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Lesson 24 reading assignment. Pages 155-168
This reading begins with setting up the personal altar and the practice of daily worship. The first thing one must have is a location to perform the spiritual practices. Fortunately, I have a study that I am able to use without being disturbed.
The reading also discusses the basic materials needed to create your own altar. First you will need a small table. You will also need a candle. According to the reading, the candle holds deep mystical symbolism. It contains within itself all of the four elements of creation: fire, earth (wax in solid form), water (wax in liquefied form), and air. All are consumed in the burning process and all of them come together to produce light. This singular light represents the singular consciousness which shines throughout the entire universe.
Your altar most also contain an incense. The purpose for the incense is to invoke divine awareness through the sense of smell. When you perform spiritual practices and use a special incense consistently, every time that you smell the incense you will have divine thoughts and feelings even if you are not in the regular area of meditation. This is absolutely true. I was in a store that sold incense and smelled the fragrance I use in my devotion. It immediately reminded me of my devotion and I started to quietly say the four truths.
Your altar must also have an Ankh which is one of the most universal symbols expressing eternal life and the union of opposites.
You can also have a sculpture or iconic image which is a picture of a deity or symbol of a deity. At this particular time I am using a statue of the Goddess Hetheru. The reason that I am using Hetheru is because I am concentrating on returning to my original self after being in the world for so long.
You will also need 2 cups for libation and some type of cotton or linen material to cover the altar when not in use.
Another important theme in the reading was the demeanor as a follower in the spiritual hall. These were instructions on how and aspirant should conduct himself in temple meetings. The emphasis is placed on the importance of being cleansed spiritually as well as physically. Such things as washing yourself before entering the temple, cleansing your speech, not having sex and not harboring setian thoughts. This is very different from the Christian church. There is no emphasis placed on a physical cleaning and if you enter the church before the service begins, you will notice the congregants talking about a variety of worldly subjects.
This reading also taught me how to greet the spiritual preceptor as well as the importance of respecting the Seba.The preceptor is greeted in the basic manner of this tradition, ‘hotep’ or ‘hetep’ whichever pronunciation you would like. The preferred manner of obeisance toward the spiritual preceptor is with both arms raised with hands facing outwards towards the preceptor and that is called the ‘dua’ posture. The reason for this utmost respect for the Seba is found in the readings. It states, “For more insight into the term, Seba means star, it means an illuminating force, a shining object. Therefore the reason why preceptors are called Seba is because they illumine. Now , what do they illumine? They illumine the ‘sebat’ seba with the ‘t’ at the end of it. In Kemetic literature, those of you who have began studying the writings, when you add a ‘t’ to a word it makes if female. What all this means is that all of you as students are females, whether you are a male or female and the preceptor is male, whether the preceptor is male or female. What that means is that the illuminator is shining on you just like the sun shines on the moon, just as the moon, a symbol of mind, receives illumination from the sun, the student receives illumination from the teacher.”