Hekate’s Rite of Her Sacred Fires 2016

It’s that time of year again. The May full moon brings us the Rite of Her Sacred Fires, and I’ve had a lovely hour of ritual with Her, as well as some good meditation, and a bit of a re-dedication to Her. I had planned to do some artz during meditation, but it didn’t work out. I will do some sketching later tomorrow, though, just to see if this idea works out or not.

This year, a magical petition to Hekate to help war refugees was put together, rather at the last minute, in time for the rite this year, and I began my rites with this. I turned it into a libation rite, offering water after each of the nine petitions. The water will be poured out tomorrow. I also dedicated another red cord, for my own personal reasons, and we chatted about deepening our relationship further, since it’s been four years now, and it feels like the right time.

Overall, it went well, and I’m very happy with it. It’s been a good night. Io Hekate!

Art (draft): Isis Smiting Her Enemies

Isis smiting art draft

This is based on the dream I wrote about previously. I felt an urge to begin drawing Her this afternoon, and this is what I’ve got so far. The perspective’s a bit … off, in terms of what was meant to be in what hand, but I was more concerned about the pose and how the snake, and the crook and flail, were positioned.

I did trace the basic forms and then embellished them to fitt, but I wanted them to look right, not try to draw them freehand, which would have looked awful. I am not a great artist. But I do my best. I still have the background/setting to do, as well as the inking and colouring, but it’s not a bad result to start with, and you’ve probably got a better idea of what I was talking about in my dream in terms of what I saw. Even if the hands are the wrong way around. Just pretend you’re looking at Her back.

An Isis dream

I know I don’t normally share my dreams, but this one was interesting in a lot of different ways, so I thought I’d share it. I dreamt I was in some museum-y/new agey shop, half-looking for a statue of Hekate, which I don’t find. Lots of Demeter and Persephone, but no Hekate. It was more of an ‘I wonder if it’s there’ more than an ‘I need to find it!’ sort of search. I was pondering how to do my altar for the Rite of Her Sacred Fires tomorrow, and pondering statuary, but in so many ways, looking for Hekate and finding Isis isn’t even a surprise anymore. It may have just been a useful segue idk.

As I walk around the shop, I see pendulums, and there are other Pagan-y/magical things, and a lot of crystals. I remember walking around for a while until I came to a room with a large rotating display table. There wasn’t much of interest there – bronze-tone statuary and shells – until I saw a statue of Isis, one I’d never seen before. I still have a very clear image of Her in my head, so bear with me while I describe it in detail.

She was made from creamy-white resin, with gold-leaf accents, about 9in tall, and quite long, but I didn’t measure. She was in the classical smiting pose, though She wasn’t grasping anyone. She wore the armour of a warrior, with Her solar-disk-and-cow-horns headdress. In Her left hand, a snake had wound itself around Her arm, and its head was resting on the top of Her fingers; Her hand was almost in a ‘stop!’ position, held in front of Her. In Her right hand, held behind Her with an outstretched arm, She held the crook and the flail, and these were done with both gold leaf, and shinybright blue accents. At Her feet, a much larger cobra was by Her side, and She stood on a pile of sand and rock and rubble. She basically looked terrifying. (And the sticker on the base of the statue said She was only $20. I wish!)

As I held the statue, She wasn’t just a statue anymore. She was on a battlefield, with dark skies all around, and the cobra was breathing fire at anyone who got in Her way. There was a battle cry, and a charge, and I could just feel the anger and grief burning from Her. I feel like it lasted longer than it really did, but it was a flash of a vision and then it was gone, and then I’m walking around the shop with this statue, knowing She’s coming home with me.

I may have to draw Her at some point, just to illustrate what I saw. I’m still parsing through it, but it’s still vivid in my head now. If anyone wants me, I’ll be over here, trying to figure out if there’s some Renenutet going on, or if it’s just Isis, or Isis-Hekate, or something else I haven’t thought of yet.

A song for Isis, Warrior Queen

I’ve associated this song with Isis for a long time now. Perhaps not an obvious choice for some, but listen to it. To me, this is Isis as grieving wife and mother, Isis seeking vengeance and justice. Isis who fights for Heru, for Wesir, because She must, because there is no one else. Isis as warrior Queen. It’s not Sekhmet’s rage; this is Isis’ rage. That’s what it’s always felt like to me. It’s that female vocal in the middle. At some point, it became Isis, and the association has stuck. It’s become Her song.

I’m sharing it now for no other reason than it was the last song that played on my way home, and I saw Her fighting, I saw Her defending and protecting Heru. She was present with me, showing Her power. Perhaps it won’t resonate with you. Perhaps it will. But this is my Isis just as much as this statue is my Isis. She is fierce, and powerful, and you cross Her children at your peril. She will defend the throne with everything She has, and She will win, because She must.

Whatever else this song is, and it is a lot of things, it is for Isis the avenger. Isis who won’t stand back while Wesir is taken from Her. She can’t stop it happening, but She will smack some bitches to get back the throne for Heru. She will, because She is mother and Queen, and She is Isis. You wound Her at your peril. This is what this song embodies for me. It gives me strength and courage. I am Isis who fights back. She is greater than Her long suffering. She is the throne. She is established in Ma’at forever. Dua Isis! Nekhtet!

Well, that happened fast

Well, I didn’t think the new naos would get done until the weekend, but dad finished it off for me while I was at work today, which is really sweet of him. We’d started gluing some of the bits together last night, but there wasn’t time, nor clamps, to finish it then. But I’m glad dad understood what I was trying to make, because this is exactly what I had in mind. All we added once I got home was a plywood base to stabilise it. It’s certainly not perfect, and it’s a bit rough in places, but to be honest, I don’t care. It’s exactly what I saw in my mind when I considered a wooden naos like this, and it suits the shrine perfectly. Having the sides open like that makes it feel smaller than it really is. An enclosed cabinet would feel too big for that space, not if it was big enough for those statues. I may paint it later on down the line, but right now, I’m happy for it to be as it is.

But then I’ve always liked my naos boxes to be semi-open, rather than fully enclosed. It makes the connections work better for me if I can see Them and touch Them, even if They sit in a naos. It’s the introvert coming out in me, I think. I have my space, the gods have Their space, but we can still see each other, and spend time with each other, if we want to.

I also love the symbolism of blue starry material being lifted up to make the roof, and to sit as a veil in front of the shrine. I have loved this material ever since I picked it up at an op shop for $5, and while I gave away some of it because there was more than I could ever use, I have enough for this. And it’s beautiful. Plus, I can do the ka embrace a lot easier with this naos than with the bodged up cardboard one. But, to be honest, if I have the roof, and some way to veil it, that’s really all I need for a naos. The rest is naos-dressing. I’m sure someone else would find this too open for them to use as a naos, but that’s fine. Others may prefer the totally enclosed cabinets, and that’s also fine. But for me, this is the way to go, and I couldn’t be happier with how it’s turned out.

And that’s an un-wrap for another year

Wesir unwrapped for another year

And so the Mysteries are over for another year. It’s definitely felt different, and I feel like I spent more time preparing for now than marking the days, but perhaps that’s just what needed to be done. All my Wesirs are unwrapped now, and I let my big Wesir sit on the windowsill this morning to bathe in the sunlight and warm up. It’s lovely to see His face again after so long without it. I dressed His statue with frankincense oil as well, just for that extra touch.

I have a lot more to write about when it’s not 11pm, but I have got a new pair of daily rites done. The morning one is based on the basic rite in Eternal Egypt, though it’s modified for four gods, and for my own peculiarities. The evening rite is cobbled together from the structure of the evening ritual to Ra in the same book, and the Graeco-Egyptian Evening Rite I came up with years ago. I really like the hymns I came up with, and adapted them to a more Kemetic format. Both rites are about ten minutes long and I’m still working out a few kinks with them in terms of the practicalities of them, but they’re done, for now, unless I run into something I really need to change as I begin using them regularly. Which I never rule out. My rites always evolve as I use them, and some wording is stuck in my head now and won’t budge. Sometimes, the wording changes with recitation from what was originally written. But it’s okay. I can always tweak them as I get used to them.

Part of the reason I wanted to redo them is because the ones I had in my ritual book were Sobek and Heru’s, and when Isis and Wesir entered into my daily rites as well, I had Their parts scattered elsewhere, and I wanted to rewrite them in one place as one ritual. But it seems the gods wanted new ones, so that’s what I did. My old rites just didn’t seem adequate for a naos anymore. Too messy. The structure didn’t work. So I ended up redoing them. I’ve also made some votive offerings with some leftover clay. Once they’re dry, I’ll paint them up, and find somewhere to put them. I don’t know if I’ll keep them out all the time, but they’ll certainly come in handy when I need to use them and can’t offer real offerings. The wooden naos is under construction at the moment as well, using 12mm square Tasmanian oak dowling. I may not have time to finish it until the end of the week when I’m done with work, but that’s okay. I have my bodged together cardboard one to use for now.

I had planned to do some meditation as well, at least during the Night Vigil, but that didn’t happen. I didn’t even have the brain for deipnon and noumenia this month, so I might have to do a make-up sacrifice as penance. Not because I feel like I’ve done something wrong, but because I feel like I’ll feel out of kilter all month if I don’t do something for Them. But then it has been a very busy week, what with the High Day, the Mysteries, work, family, AND the deipnon and noumenia AND Mother’s Day. OH and I went out with my bff on Friday night for her birthday, so. I will be glad of some rest and for things to settle down a bit until Yule. This week has been far, FAR too hectic. D:

Anyway. Speaking of work, I have work tomorrow, and it’s late, and I need to go to bed. But I’ll post my new daily rites under the cut, in case anyone’s curious, and stick them under the House of Life section for posterity. And if you’re not interested, well, you can stop reading now, and it’s all good. Also, They asked for the formal write-up style. It wouldn’t have otherwise been my choice. But there you go. I think it’s a mind-shifting perspective thing idek. *handwaves and mutters, ‘gods’.*

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Apparently we are naos-ing again

A very bodged-together naos

This is a terrible angle because it’s from where I’m sitting down, and when I’m standing, I can’t see the underside of the top. Just pretend it’s white all over.

IDEK. I was sitting down this afternoon to rewrite my daily rites since the ones in my ritual book are just for Sobek and Heru, and now I have Isis and Wesir to add to those and it was getting annoying having to flick through mid-ritual to the right spot, rather than have it all written out in the one place. But as I’m working on that, and reworking it, I’m pondering a different set of rites entirely, and then I get the urge to make a naos out of a box that’s lying around, and suddenly, there it is.

If space and money weren’t an object, I’d just buy a cabinet and be done with it, but it’s a tricky spot and there isn’t much space, so this is what it is now. Apparently I need to be able to open/close the shrine more than I need anything aesthetically pretty at the moment, but I might bodge together a wooden version later on if I feel that’s a necessary next step. I may still switch things up as I work with it, and I may decide this is a terrible idea and make a wooden one sooner rather than later, but we’ll see.

It’s felt like a very busy week, and it probably has been. Today has been the only day of rest, I guess, that I’ve had, with the exception that I was out tonight with my bff for her birthday, and now I don’t have the energy or preparation for deipnon, so that’ll have to be done tomorrow. All I can brain about now is tonight’s feast for Wesir, that’s all I have the energy for at the moment. But that’s okay.

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The Night Vigil

The Mysteries of Wesir: Night Vigil 2016

It was a bit of a different Night Vigil this year. Wesir asked for books, so I made books. One is for ritual, one is for heka. So most of my three hours or so was taken up with that. But that’s okay. I find the stitching rather calming and meditative – when the thread isn’t knotting itself every three seconds.😡

I did some breath meditation to begin with, just sitting down with Wesir’s beads in my hands. Breathing in the breath of Ma’at, and breathing out the breath of Wesir. It was a form of purification, I discovered, as the breath I was exhaling slowly became the same golden colour of Ma’at’s breath. I might try that again and see how that works for me.

I had considered putting a playlist of music together, but that didn’t happen. The silence was nice, though. Sometimes, silence works better for me than music, because I will pay more attention to music if it’s being played, and it’ll distract me. But silence, that can let the mind wander and reflect and dream.

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Hills of the Horizon: A Defense of Sacred Kingship

Okay, this is really good. I have a lot of Thinky Heru Thoughts now.

Fluid Morality

Several years ago, I took a trip out into the sticks for a Beltane ritual. Some folks out there needed a May Queen, and through a sequence of coincidences I happened to be both available and qualified. It was a short-term gig in sacral rulership, with my blessing sought to help with the fertility and health of the land. It’s one of the things that I think about when I poke my nose into debates and discussions about sacred kings.

Source: Hills of the Horizon: A Defense of Sacred Kingship

Go and read this.  Seriously.

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A blessed High Day to you all!

In which I am terrible at taking photos. /not my natural talent.

In which I am terrible at taking photos. /not my natural talent. /lookit that blurrrrr. 

Whether you’re gearing up for Beltaine or Samhain, or for no festival at all, I hope May brings you good tidings and blessings and not!terrible things. I admit I did rather pull this High Day ritual out of my arse in terms of preparations, but it turned out well enough, I think. I did a simple one in honour of Hekate and the ancestors, and that seemed to work well. I wanted to get the rite done before May began because that’s when the Mysteries of Wesir begins for me, and I didn’t want them crashing into each other.

I offered grains, water, and honey rum. I mean, ‘grains’ is something of a misnomer, because it’s a mixture of garlic granules, sea salt crystals, barley, sesame seeds, and rosemary, but hey, grains! It’s easier to say idk.

Also, you might notice two boxes on the main shrine between the statues/behind the taper candles. They’re painted up cigar boxes. The one on the left is for tools, and contains my knife, bells, prayer beads, oils, and salt. The one on the right contains the incense I use for my daily rites: sandalwood (Heru), lotus (Isis), daphne (Sobek),  and a white sandalwood, ginkgo, and agarwood blend (Wesir). It’s internally divided with cardboard, and the glyphs are bodged together from dictionaries and drawn with not a great amount of skill. But there you go.

Anyway. I wanted to post here about the High Day tonight, and I’ll post the proper write-up over at the DP blog later. Not sure how much Mysteries of Wesir I’ll post over here, but we’ll see. I hope your festivals go well, if you are having any. Otherwise, have a great weekend.