“I am a child of Earth and Starry Heaven,
but my birth is of Heaven alone.”Translation of the inscription on the Orphic gold tablets (from Richard Janko, “Forgetfulness in the Golden Tablets of Memory,” Classical Quarterly 34 (1984) 89–100, especially p. 99)
My name is Brooke, and my pronouns are she/her. I live on the colonized land of the Lenape people (Philadelphia, PA, USA) with my husband, my dog, and my numerous house plants.
This blog houses the poetic musings of a cultural / ethnic Jew reconstructing Kemetic (ancient Egyptian), Levantine/Canaanite, and Minoan/early Mycenaean polytheism.
- My Jewish practice is based upon the beliefs and traditions passed down to me from my Ashkenazi ancestors, as well as the teachings of the Kohenet Hebrew priestesses. I have also been exploring pre-Israelite/Canaanite religion.
- My Kemetic practice is based in Kemetic Orthodoxy. I am a Shemsu within that community, and my Kemetic name is Djehutyemqenebty (or just “Qenebty” as a nickname), meaning “Djehuty is the judge.” On February 24th 2021 (III Peret 24) I was divined a daughter of Djehuty, beloved of Nit-Nebthet-Seshat, Hethert-Mut, Ptah, and Khonsu. On February 26th 2021 (III Peret 26) I received my Kemetic name and made the Shemsu oath.
- My Minoan/early Mycenaean practice is based on a personal reconstruction project called The Ancient Labyrinth. I have devotional relationships with the Orphic Hellenic Apollo and Dionysos through this part of my practice.
Other important aspects of my spiritual life worth mentioning:
- Divination (specifically Tarot reading)
- Herbalism (I am a trained herbalist)
- The Living Crossroads, a local witchcraft coven into which I have been initiated
A Note on Kemetic Orthodoxy Parents and Beloveds
The RPD (Rite of Parent Divination), and the concept of divine Parents and Beloveds, has historical basis in ANE practices, but it is ultimately a construct of modern Kemetic Orthodoxy (and there are plenty of modern Kemetics who do not follow KO, and therefore do not subscribe to this concept of having a specific divined-for spiritual Family). The exact meaning of the RPD can vary between converts to Kemetic Orthodoxy (it is deeply personal, after all), but I am fond of the explanation, as stated by Hemet (Dr. Tamara L. Siuda), that “together your Parent(s) and Beloved(s) create your own personal Ennead/Pesdjet, or the group of deities that are worshipped in the temple of your own ka.”
Related to the “temple of our ka” referenced above, it is also a KO belief that our spiritual Parent(s) created/create our ba, which is our permanent self / soul, the “you that you have always been and will always be” sort of self. Beloveds, on other hand, create our ka, the transitory self/soul, the “self you are in your present lifetime and in the Seen World only.” These are complex Kemetic concepts that I am personally still figuring out for myself!
If one considers how temples were maintained in cult centers in ancient Egypt, there were usually “chief” Gods of a temple (or a singular chief God), but They were never the only God(s) worshipped in that temple. The RPD determines, in the context of KO, which Deity/Deities are meant to be the main Deity/Deities, as well as the supporting Deities, of our own personal temples (i.e. our household shrines/hearth practices). If a Shemsu decides to become a priest someday, then they really do end up maintaining a modern temple dedicated to their Parent(s) (with support from their Beloved(s), of course).
A friend once also described the relationship between Parent and Beloved Deities as a constellation, and I love this concept, as well. One’s Parent(s) is/are like the biggest stars in the constellation (there are never more than two Parents in a given RPD), and one’s Beloveds are like the stars oriented around the main star(s). As she put it: “Together, They create a meaningful picture for Their particular observer in an otherwise barely-comprehensible sky full of various celestial bodies.”
When folks take the Shemsu oath and receive a Kemetic name from their Parent(s), they are (a) converting fully to the Kemetic Orthodoxy religion and (b) making an oath to their Parent(s) and Beloved(s) to “put Them first.” Again, this means different things to different Shemsu; what we all do know, is that we are charged with figuring out the meaning(s) of our Kemetic names, as well as the meaning(s) of “putting our divine Family first.” We perform our Senut rite in honor of our divine Family, as well. This type of structure works very well for me, someone who is inclined to want hierarchies in my spiritual practice, but of course, nowhere is it ever mandated that any Shemsu forgo any other spiritual practices they may have and/or not worship any other Gods they feel inclined to worship.
You can read about my RPD experience by checking out my Divine Family Series of blog posts: