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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Egypt

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b2ap3_thumbnail_6.jpgEach 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)

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

“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)

b2ap3_thumbnail_horussetf_20151213-163928_1.jpgI 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.”

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The flight to Egypt; dancing in the moonlight

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.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_22573479132_3700a80e9f_k.jpgAlready in Salt Lake City we could see that the sun was moving away towards a darker time of the year, even against the dazzling sunset backdrop of mountain peaks in the distance. I had dreamed since 1993 of attending the Parliament of the World’s Religions, not realizing that I would have taken on a whole new religious identity by the time I got to attend my first one this October. So immersed had I become in that path that I was invited to play the role of Isis in a ceremony honoring many of the traditional goddesses who have been worshiped around the world, from Amaterasu to Kali to Oshun and Brigid. Read more about Goddesses Alive here. For each of us costumed as a goddess, including a fabulous mask by noted artist Lauren Raine, there was no script. Our task was to be the goddess while narrators and music set the ambience for an audience sitting in the round.

In the weeks leading up to this performance I was focused on logistics: my first wig (think Donna Summer); jewelry, robe, choreography. I will not in this lifetime ever again resemble the willowy figure of Egyptian paintings, and I had no intention of wearing a tight, transparent sheath, so I opted for a shimmering loose caftan. Then two days before our flight I fell, twisting and breaking my ankle. Choreography would be limited to arm gestures and it was anyone’s guess whether I would be able to perform sans wheelchair.

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Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, September 29

Africans look to the past with hope for the future. Japanese and Korean musicians come together to heal the rift between their countries. And the U.N. releases its findings from a commission on war crimes in Sri Lanka. Today's Fiery Tuesday, our weekly segment on political and social news from around the world. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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Pagan News Beagle: Fiery Tuesday, September 22

An Egyptian student struggles to make her voice heard in a corrupt system. Hindus in America are denied the opportunity to enshrine their religious symbols beside those of Christianity. And a comparison is made between the dystopia depicted in Children of Men and Europe's ongoing refugee crisis. It's Fiery Tuesday, our weekly take on political and social issues from around the world. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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