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Author Topic: Kemetic View of the Gods/Universe  (Read 9214 times)

Setnakht

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Re: Kemetic View of the Gods/Universe
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2011, 03:47:25 pm »
Quote from: Helmsman_of_Inepu;25520
Interestingly, in a recent discussion of hard/soft polytheism, Rev. Siuda added "Of course, we approach them all as individuals."

This idea of "approaching them as individuals", it's a bit confusing.
Are they individuals in their essence, each unique and separate divine beings, or are they rather masks/aspects of One God?
On p. 39 in Tamara's Prayerbook she states, "In Kemetic Orthodoxy, offerings are not generally made to the Self-Created One (i.e., Atum) but to His Emanations, the gods and goddesses each devotee recognizes as Parent(s)." A few pages later (p. 41) in commenting on the two Heru-gods, Tamara says, "Within a monolatrous theology, They and all of Their aspects can also be considered aspects of the same divinity. . . ." So when Tamara says , "we approach them as individuals" she is not speaking as a polytheist in the standard meaning of that word--many individual gods, each unique, each separate. I know that all sorts of arcane refinements can be mustered with talk about monolatry, and henotheism, but for me, a hard polytheist, I see the Netjeru as I see human beings--separate, even though we may come from common proto (human) parents.

Helmsman_of_Inepu

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Re: Kemetic View of the Gods/Universe
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2011, 10:05:47 pm »
Quote from: Setnakht;25543
...I know that all sorts of arcane refinements can be mustered with talk about monolatry, and henotheism, but for me, a hard polytheist, I see the Netjeru as I see human beings--separate, even though we may come from common proto (human) parents.

 
That's similar to how I view them as well. I may address them as a group: "If any of you can help me with this?" I haven't worked with Amun-Ra or Mut-Bast, so that hasn't come up yet.

There do seem to be different ways that they might team up/combine, including "A is the ba of B," but it's hard for me to figure out the nuances to all that. If they do decide to combine/merge for a while, they're gods and it's not my place to argue with them. But I think there was definitely an impulse in the late 19th century to try to portray the Egyptians as "not just primitive polytheists with a confusing array of a zillion gods."

WRT Kemetic Orthodoxy, I haven't made a secret of my approach, and I haven't been hassled or been booted out. I even apparently made it through the "cut" of the recent reorg. :whis:
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Helmsman_of_Inepu

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Re: Kemetic View of the Gods/Universe
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2011, 10:12:49 pm »
Quote from: Meritmut;25497
Thank you so much for the information ^^ I actually just ordered Eternal Egypt and it arrived today so I am going to start reading it ASAP.


One interesting thing about Eternal Egypt- It's actually two books. The first part was published separately, but that publisher went out of business. Reidy was already writing the second part as a different book when he got the rights back to the first.

You might consider skipping to the second part on page 187 and starting there.
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Meritmut

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Re: Kemetic View of the Gods/Universe
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2011, 01:59:06 am »
Quote from: Helmsman_of_Inepu;25600
One interesting thing about Eternal Egypt- It's actually two books. The first part was published separately, but that publisher went out of business. Reidy was already writing the second part as a different book when he got the rights back to the first.

You might consider skipping to the second part on page 187 and starting there.

 
This was really useful lol, I was skimming over the book and became very confused lol. I heard that this book also contains some notes on the Ancient Egyptian mindset/worldview.

Helmsman_of_Inepu

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Re: Kemetic View of the Gods/Universe
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2011, 10:06:31 am »
Quote from: Meritmut;25619
This was really useful lol, I was skimming over the book and became very confused lol. I heard that this book also contains some notes on the Ancient Egyptian mindset/worldview.

 
I'm doing a detailed review of it, and when I got curious as to why, after giving all those grand rites he jumps to "so why would you want to do Kemetic recon?" and giving more basic rites and explanations. So I asked him. ;)

I think, read in that order, it's a good intro. But if I was starting out and read the morning and evening rites of Ra, I would have thought "I can't do that!!! Get up at five a.m. and do a twenty-page ritual?" :eek:

Temple of the Cosmos by Jeremy Naydler was highly recommended to me by a couple people, I read it, and I agree. Those two books can make an excellent starting point.
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Helmsman_of_Inepu

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Re: Kemetic View of the Gods/Universe
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2011, 10:15:56 am »
Quote from: Meritmut;24967
I am wondering are the Gods viewed as being omnipresent and are they viewed as "perfect"? Anything else you can think of lol :confused:

 
Another thing I really like is that the Netjeru aren't all-powerful. They are engaged in a daily titanic struggle to preserve and re-create the universe. They can use our help with that.

I much prefer that to having an all-powerful deity who could make things better, or have prevented them entirely, but won't because of the rules of the "game" he set up.
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Darkhawk

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Re: Kemetic View of the Gods/Universe
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2011, 10:22:40 am »
Quote from: Helmsman_of_Inepu;25520
I've felt that the Heru/Set polarity is one of Static/Dynamic rather than Order/Chaos, and did a blog about it a while ago. After that I read something in Jan Assmann's Mind of Egypt in which he complained that the use of the term "chaos" sends people down entirely the wrong track. He talks about the Nun, which is undifferentiated everything and isfet, which is more like something being erased from the universe without a trace.

 
I've commented in the past that there are three things in Egyptian thought that all get translated "chaos":  "undifferentiated creative potential", "annihilatory negation", and "transformational destruction".
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Nehet

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Re: Kemetic View of the Gods/Universe
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2011, 12:44:45 pm »
Quote from: Bastemhet;25401
However modern practitioners don't all agree with this interpretation, and you can still find some "hard polytheists" even though the function of syncretism would not make it a "true" hard polytheism.

 
I'm not so sure if syncretism precludes hard polytheism.

I've actually wracked my brain a lot with syncretism.  I remember a late-night conversation with a Kemetic friend, when we tried to hash it out.  We finally came up with an interesting metaphor, which involved (of all things) horseback riding.  When you are truly in tune with a horse, you can move as one.  It is almost as if the horse's body is part of yours, and you are a part of that horse.  There's not a lot of effort required to communicate with the horse about where you want to go.  It's very natural, and intuitive.

That said, the horse doesn't stop being a horse, and you don't stop being a human being.  It might feel, at some point, like there is no differentiation.  However, that is not true.  When you get off the horse, you are still a complete, whole, individual being by yourself. So is the horse :)
See, life is but a movement of eternal return.  Even Trees fall ~ Berlin papyrus 3024, (A man tired of life).

Live, Ausir, for all time and all eternity! Ankh Neheh Djet!

Meritmut

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Re: Kemetic View of the Gods/Universe
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2011, 06:28:26 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;25659
I've commented in the past that there are three things in Egyptian thought that all get translated "chaos":  "undifferentiated creative potential", "annihilatory negation", and "transformational destruction".

 

Could you give me a brief synopsis on each of these, please :) ?

Meritmut

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Re: Kemetic View of the Gods/Universe
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2011, 06:30:56 pm »
Quote from: Helmsman_of_Inepu;25654
I'm doing a detailed review of it, and when I got curious as to why, after giving all those grand rites he jumps to "so why would you want to do Kemetic recon?" and giving more basic rites and explanations. So I asked him. ;)

I think, read in that order, it's a good intro. But if I was starting out and read the morning and evening rites of Ra, I would have thought "I can't do that!!! Get up at five a.m. and do a twenty-page ritual?" :eek:

Temple of the Cosmos by Jeremy Naydler was highly recommended to me by a couple people, I read it, and I agree. Those two books can make an excellent starting point.

 
Lol yes the beginning of the book looks daunting, I think it helped that I have read some PDF files on temple offerings so I was a little prepared for it but not much lol.
I have the temple of cosmos saved in my cart just waiting to order it ^^

Meritmut

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Re: Kemetic View of the Gods/Universe
« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2011, 06:32:49 pm »
Quote from: Helmsman_of_Inepu;25657
Another thing I really like is that the Netjeru aren't all-powerful. They are engaged in a daily titanic struggle to preserve and re-create the universe. They can use our help with that.

I much prefer that to having an all-powerful deity who could make things better, or have prevented them entirely, but won't because of the rules of the "game" he set up.

 
So do I, I never understood that in Christianity, God can supposedly do anything he wants but he allows famine, the devil all of that...doesn't really make sense if he supposed to know everything and could prevent it if he wanted too...doesn't seem very merciful or loving to me lol

Meritmut

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Re: Kemetic View of the Gods/Universe
« Reply #26 on: October 16, 2011, 06:34:02 pm »
Quote from: Nehet;25721
I'm not so sure if syncretism precludes hard polytheism.

I've actually wracked my brain a lot with syncretism.  I remember a late-night conversation with a Kemetic friend, when we tried to hash it out.  We finally came up with an interesting metaphor, which involved (of all things) horseback riding.  When you are truly in tune with a horse, you can move as one.  It is almost as if the horse's body is part of yours, and you are a part of that horse.  There's not a lot of effort required to communicate with the horse about where you want to go.  It's very natural, and intuitive.

That said, the horse doesn't stop being a horse, and you don't stop being a human being.  It might feel, at some point, like there is no differentiation.  However, that is not true.  When you get off the horse, you are still a complete, whole, individual being by yourself. So is the horse :)

 
This was actually a really good metaphor lol

Darkhawk

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Re: Kemetic View of the Gods/Universe
« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2011, 09:26:29 pm »
Quote from: Meritmut;25785
Could you give me a brief synopsis on each of these, please :) ?

 
Brief?  "Nun", "isfet", and "Set's House of Thunder, Change, and Creative Demolitions Explodiation".
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Bastemhet

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Re: Kemetic View of the Gods/Universe
« Reply #28 on: October 16, 2011, 10:46:06 pm »
Quote from: Meritmut;25498
This is exactly how I view syncretism. I do have a question about the KO, how do you view the Rev. Siuda?

 
Could you be a little more specific?  What do you mean by how I view her?

Bastemhet

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Re: Kemetic View of the Gods/Universe
« Reply #29 on: October 16, 2011, 10:50:17 pm »
Quote from: Bezenwepwy;25518
Just FYI, there is no historical evidence which suggests Anubis and Wepwawet were ever actually considered facets of the same deity or that there is any "uber-jackal." At most there is a set of traits which it seems most/many jackal deities have in common which can be put together as a kind of jackal archetype, but that is not the same thing.

Even by KO definitions, I believe aspecting has more to do with when two deities are closely associated and perhaps have some overlap in their roles or which exist in a particularly close proximity with one another. Not the same thing as being facets of the same entity.


Technically, the KO belief in monolatry would mean all of the Netjeru are aspects of Netjer itself.  An "uber-jackal" would just be one more division in this aspecting.  The definition of aspecting I put here was how the Rev. Siuda defined it for me in a personal e-mail.  I take it that how she defines it would be the KO definition but I wouldn't be surprised if a complicated concept like this might get mangled while being exchanged from person to person.

There is no historical evidence of temples to a Netjer All-God either, but for me that is the best explanation for why the netjeru could meld so fluidly and yet have their own individual existence at the same time.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2011, 10:57:03 pm by Bastemhet »

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