Conversion to atheism in the Kemetic community is an issue I think we should all discuss respectfully, no matter where you stand on the matter.
IDK why I’m quoting random song lyrics in my posts of late. Last month, it was Kate Bush. This time, it’s from Snow Patrol’s Run: light up, light up, as if you have a choice; even if you cannot hear my voice, I’ll be right beside you, dear. Maybe it’s because I’m convinced this guy did hear a voice, a message from the divine and he embedded those codes in a song to light up awareness in others. And maybe I’m just f*cking nuts. Does anyone have definitive proof either way, of anything? No, I guess not and that’s the honest truth.
Recently I visited Devo’s blog, The Twisted Rope. I wanted to remember which books he recommended for newbies and basically say, this is what Devo recommends, because I haven’t had time to read these books yet myself. I’ve read Sharon LaBorde and Paul Harrison, so far but that’s it. I’m too busy surviving my degree! Anyway, Devo announced a new direction for his blog, along with his conversion to atheism while still a Kemetic pagan. He says, “I’ve found other ways to interpret our religion that doesn’t require someone’s belief in the gods. I always said that I felt Kemeticism could be practiced this way, and I guess I’m putting that theory to the test now.” I could immediately detect heartfelt honesty. This was a direction he needed to take and for him, it simply couldn’t be denied any longer. Devo’s major criticism of Kemetic pagans is we focus way too much on the gods.
OMGs! I realised. It’s true! I’m 100% guilty of this. I’m completely obsessed with the netjeru. As an intuitive, I see them, I hear them, I feel them, I communicate with them, they communicate with me; I blog about them incessantly. I even bake them f*cking cookies! They carry the cookies off into their own dimension and exclaim with delight, well not the actual physical cookies but you know, the etheric imprint of those cookies, which nourishes them with energy. They, in turn, send energy back to us. We have a rhythm going, there’s an exchange happening: back and forth, back and forth. Like an engine, and we’re going somewhere; we can drive this whole planet like a big rig, into another plane of existence!
Suddenly, it hit me that not everyone is experiencing reality the way I do. Not everyone perceives the gods like I do. Some pagans are becoming agnostic; some are even becoming atheist. My unwavering belief that you, too can perceive the gods if you just meditate, drink water and breathe isn’t happening for everyone the way it happens for me. And so now I have to deal with that, and I want to deal with that, and accept it and learn from it. I want to make meaning from it because that’s how my brain ticks.
Everyone deserves psychological and spiritual safety — it’s a human right. Conversion to atheism in the Kemetic community is a sensitive issue we should respect first, and place our own opinions second.
I was compelled to leave my first comment at Devo’s blog (I’m generally shy and don’t want to be seen as some self-promoting d*ckhead dropping links at an established blog, plus I’ve had negative experiences rubbing elbows with other Kemetics in the past and could do without any further trauma or psychic attack, thank you). I wanted to support Devo because I felt a sense of shame and disappointment coming through in his post. No matter what’s happening, Kemetics are still part of a community, and I think it’s important for people to know they’re not shouting into an empty, black abyss. People are hearing you, they’re pondering your ponderings and you’re making them think.
Do I personally believe the gods do not or may not actually exist, that we’re trying to placate and win the favour of beings that may not actually be there, after all? In short, no. I do not believe the gods don’t exist, I believe the gods do exist. However, if I couldn’t perceive them and had to operate on faith alone, I can’t tell you how sustainable my faith would really be. I’m spoiled in this sense and perhaps even plagued with visual, auditory and tactile hallucinations. I don’t believe I am mentally ill but who’s to say religious belief and even mystical experiences, for that matter, are not forms of mental illness?
Devo mentions the role of trauma in the belief of god or gods and I think all conscientious pagans need to look at this (see the aforementioned 2021 post, Bishop’s Knife Trick). Was all religion invented by the human psyche as a response to trauma? Perhaps merely surviving the elements and surviving each other in pre-historic and ancient times was so traumatic that we needed to believe in something that could help us have some control over our surroundings. It’s not so different today. I’ve been traumatised by corporate greed in the nursing industry, in my past workplaces. We’ve all been f*cking traumatised by COVID; look at the poor anti-vaxers and anti-maskers, they’re having a meltdown! One very good nurse I worked with left nursing altogether, and is moving to Europe because he doesn’t want the vaccine. He’s traumatised. Christian belief denotes that suffering brings us closer to god, shamans sometimes endure hardships to induce visions and Buddhists believe suffering cultivates compassion. The common threads of faith born of trauma are clearly visible. I, myself, was visited by Isis / Aset during the first wave of COVID-19 when financially struggling and I felt safe and reassured by her presence. There are many ways to interpret this. Conversion to atheism might seem like a logical response to some. Personally, I interpret things very differently but I’m still willing to look at opposing views and validate them to the best of my ability.
Incidentally, since we’re being honest and not sugar-coating anything, I do think our concept of what is god, or rather who is god needs an overhaul. This is something I don’t think the general population of any civilisation ancient or modern has ever understood, except perhaps a few. You are god, I am god, we are god! The deities can be reduced to beings who simply know they are god. Imagine if every m*therf*cker on this planet knew they were god and conducted themselves as loving, responsible gods. What would happen on this planet? I’m sure there’s an ism for all this but I’m ignorant of the term. For me it’s not an ism, it just is.
Maybe I do suffer from a benign form of psychosis. Maybe there’s a part of my brain that invents what I wish to see and hear. Maybe I confuse fantasy with reality. Maybe I have the imagination of a child. IDK. There are a lot of maybe’s getting thrown around here. That’s because I can’t really prove or disprove anything. I don’t think anyone can. You just have to follow what’s in your heart. Trust yourself, trust what you know. Follow the path that feels right to you. Nobody has the right to give you any sh*t about it.
So, if there’s a way to practice Kemeticism without the polytheistic fixation on worshipping gods, to simply conduct Ma’at in that manner, then let’s do it. Why not? If the gods really are there, they should allow us to conduct this experiment. My own prediction is we become like those we have worshipped. So we don’t need to worship them anymore, because then we’d just be worshipping ourselves and that would be weird. It would be time for us then, to conduct ourselves in a new manner of creative expression. Paratheism might be a term we could use to describe what we’d find beyond our theism. That’s my interpretation of the situation but hey, WTF do I know? I’m just a psychic psychiatric nurse with a compulsion for house plants and chocolate, who listens to Janis Joplin and chats with ancient deities who supposedly went extinct thousands of years ago! I’m probably f*cking nuts, so don’t worry about it.
Whether I’m f*cking crazy, or you’re f*cking crazy or we’re all f*cking crazy: f*ck it. I believe in kindness and you don’t need to worship anything — or anyone — to practice that, so that’s what I’m doing.
Thanks for reading Kemetic Blog. I’d love to know what you think about conversion to atheism in the Kemetic community. I hope my swearing didn’t offend anyone — I must be clearing a blocked chakra. Anyway, stay safe and well out there.
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