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The Traditional Religious Attitudes and Observances of the Ancient Egyptians: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

It has now been one return of Saturn since this writer began to practice the religion of the ancient Egyptians, that is, with as much closeness to its spirit and habit that life in these United States would safely permit. It has been his discovery that those who feel close to the Egyptian ways and deities have more autonomy than do those of any other faith system. A Druid teacher once remarked to me that the Egyptian path was the most individual of any that could be described as truly traditional. A Fijian friend who was a Sikh by birth, Hindu by habit, and Rastafarian by choice said that the Egyptian path was "the heaviest trip of all". It seems that by virtue of their long training and advanced realizations, those ancient Egyptians who have taken birth in this age approach spiritual life with a great deal of independence. Most organized religions are like tour buses headed for the Promised Land. It seems as if the Egyptian souls have been given scooters by their gods to zip around on. Most of them are successful enough with life as they find it to be free of the often-heavy need for structure found in other theological foundations.

Thus, there is nowadays often a difficulty in getting those people whose religious life is decidedly Egyptian in character to cooperate in building earthly temples. Having done without for 1500 years, we are like camels that can cross great deserts without needing to drink; at least, not as deeply as we did when the great temples were in full swing. We have wanted to see everything that this brave new world has to offer, if not actually experience it. We find small, scattered numbers of our brethren to counsel us through our struggles to understand our condition in this environment, and worship mostly in private. To supplement our need for knowledge and human contact, we make friends with those who appreciate our ways, for there are sometimes almost enough of those folks. Still, for an advanced student of Egyptian mysticism, to find people with closely parallel experiences is rare. Most people who keep devotional places and times for our gods do not usually even identify themselves as votaries, except to close friends.

The furious interest in the past work of Egypt's gods and people since the decipherment of hieroglyphs would suggest that the spirit of the old way is still very much alive, like an old battery with yet plenty of juice. Why, then, would we want anything to change? If the old temples have been enough to look at, and private chapels have been sufficient for contemporary worship, should we feel the need for anything that might be perceived as competing or clashing with the myth that the old gods have gone on? We're probably safer with the Abrahamic sects believing that we're extinct. Being denied the luxury that just about all others possess, that of an above ground pattern and sanctuary, we continue to learn and evolve and at times manage to make ourselves useful to allied dharmas. But anyway, I see a responsible henotheist as one who has graduated from Sunday school, rather than dropped out. Coping and integrating ourselves with those holding friendly and unfriendly beliefs has made us better people, right? Well, maybe it's just time for a growth-spurt if we get the overwhelming feeling that something is missing—namely, the old stone temple, the House of the God/dess. Perhaps simply longing for the return of such a place for its beauty, power, and serenity alone is enough.