“Sometimes the netjeru do things which seem to border on the paranormal, but are in no way harmful. Like the night we had an unexpected execration ritual.”
There’s so much happening on my path as a Kemetic practitioner, that I often don’t get enough time to write about an experience until months after it occurred. I jot down a few lines in the Notes program on my MacBook, then simply forget about it. Here is one of those stories. It was the night my housemate and I had an unexpected execration ritual, at least, according to my own unverified personal gnosis. It happened when I was only a few months into my Kemetic journey and I never meant to shelf this experience for so long.
One day, my housemate Jason had been visiting his parents’ house, who live a good two hours away. It wasn’t until later in the evening that he arrived back home, perhaps around 9 or 10 pm. We lived in a ‘leafy’ part of the suburb, which meant it was not as well lit as other parts of town at night. The gate to our carport was getting old and could be difficult to operate, so I went outside to meet him as he approached our neighbourhood, to open the gate and help with the dog, who was harnessed in the back seat. As my housemate pulled into the carport, I suddenly heard an explosive popping sound.
Sh*t, what was that? I thought to myself. The sound was so loud, it could have been a tire blow-out. My housemate cautiously got out of the car and turned on the flashlight of his phone. The carport had its own floodlights but there were still areas draped in shadow, so we peered around with the flashlight. That’s when we discovered it hadn’t been a flat tire but rather, a terra cotta pot was pinned under the front passenger-side wheel.
Jason got back into the car and pulled out, so we could examine the scene. There was the pot, parts of which had been pulverised by the large Honda-CRV. Shards of terra cotta were ground into the gravelly driveway. Now, this was very strange because just moments before, I was opening the gate and hadn’t seen anything in the carport at all, let alone a terra cotta pot laying in the path of the car’s tire. Granted, it was dark and it’s possible the pot was there the whole time and I simply didn’t see it but — how the hell did it get there?
I recognised the pot as an old, empty terra cotta pot from our garden, probably about 5 or 6 inches in diameter. It hadn’t been used or seen in ages. Sure, we could be disorganised and forgetful at times but we weren’t exactly in the habit of leaving pottery laying around in the paths of moving vehicles. It was incredibly odd that the pot would materialise when and where it did.
Then it dawned on me. I was still a pretty fresh and green Kemetic — still am, by some accounts — but I knew well enough about breaking red pots as an apotropaic device in ancient Egyptian magic or heka. In private online groups, I’ve also seen execration rituals performed by modern Kemetic neo-pagans, so I was familiar with the practice. Coincidence or not, something really cool had just happened. I told Jason about the significance of smashing terra cotta pots in Kemetic practice. He’s known me long enough to be open minded about this sort of thing.
Let’s put it this way: in all my years on planet Earth (a phrase which has made the netjeru and AE guardians chuckle) nothing like this has ever happened to me before in my life; where a terra cotta pot somehow gets in the carport and is subsequently run over by the car and smashes — and all this just months after I become a Kemetic practitioner.
Intuitively, I felt the netjeru had just held an impromptu execration ritual with us, to break any curses and barriers imposed on us, and to open the way forward. I thanked them for what they had orchestrated, which I was fairly convinced of by that time. There was nothing left to be done after that, except clean up the broken pieces. Oh, and reassure the dog, who required our attention!
In ancient Egypt, the execration ritual was considered a magical act to destroy the power of an enemy and essentially, the power of evil.
Red pots were the most common objects used for this purpose and were often inscribed with words or drawings — though not always. Sometimes the pots were used to make offerings first, then smashed or stomped on later to scare away negativity (see the 2008 article, Execration Ritual by Kerry Muhlestein). Smashing the pots was a way of breaking the hold an enemy had over another and was generally a protective magical act, as opposed to simply hexing one’s enemies.
Conducted in the manner above, the heka in an execration ritual contributed to Ma’at and the balance it represented, rather than causing an upset to the natural order. In fact, execration texts are considered to be some of the earliest forms of exorcism (see the 2017 article, Spiritual defense – Execration rituals in ancient Egypt by Joshua J. Mark). The word, execration itself means to denounce or to curse that which is evil or detestable.
Execration rituals could be aimed at disabling personal, political and preternatural enemies. In ancient Egypt, these usually went hand in hand. For example, The Book of Felling Apophis by Raymond O. Faulkner (1937) describes the execration ritual as one that will fell the enemies of Ra, Horus, and the Pharaoh. Kemetic practitioners today reconstruct these rituals by smashing terra cotta pots during festivals such as Wep Ronpet. Personally, I do not take any magical action lightly. I’ve cast spells in the past that worked and I later regretted it. Heka is something I will not approach, until I thoroughly know what I’m doing, hence why the netjeru perhaps stepped in.
Sometimes the netjeru do things which seem to border on the paranormal, but are in no way harmful. Like the night we had an unexpected execration ritual. I wasn’t frightened by the event, it just means their actions are capable of having very real effects on our world.
Upon reflection, I have to rethink my definition of what constitutes ‘our world’. Rather than our world consisting of a place that is solely dominated and owned by human beings, perhaps our world is much more a shared world than we realise. Perhaps our world is a common ground for many beings besides human beings.
Physical and non-physical realities don’t collide at all, rather they coexist and interact. This has now become my own personal definition of magical thinking. It’s interesting how this event has precipitated a shift in mindset for me, toward one that’s decidedly more Kemetic. This event showed me something.
Of course, I could be a total crackpot and the whole incident happened by mistake (that pun was intended). While I have no proof the netjeru went so far as to produce an apport, I do believe they were involved in the incident in some way. Now it’s up to you to decide. I’d be interested to know what readers think, along with hearing any stories you may have.
My only regret is that I didn’t think to take a picture of the broken pot at the time. Who knows how it would have turned out, but a picture would have added weight to the story. Still, I have a witness. Jason will back me up 100%.
Thank you for reading Kemetic Blog. This post marks the one year anniversary of this blog and what a year it’s been! Thanks again for being part of it. Stay safe and well. P.S. I’ll be starting a new job this month, plus there’s uni, which may or may not impact on my ability to update the blog. We’ll see!
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