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Book Review: The Neteru of Kemet

Originally posted on LJ on July 29, 2011

This past week while I was in Half Priced Books, I came across one of Tamara’s old books- The Neteru of Kemet. I decided that I should get the book, and see what’s in it. Many people seem to have interest in the book, so I thought I’d check it out, though I Wasn’t sure that I would really learn something from it.

All in all, the book is pretty straight forward, and it’s also pretty short. You could easily read this book in an hour or two, and the writing style is easy to read. The book briefly goes over modern Kemeticism, and then talks about 13 different gods and goddesses- giving a few quotes from them, giving a slight guided meditation, and some general information on their history and/or preferences/nature. The book didn’t teach me much (although she mentioned on one page that Asar used to be against Ra at one point in time- never heard that before). And I can’t say that I’m like OMG IMUSTKEEPTHISBOOK (quite the opposite- if you want to buy it from me, you can). But still, it was interesting to see. The main reasons for me saying that is that it’s so much different from what KO has turned into. She talks briefly about the House of Bast- what KO originally was. When you read it, it sounds almost more like what Riedy has laid out. People gather to worship, various people can take part in the rituals, some people can take different roles. They all keep shrines for gods they work with, and can train to do more ritually within the group… etc etc. Reading that, it makes sense why she has decided to reorganize the faith as it stands. Another interesting thing to see in the book is the little nuggets- things that you can see in KO now, but in this book are more unrefined. The spellings are different, the focused mythology is different. Nothing that is like OMG wrong, but still, you can sorta see how what it was turned into what it is.

So for me, that was the main interest in reading this book. Other than that, I can’t say that I find it all that exciting. If I remember correctly, the Prayerbook has a short overview on a couple of gods- and that would probably serve the same purpose as this book. However, if you’re brand-spanking new to Kemeticism, this might be of interest to you.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Kemetic Book Reviews, Kemeticism

 

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Book Review: The Ancient Egyptian Prayerbook

Originally posted on LJ on Jan 3, 2011

Today I’m reviewing “The Ancient Egyptian Prayerbook” by Tamara Siuda.

See a revised version of this book review over at Pagan Book Reviews.

So I finally read it- the book to end all books when it comes to KO. I finally read the Prayerbook. And I must say that I don’t see what the big deal is. The book is easy to read (took me less than a day), and covers a decent amount, but I don’t really get what makes it so exciting. Before I get into the bulk of this, I’d like to add that I have a bias- I don’t like reading prayers and hymns. They are alright if you’re using them to learn about a god, or a ritual, but on a whole, I don’t really get a lot out of reading prayers/hymns- esp. when they are translated from another language. I personally feel that if I want something from a god, I’m going to ask in my own words, not take a prayer/hymn written thousands of years ago. So that is my bias. Keep that in mind while reading.

The thing I liked most about the Prayerbook was the listing of gods- and some of their basic attributes. There are some things that she mentions in the Prayerbook that helps me to understand various references while on KO, and there are a couple of interesting facts/tidbits that I was unaware about that were nice to learn. In fact, I wish this section were longer, and more inclusive, so that I could learn more. This was the most helpful section for me.

What I don’t care for in the gods section is the hymns/litanies/etc. that followed each entry. It felt to me that these excerpts were exactly that- excerpts, and that there was a bigger something that was missing. I would have rather read the whole hymn/litany/etc or not at all. Not just three or four lines out of it. So for me, there was a disconnect.

On a whole, the book is okay. I personally don’t care for it, but it is interesting to see what everyone is referencing. I personally don’t like that the book is insufficient as a Kemeticism 101 book, and as a prayerbook. I wanted something closer to Eternal Egypt where things are cited more thoroughly and explained better. I hate that about reading most hymns/inscriptions from AE- no one takes the time to explain the symbolism. And if you don’t understand that, then the whole point gets lost, IMO. Because of a lack of this added information, I really didn’t feel the book was of any use to me personally. And sadly for me, reading this book made me disconnect a bit more from KO, because it shows that at it’s core- me and KO don’t line up. Her view of the gods doesn’t sit well with me. To see this was disappointing, but it was worth reading just to learn how she more or less intended things to be set up- not to hear it five different ways from five different shemsu.

I would recommend reading the book if you want to get a better basis for KO, but otherwise, I don’t feel the book has much to offer a recon/private Kemetic, unless you’re interested in the gods section.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Kemetic Book Reviews, Kemeticism

 

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