It was a Kemetic rite, something I had never experienced before. Kind of wacky and new, which is always a plus.
There was no pre-ritual briefing, which disturbed me a bit. Basically, we were all participating in a rite, and no one had told us the aim of the rite or what we might be lending energy to. As a Chaos Magician, this suited me just fine.
The circle was, I think, cast in front of everyone. I thought about this for a long time, and I suspect that they did it because they had no idea what the people around the circle would do, so they put us outside said circle on purpose. It also allows people to come and go, or just watch. But then they interacted with us, and I was confused yet again.
I think I'm going to resign myself to never understanding stuff like this.
The rite was very quietly spoken for the most part, which had an affect on the usefulness of the guided meditation. At one point, a plane flew over the South Oval and completely obscured the guy's voice, but I fortunately knew kind of where he was coming from, so was able to pick it up again.
The woman leading gave up too quickly on a candle, I think. It wouldn't light for her, and she just kind of ignored it after two quick attempts to light, but she talked about it as if it were lit, and that's what's important.
The rite also seemed very short, a kind of "Wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am" sort of rite. It was probably the shortest rite I have ever been to. But it seemed to do what it was intending.
By far the most amusing thing was that we were purified with sand, and I had unfortunately seen the large bag of "Play Sand" sitting out, otherwise I could have pretended that it was real sand from the desert around Cairo, but alas, all I could think of was sand castles, not pyramids.
Now, for what happened in the rite:
In the end, I have to say that the experiences lend themselves to a different interpretation than the structural aspects of the rite.
The main portion of the rite was some kind of guided visualization. Since visualization is my specialty (yes, I can see you naked), this went over pretty well. I wouldn't classify it as a "real" experience, but I did manage to induce a useful experience out of it.
As I said, the person leading the rite was very quiet, but I managed to understand most of the visualization. Well, I kind of understood it. Enough where I could force it to make sense to me; because I think I heard different things, not everyone will agree with what I may say happened.
Anyway, at one point we were to look into a pool in an oasis and see Anubis looking back. At least, I think it was supposed to be Anubis. I never did catch his name.
Well, I saw Anubis, but he wasn't a serious-looking deity at all. Rather, he was kind of annoying. He looked at me, stuck out his tongue, and shouted (and I quote), "blathergoyalextenbalther!"
Then he kinda tilted his head and went all "WTF Anubis" on me. Thank you, you crazy KC Druids. You have forever ruined Anubis for me.
Then we were told to follow him to a city, and we were to hear our ancestors. Actually, I don't think I was supposed to hear anything, but that's what I thought the guy said, so I listened. Interestingly, at this point the wind picked up and I felt the cold breeze, and I shivered for a moment before I heard the words, "It is good." My ancestors were telling me that what I do now, the path I walk, is good.
There is no better compliment than that.
Then I realized I probably wasn't supposed to be hearing anything at all, but rather seeing things, as they were carrying around a thing of water, and I had been so intent on hearing my ancestors, I had no idea what to do with it. I watched everyone else, and they were looking into it, so I figured this must be scrying.
When the bowl came to me, I looked inside. What I saw was the infinity and the depths of space, and the vault of heaven with the stars placed above. It was strange, because all I expected to see was my reflection, but the depths of the bowl held so much more.
The infinite space within the bowl held me for a moment. It was all I could see in front of me, as I had drawn my hood up. Everything else fazed out. Again, I felt the peace of my ancestors, the depth of their love, which was as deep as the starry night sky. And again, I felt that "it is good."
Whether I felt what was intended, or heard what was intended, is all pointless speculation. The fact remains that the ritual was a powerful experience for me, and that's all that matters.