January 16, 2012

A is for Akhu

Posted in Pagan Blog Project 2012 at 8:32 pm by

This post is the first in a series, written as part of the Pagan Blog Project 2012. The idea of the Project is to make one post a week on some topic related to your spiritual or magical path; the first two weeks are for topics beginning with “A,” the next two for topics beginning with “B,” and so on. I got a late start, so I’m just posting for “A” now, even though the last “A” post was supposed to be last Friday. I may squeeze in a second “A” this week or just move on to “B”; I haven’t decided yet.

The Akhu are the Shining Ones, the ancestors, those who came before us. In Kemetic Orthodoxy, we honor them first during the daily ritual of Senut; we also give the offerings on the sixth day of the Kemetic month, as well as at various festivals throughout the year, such as the Beautiful Feast of the Valley. I have a personal ritual that I observe each Sunday, in which I make offerings to the Gods of my RPD, the Gods of the month and the year, the Seven Arrows of Bast, and finally my Akhu. I usually do a brief check-in with them, telling them what’s going on in my life, asking for their protection and guidance, and wishing them well in their ongoing lives in the West.

The Akhu are supposed to be our first go-to when we need help, even before the Gods — the premise being that they were human once, they better understand our trials and tribulations (the Gods have never had to find a job, for instance, or deal with a plumbing emergency), and they have a vested interest in us as their kin. This is something I have difficulty with, though. I tend to default to the Gods, perhaps because I grew up in a culture where nobody ever talked to the dead, and I’m not one of those people who readily sees and hears them. Praying to the Gods just seems to come more naturally to me. This is something I’d like to work on, though, developing that relationship with my Akhu.

I do actually have one close-to-home example of an Akhu relationship. Late in his life, my dad, a staunch Old-World Catholic, started practicing his own form of ancestor veneration. Every morning he would light a candle and incense in the little shrine on top of his dresser, before the pictures of his parents and his brother. He would sit in the old recliner, the cat would get into his lap, and he would pet her as he talked to his departed family. I never discussed the Kemetic religion with Dad before he died, but I think he would have understood my Akhu shrine, at least. And I think it must make him happy that now I offer flame and incense to him.

Dua Akhu, shining as gold in the vault of Nut! May you live forever, true of voice.


  1. helms said,

    January 18, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I’m glad to see you’re writing for this too! I’m working on my first “A” post.

  2. Raheri said,

    January 21, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    What a wonderful story you shared about your father. Thank you.

  3. Iwa'at said,

    January 21, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Aw yay I too am glad to see you participating in this!:D and that’s a beautiful story about your dad.

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