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Kemetic Starter Guide

New! Read it in German!

One of the most common questions I get asked is “How do I start” or “Where do I begin”.  It seems a lot of people like the idea of Kemeticism, but they don’t really know what to do beyond that point. Here area  few pointers and ideas to get you started on the journey. This isn’t meant to be a definitive guide, it’s meant to help you along the way. As always, if you ever have any questions, feel free to ask!

Getting Started:

There are a few things I recommend for getting started in Kemeticism. In short, they are:

  • Interact with the gods
  • Interact with other Kemetics
  • Read, research and learn

I will break these down one by one as to how to approach them and why they are important for a well rounded Kemetic practice.

Interacting with the Gods

I think that this is one of the best ways to get started on the Kemetic path. While many people come to Kemeticim with a god or gods in mind, I don’t think it’s necessarily important that you have specific deities when you start. I feel that connections with gods is a lot of ‘you reap what you sow’. If you want to get to know the gods better, reach out to them. Sit with them, give them offerings, light a candle in their honor, do an activity in their name. Something. Anything. And it doesn’t have to be a specific god. Trying to establish a connection is what matters. Your altar or shrine space doesn’t even have to be all that fancy or complicated. When I started out, my shrine space (pictured right) was very simple. I was in the process of moving and being unemployed, so I took a few boxes, covered them with a pillow case, and placed all of my god statues on said boxes. It doesn’t have to be fancy. The act of doing is what counts.

When first starting off, I almost always recommend that the person find a calm and quiet place. It can be inside, outside, night or day. Doesn’t matter. Anywhere where you can be with yourself for a while. Once you have your location, sit down and ‘announce’ yourself to the gods. Let them know you’re interested in them. Tell them about yourself, what has brought you here, what you’d like to do upon establishing a relationship… etc. Talk to them. If you have the ability, give a few offerings, light some incense, etc. And then, do it again- on a different day. And again and again…

By reaching out, you will often find that the ‘fingerprints’ of the gods become more noticeable. You’ll be able to note when they are in your life and you’ll be able to establish more secure connections with them. For myself personally, I also feel that sitting with the gods daily calms me and grounds me. It makes me feel more complete. I think that daily (or close to daily) ritual is important on many levels- and that beginning Kemetics should start here to make sure that this is the path for them.

Interact with other Kemetics

So you’ve got your connection going. You’re working with the gods, working to establish a connection, and doing your best to bring them into your life. What now?

The next thing I recommend to new Kemetics is to get involved in the Kemetic community. Reach out and interact with others who are on the same path as you. Join a forum. A local group (if one exists). Even a Facebook group would work. Meeting other Kemetics is a great source for information (both scholastic and UPG) and allows for comparing notes and sharing of ideas. There will always be ups and downs to certain groups. Certain mixes of people may work better than others for you- but you’ll never know unless you join. Because of this,  I recommend that you try more than just group or forum. The Kemetic world is quite small, but there are different people on different forums and it allows for different topics, angles and ideas to be brought up. If you only stick to one corner of the Kemetic community, you can miss out on a lot!

I have found interfaith work to be extremely fulfilling and enlightening. I have met many interesting people who have opened my mind to new ideas and concepts that I never would have found had I not ‘gotten out there’ and met as many Kemetics as I could find. If you need some resources for places to meet Kemetics, you can go here and look at the forums I have listed.

Read, research and learn

Knowledge is important within this religious practice. Unfortunately, the civilization of ancient Egypt (and its religious practices) is no longer around. We can’t go ask someone how they practice- because there is no one to ask. In order to make up for this, research is key. While it’s possible to practice the Kemetic religion and NOT be a book hound or Egyptologist, it is very helpful to at least have a firm grasp on the basics of ancient Egyptian culture and history. It makes it easier to understand other Kemetics’ viewpoints and ideas, helps to support your own ideas and UPG that you may experience, and will help to find new ways of understanding the gods of Kemeticism.

I usually recommend Temple of the Cosmos by Jeremy Naydler to beginners. It has a great overview on the Egyptian mindset and it explains the basics of the religion quite well. Although the book wasn’t written with modern Kemetic practitioners in mind, it really does serve as a good primer or 101 book.

For the basics of culture, I recommend Red Land, Black Land by Barbara Mertz. The writing style is easy to read and the material is very interesting, yet easy to understand. She also does present quite a few tidbits and information that you don’t get a lot of other places.

And if you’re looking for a book that has rituals that you can use to bolster your practice, I recommend Eternal Egypt by Richard Reidy. This book is a great resource for those who want rituals that are firmly placed in Egyptian history (as opposed to purely modern creations). The rituals are well written and well explained. All information is sourced and cited. It’s a great resource to have, and it’s the book that I probably reference the most in my collection. Keep in mind when reading this book that it was originally two books. For those who are just starting, it might be best to skip to Part 2 (on page 187) and read that first. Then go back to the beginning of the book, where the more complicated rituals are located.

An author who is great to read overall would be Richard Wilkinson. All of his books that I have read or skimmed through are full of useful information. I currently only own one of his books- but I reference it all the time. The three best books I would recommend by him would be The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, Reading Egyptian Art and Symbol & Magic in Egyptian Art.

Once you’ve gotten through all of these books, you can take a look at the book list that I have on my Kemeticism Info Page.

If you are low on cash, or you’re not sure where to get these books, here are a few options:

I’ve managed to get a lot of good resources off of the two web pages listed. Libraries and Inter-library loans can be hit and miss- depending on where you live, but it’s a good option to try. I’ve known a lot of people who have gotten great books this way.

I’ve gotten this far- so now what? 

Once you’ve got the basics down, the next step would be to keep going 🙂 Finding new ways to relate to your gods or to bring them into your life is an uplifting and enriching experience. Kemeticism is about living and living your life in a certain way. Exploring this side of Kemeticism is important, and I think it’s a good thing to do once you’ve gotten into a rhythm. Bringing Kemeticism into your day to day life helps to keep Ma’at and the gods close to your heart and at the forefront of your mind.

I would also advise not to rush things. Many people come to Kemeticism with being a priest or priestess in mind- but these things take a lot of time. Being patient is part of the process. Building a steady and well balanced religious practice/lifestyle takes time and it can take time to get into the swing of things. You might find that the gods you started out with aren’t the ones you end up with. Ritual actions and schedules can change as can priorities and needs (of both you and the gods). As you and your practice grow, always keep in mind that life is always shifting, always changing- and it’s okay if your practice does as well. If your ‘god radio’ suddenly stops working, or you suddenly can’t do a daily ritual for a couple of days- it’s okay. Life happens and gods understand. Work at a pace that is good for you and do your best to keep at it.

Like this guide? Want to see something else added to it? Have suggestions, feedback, ideas? Please contact me and share your thoughts!

New! Read it in German!

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70 responses to “Kemetic Starter Guide

  1. Nadia Trousdale

    November 8, 2011 at 10:36 am

    VERY nice – love the part about the fingerprints of the Gods, great way of putting it. 🙂

     
  2. Helmsman Of-Inepu

    November 8, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    You can buy a download version of Eternal Egypt for about five bucks.

    It consists of two books. The first starts out with a huge sunrise ritual to Ra, and goes on from there.

    He was writing a second book when he got the rights back for the first.

    If you’re starting out, start reading the second book, which starts on page 187. Then go back to the beginning. The second book gives the whys and wherefores, and gives some simple daily rites to start. A lot of people start on page 1 and see that huge complicated ritual and get overwhelmed.

     
    • von186

      November 13, 2011 at 9:27 am

      Added 🙂

       
  3. Joan

    November 13, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Any of Wilkinson’s books are essential. “Reading Egyptian Art” is excellent. Also, his “Complete Gods and Goddesses”. He’s done another on the art symbolism, can’t recall the title off hand. Robert Ritner’s “Practical Egyptian Magic” is good. If you can’t afford the hard copy, the Oriental Institute has a free pdf of his thesis. Bob Brier’s book on magic is good.

     
    • von186

      November 13, 2011 at 9:18 am

      I second the Wilkinson books. I have his “Reading Egyptian Art” and it’s awesome. I will be sure to add his books (and Helms’ additions about Reidy’s book) to my guide. I didn’t add Ritner because I felt his stuff was beyond beginners level. I’d almost say that Pinch’s book is better for the beginner. I wasn’t sure if a book on magic was really necessary for the absolute beginner. Thoughts on that?

       
  4. Helmsman Of-Inepu

    December 20, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I can see the magic thing go both ways. Reading the Pinch magic book might help someone recognize the original style of things, and differentiate them from more modern practices. It they aren’t, it’s a lot of material they might not be interested in.

    Maybe a “If you’re interested in doing magic, this will give you an introduction to what it looked like:” ???

     
  5. Setken

    December 28, 2011 at 2:28 am

    A cool guide!

     
  6. picklewalsh

    July 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Awesome post that will be a big help to allot of people

     
    • von186

      July 26, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      Thanks 🙂 I do hope that it helps folks.

       
  7. Siobhan

    July 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I was wondering if you could tell me what the deal is with Horus. During my research I’ve read that he’s one person and then in another place that he’s 2 people. Which one is right?

     
    • von186

      July 28, 2012 at 4:14 pm

      The two most common forms of Horus we know of are “Horus the Elder” (Heru-wer) and “Horus the Younger” (Heru-sa-Aset). However, there are technically many many more Horuses out there… more than I can even keep track of! lol

       
      • Siobhan

        July 28, 2012 at 6:27 pm

        Wow! So there are two Horus’s. Well I’m confused now. lol I saw big hawk in my driveway, staring at me and the first thing going through my head was “Its Horus!” Now I have to figure out which one. Thanks for the help!

         
      • von186

        July 29, 2012 at 6:56 pm

        Glad I could help 🙂

         
  8. Siobhan

    August 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Ok, Horus the elder is driving me nuts. I know he’s trying to tell me something but I can’t figure out what! So Far I’ve seen him 2 or 3 times and each time he looks directly at me! He’s in his hawk form and is often near my house so far he’s been in the driveway and in my backyard! What is going on and what should I do?

     
    • von186

      August 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      If you feel that Horus is trying to talk to you, I’d recommend that you perhaps give him some offerings. You could create a small shrine for him, if you’d like, but it’s not entirely necessary. Sit down with your offerings an ask him to give you messages or to let you know what it is that he wants from you. That you’re open to working with him, etc. And see how it goes from there 🙂

       
  9. Siobhan

    August 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I’ll do that right away, once I print the pictures out! I took a bunch each time he came around. Thanks for the help!

     
  10. Intricate Knot

    September 30, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Very, very interesting! I really appreciate your philosophy and how you encourage people to be patient. A most excellent post. 🙂

     
    • von186

      October 1, 2012 at 7:32 am

      Thank you! 🙂

       
  11. Boggess29@yahoo.com

    February 10, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    I am getting into more of a Kemetic Lifestyle, do you have any suggestions for Gowns and clothing to wear….also how and at what point can you or do you get a Kemetic type name, what is that process?

     
    • von186

      February 10, 2013 at 5:33 pm

      I can’t say much for locations of clothing to wear. Most people wear things that are made of natural fibers- cotton and linen being the most popular. Usually people opt for white as the color.

      Naming is very difficult. There are some places on the internet that list various Egyptian words that you could string together to make a name, but I can’t vouch for how accurate any of them are. KO does namings for those who choose to become Shemsu. But I wouldn’t recommend going through the process only to obtain a name :3 Perhaps if you’re lucky, a deity will give you one.

       
      • Faith Phoenix

        December 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm

        Thank you for confirming that a Neter can give someone a name! I’ve been wondering about that since Sekhmet gave me a name back in 1978. 🙂

         
  12. Boggess29@yahoo.com

    February 10, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Thanks for replying and I was wondering how to go about the process of naming…ive always for some reason for about 2 years been so drawn to the SEHKMET, and im drawn to read about the Bast and Sehkmet for some reason….its strange, but, I also would like to know what is a good book to read on the facets of Kemetic Life

     
    • von186

      February 11, 2013 at 7:01 am

      Are you looking for modern or past references for Kemetic life? For current stuff, I recommend reading blogs and whatnot- as there aren’t a lot of books out there for modern practitioners. If you hover on “Kemeticism” at the top of my page, you’ll see “Kemetic Round Table”- the project has a lot of great bloggers on it you could check out :3

       
  13. Boggess29@yahoo.com

    February 11, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Thanks and I will check out the round table….and I think there are a few books by Auser, i think is the name, that I should read as well….is that correct. To stay in tuned to my body I would also like to start Yoga and Meditation…and look into a daily prayer any suggestions

     
    • von186

      February 11, 2013 at 8:42 am

      I can’t say that I’ve heard the name “Auser” before. If you find that yoga or meditation helps, feel free to go for it 🙂 it’s not necessary, though. As for daily prayer, there are many ways to do that. I would follow the steps listed above in the beginners guide for idea for starting out with prayer and all that. Sometimes just knocking on their door and saying “I’m here” can get the ball rolling.

       
  14. thefisherfool

    May 24, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    I am quite honestly so grateful for this reasonable, precise and functional guide to non-denominative, basic Kemetic paganism that tears welled up in my eyes when I found it at work this afternoon. I understand the best way to truly learn any tradition is effort and long-term practice/dedication, but at the same time I am not always “up” to endlessly cruising the internet and wading through the mindmess available there, particularly when I was guided to spend time with a given goddess over 3 months ago now. Thank you!

     
    • von186

      May 24, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      I’m very happy to hear that it was helpful to you!

       
  15. Eric

    May 31, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Was introduced to Kemeticism by a friend. The things he spoke about seemed to have always been a part of me or encrypted in my DNA. Though I donot fully understand the concept of Kemeticism or believe in “religion”(since religion is manmade), I do believe in Spirituality and that God comes from within oneself and that only by searching there…we may find ourselves and and realize who we are. PS. Who are the only people in America that have no knowledge of how to speak their original language?

     
  16. Acid'iabolus

    July 6, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Verry intresting,as beguiner-this is accactly what I needed…you even have amaizing book reference.Thanks-see you on facebook.

     
  17. O Inpu

    August 28, 2014 at 6:03 am

    I am following Anubis since I was a child, around 15 years ago. I can feel him and now treat him as my dad. I would like to have a closer relation with him, i love him so much, what should I do?

     
    • von186

      August 31, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      I’d probably read through this post, and then read through the ‘saying hello to ntrw’ which is linked above. And then reach out ot him and see what happens. If you need to find more information on him, per-sabu.org is probably the best website you can find out there :> But yeah. I normally just start out with an offering and say hello and go from there when I want to build a new relationship with a deity/entity

       
  18. Roseline

    November 28, 2014 at 6:08 am

    Can you please tell me in detail about the ancient mother, Hathor or if you can recommend any book where i can find in detail about Her will be appreciated. I can feel a very strong connection with Her yet I am not very familiar with Egyptian deities. I found out about Her just before two months most probably and from the first time itself, I prayed to Her, I can feel Her everywhere, every moment in my life.I will be grateful if you can help me.

     
  19. Em

    July 23, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Hi, this guide is very enlightening and after practicing for a while I’ve finally found a path that works for me – It’s slightly unconventional and very unorthodox but it’s the path of Serqet. She who tightens the throat and she who allows the throat to breath. Healing and Poison, Magic and physical essence, Ma’at and Chaos. She embodies all of those. Neither conforming to one nor the other. She’s a goddess of balance, when you think about it. She is grounded and only gives her venom to those who deserve it and heals it if they deserve another chance. Even if you don’t follow the path of Serqet I just wanted you to know that your guide truly helped me and I would also like a bit of help finding out where to start when following a specific path.

     
  20. Raven Von Krieger

    July 27, 2015 at 12:10 am

    I’m trying to start with Ma’at and apply her in my life.

     
  21. Geeky Rattie

    July 29, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    I know this is such an old post, but I really wanted to thank you becuase everything you’ve written has helped me so much. I was extremely confused about offerings and interacting with the gods but it makes so much more sense now- thank you so much!

     
    • von186

      July 30, 2015 at 8:15 pm

      I’m glad that it was helpful for you! :>

       
  22. Grace

    August 31, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    im very new to Kemetism and want to set up a shrine before trying to talk to the Gods, but i have very little space in my room and I’m the only one in my house who is/will practice a religion any time soon. What do u think I should do about the Shrine and how can I balance my family time with my time with the Gods after I set up the shrine?

     
    • von186

      October 7, 2015 at 6:33 pm

      You’d probably have to find more discreet ways of making a shrine. If you look through the FAQ page, you’ll find other links for ways to make shrines, ways to practice without shrines, as well as ways to manage multiple relationships within your practice (including family vs. gods).

       
  23. anonynous

    October 22, 2015 at 1:00 am

    I’m new to this and I’m bit confused whether this could be a “fingerprint/omen” or just a coincidence. Yesterday I reached out to anubis for the first time I did t noticed anything that day but today I found that I will be doing anatomy in science and with that dissecting a chicken. Then near the end of the day I all of a sudden was studying cardiology with my aunt. If you could tell me whether you think this is a freak coincidence or not please tell me.
    Thank you for your time

     
    • von186

      October 24, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      I’m honestly not entirely sure what dissecting a chicken or cardiology necessarily has to do with ANup. But if you’re not sure, you can always leave an offering out for him, and see if you get a response. I honestly would wait for a much stronger or clearer omen, if you’re wanting to see one before you move forward. But it’s really a matter of what you’re comfortable with.

       
      • anonynous

        October 24, 2015 at 6:36 pm

        I left an him an offering out for him and I have gotton a response. cardiology is the study of the heart and he was a master of anatomy and he was basically telling me he’s there and he’s watching. As I shed for clarification if he was. thanks for the help I appreciate it.

         
  24. Michelle

    January 13, 2016 at 4:21 am

    I’m in st.catharines canada. Is there a kemetic community here. Really need to know where to get started.. how to pray where can I get kemetic Gods. I started doing some research and I am confident this is the path I must take. I would really like to know more

     
    • von186

      January 28, 2016 at 9:40 am

      I wouldn’t know if there is a local community for certain, but I’d be pretty sure in saying that the answer is “not likely”. Most of us have to find our communities online for the time being 😦

       
  25. Thomas

    April 19, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    Hi I just wanted to start off by saying that I do not believe in Kemetism but I am Eastern Ukrainian Catholic and I wanted to ask you what you thought about religion. First, what do you believe is the basis of your religion/belief? Secondly, what do you think about the basis of all the religions/beliefs of the world. I apologize if I am vague but I have many other people to ask about their thoughts on religion. I admit I am not questioning religion or beliefs but yet I am wondering about its beauty. If you could email me your answer that would be great. Thanks.

     
    • DevoTTR

      April 25, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      The basis of Kemeticism is that of “ma’at”. Ma’at is a deity and a concept, and is the lynchpin of the religion and was a lynchpin in ancient Egyptian society as well. It’s often translated as justice, truth, or order, but a lot of modern Kemetics translate it as balance. As in, whatever keeps you in balance and keeps you healthy. Ma’at is subjective and can mean different things to different people, so it’s really hard to put a firm definition down on it.

      I am not sure what I think the basis of all religions in the world would be. There are so many religions, that I think it would be fool hardy to assume they all believe the same things. I will say, however, that many religions seem to have similar foundations. Honoring of a deity or several deities, usually honoring of family or community, and treating people how you want to be treated. Kemeticism has all three of these, as does Shinto (another religious practice that I have worked with). So that would probably be where I start, but like I said, I get nervous putting all of the religions into one basket.

       
  26. mr.schoolperson

    May 4, 2016 at 4:41 am

    Hello, im making a school project about kemetism, but im slightly confused by all this. it seems very complicated. can anyone please tell me if i have this correct: so you have one god that shows in many different forms, you make an offer table and offer/pray to those forms. there are 5 basic principes about kemetism. please correct me if im wrong 🙂

    I also hae a few questions, i hope someone can awnser them:
    how many followers does kemetism have?
    Is magic also real?
    I read alot on the internet about medititation and that it is a very important part of this. do you get visions when you meditate?
    What will happen when you die?
    How do you look at the spreading of religion? do you feel need to convince others to kemetism?

    Thank you in advance for your help 🙂

     
    • DevoTTR

      May 4, 2016 at 6:32 pm

      Technically Kemeticism is a polytheistic religion more so than anything else. It’s true that some aspects of our religion can be henotheistic (where one god manifests as different gods, as in Hindu), but most Kemetics tend to be polytheistic in nature, with our gods being “soft” or “squishy”, which is to say that they can merge down, but they are still separate at the end of the day (ever watch Steven Universe? It’s like gem fusion). The basis of Kemeticism is ma’at, or living in and promoting ma’at. Ma’at is sometimes defined as justice, truth, or Order, but many of us define it as “balance” or “don’t be a dick”. So basically, we attempt to live balanced lives where we’re not jerks to people, and also help to promote that balance in the world around us, or help to limit the amount of dickishness in the world around us. You can learn more about ma’at by looking at the FAQ page, if you wanted.

      Most Kemetics do have a shrine for the gods, and give offerings. Generally speaking, this is considered part of living in ma’at. So in many ways, this is also a staple in the religion. However, living in ma’at is definitely the biggest “thing” or principle in Kemeticism.

      As for your questions:
      how many followers does kemetism have?
      No clue, but probably less than 5k worldwide.

      Is magic also real?
      That depends on who you ask. Kemetics practice heka, which is is kind of like magic and is translated as “authoritative speech” or “activating the ka”. Which basically means that we use words, speech, and body language/movements to activate the energy around us to create change in the world. I think that heka is definitely real on some level, as words do definitely impact our perception of the world around us. However, I often struggle with believing that absolutely everything is real. Most of us have that issue, honestly. I think it’s a hazard of living in the scientific age, so many of us worry we’re making things up when it comes to magic or hearing gods, etc. (full disclosure 🙂 ).

      I read a lot on the internet about medititation and that it is a very important part of this. do you get visions when you meditate?
      Meditation isn’t a huge part of Kemeticism, but it plays a large role in Paganism as a whole. Some Kemetics meditate, but many don’t. Visions can be obtained through meditation, or other means (if you check out the “Devo Magix” page at the top, you’ll see a link on that page for “vision questing” where I Talk more about this), though they’re not guaranteed. A lot of people meditate and don’t really see much of anything at all. It depends on your skill set and propensity to “see” stuff in general. I do get visions, but that’s because I focus on astral travel and spirit work. Others who don’t perform these roles may or may not receive visions.

      What will happen when you die?
      This depends on who you ask. There is a KRT discussion on this topic that you can flip through if you’d like to get a variety of answers: http://www.roundtable.kemeticrecon.com/the-afterlife/
      Some Kemetics believe you go to the Duat (Egyptian underworld) when you die, others believe it’s reincarnation, others believe something else entirely. The Egyptians themselves had shifting ideas of what happened after you died, and it seems that modern Kemetics are kind of the same way. There isn’t a universal agreed idea on the afterlife.

      How do you look at the spreading of religion? do you feel need to convince others to kemetism?
      I like to make information about Kemeticism available for others who are interested, but I think that most of us aren’t interested in proselytizing or pushing Kemeticism onto others. Most Pagan religions seem to prefer that adherents come to them through their own exploration and desire than to try and convince others to join. I’ve found that people who want to be here will go further than those who feel pressured to be here anyways.

      Let me know if you need me to explain any of these further. The FAQ page has a lot of links to a lot of topics which may be helpful for whatever you’re needing for your project 🙂

       
  27. Crystal

    June 3, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I am interested in Kemeticism. I have been raised Christian my entire life but have been on a spiritual journey that started about 2 years ago and has led me here. I see that you are very helpful when answering questions and giving advice. I just want to know if you can give me some insight on where would be best for me to research, from what little I have gathered I’m so drawn to this path as opposed to anything else.

     
    • DevoTTR

      June 19, 2017 at 7:14 am

      I’d honestly tell you to start over with the FAQ. There should be a link to it in the navigation on the right, or under the “Kemeticism” tab at the top.

       
  28. Alyssa

    October 28, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    I know that this is a very old post but I have wondering if the Book of the Dead would be a good source for learning even more about kemetism.

     
    • DevoTTR

      December 6, 2017 at 9:28 am

      In my opinion? Not really. It can be helpful for understanding more about how the Egyptians viewed their funerary practices, and their ideas on the afterlife and perhaps how the gods themselves interacted, but unless you’re trained and well-equipped to read the material in the BotD, a lot of the material tends to just ‘woosh’ right past you. I know it certainly did for me when I read it initially (because I thought it’d be a good place to start learning, too.) I have come to believe that funerary texts aren’t mandatory, but can be helpful for more seasoned practitioners who are trying to get more information and details about funerary practices, and who want to try and piece together more information about the mythology of the gods. But if you’re just getting your feet wet? I’d recommend something that is a bit more practical and aimed at practitioners.

       
  29. Quiet Oak

    December 9, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    This spoke to me, as I am searching..trying to stay true to myself and God, The Divine. Raised Baptist Christian tradition, you can imagine this is quite a balancing process for me.

     
  30. Matthew Mayor

    April 21, 2018 at 3:40 am

    Hello. I came across Kemeticism about a month ago, and I think that this could be the path for me. I have been interested in ancient religions in general and Ancient Egyptian religion in particular for most of my life, but only recently did I discover that there were people in the modern world who had revived these ancient traditions. At the time I discovered Kemeticism, I already had four statues of Egyptian gods in my house – I originally bought them just for decoration and only now have I found out that they can have a religious function too – so after reading your starter guide I began trying to establish a connection with the gods, using my pre-existing statues as the bases of my shrine. I think I have now got quite a good connection with the gods, in particular with Osiris, or Wesir as I have learnt many Kemetics prefer to call him.

    Since starting out with Kemeticism, I have done quite a lot of research about Ancient Egyptian religion and culture, as your starter guide suggested, and have found out lots of interesting things to incorporate into my practice. I already knew quite a bit about Ancient Egypt and its religion, but I think that my discovery of Kemeticism has given me a new perspective on it, which I think is a good thing.  However, in my research I have come across a few points which I think need some clarification as to what they mean for the modern Kemetic practitioner. Such points were of little concern to me back when my research was purely academic, but now that I have started on the path of Kemeticism I feel as though I need to understand them more clearly and with relation to the modern world, seen as they are now affecting my religious practice, rather than just being points of academic interest.

    In your starter guide, you suggested interacting with other Kemetics to share ideas, so I have decided to come to you to ask about these points, which, as a Kemetic practioner who seems quite well-established in the Kemetic community, with your starter guide being the third-to-top search result for Kemeticism on Google, I thought you might have encountered in the past yourself.  Perhaps you know of some scholarly work which explains them, or you have some UPG about them, or anything else that might help me understand them and thereby better understand the nature of some aspects of the Kemetic religion which I chose to follow. I apologise for the length of this comment; I never have been particularly good at choosing the most important pieces of information and leaving out the rest, I seem to go by a ‘the more the better’ sort of attitude, but I know many people do get irritated by unnecessarily long posts. Anyway, here are the points that I came here to clarify:

    1. The Ancient Egyptian civilisation lasted for over 3000 years, and, as one would expect, many aspects of the culture shifted and changed during that time. Therefore, what the Egyptians believed about any particular god in, for example, the Old Kingdom, might be quite different from what they believed about the same god in the New Kingdom or the Late Period. I wanted to know how a Kemetic practitioner goes about deciding which of these conflicting views to accept and incorporate into their practice. Do you have a ‘the earlier the better’ or a ‘the later the better’ rule? Or any other way of choosing which to incorporate?

    2. Throughout most of its history, Ancient Egypt consisted of 42 territorial divisions called nomes, within which were many different towns and cities. Just as with any large country, the different areas all had aspects of culture in which they differed from the rest of the country, and this too poses questions about the Ancient Egyptian religion. The theology of the people of Memphis, for example, might be quite different from the theology of the people of Thebes, which in turn would be different from the theology of Heliopolis, Hermopolis, Elephantine, et cetera. This question is sort of similar to the first: how do Kemetic practioners decide which theology to believe in, when there was so much variation?

    3. My third question is about the issue of syncretism: when a god starts to absorb attributes that were previously reserved solely for another, does that mean that the two gods are one-and-the-same, or different aspects of one being, or something like that? For example, when Isis (or Aset) is depicted with a sun disk between cow horns, a headdress originally reserved for Hathor (or Hethert), does that mean that they are the same being? The same goes for Ra being depicted with the falcon head that normally belongs to Horus (Heru), forming the composite god Ra-Horakhty. If Ra and Horus were one-and-the-same this would also cause problems with chronology, because, according to the Osiris myth, Horus is the son of Osiris and Isis, while, according to Ra’s priests in Heliopolis, Ra was self-created. This could possibly make sense if the naturally-born Horus is viewed as an incarnation or avatar of the pre-existing Ra, but I haven’t yet encountered any scholarly work that explicitly supports that point of view.

    4. My final question is probably the one that will affect my practice the most, and is a problem that practically every religion in the world has faced at one time or another: many of the Ancient Egyptian myths, if interpreted completely literally, contradict scientific knowledge about how the world works. For example, most Egyptian creation myths state that the first thing that happened in the universe was a mound of earth (Ben-Ben) emerging from an infinite sea (Nun), which, if interpreted completely literally, is inconsistent with the scientific consensus that the first thing that happened was the Big Bang. Another example is the sun god Ra journeying across the sky each day in his solar barque, when we now know that the apparent movement of the sun across the sky is actually caused by the rotation of the Earth. I myself have multiple theories about how these myths and many others could be interpreted metaphorically in a way that agrees with science, but I wanted to ask you to see if there was any consensus in the Kemetic community, and if so what it is. If not, it would be nice to know some if your theories about these myths, to compare them with mine and thereby cement my understanding further.

    I apologise again for the length of this comment; I hope you don’t mind it being so long. Also, I’m sorry if any of my questions came across as criticising Kemeticism; my intention was simply to get more information to help me better understand this wonderful religion that I chose to follow, not to criticise it in any way. In addition, some people have said in the past that my writing style (and often my speaking style too) is somewhat clinical and robot-like, and as I now compare my comment to some of the others on your guide I can see what they meant. If you were thinking the same thing, then I apologise for subjecting you to it. I hope that you will answer my comment and thereby clear up these questions for me, and I hope that my comment and your hopefully immanent answer to it will prove beneficial to other beginners to Kemeticism with similar questions to me. And finally, thank you very much for writing your starter guide, as it has been very helpful for me starting out on my Kemetic journey. Nefer sedjmetj!

     
    • DevoTTR

      April 23, 2018 at 12:41 pm

      For question one: http://www.roundtable.kemeticrecon.com/differences/ http://www.roundtable.kemeticrecon.com/kemeticism-is-a-journey/ The TL;DR is that it varies for everyone. Some people work with a limited time period, some don’t. Some model after ancient practices, some don’t at all, and then you’ve got everyone in the middle.

      Question two is more or less the same. You can read about pracitioners and mythology here: http://www.roundtable.kemeticrecon.com/mythology/ but generally speaking, some people are more rigid about mythology than others. Some only work with certain stories, or only give stories from certain areas more credence, etc. Just sorta depends.

      For question three, you’ll get some of the answer in the post in question two. Myths are rarely treated literally, and the time there isn’t considered linear, and so most of us don’t entirely look at the myths as being 100% accurate, esp given that the mythology wasn’t unified across AE. We consider AE to be filled with a lot of fanfic, and so for many of us mythology is a general guideline, but isn’t considered 10000% accurate canon. Gods merging and unmerging is another iffy area within our community, and some people don’t believe gods really merge or blend together, where as others do. Some will argue that you can swap various iconographies btwn the deities without necessarily taking on massive attributes from the original deity, where as others might see it more as a full-fledged blending. To get an idea on how I view “squishy gods” you may want to read here: https://thetwistedrope.wordpress.com/2015/05/13/squishy-gods/

      And the fourth question is really aligned with my comments on the last two questions 😛 In many ways we consider myths to be metaphorical, a way of interpreting the world around us, as well as a means of understanding the gods and how they operate/tick/etc. So while we all know that Ra isn’t literally sailing across the say every day, many still believe that you can pull useful information about Ra himself by looking at his mythology, as well as having an understanding of how the Egyptains viewed not only Ra, but the sun as it interacts with the world around us. And so we use mythology mainly in that sense, as opposed to 100% literal truth. Most Kemetics are fully in support of scientific stuff, and understand that science > myth.

      HOpefully that helps to answer some of your questions? There is a lot packed into your comment, so I apologize if I missed anything!

       
      • Matthew Mayor

        April 26, 2018 at 11:08 am

        Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my comment; it has really helped me to better understand how Kemetic practitioners go about interpreting the Ancient Egyptian religion for their own practice. The dominant theme of your answer seems to be that interpretations vary from person to person, but it has definitely still shed a lot of light on Kemeticism for me, and I think that it will be really helpful for me thinking about how to refine my practice. I look forward to exploring the links that you helpfully provided in your answer, to find out even more about Kemeticism, as you suggested I might want. It has been a pleasure to talk to you, and I hope we will encounter each other again in the future, and I am sure that by then I will have lots of new experiences with the gods to share with you, due in no small part to your very helpful advice, both in your starter guide and your answer to my comment. Thank you very much!

         

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