PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
History changes, I'm telling you. OK, the things that actually happened way-back-when don't really change, but our interpretation of them sure does. It's amazing how much our understanding of ancient Minoan culture has changed in the century or so since Sir Arthur Evans first uncovered the ruins of the temple complex at Knossos.
For instance, Evans was caught up in the ancient Egypt craze that had been bubbling along for decades as early archaeologists began uncovering Egyptian artifacts and translating Egyptian hieroglyphic texts. He considered Egypt to be the high civilization of the ancient world. So when he discovered that the Minoans - who flourished at about the same time as Old and Middle Kingdom Egypt - had complex architecture, paved roads, enclosed sewers, and other markers of a 'proper' civilized society, he assumed they had borrowed it all wholesale from Egypt....
An Arizonan atheist arouses controversy by praying in the "wrong" manner in the state's legislature. The Egyptian government cracks down on religious and ideological opponents. And the Chinese government makes a pivot towards Africa in its drive to increase its influence abroad. It's Fiery Tuesday, our weekly segment on societal and political news from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
An ancient Hindu temple is threatened in Pakistan. PantheaCon participants discuss the ethics of hosting the convention on land formerly held by indigenous peoples. And the struggle of black women to address of mental health issues in their community is examined. It's Fiery Tuesday, our weekly segment on political and societal news from around the world. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
Each of the past five years Temple Osireion has remembered the journey of the soul through the Duat with a ritual drama. We do this around the first of November, a time when it is natural to embrace the darker season, ponder the afterlife, and imagine meeting the gods. The journey through the Duat is one of the grand myths which provides a metaphor for personal and community growth. It is arduous, confusing, transforming and, ultimately, regenerative.
With the regeneration comes a rebirth into the dawn of a new day. The ancient texts tell of Osiris’ transformation into Ra, of Ra’s transformation from an old, dying neteru back into the young hawk that bursts from the eastern akhet (horizon) into flight across the day.
Pool of Lotus has for three years brought messages that we hope have shed a bit of light on new Egyptian practice, encouraged those on a Kemetic-inspired path, and better connected Egyptian religion to the contemporary Pagan movement. As with many journeys, it is time to look ahead to a new morning, a next new way of being.
In the coming year I will be directing my focus on finishing my graduate degree at Cherry Hill Seminary, so it seems wise to bring Pool of Lotus to a close. My heartfelt thanks goes to the editor of Witches and Pagans, Anne Niven, for opening this opportunity to me in 2012. Your encouragement, advice and support are a treasure for which I will always be grateful. Blessings of peace to all.
A god has been born now that I have been born:
I see and have sight,
I have my existence,
I am lifted up upon my place,
I have accomplished what has been decreed . . .
(Book of the Dead, 174)
Come, come in peace, O glorious Eye of Heru.
Be strong and renew your youth in peace,
for the flame shines like Ra on the double horizon.
I am pure, I am pure, I am pure, I am pure.
(From “Great Rite Honoring Djehuty,” Eternal Egypt by Richard Reidy)
“Every divine word came into being through that which was thought by the heart and commanded by the tongue [of Ptah]. . . And so justice is done to him who does what is liked, and evil is done to him who does what is hated. And so life is given to the peaceful . . .” (Memphite Theology, from Frankfort, 1948)
If a good example is set by the leader, it will be effective for all eternity, and all his wisdom will become one with the eternity of the cycles. (The Wisdom of Ptah-Hotep, Jacq, 2004)
I fear that in these volatile times we are too easily turned aside from the wisdom of ancient Egypt. Politics in America is never a tame beast, but the current season is fraught with demagoguery and hyperbole of a level I have not seen in my own lifetime.
And yet, with all its modern challenges, good leadership still emerges from the same principles it always has: personal integrity; honesty; honor of both one’s self and others; fairness; compassion and courage.
The Egyptians are said to have been a conservative society, not because they resembled anything in today’s civic life, but because they had experienced extremes of upheaval and knew their survival depended on maintaining the balance of Ma’at.
So it is that (to my knowledge) we have no records of protests and dissension left to us, though there surely must have been some at times. We do know that when the Egyptians threw off the oppressive religion of Akhenaten and reinstated the temples, they did everything they knew of to erase the memory of the Heretic from history. They did not want his words lingering to re-introduce chaos into their recovered balance.
Since every word has power, since we are all gods speaking divine words, it behooves us to ponder what creative works we send out when we speak. For many in the blogosphere, words are particularly powerful, and we do well to heed the lesson of the Egyptians to moderate our speech into something truly effective.
How will you make your every word count today? What will be the first words you think, then speak, in the morning? And what will be your last words upon retiring for the night? Couch your waking hours in good speech, in medu netjer, sacred words that bring life, affirmation and truth to yourself and others. In this way you will “become one with the eternity of the cycles.”
I just recently came back from my [5th, this time] pilgrimage-journey to Egypt; and, I want to tell many stories about my journeys to the land of Netjeru, and my experiences and my spiritual findings and illuminations… so, this would be the first post dealing with the topic, and I need to begin with a story of how I went to Egypt first time ever, and what happened after.
I’ve been drawn to Egypt since my childhood. It was a connection deeper than just fascination by Egyptian art, history, and mythology. In fact, I didn’t like Egyptian mythology much, even, because there were not enough myths in books for children in Soviet Union available, and the myths that were, lacked the adventures which make Greek and Norse myths much more dynamic.
I loved Ancient Egypt as a whole thing. I studied the history, and enjoyed historical fiction; I taught myself not to be frightened in the dim lit Egyptian Hall in the Hermitage, and taught myself not to be disappointed that Egyptian deities look rather obscure, compared to their greek/roman counterparts in the museum halls “next door”. Greek and roman statues of Gods looked like statues of humans, just having all the beauty and perfection. The Netjeru guarded the mysteries.