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Author Topic: The Foundation of Kemetic Reconstruction  (Read 6730 times)
knight77
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« Topic Start: January 27, 2010, 07:39:07 am »

Hi all,

It's occurred to me that I don't yet have a participant perspective on the foundations of Kemetic Reconstruction. Whilst I have been told by various parties that many movements began with or sprang out of HoN, and various schools of Nile Valley Afrocentrism, I can't help but feel there's a dialogue here I haven't fully explored, and I don't wish to work from untested assumptions.

I'm interested to know if any Kemetic recons or revivalists perceive or employ a lineage for their practices that has it's roots *before* HoN, that are post Pharaonic. Examples include perhaps Rosicrusians, Masonry, Golden Dawn etc. or do Recon's perceive these movements as separate entities entirely? 

Is there a foundational date for your practices, or do you see them as a progression from other forms of practice (religious, spiritual or even secular)?

Many thanks

Paul

I should note that I will likely quote my own threads in my work. This does not mean I'll quote you from any other source. However, if you are uncomfortable with this please feel free to abstain, or alternatively pm me with a pseudonym for you that I can use in future work. Your privacy is important to me, and details can be found on my site http://profaneegyptologists.blogspot.com/. (I'll re quote this section with all the questions I plan to use this way).

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« Reply #1: January 27, 2010, 09:31:48 am »

I'm interested to know if any Kemetic recons or revivalists perceive or employ a lineage for their practices that has it's roots *before* HoN, that are post Pharaonic. Examples include perhaps Rosicrusians, Masonry, Golden Dawn etc. or do Recon's perceive these movements as separate entities entirely? 

Those have very little at all to do with the historical Egypt, and thus have no place in reconstruction.  Other Egyptian-influenced pagans may be influenced by same - consider Thelema, which is Golden Dawn-linked Egyptiana originating in the works/channelings of Crowley - but those are not reconstructions.

(That you are asking this question suggests to me that you are somewhat unclear on what "reconstruction" means in a pagan religious context; is this correct?  Or are you asking whether claimed recons are fuzzy on the concept?)

This reviews a book by an Egyptologist on the whole "sekrit mystical special Egypt" phenomenon:
http://www.esoteric.msu.edu/VolumeV/Reviews/HornungReview.html
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knight77
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« Reply #2: January 27, 2010, 01:08:19 pm »

Oh, no, I'm asking neither, perhaps I employed the wrong terminology.

No, I realise that Recon's, by definition, tend to ignore such things, and derivatives such as Thelema have little place in the current practice of reconstruction.

What I'm asking, on record, is what the perceived 'beginning' of Kemetic Reconstruction would be, if not the start of HoN, and if there are any examples of movements which may have inspired, influenced or led up to that nodal moment. Perhaps this is a contentious issue, though...

I'm not conflating those movements, simply asking if anybody infers any lineage with other movements/or even texts, that aren't as high profile as HoN. These things have to be asked in order to be ruled out, etc. Are there any influential moments which may have inspired people towards reconstruction, completely independently of HoN? That kind of thing also applies.

In response, Hornung's work is interesting but not nearly as comprehensive as it needs to be on the subject, I felt. So, yes, I've read it, but thanks for the link Smiley

P.s, sometimes, just to fill out perceived gaps I have to ask basic/obvious questions. My wording wasn't clear, but all I'm trying to ascertain is what the perceived beginning of current Kemetic Recon movements is, if not HoN. If it does largely begin with HoN, then fine, I just desired some potential alternative perspectives on the issue, even if a little late in the game, so to speak.

Those have very little at all to do with the historical Egypt, and thus have no place in reconstruction.  Other Egyptian-influenced pagans may be influenced by same - consider Thelema, which is Golden Dawn-linked Egyptiana originating in the works/channelings of Crowley - but those are not reconstructions.

(That you are asking this question suggests to me that you are somewhat unclear on what "reconstruction" means in a pagan religious context; is this correct?  Or are you asking whether claimed recons are fuzzy on the concept?)

This reviews a book by an Egyptologist on the whole "sekrit mystical special Egypt" phenomenon:
http://www.esoteric.msu.edu/VolumeV/Reviews/HornungReview.html
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 01:36:07 pm by knight77 » Logged
Darkhawk
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« Reply #3: January 27, 2010, 02:04:58 pm »

What I'm asking, on record, is what the perceived 'beginning' of Kemetic Reconstruction would be, if not the start of HoN, and if there are any examples of movements which may have inspired, influenced or led up to that nodal moment. Perhaps this is a contentious issue, though...

My understanding is that Kemetic reconstruction is one of the second wave of reconstructionist religions that originated in the more general pagan community - an outgrowth of people wanting ways of relating to those gods they considered more "authentic", inspired by the example of Asatru and similar religious revivals.  If my understanding is correct, then, it could in part be rooted in a conscious rejection of modern-esoteric Egyptiana - whether ceremonial magic, Isian witchcraft, or whatever else - as insufficiently authentic.

(Rev. Siuda's bio on Kemet.org at least implies in subtext that she pursued her Egyptology studies as part of her religious quest.)
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« Reply #4: January 27, 2010, 10:53:22 pm »

My understanding is that Kemetic reconstruction is one of the second wave of reconstructionist religions that originated in the more general pagan community - an outgrowth of people wanting ways of relating to those gods they considered more "authentic", inspired by the example of Asatru and similar religious revivals.  If my understanding is correct, then, it could in part be rooted in a conscious rejection of modern-esoteric Egyptiana - whether ceremonial magic, Isian witchcraft, or whatever else - as insufficiently authentic.
<nod> That was the lens I was seeing the original question through - history-of-the-neoPagan-movement geek that I am, and with possibly-related convos w/r/t Celtic paths fresh in my mind (when I mentioned other cultural paganisms having a similar divide between the Romantic and scholarly-historic conceptions, Egyptiana was what I particularly had in mind).

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knight77
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« Reply #5: January 28, 2010, 06:22:31 am »

Many thanks to you both, exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for

<nod> That was the lens I was seeing the original question through - history-of-the-neoPagan-movement geek that I am, and with possibly-related convos w/r/t Celtic paths fresh in my mind (when I mentioned other cultural paganisms having a similar divide between the Romantic and scholarly-historic conceptions, Egyptiana was what I particularly had in mind).

Sunflower
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« Reply #6: February 12, 2010, 04:29:44 pm »


I don't speak for all Kemetic recons, of course, but my own personal experience has been that Kemetic reconstructionism is not so much inspired by other Egypt-centered religious movements, but is rather one part of a larger reaction to the modern religious trend toward a cultural bricolage style of spirituality. 

I began exploring Paganism through the religion of Wicca.  Actually the term "NeoWicca" might be a bit more appropriate, because I was not an initiated member of a traditional coven- there weren't any in my area, and since I found out about the movement from books it was a while before I learned the significance of lineage or the changes which were causing factions to branch off within Wicca as a whole.

Still, I found my time there to be inspiring- and it was through Wicca that I first began to approach any Egyptian gods or goddesses.  The books I was reading at the time were presenting the gods and goddesses of many different times and regions all together, and these wrote about the gods of various different pantheons as if They were interchangeable, all followed the same basic themes, and were worshipped in the same style.  So at first, my personal pantheon was a combination of cultures- primarily Pan and Bast. 

To make a long story short, after I'd had time to do quite a bit more reading I began to realize that Wicca was its own religion- not the preserved template of all Pre-Christian spirituality.  And I began to realize that each of the deities belonged to a distinct culture; that each culture had its own ideals, values, and ettiquette; and it occured to me that learning about a deity's traditions would be an offering of respect and love equal to any of the fine offerings which I would have loved to have given but could not afford.

So I began to give my offering of study, devotion, and knowledge.  I chose Egypt simply because by that point all of the gods I worshipped were of Egyptian origin- the others seemed to have packed up and moved on.  The Egyptian conception of deity is in several ways very different from the Wiccan one- the first time I found a lunar god and a solar goddess, for example, that completely blew the Wiccan template of God and Goddess associations out of the water.  It further impressed upon me the need to study the specific culture of my gods, to find out what other mistaken assumptions had been made.  At about the same time I was distressed by the increasing tendency within the Wiccan religion to be unable to agree on its own identity.  There was so much pressure to accept any and all innovation that I really couldn't figure out who we were anymore.

The day I realized that I rarely used any of my NeoPagan books any more, and that my religious library was becoming filled with Egyptology instead, I knew I'd crossed a line.  That was when I became a reconstructionist.  Strangely enough, at about the same time that I'd come to that realization, about half of my hometown's Pagan population confirmed that they had come to similar conclusions about themselves.  They weren't all interested in ancient Egypt, but they had become reconstructionists.  Since then, I've seen the recon movement growing fast.

So in my opinion, Kemetic reconstructionism would be more properly located within the reconstructionist movement than within a group of Egyptian-themed magical or religious orders.  And that reconstructionist movement derives from a fundamental cleft in the Pagan family tree- with one branch growing toward a free-form and universalist style of spirituality, and the other growing toward a traditional and culturally focused style of spirituality.  Recons are located firmly within that second branch, and share a deep reverence and joy in the depth and richness of the many cultural heritages of the different parts of the world.  We also share a respect for the professions which are devoted to learning about and preserving those legacies, and have generally adopted many of the same measures which those professions use to ensure the integrity of their studies.  That those of us here on this board happen to study ancient Egypt in this way is simply a matter of our own personal preferences.  Otherwise, we may have ended up on the Ta Hiera SIG, or the Asatru SIG, or some other culturally based forum.

And now I must be off, or I will miss my train! Smiley
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