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  1. #1
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    Kemetic Orthodoxy

    As my interest in other cultures and traditions declines, I'm becoming more interested on pursuing Kemeticism more fully and formally. I'm pretty familiar with the KO organization, from reading the website and participating here and there on the website, although I'm still trying to decide if it's for me. I'm very skeptical about the founder who considers herself pharaoh, as it seems like a strange thing to do in these modern times when the civilization of Kemet no longer exists. Also, I don't know if I really want to pay money for becoming a member or anything like that when I could just study and practice for myself. The only thing is, I would like to be a part of a community and have people to talk to who practice as I do.

    I would just like to know about other people's experiences with KO, whether positive or negative, and whether it's worth pursuing, or if following Kemeticism without belonging to a formal organization makes more sense.


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    Re: Kemetic Orthodoxy

    Quote Originally Posted by Carnelian View Post
    I would just like to know about other people's experiences with KO, whether positive or negative, and whether it's worth pursuing, or if following Kemeticism without belonging to a formal organization makes more sense.
    I will note to start out with that the KO organisation inspires very strong emotions and opinions in a lot of people. It has come up in conversation occasionally, and I tend to keep a very close eye on those conversations in order to keep them civil. (While this thread is not posted in my subforum, I will still be keeping a close eye on them.)

    I think it is undeniable that Rev. Siuda and her organisation are central to the development of modern Kemeticism. For better or for worse, they are pretty much analogous to the Catholic Church of Egyptian recons. While there are other groups that have differing theologies, several have them have (or have had, I do not know if they exist anymore) theological positions on certain subjects that boil down to "I disagree with Kemetic Orthodoxy!" rather than being genuinely independent organisations. There are historical accusations of plagiarism between Kemetic organisations.

    HON has done some work to bridge the sectarian gaps and provide community to non-members recently with the establishment of an ecumenical discussion board. I can't speak to that personally as I am not a member, but I know several people around here are and I hope they speak up. I get the impression that it is a valuable resource.

    I did two temples' beginners classes back when I was starting out. Unlike the other temple were I studied, HON's classes were held on time, and it was easy to - at the point at which one was supposed to talk to a priest - actually schedule that conversation. (Per Ankh's material was not presented on schedule and it was routine that the priests did not bother to show up for discussions.)

    However, I did not find HON's coursework to be very good; it required essentially no feedback from the students, no demonstration of genuine learning, and no evidence of adoption of worldview or even understanding thereof. I have heard that there has been an attempt in the last year or so to reform and improve the beginner's courses, but I cannot speak to that subject; it has been at this point something like eight years since I did their class and a lot can change in that amount of time.

    Their community is very good for the actual membership, but I have gotten the impression that it is reasonably conformist. That may have changed in the past year, as there was a membership purge which I think may have been partially targetted at some of the behaviours I have heard about.

    I have seen HON priests comment that only their way is the correct way to be doing Kemetic belief and practice; at the same time, I have had HON priests comment on my professional blog (which is my indie Kemetic theologian workspace) about the value and merits of my work. I have no idea which is a dominant attitude within the organisation.

    As with everything, it depends on what you value. It is worthwhile to pursue beginner's classes regardless of what you do later, especially if you can find multiple groups to do that with. See what they have to say, and whether or not the organisation that presents that material is something that addresses your needs. At least back when I was starting out, both temples that offered beginner's classes (as opposed to others that were going to have some "any day now") had them available for free; the other group with classes, Akhet Hwt-Hrw, charged for them.

    I would at one point have liked to be a member of an organisation, but that time is unfortunately past for me. I have different work to do now.
    as the water grinds the stone
    we rise and fall
    as our ashes turn to dust
    we shine like stars - Covenant, "Bullet"

  3. #3
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    Re: Kemetic Orthodoxy

    Quote Originally Posted by Carnelian View Post
    I would just like to know about other people's experiences with KO, whether positive or negative, and whether it's worth pursuing, or if following Kemeticism without belonging to a formal organization makes more sense.
    Disclaimer: I'm a Kemetic Orthodox priest, and I've been a member of the House of Netjer for seven years.

    For what it's worth, the beginners course is no-cost and no-obligation--it's free, you can walk away at any time during or after, and the supplemental reading isn't required, so you don't even have to pay for books if you don't want to. If you want to receive the rite of parent divination after the course is over, that costs $53, but the rite is entirely optional and you can participate in the community for as long as you like without ever being divined. (The fee is to cover offerings for the divination ceremony.)

    I was skeptical about the "pharaoh thing" too when I first discovered the House. My opinion since then has been shaped by interacting with Hemet (Rev. Siuda) both online and in-person, and in short, I honor, trust, and respect her as my spiritual teacher and leader. This is something that everyone has to work through by themselves though. However, something to consider: people associate the term "king" with "nobility" and "aristocracy," but in ancient Kemet, wasn't the king originally "the unifier"? The latter, IMO, is a much better descriptor for Hemet's role within the temple.

    All of that said, the House isn't necessarily for everyone, and that's fine. (Not that you all need me to tell you that it's fine, of course. ) You can find plenty of independent Kemetics here and on the KIN forums, so you don't have to go it entirely alone.

    Hope this helps!

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    I have done no damage to a beautiful hour.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Kemetic Orthodoxy

    Quote Originally Posted by Carnelian View Post
    participating here and there on the website.
    ...and by that I meant the KO Facebook group. Whoops.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkhawk View Post
    As with everything, it depends on what you value. It is worthwhile to pursue beginner's classes regardless of what you do later, especially if you can find multiple groups to do that with. See what they have to say, and whether or not the organisation that presents that material is something that addresses your needs. At least back when I was starting out, both temples that offered beginner's classes (as opposed to others that were going to have some "any day now") had them available for free; the other group with classes, Akhet Hwt-Hrw, charged for them.

    I would at one point have liked to be a member of an organisation, but that time is unfortunately past for me. I have different work to do now.
    Good advice, thanks for your very detailed post

    Quote Originally Posted by Shefyt View Post
    Disclaimer: I'm a Kemetic Orthodox priest, and I've been a member of the House of Netjer for seven years.

    For what it's worth, the beginners course is no-cost and no-obligation--it's free, you can walk away at any time during or after, and the supplemental reading isn't required, so you don't even have to pay for books if you don't want to. If you want to receive the rite of parent divination after the course is over, that costs $53, but the rite is entirely optional and you can participate in the community for as long as you like without ever being divined. (The fee is to cover offerings for the divination ceremony.)
    Ooh, good to know. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shefyt View Post
    I was skeptical about the "pharaoh thing" too when I first discovered the House. My opinion since then has been shaped by interacting with Hemet (Rev. Siuda) both online and in-person, and in short, I honor, trust, and respect her as my spiritual teacher and leader. This is something that everyone has to work through by themselves though. However, something to consider: people associate the term "king" with "nobility" and "aristocracy," but in ancient Kemet, wasn't the king originally "the unifier"? The latter, IMO, is a much better descriptor for Hemet's role within the temple.
    That's true. I took a course on Ancient Egyptian Religion in university, and my professor described the the role of the pharaoh as holding a divine office, not being a divine person. In my understanding, a pharaoh was more like a high priest of ancient Egypt, especially in politically important cults like those of Horus, Ra, and Amun.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shefyt View Post
    All of that said, the House isn't necessarily for everyone, and that's fine. (Not that you all need me to tell you that it's fine, of course. ) You can find plenty of independent Kemetics here and on the KIN forums, so you don't have to go it entirely alone.

    Hope this helps!

    -Shefyt
    Thanks again!
    Last edited by Nyktelios; 1 Jul 2012 at 05:10 PM. Reason: fixing up

  5. #5
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    Re: Kemetic Orthodoxy

    Quote Originally Posted by Carnelian View Post
    I would just like to know about other people's experiences with KO, whether positive or negative, and whether it's worth pursuing, or if following Kemeticism without belonging to a formal organization makes more sense.
    I have spent a lot of time working with interfaith stuff relating to 'indy' Kemetics and KO people. There are a lot of rumors and misinformation about KO out there on the internet... and most of it is totally whack.

    When I first found KO, I thought that Tamara was a complete fraud (no lie- and due to internet rumors). I thought the group was dreadful. However, the more I spent time around there, the more I realized that Tamara really isn't all that bad.

    When you take the Beginners Class, you get the opportunity to interact with Tamara on her forum. And for myself, I found that Tamara was a completely different person than what most people portray her as. She really is pretty cool. She doesn't place herself up on a pedestal. She doesn't push her "divine weight" around. If anything, she's rather reserved and shy, imo. So I'd urge you to not let others sway your opinion of her. Give her chance, and see for yourself.

    That last line can be said of all things KO.

    Whenever anyone asks about KO, I always urge them to take the Beginners Course. It's free, and it doesn't hurt to at least *learn* about what KO is. You can't exist in the Kemetic community and not at least know of KO. So it always helps to take the course or explore the forums to get a feel for the organization. If you'd like, I started a KO Q&A a while back on another forum, and I can link to it here, if you'd like to peruse it.

    I have mixed feelings about KO. I will admit that KO does have it's good and bad points, and as was stated in this thread, we all owe a bit of something to Tamara. Who knows if the Kemetic movement would be where it is now had she not started KO. Whether the highs and lows of KO will bother you? Well that's different for everyone. For me, there are too many things I don't care for within KO, and so I will probably never move beyond the Remetj ranking within the forum. Each person has different needs with their practice, and my needs just aren't met within the organization.

    If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask and I'll see if I can answer them.

    -Devo
    dA | FB | LJ | WP

  6. #6
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    Re: Kemetic Orthodoxy

    Quote Originally Posted by Carnelian View Post
    I would just like to know about other people's experiences with KO, whether positive or negative, and whether it's worth pursuing, or if following Kemeticism without belonging to a formal organization makes more sense.
    I got involved with Kemetic Orthodoxy back in 2003, and I was a shemsu for about 5 years or so before I left about a year ago during the reshuffle/reorganisation.

    I came to Kemetic Orthodoxy after kicking about with a few other Kemetic groups and finding them not to my taste, and wanting money for things I didn't particularly want to pay for. I was just seeking fellowship, and I found it in KO. It took me a long time before I took the Beginner's Course, and even longer to commit to shemsuhood and Parent divination. I wanted to be sure it was something I wanted to do.

    Even though I'm independent now, I learnt so much about Kemetic religion from the House. I wasn't a very good regular Senut practitioner, but I still learnt how to be Kemetic, and what that means to me. I left the House because my path had become so far from Kemetic Orthodoxy that I didn't feel right calling myself KO anymore. I'm still a shemsu in my heart, but I'm forging my own path now. So even though it ultimately wasn't the path for me, I still value the time I spent there, because it taught me a lot that I don't think the other groups could've taught me.

    But I've always been something of a spiritual wanderer anyway. I'd learnt all I could from Kemetic Orthodoxy, and it was time for me to move on. And so it goes. I still respect Hemet (AUS) as a teacher, and I still hang around on the HoN boards, but I'm making my own way now.

    Only you can ultimately decide if Kemetic Orthodoxy is worth pursuing. I'd take the beginner's class and go from there, and I'd also hang about on the KIN boards that Shefyt linked you to. Take your time to figure out what you need from a religion or group. Me, I only want fellowship, so I'm happy to be on my own. But if you prefer being part of a community, maybe Kemetic Orthodoxy will give you what you need.
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