The Kheprian Castes
Written by: Michelle Belanger
The most controversial and misunderstood aspect of the Kheprian system has to be the Kheprian castes. Since the publishing of the Codex and its widespread distribution on the Internet, no single portion of our teachings has generated more discussion, conflict and criticism.
First of all, there is a lot of misunderstanding about the castes, and that mainly arises from the lack of information out there on them. The sections in the Codex on the castes were intended simply as an introductory overview of a very complex system, and there are many things that they simply touch upon or completely gloss over. Additionally, those sections are somewhat biased for both Warrior and Counselor castes because they were written by a Priest and thus necessarily represent the limited perspective of a Priest.
This article is an attempt to clarify the meaning of the caste system and why it is important to the Kheprian way. As you will see, caste is not a choice among Kheprians. It is simply what we are. And each person's caste not only affects how they interact with other members of the household, but caste is an integral part of who and what we are.
Castes and Hierarchy
Most people see the word "caste" and immediately associate it with the Hindu caste system. In the Hindu system, castes are a part of the social structure, and a person's caste determines their predestined rank within society. Kheprian castes have nothing to do with a person's status. In the Kheprian system, a person's status and level of respect has more to do with personal merit, trustworthiness, and dedication to the community. Therefore, a Counselor can easily be on equal or greater footing with a Priest if they have distinguished themselves through their words and actions. The castes of House Kheperu are not intended to define a social hierarchy, and any Kheprian-inspired system which attempts to use them as such has misinterpreted the entire system.
Admittedly, the word "caste" has some negative connotations -- which is why some other Kheprian-influenced groups, such as House Sahjaza, opt instead to term them "roads". For House Kheperu, the word caste was chosen and will remain because it is tied to our reincarnationist belief system. The terms for the Kheprian caste system are derived from three of the main castes that served in an ancient temple -- Priest, Warriors, and Counselors. Despite the negative connotations and the potential for misunderstanding the word contains, we will keep it because it is a reminder of our past.
The Kheprian castes may have nothing to do with social structure, but they are yet integral to the overall identity of the household. First and foremost, a person's caste determines how they interact with energy. This in turn helps to define that person's role in ritual. These two things, and not status or rank, are the most important aspects of caste. A person's innate abilities for ritual and energy work are influenced by caste. Their energetic structure is influenced by caste. The type of energy a person needs and the frequency with which they need it is determined by caste. The things that can go wrong if a person does not get the energy that they need are determined by caste -- and the list goes on.
If it did not play so large a role in our relationship to energy, there would be no need for us to retain the castes at all. As it stands, they are integral to our training and to the way we understand ourselves.
Castes and Energy
It is best to look at the three castes not as individual definitions but as dynamic portions of an integrated whole. Each caste has special functions which it performs with energy, and each of these functions are an integral part of our ritual and energy work. Each caste can of course function individually, but it is when all three castes are working in unison that our work is most profound and complete.
In the functions particular to each caste, Counselors generate energy, transform it, and help to bind it together. Priests shape energy, focus it, and direct it toward a purpose. And Warriors ground energy, define its perimeters, and bring order and structure to energies that are dissonant or chaotic.
Now, a Warrior can learn how to focus energy and to direct it in ritual, thereby serving the function of a Priest, just as a Priest can learn to ground energy and to bring order out of chaos. All of the castes can learn any of the above functions. What defines a person as being a particular caste is what they are best at and in many cases what comes easiest to them. In general, a Warrior naturally knows how to ground. It's not a learned technique with them -- it's something they have always done, and something they do pretty much without thinking about it. The same goes for Counselors -- they instinctively transform energy, taking it from one source and cycling it so as to create more energy for a different use.
With training and dedication, its possible for someone to learn any of the above functions, but if they have a natural capacity for Warrior functions, they're still going to always be better at grounding than they are at transforming or shaping. In this respect, a person doesn't really choose their caste. Caste chooses them. It's an inborn potential, and in many cases, it's a potential that is carried on the soul through multiple lifetimes.
Kheprians and Energy Exchange
Now, it is pretty widely known that Kheprians are vampiric, and the Priests get their energy from the Counselors. However, many people do not understand that Kheprian vampirism is not limited to only the Priest caste. All three castes are vampiric, and it is here that the unique interaction between the castes begins to be most apparent.
The first thing to understand is that the Kheprian system is a closed system. There are no donors because each of the castes is involved in the giving and taking of energy. Under ideal circumstances, outside energy is not really required. There is a synergy between the three castes that relies upon a process of internal alchemy. In sharing energy between the three castes, more energy is produced in the end than was started with in the beginning, and this energy can then be used for ritual and other workings.
When a Priest feeds from a Counselor, a certain amount of energy is used by the Priest. However, in processing the Counselor's energy, there is a byproduct of energy which cannot be used by the Priest. This energy, however, is precisely the type of energy most easily assimilated by the Warriors. If a Warrior feeds from a Priest, once again the processing of the energy creates two distinct frequencies: one which is something the Warrior assimilates and uses, and one which is a by-product unusable by the Warrior's system. This frequency of energy is taken by the Counselors, and in turn the by-product of their processing being what is useful to the Priests, completing the circle.
The ideal grouping between Kheprians is what we call a Triumverate. This is simply a group consisting of one Priest, one Counselor, and one Warrior who share energy among themselves. As a Triumverate, they are attuned to one another's energy, and they tend to do energy work together as a whole. Each member of a Triumverate can of course function individually, although due to the connections that are formed through feeding and energy exchange, all members of the Triumverate tend to feel things experienced by any single member.
Triumverate work is a powerful and uniquely Kheprian process, and it is the main reason the castes are explained at all. The energy of Kheprians is balanced in such a way that there are only three castes and there will ever only be three castes because this is how the energy naturally flows between us. The Counselor transforms the energy, the Priest shapes it and gives it focus, the Warrior grounds and stabilizes the work. While such work can be done without individuals of a particular caste involved, the effectiveness if magnified greatly when the synergy between Warrior, Priest, and Counselor is present.
In essence, the very energetic structure of House Kheperu is a symbol of the dynamic balance we so greatly revere. If there were just two aspects, the balance would be static: there would be an equal exchange, back and forth, from one polarity to the other. For a dynamic balance, there is the need for a fulcrum or pivot-point -- something which off-sets the polarity of just two aspects and keeps things moving in a transformative cycle. Three aspects provide us with this dynamism, so that there is a constant give and take and the energy is never stagnant among us. In this respect, all three castes are essential for the healthy functioning of our House as a whole, and no single caste can be viewed as any less important or vital than any of the others.