Wenut

This little known Kemetic goddess is represented as a hare or a hare headed woman, and her name means “swift one”. She was the patron god of the 15th nome of upper Egypt originally called Wenu, then Hermopolis Magna later. Originally she appears to have been depicted as a snake deity.

Her name is sometimes spelt Unut, and this tells us that the 5th dynasty pharaoh Unas incorporated her into his name, as we see demonstrated in other examples like Amenhotep, Thuthmosis and Seti.

I first took notice of this deity when I came across the image below from this webpage recently. Scultpor Lena Torich has done a magnificent job of capturing the Netjer’s grace and beauty in bronze.

Fellow Kemetic writer Helmsman of Yinepu did a post about a shrine of offerings that he made to the Goddess here. There is a beautiful statue of Wenut at the bottom of that post featuring the Goddess Hethert and the Pharaoh Menkaure (whose pyramid I got creepy vibes from and could not enter when I was there in 2010!)

I am wondering if that triad statue is the one that wiki reports as having been found depicting her?

Maybe the Godess blesses me? This is the first time I have kept up with the concurrent timing of posts in the PBP for about 5 months!! This post is my first W in the PBP 2012. Swift indeed!

Original post with images can be found here: http://www.setkenblog.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/wenut.html

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Devo Magix: Execrations

Apep, courtesy TourEgypt.net

Most Kemetics know about execration, or at least, we know of them. Execrations are highly misunderstood within the Kemetic community, and in some ways, they are generally feared. I wanted to clear up some ideas about execrations, and how you can bring them into your practice- whether you’re Kemetic or not…

A post that discusses execrations then and now, and how you can incorporate execrations into your current practice.

Read the rest here!

(Edited to fix link to broken image, November 13, 2012 – TS)

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Maat: A Moral Ideal

I´ll be kicking off my first post here with a topic that I think is important to Kemetic practitioners of all stripes and that I wanted to take a closer look at besides the general definition that we all are familiar with (and if you´re not familiar with this concept, go ahead and check out this link).  I´ll be using information gained from reading Maulana Karenga´s epic tome on Maat: Maat, The Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt.

What do I mean by moral ideal?  This would be a set of moral/aesthetic assertions that provide a model of the Ancient Egyptian conception of the moral or ethical.  Another way to interpret this would be the moral ideal as a theme.  A theme won´t exactly tell us “do X in order to be morally correct,” but it will give us a point of orientation.  This is different from an ideal norm that provides us with concrete rules, “If I do X, I will be morally superior;” our moral progress is measured not by complying with norms but by measuring the degree of how much we comport ourselves to mirror what we consider the ideal (often we describe Maat as justice, equality, rightness, etc.).  In other words, one can be more just or less just, but there is no obvious action that we must do in order to be considered just, no list of what to do and what not to do.  We instead have a framework of possibility, from which a diversity of actions all lead to a moral ideal.

It seems a bit…well, slippery, doesn´t it?  Well, one of the features of Kemetic thought that I love so much is polyvalent logic: the ability to hold two (or more) seemingly conflicting truths as true at the same time.  For example, we have four creation stories, and they´re all true, even though they describe Zep Tepi (the beginning) as going down in different ways.  An ideal theme is similar in that it´s a polysemic category and concept; that is, it stimulates different conceptions, thoughts, and interpretations, leaving the actual practice of Maat to be highly subjective, with a conceptual elasticity that lacks preciseness.

Let´s take a look into the history of Maat.  Its etymology suggests an evolution from the physical concept of evenness, straightness, levelness, correctness; to a general concept of rightness including the ontological and ethical sense of truth, justice, etc.; basically the typical definition that I mentioned above.  We first see it appear when time itself began, as divine or cosmic order established at the time of creation.  Maat also serves as nourishment to the netjeru (or, divine powers).  It is a system whose goal is to defend against chaos in nature and society.  It is the foundation and order of the world that is expressed in four basic areas, according to Théophile Obenga:

(1)    The universal domain in which Maat is “leTout ordonné,” the totality of ordered existence, and represents things in harmony and in place;

(2)    The political domain in which Maat is justice and in opposition to injustice;

(3)    The social domain in which the focus is on right relations and duty in the context of community and;

(4)    The personal domain in which following the rules and principles of Maat, ´is to realize concretely the universal order in oneself; to live in harmony with the ordered whole´” (1990, 158)

As it is a divinely established order, “it underlies and governs all aspects of existence, somewhat akin to the western notion of natural law” (Allen 1988, 26).  It is also a life-generating principle and force, as we see here in the Coffin Texts, as Nun, the primeval waters says to Atum (the Creator): “Kiss your daughter Maat.  Put her to your nose that your heart may live” (CT I, 35).

What is man´s place in this order?  Frankfort (an Egyptologist) thinks that one´s success is proved by how frictionless their integration is into this divine order.  This makes it a social question, and is answered not by one´s own moral conscience, but by their reputation in their community.  This doesn´t mean that one doesn´t need a conscience, but that conscience is a relational concept and thus depends on both what one´s moral community thinks and on what one thinks of one´s self based on this evaluation by significant others.  This is a reason why Kemet evolved as a communitarian society, focused not on individuals but on relationships, reciprocal obligations and related rightful expectations (Gyekye 1987, 155; Assmann 2002, 133-34).  One´s opposition to integration with society and their practice of isfet (wrongdoing, evil, disorder, the opposite of Maat) ensures their destruction, because isfet is “the abomination of God” and “that which is perennially defeated in the order of the universe” (Frankfort 1961, 75).

Some good examples of an ideal conception of what was considered the moral ideal can be found in the Declarations of Innocence .  These Declarations are considered a summary of the major ethical concerns of Kemet which appear in standard form in the New Kingdom in The Book of Coming Forth by Day (Budge 1898; Maystre 1937; Allen 1974; Saleh 1984; Faulkner 1985; Dondelinger 1987).  We may also take from the Sebait (or Instructions) and the Declarations of Virtues found in autobiographies, but I will save that for another post.

What are some ways that you contribute to your community?  Do you think others see you as one who does Maat?  What are other ways that you do Maat?

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Reblog: Kemetism: The Red-Headed Step Child of Paganism

I read this post last week, and I thought it was really interesting. You should consider giving the original poster your thoughts on the idea!

 

So, I started a new Kemetics only group on FB this week because of some discussion that happened. I ended up doing it, initially, as a joke. However, it’s actually starting to take off. This surprised the hell out of me because I didn’t seem to realize that there are other Kemetics out there who don’t have a place to talk about things with others. And to be honest, aside from the Kemetic SIG on the forum, I very rarely get into any conversations about Kemetism in any way, shape, or form. If I do, my audience tends to stare at me with glazed eyes because they don’t understand what it is I’m saying. (I need to carry a permanent list of Kemetic terms tattooed to my forearm or something so people will know what I mean when I’m discussing isfet and ma’at.) It’s at the point where I pretty much just discuss whatever with Devo with occasional forays with other Kemetics like Helmsman of Yinepu and Mr. Walsh. Anyway, a conversation began to grow out of a question I asked in the group about what kind of Kemetic these new members happen to be…

…and the explosion turned into my mini-rant about how Kemetism is the Red-Headed Step Child of paganism.

 

See the whole post here.

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The Way of the Sacred Barque : A Brief Introduction

I’ve been sitting here for weeks now, trying to think of what I could write about for my blog entries. And it struck me that this might be an ideal place for both forging and sharing the basics of the kemetic path that’s been knocking around inside my head for awhile. That path has been getting called “Sacred Barque” or SB for short. It came about when I realized I didn’t feel any affinity for what was already available and someone then set me the rather difficult task of describing what my ideal would be. I’m still working on that bit and it is what I’m hoping will emerge here over time.

But first things first. What is Sacred Barque?

Sacred Barque is a conceptual approach for practicing kemeticism. It is based on the motif of a ship transversing any number of different metaphorical oceans, in the same way that Re’s sacred barque does. As such it needs to have strong foundations and be well constructed, but at the same time be balanced and flexible. And the setting is not Egypt, but waters far more unsure and unsteady; Sometimes twinkling with the stars of Nut but sometimes murky and formless. Not everything can be brought along on the journey, for fear of sinking the ship (so no huge stone monuments and other overly grand trappings which simply aren’t practical), yet neither will it be so light-weight as to be blown around aimlessly since it would be sufficiently weighed down with the things that matter (such as texts, objects of faith, traditions, fellowship and cooperation, etc.) It also needfully respects that Kemet no longer exists as we would recognize it and that we’re all in diaspora. And as such it is a Sethian approach to kemeticism, in contrast to a more ordered and typical Horus-based establishment. Knowledge and tradition are important, but so is practicality and acknowledging we’re not in Kans– Kemet anymore. It’s someplace far stranger and cut off in so many ways from the landscape of Ancient Egypt which pervades so much of the religion.

The symbology of it all has the potential of running very deep and this is what I’ll be exploring in future posts. This is very much still a path in the making however, so bear with me if you will. And definitely feel free to discuss!

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Not Decaying In The Other World

My first post for the KIN Forum page is also my first “N” post for the Pagan Blog Project . It is directly from Normandi Ellis’ “Awakening Osiris” and is one of my favourite pieces. It has been translated from two chapters from the papyrus of Ani, “The chapter of not suffering corruption in Neterkhert”, and “The chapter of not perishing and becoming alive in Neterkhert”.

It is clear from reading this text that the Kemetics thought that the physical body could in someway reanimate post death. As mention is made about transforming into light, I wonder if the flesh reassembles itself once all the soul parts are united and becomes an indestructible thing more solid than flesh but with a transparent light feel or look? What does transfigured flesh look like I wonder?

Not Decaying In The Other World

Body, how still you are.

Are you dreaming?

Body, are you thinking of old places, old things?

The hands of Ausar lie crossed on his chest, the thumbs touch, two hands like the wings of a falcon.

Why do the hands not fly away?

Why does the soul not rise up?

The fingers of Ausar do not move.

They do not take bread to his mouth.

His lips are parched.

He does not drink wine.

His legs will not dance in the darkness.

The worm inches through the dust.

 

Body, rise up singing.

May my fingers practice making fists.

May my legs quiver and my feet stamp.

Body, do not dream the old, easy dreams forever.

Flesh, do not rot and stink.

Child of sky, child of earth, rise up and speak.

Child of dawn, put on your crown.

We’ll travel far to the desert where the water bubbles up fresh from the rocks, where the olive trees grow low to the ground along the wadi, where the caves are cool and the hermits living there keep their secrets.

Rise up, flesh.

Do not rot and stink.

Do not let my legs be eaten by worms.

Do not let darkness overtake me.

Body, body, turn to light.

Run your fingers through the dust.

 

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Kemetic Priesthood: Then and Now

I thought I would start off with a fairly academic post I made a while back :)

There is a lot of discussion out on the Internet about priesthood. What is it? How do you know when you are a priest? What does being a priest involve? I thought I would make a bit of a guide for everyone that discusses what priesthood was like back in ancient times, and how that can translate into a modern practice. This is by no means the be all and end all of priesthood knowledge or ideas- but I felt that having a general guide would be useful!

Read the full post here.

 

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A is for Atum.

Neenee and Em Hotep! For my first few entries, I’m linking to some of my older posts that ‘fell off the radar’ when I switched my blog to wordpress. Atum is a good place to start!

Atum

A is for Atum.

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The Great Nine moved, and creation of the KIN Blog began!

…okay, so maybe they’re not the Great Nine great nine, but we do have nine, count them nine, new bloggers for the Kemetic Interfaith Network!

I’m very excited about the variations in practice and background that our Great Nine represent. Most of them are already blogging in other areas, and you’ve probably seen them around the forums. They have lots to share, and I think you’ll enjoy.

Please welcome:
Wepwy
Setken
Emky
Priestess Seshat Anket Het Her
Nityinepu
Devo
Helmsman-of-Inepu
Bastemhet
Kaif

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Seeking Kemetic bloggers for our KIN pages!

We are very interested in making the KIN blog (the page you’re currently reading) more active. Specifically, we’d like to see some Kemetic bloggers here as authors, writing about their personal religious experiences with the gods of Kemet, or their traditions, as they live them every day.

If you’re interested in being one of our guest bloggers for this site, either for one post or a series, or you’d like to report about an existing Kemetic blog for us to review and/or link to, please contact us via email to: admin@kemetic.info with details.

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