Trust in Your Own Experiences

AKA Why historical attestation isn’t always the holy grail.

I have something to admit.  I’m addicted to finding anything rooted in history that may mention or give me insight into Bast-Mut.  Once I get the itch, I’ll dig into the deepest parts of Google in order to see what I can find, even if just a brief mention of “Mut-Bastet.”  I occasionally get jealous of those who have parent deities who have a long history and many records and myths.  It’s the woe of somebody who worships an “odd-god.”

To be fair, Bast isn’t particularly unknown, and neither is Mut.  The downside falls in the destruction of Per-Bast (Bubastis), so we don’t really have much to go on.  Mut is very prominent, but Bast-Mut is NOT Mut, not completely.  If there existed any record at all of Queen Bast of Bubastis, it’s gone now.  We have small hints of Mut-Bast over in Waset (Thebes), but primarily that was Sekhmet-Mut town.

When I get into my heavy “research mood,” I really have to try to remind myself of one simple thing:

Trust in my own experiences.

What am I hoping to gain by finding my Mother in historical texts?  Maybe an epithet here or there, but that is probably all I’ll possibly find.  What this research won’t tell me is how the ancients perceived Bast-Mut, nor how they experienced her.  You won’t find that stuff in any scientific material.  You have to live it.  Nothing I’ll find will replace any experience I’ve shared with Mom.

For those of you in the same shoes, it will do you well to remember this.  This is your path, and you will not find that in any Oriental Institute Publication.

Reflecting on a Name

It’s been a little over three years since my Shemsu naming.  This is a name with big shoes to fill, and I’m finally starting to grow into it and fully understand what it means to be a soldier of my Mother.

I’ve done a lot of thinking over the years regarding this name and how it reflects me and my duty to both Netjer and the community in which I took my vows.  When I was first named, I was this meek little thing flanked by three powerful and protective Names.  It is now that I’m realizing just what being a soldier of a Queen entails.

On occasion, I’ll find myself doing some research on the literal roles of soldiers in Ancient Egypt.  I like to take in all the information available and see how it applies to me.  Something I discovered kind of stuck with me; When there is no war, soldiers were often out helping the community, building, farming, and taking on other helpful tasks.  They were always taking action for the betterment of the whole.

Action.

This is a word that is increasingly important to me.

Bast-Mut, as Queen, is one to direct.  I am taking action on her behalf.  Not only am I fighting in the name of ma’at, I am also expected to work with the community and help when necessary.

As I considered that, I also realized I had already been working on helping out the community.  I was, and am, getting more involved, and it fits my role perfectly.

(In meme speak: I protecc and attacc, but most importantly I give bacc)

First Steps onto the Kemetic Path

For those who are new to the Kemetic path, things can be quite daunting.  Where do you start?  Where do you go?

It’s okay to be confused!  We’ve all been there, me included.  I’ve gotten questions much similar to the ones above lately, and it has inspired me to write a short post in order to give people a starting point.  This won’t be extensive, it’s just a way to get your feet wet!

So take a breath now and think.

Consider what brings you to your interest in the Kemetic faith.  What gods are pulling you, if any?  This is a good time to write a small journal and get your thoughts down if you wish!  Just know that you’re not doing anything wrong if you are unsure about these questions, they are simply reflection.  Even so, it’s a helpful exercise!

Here are the basics:
  1. Live in ma’at.  This is the most important part of this faith.
  2. Communicate with the gods.  Even if you can’t set up a shrine, try to speak with them.  Greet Ra in the sunrise.  Greet Djehuty/Thoth in the moonlight.
  3. Research.  There is so much to learn!  You can read up on a particular god, or you can read about making shrines.
  4. Participate in the community.  Be it on Tumblr or elsewhere, it’s very good to interact with others who share this fatih!  You can learn a lot from one another.

I found that keeping a blog or a journal was an excellent way to keep me on track and to put my thoughts in order.  Your mileage may vary, but just know that this is your path.  Make it how you want!  Start slow, work up, and enjoy the process.

If you have further questions, please leave a comment!

Holidays the Kemetic Way

You’ve seen them around my blog already.

Various festivals celebrated the only way I could, making do with what I had, in the only places I was able to.

When I celebrate various Kemetic festivals, namely those centering around Bast(-Mut), I can only truly do so in the confines of a hotel room.  I will set up my travel shrine and find food to-go from any nearby restaurant, plane snacks, or hotel diners, which I can then share with the Netjeru in shrine.

Sometimes I’ll put my icons out in front of a window to greet Ra.  Other times I will process the statue around the tiny room.  I always find a way to make do with what I have, and celebrate whichever way I can!

As the years go by, I’m participating more and more in the Moomas festivities, including a card exchange in which you see a few resting in my shrine.  I drew such a beautiful image that I sent out on custom-made cards, and I look forward to doing even more with these festivals someday!

Come the day I have my own house, I plan for large celebrations with cooked feasts and decorations galore.  But until then, I make do, and I enjoy the time I spend with my gods no matter what the circumstance.

Baking cakes for the birthdays?  Why not!  Singing loudly with sistra ringing?  Yes please!

The fact that everybody can celebrate the festivals their own way makes for such beautiful variety.

I embrace it.

Before Ra She is Angry

Today is a Procession of Bast Before Ra, She is Angry.  We are meant to bring beautiful and delicious offerings before Bast to be in Her favor during this day, and yet, it’s late and I have some other things going on.

I cannot, in this state of tiredness, do much for the anger of Bast.  However, I did wind up doing something right by Bast-Mut today.

I started a keto diet recently and was doing good for a while, but then I needed food bad (I live in various places as a flight attendant, commute to another state, don’t have my own car, etc) and cheated on my diet with Chinese food.  WOW.  

Ever since I had cheated on the diet, I felt HORRIBLE.  I felt guilty.  I was putting myself down.  I WAS EATING MY HEART.

I cheated more.  More guilt. More heart eating.

Today, in lack of proper food, time, and more guilt for having eaten cereal for breakfast (the only thing I had), I didn’t eat anything until just now.  Roughly 12 hours of tiny snacks and a small bowl of cereal.  I was starving myself for lack of proper keto food.  For guilt.

My real mom knocked a bit of sense into me, as we were following the diet together, and told me basically to screw the diet, you are starving, you need to keep your metabolism going.

And then as I sat here eating my sandwich and dedicating it to Bast-Mut, I finally felt that jab of an angry goddess who has been teaching me AGAINST eating my heart these past years.  I thought I had finally gotten over it but here I was, doing it in a different way.

So while this has nothing to do with the festival, it does have to do with an angry Bast-Mut.  She is angry because She loves me so much.

And as we share this sandwich together, guilt-free, I feel that yes, I have appeased her.