“The only way to find the Path is to be on the Path.” – Maya Angelou
For as long as I could remember, I knew that there was a something that I was looking for. The whispered, possibly imagined and definitely real experiences from childhood into adolescence and throughout adulthood drove me to think about what it was I was searching for. That Still Small Voice, the recurring dream, and the inner knowing is something that you let the world beat out of you, or you hang on to it for dear life because you now that it is part and parcel of who and what you are. You know in the deepest part of your Self that if you lose that, your Soul is truly lost.
All of that seeming psychobabble in the preceding paragraph is such an inadequate attempt of what it has meant to me to find my current Spiritual “Path”. I don’t know that I even like that term. I know what a “Pathworking” is, I was Wiccan at one time. I had teachers and mentors along that “Path” and then just prior to Initiation – I left. I was pulled off that beaten path toward the acknowledgement of my own personal prayer since I was in my early teens. I wanted to be led to the Truth about Ancient Egypt’s, otherwise known as Ancient Kemet’s religion. I was sick to death of the made up b.s. that came out of Crowley, out of so many in authors in Western Occultism. I wanted absolutely no part of it.
I ran like Hell.
She caught me, then literally dragged me by the heels, kicking and screaming.
I stayed for a bit.
I got my ass kicked by Her.
I came back.
I’m still here.
I realized that no matter where I went, my name Kemetic name of, NiankhSekhmet, which means that’ The One Whose Life Belongs to Sekhmet’ or “The One Whom Sekhmet Causes/Allows to Live’, pretty much sums up what my life has been for nearly three decades. There is not one place that I can turn my eyes or my awareness and I don’t see Hers, or some other Name of Netjer’s hand.
What I did not realize over that period of time while I was doing the proscribed rituals, etc. is that a lot of that training I got vis a vis from Western Occultism, honed with the structure and awareness from antiquity is what prepared me in terms of discipline, ethics, common sense and general safety when dealing with Inner Realms. Dealing with certain aspects of life really does require you to be able to get out of the tunnel vision that one singular religious culture can slap over your eyes, ears, heart and every other awareness that we seem to take for granted. Ancient Kemet did not exist entirely in a vacuum during it’s several thousand year history. In spite of all of the best efforts to stick to Zep Tepi, foreign influences and interpretations slipped in. Some of these foreign cultures and visitors adapted fairly well and knowledge and goods were traded. This is what so many of us who live in Western society are faced with when being called to a polytheistic religion that we are having to piece back together. We try very hard to be as authentic as possible, but sometimes, Netjer kicks our ass off the trail and sends us in other directions.
One personal example of this is something that I came up on with Sekhmet early-on and that was that much of what Her ancient priesthood, physicians, healers and others in Her service was absorbed into Vedic culture, particularly into Ayurveda. When I first heard those words in meditation, it made absolute sense to me, though there was absolutely no proof of this – certainly no ‘map’ at all. I was only going on the few clues that I did have – and I was tracing plant substances found through flotation archaeology in Egypt and matching them to the same botanical substances used in Ayurveda.
If anyone really looks at the ancient medical systems of both Ancient Kemet and the ancient Indian science of Ayurveda and even in some aspects of traditional Chinese medicine, you cannot help but see it. If I could turn back the clock 15 years, I would have gone after being an Ayurvedic physician. In my herbal work, which is across Western, Native American, and Eastern disciplines, you can see the common threads of uses of various plants, treatments. I would talk to Egyptologists on Usenet and at ARCE and some would nod and smile, others would scoff at my ideas. and would tell me that the cultural exchange between India and Egypt was probably limited to the Ptolemaic or Greek and Roman period, or he New Kingdom at the earliest. It didn’t matter to me, but the macrobotanical analysis that I was seeing in the book, “Codex of Ancient Egyptian Plant Remains” by de Vartavan and Amoros (Triade Exploration, London 1997) over and over again was something had turned my Unverified Pesonal Gnosis (UPG) into Verified Personal Gnosis (VPG).
There is nothing like getting solid confirmation on what some would think you crazy for thinking.
Even after my years of being Kemetic, even today I have with determination gone back and started at the basics that I got when I was so much younger. Every experience, so far, has aided me in some way to either figure out what worked and why or reflect on why they didn’t. Being Kemeticly focused is at the core of my being. I think it will always be that way. However, on this path, for which there is no map, you meet others who can at least give other perspectives and things for you to consider.
Spiritual belief and practice are not fixed, even though there are good guidelines and areas that can entrap you and steer you off in wrong directions or even get you to give up altogether. The key is knowing what you are looking at and navigate around these challenges successfully. I have, at this period of time in my life, been very fortunate to have the right people show up at exactly the right time. It is refreshing to know that when you are working on your own path and you want to steer clear the bullshit, it is indeed possible. I am at that place now, and walking my path alongside other friends who are on their own as well. It is refreshing to have that. The friends that I have made here at the Kemetic Round Table as well as the work and friendship of Josephine McCarthy and others has been pivotal in that.
If you are working your own path and want at least a little structure, but not too much, and you don’t want someone yanking your chain and emptying the contents of your wallet in the process, then the Quareia School that she and Frater Archer have created may end up being a good fit. It is always a good thing to have people who will bother to tell you the truth and treat you like a peer and still let you do the work on your own rather than hand you dogma.
None of us individually knows nearly as much as all of us collectively. Sometimes we may also be able to give each other a clue and help each other find a better route to where it is that we’re going.
Copyright © 2015, Christina Paul (Fanny Fae), Ma’at Publishing.