My primary spiritual tradition is Kemetic Orthodoxy and I am currently a Shemsu in the House of Netjer. I highly recommend the previous links as well as Kemet.org to give a better sense of the faith than I can do with this blog post. What I will tell here is how the religion of ancient Egypt came to hold its place in my heart and spirit.
While I was never a person who went gung ho into studying any particular culture or mythology in my youth, I did always enjoy any material on ancient Egypt. One minor details that stands out as potentially significant is recalling that in fourth grade we had to decorate a folder for out unit on ancient Egypt. I wound up copying an image of people on a boat from this time. I never finished it, because it would have taken a lot of work, but even to my hypercritical eye I was reproducing the picture extremely well. Freehand, no tracing.
The interest lingered but never manifested into anything major.
Fast forward to 1999. I dated someone who described himself as a priest of Anpu (a more Egyptian rendering of the name, Anubis is the Greek spelling), who was the first to mention the House of Netjer. I have to admit, I thought it was a little odd, especially since they had a king. No, I’ve never been big on authority figures. During the time we were dating though I started to look into Egypt a little more, or at least indulge my spending on Egyptian stuffs. I have an Aset (Greek: Isis) pendant purchased then as well as a false copper relief of Anubis weighing the heart vs. the feather. I treasure them both, but especially the relief. A few months after buying it, I noticed that along the edges, the green-tinted fiberglass seemed to be giving way to more patches of copper. Periodically, I will still look at it and notice new portions that seem to shine where there was only green before.*
I continued poking my nose around Egyptian material, and buying jackal-themed items where I could. I also had a few dreams involving the jackal-headed one. The first was on Valentine’s Day night 2000. The aforementioned boyfriend turned out to be a right jerk, and I found an interesting humor in dreaming that his God was walking with me down the street from my house… and past the cemetary there. In 2004 I had two more dreams at different points during the year. One was of Yinepu (again with names, this is Anubis in the original Kemetic language) having a ritual fight with Djehuty (Thoth) in a log cabin. I have yet to find out what this may mean. The other dream was of seeing a small jackal-headed god figure and in the dream being told this was NOT Yinepu and to find out who it was. One of my friends in the House suggested Wepwawet, another and older jackal headed God, but at the time it didn’t seem right.
In the interim I started to make friends with people who were in the House, and since none of them seemed too nuts and had a good sense around the faith, I looked more at the House. Finally, in the fall of 2006 I decided to sign up for the beginner’s class the House offers. This is a ten week course that acts as an introduction to some basics of ancient Egyptian belief and culture as well as some practices specific to the House. I was not able to complete the class due to life getting in the way and was debating if I would ever continue.
Then Pantheacon 2007 happened. I roomed with two of my friends who were in the House (one is actually one of the original House members), and when walking with him early on that Friday we came across several House members. My friend had his minutes of saying hello to everyone and we all wound up in the elevator. When we got in there I recognized Tamara and as I was on a non-Egypt mailing list with her, I introduced myself. Suddenly behind me was a chorus of “Hi Soli!” from Imakhu Meres and Imakhu Sedjemes, who had been involved in the previous round of beginner’s class (the one I dropped). Long story short, I ended up spending a good deal of Pcon with the members of the House and instantly felt such a feeling of community and connection that I knew I had to complete beginner’s class and become part of the House.
This past September I underwent the Ritual of Parent Divination (see the Wikipedia article above under Shemsu for a brief overview), as well as Naming. I was divined a daughter of Wepwawet and beloved of Seshat and in the House am now known as Shezatwepwawet, Zat for short.
There is more I could tell, like the shock of being Divined a Wepwawet kid, but I shall leave it for now.
*This may need to become a post on its own, but I guess it bears saying now. Yes I am one of those people who believes in signs and has had enough things happen that can’t be normally explained to believe in them. As a disclaimer, I also do not automatically believe that anything possibly odd is of “supernatural” origins.