There is always love.

See to it that love continues. It is left to you to tend this work. We cannot do it for you alone. You too must serve. 

from the Year 24 Kemetic Orthodox Oracle of Aset

When I read the Oracle for this year, I was ecstatic. I am all about divine love. Love is basically the key word of my religious practice. The word ‘love’ appears more than a dozen times in the Oracle.

Love is such a big word. It encompasses so many things: friendship, family, religion, sex, partnership, enjoyment, and on and on. Love can be comforting and soothing, or so deep it causes pain. It can be so much more than four letters could ever contain. And yet – four letters contain love in its entirety.

Love is a command, it is a sensation, it is an action; in the Oracle, it is all these things. We are reminded that the gods love us — so much so that They bring us into being, suffused with this love from cradle to grave. We are commanded to act always in love — not in romantic love or friendship, but the love that recognizes that we are all children of the gods, and as such deserve respect, honesty, and dignity. We are given the power to love ourselves, to care for ourselves and our world, and reclaim our innocence.

Love is the foundation of my worship. Everything springs from love. The gods love me, so They call to me to honor Them. I love the gods, so I bring them offerings and kneel before the shrine. I learned about the term bhakti yoga (or bhakti marga) in my brief study of Hinduism, and it springs to mind every time I try to describe my religious ideology. Bhakti yoga can refer to the path to moksha, or freedom, attained by love and devotion to a god or to the Divine as a whole. The goal is to be devoted without pretense or desire for reward; to love God for the sake of loving God, and to allow oneself to become absorbed by the love that joins God and devotee.1

I sometimes describe this feeling as grace, though that word has its own Judeo-Christian connotations. There is this lightness, this breathless joy that I feel when I walk out of Their shrine drenched in Their love. It is this feeling that I try to carry with me through the world. It is this feeling that inspired the name change of this blog. This love is powerful and intoxicating. It changes everything it touches. It has certainly changed me.

We are tasked to serve love, this year. We are instructed to ensure that the love They have given us — pure, strong love — continues to move through the world with us. We are expected to share love with each other, to heal each other and support each other.

I am so ready to carry Their love.


  1. This is a way watered down summary of the concept of bhakti yoga. If you are interested in learning, you may wish to seek out someone currently practicing Hinduism who may be more deeply familiar with the concept. My study of Hinduism was purely academic.

An affirmation for all the working devotees.

You are allowed to be busy.
You are allowed to have days when you glance at the shrine and realize you won’t have a chance to revert the offerings you left to sit overnight.

You are allowed to make your worship time a few quick prayers on the way to work in the morning.

You are no less for being distant because life has other demands. Remember that even the priests in antiquity could work part-time. 

I firmly believe that if Netjer wanted us to spend every waking moment in worship and devotion, there’s a good chance we wouldn’t be in the Seen world. 

Remember your shrine. Remember to go to work, to make dinner, and to do your laundry, too. It’s all about balance. 

It’s okay to be different.

When we talk about Ancient Egypt, we’re really talking about a society that spanned thousands of years. The culture varied, social norms varied — while the ancient people valued ma’at, tradition, and consistency, there is evidence in surviving art and literature of an evolving people.

I’ll be honest – I don’t really follow what’s going on with the larger polytheist community. Even though I have a tumblr, I don’t really use it to socialize. I haven’t had that kind of time (though now that I’m about to finish my master’s degree, that might change). But I’ve seen some talk about people feeling unwelcome — or being unwelcome — because of how they worship.

Here’s the thing: if Kemet itself varied over time, and we are basing what we do off of Kemet, doesn’t it stand to reason that there’s room for all of us under the umbrella? I might not agree with how some people choose to honor the gods, but I certainly won’t tell them not to do it that way. And if someone tells me I’m worshiping wrong, I don’t immediately assume I’m in the wrong.

I can’t tell anyone what to do. I will suggest that anyone who is thinking of telling someone they’re wrong in their relationship with the gods, should take a step back and question why they are so concerned with what other people are doing, and not what they are doing. I will also suggest that anyone who hears that what they are doing is wrong should remember that Kemet itself contained a variety of attitudes toward the gods.

I’m told that even the ancients were making complaints about each other – see “The Admonitions of Ipu-wer” or “The Discourse of a Man and his Ba”. And somehow, they survived thousands of years. If they can do it, so can we.

Doubt, existential crises, and choosing faith.

I suck at having faith. I joke to myself that I am one step away from being an atheist; if it’s not the gods of Egypt, it’s no gods at all. I disguise the seriousness of that feeling by calling it a joke — but it’s 100% truth.

I don’t know how I got to this point, honestly. One day I went to bed full of wonder at the Unseen world that surrounded me;  in the night I was gripped with terrifying doubt that left me disturbed for days straight. I shook it off, only to face it again a few years later, this time so intensely that I became physically ill for weeks, unable to eat or sleep as I grappled with the question of what happens after death.

Eventually I became distracted enough with the demands of daily life that my angst faded into a quiet hum of “what if” in the background — but it never dissipated, and I doubt it ever will. I consider myself a scientist at heart, and I am constantly trying to break my beliefs against what can be measured and tested in the lab. The evidence for atheism is strong. The chemicals released in the brain at death are the right ones to induce the feeling of religious ecstasy reported by so many people who have near-death experiences. All signs point to no. And yet I still practice. Why?

It’s a choice. If I live my life serving the gods and there are none, what have I lost? Perhaps time spent kneeling before Their shrines — but is time spent in peaceful reflection really wasted? If there are no gods, then the purpose of life is what we make of it, and I have chosen to dedicate my life to seeking moments of peace and awe, and to helping others. I have chosen to do something that makes me feel better now, instead of dwelling on what might come later.