Pantheacon 2016 Presentations

Pantheacon 2016 Presentations

[Update 4/6/2016: I have added the short descriptions of the talks, as well as a couple of notes about them]

Here are two presentations delivered at Pantheacon 2016:

Waking up Gods, Waking up Creation: The Egyptian Morning Hymn

Descriptive blurb submitted for the Pantheacon Program: “We will explore the Morning Hymn used to waken the Gods and Goddesses in Egyptian Temples – covering the hymn’s history, meaning, parts, and performance. We will end by learning to pronounce and sing choral portions of the hymn and then perform a complete hymn together for a God or Goddess”.

Presentation – PDF rendering of PowerPoint slides and a PDF handout distributed at the talk.

Waking The Gods Presentation

Waking The Gods Handout


Weaving the Cloth of Reality: Word and Sound in Egyptian Ritual

Descriptive blurb submitted for the Pantheacon Program: “Egyptian rituals use the sounds of words, along with their meanings, to connect to mythic themes and tie the ritual utterances together into effective tools. The goal is to please the Gods, re-energize Them, and sustain creation itself each day. We will explore sound and how it can deepen our modern understanding and practice of Egyptian ritual by looking at current progress in reconstructing the pronunciation of Egyptian, analyze the layers of meaning in some simple ritual texts, and then pronounce them”.

Presentation – PDF rendering of PowerPoint slides

Weaving The Cloth Of Reality Presentation


These slides are clearly not the complete content of the talks and unfortunately the talks were not recorded. Nevertheless, I will leave these here in the interest of documentation and as a reference point for some later posts, so I may refer back to them.

You will notice that some of the material from The Morning Hymn for Seven Goddesses is included in the Pantheacon slides. We sang about half of that Hymn as part of the presentation, diverging a little bit from the plan in the blurb text.

The ‘Waking the Gods Handout’ provides a short form Morning Hymn vocalization for both a God and a Goddess and a pronunciation key. If you feel so moved, use them in your own devotions. By all means experiment – sing them in English or Egyptian, for any God or Goddess, using whichever way of saying Their names that is meaningful to you, or chant them, or say them out loud. They are meant as tools and (hopefully) take off points for your own practice. No need to obsess over doing them one right way. The Egyptians had multiple versions, and we can too. Make them live!

There are more examples of the Morning Hymn text than are covered in ‘Waking the Gods’. One of those, Utterance 6 of the Temple Statue Ritual (Berlin Papyrus 3055), titled simply ky r(A) “Another Utterance”, contains a quite interesting version. It will receive its own treatment in a subsequent post.

The photograph is one I took at Deir el Bahri Temple in January 2016. It shows the rising sun shining directly into the sanctuary of Amun, albeit somewhat misaligned. The alignment would be very near perfect at the Winter Solstice, to which the temple is aligned. We were there a couple of weeks later.

A Single Conversation of Consequence : The Morning Hymn for Seven Goddesses

Sometimes a simple chance conversation can have powerful consequences. This past October, I attended the Parliament of the World’s Religions, a very large international interfaith event. The event is amazing, with people from all over the planet and from every kind of religion/faith/tradition you can think of participating. All kinds of things happen when so many people get together who are open to sharing their insights into common problems from their individually diverse spiritual and religious perspectives.

The last formal event I attended was the “Solidarity with Indigenous Communities Plenary” on the very last day. There were many speakers from many different indigenous peoples from around the world, with one person on stage being Jean Fleury, Crow Creek Sioux Tribal Peace Ambassador and a key organizer of the Healing Hearts at Wounded Knee Global Ceremony. (Please go take a look at their mission statements and invitation to participate in healing the wounds from all Massacres and help to end them in the future). At any rate, the Plenary Session lasted longer than scheduled, and by the time it was finished the carpets were literally being rolled up in the Salt Lake City Convention Center. Luckily, the food court was still open so I rushed over for a quick lunch. Or so I thought. While getting napkins and whatnot, Jean asked if she could join me for lunch. So we sat down and started talking and sharing our paths, as people often do at the Parliament. I described my particular Kemetic path briefly and talked about my passion for speaking and singing the rituals in Egyptian, and that I was starting out with the Morning Hymn found in a number of temples and texts. She said “Well you know you have to sing it for me now!” and so I did – haltingly and only partially since it wasn’t finished by any means at that point.

And then she asked “You do know you are singing for the Ancestors from Egypt, don’t you?”. I was slightly stunned for a moment at that question. It was both a recognition and a challenge, completely serious and completely attuned to the deeper goals of what I had described, though I hadn’t actually said anything about deeper goals. She saw past the surface description and pulled out the source of those passions. My answer was and is “Yes”. Humbly, “Yes”. A yes that carries responsibilities I know I do not yet fully understand.
Then came another question that was both an invitation and a challenge – “I would love to have your song on the HHWK web site. Could you record it and allow us to post it there?” Again, after a gulp, the answer was Yes.

So here is the Morning Hymn For Seven Goddesses, as recorded in honor of and for the Healing Hearts Global Ceremony 2015 and stored on their site.

Note: Since making the recording last December (2015) I have changed the voweling in one place (many times repeated). In a subsequent post, I’ll be giving some more information on the Morning Hymn and the reconstructed forms used in it.

The Temple of Ra in San Francisco did perform a ritual on December 29th, 2015 as part of the Global Ceremony. In that ritual we sang the hymn together. The ritual itself was an Interfaith event in a way, in that we had non-members present representing non-Kemetic Polytheist, Wiccan, and Orthodox Christian traditions. That I feel was a great way to honor both the memory of Wounded Knee and the joyfully interconnected phenomenon that is the Parliament of the World’s Religions.


And so it begins…. About Imperishable Stars

This blog will be a place where I post various thoughts and writings on things Egyptian, both in the context of Reconstructionist Kemeticism and topics from academic and Egyptological research.

As such, it will reflect my primary passions in these areas:

  • Ritual texts and ritual adaptations for use by Kemetic Polytheists today
  • Linguistic understanding of the Egyptian language in all its forms and stages
  • Reconstructed vocalizations of Egyptian, especially texts composed in Middle Egyptian and ‘Égyptien de tradition’ used in ritual
  • Theological insights arising from the ancient texts, rituals, and structuring of sacred spaces

That said, I am sure some just-for-fun and just-because posts will happen from time to time. Playfulness is a good thing and important insights can come from anyplace at all.

I do not intend the blog to emphasize burning issues of the moment in the world of politics or pagan/polytheist controversies. There will of course be exceptions to this. After all, the very first post is a response to one of those controversies and it spurred me to begin the blog after a long period of procrastination.

In the immortal words of a certain Vorlon:
“And so it begins…”