Episode 20: Personal practice vs “State Religion”.

I have a really hard time explaining my spiritual practices, sometimes. Yes, I am Kemetic Orthodox, but I also bring a lot of other elements into my spiritual life. I try to honor and respect the spirits around me, in nature and otherwise; I have minor dealings with deities outside the Kemetic paradigm; I meditate and visualize frequently, and identify with spirit teachers and guides (I hate that term, it sounds so spooky but it’s not, really).

None of that is Kemetic Orthodox, and yet it is, because it is a part of how I build my personal relationship with the gods. I also observe the rituals of Senut and the daily w’ab rites, but that’s different. That’s separate from listening to spirit guides or talking to nature spirits. I have yet to come up with a satisfying metaphor to explain how I can be Kemetic and also comfortable with non-Kemetic practices, and have no conflict either way. I should really just point them in the direction of the Kemetic-Voudouisants I know. Or the Kemetic-Muslims. Or any of the excellent people I know who practice a syncretic spiritual path. I guess in some ways it’s like being Christian but incorporating meditation into your daily practices.

When it comes down to it, my religion isn’t about what I do so much as the relationship I have with my gods and why I do what I do. My ultimate goal as a Shemsu is to love my gods and live a just and balanced life. That’s what it comes down to. If using Tarot cards is a part of that, then so be it! But I find that such ideas are often dismissed as eclecticism, something I scoffed at too, at one time. I recently saw someone use the word ‘mystic’ to describe one who has a relationship with the Divine as a primary goal, and uses all religions as a tool to reach it. I like that concept but I hesitate to apply it to myself, partly because I pride myself on being reasonably grounded in spite of being spiritual.

Still, there is that divide between my religion, and the things I do that connect me with the Divine, but are not a part of that religion, and it’s hard to explain to people sometimes. It won’t stop me, though!

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