O Netjer, You are the Sa of Creation, the Sap, the Quintessence, the Fluid of Life from which created things draw sustenance! You are not one but the All, encompassing every form, every characteristic, every quality in the Universe, and are beyond the things dwelling in Creation. You are the Netjeru, and the Netjeru manifest Your hidden essence, though They do not reveal it to the naked eye! How can I know You, O God of the Gods? How can I draw nearer to receive Your essence?
My heart sings a praise, yet gives rise to questions, here in this womb where the God’s living image is maintained, where His Sa is channeled for the benefit of all men. I kiss the Earth before the Netjer, quieting my heart, hearing my breath as it slips softly from my lips. The Netjer rises in His shine of gold. His voice enters the ears of my heart, though no audible sound disturbs the sanctified quiet of the Holy of Holies.
“Where am I”, the Netjer says, “if not in the shrine of your heart? For where else can you receive the Wisdom of my Ka, if not in understanding, if not in awe of the gifts of life and Creation? I am the Ka from which all Kas were born, the Divine Artisan from Whose word the Spirits of the Gods came into being, from Whom life was animated and the Earth was given form. I am the Power from the Nuwn, the mysterious body of the Sa, and even the Netjeru do not know my true name or form. I am in what is seen and embody what is not seen. My Ka is Spirit, and enters the heart as Spirit, and awakens Creation as Spirit, as the Primordial Substance of Life.
This in man is transmitted in blood and seed, yet the beating of his heart contains it, and the actions of his body move on account of it. It is when the Sa departs for its transformations between the worlds that a man dies to his Earthly body and enters his Ka. He sees his Sa rejoined to the Sa of Sas from which it was drawn, and he sees that the heart is the true vessel of wisdom by which he is judged. Let his heart contain Wisdom, virtue and Ma’at. Let his heart shine with perception of what is right, and thus transform him into a Being of Illumination. Let him practice justice while he is alive upon the Earth, benefiting his peers, being a brother to all, being a just Ka whose desires have been invested with the Spirit of his Netjer.
Where is the Netjer of man? The Netjeru have come to dwell in Their bodies of Earth and stone and wood as it was ordained by my mouth in the Ocean of Nuwn, thus have the Kas of the Gods come to dwell in Their bodies upon the Earth, even as the Kas of humankind were bestowed with bodies for the use of their Kas. But it is the Ka that possesses eternal life, not the body. The Kas of the Gods are eternal as are the Kas of men, but their bodies are vivified only by the Ka and empowered by the substance of the Sa. Each Ka possesses the imprint of the Netjer Who fashioned it, and bears the sign of its Netjer within the understanding of the heart.
Sia-hat sia-hat sia-hat. Know the heart, know the heart, know the heart! It is in his heart, the reflection of his true nature, that a man carries the seal of his Netjer, the vehicle of his Ka. He may be in ignorance of it. He may betray it or choose to be blind to it, but his Netjer is the power of his Ka, the propeller of his Sa, and he will come to know it and embrace it throughout his many transformations. His body will be transformed, but his Ka will not. He will go to his Ka when his body makes union with the Earth, and he will see his Netjer and know that his Netjer is the parent of his Ka.
Fortunate are they who recognize the true nature of their heart while walking upon the Earth, and embrace their Netjer as the living power of their Ka. When a man knows his heart and embraces his Netjer he will act in harmony with the heart and Netjer resident in all things he encounters. He will not be in opposition to the Laws of Harmony hailed as Ma’at, the Foundation upon which Creation was brought into being. He will not struggle against his nature, his Netjer, nor will he find cause to struggle against the nature of Creation as it is. He will find harmony and know hotep, the peace of embracing one’s Ka, the satisfaction of perceiving the state of Creation as it truly is”.
Once again my heart is overawed and leaps with the joy of recognition. To know my heart is to know my Netjer and live in attunement with it! My Netjer is my nature, and if I choose to embrace It and live in harmony with It, then I will not rebel against the harmony of my own Ka, the satisfaction, the peace, the hotep of life. My heart has been sealed by a Netjer, and to know that Netjer and dwell in peace with it is to live in accordance with Ma’at, the Laws of Harmony out of which Creation unfolds. To live in harmony with life…to live in harmony with Creation. These should be the goals of my heart, my will and my desire. O Netjer, open up my heart for me that I might know it! May I perceive! May I see! May I obtain recognition!
Though this Holy of Holies is enveloped in the eternal stillness of stone, hidden doorways and sealed chambers, I perceive that the moment of the Sun’s ascendancy over the night has arrived. The horizon of the East opens to welcome the fiery countenance of the Netjer Ra, Whose eyes emit light beams of white-hot radiance. Earth will awaken. The river will dance on account of Him, reflecting in its cool depths the gold of His limbs as they slide to and fro over the currents. There will be life again in the fields of verdant splendor, alive with the cascade of warm yellow rays caressing palms and reeds and burgeoning vegetation. The mountains will absorb His presence in the Heavens, their rocky faces dancing wildly in the waves of heat cast off by the Sun’s burning form. It will all come alive again, and this place of silent majesty, unchanging in its mysteries and cool tranquility, will give birth to song that will perfume the air with its divine fragrance.
The Netjer has awoken in His House. But is He not always awake, stirring in the quiet heart that listens for His voice? Is not the Ka the true dwelling place of Netjer, though His Temple may house the artistic housing of His Ka? It is for me to find Him there, the Netjer of my Ka, Whose presence in me is the true life of my body, the immortality of my Soul; for I cannot cling to the things of this Earth, however beautiful they may be. One day I will move alone on my Ka towards the Divine Domain where hearts are judged and the container of all my deeds emptied out before the Scales of the Divine Law. How will I find my way along that dark river of the Duwat? How will I find my way upon the Earth before I must find my way over the Earth beyond? I must regard my heart, trust my heart, petition my heart to be good to me, to fill my actions with justice. I must petition the Netjer of my Ka to come forth and shield my heart from depravity, to open my eyes with the discernment of Wisdom. Shall I ask you, O Sia, to charge my heart with eyes to comprehend the Knowledge of the Gods, to see the Heavens and the Earth as they are, to know the true names, the Nutjers, of all things?
“First embrace me”, the voice of the Netjer rings out from the splendid home of His shrine. “Welcome the day by welcoming my Ka into the heart of this Temple. This Temple is the heart where Creation is sparked, where new life springs forth like a stalk of wheat! My flame is the Sa of action known to all men, the desire to bring light into a dark place, the will to flourish even in the midst of dissolution. Light a fire in my presence when dawn’s fragile light first breaks over the horizon. This honors me, but it truly honors the Spirit of Creation present in all that lives. It speaks of solidarity with the coming into being of beingness itself. To light a fire is to invoke the presence of life’s beginnings, as the fire of seed, born of passion, invokes life and manifests Sa.
Bring incense, the divine fragrance, for the satisfaction of my Ka, for all sweet and beautiful things are the substance upon which I feed. I breathe Ma’at like the blossom of a lotus held to my nostrils, for She is the harmony of all created things functioning in their place, evolving coherently as compliments. Waft this fragrance before me as the pure offering of your heart, inhaling Truth, inhaling goodness. Bring fresh water and place it at my feet as a symbol of your purity, for the pure heart is my dwelling place and the vessel in which my Ka is submerged. Be submerged in purity and you will be submerged in me. Begin anew every day, casting off the fetters of yesterday, renouncing any ill that may be upon your heart, and cease to transgress on this new day that has been created for you and gifted to all living things. Cease to do ill and accomplish what is excellent in the manner of a just heart, a heart filled with nobility, a heart imbued with the Spirit of the Divine Ka.
Why else would you plunge in the Lake of Purification? Why else would you pour out water before me and light a fire in my House, if not to recreate the first day when all was new and untainted and filled with promise? This I bestow to you, my son, that you will go forward from this day at peace with your heart and in the embrace of the Netjer of your Ka. Create with me by creating this Temple as the manifestation of your heart. Continue the work of Creation by lighting a flame for the work of your Ka in this world. Such works as those completed by the Ka are eternal, and never suffer the way of death or diminishment. All good and pure works are embodiments of the first creative act, the act of transmitting the Sa, the Fluid of Life, for the benefit of all beings. To push back chaos, to embrace the Order of Creation through Ma’at, through Supreme Truth, is the eternal flame of my Temple, and to keep it is to keep Creation pure and sacred, to honor the finest qualities of the heart in men. Come forth and embrace me! Receive the Sa from which your Ka will flourish forever!”
Sa a’ah! The Ka of the Netjer Menu (Min) is manifest from His Divine House, the Mansion of the Great Leopard, the Celestial House in which dwell the Gods of the Heavens and the Earth. Surrounding Him on all sides are bolts of pure white light, and the aura rising up from His head is the green of real malachite. A fragrance of sandalwood is emitted by His presence, imbuing the air around Him with peace and beauty. His skin is black, both absorbing and manifesting translucent beams of light. His countenance is more beautiful than any Earthly man, though His endowments are those of all men. Shining perpetually, His body is unclothed, garbed only by the brightness of the Sun’s light. Manifesting the ardor of Creation and desire, the Netjer’s massive organ of love is swollen with seed in the throes of perpetual ecstasy. With His left fist He tightly grasps His throbbing organ, while His right arm is raised at His side in the gesture of protection.
With His right arm He supports the standard of the nekhakha, the flail of power and victory, the scepter for sweeping away all obstacles and chaos. Gold and real lapis lazuli grace His sturdy neck, the compliment of a thick, well-muscled body from whose sinews the aura of strength and valor proceeds. His firm chin is ornamented with the long and braided beard of all father gods, the repository of creative power. Neb Menu’s brow is crowned with the golden helmet and twin plumes that are His insignia, stretching regal and erect into the illumination above Him, quivering slightly with the elegant movements of His head.
The Great Leopard moves forward to meet my trembling obeisance, yet something in the calm pools of His dark green eyes stills the fear and awe in my heart, and lifts my Ka into the raptures of love. I am captured by Him, and His fragrance moves through me. The ocean of my heart is calm around me, reflecting the luminescence of His limbs, the rays of real turquoise and lapis cascading from His firm body. The Earth halts to receive the message of Heaven, as this Temple of mine is elevated into intoxication. My breath slows, my heart beats softly in my ears, and all at once I am filled by the moment of His Ka infusing my flesh with the Essence.
Sa Netjer. Sa ankh. Sa uwdj. First I am filled with white light, the incarnation of the Divine Sa. I am embraced by the hand of the God, receiving His Essence, shinning with the shield of His illumination, safeguarded from dissolution and fear. No ill can touch me as I walk upon the path now open before my feet. I cannot be taken in by darkness, nor can death destroy my Ka! I am empowered with the Essence of the Netjer and moved forward by its light. I am as the indestructible Stars!
Now I am granted the Nectar of Life in the manifestation of golden light, pouring into my nostrils, passing through my lips and quenching my throat, anointing my Ka with the everlasting life of Truth and Wisdom. I need not fear death, nor shall death claim me forever! My Ka shall rise to take its place with the Beings of Light Who reside with the Netjer, imbued with His indestructibility. I am claimed by life and will not stray from it forever! I am watered by the light of the Netjer’s Ka, and cannot be separated from It for eternity!
What comes to me now is the green fire of rebirth, blossoming from a stalk of papyrus, growing upwards from the feet of the God to wrap its vitality around my flesh. I am infused with new life as a gift from the Netjer. I cannot be cut back by the pitfalls of the Earth, nor ensnared by the jaws of weakness, terror or sin! My vibrancy is the vibrancy of the green Wedjat Eye, wholesome against all defilements! Everything touched by my heart shall flourish as a thing good and pure in the name of Ma’at. I cannot be cut down. My growth cannot be hindered forever!
The hand of Neb Menu cradles the nape of my neck, proffering divine shelter, allaying fear and granting love. His tenderness passes into me. The chambers of my heart are expanded, prepared to receive the breath of the Divine Ka. My lips part as His breath enters my mouth and nostrils in a stream of luminescent white light, His lips touching mine, the warmth of His body enveloping me like a flame. I am at once poured into Him, like water emptied out from an overflowing river. My lungs are charged with His breath, my heart submerged and quieted, my breath revivified.
I have been transformed into the God, my heart whispers to me, and the God has been transformed into me. I am as this Spirit of Creation ascending to the celestial ladder. I have removed my Earth and joined the Company of Spirits. I have gone down through the Primordial Waters and been raised up by the hand of the Air. Shuw is with me! Tefnuwt bestows to me Her breath of fire, and I am unhindered in my progress to the Imperishable Stars! What fetters can hold me? What hand can pull me back when I am imbued with the Savor of the Netjer, Lord of the Shining Standard!
O Spiritualized One, hear me! Take me down this road of yours called Ma’at, this lotus held at the nostrils of Ra. Articulate my feet that they might walk upon the proper course, steered by the Power of the God, His Sa from His body. I am the son of the Great Leopard, Keeper of the Celestial Temple, and I have received initiation in the House of the God. His anointment was bestowed to me, His words inscribed upon my heart, and I go forward as a vessel at the direction of Ma’at, firm on my course, infused with Wisdom from the mouth of the God.
I listen in silence. I progress in peace. I repel strife, greed, hatred and destruction! What I create is Creation, being the Essence of the All, Neb-Ra-Djar, the encompassment of all that is. I do not kill, I do not dismantle Creation, and I do not renounce the Netjer of my heart, the life of my Ka. I am filled with the Waters of Life, quenched in the Pool of Creation, and fed by the tree upon which Wisdom grows. My name is inscribed in the Book of the Netjer, and His Divine House opened before me. Where my heart remains known to me, there too shall dwell the Netjer my Lord. I go forth in peace, the way made free upon the approach of my feet.
The Temple now stirs with the swift approach of a new day, while the seclusion of the Sanctuary falls as calm as it was before the presence and voice of the God threw it into sudden and vibrant life. Ra has now emerged with His full glory in the reaches beyond, possessing an azure sky, welcomed home by a joyous chorus of birdsong. Will all be as it was before? Will I trek into the open day to find all as I had left it, confused and swarming with troubles that could find no solutions? What will my life be beyond the shining majesty of the God’s House, His Temple?
Or, can I remember in the world beyond that it is the heart that serves as the true dwelling place of the Divine Ka? Whatever else may be dedicated to His name, however glorious, however beautiful, it is the vessel of the heart that carries Him as the Mansion of the Spirit. I am at a loss for words, not knowing how to think or feel, and my calm body yearns for the welcome relief of sleep. But it is time for you to wake up, yells my heart. It is time for you to walk with both your eyes wide open! There is no time for sleep when the path of knowledge awaits, and a lifetime is piteously short! Remember to know me. Remember to keep me open, always. Remember to embrace your Netjer as the Sa of your own heart, and all your deeds will be worthy of your Higher Ka!
I bow my head to the Netjer in my heart, letting my breath settle, my heart grow silent again. What need have I of this thing around my neck, I ask myself as I am suddenly aware of the rolled and bound shelter hanging about me. Why should I put faith in such things, when my true shelter, my true protector is the unseen shield beating within my flesh? There lies my protection or my downfall, and all other things I should gratefully give back to the Netjer Who lights my way; for only in knowing gratitude can I truly give gratitude.
First I must feel it within my Self, and use its luminosity as a torch of generosity for others. I should give the contents of my heart to others through the act of giving itself, without expectation of a thing in return. Is this not the perfection of love, of all Truth, of the path of initiation woven by the Mysteries of the Netjeru? Are not the Netjeru manifest in the Kas of all living things, fed by the Sa from which Creation is conceived. In this I have found my purpose, and thankfully pour my heart out in the presence of my own Wisdom.
Bending down before the shrine of the Netjer, I lay my shelter as a token of my heart for all that has been so generously given. This is my Sa, my Essence, the life in my Spirit, and to that which fashioned it, I give it back without attachment. Such is the greatest gift I could give. Such is the greatest gift I could receive.
All text copyright © 2006, 2015 Rev. Ptahmassu K.M. Nofra-Uaa
I am often asked how one can serve the Netjeru (Gods) or connect with Them through the ancient rites if one is not a priestess or priest. Priestess/ priesthood is far from being the only effective way to engage the Gods. What if one does not have an elaborate altar or shrine full of icons/ cult statues? What if one does not know the medu-netjer (hieroglyphs)? These are very real concerns people new to Kemeticism have.
My answer to these questions may come as a surprise. I feel that a simple beginning is the most effective way to initiate a relationship with the Netjeru. Let’s start with respect. The Gods cannot be properly engaged without this most vital quality. Think of the way you would treat a guest to your home. You’d hopefully treat them with respect and courtesy. You’d offer them some refreshment, perhaps a nice meal. You’d invite them to get to know you better. Likewise, you’d make an effort to get to know them better. You’d be hospitable.
The Gods are like special guests when you invite Them into your life and into your home. You begin with showing reverence and respect. You don’t need to be clergy to do this! Even the smallest act, such as pouring out a bowl of wine or a cup of beer, has sacred meaning and power in Kemeticism. Clear away a few minutes at the start of each day, invite the Netjer (God) or Netjeret (Goddess) by speaking Their name out loud. Light incense, and offer that to the deity with as much respect and love as you can generate, and ask the deity to make Themselves known to you. Make an offering, perhaps a libation or vase of flowers. Even if you do not have an awakened cult image, and even if all you have is a picture from a book, use whatever image you have access to, even one you visualize inside your mind, and use that as a focal point for service.
Living a spiritual life, a healthy spiritual life, means making a concentrated effort to open yourself up to the Gods EVERY SINGLE DAY; not just in fancy rituals or in front of a formal shrine, but, much more importantly, during your workaday life as you go about your work and obligations. Learn to ponder the names of the Netjeru in your mind, and offer Them thanks or simple prayers in spare moments. The more you do this, the more you will feel the presences of the Gods joining you and making sacred contact. Each time this happens, your relationship with the Gods grows stronger, until you feel you are never separated from the Gods no matter where you are.
Just remember RESPECT, REVERENCE and OFFERING. These are the keys to establishing a full relationship with your Gods, and a healthy, truly fulfilling spiritual life.
All text copyright © 2015 Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa
What happens when we have a crisis of faith? People often ask me how I do it…how I seem to maintain this fierce devotion and conviction I have in my priestly life, and in general as a spiritual practitioner. People look at the way I live…the beautiful shrines I maintain, the dazzling rituals I get to perform, the way I strive to maintain and restore the Kemetic (Ancient Egyptian) traditions…and people seem to feel that it is effortless, or that I have the direct line to text message the Gods!
The funny thing is that I have spent much of my life feeling that I fall very short of the kind of spiritual person I seek to be. The closer I get to the doorway of the Gods, the more I am disappointed in how I have maintained my relationship with Them. I pray constantly, I perform the rituals ordained by the historic record…I keep the cult images sacred and share the festival offerings. I try as hard as I can to live a good life, a life in Ma’at, the Truth, the Right Way. Still, I feel that I have not quite fit the part.
I think we all feel these things at times, but what do we do about it? There are times when I ache so badly to be united with the Netjeru that I feel a terrible loss and hole in my heart. I realized quite a while ago that I was born with this feeling of loss, this hole in my heart, this sadness. It occurred to me that the only way I could soothe it was through love, devotion, and service.
Some people tell me that worshiping or serving the Gods is a demure state of affairs, that being humble before any deity is too much like organized religion, that it debases humankind. How can LOVE debase or degrade? How can service make us demure? How can worship, an act of true love, bring us low? One thing the human heart cannot argue against is TRUE LOVE! And just what is true love?
True love is altruistic, it seeks to give without expectation of a reward or recompense of any kind. True love only gives, and receives only in an unselfish manner. When we give to the Gods without expectation, this service manifests the same response from the ones to whom it is given. This is not a subservient or demure act, but an act of strength and freewill. It is the most excellent form of action, worship and love of which the human condition is capable. When we master this in our relationship with the Gods, then we can turn this outward, beyond ourselves, in order to give it to others. This makes others our equals. It uplifts our personal relationships, our families, our communities. It is the root of all enlightened experience.
So, when I feel this darkness and emptiness, and I ask myself how I can become the better man I want to be, I remind myself that LOVE is the real answer…not an abstract principle or ideal, but the kind of love we can use every single day as we go about our lives. I remind myself that service to the Gods through altruistic love forges an unbreakable bond between me and the Netjeru (Gods). When my service and love are selfless, then my Self actually experiences the true nature of the Gods, of Ma’at, more fully and deeply. How then can I feel I have reached a crisis of faith?
All text copyright © 2015 Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa
O PTAH, YOU ARE THE COMPASSIONATE EAR
YOURS IS THE VOICE OF TRUTH,
THE HAND OF JUSTICE,
THE SOURCE OF MERCY!
YOUR COUNTENANCE IS MA’AT,
FOR YOU ARE ITS LORD.
WHEN THE OPPRESSED CALL OUT,
WHEN THOSE WHO SUFFER
CRY FOR A CURE,
NO HEART IS LEFT IN DARKNESS,
FOR YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE GODS,
RADIATING FROM THE FIRST TIME.
HOMAGE TO YOU, O PTAH,
THE LORD OF TRUTH
UPON THE GREAT THRONE!
~ From the Daily Prayer to Ptah by Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa
Why do we ever feel a lack of love in our life? Is it because people don’t love us? Is it because someone we love doesn’t love us the way we feel we should be loved? Is it because we need a new car, a fancy pair of shoes…more money? Is it because we don’t love ourselves enough? I think not. When we feel a lack of love in our life it is because we are not loving enough, loving outside our self, finding a way to express the love we already feel deep down inside. When we keep it bottled up with negative emotions and want, then that love becomes stale and we feel I WANT MORE, MORE!
When we find the Netjer, the Deity, and reach inside creation to find the Netjeru-Gods, we find the ultimate source of love that can never be exhausted. New cars can be exciting. A new pair of shoes can make us feel sexy and important. Money isn’t a bad thing when used wisely. However, the finite things of this world are just that, finite. Eventually they are going to fall apart and go away. It is the Gods that remain, long after our new car loses its fantastic shine!
I find that when I wake up in the morning and my knees hit the floor in front of our shrine, I feel that source of love inside me growing outward, and filling me up. Love for and from the Gods cannot be exhausted. It cannot be spent, played out, or lose its shine. It continues to grow each time we light a candle, make an offering, pour out a libation. Especially when we call out the names of the Gods, we are not just invoking Them, but manifesting Their actual essence through the vibration of language, which itself is a direct manifestation of the Sacred.
The more we come close to the Gods in a tangible, immediate way, the more we feel a love that is permanent and substantial. We can use this love to enjoy the world we live in much more fully. We can see everything that fills up our world as the play of the Divine, and we can see the Gods acting through it. When we come into this kind of understand, then we will never feel completely alone again. We experience the Sacred fully and deeply, and our very life as the incarnation of the Netjer, the Great Divine.
All text copyright © 2015 Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa