The Ancient Egyptian Prayerbook
Tamara L. Siuda
Stargazer Design, 2005-2009
Reviewed by Ser
I started reading The Ancient Egyptian Prayerbook without any expectations, other than hopefully learning more about Ancient Egyptian religion. I believe having an open mind led me to enjoy this book beyond it’s face value of a book full of prayers.
This book was written with practitioners of Kemetic Orthodoxy in mind, but I believe non-practitioners can still get something from this book, if only a better understanding of what those following KO believe and practice. There are two small chapters at the beginning dedicated to the definition of prayer, setting up shrines, and how to properly pray at a KO shrine (along with some recipes for natron and kapet); these chapters build a brief foundation for the prayers to follow, but I would have enjoyed more background.
Chapters 3 through 11 are each devoted to a different type of prayer, such as prayers for certain holidays, prayers for ancestors and prayers for specific deities. I enjoyed the latter in particular, as for each god and goddess the author included a historical section that included details about the deities going beyond simple attributes. Information in these sections include the origins of worship for that particular deity, the evolution of worship, and even some customary offerings that other practitioners have had good experiences with. Deities are also named in Egyptian style, rather than Classical, which I enjoyed (for example: Aset, instead of Isis). A wide variety of prayer styles is also included, from short mantras to lengthy prayers I imagine are used in full ceremony. There are even a couple of short, non-deity specific prayers that I enjoyed specifically.
Throughout the book are a few typos, but not enough to really detract from the book. (However I think they should have been caught before the second edition was released.) While reading, I would have liked a bit more explanation on the holidays, though I expect that would be better suited for a general Kemetic Orthodoxy book than a specifically named Prayerbook.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and am pleased with the variety of prayers included. This book wasn’t too applicable to my own studies, though it did present me with some new ideas and things to ponder. While I really can’t see this as a stand-alone book by any means, it does well as a companion book to anyone serious about studying Kemetic Orthodoxy or the worship of Ancient Egyptian deities in general.
Four pawprints out of five.