixing of what is real into something that never was can be more than just a little annoying. Of course, people prefer Hollywoodized fantasies and romantic notions about Ancient Egypt or Ancient Kemet because that gives them a little escapism. Everyone wants a little fun and frivolity. I am of the opinion that Kemetic deities have a sense of humour and probably are o.k. with some of the funny memes online involving their images, for example.
For those who really want the real deal, who are after the truth and not just the made up candy-coated crap, my suggestion is to take the time to separate the treasure from the trash. I would also strongly suggest a thorough reading of Erik Hornung’s book, “The Secret Lore of Egypt: Its Impact on the West”
Learn what is real and practice discernment. Provide references for your theories and be able to have a conversation and look at all the facts before jumping to conclusions.
Special thanks to Sandra Pucher for her kind permission in using her artwork for this post.