When I first came across Kemeticism, it looked full of dry ceremonialism to me. I tiptoed around the boundaries of a ritual structure I didn’t understand, pulled from a culture I’d never been called to nor studied in any depth. I didn’t understand the salt, the sand, the cool water, the heavy emphasis on purity, or the importance of exacting speech.
I was a child of the mountains and sea, grown from black soil and torrential rains; my gods were distant and unknowable and wild. Hoofprints led me into tangled forests, and only luck preserved me against the fickle whim of the creatures and fey living there. I reveled in the blood-and-sweat existence of my body, of the natural world when I rolled in fields and rubbed up against craggy tree bark. I was a little bit Celtic and a lotta bit eclectic, and the thought of restraining that inner and outer wilderness made me balk.
I did not think I could find that kind of unabashed joy and freedom within the trappings of any ceremonial rite. My feral, embodied heart wanted no limitations, no enforced purity, no denial of the physical things I’d painstakingly learned could be sacred instead of shameful. So I compromised for my Lady’s sake and learned from a distance, reluctantly opening books that held little interest for me, where each turn of the page was like chewing dust.
Years later, I am Kemetic, and I still find my wildness outside of the rituals that I now understand and deeply appreciate. Where my untamed nature is still rooted in the world around me, now my civilized and genteel side has a home as well, and as I wrote once, both are necessary to my well-being.
I was wrong about one crucial, deal-breaking thing, back when I shied away from Kemeticism’s guidelines and restrictions. I had thought there was no freedom for joy.
But there is elation here. I never could have imagined how much, but some days, whether within ritual or outside of it, I tune in to the essence of my gods and simply thrum with joy. Elation is not a complicated emotion, nor is it a restrained one, yet within this revivalist faith and these nuanced structures, it billows outwards like a plume of incense smoke, the breath of life.
It feels like I focus mostly on the positive aspects of my spiritual life on this blog. This is both deliberate choice and coincidental; while some of my struggles are personal and private, in turn, many of the things that drive me to write are the joyous ones. Feeling communion with Netjer is one such thing, and it is not an impossible feat – it requires no particular ability to sense the gods, nor a flawless ritual, nor an extravagant altar, nor an active community, nor a sense of personal perfection or purity.
It is simply a connection from my heart to my god’s heart—and on this path of subtlety and effort, it makes all the difference to feel attuned and beloved.