Category Archives: Ma’at

Restoring Ma’at

Posted over at my other blog, Life Belongs to Sekhmet. Over the coming weeks and months, the ideas presented here will be the focus of both blogs.

Life Belongs to Sekhmet

sekhmetdarkness2016,  through all of the abysmal things that have happened during that time, has me thinking a lot about Ma’at lately.  We’ve lost so many cultural, artistic and historical icons in this year, any of us would be hard-pressed to name them all without referring to a list. This year has been a crippling blow on a lot of levels, but it is not the end by any stretch of the imagination.  That is not to say that it’s been any less trying.

I won’t beat about the bush.  We are all about to head into unknown territory in 2017.  For some, that prospect is terrifying.  Given some of the more recent events that have occurred in the world and the attitudes of those who were supposedly elected to help us face them, we probably should all be on alert.  We are facing several global crises of epic proportions and…

View original post 1,641 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Ma'at, politics, reblogged

Introducing the #MarriageMilitia Project

sphinx1After last night’s dim election outcome, I spoke to many people who were fully in the grips of being terrified for their future.  I won’t lie.  I had a bit of a sleepless night as I watched the abysmal election returns realizing that things didn’t go our way.  This morning, I shed a few tears as well.  What would become of me and my spouse?  What about our family? Our home? What would the future hold.

I made up my mind that I would listen to my spiritual Mother, Sekhmet, and do what I had been hearing in the back of my  head for months.  ‘Prepare.’  ‘Be as self-sufficient and self-reliant as possible,’  and ‘Treat people with kindness and respect and be supportive’.

The #MarriageMilitia Project was begun by Rev. Tamara Siuda of the House of Netjer Kemetic Orthodox Temple.  It is an organization where I was also legally ordained as a Priestess of Sekhmet-Mut.  In light of last night’s developments, I am going to be taking up my role as clergy once again. I am legal, so no worries there.  For those who wish to be married, I am offering my services.   Here is a post that will explain what it’s all about and why.   If you clergy or know someone who is, I urge you to pass the word along.  Share it far and wide.  Let us exercise our freedom and our rights to love whom we love.

Introducing the #MarriageMilitia Project

Save

Save

Save

Leave a comment

Filed under Hathor, kemetic, Ma'at, pagan, reblogged, Religion, Sekhmet, Uncategorized

Guilt By Association

metmuseum5a1(Note:  This is a blog post that I posted over on my other blog at Niankhsekhmet.com.  I am re-posting it here in its entirety. If you’ve read it before, please forgive the redundancy.)

The adage that we are known by the company we keep probably is very true within the Kemetic Community – perhaps even doubly so. It has become frustrating and disheartening to be judged by people whom you don’t know, who don’t know you, or your specific religious path – nor do they care really! For someone to offhandedly decide that you are not with the “in crowd” or that somehow, will pronounce that not to be of a certain religious affiliation, or sect will deem you unworthy to be given the time of day. Some of course, fear recruitment or being indoctrinated into some sort of cult based on internet rumours that they may or may not have heard.

I am Kemetic. I was trained and ordained as a Kemetic Orthodox Priestess of Sekhmet/HetHert in 1998. I stepped down a couple of years ago by choice, or as one internet website geared toward atheists said, “I retired.” I kind of laugh at that. One does *not* retire from Sekhmet’s service. Your service may change, but it is absolutely for life! At any rate, my reasons, initially, were because I was attending college full time and could not give the level of service required. My situation has changed a bit, and so now my reasons of not wanting to return to it again are deeply personal. I can and will say quite clearly that it was not because of any rift with the Temple, or disagreement between myself and any of the membership. I have been listening to Sekhmet’s call and it has been specific and in a direction by necessity. That doesn’t make anyone bad or wrong. It just makes it a different route that I have chosen to take.

All of us must by necessity approach our spiritual life on a personal level. We may choose to join or Initiate in a specific sect, temple or path, but ultimately, only we as individuals can decide when to move on. Each of us, who are Kemetic, have personal rites. Sometimes this entails a daily practice that follows a formal outlined structure, such as that which is outlined at the Temple of Horus at Edfu. While at other times a practitioner may choose something more fluid, eclectic or non-traditional. Each is a valid structure and approach to the connection to the Netjeru.

That being said, the only things that become annoying are those who insist on the belief of either a maddeningly absurd UPG-type of approach, or those who cannot and will not move outside the formal scholarly sanctioned type of practice. I have found by direct experience that there are deep pitfalls within each extreme and either can be deleterious for spiritual understanding or growth. Egyptology does *not* know everything. Conversely, I have seen so many ridiculous, crackpot theories that should never have made it outside of one’s own personal headspace, let alone made it into print for others to try to decipher.

One extreme, that of the scholarly community only, and especially within Egyptology’s ranks, often eschews and ostracizes those who “actually believe in any of this stuff”. In some place it becomes so much of an issue that those who have made it into those hallowed halls of the scholarly ranks take great pains to either conceal, downplay or flat-out deny that they actually do worship the old gods. These individuals dare not speak of it or it may cost them their entire career or get them passed over for any future projects because their beliefs are not considered “objective enough”. I personally know of several tenured professors or professional Egyptologists who by necessity are very guarded about their personal beliefs. I can state quite clearly that their fears are absolutely justified. Egyptology is neither easy nor cheap to take up as a scholarly pursuit. Admissions into these programmes are prohibitively expensive and generally only accept a tiny handful of students each semester or once a year. Most of these who are accepted have and/or have maintained a 4.0 GPA. Further, that high GPA must be maintained or that student will get a boot planted in their posterior and find themselves completely washed out and with student loan amounts that are nothing less than nightmarish and just shy of the national debt.

The Kemetic Community, I think, is going through something that much of the so-called Pagan “Community” is going through. I believe that there is far too much backbiting, petty, catty and deeply personal bitching among the ranks. People either are wrapped up in an idea that if you do not belong to X group, you obviously are “doing it wrong”, and if you are a part of that group – or have been trained by it, have handed your brain, your soul and your personal assets to some sort of mindless cult of personality that does not allow for personal considerations.

I call “Bullshit,” on both points of view.

Even with my training and years in the priesthood, I interact with those who are not Kemetic Orthodox. I spend a great deal of time with people who come from many different faiths and belief systems, and each gives me a perspective that I would not have had otherwise. In so doing, I am able to form my own opinion that has nothing to do with toeing a party line, a religious canon or being a spokesperson for any given temple or group.

If I see a person make an incorrect, ill-considered or socially repugnant statement to the general public, I have no compunction but to call them on it and tell them why I feel that way. Conversely, I expect to be accorded the exact same service be done to me in return. I also expect that it will be done without the need to resort to ad hominem attacks. I think that is more than fair. Of course, there will always be those who claim to be holier-than-thou, or claim some sort immunity because of the number of books they wrote, lectures at Pantheacon they conducted or letters after their names in terms of university degrees. The political correctness and personal butthurt needs to be put away and replaced with something that resembles common sense. If we cannot have that, then what’s the point, really?

maat1aAll of us who consider ourselves to be Kemetic have a single and solitary foundation. That foundation is not exclusive to any one group, or leader or anything else. We have nothing other to worry about than the idea of Ma’at. Each of us must decide what that is and where we are at personally. Under that one single idea / ideal, there is enough there that is complex enough to keep all of us occupied for the whole of our personal and spiritual lives. We are held responsible and we hold those whom we associate responsible as well. When we do this, we are held responsible for our own actions and words in the context of not only our own lives but the greater whole within the Kemetic community and within the world at large. With this single understanding, some of the petty, single-mindedness is stripped away, and we by necessity have to sit down and listen to the thoughts, concerns and observations of others. Being able to see that perspective and say, “Yes, you are right,” does not, therefore, declare us to be lepers within the groups that we are a part of – or not a member of. It means that we can each be viable on our own, and that we can stand up for ourselves and what we believe, rather than hiding behind an organization, a label or anything else than our own sense of rightness – or our own sense of Ma’at.

 

5 Comments

Filed under kemetic, Ma'at, politics, rants, reblogged, Religion, sekhmet, writing

Branding is Everything

Devo has written some pretty profound things about how the idea of brand not only affects companies, but also how we represent our communities and ourselves.

This idea touches on what my friend, Dr. James Wanless, refers to when he talks about how we are all in the “YOU-biz”.  This very idea is something that we all need to be conscious of in today’s increasingly interconnected world.

We really do have to be activists for what we want to see in our communities and the world around us.

Branding is Everything.

1 Comment

Filed under business, Ma'at, politics, reblogged, Religion

Stop stealing from your fellow pagans!

Ma'atI am absolutely not interested in hearing any excuses about this.   Theft within the Pagan community is so rife that people are all but desensitized against it.  As a writer and publisher and someone married to an artist, I know quite well the costs of intellectual property theft.  Stealing from fellow Pagan and Polytheist authors, artists and craftspersons needs to end, and it needs to end NOW!

I don’t give a damn if you personally believe that “all knowledge should be free” and shared freely. Creativity, whether writing a book, making a piece of artwork or anything else is hard work and deserves to be valued.  Everyone has bills to pay.   It is nothing less than hypocritical of folks who spew the so-called 3-fold law at every turn, and yet are such cheap @$$ b@$t@rd$ that they think nothing of stealing from others.  I am betting, however, that if thieves were wearing the show themselves and were the author or artist etc. they’d be screaming like holy hell about it and wanting just compensation!

Stop stealing from your fellow pagans!

4 Comments

Filed under business, Ma'at, pagan, politics, rants, reblogged, writing

When working with clients, always be reliable: Ingegrity is everthing.

"Milkau Der heilige Baum von Heliopolis mit Thot und Seschet 15-2". Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Milkau_Der_heilige_Baum_von_Heliopolis_mit_Thot_und_Seschet_15-2.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Milkau_Der_heilige_Baum_von_Heliopolis_mit_Thot_und_Seschet_15-2.jpg via Wikimedia Creative Commons“Law 5 – So much depends on reputation – guard it with your life.” – from ‘The 48 Laws of Power’  by Robert Greene

I  learned a very valuable lesson recently.  Don’t ever compromise on your integrity when dealing with clients.  If you have a certain base rate, don’t under price yourself – ever.  Don’t do it even for friends.  And if you give your word, then you have to deliver on that word – on time and on budget.

Recently I had a client that I was not too fond of. The job at first, though low-ball amount per article, was not unbearable.  What turned me off more and more about the job is the number of cooks the initial client I spoke to, also had in the kitchen.  That these other ‘cooks’ were across the world thought they, too, were my boss.  And then there was the rather grating cultural and language barrier really got on my nerves.   The article assignments when I received them, were patronizing.  “Article must be original, informative and interesting.”  Since I cut my teeth on news writing, blogging, and fiction writing,  being informative, original and interesting were all a part of the deal!  Someone insisting on adding these requirements to each and every email really made me crazy. What was more, the sender had the temerity to give me a word count and the entire email was in broken, grammatically inccorrect English.  My reaction every time an email landed in my inbox was on the verge of becoming downright visceral.  Nevermind the initial client said to just blow off the wording, his other cooks were like robots but I answered to him did not help matters at all.

As a result, I found myself procrastinating at every available opportunity when I should have been writing.   I would suddenly need to go to town and get groceries, or refinish my kitchen cabinets, or go buy 2 x 4’s so I could finish my basement.    Though I was encouraged to use sites such as Pinterest to get ideas, I found myself looking up things that I was interested in far more often than for the work I was doing for the client.

These endless diversions became a habit.  I was engaging in very bad behaviors that were not “me”.  Some of those behaviors were now including being late on work that I did care about from people I respect.   I used up my monthly allotment of internet usage (25 GB per month) after 10 days in my quest for escaping the client.  I ended up having to work at the ungodly and certainly inconvenient hours of 12:00 to 5:00 AM when the internet went to free time.  It makes for a really ragged sleep pattern, sore muscles and a client who is less than satisfied.

All of this resulted in letting down one of my colleagues that I do care about .  The task was simple enough, write four articles on the topic and get it to her by the weekend.   I didn’t make the goal.  And when I pinged her on Google chat, she quite rightly was miffed.  To put it bluntly, I got reamed over it – and she called me out on both the behavior and my lame ass excuse of being tired.  Quite rightly she said;

“Clients don’t care if monkeys fly out of your ass and steal your laptop!  You absolutely have to deliver on time! “

She was and is absolutely right.  That kind of b.s. behavior that I was doing is how writers lose jobs…and they don’t land new ones.  I stared down at my steaming plate full of crow and realized that I had quite frankly, fucked up.: Big time.

The rock that now sits in front of my keyboard, as a reminder.

The rock that now sits in front of my keyboard, as a reminder.

As the executive producer for a college news cast, I rode the asses of my crew to get things done on time.  As I was taught, you are expected to be ON – on time, no dead air, mind on task, and to be on cue and not miss those cues.  Those that don’t realize that this is a business and being business-like at all times is what separates the professionals from the wannabes.    I was acting like a wannabe – and I knew better, because professional behavior was my reputation.  I would never have accepted that kind of behavior from anyone on my news / studio crew. I would have quite probably given an even worse reaming than I was getting.  I had become, in my egotistical self-righteousness, an asshole copywriter.  I was acting like a hypocrite and I was definitely not happy with myself.

I apologized, and I must say that during the conversation wth my colleague, I fully expected to be handed my walking papers.  The good news is that my apology was accepted and I still have a job. The bad news is that I am sure she will think twice before offering me things again. All I can do is attempt to never be late again on any agreed to job, be true to my word and never attempt to make another excuse for anything again.

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under business, Ma'at, update, writing

Finding Our Way Back to Kemet

Mash_signThis post started with the intention to give those who call ourselves Kemetic a place to look to find resources. I know that I am not the first to talk about this. Certainly Devo Kraemer with the Kemetic Round Table and her blog, as well as Helmsman of Yinepu, Henadology and countless others have stated the same goal.  This post is to essentially open up the dialogue and throw out ideas to the greater Kemetic Community as a very small piece of a much grander puzzle.  If we can just figure out where we are going, we might end up getting something that has a bit less in fighting and is a bit more cohesive.

All of we Kemetic folk are different. We come from different places, have had different sebau  (teachers) It feels a little  bit like that road sign on the set of M*A*S*H* that showed where everyone at the 4077th where home was.   The road sign served as a starting place,  rather a map of  how to get there. More than simply telling someone that there is just one temple, one group or one single right way to get to where to go, it will, I hope that something like this might serve more people without any accusations of an agenda.

The truth of the matter is that civilization was born in Kemet.  The pharaohs were black, and varying degrees of brown and every other skin colour that was known in the ancient world at the time. This is inevitably what happens in an integrated and cosmopolitan society.  By my saying this, it does not make me a revisionist or a racist. Speaking only for myself, my goal is to welcome any and all evidence and discussion, except that which promotes racial hatred and modern cultural divisions that seem to have escalated to all time highs over the last few years.

Like most within the pagan and polytheist sphere, we Kemetics have our share of issues to deal with. We have our dramas and disagreements but overall, I don’t believe it’s anything that cannot be overcome.   So…..we can choose to continue to arguments over religious doctrine or other points of contention, or point fingers about who “stole” what from whomever else, or we can acknowledge the fact that for each or us Kemet is a constant call in our lives.  Just as in Kemet’s  antiquity, I believe that  cultural exchanges and sharing were and are the norm.  Someone who was well-traveled or could appreciate the customs of the people and places that they visited was welcome as a guest and greeted as a hero or heroine when they returned home to share the knowledge that their travels had afforded them.  Being a good, respectful guest was the most important thing of all.  I think the akhu (ancestors) have plenty to teach us on many levels and it is something that the world desperately needs.

I believe that we can have that and be the richer even if all we do is try.  We are most us here because we love Netjer or the Netjeru and honoring the akhu.  The land of Kemet IS Zep Tepi, the First Time.  It is inevitable that it calls to our kas with such depth and intensity that we cannot turn away – not even if we wanted to.

But what about Kemet is it that calls us?

Is it the sophistication of design? Is it the fact that science and medicine, literature and the beginnings of writing were born on the banks of the Nile?  What do we as modern, 21st century people hope to gain by reviving the religion, the culture and the values of that bygone time?  I believe for everyone the answer is different.  Even as a child, I dreamed of a day when more people would realize how wonderful ancient Kemet was and there would be a push to restore temples and bring a language back from the Realm of the Dead.   With the advances in Egyptology and the push to reconstruct events, study DNA and analyze the overwhelming amount of data coming out of Egypt on an almost daily basis, we may very well see some of these ideas and pushes become a reality.

Hedwig Storch via Wikimedia Creative Commons LicenseWhat I want, what I am asking in this blog entry is for people to think long and hard about what it is in Kemet that draws them so deeply.  I sincerely want to hear from each and every one of you – not because I am starting a new group; but rather because it’s something I’ve felt called to ask and to do.  I am not doing this for any group, even though I am currently a member of a group.   I respect and care for enough people outside of my own respective group and have the luxury of conversing with them in a dialogue of mutual respect.  It is of paramount importance to me that this spirit of cooperation continues.    For some, such as myself,  Kemet was a call felt at a very young age that simply would not let go.  For others, it is a reconnection to their own proud history and culture.  For others, it might be something else entirely.   Whatever it is – it’s important.

It is my hope that the dialogue between all  of the different groups can somehow push us a little closer to having a clearing house of knowledge, lists of books to read, online courses being offered for free or at a nominal fee, groups that get together socially for no other reason than to share that interest. Later, we can discuss the potential of boards, or groups on Facebook or Google+ in order to discuss those resources that we find.   Whether any of us views it as a culture, a spirituality, a passing interest or even a fandom, it is my personal belief that  none of us individually knows nearly as much as all of us do collectively.  It is also my belief that if we try we may yet make even more of our dreams about Kemet come true.

 

 

 

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under indigenous, Kemet is Cool Project, kemetic, Ma'at, pagan, politics, racism, rants, Religion, Sekhmet, Uncategorized, update