I posted this on Pan Historia this morning. I have had more than enough. seriously. I also see this crap on the House boards, not just by guests and newbies but by those who should know better – had they been paying attention in Beginner’s Class! *note to self* Bigger drill bits to pierce the extra-thick craniums next class!!
I have been involved in ancient Egyptian religion for a very long time. I have studied the hieroglyphs on and off for about 25 years. I am by no means a master of any of this. But one thing absolutely drives me into FITS and indicates quite clearly to me those who grasp the concept of the religion, and those that just sort of use it as an overlay to what they think they already know.
The Ancient Kemetic / Egyptian word for God is Netjer Ntr. The plural of that is Netjeru (Ntrw). When people use the words, “The Netjer” or “The Netjers”, I grind my teeth. The Ancient Egyptians believed in the One and the Many, the Many in the One. Isis and Ra and Osiris and the Aten all were a part of a concept of the unfathomable, unknowable ONE and was referred to as Netjer. It is sort of like the Hindu concept of Brahman. Each of them in and of Themselves IS indeed Netjer – and each of Them feed into that Whole. They are both at the same time Individual and All One.
When someone talks about going into God’s presence – or a specific God’s presence, you do not say, “I went into the sanctuary of the Netjer.” That’s grammatically and theologically incorrect. You say, “I went into Netjer’s presence.” God is God, no matter what Face He or She is wearing, or whether They are clothed in a kilt or a sheath…or not at all! We determine the difference by saying Name of Netjer or referring to Them in plural as The Names, the Netjeru (plural) – which is all inclusive, whether or not you are speaking about the range of Names from 2 all the way up to the 4,000+ Names of Netjer.
Gender issues with Netjer get a little trickier. A Female Name of Netjer are sometimes referred to as Netjert or Netjeret. The plural for more than one would again revert back to Netjeru or Names of Netjer. Bast is not really ever Bastet. That is credited back to a translation error in early Egyptology where the female determinative of ‘t’ was believed to be an extra “t” in that particular Name of Netjer. It is just Bast. That’s it. Nothing more. Believe me, She does NOT need anything more than that! If you do put any more on that, it really does bring up images of Josie and the Pussycats or Bast and the Bastets. And no, they will not be opening up in Las Vegas for the Wayne Newton show at the Luxor!!
It’s “Netjer” , NOT “The Netjer”
“Netjeru” NOT “The Netjers”
“Bast” NOT “Bastet”
Anyone who writes Egyptian fiction absolutely classify themselves into who actually understands Kemetic culture and correct terminology and those who just play at (unconvincingly) it on the Internet or in books. Don’t believe me? Look at the works of legendary author of all things Ancient Egyptian, Pauline Gedge. You will NEVER see her making these mistakes. And if you want to sound credible and as if you actually do live the culture, you need to consider these things very carefully.
Otherwise, it’s just some virtual costume and wig that you have put on and your audience can more than likely see through the disguise. And those of us who know better are on the other sides of our screens just laughing at you – trust me.