Changes in the New Year

2020 was a hell of a year for a lot of reasons.  In addition to the things that most of us are dealing with in terms of the pandemic, employment, etc., I was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ, which essentially can be translated as non-invasive breast cancer.  Because of genetic realities, I decided on a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction.  While it was no picnic, I will say that there was no invasive component and I am now cancer-free. Such things take several months to work through and so the long absence has been focused on getting over that as well as putting together other ways to keep myself healthy and busy.  I have manged to get quite a few things accomplished in spite of having weeks of restrictions on how high I could raise my arms, how much weight I could lift, and other things that we so often take for granted.

As a colossal close to the year and just before Christmas, my agency let me know that my writing tasks as I knew them would be changing. I would no longer be writing what we call ITNs or In the News articles, but I would continue on the herb and tea articles since I am a bit of an expert. That news suited me fine, in all honesty. I have written here before about writing things for clients about topics that I didn’t know or care about or from points of view that were completely opposite my own. On one hand, such exercises hone your skills as a writer. On the other hand, they help you to understand other points of view for a number of things, even if some of what I was asked to write was a bit silly or even disagreeable at times. I do know that that time spent has let me keep a very close eye on current events that we all have been pretty much forced to pay attention to as of late.

Now that I have less work to do for others I can focus on the things that matter to me.  This has freed me up for my herbal business and teaching at the local metaphysical store. Alchemia Magic has become a reality. I got my ISN for my business, changed the name of the business officially with the state. Since all of those things, it’s like the floodgates have opened up. I can barely keep up on orders for some herbs like mugwort, lavender, red and pink rose buds and petals, and my Lucid Dreaming Formula loose herb tea.

The Sekhmet book is off to the publishers as of October.   I have been told by my editor, that no news is good news. I don’t want to jinx it, so I won’t say too much more about that.

In the next few weeks, we will be trying to figure out how to teach classes online via Zoom so that anyone anywhere in the world can attend at the time that they want and we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Class materials can be sent out via email and lesson lectures could be recorded and uploaded to an access area.

I am still learning the ropes, of course, but finally I will be able to do the things I have been setting up to be able to do for my whole life. Over the years I have been obtaining the skillsets, the equipment, and the experiences to move toward my goals. I have to be honest, it feels good to finally see some things go in the right direction.

So with that in mind, I am going to be narrowing down the active blogs and be doing more of that on this space.  So I will have Alchemia Magic and this blog that will be updating regularly.  Alchemia will be my company webpage which while I work out the kinks on how to do things like shopping carts, online classes, etc. that will take a bit more time. This blog will have more Sekhmet-centric posts, but as my own practices are evolving, it will probably be a little less Kemetic oriented.





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Nine Measures of Magic

“….. of the ten shares of magic that the Earth received, nine fell in Egypt, while the rest of the world shares the tenth.” – Geraldine Pinch, “Magic in Ancient Egypt”

The High Priestess tarot card from Clive Barrett’s Ancient Egyptian Tarot

It’s been a really long while since I have written and updated this blog. Life has a way of happening, and I sometimes find myself caught up in it.

This year, for Wep Ronpet, or Kemetic New Year, on this day that we celebrate the birthday of Aset (aka Isis), Mistress of Magic, I thought it was only fitting that I include that favorite quote. It is at least partially true that for this legend alone, that Egypt holds nine of the ten measures of magic in the world, that it holds so much of a draw for so many of us. We know how true that idea is because of how deeply it is lodged within our human DNA.

If you look at almost every single “magical” tradition in the world, particularly those of Western magic, there is a direct link to the Two Lands. If there wasn’t a direct link, certainly it was one that was fervently desired. Even before Francoise Champollion translated the Rosetta Stone, the ancient mysteries of Egypt would lend an air of legitimacy to any magical or metaphysical tradition or act. This idea has continued to the present day with various Kemetic temples, traditions and practitioners all jostling to see which group or individual has the a “more authentic than thou” connection to the ancient past.

The fact of the matter is this: Egypt did influence the world. Hermeticism, gnosticism, alchemy, tarot and astrology, all claim to have originated along the banks of the Nile. There are, in my experience, groups and individuals that like to claim fantastical histories and accomplishments that were never a part of ancient Egyptian culture. The other side of that coin are the reconstructionist / revivalist groups who dare not speculate on anything that falls outside of the hallowed halls of that which is “egyptologically approved.” Both sides have their approaches, and there are times when both are so equally damned annoying that anyone with an interest in Egyptian religion is likely to chuck the whole lot over their shoulder and walk away in confusion and/or disgust.

I personally believe that somewhere in the middle lies the truth of the matter.

I have seen, experienced and been a part of things with relation to my several decade long relationship to Ancient Egypt or Kemet that I simply cannot explain. I can also say with certainty that those experiences were 100% real and they happened. There is something to all of this “stuff” and if you get a small taste of it for only an instant, you will never forget it for the rest of your life. That I can promise you. There is no need to make up the mystic woo-woo. No need to embellish the stories or Hollywood them up in order to make them more whatever; the reality is astounding enough.

During this time of the year, the last week of July through the first weeks of August, we Kemetics celebrate the Epagomenal Days leading up to Wep Ronpet. During those five days, or “non-days”, we celebrate the birth of the five children of the Goddess Nut. They are in order of appearance:

1) Wasir (Osiris)

2) Heru-Wer (Horus the Elder)

3) Set

4) Aset (Isis)

5) Nebt-Het (Nephthys)

After these Primordial Five are born, the Rite of the Turning Back the Enemies of Ra is performed. During this rite, we destroy an effigy of the Apophis or Apep Serpent. We throw a net over it, throw sand on it, smash it, burn it and we eat cake that is to represent the ultimate destruction of the Uncreated and all of the senseless, wicked things in the world in order to overcome them. Once that rite is finished, it is safe to bring out the various icons from their naos shrines and to show them the light of Ra, and offer them purification in the form of blessed water and natron and the feather of Ma’at.

During these rites, and with various groups devoted to this, amazing things happen. People interact with their Spiritual Parents, receive dreams, messages and experience things that can be a bit outside of what is considered the norm than at any other time of year. Some say it is because it is at this time that the veil between us and the akhu (ancestors) and the gods is thinner, and access between those realms is easier. I can honestly say I don’t know if it’s true or not – I can only go by my own experiences, and everyone is going to have an experience that is truly their own.

Though there is something to be said about having a natural ability in realms spiritual / magical, none of us springs from the womb knowing this stuff. (And by the way, anyone who tells you that they did is lying to you.) NO matter how you approach it, no matter what organization that you belong to – or not, we are all going to have a different approach. What we do with the measures of magic we are able to integrate into our lives and act upon is up to us. It’s not without pitfalls, and none of it comes without hard work and more than a few hard lessons along the way.

(crossposted from my blog at


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Di Wep Ronpet Nofret! – Happy (Kemetic)New Year!

The New Year is now upon us! We made it through the year belongning to Sekhmet and Ma’at! Nekhtet! (Victory!)

Go us!!

A lot has happened, to be sure. This New Year ahead of us belongs to Ra. I think it is safe to say that we are all hoping that this year brings about more positive change than the last one did. I realize that neither Sekhmet, nor Ma’at are “gentle” when changes are made and when the truth needs to be exposed. Certainly we have seen it in Washington D.C., around the country and indeed around the world. People who hold ideals that we thought were dead decades ago are now oozing out of the shadows and daring to show themselves.

Ra is about exposing such things to the light. Every year, as Kemetics, we perform a ritual called The Turning Back the Enemies of Ra in which Sekhmet, Set and all of the deities who are aboard Ra’s Solar Barque fight off and destroy the Apep serpent. This being is not a god, but rather an entity which represents chaos and is the embodiment of isfet – the antithesis of Ma’at. All of this must be done before sunrise and then each of the icons that we have in the Temple are shown the Face of Ra so that They may embrace each other as we embrace the hope of the coming year.

It is my hope for everyone that indeed Ra’s beneficence shines upon us all and that the Eyes of Ra who guard Him, may also guard and guide every one of us in each of our daily journeys.

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Sekhmet: The Beauty and the Terror

Many years ago, 1996 to be exact, through my devotion to Sekhmet, I put together the Ancient Egyptian Virtual Temple on my ISP’s provided web space.  Since that time, I have switched providers and the website has moved on to be housed on another site. Because of limited capabilities of that site now and outdated web coding, I am posting it on this blog page.  Please bear in mind it is a work in progress, but for me it will always be a complete labor of love.   This was and is a small taste of what I intend to create for my book, “Sekhmet the Beauty and the Terror”, which is due to be released November 1st.

Her very Name means “She Who Is Powerful“. Sekhmet personifies the aggressive aspects of the female forms of Netjer and acted as the consort to Ptah. However, it is believed that Sekhmet’s worship pre-dates that of Ptah by at least several hundred years.

Sekhmet is usually portrayed as a woman with the head of a lioness, but as the Daughter of Ra. Sekhmet is closely linked to the Uraeus (Buto or Wadjyt) in Her role as the fire-breathing, ‘Eye of Ra’. The pyramid texts themselves mention that the King or Pharaoh was conceived by Sekhmet, Herself.

Sekhmet is one of the oldest known forms of Netjer in Egyptian history. She the ‘patron’ of the Physicians, Physician-Priests and Healers. Because She is one of the most powerful of all the Names of Netjer, (Her name literally translated means “Mighty One”, or “Powerful One”). Her Name is derived from the Egyptian word ‘Sekhem’, which means “power” or “might”. The word sekhem’ is literally inseperable from Sekhmet and Her worship. Because of these facts, She is often times misunderstood and portrayed only in a negative way This is probably because of legends of how Sekhmet, as the destructive Eye of Ra was sent forth to punish humanity for its mockery of Her Father, Ra. The myth of Sekhmet’s Creation explains how Sekhmet came into being from Het-Hert (Hathor).

But in spite of the fact that She is sometimes ‘destructive’, Her qualities as Healer, Mother and Protector are often overlooked. In the realm of Ancient Egyptian Medicine, almost all healers and surgeons of Ancient Kemet would most certainly have fallen under Sekhmet’s jurisdiction.

The chief cult centre of the Memphite Triad was located at Memphis.  This triad of deities was composed of Ptah, Sekhmet and Nefertum.  Sekhmet, however, in spite of her fearful reputation, had temples in several other areas as well. A sanctuary was built in Abusir where some images go back as far as the 5th Dynasty.   Because of her synchretization with other deities such as Bast, Mut, And Sekhmet-Bast-Ra, there were other shrines and cult centres as well.  Sekhmet is also mentioned quite profusely at the cult centre of Kom Ombo, which is sacred to the crocodile god, Sobek. At Kom el- Hisn in the western Delta, there is a temple that is dedicated to Sekhmet-Hathor. Sekhmet is invoked alongside Hathor at Hathor’s main temple located at Dier el Bahari, known in the earliest times as Iunu.

Today, there is no temple still in existence that is dedicated solely to Sekhmet and open to the public with the exception of the one which is located in Cactus Springs, Nevada, located a short distance from Las Vegas. There are, however, countless shrines in private homes and temples throughout the world that are dedicated to Sekhmet. In a way, this is most appropriate since in antiquity, it was the norm for homes to have shrines dedicated to personal and patron gods.

Sekhmet was worshiped throughout Egypt, particularly wherever a wadi opened out at the desert edges. This is the type of terrain that lions are often found. Many of them having come from the desert in order to drink and to prey upon cattle in the area. It is said that Her worship was possibly introduced into Egypt from the Sudan, because lions are more plentiful there. Sekhmet’s main cult center was located in Memphis, also known by its ancient name of Men-nefer,  were central to Sekhmet’s worship until the shift in power that moved the capital to Waset or Thebes during the New Kingdom (1550- 1069 BC).  It was at this time that the Theban Triad, made up of Amun, Mut (Amaunet), and Khonsu, caused Sekhmet’s attributes were absorbed into those of Mut.

This meant that Sekhmet was increasingly represented as an aggressive manifestation of Mut and the Two Goddesses, along with HetHert (Hathor) and Bast were often synchretized. Mut-Sekhmet was the protectoress.  She was the Wife of the King of the Gods, Who also was incarnate through the person of the Pharaoh. Within the Mut Precincts were found large numbers of statues of the lioness-goddess which were erected by Amenhotep III (1390 – 1352 BC) both in the Temple of Mut at Karnak and also at his mortuary temple which was located in Western Thebes.  It is estimated that there were perhaps more than 700 statues of the leonine goddess that were located at the Mut Precincts.


Stele No. 1482 in the Cairo Museum, a false door from the tomb of Chief Physician to Pharaoh, NiankhSekhmet.

Sekhmet & Her Function

Sekhmet’s action is always the right, or ‘appropriate action’. When She destroys it is an appropriate destruction or vengence. It is never chaotic or random. It is always what is needed at the time. Even though Sekhmet is not intimately linked with the aspect of destruction, as  Set is, She removes threats and punishes those who do wrong against Ma’at.

The formal rite of ‘appeasing Sekhmet’ was performed mainly by her priests in order to prevent or combat outbreaks of illness. The ‘Seven arrows of Sekhmet’ were especially to be feared and the rites for thwarting them were of primary importance.  Truly, there is a seemingly endless array of both spells and charms that the ancients used as protection against Sekhmet’s wrath, as well as that of her messengers and demons.

Customs During the New Year

In antiquity, and today among the adherents of the Egyptian religion, Wep Ronpet is the time of year when gifts are exchanged, much in the same way that Christmas gifts might be exchanged.  In ancient times, the Egyptians  would sometimes exchange amulets of Sekhmet in order to pacify the goddess and keep her wrath away, but also one of the key deities invoked in the destruction of Apep, the essence or representation of the uncreated. Sekhmet, along with Set and others among the company of the Netjeru, worked together to overcome this foe.  Over the many centuries of Egypt’s history, these rites were not considered optional but absolutely essential to the continuation of the stability of the Two Lands of Egypt.  Once the aforementioned rites were performed by the priests and the King, the cycle of Ma’at  within the Two Lands could continue.


Traditionally, there were 14 days in total for the ritual of the New Year, which also, by necessity included a (re-)coronation of the Pharaoh. At each new year,  the priesthood and the Great Royal wife in her role as Goddess, would reinvested him with the protections of the solar goddesses. This set of rites corresponded with the heliacal rising of Sirius (Sothis) and the rising waters of the Nile. Depending on how this annual flood was, determined how effectively the greening of the Nile Valley would be. This would ensure the rebirth of Osiris and the triumph over the red lands of Set, which were like the dry desert that encroached and parched nearly everything.   This was when Sekhmet’s rage was in its full fury.  Only the return of the  rising waters of the Nile would ensure that Sekhmet’s thirst and desire for vengeance would be appeased.  This appeasement was absolutely crucial. According to egyptologist, Barbara A. Richter in her book, “The Theology of Hathor of Dendera.”  the pacification of the goddess;  “…relates to the cycle of the innundation, when the goddess Sekhmet, who brought disease when the Nile was the lowest, needed to be appeased.” (Richter)

State rituals involving Sekhmet were particularly important at Wep Ronpet. To the ancients, the main purpose of these annual tituals was to insure that the new year was in no way contaminated by any potential calamity of the year that was just ending. It is through these rites that the beneficence of the gods would ensure the proper eralignment of the seen and the unseen worlds and therefore uphold Zep Tepi,  which is translated as ‘the First Time’, or ‘The Beginning’ or ‘The Source’.   The other is the continuance of Ma’at, which is the balance of all that is right within Creation, community and ensures the order of a good and balanced life.

The two most important rituals in the manifold rites that were done  during this time involved Sekhmet  It is important to note that the term iadet, or “pestilence,” which is associated with Sekhmet, is a very broad term, and is identical to a word meaning, “net,” which is often used within spells pertaining to the soul.  These are intended to protect the spirit from becoming ensnared and trap the deceased in such snares..  An example of this can be found in the Coffin Texts 473-481 (Faulkner)

Within the Rite of the Turning Back the Enemies of Ra, tnets are  also thrown over Apep(Apophis), or the Uncreated One, so that it, too, could be ultimately destroyed – or at least for the course of that year.

Sekhmet and her other, more benevolent side, Hathor, serve an important function in conjunction with each other.  The Two Lands and the king are indeed one, and what befalls one, will almost assuredly befall the other.

“Son of Ptah. whom Sekhmet has born,”  “Son of Amun, whom Mut has born,”  and “the Image of Ra,” are all titles bestowed upon the king and are repeated upon the Golden Shrine of Tutankhamun and these were later incorporated into the coronation rites of the king each year at the rite of the new year from the reign of Tutankhamun and into the  19th Dynasty through the Greco-Roman period.

The two sides of the goddess, one raging and the other beneficent, underscores the idea that Sekhmet and Hathor are inextricably linked.  Modern, self-described ‘hard polytheists’ may resist the idea of this.  However, the evidence is overwhelmingly established toward a sort of polyvalency by the ancients that is difficult to refute.

The entire company of Eye of Ra Goddesses, Sekhmet in particular, becomes a symbol of the pharaoh’s desire for his own unvanquishable heroism in battle. It’s Sekhmet who breathes fire against the foes of the King.  This is clearly shown in the inscriptions and stelae depicting Ramesses II.  Sekhmet is seen on the horses of the pharaoh’s own chariot,  her flames are shown scorching the bodies of the enemy soldiers who are trampled beneath him.  All of the pharaoh’s enemies can be seen falling to Sekhmet’s righteous fury and her protections that surround the King. and her most effective protections of the King.

Scene from the Golden Shrine of TutankhAmun

The Queen as the Personification of the Eye of Ra

Egyptologist Alison Roberts in her book, “Golden Shrine, Goddess Queen: Egypt’s Annointing Mysteries” succinctly puts forth the idea that the Eye of Ra, whether appearing as Sekhmet or Hathor, comes together in the person of the Queen or Great Royal Wife.

‘It is within the person of the Queen, or more specifically, the Great Royal Wife of the King that the two aspects of the Eye goddesses becomes personified. This can clearly be seen in the golden shrine found in the tomb of Tutankhamun. On each of the sides of the shrine are shown various scenes, not just mere slices of an idyllic life of royals, but representative of symbolic function s of the king and Queen – the king being the land, the Queen being the Eye of Ra that nourishes and protects him and in turn the Two Lands as well ‘ – (Roberts)

The only one who divorced himself from this ideal of the Queen as the Eye of Ra was Amunhotep IV, who was later known as Akhenaten.  During his 17-year reign, Akhenaten completely turned his back on all of the Eye Goddesses, feeling that they were unnecessary within the cult of the Aten. After Akhenaten’s death, and under the rule of Tutankhamun, this slight afainst all of the other gods including the other 70+ forms of Ra and his Eye, were quickly redressed.  The boy king expended a great deal of  effort in order to re-establish the previous forms of worship and the Eye goddesses that made it possible for the balance of life in the Two Lands to continue.

Sekhmet’s Worship Today

Sekhmet’s worship has blossomed in ways that few of us could have even imagined as little as 25 -30 years ago.  It was in the Spring of 1992 that Sekhmet grabbed me by my lapels and let me know in no uncertain terms that I was being claimed by Her. There are now several books that are either solely about, or mention Sekhmet in profusion. Once again, She has become an important figure in the collective mythology. Whether or not someone believes in Sekhmet as a literal entity or energy, or merely an anthropomorphic archetype, or perhaps something in between is unimportant.  The truth is that today, Sekhmet is far better understood  in terms of who she is historically and who She has become for the many who simply want to get to know her better.

I confess, I am not one who is much for fluff, especially when it comes to Sekhmet and Her true nature. It’s unfortunate that people, authors, in particular, feel the need to “dumb down” any deity.  Alas, with the embrace of Sekhmet by many in the New Age, there has been the idea of practically turning Sekhmet into an extra-large fluffy housecat who is there to be a “buddy” no matter what.   Those of us who have made a lifelong commitment to Sekhmet know that there is a motherliness about Her,  she is definitely a tough-love type of ‘Parent’ rather than one with a tendency toward indulgence or downright mollycoddling.  The following is a passage that really struck me on the score of not softening Sekhmet too much:

“The profound and un settling concept of a great being who was simultaneously ‘kindly’ and ‘savage’ usually proves too strong for modern folk, often New Agers who follow their own form of neo-paganism. (Pan becomes a sort of bar-room decadent while the old uncompromising destroyers such as Sekhmet transmogrify into solicitous friendly figures, almost furry pets.While few would want their home town to be laid to waste by a ferocious lioness-headed goddess breathing fire, the cuddly modern version is so inauthentic it would be unrecognisable to her ancient devotees.” (Picknett)
There is no doubt in my mind that Sekhmet is wonderful in terms of empowerment for her devotees.  In terms of function, women and children especially will find no stauncher ally than Sekhmet. If you want to get on Sekhmet’s bad side quickly, be unjust, dishonest or harm the innocent. Standing up and protecting those who need protection has been a part of Sekhmet’s function from antiquity onward.  All of that is essential to the conquering of isfet or willful wrong-doing and the upholding of Ma’at.



Borghouts, J. F. Ancient Egyptian Magical Texts. Leiden: Brill, 1978. Print.

Germond, Philippe. Sekhmet Et La Protection Du Monde. Genève: Editions De Belles-Lettres, 1981. Print.

Masters, Robert E. L. The Goddess Sekhmet: Psychospiritual Exercises of the Fifth Way. St. Paul, Minn., U.S.A.: Llewellyn, 1990. Print.

Meeks, Dimitri, and Christine Favard-Meeks. Daily Life of the Egyptian Gods. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1996. Print.

O’Connor, David. Amenhotep III: Perspectives on His Reign. N.p.: U of Michigan, 2001. Print.

Paul, Christina L., The Ancient Egyptian Virtual Temple, “Sekhmet.” Sekhmet. PanHistoria, 01 May 1996. Web.

Picknett, Lynn. “The Secret History of Lucifer”. London: Constable & Robinson, 2005. p. 54. Print.

Richter, Barbara A. The Theology of Hathor of Dendera: Aural and Visual Scribal Techniques in the Per-Wer Sanctuary. Atlanta, GA: Lockwood, 2016. Print.

Ritner, Robert K. The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Magical Practice. Chicago: U of Chicago, 1993. Print.

Roberts, Alison. Golden Shrine, Goddess Queen: Egypt’s Anointing Mysteries. Rottingdean, East Sussex: NorthGate, 2008. Print.

Shaw, Ian, and Paul T. Nicholson. The Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1995. Print.

Siuda, Tamara. “Sekhmet’s Creation.” N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Aug. 2017.

Wit, Constant De. Le Rôle Et Le Sens Du Lion Dans L’Égypte Ancienne. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1951. Print.





























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Restoring Ma’at

sekhmetdarkness2016,  through all of the abysmal things that have happened during that time, has me thinking a lot about Ma’at lately.  We’ve lost so many cultural, artistic and historical icons in this year, any of us would be hard-pressed to name them all without referring to a list. This year has been a crippling blow on a lot of levels, but it is not the end by any stretch of the imagination.  That is not to say that it’s been any less trying.

I won’t beat about the bush.  We are all about to head into unknown territory in 2017.  For some, that prospect is terrifying.  Given some of the more recent events that have occurred in the world and the attitudes of those who were supposedly elected to help us face them, we probably should all be on alert.  We are facing several global crises of epic proportions and our elected leaders are staying mostly silent about them. The media is of no help either.  Between the fake news and the apathy of mainstream media attempting to dumb us all down into complacency and obliviousness, it’s pretty damned obvious we’re on our own.

First on the list is that we are facing climate change at a much faster rate than what was initially estimated by climate scientists.  While the rest of the world wrings its hands in fear of what calamities might befall us if we continue at this pace, the president-elect, and his appointed ministers deny it’s a problem.  They thumb their noses at it, and continue on their breakneck pace of looting and pillaging all that is left of both our country’s natural and monetary resources for their own gain.

Let’s get this out, and state it at the outset: None of those people the POTUS-elect has appointed to his cabinet gives a bloody damn about any of us.  Please allow that to sink in.  A corporate oligarch who fancies himself a king has been appointed to lead our nation down the long pathway to Hell.  This failed businessman was not elected by the majority.  That much is proven, and he was put there with the blessing and complicity of the current Congress, a largely bamboozled electorate, and the assistance of a foreign government that is historically hostile towards us.  Deny it if you want.  I only ask that you continue to watch what is going on in the world and then ask yourself what’s really going on. The most important thing is to be honest with yourself when assessing every situation.

I will make the unfortunate prediction that the safety net as we know it will most probably be dissolved.  If the GOP has its way, you can kiss your Medicaid, your Social Security, educational funding, and any other government subsidies goodbye.  It doesn’t matter how long you paid in as a taxpayer – the GOP will make a diligent effort in legislating them all away under the guise of “privatization”. Privatization = Maximizing Profits for politicians, their friends, and contributors.  Again, none of these people give a damn about you. If you get laid off because of outsourcing, or get sick or fall into bankruptcy or die because you have no medical insurance, or if you cannot afford your medications, or to feed yourself and your children or lose your home and anything else in the process, that’s not their problem.   If you cannot afford to go to school to update your skills after being laid off from your job, they. simply. don’t. care.  In fact, if you do, it means more profit for them, because as far as they are concerned, you are of little use to them unless you are adding to their bottom line.

I confess, this is a cynical and very bleak vision, and one that our forefathers never imagined would or could befall us.   Let me ask a question:  How are your survival skills? Do you know how to forage for food?  Do you know how to make medicine, build a fire, or make do? Can you even begin to function without your wired devices?  Will you go stir crazy without having access to the Internet? Have you thought about the benefits of following your crazy grandma’s example of stashing a supply of cash in the mattress? Your debit card may not work at one point or another and then where will you be when it comes time to purchase food, gas or something else that you are in dire need of? You’ll be forced to really live on your wits then and the question becomes whether you can or not.

So what does this all have to do with Restoring Ma’at?

Absolutely everything.

In Ancient Egypt, Ma’at wasn’t just a goddess or an abstract concept. It was the absolute base of every pillar that their entire culture was founded upon. Ma’at is much more than a concept of Truth (with a capital ‘T’). It is about justice and fairness and right action, even in those times when it’s difficult. It is what Dr. Maulana Karenga described as serudj-ta – or repairing the world. In the coming days, perhaps for several years, we are going to have to collectively concentrate on the ideas of Ma’at and Serudj-ta in order to restore what has been or will be destroyed.  We will all be tasked with raising up those things and people who are in ruins, setting to right the wrongs of racism and bigotry, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and all of the other ills that may raise their heads wherever we are. It is up to each of us to be the advocates for one another; to replenish that which has been diminished and to make things as beautiful or more beautiful than they were before.  This is what each of us has been charged with right now.  If we care about anything or anyone else outside of ourselves and our own sphere, then we need to face the reality that we each carry this responsibility.  We must stamp injustice, hatred, and cruelty out wherever we see it and we need to not be complicit in our silence or our apathy.

None of what I describe is easy to hear and can seem an overwhelming thing to do.  It’s probably all pretty frightening to consider.  Even as I write this, Congress is attempting to pass legislation that will not allow cameras on the floor to let us see exactly how our rights are being slowly whittled away.  Perhaps they imagine that the public won’t feel what we cannot see. Or perhaps they know that what they are doing is wrong and that the public backlash would be something that none of their careers could stand.

Owapsi-heronur collective carelessness with our land, water, air and all other natural resources has wrought terrible things.    We know, based on scientific evidence and even by simply paying attention to the natural world around us that we cannot keep on as we have in the past. While allowing the Dakota Access Pipeline would bring temporary prosperity for a select few for a short amount of time, what happens after the work is complete?  Those “jobs” are gone and the and all the corporate interests need to do is sit back, turn on the spigot and gather up the profits.  What we are left with is the incredible risk to not just the land and water of a few members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, but to millions upon millions of people who are dependent upon the water of the Missouri River downstream.  Look at where it goes and then ask yourself, what happens if the pipeline bursts?  Have we forgotten the tragedy of the Deep Water Horizon already?  Don’t we remember the incredible tragedy of the Exxon Valdez? In both instances the consequences of spilled fossil fuels to the environment and to those whose livelihood depended upon those waterways was enormous.  We have within our grasp, right now, the ability to get away from fossil fuels and push toward renewables. Other countries have pushed and shifted their economies around renewables, so it’s been proved that it can be done.  The only reason why the US has been so reticent in the effort toward renewables is the incredible amount of influence of a few oil billionaires and the fossil fuel lobby.  Deep in their guts, they know that their days are numbered. Our will to survive and to thrive as a planet must match and far outstrip their sense of corporate survival and maximizing profits.

So then, how do we create serudj-ta or work to further Ma’at? Each of us has an idea in our mind of what makes society work and what doesn’t. The vast majority of people in the world do have a strong sense of right and wrong. This goes beyond borders, national interests or origins, race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other way we choose to parse out segments of human society.   We each want a place in the world, the opportunity to be able to feed, clothe and house our families in safety and security and we all want a chance to do something meaningful with our lives.   Those are basic human motivations. When we let greed, envy, and vindictiveness and break our human family into segments of “Us”  vs. “Them” that is when the problems arise.  We have seen this demonstrated over and over again with disastrous results.  When we hold those ideas in our mind on a constant basis when dealing with anyone and in every situation, we are reminded of those higher ideals.  We cannot individually fix the world.  But does it really cost us anything at all to be courteous?  How much do we lose and how much do we gain by exercising compassion in even the smallest of ways? Most of what I am talking about doesn’t have to cost money. It doesn’t mean a major inconvenience for any of us. It just takes remembering that any of us could be in a similar situation at any given moment depending upon circumstance.  Sure you might get a warm fuzzy feeling after having done something nice – but that shouldn’t be the goal.  The goal is knowing that something was right to do and to simply do it without an expectation of thanks or payment or anything else. The end goal, especially for we Kemetics, is doing our part in order to further Ma’at in the world – and absolutely nothing less.


“Ma’at: The Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt” by Dr. Maulana Karenga, 2004,University of Sankore Press, Los Angeles



























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Excavating Our Souls

This is a crosspost from my other blog at

writing_smThe way to mend the bad world is to create the right world.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s been far too long since I have updated this blog.  No doubt there have been some that have lost patience with me for my neglect. That’s ok. I realize that’s my own fault.  Sometimes, life gets in the way and making the time for blogging is something that I have intended to do but just didn’t.   In excavating my soul, in my efforts to create the right world, I made a decision that I supposedly made last year.

This past Saturday night, I worked my final shift at a C-store that I spent five years at working part time. Those last two days for me were far from a walk in the park and they were grueling in the sense that I was on my feet nearly the entire day on a knee that has a torn meniscus. Needless to say, I was a hurting puppy at the end of it all.

But in among the aches and exhaustion, there is an overall sense of relief. I no longer have to be on someone else’s schedule. I no longer have to be on my feet for 8 and 9 hours at a time, to the detriment of my own health. I am grateful, to say the least, that now the freelance writing jobs that come and the herbal products etc. That I am marketing locally have allowed me the luxury to work from my own home. I have my own office,  the herb room  and workspace I have carved out in the basement is now organized and I am starting to put together product.  It all will allow me to make a living on my own terms.  I can say that taking that step is absolutely terrifying and yet at the same time exhilarating.

I have clients that give me regular work. I have other clients that give me periodical, as needed work that pays a little extra. All told, my expenses are met and I have managed to save a little, but I wouldn’t mind making more.

This morning I relinquished my key and it really started to feel official. I can now officially focus on things and career moves that matter to me and not do terrible things to my body. The truth of the matter is that things have really started to open up since I got the hell out of that C-store. It was something that I promised myself and my gods just a little over a year ago when I ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. I got talked out of it or talked myself out of leaving. Now, it feels as if the possibilities are endless.

To prove that point, an exciting opportunity to attend a possible event that is due to be held in the UK next fall presented itself.  When I heard about it, I was so excited, that I called my attorney to see if there was a way to get a copy of my divorce decree from the County so that I could renew my passport with my proper name. Because it was finalized in 1996 and Cedar Rapids, Iowa had a major flood in 2008, there was a more than good chance that the record had been completely lost or destroyed in that flood.

Apparently, mine was among the lucky few that had been saved and the clerk of court was able to find it! So tomorrow, I journey back into the city and plunk down the dosh in order to get a certified copy. I can then put together my application for a new passport with my maiden, rather than my former married name on it.That is the last vestige of anything that I had that connected me to that part of my life.  So again, the excavation has turned out to my advantage.

I sometimes find it amusing just how much things fall into place when you finally listen to what your gut tells you to do and you actually follow through on it.

Now, to just hunker down and get that Sekhmet book finished – FINALLY!!


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How Witchcraft Liberates

My friend, Benny Bargas, has written a powerful and thought-provoking blog post about his personal journey through Witchcraft.While it may not be the answer for everyone, his reasons are clear in what it means to empower oneself.

The Jackal, Stag, and Crescent

1-IMG_8379 Don’t need these anymore. kthnxbai.

In discussions of Witchcraft, it’s common to hear or read about how peoples’ lives change for the better through its practice. One can easily find accounts of witches who improved their lot in life: better jobs, more romance, a greater sense of belonging, or protection from enemies. Also common are accounts of witches who find spiritual revelations: a greater connection to Nature, a personal relationship with god(s), or the discovery of one’s own divinity. But the most important power granted by the practice of Witchcraft I’ve discovered is one that is least often given the place of importance it’s due: personal transformation—specifically, the sort of personal transformation that liberates the witch from the deleterious shackles placed upon us by society—through the power of Witchcraft’s inherent subversive nature. And so, I discuss how Witchcraft can liberate through its ability to empower, its rejection of sexual repression, its opposition to…

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Guilt by Association

metmuseum5a1The adage that we are known by the company we keep probably is very true within the Kemetic Community – perhaps even doubly so. It has become frustrating and disheartening to be judged by people whom you don’t know, who don’t know you, or your specific religious path – nor do they care really! For someone to offhandedly decide that you are not with the “in crowd” or that somehow, will pronounce that not to be of a certain religious affiliation, or sect will deem you unworthy to be given the time of day. Some of course, fear recruitment or being indoctrinated into some sort of cult based on internet rumours that they may or may not have heard.

I am Kemetic. I was trained and ordained as a Kemetic Orthodox Priestess of Sekhmet/HetHert in 1998. I stepped down a couple of years ago by choice, or as one internet website geared toward atheists said, “I retired.” I kind of laugh at that. One does *not* retire from Sekhmet’s service. Your service may change, but it is absolutely for life! At any rate, my reasons, initially, were because I was attending college full time and could not give the level of service required. My situation has changed a bit, and so now my reasons of not wanting to return to it again are deeply personal. I can and will say quite clearly that it was not because of any rift with the Temple, or disagreement between myself and any of the membership. I have been listening to Sekhmet’s call and it has been specific and in a direction by necessity. That doesn’t make anyone bad or wrong. It just makes it a different route that I have chosen to take.

All of us must by necessity approach our spiritual life on a personal level. We may choose to join or Initiate in a specific sect, temple or path, but ultimately, only we as individuals can decide when to move on. Each of us, who are Kemetic, have personal rites. Sometimes this entails a daily practice that follows a formal outlined structure, such as that which is outlined at the Temple of Horus at Edfu. While at other times a practitioner may choose something more fluid, eclectic or non-traditional. Each is a valid structure and approach to the connection to the Netjeru.

That being said, the only things that become annoying are those who insist on the belief of either a maddeningly absurd UPG-type of approach, or those who cannot and will not move outside the formal scholarly sanctioned type of practice. I have found by direct experience that there are deep pitfalls within each extreme and either can be deleterious for spiritual understanding or growth. Egyptology does *not* know everything. Conversely, I have seen so many ridiculous, crackpot theories that should never have made it outside of one’s own personal headspace, let alone made it into print for others to try to decipher.

One extreme, that of the scholarly community only, and especially within Egyptology’s ranks, often eschews and ostracizes those who “actually believe in any of this stuff”. In some place it becomes so much of an issue that those who have made it into those hallowed halls of the scholarly ranks take great pains to either conceal, downplay or flat-out deny that they actually do worship the old gods. These individuals dare not speak of it or it may cost them their entire career or get them passed over for any future projects because their beliefs are not considered “objective enough”. I personally know of several tenured professors or professional Egyptologists who by necessity are very guarded about their personal beliefs. I can state quite clearly that their fears are absolutely justified. Egyptology is neither easy nor cheap to take up as a scholarly pursuit. Admissions into these programmes are prohibitively expensive and generally only accept a tiny handful of students each semester or once a year. Most of these who are accepted have and/or have maintained a 4.0 GPA. Further, that high GPA must be maintained or that student will get a boot planted in their posterior and find themselves completely washed out and with student loan amounts that are nothing less than nightmarish and just shy of the national debt.

The Kemetic Community, I think, is going through something that much of the so-called Pagan “Community” is going through. I believe that there is far too much backbiting, petty, catty and deeply personal bitching among the ranks. People either are wrapped up in an idea that if you do not belong to X group, you obviously are “doing it wrong”, and if you are a part of that group – or have been trained by it, have handed your brain, your soul and your personal assets to some sort of mindless cult of personality that does not allow for personal considerations.

I call “Bullshit,” on both points of view.

Even with my training and years in the priesthood, I interact with those who are not Kemetic Orthodox. I spend a great deal of time with people who come from many different faiths and belief systems, and each gives me a perspective that I would not have had otherwise. In so doing, I am able to form my own opinion that has nothing to do with toeing a party line, a religious canon or being a spokesperson for any given temple or group.

If I see a person make an incorrect, ill-considered or socially repugnant statement to the general public, I have no compunction but to call them on it and tell them why I feel that way. Conversely, I expect to be accorded the exact same service be done to me in return. I also expect that it will be done without the need to resort to ad hominem attacks. I think that is more than fair. Of course, there will always be those who claim to be holier-than-thou, or claim some sort immunity because of the number of books they wrote, lectures at Pantheacon they conducted or letters after their names in terms of university degrees. The political correctness and personal butthurt needs to be put away and replaced with something that resembles common sense. If we cannot have that, then what’s the point, really?

maat1aAll of us who consider ourselves to be Kemetic have a single and solitary foundation. That foundation is not exclusive to any one group, or leader or anything else. We have nothing other to worry about than the idea of Ma’at. Each of us must decide what that is and where we are at personally. Under that one single idea / ideal, there is enough there that is complex enough to keep all of us occupied for the whole of our personal and spiritual lives. We are held responsible and we hold those whom we associate responsible as well. When we do this, we are held responsible for our own actions and words in the context of not only our own lives but the greater whole within the Kemetic community and within the world at large. With this single understanding, some of the petty, single-mindedness is stripped away, and we by necessity have to sit down and listen to the thoughts, concerns and observations of others. Being able to see that perspective and say, “Yes, you are right,” does not, therefore, declare us to be lepers within the groups that we are a part of – or not a member of. It means that we can each be viable on our own, and that we can stand up for ourselves and what we believe, rather than hiding behind an organization, a label or anything else than our own sense of rightness – or our own sense of Ma’at.


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On the Anniversary of Getting Back to the Land

This post  will probably come as a puzzlement tomailboxinfall those who are expecting me to hand out some profound post on Sekhmet. While the subject matter is a bit of a side jaunt, because Sekhmet is the very embodyment of personal power, self-reliance and personal sovereignty, I think that it is appropriate.   My journey with Sekhmet all but coincided with coming to this place; a small acreage with a log house and a ton of potential nestled in the woods that overlook the beautiful Wapsipinicon River Valley.

Many magicians, witches and the like make a lot of noise about Nature and getting back to it.  They tout the virtues of living in harmony with the land and the creatures and the spirits on it and living in rhythm with the seasons. Some of us actually get to potentially live that kind of a life.

Next week is the 25th anniversary of having completed the closing on this place.  The journey was difficult in that we sold a completely paid for home in the city to buy this property that had a mortgage.  The banks hemmed and hawed on the closing, and we were quite literally homeless for about a month. Sleeping on the stone floor of a fellow magician and her mate that is just a stone’s throw from this property.  Every tear shed, every frustration was worth it, however.

In that time, I have been divorced and have remarried my partner of 23 years. I’ve watched my son grow up and is now entering his final semester at college – majoring in the very industry that is what this place is about – horticulture and living in harmony with the land.  I confess, I have met the challenge that was set before me with varying degrees of both depth and success. Sometimes what we believe we want, what we need and what is possible are simultaneously at odds with one another.  Sometimes however, we get a glimpse, a sense that it will all work in harmony. We have been so close to he edge of losing it all, facing unemployment, drought, flooding and the potential of foreclosure. We had the triumph of refinancing and at last getting it completely paid off.  It has all been about focus and priorities.  For our family, it has been about being here.

The job is not done, the work is not done.   We are still doing repairs, making improvements, looking to more sustainable lifestyle with raised beds and the possibility of being able to get off the grid finally.  This place has always been an oasis and all of the members of our family tend to let out a grateful sigh of relief and a whispered “Thank you,”  when we get back home.

Fifteen acres is plenty of land, even that is mostly wooded, with limestone cliffs and a creek that runs through it.   There is a sense of peace here. Of course, lately that peace can be disturbed when looking around us we are seeing more houses dot the land that overlooks these beautiful woods It makes me feel a little bit of desperation to buy up as much of the land around us.   There is this notion that if somehow we can keep encroaching civilization out, we can preserve it.

I’d much rather have my neighbors continue to be the hawks, eagles, owls, foxes, turkeys and other wildlife that call this place home than hear the pounding of hammers and thrum of bulldozers as another foundation is dug in the subdivision up the road.   The problem is, because land prices have skyrocketed and surviving children who inherit the family farm see dollar signs and are not thinking about sustainability or preserving the land are parceling it out into plots. Whenever I see trees being mowed down to make room for someone’s future grassy yard, I shake my head.  What could have been more beautiful than looking out over the forest?  More houses drawing on the aquifer that feeds the deep wells for all of us out here are also going to further tax that resource.  Those are the kinds of things that are a source of concern for the future.  Even if you have your own well, water conservation should be a priority.

On this blog, I am going to be putting the focus on the subjects of self-sufficiency and sovereignty. Some of the things I post will be how-to’s, and other things may have more spiritual overtones.  I may decide to focus on writing, or any number of other things that catch my fancy. (Hey, that’s the fun of having adult ADD!)  The overall focus is really going to be about Wholistic living;  which is Mind, Body & Spirit and how to keep them all together.   In today’s world, that is becoming more and more of a trick and far more necessary than many of us may have done to date.



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Regarding Sekhmet’s Stolen Image

Chris M. Morris, via Creative CommonsSometime on Good Friday, the Goddess Temple in Cactus Springs, Nevada was invaded by thieves. The space that had always been open to anyone wanting to come visit the Goddess, to pray and to enjoy the peace of the sanctuary could do so unhindered. It was this that made it possible for those with a more heinous mission in mind to succeed in stealing the centrepiece of that place, a four  foot tall statue of Sekhmet that weighed under 100 pounds.

The Priestess in Residence came into the Temple to find Sekhmet gone. The thieves had left behind only tire tracks, and in them was the necklace that the statue had been wearing, indicating that she had been tipped while being spirited away in the night from the place that had been her home for the last 21 years.

For the celebration of Earth Day that was scheduled to be held at the Temple, a picture of the statue was set in the place of where the image once stood.  The Earth Day Celebration went on as planned.

Right now, there is much speculation within the Pagan community as to why it happened or who might have done it.  The first thing that came to mind is that somehow, since it was done on Good Friday, it was religiously motivated, as if to remove an image sacred to those who are not a part of the Big Three monotheistic faiths.   Others have suggested someone just wanted to make Sekhmet their own.  Others have posited that because of the area of the country and because Sekhmet personifies power itself, that the culprits could be drug dealers who believe that stealing a bit of mojo is perfectly acceptable.  Whatever the motivations are, the Pagan community and all those who love Sekhmet are upset by the theft.

Initially $500 was being offered for information that led to the arrest and prosecution of the culprits. That has since been kicked up to a $2,000 reward.  I would not be surprised if that figure increased yet again.

The unfortunate byproduct of this tragic event are those Pagans who wring their hands and drape themselves over the furniture, wailing that this is about religious persecution – or that if this had happened in a Christian church or Jewish synagogue, the press coverage would somehow be more than it has been.  I understand the deeply personal feelings that people have toward Sekhmet and that someone would do something so terrible is frustrating and brings up anger, sadness and the overall feeling of somehow being violated. I also know what it feels like when the issues and events we hold near and dear are not adequately covered as we feel they ought to be.  I think anyone who is on the receiving end of being even in a small way touched by any sort of crime – be it a hate crime or something else must feel that irritation that no one could possibly understand.  Pagans in particular, seem to love to latch on to crises of this type because it makes them feel as some “persecuted other”.  I never saw much use in wallowing in that sort of self-pity, personally.

To be honest, I never thought I would see the day Sekhmet’s children would resort to playing the victim card and yet I have in these past few days. Some have resorted to comparing and contrasting our religious site being desecrated and comparing our pain to the pain of others when thier faith was lashed out against. Somehow they conveniently have forgotten in another crime that is unrelated but took place just before Easter where  three innocent lives were lost last week during Passover.  Ironically, all three of the victims who were slain by a white supremicist were Christians.   It is my view and in the interests of ma’at that I believe that no one should be singled out, begrudged or feel persecuted for their beliefs, or have their sacred spaces violated. The ones who whine about how we of “Other” faiths that are not Jewish, Christian or Muslim are so very persecuted and discriminated against conveniently forget the burned churches, the desecrated mosques, the ravaged Sikh temples, that have all  have been the scenes of senseless violence and desecration, all  based on hate and intolerance. Our prayers go out to their families and our voices whisper hopes toward peace and understanding.  It is what we should do for each other as human beings.

While the stealing of the statue is a tragic, heinous thing, too many within Paganism’s ranks  love to use that common excuse that gets handed out is to blame the media – especially when screaming “religious persecution”

This is not an act of persecution. We need to stop with the assumptions that somehow it was. There were no slurs painted over the space, the building was left intact- they took the statue, something that cannot be replaced. It’s a theft. Cameras may be necessary as a precaution. That’s the way of things now. It has to be, unfortunately. Slanting the story is not helpful. .We now live in a world where that kind of trust is not something that can be easily given. We used to sleep with our doors unlocked and our kids could play in their own front yards. Both things are becoming increasingly rare now – but of course,  that has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with a society that is out of contol

We are not the dominant religion, that is true. We are not Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, but we can practice our religion for the most part unmolested. Do people lose their lives here over being pagan? Hardly. That is what the comparison with the Passover shootings was about – and it is relevant. Can people in India, Africa, and even Egypt itself say the same? Absolutely not. I know of native Egyptians who do worship Sekhmet – but they cannot do so openly or it is a death sentence.

There is no point to the practice of comparing and contrasting of pain and transgressions and tresspasses against “Us” versus the ones suffered by “Them” – whichever side we happen to be on.  Any religion being oppressed, any desecration of a holy site is an outrage and intolerable. As a Priestess of Sekhmet, I ask is our suffering any greater than the churches that get burned down, the mosques that are desecrated, the medicine wheels that are destroyed?  No. Absolutely not.

Whomever did this – be they someone who lusted for Sekhmet’s image itself, or someone in the drug cartels  or someone just doing something ignorant and hateful, I can say without reservation that they will have literal hell to pay.  In spite of Sekhmet’s loving, healing aspects – and She has many – there are very dark parts of this Goddess that are invoked when Ma’at has been transgressed.   To those who know Sekhmet and those “darker” aspects of Her, know without any shadow of a doubt that the move was a very stupid one indeed.

That statue will be returned – or not. But we are undamaged, and Sekhmet’s worship is undeterred. One thing is for certain, however, those who stole Her image will get what they have coming to them. I know for a fact, Sekhmet’s Arrows Do. Not. Miss.

In my years of experience, Sekhmet, as far as Deities go,  is most definitely NOT  a victim; and neither, I dare I say it, are Her children. We will not curl up into a ball and wail and bemoan the situation. We will not stop doing what we have been doing since the resurgence of Sekhmet’s worship in the world.  We know who our Mother is,  and She knows us.  We who know that we belong to Her carry Sekhmet within us.  Our minds hone in on Her with a singular focus.  We do this because She IS the very Personification of Power or Sekhem itself. To succumb to this blow is to give that Power away.

Rest assured, we have absolutely no intention of doing that.

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