Banu (fyrekat) wrote,
Banu
fyrekat

An Ongoing Kemetic Glossary

Here and there in my posts I use terms and spellings with which those new to the Kemetic community might not be familiar. Rather than avoiding any specific terms or using spellings which are either incorrect or simply not my preference, I've decided to create this glossary of terms. When you see a word in hypertext, that usually means that clicking on it will either take you to another post on my journal where I talk more about that particular idea or object, or it will bring you here to the glossary page for a definition of the term as I'm using it. Naturally, I'll be adding to this glossary as time goes on, so if there's anything in particular that you'd like to see here just post a request to this thread and I'll see what I can do.

Glossary


dua- ritual gesture Means literally "worship." This is a type of gesture, commonly combined with a bow, where the arms are held in front of the body, upper arms parallel to the floor and lower arms pointing upward, hands flat with palms facing the object of reverence. The body is then bent at the waist in a bow while the arms are kept parallel with the upper body. This can be done kneeling or standing up. A "full dua" is similar, but is done from a kneeling position and the body is bent all the way forward, until the forearms and the forehead rest on the floor. It is an expression of reverence toward a ntjr(t). Commonly written and pronounced as "henu," and frequently used as a gesture of greeting by some members of the modern Kemetic Community, though the "hnw" is actually a different type of gesture (illustrated by the hieroglyphic determinatives which write the term).

heka- noun I have decided to use the "e" to distinguish the use of this force from the ntjr Who also bears the name, Hka. This may be a false distinction, but it seems acceptable for use at this time. Heka is the use of natural law as revealed to us by the ntjrw to make the best use of our time and the resources available to us, in order to live a full and meaningful life.

hnw- ritual gesture Means literally "jubilation." This gesture is performed by holding the right hand in a fist closed over the left chest (heart), while the left hand is held out to the side- upper arm parallel to the floor, and lower arm raised to the sky- with the left hand also in a fist. However, it is frequently used by many modern Kemetics to describe the dua gesture, and is often employed as a greeting to fellow Kemetics, rather than only to gods,

mdw ntjr- noun Means literally "god's words." This is the term the ancient Egyptians used to describe their own written language- hieroglyphic and it's descendents. I use it to refer to the ancient Egyptian written languages, and the ancient Egyptian terms which members of the modern Kemetic Community use to describe their beliefs and practices.

ntjr- noun, singular masc. (plural: ntjrw) Means literally "god." When written with a lowercase n, it refers to any one of the many manifestations of the masculine divinities of the Kemetic pantheon. When written with a capital N, it refers either to the unified concept of the Kemetic Divine, or can occasionally be used by a temple or worshiper to refer to his/her/their own specific god of choice.

ntjri- noun, singular masc. (plural: ntjriw, fem: ntjrit) Means literally "godlike one." This term refers to the spirits of plants, animals, places, and natural phenomena which, while not qualifying as gods in their own right, nonetheless have their own specialized areas of influence. Unlike ntjrw, however, ntjri are not necessarily helpful or friendly, so approach them with caution and respect. See the related journal entry, here.

ntjrt- noun, singular fem. (plural: ntjrwt) Means literally "goddess." When written with a lowercase n, it refers to any one of the many manifestations of the feminine divinities of the Kemetic pantheon. Can occasionally be written with a capital N by a temple or worshiper to refer to his/her/their own specific goddess of choice.

ntjrwy- noun, dual masc. (fem: ntjrty) Means literally "two gods." In the ancient writings the dual form appeared almost exclusively in religious texts; in modern times I have found it useful for referring to two gods Who share some profound link based on mythology (such as Skhmt and Hwt-Hrw), function (Wpwawt and Anpw, Hrw and Stkh), or occasionally my relationship with Them (my two Mothers, two Patrons, etc.). This generally replaces my use of a capitalized "Two," which I use in English.

open statue- noun, singular neut. (plural: open statues) Refers to a statue which has been ritually consecrated as a channel or vessel to hold the essence of the ntjr(t) it represents- this was traditionally done in each temple with the icon which was kept in the innermost shrine, the holy of holies. Occasionally, open statues find their way into museums, though I have found that if a glass case is placed around them it tends to quiet their energies down. In these cases, you wouldn't notice their nature unless you'd been around before they had been placed in the enclosed box. Most modern Kemetic temples have rituals to open new statues, however tending to an open statue is a great deal more responsibility than owning a regular icon.

saq- noun, singular neut. (plural: saq) Ritual trance possession of a priest by a god, in order to communicate on a more tangible level with the worshippers for whom the god holds audience. A more in-depth discussion of saq can be found in the journal archives.

snbty- salutation A frequent blessing used as a "farewell" in Kemetic correspondence, it means "(May you) Be well," or "(May you) Be healthy" and basically bestows the user's good wishes for the other before each goes on his or her way. Often spelled "Senebty," to make it more pronouncable.

shmsw- noun, singular masc. (plural: shmsww) Means literally "follower," and it is generally understood to mean one who is following Ntjr. Though this is the singular masculine form, within the Kemetic Community it is commonly used as a feminine and a plural as well. Most temples use this term to identify someone who has officially joined their own temple and made a formal dedication to Ntjr, but here I use it to describe anyone who has dedicated themselves exclusively to the Kemetic deities and follows a Kemetic lifestyle.

shmswt- noun, singular fem. (plural: shmswwt) See "shmsw"

Wag- festival A kind of Kemetic "Day of the Dead," the Wag festival is a time for us to honor our beloved akhw and the role they play in our lives and communities. Though exact dates depend on which Kemetic calendar you follow, the Wag festival is usually sometime in August on the Julian calendar. The name of the festival may be related to the word "wag" which means, literally, "shouting." (If so, this may refer to the noise of a particularly jubilant festival or the sound of many offering prayers being read and stories being retold- though this last is purely speculation on my part.)

Wp Rnpt- festival Means literally "Opening of the Year." The Kemetic New Year occurs at slightly different times depending on which geographical location and method of calculation is used as the calendar's base, but is generally sometime between June and August on the Julian calendar. This tends to be a time of great celebration, but also upheaval- the Kemetic community in general has shown a pattern of destroying old habits, situations, and/or baggage at this time in order to make way for the New Year.

Zp tpy- time period Means literally "First Time." This very complicated term basically refers to the moment of creation, which is such a timeless and vital event that it is in fact happening cyclically and continually. Therefore, in a sense, zp tpy is a renewal- however it is also an affirmation. It's an odd concept to grasp, but the "First Time" simultaneously encompasses that entire era of created history wherein the ntjrw enacted all the timeless events making up the mythology of Kemetic religion. A zp tpy event is especially important to mankind, as such events are templates which can be "attached" to more mundane affairs (by the use of heka), thus ensuring that the end result mirrors the outcome of the zp tpy.



All translations of ancient Egyptian terms on this page are taken or derived from one or more of the following sources:

  • Allen, James P. Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  • Ancient Egyptian Language List. Online posting. http://www.rostau.org.uk/AEgyptian-L/
  • Faulkner, Raymond. A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian. Oxford: Griffith Institute Asmolean Museum, 1999.
  • Gardiner, Alan. Egyptian Grammar: Being an Introduction to the Study of Hieroglyphs (Third Edition). London: Oxford University Press, 1969.
  • Shennum, David. English-Egyptian Index of Faulkner's Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian. Malibu: Undena Publications, 1977.
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    • A hymn to Ra

      Going through Maulana Karenga's Maat: The Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt, and finding much to reflect on. Most of it isn't anything shockingly new,…

    • PantheaCon 2010

      It's not quite over yet, but I'm taking a break from the festivities to revel in some of the wonderful experiences I've had and stuff I've found at…

    • (no subject)

      Eternal Egypt is a gold mine of carefully researched and lovingly, conscientiously presented ritual liturgies for the modern Kemetic…