The Kemetic faith does not maintain a universal system of religious belief. Dogma does not exist within our faiths philosophy. There are no holy texts defining strict religious doctrines requiring conformity. It is our hope that our followers are peaceful, kind, and very aware of family values. Our religious dealings reflected this in that there were no persecutions in the name of religion we except each person for who they are.
A Kemetic's we revere and respected all parts of the worlds natural existence. We do not attempt to persuade or force non Kemeticss to worship our deities, nor do we attempt to degrade the beliefs of others. In fact, Kemetics are open-minded and receptive to all cultures' & belief systems.
To many at first glance the Kemetic religion is puzzling they may find that to a degree; it resembles Judaism, Islam, and Christianity in that it propounds a belief in a central god, the Creator, but it is also polytheistic.But we do find that many of these faiths have over the years taken many aspects of our faith and tried to mould them around their own teachings.
Order and Chaos at War
WE in the Kemetic faith believe the forces of primal chaos pose a continuous threat to the world. The creation of the world occurred in conjunction with the creation of social order and kingship, and the harmony of the universe can only be preserved by practicing the principal of maat; divine truth, justice, and order. The principal of maat is the basis of the Kemetic religion, and is symbolized by the goddess Maat. She reigns over the equilibrium of the universe, the divine order of all things, and the regular cycles of the Sun, the Moon, the stars, the seasons, and time itself.
Although these chaotic forces have been tamed, only the deities can protect and defeat the eternally present threat of chaos.
The five Bodies: A Religious Theory
In the Kemetic faith we believe that humans and other living creatures consisted of five "bodies." .
Here is a short overview of the bodies:
The ht, jrw, Khat, Sha and Shat:
An individual is seen as being composed of several different bodies or energies, each of which interact to some extent with the others. The first of these to be considered is the physical body itself. In life this is frequently referred to as the ht or the jrw meaning "form" or "appearance." This emphasizes the body as the physical form in which someone appears effective in life. After death, however, the body is referred to as the Khat, also known as the Sha or Shat, meaning that which is corruptible. Each of these terms, both for the living body and corpse, imply at once the body is both a receptacle for higher energies, yet is subject to the forces of impending aging and decay.
The most important part of the Kemetic soul was the Ib (jb), or heart. The Ib or metaphysical heart s believed to be a drop from the heart of the mother of a child at conception .
To the Kemetic follower, it is the heart and not the brain that is the seat of emotion and thought, including the will and intentions. In the Kemetic religion, the heart is the key to the afterlife. It is conceived as proceeding at death to the future world, where it gives evidence for, or against, its possessor. The heart is examined by Anubis and the deities during the Weighing of the Heart ceremony. If the heart weighs more than the feather of Ma at, it is immediately consumed by the monster Ammit.Sheut (shadow)
A person's shadow, Sheut (šwt in Egyptian), is always present. We believed that a person ccan not exist without a shadow, nor a shadow without a person, therefore, Kemetic followers surmised that a shadow contained something of the person it represents. For this reason statues of people and deities are sometimes referred to as their shadows.
The shadow is represented graphically as a small human figure painted completely black as well, as a figure of death, or servant of Anubis.
As a part of the soul, a person's ren (rn'name') is given to them at birth and the Kemetic faith believes that it will live for as long as that name is spoken, which explains why efforts are made to protect it and the practice of placing it in numerous writings. For example, part of the Book of Breathings, a derivative of the Book of the Dead, is a means to ensure the survival of the name. A cartouche (magical rope) often is used to surround the name and protect it. . The greater the number of places a name is used, the greater the possibility it will survive to be read and spoken.
The 'Ba' is in some regards the closest to the contemporary Western religious notion of a soul, but it also is everything that makes an individual unique, similar to the notion of 'personality'. (In this sense, inanimate objects can also have a 'Ba', a unique character, and indeed Old Kingdom pyramids often were called the 'Ba' of their owner). Like a soul, the 'Ba' is an aspect of a person that Kemetic followers believed will live after the body dies, and it is sometimes depicted as a human-headed bird flying out of the tomb to join with the 'Ka' in the afterlife.
In the Coffin text one form of the Ba that comes into existence after death is corporeal, eating, drinking and copulating. The idea of a purely immaterial existence is so foreign to the Kemetic religons thought that when Christianity spread in Egypt they borrowed the Greek word "psyche" to describe the concept of soul and not Ba.
In another mode of existence the Ba of the deceased is depicted in the Book of going forth by day returning to the mummy and participating in life outside the tomb in non-corporeal form, echoing the solar theology of Re uniting with Osiris each night.
The word 'bau' (b3w), plural of the word ba meant something similar to 'impressiveness', 'power', and 'reputation', particularly of a deity. When a deity intervened in human affairs, it was said that the 'Bau' of the deity were at work [Borghouts 1982]. In this regard, the ruler was regarded as a 'Ba' of a deity, or one deity was believed to be the 'Ba' of another.
The Ka (k3) is the Kemetic concept of spiritual essence, that which distinguishes the difference between a living and a dead person, with death occurring when the ka left the body. The Kemtic faith believes that Khunm created the bodies of children on a potters wheel and inserted them into their mothers' bodies.
The Kemtic faith also believes that the ka is sustained through food and drink. For this reason food and drink offerings are presented to the dead, although it is the kau within the offerings (also known as kau) that was consumed, not the physical aspect. The ka was often represented in Egyptian iconography as a second image of the king, leading earlier works to attempt to translate ka as double.
The Akh meaning '(magically) effective one'), is a concept of the dead that has varied over the long history of Kemetic belief.
It is associated with thought, but not as an action of the mind; rather, it is intellect as a living entity. The Akh also plays a role in the afterlife. Following the death of the Khat, the Ba and Ka are reunited to reanimate the Akh. The reanimation of the Akh is only possible if the proper funeral rites are executed and followed by constant offerings. The ritual is termed: se-akh 'to make (a dead person) into an (living) akh.
. An Akh can do either harm or well to persons still living, depending on the circumstances, causing e.g. nightmares, feelings of guilt, sickness, etc. It can be evoked by prayers or written letters left in the tomb's offering chapel also in order to help living family members, e.g. by intervening in disputes, by making an appeal to other dead persons or deities with any authority to influence things on earth for the better, but also to inflict punishments.
The separation of Akh and the unification of Ka and Ba are brought about after death by having the proper offerings made and knowing the proper, efficacious spell, but there is an attendant risk of dying again. Egyptian funerary literature (such as the coffin text and the Book of the dead) are intended to aid the deceased in "not dying a second time" and becoming an akh.
The Kemetic faith believes that death occurs when a person's ka leaves the body. Ceremonies conducted by priests after death, including the "opening of the mouth (wp r)", aimed not only to restore a person's physical abilities in death, but also to release a Ba's attachment to the body. This allows the Ba to be united with the Ka in the afterlife, creating an entity known as an "Akh"
THe Kemetic faith conceiveds of an afterlife as quite similar to normal physical existence — but with a difference. The model for this new existence is the journey of the sun. At night the sun descends into the Duat (the underworld). Eventually the sun meets the body of the mummified Osiris. Osiris and the sun, re-energized by each other, rise to new life for another day. For the deceased, their body and their tomb are their personal Osiris and a personal Duat. For this reason they are often addressed as "Osiris". For this process to work, some sort of bodily preservation is required, to allow the Ba to return during the night, and to rise to new life in the morning. However, the complete Akhu are also thought to appear as stars.
The Book of the Dead, the collection of spells which aid a person in the afterlife existence, has the Egyptian name of the Book of going forth by day. They help people avoid the perils of the afterlife and also aid their existence, containing spells to assure "not dying a second time in the underworld", and to "grant memory always" to a person.