The relationship I have with my personal deity is complicated and often perplexing. The years have been witness to many partings and reconciliation between both of us. I’d hesitate to call myself a priestess of this ancient Egyptian god, that would be presumptuous. False modesty? Not at all. My journey down that path still awaits but not for long. I called upon him many times in the past and somehow he always turned up. Why? A question put to him often but silence was all he gave for a long time. Or so I thought. We sometimes choose not to listen if the answer isn’t to our liking. The deity chooses us rather than we choose them. This may be for a specific purpose, to convey teachings, to aid in our transformation, to enable us to grow and evolve. The possibilities are many. Am I imbuing the god with anthropomorphic qualities? Maybe I am, such is the reality of our relationship. You have to understand that I pay homage to the energies encapsulated in the figure of this deity rather than worship the vessel. The early worship of this jackal god may have emerged from animistic origins, evolving into fetishism and the worship of animals (fetish – an object considered to have magical powers). It is quite appropriate that the lonely jackal feeding off carrion on the desert fringes should be endowed with mystical powers and associated with death. The desert was considered an unknown quantity, a dangerous place populated by demons and things fearful. What better than this denizen of the wastes to watch over the dead (and the living)? Did I forget to mention Anpu (Anubis) is my personal deity?
Back to the question of why I would choose to walk my path with such an entity. Unfinished business comes to mind. Since his energies entered my life it has been turned upside down, inside out and left gasping by the roadside. I have wandered through the Duat and managed to hitch a ride on Ra’s solar barque to return to the land of the living. How dramatic this sounds, but it cannot truly convey the intensity of the experiences that have impacted upon me physically and mentally over the years. Anpu was the Great God and Judge of the Dead before Osiris took over his mantle (some would say usurped, but that is an issue for another time). He is known variously as Walker between the Worlds, Psychopomp and Initiator. I entered into his service in the mundane world as a Funeral Director for many years. It felt like a compulsion but my duties were undertaken with a sense of respect and compassion. Please don’t get the wrong impression; I haven’t given up my free will. This relationship isn’t one of bondage. What use are we to others and ourselves if we relinquish control over our lives and faculties. No one and no thing has any right to ask that of us. If they do there is something very wrong.
Ancient Khem and its priesthood weren’t a democracy; the well being of the gods was of primary importance. The forces of chaos were kept at bay, thus ensuring prosperity and balance in the land. The mediator between the gods and humanity was the earthly son of Ra, being Pharaoh and High Priest. We are now living in different times but the ethos of the priesthood and service to the gods still remains unbroken. As does the requirement to take responsibility for one’s actions. For when we enter the Hall of Judgement we will have to account for our lives, hoping our hearts remain true to us. In reality not everyone achieves purity of motive and intent all the time in their lives. I haven’t always taken responsibility for my actions, speech and thought. That doesn’t mean there is no hope for me, always room for improvement. Self awareness and insight are gained along the way. To look in the Mirror of Truth is never easy. We have to be honest, really honest, about the motives for following our spiritual path and choice of deity. Is our desire to enter into the priesthood for self –aggrandizement, to control others, to impress? The ancient priesthood were subject to all the foibles of human nature, as we are in modern times, that cannot be denied. Let’s not dwell on that issue, we should instead focus on alchemically refining the gross lead of our natures and transmute it into spiritual gold. I hope I am making myself clear? Once the decision has been made to commit firmly to our path, where to next? The dedication awaits. This is never taken lightly. The oaths taken are sacred and inviolable. Often the individual has taken their oaths long before coming to the dedication on the physical plane. Much like true initiation. Our Consciousness shifts to another level thereafter.
A lot to mull over. To be honest, I mourn for the heyday of the Khemetic Tradition. Its current hasn’t vanished but still lives in those who carry its teachings forward. The ancient Mystery Schools still continue to survive in these chaotic modern times. The internet has in part insured the dissemination of information that could have been lost to us forever. Yet, it is a double edged sword.
That is my journey so far. I leave you with a blessing:
“May you enter favoured and leave beloved”.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/7806040@N03/3450348534″>African Woman</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>