Or, On the Matter of Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset (and Aset). For the most part. XD
…I hesitated in picking this topic for this week, because explaining my epic UPG to people is always a bit weird for me and I don’t normally do it. I haven’t really done it at all since it was revealed to me. But I think it’s time, so I’m going to run with it and see where I end up, with the caveat that this is pretty much only True for me, and I’m in no way claiming any of this has any solid historical basis whatsoever. It’s important to me in that it helps explain the relationship I have with Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset (and Aset, but we’ll get to that later). I doubt it would have any relevance to anyone else in that respect, so just consider it my weird little oddity.
I do plan for separate entries on Sobek and Heru, too, more scholarly ones I think, but for me, so much of how I relate to Them now is about Them as a couple/pair/twins so I feel I must talk about Them together as well as separately, so I hope you’ll excuse this … far, far longer than strictly necessary post in which I talk about how the whole Celestial Twin thing developed and how it’s changed my path entirely.
Bit of background. Okay, a lot of background. I had a relationship with Sobek long before I knew Heru-sa-Aset. I always liked crocodiles, even as a kid. Dinosaurs too, are still some of my favourite reptiles. So when I finally met Sobek amd realised He’d been around a lot longer than I’d expected, it sparked a wonderful relationship between us. He did, in His own way, reveal He was my Father.
I had no idea there was a Heru in my life though. I didn’t know He was there. The only sign I ever had was a meditation I did years ago in the bath, where I saw my ‘vision’ framed by outstretched brown wings. In getting to know Him later on, I do mostly experience Him in falcon form, His outstretched wings wrapping around my head protectively. (Aset does this with me too, interestingly enough.) That was the extent of my experience with Heru until Kemetic Orthodoxy came along.
I was a member of the Kemetic Orthodox faith until a few months ago (for semi-unrelated reasons, but that’s for another post; this one is long enough as it is). I found them in 2003, did their beginner’s class in mid-2005, and became a remetj. I wanted to wait to do my Rite of Parent Divination (RPD), rather than rush in right after beginner’s class like practically everyone else does. I wanted to make sure it was the right path for me. So in mid-2006, I had my RPD, where my Parent and Beloved Gods are revealed. I was divined with one Parent (Sobek) and four Beloveds (Heru-sa-Aset, Aset, Djehuty, and Wepwawet).
A few things about that particular divination. Hemet (AUS) said at the time that she hadn’t been sure if I was Sobek’s or Heru-sa’s and argued with the divination about it, but the answer was no, I was Sobek’s, but Heru-sa is just really close to me. So close, in fact, I have A LOT of trouble actually getting to know Heru-sa. I just. Every time I think I’m about to grasp onto something He slips away. He’s harder to get to know than Amun, and Amun’s the Hidden One! Yes, this frustrates me. A lot. Grr.
I did try, and have tried, over the past five years to get to know Heru-sa-Aset, but I just can’t seem to get anywhere with Him. I keep reading about Him and trying to find some way of connecting, but getting nowhere. He’s infuriatingly elusive for a God who’s supposed to be so close to me. So close I can’t see Him. This really doesn’t help.
I think the closest I got was walking to the shops a while ago and there was this warm breeze about that I could feel Heru in. I offered Him coffee once, too, which He seemed to like. The image of a falcon trying to drink from a coffee cup will always be an amusing image for me. But that’s about it. That’s the sum total of my experiences with Him.
But I tried not to let it worry me and focussed on Gods I could contact and get to know. It was easier that way. Other distractions. Other things to learn and experience. Heru-sa-Aset wasn’t a priority, particularly not if He was going to be so hard to connect with. Maybe it just wasn’t the right time to get to know Heru-sa-Aset, too. Stranger things have happened, that’s for sure.
And then began the epic Sobek and Heru-sa connection thing. I can’t remember exactly when Sobek and Heru-sa began insisting that Their icons must be next to each other at all times. I have been lax in keeping records of all my shrines over the past ten years. It was probably around 2007-2008 though.
To explain a little, I used to have my altar set up so that Sobek was on a pedestal, as He was my Father, and so He was higher and taller than my other icons. My Beloveds were in front of that pedestal. So, yes, it was a bit odd when Heru-sa moved to that pedestal, and it began to look like I had two Fathers, not one. And, indeed, I had noticed that my thinking had shifted to thinking that I had two Fathers, not one, and I had no idea why.
The weirdest experience I’ve had with that is the one time I first separated Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset as I was cleaning out my shrines and They pined for each other. Srsly. I will assure you I got Them back next to each other as soon as I could. I have never separated Them since that day. They belong together.
Now, to explain a little more, with the RPD, while people can obtain new Beloveds, no one gets new Parents. It’s not how the system works. (I’ll leave it to others to mull this over.) But it’s how the Kemetic Orthodox framework operates at any rate. Parents don’t change; They are with you during all your lifetimes. Beloveds are specific for a single lifetime and can change. The accepted wisdom appears to be that Parents create the (eternal) Ba, and Beloveds create the Ka, but iirc this is more an attempt at trying to explain it than Fact. I can’t remember Hemet (AUS) saying this is Actually True. Willing to be corrected though, if She has said otherwise.
At any rate, this is the logic on which this whole RPD thing is based. So of course I was a little wary of bringing any of this up with the Kemetic Orthodox people because you can’t gain a Parent. When posting shrine pictures, particularly while still Kemetic Orthodox, I’ve always made a point of saying I’m not dual-parented, you know, this is just how They want to be. Because of course my divination was not a secret; I did agree to share it with the House, after all, and I don’t regret doing that.
This whole twin thing all started back in September 2010. I was in the shower at the time and Djehuty called me to Senut, and to bring coffee and toast, and to do purifications after I’d showered as I actually hadn’t planned on doing Senut at that particular moment. So since it’s the first time I’ve been called to shrine, I agreed.
So I’ve been called to shrine by Djehuty, and I’m sitting there thinking about Sobek and Heru-sa and why They are together like that. I was shown an image of a statue They’d like, in which They are side by side, in human form with their respective animal heads and various headdresses, holding hands. The holding hands was emphasised. Cue me thinking, how the fuck am I ever going to get that made? Because at the time I didn’t exactly have a lot of money to my name. Or a job, iirc. So I was a bit worried about that.
And then I did something I hadn’t actually thought to do before. I asked Them why They’re sitting next to each other like that. Why do You insist on being next to each other, as if I have two Fathers? I’m still not sure what I expected Them to tell me. I hadn’t expected much of an answer, either. But, nevertheless, the answer I got was ‘twins’. Definitely hadn’t expected that.
Now, from the research I’ve done about Sobek, I know there was a Sobek-Heru syncretised form that was a crocodile with a falcon’s head, the name of which I have completely forgotten, and I did ask if that was what They meant, but I got a distinct NO back about that. That was not the correct form. They are Sobek and Heru-sa, together but separate. This, to me, is closer to my understanding of an aspected Deity, but I would definitely hesitate to pronounce this as anything other than UPG, tbh. Aspected deities, as a concept, are two distinct sides of the same coin. Oddly, and you’ll forgive me for skipping ahead, but this is a very odd thing considering They are … making odd but logical connections with Amun and Ra. (Amun-Ra being syncretised, not aspected. …See explanations below, if you’ve got lost at this point. :D)
// Detour //
Quick primer on syncretised and aspected Kemetic Deities so I don’t confuse you. They can be hard to get your head around because I don’t think it really occurs in any other pantheons and may be specific to Kemetic Orthodoxy? But I may be wrong. Willing to be corrected though.
Syncretised: two (or three) Gods merging into another new Deity. E.g. Amun-Ra, Ptah-Sokar-Wesir. They have a distinct role and purpose, and they are built from separate Gods and exist as separate Gods. So Amun, Ra, and Amun-Ra, are three separate Gods. Amun-Ra isn’t two Gods in one form. It is a single new God.
Aspected: Two sides of the same coin is, I think, the best way to describe it. Or, IDK, three sides of the same triangle, for Nit-Nebthet-Seshat, for example. (The three Ladies are aspected, aren’t they? I think They are.) Parts that make up a whole, but are still separate parts. So, unlike Amun-Ra, which is a single new entity, Sekhmet-Hethert is two Gods that in Their own way, reflect each other. In Kemetic Orthodoxy, there are a group of Gods who are considered aspected, in that They always appear linked together. Aset-Serqet, Sekhmet-Hethert, and Yinepu-Wepwawet are three of them.
Except I didn’t get Aset-Serqet, even though one comes with the other in Kemetic Orthodoxy. Aset has explicitly told me that Serqet isn’t there, that I am only talking to Aset, when I have tried to talk to Serqet. So. I don’t know what to make of that. /weird. /has broken my argument. /exceptions to the rule, etc.
I hope that’s clear enough. It’s what I understand of the concepts at any rate. If you want any more information, I can try to dig up some links for you.
//end detour //
So. Anyway. I’m thinking on this twins thing, when Heru-sa says Sobek is my Daddy. Which is the translation of my Shemsu name, Sobekemiti. Way. To. Make. A. Point. Had one of those whu-? moments. Mentions of a triad with Aset the Stellar Goddess (who may also have always been Aset-Nut and just not bothered to tell me or anyone else), Sobek as Creator, and Heru-sa as Sobek’s twin/son.
(I admit this is somewhat similar to Feri, and I can’t claim I didn’t take any inspiration from Feri when I did read into it a year or two ago in looking up information on Divine Twins. But I don’t think I necessarily adopted it, as discovered another piece of the puzzle. Found a new way of looking at it, so to speak, though Feri is definitely not the path for me.)
Anyway, I’m sitting there confused, and I’m all, since when is Sobek your dad? And I get no answer. I mean, of all the child Gods in the Kemetic pantheon, Heru-sa’s Father is not really under dispute anywhere in the mythology. He’s Wesir’s son. He’s always Wesir’s son. Not Sobek’s. So I’m all, wtf. (In retrospect, I think, perhaps, that maybe Aset was making a point that Heru-sa’s name technically only says he is the son of Aset. Heru-sa-Aset means Heru son of Aset. No mention of Wesir. So. Read into that what you will.)
So anyway, I left shrine that day thoroughly confused. Went back the next day. Asked for clarification about ‘twin’, but was told it was the only word that could be used to describe Their relationship; ‘Other words are inadequate’, or so I was told by Sobek. I got the sense Sobek was speaking for both Him and Heru-sa, and that almost every time I went to talk to Heru-sa, He handed me back to Sobek. In some ways, I’m not particularly surprised. I am much closer to Sobek, I’m the first to admit that, so that Sobek would tell me these things rather than a God I don’t know isn’t surprising to me.
In doing some meditation on it later that evening, I was drawn to Castor and Pollux, two stars of Gemini, and twin Gods from the Graeco-Roman pantheons. My natal chart has me as Gemini rising. Something told me this might not actually be much of a coincidence, but I still haven’t particularly got an answer to that yet. I don’t know if there is an answer.
I went back to shrine the day after that and They clarified ‘twins’ into ‘The Celestial Twins’, and I am a child of both of Them, just as Heru-sa is Sobek’s son. And His twin. At the same time. This has had me reading a different set of interpretations about my Shemsu name than I had expected as I change the reference point from me to Heru-sa. /weird. /very weird.
There is an odd implication there of me as Heru-sa-Aset, that there is some sort of … difference in relationship/status/IDEK what between Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset. Sobek is higher. Heru-sa-Aset is subordinate. If that is even the right description. I’m still trying to articulate my feelings on this and I’m not sure I’m doing the right job of it. Because that was definitely one of the things I got out of that too. With Heru-sa-Aset being so close to me, I’m in some ways not at all surprised by this. That I am Him and He is me and we are all together. I’m not getting a sense that this is an incorrect interpretation, but I don’t really know of it’s significance either, so I can’t really say any more than this.
Amun was actually with me in shrine that day too, sitting to my left, and even He was a little surprised by Their emergence as twin stars, with Sobek as Creator, and Heru-sa as His twin/son. Two bright stars in the sky. That’s … kind of how I figured this was not just me making things up. I couldn’t make up anything this bizarre.
In some ways, there is some vague historical basis for Sobek as a Creator. In a manner of speaking. He is present in one myth where He rescues the four sons of Heru in His mouth and takes Them to land. In another, He is the first mound of land, Tatanen, that emerges from the waters of Nun. (If you’ve ever seen a crocodile come out of the water, this makes so much sense I can’t even.)
I haven’t got any references nearby at the moment, but I do recall somewhere where Sobek was seen as Creator. It might’ve been at His cult centre, but I can’t remember where. Certainly, the twin Temple for Sobek and Heru-wer (Heru the Elder) in Kom Ombo was unusual. So this at least establishes some sort of connection between Sobek and Heru. Just not my Heru. (Note to self: do some research into that Temple again. It’s been too long.) But at any rate, there are links in with Creation myths, which is enough for me.
And then there was nothing more I was told about Their connection. Just the Celestial Twins, and that I can’t have one without the other. They were, and are, inseparable. They come together. Because this is so much a form unique to me, I will not lay claims to any kind of historical basis, or that this is some sort of One True Form and all others are fake. It’s definitely something only for ME and no one else. This form is somehow significant for me and me alone. That’s all I can claim. Why They have choen to appear to me in this form, IDK. I hope one day I figure that out.
As I let this new information settle in, I also thought a lot about how this might affect me and being Kemetic Orthodox. There was a growing desire in me to figure out Their relationship, but if They would insist I was the child of both of Them, could I really still be Kemetic Orthodox? You don’t gain parents. You just don’t. That’s now how their system works. I did email Hemet(AUS) about it all, but there wasn’t much she could help me with. I don’t blame her for that. There’s not a lot anyone can do if I’m being told UPG that really only means something to me except go with it and see what happens.
I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the fact I could not state the relationship that had been revealed to me, at least amongst Kemetic Orthodox kin, while I was still a Shemsu. I didn’t think it was fair to anyone, and I felt that to state that from a Kemetic Orthodox point of view would make everyone look bad, and I didn’t want to do that. I would be claiming something against how I’d been divined while still a Shemsu, and I just. I didn’t want to do that.
I can’t exactly remember when it was, but sometime last year, in pondering this connection, I was told by Djehuty that Sobek is Amun is Ra. Now, for those not familiar with Kemetic gods, They sometimes bear titles/epithets of the form X in the name of Y. So this is referencing Sobek (acting as Creator) in the name of Amun in the name of Ra.
This in and of itself is pretty damn profound. But it gets better! Djehuty continued it so it said Sobek is Amun is Ra is Ptah is Wesir!
…Just think about all that for a moment. Djehuty is connecting all these Gods together (and only those Gods), and in a roundabout way, justifying Heru-sa calling Sobek is Dad. Because Sobek is Amun is Ra is Ptah is Wesir.
…If you’re thinking that my brain broke trying to figure that shit out, you’d be right! 😀
(Also, I have given no thought to Djehuty’s role in all this. But I think I probably should. He seems to keep popping up to tell me things/break my brain/etc.)
I think it was also around this time, or maybe a bit later, that Hemet (AUS) announced the reorganisation of the Kemetic Orthodox faith, asking us to really properly consider our place in the House and whether we wanted to stay or leave. While it was an annoucement that did cause a lot of friction, and yes, some people did leave, I still don’t blame Hemet (AUS) for doing it either. I understood her reasons for doing it, even if I didn’t agree with some of them.
In my head, I took a long time to decide what I wanted to do. But actually, I didn’t. I think I always had a sense that I would be leaving at that point, that I needed to leave. The delay was really about figuring out what, exactly, to write to Hemet (AUS). Because I didn’t really know, just that there were Things I needed to do that needed to be done away from the House. I suppose the reorganisation was the catalyst I needed to make a decision one way or another. Otherwise I might still be a Shemsu and still being a bit lost.
What I decided to say was basically that I needed to figure out Sobek and Heru-sa’s relationship – to me and to each other, and I needed a clean break, to get away from the Parent/Beloved framework and really delve into what this twin thing really means to me. I needed to see this from an outside perspective, and not worry about whether my interpretations were in line enough with Kemetic Orthodoxy or not. I wanted to get away from sorting Gods into Parent, Beloved, Gods Who Like To Hang Around, and Others, and just experience Them as They are, without human labels or categories. I wanted to be able to approach my Gods without this framework hanging in the back of my mind and see things for what They really are.
Particularly as Aset has always asked me to refer to Her as my Mother for almost as long as I’ve had a relationship with Her, and that goes way back to 2001, before I’d ever heard of Kemetic Orthodoxy. No other word feels correct for Her, and She will not let me call Her anything else. But because She was never divined in a Kemetic Orthodox context as a Parent, I’ve always felt strange calling Her that in public Kemetic spaces in talking about our relationship. I feel a bit better doing that as an independent eclectic pagan, as I don’t feel like anyone might judge me for claiming a lineup that isn’t true. /paranoid about annoying my Kemetic Orthodox friends.
Perhaps it more my attitude to the RPD that is different from everyone else’s. Or maybe it’s just my path. But for me, it was never something that was going to stay static. The RPD is information. What you do with it after that, which relationships you cultivate and where they go after that, is up to you. So I’ve never felt like the RPD should *pin me down* in that sense, that these labels are fixed and permanent. But my Gods are always leading me down interesting pathways, so maybe I never expected them to be permanent. Maybe they were always going to change once it was time for me to go somewhere else.
I can’t speak for all Shemsu either, but I never considered my Shemsu vows were made to anyOne other than my Gods and my Gods alone. There are moments where I still consider myself a Shemsu in spirit. But IDK. Maybe that lack of connection to the House was a sign I was never meant to stay forever.
But I also know that I would not be where I am now if I hadn’t undergone RPD and been a Shemsu for five years. It was something I needed to undergo, I needed that information, in order to be where I am now. So in that sense, I do not consider it a waste, as my relationships with those Gods changes from how they were initially divined. I would not have known about Heru-sa-Aset if I hadn’t had my RPD. Maybe I would never have figured out He was there because of how close He is.
My path has always been very eclectic. I am a spiritual wanderer. I have never really tried to hide this. It’s pretty much a combination of fostering and ‘I dunno man, I didn’t do it’. I go where I’m led, wherever that turns out to be. I trust my Gods. They seem to know what I need, so I don’t see much point in fighting Them over it. And yet, there is always choice. I never feel like I have no control over any of this. But They still have a guiding hand every now and then.
Djehuty has summed it up thus: wisdom can be found anywhere if you take the time to look. This is why I don’t dismiss any spiritual experiences as not useful or a waste of time. Even if I don’t follow that path, even if I never revisit it again, or even if I stay for five years, everything, every spiritual experience, teaches me something that, even if I don’t understand it now, I may discover something important about it later on. Everything builds on what went before.
Mine is definitely the slow way, too. Things are not generally revealed in months, but years. Sobek is patient though. He will wait for me to make my own way to where it is He wishes me to be. I feel that’s why this first part of my path has taken TEN YEARS to come to fruition. Like I said, Crocman is patient. He can wait.
So, at the end of all this, and I apologise for how fucking long this thing has become, I can sum my relationships with the Gods up in this way:
– I am a Child of Sobek&Heru-sa-Aset;
They insist it is written this way so that I do not forget each of Them. Both are important. They have said I am a child of both of Them, so I am willing to acknowledge this. They prefer ‘child’ over anything gendered, and so do I, tbh.
They are the Two Guardians of Aset, another piece of UPG they’ve given me over the past two days. ‘Sobek protects the throne (Aset), and is the strength of the Nisut (Heru-sa-Aset)’, that’s what I was told. That, with Heru-sa-Aset protecting His mother, we have two guardians.
This is how Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset found a place on Aset’s shrine, flanking the box Her statue sits in. They are Her guardians. And now I have a triad. Bwee. XD /not quite what I was after when I started on this path but oh well.
– I am a Daughter of Aset;
Aset has always been important to me, and She now has a permanent shrine set up for Her and all the myriad Goddesses She introduces me to. She says She is showing me all Her different faces. Why She refers to me as Her daughter, I’ll never know, but She emphasises my feminine side. I can’t really complain. It works.
I can’t say She necessarily ‘rules’ my witchcraft practice either, but She does, in Her own way. My brand of witchcraft is eclectic; it doesn’t really ascribe to any tradition or type. It is what I make it.
She’s brought me back to the Fellowship of Isis, too. When I thought about it, when I thought about what I wanted in a religious community, my answer was fellowship. It’s always been fellowship. I’m not looking for a religion. I’m looking for people to talk to and share ideas with. So I’ve joined FOI (again). What I do after that, IDK. But that’s where I’m meant to be for the foreseeable future.
– I am a Beloved of Djehuty, Wepwawet and Ganesha;
Deep in my heart, I am convinced the three of Them are Up To Something. But I doubt I will have any idea what it is until it’s all over. They work together, that’s all I know.
I see connections between all three Gods, to be honest. There are threads of connections, even though They have different energies. I connect Wepwawet and Ganesha because Wepwa Opens The Way and Ganesha removes obstacles. They work together in that way, and They seem happy for me to call upon Them in this way for this reason.
And Djehuty is along for the ride, for whatever reason. At least I am comforted that I’m not the only one who has experienced Ganesha and Djehuty hanging out together. They seem to be quite good friends, Gods from different cultures who genuinely seem to like each other’s company.
Wepwawet has also been nudging me about getting a proper statue of Him. I’ve been using Yinepu’s to date, because at the time, it didn’t matter because They were both in there. But not now. Not anymore. I need something for Wepwawet. Probably two Wepwawets, since I’m pretty sure they’re going to have to go with my two Djehuty/Ganesha shrines.
I don’t even know why Ganesha is there. But He’s important to me, and to Djehuty. The two of Them have been hanging out together for years, so it seems odd to exclude Ganesha.
– I am a Companion of Amun and the Mousai Titanides;
Amun was the one who wanted us to be companions first; that was the word He used. I think He just wants to be friends, and I’m fine with that. He’s a very sweet God. I’ve written more on Him in my entry on Amun, if you want the whole story.
I don’t think the Mousai mind being companions either. I think the Mousai in particular are keen for me to be Their presence in the world and talk about Them to people who might not look to Them for inspiration. I think They are excited that someone knows Them and is willing to have a relationship with Them. They are such joyous Goddesses, full of song, and I think all They really want is to share that with the world again.
– I am a Follower of Hekate and Apollo
I find this relationship so hard to articulate, particularly as it is still so young. We are still very much getting to know each other. I know why I am working with Hekate; Sobek has pretty much fostered me out to Her, telling me there are things only She can teach me now that I need to learn.
I had never thought I’d work with Apollo though, but He owns my Goddess Oracle deck, and I think I will get much better readings (not that they aren’t great now) if I invoke Him before I read.
Reading back over all of this, it still seems a little odd, and I’m still weirdly afraid of people judging me, but tbh, if none of this made any sense at all? I’d probably think I really was going mad. But it makes sense. It makes a whole lot of things make sense in a way that they didn’t make sense before. That tells me this is something significant for me and not just some weird thing I’ve made up. I don’t think I could make up something like this no matter how hard I tried. It’s all to consistent, too persistent, to be just me making things up. Too many coincidences, too many things I just can’t ignore. So maybe