This post is part of the Kemetic Round Table, which aims to answer some of the most common questions and provide a wealth of diverse options for the Kemetic novice to explore.
There are an awful lot of components to this particular KRT prompt, but I’d like to focus on just one facet: what we as individual Kemetics, whether or not we’re currently part of a Kemetic group, can do to create and improve the Kemetic community as a whole. There are plenty of posts that cover the other sub-topics of community flaws and how to bridge the gaps, but I much prefer to focus on concrete, proactive options that a single person can undertake. After all, while there are some larger Kemetic organizations, plenty of folks are either operating solitaries or outreachers beyond the communal house of their fellows.
As a moment of personal background, which will give perspective to this post: I am a Shemsu (“follower”) within Kemetic Orthodoxy and have been a part of this community for about two years now. For five or six years before that, I was a solitary and eclectic devotee of Sekhmet. Even now, digitally immersed in a community that I adore and with friends and peers unaffiliated with that community, I have no Kemetics within a four-hour radius of my home, so in that sense, I am still a practicing solitary. I suspect that many Kemetics share my situation: plenty of online camaraderie, but no face-to-face kindred, at least not on a casual daily basis.
So, then, the question: how do we build a community and improve the community/ies that we’ve got?
First, I think, we must acknowledge that community was a cornerstone of ancient Egyptian life and, in most cases, still quite important in modern Kemeticism. Secondly, we must acknowledge that community is not just our particular group of Kemetics, if we have one such group at all; if I am Kemetic, if I exist within a community at all—and I do—then that community goes beyond Kemetic Orthodoxy and into the wider realm of all-stripes Kemetics. And, of course, within a large enough collection of beautifully human, beautifully individualistic, and beautifully imperfect people, one will see disagreements, clashes, and differences of opinion.
But family is family, and howevermuch one might roll one’s eyes at one’s kooky uncle or crass aunt, they are still part of the tribe that we protect and support. This is community, and it is built one person at a time, a garden planted seed-by-seed. We build community one handshake after another, one hello and then another. It is this community that, when healthy and vibrant and living, will care for us just as we tend to it.
The heart of any community is the individual, and to better the Kemetic community, my best and only advice is to heal thyself, physician. Your heart and your spirit thrive within your personal practice, and your first duty is to yourself and your gods. By taking care of yourself, by tending to your gods and your relationship to Netjer, you bring ma’at into the world, and you contribute to a resilient foundation within our community. Your health and your actions radiate outwards and influence the other Kemetics that you know, just as they affect you, and this feedback cycle is strengthened and made pure by your own strength and purity.
And so it goes, so it grows, ever outwards. To create community, we reach out our hands to touch others; we speak with honesty, with respect, and with the understanding that no two Kemetics are the same, so your practice will not be what another does. To improve community, we reach out our hands to Netjer; we worship with honesty, with respect, and with the understanding that no two Kemetics are the same, so your practice is unique and invaluable to Netjer.
To begin a journey, you must take a step; to build upon it, you must keep taking steps, but only ever one at a time. So it is with community: start with one kindred spirit, and continue reaching out until you weave yourself into the rich tapestry that this living faith and its diverse, brilliant, strong-willed practitioners have begun to co-create.
If you enjoyed this post, please check out the other takes on how to deal with contributing to our Kemetic community by my fellow Round Table bloggers!