Devotion

I recently restarted my personal practice after many months of hiatus, and the same questions have returned again. As a new adherent in an alternative, non-standardized religion, creating a personal practice is exactly that, creating. Being new also adds in the bonus level of floundering. While everyone is still creating their practice, their experience makes it easier to discern, to research and to coalesce. Of course, they were beginners at some point too, but they aren’t now, and I know I at least have to remind myself that I’ll eventually get better and figure some things out. It’s still slow going however.

Primarily I still have to figure out what I want my daily practice to look like. What do I want to do in shrine to honor my Netjer? How do I want to interact with Them? How will I hear Them when they speak? What about other entities? What, exactly, does devotion mean to me?

That last question is probably the hardest, and it most likely would provide at least partial answers to the others. See, in my church growing up, everything was already in place as a framework. There was a set order to things. Songs, Welcome and Contribution, Songs, Communion, Songs (we sing a lot as you can see), and then the Message. Sometimes we sing at the end too, sometimes we skip a section of songs. Basically, I grew up singing a lot, then doing a lot of listening. Well, there aren’t a lot of modern songs for the Netjeru (yet), and unfortunately the way to sing the ancient songs is lost. I’m not that great at music, but that’s almost always what I want to do, sing. Devotion is song, because song is praise, and even if I didn’t listen to a lick of the message, well I praised and that’s what I like. It’s a little frustrating to say the least.

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2 thoughts on “Devotion

  1. It gets a little easier.
    Sounds like you need to think up a few things to try out. Ask the Netjeru to give you feedback on whether or not they like what you’re doing.
    There are a lot of things you can do. You can meditate, sing, or read some literature that reminds you of the Netjeru or Kemeticism in general. You can pour libations, light some incense, light a candle, dance. You can do divination, work on devotional artwork, or just simply talk to the Netjeru. You can even sit there in silence, although the Netjeru might be a little confused if you don’t let Them know what you’re doing. (One thing I’ve learned is that They are definitely not mind-readers. Perceptive? Yes. Psychic? No.)
    It might help to ask yourself how you can express devotion *away* from shrine. How can you apply maat to your life? How should you treat people and yourself so you remain in maat? What causes do you think are near and dear to your Netjeru, and how can you contribute to those causes?
    Also ask yourself what *you* want. Do you want Netjer as a friend? A parent? A Netjer you can operate with on more or less the same level (as much as that’s possible for a mortal, anyway)? How much of your life do you want to be directed toward your Netjeru: a little of it, some of it, as much of it as possible? Do you want to be part of the laity, or would you be okay with some priesting or are you more of a monastic? These are some good things to consider and will help you decide how to shape your devotions. Take your time considering them. Experiment with different attitudes, different practices, etc.

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