Monday, 25 June 2012

My Gods, Your Gods – Whose Gods?

One of the reasons that I started this blog was to share my exploration of the Netjeru, and this included learning more about them from other people’s experiences, and generally share the experience of exploring Netjer with the world.

But what happens when someone volunteers their experience with a God that you feel connected to that is not, well, true for you? Or cites a myth known to be associated with that God and interprets it in a way that you do not agree with?

Devo touched upon this recently in her post, “Heka is a two way street”, and the thrust of that post has been on my mind. (Her post on community also has bearing on this blog post too).

I guess it comes down to how we realise the gods within ourselves, and how we wish to share that experience with others. If someone takes one of my paintings, for example, and decides that it is a great expression of Netjer for reasons that are either not there, were not there when I painted it, and have evoked a response not in keeping with what the creation of the art is for, do I speak up? Am I a voice piece for that God because I am the artist? And have I therefore snagged myself into the “religion quagmire” that I have tried so hard to avoid?

The Gods make themselves known to us in different ways, of this I am sure. But are we meant to interpret these on our own, away from others? Is this why I feel that religion seems doomed to fail?

Is realising one's own godhood a solo thing?

The Goddess Meretseger: She who loves silence. I am kinda getting her right now. Image source: Wiki

This post is my first "M" contribution to the Pagan Blog Project


  1. " If someone takes one of my paintings, for example, and decides that it is a great expression of Netjer for reasons that are either not there, were not there when I painted it, and have evoked a response not in keeping with what the creation of the art is for,..."
    I think this is because each person brings themselves and their unique experiences to that artwork, and that is what is coloring their view. It seems once we release the artwork, it really has a life of its own, and that's part of its magic. Realizing one's developing godhood is a solo experience, but I find I do gain perspective when I share it, or read about others' experiences.

  2. This is a good, thoughtful response - thank you.

    I am wondering that what you have mentioned about the artwork scenario is also the same for the God scenario that I mentioned. I think it might be . . . .

  3. The Netjers' aspects are very fluid. ancient Kemetic priests did not always distinguish between Sekhmet-Bast or bast-Hwt Hr. the Netjer often overlapped and took each other jobs because linear, spatial, or traditional understandings were not necessary. I have always understood that the Netjer you work with will provide the aspects you need, rather than finding an aspect then looking for the Netjer.

    In the Old Kingdom, Aset was part of the king making mythology, but HwtHr featured more prominently then. By the New Kingdom and def the Ptolemeic Aset's powers were regulated mostly to motherhood and the throne, rather than her avatar of Mistress of Heka. These mergings and reassignments were part of e full power of the Netjer in my opinion. I think they come to us as we need them.

    My good friend and I recently had a similar discussion about Wsr. I honor him and worship him as a Dead King and she mourns his death as a primary way to connect to him. This also relates to the aspects of Aset we work with. I tend to work with the Aset of the Seven Scorpions, Mistress of Heka, and She of the Ten Thousand Names. She works more with her maternal and pharaonic aspects. My friend, Star, relates my understanding of Aset to Nepthys, and I realte her understanding of Osiris to Christ.

    In todays world, I believe the Netjer crave our worship, they delight in our prayers and will work with us how we need them to. The merging of Netjer has gone on so long, and our modern understanding of "deity" is different from the ancient concept of Netjer.

    1. Regarding Isis (Aset) as Mistress of Heka, the Brooklyn Museum has a lovely Roman era statue of her as Mistress of Heka:

  4. I have also noticed how this fluidity does seem to emerge the more I interact with the Netjeru.

    Interestingly, Aset (or rather a statue of Her) was in my dreams last night. This could have been because of a new paiting I am working out the sketch for which is of Set, but I am modelling part of it from Aset's iconography (and there is also an element of Amsu in there too!).

    So a timely and appreciated response, thanks.

    1. This makes me wonder if you are working with Nepthys. She and Aset are almost indistguishable, except for the fact that Aset wears her throne crown ans Set is usually shown with Nepthys unless she is with Aset mourning for the dead.

      Their relationship reminds me of Inanna and Erishkegal

  5. Good discussion. (I've actually touched on the subject in an older blog post of mine on UPG)
    The fact remains that the Divine has many faces and one that is shown to one person is not necessarily shown to another and vice versa. I like reading of others' experiences with Deities whom I love, serve and work with. I find it broadens my perspective and I feel my spiritual experience is enhanced just from seeing a different point of view (even if I won't necessarily agree with it)

  6. The responses here have contributed to a new step in understanding for me of this complex subject - thanks everyone that has written a reply.