This past Wep Ronpet marked one year since I began working as a W’ab priest of Kemetic Orthodoxy. On Tuesday, someone asked me how W’abhood felt with a whole year under my belt. Even though my State shrine was not ready to open until December 2010, there are other elements of W’ab priesthood which begin immediately at consecration. My answer was simply this: it is everything I imagined it to be, and yet somehow it is entirely different. At the time, I couldn’t articulate what I meant by this. It was just different, but the same.
I think what I mean is this: most of w’ab priesthood is what I expected. There’s nothing terribly mysterious: I do the State Rite every day that I am present in my home and meeting purity requirements. I perform service for my community, both spiritual and local. I assist with official Kemetic Orthodox rituals, both online and in person. I expected all of that at the start (well, except maybe service to my local community – but having already been heavily involved in community service I wasn’t shocked).
I had different expectations of what my Gods would want. I expected They would place stringent limits on what I could do, and that They would make demands of me and my practice. They did have some changes to make in my life, but for the most part I didn’t find myself balking, and being unable to adapt. I had expected there to come a point where I would be faced with an impossibility, where I would be forced to give up.
In some ways, I think what I didn’t expect is that I would actually be a competent priest. I went into the priesthood very anxious that I was getting myself in over my head. I was convinced that my offerings wouldn’t be good enough. That I’d miss too many days in shrine. That my service to my local community wouldn’t be valuable. That the services I provide to the Kemetic community wouldn’t be unique or desirable.
That stuff hasn’t mattered nearly as much as I expected. What has mattered has been sincerity of intent, and desire to do the work of the gods – which I have. I talked about the whole “perfect” thing in my last “Episode of Spirituality”. Becoming a priest has meant redefining what it means to be “good” at something. It has meant adjusting my expectations of myself to be more realistic. Above all, it has meant affirming my devotion and my love of Ma’at. 🙂