Exploring spirituality somewhere between the Emerald Isle and the Black Land....

Monday, October 31, 2011

Holiday Season

Happy Halloween!  Run amok and eat candy until you puke!

And happy Samhain, Pomonalia, and Día de los Muertos to boot!

Celebrate life and death, remember where we came from and where we are going.  Honor those who came before, and keep in mind that we all end up taking that final journey....

Monday, October 24, 2011

Where I Fit In

In the Kemetic community, I often hear people talk about a longstanding fascination with Ancient Egypt.  Their interest in the art, culture, mythology, gods, etc., is often what inspires such individuals to seek out Kemetic faith.  I love hearing these stories because they are often told with a feeling that they have come home.  Or at the very least, with the humor that comes with realizing something ridiculously obvious, like when someone spends 15 minutes looking for their keys, only to find that they were in their hands the whole time.

But those stories also make me feel lost.  I’m sure I cannot be the only budding Kemetic for whom this is true, but I had about as little interest in AE as a person could possibly have.  Even the gods I wasn’t terribly interested in, other than one or two specific Names.  Being a Polytheist, my relationship with Bast wasn't too surprising.  The big surprise was that, as I mentioned in my first post, it was she who nudged me towards Kemetic Orthodoxy, despite the fact that I was very hesitant about it at many points along the way.  The nerd in me loves learning, so there was some allure there in learning about Kemetic religion, and specifically KO... but other than that sort of curiosity that I feel for most things, there was nothing special I felt about Ancient Egypt.  No fascination, no insightful childhood story, no lightening bolt moment.

Conversely, I’ve always had a deep interest in Celtic culture and deities.  I had that "coming home" feeling when I joined my (now former) temple and began learning Seancreideamh, the Old Belief.  The most important part of my personal beliefs as a whole are the virtues I've gleaned from Irish myth; ideals to achieve honor, such as loyalty, honesty, hospitality, seeking justice (and more importantly, seeking the right action to achieve justice), and treating others with kindness.  These are principles that I’ve always felt, and finding a culture and religion that fit these sentiments was very important for my walk upon that spiritual path.

A few weeks ago, while I was on one of my nightly walks, I was pondering for the millionth time where exactly I fit into Kemetic belief, or how it fit me.  I don’t remember exactly how I came to the conclusion, but it must have been my lightening bolt at last: Ma’at.  Balance, truth, justice, and much more, I’m sure.  These very virtues are mirrored in Celtic belief, and in the ideals that have shaped me more than anything else as I’ve tried to live by them.

So what was I saying about ridiculously obvious things?

Anyway, that seems to have been the turning point for me.  I had finally found where I fit into this spiritual path, and I’m happy to say that I feel like I am beginning to understand and appreciate who the Netjeru are any what the Egyptian myths are really about.  My interest in the life and culture is even growing to match.  I wouldn’t say I’ll be ready to join in any discussions of the Umpteenth Dynasty and Pharaoh Fantabulous anytime soon, but at least I’ve got a place to start.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Start of Something New

I've never been very good at introductions.  Actually, there are a lot of things that I've never been very good at, but right now, introductions are the ones that count.  So I'll just jump right in....

Right now, I'm at an interesting place spiritually.  For six years I've identified as a Celtic Polytheist (though some just called me "druid"), yet for the last year or so I've wanted to expand my spiritual horizons, or something corny like that.  And then came Bast.  I've never had more than a passing interest in Ancient Egyptian religion, yet I found Bast to be very accessible.  She's well-known even today, and in my experience is all around very likable.  Also, she has an undeniable sort of appeal to someone who loves cats and is the proud momma of one.  Anyway, my own personal devotion to the goddess led to a desire to find a more culturally specific way to do so, which I have been searching for over the last couple of months.  All of that searching eventually led me to Kemetic Orthodoxy, whose beginner's classes I will be starting later this month.

At first it was very difficult to even picture the two paths being practiced side by side, much less together, and for a while I even resisted doing so.  I think I just didn't know how to reconcile the two, since they come from very different parts of the world, and on the outside they seem so different.  Also... I was kind of afraid.  It sounds silly to admit to myself now, but I was afraid that my new found devotion for the Kemetic gods would somehow get in the way of or diminish the relationship that I have with my beloved Celtic gods.  I was afraid that the differences ran so deep that they wouldn't get along or want to share.

Happily, I have since found that that is not the case.  (Gods tend to be a bit more mature than that!)  But there are a lot of  strange and interesting things about following two religious paths.  So to bring this all around to the point, that's what this blog is about.  It's going to be my place to muse and speculate, to try to figure out all the things that have to do with being a newly claimed Celtic/Kemetic Polytheist, Kemetic Druid, or Chick Who Has No Idea What She's Doing.