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Author Topic: Kemetic Myths for kids  (Read 6835 times)
Bastemhet
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« Topic Start: May 22, 2011, 09:30:54 am »

So, surprise surprise, I´m going to be a mommy!  Cheesy  One of the many things I´m finding myself worrying about is how to introduce some of the stories of my gods to my young one once zie arrives.  I know I have plenty of time before zie will even begin to understand spoken language, but there are some hang ups about how I want to go about introducing these stories.  Mainly, I find a lot of stuff really inappropriate for kids, for example pederasty (Contendings of Set and Heru), necrophilia (Aset and Ausir), genocide (Sekhmet), etc.  I wanted to make a children´s book with kids versions but I have no idea how to begin.  Any ideas?

Another side topic for those with children: how are you involving them in your religious activities?  Or are you waiting until later on?
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« Reply #1: May 22, 2011, 10:05:48 am »

You know about this thread because you posted in it, but I'm tossing it in here in case you'd forgotten it or been unable to find it, and because it's relevant enough to be worth making available to those who didn't read it when it was current.

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« Reply #2: May 22, 2011, 10:06:46 am »

So, surprise surprise, I´m going to be a mommy!  Cheesy
Oops, almost forgot.  Congrats!

Sunflower
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« Reply #3: May 22, 2011, 11:15:44 am »

So, surprise surprise, I´m going to be a mommy!  :  Any ideas?

I'm very interested in this subject as well. I'm doing some storytelling, and it would be fun to include Kemetic myths, even if they are outside a spiritual context.

One that comes to mind is the curse that Nut couldn't have children, and Djehuty getting the days from Khonsu. It also has the fable quality about there used to be 360 days in the year, and why the moon waxes and wanes. For an audience that included children, I'd say that Djehuty "bet" Khousu, instead of gambling.

Features I like-
Ra's curse, made in haste, can't be undone. You can't retract harmful speech.
Djehuty got involved to help.
Khonsu willingly bet. The light wasn't stolen from him.
The five kids were born!
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« Reply #4: May 22, 2011, 11:38:18 am »

So, surprise surprise, I´m going to be a mommy!  Cheesy  One of the many things I´m finding myself worrying about is how to introduce some of the stories of my gods to my young one once zie arrives.  I know I have plenty of time before zie will even begin to understand spoken language, but there are some hang ups about how I want to go about introducing these stories. 

Not a picture book, but a Puffin's children's classic: Tales of Ancient Egypt by Roger Lancelyn Green. Many popular myths and stories all suitably bowdlerised (I certainly got a few surprises once I started reading the adult versions...). I think it's quite old, but you could always use it as a starting point.

And congrats!  Smiley
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« Reply #5: May 22, 2011, 11:43:32 am »


Oh oh! I've been planning to get Joyce Tyldesley's AE myths book and just saw she has one for children as well - might be worth checking out: Stories from Ancient Egypt: Egyptian Myths and Legends for Children (2005) with illustrations. Tyldesley's a contemporary Egyptologist, I think.
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« Reply #6: May 22, 2011, 11:53:00 am »

but there are some hang ups about how I want to go about introducing these stories.  Mainly, I find a lot of stuff really inappropriate for kids, for example pederasty (Contendings of Set and Heru), necrophilia (Aset and Ausir), genocide (Sekhmet), etc.  I wanted to make a children´s book with kids versions but I have no idea how to begin.  Any ideas?
Story telling is all about age appropriateness. You can take a page from how many monotheists approach the subject. They normally do not tell all the grizzly or sexual details found in stories in the Old Testament. Not every story needs to be told to young children. Young children cannot comprehend the deep underlying truths of many of the great mythic narratives. My suggestion is, rather than trying to sanitize a great myth by expurgating and thereby distorting it, it might be better to focus on those stories that are very much age appropriate. But if you do decide to talk about those myths that are problematic for you, you might like to focus on the underlying truths and not the lurid details. Myths are all about big, cosmic themes and not literal accounts of events. If you can discover those themes, then you can present them to children in a format that is age appropriate.
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« Reply #7: May 22, 2011, 11:57:20 am »

So, surprise surprise, I´m going to be a mommy! 

I don't have much to add to this discussion that others haven't already said.  I just wanted to say congratulations! 
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« Reply #8: May 22, 2011, 06:38:25 pm »

You know about this thread because you posted in it, but I'm tossing it in here in case you'd forgotten it or been unable to find it, and because it's relevant enough to be worth making available to those who didn't read it when it was current.

Sunflower

The focus is a bit different here.  First off, that wasn't started by me, and it was about books already in existence.  I never got any mails, though Ellen said she was interested.  I'm asking more about how to teach it to kids, and how parents here are doing it.
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« Reply #9: May 22, 2011, 06:38:46 pm »

Oops, almost forgot.  Congrats!

Sunflower

Thank you!
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« Reply #10: May 22, 2011, 06:40:43 pm »

I'm very interested in this subject as well. I'm doing some storytelling, and it would be fun to include Kemetic myths, even if they are outside a spiritual context.

One that comes to mind is the curse that Nut couldn't have children, and Djehuty getting the days from Khonsu. It also has the fable quality about there used to be 360 days in the year, and why the moon waxes and wanes. For an audience that included children, I'd say that Djehuty "bet" Khousu, instead of gambling.

Features I like-
Ra's curse, made in haste, can't be undone. You can't retract harmful speech.
Djehuty got involved to help.
Khonsu willingly bet. The light wasn't stolen from him.
The five kids were born!

I love that one!  It just seems a bit awkward that some of the most important ones tend to be really...er, graphic, I guess.  Thanks for reminding me about that.  Do you have anything written?
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« Reply #11: May 22, 2011, 06:42:06 pm »


Thanks so much for the suggestions and the congrats!  Maybe I could turn that first one into an illustrated version, changing the written parts of course.  I will look into both of them.
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« Reply #12: May 22, 2011, 06:44:08 pm »

Story telling is all about age appropriateness. You can take a page from how many monotheists approach the subject. They normally do not tell all the grizzly or sexual details found in stories in the Old Testament. Not every story needs to be told to young children. Young children cannot comprehend the deep underlying truths of many of the great mythic narratives. My suggestion is, rather than trying to sanitize a great myth by expurgating and thereby distorting it, it might be better to focus on those stories that are very much age appropriate. But if you do decide to talk about those myths that are problematic for you, you might like to focus on the underlying truths and not the lurid details. Myths are all about big, cosmic themes and not literal accounts of events. If you can discover those themes, then you can present them to children in a format that is age appropriate.

Hmm, good idea.  I was thinking of just waiting until later to tell some of the more lurid ones, but it pains me to think I wouldn't even be able to tell one of the most important stories of all, the one of Ausir.  I think it's a great suggestion to try and focus on the messages behind it and find a way to teach that as a foundation, so that later on they will be apparent in the myths.  Thanks Setnakht.
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« Reply #13: May 22, 2011, 06:44:33 pm »

I don't have much to add to this discussion that others haven't already said.  I just wanted to say congratulations! 

Thank you Nehet!  Cheesy
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« Reply #14: May 22, 2011, 07:39:57 pm »

Hmm, good idea.  I was thinking of just waiting until later to tell some of the more lurid ones, but it pains me to think I wouldn't even be able to tell one of the most important stories of all, the one of Ausir.  I think it's a great suggestion to try and focus on the messages behind it and find a way to teach that as a foundation, so that later on they will be apparent in the myths.  Thanks Setnakht.

You don't have to avoid telling the story completely.  I would think it would suffice to say that Ausir died, and that he was given new life through Aset's love and magic.  You can then tell your child that Ausir now takes care of their ancestors, who have been given the same form of new life. 

That may be all they need to know in the beginning.  I don't think stories of sex or dismemberment are necessary. 

I believe you can tell a partial truth without telling a lie. 

Children and adults both need nourishment.  Infants get simple forms of nourishment when they come into the world:  mother's milk or formula.  They can't digest anything else.  Eventually they can get baby food, which is going to be the same stuff we eat, but processed in a way their tummies can handle.  It's the same thing with spirituality.  You feed them what they can handle when they can handle it.

Give them easy to digest spiritual food.  Just don't substitute junk for nourishing ingredients  Smiley

Tell simplified myths, but don't tell them something that contradicts the core message of that myth. 

If you do that, then the original simplified myth can become a foundation upon which they build their understanding of the full myth, when they're ready to hear it. 

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