November 6, 2010

November 2010 Beginners - Check your Spam Filters!

A total of 82 beginners were approved for the next class starting this coming week. One week ago we sent out confirmation letters, and only 43 were responded to. While we normally do expect to lose a few emails along the way, and at least 5 of those emails did come back as unanswerable, we are concerned that the rest of the confirmations didn't get to their destinations because of aggressive spam filtering.

Make sure that you've checked to see if or emails are in your spam filters if you were expecting a mail from us. Also, try very hard to hit the "delete" button rather than the "spam" button in your email - in particular, AOL has been reporting that people have been clicking "spam" buttons on some of our mailings, resulting in issues with these mails reaching our members of all membership types. Put us in your preferred senders listing if you can and it will make sure you don't miss important email!

October 28, 2010

Welcome 19 new members!

Em hotep to the children of Netjer!

Please join me in welcoming the 19 newest members of the Kemetic Orthodox Faith:

Jessica B. of Australia
James B. of New Jersey
Aileen D. of Brazil
Rachel F. of Pennsylvania
Justin H. of South Carolina
Amber I. of Texas
Olivia K. of England
Mallory K. of Illinois
Kira M. of New York
Erik M. of New Jersey
Linda M. of Indiana
Eliott M. of Washington, DC
Mark N. of Michigan
Larissa P. of New York
Saphrone "Ron" S. of North Carolina
Rodrigo "Agathos" S. of Brazil
Tori S. of Trinidad and Tobago
Karess W. of California
Jess W. of Minnesota

Nekhtet for the new Remetj!

October 27, 2010

Seven Years and Counting

Seven years ago this morning I was sitting in a very small room at a title company, talking to a lawyer and a realtor and waiting for an amazing moment, when the mother superior of the Hermanas Josefinas would hand me a tiny flowered box containing the keys to a building located at 664 Landau Avenue in Joliet, Illinois: their former convent and our future Tawy House Kemetic Orthodox Temple and Retreat Center.

Our purchase of Tawy House II, as it has come to be known (the first Tawy House was a temporary retreat center and shrine space, founded in Michigan at the location of my childhood home, and did not have a formal full-time temple space), was a major change in the history of our Kemetic Orthodox Faith.

August 25, 2010

The Year 18 Oracle of Aset

Em hotep (in peace!)

Each year we receive an oracle from the goddess Aset (Isis) concerning the year to come, which for us is marked at Wep Ronpet ("the Opening of the Year," Kemetic new year's day, which in 2010 fell on 7 August).  In it She talks about the nature of the year and gives advice about how we should be acting, and then declares which gods are over the year as its guardians and special focus.

This year we got a very strange Oracle, even for Aset. It's even more cryptic than they usually are, but that makes a bit of sense given what the year is being called: the Year of Zep Tepi, a Kemetic term for the "first time" or "first occurrence," a direct reference to the eternally-renewable moment and concept of creation. Apologies for not posting this sooner.  It's already been a pretty creative and busy time!
The Oracle of Aset for Year 18

The Year of Wisdom has Become and Gone. Keep your wisdom close and dear, for the Lord of All, the Lord of Zep-Tepi, He Whose Sun-Barque never fails as it sails across the sky, tells you now to mark each moment.

August 12, 2010

Slan and Senebty, Isaac

Back when I still considered myself neopagan (yes, I did at one point in my life, for about five years), I had the opportunity to attend the 1993 Parliament of the World's Religions as part of the delegation for the Fellowship of Isis. During that event, I got to know one of our suitemates, whose name I knew from a couple of books I'd read that, shall we say, were not exactly bunnies and light.

If the neopagan movement had a trickster god, Isaac Bonewits was surely it.

June 2, 2010

21 New Remetj! Welcome to our newest members.

21 new Remetj were admitted to the House of Netjer today!  Please join me in welcoming:

Kelly from Illinois
Barbara "Utusi" from Belgium
Bill from West Virginia
Lenny from Florida
Lora "Lina" from Tennessee
Monte from Iowa
Gregory from Texas
Laura from Rhode Island
Devon from Arizona
Rod from Iowa
Christine from California
Ruy from Oregon
Cody from North Carolina
Louise from New Zealand
Sara "Ara" from Florida
Iony from Brazil
Cullen from Arizona
Tony from Illinois
Greg "ASH" from Michigan
Louise "Kheru" from England
Katelyn from Montana

Nekhtet for the new Remetj!  Welcome to the faith.

Four New Shemsu!

We Named four new Shemsu last week.

Congratulations to Takhemetaset, Senedjemsekhmet, Tasaiserqet and Iwa'atbast on taking Shemsu vows and becoming full members of Kemetic Orthodoxy!  It was a pleasure to have your Naming with such a "full house" in the IRC chat.  Namings are always very joyous events for us and all the more so when the rest of the family is present to watch them happen.

This week we'll be graduating a new set of Beginners and starting up a new Beginner's Class for the summer.  We've also entered the final part of the Kemetic season leading up to New Year (Wep Ronpet, 7 August) and so there's lots going on around the faith.  Are you excited?  How are you holding up on your goals for Djehuty's year?

April 28, 2010

Celebrations that Deserve Mentioning

So there was another Naming ceremony again tonight. I realized that since the blog was broken I hadn't posted a Naming announcement since 30 September of last year, so that definitely has to be remedied.

Congratulations to the following Shemsu who were Named on the various dates listed!

28 October 2009

30 December 2009

27 January 2010
Rootnaming Iait's children: Nekhbetemheb and Heruemhebet-fedw

24 February 2010
Rootnamed: Djaut's stepson Setemheb-ka

24 April 2010

28 April 2010
Iaityinepu (renamed in person after a 2005 proxy naming)

Nekhtet! for all the new Shemsu and Rootnamed children.

Naming is an important rite of passage in the Kemetic Orthodox Faith. It's something I need to write a lot about, and hopefully will be able to write about soon. Have questions you'd like me to address here? Send 'em to me or post them here and I'll add them to the list.

April 25, 2010

A fresh new look....and some fresh news

Now that the blog's starting to look better, perhaps I'll be able to start using it again!

There are so many options now for communication, especially via Internet. You have email, your various website(s) and now all this so-called "social media." (Isn't all media social? I digress.) For a while I couldn't decide what anyone was willing or even interested in reading or whether or not to post here or there or which computer or which gadget was going to do what. Because I did my time in the media (undergraduate degree in writing followed by about ten years in publishing and magazines before I went back to school for Egyptology), I've always felt like I kept up with the various communication media and I try not to sound like I'm too old to be "up" on whatever's being used.

I've discovered I can't really keep up with the media over the last couple of years, and mostly for two reasons:

February 6, 2010

Welcome 21 new Remetj!

Em hotep!

We've got another 21 Remetj to add to the House of Netjer membership this week. Congratulations and welcome to all of you!

Coty B. of Pennsylvania
Kel C. of New York
Carl C. of Wisconsin
Yosef C. of Louisiana
Iheb (rootnamed Robby F.) of Nevada
Paula G. of Argentina
Federico "Chay" H. of Argentina
Caleb H. of New Hampshire
Anthony I. of New Jersey
Jessica I. of Tennessee
Zurette "Sa-Ankhu" I. of South Africa
Laura K. of Pennsylvania
Mickey K. of Pennsylvania
Amber L. of North Carolina
Paul M. of Maryland
Grace P. of New York
Eldgrim S. of Sweden
Christian T. of the Netherlands
Vaalea V. of the Czech Republic
"Fern" W. of Colorado
Thea W. of England

Looking forward to seeing some of you at the PantheaCon interfaith conference next weekend. I'll be giving a lecture about ancient Egyptian prayers along with a booksigning for The Ancient Egyptian Prayerbook on Saturday morning beginning at 9am.

January 13, 2010

M'ap rele pou Ayiti (Calling out for Haiti)

I made my first trip to Haiti in July 2001, and I've been back twice since (2002 and 2006). The country and its people have always remained with me, and at least since 2006 I have been part of a family, an adopted child of a Vodou house in Port-au-Prince. While Egypt always has the best part of my heart, Haiti probably has the most earnest part, as it is a place equal in its beauty and its terror: the most bittersweet place I have ever loved.

Yesterday as you all already know a major earthquake hit just outside of the city, on the side where my Haitian family is. I'm using my Facebook fan page to distribute news from the family and the extended family as fast as I can since it's set to also send that information directly from Twitter. For the most part we still can't get through to anyone but we're scared. The lakou (compound) where most of them are living is a block from the palace...that palace that is completely broken now.

I'll update as I get news. Right now - Haitians need help.