This week over at the Kemetic Round Table, we are discussing how we Kemetics got started on our paths, as well as providing any tips or stories that we find useful for those starting out.
I suppose my story is a bit convoluted. I wasn’t raised with any particular religion. My family is blandly Christian based, but we don’t really subscribe to anything, and my mother has always had the notion that there is more to the universe than Christianity prescribes. In high school, my house started to act up, and so I enlisted the help of a friend of mine to help me deal with the situation. It was through her that I began to look into Pagan based religions- starting with Wicca.
I poured through Cunningham’s books, though I didn’t really care so much about the Wiccan based practices- I cared more about the magix he wrote up, because I Was more interested in keeping my ass safe. At the time, all I could really find was Wiccan tinted information, so I used it as I could, learning a lot from the Sacred Mists online school. But initially, I was really more interested in elemental work and working with smaller, non-deity based spirits in whatever frame work I could devise.
But then the dreams started.
I began to dream about Anup and Osiris. Anup would always lead me to O in my dreams. I’d dream about finding statues and black dogs and such. I wasn’t sure what to do with these dreams initially- so I began to read into Anup and Osiris online. I originally thought I would have more interest in Osiris- but Anup’s mythology got ahold of me for some reason, and my focus remained on him.
That being said, I still didn’t work with him very closely. I was still more interested in my elemental works.
One day, I started with a really really really bad draw of luck. For whatever reason, I was led to believe it was Set who was screwing me over. It would take about 6 months of getting that situation solved (which, it turned out it was someone else screwing with me in Set-clothing) and by the time I had gotten through it, I was exhausted. I withdrew from most of my religious works. I didn’t cast circles. I didn’t perform magix. I didn’t do anything with the astral.
I was officially done.
It was about the time that I was “done” that I had that situation that I discussed in my Cycle posts. I had had the center of my chest ripped out of me, and I would withdraw into nothingness for a few years in order to heal. It was only due to my long stretch of unemployment, and a desire to kill time more constructively, that I began to consider looking into the religion thing more.
There is an icon I use regularly- an image of Set cackling, with a crook and flail in his hand. That was my re-introduction into my religious practice. I saw it one day while I was driving, and it wouldn’t leave me alone until I drew it out onto paper. Slowly, Set rotted my brain. He wanted my attention, and initially I wouldn’t give it to him. It was like an alarm clock going off in my mind, or tv static that gets ever louder and louder and louder until you can’t ignore it anymore.
Shortly before this, I had found out in passing that there was such a thing as Kemeticism. When Set came barging into my life, he wanted me to begin working on that. So over the course of a week, I joined a boatload of forums and created an LJ to document my path in (because I mistakenly thought there was an active Kemetic community there) and I slowly began to get information so that I could learn about this Kemetic thing.
As soon as I began to listen to him, the noise in my head stopped. It felt like the clouds had parted and I could find some peace within myself.
Shortly after this I would become employed again and find myself kicked down into the Pit to do shadow work for a few years. Osiris would make himself further known and I would begin my River adventures, community projects and all of this other stuff that I do on a regular basis.
But it all started because some creepy shadow plagued my house. And it was taken to another level because Set nagged me for a month to get off of my butt and pay attention to him. And from start to finish, it took me about 4 years to “get serious” and learn about Kemeticism (as opposed to learning about Wicca and Wiccish based stuff) and it took me another two years from Set showing up to really get down and serious with my workings and writing.
So my first tip for anyone who is starting out is to realize that this stuff takes time. And it should take time. Anything worth having is worth doing right. Anything done right takes time to be done. Don’t get upset with yourself if you’re not making progress over night. There is nothing wrong with that.
My second tip would be to let you know that your approach to this whole religion thing will change dramatically as you grow. If you were to go back to my old LJ, you’d find very different posts there. You’d find that I was very fluffy, very lost. There is nothing wrong with this- its part of the process. Don’t feel like you have to lock yourself into a certain frame of mind or certain practice style- because odds are, it will change over the years. If you are growing, so should your religious practice.
And lastly, try to have some fun with it. I know that religion is important, but it shouldn’t be a chore or foreboding and omg serious all of the time. It should help to fulfill you and round out your life. There are a lot of people out there who think that religion needs to be dark ad serious- but we need some lighter aspects in our lives, too. Don’t be afraid to have fun with your religious practice- regardless of what anyone says!
To see the full list of posts for this topic, click here.