My Sekhmet Interview

I was interviewed recently for someone’s project on Sekhmet and I thought I would repost here…

1. What was your initial experience with Sekhmet?
Sekhmet first called me when I undertook studies in Natural Medicine back in the early 00’s and over the years she has played a significant role in my life through the healing arts. Despite the feared reputation she is known for I personally found I never approached her with trepidation but instead with awe and respect. In turn I found she bestowed many blessings on my magickal and healing path.

2. Is Sekhmet the only divinity you serve or one among others?
I am dedicated to the Goddesses Aset, Sekhmet and Hekate, therefore service is among others who have a similar nature of healing and magick.

3. Are you a solo devotee or part of a group?
I am both a solo devotee and part of a group. I predominately work alone with my Kemetic and Hellenic paths but I also work with, teach and guide through my Lyceum of Heka which is a teaching temple school connected through the Fellowship of Isis.

4. Have you been initiated formally or is your experience solitary?
It started off solitary but within a family environment. My mother was a magickal practitioner and was the one who taught and infused my life with Hermetic and Greek Folk Magick and was in turn taught by her aunt who studied in Alexandria under a Magus. At 21 I joined my first Wiccan coven and over the next several years went from being an initiated seeker to an initiated priestess. I joined the Fellowship of Isis around the same time I joined my first Wiccan coven but it wasn’t until my mid 20’s that I eventually found a Lyceum to join and after several years of study and practice was initiated to the level of Priestess Hierophant and opened up my own Fellowship of Isis Lyceum of Heka which I continue to run to this day. In 2015, I became a ArchPriest and was inducted in The ArchPriesthood Union of the FOI Union Triad: ArchPriesthood Union. The other temples/magickal groups I have joined and been a contributing member to over the years (other than the above mentioned) are: Shemsu at a Kemetic Orthodox Temple: House of Netjer; Member of Haitian Vodou house Sosyete Fos Fe Yo We; Master Mason in Lodge of The Southern Cross in Co-Masonry (Scottish Rite).

5. Do you have an altar, or an object or objects you consider sacred to Sekhmet?
Yes I have a permanent working shrine to her which I attend daily.

 

6. Do you have a ritual? In what ways do you communicate with Sekhmet?
I attend her shrine daily. I leave offerings in the forms of water, incense and hymns. On special occasions like her feast days I leave bread, beer, pomegranates and cooked meals specially prepared. Some rituals are elaborately researched written and performed whilst other times they just come from the heart in an ad lib kind of way.

7. How would you describe Sekhmet to a fresh arrival on earth?
I get this question often – how would you describe Sekhmet, so I crafted this response: Sekhmet is the Ancient Egyptian Goddess of pestilence, health/illness, destruction, war and wisdom. Associated with sunset and retribution, she uses arrows to pierce her enemies with fire, her breath being the hot desert wind as her body takes on the glare of the midday sun. Sekhmet represents the destructive force of the sun, is depicted as a lion-headed woman with the sun disk and uraeus serpent headdress and has eyes and hair which blaze orange or red.

8. How would you describe your role as a follower of Sekhmet in the world?
To me a connection and devotion to deity as well as nature is a gateway to higher forms of magick and spirituality, which not only transcends the physical but lives within it and with Sekhmet the focus is healing – healing the self and assisting with the self-healing in others. As I have grown and developed as her devotee new modalities of healing have opened up to me. At the time Sekhmet came to me I had just started studying alternative therapies and one of my personal focuses is Ancient Egyptian Medicine where Sekhmet and her healing priests are a dominant force. After this came Sekhmet Sekhem a vibrational healing modality which I became a master of and currently teach. So I describe my role as a follower of Sekhmet as a healer and facilitator of healing just like the priests of Sekhmet in Ancient Egypt.

9. What is your response to those who represent Sekhmet as a divinity for vampires?
Honestly I’ve never thought about it. Each to their own as long as its not hurting anyone.

10. Have you any experiences with a living statue of Sekhmet?
Yes with my personal statue various times over the years when in shrine or when conducting sekhem intunements and healings. Also many years ago there was an exhibition of Ancient Egyptian artefacts where a large black basalt statue of Sekhmet from Luxor was on display and I had an intense experience with two of her other devotees who were also there at the same time.

11. Has Sekhmet appeared in your dreams? Any you would care to share?
Yes, however they are incredibly personal.

12. How has Sekhmet’s influence in your life changed your relationship with the world?
Yes as healer and writer is has made my relationship with her more public. I now write and teach about Sekhmet and it also gave me a unique opportunity, in 2015 I was fortunate enough to edit my first book which I proposed to Bibliotheca Alexandrina (a small non for profit publishing house which publishes anthologies featuring contemporary Hellenic and Kemetic polytheist authors in honour of the Gods) on Sekhmet. I also personally contributed to this anthology and its called Sekhmet Daughter of the Sun: A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Sekhmet.

13. Where and when do you feel closest to Sekhmet?
I feel closest to her in nature or when I am conducting intuinments or healings. In nature it could be sun’s light or her energy in various natural substances like semi precious stone or herbs dedicated to her. I also feel closest to her in shrine or when I am connecting to her energy for the elevation of my own spirit of those of others through the healing arts.

(C) T. Georgitsis 2018

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Fragrance of the Gods: Ancient Egyptian Incense

Incense in Ancient Egypt was seen as something containing the properties of life which could evoke belief and stabilise faith. It was thought by the ancients that incense brings about reverence as well as the manifestation of the Netjer it is being offered to.  The Ancient Egyptians even had a god of incense – Nefertum, the lion headed son of Sekhmet who in the creation myth was the lotus rising from the primordial waters.  Nefertum’s connection to scent and healing makes him the perfect patron of incense, especially since his symbol – the lotus, dawns every morning like incense smoke wafting towards the rays of the sun.

Incense has been a highly valued and used in Egypt all through its history.  This was made evident by its worth and the lengths the Ancient Egyptians would go to, to source it. Incense had a major role in the magickal and spiritual practices of Kemet and many expeditions were sent down to the Land of Punt (modern day Ethiopia or Sudan but scholars are yet to determine its exact location) to source rare and expensive resins used in incense blends.  Many pharaohs, noblemen and priests of Ancient Egypt would cultivate and propagate trees to keep up with the demand needed by the temples, tombs and residences of the time.

Various ceremonies in antiquity revolved around fumigation practices and in Ancient Egypt this has been evident in many reliefs and papyri describing these in detail, which has highlighted what a vital function it played.  The most common type of fumigation using incense in Ancient Egypt was used in a devotional act before representations of Netjer as well as for the Akhu at ancestor shrines or tombs.

The ancients believed that Netjer embodied the smoke of burning incense, as a romantic manifestation in the omissions of the lit incense they were offered by the priests and populace alike.  Like “God” the smoke from incense can permeate all, at times even without being visibly detected.  Priests therefore would offer incense as one of the ways to animate and reinvigorate Nejter’s manifest representation on earth, in the form of a ritual called “Opening of the Mouth”.  A way the priests could do this was by blowing through the censor containing the lit incense which activated the Heka through the breath whilst directing it.  Using incense to fumigate not only cleaned the temple and its possessions but it bestowed Heka through to the priests themselves as the scent activates communion with Netjer through an altered state which is induced.

It’s surprising to know that many recipes and processes for making incense was shrouded in secrecy but it was very well known that they contained specific instructions on how to create them with specific allocated time, ingredients with symbolic connections and Heka.  The priests who were responsible for creating incense for their Netjer’s did so with complete respect and devotion as if they were tending to the physical manifestation of the gods themselves – which they were in part, since making incense was seen as creating the body of the Gods.  Frankincense and myrrh resin gathered was referred to as “sweat” or “tears” of the Nejters and as such the Ancient Egyptians treated their frankincense and myrrh as emblems of their Gods bodies. The trees themselves were seen as fruitful goddesses who’s resin was divine menstrual blood.  So as you can see this emphasizes what great importance incense was to the daily rites of the Ancient Egyptians from their homes, workplaces, palaces and temples.

Today Egypt’s love of incense survives through the perfumery industry, the fragrant filled swinging censer of Coptic orthodox priests as well as the burning braziers found in the common people’s home shrines.   Many practicing Kemetics like myself make their own incense blends and one which is used as a staple go to for all Netjers and Heka is a compounded incense called Kyphi. Here is a recipe I’d like to share with you which you can easily make yourself:


 Ingredients:

3/4 (of a part) Honey

3 (parts) Raisins

1/4 (of a part) Copal

1/4 (of a part) Myrrh

1/4 (of a part) Orris Root Powder

1 (part) Sandalwood

1/4 (of a part) Storax

1/2 (of a part) Frankincense

1/2 (of a part) Cinnamon Powder

1/2 (of a part) Finely Ground Benzoin

Wine (enough to moisten entire mixture)

 

Method:

  1. Thoroughly grind all ingredients separately, and then mix together all the ingredients except for the benzoin.
  1. Add the wine to moisten, then form the mixture into small marble sized balls and roll them in the benzoin.
  1. Place and cure (dry) on baking paper until firm (a moon phase is the best time frame from experience.)

 

(c) T. Georgitsis 2015

FOI: Isian News, Brigantia 2018

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 Bellydance and for your copy follow this link:

Isian News, Issue No. 167, Brigantia 2018

Isis-Seshat 2017 Summer Issue: Summer Festival

The latest issue of Isis Seshat (the journal for the Fellowship of Isis and the like) has just come out and I have an article about a summer festival in the southern hemisphere  – get your copy now: PDFs are available for purchase at $5 USD each; just email me via PayPal at anna dot applegate at yahoo dot com.

HoN Kemetic Wep Ronpet Dates

Here is a basic Kemetic ritual for Wep Ronpet I wrote and use yearly:

Wep Ronpet Ritual

Here are the dates for the end of the year and Wep Ronpet:

July 28th Last Day of the Year: Feast of Lights at Esna (and Sais)

Epagomenal Day 00 – July 29th: Day Dedicated to Yinepu and Khonsu

Epagomenal Day 0 – July 30th: Day Dedicated to Djehuty

Epagomenal Day 1 – July 31st: Birthday of Wesir

Epagomenal Day 2 – August 1st: Birthday of Heru-wer

Epagomenal Day 3 – August 2nd: Birthday of Set

Epagomenal Day 4 – August 3rd: Birthday of Aset

Epagomenal Day 5 – August 4th: Birthday of Nebt-het

1 August 5th – Wep Ronpet

 

 

The Alternative Spirit (Issue 13): Regular Column – Ancient Medicine

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:

http://www.alternativespiritmagazine.com/

Axis Mundi: Ancient Egyptian Aromatherapy

I have an article about Ancient Egyptian “Aromatherapy” in this issue called Fragrance of the Gods – check it out, its free!

Axis Mundi Autumn Issue 2017

 

Isis-Seshat 2017 Spring Issue: Kemetic Medicine

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 anna.applegate@yahoo.com.

FOI: Isian News, Brigantia 2017

brigid-na-mara

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:

Issue No. 163, Brigantia, 2017

(If the link above doesn’t work, try the link below.)

Isian News

Purification in Kemet

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.

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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.

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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 :

  1. Simply mix some baking soda and kosher salt in the blender or in a mortar with a pestle – ¼ part baking soda to ¾ part salt. 
  2. Bake method outlined below which I prefer due to the consistency and its potency:

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