Going Forth by Day: Hermopolis Begins in the Heart

Alchemical and spiritual journey together with Thoth-Djehuty – exploring Kemeticism, Hermeticism, spiritual alchemy, and following the path of devotion.

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Tatiana Matveeva

Tatiana Matveeva

Born in USSR and living in St. Petersburg, Russia; my spiritual journey started when I was a young teen. After more than 20 years of being practicing Russian Orthodox and later, Roman Catholic, I followed my heart always calling me to honor the Gods of Ancient Egypt. My devotion belongs to Thoth-Hermes-Djehuty, Thrice Greatest, Lord of Khemenu (Hermopolis), and I try to serve him as a priestess (hmt-Ntr). My path is independent, solitary and not hardcore reconstructionist, and I don’t belong to organized Kemetic temples.I studied biology in University, but after graduation, for many years have been working in telecommunications and computer networking. Now I work in international trade; but this is what I do “for a living”, as I’m poet and writer before all. I write poetry and prose since early childhood (of course, my writings are mostly in Russian) and I have some published books, science-fiction novels and poetry. I follow hermetic philosophy and viewpoints, and my interests, besides Ancient Egypt, include medieval history and art, Spiritual Alchemy, traveling around the world, translating books from English and studying more foreign languages (including Egyptian hieroglyphics). I am also president of the St. Petersburg chapter of the International Alchemy Guild.  

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Growing in Devotion

If you don’t know much about the God you want to worship, start with research, read and learn about them more. (Always a good place to study about the Netjeru is Henadology website.)  

After learning more about the Deity, you can start worship. It’s not required to do any formal rituals of “introducing yourself”, however there are examples of such rituals if you feel so inclined.
You may start simply with a short prayer and offering. Or just with prayer, as prayers always is more important than material offerings.  
You may start offerings with candles and incense, later offer something edible. It’s never wrong to offer Netjeru water, bread, fruits and sweets.
Kemetic offerings are usually “reverted” after some time of being presented to the Netjeru. So, offer the things you will like to consume yourself, later!
 
And if you already reached the God/s and established the devotional relationship - then work on this devotion more than on the offerings.
Show them your love. Think about them. Repeat their names in your mind. Say them praise. Study about them. Use the opportunities to see more of their pictures and read more about their mythology, cult, ways of worship. Contact other devotees of that God and see their experiences.
But before all, IMHO, is thinking about the God/s, keeping them in your mind, let them make a shrine in your heart.

They welcome our love and devotion more than material offerings. Material offerings are more for us than for Them, because they help us to keep our attention focused and concentrated.
The same thing is with holy images and statues. You may look at the pictures of the God on line, you may make a home shrine, but most important is to welcome them into your life and your heart.

Because what else was your goal in connecting to individual God?
You want to be their friend, perhaps. And yes, this means that they would influence your life. This does not happen in one moment. But you may find eventually that you start changing “in the likeness of the God”. Their values become your values. Their goals and agendas become yours. You start to love what they love, and reject what they reject. You think about them more and more, you wake up with first thought of saying hello to the God.

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Devotional journey: Together with Djehuty

You, Djehuty - and only You - I think I know all Your holy names and hundreds of epithets, recognizing the hieroglyphic signs from the first glance sometimes,
but all these names are here just to bring more light to certain aspects of your wonderful Wholeness.

You can be so different. Sassy and sarcastic, demanding and cold, trickstery and full of ecstatic laughter, kind and full of compassion, your immense greatness reaches the far corners of the universe, when you calculate the orbits of most distant stars,
and still You are here for me - one who took my heart, who has my love and trust, who called me to stay in the Mansion of the Moon and bring all my sorrows before Your throne, so you could lift my burdens and wipe my tears.

You came to me - dark, sad, sorrowful and determined, and full of love - to give me Your hand, to give me strength, to lead me through the path of ordeals to the future You wanted for us, together.
You smiled upon me when I started to study my first hieroglyphic signs.
You smiled upon me when I touched the Legend of the Book of Thoth.
You answered my call when I wrote You the letter of devotion.
… and I knew that I don’t want to follow any other God or Goddess so deeply as I want to follow You.
I know others, I know Their love and greatness, but you are the Only-One, my First and Foremost; “Sole God, no one other is like You”…

And sometimes I say numerous praises for You and sometimes I want to learn the sacred  Silence,
to drink your sweet water from the well-in-the-desert.
You are the one-who-created himself; the Word that was “in the beginning”, the divine Logos, quintessence of omniscience of the Supreme God, Netjer/Netjeru: tongue of Ptah, heart of Ra, throat of Amun, heka of Atum.
Blessed under many names, guised as sage Trismegistus, connecting together Netjeru and Theoi as Divine Messenger, called Hermes; and known as Mercury for the romans; but ancient Kemet knows you as Thoth-Djehuty.
Lord of Medu-Netjer, Divine Language; lord of Hermopolis.
All Your holy names are not enough to explain and define You.
Djehuty “as You are”, and how can I say I know You?
But I can say indeed that You are the one I love,
and this love binds us together,
stronger than everything in existence.

May be Your name was the first Word I’ve heard when my soul was created for this life on this Earth, before hearing the voices of the world.

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Freedom of religion, religious tolerance and interfaith dialogue

Freedom of religion

Freedom of religion, and freedom of choosing religion [or choosing none], is one of the most valued freedoms for any human being.

The Russian Empire of the past was a country where the Orthodox Church was an official, State religion. It was not allowed to change religion and, more than that, people were punished severely for attempts to do so. Leaving the Holy Orthodoxy could lead to punishment, penalties, exile from the country, confiscation of all possessions, and even imprisonment.

I remember learning about the Soviet Union - my home country – by reading our Constitution and there was one very important thing:
- a citizen is free to belong to ANY religion, or belong to none.

This is a treasured freedom of living in a secular state.

This is a guarantee that some monotheist fanatics will not stone you because of “denouncing G-d” or however they word it, if you decide to part ways with your previous monotheistic religion.
This is a guarantee that people of all religions are equal before State.

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"The Way of God": walking with the Netjeru

To walk on the road of God is to be filled with light,
Great are the advantages gained by those who
Discipline themselves to follow it.
It’s a monument raised by them on this Earth,
Those who follow the Paths of God,
Those who cling to the Ways of God,
Spend all their lives in joy,
Gathering riches without equal.
(…)
The West is the dwelling place for he who has not transgressed the Rule.
Happy is who reaches there!
Nobody can reach there unless
Their hearts have conformed exactly to the Rule.
Down there there is no distinction between rich and poor,
Unless it is in the favour of he who is found to be righteous
When weighted in the scales of justice before the master of Eternity.

-- The inscriptions from the tomb of PetOsiris, high priest of Thoth (4th/3rd century B.C); quoted from: Cristian Jacq, “The living wisdom of ancient Egypt”


Living as a kemetic is walking your path of life together with Netjeru.

Come to the Netjeru with open heart, embrace Them with joy, let Them help you to get better when you are in sadness. Bring Them flowers, water, bread, say Their names, dance for Them, dedicate to Them your actions, listen to music you associate with Them and assemble your devotional playlists. Look at the images of the Netjeru - online or in art albums you may have, marveling at Their beauty. Sit before the shrine and just think about Them. Share with Them your thoughts, your worries and doubts. Don’t be afraid of asking questions.
Look at the wonders of nature and see the manifestations of Netjeru in the sky, in the sun and moon, in every flower and every bird.

Your goal in the kemetic religion is to maintain Maat and keep relationship with the Netjeru.
Religion should bring happiness and fulfillment, and while trials and tests happen, the Netjeru are not here to make your life miserable. In turn, they are loving and caring, and They are willing to help you on your path of spiritual growth.
Devotion begins in the heart;
And “going in Ma’at” is the primary “way”. It’s the way of life; it’s not “practicing religion”, but Living the religion.
The first step in walking in Ma’at, walking with the Netjeru, however simple it may sound, is: “Place God in your heart”.

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First steps in Kemetic Religion

"Come, let me cause you to know them,
namely, the four principles of life…
to bind with them -
Set your heart upon god!
Adhere to the law!
Make revenge!
Go in ma'at!"

Be small of wrath!
Be thoughtful!
Be a good man!.."

"Conversations in the House of Life" ("The Demotic Book of Thoth" - 388-390)

 

If you feel called to Kemetic religion and wonder what should be your first step, my answer always is “Just make that step”. Come before the Netjeru to walk on the path of Ma’at and prepare a place in your heart where your honored Gods will reside, making your body and soul into their temples; guiding your boat on the waters of life.

If you have attraction to certain Netjer, by whatever reason, try talking to that one.
Even if you just consider the deity to be handsome. This also is a valid reason :)
If you are attracted to the pantheon as a whole, address them all, as one divine family… and ask if someone wants to take a larger role in your life, to “step in”.

Once you let them in (as living gods- they may reside in your heart), even if you don’t think about them often, they think of you :)

It’s not required to think about the Gods every single minute of your life, but it makes one happy when you know that deities are loving, caring, helpful and ready to hear your prayers, your praises, and the sharing of your concerns and worries with them. They are like your family and friends; think about your prayer/shrine time as about divine phone call or skype chat with a close friend who is not physically present, but always ready to answer your call and listen.

If you are drawn to several Netjeru already, then start doing more for them and learn more about them.
 
You do not have to have one central Netjer to work with. There is more likely to be several. In Ancient Egypt it was not common to choose only one Netjer to serve/“work with”. People had personal devotions, and may be had their favorites between Netjeru; but more common case was that there was a group, or “family” of the Netjeru who were closer to that particular person.

Frequently it was defined by the place they lived in and other circumstances. We know accounts of ancient Egyptians who had Netjeru appearing to them in dreams, and this causing their focus of devotion to significantly change. There are recorded stories of people who were called for intense devotion by Mut, Aset/Isis and Djehuty after the Netjeru making clear appearance in a dream. But most of the people simply followed their hearts, natural attraction, tradition of family and home town.

Choosing one “primary” Netjer doesn’t mean that you can’t have “many”. Historical example again: even the high priest of one temple could also have priestly ranks and offices in other temples, dedicated to other Netjeru. So, Egyptian priests could bear titles “high priest of NN, and priest of NN, and NN, and having a shift in the temple of NN”, and it totally worked.

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  • helmsman of inepu
    helmsman of inepu says #
    Well done! I'm glad to see someone else suggesting using an image on a cell phone or laptop if you can't afford or find a statue.
“I want it all”: Entering the Joy of Priesthood

* To: A.K., E.H., P.N-U, M.M. – hmw-Ntr & my friends


If you’re not Kemetic but feeling “the call” of this religion, it can be said that any aspiring Kemetic is called for two simple and important tasks:
- Maintain Maat and oppose Isfet (help keep the Universe running by maintaining the Balance and All-Things-Proper – even on a small level of your simple things and daily life)—this is not simply our duty; this is also the duty the Netjeru undertake in far grander scale.

- Commune with the Netjeru – and from simple honor, veneration and worship, driven by love and attraction to their perfection and beauty, achieve the blessed afterlife (that may come in many various forms – there are a lot of things to do in the Duat besides watching your crops in the Aaru/Hetep fields grow!) Choices for eternity are indeed very important.

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A Valentine for Your God

A Valentine for Your God (Written together with A.D. Kent)

"The whole thing is to love God
and to taste His sweetness.
He is sweetness and the devotee is its enjoyer.
The devotee drinks the sweet Bliss of God.
God is the lotus and the devotee the bee.
The devotee sips the honey of the lotus.

As a devotee cannot live without God,
so also God cannot live without His devotee.
Then the devotee becomes the sweetness,
and God its enjoyer.
The devotee becomes the lotus, and God the bee.
It is the Godhead that has become these two
in order to enjoy Its own Bliss."

—  Sri Ramakrishna, "The Sacred Jewels of Yoga"


St.Valentine's Day!
Ahh, it's the Secular Day of Love made popular by greeting card companies-- and the Feast of Saint Valentine, which has more significance if you're Catholic. Most people get through not having the traditional secular day of love “valentine” by ignoring the public displays of affection or out and out having an “anti-valentine” of some kind. Ie ask why expend that energy being negative? There's enough negative energy in the world already. If you have no other valentine you may do a variety of loving things for yourself-- or in devotion for your God. That's really what I want to talk about.

Divine Love. Love of the Divine. Bhakti.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhakti

There's the wikipage on it, so wiki away if need be, and then come back. If not then good, you're just that much ahead. The important thing is Love is an experience that grows-- sometimes faster, sometimes slower, depending on how you nurture it. If you even WANT to love your Goddess or God deeply, then probably you are already on the way of growing that love.

“Teach me how to love you”, “Let me love you more and more every day”.
These are absolutely legit wishes for you to present your deity and no one is pushed into that type of relationship with a deity-- (consent is a very big thing. A powerful thing.) If you want it, just ask for it. (If you don't, please make that clear too) Just ask for it in a prayer. Ask the deity to help you to “grow more in love” with them, and if that feeling between you is mutual, They will definitely help! You may notice the changes coming into your life, emotions and feelings that burst forth. These small changes will build into a sense of renewal and well-being.

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