Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you call Bast your Mother?
I was divined as a daughter of Bast via the House of Netjer’s Rite of Parent Divination in April 2005. (See the glossary for more information on the RPD.) I had already had a relationship with Bast, so for me the Rite was a confirmation and not really a great surprise. It was a very welcome confirmation, though. Bast is one of those Names Who frequently brings people into Kemetic religion and then steps back, so I had braced myself to accept the fact that She might not actually be my Mother. In hindsight, however, there’s no question that it was always going to be Her. I believe that She spoke my soul into being, and that that resonance, that vibration of inspiration and love, will always connect us. My life is Her breath, and I strive to live in beauty and ma’at, honoring Her.

What’s a W’ab priest?
Glossary check!

So what exactly do you do as a W’ab?
I tend a state shrine, containing a cult statue of Bast. I perform a daily rite at this shrine (with exceptions for travel and for sickness or other states of impurity) on behalf of the Kemetic Orthodox community. The details of the rite are oathbound, but in general it follows the priestly traditions of ancient Kemet as practiced for thousands of years. I’m also on call to assist in the performance of live and online Kemetic Orthodox state rituals. I’m not empowered to perform sacraments such as marriages or funerals; nor am I a legal representative of the faith.
    As a Shemsut-Ankh, I also consider it my honor and duty to support the Kemetic Orthodox community in various ways: by helping to organize and attending gatherings, by fundraising, by staying in contact with and supporting other members, and so forth.

Can I visit your shrine?
My shrine is currently open only to members of the House of Netjer, or to people whom I know and have met in other venues. Since it’s located in my home, I’m sure you can understand this limitation. For the same reason, all visits are by appointment only.

Can you translate something into Egyptian for me?
Nope! Sorry. I’m entirely dependent on the translation skills of others.

So how’d you get your Kemetic name, then?
I received my name from Hemet (AUS) in an online Naming ceremony on April 27, 2005, as part of becoming a Shemsu in the faith. (See the glossary for more information on Shemsuhood.)

What about the name of your shrine?
After I became a W’ab priest, I spent the better part of a year pondering and searching, trying to figure out what my shrine should be called. Finally, one day I asked Bast for a sign, then went out for a walk along the road. It was almost sunset, and the sky was dense with clouds, but there was a line of perfectly clear sky right along the western horizon. Right above that break, there was a cloud formation that distinctly had the shape of an eye, and next to it the red orb of the sun was visible, suspended in that narrow gap. “Eye…[of] Ra” — and thus the name of my shrine, “The Eye of Ra Watches over Them.” The Name was translated into Kemetic by Hemet (AUS).

So what are your thoughts on the Nisut? (a.k.a. Having a king is weird!)
I freely admit to being highly skeptical in the beginning. In fact, when I felt the first stirrings of interest in Kemetic traditions and began to investigate the various temples, all the reverential Nisut verbiage on the kemet.org site put me right off. But ultimately I came away with the impression that the House of Netjer was clearly the most organized and active of the temples, so after circling around it for most of a year, I signed up for the beginners’ course, figuring no obligation, no entanglement, no risk. That was in 2005, so as you can see, I’ve stuck with it.
    As for Hemet herself: having met her in person and observed her postings and chats over the years, I trust her as my religious teacher and guide. It seems clear that she knows her stuff, and in multiple areas: Egyptological, spiritual, magical. I believe that the compassion and the attitude of service she displays is genuine, and I consider her to be the locus of the faith in a very direct and practical sense, giving us direction as a group and encouraging us constantly to get closer to each other and to the Gods. She’s our uniter, our lightning rod, our teacher, the parent of the religion, which to me seems more than sufficient to acknowledge her as king — not in any nationalistic or economic role, of course, but in a religious sense. And although she’s human and fallible as any human (and admits as much), from my own experiences I trust her not to abuse the position in the pursuit of control, power, or self-aggrandizement.
    The system works. Not always. Not perfectly. Not for everyone. But it works. And I can work within that.

So I guess you like cats, huh?
You could say that. (Although it’s not actually a requirement for being a priest of Bast.)