Originally posted on LJ on April 20, 2010
Read an updated version of this review over on Pagan Book Reviews!
I was recently given a copy of the book Eterenal Egypt by Richard Reidy from my online buddy Nefersedt 🙂 I’ve been reading it over the weekend, and mulling over what I’ve read.
Overall, it was a good read, I’d recommend the book to anyone who is interested in learning about the structure of Egyptian ritual, whether you plan on using it or not. To me, it was a good insight into how the Egyptian mind ticked/worked, and I learned more from this book than I have from a lot of other books.
I also learned a bit about Setekh that I didn’t know about, and other ways to put things on his offering table (such as his testicles- found out hte glyph for them, so I could procure that at some point).
I have found the morning ritual to Amun-Ra to be more exciting than the evening ritual (titled “The Mystical Union of Ra and Asar” ….kinky). I think the biggest turn off to the evening ritual was the 75 forms of Ra… that takes a long time to go through, and honestly, those forms mean nothing to me, because I don’t know the background on it…. so it’s just dull. Sadly.
While reading through the rituals for the Beautiful Feast of the Western Valley, which is a ritual for Ahku, I myself thought I would love this/these rituals, and would want to perform a ritual for my Ahku based off of the ritual. However, I’m beginning to question whether I will or would, and here’s why. When you think about the Egyptians of time past, they were all of the same religion. They followed the same gods, and worshipped in almost the same ways. So it would make sense that when you’d honor your ancestors, you’d called upon the gods that you worship, because they worshipped them too. You’d tell them that you’re great like Ra, that you will live forever like Asar, and you shall live on forever in the Duat, and they’d go “yay!” because those are their gods, their religious practices, etc.
Yet, would my ancestors feel the same way? If you were a form of Christianity, would you truly feel “honored” that your niece, grand daughter, step daughter, etc. is saying “You’re strong like Ra?” To me, it’s almost a slap in the face to involve a non-Kemetic in a Kemetic ritual such as this- to completely ignore their own religious choices, and to, in some ways, force them into our own form of religion, because “it’s what we do”. The other reason it doesn’t sit well with me, is because you’re supposed to open the gates btwn the realms, and call the Ahku forward to partake of offerings and the like. To me, if your religion doesn’t mirror the same belief or ideas, it just seems wrong to call someone forward who doesn’t subscribe to the same ideas.
So I’m a bit disappointed in that respect. I’ll have to figure out what to do about an Ahku shrine when the time comes- how to meld the religious issues that may exist, since they are by no means in the same religion as I am.
On a whole, though, this book is awesome, and I think that everyone should take the time to read it. There is a lot of solid, good information that is in this book.