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Darth Brooks 04-30-10 05:34 PM

Church of the Eternal Source
I feel I should mention the Church of the Eternal Source, which is one of the oldest, if not THE oldest, Egyptian reconstructionist groups out there. They were founded in 1970 by Donald Morrison, Harold Moss, and their colleagues, six years before the Fellowship of Isis (founded in 1976) and almost two decades before the House of Netjer (founded in the late 1980's). The Church is not as well-known as some groups today, but I feel they have made some important contributions to modern Egyptian paganism. Before the Church, the Gods of Egypt were commonly invoked by Theosophists, Thelemites, and Wiccans, but They were often re-defined to fit the ideologies of these systems. The founders of CoES were among the first to worship the Gods of Egypt according to Their original paradigms, or at least as closely as possible to those paradigms. They are still active today, though they are understandably limited in their activities, due to a reasonably small membership. CoES members tend to share the following characteristics:
  • They are polytheists rather than monolators; they believe the Gods are distinct entities
  • They tend to use the Greek names for the Gods (such as "Osiris" instead of "Wesir"), though they recognize that each deity has many names
  • They prefer to use English terms rather than Kemetic terms (such as "God" instead of "Netjer") as much as possible, to avoid confusion with non-members; they call themselves "Egyptian reconstructionists" instead of "Kemetics"
  • They believe that newer religions are newer versions of Egyptian religions; for instance, Christianity is like a "new face" for Osirianism, and Islam is like a "new face" for Atenism
  • They have more than one priesthood, each one dedicated to a different God or Goddess
  • There is no single priest or priestess who presides over the entire Church
CoES currently has nine consecrated temples in four different states. While I am not a member myself, I've had the pleasure of conversing with Harold Moss a few times through email, and he was very cordial, respectful, and informative. While CoES doesn't attract that much attention, their influence can still be felt. For instance, Harold Moss was one of the first to suggest that mummification is not necessarily for modern practitioners, and that cremation is a more preferable funeral arrangement. This has become something of a convention among us today; or at least, most other Egyptian pagans I talk to prefer cremation (as do I).

Here is the "official" CoES website, in case anyone would like to learn more about this group, its history, and its membership. CoES is also mentioned in the "Pagan Reconstructionists" section of Margot Adler's Drawing Down The Moon.

David_2010 05-23-10 08:10 PM

Re: Church of the Eternal Source
Interesting, I've been to their site before, and found it quite an interesting group. I'm not sure if I agree with them characterising every religion as simply "newer versions" of the ancient Egyptian religion, but, other than that, they seem quite cool.

Thanks for posting about them :).

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