What you wear, and why you value it/ the story behind what you wear

Em hotep!
My name is Davina. I am an anthropology student and am currently doing a research project on Kemetic Orthodoxy and the community around the House of Netjer. I am focusing on clothing, body assortments, tattoos, and jewelry and their significance to practitioners. I was hoping to gain some insight if anyone would be open and willing to talk to me.

I would appreciate this help greatly and am open to all information.
Thank you for your time!
Senebty,
D.

Em hotep!

I used to wear a necklace that was made of bone and in the shape of a lion’s tooth. I wore it before my RPD and a little bit after as well. I wore it mostly in devotion to Sekhmet, specifically in the aspect of a protector. I don’t think anyone noticed or asked about it though.

Simply when I am doing senut I try to wear clean whites. Clean white clothes represent purity or cleanliness and is seen as a desired clothing for ritual. If I can’t wear white I choose for the cleanest clothes I do have.

I don’t have any tattoos but I have thought about it a fair bit and wouldn’t be opposed to it either. I’ve talked to a few people who also have thought about getting tattoos of their gods.

Senebty!

I have two pendants I wear - one with my shemsu name and one with my parents (Hethert and Set) on it. I wear it almost every day, and find that it grounds me and connects me a little to Netjer.

I also have my senut whites, a plain white cotton-linen blend shirt and pants I wear only when doing Senut. Wearing them helps me get into the right frame of mind for Senut

I don’t have a distinct set of whites for Senut, so I just use clean (preferably light-colored) clothing and that works well enough for me.

As for jewelry, I have a necklace which I keep on 24/7 which currently contains 5 pendants, but that number fluctuates a bit. I am very partial to amulets, so I kind of collect them and wear them as much as I can.

The relevant ones that I currently am wearing would be:

  • a cartouche of my name
  • an enshrined image of Hatmehyt
  • a small tyet knot

Other pendants that I’m currently not wearing:

  • a perfume bottle
  • a ram’s head for Banebdjedet

I’ve been looking for a silver nekhau amulet but the jeweler that I have my eye on is currently not shipping out of Australia due to the pandemic. I also intend to get a sa amulet, but I’m waiting for the right timing for that.

Tattoos are certainly something I have my eye on. I already have one for my Hittite practice, and have been looking to get a small text from the Dispute of a Man and his Ba on my right forearm. I’d like to get more after that, but I don’t have a specific thing chosen.

Thank you Aaqaiyetiaset!

A quick follow up question, was the necklace custom made?

-D.

Setjezusenu thank you for the information!

I also was wondering if the pendants you wear were custom made for you and your parents? Also is it ok for you to wash the clothing you wear doing Senut?

-D.

Sesaiaset, thank you!
I am also very particular about my pendants :sweat_smile:.
Do you ever feel that the pendants/their energies clash?

-D.

Not necessarily! I tend to focus on amulets as protective charms and symbols of devotion. It’s kind of like holding precious things particularly close to my heart.
The only downside is I am very loud, although I got used to that. It’s similar to the sound cats make with their collars. A little jingle :slight_smile:

This will be relevant to your questions for the others: I know a lot of people get their pendants from On the Temple Steps, a shop owned by another member of the House. I got my Hatmehyt and my cartouche from there, for instance.

Hahaha, everyone must know when you’re coming! Have you ever felt pressured to not wear some of your pendants because of other people or work?

(Also thank you so much for the shop link!)

I generally keep them under my clothes which keeps it from being too noticeable. But it’s comforting to have it with me. I feel like I’m missing something when I don’t and not necessarily just because I don’t have that little bit of weight on me.

My cultural background is Catholic so I grew up surrounded by many symbols like that. I had a pendant of Mary which I originally got for my first communion which I wore a lot, and then there were things like bracelets with images of saints and other figures. When I converted it was natural for me to have new symbols to wear that reflected my current worldview.

That’s very interesting. Do you still wear some of your Catholic symbols? I also grew up Catholic, personally even though I still don’t practice it can be hard to let go of certain pendants.

Not at the current time. I have two saint amulets from In the Company of Saints which I love a lot, a Hildegard of Bingen and a Santiago. Unfortunately I’ve developed an allergy to pewter so I can’t really wear them like I used to. I do keep all of them rather specifically in a safe place, though. So they’re not forgotten, just retired for the most part!

Hotep, and welcome!

Clothing - I have a set of white linen clothes that I only wear when I am in my shrine space, working with my ancestors (akhu) of gods. Do I only wear the whites in the shrine? No, but I try to be as clean as possible, both body and clothes, but I also live a busy life, and They understand. We try and wear white just as the ancients did, as it took time and effort to keep white clothes white (and still does), and that in and of itself is an act of devotion.

Body and Tattoos - I have no tattoos, yet, and I don’t know if I ever will (a bit of a pain wimp), but if I do, my first one will be dedicated to/designed around my ancestors, and will include a variety of symbols and symbolisms for them. I know of no prohibitions of tattoos or body modification, in either current or ancient times. That said, having the names or images of the gods permanently on your body results in a whole new level of interaction with Them, as well as purifications for the area.

Jewelry - I’m not a huge jewelry person, so I wear my wedding ring and usually one of two necklaces (ankh or scarabs) that I have made. Both were made after coming to Kemetic Orthodoxy, and help connect me to my religion no matter where I am.

If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Padjaiemweru

Oh no sorry to hear about the allergy! But that’s such a lovely way to think about the co-existence of the saints with your current pendants

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Em hotep!

I have rewitten this so many times to avoid it becoming an essay, please let me know if you have any questions.

Jewellery:

  • I wear two gold necklaces I never take off, one of which was a gift intended as a gift for my Confirmation. I have never worn it for Catholic purposes though, I kept it packed away until I decided to ‘reclaim’ it for my Kemetic practice
  • I have 3 silver rings that came out of gifted ring candles. These have meaning directly tied to the time in my life I recieved them, relating to my RPD deities, and wear them occasionally.
  • I have a few piercings, but none dedicated to the Netjeru. I’ve gotten a ‘no’ vibe for that, full stop.

Clothing:

  • I don’t personally wear Senut whites, I just make sure I am clean, in clean clothing
  • I have handmade a crochet shawl in sunset colours in devotion to my Father, Nefertem. I wear it during reflections/meditations for Him.

Tattoos:

  • None for the Netjeru, yet, though I do plan on getting one when money/time/feelings allow. I would love to get a bouquet of flowers for Them.

Senebty,
Benerwy

Benerwy thank you so much!
Quick question, what did you mean about “reclaiming” your Confirmation necklace? Have you rededicated it/ascribed it new meaning?

-D.

Tjehu, thank you for the response!

Would you be willing to describe your tattoos?

-D.

Yes of course! If anyone would like to contact me through email that is also fine, it is [email protected] Whichever is easier for you

Em hotep!

I have LOTS of Kemetic jewelry, but there are four favorites. Now that I am retired, I don’t wear them so much, as I am at home most days with the shrines not far away. When I was working, it was very important to have a pendant or two on me (also with a print of an artwork I did of Ptah, who, as patron of craftspeople, blessed my work as a seamstress).


.

The most frequently worn pendent is one of Mamma Hathor, (Dragonscale brand). I have a small ankh pendant that suggests lilies (also by Dragonscale), that also is special favorite.
When I’m feeling a special need for closeness to both of my spiritual parents, I have a pendant featuring both Hathor and Set. Also, when I’m feeling the need to know/uphold Ma’at (truth/justice/balance), I have a lovely feather of Ma’at. These two were done by On The Temple Steps (the one of Hathor and Set was a custom request). This shop is at Shapeways.

Also, I do have special whites for Senut, but rarely wear them, and usually opt for just clean clothes.

And I have no tattoos and no plans to get any.

Thank you Davina, for opening up a fascinating discussion!

Senebty,
Neheh

No problem! The pendants come from someone who sells them on Shapewatys - they’re 3D printed so they can be customized more easily, it’s really neat. I do wash my senut whites, yeah, whenever they seem to need it. I don’t do anything special when I do. Before I got my current senut whites I just used a pair of beaten up khakhi shorts and a white undershirt - the fact that I set aside that clothing specifically for senut was more significant to me than the clothing itself, though I am glad my current senut clothing is a little nicer. As other people in this thread have mentioned, having specific clothing for senut isn’t a requirement, but it is something some people like to do!