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Heka is a Two Way Street

15 Jun

A couple of weeks ago, I posed a question on ecauldron about the nature of Heka. We Kemetics all know that Heka can influence a lot. We speak words of power and praise to the gods. Everything we say and create becomes.

The question I posed then was: how much of our heka is inadvertently effecting the gods? 

I mean, think about it- we do these rituals to help establish ma’at in the world. We bring forth the First Time, Zep-Tepi. We refresh and renew the gods, the cosmos, ourselves. We do these great acts of power and strength and we wrap it up with… an offering of Oreos and Coke.

If all of our words have power, and everything in ritual has meaning and purpose- how much of our little actions add up and weaken the gods? I know that many people believe that the gods can’t be weakened, but it doesn’t seem to have been the case in antiquity. There are stories of the Egyptians threatening the gods with things such as withholding rituals, withholding offerings, lack of worship, etc. Why do that if the gods don’t need our help to keep things running? And as was stated in this post, yes it’s true that the world didn’t end when Egypt fell. But the Egyptian way of life certainly did. If things were still running with ma’at in mind, we wouldn’t have to take the time to relearn everything. We’d already know about it. Keeping up the cosmos is a responsibility that is shared by both humans and gods. We can’t rely on the gods to make everything better. If we decide to destroy this planet and create nothing but isfet- we will fall apart. And there is nothing the gods can do about that. So it seems to make sense to me that the gods need us on some level, and that daily ritual served to help the gods, the cosmos and ma’at. We helped through sacred action and utterance. We helped through heka.

And we still help through heka. Prayers. Rites. Community gatherings. Living life well. Putting away shopping carts. Saving spoons. Helping people. Helping yourself. Living life to the fullest. Embodying ma’at. All of that warm and fuzzy stuff.

But at the same time, a lot of what we do could be hurting the cosmos as well. We fight. Bicker. We hurt ourselves and others. We waste our spoons on useless crap. We ingest bad food. We have self esteem and body issues. We project our issues onto the gods. We feed the gods junk for dinner every night. We skip out on ritual all together.

If all of the good we do creates good things for the gods, then it would make sense that the opposite would be true. All of this crap we bog ourselves down with degrades the relationship with the Unseen world. It distorts the connection and creates problems in (potentially) both worlds. And the act of marginalizing and trivializing gods not only weakens them, it weakens our respect and actions towards them.

Let me use an example- the Internet.

All of us use the Internet, and we all have a sort of personality on here. We interact through means that are less than physical, in potentially the same way that gods do with us. In this small world, things get around. If I say that X person is a jerk to my circle of Internet friends, it’s likely that they will assume as such – and ultimately, that effects X. X could experience a lack of communication from others. They could see a drop in blog visits, subscriptions, or all of their FB friends could leave. They could be harassed. All sorts of things. All because I said X was a jerk.

Another example could be that I say X is stupid. They don’t know what they are talking about and you shouldn’t listen to them. How long before that effects the responses that X gets from others? How long before everything they say is dismissed because of some preconceived notion?

Don’t think it can happen? Look at the fallout Kemetic Orthodoxy experiences from the anger brought on by a few people. Look at the fallout some Kemetic authors experience because they have a checkered past in relation to Kemetic Orthodoxy. And while, yes, it’s entirely possible that people will try to find the truth, despite common ideas about what is and isn’t- there will still be a group of people who will never bridge that gap all because of what they have heard. The actions of a few can affect a large number of people.

Now let’s turn this around towards the gods.

If I treat, say… Wepwawet as nothing more than a form of Anpu? They are both ‘two sides of the same coin’ in some forms of Kemeticism. And many people treat Wepwawet as nothing more than Anubis in his work clothes- some weird aspect of him that comes out when he needs to be tougher- but not necessarily a true entity or god in his own right. So if this spreads around to a large group of Kemetics… how long before his reputation changes? How long before people quit treating him like an awesome (and separate) god that deserves our respect (and in some ways, fear) and we all start treating him like some weird fluke mood of Anpu? And if he starts getting treated like he isn’t entirely his own entity, how long before He Who Is the Highest of the Gods decides he wants nothing to do with us, and that he’s going to go open some ways elsewhere? Who is to say that the attitudes that many Kemetics share aren’t hurting or effecting the gods?

All of our actions carry weight. All of our assumptions and ideas carry weight. How often do you think about what you say and do and how it could be affecting the gods and world around us? Are you creating a world that embodies ma’at?

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22 Comments

Posted by on June 15, 2012 in Kemeticism

 

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22 responses to “Heka is a Two Way Street

  1. Aubs Tea

    June 15, 2012 at 9:08 am

    I never really considered how my actions or lack thereof were affecting the gods in any way. I just assumed that the little day-to-day stuff wasn’t as… integral to their survival anymore. I’m not really talking about the rituals and whatnot, but how I go about my day. It never really occurred to me that in living in ma’at and trying to come to some form of understanding regarding heka that what I do and do not do may affect them in some way. Hm.

    This is something I’m going to have to think about some more before I can comment further.

     
    • von186

      June 15, 2012 at 9:10 am

      For me, they are both heavily intertwined- for better or worse. It’s something I need to work on, too.

       
      • Aubs Tea

        June 15, 2012 at 9:12 am

        It’s interesting you mention the food aspect. I’ve been paying closer attention to what I do and do not eat lately. I’ve been drinking more water, to the exclusion of all else. (Almost. I’ve been drinking at least a cup of OJ in the morning to help fight my cold.) And with this new feeling that comes with drinking the water, I’ve begun feeling… better, I guess. I never thought of how all of that – eating bad stuff – could effect the gods in any way.

        Seriously. I have to think about this and ramble a post about it.

         
  2. Seshat Anqet Het Her

    June 15, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Awesome, treatise. Well said!

     
    • von186

      June 15, 2012 at 9:53 am

      Thank you 🙂

       
  3. merytaset

    June 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    I never thought about the little stuff myself. Definitely motivation to cut out the soda. And to find better stuff to offer other than cookies. I have a lot of work to do. Awesome post! This gives me a lot to think about.

     
    • von186

      June 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      The little stuff has seriously motivated me to make changes in my life as well. Not easy, but necessary (at least for me).

       
  4. Medewty Senu

    June 15, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Very well put. Some things to think about.

     
  5. Helmsman Of-Inepu

    June 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    There are some hobby groups and forums that irritated me for one reason or another. Mostly because the membership shifted to what seemed like clueless people, or because people were bickering pointlessly. I don’t need that so I quit checking and turn my attention elsewhere.

    I can see it working exactly like that. “These people are trivializing me, or equating me with gods from every other pantheon. What idjits, I’m going to take a nap.”

     
    • von186

      June 16, 2012 at 6:43 pm

      I agree. I have very similar ideas about that.

       
  6. Neferet

    June 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Very insightful and logical! I was hooked the moment I started reading! I feel as though I have been lazy when honoring my deities; I’ll have to fix that immediately. And stop offering them junk food in rituals. 🙂 Nefer sedjmek!

     
    • von186

      June 16, 2012 at 6:43 pm

      I’m glad that you enjoyed reading!

       
  7. Mikhael East (@WingedPhysique)

    June 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    This has left me with so much to think about I am actually lost for words. Good post.

     
    • von186

      June 16, 2012 at 4:14 pm

      Hearing that means a lot 🙂

       
  8. Katherine Bryant

    June 18, 2012 at 7:56 am

    I think that really needed to be said. So… thank you for saying it! 🙂

     
  9. Ekunyi

    June 18, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Mostly just echoing the above when I say that this was both extremely well-written, and has given me quite a bit to consider. My thanks for sharing it! Perhaps I’ll come back to this after I’ve mentally poked at it a bit.

     
    • von186

      June 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      I would love to hear any thoughts you’ve had once you’ve poked at it for a while 🙂

       
  10. Soli

    June 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Definitely good food for thought here, though I am torn between the “yes we need to act more within ma’at and REALLY do so” and thinking about how those individual actions are so tiny on some scales. I’d hate to think of people coming away from this paranoid and panicked that one little flubbed action can set the world on its side.

    Senebty,
    Zat

     
    • von186

      June 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      I can understand that concern. The point of this isn’t to become paranoid, but at the same time, to understand that we should be conscious of the actions that we take and the things that we do, because we never know how our actions can affect others. At least, from my view 🙂

       
      • Soli

        June 18, 2012 at 12:52 pm

        Exactly, and I definitely agree with you on that.

         

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