Upholding Ma'at

Journeying through the modern world with ancient ways.

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Why I’ve Been Quiet

This is atypical for my posts, but I feel it’s necessary. As I’ve stated before I tend to take on a lot of projects at once at the cost of biting off more than I can chew. This is another one of those moments.

The short of a long – and without going into too many details to keep everything separate – I agreed to join a project. It seemed like a nice way to keep certain skills and creative juices going so I could apply that creativity in other aspects of my life. That project has taken off in less than a month. Since it’s flying as fast as a rocket that means I’ve had to give the project more time and focus. I’ve since left the project due to a few reasons. One of the big ones is creative differences, namely in the form of old artistic habits of mine cropping up. I tend to be very hard-nosed about things and given how relaxed others approach these things I felt I was going to ruin the dynamic. The other main reason was because I couldn’t devote to it on the same level as others involved since I had other projects simultaneously.

There’s also been an issue of life showing up. It’s just the way it is. I have bills I need to pay like everyone else. That also means, in addition to scraping up money for bills, scraping up money to fund other projects. Most of them are coming together at roughly the same time and I need to look at which budget is feasible in order to decide which one comes first. That means expect me to plug my etsy store more often to raise the money. I tried to keep that happening for a while because I felt it would get in the way of my goals with the blog, so I tried to stave it off with ads on the side. That hasn’t been working out well. I apologize for the massive pluggery ahead of time.

I’m honestly excited about these projects. Currently all of them are chapbook, but will pave the way for something I can’t wait to get started. That particular project will take some time as I try to research the very scant information about Ancient Egyptian literature. Once I have enough information gathered I’m going to create a chapbook specifically aimed at combining modern Kemetic elements of religion with what we do know of Ancient Egyptian literature. There are other projects in the works, but I’m dealing with those as they come right now as well.

I also took some time for myself. I’ve been highly stressed and overwhelmed lately and wanted to take some time off. I feel while I’m not fully recharged I am more capable of tackling what’s necessary. I’m still going to take it easy, which means posting infrequently will continue for a little bit longer. Hopefully it will be sorted out soon. Until then hold on and keep checking for updates.

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How to Deal with Needy Reiki Clients

It’s inevitable in any business one will have a needy client. It is very common in alternative paths to encounter needy people. Sometimes they come in the form of energy vampires, people who lack self-assurance or reliance, people traversing a new path completely foreign to him or her, or even just overly demanding. They may demand the session go exactly as they want (as they hand you a detailed outline), constantly call or email you with questions (it’s good to have questions, but not when it disrupts your business), habitually ask you to forgo your policies, or unabashedly criticize your practice. Whichever form (or forms!) this client manifests it leaves you, the Reiki practitioner, exasperated, drained, imbalanced, and sometimes ill. Ultimately no one truly gains with an unchecked needy client.

I will admit this isn’t really the focus of my blog, but after dealing with a few needy clients I decided to look up how to handle it and found little for Reiki practices. While I found quite a bit on dealing with energy vampires not every needy client is an energy vampire. Some people are just excited to find someone to help them they get overzealous.  I feel there isn’t really much in respect to this for Reiki practitioners or energy workers, and it’s one that would have been useful a few times. I decided to take it upon myself to provide some ideas that worked for me when I had to deal with needy clients.

1. Set clear physical boundaries. It seems silly and obvious to suggest it, but energy workers are sometimes too willing to help a client that this area is neglected. Sometimes we go to great lengths and will circumvent our own boundaries to that end. The willingness to help isn’t necessarily a weak trait, but it leaves energy workers vulnerable to needy clients. It doesn’t take much to set up physical boundaries. Things like clear times you will answer emails (and setting up away messages when not available), business hours, and a clear policy will mitigate some issues.  Some boundaries, however, you won’t realize need establishing until a situation arrives that could violate it.  I had to set up a boundary with one client because she was so enchanted by our session she wanted to camp in my yard and study Reiki under me.

2. After setting the boundaries keep firm on them. Everyone has or will experience both sides of the “but can you make an exception for me?” argument. Exceptions can’t always happen, and it’s important for the practitioner and client boundaries exist.  When the client who wanted to camp out in my yard I established a boundary with referrals.  I don’t teach Reiki at this time (and that incident is an example as to why) and set up a list of referrals of people I know who do teach and find superb.  If you must, explain why the boundary exists, but in most cases reiteration is only necessary.

3. Shield. This is another seemingly obvious one. With Reiki it seems unnecessary since we aren’t using our energy as well as counterintuitive. It doesn’t matter with energy vampires. I found some use Reiki sessions as a backdoor. If one identifies as an empath it also adds another level of protection from the client’s emotions.  Creating an energy shield for yourself is just another level of creating a boundary.

4. If a client sucked energy from you, check your body. Despite all precautions some needy clients manage to get your energy. I had an experience where one client managed to drain me of my energy during a session. I knew this because I suffered a headache well into the next day after the session.  If you’re unfamiliar with Reiki a practitioner shouldn’t feel drained after a session.  If one does it’s usually a sign personal energy was used.  When the client complained I didn’t use “enough power” I had my confirmation. I left a professional reply and then performed energy work on myself. Sure enough I found a cord tied to this client. Once I removed the cord the client left a surly last word and ended contact with me (though I suspect I would have received a surly word anyway). Even if the needy client doesn’t use similar methods I advise performing energy work on yourself after an encounter.

5. Give the client tools to self-empower. This advice is especially useful for the needy client who isn’t self-reliant or feels insecure. It provides you another boundary, it provides the client with a tool to better his or her path, and it is a wonderful professional move. It also upholds part of the purpose of any work in this field: to give people a method of empowering themselves. I suspect at the heart of every needy client is that lack of self-empowerment. These self-empowering tools can be anything from a breathing exercise to as complex as showing them how to make a stone grid.

6. Know when to end the relationship. You’ve shielded yourself, you’ve set clear policies and business hours, you’ve done everything imaginable for the client. The client still insists it isn’t enough and the client-practitioner relationship is going nowhere in a best case scenario. If you’ve done everything you can and the client isn’t happy it’s time to cut your losses. You’re not able to provide what the client wants, and it may not have anything to do with you or your practice. If you can send them off politely and professionally such as, “I’m sorry but it seems you are looking for something which I can’t adequately provide you. At this point I’m ending our relationship.” Give a refund if necessary. If you can refer them to other practitioners, do it. If the client chooses to end it before you can,  let them. It’s not important to have the last word. Ending it as professionally as possible not only helps the client, but sometimes leads to more business in the future.

The gist of dealing with a needy client is to honor yourself, honor your work, and honor the relationship. While needy clients exist in all fields with Reiki and energy work it’s essential to utilize more safeguards against them not only for ourselves but to work for the ultimate good of all clients.


I Received a Blog Award!

Thank you, thalassa, from Musings of a Kitchen Witch, for the award!  I certainly didn’t expect it and it made my day brighter.  I apparently get to answer some questions, which leads me to believe I’m really in some sort of questions game.  Here, however are the official rules:

1.the bloggers have to have 200 or less followers.

2.there is a list of questions to answer from your nominator as well as having to come up with a list of questions for your own nominees. you can either use the same questions as was asked of you or make up new ones for your nominees.

3.copy/paste the award logo into your post. you can add it to your blog sidebar or footer if you wish.

4. notify your nominees of the nomination.

Now it’s time to answer some questions…

Which art form offers you the truest expression for yourself?

Just one?  Poetry, music, and dance are probably the truest expressions of myself.  When I dance, sing, play my ocarina, attend concerts or poetry readings, I feel the most at home.  Everyone is performing to some degree at these events.  It’s almost impossible not to become a performer when everyone has a role either as an observer or singing along with the band; it’s not just the people on the stage who perform in my view.  To me, they’re one of the same.

In that art form, what is your most honest piece of expression?

I try to be as honest as possibly in all my work (I think it’s really hard to be a performer and dishonest about your artistic expression).  That said my “most honest” (read “favorite”) pieces are “Revelations of the Hag of Lawrence” and “Light of God”.

What always makes you laugh?

A good scatological joke.  Also, very off-the-wall humor, provided the humor isn’t forced or trying to shame someone.

What always makes you cry?

Innocent lives harmed or taken away.  It shouldn’t happen.  I’m the type of person when I learn of it try to see what I can do to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

What is one thing that you can’t do that you’d love to be able to do?

I’d have to devote a whole blog to this question!  The top of this list is more of a temporary inability, but I want to physically embrace my partner again.  Currently we’re 2,000 miles apart.

What is your favorite book? Why does it affect you so?

I have a favorite book series.  The Middle Earth series by J.R.R. Tolkien (I know, I’m so cliche).  I love Old and Middle English literature (if I can get a copy printed in the original English I nab it) and Tolkien captures it pretty well, which is good given that was his area of expertise.

What is your favorite movie or play? Why does it affect you so?

I have a favorite movie and a favorite play(s).  My favorite movie is Monty Python and the Holy Grail because I love how Monty Python combines zaniness and fact to create a whole new level of humor.  It has just enough crazy and reality that it seems semi-plausible.  Since I grew up watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus their stylings have been a great influence on my humor and aspirations (I’ve always wanted my own sketch comedy show).

My favorite plays are a toss-up between Anton Chekov’s Ivanov and The Just Assassins by Albert Camus.  Both deal with, in my mind, with many of the same topics of the darker sides of human nature, the real consequences of our actions in how they affect others, and selfishness versus selflessness.

If you were given the opportunity to spend one more day with a friend or family member who has passed away, what would you do?

It depends on the person’s state.  I have many friends and family members who died from illnesses like cancer.  And if I spent time with them would it be some sort of reanimation idea?  That could be tricky since a couple of them died very violent deaths.  I’d rather not inflict that on someone again.  This is what I get for over thinking this question…

Provided the person is brought back for one day in a pristine state without illness or decomposition and whatnot, I’d say my maternal grandmother.  She was probably the closest family member to me and was the only one who made strident efforts to really be involved in my life.    I’d like to speak with her about everything just one last time.  It doesn’t even have to be about advice or secrets of the universe.  I’d want to spend that time with someone who truly cared about what I had to say.

If you had won the $580 million Power Ball jackpot, what would you be doing today?

Apart from paying off my debts, buying my dream home, fighting off the statistically likely people banging down my door for cash, and finally living with my partner again?  Probably what I’d do any other day.

Now it’s time to nominate some folks for an award.  I’ll just dig through my subscribers and pick the 3 people who’ve inspired me to keep going.  I’ll pick, Aubs Tea, kallistaqbwht, Shine, and warboar.

Here are my questions for you:

  • What inspired you to start a blog?
  • Have you been achieving any of the goals set out with your blog?
  • Which moment in your life do you currently find the most awe inspiring?
  • What is a fear you’d like to overcome / have overcome?  If you’ve overcome it, how did you do it?
  • How do you handle unfortunate situations?
  • What is your favorite holiday?  Why?
  • What is a tradition you hope to pass on, be it to your children or to other generations in your community?
  • What is your view of the Divine, be it from a believer or non-believer’s standpoint?
  • You have just attained your dream life.  Describe it in 140 words maximum.

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Happy (Gregorian) New Year!

It’s the new year on the Gregorian calendar.  For many this is a time for new commitments, and I’m no exception.  I’ve decided I need to focus my blog a bit more, and this is what I have in mind:

  • I was asked in the past about devotionals.  I know the Ancient Egyptians didn’t really have devotionals, so I’m going to write about my take and experiences with wisdom literature and the 42 Negative Confessions.  This won’t be wholly based on academic research so feel free to take it or leave it.  I plan on posting these on Tuesdays.
  • There will still be craft posts.  Even though they suck up a huge portion of my time when it comes to blogging I find it beneficial for at least myself.
  • Unless I get suggestions or random inspiration for posts Budget Thursday is on moratorium.  I’m currently out of ideas and I’m not hearing anything from my readers about what they’d like to see.

There are a few other things I’m considering, but I need to figure out how I plan to pull it off first.  It’s a nice way to start off a productive, happy new year.



Horus Jesus Meme

I’m sure if my readers haven’t been subjected to the woefully inaccurate film Zeitgeist they’ve encountered the people who believe this.  In Kemetic circles this is mostly in the Jesus is really Horus (specifically Heru-Sa-Aset) myth.  It’s annoying because it’s been long disproven, and seems to originate from a 19th century poet whose interest was in Ancient Egypt.  Given the  information available at the time it’s sufficient to assume the information is completely off the mark.  I find it mostly annoying because there are people who still assert this information even in the day where more accurate information is available.  Even google has a feature to search academic sources.  Another blogger, warboar, covered the issue pretty well and with others made a meme about it to demonstrate the absurdity of this connection.  I enjoy it so much I wanted to play along.

I used quickmeme for my captions, so if you want to add a few feel free.  Here are my favorites:




The Real Cost of Free

I’ve put off writing this blog for a bit because I wanted to give it time to fully process without my emotions involved. I’m seeing, probably due to the economic times, a resurgence amongst Pagans for things to be free. It’s obviously a point of contention, especially for me.  The debate about whether one should charge doesn’t just reside in services.  This issue permeates every aspect of the community, and it’s one that I wanted to fully contemplate before I vented online publicly (again).  What finally moved me to write this blog post despite my emotions was etsy.

Etsy has been an interesting experience for me mostly in customer service. Most of the time I deal with some great people. There have been some bad apples, though. These people actually complain about the cost of my products or over demand for a service (I can’t be expected to clarify a session for a week).  I understand the desire to find a good deal or a bargain.  I have a section of my blog devoted to it.   I even sympathize with those who can’t afford to shop anywhere but places that exploit manufacturers and workers.  I have issue, however, with people who try to exploit independent sellers because they don’t want to pay full price.  Seriously, this should put some perspective into what goes into handmade goods.  It doesn’t help I see “bargain tips” that push the legal envelope or encourage guilt-tripping as a form of haggling.  What finally pushed me over the edge was a person trying to get some of my beeswax chime candles for practically free by insinuating my prices were too high and how I needed to “come down”.  As of this blog post I am the cheapest seller of beeswax chime candles at slightly over a dollar.

It irked me because it’s testament of how we perceive free socially and in the Pagan community.  I’ve read about a temple in Paganistan that couldn’t get funding without bloggers bringing it to the public’s attention.  I’ve seen discussions of how the Pagan diaspora should be free  (though some renounce it later once it becomes clear about how “free” all that work is).  I’ve born the brunt where even outsiders try to lecture us about how we charge for services despite the fact most of Pagans don’t affiliate with an organization (I won’t cover the issue of why they care for the moment).  All of this, to me, speaks volumes about how the cost and value of things in the Pagan community are deemed.  While there are some who have qualms about placing a price on such services, which thalassa covers quite well in her blog,  I’m less likely to see people who are against charging for those reasons than people who want free or near free stuff.  It’s not an issue of pricing possibly obscuring access to something.  It’s the growing undeserved sense of entitlement I see in the Pagan community and American culture.  I’ve seen more people demand things for free because they feel as an individual it should be available to them as a convenience.  The most they value the product or service is about how they got it and not from what is gained.

It reminds me of an event from when I was younger.  My parents were furniture shopping and took me along.  The store had a machine set up for free sodas, and I took advantage of it a few times in one sitting.  My father pulled me aside and lectured me.  He reminded me that the soda was complimentary.  The company didn’t have to provide it, especially given the cost of providing it, and that I shouldn’t take that for granted.  Just like providing free soda, it costs money and time to provide a service or product.  There are the hours of work invested in providing a worthwhile product, the personal finances spent in gathering supplies and space, the energy put into answering the same questions without snapping, the energy it takes to muster up the last shred of patience needed to handle numerous personalities, and more.  Some people don’t find the need the for upkeep of their well being worth the trouble without some compensation.  The people who find the work worth it without compensation also place their own boundaries.  They know they’re not a thing at someone’s disposal.  They’re a living being.

People seem to have forgotten the most vital part of anything offered, be it for profit or not: there’s a person behind the offering.  There’s a person who put time, money, and energy into it.  It’s why offerings to the gods are important.  It’s a gesture that not only offers sustenance, it offers up the fruits of one’s work.  It is work not only of the god given to the people, but the efforts of that work the people added to it.  Just as an offering is the work and the result of work, so is  the work offered by someone to people. It is the work not just of one person, but especially in Kemetic communities the work of many.  It’s the work of compiling everyone’s research, everyone’s offerings, everyone’s time and effort, into one offering.  It’s not just an offering for one person, either.  It’s an offering to everyone in the community and an offering to newcomers.  If that work is trivialized it demeans everyone.  If someone offers up their work it should be honored equal to the work placed into it.  That is the real cost of free.

Free is not just free of charge.  Free is not free of costs.  It’s not some infinite resource to be tapped.  Concerning communities anything offered is an investment in another person.  When it comes to the Pagan community someone put enough faith into their work to offer it to another person so that person may grow with that offering.  If they both grow within a community it’s an investment returned.  It’s not some cheap bauble but rather a priceless heirloom.  I’m not sure how to restore that sense of value and fragility comes with heirlooms in all its forms on a social scale.  All I can advise is for the individual to remember this is an offering to them and to treat it as such.  As for people who want things for free at all costs and regardless of costs to make it, I’ll offer a passage from the Teachings of  Ptahhotep:

[…] do not boast of what has accrued to you in the past, do not trust in your riches, which have accrued to you by the gift of god; you will not be subordinate to anyone else to whom the like has happened.

Don’t be so proud of your bounty.  Be mindful from whom it came because it won’t last.

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The Ninefold Purification: Does Anyone Know What It Is?

I was reading the Book of the Heavenly Cow and I came across instructions that mentions “the ninefold purification”.  My internet search has failed me on trying to find what exactly this is (unless I delve in Buddhisim, but I’m pretty sure that’s not it), let alone how it’s different from any other purification.   Otherwise the other source I’m finding comes from Budge, and I don’t trust that all too much.

All that it mentions is it lasts three days in the Heavenly Cow.  Does anyone have any other information on this or where I could find it?

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Advice on Finding a Reiki Teacher

I am at a master level in Usui Reiki, and while not in any way related to Kemetic beliefs many Pagans do practice it.  I often am asked about the practice and, relevant to this discussion, about teaching.  While at this time I’m not teaching Reiki I’d thought I’d give some pointers so people may find the best teacher for them:

  1. Like any other teacher, check their credentials. In Reiki, this is determined by a lineage. Every Reiki master will have a lineage, so if you request one and they don’t supply it for any reason beware! While examining the lineage, make a point to research the particular Reiki which they practice. Most internet searches will reveal who most of the key masters are in the lineage. If the provided Reiki lineage doesn’t trace back to Mikao Usui or some of the masters are left out, it is best to look elsewhere.
    This isn’t to say, however, the Reiki practice in question will have the exact same people for every person. That is why it’s essential to find out who are the ones who need to show up in the particular Reiki lineage.
    Also, it should be noted that not all energy practices are Reiki practices. Reading the service offered, therefore, is essential if you want specifically Reiki.
  1. Find out how long the teacher has practiced and taught Reiki. Some people find this important, some don’t. I have run into fellow practitioners who have practiced much longer than I have and have much more knowledge and experience. I’ve also run into people who have practiced for a shorter time than I have and have more knowledge and experience than I have. If you find it important and the master doesn’t supply this then ask.
  1. Ask questions about the particular Reiki you want to learn.This, of course, will ultimately depend upon research into the particular Reiki you want to learn. However, there are some basic questions one can ask:
      -What is the history of this particular Reiki?
      -How does this form of Reiki work?
      -How is this system set up?
      -Is this system of Reiki geared towards a particular faith or deity?
  2. Find a Reiki teacher who best fits your learning style. This may be the hardest part of all the tips I give. This also means asking questions about a teacher’s teaching style.From my experience some teachers will simply attune then hand over a manual, some attune then teach in a lesson format, and some will only attune when you fully understand the material. If the teacher in question can’t teach in a way suitable for your lifestyle, naturally you need to look elsewhere to find a teacher.

If nothing else, I hope some of these tips help provide some groundwork for those who are currently searching for a Reiki teacher. Only you can truly decide how to look for the right Reiki teacher and who is best suited to teach you the energy system.