RSS

KRT: Aspects of the Daily Practice

08 Jan

For this round of the Kemetic Round Table we are discussing some of the basics in creating a daily practice. Daily practice is always tricky because you’ve got to figure out how much is enough, and many times people plan for things that end up being too much – which often leads to being overwhelmed and then burning out with the whole religion thing. Daily practice can be done by yourself, with a small group of people, or within a temple/coven structure and can involve many things.

So to start off- what does a daily practice entail?

Initially, when I first began to learn about Kemeticism, I thought that the daily practice revolved around a ritual. It seemed like everyone was always talking about rites and shrines and spending time in front of those shrines. And every temple or Kemetic group that you see has their own daily rites, too. For a member of Kemetic Orthodoxy, daily practice would include Senut, and for the Temple of Ra, there is also a daily rite that the members all participate in in their individual homes (a version of it can be found in Eternal Egypt). But, for Kemetics who are not members of these temples, the answer to “what does a daily practice entail” becomes more difficult.

I think the ideas behind daily practice and daily rites get convoluted when you consider that many temple members don’t perform rites daily (for a variety of reasons). And I sometimes feel like the emphasis on daily ritual misses the point of Kemeticism- which is living in ma’at. In antiquity, is was the priesthood who performed daily rites, not laypeople. And in modern contexts, there is very little written on what a layperson’s daily practice should look like.

So needless to say- the answer to this question is going to be different for each person.

Like most things with religious practices- I would urge anyone who is looking into making a daily practice to examine their own needs. For someone who is working two jobs and has kids, a daily rite that is complex and long may not be a possibility. Truth be told, a daily rite might not be possible at all. And that’s okay. When I first started off, I did a daily shrine session every evening. It involved sitting down and crying in front of my icons about how I needed a job. By the time I got a job, my practice morphed into weekly rites that were longer and involved food. When I moved to my parents house, I tried to do daily rites every morning and quickly found that that was a no go. I would end up shelfing my daily practice almost entirely for nearly two years. I’d spend another year doing daily practice before my astral work came up- and now I don’t do daily rites at all.

But even though my ritual practice shifted with each new phase of my life- I still considered myself Kemetic because I was living the religion. Being Kemetic is not synonymous with “doing rites all the time”. You can leave offerings for the gods out, and still be a crappy Kemetic- the same way that a Christian can go to church every Sunday and still not live by the tenets of Christianity.

For myself personally, daily practice is about living the religion- in whatever format that that takes for you. For me, this involves reading a lot. It involves keeping this blog up to date. It involves being active in the community and answering questions and helping facilitate discussion and idea exchanges. My practice involves trying to embody the concept of ma’at and doing the work the gods lay in front of me.

And that work doesn’t involve a single libation or offering plate.

Sure, I still have my shrine box- but I only perform rites in front of it sporadically. Instead, I open the box every time I’m sitting at my desk. I keep my blog idea book inside of it because for me- writing and online work is synonymous with a daily practice. The Internet and online community is where I hold my rites and rituals. It’s where my practice can flourish and grow because its about building the community up.

So short story long- when you’re coming up with a daily practice, figure out what it means for you. Figure out where you want your practice to go, and what you want from your religion. In addition, keep in mind your limits and where the gods want you to go into the future. And above all, don’t be afraid to shift and change your practice as your life and needs change. Religion shouldn’t be static because we are not static. Don’t be afraid to try a bunch of things until you find something that works for you.

But what if I want a daily rite? How do I go about doing that?

You can either pull a pre-existing daily rite (1 2 3 4) or you could create your own. When creating your own rites, be considerate of limitations of space and time. Most Kemetic rituals tend to include the following:

  • Lighting of candles or incense or both.
  • Pouring of libations.
  • Words of praise to the deity.
  • Offering of foodstuffs, drinks, and/or items.
  • Personal speaking time with the gods.
  • Removing of the foot.
  • Reversion of offerings.

In many situations, these rites only take about 5 to ten minutes to perform (provided you are not doing one of the more ornate state rituals) and can take minimal supplies to do daily. So if you wish to create your own rites, I would consider using these bullets as a guideline.

For example:

  • You could start by entering your shrine space and lighting a candle, or turning on the light. Say hello to the gods.
  • Pour four libations for the deity you worship. With each pouring, state “may you be refreshed”, or “may this cool water refresh you”.
  • Ask that your deity come forth to spend time with you. “Oh He Who is Great of Strength, I ask that you come sit with me to enjoy these offerings I have prepared” and then leave the offerings on the table.
  • While the deity is a captive audience and is enjoying said offerings, you could let them know what you’re up to, or what you’re doing.
  • Once you are done, thank them for showing up and spending time with you. Wish them a good day.
  • Collect up the food offerings and walk backwards away from the shrine while still facing the shrine (called removing the foot).
  • Then go and enjoy your offerings.

You don’t even have to be that complicated, though. You could just as easily say hello to your deity in the morning while pouring them a cup of coffee and pouring said coffee out in the evening. There are lots of ways to go about things, and don’t be afraid to try stuff until it works for you. Sometimes, simple is better- so don’t forget that. In many situations, I recommend that the devotee start with something small, and then slowly work their way up- making the rites and practices more complicated until you hit something that works best.

The daily practice can be difficult to pin down. It’s not easy to figure out what exactly you need from your practice, or what the gods want and need from you. But with a little experimentation, you can find the right mixture that allows your practice to flourish.

To read other posts on this topic, please check out the KRT Master Post.

Advertisements
 
14 Comments

Posted by on January 8, 2014 in Kemetic Round Table, Kemeticism, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

14 responses to “KRT: Aspects of the Daily Practice

  1. Cat lover

    January 8, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Hi. Do you have to have a separate rite for each deity? How do you address a handful of them without being disrespectful?

    Thanks!

     
    • von186

      January 8, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      I don’t hold separate rites for each of my deities. So if your gods will allow you do- I generally said each set of lines for each deity.
      So for example- I’d ask Set to awake in peace, and then I’d ask Osiris to awake in peace.
      I’d pour a libation for Set and ask that he be refresed. Then I’d pour a libation for Osiris and ask that he be refreshed.
      One by one until I worked through the ritual. If I approached Set first on Monday, then I’d approach Osiris first on Tuesday.
      If the gods are being grumpy about being lumped together, I can only see two options- rotating who you give a rite to on any given day (So monday, wednesday, friday to deity X and tuesday, thursday, saturday to deity Y) or doing multiple rites in one day.
      Which of these methods will work will depend on the god you work with. Originally Set was not down wit me lumping him in with his brother, and I used to have to perform two rites per day, but eventually he seemed to get over it, and now I could get away with one :>
      Hope that helps a bit!

       
      • Sharon

        January 8, 2014 at 2:51 pm

        That sounds sensible. I’ve contacted you before (I’m the woman w/o a god phone who has no clue!) I’ve heard Bast is possessive, and I promised her that after the hectic Xmas season I would make a shrine just to her. Currently I have images of the spiral goddess and some Greeks along with her. I’ve got to work on that! Thanks!

         
  2. MeresAset

    January 8, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Excellent post. I agree that starting with a simple ritual is the easiest way to get started – and one you’re most likely to stick with on a regular basis. I got to ask. Is that a hotdog as one of the offerings?

     
  3. Sarenth

    January 8, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Reblogged this on Sarenth Odinsson's Blog and commented:
    I love this KRTs. Good posts on etiquette and ritual practice.

     
  4. Myriad

    January 9, 2014 at 4:10 am

    Intersting post. I’m not a Kemetic (as you know), but it’s interesting to see that there are similarities between what you suggest as daily rite, and what I do. For instance, I didn’t know that “removing the foot” is a thing, but I do it all the time…

    anyhow, I enjoyed reading this! thank you πŸ™‚

     
    • von186

      January 9, 2014 at 7:47 am

      It’s interesting because Shinto has a similar concept as well πŸ˜› Funny how things can overlap like that.

       
  5. TurningTides

    January 9, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    I feel there are so many pointers you give I can adapt to my own practice, though I am not a Kemetic myself. Also, for about a month I did as my first act upon waking to go and bow (seven, according to the tradition I am currently following) times to the deities in front of their shrine. Depending on the day, it may look kinda half-assed (crappy polytheist here…), but usually by the seventh bow I am able to tone down the busy thoughts long enough to give a sincere greeting to the deities.

    My daily devotions have changed yet again, but it’s good to read other pagans on a similar path (if not Paths).

     
    • von186

      January 10, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      The series of bows reminds me of a technique for calming the mind that involves taking ten deliberate, deep breaths. The whole point is to not think about things while taking these breaths- and when you get good at it, it can help you to center and calm quickly :>
      No worries about being half-assed some days. Back when I did daily rites, omg. There were days when I probably wasn’t even quarter-assing it πŸ˜›
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

       

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: