Pharaoh... A god on earth or just power hungry?

So the pharaoh was important when it came to temple practice in Ancient Egypt and had a big part in upholding Ma’at.

They often linked themselves to deities by stating that they had a divine parent and that they themselves represent deities of myth.

These days, unless you’re a Kemetic Orthodox, you don’t have a leader in this way.

What do you think about the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs? Were they integral in upholding Ma’at? How do they connect to modern Kemeticism or do they not? Was a pharaoh only needed in that society at that time?

Leads onto a separate question: How do you separate ancient politics from Ancient Egyptian beliefs? Did Pharaohs believe that they were divine or were they presenting themselves this way as a form of ancient propaganda to solidify their rule?

If you are of a Kemetic Orthodox persuasion, how would you explain the role of Pharaoh then and now?

I’m pretty certain they saw themselves as divine beings, there are clear instances where a number of them explicitly worded documents to ensure their succession because of it.

And as you point out we don’t really have a figure head any more, certainly no one of that kind of stature who we would willingly deffer to. I don’t know how KO handle such things but as a reconstructionist this is an aspect we have to work around the best we can, and the only compromise is we have to step up and act as proxy as the priesthood did (they were mortals) and that is the best we can ever go for.

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Do you think @kev that the world would be a better place for having a pharaoh? Or do you think that modern society has moved away from the need to have a pharaoh?

Depends on if you think any human who claims to be a living deity would last 5min in today’s society. I can’t see it happening or being accepted even by followers of that religion no matter which one that is. It usually ends badly.

Reconstructionism is about making compromises in a modern life from something ancient. Times move and that idea I think is out dated.

There probably were some pharaohs who believed it, and some who wanted the best for their people. But the system is purely one of power and rule, the same all over that part of the world and later with the Roman god-emperors. Constantine realized joining the religious with the political was the best way to cement centralized power; later when the emperor wasn’t in charge anymore, the Pope was just one step down from a god - and had to be, because the Abrahamic religions didn’t allow any lesser gods. Most of the people are happy with what they’re told, like the Trump cultists today, but the system is for keeping them in line. People of spirit have to find their way round it, either defiantly or quietly and privately.

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I must admit, I do automatically have an issue with any human being claiming to be divine. There are so many examples where they have abused their position to make bad choices and decisions. I would be sceptical of a pharaoh in modern times claiming to be divine.

Admittedly, I don’t know a great deal about the ancient Pharaohs other than the most famous ones. I expect there have been a range from great Pharaohs to bad ones.

I do have an issue with the practice of Pharaohs having incestuous relationships. That is not a good idea biologically. That’s an example of a bad decision I’d say.

However, I have to accept that the priesthood was linked to the pharaoh in ancient times and as Kev says, the priests acted as proxy for the pharaoh. As someone who is inspired by the ancient priesthood… I find that bit challenging to get my head around. Squishy’ polytheism is also a difficult one to get my head around because my modern Western viewpoint is automatically different from an ancient Middle Eastern one.

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Where the bloodline is important, it would be a logical step to keep it in the family. Over time, as you say, it doesn’t work. Researchers have recently worked out that Tutankhamen was not poisoned, but died of diseases which were most likely the result of his incestuous genetic origins.

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