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What does it mean to be Shemsu to YOU? Try no. 2

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Sorry if you are seeing this twice....silly me posted it in the wrong place. X//D ..I have a question for those who are already Shemsu. What does it mean to be Shemsu to you and not just the definition of what one is. What makes it meaningful to you I suppose? What makes it so much more than just a title? Be as detailed as you want, I want to learn as much as I can about being Shemsu while I am taking the beginners course.

PS. I am nervous but excited about all this so any encouragement and tips would be Awesome!! <333


Em hotep nefer, TheIllustrationist! ;D

For greater brevity (ish), I'm going to link to what I said in a previous conversation much like this one on the public end of the fora.

I'm also going to copy-pasta something I've said before elsewhere. :)
(Second person general "you" is employed throughout, but I hope it's obvious that this is the product of my own experiences and that these are my own opinions.)

Being a Shemsu comes with greater responsibilities. It involves swearing to the Netjeru of your RPD that you will put Them first and foremost, which is not a promise to be made lightly, and isn't always easy to live-up to if you're multi-traditional like me. It also involves swearing to other people in this Temple that you will be making them priorities in your life, irrespective of whether you ever meet them face-to-face or particularly like the pants off of them personally. Being a Shemsu requires giving back to the Kemetic Orthodox community in whatever ways you can, and those ways aren't solely or merely monetary. It means all the difficult things about "people-ing," whether or not you personally love and get along with this-or-that individual. The Netjeru brought us all here, and Their worship is the primary thing that binds us. In being bound this way, we have to be here for each other, too, now, not just the Netjeru. Most of us here live in societies that are philosophically post-Enlightenment Individualist, even those of us from historically closely-knit minority groups, which makes that statement all the more important to emphasize. The meaning of "community" is becoming increasingly lost to abstraction in the Internet Age, and it's doubly difficult for us all to implement in our day-to-day lives when we're not living in the same region, and when socio-political tensions are peaking and making the lamentable action of castigating and writing-off other people wholesale over divergent-but-not-malicious opinions and miscommunications far too easy. It's a constant struggle, to make and maintain community in this day and age. It is sometimes very difficult to summon the energy to do that each and every day -- and you won't have it every day -- but in being a Shemsu, you're swearing to put your best foot forward to make that effort.

Being a Shemsu also entails being more involved with the Kemetic community at large, not just our own Kemetic Orthodox contingent. We're part of a continuum, and we don't exist in a bubble. It neither serves us individually nor collectively to exist in a bubble, whether or not other Kemetics particularly agree with our having a Nisut, or with our Divination system, and so on. 

The logical conclusion of all this is that we have to make a point of representing ourselves well -- not simply in matters of fact, but especially in moral ("ma'atian") conduct -- because Shemsu and above are all equally ambassadors of the particular religion we practice here. There aren't that many of us, in the grander scheme of things, so we each share a proportionately greater amount of burden in terms of "representation to the outside world," in ways that various members of Jewish communities who aren't Rabbis don't and in ways that Catholics who aren't nuns, brothers, deacons, bishops, etc., don't. You get the idea. :P

TL;DR -- Being a Shemsu is about far more than "just" the Netjeru, though the Netjeru are absolutely important and are what (read: Who) brought us all together here in the first place. Being a Shemsu means being part of something much, much bigger than oneself. The individual is not discounted, but the individual is also not the be-all and end-all. Shemsuhood is communal.

Apologies for the length, but I hope this helps! ;D


Hmmmm. This is actually a difficult one for me. I didn't spend very long as Shemsu before I became Shemsu-Ankh (months, maybe, which you were able to do at the time). I have no regrets about that, but it does mean that I don't have a particularly good grasp of what it felt like to be Shemsu, specifically, relative to being Shemsu-Ankh.

I'd say that if I tried to tease away the Shemsu-Ankh-ness, that being Shemsu for me is about two main things, two very different things.

One is devotion to my deities. They are always, in some way, on my mind, even when they're not on my mind. That sounds a bit weird, maybe, but that's how it kind of works for me. My Gods are woven through the fabric of my life, my existence, like golden thread. This is important because this is part of being Shemsu, keeping the Gods of your RPD foremost. That doesn't have to be a Big Deal, it can be a subtle weaving, but it has to be done and it has to be part of your life. I think it becomes part of your life.

The other, although I think this has bleedthrough from being SA, is that I'm part of a family now. It's important to note that this isn't a mandatory part of being Shemsu, to accept yourself as part of a family, but IIRC Hemet accepts you as her child (can someone remind me if that's at RPD or Naming? I think it's the latter) so it's completely right to see yourself as part of a nation of siblings as Shemsu. And that has so many... complicated feelings. We're such different people, here in the House of Netjer. And not all of us will get along. Just like any real family. But it is a family, and at any time, that family is here to support other members. I think even without Shemsu-Ankhhood, that feels like it comes with a nugget of responsibility. How can I reflect and replenish that environment of generosity and support? How can I make this family a home?

For me personally, there's also always going to be boat-paddling, interfaith efforts particularly with other Kemetics. However that's not a Shemsu thing, that's a me as a Kemetic at any title thing. I think though that having Shemsu and Shemsu-Ankh doing boat paddling is particularly important. It keeps our connections flowing, it shows we're not insular, it keeps us grounded. It's all round a good, for those who enjoy it.

I have been a Shemsu in the temple for 15 years now (16 years since I found the temple). Like others have said, I found my heart's and soul's home here. I have found like minded individuals, and argued (joyfully) with people as well.

As a shemsu, I vowed to serve the Netjeru first in all my religious endeavors. This is a fact I have kept true in my heart for all this time. I have seen the temple grow and flourish in my years, as well as troubles brew and people leave. But being a shemsu means that the gods are always with me, always there for me, and I am there for them, serving ma'at.


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