Kemetic Alchemy

The Kemetic Alchemy Tarot Spread

Kemetic Alchemy

In the practice of Kemetic alchemy, the Elements of Fire, Air, Water, Earth, and Ether were not just energies but personified forces of nature. By actively aligning with and embodying these forces, humans could heal themselves. This divine personified connection to the Elements in the form of the Neteru also served to guide the transformation of the soul. I created the Kemetic Alchemy Tarot Spread below inspired by my studies of Sekhmet Reiki and the ancient Egyptian understanding of the Neteru.

Jump to the Kemetic Alchemy Tarot Spread

Before we delve into the Kemetic Alchemy Tarot Spread, we explore how the ancients saw the interconnectedness of all creative forces. Let’s learn a bit about how we can apply these timeless principles for balance and growth in our own lives.

The Five Elements of Creation and their Corresponding Neteru

In Kemetic alchemy, the Five Elements are not only material substances but divine representations of intelligent forces that watch over us and guide the evolution of the soul. These forces are the Neteru (plural of the singular Neter from which we derive the word nature) whose attributes enhance the symbolic power of the Element they represent. The Kemetic Alchemy Tarot spread is a modern spiritual practice that draws from this ancient wisdom, offering insights through a reflection on the internal equilibrium of these Elemental and divine forces.

Before we go on to do the spread, let’s look at the Five Elements and their corresponding Neteru:

Fire – Ra

Ra, the mighty Neter of Fire, represented by the sun, is the first of the Neteru and embodies the blazing energy of life, the transformative force that turns seed into harvest. Ra’s colours are the fiery hues of red and orange, mirroring his essence of vitality and change. In ancient times the directional correspondence for Fire was North rather than South but use whatever directional correspondence works best for you. In the body, Ra corresponds with the top of the head.

Fire corresponds with the sense of sight, reflecting our capability for vision and realisation. The Tetrahedron, the pyramid shape, signifies Ra’s dynamism. In his interactions, Ra—as Elemental Fire—can alter and enhance Earth with his fervent heat, depend on Air for sustenance, and engage with Water in a dance of creation and cessation, and within Ether, he is the spark of divinity, the principle of metamorphosis and progression.

Air nourishes Fire, Water controls it, Earth drains it and Ether insults it.

Positive expressions of the Element of Fire include willpower, courage, strength, confidence and leadership. On the other hand, when ill-dignified Fire can show up as rage, zealotry, irritability, fever or irritability.

The bodily fluid corresponding with Fire is yellow bile and the temperament is choleric.

Air – Shu

Next, we turn to the Element of Air, embodied by Shu, the Neter of Air. Corresponding with the colours blue and green, he represents the invisible breath of existence. Shu’s cardinal direction is the East. He corresponds with the right side of the body and the sense of touch.

His body part correlation is the lungs, a crucial organ for the exchange of life-giving oxygen. Air’s geometric form is the Octahedron which looks like a double pyramid or diamond shape. As with Air’s mixing and dissemination, Shu presents the medium for sound to travel, for seeds to be dispersed by the wind. He brings life to Earth, enables the flames of Fire, and shapes Water into weather. In the realm of Ether, Shu is the divine inhale and exhale, linking the soul to the infinite breath of the cosmos.

Water nourishes Air, Fire drains it, Ether controls it and Earth insults it.

The positive expression of Air is clarity of thought, optimism, communication and visionary ability. On the other hand, judgmentalism, disrespect, overanalysis and exaggeration indicate an imbalance in this Element.

The bodily fluid connected with Air is blood and the temperament is sanguine.

Water – Tefnut

Tefnut is the Neter of Water associated with moisture, rain and bodies of water. She is known as the Tongue of Ptah (the creator Neter) Great Mother since no life can emerge without Water. She is depicted with the head of a lion and in some myths, she is conflated with Sekhmet.

Her colours are the black and indigo of the primordial abyss. Her cardinal direction is the West. She corresponds with the left side of the body and the sense of taste.

Water’s Platonic representation is the ever-shifting Icosahedron, which encapsulates its dynamic and fluid qualities. Tefnut’s Water is nourished by Ether, controlled by Earth, drained by Air and insulted by Fire.

Some of the positive expressions of the Water Element are understanding, compassion, flexibility and vitality. On the converse, when ill-dignified, Water can show up as apathy, destruction and depression.

The bodily fluid connected with Water is phlegm and the temperament is phlegmatic.

Earth – Geb

Earth is personified by Geb, the god who signifies the earthly foundation of the living world. His colours of yellow and brown echo the soil’s palette, a base from which life springs. The South is Geb’s direction, indicative of the stark duality between the arid deserts and fertile valleys. His connection is with the feet, the parts of the body that ground us and advance our motion.

As Earth’s Platonic solid, the Cube stands for Geb’s principles of solidness and dependability. In its elemental interactions, Fire nourishes Earth, Air controls it, Ether drains it and Water insults it.

Positive expressions of the Earth Element include stamina, stability and self-assurance. Negatively expressed, Earth can show up as laziness, materialism, resistance, dishonesty and risk aversion.

The bodily fluid is black bile and the temperament is melancholic.

Ether – Nut

Finally, Nut is the Neter of Ether also known as Spirit, Quintessence or Akasha. She is the embodiment of the mysterious, boundless Element that intersects and transcends all. The corresponding colours are purplish blue and silver, those colours that evoke the infinite and the mystical. Nut corresponds with the Southwest, a compass point blending the material and the sacred, symbolising the journey of enlightenment. Ether relates to sound and the sense of hearing.

Though Ether is everywhere, including outside time and space, the heart, the centre of life and emotion, is Nut’s bodily domain. In ancient Kemet, the heart was seen as housing the individual consciousness. The complex, many-faceted Dodecahedron is the Platonic shape corresponding with Ether. Nut acts as a conduit, connecting all states of matter and divinity, resounding at the very core of existence. Earth nourishes Ether, Fire controls it, Water drains it and Air insults it.

Positive expressions of Ether include oneness, wisdom, enlightenment, nobility and righteousness. On the other hand, isolation, separation and irresponsibility are indicative of a negative expression of Ether.

The Kemetic Alchemy Tarot Spread

The Kemetic Alchemy Tarot Spread

The Kemetic Alchemy Tarot can help you harness the energies of the five Neteru and the Elements they represent, along with the balance and transformation that they govern. Through this spread, you can gain insights into how you can align more fully with the divine principles outlined in the practice of Kemetic alchemy.

Each card represents a crucial aspect of your life, illuminated by the wisdom of the Neteru and their connection to the Elements of Creation.

Begin your tarot reading by focusing your energy and intention on the spread. Shuffle the cards as you contemplate the balance of the elements within you and your connection to the divine. Lay out the cards according to the diagram below:

Positional Meanings

  1. Fire of Ra – Your Life Force
    • This card reveals the current state of your vital energies and life force. It sheds light on your willpower, courage, and strength, whilst highlighting areas that are out of control or need reigniting.
  2. Air of Shu – Your Mental Clarity
    • This card indicates how you are thinking and communicating. It explores your intellectual energy, optimism, and ability to envision your future. It might also reveal mental patterns that need refreshing.
  3. Water of Tefnut – Your Emotional Flow
    • Here, you explore the emotional currents running through your life — understanding, compassion, flexibility, and vitality. It brings attention to areas where you might feel too rigid or overly fluid.
  4. Earth of Geb – Your Stability and Growth
    • This card analyzes the grounding forces in your life — your sense of stability, security, and self-assurance, or conversely, where you may be experiencing stagnation or resistance.
  5. Ether of Nut – Your Sense of Connection
    • This card taps into the ethereal aspects of your being, expressing how you align with wisdom, enlightenment, and the larger universe. It can also point to areas where you feel disconnected or isolated from the divine.
  6. Balance of Elements – Harmonising Influences
    • This card illuminates the dynamics between your elemental energies. It suggests ways in which you can harmonise these forces for inner balance and growth.
  7. Alchemical Transformation – The Path Ahead
    • The final card signifies the transformative potential within you. It represents the alchemy of your soul and the next steps in your spiritual evolution, informed by the elemental wisdom you carry within. Pay attention if this card is from the Major Arcana as you are about to learn a new spiritual lesson.

Sample Kemetic Alchemy Tarot Reading

Fire of Ra – Your Life Force: Justice

The Justice card in the position of Ra suggests a period of karmic rebalancing and a need for fairness and equity in your life force. You may be focusing your willpower on achieving equilibrium and making decisions that align with your truest self. It’s essential to examine areas of your life where you may need to restore order or take accountability. This card affirms that you are channelling your life force toward upholding integrity and virtue.

Air of Shu – Your Mental Clarity: The Wheel of Fortune

In the position of Shu, The Wheel of Fortune signifies that your thoughts are amidst a flux. Change is a constant presence, influencing your mental landscape. Your ability to adapt to these shifts will dictate the clarity of your vision for the future. Embrace the cyclical nature of life to maintain intellectual energy and to stay open to new perspectives. This is a time to rely on your adaptability and to trust the process of change.

Water of Tefnut – Your Emotional Flow: Queen of Wands

The Queen of Wands in the place of Tefnut indicates strong emotional currents of creativity and confidence. Your passions are likely guiding you, and you possess a magnetic allure. This card urges you to capitalise on your vibrant emotional energy to inspire and nurture others. However, remain mindful of maintaining humility and not getting overly caught up in your own hype.

Earth of Geb – Your Stability and Growth: 2 of Pentacles

Geb’s powerful Earth energy in your reading appearing as the 2 of Pentacles suggests a delicate balancing act in your material and practical life. You are likely juggling responsibilities or resources, striving to find stable ground. Financially or in matters of personal growth, consider prioritising and organising your tasks. You will require flexibility and adaptability to maintain your grounding.

Ether of Nut – Your Sense of Connection: 8 of Cups

The 8 of Cups navigating the realm of Nut indicates a spiritual quest for deeper meaning. It may be time to leave behind what no longer serves your higher purpose. This placement encourages the exploration of your horizons and the acknowledgement that the journey to spiritual fulfilment sometimes involves letting go of familiar shores.

Balance of Elements – Harmonising Influences: 2 of Swords

In the place of balancing your elemental energies, the 2 of Swords points to a state of indecision or stalemate. Intellectual conflicts could be preventing harmony among the elements within you. To find equilibrium, you must be willing to remove the blindfold and confront the issues, employing a sense of peace and calm during decision-making.

Alchemical Transformation – Your Path Ahead: Queen of Pentacles

For your transformative potential, the Queen of Pentacles is a powerful omen. This card indicates that nurturing yourself and others, along with focusing on creating a secure and harmonious environment, will guide your spiritual evolution. Attaining balance in the material aspects of your life is key to releasing transformative energy. Trust in the abundance of the universe as you forge your path towards enlightenment.

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