Divine Family | Part 2: Daughter of Djehuty

On Wednesday February 24th, 2021 (III Peret 24) I was divined, through the Rite of Parent Divination within Kemetic Orthodoxy, a daughter of Djehuty, beloved of Nit-Nebthet-Seshat, Hethert-Mut, Ptah, and Khonsu. Then, on Friday February 26th, 2021 (III Peret 26), I took the Shemsu oath and received my Kemetic name (gifted to me by Djehuty as part of the RPD): Djehutyemqenebty (nickname: Qenebty), meaning, “Djehuty is the judge.”

I encourage you to read my About Page for more information regarding the nature of the RPD, as well as Parent and Beloved Deities in the context of Kemetic Orthodoxy.

Daughter of Djehuty

The Ancient Egyptian God Djehuty
Djehuty digital painting by me

Father, I knew it would be You. I felt it in my bones, in my heart, in the deepest recesses of my soul. I was hesitant to voice too confidently out loud that I expected You to claim me, on the off-chance that my intuition had, in fact, failed me and because I am a superstitious sort of person, but I should have trusted my gut completely on this…because it did not surprise me in the least when Hemet said that You are my sole Parent in the context of the RPD. I met You over a decade ago, while living alone far from my home, and You have been so very close to me ever since. 

Who is Djehuty to me?

Djehuty is eternal, vast, wise, whimsical, clever, playful, and serious all at once. He is deeply invested in the process of skill development – which can mean different things for different folks, but for me, it is this feeling of being mentored, honed, and shaped into the best version of myself. 

Djehuty is the new moon, the Initiator, the Master of Time. He is the feather-tipped quill dipping into the ink of creation and writing out all of the spells of the universe. Djehuty is every record ever kept, every memory, every library, every Wikipedia rabbit hole. Djehuty is the final “checkmate” in an intense chess match, the “aha!” moment when we solve a riddle, and the revelatory excitement of every scientific discovery. He is puns, onomatopoeia, poetry, all language made manifest; He is the highest form of magic, the birthing of ideas into realities, the cosmic sigils and mysterious code words that bind worlds together. Djehuty is the feeling of literally traveling somewhere new in our minds whenever we read a book, and He is the way written music notes somehow manifest into sound when instruments are played. He is every mathematical equation that somehow becomes a real, tangible thing – like medicine and technology. He is an artist of communication, He breaths meaning into every word in every language living or dead, and He is the great Translator: He Who bridges the gap between the human realm and the divine. He hungers endlessly for knowledge, and encourages us to do the same. Djehuty is an oracle, He Who can provide insight into the past, present, and future all at once. Stories flow into and around and out of Him like the vibrant waters of a rushing river. 

And Djehuty is also a judge. Famously, in Kemetic mythology, He presides over the Weighing of the Hearts  and records the outcome. His first gift to me as divine Parent, my Kemetic name, invokes this particular quality of His essence: “Djehuty is the judge.” Part of the oath we take as Shemsu, in the religion of Kemetic Orthodoxy, is to be charged with figuring out the mysteries and personal meanings of our Kemetic names (a lifetime task!). At first, I was taken aback by the power and directness of my name – it felt very intense, and very serious. I had perhaps subconsciously hoped for a name that would speak to some of Djehuty’s other aspects – ones I am more familiar with, such as His role as a divine scribe – or a name that referenced the love that can exist between a Father and child. What does it mean, for me, that Djehuty is the judge? Does the name reference Djehuty as a judge of everyone/the universe? A judge of me, specifically? Am I meant to be a judge, too? How does the role of judge connect to the idea of upholding Ma’at, something I am personally quite passionate about? (Jews also have a phrase for this – Tikkun Olam – “repairing / bettering the world.”)

Digging into the name a little more from an Egyptian language perspective, we see that the word qenbet (qnbt) refers to the court of magistrates in ancient Egypt. Some notes from a friend of mine who is a scholar of Egyptian language:

“Magistrate” and “bow” are homophonic and somewhat homonymic where phonetic spellings are incorporated [N29-N35-D58], and are puns on one-another (one bows or submits oneself [qnbw] before a magistrate or court of magistrates [qnbty and qnbt, respectively]), but they aren’t interchangeable terms with same-same meanings. The appropriate article would also not be m, which is “with, in/out, by means of, as, etc.”

There really isn’t an “is” in Egyptian as for Latin or English, etc. Either there would be nothing there and that form of the auxiliary verb “to be” is implied in synthetic form, (so, DHwty-qnbty, “Djehuty is the Magistrate”) or you’d have something like ntf (“he is the one who __“).

“[This] Djehuty of the Qnbt.” With the enclitic “-i/y” denoting “one of.” Like nArf.i “The One Who is Not Bound” (a special form of Osiris) or nbt.i “He of Gold-Town” (Seth of Ombos/Nubt).

In addition, she provided the following spellings for my name:

Spellings for the Kemetic name Djehutyemqenebty

Finally, another friend and fellow Shemsu mentioned to me that Paul Dickson’s Dictionary of Middle Egyptian provides the following meanings for the Egyptian word [qnbty] : magistrate, official, and councilor

Two things stick out to me about the above commentary (I am deeply grateful to these friends for weighing in!):

  • The pun “one bows or submits oneself [qnbw] before a magistrate or court of magistrates [qnbty and qnbt, respectively]” makes me feel as if there is a reverent aspect to my name that I didn’t realize at first, upon receiving it. I very much see myself as someone who “bows down” before my Father, full of gratitude, affection, and awe; in turn, He provides guidance, protection, and endless opportunities for spiritual growth. There is a sense of respect, in both directions, within my name. Love isn’t the only emotion that can exist between a Father and child; respect has its place.
  • The idea of a councilor makes me think of counseling, and counseling is, actually, a primary function of a magistrate (a judge)…and it’s one that I can personally identify with much more than the literal function of “enacting judgement.” The role of a judge as an arbiter feels more aligned with many aspects of my current existence. I am a triple Libra, for one; astrologically, I am intensely devoted to harmony, balance, and the restoration of peace between people and within myself. I am good at weighing many sides of a complex issue and valuing many different opinions. Decision making has never been easy for me, but I care deeply about figuring out the best possible solutions to problems. There are many beautiful and necessary forms of counseling outside of the strictly legal space of courtrooms, as well: therapy comes to mind immediately. I feel as if Djehuty as both a councilor AND counselor – my counselor, specifically, and a counselor to the other Gods – is an aspect of His role as judge that I very much would like to get to know even better in the coming years. 

This is only the beginning of my journey as a daughter of Djehuty, and I am so excited to grow in my service to Him, and to all of my divine Family. Parts 3-6 of this divine Family blog series will focus on each of my Beloveds. 

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