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Messages - Sarytsenuwi

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[PUBLIC] Welcome! / Re: Em hotep!
« on: September 21, 2011, 08:01:40 am »
Em hotep and welcome! Also an excited hello from a fellow soon-to-be Beginner! I look forward to studying with you. :)


[PUBLIC] Netjer (Our Gods & Goddesses) / Re: What are they like?
« on: September 02, 2011, 05:02:40 pm »
1) What is the most interesting experience with [Set] ?

Perhaps the day I met Him. I knew nothing about Him beyond His name, had no clue what He looked like or represented, and truly understood very little about Egyptian deities beyond the few things I remembered from a 6th grade Ancient Civilizations course. Yet Set spoke to me in the middle of the work day, wouldn't leave me be despite my panicked denial of what was occurring, all but forcing me to take a break to go speak with Him alone. Once apart from my co-workers, I saw (in my mind's eye) a greyhound with a distorted, shifting face. When later research and consideration of images of the Set-animal matched up with this experience, it helped to verify the experience for a woman entrenched in disbelief. It was as if He knew precisely what I would need in order to get past the emotional obstacles keeping me from spiritual pursuits. His bluntness, His refusal to let me do anything but accept that He was there, was the clue-by-four I needed. It was awesome, in the full meaning of the word.

2) How do they communicate with you? (Through emotions, "coincidences," voices, etc )

I generally can just hear Him. He's quite direct with what He wants and what He expects. Sometimes I get external... waves of emotion if something I'm doing is particularly pleasing or irritating. This often occurs if I'm interacting with other people and my ability to focus on His words is compromised. I've also had the sensation of strong hands on my shoulders in support, or getting slapped upside the head if I've done something particularly stupid. As mentioned previously, He's blunt.

3) If syncretized, does one Name seem stronger or more influential than the other? If aspected, do you ever get any impressions/feelings from the "flip-side" of this Netjer?

As far as I know at this point in my research, Set doesn't really have any other official aspects. He is, however, an extremely nuanced and multifaceted god in my experience. He is chaos, terrifyingly powerful as He tears me apart and refuses to let me stay as I am if I could be remade into something better. He is coach, encouraging me through weariness and pain to reach that next physical goal. He is guardian, His presence a sense of protection in moments when I am broken. He is paternal, telling me that I am important to Him, getting furious with me if I fall into any form of self-deprecation. He is a much-loved friend, helping me to stand up for myself, commiserating in moments of anger or jealousy, and is frequently content to just... sit with me and talk over a drink.

4) Have you ever personally witnessed or experienced this Netjeru interacting with another Netjeru?

The only other Netjeru I have interacted with much is Nut. When it comes to Her and Set... it's complicated? She's so far beyond me, so abstract, and though there's a tremendous sense of compassion and love that radiates from the vast sense of Her, Set is so... real-in-the-moment and readily present that it is difficult to comprehend them truly interacting with each other much. He is certainly fond of Her, acknowledges Her as mother, but noted that Their relationship was not always a good one. He was pleased with the prospect of adding things to my shrine to honor Her. I can get little to no sense of how She feels about Him. She's almost... too far away, but then again, our relationship is still in its nascent stages.

5) How does _____ influence your life? (Words to motivate you, things "fall into place," a swift kick in the rear when you need it, etc)

You could probably just read point three for a good sense of this, but yes, Set has changed my life tremendously in the few months I've known Him. He got me through a friend's death, convinced me to end a long-term romantic relationship that was hurting both parties, and is now working with me to get back into physical fitness after multiple surgeries led me to sort of give up on my body. It's not a warm-fuzzy sort of comfort certainly, but definitely a staunch source of gruff support peppered with the biting comments that get me up and moving at my lowest points, even if initially it's just to snarl back at Him. (Granted, He generally just laughs at me when I'm snarky. Says He likes to see that fire in me. Who knew?)

[PUBLIC] Kemetic Orthodox Q&A / Re: Two concepts I'm struggling with...
« on: August 26, 2011, 07:55:24 pm »
Ni: Thank you for the advice! It was particularly comforting to get such a swift response from someone else connected with Set, and to see that He did stay with you when the time came for your RPD.

Taqaisenu: Many thanks for your wonderfully detailed response! Your message really helped me to take a deep breath and consider how I’ve terribly jumped the gun regarding my RPD concerns. A lot of things have been changing in my life of late, and I suspect I’ve foolishly been allowing some of that nervous, transitional “energy” to affect my perspective on events that will not be occurring for some months yet!

I am grateful to recognize that I have plenty of time to continue building my relationship with Set, and that it is perfectly normal/acceptable to always have a special place for him in my mind and heart, no matter the label that relationship may eventually receive.

Quote from: Taqaisenu

“So my suggestion is to try. If they don’t like it, they will let you know. And like with any relationship, it takes care and attention to make it grow; what may be unacceptable to start may become tolerated or desired. Approach your akhu with innocence and love, and see where that takes you.”

This is a marvelous thought that definitely puts me more at ease: the issue of intent. I will keep this in mind when it comes time to prepare my akhu shrine, keeping the intent to love, respect, and remember them at the forefront of all my interactions, and adapting the design/how I interact with them based on their response. It would be just as wrong, I suspect, for me to assume that my akhu would not want me to honor them as it would for me to assume, as I wrote earlier, that they do.

I would love to speak with you further on your relationship and interactions with Set at some point, if that would be okay? I owe Him a great deal, even in the short time I’ve known Him, and have greatly enjoyed learning about how He has played a role in the lives of other HoN members and guests.

Sobeq: Your comments about continuing to worship gods beyond our Parents and Beloveds certainly takes a bit of the string out of the thought of Set not appearing in the divination. I think perhaps I was overly worried about this due to assorted comments I’d read elsewhere regarding placing the Names revealed through the RPD “above” those who were not.

Also the prospect of continuing to learn and grow in understanding and tolerance in the afterlife seems to make a lot of sense. Thank you!

Astra: :D Hee! I so rarely think of myself as a particularly brave individual, your compliment made me grin from ear to ear! I’d chalk up most of my ability to ask questions to academia.  They pretty thoroughly whomp you upside the head with the idea that you’ll never learn anything if you stay quiet (for better or worse -- sometimes I fear I’m a bit of a loudmouth when it comes to seeking out knowledge!)

Your Akhu shrine design sounds like one that would really fit well within my current comfort levels/personal paradigm/what have you. Would you mind horribly if I borrowed the idea of focusing on the cultural level, leaving it open for individuals to come forward as they like, when I set up my own?

Many thanks!

Blissi: Thank you for sharing your personal experiences with similar issues. Glad to hear there’s someone else in the same boat, and I wish you the best as you continue to wrestle with the idea of ancestor worship. If you would ever like to talk about it in more detail, I’d be more than happy to chat on it. Maybe we could help each other a bit!

Quote from: Bestekeni
One of the important things to remember about RPD is that you are not gaining anything new -- you are simply learning what's always been there.

*considers that and nods* Thinking of it in that light definitely helps to replace some of the fear with excitement for the... revelation of sorts. Thank you!

Quote from: Bastemhet
I think, though, that when the time comes you will just Know.
That... has been so true throughout this entire experience. I think sometimes I lose sight of the... emotional/spiritual confirmation that has served as a point of guidance through much of the past few months, wrapping myself up in old habits of logic and secular reasoning.  Thank you for that reminder. :)

Quote from: Bastemhet
I think, though, that honoring Akhu can be so simple as chatting with them, without any Kemetic stuff having to be involved.

A very good point. Though I do worry that I may tend to second-guess what I’m hearing/experiencing with a human ancestor far more than I would with a god. Unfortunately I’m not coming up with any good explanation for why I feel that way... but, nevertheless, I can certainly try.

Quote from: Helmsman_of_Yinepu
My current thought on it is that if I say "I must have ABC as a parent deity or it I will leave," or "I am terrified of XYZ and I could not stand to have them show up," then I should not have an RPD done at that time. It's a sign I have more learning to do!

You are absolutely right. :) I will see how I feel when it comes time to make that decision, and am feeling a little less guilty about potentially deciding to wait awhile courtesy of the many kind responses to my query.

Quote from: Helmsman_of_Yinepu
I think the important thing to do is make the offer. If, like some of Bestekeni's, yours don't want to be bothered, then so be it. You have covered your end of it.

While I still have some sensation of nervousness about offending the honored dead, this makes good sense. I think that focusing on my positive, kindly intent, and addressing my akhu with an open, general invitation rather than calling out to specific individuals without knowledge of their preference, will be a respectful means of dealing with the concerns I listed above. Many thanks!

WindRider: It's really great to hear from another beginner to all of this, and your comment regarding how many of the signatures seemed to match was definitely encouraging. :)

[PUBLIC] Kemetic Orthodox Q&A / Re: Two concepts I'm struggling with...
« on: August 19, 2011, 07:01:31 pm »
Typing this from a phone so my apologies for the brevity of my response. I just wanted offer my thanks for the advice and support you have offered above. I hope to respond to each of you individually when I next have access to a computer.

Awetitu -- That was an incredibly insightful read! Thank you for sharing so many interpretations of your name! It absolutely fascinates me that such slight changes can bring about such vastly different meanings.

If I may:  Of the many meanings you've mentioned below, do any hold personal significance for you or, put another way, did any of these meanings help you to consider something new about yourself?

[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.

Emky: I really enjoyed your analysis of the puns found in Renenutet's name! She seems like quite a complicated and fascinating Name with such a diverse set of attributes. That is also a fantastic quote from Pinch. Really a great definition.

Wedjbai: I also really appreciated your definition and the note about Shemsu names sharing this characteristic!

Helmsman_of_Yinepu: I'm almost done with the Set book and hope to go back through and consider the many meanings ascribed to Set's name that Te Velde includes throughout the book in a more detailed manner. Do you have any thoughts on the text as of yet? (Name meanings or otherwise. :) )

That is truly beautiful, both in design and sentiment.

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?

Set, Lord of the Desert. Protect me from harm, both physical and mental. Help me not to be frightened of your power, but instead to rely on the knowledge that you would not harm me. You see what I cannot, and I trust in you.

This could not have been more perfectly timed. Set currently guides me through the end of a four year relationship, the death of a childhood friend, the illnesses of multiple family members, and next month's move to another state for the beginning of my graduate studies and my first time living alone. I can hardly remember a more tumultuous period in my life. Yet I find comfort in the knowledge that He who guides knows that I will learn from what has happened and believes that I can stride forward from the storm stronger for the experience.

In the meantime I meditate on the actual purification, particularly "I do not cause tumult." While I am new enough to the faith as to not be sure who is stating this, I found a powerful reminder in this short phrase. Though chaos and confusion goes on around me, it is Set's place to create and form it, not mine. If I am to get through the uncertainty, emerge from the storm whole, I must not lash out at those around me, but remain calm as the eye of the maelstrom. It is tempting to find release through uncontrolled anger when others' inability to understand my grief pushes my frustration to the breaking point. But to allow myself to do such would, as I understand it, go against ma'at. To find my way out of the storm more swiftly, through binet, is to do a terrible disservice to myself, my loved ones, and He who stands with me, pushing me forward in ma'at and strength. It is not worth the end of the tribulations to live with that guilty weight.

Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts, and for leading us through these purifications.

In scrolling through the thread it looks like everyone has already listed the few sources I've found, but I just wanted to express my excitement about your upcoming article and wish you the best with your writing efforts!

[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.



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