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Priesthood

 

Having grown up in the west and yet immersing ourselves in an eastern tradition, we have to face a few basic differences in perspective and emphasis.  Moderns, owing to a typical pattern of haste, have ignored observations and lessons that were not overlooked in older civilizations.  In Arabic, the word for “sun” is feminine, and the word for “moon” is masculine.  We find that most lunar divinities in Egypt appear as male, and most solar ones as female.  One should understand the difference between bliss and ecstasy, for example, if one wishes to actually experience them the way real pagans did. 

 

Of all the Egyptian deities, Thoth seems the most internally motivated, yet with a profound respect for the activities of those who are externally motivated.  He is a lunar god, and silver with its alchemical potencies of serendipity is often central to His work.  He is a god of free thinkers, and experienced free thinkers come to understand that exercising freedom of speech can jeopardize their freedom of thought.  A compassionate Mr. Spock would try to make the Dallas Cowboys’ Cheerleaders feel better about themselves, whatever his own opinion might be.  A wise man of modest means handles venomous serpents and affluent people with due care, as would a physician or bartender. 

 

Most of the work done by a development group for an Egyptian temple should be done behind closed doors, like the work of magicians, musicians, or martial artists.  Yet, since Thoth is patron of information, His operatives should be well versed in the essentials that members of the other priesthoods might need in building their information bases.  Though the daily rites of a Thoth temple might be completely secret, those who celebrate them should be qualified to advise others who have a wholesome interest in the principles at work in the liturgy and other aspects of temple craft. 

 

Priesthoods’ priorities will differ according to the agendas of the Netjeru and of tribal values, but the underlying scientific aspects of Ma’at will not.  Thoth’s priests should be able to distill their cogent observations for others not so preoccupied with clarity.  As Einstein said, the simplest explanation that works is the one to be preferred, and if there is anybody around who could furnish fun and interesting facts about the old ways to one who approaches with sincere interest and respect, it should be a priest of Thoth.  In this, he will of course not be necessarily obliged, as Lord Thoth is called “Unapproachable One”.  Yet, He is also, “He Who Comes When Called”.  This may sound rather enigmatic, but, to understand the work of an Egyptian ceremonial entity, we must remember that a real temple is the house of the deity, rather a “church” or house of a priesthood. 

 

The order of Thoth is actually a darshana, or mystery school that makes elaborate investigations into specific concerns to support the traditional preferences of its culture and imbibe some of the opulence of its deities.  A priest of Thoth is at times more than likely to be reticent about his theological opinions with the uninitiated, especially if he senses that his audience contains those who simply want to scavenge together a veneer of competence to win their own credulous following or obtain a map of possible weaknesses of “rival” organizations that they can exploit.  A priest of Thoth is called upon not to create experimental issues for prospective gain, but to administer remedies and solutions, and be content with Thoth’s apportionment of rewards. 

 

Most of the Egyptian cults are workably branches of Hinduism, though independent in unique regards.  Many can function adequately using a basically Wiccan format.  The constituency of an Egyptian cult is not drawn together by unprovable opinions that are shared as insoluble group dilemmas in order to provide sentimental cohesion.  It is a consortium or college of investigators and practitioners of healing and other arcane arts.  We are of course drawn to the deity and His work by aesthetic considerations, as well as spiritual ones.

 

While all clergy of Egyptian gods should be able to engage productively in polite religious debate if it will further Ma’at, one has to have a perfect grasp of the intent, purposes, and methods of his/her priesthood in order to decide whether or not certain explanations actually ought to be made, and be articulate enough so that the matter will be properly satisfied.  This is at variance with the general custom of coarse controversy that western thinkers have often been so fond of.  Religious instruction should actually dispose of confusion so that living beings can be restored to their best state.  Enlightenment may not be mandatory, but it certainly comes in handy for leaders of minority faiths. 

 

Those who would prefer recreational speculation to bringing the Great Work into clearer focus should avoid high priests, and vice versa.  Of course, in the world of Egyptian religion, those we seek to help are rarely handed a pamphlet.  They are more likely to be asked to come to a meeting that involves study, meditation, prayer, and ceremony.  They are given specific answers to specific questions, when this is possible.  Generally, though, the hub that involves both clergy and laity in Egyptian religious life is the cycle of festivals honoring the gods where significant events in their pastimes are celebrated.  Egyptian priests require much training, yet this should not be irritatingly obvious to outsiders. 

 

Thoth’s clergy is not preoccupied with quantitative concerns.  The effects of excessive abundance on the unobservant have long been understood by the observant.  Our focus is on qualitative concerns, because these are the means by which true repair to a damaged body or psyche is brought about.  Thus, there is no insecurity that should lead our people to seek converts, as this would multiply the work loads on our small numbers of well trained priests who bring gifts from a timeless realm.  Instead, we seek to qualify ourselves through excellence, and of course do our duty by welcoming those who have always possessed a true affinity for our customary pursuits to associate with us.  Confidence and credibility with those who truly belong in a Thoth cabal is won through performance in the proper Egyptian manner, rather than though dogma, demagogy, or other fashionable approaches. 

 

Modesty about accomplishments is best, unless challenged by someone whose envy motivates them to try to disrupt.  That is the proper time for “showing off’, and it requires a high level of courtesy and skill to be done properly.  An Egyptian temple should be a place where the clergy can carry on the sacred activities, providing an atmosphere of reverence and timely festivity for those who seek closer contact with the deity who abides in the temple.  The god’s house is maintained by specialist servants who always had a desire to live happily ever after in a castle under the lordship of a beautiful god. 

 

Genuine sacred disciplines and activities are to purify the mind, rather than clutter it up with the things that simply keep people bound to inert ideas.  Monotheist and carelessly-applied pagan concepts, while giving people a second-hand sense of purpose, rarely help them discover themselves.  One thing that I would say about the priesthood of Thoth is that we investigate various means of ameliorating the effects of programming on the human organism.  Peer pressure, family pressure, regimental pressure, and other forms of semiconscious hum drum can really take their toll, especially on people who are sensitive, and have a natural talent for mystical pursuits. 

 

Though perhaps some of the other cults may make use of programming or counter-programming, the best use of ones intelligence involves becoming able to identify and uninstall concepts that infect and devitalize people much the way that cyber viruses attack computers.  Still, we cannot accomplish this alone.  Empathic humans need knowledge and support to retain and engage their powers creatively.  If you are an intelligent Egyptian soul who has been putting off contact, please remember how common a habit it is for coarser people to try to pick us apart, make our lives go haywire, and wreck our dreams.  We have to stay on top of our duty to mankind, or we will fall by the wayside under the perennial torrents of mediocritizing corporate mentality movements like that of Theodosius.