Spiritual Parents and Beloveds in Kemetic Orthodoxy

What does it mean to have a Spiritual Parent (or in my case, two)? A Spiritual Parent is the deity Who breathed your ba (eternal soul) into existence. You inherit many of the traits and talents of your Parent(s), and it is your sacred task to use them wisely in this life. I seek guidance from my Parents in my everyday life and in my State Shrine, Nekhen Nakht em Senyt (The Shrine of the Strength of the Two), and strive to serve and represent Them in all I say and do. They are my strength and my refuge, and I know They will never abandon me.

In addition to a Spiritual Parent, you may also have a Beloved—a deity Who has taken special interest in you, desiring that you learn certain lessons that S/He has to give in the shaping of your ka (earthly incarnation). I have three Beloveds:
Artwork by Tua-Aset (Catherine Ma)
Bast is depicted in both Her forms on the right: as a woman with a cat’s head, or in cat form entirely. From Her I have learned the joys of music, singing and dancing, which are among Her gifts. She also has a rather fierce aspect as Protector of the King's Throne.

Set is portrayed as a red, dog-like creature with long, squared ears and an upright tail (thought to be a combination of the hyena and Cape Hunting Dog), or as a human with His animal-headed feature. He has dominion over the desert, called deshret (the Red Land) by the ancient Egyptians. Set has often been called "The Egyptian Satan" by other religions (the Temple of Set is not a Kemetic religion, but a 1970s offshoot of the Church of Satan), but this is not a very accurate or fair comparison. While He is called Lord of Storms and has a chaotic aspect to His nature, Set is not Evil Incarnate; on the contrary. He is the Defender of Ra who protects Him against the snake-like monster of un-creation, Apep (Gr. Apophis). A Late Kingdom text quotes Set Himself as "slaying the opponent of Ra daily while I am at the prow of the Boat of Millions, whereas not any [other] god is able to do it." Set does what is necessary, even if it seems harsh to us. He is the Chaos element that is often needed for change.

The murder of Wesir (Gr. Osiris) by Set is seen almost universally as a traitorous, evil act; however, it can be said that this was a necessary action in order to establish Wesir in the Underworld as King of the Dead. Also, since both Heru (Gr. Horus) and Set were worshiped in Upper Egypt prior to unification, it is thought that the myth reflects a struggle within Upper Egypt prior to unification. During the Second Dynasty, there was a period in which the two successive pharaohs surmounted each other's deity symbols—Heru and Set—on their serekhs, or king's names (a precedessor to the cartouche), which suggests some kind of religious struggle. At the end of this Dynasty, the pharaoh Khasekhemwy surmounted his standard with both a falcon of Heru and a Set animal, indicating some kind of compromise had been reached. Once the two lands were united, Set and Horus were often shown together crowning the new pharaohs as a symbol of their power over both Lower and Upper Egypt (Wikipedia.com/Set).

One of the best descriptions of Set that I've found comes from another Shemsu of Kemetic Orthodoxy, Tasebiherseny ("One who is watched by Two"):
Set–Powerful, strong, solitary, almost lonely. Misunderstood. Necessary. Stalwart. Faithful. Determined. He will accomplish what needs to be done and heavens be damned to those who stand in His way. He is the unstoppable force. When the "Tower" comes up in the cards, it is His influence. Too long have you dallied in that which will bring you no good. Wallowed in self pity or been mired in attitudes/actions/situations which are comfortable despite their stunt on your growth. Wasted potential disgusts Him. You have it, use it… but use it wisely. There is a time to be solitary, biding and waiting, but when the time for action comes strike out like the cobra. Go strongly, with force and decisive action. Follow the natural cycle of things, and regret neither the time of solitude and pondering nor the time for action. Both are needed to realize one's full potential; understand that and use them both to that end.
"There is much to learn from this god," says Rev. Tamara Suida, "even if none of it is comfortable. Not all healing is without pain, and not all of Set's lessons come without discomfort" (Daily Ma'at, 2/6/06).

Aset is probably one of the most well-known goddesses of ancient Egypt. Her continued worship rose in popularity during Greco-Roman times where She was known as Isis. The last pharaoh of Egypt, the renowned Cleopatra, proclaimed herself to be "The Living Isis." Nowadays Aset is still considered to be the consummate Mother-Goddess. In Her we seek love and fidelity, strength and magic, compassion and healing.

Aset is the sister/wife of Wesir and played a primary role in resurrecting Him from the dead after He was slain by His brother Set. Aset is usually portrayed in two forms: one as a beautiful woman wearing a throne headdress, and as a winged woman. She is also shown wearing the solar disk and horns indicating a later synchronization with Het-hert (Gr. Hathor). She is sometimes depicted as a kite (kestral or sparrow hawk), or as a kite with a woman's head. This depiction—and Her wings—are thought to have come from the story of how She turned herself into a bird in order to better search for the body of Her slain husband.

In the New Kingdom influenced by the Greeks, Aset became the Patroness of Sailors, and a big festival called The Isis Navigatum was held every year during the summer in honor of this aspect. Many Pagans and Kemetics continue to celebrate it nowadays as well. Aset also was known as "Isis of a Thousand Names" in Rome. Among Her many titles are Great of Magic (for her efforts in bringing back Wesir), Mistress of the House of Life, Lady of the Green Crops, The One Who is All, Queen of Heaven, Star of the Sea and Mother of God. Some of Her titles were transferred to the Virgin Mary whose veneration is thought to have evolved from Aset's worship as carried over into Coptic Christianity.
... the Coptic Christianity that was consolidated in the fourth and fifth centuries offers a rich deposit of "pagan survivals," proving either the error of the postapostolic church (to some Protestant eyes) or the authenticating legacy of the pharaohs in the contemporary Coptic church. (David Frankfurter, Religion in Roman Egypt: Assimilation and Resistance, p.5)
The Madonna and Child iconography throughout Christianity is also believed to have been influenced by numerous Kemetic portrayals of Aset holding the Infant Heru (Gr. Horus) on Her lap.


"Mother of God"
Photos from Wikipedia.com