Anonymous asked: Is Sekhmet mean?
A lot of people think about the gods in absolutes. They are absolutely this. They are absolutely that. The question, anon, is kind of along those lines. You’re asking me if Sekhmet is mean. And while she can be, just as any being in the entirety of creation can be mean, it doesn’t necessarily mean that she is always mean.
Historically speaking, Sekhmet was seen as a deity who did some fucked up shit. People look at her myth cycle, the Destruction of Mankind, and they’re horrified by the actions she took. But the thing is that she was created with the specific purpose of snuffing out the bastards who were living outside of ma’at by plotting against her father. That was her entire purpose in having been created in the first place. And they are even more horrified when she refuses to stop. This doesn’t equate to her being mean, per se, it equates her to the fact that she was created out of rage and anger – two things that she embodies to this day – and could not hear the voice of reason when her father requested that she stop. She was too overtaken by her purpose that she couldn’t stop.
Does that equal to her being mean? From a very basic standpoint, sure. But in this society, we’re all about learning the whys and what for when it comes to people who are “mean.” There’s always some secret baggage behind the bitch face that no one else can see. In this case, it wasn’t something as simple as she was being mean but something more: she wasn’t given things like compassion, reason, logic when she was created. In effect, she was created two dimensional in a three dimensional world.
In later years, she was looked upon with fear and awe. Her Seven Arrows created disease and chaos wherever they rained down. The ancient Egyptian people prayed to her and provided one another with amulets of her on The Days Upon the Year to prevent her Arrows from working their terror upon them.
However, as Butler discusses briefly on her Henadology page, these arrows held sway over many such arenas in which misfortune would fall upon the general populace. In an effort to prevent themselves from being caught up in these “nets” of misfortune, they propitiated her and her Arrows, hoping that by their good deeds she would look upon them favorably and keep the “nets” of misfortune from snagging them in their grasp.
This, to me, doesn’t speak of a “mean” goddess at all. It speaks to someone who atoned for the “sin” (I use this word probably incorrectly, honestly, but it’s the best I can come up with off the fly) of having attempted to destroy humanity during the Reign of the Netjeru. She still held within her the ability to destroy by allowing people to be caught up by misfortune but if they followed the correct steps and showed that they truly were living within ma’at, then she could keep her emissaries (the Arrows, in specific, but this also denotes her power over many such demonic entities) away from them.
But I have to assume that you’re talking about within a personal relationship context. Again, there, it isn’t a matter of absolutes. She isn’t always mean, but she certainly can be.
The thing about the netjeru that most people don’t seem to realize is that they are as fallible as we are. I’m sorry, but there is absolutely no way that they can perfect beings with some of the fucked up shit they did to one another. Never mind that, but they can’t be too perfect and wonderful all the time if they thought it was a-okay to fall from the favor of the people. And so, that means that they can make mistakes. The myth cycles are full of the mistakes that the gods have made – Sekhmet’s attempt at full-scale destruction, Set trying to fuck his nephew, Djehuty killing a bitch and his entire fucking family for looking at a book, all the shit Djehuty pulled over and blamed Babi for, etc – and nowadays, it’s no different. The gods are still just as fallible but we’re not a starry-eyed populace anymore who know no other way of life.
We choose the netjeru and they choose us (sometimes).
From my personal experience, yes, I can tell you that I think Sekhmet can be mean. She’s a no holds barred kind of deity. She’s going to tell you, in no uncertain terms, to clean up your own fucking mess. She’s going to tell you the truth and possibly punch you with it between the eyes, which we all know can hurt. She can say and do things in a blood-soaked rage that she may later regret. She’s a hot-headed and hot-blooded kind of deity, which as someone who is also hot-headed and hot-blooded I can say this pretty confidently, so she’s going to say and do things that others will see as “mean” or “cruel.” She may regret it later, and she may or may not apologize for what was said and/or done, but that’s just how it is. Whether she recognizes the action as “mean” or “cruel” is dependent on her discernment of the situation, not mine and not yours.
So, for example, I bonded like a fucking moron to someone I shouldn’t have a million lives ago. She wasn’t involved in my life at the time because I told the bitch to stay away from me. She listened to me instead of bugging me and I ended up making a really terrible mistake. Since discovering this mistake, I’ve asked for her assistance and she has said that I needed to fix this on my own since I wasn’t willing to listen to her or take her counsel when I made the mistake. Okay, fine. It’s been a learning curve. But I also know that if she was really not-mean, she probably could have stopped me from making the mistake. Then again, I may not have ever learned the lesson I feel that I was supposed to learn because of that ex-bond mate, so it’s kind of a double-edged sword.
Since she has refused to help me clean up my own mess, I have raged at her. I have called her mean. I have called her cruel. I have cried to her about it and screamed that she should have done what was in my best interest whether I understood it at the time or not. But that’s not how she works. She made mistakes in her youth, so to speak, and had to learn the lesson. So, too, do her devotees.
But I’ve also seen a kinder side to her that most people when looking at her from behind a glass don’t see: she’s been kind to me. She’s given me things that I liked. She’s held my hand when I had to have the pestilence removed from my body painfully and terribly because of that ex-bond mate. She’s told me that while it was my mistake and it is my mess to clean up, she won’t let it kill me (as much as sometimes I would rather that pestilence do so). I’ve felt the love and adoration she has had for her other children. I’ve seen her cry over the mistakes those children have made. I have felt her love and adoration for me [and also her exasperation at how very similar we are]. I’ve watched her cry over the mistakes I have made.
A lot of people see Sekhmet as some two-dimensional deity who is always X, Y, and Z. No one is always X, Y, and Z; not even the gods are. They are fallible.
So, no. No, Sekhmet is not mean. She is a product of her sole purpose and has since grown from that sole purpose. She is lousy at comfort and kind of does the hand-flapping thing when people cry or even worse, the awkward pat-pat on the shoulder thing. She says things out of turn and can drink a whole host of sailors under the table. She is an individual with all that that entails.
Very wise words indeed.
The Importance of Names
What’s in a name? Plenty. A name is the essence of who we are. It can be the name that we are given at birth, or a nickname which signifies who we are within communities, or it can be an Initiatory name. Sometimes a name is a persona we choose for ourselves in order to keep us safe from the prying eyes of employers, or those who wish us harm such as ex-spouses, abusive family members or…
A quick look at: the ancient Egyptian “Tale of the Doomed Prince.”
Italicized sections in this post are translated portions from the tale itself, here I will be using Lichtheim’s “Ancient Egyptian Literature: The New Kingdom Vol. 2” (University of California Press, 2006). While the end of this tale is missing, most scholars believe the ending to have been a happy one.
Our hero in this text is a prince, whom is being pursed by the fates, and must die. Upon hearing this, his distressed father builds a fortress to protect his son.
Then came the Hathors to determine a fate for him. They said: “He will die through the crocodile, or the snake, or the dog.” […] Then his majesty’s heart became very very sad. His majesty had [a house] of stone built [for him] upon the desert…and the child was not to go outdoors.
Many years later the prince, now an adult, has grown sick of “sitting here," and leaves Egypt on a chariot for Mitanni. The prince of Mitanni has a daughter, whom has been put away in a tower (similar in a way to the rapunzel story popular today). Many wish to marry this daughter, but only one who can jump (fly?) up to her in the tower may do so. The prince lies about who he is, not wanting his competitors to feel threatened by another prince. After sitting back and learning from his competitors, the prince manages to reach the girl.
He leaped, he reached the window of the daughter of the Prince of Nahrin. She kissed him, she embraced him on all his body. One went to inform her father and told him “One man has reached the window of your daughter.” […] Thereupon the Prince of Nahrin became exceedingly angry. He said: “Am I to give my daughter to this fugitive from Egypt? Make him go away!”
Despite her father’s orders, the daughter held the Egyptian prince tight, and threatened to starve herself to death if he was to be parted from her: “I will not live an hour longer than he!" Upon actually meeting the Egyptian prince, the prince of Nahrin has an immediate change of heart, "his dignity impressed the Prince.” The daughter and Egyptian prince ended up getting married.
Now when many days had passed, the youth said to his wife “I am given over to three fates: the crocodile, the snake, the dog.” Then she said to him: “Have the dog that follows you killed.” He said to her: “What foolishness! I will not let my dog be killed, whom I raised when it was a puppy.” So she began to watch her husband very much and did not let him go out alone.
The proceeding portion of the tale tells of these fates finally encountering the prince. The snake is killed, all that remain are the crocodile and the dog:
The youth went out for a pleasure stroll on his estate. [His wife] did not go out [with him], but his dog was following him. Then his dog began to speak [saying: “I am your fate].” Thereupon he ran before it. He reached the lake. He descended into [the water in flight from the] dog. Then the crocodile [seized] him and carried him off to where the demon was. [But he was gone. The] crocodile said to the youth: “I am your fate that has come after you. But [for three months] now I have been fighting with the demon. Now look, I shall release you. If my [enemy returns] to fight [you shall] help me to kill the demon. For you see the ————— the crocodile.” Now when it dawned and the next day had come, [the demon] returned —————.
The rest of the text is unfortunately missing.
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A Week of Challenges
Funnel cloud with rotation over the prison in Anamosa. This is less than two miles from our log cabin in the woods. (Photo courtesy of Lori Kula)
I should have known when the tornado hit Anamosa, that this week would not be the best. It didn’t matter that there was a three day weekend coming up at the end of it. When your Monday consists of 0 mph winds and flooding throughout your immediate…
Anonymous asked: Do you fear that modern paganism could one day turn out to be similar to the Christian / Catholic tree in terms of prejudices between so many different sects of paganism? For example, Puritans hated Catholics even though they worshipped God as well.
I’m afraid there is already hatred amongst sects of Paganism, and I’d argue that it predates the hatred that exists between different sects of Christianity.
Look at the way those who worship Loki are treated, look at the way the majority of Neo-Wicca faiths treat those of other faiths, look at how Pop Culture Pagans, Christopagans, and Luciferians and Satanists who identify as pagan are treated. Hatred within Paganism is nothing new. There are plenty of issues within the greater pagan community, and the sooner we as individuals drop the false belief that the pagan community is “so accepting” and “not like Christianity” the sooner we can educate ourselves, others, and stop the hatred from spreading.
Christianity didn’t invent hate. Christianity didn’t invent the concept of belittling others for their differing faiths. It has existed for a very long time, far longer than Christianity has, and it will continue to exist unless we recognize and put an end to it.
It;s not the religion. It’s some of the people within it. I have no problem with anyone of any religion. The clueless, the dogmatic and those individuals whom we’d rather not have to deal with are everywhere. I tend to take people as they are on a case by case basis. If I don’t like someone, it’s more often than not about their personality as an individual. With such folks, I have absolutely no problem walking away and leaving them to their own devices. Prejudice based on religion, or any other criteria is for the ignorant and the weak-minded. I refuse to play that game.
Regarding Spiritual Arrogance & Racism
“Do not be arrogant because of your knowledge, but confer with the ignorant man as with the learned for the limit of skill (art) has not been attained, and there is no craftsman who has fully acquired his mastery.” - The Maxims of PtahHotep
Sooner or later, we all have to come face to face with the spiritually arrogant. It may very well be, that we ourselves have bouts of spiritual arrogance of…
Getting back into it…
I have been so tied up with writing,client work, and diligentlhy putting Iunen Sekhmet (Sekhmet’s Sanctuary) in order that I have been neglecting social venues such as Tumblr, Facebook and especially my own blog.
Even with all of this, I have managed to take some pictures, shoot a little film footage and put back into place personal practices again - which include Kemetic practice, particularly to Sekhmet, and also my work in the world of Heka and Cunning Craft (aka “Traditional” Witchcraft) once again. I find that you can only run away for so long before all that you are and all of the things you care about catch up to you and you just can’t deny or hide it any longer.
You have to surrender to your mediocrity, and just write. Because it’s hard, really hard, to write even a crappy book. But it’s better to write a book that kind of sucks rather than no book at all, as you wait around to magically become Faulkner. No one is going to write your book for you and you can’t write anybody’s book but your own.–
Cheryl Strayed (via maxkirin)
Hell yes. Because sucky books can be edited. It’s much harder, turns out, to revise nonexistent books
Giving and Stealing: Finding a Balance for Occult Authors (REBLOGGED)
All too often, the topic of copyright infringement and out and out stealing is a raging plague of pandemic proportions among Pagan groups on various social media. Every day we are treated to links for ‘free” downloads of books that are still under copyright. I am no stranger to this. A book that is under my independent publishing company, Ma’at Publishing, was photocopied, converted to PDF,…
Anonymous asked: "casual reminder that Atlantis doesn't exist because I don't believe in it"
No, I was stating that it does not show up in Ancient Egyptian mythology specifically and I don’t personally believe in it. Believe in it all you want, that doesn’t mean I have to.
If only they could just *DECIDE* where Atlantis IS! It keeps moving…it’s off the coast of Florida, then in the Atlantic, then it migrates over to Bimini…or off the coast of Greece. For petetsake, people! FIND IT FIRST! Then put your blind trust in it.
The Next KRT Topic is…
The next topic we’ll be discussing for the Kemetic Round Table is:
Living Kemeticism: What does living your faith mean to you? How can others bring their religion into their day to day life or live their religion?
Entries will be posted on May 7, 2014.
Be sure that your post is tagged #Kemetic Round Table.
We look forward to your responses!
The Symbolic Use of Color in Ancient Egyptian Art
My friend, Sard, has written a wonderful piece on the use of colour in Ancient Egyptian Art. As per usual, her writing and citations are absolutely impeccable. This piece is well worth the read and addresses many questions and misconceptions on the topic that are floating around online.
Regarding Sekhmet’s Stolen Image
Sometime on Good Friday, the Goddess Temple in Cactus Springs, Nevada was invaded by thieves. The space that had always been open to anyone wanting to come visit the Goddess, to pray and to enjoy the peace of the sanctuary could do so unhindered. It was this that made it possible for those with a more heinous mission in mind to succeed in stealing the centrepiece of that place, a four foot tall…