[Welcome to our column, Talking My Path. Here, polytheists, witches, and Pagans of any tradition are invited to discuss and celebrate their spirituality in a series of five short questions. If you would like to participate, don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
ev0ke: How do you define your particular tradition or path? Does it have a specific name?
Chelsea Luellon Bolton: I am a Shemsu in the Kemetic Orthodox Faith. The Temple I belong to is called the House of Netjer. It is a revival of the ancient Egyptian religion adapted to modern times.
ev0ke: Which Deities, powers, or other spirits are honored in your tradition?
CLB: The ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses are honored within Kemetic Orthodoxy. The ones I honor specifically are Aset (Isis), Nebet Het (Nephthys), Wepwawet, Sekhmet-Mut, Ra, Mut, Wesir (Osiris), Tefnut, Sobek, and Nut.
ev0ke: Among the various festivals and holy days celebrated in your tradition, which is the most important to you, and why?
CLB: Any and all Aset ones. The ones that stand out are Aset Luminous in July and the Birthday of Aset with the Beautiful Throne, the Great Goddess in June and July; it’s nineteen days long! I love it!
I also really love the six day Procession of Nebet Het in November. (It’s really a part of a Khnum-Ra procession, but I think its fine for just her.)
Sekhmet-Mut doesn’t really have any festivals by Herself. She’s a syncretic deity merging Sekhmet and Mut. The solstices are sacred to Her as She returns and departs as the Solar Eye. For Ra, I’d honor Him at the solstices, too.
For Mut, Opet is probably my favorite festival for Her. It’s the festival of Mut’s marriage to Amun-Ra and the birth of Her son, Khonsu.
For Wepwawet, there is a day that has Him twice both as a deity over the day and a Festival of Wepwawet, Lord of the Mountain.
I just started honoring Tefnut, so I’d think that either Her Procession of the Goddess Tefnut or the ten day celebration of the Birthday of Shu and Tefnut would be my favorite ones.
ev0ke: Which texts, websites, or other resources would you recommend to someone interested in your traditions?
CLB: For websites, the House of Netjer Forums; and the Kemetic Orthodox Temple.
For books, I’d recommend those by the founder of Kemetic Orthodoxy, the Reverend Dr. Tamara L. Siuda, especially The Ancient Egyptian Prayerbookand The Ancient Egyptian Daybook.
ev0ke: Is there anything you would like to add, such as creative projects you are undertaking, festivals or events you will be attending, and so on?
CLB: I don’t really attend festivals in person. I do participate online through the House of Netjer temple. I’m also an author; I publish books of my poetry, translated ancient hymns, and anthologies for some of the Netjeru and some other deities as well.
Among those titles are Lady of Praise, Lady of Power: Ancient Hymns of the Goddess Aset; Queen of the Road: Poetry of the Goddess Aset; Magician, Mother and Queen: A Research Paper on the Goddess Aset; Divine Words, Divine Praise: Poetry for the Divine Powers; Lord of Strength and Power: Ancient Hymns for Wepwawet; Divine Beings, Earthly Praise: Poems for Divine Powers; Holy Mother, Healer and Queen: Papers on the Feminine Divine; Sun, Star and Desert Sand: Poems for the Egyptian Gods; Mother of Magic: Ancient Hymns for Aset; Queen of the Hearth: An Anthology for Frigga; and She Who Speaks Through Silence: An Anthology for Nephthys.
Among my upcoming releases are Creation Mother: Ancient Hymns for Mut; Lord of the Ways: An Anthology for Wepwawet; Water Lioness: An Anthology for Tefnut; and Mother of Nine: An Anthology for Oya.