BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Richard Reidy’s book, Everlasting Egypt; Kemetic Rituals for the Gods was published posthumously on July 20. Reidy had been a major influence in transmitting authentic ancient Egyptian (Kemetic) religious practices for the modern world. Richard J. Reidy was born in Ohio on September 25, 1944. In 1997, he founded the Temple of Ra in San Francisco.
As some Pagans and Heathens attempt to revive ancient or indigenous religions they often rely on the work of historians, primary texts and archaeologists. For this reason, when something new pops up that challenges long held academic ideas on cultural or religious practice, we pay attention. Here are some of the new(er) finds making waves in archaeological circles. Egyptian Funeral Garden Finally Discovered
A 4,000-year-old funerary garden, the first to be found, was uncovered on the Dra Abu el-Naga hill in Luxor, Egypt. Archaeologists had long suspected that funeral gardens existed in Egypt, since there were depictions of them on on tomb walls, but until now, one hadn’t been found.
On Novemeber 22 the Kemetic Reconstructionist community was shocked to hear of the death of one of its foremost authors and ritualists – Richard J. Reidy. Richard Reidy received his Master of Divinity degree in 1979 and, then nineteen years later in 1998, he founded one of the first Kemetic temples in the United States,called The Temple of Ra, based in San Francisco. Richard went on to found three more Kemetic temples located in the cities of San Jose, Sacramento, and Denver. He stayed personally active in the both the San Francisco and San Jose temples, meeting monthly for rituals and study. In 2010, Richard published his book Eternal Egypt: Ancient Rituals for the Modern World, which was hailed as the first comprehensive collection of key ritual texts performed throughout Egypt during the time of the pharaohs. At the time of his death, he was working on a successor volume to Eternal Egypt.
WISCONSIN — Just over 10 years ago work started on a new Egyptian temple dedicated to the Goddess Hathor. The design for the temple was revealed by the Goddess herself to Tim, a solitary Kemetic Wiccan living in rural Wisconsin. Over the years, Tim worked almost daily to recreate the temple that he saw during his trance. Now nearing completion, the temple consists of an eleven foot entry gate and two circles of cement pillars 11 feet high and weighing two tons each. The temple is a testament to Tim’s dedication and shows what one devoted polytheist can accomplish when he’s sincere in honoring his Gods.
Perspectives is a monthly column dedicated towards presenting the wide variety of thought across the Pagan/Polytheist communities’ various Paganisms.
The Wild Hunt received responses from four members of the community—Ember Cooke, Gytha of the Vanic Conspiracy and member of Seidhjallr (Sudhri); Richard Reidy, Kemetic Reconstructionist, author, moderator and founder of The Temple of Ra and the Kemetic Temple of San Jose; Erynn Rowan Laurie, author and Celtic Reconstructionist polytheist; and Sannion, the archiboukolos of the thiasos of the Starry Bull—detailing their opinion on whether larger interfaith work (Abrahamic, Dharmic, etcetera) is needed or if it’s a distraction from Pagan-Polytheist-Wiccan-Heathen-Recon-African Tradition inter/intrafaith work? “I absolutely do NOT think that one kind of interfaith work is a distraction from another kind. Both are necessary if Pagans in general are to have increased stability, civil rights and respect, and influence on the world around us. Interfaith work within the Pagan movement is necessary so that we can increasingly work together and function in ways that we have intended to in the past while overlooking the fact of our differences in theology. Interfaith work with non-Pagan traditions is necessary for us to gain the understanding and support of the larger faith population, which is most of the world. To discard either one is to say that some categories of humans don’t matter very much, so if they don’t understand us and care about us, well, we don’t need to understand and care about them which is a dangerous drawing of lines in the sand that I think causes a lot more harm than good.