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Author Topic: New to Kemetics  (Read 5286 times)

New to Kemetics
« on: July 09, 2013, 04:42:30 am »
I've submitted my application for the September course and im so very eager. I literally a hundred thousand questions I have for this faith. Mainly im concerned of the reputability of the reconstruction, How much is borrowed from other faiths and how much is original? Could I come to nyc to see the central temple? could I start a branching temple elsewhere in the us? how much involvement is online and in person? What archeological evidence was used to support the churches beliefs? can I learn to read Hieroglyphics?

I hate to sound skeptic, if I do, but as a science major I tend to be analytical of such things. I understand much of this was based on interpreting hieroglyphics but from what hieroglyphics did all this come from?
"We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams."

- Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy

Offline Tanebet

  • W'ab (priest) - Kherep Sebau (Education Director), Semer-Wati
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Country: 00
Re: New to Kemetics
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2013, 05:43:37 am »
Em hotep *henu*

there is nothing wrong with being a sceptic.
Here are some starting points with general informationfor you

FAQ
What is Kemetic Orthodoxy  

Our main temple is actually near Chicago.
At this point the temple is only open by appointment.

Our   Imhotep Seminary offers classes in Middle Egyptian and Coptic.

Our W'ab priests maintain State shrines, they are usually not public, but some opt to open them to members at special occasions. So if you would want to open a shrine you would have to undergo the Beginner Class first, undergo the RPD, become a Shemsu-Ankh and then a w'ab priest, a process which will last at least two years

Senebty
Tanebet
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 pm by Tanebet »
Tanebetheru "Heru's Lordship"
Sat Heru Sa Aset her Nisut (AUS), Meryt Ra-Heru-akhety her Heru-Behedety
Heri-Sesheta Heru-Sa-Aset

This is what I was born to: to live, to love, to know, to change and embrace the infinite.
Normandi Ellis: "Awakening Osiris"

Re: New to Kemetics
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2013, 06:43:38 am »
thanks for the info, however none of this explains the basis of origin. I understand Tamarra has done extensive research at universities, surely she understands the purpose of using citations in her information. What is the reference text of some of the things in the faq section?
"We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams."

- Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy

Offline Tanebet

  • W'ab (priest) - Kherep Sebau (Education Director), Semer-Wati
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Country: 00
Re: New to Kemetics
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2013, 07:23:00 am »
Some general literature is actually mentioned in the FAQ.

Quote
"Pyramid Texts," the "Coffin Texts," and the "Pert em Hru" or "Coming Forth by Day" (this last set of writings is known to modern scholars as the "Book of the Dead" as it is found in tombs). Mythological papyri, the Wisdom Literature of Old and Middle Kingdoms, and texts preserved from temple and tomb walls



If you however want to know each and every single source Rev. Tamara Siuda ever used, then you would have to write and ask her.


Tanebetheru "Heru's Lordship"
Sat Heru Sa Aset her Nisut (AUS), Meryt Ra-Heru-akhety her Heru-Behedety
Heri-Sesheta Heru-Sa-Aset

This is what I was born to: to live, to love, to know, to change and embrace the infinite.
Normandi Ellis: "Awakening Osiris"

Offline Rev. Shefyt

  • W'ab (priest)
  • Country: us
Re: New to Kemetics
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2013, 07:26:43 am »
Em hotep, Bullish! Kemetic Orthodox traditions were drawn from many different sources (as the FAQ page notes, "actual source texts, retranslations and divine guidance"), so there isn't a single text that we can point to and say "this is our foundation." Hemet (Rev. Siuda) has translated many texts herself from the original hieroglyphs, in addition to studying the work of other Egyptologists.

I know that there's a concern among some people out there that Kemetic Orthodoxy incorporates Vodou practices. This is not the case; while Rev. Siuda is also a mambo in Hatian vodou, she keeps these two practices separate.

We do tend to consider ourselves more of a revivalist tradition than a reconstructionist tradition. For instance, the Rite of Parent Divination is a modern rite, not attested in antiquity, that serves as a rite of passage for people who wish to join the House. We didn't grow up in an ancient Kemetic community, in a context that included Gods of family, nome, and nation, so the RPD serves as something of a substitute for this.

I hope this clarifies things. If you have more questions, please do keep asking. ^_^

Senebty,

Shefyt
Rev. Shefyt | daughter of Bast, beloved of Nut, Amun-Ra, and Wenut
Beginners Class Instructor | Heri-sesheta Bast | Divinations
Blog: Gold of the Valley, Lapis of the River

Re: New to Kemetics
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2013, 07:54:03 am »
Thanks,

Don't get me wrong I see a strong difference between kemetics and some kind of cult. I know archeology is sifting through alot of information and putting it together in a way that makes sense. Ive written Tamara Siuda and am reasonably satisfied with what she had to say. Looking through some of this myself I can see where some of her sources are in antiquity. She tells me she does not borrow from other faiths i'd assume vodou would be one of them. Im glad to see some signs this is constructed with a cultural relativism based on facts and professionalism rather new age mumbo.

Is there any meetings or groups for this? how much of this is based online?
"We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams."

- Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy

Offline Rev. Ma'atnofret

  • W'ab (priest)
  • Country: us
Re: New to Kemetics
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2013, 08:08:41 am »
Em hotep and welcome!
A'Aqytsekhmet "Sekhmet's Servant"
Sat Sekhmet meryt Sobek-Ra, Yinepu, Nebthet, Nefertem, Wenut, Sokar-Wesir, Heru-wer
Nekhen Iakhu Ihy Neferu Khau
Fedw Diviner  -  Shrine Image Service available  -  Self-Care Sekhmet Advocate
 My Carrd

Offline Rev. Shefyt

  • W'ab (priest)
  • Country: us
Re: New to Kemetics
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2013, 08:26:22 am »
We do have meetings, both online and offline, but they're generally restricted to members (i.e., people who have gone through the beginners course). Hemet typically goes to Pantheacon (a large pagan convention in San Jose, California that takes place in February), but I don't think there are any other public gatherings at present.

Rev. Shefyt | daughter of Bast, beloved of Nut, Amun-Ra, and Wenut
Beginners Class Instructor | Heri-sesheta Bast | Divinations
Blog: Gold of the Valley, Lapis of the River

Offline Meresinepu

  • W'ab (priest)
  • Country: us
Re: New to Kemetics
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2013, 08:11:40 pm »
Em hotep Bullish *henu*

Thank you for the great questions.  As folks have mentioned prior, you'd have to start with the beginner class so you'd have some background on the terms, what we believe, etc.,

Once you complete the beginner course (its free) then you can decide if you'd like to stay on and if so at what level of membership you want to obtain.

We do hold weekly chats for the membership (but those chats are closed to members only) as well as other special services and events.   Some of them are open to the public (like Pantheacon in San Jose every February) but most are closed to members only.

There is a bio for the Nisut (AUS) on the site that gives a lot of information about Rev. Tamara Suida and what She does for the Temple :).

If you have a specific question that has not been answered please feel free to post it on the forums or to Hemet herself.

Hope that helps.  See you on the boards.

Senebty

Rev. Meresinepu [She loves Yinepu] Weptesmerutef {Her Mission is his Love}
Sat Yinepu/Wepwawet, meryt Amun her Bast her Aset her HetHert

"Gone am I, caught by the Underworld, yet cleansed and alive in the beyond." (from an Old Kingdom funerary text)

Offline Tarekbast

  • Shemsu
Re: New to Kemetics
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2013, 08:48:39 pm »
Em hotep and welcome!
-Tarek

Sat Bast
Meryt Heru-sa-Aset her Set

Re: New to Kemetics
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2013, 03:07:39 pm »
I am also new here, and I have been having trouble with the words used here. As I don't as yet know the language used on the site, is there anywhere that has a definition list of the common words and phrases used? I have been reading through the F.A.Q's, wehems, and other places on the site, I found the Netjer list, but not a list of commonly used words. I am very conscious of using the correct words with the correct pronunciation, and any help would be appreciated.
Thanks, Karantha

Offline Rev. Shefyt

  • W'ab (priest)
  • Country: us
Re: New to Kemetics
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2013, 04:24:31 pm »
There's a short list of terms and terminology here. If there's anything that's not addressed on there that you're wondering about, feel free to ask here!

Shefyt

Rev. Shefyt | daughter of Bast, beloved of Nut, Amun-Ra, and Wenut
Beginners Class Instructor | Heri-sesheta Bast | Divinations
Blog: Gold of the Valley, Lapis of the River

Re: New to Kemetics
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2013, 08:28:59 pm »
Thank you, Shefytbast! I plan on printing this, and the Netjer list, so I can study it further. I also ordered The Ancient Egyptian Prayerbook today, and can't wait to get it!

Offline Rayashi

  • W'ab (priest)
  • Country: us
Re: New to Kemetics
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2013, 08:37:56 pm »
Em hotep and welcome to the forums!
Rayashi (Yashi) - "Ra calls me"
Sat Ra her Hekatawy Alexandros (AUS)
Meryt Heru-sa-Aset, Wepwawet-Yinepu, Nut, Sekhmet-Hethert, Sokar-Wesir, her Min

Etsy

Offline Maen

  • Shemsu
  • Country: 00
Re: New to Kemetics
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2013, 08:09:06 am »
Hello there and em hotep

First, let me introduce myself so you’ll know where I’m coming from: I’m Ma’en – that’s Ma’aenHetHert- I’ve been a member of the faith for some years but haven’t been active in the community lately (sorry about that, by the way). I studied Egyptology for three years at the Free University in Berlin, in addition to my private studies and research, so I have the German equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in this field.

I’m glad you’re asking about the ancient roots of the faith, it’s something that I consider to be very important: Not to follow the ancient practices in all aspects, but to have a clear understanding of what is ancient, and what is modern.

Two things in advance:
- Ancient Egyptian faith was complex and changed over time
Let me point out the there is actually no such thing as “the ancient faith”. Ancient Egyptian beliefs and practices differ quite substantially, depending on the time, place, social circumstance and personality of an individual. So you can find ancient sources that support most of the Kemetic Orthodox ideas – but you might find sources that oppose most of them, too.
For example: Kemetic Orthodoxy sees Sekhmet and HetHert as two sides of the same Being. This is strongly supported by the story of the Destruction of Mankind (one copy of which is from Tut-Ankh-Amun’s tomb, btw.) that tells how HetHert transforms into Sekhmet. But it’s about the only clear source there is:  when you look at the two Goddesses’ representations, cult and titles they don’t show any special connection.
 
- Disputed Interpretations in Egyptology
And you have to be aware that many things are disputed in Egyptology, especially when it comes to ethics and philosophy. The texts we have are full of metaphors, ambiguous words and destroyed passages. And the precise grammatical structure of a sentence – which may be crucial for its correct understanding – is governed by word order, prepositions and word endings. Take into account that we have no spaces in between word or sentences, the meaning of some prepositions is unclear and endings are often omitted for abbreviation, and you can begin to guess the difficulties of correctly interpreting the ancient mindset.  
For example: There’s a discussion in Egyptology on whether homosexuals were tolerated or discriminated against in Ancient Egypt – the arguments of both sides hinge on the disputed translation of a negative confession and a few impolite words, other sources are the story of King Neferkare and General Sasenet, the Contendings of Heru and Set and the tomb of Khnum-hotep and Ni-ankh-Khnum, who might have been brothers, close friends or lovers. The stance of modern Kemetic Orthodoxy is quite clear here, but when you look for scientific evidence, you’ll find both pros and cons.

With those two caveats, let me list some concepts and ideas that I believe are important to the Ancient Egyptian mindset, and how well they’re represented in the modern faith – it’s all my personal view and opinion, of course.


Ma’at and the cosmic order
This aspect is very close to the ancient ideas: the world as a realm of structure, order and interdependence that was created from the fertile, but unformed, chaotic Nun. Ma’at as the natural law that keeps the world together, a law that rules both Gods and men. Apep as the evil un-creation, a force that wants to ultimately annihilate all that is and was.
The only thing that is strongly influenced by modern values is the interpretation of Ma’at in social contexts: The ancient Ma’at was, in part at least, about hierarchies and a person’s proper place in society, this aspect tends to get lost in modern ideas of equality, tolerance and personal freedom. This is not a bad thing at all, we should just be aware that many of our values are still very much Western/European, formed by Un-Egyptian stuff like democracy, Enlightenment, science, feminism etc. Putting a Kemetic label on it all and calling it Ma’at doesn’t change that.
The things that haven’t changed, by the way, are those big constants in human ethics: Don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t lie, help the weak, judge fairly.

“Netjer” and Monolatry
In the “What is KO” section, our website states:  “[…] a "soft" polytheism, having a multi-god structure where gods can and do manifest as distinct individuals, and yet providing the possibility that these gods can be understood in relationship to each other via syncretism (several gods joining to form a new composite deity), and aspecting (gods appearing as other gods).” – here I completely agree, you just need to read a few walls of ANY Egyptian temple to find ample evidence for this.
But then the website continues: “A monolatrous religion professes one divine force (Netjer in the Kemetic language, meaning "divine power") that is comprised of separate, interlinked deities, like a team can be defined both as one entity (the sum of its parts) and by individual members themselves. The "gods and goddesses" of Ancient Egypt, while clearly differentiated from each other in some respects and not as clearly in others, also each represent an aspect of Netjer, as Its Names […]
I’d be a bit careful here. There isn’t even an Egyptian word for “Religion”, and I know of no text that clearly defines the concept of “one divine power manifested in different names.” I don’t think that this concise, easy concept of monolatry has an ancient origin. While there are numerous deities that can take the role of the superior king of gods or creator, there’s no abstract, nameless divinity called “netjer” that is somehow the “sum of its parts”.
And I believe that the word Netjer, that is translated here as “divine force”, really just means “god”. I dare you all to find me an example that clearly refers to a higher, unified and abstract divine power (and I’d be delighted to have one!). All the uses I know of can be translated as “a god”, or “the/this god”, depending on whether the word refers to a certain god, whose identity is clear from the context, or to a more general “a god”, when the identity of the deity is unimportant (hem-netjer: servant of a god) or unknown - in Instructions, the general term “Netjer” is often used, and I think this is because the reader can substitute their respective main god here, usually the god of their town. (I mainly got this from  Hornung’s “The One and the Many”. Precise citation is page 45, but I use the German book, that won’t be much use to most of you)

Deities and myths
This is a point where Kemetic Orthodoxy is certainly very well founded in ancient sources. The Gods and Goddesses have all their ancient names and titles, and the stories we tell about them are ancient, too. There’s no New Age or even much Greek Period influence there. In fact, our interpretation of the Gods’ roles, relationships and personalities is probably closest to the New Kingdom period.
In addition to these ancient foundations, of course, there is our modern experience and interpretation – but when we speak about UPG and personal experience, that’s usually quite obvious and clearly stated.

Festivals and religious life
In ancient Egyptian cities, the skyline was dominated by its temples and its layout shaped by the broad, straight ceremonial streets. The basic rhythms of life were not only formed by the change of seasons, but also by the festival days. The religious and spiritual experience of the average ancient Egyptian person was rooted in the public festivals and rituals. I think that the huge processions much defined the structure of this culture’s space and time, when a God came forth from his temple and travelled a on a clearly defined route in His barque.
Obviously, we don’t have that. We don’t follow the religion that is our society’s norm, we cannot just step out on the festival day and watch the procession go by. If we want to take part in a festival, we have to organize it ourselves.
The simple fact that we do not live in Ancient Egypt makes our religious life a fundamentally different and modern experience, by necessity. Even though this point is pretty much obvious, I wrote it to stress the importance of those festival days, processions and ceremonial routes in ancient Egyptian culture. (I got that idea mostly from Jan Assmann’s “Das kulturelle Gedaechtnis” – don’t know if there’s an English translation of that book) And it’s something we cannot easily recreate in modern times.
Today, we have festival days, online meetings and meetings at the temple. This is either a very poor substitute or – as I would rather define it – a new form of religious life.

Rituals, shrines and Parents
Most of the things we do in our daily spiritual practice have ancient roots. The ancients did know house shrines, they gave personal offerings and had their individual patron gods (as evidenced in finds of shrines and statues in Deir el’Medineh and Amarna, texts such as the crossword stela or the hymn in TT194, and personal names) Also very widespread was the practice of seeking advice in oracles and divinations and using protective magics – magic and religion were never separate in Egypt.
The Parent divination and Senut are modern rituals, but in my opinion they’re a very good adaption of ancient ideas into a modern form. Perhaps we do put more importance to the personality and development of an individual today, and the personal experience and communication with the divine is more direct. But that’s just a difference in scale, not in nature.


So, Bullish, I do hope that this has given you another view (if you even got this far). I’d also like to provide you with some nice citations and scientific literature, but for that I need to know:
1.   Do you want the citations to make sure I didn’t invent the stuff I wrote? In that case I’d have to do some digging, but I guess I could come up with evidence for most of this.
2.   Are you more interested in translations of ancient text sources, or would you like some pointers to Egyptology books that give a broader overview?
3.   Which languages do you read? Most of what I know and could recommend is German or English, but there might be some French mixed in.
4.   Do you have access to a university library?


senebty,

Ma'en
Ma'a-en-Hethert ("rightly belonging to HetHert")
Daughter of HetHert-Sekhmet, beloved of Nut, Djehuty and Nit-NebtHet-Seshat

 


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