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.
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.
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!
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.
Sorry everybody for the delay in posting the recap, life has been a bloody mess for the last 3 weeks.
The discussion started from what we had learned in the previous days, that, biodiversity is fundamental for many processes (food security, water management, even climate control), however it is threatened by climate change and exploitation, to the point that we’re heading towards a mass extinction, if we don’t change our course quickly.
One of the first topics discussed was that the main issue with GMOs is not that they’re “franken food” but that they eradicate biodiversity. Different regions used to have a lot more biodiversity, but most of it has been eradicated through the streamlining of our food system and so we’ve lost a lot of stuff that was region-specific, substituting it with standardised “Modern” varieties. As the climate changes, we’re potentially gonna run out of varieties of food crops that work in the new conditions.
In fact GMO monocultures are just a facet of the capitalist/latifundist agricultural system, which calls for monocultures, mechanisation/automation and tons of agrochemicals. The GMOs that have been developed and released for production have been developed to fix issues in the industrial agriculture system, enabling increased profits, not to fix nutritional issues in food crops or to make varieties more tolerant to climate stressors, with the notable exception of golden rice and edible cotton.
Of note, critics of the latter, developed by an Indian professor named Keerti Rathore at Texas A&M to enable cotton producers to feed on their cash crops, have pointed out that basically what this GMO does is making cotton more like hemp and state (not unreasonably) that it would be easier to just reintroduce the cultivation of hemp.
Next we discussed how the loss of biodiversity in forest biomes in California or Portugal, thanks to the diffusion of eucalyptus monocultures for paper production, has worsened the wildfires.
Next we discussed the peculiarities of the biomes from the places where our members live/used to live. We also learned something about the different systems of classification of biomes, in Europe and in the US (an US example here).
Finally the discussion returned to how capitalism is threatening biodiversity worldwide. Case in point, the promotion of biofuels as transition fuels in the decarbonisation of the economy will cause more harm than good because of the carbon output of the fuels themselves, the lack of carbon sequestration by native forests torn down to give space to biofuel monocultures and the loss of biodiversity and native habitats, particularly the Leuser Ecosystem in Indonesia and the Amazon Rainforest in South America.
The topic of climate justice is a hot topic in environmental activism toda and was a major point of discussion for the day alongside how climate disruption affects disproportionately communities of colour in the Global South. Strategies for climate resilience and tactics for climate justice advocacy and activism were also touched upon.
Finally, we discussed a little about what actions we can take in response to this set of frankly scary scenarios.
Many sources and organisations harp on the little things you cando as “an individual” or “as a consumer”, which is fair enough (see this article, for example), but the general consensus (see here for example) is that collective action and a shift on politics and ways of production/consumption is necessary.
Earth Strike International, and its various national branches are a grassroots movement that aims to organise a series of protests worldwide, culminating in a global general strike, to push for urgent climate action.
Here is their mission statement
The world’s leading climate scientists have warned us that we have until 2030 to prevent temperature increases from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius. That’s a little over twelve years – by environmental standards, the blink of an eye. If we let the world’s temperature rise by a little over 2 degrees Celsius, the results will be catastrophic – sea levels will rise to untenable levels, heatwaves will become far more common, freshwater will become even more scarce, and many more effects besides. The time to act is now, before it’s too late. According to the CDP’s Carbon Majors Report of 2017, 71% of the world’s global industrial greenhouse gas emissions come from just 100 polluters. It is clear that the interests of big business no longer drive the prosperity of the human race. As a society, we need to change our course. For this reason, we will organize worldwide actions, culminating in a global strike. We need to make the world’s governments and the world’s businesses listen to the people, and the best way to do that is by refusing to participate in those businesses and governments. There will be no banking, no offices full of employees or schools full of children.(edited)
But of course, a strike is nothing without demands. The threat of climate change has reached a tipping point despite years of warnings, and we need to change course. This will be achieved through the general strike and accompanying protests with these international demands: – An immediate start on global co-operation to reverse the damage done to the earths’ climate, through unambiguous and binding agreements, by both world leaders and corporate entities, following IPCC projections of halving carbon net emissions by 2030 and zero net emissions by 2050; – International, unambiguous and binding commitments to halt the destruction of rain forests and other wildlife habitats, and – International, unambiguous and binding agreements designed to hold corporations accountable for the greenhouse gases they produce. As citizens of this planet, we implore you to work in the best interests of our species and work with us to both mitigate and prepare for the effects climate change. Spread the word of the protests, organize with your community, and take a stand for the future. The Earth shall go on strike!
the Earth Strike International Campaign
The first action in preparation of the Earth Strike, which is going to be held on the 27th of September, with further actions on the 27th of April and on the 1st of August, will be on the 15th of January, so I recommend going over there and having a look soon, before you miss out on the action.
On day #3, dedicated to the theme of water, the program of the discussion included topics ranging from the NoDAPL water and land stewardship movement by the Indigenous communities and the ongoing situation in Flint, to the impact of exploitative capitalism on water resources and communities of colour in general to plastic pollution and marine stewardship.
The discussion was definitely more vibrant and varied and embraced different geographic perspectives, from the Pianura Padana in North-Western Italy, to the West and Midwest of the USA, to the Gulf of Mexico and the Thames Valley in the UK, and a variety of issues, including:
the interplay of building malpractices, rainwater collection and vegetation cover in issues such as water shortages and floods. Paved surfaces such as tarmac and concrete prevent water absorption from the ground, which depletes groundwater sources (aquifers) and causes surface flooding.
Depaving and rewilding as strategies to improve the environment. The role of vegetation and a robust and diverse ecosystem on water management cannot be overstated, as water meadows and forests have a key role in managing the flow of rivers.
The disproportionate draining of aquifers for intensive industrial-scale agriculture and the water pollution from industrial and agricultural contamination were also discussed.
From there, the discussion shifted to how fracking induces an increased risk of water contamination and of the depletion of water reserves due to overuse.
The degradation of marine environments due to overfishing and pollution was discussed too, with local contributions from folks living in the Gulf of Mexico area. This is a topical issue as a major contamination event happened in the last few days in the North Sea.
Finally, different strategies to reduce plastic waste (including using it to make roads) and increase water availability in arid regions were discussed.
Resources on water management, flooding, depaving etc..
The website of Surfers Against Sewage, a UK charity for marine stewardship, focusing on plastic pollution and industrial, agricultural and sewage runoff pollution (AKA shit in the sea) – https://www.sas.org.uk/