KRT: Modern Priesthood – or a Philosophical Dialogue Between an Enby and an Akh

Since I didn’t have much original content to add to the discussion, I wrote a Platonic dialogue feat. myself and a couple of the akhu I work with. This is ~75% fictional as my entity-phone does not work that well and I can’t really astral consistently.

“Am I a priest?” I ask myself and apparently I do it loud enough to startle the akh who was reading the Pluriverse over my shoulder.

“This is an odd  question, kiddo. It’s not like you can become a priest by mistake or unwittingly, right?” he replies, recovering admirably quickly from his surprise.

“I guess? I don’t know? We’re doing a round-table debate thing among kemetics and everybody is like, I didn’t think I was a priest but as it turns out probably I am. I am confused,” I confess.

“Maybe I can help. Let’s pretend is a job interview for a priestly role, maybe it will help you get clarity,” he proposes.

“No offence, but have you ever done a job interview?” I ask.

“I will have y tat I have done loads, especially for priests. I had to replace a whole load of them through my career, and it was a highly selective process,” he replies, trying to look down his imposing nose at me, not an easy feat since he’s noticeably shorter than me.

“Alright, alright, let’s do it then,” I acquiesce.

“Great, so… do you have any experience with doing rituals for cosmic maintenance and re-charging divine power?” he starts.

Easy questions first, eh?

“Yes , well, sure,” I reply, after a moment of hesitation “Last January I have done 8 consecutive days of Ptah Lifts the Eye ritual, I regularly offer Ma’at to the nTrw and I even tried to do morning and evening hymns to Ra for a bit, before it became too much,”

” I can see why it did. Your sleeping schedule is horrendous,” the akh replies.

“Gee, thanks for letting me know,”

“Anytime, kiddo. So, are you familiar with temple hymns and rituals?” he continues blythely, ignoring my sarcasm.

“Sure. I mean, except for some personal piety stuff left from your time period or thereabouts, most of what we have left of religious practices and texts comes from temple ritual because normal folks were illiterate. That used to be secret knowledge, but it’s all over the internet now. People use it on the regular,” I explain with a shrug.

“Some people are still having conniptions over that Over There, but  you all think it’s a good thing, right? Open Source, commons and all that,” he points out.

“Yeah, I mean, that is exactly it… I am surprised you caught up on that, though,”

“I read more than economic policy over your shoulder, kiddo. Information is the key to victory, I have learned that the hard way,” the akh points out with a wry smile.

I refrain from commenting, but yeah, everybody who knows him knows how hard he learned that. Oof. Better to let it go.

“Good for you, man,” I say instead, wondering how often he does that and how many questionable fanfics he might have ended up reading. Poor dude. Maybe I should warn him before going on AO3 next time.

“Have you got any experience writing your own prayers and rituals based on temple ones?” he continues, keeping in character.

“I have written plenty of devotional poetry, some hymn-like, and a few rituals. Sometimes there isn’t anything already made and Reidy just doesn’t cut it,” I reply, glad of the change of topic.

“There is nothing wrong with Reidy, kiddo,” he chides.

“Not as such, no, but it’s  super long and involved and it’s not like I have all that time to spare, do I? You just said I don’t sleep enough,” I retort.

“It’s still shorter than what we used to do back in the day,” he points out.

“Back in the day people didn’t have two other jobs on top of doing rituals, did they? Being a priest was a full time, well-remunerated job with all the benefits,” I insists and, surprisingly, he backs off.

“Fair enough. Let’s move on, shall we? Do you have experience organising public rituals?”

“A little bit? It’s more fun and more power if you have a group of friends to do a ritual with. We can’t do it  all the time, though, people are very busy, but we try,”

“I’ll put that down as a yes,” he summarises.

“And do you study and/or analyse the nature of the nTrw, of Ma’at and of the world and write essays and commentaries about it?” he asks finally.

“Guilty as charged. I do it for fun,”

“Nerd,” he teases.

“Jock,” I tease right back and his reaction leaves me kind of speechless for a moment.

“I love you too, kiddo,” he says with a fond smile.

“And the results are in, I’d say,” he continues, switching back to his usual confident, flippant attitude “You perform many of the functions of a priest already, you know how to read and write and have all those juicy transferable skills to do with budgeting and project management. Back in the day you’d definitely be hired. Not as a high priest straight away, you’re too junior for that, but perhaps as a more junior position, like lector or sem,” he explains smoothly, in what must be the oddest instance of career counselling ever.

“Thanks, I guess?” I venture weakly.

“You don’t seem too happy. Why is that?” he asks, looking puzzled.

“I don’t know. I never imagined myself as a priest, you know? I am just a bookworm who cannot keep a schedule to save zir own life. And I am, like, not sure we should have priests. This is how you end up having organised religion,” I try to explain.

“And we all know you emphatically don’t like that,” he concludes for me, poking me in the ribs with a finger.

“I don’t think it’s the right kind of thing for kemeticism. We can’t become just yet another random church with an elite of people who Do Things and a whole lot of spectators who have no say in how things are organised and which direction our theology is going,” I retort, stepping away. I am not really in the mood for beaing teased. Not about that.

“From the sounds of it, it looks like you’ll have a whole group of people who are all priest-like in some ways. That sounds pretty horizontal, doesn’t it?” he insists with an unconcerned shrug.

“Think about it, you’re all tied up with that leaderfulness and peer-to-peer kingship concept, aren’t you?” he continues and I cannot help but nod in agreement.

I have been banging on that drum for long enough that all the akhu that hang around me must be sick of it.

“Well, I’ll have you know that priestly functions were a big part of being a king, back in the day, so as a sovereign person among sovereign persons, child of Ra, and all that, it stands to reason that you have to priest as well, sometimes,” he explains animatedly, gesticulating widely.

“Priest is not a verb.” That’s all I can object, because he’s not wrong, is he?

If sacred kingship is distributed, then the function of cosmic maintenance is too and that is making Ma’at, sure, but it is also performing the rites to energise the nTrw and be energised in turn. Because all flourishing is mutual.

Fuck.

“It is now,” he retorts with a smug smile, crossing his arms on his chest and cocking an eyebrow at me.

I low-key want to slap the smugness off his face, but even though he’s a whole 4 inches shorter than me and all dressed up in the finest linen and enough jewellry for Madonna, he’s a fighting nut, and I don’t want to get my ass handed out to me, not even in the astral.

“I am not a sore loser,” I tell myself, counting slowly to ten.

“Let’s say you’re right…” I start, casting him a withering glance when he opens his mouth to speak.

“We’re priesting because basically that’s what we’re all primed to do nowadays because of our sources, but actually we could say we’re not priesting, we’re kinging,” I propose.

“That’s not a verb either,” he points out, but I just decide to ignore him and carry on.

“And ultimately it doesn’t matter much because what matters is cosmic maintenance and community building.”

“That’d be fun to do if everybody is a king,” he comments.

“You somehow managed not to have another war with the Hittites for fifty years, didn’t you? Even if you were a massive jerk to their Labarna,” I point out.

The akh blushes almost as red as his hair.

“To be fair he deserved it,” he protests weakly.

“I am not contesting that. He was a premium grade a-hole, but still. If you lot could do it, we can do it,” I declare confidently.

“And how would you go about it?” he challenges.

“Uh, I don’t know. Maybe set up affinity groups to deal with specific projects in a non-hierarchical way? Share resources online, sort of like a library? Make up a calendar of ritual events people can drop into? Uhhhhh… And maybe make up a code of conduct and a declaration of anti-fascist and anti-racist principles for Ma’at, and for the rest leave folks to practice however the heck they like? Something  like a kemetic Pluriverse, a world where many worlds can fit?” I blurt out.

“Hey! That’s not half bad for a… What do you call it again? Oh yes, a high-speed-bulshitting session,” he applauds.

Evidently my awful language has rubbed off on him. Yay me.

“It’s a good start,” I concede.

“I am a good mentor, admit it,” he prods, grinning wide.

I cast him another withering look.

“Eh, you’re alright,” I retort but even that cannot burst his self-congratulatory bubble.

“I am glad it helped you,” he continues.

“Is Yaru so boring you’re happy to play sounding board to a random kemetic?” I cannot help but ask.

“Not many random kemetics give us blanket invitations to reside in their head rent free and read their books over their shoulder,” he points out.

“And not many akhu have a chance to help shape what kemeticism will look like in the future. Like I always tell Father, we chose well in picking you,” he adds after a brief, thoughtful pause.

“Uh,” I say, while trying to articulate.

“But if you want to consider yourself in debt, you could get the Kate Raworth book to read next,” he concludes with another wide grin.

“Don’t even try, you scoundrel! You’ve picked the last book already! It is my turn now!” another akh interrupts, dark eyes glinting with fury.

“Then you should have tried to make yourself useful like I do, instead of moping around muttering about the agrarian reform. Such a mentor you are,” my self-appointed mentor retorts, seemingly unconcerned, but he stands and his casual stance shifts into a loose guard.

Did I mention that Akh #2 is a fighting nut as well?

The situation does not bode super well. They’re not armed, yet, but in the astral that can change in the blink of an eye and I don’t want to end up being collateral damage or having to explain to friends and family of the akhu why they went back to Yaru or Asphodel looking like they’d been through a meat grinder.

“You arrogant…” Akh #2 grits out, taking a step forward, but before things can escalate any further I place myself directly between them, keeping them apart by virtue of the fact that neither is mad enough to be willing to harm me to get to the other, yet.

“Look, folks, there is absolutely no need to behave like this. The Pluriverse has lots of bits about the agriculture and debt, as well as economic policy, and the Kate Raworth book will be the same. Now, you can cut this competitive crap and be my mentors together, or I can ban you both from the reading sessions,” I declare.

“You wouldn’t!” they exclaim in unison.

“Do you want to test that hypothesis?” I challenge.

The two do not reply but, reluctantly stand down, muttering under their breath as they return to their seats.

“That’s better,” I say.

Positive reinforcement is supposed to be good, isn’t it?

“Now where were we? Ah, yes, buen vivir as a political praxis,” I comment, restarting the session.

At some point I will have to write the whole priesting discussion down, but that is a problem for future me.

Present me already has zir hands full making sure the reading session doesn’t end in a free-for-all.

Some Academic Resources in French (but not Exclusively)

As I was running ragged looking for resources on my KDE assignment, I came across some resources, so I might as well share

OpenEdition (freemium, no need to log in): is a French, but not exclusively, platform of digital social sciences, which collects lots of books and publications on a bunch of subjects, including, but not limited, to Ancient Egypt. Most rticles are either Open Access or Freemium, which means you can read them online, but not download them unless you have an institutional subscription.
Key points of interest I found are:

Revue NEHET, digital egyptological magazine of the Sorbonne University + Universite’ Libre de Bruxelles: 6 thematic volumes, all free to download, no login required.

This thesis from the Pisa University (free to download) on the various traditions on the perishability of deities, which I downloaded because of the Ogdoad of Hermopolis but where I also learned that a bunch of forms of Seth, including Seth of the Trees/of Chenoboskion were considered divine ancestors in Edfu, which is, like, weird AF.

Lexilogos: a summary page on all the resources on Ancient Egyptian Language.
I tried the Project Rosette dictionary (free to use, no login required) and it works amazing.

For the future, I am trying to turn the resources page into a github, so people can contribute, add and edit. Please leave a comment if you are at all interested with helping.

KDE 2020 – Kekui for Rediankhesi

It’s that time of the year again, KDE time! As usual, thanks to Rekeh-Wer for organising this event and making sure people and their deities can mingle as usual.

My KDE partner for this year was Rediankhesi, and the deity I was assigned was Kekui. I have to say that this was quite a challenge, first because there is very little “canon” info on Him and his partners in the Ogdoad, apart from some papers from prof. Christine Zivie-Coche (more on this on the next post), secondly because the poor Deity has been subverted by the neo-n/a/z/i neckbeard squad over 4/c/h/a/n so looking Him up is a freekin’ minefield and at some point I really needed some brain bleach due to research accidents.

In the end I decided to go with my intuition and abandon the search for academic refs. On Ancient Egypt… because primordial darkness, and pre-existing the Sun and the cosmos… that is astrophysics-y shit and I love it!
So what I did in the end was to binge on podcasts about black holes and dark matter (see below), and it fits like a hand in glove.

Episode #1 of the Royal Astronomical Society podcast on space stuff, hosted by astrophysicist Dr Becky Smethurst and science journalist Izzie Clarke
Podcast episode by the great and awesome Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-host Chuck Nice

Supermassive black holes sit in the middle of Galaxies, maybe they pre-exist them, no one knows for sure, and they regulate the mass and movement of every single star in the universe. You can never see, them, just observe their effects. Even in the pic below, what you see in the middle is the absence of signal inside the Event Horizon. They slurp up everything, that is true, but they also emit a shitton of energy, mostly in the form of X-rays, which crash through gas clouds orbiting around them and guess what? They push the gases together to make new stars!

The first direct visual image of a black hole in Messier 87, a supergiant elliptical galaxy in the constellation Virgo, taken on 11 April 2017 by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) – Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 , the EHT consortium

And don’t even get me started on dark matter. It makes 5/6ths of the mass of the universe, its composition is unknown and perhaps unknowable, and yet its presence regulates the movement of the stuff we can see!

Dark Matter and gas in a simulation, CC-BY-SA-4.0 Illustris Collaboration via Wikimedia Commons

Kekui loves astrophysics confirmed.

So, phase II of the KDE was to manage some offerings, which was also far from easy, since I am at my parents right now.
I managed to get some reasonably cool mineral water and a dark chocolate-covered almond croccante as offerings (this shit is amazing…), found an old pendrive shaped like a frog from my sister and recovered my handmade tyet knot, ankh and was sceptre to boost the offering. Apologies for the shit altar cloth, it’s a tablecloth. XD

Top left is an offering formula I wrote. it goes like:

Dua Kekui, kkw sm3w

Darkness Unified

Darkness which holds the cosmos together

You Who were before the First Dawn and still remain.

You Who are Potential, ready to become

You Who are that 90% of the mass of the universe

dark, unknown, potentially unknowable

Which fills the cosmos

and sets the stars and galaxies in motion

You, Darkness which cannot be penetrated

Which cannot be seen but for the effect it has on the light around,

Event Horizon Who bend the light

and spin the galaxies around Your awesome mass

Whose sound fills the universe with deep, ponderous harmony

Last boundary Which cannot be passed

Which cannot be penetrated or probed

Which cannot be illuminated

yet without Which nothing would be as it is,

Dua Kekui, You Who allow the First moment to exist,

and sink out of the limelight, content in your mystery and your solitude

You Who are That Which we cannot comprehend,

pervading the universe we inhabit

Dua Kekui!

Dua!

Dua!

Phase III was a meditation. I went to sleep while listening to the “podcast” below, which is a human-audible rendition of the x-ray background hum from a black hole, recorded by NASA. I have to say I slept pretty easily while listening to it.

I was hoping to get some kind of communication from Kekui, but all I remember was a dream about the Justice League, in which Batman decided to be less of a fascist asshole and come up with a plan to concretely help people with an emergency, instead of the default option of beating up mentally ill folks and forced the rest of the superheroes to do something useful too.
It felt sort of relevant, but IDK.

Tl;dr: it was a bit McGyvered due to location constraints, but I did the KDE for Kekui. I am relatively pleased and I hope the requester will be pleased too. IDK if I will continue working with this deity, but it was a good experience.

KRT 2020 – Ma’at

Welcome back after a year or so of hiatus. In all honesty my mental state tanked a little bit after the UK GE 2019 because I couldn’t believe the results. Fast forward through a year of activism, grant-writing and quarantine and here I am, writing again about Ma’at.
Writing, well, more like recapping stuff I have already written because I didn’t have the time or energy to do in-depth research because of grant-writing, mainly. If you want I could write about EGFR and microvesicles at length with new material.
Publish or perish is a thing and once you’re on the academic threadmill you have to keep on running, unfortunately, at least until capitalism is done for and public research is properly funded at all levels, putting resources and results in common to satisfy human needs instead of profit. #VaccinesForAll, like, seriously.

Due to these constraints, here are some bullet points instead of a full essay:

Point #1 – Ma’at is the natural, state, and fuck Hobbes with a meteor iron spear

I know, you all heard it a million times, humans are naturally evil/selfish/assholes/you name it, life is a cutthroat business and you either come out on top or get stepped on, and the only think keeping people from murdering each other willy nilly is the State (TM).
Well, that’s bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit.
Because when shit really hits the fan, when the storm batters down the levee walls, when the earth shakes and plague strikes and the State (TM) lies in shambles, what really happens is that people help each other, that communities form among the ruins, spontaneously. They dig up the survivors, and redistribute food and resources, they self-organise and build a bit of utopia among the wreckage.

Do you want sources? Here are the sources!

COVID-related. Click through only if you can stomach it.

Most of the awful and violent consequences of disasters are produced by “authorities” and elites going in full panic mode and repressing spontaneous emergency responses left right and center (Strong TW: death, violence, repression, natural disasters)

https://open.spotify.com/embed-podcast/episode/2OANyt3WIUSGAZTRlnqbfc

Point #2 – If something contradicts point #1, it’s probably lying for profit

“People cannot be trusted”,” you need law and order” and “without the State (TM) you’ll have utter chaos” are narratives functional to the system, that are reinforced by it and reinforce it, justifying and normalising the injustice inherent in the system. The news cycle and many so-called “intellectuals” are a key tool to do this (see this Guardian article or this article on the “War on Drugs” or this article about the normalisation of Islamophobia in the UK), but so are other narratives, including every shitty dystopia written by white cis male folks, and Batman and all the grimdark tripe that sells so well.
See for example this discussion of bulshitty pro-hegemonic tropes in “classic” sci-fi – http://locusmag.com/2014/03/cory-doctorow-cold-equations-and-moral-hazard/

TL; DR: all the stories that perpetuate the idea that the world is cruel and it should be (but not to people like you, of course, only to people who are different, criminal, or question the “Natural rules” on how things should be), that altruism and solidarity are luxuries and that loyalty and sympathy needs to go to the in-group, pave the way for people to expect and perform cruelty in times of crisis and to try to be on the good (loyal, productive, valuable) side of the divide between those who are going to be allocated resources and those who are going to be left behind, and to perform and enact this division to gain social brownie points. All of these stories, no matter how edgy or profound they might seem, serve the system.

Point #3 – The system is not your friend and it needs to go

And yes, the system is strong and it looks unassailable, but guess what? In 1788 people thought that they’d never see the day when absolute, divine monarchy would fall. Slavery was a given until people made it stop by fighting relentlessly against it, even though it was illegal, like, very illegal. Helping Jewish people during the Shoah or opposing na/zi wankers was also illegal, but some people said fuck no and did it anyway.

And yes, some more bullshit comes up at every turn. We have neo-na/zi wankers back on the public scene, and inequality is ramping up to Ancien Regime levels, so what is the point? Turds float, my friend, and the characteristics that make us so efficient at cooperating can be exploited to make us gang up against groups of people that have some characteristic which differs from ours, especially if resources are made to be scarce or perceived to be scarce and if there is political clout or power to be gained. Only if the people are united, they will ever win.

It is is convenient and easy to be an asshole, yes, as long as you’re part of a group that is safe within it (for now), but not everybody has the luxury to do so.

For the rest of us there is only the fight. And by fight I don’t mean just kicking na/zis in the nuts or throwing stones at the police. The fight starts with saying no, with caring for others and building communities even when they tell you that there is no society, only individuals (fuck you, Margaret Tatcher, fuck you very much), with repairing stuff when everything tells you to just throw it away and consume more, with surviving and taking care of yourself even when the system deems you “unworthy”, with imagining new Ma’atian futures, with telling better stories and making them real little by little.

Imagination is a weapon, never forget it, that’s why it’s constantly under attack.

Point #4 – How do I figure out if what I am doing is Ma’at? An Addendum

TTR proposed a great model in one of their permaculture-inspired posts on Ma’at. Go ahead and use it. The only point on which I respectfully disagree is on using shame as an indicator.

People can feel ashamed of things of which they were victims, like losing their job, or being assaulted, etc. The system shames you for failing to tick the boxes it has prepared for you to lead a cookie-cutter life that doesn’t question it. Conversely the system rewards people for isfetic behaviour, and many people feel not an ounce of shame for hoarding money, exploiting people or distriminating and dehumanizing them. The system justifies the injustice it creates as natural, even though its is 100% not.

The key point here I suppose is that you have to analyze your shame, instead of using it as an absolute indicator. Is the shame you’re feeling coming from:

  1. Having suffered something awful that happened to you through agency of an external entity and blaming yourself for it? Examples: losing your job, being victim of a crime – not an indicator of i/sfet, and I am really sorry that you’re feeling that way. My inbox is always open if you need to talk.
  2. Not conforming to arbitrary standards codified in the system regarding how you should look, your levels of performance, your health or mental health, your relationships or lack thereof? – also not an indicator of i/sfet. Systemic bullshit is really hard to unlearn. It’s a journey, and if you need support my inbox is always open.
  3. Not conforming to your own ideals of a good and righteous life? – maybe an indicator of i/sfet
    • Did you have a choice in economic, practical or health-related terms? If no, it’s not an indicator of i/sfet, sorry. We’re all hostages of the system in one form or the other, especially if we’re poor. Do the best you can, but no one can and should ask you more than that.
  4. Having deliberatly taken power away from others and/or having explicitly or implicitly supported or reinforced hegemonic narratives about injustice? – definitely and indicator of i/sfet at play.

Point #5 – Concluding Remarks

Here is a bunch of my other writings on Ma’at, if you’re thirsty for more.

Also, and because imagination is a weapon against i/sfet = the system, I’m helping facilitate a workshop/ritual on Ma’atian Futures over at the KFASS Discord tomorrow 21/12 at 10 pm CET. We’ll try to make heka for Ma’at by narrating possible futures where every human being can thrive and flourish and non-human beings like forests are valued for themselves and not just for the value humans can extract from the. Everybody is welcome to partecipate!

Second out! See you next time!

Political Prayer for UK GE 2019

Oh nTrw for the four corners of the world,
Oh you from the East,
Oh you from the West,
Oh you from the South,
Oh you from the North,
Oh you Great Ones,
Oh you Small Ones,
Please look upon the UK with favour this week,
Place Ma’at in the hearts of the people,
From East to West,
From North to South,
Place it before their eyes,
Whisper it in their ears,
Make them taste in the bread they eat, in the beer they drink,
Remind them daily of what Ma’at means,
Steel their hearts and their minds against the seductive lies of i/s/f/e/t
Let them shun those who seek to divide them because of the creed they profess or the colour of their skin,
Let them be disgusted of the greed of those who engender disaster to reap the spoils among the confusion,
Let their hearts be repulsed by those who value life so little that they have willingly let 130.000 people die since 2010,
Let them remember the First Day, when Ra established the Four Good Deeds,
Let their hearts remember that this land and this air we hold in common and that the poor should benefit of the flood as well as the great.
Let them remember the West and be good ancestors for the generations to come,
Let them choose community over division,
Let them choose fairness over greed,
Let them choose solidarity instead of scapegoating,
Let their voices be true and their acts be effective for Ma’at on this election,
Let them be like Ra on the Day of Creation,
Let them be like Seth on the Solar Barque, destroying the w/o/r/m,
Let them be like Horus, protecting his father,
Let them see clearly and act justly like Hr-wy-f, sound of eye, strong of arm.
Let Ma’at triumph in this land daily, and especially on Thursday the 12th of December 2019, like on the Day of Creation, always and forever and I will give you 1000 loaves of the finest bread, 1000 jars of the sweetest beer, 1000 bolts of linen, 1000 amphorae of the most parfumed oil, 1000 of the choicest products of the land held in common, 1000 jars of publicly owned water and everything good and pure and beautiful on which a nTr lives.

Ma’at and the Just Transition

Just in case anyone is wondering, no, I didn’t get swallowed by the Upside Down or anything, it’s just that after WR this year my life was basically entirely composed of working and agitating for climate justice, that is agitating for Ma’at. Because let’s not forget: Ma’at was always political, and everything we do (or don’t) is political.

Defining Ma’at is notoriously hard as it is a composite amalgam of truth, justice and social cohesion which privileges right action and good speech over having the correct beliefs and which has the objective of preserving and regenerating creation.

From instruction texts to tomb autobiographies, it appears clearly that people in a position of privilege have to act in their communities to reinforce social cohesion and prevent social exclusion and destitution of the most vulnerable. Social care is at the centre of acting for Ma’at.
it’s paternalistic, yes, but it’s better than what our politicians are doing now, blaming the vulnerable for being vulnerable and leaving them isolated and unsupported.

For the Ancient Egyptians, thoughts and prayers were not enough to deserve a spot in the Fields of Reeds next to Osiris and the other nTrw.
Borrowing Victor Hugo’s words, for the Ancient Egyptians to love Ma’at was to act, both to repeal i/sfet and to make more Ma’at in the world.
The taks of keeping creation intact and prosperous was entrusted mostly to the king, but each human had the capability of choosing to follow Ma’at (and thus help creation) or not.
It’s all there, together with fundamental equality, in the Third Deed of Ra on the Day of Creation:

I made every person like his or her fellow and I did not command them to do evil. It was their own hearts and minds that caused them to disobey that which I said

Ra, Coffin Texts (via Maulana Karenga)

Nowadays we’re facing a general systems collapse of our environment. Soon it will be beyond any regeneration. The collapse of the environment in some areas like Central America and the Arid Belt between Africa, the Arab Peninsula and the Indian Subcontinent is already driving mass migration of people and this is leading to the building of walls and prison camps, to the exacerbation of racism, xenophobia and islamophobia.
Soon it might turn into a mad scramble to protect what scarce resources are left, so that one nation might last a bit longer than the others.
Eco-fascism looms on the horizon.

I/sfet is on the verge of winning .

People, especially male, white, Anglo writers, bemoan the moral failures of human nature, or of civilisation, but as I said before, the fault of this clusterfuck is not of the Indigenous people who have always tried to protect their lands and water, nor of the subsistence farmers and artisans in the Global South, whose emissions are basically nothing, and not even of the people in the Global North who try to make end meets by jumping hoops within a system that looks inescapable.

The cause of the climate crisis, as well as of austerity, and the crisis of democratic representation which os leading to populism and fascism across the world is capitalism.
Capitalism is not compatible with Ma’at. It pushes profit as the core value at the center of the world and justifies anything done in its name, be it exploiting people or exploiting nature. It forces human beings, an exquisitely social species, to engage in ruthless competition to survive, it destroys communities, it leaves humans with barely enough time to throw together a meal and collapse in a bed, let alone engage with politics.

It is a clusterfuck, and it has to go. It’s either it or us, even the science agrees now.

[…] limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require “rapid and far-reaching” transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities.

IPCC 2018 report, executive summary

Change will have to happen, but for now we’re only being told that “consumers” have all the power to change things and that even if the vast majority of the emissions have come from about 100 mining and fossil fuel companies, the so-called “Carbon Majors”, with a large but hard-to-quantify contribution from imperialist military operations, everything would be better if we just became all vegan, only bought overproced organic, ethic or sustainable products and never ever travelled to visit our parents in our countries of origin, lowered the heating in our pooorly insulated, draughty, poorly-constructed houses, and somehow managed to pull-off 2h commutes to work from the shitty and suburbs where we can afford to live by bike or non-existent public transport. We’ve seen how well this went for Macron in France…

Don’t get me wrong, all of these things can help, and I encourage you to think of the ways you can reduce your carbon footprint, compatibly with your levels of disposable income and time and your mental and physical help, but I also beg you not to beat yourself up if there are things you cannot do for any reason, because that is just the tip of the frikkin’ iceberg and the over-emphasis on this is just a guilt trip, a distraction tactic meant to demoralise people and keep them from acting where the action is needed.

Because there are alternatives to things continuing the same way and to the world turning into an eco-fascist austerity hellscape where resources are only allocated to those deemed “worthy” and everyone not white, straight and abled enough is just left to die.

There are lots, and they take care not just of the climate, but also of workers’ rights and living conditions, of democracy, of rebuilding societies and social cohesion, while reducing our energetic and material footprint.
I know because I helped write one of them (I’m not going to tell you which one, but you’re free to guess).
They are called Green New Deals, and at the core all of them are based on public investment in renewable energies and other socially useful (but not profitable enough for private capital) projects such as upgrading housing so that it’s actually insulated and consumes less energy to heat and cool, upgrading public transport or restoring environments and caring for them, all of this while creating local jobs in social, child and healthcare, paying proper salaries to teachers and cleaners and catereres and all the low-carbon, high-social value professions that are now being shat upon by capitalism, and taxing the crap out of polluters and transnational corporations.
They also include public control of energy companies and public transport, because those are strategic resources that cannot left to privates to control for profit, and a reduction of working hours for everybody with the same salaries or better. Because we need time to care for ourselves, society and the environment and even just to, you know, rest.
The best among them also have democratic control of workplaces, community ownership of distributed energy generation and radical municipalisation (which means that each city deals with its own issues and neighbouring cities deal together with issues in the region, etc…) and most of them embed global justice in their workings by providing mechanisms of reparation towards countries in the Global South, indigenous communities and other marginalised communities, by prioritising the funding to their own community-led sustainable transition.

They all make the transition possible and just by enabling and supporting sustainable behaviour and by centering workers and communities as actors of change and source of resilience and sustainability, instead of asking the vulnerable and marginalised to decide between the end of the world and the end of the month.

Here are the ones I know of, in case you want to read them yourself (I encourage you to do so):

There are probably more out there, so if you know any other that I didn’t mention, please comment below and I will add it to the list.

I could talk about Green New Deals and the importance of a worker- and community-led transition for a hours (I already have) but the important thing about all of this is the fact that we have a solution, and it can be applied tomorrow and it can stop this mess and give the world a fighting chance to survive and regenerate.

This is Ma’at, but this is not going to sprout off the ground fully formed on its own.
No, like very other piece of Ma’at ever in the history of the world, we have to fight for it.
The only way to ensure that this plan goes forward in the face of opposition from the usual economic interests and that we have a Green New Deal before it’s too late is to fight harder.

We need action, and I’m not talking getting arrested like it’s nothing so that you can get activist kudos (and a beating and perhaps a hefty fine, if you’re not super lucky and/or white and cishet and abled).
This is what I am actually talking about:

  • Read the documents if you can, make note of what you like and what you don’t like about them.
  • Talk about this with your friends and families, with the people in your social network, school or workplace (be careful of your boss). Tell them that a solution is at hand if we can only build the strength to grasp it.
  • Make sure to know which parties and candidates support a GND or similar resolution in your local area. Vote for them and campaign for them. Without adequate political support, this is not going to happen in time, and the 2020 US Presidential election is absolutely key to unlocking a GND wave.
  • Join the Sunrise Movement, UKSCN, FFF, Earth Strike or other just transition-supporting movements and partecipate in their actions and protests.
  • Join the IWW, the CNT, IP or another less radical union and make sure they endorse the local GND or prepare to write their own if one is not available. Campiagn for your union to adopt stringent motions on climate action. Make sure your union is gearing up to protest and strike for climate justice, jobs and dignity.

Climate grief is real and is valid, but grieving alone is not going to fix things.

Thoughts and prayers alone have never brought Ma’at about, and it is so close this time… We’re on the sandbank of the w/orm, but we can still vanquish it and triumph over i/sfet.
All of us are kings in these weird times of king-less, democratic, anarchic Kemetic renaissnce,or at least many practitioners seem to think so, me included, so while we might not have been the people responsible for how this shit went down (not yet alive, too young, not actually able to choose an alternative because Capitalocene), now we’re at a point in which we have to act like the Children of Ra we are, like the Living Horus we are, like the future Osiris, like the future ancestors we are and make sure we make Ma’at so that the world might live.

So, don’t just mourn. Organise! Fight!
Make Ma’at in your local community, make others take the mantle of kingship and push Ma’at forward.
We need everybody on board and on fire to win.

Seth VS Climate Breakdown

This year I have been very hard pressed to keep a regular schedule of worship and rituals.
I recently realised that I havent’t been to the library to research in almost a year and the Ma’at Community Rituals that I have tried to host have gone on hiatus almost after the first episode.

Many factors have contributed to this: I have been trying to apply for fellowships and grants to start my own lab (it didn’t work out), my SO had a flare-up of his autoimmune condition and we’ve been working on lots of original solarpunk fiction and comics, but the main reason is that I have been heavily involved with the struggle against climate breakdown.

From the Week of Rest I organised on Discord and here in January onwards, I have been campaining, demonstrating, organising, leafletting and debating almost non-stop and that has left me almost no time or energy to devote to other devotional pursuits.
I do not consider this to be a fallow time, however. Much upon the contrary. I know that several deities are pushing me to do my best and engage even further with this cause.

Seth is one of them.
Why, some may ask. Aren’t chaos and storms just right up his alley?
Well, yes and no, and the reasons why are multiple.
One of them has to do with something that happened a long, long time ago, in the Neolithic.

You see, once the Sahara desert didn’t exist. In is place there was a vast stretch of savannah and scrub, kept alive by seasonal monsoons, something like the Serengeti plains. People roamed the expanse, first as hunter-gatherers, then as pastoralists, with huge herds of longhorn cattle, much like the Masai.
They had learned how to make ceramics from the Neolithic cultures of the Middle East, but practiced limited agriculture.
They didn’t need it: the monsoon and their cattle provided everything they needed and they developed a complex cattle-and-astronomy based cult which they supposedly performed in megalithic structures and rock shelters located in what is now the middle of the desert.
Perhaps they used them to pray to the Great Longhorn Bull in the Sky, Giver of Rain.

About 6000 years ago something happened: the monsoon belt in the Indian Ocean shifted southward, the life-giving rains diminished year by year and then stopped almost completely. The land dried and eroded, until it was unable to sustain even hypermobile pastoralism.
The people were faced with a choice: stay and die, or leave all they had known behind and find a new beginning in a new, unfamiliar land.
Of those that chose to stay behind nothing is known, but the scholars are in agreement that those who left came to a large valley where a large river gave life to the land, apparently without requiring any help for the rain and settled, perhaps at the mouths of the caravan roads, closest to the land that used to be their home.

The Saharan Ceramic populations contributed to the melting pot that was Predynastic Egypt.
Perhaps they even brought some of their gods with them.

There is no way to prove it, but I have some strong feelings that they did, at least one: the Lord of the Sky, Great Longhorn Bull Who Dwells in the Northern Sky, Lord of the Desert, Protector of the Exiles and the Outcasts, Seth the Great of Strength.
In a way, he’s already been through a period of climate-driven civilisation crisis and collapse before, and he knows what risks and tragedies are inherent in them.

And what makes this second run even worse was that the first time around it was a natural, cyclic phenomenon (the Sahara has been alternativel green and a desert many times before), while this time humanity is responsible, with various individual degrees of culpability, from those who knew what the consequences of their economic and technologic choices were but tried to bury the data so that they could enrich themselves, to those who enabled them to do so though their political power, to those who didn’t know better and thought that everything was fine, to those who are trapped in a system where doing the right thing is much harder and expensive than just going alond with habits and practices which destroy the environment.

I probably said this before, but climate breakdown is i/sfet just as much as fascism, imperialism and capitalist explotation. In fact they are all aspects of the same problem and now they are showing themselves at the clearest in recent history, without embellishments.

XR goes on about the future of our children and grandchildren, but in reality the consequences of this system are already a reality for Black and Brown and indigenous communities across the world and in particular in the Global South, who have their human rights violated, who have their land stolen for plantations, who have fracking and drilling for more fossil fuels imposed upon them, who have their water reserves depleted, their homes and livelihoods swept away bt extreme climate events and even their efforts to survive by fleeing criminalised.

It has been proven that the Mediterranean refugee crisis and the Migrant Caravans heading for North America both have their roots in climate injustice (as well as in the economic injustice that keeps Global South economies indebted and dependent on the Global North), however when they arrive they are only met with racism, xenophobia and islamophobia.

It is known that the longer we take to act upon climate breakdown, the more these frontline communities are going to suffer, however governments are dragging their feet, shifting the responsibility on individuals, and tinkering at the edges instead of taking immediate action to dismantle this toxic system and replace it with a fairer, more just one where no one is left behind, neither the workers and the vulnerable in the Global North, neither the frontline communities in the Global South.

This would be unacceptable for any of the nTrw, but it is particularly odious to Seth, Lord of the Exiles and the Outcasts, Lord of the Lost Monsoon and the Lost Plains, Protector of Ra and Vanquisher of Isfet with his Strong Arm and his Mighty Rage.

So on this Third Day upon the year, the Day of Coming forth of Seth, He Who Is Pleased with the Riot, I urge anyone who’s reading this to mobilise for the fight against climate breakdown and i/sfet in all its forms, to organise with their fellow human beings in schools, workplaces and neighbourhoods, to join the local chapters of climate justice and global justice organisations, to write to politicians, educate others, protest and make noise.

Things are in balance and everything seems grim and on the verge of going to the crapper, but it’s on that knife edge that things can be more easily tipped the right way. This emergency is a tragedy that is already claiming thousands of lives, but is also a moment of realisation of the fact that we’re all in this together and that we have a window of opportunity to make things right. Not just to halt climate breakdown, but also to end exploitation and neocolonialism.
We have to strike now.

I urge whoever is able to do so to join the General Strike for Climate to be held worldwide on September 27th and in the UK on September 20th (because yes… sigh), and to donate to efforts for its organisation whatever you can spare.
The UK donation link is as follows: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/earth-strike.
I am sure that other national chapters and other organisations involved in the strike are also fundraising at the moment, so if you don’t like us, pick someone else.

It might not have been our direct fault before that things are going down the drain, but it will be now if we can’t face i/sfet and defeat it together.

Collective Ritual For Ma’at – 21st March 2019 – All Invited!

Hey all, after some discussion berwing over at the KFASS Discord server and after reading in the HOPE not Hate “State of Hate 2019” report that there are occultist n/azi chucklefucks actively invoking i/sfet to destroy society and “weed out the weak” or some shit, a group of Kemetic folks decided to make a community ritual to boost Ma’at with heka and offerings.

The ritual will be performed on the 21st of March, full moon and Spring Equinox and includes 5 sections:

  • Invocation to the nTrw and Ma’at and presentation of offerings
  • Celebration of the victories of Ma’at with RL examples
  • Commemoration of the ancestors who have fought and died for Ma’at
  • Renewal of our committment to make Ma’at in the world
  • Infusion on energy towards Ma’at and conclusion.

We have made a separate Discord server to perform the ritual collectively through voice chat.
Here is the invite link: https://discord.gg/EKHaVK5

The text of the ritual was on Penflip, which however is currently offline. It’s being re-written and improved and will be available on Cryptpad at this link: https://cryptpad.fr/pad/#/2/pad/edit/whnRQ92he99mDawB7YObTqu9/
Cryptpad is fully encrypted and does not require a login to partecipate.
The document with the text of the ritual will be made available on GoogleDocs on request.

Please join us on Discord and spread the word!

If you can’t join this round, the next will be on the 25th of April.

This Is for You, Comrade Catilina!

If you’ve read any of the posts from the 7DoR Kemetic event, you will see that I am a rabid supporter of the movement for the agrarian reform.

But where did this enby person catch all this zeal for the cause, you might ask?
This is where I explain it.

The year must have been 2002 or 2003. I was in high school, studying Latin, as you do in Italy.
The set book for that year’s coursework was Sallustius’ De Coniuratione Catilinae (On the Conspiracy of Catilina).
Now, it goes without saying that I generally loathe the Romans, even though I am Italian, for obvious reasons of rabid imperialism, rapacious greed and unabashed xenophobia and assimilationism.

There however, I found a Roman that I could appreciate, even though good old moralising Gaius Sallustius Crispus does his best to dig up all the trash and invent some to tarnish his memory forever.

If you take his word, and many people, even scholars, still do, Lucius Sergius Catilina was just a sleazy scumbag of a ruined nobleman with a taste for kinky sex and violence, who wanted to achieve supreme power and a personal dictatorship by appealing to the basests desires of the Roman proletariat through a demagogic campaign based on debt restructuration and agrarian reform. All of this while insulting venerable, white-hat political figures like Cicero and threatening to murder a whole bunch of people.

If you read it out loud in your head it sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?
Yes, such an evil scheme to make sure smallhoders and homesteaders are not strangled by debt and evicted from their land by latifundists…
Really, such a nefarious plan to broaden the landowning base of society and reduce the problem of inurbation and poverty…

And yet I have read with my own two eyes papers upon papers claiming that restructuring the debt in Republican Rome would have caused loss of fides, AKA reciprocal trust between creditor and debitor, breakdown of social relationships and widespread chaos, that Catilina couldn’t possibly have been in good faith about his programme, that he was a degenerate and a demagogue, and that so were the tribuni plebis Gaius and Tiberius Cornelius Gracchus, who had tried to pass a similar reform some sixty years before.

At that time, however, thanks to my parents, long-suffering socialists who openly talked politics in front of me an my sibling, I had been exposed to enough stories about defeated revolutionaries and rebels, a gallery of almost-ancestors who tried to make the world a better place and showed us the way forward, to know what was going on with Sallustius and those who accepted his judgements without criticism.

I knew what the winners of history do with someone who would leave a legacy larger than themself, who could inspire others to take up arms and continue the fight, like he had continued the fight of the Gracchi and of the Italics, expropriated from their own lands.

They twist their story and turn them into monsters, into violent mass-murderers, into assassins of their own relatives. They harp on about their perversions and their cruelty. They desecrate their corpse, bury them shallow in unmarked ground or burn them on the battlefield, deny them a tomb, deny them memory.
They make them Unmournable.

Now, I am not saying that Lucius Sergius Catilina, son of Lucius Sergius Silo and Belliena, was a cinnamon roll who didn’t ever do any wrong.
He was a Roman and still invested in his polity’s imperial destiny, for all his revolutionary ideas in the socio-economic field, and I know he didn’t mind violence.
He was a soldier, a fighter.
Sometimes when he’s very close, I feel as if my hand was clenched around the hilt of a gladius, and it is a happy thought that makes me wants to smile.

He wasn’t perfect (he isn’t), but at the time, from the vantage point of the two millennia that stood between us, I recognised him as an ancient, unacknowledged link in the neverending chain of people who gave their life for land, freedom and dignity, a line stretching from the Gracchi brothers down to Chico Mendes and the Movimento Trabalhadores Sem Terra, to those who shouted “Tierra y Libertad!” in Mexico, to those who chanted “È ora! È ora! La Terra a chi lavora!” in Italy, to those who fought to drop the debt and to put an end to landgrabbing.

He was one of mine, of ours, and I decided that if no one would mourn him, if no one would remember his name with fondness and gratitude, if no one would acknowledge what he stood for, what he fought to the death for, I would.

I kept my thoughts private. My classmates didn’t care, they wouldn’t understand why I even cared about an “irrelevant” dead Roman, and the scholars I had access to either agreed with Sallustius and Cicero or thought that the whole affair was given too much importance for its real entity.
I didn’t care.
I was happy with being the edgy kid who stans the forgotten, the maligned, the misunderstood, the monsters.

When I found a favourable biography  “Catilina, Ritratto di un Uomo in Rivolta”
by Massimo Fini, an Italian journalist, I bought it immediately and read it cover to cover in less than a day.
Then the stories started.
Once, during my MSc thesis, I wrote an entire short story about the final  fateful battle of Pistoia in an afternoon while I was analysing mass spectrometry data, writing furiously in the 30 second gaps between the submission of a peptide list and the appearance of the potential matches on Expasy.
It was almost as if he was next to me, showing me how it had really, truly gone down, in all its terror and glory.
I was inspired.

Two more followed, and then mad dives through JStor, trying to absorb as much information as I could, trying to learn about him, to know him, to write his story in a way that would restore his memory, that would give him a place among the mourned ancestors.

That project is still there, and in the meantime times are changing.


Another book has come out, in English this time, telling the story the right way, and also a paper, and then a theatre company from Rome produced a play based on Fini’s book and performed it at Teatro Orione last year. On Tumblr, younger people than me have dedicated their blogs to stanning him.

More people would know about him. Maybe they would understand. Maybe they too would feel the urge to mourn and to take up the cause.
Maybe we wouldn’t be alone anymore.

This year I have been more and more involved in climate justice and food security issues and the topic of the role of the agrochemical industry in the degradation of the environment and the impoverishment of smallholders and homesteaders in favour of plantation-type monoculture enterprises pops up a lot.

Every time it popped up, a ping resonated in my head, a mixture of sadness and dismay (because we still haven’t fixed it, no, and people are still dying for ager et libertas), anger and determination, the kind of headspace that makes you stare down the entire Senate as they shout and heckle at you and tell them all that you’re going to bring the House down on them (the kind of headspace that makes you stare down an army several times the size of yours and think that if you’re not going to win, at least you’re going to fuck them up so badly that they won’t be able to tell their victory apart from a defeat).

Now we are at a moment in history in which it’s increasingly likely that it’s either going to be Revolution or Apocalypse.
I am glad that Catilina has decided to still stick with me, that I have him as my guide, my inspiration, so this year I decided to do something formal to honour him.
Problem is, I had never done it before, so I started pestering people on several Discord servers to get info on how to properly venerate one’s ancestors, adopted or not.
Someone pointed me to the Roman worship of the Lares, but another akh, Ducarius the Insuber, who likes to collect heads of Romans, vetoed it hard.
In the end I decided to go with a Kemetic ritual, one suggested by the ever helpful ArcReads/Ptah-Ikemi-Ka.

On the anniversary of the Battle of Pistoia (5 or 6/01/62 B.C.E) I set up a temporary altar on my kitchen table with incense and offerings, loaded a picture of the Teatro Orione play on my laptop as an icon and performed, forcing myself to speak the words of the ritual out loud.
Tears started streaming from my eyes, and it was good.
I blasted the playlist I had dedicated to him from the speakers of my laptop.
The air was charged with heka.
I could feel the presence of Lucius Sergius Catilina very close by.

I offered bread and water and salt and wine, and once the offering ritual was complete I made a donation in his name to an organisation which fights for the rights of peasants, the agrarian reform and the environment, La Via Campesina.
I dedicated the donation to him.
Maybe they thought it was weird. I don’t care.

Setup of improvised altar, with white altar cloth, wine, salt cella, bread and incense. in the background, a PC with an image from the play Catilina and a postcard from La Via Campesina
Altar setup, with wine, bread, salt and water offerings, incense, a candle and as icons, a card from La Via Campesina and a stage photo of the play “Catilina” performed at Teatro Orione, Roma

That night I went to bed completely exhausted, but the energy had not dissipated completely.
I took my notebook and scribbled down furiously, imagining (remembering) the rebels, half-frozen, barely armed, but determined to do their best, standing on that hill near Pistoia, waiting for the clash, wishing to have only a fraction of their faith and their bravery.

So this is for you Comrade Catilina, and for the comrades who dreamed and fought and died with you for ager et libertas!

You are not forgotten! You will never be!

You live and fight with us, forever!


Non so se lo avrai mai, Compagno Catilina
Un monumento lassù sulla collina
Dove coi compagni cadesti allora
Per dare dignità e terra a chi lavora.
Non avrai targhe o inaugurazioni,
Ma sarai invocato alle manifestazioni
Nei circoli, negli ARCI, per la via
E negli scontri con la polizia.
L’ultimo dei resi, il primo degli insorti,
Ti diranno nelle calli e nelle corti,
Prima della marcia, prima del corteo,
E nell’occupazione di ogni ateneo.
E quando avanzerà la folla a schiera
Con noi tu marcerai con aria fiera
Insieme a noi, ora come allora,
Per dar terra e dignità a chi lavora!

7Days of Rest Kemetic Edition – Day #7 – The Web of Life

Sorry again for the delay in recapping this.

The last day of the 7 Days of Rest was a working Monday, so the discussion between one thing and the other was not extensive.

What we took away from the experience was that the world-system is interconnected and we need to make sure to take this into account in our activism.

As we learned in the previous days of the event, land stewardship, biodiversity and water management are tightly linked, and all of these contribute to climate control, etc…

Humans depend on this web of life to function and thrive. We are a cog in the machine, not the masters as capitalism and some strains of christianity and positivistic thought would want us to believe.

An important resource to understand this strand of environmental justice activism can be found in the “Change the Story” series of videos posted on Vimeo by Satish Kumar, the founder of Resurgence magazine, one of the longest-running UK environmentalist magazines.

We have greed to keep the channel alive and keep on discussing and relfecting on environmental issues during the course of the year.

I am also delighted to say that this experience has helped galvanise the environmental justice sentiment of at least one part of the community to the point that some other the Kemetics have also joined the Earth Strike movement.

Overall, it was a great experience that has satisfied me both from an activist and a religious point of view. I would welcome the opportunity of doing something similar in the future.