In this issue of of The Alternative Spirit Magazine, I’m talking about one of my favorite subjects – medicine of the ancients!
You can purchase your copy here:
In this issue of of The Alternative Spirit Magazine, I’m talking about one of my favorite subjects – medicine of the ancients!
You can purchase your copy here:
Unknown to me at the time, I first started working with the blessed dead as a young child. I call them the blessed dead because they have provided me with messages to aid the living, insight or knowledge applicable in life and guided me on my magickal and spiritual path. The blessed dead is a term I use, as it’s a name used for our ancestors and deceased loved ones in the Kemetic tradition I am a follower of.
It all started in the middle of one night when I was woken up by a loud voice talking to me. When I opened my eyes I was at first startled when I saw a tall middle aged man standing at the foot of my bed, but as I focused, I realised he was familiar to me and so I wasn’t afraid. He was talking to me without moving his mouth, was slightly transparent and being so young I didn’t question this aspect. I just accepted that he was there and didn’t want to hurt me as he just wanted me to pass on a message.
He was telling me that I needed to tell his brother that he was gone and that his brother needed to know he was ok and not to worry. I got up and ran into my parents bedroom to tell them what this man had told me, but my mother thinking I had a bad dream, put me back into bed after bestowing upon me a blessing and protection prayer. Some time later, I was woken again by this man who was adamant I pass on a message to his brother and that he wouldn’t leave until I’d done so. Again I raced into my parents bedroom and this time when my mother tried to explain it was just a nightmare and everything was ok. I started to throw a tantrum because I wanted to be heard. Whilst my mother was trying to calm me down I practically screamed out the message I had received which was that “John” was in my bedroom and wanted to tell his brother that he was dead but that he was ok and not to get sad. My mother’s eye’s widened in a quizzical expression and she then asked what he looked like so I carefully described him. When I was done my mother crossed herself and shot my father a worrying glance. I started to cry in panic and she soothed me and put me back to bed whilst telling me everything was going to be fine and thanked me for passing on the message from John.
The next morning I found my father crying at the kitchen table and when I asked him why he was sad he told me that his brother John had died. Uncle John was my father’s favourite brother and best friend who lived interstate and had suffered a stroke and died during the night. I hugged my father and told him not to cry as Uncle John had visited and told me that he was ok. It did give my father comfort and solace. Then in the following days when I attended the funeral with my parents I wasn’t shocked to see Uncle John lying in an open casket and was actually wondering why people gathered were upset since he told me himself, he was fine. When I told this to my mother she explained to me that not everyone talked to people who had passed away and gently warned me not to repeat to anyone what had happened as they wouldn’t understand. She also explained that some people in our family could talk to the dead in order to help those who were left behind with their grieving. Since I had this gift she would teach me how to work with the blessed dead in a safe and helpful way.
That was the beginning of when I started working with the blessed dead and to this day I continue to work with them in one way or another. I predominately work with my own blessed dead as they have guided me on my magical and spiritual path. When I conduct healings and readings I receive messages for clients from their loved ones which I pass on. I find that these messages along with descriptions of their loved ones are appreciated by the living as they help them to move on and accept they are no longer in physical form and we don’t need to worry about them.
Having lost both my parents before I turned 30, working with the blessed dead has allowed me to accept and let go of them with love in my heart as I am completely confident they are in a peaceful place. I had been warned about both my parents passing before it occurred through dreams and other blessed dead who came to me to tell me and in both my parents cases it actually helped them move on.
Over the years I’ve delved deeper into Hellenic and Kemetic magickal and religious practices. I have found this has added value not only to my personal life but also when dealing with the blessed dead. My interest in Hellenic and Kemetic traditions stems from my ancestry and I was also drawn to it through the guidance of my spirit guide who happened to be an ancestor well versed in these traditions.
When I was introduced to the concept of Ancestor Veneration in the Kemetic tradition it felt very familiar. This practice was something which I had always done in some way or another and it was refreshing to see others actively participating in the same practice in this day and age. I came to learn that “Akhu” also known as the “Shining Ones” or “Blessed Dead” and are the spirits of our ancestors who became a star in the heavens in the body of Nuit. Nuit is a sky goddess who is depicted as a naked woman covered in stars who arches over the earth. She is also a goddess of death and swallowed and rebirth the stars and sun. As stars shine their light down upon us, they remind us that they are always with us and watching over us. This brought me great comfort and resonated within me in a most profound way.
Venerating the Ancestors is a practice where you honour (instead of worship) your blessed dead so their Ka (soul) continues to be fed and therefore continuing to exist. Through remembering and speaking their name and by leaving them offerings such as incense, water or things they enjoyed in life , it allows them to have the ability to intercede on our behalf and assist us in our lives. Venerating the Ancestors shows how much you care for your blessed dead even though they are no longer in physical form in this earthly plain. It allows us to thank them for being as our own existence is due to theirs. When Venerating our Ancestors it allows them to bestow blessings and offer insight into our lives. This is because it is believed that they stand in the Duat or underworld/land of the dead and can communicate to us or be go betweens to the Gods themselves if necessary. All that is needed to Venerate the Ancestors is to acknowledge them in the form of prayers or offerings, this includes asking them for assistance and in return thanking them for their assistance when given. Also it is worthy to note that you don’t have to be blood tied to your blessed dead as they can be a person you cared deeply for in life and want to remember them in death.
People in many cultures including Eastern, Native American, Greek and Egyptian have been known to Venerate their Ancestors for many thousands of years. Originally it was part of everyday life for the common man to do this and in the modern day these practices have remained in one form or another. This shows us that many acknowledge that honouring and/or working with the blessed dead gives them comfort or blessings and has a positive impact on us physically and psychologically.
I have an ancestor shrine which I maintain regularly and sits in a part of the house I frequently use to ensure my blessed dead are acknowledged as part of the family. My shrine is an old desk I have covered with a star studded shrine cloth and I have placed various items on it which represent my ancestors and which symbolically feed their soul. Some items on my ancestor shrine include personal possessions of my ancestors, photos of my ancestors, a book containing ancestor’s names and their stories, flowers, a libation bowl, a food offering plate, incense holder with incense and candles which are lit during the reciting of prayers. It is important to note that food offerings are always disposed of in the garbage separately to the household trash and are not to be consumed. Libations are left to evaporate or poured onto the earth outside.
((C) T. Georgitsis Akhu Shrine 2010)
I find an effective way to communicate with my blessed dead other than simply talking to them in shrine is by writing them a letter and reading it to them or leaving it on their shrine. I have a personally amended a Kemetic prayer (A Hotep Di Nisut Prayer) with my own words at the end which has been framed and placed amongst photos of my blessed dead on my shrine which is recited frequently:
“An offering which the King gives to Yinepu-Upon-His-Mountain and to Wesir, Lord of Abydos: a thousand of bread, a thousand of beer, a thousand of oil and alabaster and linen, a thousand of meat and fowl and all things good and pure that heaven gives, the earth produces and the inundation brings; for the ka of _______ ma’a heru.
Your names will live on forever, for you are the stars who watch over me “
If it wasn’t for my ancestors, my blessed dead, I wouldn’t be here and for that I am indebted. I am a part of them and they will always be a part of me as I remind myself how much I love them through devotional veneration where I bestow offerings and prayers as a symbol of this love and remembrance. In return they bless, assist me and remind me of where I came from. Until I see my blessed dead when it is my time to cross over, I will continue to show them respect and be their messenger when needed.
By T. Georgitsis © 2011
This article was the opening piece from the book: Memento Mori – A Collection of Magickal and Mythological Perspectives on Death, Dying, Mortality & Beyond, Edited by Kim Huggens which can be purchased here:
I have an article about Ancient Egyptian “Aromatherapy” in this issue called Fragrance of the Gods – check it out, its free!
The latest issue of Isis Seshat (the magazine for the Fellowship of Isis and the like) has just come out and I have an article on Kemetic Medicine.
This special issue commemorates the 41st anniversary of the Fellowship of Isis, the centennial anniversary of Lady Olivia Robertson’s birth, and celebrates our relationships with Holy Powers in Holy Places. $5 a copy payments via PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Linda Iles has produced a great issue this season of the Fellowship of Isis zine which is a free magazine with members contributing from all around the world.
I have contributed an article on the Sistrum used in Ancient Egypt and by modern day practitioners.
Brigantia Issue No. 163, Brigantia, 2017 for the FOI:
(If the link above doesn’t work, try the link below.)
This is the hymn I had to write for my first degree back when I was part of the Elphame tradition in the 1990’s.
I came across it recently in my handwritten BOS.
Please excuse the “old English” style language as I was in my early 20’s and was over exposed to that liturgy technique during inner and outer court. The AHP and HP at the time used and wrote rituals in this tone and truth be told I personally don’t use this type of language and never have.
Interesting to see how much I have changed yet my devotion is still unwavering over the years.
O Great Goddess of all that is,
I call upon you to be here with me now.
Come to me O Great Lady as I invoke you in your many guises.
I call thee forth for guidance as I walk the old path and strive for spiritual growth and knowledge.
To Athtor I call out, Mother Night.
Bring to me respect of all things,
Power within and heighten my hidden senses.
To Bast I call out, Playful Lady.
Bring to me happiness and all that is joyful in one’s life
and help me to live the life to its fullest.
To Hathor I call out, O Beauteous One.
Bring to me love for all things
and the power of self-love.
To Maat I call out, Bearer of Truth.
Bring to me truth, honour, justice and
the power to speak out against untruths.
To Mert I call out, Lover of Silence.
Bring to me the wisdom of silence
and constraint when needed.
To Isis I call out, Mistress of Charms and Enchantments.
Bring to me the determination and dedication
in finding and learning the mysteries.
© T. Georgitsis 1998
Purification was an important aspect of the daily life of the Ancient Egyptians. It kept Isfet (evil) away which took the form of demons, pestilence and disease – which would run rife without adequate purification practices. Purification was seen as a way to strengthen the power of protection as well as provide insight through making the way clear and clean.
The Ancient Egyptians would use fumigation as part of the purification process which involved incense made from resins and herbs which would be lit and wafted through temple, royal and residential homes alike. The Ancient Egyptian clergy and aristocracy would shave their bodies as a way to keep themselves pure and free from pollutants. The Priests would also keep themselves pure by avoiding dressing in garments made from animals such as wool or leather and only wear natural materials like linen. Another method the priests had for remaining pure was to abstain from specific foods, depending on which God they served.
Priests had to abstain from any sexual intercourse before rituals as a form of purification even though they normally lived like the rest of the population and married and had children. The only difference is that they dedicated some time out of the year to honor their gods in their part time vocations as priests of the temple. Therefore before they re-entered the temple they would abstain from intimate relations to be pure for their gods.
The priests and royalty had lakes they had deemed for divine purification. There they would ritually bathe themselves with natron, a salt like substance collected from the banks of the Nile river, before entering their temples to perform their religious rites. Natron was used by the Ancient Egyptians for mummification but the priests also used it for personal purification in which they would wash their mouth out, hands and feet when it was dissolved in water.
Purification of the temple shrine and the associated tools was completed using natron so it was a cleaning agent which was pretty much used for everything. Natron infused water was used to wash the temple walls and floors and implements as well as the images of the gods. Images of the gods within the temple sanctuary were sprinkled with water and grains of natron during various times of the day and night when opening, maintaining and closing the shrine occurred. Any remaining natron water was used to wash the surrounding streets and buildings.
For practicing Kemetics using abstinence, fumigation, cleaning and bathing still occurs as part of the purification practice today. Since natron was a natural occurrence found on the banks of the Nile and we don’t have the luxury of being able to collect it this way I would like to share with you how to make your own natron.
Two methods I have found to make natron successfully :
a. Mix one cup kosher salt and one cup baking soda and place in a cooking pot (shouldn’t be more than ¼ of the depth of the pot).
b. Add water until it covers the mixture and heat on low whilst constantly stirring.
c. Once it reaches boiling point ensure all the ingredients blend smoothly and take off heat.
d. Mixture should be slime like substance which you can now pour and spread over a baking paper lined oven tray.
e. You can put it in direct sunlight to dry out covered by netting so it isn’t polluted by grit or bugs (this can take a month or so) or alternatively place in a very low oven for several hours until the mixture dries out ensuring the mixture doesn’t turn brown as it must remain white in color.
f. Once dry, break apart the sheets of natron into smaller barley sized pieces and store in air tight container so it doesn’t get damp and clump up.
(c) T. Georgitsis 2014
Just received a positive review for the Sekhmet devotional I edited:
Published in Spokes of the Wheel, The Official Newsletter of the Pagan Collective of Victoria, Yule 2016 Volume 3, Issue 4
“Daughter of the Sun, A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Sekhmet”
It’s a strange experience discovering a God or Goddess that is unfamiliar to you for the first time.
You may have come across them in a classical painting, a reference in a poem or a book on mythology it catches your imagination or has a spark of recognition. It encourage to find out more and search through obscure references books looking for the earliest of references and may even push you further explore the culture or history of the people that originally worshiped your new God.
And that’s why it’s been such a pleasure to review Daughter of the Sun – A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Sekhmet. Sekhmet is a Goddess I really knew very little about. The joy of this anthology is the diverse views and perspectives on the Goddess that that paints a such a vivid picture.
T. Georgitsis has done a stellar effort here as editor of this anthology consisting of such a diverse range of material this book is full of exciting stories, beautiful poetry and wonderful art.We are introduced to Sekhmet; A Goddess of the ancient Egypt pantheon. Sekhmet is a Goddess of many facets: Avatar of justice, warrior, healer, hunter and mother. You’ll will learn so much about the character of this Goddess throughout this anthology
This book is filled with poetic inspiration and vividly paints a picture of Sekmet very much alive and radiating with power thousands of years later after the fall of Ancient Egypt.
I thoroughly recommend you get copy Daughter of the Sun if you are familiar with Sekhmet you will find it an invaluable resource. If you are just learning about this Goddess for the first time like I am, it is a wonderful introduction.
Ryan, Co-Founder of the Pagan Collective of Victoria ”
A Black Moon occurs when there are two New Moons in a month.
In the Northern Hemisphere there is a Black Moon on the 30th of September 2016.
In the Southern Hemisphere there is a Black Moon on the 31st of October 2016 which also happens to fall on Beltane.
This kind of event happens every few years and the type of magick performed is New Moon magick which is more potent during this time.
Focus on renewals, beginnings, manifestation of desires and foundation of intent for future endeavors, which first must come through letting go and clearing/cleansing during the Dark Moon, 2-3 days prior to the New Moon.
These are the following steps I would suggest you do when working with the Black Moon coming up:
(c) T. Georgitsis 2016