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Modern Mythology: Santa Min

This post may not be safe for those under 18. Some images are NSFW.

I’d like to tell you a story about Santa Min.

Santa Min

Once upon a time, as the months got colder and colder, Santa Min looked down at the people of the world and felt sorry for them. He decided that he wanted to help them by finding a way to keep them warm! In order to facilitate this, Min decided to use what he knows best- sex!

So one night, he and a bunch of his god pals went trolling around Egypt, leaving all sorts of goodies in people’s houses.

Borrowed from KemeticRecon.com

But these weren’t the normal gifts that you’d expect to receive. Oh no! Santa Min knows what everyone really wants… Sex toys! And that’s why people love Santa Min, he doesn’t discriminate against how you behaved that year! Were you good? Here is a cock ring for you! Were you naughty? A cock ring for you as well! Santa Min knows that the secret to a happy winter is lots of love making. And he shares the love making with all of humanity of every color, preference and type you could imagine.

The morning after Santa Min has left his presents for everybody throughout all of Egypt, the people rejoice in his bringing of fertility and love to the land by setting out offerings for him, and celebrating the the most… obvious part of his person.

Santa Min Shrine

And as a final display of devotion, everyone helps to bring zep tepi back into the world by making some love themselves (because creation is orgasmic, after all).

And this is why many people are born in late August/early September, even to this day.

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Now, as I’m sure you can tell, this is an entirely modern myth. It’s a new spin on something old, and it was created spontaneously one day when I made a comment to a fellow Kemetic that I was handing out cock rings to coworkers- like a weird Santa handing out sex toys to all the little boys and girls. They made mention that it’s something Min would do, and the story took a life of its own.

It seems to me that the modern Kemetic community lacks these modern myths. Many of us are so attached to the past that we forget that Egyptian mythology often changed and grew with society. I think it would be great if we were able to bring forth elements from the past, and make something new and fresh out of them. Take the gods and bring them to the present era.

This has been done in the myth above using a modern cultural icon- Santa. He is someone who brings good cheer and happiness to those who are good. But we’ve taken this idea and modified it to Kemetic/Egyptian standards or terms. Because Egypt had few stigmas on sex, sexuality, orientation, gender identification, etc. (as far as we know, at least) it makes sense that Min, whose primary function was protection and fertility, would bring gifts to everyone- “naughty” and nice alike.  This myth has also tried to incorporate ideas such as Zep Tepi- the first time, and connect the act of sex, celebration and fertility to the idea of things starting over, starting fresh- which is often mirrored in many winter myths (the sun being reborn, the fresh start of the New Year, etc).

I think if we are able to make the right connections to the past, it’s entirely possible to create a whole new set of myths for the modern era.

About the shrine above:

The shrine above was made with symbolism in mind, I would like to go over that symbolism here.

Santa Min Shrine 2

As you can see, Santa Min is in the back. He is the focus of this shrine. I would have liked a larger image, but it’s the closest I could find. There are items on the shrine which celebrate sex- vibrators and cock rings of various types and colors. There is bread and water- two staples in Egyptian offerings. I have added a white selenite spire- the white being related to Min already, but also for purity and the sexual connotations therein. And of course, the fact that it’s a phallic shape helps.

Santa Min Shrine 3

There are four leaves of lettuce- which is associated with Min and penises in Egypt in general. I chose 4 for completion of the year and the successful completed act of sex, and the joy received in so doing. I chose green incense- green for fertility. Incense for its uses in Egyptian offering standards.  And a white candle- once again, the white being used because of it’s associations with Min, and the candle itself harkening back to Zep Tepi, reminding us to bring creation in day to day life- every day.

To learn more about Min, see his page on Henadology.

What is your take on modern mythology? Do you think it has a place in modern Kemetic practice? Would you want to try your hand at creating modern myths?

Other Relevant Posts:

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Posted by on December 24, 2012 in Kemeticism

 

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Formal Execration: The Learning Curve

While trying to decipher the meaning of a vision that I received while working with O, it was suggested that perhaps I do an execration. I considered this, and sat down with Set to get his thoughts on it, and he agreed it would be a good idea. For whatever reason, I decided I would try a formal execration. I chose the first execration rite listed in Eternal Egypt. This is my first time of doing an execration from a book, and I wanted to document some of it for others to see and consider.

The purpose of this execration was to “clear the board” (Set’s words). He had told me that I had enemies I could see, and enemies I couldn’t see. Things I was considering, and things that I wasn’t considering. So I chose the first rite in an attempt to keep the ‘enemies’ specific (for the ones I could list), but yet still cast a wide enough net to knock out things that I couldn’t see or consider in my current position.

Execration Altar Setup

Execration Altar Setup

So let’s go over what is needed for a formal execration. Reidy has the following “ingredients” for an execration:

  • Candle or oil lamp
  • An image of the serpent-enemy made of beeswax
  • New sheet of papyrus with enemies names listed in green ink
  • Copper brazier or pan
  • Herbs to replace bryony
  • Iron knife or nail
  • Black thread
  • Blade of flint
  • Red clay pot, sand, and a lid or means to seal the pot

Because of limitations, I made a few changes to the above ingredients list. I used regular paper, instead of papyrus. My beeswax image was made from a candle. Instead of a copper pan, I used a brass bowl. And for herbs, I used a lemon. Reidy states in his book that bryony would have been acidic, and I felt that a lemon would be one of the most acidic things I could find. Instead of an iron knife, I used Set’s knife (stainless steel). I chose to use his knife because he is part of the reason I’m doing this at all. And, his connotations of smiting a/pep daily anyways. For my red pot, I chose an old pill bottle that I had. I cleaned it and painted it red.

Once I had all of my stuff together, I set it up all nicely in one spot so that I could do all of my work in one area and not have to leave to go get stuff. The execration was going along alright. Nothing major or exciting, though it was odd to actually speak words during my rite (I am a silent ritualist, usually). And everyting was pretty ho hum until I set stuff on fire.

 

Yes. Set stuff on fire. And holy crap. Did it burn. It burned for a long long time. In fact, I had to bring in a pot lid to smother the flames so that it would stop burning. It got so hot that the wax started to sizzle in the base of the pot. It was seriously like standing in front of the stove while cooking.

Damn.

That’s crazy.

And after it was done, it looked a lot like this:

Execration Remains

And it was at least 20 minutes before the brass was cool enough to touch.

Afterwards, I took the remains and poured them into my bottle. I added the lemon juice (as well as the lemon as a whole) and poured sand on top. I then took my red candle and melted hot wax over the lid and let it drip down (It didn’t quite pan out as I had hoped it would, but ohwell). Since I didn’t have the means to bury it somewhere, I placed it in a dumpster on the other side of my apartment complex where it will eventually be taken to the landfill and ‘buried’ there.

execration bottle

Now it’s time for the learning curve!

As mentioned in the title, there is a bit of a learning curve to this whole ‘formal execration’ thing. It’s really easy to take a piece of paper, write on it, scream at it, tear it up, burn it and pitch it (and call it good). But when you get into the more formal style of things, there are a lot more problems that can crop up during the ritual. There are also more considerations that need to be made while doing the formal style, and I wanted to go over some of my findings, pitfalls, and areas of suggestion so that your formal execration can go smoother.

  • Make sure your execration pot (the thing you burn stuff in) is sturdy. You saw how hot my stuff got. If I had gone with a lesser bowl, its entirely possible that I could have run into serious problems. The bowl could have broken (or shattered) and I would have had hot molten wax all over my table, my person, and possibly my hands as well. Be considerate of the materials you’re using. Make sure that your execration brazier/pot can really withstand high heat.
  • Be considerate of your surroundings. In conjunction with above- make sure you’re performing your execration in a place that can handle high heat. Despite using a brass bowl, I ended up with a black circle on my silverware box. I also ended up with tons of tiny wax droplets all over my box, table, and person. Make sure that you do your rites in an area that can handle high heat, messes, and potentially escaping fire or wax.
  • Be considerate of your clay pot. My jar was extremely hot after placing that wax in there. I wanted to drip the wax down the side of my jar, so that it would actually seal the jar up. However, the wax was still so hot inside, I couldn’t pick up the jar for fear of breaking the glass, or burning my hands. Be sure that wherever you’re filling the jar at can also handle high heat, or potential jar breakage.
  • Don’t make a huge a/pep effigy. My a/pep was made out of a large taper candle. That was dumb. It should have been a lot smaller. I think a lot of my fire issues stemmed from the sheer volume of wax that was in the pot. Be considerate of the size of your burning pot, and the size of the problems you are execrating when you create your a/pep figure. Next time, I think I will make something smaller in size.
  • If you’re going to have a large a/pep figure, make sure you burn your paper before adding the wax. There was so much wax in my bowl, the paper never entirely burned. If I had burned the paper first, that wouldn’t have been a huge problem.
  • Have water, oven mitts, perhaps a large pot lid (for snuffing out fire), and something like sand or baking soda on hand. This is in case fire spreads.
  • Make sure your knives are sharp and can handle some pressure. I had a lot of problem with my knife not wanting to cut this massive wax figure. I ended up doing divots in the wax, and snapping the snake apart… which was quite gratifying. But at least be aware that it can be an issue.

All in all, I’m glad I tried a formal execration out. I think that each format of execration is useful, and really serves different purposes all in all. I love basic execrations where all I’m doing is focusing on smashing the crap out of something. I don’t need to worry about words or structure, it’s all about the emotional release. However, the formal style is pretty cool too, because you seriously feel like you’re beating something much larger up. Especially when the wax started to really go off- I was like “Damn, this is crazy. What the hell did I just unleash?” The styles and feelings are different, and that each format is better for certain situations over others.

It is my opinion that Formal Execrations are good for large scale, long term goals. For example, let’s take losing weight. You’d start with a Formal Execration to get you started. And then you’d do lots of smaller execrations along the way to keep you going. The best way to find out which is best for you is to try one of each version and compare and contrast their results.

I urge you to try a formal execration and see how it feels!

Other posts on Execration:

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2012 in Devo Magix Series, Kemeticism

 

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Devo Magix: Execrations


Most Kemetics know about execration, or at least, we know of them. Execrations are highly misunderstood within the Kemetic community, and in some ways, they are generally feared. I wanted to clear up some ideas about execrations, and how you can bring them into your practice- whether you’re Kemetic or not.

Execrations Then:

Back in antiquity, execrations were a daily practice in the temples. It’s considered that they might have occurred multiple times daily, even. Execrations were considered integral to keeping the kingdom and all of the Created world safe. Execrations were generally exacted against agents of a/pep and all enemies of the king and/or ma’at.These rituals weren’t optional- they were mandatory. Ma’at, and all of creation, was always at risk to being undone. To quote Meeks:

From the moment of its creation, the world was threatened by the Forces of the uncreated, forces that the mere existence of a world drove back toward its periphery. There was no escaping these forces, even if they were pushed further and further back as the domain of the Created expanded. Because they had not been brought into being by the act of creation, they could not be definitively destroyed. They could only be defeated periodically; their repeated onslaughts made it necessary to wage unending battle to maintain the integrity and equilibrium of creation. (quote taken from Eternal Egypt).

Creation was not something to take for granted. And it’s still not. In our modern world we forget that things aren’t certain or guaranteed. The gods still fight a/pep daily. They still work to maintain order even though the majority of humanity has fallen deaf to the need or the call. Just because our lives feel more secure doesn’t mean that Creation is any more secure than it was before. The Egyptians fully appreciated the precarious nature of Creation. The wrong flood levels, a bad cycle of crops, invaders, plague- any of that could deal massive damage to the nation and its people. Creation needed everyone’s help to survive- and this is where execrations came into play.

Execrations Now:

Execrations almost seem non-existent in the modern Kemetic’s practice. Most Kemetics have a mindset that execrations are bad- that performing an execration will cause negativity to come back upon you (reminiscent of the Threefold Rule that really has no place in Kemetic mindset or practice). This is a crying shame, in my opinion. Execrations have so many uses and potential for creating happier, healthier people. I really think that everyone should consider making some form of execration a part of their regular practice. Most people consider execrations to be nothing more than a ritual against a/pep, but they can be used for so much more than that. Execrations are good for letting go, for moving on, for destroying bad habits, or for getting negative things out of your life. Anything and everything that could eat away at the happiness in your life could be counter acted with an execration.

Don’t like that you’re broke? Execrate anything and everything that is in your way (you could use a ‘foes of Ra’ approach to this). Don’t like that you’re overweight? Execrate your bad eating habits, laziness, or other factors that could be holding you back. Heavy shadow work that you’re trying to work through? Blast that stuff away with a strong execration. Anything and everything can really be enhanced via execration. Execrations are there to demolish things that are blocking your path.

So how do you do an execration?

Traditional execrations can be pretty extravagant. The more complex execration rituals in Eternal Egypt include an ‘ingredients list’ of: water, natron, incense, candle or oil-lamp, a wax figure of a/pep, sheets of papyrus, green ink, copper pan, wood or charcoal, herbs (dragon’s blood, nettle, etc), iron knife or nail, black thread, flint blade, red clay pot, sand and a lid for said pot.

That’s a lot of stuff! But execrations don’t need to be that complicated (and in Reidy’s defense, there are execration rites in Eternal Egypt that require little to no supplies to perform). Most execrations have elements that are similar, despite the technique being different. Here are the basic elements of any execration:

  • Creation and identification of an item with a/pep and the things you wish to execrate (in this post, the item would have been the red pot).
  • Defiling this item via stabbing, spitting, trampling, or other destructive means.
  • Burying, flushing, or disposing of said item.

The steps are pretty simple and straight forward. I have found that a lot of what makes an execration effective is the emotion you put behind it. There is some sort of release in ripping apart a piece of paper, stabbing a figure, smashing a pot, etc. It allows your emotions to be let out in a safe manner that helps you to move forward and eradicates things that hold you back.

While using an ‘old school’ execration rite from antiquity is awesome, sometimes we don’t have the ability or desire to use something from ‘back in the day’. But no worries, you can easier come up with your own rites and methods to execrate the unwanted or unneeded. To create your own execration, you’ll first need to determine what you wish to execrate. You could try to execrate anything and everything in one go, but I recommend taking a few things at a time and doing multiple, smaller execrations. Once you have decided what you might wish to get rid of, you’ll want to determine what item will best work for your means. You could go the traditional method and use red pots or wax figures. You could use fresh paper. You could build a sand castle or use a mug that you can’t stand. You could create a pillow and stuff it with things that you want to destroy- let your creativity and specific situation guide you.

You will then need to imbue that item with whatever you’re trying to get rid of. You can write these items or attributes on the item (in the case of paper or pots), you can state or visualize what you’re wanting to execrate as you create the item (as with the sand castle). You could do both, technically (I tend to). Once you have your item ready, you will take this item and beat the crap out of it. Yell at it, stab it (or draw knifes in it), scribble on it, maim it, stomp on it, spit on it- whatever. Destroy it as much as you can. Put all of your energy into it until you are completely spent.

Then, you will take what is left of your item, and get rid of the remains. A lot of times I flush things down the toilet. However, you can’t do that with, say, pot shards. In those cases, I throw them in a dumpster or bury what is left. If you went the sand castle route that I mentioned before, you might want to smooth out the sand to the point that you can’t tell anything transpired. You more or less want to remove and eradicate any and all remains of the execration.

How often you want to repeat this process (and how complicated you want the process to be) is entirely up to you. Most Kemetics I know only perform one execration per year- at Wep Ronpet. However, in the month and a bit since Wep Ronpet occurred, I have found that I have done 3 or 4 execration rites of some capacity- and I have found that doing them has helped me progress a lot faster in my shadow work lately. Whether you need to perform them daily, monthly, yearly- etc. is going to be dependent upon your particular situation and what you are working on currently. Don’t be afraid to do them regularly, though. Especially if you feel the urge!

I believe execrations deserve to have a more prominent place in modern practice. They have such a variety of uses and purposes, and I would love to see more people give them a shot!

Do you perform execrations? What are your thoughts and experiences with them?

Recommended Reading to Learn More About Execrations:

Relevent Posts:

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Devo Magix Series, Kemeticism

 

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Flirting With Destruction


aka: Devo’s Guide to Working with Set and Other “Hard-nosed” Netjeru

Mandatory Disclaimer: As with everything, this guide is exactly that- a guide. Gods (especially trickster and chaos gods) can change rules at the drop of a hat, and my interactions with Set might not match your interactions with Set. This guide contains my own personal thoughts and interactions with this deity as well as interactions I have witnessed other followers experience over the years. This guide is merely meant to be a general overview for those who are new to working with Set.

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Nothing gets people talking like a trickster god. And one of the most discussed deities in the Kemetic pantheon could easily be Set. Is he evil? Is he mean? Will he ruin your life? Does he hate Osiris? Does Osiris hate him? If you worship him, does that instantly make you evil too? Set has called me- do I get excited, or run for the hills? He is one of the most misunderstood netjeru there is- to the point that you can gauge a lot about any book on Egypt by seeing how the author views Set (in my opinion), and even a fair amount of Kemetics, while understanding that he is no Satan, still fear him on some level.

And one of the largest things I have seen through the years is:

OMG SET HAS STARTED TALKING TO ME/FOLLOWING ME/REQUESTED MY ATTENTION. WHAT DO I DO?

And then panic ensues.

Usually, when I see Set step into people’s lives, he usually is there to help you grow, to help you move forward and to help you shed unnecessary things. If he only plans on staying in your life for a bit, you might only have to live through the destruction of your life once. If he is going to stick around forever, I highly recommend you learn to regularly purge un-needed things in your life. In my experience, working under him (for lack of a better term- I don’t like using ‘worship’) requires you to alter your perspective on life and the way you approach things. For someone who is only intending to work with Set for a spell, I believe you can learn a lot about how to approach him by examining how long-term followers experience him and handle his quirks.

So what are some things that are good to know with Set? What traits should you expect to cultivate?

1. Light a fire under your ass.

In my experience, Set likes go getters. That doesn’t necessarily mean he wants you to burn out, but he wants you to be actively moving forward in you life by the means necessary. So, for example, if you’re coming to him about getting a job, he would expect you to be actively pursuing getting another job- updating your resume, applying to whatever you can, honing your interview skills, networking, etc. If you’re coming to him about getting more money, he’d expect you to be saving where you can, budgeting better, and trimming excess fat. Those sorts of things. You can’t expect to ask Set for help, and then do nothing. If you ask him for help, or find that he is coming in your direction, you better prepare to start working quickly to make things better. As I have said to many others- if the destruction and change that you need requires you to jump off a cliff- jump off of it. Don’t wait for him to throw you off.

2. Learn to be patient and more laid back.

Ironically, we all think of chaos as being uptight. However, when you’re working with a deity that is chaotic, you’ll find that you need to learn to take a chill pill, or have your head explode from frustration. Many times, Set works in his own, secretive ways. He has methods, and sometimes they don’t make a whole lot of sense. There are also times when he’ll disappear at random and not reappear for quite a while. It’s chaos, it doesn’t always make sense or appear to, at least. One of the best things I’ve learned from this is to just chill out. Oh, Set hasn’t been around for a month or two? Well I guess he’ll wander back around when he needs me. So long as you’re actively performing number 1, you should be okay. The randomness of his actions might be maddening at first- but you learn to get used to it.

3. Remember the importance of a good attitude.

This is especially true if you asked for his help. Don’t cry to him for help, then complain about his methods. During some of my lower points, I’ve wailed to him about how I was breaking under the pressure, or how I was angry that he was effectively cutting me off at the knees (in my mind). This only garnered stares or responses of “GTFO”. Having a go-getter attitude really does go a long ways with him. And sometimes (in me experience) he won’t even bother to help you start moving forward until you’ve shown that you have the courage to jump off the cliff and accept his help- which also means accepting his methods of help. Even though it might seem like hell on earth while in the middle of the process, trust in it. Know that you are getting stronger, and that in the end, it is worth it.

4. Keep on keepin’ on.

Part of having a good attitude is to keep on moving forward. Usually, Set’s lessons are hard. They will push you to your limits- but that’s part of the point. Sometimes we have to break before we can ‘level up’ as it were. Once you’ve been thrown off the cliff, you might as well keep going until you hit the bottom or learn to fly. There is no point re-contemplating once you are half way down. Showing him and yourself respect by continuously moving forward (or trying to) is one of the greatest offerings you can give him (in my opinion). Having the discipline and trust to see things through to the end is important. Even if you have a few breakdowns and tantrums along the way- so long as you pick yourself back up and keep putting one foot in front of the other, that’s what matters at the end of the day.

Even though Set can appear to be a hardass, do keep in mind that there is more to him than that. On the by and large, I would advise against whining, crying, and throwing your hands up in a fit of “I give up!” However, it does happen to the best of us. There have been times where I have absolutely broken down in shrine. When I’ve screamed at him for the position I was put into. And never in any of those moments did he lash out at me (even if he looked less than pleased). There have even been times where he seemed to feel bad for the situation I was in. He can be nice, he can be caring. However, he seems to be very particular about when and where those feelings will be shown. That’s not to say he doesn’t feel these things all the time- it’s just that he doesn’t always show it. Sometimes we need someone to be stern and somewhat cold to help us grow. I think it is the harder exterior that scares many people away- because they don’t understand that there is more to him than that. If you are going to work with Set long term, it is helpful to understand this, and to try to understand the nature of the jobs he tends to take on. To understand his methods, for there is a rhyme and reason to what he does (usually). I also think it’s important that Set appears to have a better understanding of what we can handle. Many times I thought I was at the end of my rope- only to find out I still had more left in me. It was only when I was truly at my limit did he step in to make larger changes.

All in all, if we give Set the chance to work with our lives and help facilitate changes within ourselves, there is the potential to be so much more than we currently are. I know it’s scary for many people to hear that Set is looking in their direction, but he really does have valuable lessons for us that we should try to embrace and bring manifest into our lives. So the next time you see Big Red heading your way, instead of heading for the hills, try meeting him halfway and see how working with chaos can bring good things into your life.

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2012 in Kemeticism

 

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Devo Magix: Amulets, Talismans and Protective Items

During my time in Kemetic groups and forums, I’ve realized that very little is ever shared or discussed about basic ‘magix’. No one really talks about cleansing items or your house. Making amulets or sigils are almost never discussed. And there has never been discussion about warding or barrier creation. I personally think this is a shame, as you never know when things could go wrong, or when you might need extra protection in a situation.

To help with this, I have decided that I will create a series of blog posts relating to these exact things. I want to discuss my methods and means to cleanse, create and protect in a more ‘magical’ sense. My methods are by NO MEANS the only methods. They just happen to be what works for me.

If you enjoy this series, or want me to discuss different aspects or topics of a similar nature, please feel free to post your ideas in the comments section. If there is anything that you would like clarification on, don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need/would like 🙂

For this post I am discussing Amulets, Talismans and Protective Items. I consider these terms to be interchangeable, and loosely define each of them as an item that is laced with intent and joo-joo (if you want a more proper definition, there is one here). Amulets can be made from anything and everything, and to some degree even sigils could be classified as an amulet. I personally find that items made of metal or stone to work the best for me- but you could make an amulet of whatever strikes your fancy.

And odds are, you already have amulets around your home that you don’t even realize are helping you out. I do believe it’s possible for amulets to sort of ‘create’ themselves. Many of us have items that we love dearly, or wear frequently, these items can slowly pick up our energies and vibrations while near them or while wearing them. Over time, this can create something similar to an amulet. It’s almost like having a ‘lucky tie’ or a ‘lucky pair of socks’. You could even say the same of a ‘power suit’ or other similar items. Everything you touch has the capacity to pick up your energies and be morphed into something else (energetically). When creating an amulet, you’re doing this intentionally.

Some items I have used as amulets.

So how does one create an amulet?

There are a few steps to creating an amulet:

  1. Determine your purpose or intent
  2. Select the item that you wish to use
  3. Cleanse the item (if necessary)
  4. Joo-joo the crap out of it
  5. Put said item to use

Start off by figuring out what it is you want your amulet to do. What is it’s purpose? General protection? To attract money? Maybe to attract a lover? To give you a boost of energy? For me, the most important aspect of amulet creation is to determine what it is you want the amulet to do. Once you have figured that out, you will want to select an item that works best for your intention. Each person has their own set of symbols, colors and ideas that connect concepts to images. So if you want protection and you are Kemetic, you might want the Eye of Heru… or maybe you find that the Sa is a better choice for you. I personally find that feathers and fish are protective for me- so I might choose to use something with either depicted on it for my own protection. The same goes with confidence. You might use ‘balls’ (as in grow a pair), or the djed (for being strong of spine), or maybe a mini-Sekhmet is more suiting for your tastes. Perhaps a solid rock is better. Maybe a pyramid is well suited- as it’s base is well grounded. As you can see- it’s all about what works for you and what symbolism really suits you.

When deciding what you want the amulet to be made out of, be sure to consider how often the item will be used. If you will be wearing this amulet daily, you will want to make sure that the materials will be able to stand up to daily use. If you only plan to use the amulet once a year, or the item is going to sit on a shelf in your house, then you can pick materials that are less sturdy.

Some AE amulets to give you ideas

More AE amulets to give you ideas.

And here are even more AE amulets to fawn over.

Once you’ve decided your intent and have gotten the item or items that you wish to use as an amulet (or amulets- there are cases of multiple amulets being strung together as a necklace) you will want to cleanse the item. To learn about cleansing items, go here. As mentioned in my cleansing post, you will want to be considerate of what the item is made of in regards to how it is cleansed.

Once you have cleansed your item, it’s a matter of filling it with ‘go juice’ to make sure it runs. You’re essentially charging it with intent and energy. There are a number of methods to do this. You can…

  • Leave it on a shrine for a couple of days – many Kemetics like to do 4 days, as 4 = completion for them. However, I find that 4 = death, and I prefer to leave things for a moon cycle in the shrine.
  • Place it in sunshine, moonlight, outdoors, in a place of energy (such as forest, trees, etc) that can feed the amulet.
  • Leave the amulet outside for the fae or other local spirits to work with (be sure to leave offerings).
  • Place it in a box, or among other items of power (such as a box of rocks).
  • Focus your intent while holding said item, and transfer your magical joo-joo into the item (my personal favorite).
  • Any combination of these above.

Depending on how much energy you need the item to have, I would do a blend. Many times I will focus my thoughts and energy into the item, then I will place it on the shrine for the gods to magic up (usually with offerings, words of power, etc) and then after they’ve had a whack at it, I’ll put more of my own energy in it again.

Usually, when directing energy into an item, I will hold the item in my hands and visualize my energy flowing into the item. The energy can be visualized as light, water, arrows – whatever works best for you. Many times, I will feel a tingling in my hands as this is being done, though that might not be the case for everyone. While doing this, you can also see visions of what it is you want the amulet to do. So if I want an amulet to bring me money, I will envision stacks of money and gold bars while charging the amulet.

Once you feel like the amulet has enough energy, you are free to wear it or use it as needed.

Amulet Upkeep

Just like any charged item, an amulet can lose some of it’s joo-joo after a while. The item may start to feel empty or look like the color has drained (I’ve noted this mainly in stones). If so, you will want to cleanse the item. If a simple cleansing hasn’t worked, or you feel like the item still isn’t as ‘good as new’, recharge the item using one of the processes above. For items that I really want to keep strong (usually only for periodic wear), I will keep them in my shrine permanently until I need to utilize the item.

Other posts in the ‘Magix’ Series:

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2012 in Devo Magix Series

 

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Kemetic Priesthood: Then and Now

There is a lot of discussion out on the Internet about priesthood. What is it? How do you know when you are a priest? What does being a priest involve? I thought I would make a bit of a guide for everyone that discusses what priesthood was like back in ancient times, and how that can translate into a modern practice. This is by no means the be all and end all of priesthood knowledge or ideas- but I felt that having a general guide would be useful!

Priesthood Then:

Priesthood back then was a job. There is no escaping this. Men and women worked in the temple serving a particular set of gods for payment. Priesthood itself was very wide and varied. And how you define priest could vary depending on how you look at things. For a large temple, it took many many people to make things work. For the temple of Amun in Thebes, it’s rumored that at one time there were about 80,000 people working there (Sauneron). People who farmed the land for the food to make offerings for the gods. People who created the linen for the god to wear. People who painted the temple, repaired the temple. People who created bread, pottery and jewelry for the god. People who did the administration so that everyone could get paid and everyone knew when they needed to be in a certain location at a certain time- all of this (and more!) to make the temple run smoothly. If you wanted to cast a very wide net, all of these people were a priest in some capacity.

However, most of us are interested only in the priests that entered the ‘holiest of holies’. The priests that had direct contact with the icon of the god- the Open statue that the god resided in. These are the people we want to know about the most.

Offering Bearers

The day of a head priest (Hem Netjer or First Prophet, depending on who you ask) began early in the morning. There were usually three rites performed for the gods every day- one in the morning, one in the afternoon, or around noon, and one in the evening. The work for the morning ritual would begin before the sun rose. Everyone would begin to prepare offerings and undergo rites of purity so that they may enter the holy areas of the temple. The rituals themselves could take a while. You had to redress the Icon, pacify the god with dance and music, recite words of power, give offerings of food, drink, natron, incense and ma’at (among other things, depending on the day). All these things were done with specific texts and motions. Nothing was spur of the moment or freelanced- everything is precise and done with purpose. This is the power of heka working through these rituals, and there is power in repetition. According to Sauneron, the sun could be high in the sky before the head priest and all of the attendants were done with morning ritual.

And then, they got to repeat the process (to a lesser degree) at noon and in the evening.

Some days, they would get to take the god out on the town. They’d place the Icon in the sacred barque and walk along a procession throughout the city- stopping at roadside shrines and to act as a divinatory tool for those who had questions for the god to answer. This could take the better part of a day- if it wasn’t one of the longer treks (such as Hathor visiting Heru in Edfu for the Beautiful Reunion), which could last weeks.

Depending on the temple the priests served, the would have to uphold certain purity standards. These can vary time to time and location to location. It is thought that there could be rules about what types of food and drink  you could have, the amount of hair on your body, sex, blood, clothing- you name it. Each shift was only 3 months at a time, all of these rules had to be minded while you were serving your term. I have yet to read why the temple shifts were run this way. I imagine there could be numerous reasons.

Presenting Offerings

One could easily argue that during these months, the First Prophet’s life revolved around the temple and the gods therein. And that pretty much every day in the temple was more or less the same- the same rituals. The same structure. The same rites. The same movements and epithets. Because there is power in repetition.

Regardless of whether a priest was on duty or not, there were no moral obligations (as far as we know) for the priests to uphold (so long as purity wasn’t compromised). There are even recorded cases of priests stealing gold foil off of the temple doors, priests taking offerings, etc. Priests were not moral compasses for the common people, and they had no specific active role outside of maintaining the god’s cult within the temple. And the rites that occurred within the temple were entirely hidden from the average people. Unlike modern churches, there was no congregation, no mass of people for the priests to preach to- nothing like that. And unlike now, the average people of Egypt might have never known what occurred inside of the temple every day. They were unable to read or write the glyphs that covered the walls. Unlike today, the actions and goings on inside of the temples were completely hidden from the profane world outside.

Priesthood Now:

It’s a lot harder to define the modern Kemetic priesthood for a variety of reasons. The main reason being that there are very few Kemetic temples around and most people don’t have the luxury of spending hours everyday in ritual. So what defines a modern Kemetic priest?

Unlike many pagan traditions where everyone is some type of priest, most Kemetic temples follow the same rules of ancient Egypt. Only certain members of the organization become priests, and there are usually certain rules and requirements you must meet before you can be considered for priesthood.

If you belong to Kemetic Orthodoxy, you have to undergo certain rites of passage within the group. Eventually, if the gods permit, you will be trained by the leader of the group in the specific rites and regulations of priesthood. Within Kemetic Orthodoxy, there are multiple levels of priesthood, with varying requirements for time- both in the shrine, and with the community as a whole. Unlike ancient priests, there is a larger emphasis in community work and playing an active role in the community around you. I do not know a lot about the inner workings of the priesthood within Kemetic Orthodoxy, as I am not a priest there.

There are two other temples that are in the US that seem to have some form of priesthood- most of which require daily rites to the gods that the person serves. These temples also require that you show up to group rituals as well, among other things.

For most temples, the priesthood follows a similar path to the priests of old- you perform rites daily for the gods. You maintain a level of purity as deemed by your temple before you enter the shrine area. And in some cases, the Icon of the Netjeru in question is an Open icon.

But what about those of us who aren’t in a temple organization? Where does this leave us?

That partially depends on how each of us define priesthood. For some ‘Independents’, the answer is performing daily rituals for the gods as the priests did back in ancient Egypt. These rituals can be hand made or from books like Eternal Egypt.

For others, the gods can request a different angle- such as community service, cleaning and maintaining local cemeteries, or other active forms of dedication. Each deity is different, and each relationship is different- so the possibilities can be numerous.

And at the core of it, we as a community need to ask ourselves what do we want the definition of a modern priest to be? And even more than that, what does the community need the modern priest to be? The original phrase for a priest was Hem (or Hemet) Netjer- meaning servant to the God. And back then, that meant maintaining a cult center and the Open Icon that resided at the center of the temple. But is that really relevant to modern standards? Does it really help the Kemetic community to have our priests stored away in front of an Open shrine? Or do we need something more from the modern priest?

What is your take on priesthood then and now? What do you think the modern Kemetic community needs from its priesthood, if anything?

Other places to learn about Egyptian Priesthood:

 

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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in Kemeticism

 

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Book Review: Reflections of Osiris


I’ve just finished reading Reflections of Osiris: Lives from Ancient Egypt by John Ray. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book originally. I thought it could be dull or completely unhelpful to hear stories of people who had lived in AE. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the book. Ray writes a lot like Barbara Mertz and that makes the book more enjoyable for me- as the text isn’t so academic and dry.

The book opens with a general intro discussing how the book is to be laid out, chronology, names and all that. And by this point, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. The book covers people throughout various periods of history in Egypt including:

  • Imhotep
  • Hekanakhte
  • Hapshepsut
  • Horemheb
  • Khaemwise
  • Petiese
  • Nectanebo II
  • Hor of Sebennytos and his friends (all in the Serapeum)

Now most of these stories I had already heard. We all know about Imhotep, the angry mummy who wants his woman back awesome guy who helped build the pyramids. And you can’t read anything without hearing about the ‘female king’ Hapshepsut. And I had even heard of Hekanakhte through Mertz and Petiese from Sauneron. And the people at the Serapeum are very well known (this relates to two twins who were slighted by their mother. In order to save themselves from starvation, they become part of the cult of Apis at the Serapeum).

However, despite knowing most of these stories and people- this book really does cast them in a different light. Most times, the history around these people is presented in a very cut and dry method. So and so did this, this, that, and that. And that’s it. However, Ray does a great job at making the stories more engaging, and bringing the characters to life. He also discusses these people in a more indirect way. He doesn’t just talk about the people- he discusses what is going on at the time in Egypt. He shows how the political events of the era could influence the people we are reading about. He puts the people in their time and place- and paints a much broader picture than most historians. And for me, these stories seemed more real; they had more depth to them. And in some ways, I understood a bit more about how things can be effected by the surrounding areas.

Here are a few interesting quotes I saw:

“This predecessor was Osiris, a god who can be thought of as the photographic negative of the sun god: a being who had ruled on earth, been put to death by the machinations of evil and disruptive forces, and who passed into a new life as the light below the earth, ruler and judge of the dead who are in the Underworld”

“On his death, the kind was known officially as Osiris the nesu, followed by the throne-name (given at coronation). The second name, the one written with the bee-hieroglyph (given at birth), ceases to exist. On earth, the king had a dual nature, corresponding to the emanation of the divine which was present within his temporal, human, dimension. The latter would grow old, infirm, and die. The former was immortal. Pharaoh was, literally, a god-king.”

“Amun, in upwardly mobile style, got rid of his first wife, a goddess named Wosret, who was the theological equivalent of the girl next door. Instead, he contracted an alliance with one of the most distinguished ladies in the land, the goddess Mut, the embodiment of motherhood. Like her husband, this goddess was somewhat bland in essence, and this made the pair ideal for usurping the roles of more defined, and therefore more limited, rivals. A less cynical school of thought holds that there was no divorce, and that Wosret and Mut are the same goddess going under different names, but if so, we are still dealing with an attempt to upgrade the original product.”

As you can tell by the quotes above, the writing style is approachable and easy to read. And in many cases, you feel like the author is being straight with you. He doesn’t have an agenda to push, or any theories he’s trying to prove. He’s just telling you how it is. I particularly liked the mention at the end of Nectanebo’s chapter- where he relays that the reason we don’t have the end of the story is because the young boy who was translating the story got bored, and decided to draw some weird doodle face instead.

If I had to give any critique to the book, it would be that I wanted to hear more about Osiris. I understand why the author chose the name that he did. And I know the book is more about the people than the god- but there was a chapter at the end about Asar, and it was severely lacking. I would really really really like to find a book that actually goes into the deity himself. The other thing that might be an issue for some is that the stories/people covered in this book are pretty well known. I have no clue if we have records of people who are more obscure- but it would be cool to see stories that are less well known.

However, I feel that the book is worth reading, and it offers a slightly different perspective than most. The book is more useful for historical references and ideas than for religious ones, but I still think there is interesting information in it.

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Kemetic Book Reviews, Kemeticism

 

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