Lent without the Ash (and the Christ)

22 Feb

Today, I decided to give up meat for Lent. I’ve never participated in Lent and didn’t even know about it until middle school or high school. If there are any symbolic elements to Lent that are connected to Kemetic spirituality, I don’t know of them. I just feel a desire to participate, and so I will.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately of how to combine my culture as an American with my practices as a Kemetic. I want to create traditions and live more richly. Holidays such as Veterans’ Day are easy to bring to life: I honor those in our community who have served in the military, as well warrior Netjeru such as Sekhmet and Heru-wer. Christmas, Yule, and “Moomas” mesh into a season of family, giving, and joy. Even the Mysteries of Wesir and Thanksgiving played together well last November.

Lent, to me, is a cultural holiday as much as a religious-Christian one. Because – as much as we seek to be a secularist nation – I do live in a Christian culture, especially as many of my close friends are varying shades of Christianity. Although this is self-imposed, I join them on what I consider a journey of discipline. Meat and I are so closely attached that I consider it something “essential” to my nature. For me, this is my chance to rise above something that I know does not have the importance I place on it. I get the feeling that on April 8th, I’ll appreciate meat a lot more than I do now.

Please comment if you wish to join me – ashes and sackcloth are not required.

2 Responses to “Lent without the Ash (and the Christ)”

  1. LadyTanha March 2, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    This is a pretty interesting idea. To be honest, even though I was raised Christian, I don’t think I ever really successfully pulled off a Lent. I know when I was younger we followed the eating restrictions and had meatless fridays, but other than that, I’ve never really given anything up. I’m not sure what to give up though. I’ll have to ponder this myself. I think the idea of adding some discipline to my life is a good idea.

    • ALC March 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

      It’s been fascinating! I didn’t even realize just how much meat I was eating, how little “rabbit-food” my school and the restaurants I frequent offer, and how much self-control I have. I’ll admit, when we went to Outback for Onion Day, I had a steak because Outback Steakhouse does not do vegetarian and I hadn’t eaten all day… but even after two weeks of no-meat, it was a VERY different prospect than previously.

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