Episode 3: The Gods and The Divine

I believe in many gods. I am a fairly strict polytheist; I believe that there are multiple deities with distinct personalities, Who interact with humans in many different ways and contexts. I believe that these gods are not perfect or omnipotent in any way, but that They are deeply loving and when They can, They will do so, so much for us.

The gods that I worship, as a follower of Kemetic Orthodoxy, are the gods of Ancient Egypt: Bast, Anubis, Ma’at, Thoth, and so on. I generally use an approximate reconstruction of what the ancient pronunciation would have been, researched by Rev. Siuda, the founder and Nisut of Kemetic Orthodoxy. I don’t necessarily think this is the best thing to do, but this is what I am most comfortable doing; I respect that other folks might believe otherwise and it’s completely okay. There are other gods not of this pantheon, and these gods will interact with people in any number of ways, requesting different things of Their people.

I believe that there are some Gods Who are closer than others; I do believe that Yinepu (Anubis) and Wepwawet are close, close enough to be made of the same godstuff. I believe that Sekhmet and Hethert (Hathor) are close enough to be made of the same godstuff. But that doesn’t make Them the same gods, necessarily. I think that there’s a difference between being the ‘same’ and being the same god, and that while historically the gods were not worshipped in this way, if They are asking to be honored in this way within the context that I am honoring Them, then I should honor that request, at least to some degree.

While I am a fairly strict polytheist, I also believe that there’s a Divine that permeates all the gods; something that in Kemetic Orthodoxy is referred to as Netjer, the singular deity from whence all deities come. I don’t believe this quite as literally as that; I believe that Netjer is God, God as the collection of all the Gods, the force that makes Them divine. I do pray to Netjer, to the Divine as a force, from time to time rather than praying to any particular deity. I do this because I believe that in praying to Netjer, all the gods will hear me. I may not know exactly where to turn with something – but praying to Netjer (or the Divine) as a whole feels like bringing my pleas before a council. Any god can answer, and often it is not a god I expect, but one Who has the answers I need.

I don’t think that seeing the Gods as a collective Divine takes away from my identity as a polytheist; I don’t believe, for example, that it is valid to say that because two gods are both part of the Divine that they are the same, no matter how close They may be. Yinepu and Wepwawet are an excellent example of this – They are so close that They could be the same god, and They are the same in many ways, but that doesn’t make Them the same god, in my eyes. Every god is an individual, is unique, and deserves to be honored and loved as such.

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