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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.

Resources

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

 

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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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<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/12020273/?claim=vqvcrnt7ytj”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

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Migration

totin1After a great deal of thought, I am going to be switching some things over with this blog.   I will be keeping the name, fannyfae.com, but this  domain, NiankhSekhmet.com (Life Belongs to Sekhmet;. it is my Kemetic name and it would probably be much better if all of the Kemetic related posts went to live there and the fiction, herbal, writing businesss and other types of posts  will remain at fannyfae,com. Of course, I am still working on a new banner for the site, even if the wallpaper is a bit familiar.

In short, the work for both blogs will be more specifically focused.   So pardon my dust and I do some rearranging.  I promise to keep everyone posted. It gives me the opportunity toward more specific types of branding in posts. I know that one will be for  the ebooks and business while the other will be more personal.

So look for this space to change a bit over the next few weeks. No doubt I will be doing the same over on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ & etc.   If anyone needs to reach me, they may do so here or can write me at fannyfae at gmail dot com or niankhsekhmet at gmail dot com.

(Crossposted from fannyfae.com)

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Do We Need a Nisut (KRT)

cleoredcrown1aMy disclaimer is that I am Kemetic Orthodox. As such we do have a Nisut as part of our Faith. That being said, I will the answer this question as both someone who is a member of the Kemetic Orthodox Faith, and as a person whose life has taken a divergent course in a spiritual sense from what it may have been a mere year or two ago. I will answer the questions as honestly and with as much openness and candor as I can without betraying any ‘oathbound’ material that I received. I owe that to my community and my gods, and it is a sort of living up to what that calling has been for me.

I have observed that there are those in the modern Kemetic belief sphere that spend a great deal of time arguing about whether or not it is necessary or even useful for Kemetic organizations or Temples to have a Nisut. I have personally observed that those who speak out the most vociferously against the idea of a Nisut Bity(t) generally are people who are outside of any group which has one. The concept of having a Nisut or any sort of Temple hierarchy at all really was very much the norm in antiquity. But for those of us who are trying to reconstruct or revive the ancient Kemetic religion, that idea is not really the same. Having a king or a Nisut in the modern era is not the same cornerstones of Kemetic belief as it was in the past. For those of us who are Kemetic Orthodox, there is the underlying idea that kingship is more a continuation and how that is really a part of a sacred trust. We are not talking about a Pharaonic Theocracy in an absolute kingship with godhead that makes that person “Divine”. But rather someone who has revived and put in so much of themselves to lead people toward doing it right.

The King in Ancient Egypt is, as I mentioned, a part of that sacred trust. There are rituallyfunctional roles for a Nisut or King, whether that be in antiquity or today. I personally have observed that no one has given more to recreating the ancient Egyptian religious mindset than Rev. Tamara Siuda. Everything that she has done and continues to do is about bringing this religious bent back to the world. That, ultimately, is what the Nisut Bity(t) is for Kemetic Orthodoxy. The priests and priesthood help her to do that within a religious structure that before – did not exist in the modern era.

Those who are Kemetic can certainly have a modern, personal practice with their own altar and icons, incense, ritual tools, robes and all the arm-wavey goodness that they think that they need. The major difference between that and what Kemetic Orthodoxy and other similar groups with a King or a Nisut has is that there are both personal rites that one does and there are State Rites – which do centre around the Nisut Bity(t) and/ or the Kingship. End of story. 98% of the Kemetic population today will never do State Rites. They will never need to. These same individuals will most likely never be present for Coronation Rites. Again, in that instance, they technically don’t “need” anything in that context. Those rites are handled by the ritual technicians who DO know what they are and they do them daily. For those who are that flavour of Kemetic, it is a requirement. It is not an option. No one else ever need concern themselves about State Rites. Only those who are priests – w’ab or Hem(t) Netjer (formerly Imakhu and Kai Imakhu) even within Kemetic Orthodoxy’s rankes ever had to worry about performing State Rites.

If someone feels that they do not need a Nisut, then they can be completely content to go on about their business and not even ever have to think about it. It doesn’t make their practice ‘less” in terms of satisfaction or legitimacy, no does doing them make it any better, It just makes the rites that are performed what it is for them.

On the other hand, those who do have a King or a Nisut Bity(t) and who have made it through they have not handed their common sense, their brains or thousands of dollars at the door in cult-like fashion, either. I can speak with an insider’s experience that running a religious organization is hard, thankless and decidedly expensive work. Running an organisation or being a part of the ‘hierarchy’ costs a great deal in terms of time, travel expense, but mostly time.
Anyone who imagines it might be nice, or aspires to be a Nisut, in my opinion, is undoubtedly out of their mind. (I also tend to think that about priesthood, but will save that for another blog entry.)

This is a topic that I have had to think long and hard about. In spite of my having “retired” as a Kemetic Orthodox Priestess or Hm(t) Netjer of Sekhmet-Mut / HetHert, Meryt Amun I am still a member of the House of Netjer. As far as I am concerned, Sekhmet Herself said that I should be ordained as Her Priestess and I am still – and will always be until I die and into the next life. My person, my ka, my ba and every part of me has the indelible pawprint of Sekhmet on it and there is no removing it. Period. I have been a Kai-Imakhu (Exalted Reverend) and a Mut-Netjer (Godmother) and served as a vessel for Sekhmet, HetHert and Amun in the capacity of Mut-Netjer. So even though I no longer do these things – the State Rites, the chats, the being there for the service of the community in any official capacity within the House of Netjer, I do have knowledge of how things are – and how they are not. I have been a participant in the yearly Coronation Rites, and I know what is said, and I know what is involved. I also know that there are Mysteries that are a part of those things. Fr someone who has never actually done them – even if they have merely read them – they absolutely would not know. Kemetic practice is undoubtedly centralized on ritual practice – both personal and state rites. State rites have a purpose and a specific order and function. Not everyone needs to be a part of those functions.

State Rites are not a secret. If a Kemetic practitioner is hellbent on doing them, then Richard Reidy has published an approximation to them in his book, Eternal Egypt. Feel free to click the link, and buy the book. There you are. It is a very good book even though I don’t always agree with what Mr. Reidy has to say on every subject. However, when you read them you will very possibly notice that there is an underlying theme in that the core of these rites. You may notice that even if they are in service of a Deity, again, they are meant to be done by priests standing in for the King.

Do we need a King? Do we need a Nisut?

Speaking only for myself, and for my own practice, I do need my Nisut. I need her in the fact that she created or re-assembled or helped to reassemble what had been gone from existence for centuries. It isn’t that no one else tried. Certainly they did. They did not, however, keep their egos out of it – whereas, I believe and have observed that Rev. Tamara Siuda has done that. I have never seen anyone give more than she does. I have never seen anyone tailor their lives to the degree and centered their whole existence in the service of both the Gods and the community in the way that she has done and done it as good naturedly and as selflessly as she has done. IMO, we need that in the world. I can say that I personally need her not just as a Nisut Bity(t) but in that she is a member of my family. I need her in that she is my friend, and a teacher. She is the godmother of my son, Userbenu – and she was the one that if anything had happened to me before my son reached majority, she would be his guardian. Anyone who knows me at all and how important my son is to me, knows that I would never have made such a provision lightly. So, even if I never do State rites personally ever again, or if I never attend a coronation rite ever again, I like knowing that she is there to help continue building what did not exist 20 years ago and for a much longer period before. I believe that often sight is lost about how much has been re-established because someone cared enough to do it.

So…can one be Kemetic without a Nisut? Absolutely yes. But for those of us who have a Nisut….we are rather glad that she decided to step up to do it. Someone had to. And I am very grateful that it was her.

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ENOUGH!

Reposting this here since WordPress and Tumblr are not on speaking terms today.

http://fannyfae.com/2014/01/29/enough/

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Josephine McCarthy – Walking the Path

Josephine McCarthy (Littlejohn) is someone I consider a friend and a teacher of the highest order. She has a number of books and has just launched a blog that I believe would be of interest to magic(k)al folks, witches and even Kemetics. Her latest post really speaks out about those who have been bilked by various gurus and “systems” that are widely available.

http://magicalmeandering.wordpress.com

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Kemetic Round Table : Heka . . . ‘vuh Headache

Reblogged from Shadows of the Sun:

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Heka is one of the most difficult concepts to explain within Ancient Egyptian religion. It is a concept that is very hard for Westerners to understand, given that our Modern conceptions (false or otherwise) of the…

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Kemetic Round Table : Heka . . . ‘vuh Headache

My friend Sarduriur has written of the most thorough discussions on the concept of what heka is and what it isn’t. Grab a cup of coffe, sit back and enjoy a nice long read.

Shadows of the Sun

Heka is one of the most difficult concepts to explain within Ancient Egyptian religion. It is a concept that is very hard for Westerners to understand, given that our Modern conceptions (false or otherwise) of the entirety of the Ancient World, and many of the traditions practiced in the West during the Medieval and Modern Periods, are largely derived from linguistic and cultural remnants from Ancient Hellas and Rome. This understanding has only been complicated by the rise of Occult traditions during the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, before Egyptologists began to develop more accurate understandings of all things Egyptian. And this is to say nothing of the sheer vastness and ambiguity of heka, and how it permeated virtually every aspect of Ancient Egyptian culture and religion.

Many have tried to explore the topic in its entirety, but each publication, even publications of…

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nikkiielizabeth:

Anam Cara means “Soul Friend.” Anam is the Gaelic word for soul and Cara is the word for friend.In Celtic tradition, an Anam Cara is a teacher, companion or spiritual guide.

With the Anam Cara you can share your innermost self to reveal the hidden intimacies of your…

My friend Jaye and I used to write that her muse and mine were Anam Caras of each other. I love this definition and John O’Donohue talked about it in his book, “Anam Cara” as well.
Anam Cara.

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January 26, 2014 · 5:37 pm