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Temple of Aset Ritual
The ritual by the Temple of Aset (TOA) Bastu (Alumni) was orchestrated very well. The ritual began external to the conference Temple room with an ordered procession about the inner perimeter of the lodging facility. The TOA Bastu led the procession and was followed in sequence by Sebai Maa, Seba Dja, Hemu, Asaru, Shemsu and Rekhytu. Bastu delegated the drumming, sistrum and other accompanying parts to specific persons before the ritual. Moreover, the Bastu led the vocals in a call and response fashion on the processional song – which was the “Anetg Akhu Aset” song. The Temple room was adorned in ordered, iconic Kemetic elegance from entrance to altar engendering a feeling of regality, harmony and purity that one might envision experiencing in Ancient Kemet. The altar was also arranged with blessed purpose with the Tyet (buckle of Goddess Aset) as the major focal point. It is important to note that the Tyet is consistent with an Ankh, which has downward folded arms characterizing the potential (Tyet) of the dynamic (Ankh – life). Furthermore, it is noteworthy that the buckle of Goddess Aset is red representing her blood as well as the life essence of the Shining Spirit coupled with the protection of the eye of Heru. The Bastu were able to express this feeling through their presentation of the ritual reenactment. The scroll (Zenefu en Aset hekau en Aset Akhu en Aset) and other ancillary documents (chant of Temple of Aset; Speech of Goddess Aset; Four Great Truths) were prepared care and presented with reverence. Personally, it was humbling to see several of my previous students (who allowed me to teach them in the past) confidently and respectfully perform their roles of prominence. Indeed, the entire ritual was a blessed.
Ritual of the Ba
The Ritual of the Ba had a feeling of sacredness from the very beginning. Perhaps, this feeling was engendered via the series of Hemu meetings that were held in advance of the conference to prepare for the ritual. All the same, this sacred feeling was also reflected in the thoughtful manner, in which the Hemu presented the ritual to the congregation.
The Hemu collectively worked together to meticulously prepare the altar (and Temple room by extension) with great care and veneration for the Divine. The ritual began around the fountain area with a fervent, yet soothing devotional feeling. Each member of the congregation was cleansed with Nile infused water. This effectively helped to heighten the flow of divine energy within everyone, while simultaneously lessening viscous blockages in the heart due to ariu impressions. It is important to emphasize that the explanations, chants and subtlety in the movements by the Hemu created a special atmosphere of sacredness for the congregation. Throughout the ritual, this blessed feeling was fluid from the fountain to the Temple room. Moreover, the primary emphasis of the ritual, that is, the Ba was prominently displayed for the congregation in the Temple room from entrance to altar – in effect, symbolically accentuating the harmonization of the personality beyond duality with their individual Ba. A very special sequential process was engendered in the ritual – for instance, (1) prostration (before the Ba), (2) consecration (by the Ba) and (3) levitation (of the Ba). In the moment, a sensitive aspirant may have experienced relief and a certain lightness of heart consistent with that which is always with us – the Divine’s Blessings, Love, Power and Purity.
The Ritual of the Ba, which was presented by the Hemu at the 2018 Neterian Conference, was glorious. Indeed, sufficiently advanced planning and practice of the ritual for other conference programs will lead to an elevation in expression and execution. This will effectively augment the collective experience of everyone.
In closing, the Ritual of the Ba was the application of spiritual science, in which Neterian Hemu metaphorically performed experiential research for the congregation into the nature of oneness with the Divine Ba. The led me to the reflection… in the vein of Sebai Maa, we are glorious, because the Divine is glorious.
Shemsu Initiation Ritual
In a word, the Shemsu initiation was magnanimous. The Temple room was clearly setup with great care, precision and reverence for the Divine cultivating a high vibrational experience for aspirant initiation and forthcoming blessings from Sebai Maa, Seba Dja, Hemu, Asaru, and Shemsu.
One aspirant, Edward Stephenson, was initiated at the 2018 Neterian Conference. After reading his paper on the Neterian Creed, it was clear to me that Aspirant Edward (now Shems Edward) had keenly studied the teachings for several years.
Uab Amuntyt to led him into the Temple room, where the Hemu, Asaru and Shemsu were seated in designated seats per standard Temple protocol. I noticed that Aspirant Edward exhibited a gentle, yet earnest demeanor. (This observation was also evinced when he spoke at the conclusion of the initiation.) The Hemu carried out the formal initiate readings and chants of the Temple of Shetaut Neter with profundity, heartfelt sincerity and veneration for Pa Neter, the Neteru and the teachings as espoused by the Kamitic Sages and Saints of Ancient times – and Sebai Maa and Seba Dja in modern times. Perhaps, it is noteworthy to share some of the initiation highlights that I often enjoy, which include: (1) the formal ritual custom itself (from preparation to execution to conclusion), (2) transition from aspirant to Shems (i.e., crossing over from the aspirant (Rehkyt) side to the follower (Shems) side), (3) words of wisdom for the new Shems initiate from the collective congregation, and (4) welcoming hug of the aspirant from the congregation. Finally, the initiation ritual always engenders a high vibratory experience for all. Indeed, the feeling of this experience usually last in the heart/mind of participants for some period of time after the program.