Ekunyi's Embers

Kemetic Round Table – When a Main Deity “Gets” You

The Kemetic Round Table works to connect Kemetic bloggers of various practices and paths in order to provide helpful information for those new to Kemeticism. More information about the project can be found here.

This week, members of the Round Table chose to ponder the following questions: “Do I need a main deity to practice Kemeticism? If so, how do I get a main deity? Am I obligated to learn everything I can about my main deity? Am I able to say no to a deity that shows up at my shrine?”

Many of the other posts  on this topic have done a very thorough job of exploring each of the above questions, offering suggestions to the fledgling Kemetic on how they might begin a relationship with a particular Name of Netjer. I’m going to offer a more generic example — hopefully not too anecdotal for the goals of the group — in the form of a reversal.

You see, for me? The desire to practice Kemeticism didn’t lead me to seek out a main deity. In my case, a primary deity grabbed me by the metaphorical scruff and dragged me, kicking and screaming, into Kemeticism.

If I were to tell you how I “got” my main deity, the honest answer would be, I sat in a swivel chair staring blearily at an excel spreadsheet, pondering various waking dreams about some sort of anthropomorphic canine (I initially thought one of the Jackals) I’d had the week prior.

No reaching out, no research, just sitting in the aforementioned swivel chair when a firm mental voice did the imagined equivalent of a Gibbs slap: “Do not doubt me.”

 Alright, I think to myself, I’m officially losing my mind. Best course of action? Go to wikipedia to distract myself from the fact that I am hearing voices until they go away.

I click random: “Mozart operas” — in which I have performed and dearly loved.

Click again: “Rajasthan musicians” — the ethnic group my advisor studied.

Click again: “French pop” — what was playing on Pandora at that moment.

Click again: A Canadian comedy show my Newfie friend had shared with me the night before.

Now, to the best of my knowledge, Wikipedia doesn’t do “random” based on any sense of your interests (a la Facebook) so I was well and duly boggled. The mental voice turned into mental laughter as I closed out of the Firefox window, and attempt to “think at” the entity.

“Who are you?”
“Meet me.”
 ”Please, who are you?”
 ”You won’t trust my words. Meet me.”
“Now. Ten minutes ago. When you saw me before.”
Time: apparently not such a big deal to a god.

So I awkwardly took my 10 minute break and scurried to the bathroom, where we had a less-than-pleasant chat about my lack of personal boundaries, not living up to my potential, and a host of issues related to my ex. Some folks wrote about seeking a god through a ritual? Welp, that’s perfectly fine and more than likely a bit more respectful, but I’m afraid I met my future Parent deity standing in the largest, accessible stall in the loo.

 What’s the point of my recounting my first experience with Set?  

Yes, of course you have personal agency in terms of the gods you worship. You can always reach out yourself, or politely decline a god that approaches you. You can perform a ritual to seek someOne out, you can read books until you find a Name that seems best, or perhaps you can choose to worship Netjer more generally, without specifically devoting yourself to a few unique gods.

But sometimes it’s worth it to just let a god in. What began as an awkward, doubtful, “have I lost my bloody mind” conversation in the ladies’ room developed into something I never could have predicted. Chats over coffee, hikes in the woods, martial arts practice, even practicing electric guitar: all of it has enriched my life in my efforts to honor the one Name Who wouldn’t take “No” for answer. In return, I try to understand His role in history, to balance the personal belief and experience with a solid grounding in how He is represented in various texts, to recite the old prayers even as I create new music in His name.

He claimed me, after all. The least I can do is claim Him as one of my main deities in kind, through my actions, my efforts, and my faith.

Your mileage may vary.

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