Still working on my T post for PBP because I can’t really think of anything to write about, but in the meantime, I’ve been having Thinky Thoughts about this idea of a silent ritual of gestures, and how to deal with my menstrual cycle and my daily rites and ritual purity and whatnot. I like being able to do my rites and I miss the days when I can’t do them, so I’m trying to find a way to still do them while not compromising my own ritual purity. I happened upon this video on Youtube a while back, and it got me thinking about silent rites and ritual gestures again.
I got thinking about this with regards to silent rituals with gestures because I got thinking about heka and what it is. It’s a form of magic that’s meant to be spoken aloud, it’s authoritative speech, and that’s half the reason my mouth in particular needs to be purified before rites, so it is pure enough to speak the words of the rites. My daily rites are a very personal form of heka, and that requires certain purifications that I’m still figuring out. Though I think I’ve got the natron purification sorted, I think. Will need to play around with that and see how well it works, and if it needs any tweaks.
It’s also interesting – to me, anyway – because of a magic system I came up with for an epic Georgian/Regency steampunk novel thing that was essentially magic made with gestures and words. The gesturing was very important to get right, moreso than the word itself. Gestures are combined together to create spells, and come from about ten different ‘classes’/elemental types, along with other more universal gestures for beginning/ending/invoking/banishing/etc.
A master magician in that world could gesture without words to create magic. You could even do it with music if you could figure out the sound of the gesture (like the ren in Kemetic thought, the true name of something/someone, that it’s a sound rather than a word? I think I nicked it from there.), so that playing the ‘true sound’ of a gesture is what is used to cast the magic. This is also a system of magic that Amun and Djehuty seem quite interested in.
What I also like about the idea of doing my daily rites in silence with gestures is that it kind of makes sense to me as a way around purity issues and the role I play as lector priest during the rites. The recitation of the hymns is the most important part of my rites, but if I’m not able to be ritually pure enough during menstruation to recite them, then saying them in my head with gestures might be a way around that. I also like it as an alternative when I’m travelling and can’t have candles or a shrine or anything like that. It’s more subtle as all it requires is a quiet space and my hands (and my mini grimoire/prayer book). So I think I’ll play around with this for the last few days of this cycle, and see how it goes.