This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project 2012
I recently spent some time trying to describe Kemetic Orthodoxy to an old friend of mine. We’ve known each other for over a decade now, and despite that, I was concerned that he would dislike my new found spirituality. However, my fears were unfounded, and we had a pleasant conversation about the different aspects of my practices.
There was one question that he asked that stood out to me. So, what does this all involve? Is it more than just worshiping gods?
I don’t know if other people get asked that a lot, but I’ve been asked more than once when I’ve talked to people who haven’t had much exposure to polytheistic religions.
So, DO people who practice Kemetic Orthodoxy do more than just worships gods? The answer is yes. We have what I like to call Core tenets. It’s not specific to KO, it’s just a phrase I like. When I was taking the beginner’s course, they were referred to as pillars – four and one. Four is the Kemetic number of completion, and the fifth pillar is for something to oversee and hold them all together.
Netjer Of course, one of the core tenets, or pillars, are the gods – both as a collective unit and as individuals. We respect Them. We honor Them. This involves shrines, statues, and offerings in the form of liquids, foods, and scents. We pray to Them for help, for guidance, and we thank them for the positive happenings in our lives. Through these practices, we build strong relationships with our gods.
Akhu The Akhu are our blessed dead. Not just the ones we’re aware of, the ones we know, but all of our ancestors hailing back to the beginning of time. The ones who have passed the weighing of the heart in the Duat are all around us, a spiritual force that remain in our lives forever. Similarly to our relationship with Netjer, we want to build a strong relationship with our Akhu. We give them offerings, build them their own shrine, spend time talking to them. A person who has a bond with their Akhu is a person who can ask them for guidance, for help. A person who has neglected their Akhu is someone who is likely to end up with troublesome obstacles in their life, because a disgruntled Akh can and will make their presence known in negative ways.
Nisut She is our spiritual leader and to be respected as such. She carries the knowledge and the foundation of our religion, and is often the voice of Kemet to her followers. She is our touchstone, our leader, and a pillar all on her own. It is not necessary to refer to her as our King, but that is her role, and it deserves respect and honor, just as Netjer and our Akhu do.
Community Kemetic Orthodoxy teaches that it is just as important to care about those around us as it is for us to care about our gods and our ancestors. We draw strength and love from each other. We gather together, both online and in person, for festivals, for prayers, and just because. The community is our family, just as much as our Parents and Beloveds.
And the final pillar that ties it all together is ma’at. To live by ma’at is to live truthfully, honorably. To preserve order and promote peace. To prevent chaos from taking over, both in our individual lives and in the world.
These are the five pillars that my faith is structured around. The five things that I respect, honor, and do my best to uphold.
This post is part of the pagan blog project!