I’ve written about how I found out about Kemetic Orthodoxy before – just look at the “About Me” page for a summary. It’s a story I can tell over and over again, but I think this time I want to take a more practical approach – why did I join *this* community, rather than worship on my own, or with another group?
Some background, for those who do not want to page-jump: when I was in high school, I found myself called by a goddess I couldn’t name. She felt fiercer than any deity I had met before. I called Her Aphrodite, and I was wrong. Aphrodite was a lovely goddess to honor for a time, but She was not calling me. Some meanderings led me to the House of Netjer. I was a recent high school graduate, excited to start college in the fall. I had a few dreams of the gods of Kemet, and in that season began to know them and honor them.
What is equally as important, though, is that I began forging a relationship with the members of the community. I corresponded online with several Shemsu, who welcomed me warmly and treated me like a friend. I was invited to informal AIM chats, and celebrated the milestones of divination and naming with several Shemsu-to-be long before I had even begun my own introductory period. By the time my class started, I had long since felt that Kemetic Orthodoxy was home.
I had my hesitancy, of course – many are critical of the House of Netjer for any number of reasons, some valid, others less so. What stuck with me above all was the sense of joy taken in celebrating with members of the community – the honest support in hardship and the gladness of success. My involvement on a functional level comes from those first experiences with the community, and an earnest desire to build a strong community of faith for the gods. So when I learned of an opportunity to work as a Imy-ra, I leapt at the chance. When I came eligible for Shemsu-Ankhhood, it was a no-brainer. After the class ended, I was divined in person on March 3rd, 2007, named on March 28th that year; became Shemsu-Ankh on August 6th, 2008 and became a lay priest on August 6th, 2010. I have had discussions with my gods about this, too – They want to be honored in this way, and while They do remind me that it isn’t the only way to honor Them, it is the only way for me.
My apologies to anyone who really wanted “Episode 9” to be this inspiring spiritual dissertation; I’ve told that story many times now, and really wanted to express my gratitude to the people I knew as part of the community when I was just starting out. 🙂