Most people know me as being a child of chaos- a follower of Set. And even if you don’t know who I worship, or that I even have a religion, if enough time is spent around me- you’ll describe me with the same words and phrases that most of my fellow Kemetics do. Despite my attempts to change people’s perceptions of me, it seems that the same traits always come forward. I’m hard, mean, no nonsense. I am cynical, snarky, and sarcastic. And you can’t forget that many people think I’m a dude (and if they know me in person, I’m treated as a male, not a female).
Even recently, in a discussion with a friend of mine, thoughts about the Kemetic community came up. Kemeticism doesn’t really have a large community. There isn’t a whole lot of selection (it’s pretty much KO or nothing), and many of the different temples seem to hate one another. Basically, our community sucks, and is pretty non-existent. To my friend, it almost seemed odd that a follower of Set would want to be in a community. Let alone run one. I mean, Set is the outsider, the foreigner. He’d rather stick to himself than deal with people right?
I can’t help but wonder- Why?
Why is it that following Set means that I don’t want to fit in? Why is it that because Set is cast out to the deserts that he doesn’t want friends? And why is it, that despite my attempts to show that I’m not a complete ass, that I have softer sides, people only seem to see that one aspect of me?
I am more than just the ass you see. I do have a need to belong. A need and desire to be a part of the group, and to not question my role or position in that group. To feel that people genuinely want me around. And to be able to be myself in that group. I would also like for people to see that I have other aspects. That I am more than just “that Set follower”. Oh yeah, and I can hurt just like everyone else too. I’m more than just stone. And for the life of me, I can’t understand why it is that the other parts of me get ignored.
When explaining this to my friend, I related to Asar. There is a part of me that is like him. Kind. Quiet. Fertile. Soft. Yet for whatever reason, no one ever sees that. I joke, a have fun, and I try to show people that I can be light hearted, I can be happy and nice. Yet, no one ever sees it.
I have always had a fancy for Asar. And really, he has been around me since this whole thing started. I figured he hung around because of my s.o.- who also happens to have a thing for Asar. However, I’m beginning to wonder if Asar hangs around not because of my s.o.- but because he wants something to do with me. Set told me to make the two halves whole. If Set is the side that everyone sees, could Asar be the side that no one sees? Could acknowledging him help me to equal out the halves? If he is the other half, the way he approaches me could easily be the same as the way my other half is. It’s very intangible, and hard to grasp. It’s there, but it’s not. It’s a feeling that you can’t describe. And in many ways, Asar is the same. He influences me in ways that I barely notice. A little touch here, a little nudge there. Words aren’t needed, but if you’re paying attention you can see that it’s him.
The other piece in this puzzle is Shinto. Set sent me to look into it, to help with the halves. I think part of this is in the Japanese culture. I shared my thoughts on this with my s.o. last night, and he seemed to think it could be a factor.
When I go to Little Tokyo, or I sit in a Japanese restaurant (that is run by Japanese people), or I go to the local Japanese market- I change. Entirely. I didn’t think I changed that much, but after listening to my s.o. last night, apparently it is like night and day. For those of you who don’t know, Japanese culture is very different from us in America. The mannerisms, the way you talk, the way you look at people, hold your hands, hold items- it’s all different. And when you stick me around a bunch of Japanese I try to follow these rules. I thought the change was there, but according to my s.o. the change is like a slap to the face. You just can’t miss it. I told him last night that it’s a case of “When in Rome, do as the Romans”. He said that it was more “Don’t do as the Romans, I AM a Roman”. I guess I almost become one of them in my actions.
I think these little interactions are important. That these little moments are the times when my other half gets to shine through. I love interacting with the Japanese culture (here in Phx, and in LA). I will seek out festivals and locations where I tap into this feeling, into that half of myself. Where I can let this yin side through. And because Shinto is so intertwined with the culture of Japan, perhaps that is how Shinto plays a role in making me whole.
But then there is this whole Asar thing that I need to figure out. And still binding everything back together is important. I feel I’m onto something, but I’m not positive what to do with it. All I know is that while I love working with Set, and I love being a hard ass in his name, I do get tired of constantly fighting these labels people put on me. I’m tired of always being considered hard, and unbreakable. I’m tired of only one side of my nature being acknowledged.
And I wonder if Set feels the same way some days.