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.

non-376543_960_720

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.

lotus-398444_1920

 

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

Daughter of the Sun Review: Pagan Collective of Victoria

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

Heka (Ancient Egyptian Magick)

ankh-1247148_1920

Heka is a system of magick within the Kemetic (Ancient Egyptian) tradition and the word itself means magickal and meaningful speech.  It is also the name of a netjer (God) within Kemeticism who is considered a patron of magick. The glyph of heka is depicted as a pair of raised arms and a twist of flax, which is thought to symbolise two interwoven serpents and which the netjer heka was able to hold power over and control. Heka manifested before duality had come into existence therefore its not a feminine or masculine force.  There are several patrons of heka within the Egyptian pantheon like A’set and Sekhmet but all netjers contain and can create heka.

Heka is employed through using, activating and projecting the ka, which is the part of the soul that contains the individual’s personality. In kemeticism – religion, heka and medicine are not separate states but are part of the same powerful energy. Heka is used to assist in accomplishing various tasks and warding off isfet (the concept of evil).  Heka can also be used by the common man and in Ancient Egypt the people of the day used heka for things from purifying their home to keeping vermin away.

Heka is always employed for a reason.  You would never go through the motions unless you want to work the energies to accomplish a goal you wish to see come to fruition. It is the magician who brings about the force of heka from their ka.  They do this through understanding and undertaking it via various acts which include: incantation, recitation, devotions, offerings, creating wax figures, amulets and various concoctions like poultices and potions just to name a few. Since words, actions and thoughts are magickal in themselves they have power and are essential in the working of heka.

Therefore, there are several steps needed to work heka – the thoughts which must be pure and focused, words which must be spoken and include intonations in a certain way, actions which must be enacted and often worked through in ritual formation and visual tools and ingredients used for focus and which primarily follow the like attracts like adage.  So in essence heka is written, spoken and enacted with ritualised gestures/motions and the use of sympathetic tools. Some forms of heka include effigies, charms, talismans, potions, incense blends, dream incubation, incantations, rituals, medicine and healing.  Heka can bring about prophecy, direction, health, prosperity, love, protection and fertility – pretty much anything you want or need.  When working heka one must purify themselves and remain that way throughout the working, make offerings and libations to the netjers (if they are asking for assistance from them), create and maintain focus of objective and have properly prepared tools and props at hand to assist with the desired result.

Heka was part of everyday life for the Ancient Egyptians and was employed in every stage of life from creation to death and the afterlife.  Similarly modern practitioners of the kemetic religion and other closely aligned magickal and theosophical systems ie Hermetisim view it the same way, to this day.

There are two types of magicians who use heka – trained priest-magicians part of the kemetic faith and dedicated to specific netjers or lay magicians who have no affiliations and are self trained or learn through other magicians. When a priest prays to a netjer for something it is the netjer who brings about the force of heka into the desire of the supplicant, as they are the agent of netjer. The lay magician however, holds and projects the magick into manifestation of desire and is usually employed for the services from others as well as for themselves.

 

egypt-1002917_1920

My personal path is a mix of the two types of sau heka (magician) and I employ various forms of heka in my daily life.  These can range from enacting various rituals in honour of my patrons to divining the future and creating protection amulets for others.  Here is some simple heka I would like to share with you, which you can use for yourself and your loved ones:

 

Heka to Protect the Home

In your active/dominant hand hold a stick of wood with meaning to you and walk around your home whilst reciting the following incantation:

“Withdraw disease demons!

The wind will not reach me,

And those who pass by,

may pass by to work disaster against me!

I am Horus who passes by the diseased ones of Sekhmet!

Horus – healthy despite Sekhmet!

I am the unique one,

Son of Bastest,

I die not through you!”

 

So as you can see from the above magickal working its very similar to some magickal practitioners of today – using a wand and casting a circle to protect one’s home from malevolent forces whilst reciting a spell to project the magick outwards and manifest it.

Like all forms of magick, heka can be dangerous to the uneducated and polluted heart.   So I implore that if heka is something you would like to learn more about and use – tread cautiously after much purification, divining of desire, introspection of reasoning, research, study and proper preparation.

 

(c) T. Georgitsis 2015

Spirit of Place: Mummymania Exhibit

The Ian Potter Museum currently has a “Mummymania” Exhibition happening right now until the 17th of April in Melbourne for free…taken from the exhibit website:

Mummymania focuses on the figure of the Egyptian mummy and its role within the themes of life, death, resurrection and immortality. Ranging from the mummy’s original role in ancient Egyptian funerary practices to its importance in early scientific investigations into ancient disease and medicine, and its popular reception as a malevolent Hollywood monster-figure, the exhibition looks at the changing perception of the mummy over time.

Mummymania includes a small number of mummified objects that reveal the mummification process in ancient Egypt and its relationship to Egyptian afterlife beliefs. The history of the exploration of Egypt by Europeans and the export of ancient Egyptian antiquities including mummies also features, including the public mummy-unrolling spectacles that were popular in the nineteenth century. The pivotal use of mummies in medicine, and the scientific analysis of tissue including the use of CAT scanning in order to understand ancient disease, is an important aspect of the legacy that is not widely known. This lesser known history is explored alongside the mummy’s well-known role as a Hollywood horror film star.

I have taken some images I would like to share with you from the exhibition which were my favourite items displayed (no images of remains were taken due to the nature of the images being something I personally don’t feel comfortable with):

 

12439287_10154904722009762_6879696270307802863_n

Ptah holding a Was Sceptre Ptolemaic period

12718090_10154904722079762_272025547637339126_n

Sekhmet statue in bronze Ptolemaic period

12928247_10154904722839762_6704762951842055488_n

Limestone Stela of Female Late Roman Period

12932862_10154904722619762_2276864492077670977_n

Sandstone T shaped offering Table Late Period

12938358_10154904722529762_5702807094702301692_n

12990937_10154904722459762_3000728406371726022_n

Faïence pendants of New to Late Period

12998469_10154904721964762_1344908772954830056_n

Limestone Stela Ptolemaic Period

12998503_10154904722314762_3476030851523918997_n

Ushabti Late Period

13000216_10154904722244762_2948270673080060974_n

Terracotta lamps Coptic period

 13001078_10154904722049762_7938436110289506174_n

Death mask of a woman Roman Period

 

All images (C) T. Georgitsis 2016

 

 

 

The Australian Pagan Magazine (Issue 13): Ancient Egyptian Crystals

In issue 13 of the Australian Pagan Magazine my regular Kemetic article focuses on Ancient Egyptian Crystals and their uses.  You can purchase your copy here:

http://www.theaustralianpaganmagazine.com/store/prods/issue-13-the-australian-pagan-magazine-autumn/

01-cover-issue-13-2-Recovered-copy-final.-724x1024

 

 

 

 

Daughter of the Sun Review: Linda Iles

An amazing review of the Sekhmet devotional I edited by Linda Iles:

“Daughter of the Sun, A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Sekhmet”

Sekhmet was certainly one of the most important Goddessess in ancient Egypt, and although She continues to enjoy wide popularity today, this ancient and beautiful Goddess is probably One of the most misinterpreted and misunderstood.

This anthology offers a wide variety of contributions, but, unlike some of the other publications of this type, “Daughter of the Sun” goes beyond the scope normally offered through such a work. There is a whole section titled “Rites and Recipes” filled with excellent materials for private and public devotions. Another section, “Myths and Musings” seamlessly blends history, myth and experiences of the modern practitioner. Through all of the beautifully entries in this book, the reader is brought into the living presence of this ancient and beloved Goddess Who lives in the hearts of so many in the present day.

“Daughter of the Sun” contains within its pages a depth and wealth of material that will prove valuable to both the seasoned devotee and new votary alike. It will certainly introduce source materials that many readers would not discover or have access to on their own. At the same time, the pieces within this anthology offer perspectives on the more well known materials in new and exciting ways.

This is a beautiful study, an offering from the heart to one of the most beloved Goddesses of ancient Egypt. Her vibrancy shines through on every page, and will certainly touch the heart of every one who reads it. This work truly is of a caliber that Sekhmet deserves, worthy of being savored, page-by-page; read and re-read, time and time again. It is one of the best offerings dedicated to one particular Deity that I have ever read.

Linda Iles Author, “Bast, Cat Goddess of Ancient Egypt”