The House of Netjer, a Kemetic Orthodox Temple

[PUBLIC] About the Kemetic Orthodox Religion => [PUBLIC] Kemetic Orthodox Q&A => Topic started by: Theillusrationist on November 17, 2019, 03:25:15 pm

Title: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Theillusrationist on November 17, 2019, 03:25:15 pm
Hello!
Sorry if you are seeing this twice....silly me posted it in the wrong place. X//D ..I have a question for those who are already Shemsu. What does it mean to be Shemsu to you and not just the definition of what one is. What makes it meaningful to you I suppose? What makes it so much more than just a title? Be as detailed as you want, I want to learn as much as I can about being Shemsu while I am taking the beginners course.

PS. I am nervous but excited about all this so any encouragement and tips would be Awesome!! <333
Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Emseneteraset on November 17, 2019, 04:49:45 pm
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Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Sedjfaiemitui on November 17, 2019, 10:59:26 pm
Em hotep nefer, TheIllustrationist! ;D

For greater brevity (ish), I'm going to link (https://www.netjer.org/forums/index.php?topic=20960.msg295038#msg295038) to what I said in a previous conversation much like this one on the public end of the fora.

I'm also going to copy-pasta something I've said before elsewhere. :)
(Second person general "you" is employed throughout, but I hope it's obvious that this is the product of my own experiences and that these are my own opinions.)


Being a Shemsu comes with greater responsibilities. It involves swearing to the Netjeru of your RPD that you will put Them first and foremost, which is not a promise to be made lightly, and isn't always easy to live-up to if you're multi-traditional like me. It also involves swearing to other people in this Temple that you will be making them priorities in your life, irrespective of whether you ever meet them face-to-face or particularly like the pants off of them personally. Being a Shemsu requires giving back to the Kemetic Orthodox community in whatever ways you can, and those ways aren't solely or merely monetary. It means all the difficult things about "people-ing," whether or not you personally love and get along with this-or-that individual. The Netjeru brought us all here, and Their worship is the primary thing that binds us. In being bound this way, we have to be here for each other, too, now, not just the Netjeru. Most of us here live in societies that are philosophically post-Enlightenment Individualist, even those of us from historically closely-knit minority groups, which makes that statement all the more important to emphasize. The meaning of "community" is becoming increasingly lost to abstraction in the Internet Age, and it's doubly difficult for us all to implement in our day-to-day lives when we're not living in the same region, and when socio-political tensions are peaking and making the lamentable action of castigating and writing-off other people wholesale over divergent-but-not-malicious opinions and miscommunications far too easy. It's a constant struggle, to make and maintain community in this day and age. It is sometimes very difficult to summon the energy to do that each and every day -- and you won't have it every day -- but in being a Shemsu, you're swearing to put your best foot forward to make that effort.

Being a Shemsu also entails being more involved with the Kemetic community at large, not just our own Kemetic Orthodox contingent. We're part of a continuum, and we don't exist in a bubble. It neither serves us individually nor collectively to exist in a bubble, whether or not other Kemetics particularly agree with our having a Nisut, or with our Divination system, and so on. 

The logical conclusion of all this is that we have to make a point of representing ourselves well -- not simply in matters of fact, but especially in moral ("ma'atian") conduct -- because Shemsu and above are all equally ambassadors of the particular religion we practice here. There aren't that many of us, in the grander scheme of things, so we each share a proportionately greater amount of burden in terms of "representation to the outside world," in ways that various members of Jewish communities who aren't Rabbis don't and in ways that Catholics who aren't nuns, brothers, deacons, bishops, etc., don't. You get the idea. :P

TL;DR -- Being a Shemsu is about far more than "just" the Netjeru, though the Netjeru are absolutely important and are what (read: Who) brought us all together here in the first place. Being a Shemsu means being part of something much, much bigger than oneself. The individual is not discounted, but the individual is also not the be-all and end-all. Shemsuhood is communal.

Apologies for the length, but I hope this helps! ;D

Senebty!
Sedjfai
Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Tai'awepwawet on November 18, 2019, 04:24:11 am
Hmmmm. This is actually a difficult one for me. I didn't spend very long as Shemsu before I became Shemsu-Ankh (months, maybe, which you were able to do at the time). I have no regrets about that, but it does mean that I don't have a particularly good grasp of what it felt like to be Shemsu, specifically, relative to being Shemsu-Ankh.

I'd say that if I tried to tease away the Shemsu-Ankh-ness, that being Shemsu for me is about two main things, two very different things.

One is devotion to my deities. They are always, in some way, on my mind, even when they're not on my mind. That sounds a bit weird, maybe, but that's how it kind of works for me. My Gods are woven through the fabric of my life, my existence, like golden thread. This is important because this is part of being Shemsu, keeping the Gods of your RPD foremost. That doesn't have to be a Big Deal, it can be a subtle weaving, but it has to be done and it has to be part of your life. I think it becomes part of your life.

The other, although I think this has bleedthrough from being SA, is that I'm part of a family now. It's important to note that this isn't a mandatory part of being Shemsu, to accept yourself as part of a family, but IIRC Hemet accepts you as her child (can someone remind me if that's at RPD or Naming? I think it's the latter) so it's completely right to see yourself as part of a nation of siblings as Shemsu. And that has so many... complicated feelings. We're such different people, here in the House of Netjer. And not all of us will get along. Just like any real family. But it is a family, and at any time, that family is here to support other members. I think even without Shemsu-Ankhhood, that feels like it comes with a nugget of responsibility. How can I reflect and replenish that environment of generosity and support? How can I make this family a home?

For me personally, there's also always going to be boat-paddling, interfaith efforts particularly with other Kemetics. However that's not a Shemsu thing, that's a me as a Kemetic at any title thing. I think though that having Shemsu and Shemsu-Ankh doing boat paddling is particularly important. It keeps our connections flowing, it shows we're not insular, it keeps us grounded. It's all round a good, for those who enjoy it.
Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Padjaiemweru on November 18, 2019, 09:12:59 am
I have been a Shemsu in the temple for 15 years now (16 years since I found the temple). Like others have said, I found my heart's and soul's home here. I have found like minded individuals, and argued (joyfully) with people as well.

As a shemsu, I vowed to serve the Netjeru first in all my religious endeavors. This is a fact I have kept true in my heart for all this time. I have seen the temple grow and flourish in my years, as well as troubles brew and people leave. But being a shemsu means that the gods are always with me, always there for me, and I am there for them, serving ma'at.
Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Theillusrationist on November 18, 2019, 09:34:11 am
I’m in love with everyone’s comments and I very much look forward to hopefully being a Shemsu by the end of the beginners course! Thank you all for responding. I’m more than happy to hear more responses it gives me the confidence to pursue my hope of becoming Shemsu.


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Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Asetmehheri on November 18, 2019, 11:05:45 am
Just keep in mind that there is a waiting time of 6 months before you can apply for your RPD after you finish the Beginners Course. :)

As to your original question, I've only been Shemsu for a couple of months myself *waves to Emsenet* so I'm still getting the feel of it.

For me, Being a Shemsu means being more involved with the House community as best as I can, to find my own place without waiting for 'someone' to give it to me. It also means that I have been claimed by some very amazing Names (and, to be honest, somewhat intimidating!) I never would have expected that in a million years! My life has definitely changed for the better since They started showing up. :)
Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Shaseni on November 18, 2019, 11:34:22 am
Em hotep! Welcome to the House, and I hope you are enjoying the Beginners’ Class.  :)

As you can see from my profile, I am a Remetj, not a Shemsu - not yet at least. So what qualifies me to reply to this thread? I want to share something that Hemet (AUS) told me when I graduated from the Beginners’ Class. The gist of it was [please excuse my poor paraphrasing] that there is so much to explore when you become a Remetj, don’t miss it by being overly focussed on becoming a Shemsu. It’s a really, really important decision: give yourself time to let the implications sink in. So perform Senut, wait as required, find ways to contribute and serve, and enjoy every moment of being a Remetj! That’s what I’m doing. And yes, my intention is to apply for RPD in February, but I don’t regret taking Hemet’s advice.
Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Theillusrationist on November 18, 2019, 01:56:55 pm
Thank you @Storm for your input I actually quite like what you wrote. It gave me some food for thought as they say. Perhaps I’m being too hasty and should just let it come to me. If it’s meant to be sure then let’s do it but for now perhaps I should enjoy some Remetj time at the end of the course. Get to understand the orthodox more, what it means to be Shemsu from others and learn all that I can as a whole. For now I’ll pray about it and enjoy the class as it continues in the meantime.




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Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Emseneteraset on November 18, 2019, 04:14:08 pm
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Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Theillusrationist on November 18, 2019, 04:32:03 pm
@Emseneteraset true! I feel like my excitement is clouding everything. Or my nervousness to prove myself to the Kemetic community. Because I do feel like I should do so much now. I feel as though I was brought here to the orthodox for a reason I just wish I knew why besides finding my “tribe” sort to speak. I don’t have any Kemetics to speak with and this gives me that chance to find friends and people who think like I do and form those bonds whilst forming bonds with the Netjeru if they will have me. Sometimes I feel I can’t speak to any Netjeru in fear of being ignored or they don’t want to speak with me. Same with people most of the time. And I guess maybe that is why I am here. To be shown that hey I do have a family of sorts. Human and Divine. And maybe that is why I feel drawn to being a Shemsu. To know and to give my love to those deities that felt making me was worth something. If that makes sense. Sorry I rambled. I have been so alone in my path that I have been afraid to say anything until I found this orthodox.


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Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Taji on November 18, 2019, 04:37:07 pm
Anything you can do as a shemsu, (with a few exceptions) you can also do right now.  Get to know us and get to know the netjeru.  Take your time.  It'll all come together the way it's supposed to.

Senebty,

Taji
Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Emseneteraset on November 18, 2019, 10:11:12 pm
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Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Theillusrationist on November 18, 2019, 11:25:21 pm
@Emseneteraset you don’t sound pushy. It’s very nice/sweet of you to be so open and inviting about everything. Tips are welcome. All of you guys who have responded are super nice and helpful and it means a lot.

I have been a “Kemetic witch” for 6 years. At first I was nervous and scared to want to put my witch life behind me and start fresh in the orthodoxy. But now with all of the responses and other responses to others in different topics on this forum I do see it is a family of sorts with kind people.

I should stop letting my fears and anxieties get the better of me. so I thank you for being a family member to me. All of you guys are awesome for being so helpful and kind. I look forward to my future here so much with your help assisting me to be the best I can be. even if it is just talking to me. It helps a lot.


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Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Taji on November 19, 2019, 10:01:45 am
Back when I joined over ten years ago, there was no requirement to wait between levels of membership.  I think I went from remetj to RPD to shemsu within a few months.  And I never took the time to really think about what being shemsu meant.

A lot of people did the same thing I did without ill effect.  I mean . . . even though they did things quickly, they didn't do them mindlessly.  I think I did it rather mindlessly.  I was excited and always wanted the next thing.  That backfired on my spectacularly when I realized I was a Shemsu Ankh with five beloveds (I'd started with two) and didn't even know what that meant, if these were the gods I really wanted to be serving, and if my place as an elder in this community was something I even wanted. 

I had to back off to figure it all out and it took a good year to do so.  I likely burned some bridges I would not have burned if I had been more mindful of what I was doing while I was doing it.  I took on more than I had to in ways that there really aren't any take-backs for.  (There are some take-backs, but not really.  You can step down from being Shemsu Ankh formally, but Weshem Ib--the process that made you one-- is irreversible and you can't get rid of a beloved).

I'm fine.  I truly am.  But I did it wrong and suffered for that for a while. 

Take. Your. Time.  Think about things.  Don't rush.

<3

Taji
Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Asetmehheri on November 19, 2019, 11:06:20 am
Originally, I was going to just take my time, be Remetj for a couple of years, get the 'lay of the land' so to speak...and then this year's Aset oracle happened and I def got the message "Stop procrastinating!"  At first I thought it was Wepwawet who sent that, but it turned out it was probably Mom (=Aset, as it turned out) who had. :D

So there is no one right true and only way to be a member of the House.
Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Theillusrationist on November 19, 2019, 11:13:48 am
@Asetmehheri See I have Set calling me “little Shemsu” already and I swear Djehuty wants me to be Remetj and just test stuff out before anything you know and be wise about decisions. And then I’m all conflicted over what everyone is saying because you could easily go from “ok let’s be smart and go slow” or do Set’s route and full throttle it into existence and I swear it is only because he knows I want to be Shemsu. I think I’m just gonna see where I stand at the end of the course. XD thanks for the responses y’all.


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Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Sesaiaset on November 19, 2019, 02:35:29 pm
I have a bit of a different perspective on this, as I spent time not only as a Remetj, but time as a Divined Remetj between my RPD and deciding to take the Shemsu oath. There are plenty of things that will affect your decision whether to take that step or not. For me, I took time between having my RPD done and taking the oath because I wanted to be sure that that was what I wanted and something that I felt comfortable tying myself to.

I very much consider myself a person who is walking two paths with both the guidance of Netjer and the gods of Hatti. I consider myself a bit of an immigrant, an adopted child of the Netjeru rather than one originally born to them. And it took me a while to figure out how I would decide to walk the two paths together. And what I settled on was that I would take the teachings that the gods of my RPD and the people of Kemet have for me and place them first in my life. I will always have a relationship with what I could call my "home" gods, but I also know that they sent me off into another land for a reason, and that reason was that I needed the community that the House has to offer and I needed to learn certain lessons here.

This understanding puts me into the position that many people in antiquity were put into as well, so I try to feel confident that that was the right choice for me. I decided around the time of my RPD to ask a person from antiquity, Maathornefeure (AUS), to help me and guide me through my decisions as another immigrant from the land of Hatti. I also read about a woman (http://www.aeraweb.org/articles/girl-and-her-goddess/) who might have been of Central European descent who was found buried with an amulet of Hatmehyt. My Mother has a long history of adopting children into her fold, as many people immigrated from all parts to her home in the Nile Delta. :)

If there is one thing that I think everyone in this thread has hit on, it's that it's absolutely fine to be a Remetj. Remetj are a valuable part of the community and it's far from being just a stepping stone to becoming a Shemsu. I think, if I wasn't pushed by the gods of Hatti to further integrate myself into the community and my Kemetic practice, that I probably would have been happy to remain Remetj for a very long time.
Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Nesiwepwawet on January 04, 2020, 10:00:08 pm
Being a Shemsu for me is a promise, a dedication, and a commitment, to Netjer, to Wepwawet, and to my Kemetic family (the community). It's that simple, and at the same time that complex. And I admit to having a lot of trouble during times of my life with that promise, but I'm working hard to live up to it as best I can.

I've also taken my Shemsu-ankh vow in the past, but as someone who is returning to the House after many years, I've opted to come back first as a Shemsu and am working with Wepwawet toward a point in time where I feel it is right to once again publicly reclaim and profess that vow again.

Wepwawet and I are doing a lot together during His year  :D

I have been a “Kemetic witch” for 6 years. At first I was nervous and scared to want to put my witch life behind me and start fresh in the orthodoxy. But now with all of the responses and other responses to others in different topics on this forum I do see it is a family of sorts with kind people.

I wanted to chime in here, because before I came to the House, I was also a Kemetic Witch :) I had the same reservations that you do in the beginning, and being so young when I came here (18-19, I'm nearly 38 now), it only amplified it, that idea of leaving behind an entire chunk of my life in favor of something else entirely.

I feel it turned out to be less like leaving behind completely one family and being apart of another, and instead it was more similar to growing up and leaving my parents home, marrying my husband, etc: I had two families now, one was a more immediate and higher priority and came first (my husband, my new life) while maintaining strong ties to the past. As a Shemsu, my Kemetic Orthodoxy came first and was priority, and my ties to previous elements of my life didn't have to disappear, although the relationship I had with that part of my life changed.

Change is not a bad thing, even if it's scary, and change is almost unavoidable. We are constantly evolving and changing throughout all of our days. I didn't recognize the full value of this when I was younger the way I do now 20 years later.

Spend as much time as you need in each stage of your growth and evolution. There is no rush, there is no race. There is no pressure.

~ Nesi
Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Shukheperas_ankhi on January 05, 2020, 11:25:40 am
This post has been edited, as I misunderstood something.  :) 


I was a shemsu for quite a long time before finally deciding I was ready to be shemsu-ankh.  Back when I became shemsu there wasn't a time requirement between the different roles (except priesthood, I believe), and I was another one of those who quickly went from remetj to shemsu.  Looking back on it, I can't say that I regret it, but I can say that I made the choice for pretty much all the wrong reasons.  Namely, I wanted to be like everyone else, I wanted a line-up, a family, etc.  I'm very thankful for the inclusiveness that has been promoted in the past couple of years - when I first began exploring KO, it was obvious that there was a divide between the roles, despite it being frequently said that no one was less important based on their membership.  I know some of that was in my own mind, but not all of it was. 

Being a shemsu was a big deal to me, though.  I made an oath to my Father and Beloveds, and it meant a lot to me to do so.  I wanted so much to be worthy, and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how I could be.  I think that's one of the best parts of being a shemsu though - exploring your relationship with your Family.  I've always kind of looked at membership like this:   remetj - exploring/enriching relationship with Netjer (some, all, one, etc); shemsu - exploring/enriching relationship with RPD Family; shemsu-ankh - exploring /enriching relationship with king & country (aka community).  Keep in mind that this is just how I view it for myself!

Despite jumping from remetj to shemsu for the wrong reasons,  I was ready for a divine Family that chose me.  In a lot of ways, I think I needed it at that stage of my life.  But I agree with everyone here - take your time. 
Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Rev. Sema'a on January 05, 2020, 06:06:56 pm
Hello!
Sorry if you are seeing this twice....silly me posted it in the wrong place. X//D ..I have a question for those who are already Shemsu. What does it mean to be Shemsu to you and not just the definition of what one is. What makes it meaningful to you I suppose? What makes it so much more than just a title? Be as detailed as you want, I want to learn as much as I can about being Shemsu while I am taking the beginners course.

PS. I am nervous but excited about all this so any encouragement and tips would be Awesome!! <333

Thank you for asking this question, because it's giving me a great opportunity to reflect on what it means to be a Shemsu. Even as a priest I'm still a Shemsu, and that can sometimes get lost amidst the all the priest-y work we do.

Being a Shemsu means being devoted to my Parents. They're the first deities I go to in all things. When I'm sick, I pray to Them to help make me well. When I'm struggling, I pray to Them for comfort and strength. When things are going well, I thank Them first. If I'm having a meal, I'm sharing it with Them. When I'm traveling, They come with me.

It's a little hard to tease out, because it's become natural to me (I'll have been a Shemsu for 13 years this March). It's become second nature for me to simply exist in devotion to my Parents, since They've been an integral part of my life for so long. But I think that's what it ultimately means to be a Shemsu after this number of years -- to know, in my core, that They have my back, and to include Them in everything I do.
Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Taswauyinepu on January 05, 2020, 06:48:26 pm
Sema’a this is really beautifully written, thank you so much for sharing it. It can be hard to fully, deeply know and understand what it means to be a shemsu when you’re first starting out, and I think this is a really well put bit. 💜

A wonderful conversation all!

Good journeys,
Taswau
Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Theillusrationist on January 22, 2020, 04:05:11 pm
Sema’a this is really beautifully written, thank you so much for sharing it. It can be hard to fully, deeply know and understand what it means to be a shemsu when you’re first starting out, and I think this is a really well put bit.

A wonderful conversation all!

Good journeys,
Taswau

Yes I agree I love everyone’s comments. It really helps me figure out how I want to move forward after the class. Thank you all who responded. <3


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Title: Re: What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2
Post by: Paserutaset on January 22, 2020, 05:59:30 pm
To be Shemsu for me, is to be aware of being the son of Aset, of being created by Her through Her Intelligent Speech and of being a human being formed through the words uttered by Her desire to place me in this world by pure and simple Love. And through this knowledge I have taken an oath to recognize you as the main Divinity in my life (even though I am multireligious). In this way I feel that I live in and for Aset, every breath I take I know that I honor the breath of life that gave me existence. I also first recognize my Beloved Ones as having a role of importance and closeness in my life.

On a daily basis, this is experienced in a simple and sometimes complex way. Since I opened my eyes in the morning, and I know that I am here because I was loved by my mother to the point that she raised me, I seek to honor that relationship through my way of life, practice and relationship with the world and others, that includes our community.

Dua Aset en ten ankh!