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Author Topic: Copts, Egyptians and Indigenous Spirituality  (Read 2659 times)

Offline Phoenix_Falls

  • Divined Remetj
Copts, Egyptians and Indigenous Spirituality
« on: December 12, 2010, 10:09:17 pm »
I've wondered this for a while now:

Are there any Egyptians practicing some form of the indigenous spirituality of Kemet? I'm more specifically referring to the Copts as they are the direct descendants of the ancient Egyptians and most "modern Egyptians" aren't native to the region although I acknowledge that this is a gross oversimplification.

I mean, I'm assuming that they're out there honestly as I have a very hard time believing that a system that lasted as long as the spirituality of ancient Egypt just clocked out and took a nap for a few thousand years. I guess, more specifically, I'm wondering if there is a public face to those who still practice, something like the Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes although, I'd assume that if there were, it would necessarily be less visible on a socio-societal level than the Hellinismos folks are in Greece.
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Offline Sedjemes

  • Semer-Wati
  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: us
Re: Copts, Egyptians and Indigenous Spirituality
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2010, 06:09:52 am »
Em hotep

THe COpts are Egyptian Christians, eastern Christians who have their own Patriarch/Pope. The Coptic language, which uses an alphabet like Greek, is used in the Coptic Mass and other rites.

You can find out about the Coptic Christians here at http://www.coptic.net.

There are Muslim Egyptians as well as Copts who may also be direct descendants of the ancient Egyptians because many converted to Islam in the late 600s. Several books have been written about the Copts and the growth of Coptic Christianity in Egypt.

As for following any of the ancient Egyptian practices, that is less about spirituality and more about simple practices, like going to the temple of Dendera to sleep there or to touch the stones in order to become pregnant, as one example. But all of these are held to be simple folk traditions, not as any kind of faith-practice, since even to be a Coptic Christian is very difficult at times, much less to worship other gods.
Khenmetaset ("Aset Gladdens")
Sedjemes ("She listens")
Daughter of Aset-Serqet, Meryt Ra her Sekhmet
Heri-Sesheta Aset-Serqet

Offline Phoenix_Falls

  • Divined Remetj
Re: Copts, Egyptians and Indigenous Spirituality
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2010, 09:30:36 am »
Quote from: Sedjemes
Em hotep

THe COpts are Egyptian Christians, eastern Christians who have their own Patriarch/Pope. The Coptic language, which uses an alphabet like Greek, is used in the Coptic Mass and other rites.

You can find out about the Coptic Christians here at http://www.coptic.net.

There are Muslim Egyptians as well as Copts who may also be direct descendants of the ancient Egyptians because many converted to Islam in the late 600s. Several books have been written about the Copts and the growth of Coptic Christianity in Egypt.

As for following any of the ancient Egyptian practices, that is less about spirituality and more about simple practices, like going to the temple of Dendera to sleep there or to touch the stones in order to become pregnant, as one example. But all of these are held to be simple folk traditions, not as any kind of faith-practice, since even to be a Coptic Christian is very difficult at times, much less to worship other gods.

Thanks for your response! =)

I was under the impression that Copts are like Jews, wherein they are an ethnoreligious group (an ethnicity as well as a uniform religious practice). I meant Copts as more of an ethnicity in this case and less of a religion since there are Muslims with Coptic roots as well.

I knew a little bit about people still adhering to "folk practices" but do they recognize it as coming from its source, or has the core meaning changed? While it'd definitely be very difficult to worship other gods in a liberally oppressive religious society, there are still Bedouins that practice indigenous spiritualities, although this is most likely a pithy number compared with how many are Sunnis.
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Offline Sehedjef

  • Rev. Sehedjef - Ordained Clergy - Semer-Wati
  • Country: us
Re: Copts, Egyptians and Indigenous Spirituality
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2010, 07:43:24 pm »
Em hotep!  *henu*

The people follow folk practices as that is what has been handed down by their ancestors.  They don't always realize the significance of why...it's just always been done that way.  For expample with going to Dendra and touching the stones, etc., the person might come back and talk about the spirit of the "cow lady" that they "met" (however they don't see that as HetHert or as a goddess they worship, just a spirit that inhabits the temple, one the locals listen to mind you but not a/their goddess).

Senebty,
Imti
Rev. Sehedjef
(He shines with the beauty of the truth of his Mothers)
Sa Nebthet her Serqet
Mery Ptah her Tasenetnofret

Offline Senytmenu

  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: us
Re: Copts, Egyptians and Indigenous Spirituality
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2010, 07:53:18 pm »
Em hotep, Phoenix,

I would agree with Imti, that the source and origins of folk practices aren't always transmitted down the line.  The local women who may go to Dendera for fertility or love purposes would adamantly insist that they are good Muslims!

A good book I would recommend for this type of research is David Frankfurter's Religion in Roman Egypt: Assimilation and Resistance.

Senebty!
Senut

Senytmenu (The Two Endure)
Sat Sekhmet & Wepwawet
Meryt Bast, Set & Aset
Heri-seshta Sekhmet

Offline Niheri

  • Shemsu
Re: Copts, Egyptians and Indigenous Spirituality
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2011, 02:54:07 am »
Hotep.

Thankyou for asking this question, Phoenix Falls. Folk traditions and practices are always something I'm very interested in. I will see if my library can order the book Senytmenu recommends.
Daughter of Wepwawet-Yinepu

Beloved of Set and Amun-Ra.

 


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