Upholding Ma'at

Journeying through the modern world with ancient ways.

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Budget Thursday: Lighting

One of many important elements of a Kemetic shrine is lighting. The practical purpose is obvious. In a modern day there are many ways to bring this tool to a shrine. The easiest to acquire are candles. A drawback to using candles arises with keeping a constant supply. There are quite a few ways to tackle this issue, some of which I’m sure I haven’t considered. Here are some ideas on how to save in this area.

Grocery and Discount Stores. While not always a bargain it can save some money. One thing to consider when purchasing: some people try to avoid petroleum products, and most inexpensive candles are made of paraffin (which is derived from petroleum).

Make your own candles. This is more costly upfront than most. One major downside is there is some time and money spent on wicks. Depending on the type of wax, you can save any wax not completely melted and reuse it. Candlemaking supplies are found at most craft stores.

Use a lamp instead. Wicks still need purchasing, but depending on the lamp the oil doesn’t have to be that expensive. Lamps are found at some department stores or handmade.

-If you use a lamp already, try olive oil. There may be little to no problem with using olive oil. You just need a lamp that can take it. Olive oil was used even in ancient times as lamp oil, so it’s an added bonus for those who want more authenticity with their practice.

Use LED candles. Not only is this a better option where real candles aren’t allowed, but it saves some money in the long run. These are increasingly available at discount and department stores.



Budget Thursday: Dishware and Food Offerings

(This is the first in a series I’m calling “Budget Thursday”. It will focus on practicing a Kemetic path on limited funds.)

One of the prominent acts of devotion in a Kemetic faith is in offerings. When it comes to providing food and libations it’s best to have dishware set aside for those purposes. Some people experience difficulty in procuring dishware specifically for ritual use. Here are some ideas to help with such a problem:

Use extra dishes. Own a set of fine china that’s never put to use? Have some ordinary dishes to spare? These are the first places most people look for ritual dishware and the cheapest.

Peruse garage sales. Lots of people try to get rid of their random dishes and dish sets for very low prices, sometimes for pennies!

Peruse thrift stores. It requires more digging than a garage sale, but random dishes are found at low prices as well.

Make a hotep tray. Not only does this handle dishware but it tackles any food issues. For those who don’t know what a hotep tray is can learn more at this link.

The issue of acquiring dishware for offerings is probably less of an issue than acquiring food and libations for offering. Luckily, the Ancient Egyptians also partook in the food and drink offered to the gods, so the issue lessens. There are some things to keep in mind when offering that will also save money.

Offer water. This seems like a “no-brainer” because it is. Water was offered in Ancient Egypt and it’s the cheapest libation in developed countries.

Offer foods in season. Foods that are in season are cheaper.

Offer dried foods, such as fruits. These tend to keep longer and thus easier to store.

Have an offering tray with fake food. I’ve heard of people assembling offerings of wax fruits, decorative breads, and other plastic knick-knack food items as a regular food offering. These people seem to be standing, and quite frankly I don’t see how it’s too different from a hotep tray.

If nothing else, offer around mealtime. Offering the gods foods that you will eat at the table seems not only congruent with ancient practices but also saves money.