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Topics - Sarytsenuwi

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1
As we approach the new year, I thought we might reflect on upcoming volunteer opportunities that we are considering, or perhaps already planning, to participate in for our local communities.

I’ve recently been asked to serve as a regional alumni representative for my undergraduate institution, and am looking forward to supporting current students and alumni with their career efforts!

How about you? What possibilities exist in your community to carry Ma’at into the world?

2
I know I'm still struggling after yesterday's shooting, and I wanted to provide options for those of us looking for ways to help, and protect, in the wake of yesterday's events.

First, you can donate to the   the Newtown Youth and Family Services. All donations are currently going to help pay extra staff for emergency counseling held today and tomorrow for families, community members or staff involved in the Sandy Hook Elementary school tragedy. Further donations will directly benefit those affected.

Second,   The Newtown Parent Connection , a nonprofit that addresses issues of substance abuse, also offers bereavement group counseling on the first Wednesday of every month. The organization is going to try to bring in additional counselors to accommodate the needs of those affected by the Sandy Hook shooting.

As for the last, I recognize that this is an inherently political request, and acknowledge that everyone is entitled to their own opinion on such matters. My intent here is not to spark a debate. Indeed, this petition is merely calling for bipartisan discussion amongst American law makers, not promoting a set ideology. I offer it only as one, small step we can take towards a safer nation, a safer world -- as we all know, it's amazing what the power of speech, open conversation, can accomplish.

Please consider adding your voice  at this website if you feel that it is appropriate for you to do so.

3
[PUBLIC] FAQ: RPD (Rite of Parent Divination) / Knowing It's Time
« on: March 28, 2012, 04:10:26 pm »
Em hotep everyone,

Since my Beginner’s course wrapped up a few months ago (and truly, for quite some time before and during said course) I’ve been grappling with the idea of undergoing the RPD. In the past month or so I’ve definitely begun to feel not only “comfortable with” but legitimately “drawn to” and “excited about” the process, and thus while I recognize that this is a highly personal decision, and that my own thoughts, feelings, and interactions with Netjer must be my guide in the final say, I admit I’ve been rather curious--

For those of you who have either undergone the Rite or have already decided to do so in the future, how did you know you were ready? Was there anything in particular that occurred that helped you know it was time? Were there any concerns that might have led you to delay?  

Any personal experiences or stories would be most appreciated.

Senebty,
Ekunyi

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[PUBLIC] Serving the World: Ma'at In Action / The Blood Donation Experience
« on: November 11, 2011, 12:44:43 pm »
Em hotep everyone,

I decided to post this today in honor of the countless men and women who return from warfare wounded and in need of hospital attention. However, it goes without saying that this action can help all those in need of aid in the fight against illness or recovery from injury.

Yesterday, I donated blood for the first time in my life. I was rather nervous about it! A.) I'm not a big fan of needles. B.) I have itty-bitty veins.

But it was so easy.

There are countless blood banks around, permanent locations with the same set-up as you would find at a blood drive. I went to the Central Blood Bank of Pittsburgh, was greeted by a wonderfully kind medical technician who answered all of my questions and gave me a very straight-forward questionnaire about my own health history, which I answered in a secure, private room. The process itself only took maybe half an hour, and other than a pinch at my elbow no worse than a standard vaccination, it was all quite easy and comfortable. (Also, free cookies afterward! :D)

There are, of course, political issues surrounding donation at the present time, regarding those individuals who are or are not permitted to donate based on their romantic activities. I dearly hope that in the future these prejudices can be put aside and the tests of science, not hate, will decide which blood is acceptable for use.

In the meantime, I urge those of you who are able to donate to consider doing so. It was so much easier than I expected, and I find myself feeling incredibly grateful that I was able to help another person, even in a small way.

The links below offer information about the process and a means of finding a blood bank near you:

General Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/donate/give/
Central Blood Bank: http://www.centralbloodbank.org/
A great FAQ from GulfCoast Regional Blood Center: http://www.giveblood.org/faqs

Senebty and thank you,
Ekunyi

5
[PUBLIC] Kemetic Orthodox Q&A / Animal Companions During Senut?
« on: November 09, 2011, 04:13:33 pm »
The question of what to do with one's animal companions during the ritual of Senut came up multiple times in the Beginner's Chat yesterday evening. Kai-Imakhu Sedjemes wisely suggested that I throw the question out there to those of you with fur-kids who have been performing the ritual for awhile, as there didn't seem to be any official decree on the matter. (Thanks again for the advice! :D)

So yes! Do you opt to keep your family members of the feline/canine persuasion in another room? Do you feel that having them with you adds something to the sacred experience? Any humorous pet-related Senut mishaps you'd like to share? *wry grin* I'd love to hear any and all thoughts on the matter.

Also, as I posted this in a Public forum, I'd just like to add this for the Guests -- Please, by all means, feel free to weigh in regarding your thoughts on pets and your own preferred method of worshiping the gods, in whatever form your sacred experience happens to take.

Senebty and my thanks!

6
Em Hotep and a cheerful "Hello!" to all seventy-five of my fellow classmates who will be starting up Beginner's Lessons in a few weeks. I'm kind of blown away by how many of us there are, but am thrilled that there will be such a diverse range of backgrounds and ideas brought to the virtual discussion table.

I've noticed that a great number of us have been posting on the Welcome page (and I've enjoyed reading through all of your fascinating introductions!) but I thought it might be nice to have a thread to sort of... collectively recognize our "cohort" of sorts, and get to know each other a bit better before we dive into learning about Netjer!

In keeping with the topic of this particular forum, maybe we could each give a brief introduction and follow it up with what Names we have interacted with/studied in the past, and what aspects of Netjer and Kemetic Orthodoxy we're most intrigued by and looking forward to discussing in our upcoming course.

(Oi, I type too much! ^_^; )

So yes, to kick things off... I'm Ekunyi: animal lover, geek of the Sci-fi/Fantasy and gaming variety, and sleep-deprived graduate student fascinated by music and culture. I'm here largely because of experiences with Set a few months back, where He essentially convinced me that yes, I could believe in something beyond the secular, and yes, I could survive difficult changes to improve my life. I continue to learn from and work with Him, and have more recently begun conversations with Nut and lessons with Djehuty.

As for the upcoming Beginner's Class... I'm intrigued by how Netjer functions as a whole. Most of my experiences have been with very distinct Names as individuals and I've had a more difficult time grasping the "bigger picture" so to speak. I'm also fascinated by Akhu (Ancestors). I posted here a little while back about my concerns regarding the religion of Akhu when they were alive, and have since changed my stance a fair bit. I like those mental shifts post-debate quite a lot, and hope to have more of them!

Okay, enough rambling from this one, how about you guys? ^_^

7
[PUBLIC] Kemetic Orthodox Q&A / Two concepts I'm struggling with...
« on: August 15, 2011, 07:06:36 am »
Since making my decision to study and potentially commit to Kemetic Orthodoxy, I have been learning what I can about the faith's basic tenets and traditions in preparation for more thorough study in the Beginner's Course. Most of what I have discovered makes a great deal of sense and really sits well with me in that finally, this is where I belong sort of way. It has left me tremendously excited to learn more, with  countless questions popping up regarding how I can dive in to the ritual portions of the faith so as to fulfill the growing internal push/desire to make this a part of my daily life. (i.e. Is there a direction my shrine should/should not be facing? How do I acquire natron? Until I have my RPD is it suitable to devote my shrine to the Names I have interacted with the most to date?)

Yet there are two concepts with which I'm struggling, one emotional, one more theoretical. I would greatly appreciate the input of those who have lived in the KO community for many years, as well as those who are new to the tradition and may have dealt with similar concerns in recent months. I really hope to tackle these issues, as so much else about KO just seems... right for me.

The first is predominantly an emotional concern. I was brought to KO through my interaction with Set, and have grown extremely attached to His solidity and gruff encouragement over the past few months. He has helped me through some very difficult times, and I attribute much of my ability to walk through through the storm of change (not only unscathed but stronger for the experience) to His guidance. The prospect of potentially not having Him appear within the RPD... terrifies me. I have tried to make plans to "branch out" if you will, to give myself plenty of time to work with other Names, to expand my horizons and establish other relationships so that the potential lack of Him being involved in my reading will not strike such a harsh blow, but at the present moment I find it extremely difficult to think about. I know this likely means I'm simply not ready for the process (presently a non-issue seeing as I still have a number of months in which I will hopefully be participating in the upcoming Beginner's Course!) and it also sounds like I can wait as long as I need to after the course to continue grappling with this before committing myself and learning of my Parents and Beloveds. But it does concern me, that I feel this immense attachment and a significant degree of pain at the prospect of having to set Him aside to place another higher than Him, and I am curious to hear of anyone else's experiences with pre-RPD jitters.

(EDIT: Ah blast, and of course I discover the RPD anxiety thread two minutes after I post this. Well, all thoughts still appreciated, and my apologies for the inadvertent repeat!)

The second concern is far more theoretical and deals with Akhu. I shall phrase it in terms of my own experience, though obviously the religion in question will vary from person to person. For me, the practice of respecting Akhu and establishing a place to honor them makes perfect sense. What concerns me deals more with the prospect of interaction. In personal experience, with the exception of myself and one of my living cousins, the entirety of my family, on both sides, is/has been Christian. If I am to respect the beliefs of their particular subsets of Christianity, as I understand KO to want me to do through the emphasis on religious tolerance, how do I simultaneously place them within my own personal, spiritual reality which they would likely have deemed to be wrong/evil/idol-worship? To draw this out a bit more: If one of my honored, deceased ancestors believed that upon their death, their spirit/soul/what have you only continued to exist upon the mortal plane if they were sent to purgatory for some crime committed in life and otherwise they would go to heaven/hell and be permanently separated from the realm inhabited by those who continued to live... how do I reconcile those beliefs with my ability to interact with them here?

In my search for the answer I considered Mexican communities' celebrations of Dia de los Muertos, where altars are built for deceased loved ones and a special flower placed nearby to guide the souls back to the place where living relatives have prepared offerings. These altars are decorated with Christian symbols, leading me to believe that there is no perceived conflict here.

Yet my relatives might not have agreed with such a practice. It certainly wouldn't have fallen within the standard bounds of their cultural experience as white, anglo-saxon protestants in the midwestern United States.

I agree that there is likely a great deal to be learned from my Akhu, and that getting to know them would hopefully be a rewarding experience for everyone involved. However, I remain a bit puzzled by how this interaction, if it falls so far outside of their worldview, is a respectful thing.

If you've made it through this extremely long post, I salute you! Thoughts, advice, and clue-by-fours upside the head if I've missed something obvious ;) are, of course, both welcomed and appreciated.

8
Okay, so that was pretty awful, but in all seriousness - I'd love to learn more about the concept of name punning with the Netjeru.  :whistle:

I first became curious about this idea when I started reading Te Velde's Seth, God of Confusion a few nights ago. He opens with a discussion of the etymology of Set's name, and notes the following:

"There are two instances of punning with the name of Seth that I know of, and there may be more. These show that the Egyptians themselves were aquainted with this pseudo-etymology, and applied it."

He goes on to list the characters associated with Set's name, and how they were adapted to create new meaning, "I have cut Seth into pieces" and "I have cut the gang of Seth into pieces."

He concludes the section with a discussion of how the Egyptians might have looked upon the concept of punning. He writes, "The Egyptians will not have paused to consider the truth of this etymology according to our Western standards. The etymology had to be theologically tenable and true. The unriddling of the name must also unriddle the essence."

I can see how these punned names would, much like the epithets, allow reference to the Netjeru without directly calling upon Them. It seems as though it might permit one to speak of Them without inadvertently drawing their attention, if you will.

I can also see how these punned names would encourage consideration of the history and mythos behind a given Name. The story of Set being torn apart is one that personally makes me cringe a bit, as it appears to be a tale created after his increasingly negative association with invading forces and the "other," but I can understand how such a pun would perhaps enforce the idea that the defending forces were victorious, yet remind those who heard the pun of Set's might and violent potential in that he had to be fought off to begin with.

So my questions for those interested in pursuing this are as follows, one scholarly, one more regarding personal practice:

1.) As a neophyte scholar of Egyptology, I am certain that I am missing a great deal as to the significance of these punned names. What have you read about their origin/purpose or what sources might you recommend to acquire more information?

2.) Is there any significance for these punned names for modern followers of Netjer? What punned names have you come across for the gods you work with? Do they hold any significance for you, or allowed you to "unriddle the essence" of something important about a given Name?

9
[PUBLIC] Welcome! / Another Curious and Grateful Newcomer!
« on: July 21, 2011, 04:19:39 pm »
Em hotep!

I was given the link to these forums by two, much-loved friends of mine (who are part of/studying with the House) as a means of coming to better understand my recent experiences with Set.

Admittedly, I've never been a particularly spiritual person. I was raised loosely Methodist but never felt comfortable in a Christian setting, instead seeking personal understanding and guidance primarily through shamanic journeying and meditation in my high school and early college years. For the past three years or so, I fell away from these forms of sacred contemplation as various aspects of my life sent me drifting into something of a creative and emotional rut.

Only in the past month, as I was forced to approach a number of difficult choices and necessary changes, did I begin to have experiences with Set. He pushed past my disbelief and my fears that I was only hearing Him in some strange effort to follow my friends into an important, treasured area of their lives. He has shown me how to cut through my hesitation and given me the strength to force my own hand on a number of difficult matters that have restrained me for years.

I have only previously experienced this kind of connection with something sacred in my initial shamanic experiences. I admit, I'm somewhat overwhelmed by Him, intensely curious about Netjeru in general, and determined to learn more of why He has helped me and how others have interacted with Him. I want to honor Him. I want to thank Him. I hope that my discussions here will help me figure out where I should even start, as I presently feel... well, completely clueless. (But incredibly excited about the prospect of learning more! *grins*)

Looking forward to meeting you all and learning with you.

Senebty.

Ekunyi

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