Tamara L. Siuda (born 1969) is an American Egyptologist and author. She is also the founder and current spiritual leader of Kemetic Orthodoxy and the House of Netjer Temple, and since July 2000, she is an initiated priestess (or mambo) in Haitian Vodou.
In 1998, she enrolled in the Egyptology program at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, obtaining a master's degree in Egyptology with a concentration in ancient Egyptian Philology in August 2000. She earned a second master's degree in December 2007 through the Coptic Studies program at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Coptic Studies via Claremont Graduate University.
Involvement with Kemetic Orthodoxy
Siuda's involvement with the Kemetic religion began in 1989, when she founded Kemetic Orthodoxy in her college dorm room. She reports that she had previously had an experience during a Wiccan initiation ritual in which she was called by the ancient Egyptian deities to revive their worship. After that experience, she left Wicca immediately, and began study and worship in ancient Egyptian religion with friends and students. In 1993, this group of people had grown substantially, and gained legal recognition in the state of Illinois as the House of Netjer Kemetic Orthodox Temple. In 1999, the House of Netjer, and the Kemetic Orthodox Faith, was granted nonprofit 501(c)(3) status by the federal government.
In October 1996, having received, according to her testimony, divine approval via oracles and ritual, Siuda traveled to Egypt and claims to have undergone coronation rituals to assume the religious title of Nisut, or Pharaoh. In this capacity, she is considered by her followers to be the vicar of a divine spirit, and is recognised by the House of Netjer to be the current incarnation of the "kingly ka", or invested spirit of the Egyptian god Horus. As Nisut, Siuda provides spiritual guidance and leadership to the members of Kemetic Orthodoxy.
Involvement in Vodou
Siuda has been a mambo in Haitian Vodou since July 2001. She initiated as a mambo asogwe (the highest rank of Haitian Vodou initiation) as part of La Sosyete Racine Sans Bout in Jacmel, Haiti. She was later initiated as a mambo asogwe in another Vodou lineage, the Sosyete La Fraicheur Belle Fleur Guinea of Pétionville and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in January 2006. Siuda's own Vodou house, in the lineage of Belle Fleur Guinea, is called La Sosyete Fòs Fè Yo Wè (translatable to "Strength Makes Them See") and was based in the Chicago area. She considers Vodou not as her religion, but as a spiritual and magical service in honor of Haitian and Native American ancestors. As a mambo she is known as "Mambo T", or by her public initiatory name of "Mambo Chita Tann."