Upholding Ma'at

Journeying through the modern world with ancient ways.


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PBP: I Is for Isfet

I started writing a post about this topic about a year ago, but abandoned it because I saw how controversial and triggering it could be.  Now I can look back at it with a clearer intent and less controversial.  While I can’t guarantee it will be less triggering I can trust my readers to decide if they want to read further than this paragraph.

The word for chaos in Ancient Egyptian is isfet.  This is not the same as primordial chaos.  This concept of chaos was disorder, the anti-thesis of Ma’at, and above all destructive.  One could equate this concept to the epitome of evil.  In Ancient Egypt isfet was personified by Apep, who was depicted as a snake.

Modern Kemeticists tend to proscribe many things as isfet.  I’ve seen everything from unpleasant behavior to human rights violations called isfet.  I will not discuss how I feel about using isfet because I feel it’s on some level determined by the individual.  What I can discuss are the ways I deal with it.

I go into combating isfet a bit in my post of finding peace amidst the hustle and bustle.  The key to defeating isfet, though, is to look at it for what it is.  In Ancient Egyptian texts part of defeating Apep was recognizing his nature.  When we see a situation objectively and recognize the nature of what we’re dealing with we can defeat it.  Some of this, however, will require experience and discernment.

Sometimes in defeating the isfet in our own lives we first have to evaluate what isfet means to us.  Then we must ask why we consider these things as isfet.  Sometimes what a person considers isfet is, in reality, an inconvenience.  While that can feel chaotic it helps to differentiate to act accordingly.  Even a small act of changing an approach can help in major ways.  It also helps in establishing healthy boundaries.

I personally draw my line between isfet and inconvenience at the potential for destruction and harm.  While some inconveniences may harm me on some level, they tend to not cause major harm nor destruction.  I also refognize how the inconveniences accumulate and eventually evolve into isfet.  I then examine this and address it.

While these approaches deal with everday problems it takes much more when isfet is something such as a social injustice.  It takes a combination of addressing the issue for ourselves, addressing it socially (which is a feat in and of itself), and finding ways to ensure Ma’at prevails.

In this way I’ve found ways to deal with the inconveniences and isfet in my life.  I’m not perfect in my approach, and I’m aware my approach has flaws.  However in knowing my flaws in this approach I can find new ways to address the isfet in my life.

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PBP: H is for Het

In Ancient Egyptian het translates to “house”.  This takes on many meanings and interpretations.  We see it as a possible mortuary reference in the name Nebt-het.  In this sense the “house” is a tomb.   Long ago I read where the name of Het-Hert was also a way of saying She was a mother of Heru, and in that sense “house” is a reference to the womb.  The Kemetic word for temple includes the word house. 

Imakhu presents another idea which is interesting to me.  She presented the idea of one’s being as a house.  It’s something I’ve appreciated.  When I first listened to the podcast I decided to incorporate the concept of myself as a house.   I found it to be a helpful tool.

The first function this concept serves is the idea of who or what I let in my life.  While I’m far from perfect at this I’ve already seen the benefits.   When new people want to come into my life I can evaluate them based on what they show me.  I can see if their values are similar to mine and, if not, how detrimental those differences are to me.  If I think that person is too incompatible I don’t let them in to my life.

There’s still the physical element of my home and what I let in.  As I rebuild my life I’ve taken inventory of what I still have for a home and what I still need.  Thanks to my job I can now pay for items such as towels and dishes.  It’s been tough balancing just what I need as opposed to buying “in case”.  Moreover I once again have the means to fill my home with items I want, things that fit my vision of a home.  For me, that means a home which is calm and peaceful.  I’ve picked things which I feel work to that end.

In order to have the peaceful and calm home I desire I have to monitor my habits. Not only do I need to be aware of the values I share with others, or the values I want in a physical home, but I must keep dilligent in my health.  When I realized I neglected my health I took measures to regain it.  I reviewed my list of what I consider healthy living.  After making an inventory of my health I’ve made more strides to take time for activities I enjoy, time to rest, dietary change, etc.  In looking at my list I’m reminded how much of what I consider essential for my health connects to people in my life as well as what I consider a home.

Home can mean many things, and for me many of those definitions intertwine.  Ultimately it ties together to mean a balanced life for me.  In losing some of my inner balance I lost some of my health, based on how I define both for myself.  In my process of regaining those I repriortized and revised my lists and my discernment process.  I am rebuilding my home.


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PBP: G Is for Growth

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I’ve been working on this post for some
time, and because of circumstances in my life have taken some time to post.  More on that in a moment…

This particular post was inspired by a friend who performed a Tarot reading for me about my life.  He pulled only one card, partly because he was still learning the cards and partly because I didn’t want to be much trouble.  He drew The Empress.  The short of a long was since my break up the reading indicated I had nowhere to go but up.  It was a time to grow, and grow is what I’ve done.

In March I started a six month temp job where I often worked 50 hours a week.  Even though the job has been stressful and led to some immense weight gain it allowed for me to plant the seeds for a new life.    I have a personal bank account again, I have my own cellphone and account to go with it,and I have the means to replace things I lost to my ex.  I also have the means to streamline more things in my life.

I rarely have a chance to sit in front of my computer due to my job.  This blog and other things suffered for that reason.  I realized recently how much my work on this blog is tied to my devotion to my shrine.  The less time I spent on writing, the less time I had for Het-Hert.  I got tired of that and finally downloaded some apps as a solution.  In providing myself the means to grow financially I realized I neglected other parts of my life.

While I hope this plan will strengthen my religious practice I hope it will strengthen my spiritual and personal growth.  If I’ve learned nothing from my job about myself,  it’s how much I lack in self-confidence.  One way I lack in self-confidence is with the language disorder I have.  It’s part of the reason why it takes so long for me to write.  In dowloading the wordpress app I have to trust in my writing abilities more.  Does that mean I’ll have moments of atrocious grammar, incoherent ideas, or malapropisms more often?  Yes.  All I can do is learn from it.

Trusting in my abilities or my financial growth aren’t the only things growing in my life.  My integrity is growing too.  In devoting myself to only Het-Hert and my personal growth I have strengthened and redrawn my boundaries.  While they aren’t perfect, it provided the strength I needed to stand up to my ex when he thought he could waltz back into my life and demand a Reiki attunement.  It provided me with the strength I needed to distance myself from him when afterwards he messaged me to tell me he had a new girlfriend.  That same strength provided insight and confrmation of my suspicions about his intentions, as well as the means to comfort myself.

The growth has provided much in terms of regeneration.  People who’ve known me for years are seeing the “old me” return.  For me, the old me consists of accomplishing things quickly.  It also meant being able to stand my ground, incredible spiritual insight, a sense of adventure, a desire to create, just to name a few traits.  When I felt pain I sought comfort in Het-Hert and trusted friends like I used to do.  I’ve even considered becoming a priestess for Het-Hert given how I much I feel She’s aided me. 

If the coffee flood was indicative of my previous year based on growth through destruction, then this year will be marked by my determination.  This year when I performed my rituals for Wep Ronpet just about every possible distraction came up, including a thunderstorm .  Not only did this fail to deter me, but I felt the weather complimented my resolve.  Nothing and no one was going to stop me.  It is a sentiment I find pervasive in my life in recent months and continues even now.