FAQ: I've read that ancient Egyptian pharaohs were considered to be living gods. What does that mean for your Nisut? Is she a Pharaoh? Are you required to worship her as a god?
The idea of ancient kings as gods owes much more to modern conceptions of kingship and Hollywood movies than ancient reality. Only three pharaohs (derived from Kemetic per-a'a, or "great house," name of the royal residence) deified themselves during their lifetimes. These three "god-kings" were Amenhotep IV (also called Akhenaten) and Ramses II of the New Kingdom, and Cleopatra VII of the Ptolemaic-Roman Period. Dead kings were said to take on the identity and thus the power of the god Wesir; but so did (and still do) all the dead, royal or not, who are named after Wesir upon their judgment.
Ancient Egyptians and modern Kemetic Orthodox recognize a divine spirit referred to as the kingly ka, the essence of kingship given as a gift from Netjer to humanity, as the factor that makes a Kemetic king or Nisut-bity, one translation of which is "one owning authority." This ka, lies dormant in heirs to the throne until it is actualized via coronation, and from that point onward, the person who ascends the throne becomes two persons -- a mortal human and an immortal King. This is not the same as saying the human who bears the kingly ka is him- or herself a god like the Names of Netjer we worship, and in fact if the word netjer is used to describe a Nisut, it is prefaced by the word nefer, which sometimes means "good" or "beautiful" but in this context means "lesser" or "younger." A coronated Nisut is in some ways not human -- but he or she is not a god, either, and exists somewhere between the two as a servant to both.
Similar to how modern Western monarchs such as Queen Elizabeth II are believed to be dual persons (in QEII's case, as Elizabeth Windsor the human and Elizabeth II Regina, the spirit of the British Crown), we believe our current Nisut (AUS) to be both a human and the carrier, or vessel, of the Kemetic institution of kingship. We do not worship Her as a goddess; the person Who currently bears the kingly ka, Tamara L. Siuda, is a mortal human being, just as all those who went before Her on the Heru throne (named for the god of kingship Who oversees the throne and owner of the kingly ka, not the human on the throne). We capitalize Her Holiness' pronouns and titles when referring to Her to remind ourselves that She is the first servant to the Power we do worship, and we respect and honor Her as our teacher and the mother of our faith, but we do not give Her worship like the gods and goddesses Whom She worships with us and considers Herself daughter of. In this manner the Kemetic Orthodox can be said to venerate Her, as we do our ancestors or Akhu.
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