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Author Topic: Not a priest - folk practices?  (Read 4359 times)
Chabas
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« Topic Start: March 26, 2007, 05:43:18 pm »

Okay, let's get this started then Smiley

One of the things I've been thinking about lately is why daily rites don't work for me. What I came up with is that I'm not a priest. I don't have that calling. So while I want a daily connection to Netjer, doing that through an elaborate rite doesn't work. Which leads us to folk religion. Except I've seen *nothing* on folk religion in literature. So I had a look for a personal adaptation of what I do know. Influenced by source material, UPG and personal preference, I come up with two daily things. One of the major assumptions I'm making here is that folk practice would likely have been far more casual than temple practice. However, I also fully recognize my own bias in that: I prefer more casual practices myself.

One is to light a candle, some incense and offer some water on the altar while I get ready for the world in the morning. No real rite, beyond a simple "hello", but put the offerings out there while I do my own things, then clean up after. Basically, that's a more casual variation of the rites I've seen out there, while holding on to the offering aspects. As far as purity, I'm inclined to do this after my shower, and skip during my period.

The other thing is offerings of food. Now I live in a house with a total of 10 people, and have dinner with my non-religious, tolerant, but mildly weirded out by me talking with Gods boyfriend. However, I do really like the concept of sharing a meal with deity. So I want something subtle here, that I can do as I go. Fortunately, I make dinner pretty much every night. So I was thinking of inviting Netjer to join us for the meal every night as I prepare dinner. I'll probably want to make a formalized prayer for that. Clearly, this is strongly influenced by Christian mealtime prayers, although inviting Netjer to join rather than thanking them for the meal gives it a new twist, and one I feel is more in keeping with Kemetic tradition.

Now clearly, I pretty much made this up out of thin air. Does anyone have feedback on this (including "I think you're talking nonsense", which is very much possible).

--Chabas
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SatAset
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« Reply #1: March 26, 2007, 06:07:02 pm »

Okay, let's get this started then Smiley

One of the things I've been thinking about lately is why daily rites don't work for me. What I came up with is that I'm not a priest. I don't have that calling. So while I want a daily connection to Netjer, doing that through an elaborate rite doesn't work. Which leads us to folk religion. Except I've seen *nothing* on folk religion in literature. So I had a look for a personal adaptation of what I do know. Influenced by source material, UPG and personal preference, I come up with two daily things. One of the major assumptions I'm making here is that folk practice would likely have been far more casual than temple practice. However, I also fully recognize my own bias in that: I prefer more casual practices myself.

One is to light a candle, some incense and offer some water on the altar while I get ready for the world in the morning. No real rite, beyond a simple "hello", but put the offerings out there while I do my own things, then clean up after. Basically, that's a more casual variation of the rites I've seen out there, while holding on to the offering aspects. As far as purity, I'm inclined to do this after my shower, and skip during my period.

The other thing is offerings of food. Now I live in a house with a total of 10 people, and have dinner with my non-religious, tolerant, but mildly weirded out by me talking with Gods boyfriend. However, I do really like the concept of sharing a meal with deity. So I want something subtle here, that I can do as I go. Fortunately, I make dinner pretty much every night. So I was thinking of inviting Netjer to join us for the meal every night as I prepare dinner. I'll probably want to make a formalized prayer for that. Clearly, this is strongly influenced by Christian mealtime prayers, although inviting Netjer to join rather than thanking them for the meal gives it a new twist, and one I feel is more in keeping with Kemetic tradition.


--Chabas

Darkhawk has a great essay on this:  http://www.bunny-puppy.net/folk/notpriest.html

Also for some "middle class" practices of some tomb builders, there is a book out: 


Pharaoh's Workers edited by Leonard H. Lesko
This book is full of information about the city of Deir el Medina during the New Kingdom. Subjects range from social classes and foreigners in the city, to religion, literacy and magic of the people living in the village. This is an excellent book if someone is looking for information on the lives of the "middle class" of ancient Egypt.

and this may help:

Religion in Ancient Egypt: Gods, Myths and Personal Practice edited by Byron Shafer
The sections of this book were written by John Baines, Leonard H. Lesko and David P. Silverman.

It's also thought that since some of the priests if not most of them, were only priests for four (?) months out of the year so some of the ritual would trickle down to the common people in a form in which they could live their daily lives and honor the gods appropriately. 
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« Reply #2: March 27, 2007, 01:43:24 pm »


I spend a fair amount of time looking for folk practice for the same reason, though mostly I have books that I need to get as opposed to things I have read.

My actual practice looks like:

- formal ritual at new moons and full moons (sometime in the three-day period); part of this is because it maintains me sanely at about that rate (I did a period of trying to do the daily ritual and it wore me down and became counter-useful; it was a useful bit of knowledge to find), partly because there is evidence that the ancients recognised those days on one calendar.  I add to this formal ritual when something of great significance comes up.

- maintenance of several small shrines -- the house shrine (for Bast and Brighid) and the Wesir shrine; I will add a Ra shrine to it this summer.

I believe an ancient meal prayer goes something like, "May Netjer be pleased with this repast to the left and to the right".  I don't recall the precise words.
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« Reply #3: March 08, 2008, 05:26:16 pm »

So I was thinking of inviting Netjer to join us for the meal every night as I prepare dinner. I'll probably want to make a formalized prayer for that. Clearly, this is strongly influenced by Christian mealtime prayers, although inviting Netjer to join rather than thanking them for the meal gives it a new twist, and one I feel is more in keeping with Kemetic tradition.

--Chabas

Personally, I offer a plate of whatever dinner was as an offering every night.  That way, they don't have to see my hideous table manners or listen to inane babble about what's on t.v.   Tongue
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« Reply #4: April 01, 2008, 06:36:07 pm »

However, I do really like the concept of sharing a meal with deity. So I want something subtle here, that I can do as I go. Fortunately, I make dinner pretty much every night. So I was thinking of inviting Netjer to join us for the meal every night as I prepare dinner. I'll probably want to make a formalized prayer for that. Clearly, this is strongly influenced by Christian mealtime prayers, although inviting Netjer to join rather than thanking them for the meal gives it a new twist, and one I feel is more in keeping with Kemetic tradition.

I don't know which Netjer you follow, but just as a thought, I'd recommend knowing that some Netjer have taboos when it comes to some food products. 

Aset's taboo is pork and some say fish.  I really have to ask her about that one. 

Sekhmet doesn't seem to like pork either. 

I think lamb, ram and something else are taboo for Amun. 

So if you have pork on the table, I don't recommend offering dinner to Aset.  :-)

Just some food for thought.  ::grin::
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I am the Goddess of Who I can Become. I mix the magic of the sorceress with the blade of a warrior. I walk the liminal pathways to see the face of the Goddess, both terrible and kind. As She stares back at me, I tremble in awe and ecstasy.  --Me

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