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Author Topic: KEMET THIS WEEK, Episode 4, 07/17/2009  (Read 3265 times)

Offline Senushemi

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KEMET THIS WEEK, Episode 4, 07/17/2009
« on: December 29, 2009, 09:28:05 pm »

KAI-IMAKHU ANTYBAST:  Hello, everybody.  Welcome to “Kemet This Week.”  This week we’ve got a special treat in the studio, which is still hot as we close out August.  I’m here with Reverend Tamara Siuda, the Nisut of the Kemetic Orthodox faith. How’re you doing?

TAMARA L. SIUDA: I’m fine. Good afternoon.

A: Good afternoon, and thanks for being with us. This week we’re talking about Wep Ronpet.  Now, for the people in the audience who may not be Kemetic Orthodox, can you give us in a nutshell: What is Wep Ronpet?

T: “Wep Ronpet” is the ancient Egyptian word for “Opening the Year,” and it is the holiday of the Egyptian new year--the ancient Egyptian new year, or the Kemetic new year, as we tend to call it today. It is the biggest holiday of the year, obviously. We celebrate it not in January with the secular new year but actually in what is now secular August. This year Wep Ronpet falls on the seventh of August – Friday, the seventh of August - and we will be having a huge ceremony, a week of ceremonies, and a big celebration here in town with about 45 of our members.  There are also a number of Wep Ronpet celebrations going on with our members around the world.

A:  Now you said it falls on the seventh this year.  What determines what day of the year Wep Ronpet falls on?

T:  Wep Ronpet is determined by celestial phenomena, in particular the sighting of a star called Sirius. It’s called Sopdet in ancient Egyptian, but we know it as Sirius. It is the brightest star in our sky. In the summertime, the star Sirius disappears over Egypt - it falls below the horizon and it cannot be seen.  It can’t be seen for 70 days. On the 71st day, suddenly it can be seen again, and because it is the brightest star in the sky, people noted this. Additionally, not very long after the star appeared in the sky, the inundation would begin. The Nile would begin to rise again, the summer would end, and the seasonal harvests and growing would start.

A:  So they saw a correlation there.

T:  Yes. They considered the star to be a symbol of the goddess Aset or Isis, Who was out looking for Her husband Wesir or Osiris, the dead God Who had gone to the land of the dead, and Who was also embodied in the green land, which of course is dead and sandy and covered in sand at the end of the year.  And then Her searching, the star lit Her way, She found Him, and the green returned.

A:  So in a religion filled with cycles, this is kind of the great grandmother of cycles here, for the entire year, the entire nation.  Now what about the days leading up to Wep Ronpet, the intercalary days - what’s that all about?

T:  In our calendar, we know that the earth takes 365 and 1/4 days to circle the sun, and the ancient Egyptians had a calendar that they worked out that was 12 months of 30 days, and if you add that up in your head you get 360 and you’re short by five.  Mythologically they explained this by suggesting that there were 5 days that did not belong to any year, that occurred between one year and the next, which we call the intercalary days or the epagomenal days.  Those days were assigned to the birthdays of certain Gods.  The first of the Gods is Wesir, or Osiris, on the first day.  Heru-wer, or Horus the Elder, on the second day.  Set on the third day. Aset, or Isis, on the fourth day. And Nebt-Het, or Nepthys, on the fifth day.  Then the sixth day after that is of course Wep Ronpet, and the new year starts.

A:  You mentioned that we have a general House Retreat, which draws people in from literally all over the world.

T: Yes, this year we have people coming from Finland, and from Scotland, and from Canada, and a bunch of other places.

A:  Do you remember offhand - I know that every year we try to guess who came the farthest, and I’m trying to remember who the world-record winner is.  Was it South Korea?

T:  It might have been South Korea, it might have been Australia, it might have been New Zealand; it might have been South Africa.  I’m not sure.  Get a map!

A:  Personally I’m better at geography when it’s just around Upper Nile, Lower Nile ... I’m kind of limited that way. So what can people expect if they’re coming to Retreat for the first time? What happens at Retreat?

T:  At Retreat, we actually start Retreat at the beginning of the days that are “between the years.”  We spend time ... there are religious events, prayers, rituals, ceremonies. We do some heka, or ritual magic, to ensure good luck in the coming year. There’s teaching of many sorts. There’s fellowship. There are lots of things that go on at Retreat. We usually have a very good time. People get to know each other if they’ve never met before. Some of them ... we have people who come every year, we have people who come as often as they can. We have people who are not here who contact us, and we try to keep track of what’s going on at Retreat and let people who are at home know about what we’re doing as much as we can.

A:  People will be able to, as always, get updates on the official House boards at  A lot of people see that.  And as you mentioned, there are people holding their own smaller regional gatherings, for people who can’t make it out to Illinois for the main event.  So it’s a big time. You know, it’s kind of funny - I think this time of year more than anything reminds me of back when this was you and me and one person in a basement, which I think was our first Wep Ronpet celebration.  How far we have come.

T:  Yes, and this year we’re going to have about 45 people, and we are using a conference center in a hotel as well as the temple here. So we have multiple venues and lots of people, and every year it gets a little bigger and a little more exciting, and that’s really neat.

A:  Okay, so now I’ve got to get the burning question. Every year belongs to a god or gods, such as last year was...

T:  The year of Ra and Khnum.

A: The year of Ra and Khnum. And every year there’s an oracle, which is presented to the members at new year when we come to Retreat, and then later on it’s posted up for everyone to see.  And of course we know what the god of the year is and what the oracle says before the actual event, because it has to be, you know, divined and researched and written up. So ... Who’s this year?

T:  Well, I can neither confirm nor deny that there is a god and/or gods in charge of Year 17. We know Who it is and which Ones it is, or One, and I can’t tell you.  Yet.

A:  Okay, so I’m going to pretend there was a major hint in there, because it makes me feel better, and in the meantime I’ll just say thanks for being on the show, and I’ll see you at Wep Ronpet.

T:  You’re welcome.

A:  You’ve been listening to “Kemet This Week”, Episode 4, for July 17, 2009.  Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next week.  

Sat Bast her Djehuty her Hekatawy Alexandros (AUS) meryt Sekhmet
Fedw Diviner for Djehuty and Bast
Self-Care Sekhmet Advocate
Proud waver of the "senu" flag.


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