Peace and blessings. Rituals designed for the public in general have always had a profound effect on me. As part of the audience in previous years, it was always something I looked forward to, the suspense of not knowing what to expect as well as the feeling I get when everything starts, the processions, drumming, chanting , the entering of the ritual area, the calculated movements of the priests and priestesses as well as the operations etc. have always gave me a devotional feeling of awe, and connectedness to the deeper aspect of the divinities in the ritual and what I had learned prior to the culmination of the ritual. This was the third time I experienced being involved in the actual execution of a public ritual at the Neterian Conference and all three experiences were different. The first year (2017) I was not included in the planning and was asked to be apart of the ritual on the day of the ritual. However, in 2018 we had the Bastu ritual preparation meetings which were nefer in me gaining insights into rituals in general and public rituals in particular. Sebai mentioning in one of those meetings that as you perform the ritual you are to become the ritual itself resonated with me and I kept this in mind as I prepared for 2019 ritual.
The meetings we had leading up to the conference was also nefer as everyone worked together to plan, prepare and support the ritual itself. So my experience in this past 2019 ritual overall was very nefer. Dua Sebai Maa, Dua Seba Dja ,All the Unuts and all the Divinities of the ritual and the participants. Though I prepared for the ritual mentally and physically as best as I could and though I experienced a sense of connectedness to the operations taking place. I did have a moment/s of disconnection or break in concentration when I found myself trying to be mindful of the flow of the ritual, what’s to happen next etc. I however also found myself letting go of that through the understanding that the Neteru would take it from “there”, essentially all was in the hands of God and connection to that understanding allowed me to go with the aspect of the ritual that was beyond the movements or mechanics, by engaging with a devotional feeling as I perform the operations, channeling my thoughts and feelings to the divine, the meaning behind the philosophy, essential bringing to life the myth through not only action but also thoughts and feelings.
I also experienced what it meant to be a support at panels 1 & 3 where I was not engaged directly in the operations or was not needed to carry items but through the dua posture focused my energy and thoughts towards the divinities of the particular panel and the Unuts performing the operation as exemplified by Sebai Maa, Seba Dja and the others.
I did not get any direct feedback after the ritual so I thought to call a few participants to get feedback. One stated that she had questions in the beginning of the procession as to why we were going around a certain amount of time then reversing our movement but then she entered the room and it was like she had entered a real Temple, she felt she was in Kemet and though she did not understand all that was taking place at each panel, she was able to follow along and connect because of the teachings at the lectures, she mentioned she saw herself making offering to her higher self then moving to making offer to herself as a god/goddess and then as cosmic consciousness, as Neberdjer. She mentioned that some people were tired and went to bed while others were still caught up in the “vibe” of the after feeling of the ritual. The other person said he couldn’t remember a lot because he was tired but remembered that it felt a bit “weird” and wondered why we couldn’t do it earlier or during the daytime.
In my opinion, overall I think the public reception of the ritual was positive. I think the public being able to partake in the procession, chanting etc. and entering the conference room and experiencing the re arranging of the panels all added to the experience of divine feeling and thoughts. I also felt a sense of oneness as the ritual proceeded as most participants focus/energy was on the operations and one’s even followed some of the actions of operators such as the ‘dua’ posture.
However, in the future I think we should be mindful of time as well as possibly a question and answer session.
Again DUA ALL