Kemetic religion is a family of related religions and religious practices which are all based on perceptions of the religious beliefs of the Ancient Egyptians. There are a number of main religious groups that all describe themselves as Kemetic in nature, and other groups integrate Kemetic beliefs and practices, without being specifically Kemetic. The “Kemetic” is a reference to “Kemet,” the ancient name for Egypt.
Kemetic religion is a form of neopaganism, meaning that it is a modern interpretation of an ancient religious practice which became extinct. This is in contrast with religions like Christianity, which have been practiced continuously since their inception. Like other neopagan religions, it relies heavily upon interpretation, and it may in fact be significantly different from the religious practices it is based on.
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Ancient Egyptian religion was practiced for thousands of years by very diverse individuals, and it undoubtedly changed radically over the course of Egyptian history. This makes it difficult to pin down any one set of beliefs or practices as “authentic,” especially since so many records have been lost.
The development of Kemetic religion started in the United States in the 1970s, around the same time that many other neopagan and New Age religions got their start. This period was marked by great interest in religious exploration, and a desire to learn more about ancient religions. From the United States, the religion spread outward into other regions of the world, including Egypt, where several Kemetic sects practice today.
In Kemetic Revivalism, also known as Traditional Kemetic Religion, people strive to stay as true as possible to the religious practices and beliefs of Ancient Egypt. Practitioners of Kemetic revivalism use Egyptian texts and works of art to research religious practices and to attempt to replicate them, rather than interpreting them and developing related practices. Kemetic Orthodoxy is very similar to Kemetic Revivalism, except that practitioners of Kemetic Orthodoxy treat their faith as a living religion, meaning that it is constantly changing, rather than static and true to the original.
Kemetic Wiccans combine the neopagan beliefs of Wicca and Kemetic religion. This form of religion is also sometimes known as Tameran Wicca. Practitioners of Ausar Auset, another branch of Kemetic religion, integrate beliefs from other African faiths into their religious observances. Ausar Auset is most commonly seen among members of the African diaspora, reflecting a desire to integrate African heritage and beliefs into families which may have been separated from Africa for multiple generations.