Plutarch, in his essay on Isis and Osiris, mentions an Egyptian festival that he says marked the beginning of spring and which was called The Entry of Osiris into the Moon. Here’s what he says:

Further, on the first day of the month of Phamenoth they hold a festival, which they call Entry of Osiris into the Moon, for it is the beginning of spring. Thus they locate the power of Osiris in the moon and say that Isis, as the creative principle, has intercourse with him. For this reason they also call the moon the mother of the world and they believe her nature to be both male and female since she is filled and made pregnant by the sun while she herself in turn projects and disseminates procreative elements in the air. (Plutarch, On Isis and Osiris, 43)

In his discussion of this passage, J. Gwyn Griffiths (have I…

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Fiercely Bright One

We are our worst enemies. We tear ourselves down. We berate ourselves for the tiniest mistakes. We erode our own souls.

This has to stop.

What in you brightens? What in you rejoices? Do that.

Do you love translating? Do so.

Do you love hiking? Do so.

Do you love painting? Do so.

Do the things that strengthen your soul. Do the things that matter to you. If you die, what do you want to be remembered for? Do that.

Do what you love. Let the fire of desire mend your souls.

Let the power of starlight shine within you.

Burn brightly.

Mend. Mend. Mend.

Fire cleanses. Fire heals.

Become who you are. Shine the light of your inner stars.

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KRT: Hut in the Forest

The topic for this Kemetic Round Table post is:“Do I need a main deity to practice Kemeticism? If so, how do I get a main deity? Am I able to say no to a deity that shows up at my shrine?”

Short answer: No; it depends; and yes.

I suspect that the notion of needing a main deity comes from two sources. In some other pagan paths, practitioners have “matron” or “patron” deities. Forums are full of, “How do I find my matron Goddess?” The other source could be in the habit of Ancient Egyptian cities to have a patron. There was Neith in Sais, Wesir/Osiris in Abydos, Ptah in Memphis, Horus in Behdet/Edfu, and so on.

Everyone has different abilities and needs. The deity you work with most is less a product of “I found You!” and more a product of “Over time, it appears you have become my “main squeeze.” /I found you and never felt a need to branch out.”  Everyone’s needs are different: some of us need a main squeeze. Some do not.

I think a lot of times it happens to us unawares, sometime after exploration ends and true devotion begins.

I don’t think having a stronger devotion to one Netjer over others influences the legitimacy of your path. However, I do think we have to ask ourselves how we are bettered by whatever relationship(s) we forge. In order to see which relationships endure and rise to prominence, we have to be willing to take a leap in the direction of devotion and routine.   *fade into scene*

Richard Bowden's Following a Path through Foxley Wood, for TGo522. Photo is copyrighted but also licensed for further reuse.

Richard Bowden’s Following a Path through Foxley Wood, for TGo522. Photo is copyrighted but also licensed for further reuse.

The Hut in the Forest

In a forest, you have a little hut. You obtain your sustenance from the trees in the forest and your own garden. You feel particularly connected to certain trees. They have a seemingly infinite and unreachable canopy,  monumental trunks, and a thick and gnarly root system. You water their roots, sit upon their shade, study their history and habits, tidy their area, and even adorn them. On the grass beneath their sprawling structures, fall nuts or fruits to eat, timber for repairs or renovations, refreshing shade, or leaves to cloth you or make furnishings. Perhaps within their bark is some antidote to a poison you have ingested or a stimulant to push you forward.

Maybe you rest in their shade without ever knowing, until one day their boughs tremble and you happen to look up.

Maybe one (or three) tree(s) bear fruits you deeply need. The roads to their location are etched into the soil and ground into your memory with certainty and permanence. It is easy to make haste upon these roads, and they quickly deliver you beneath the umbrella of the tree’s open branches and into its woody scent.

There are other trees whose company you seek less often. You may not need or care for their fruit as you do the other(s’). The routes to their whereabouts are still dressed in a stifling duvet of grass. Maybe once their paths were as well-worn as skin; maybe that day has yet to come. But for now, their paths are less accessible and/or less travelled than others.

There are trees you may only visit once a year or once in life, but you adorn them still and give them libations while expecting little in return.

In your own personal garden are smaller heirloom plants cultivated by your family and passed onto you. The garden bears fruit directly next to your hut.

The plants in our garden are the blessed dead, our Akhu. When we die, we rejoin that ancestral garden (or ka) and provide sustenance for the next generation. It also contains those seeds we plant: our impact, memory, achievements, failures, and children.

The trees are the gods we honor.

The path to each tree represents our relationship with Netjer/et/u. A priestly path is as worn as the Grand Canyon. Other paths require a machete to travel. From some huts issue a nice system of smooth trails to a few, familiar trees. We may spend all day hiking from one tree to the next, or we may enjoy weekly strolls at a leisurely pace. No matter the manner or frequency with which you erode your trail, it is still a legitimate route to the destination. It is not a question of legitimacy. It is a question of efficacy.

Paths don’t forge themselves, and a few, infrequent nature hikes does not a footpath make. Paths are ground into the earth by persistence, analysis, and exploration. If they aren’t tread often enough, the paths dissipate. Conversely, the more they are walked, the more starkly they stand out against the untrodden soils. In short, I feel that until we attempt to build relationships with deities and subsequently experience some success, this KRT question is of little use. Sometimes, Someone does holler, ” My work/worship is priority!”  This is not always the case; when we reach the point at which we can reflect on the relationships that are beginning to form, I think the question will answer itself. Either you and Netjer will be satisfied or you won’t. Either you will find you go to One more often or not. Either They will show you that Their relationship should be a priority for you or They don’t.

To see what works and what happens, you first have to do. You first have to build. The “main deity” isn’t the first step (unless you’ve been told otherwise by Somebody).

YOU must analyze, “Which system of paths best serves the master of the hut and the trees they lead to?” Can you tend to that many trees and allow both parties to reap the fullest benefit? Do you need familiarity more than diversity? Is there one tree that has a vital lesson to deliver? Is that fruit needed now or for the rest of your life? In the shade of which tree(s) do you find the most peace? These are the answers which shape the response to, “Do I need a main deity?” Even then, I think we gravitate towards the Ones we need…and if we don’t we are redirected.

Only we can decide which trees to return to and how often to do so. Even if Someone “raps upon our chamber door”, we have to let Them in. Once acquainted, will we allow Them stay or politely decline? It’s up to us.

Relationships take time, trust, self knowledge, academic knowledge, shared interests or struggles, and persistence to be fruitful. The only way you can figure out what works is to try it out. Have you been working with one Netjer and are ready to up the ante? Go for it! Have you been overwhelmed by what you or Others have put on your plate? Hold a conference and plan for downsizing. Just because the path grows over doesn’t mean the tree does not still stand. If that path was strongly etched, it may never really fade.  Also, just because you don’t go down that path doesn’t mean the tree doesn’t still see you on the forest floor.