Kemetism – Ancient Religions in our Modern World

Kemetism is the contemporary revival of the Ancient Egyptian religion that started in the 1970s as Neopaganism was forming in the United States. The beliefs have also spread to other parts of the world outside of the United States in places such as France and the Czech Republic. Followers of this belief system call themselves Kemetics.

As with other neo-pagan religions, Kemetism has many traditions ranging from eclectic to reconstructionist. Reconstructionists try to practice the faith of Ancient Egypt as closely as possible as they did in ancient times. There are reconstructionists of other faiths such as Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Celtic, and Norse. By researching what archaeologists and historians discover about the details of these ancient religions, neo-pagans feel a strong calling to worship their God(s) the same way as their ancestors did.

An article on states, the largest Kemetic organization is the House of Netjer or Kemetic Orthodoxy, founded in the late 1980s by Tamara L. Siuda. It gained official recognition in the U.S. as a religion in 1994. Siuda underwent her coronation as Nisut-Bity (Pharaoh) in 1996 through ceremonies performed in Egypt, and is now known formally within her faith as “Her Holiness, Sekhenet-Ma’at-Ra setep-en-Ra Hekatawy I, Nisut-Bity of the Kemetic Orthodox faith.” Other organizations include the Kemetic Orthodox House of Netjer, Per-Ankh, the Church of the Eternal Source, the Akhet Hwt-Hrw and the Nuhati-am-Nutjeru, among other lesser-known groups.

Like other neo-pagan groups, it can be difficult when the modern world, even in religious terms, comes up against the ancient one. Adapting aspects such as language and ritualistic practices is usually needed for the belief to have meaning in modern day people. Most neo-pagans that I know will tell you that the biggest reason they were drawn to a faith under the Pagan umbrella is a strong calling to the beliefs and lives of our ancient ancestors. In general, a lot of research and reading is done in these faiths, keeping up with archaeologists and historians, learning the steps of the past for ourselves. Neopaganism has grown significantly over the years, especially in the United States. While it is rarely visible to the rest of the public, there are numerous groups and resources for those looking.

One thought on “Kemetism – Ancient Religions in our Modern World

  1. I’ve heard about neopagan religions, but never knew much about the different little groups with slightly dissimilar beliefs and practices. I can understand why modern day people would want to feel connected to premodern people and wanting to feel closer to our ancestors. Kemetism is especially interesting because it is bringing back ancient Egyptian belief systems…much of which was lost over the years. It’s great that as archaeologists uncover more information about these religions and practices, that modern day people are feeling a connection to them and their God(s).

    It does make me wonder how such a different kind of religious affiliation was able to become an official religion in 1994…how many people must follow and believe for this to become an official religion! It’s so interesting! I have always been interested in the religion and everyday life of ancient Egyptians, but I never once considered following the ancient religion. It intrigues me.

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