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Author Topic: When your family would disapprove of your spiritual path  (Read 1701 times)

Offline Nesertem

  • Country: us
When your family would disapprove of your spiritual path
« on: November 27, 2020, 07:06:58 pm »
I'm a newbie who is considering to join the beginner's class. My parents live with me, I'm not dependent on them (I make enough to support myself), but they would absolutely disapprove of me joining any pagan religion. Especially since my mental illness really started to show itself when I began exploring my spiritual path. (Those inner voices have no power over me now though.) Would it be against Ma'at for me to pursue Kemetic Orthodoxy? I am developing my practice but I feel the need for community and I wish to serve a higher purpose.
𓁣𓁴𓁟𓁐𓆙

Offline Ta-idet

  • Shemsu
  • Country: scotland
Re: When your family would disapprove of your spiritual path
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2020, 06:51:06 pm »
It's not the most ideal but as long as you're not a minor, you should be fine! There are definitely people in the House in similar situations to yourself. Ideally you'd need to be able to have a physical practice, like maintaining shrines and performing Senut, so that may be an obstacle (if you need to keep stuff hidden) but there are plenty of (discreet) ways around that, too, until you're in a better living situation. As long as your living situation wouldn't be at risk and there is no danger to your person.  :)
« Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 03:55:13 pm by Amarantheia »
Sat Bast-Mut
Meryt Set, Ra, Nut
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Offline Tai'awepwawet

  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: gb
Re: When your family would disapprove of your spiritual path
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2020, 05:41:53 am »
Ma'at is a concept that ultimately, we as mere mortals can only do our best to work towards. We don't know for sure what is or isn't ma'at, though in many cases we can take a very good guess!

What I'm meaning here is, some might say potentially disrupting your family life goes against ma'at. Others might say that forcing someone to live under the shackles of an oppressive family is against ma'at. Who is right? We don't really know.

What we do know is that KO has rules to minimise the chances that someone will end up in a very poor situation (say, kicked out by their guardians with no means of supporting themselves) as a result of the temple accepting their membership request. The temple does not wish to be the cause for such trauma and difficulty in an applicant's life. But those rules centre around you being a financial dependent and/or a minor. If neither of those things apply, the temple basically considers that the ramifications are yours to consider. It would be up to you in that case to decide whether you felt applying to join the beginner's class was the right thing for your life.

The same is true of your mental health really. We have many members who have many different kinds of mental illnesses and experience many different symptoms, and as far as I've seen it's left to those individuals to determine what's best for them in terms of pursuing their faith. If there ever appeared to be a severe risk to someone's well-being, that might change, but I haven't personally ever seen this happen.

~Isha
Isha (they) | Selene (she)
𓇼

Offline Senneferet

  • Country: gb
Re: When your family would disapprove of your spiritual path
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2020, 02:34:19 pm »
I'm not a member of the house and so do not speak for them. I did notice that you say your parents live with you. Do you own the home your are living in or are at least responsible for paying rent?
If yes, then surely your parents should respect your religious choices (mental health problems or no - I have had trouble as well). If they are under your roof then they should abide by your rules?
I'm probably opening up a huge can of worms for you here. It's just that I had parents who disrespected my choices and my rules even once I had moved into my own home. It's very frustrating to have to dance to other peoples tune, especially regarding something as important as your spiritual path.

Offline Padjaiemweru

  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: us
Re: When your family would disapprove of your spiritual path
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2020, 10:17:49 am »
First, hello!

Second, a reminder - though I am a member of the House of Netjer, I do not speak for the temple, the religion, or anyone but myself.

This is a tough situation to be in, and there are no easy answers. I have lived briefly, as an adult, with my dad who forbad me to do anything Kemetic in his house and demanded that I go to church on sundays or live on the street. I had been a member of the temple for almost 10 years at that point. It cause a huge fight that ended in a stalemate (I agreed not to set up my shrine for the 2 months I lived there, and I wasn't required to go to church, but mostly because I was working most sunday mornings). That fight and the anger it brought about didn't get dealt with for years afterwards.

Though I don't know you and your situation, I obviously don't want anything like that to happen to you or anyone else. Anger and resentment is not a healthy thing between any people, but especially within a family.

All that said, the beginner's course is designed to be a "step 0" of membership in the temple. No commitment, no cost, just a bunch of knowledge that introduces you to the concepts of how the temple and faith are organized, how we interact with Netjer and our Akhu, etc. It's the kind of stuff you would learn growing up in the culture (if we had a localized community of practitioners).

No matter what you wish to do, though, I do advise talking with them. You can't hide part of yourself successfully for long, and I agree, it's not within ma'at to do so. Invite your parents to join you in the beginner's course, to see what you see, to assuage their fears about cults, demons, etc. Like I said above, there is no commitment to the temple to take the beginner's course, and quite a few parents, spouses, and friends of members have done so.

Another but of info I've given out to others in the past. There's no rush to take the beginner's course and become a member. The faith isn't going anywhere, Netjer isn't going anywhere, the love they have for us won't fade. Waiting sucks, but sometimes it is necessary.

I wish you all the luck and peace of figuring out what to do.
Padjaiemweru
The Great Ones provide (for) me
Son of Bast-Mut and Heru-wer
Beloved of Sekhmet-Hethert, Seshat-Nit-Nebthet, and Set

Offline Senneferet

  • Country: gb
Re: When your family would disapprove of your spiritual path
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2020, 03:49:07 am »
Fantastic reply ^^ Padjaiemweru! I often forget patience is usually the best remedy. I have been floating around these boards for over twelve years and have had to dismantle my shrine numerous times. I’d say it hasn’t had much of a negative impact on my journey.

Offline Nesertem

  • Country: us
Re: When your family would disapprove of your spiritual path
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2021, 07:00:52 pm »
It's not the most ideal but as long as you're not a minor, you should be fine! There are definitely people in the House in similar situations to yourself. Ideally you'd need to be able to have a physical practice, like maintaining shrines and performing Senut, so that may be an obstacle (if you need to keep stuff hidden) but there are plenty of (discreet) ways around that, too, until you're in a better living situation. As long as your living situation wouldn't be at risk and there is no danger to your person.  :)
Hello Amarantheia, thank you for replying! At the moment, my shrine is on display and it hasn't really attracted any attention so far (https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtIWbyvZGzIkp0rHVFyLKoIMYJOe). I want to expand my Egyptian theme so that the statues blend in with the rest of the room. As long as my family doesn't give me any flack, I'm fine with my living situation.

Ma'at is a concept that ultimately, we as mere mortals can only do our best to work towards. We don't know for sure what is or isn't ma'at, though in many cases we can take a very good guess!

What I'm meaning here is, some might say potentially disrupting your family life goes against ma'at. Others might say that forcing someone to live under the shackles of an oppressive family is against ma'at. Who is right? We don't really know.

What we do know is that KO has rules to minimise the chances that someone will end up in a very poor situation (say, kicked out by their guardians with no means of supporting themselves) as a result of the temple accepting their membership request. The temple does not wish to be the cause for such trauma and difficulty in an applicant's life. But those rules centre around you being a financial dependent and/or a minor. If neither of those things apply, the temple basically considers that the ramifications are yours to consider. It would be up to you in that case to decide whether you felt applying to join the beginner's class was the right thing for your life.

The same is true of your mental health really. We have many members who have many different kinds of mental illnesses and experience many different symptoms, and as far as I've seen it's left to those individuals to determine what's best for them in terms of pursuing their faith. If there ever appeared to be a severe risk to someone's well-being, that might change, but I haven't personally ever seen this happen.

~Isha
Thank you for your insight, Tai'awepwawet. My family would be taking more of a hit if they kicked me out as I pay the rent! We really do need each other but I've lived alone a few months ago and I was fine. I just didn’t want to join Kemetic Orthodoxy under false pretenses. I would fully accept the consequences of my decision. My illness has made things difficult, but I’ve been working through it. Setting up my shrine has really helped give me peace and perspective.

I'm not a member of the house and so do not speak for them. I did notice that you say your parents live with you. Do you own the home your are living in or are at least responsible for paying rent?
If yes, then surely your parents should respect your religious choices (mental health problems or no - I have had trouble as well). If they are under your roof then they should abide by your rules?
I'm probably opening up a huge can of worms for you here. It's just that I had parents who disrespected my choices and my rules even once I had moved into my own home. It's very frustrating to have to dance to other peoples tune, especially regarding something as important as your spiritual path.
Thank you for responding, Senneferet. I am responsible for paying rent. My mental illness started to really show itself when I began exploring my spiritual path so that is a point of concern. I really don't need them to respect my religious choices as this would be impossible, but I just don't want them confronting me about my spiritual path. It is frustrating because you feel like you can’t be your true self. I just wish I had found this path before my mental breakdown so it wouldn't be a problem.

First, hello!

Second, a reminder - though I am a member of the House of Netjer, I do not speak for the temple, the religion, or anyone but myself.

This is a tough situation to be in, and there are no easy answers. I have lived briefly, as an adult, with my dad who forbad me to do anything Kemetic in his house and demanded that I go to church on sundays or live on the street. I had been a member of the temple for almost 10 years at that point. It cause a huge fight that ended in a stalemate (I agreed not to set up my shrine for the 2 months I lived there, and I wasn't required to go to church, but mostly because I was working most sunday mornings). That fight and the anger it brought about didn't get dealt with for years afterwards.

Though I don't know you and your situation, I obviously don't want anything like that to happen to you or anyone else. Anger and resentment is not a healthy thing between any people, but especially within a family.

All that said, the beginner's course is designed to be a "step 0" of membership in the temple. No commitment, no cost, just a bunch of knowledge that introduces you to the concepts of how the temple and faith are organized, how we interact with Netjer and our Akhu, etc. It's the kind of stuff you would learn growing up in the culture (if we had a localized community of practitioners).

No matter what you wish to do, though, I do advise talking with them. You can't hide part of yourself successfully for long, and I agree, it's not within ma'at to do so. Invite your parents to join you in the beginner's course, to see what you see, to assuage their fears about cults, demons, etc. Like I said above, there is no commitment to the temple to take the beginner's course, and quite a few parents, spouses, and friends of members have done so.

Another but of info I've given out to others in the past. There's no rush to take the beginner's course and become a member. The faith isn't going anywhere, Netjer isn't going anywhere, the love they have for us won't fade. Waiting sucks, but sometimes it is necessary.

I wish you all the luck and peace of figuring out what to do.
Thank you so much for sharing, Padjaiemweru. I am so sorry about the situation with your father. That is one of my worst nightmares to be stifled and forced to practice another religion. I hope you have been able to heal since then and make peace.

When I was about to move in with my brother, he told me he didn't want me practicing (I wasn't Kemetic at the time though) and it broke my heart. Fast forward to the future and he's a real estate agent and we're about to move into a house owned by him. It makes me extremely uncomfortable but I'm pushing forward for the sake of my family. I just don't want to be confronted about my spiritual path and have it turn into this huge fight. I don't really want to discuss my spiritual path with my family though. I just feel like I want something that's mine and mine alone if that makes any sense. Thank you again for your advice. It really does help me. I think I want to consider joining the beginner’s class after I read through everything again. :)
𓁣𓁴𓁟𓁐𓆙

Offline Tahai

  • Shemsu
  • Country: us
Re: When your family would disapprove of your spiritual path
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2021, 11:43:37 am »
having to hide your faith sucks, but, unfortunately, it is something many of us have had to do.

I have not had to hide it from my family, but I have had to downplay it.  I have gotten good at 'stealth godding'.

I have had to hide my faith from my community, due to the nature of my work and the conservatism of my area.  I have become more open in recent years about stating that I am not Christian, but not so open that I often talk about what my faith is.

If you are independent financially and emotionally, then I advise you to do as you wish in regards to practicing your spirituality.  However, doing as you wish doesn't mean you have to be 'in your face' about it with your parents.  Choose times when you have the house to yourself to do any formal rituals.  Confine your formal practices to your own personal space. 

Find some stealthier ways to keep your religious symbols with you.  For example, I have a lovely silver snowflake necklace with black gems that I have dedicated to Nebt-het.  I wear it in the winter months.  I know what it stands for, but everyone else just sees a pretty necklace.  Make a portable travel shrine, and keep it in your car.  Go to the local park with your shrine if you feel the need to do ritual, and you can't find private time at home.

As I said, it sucks to have to do these things, but being in constant battle with your family is not good either.  The Gods understand and are patient.  As long as you honor Them in your heart, and stay as true to Ma'at as you are able, I don't believe They will want you to endanger your familial relationships on their behalf.

Blessings on your journey wherever it takes you.  Remember that this journey through life belongs to you, and you alone.  You can honor and respect your parents, but you must live YOUR best life.  <3
TahaiBast
Daughter of Bast.  Beloved of Sobek-Ra, Djehuty, and Sekhmet-Hethert.

Self-care Sekhmet and Sobek-Ra Keeper

Feed the Ka Association (FKA)

Offline Nesertem

  • Country: us
Re: When your family would disapprove of your spiritual path
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2021, 05:18:47 pm »
having to hide your faith sucks, but, unfortunately, it is something many of us have had to do.

I have not had to hide it from my family, but I have had to downplay it.  I have gotten good at 'stealth godding'.

I have had to hide my faith from my community, due to the nature of my work and the conservatism of my area.  I have become more open in recent years about stating that I am not Christian, but not so open that I often talk about what my faith is.

If you are independent financially and emotionally, then I advise you to do as you wish in regards to practicing your spirituality.  However, doing as you wish doesn't mean you have to be 'in your face' about it with your parents.  Choose times when you have the house to yourself to do any formal rituals.  Confine your formal practices to your own personal space. 

Find some stealthier ways to keep your religious symbols with you.  For example, I have a lovely silver snowflake necklace with black gems that I have dedicated to Nebt-het.  I wear it in the winter months.  I know what it stands for, but everyone else just sees a pretty necklace.  Make a portable travel shrine, and keep it in your car.  Go to the local park with your shrine if you feel the need to do ritual, and you can't find private time at home.

As I said, it sucks to have to do these things, but being in constant battle with your family is not good either.  The Gods understand and are patient.  As long as you honor Them in your heart, and stay as true to Ma'at as you are able, I don't believe They will want you to endanger your familial relationships on their behalf.

Blessings on your journey wherever it takes you.  Remember that this journey through life belongs to you, and you alone.  You can honor and respect your parents, but you must live YOUR best life.  <3
I love the term "stealth godding", that's exactly what I'm doing now. :D ;D So far no one has asked any questions about my statues. I intend to expand my Egyptian theme so that the statues blend in even more.

I'm in the process of working on times to perform rituals. It's a little tricky since sometimes my family are night owls.

That is a good idea about the jewelry. I recently purchased a Sekhmet pendant and an ankh pendant that I can wear regularly. I did make a Sekhmet box that I could probably use as a travel shrine too.

Thank you for reminding me that this journey is mine alone. :) It gets hard to separate my thoughts and be an individual at times.
𓁣𓁴𓁟𓁐𓆙

Offline Ishnenheru

  • Shemsu
  • Country: br
Re: Quando sua família admissou seu caminho espiritual
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2021, 05:51:55 pm »
Em hotep, when you follow a religion different from your family, two things happen, it respects your choice and it has to do with the choices we make in our lives and leaves you alone even if they don't agree much or agree with everything or criticize you, abhor you and tries to untie you in certain cases from your family or your community that goes from total silence about your religiosity to the feeling of shame for not having a son or daughter a good Christian, a good Muslim a good Hindu, happened to me with the question of my mother: Where did I go wrong, am I Catholic, do I go to church, where did I go wrong? You end up respecting seeking harmony within the family, your disrespect and the criticisms of your community and follow your journey in this life.

  Senebty
« Last Edit: January 04, 2021, 05:55:27 pm by Ishnenheru »
Har-wer chose me, Sutekh chose me and Sebek chose me too.

Offline Senytmenu

  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: us
Re: When your family would disapprove of your spiritual path
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2021, 01:55:46 pm »
Em hotep,

Since you're not dependent on your parents for a roof over your head, I think you're in a strong position.  But there's no need to upset them unnecessarily, so you can keep up what you're already doing.

Speaking from my own personal experience, most parents never really see their children as independent adults, so they need to be reminded of this from time to time. If they somehow find out what you believe in and start to really get strident with you, you can always tell them that you're a contributing adult in the household who pays the rent; they can't control what you think or believe in.  I believe in respecting our parents and elders, but respect is a two-way street. 

You can also offer to move out since you say you've already lived successfully on your own.  I think this would give them pause if they start harassing you, especially if they're dependent on you financially.  But this is a worst case scenario that I hope never happens to you.

Senebty,
Senut
« Last Edit: April 03, 2021, 02:19:00 pm by Senytmenu »
Senytmenu (The Two Endure)
Sat Sekhmet & Wepwawet
Meryt Bast, Set & Aset
Heri-seshta Sekhmet

Offline Nesertem

  • Country: us
Re: When your family would disapprove of your spiritual path
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2021, 09:13:08 pm »
Thank you for responding, Senytmenu. I’m considering moving out to better suit my schedule and sleeping pattern but I just want to help my parents get a nice house first. The future may seem uncertain but I’m ready to face it.
𓁣𓁴𓁟𓁐𓆙

 


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