Kemeticism

Kemeticism




What is Kemeticism?

Kemeticism is a re-creation of the religion of Ancient Egypt, and includes the revival of its belief systems, its spirituality and other relevant aspects of its culture, such as literature and art. It is a belief in the Neteru (deities). The practice of the Kemetic religion today strives to be a living revival of the religion of the peoples of Ancient Egypt.

The Kemetic takes knowledge from the ancient texts of Egypt. Most common amongst these are the Chapters of Coming Forth by Day, also known as the Book of the Dead. In addition to taking wisdom from the ancient texts, a Kemetic is also a student and practitioner of the ancient Egyptian forms of ritual and magick. In Egypt, magick and religion were one and the same; legends tell of priests with great powers and even greater wisdom. It was through ritual magick that the priesthood communicated with the Neteru. Many texts refer to the ability of the priests to draw down the ka, or life force, of a particular Neter, into the image of that Neter in the temple, to give the Neter a physical form for a short time.



Beliefs

Kemetics adhere to a certain code of ethics, known as Ma'at. Ma'at, as a goddess, is the personification of the divine order of the universe. Truth, justice, order and the like are Her domain. Ma'at, as a concept, is quite similar; the Kemetic strives to maintain a regimen of truth, wisdom and a sense of what is right. Ma'at is the ultimate standard by which a Kemetic is judged, for it is against Ma'at that the heart is weighed. Should one be equal to Ma'at, they proceed into the Field of Rushes, the afterlife. Should one fail to meet the standard, the consequences are dire indeed; Ammit, a monster of fearsome countenance, devours their heart. To the ancient Egyptians, this was the true, total death - ultimate oblivion.



Deities

As with many ancient cultures, the Ancient Egyptians had a grouping of higher deities, as well as a grouping of lesser deities. The number of gods/goddesses ran into the thousands, as each city had its own pantheon. Individual kings worshipped their own gods, as did the workers, priests, merchants and peasants. The gods lived, died, hunted, went into battle, gave birth, ate, drank, and had human emotions. The gods reigns overlapped, and, in some instances, merged. Their was no organized hierarchy structure of their reign. The dominance of the gods depended on the beliefs of the reigning king. Their area of dominance depended on where the king wanted his capital.

Because of the numerous amount of deities, a short listing of some wellknown names is below:

Anubis ,the Jackal headed god was held in great reverence,for he oversaw the embalming and mummification process, as well a,s escorting the deceased through the procedures for entering the underworld.

Thoth was worshiped in the form of an Ibis and thought to be the god of wisdom. He was patron of arts and science and also the patron god of scribes. He was the inventor of the words of god, or Hieroglyphs.

Osiris is the god of the dead and ruler of the Egyptian underworld. He was associated with funerary rituals, at first only with those of the Egyptian monarch, later with those of the populace in general. The pharaoh was believed to become Osiris after his death. Although he was regarded as a guarantor of continued existence in the afterlife, Osiris also had a darker, demonic aspect associated with the physiological processes of death and decay, and reflecting the fear Egyptians had of death in spite of their belief in an afterlife. Osiris was also a judge of the dead, referred to as the 'lord of Ma'at.

Ra (other names associated to this god: Re, Amon, Amun, Amon-Ra, Amun-Re) Egyptian sun god, creator god, eventually, ruler of all gods. He was usually depicted in human form with a falcon head, crowned with the sun disc encircled by the uraeus (a stylized representation of the sacred cobra). The sun itself was taken to be either his body or his eye.

Isis , the mother goddess; sister and wife of Osiris; mother of Horus. She was depicted in human form, crowned either by a throne or by cow horns enclosing a sun disk. A vulture was also sometimes incorporated in her crown. She is sometimes depicted as a kite above the mummified body of Osiris. As the personification of the throne, she was an important source of the pharaoh's power.

Bast (other names associated to this goddess are: Bastet, Ubasti) the Egyptian cat goddess. A goddess of the home and of the domestic cat, She is often mistaken as the war-like aspect of a lioness goddess, Sekhmet. Her cult was centered on her sanctuary at Bubastis in the delta region, where a necropolis has been found containing mummified cats. Bast was also associated with the 'eye of Ra', acting as the instrument of the sun god's vengeance. She was depicted as a cat or in human form with the head of a cat, often holding the sacred rattle known as the sistrum.

Sekhmet (other names associated to this goddess: Sakhmet, Sekhet), depicted as a lion-headed woman with the sun disk and uraeus serpent headdress, was associated with war and retribution. She was said to use arrows to pierce her enemies with fire, her breath being the hot desert wind as her body took on the glare of the midday sun. She represented the destructive force of the sun, hence the name "Eye of Ra". Sekhmet has the dual aspects of being the goddess of healing and of disease.



Creation

In the beginning there was only water, a chaos of churning, bubbling water, this the Egyptians called Nu or Nun. It was out of Nu that everything began. As with the Nile, each year the inundation no doubt caused chaos to all creatures living on the land, so this represents Nu. eventually the floods would recede and out of the chaos of water would emerge a hill of dry land, one at first, then more. On this first dry hilltop, on the first day came the first sunrise. So that is how the Egyptians explain the beginning of all things.

Not surprisingly, the sun was also among the most important elements in the Egyptians lives and therefore had an important role as a creator god. His names and attributes varied greatly. As the rising sun his name was Khepri, the great scarab beetle, or Ra-Harakhte who was seen as a winged solar-disk or as the youthful sun of the eastern horizon. As the sun climbed toward mid-day it was called Ra, great and strong. When the sun set in the west it was known as Atum the old man, or Horus on the horizon. As a solar-disk he was known as Aten. The sun was also said to be an egg laid daily by Geb, the 'Great Cackler' when he took the form of a goose.

To the Egyptians the moon was any one of a number of gods. As an attribute of the god Horus the moon represented his left eye while his right was the sun. Seth was a lunar god, in his struggles with the solar god Horus, Seth is seen as a god of darkness doing constant battle with the god of light. We often find the ibis-headed god Thoth wearing a lunar creseant on his head.

To the Egyptians the sky was a goddess called Nut. She was often shown as a cow standing over the earth her eyes being the sun and the moon. She is kept from falling to earth by Shu, who was the god of air and wind, or by a circle of high mountains. As this heavenly cow, she gave birth to the sun daily. The sun would ride in the 'Solar Barque' across Nut's star covered belly, which was a great cosmic ocean. Then as evening fell, Nut would swallow the sun creating darkness. She is also pictured as a giant sow, suckling many piglets. These piglets represented the stars, which she swallowed each morning before dawn.Nut was also represented as an elongated woman bending over the earth and touching the horizons with her toes and finger tips. Beneath her stretched the ocean, in the center of which lay her husband Geb, the earth-god.He is often seen leaning on one elbow, with a knee bent toward the sky, this is representive of the mountains and valleys of the earth. Green vegetation would sprout from Geb's brown or red body.





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