So the Night Vigil is done, and the shrine redressed for the feast of Sokar-Wesir today. In some ways, it wasn’t as long a night as if I’d kept vigil from midnight to 6am, but it was still long. The first hour is always hardest, though it became easier after the first three were over. Wanted to read out the names of my ancestors during the first hour as well, but I just didn’t have the voice for it. Did some blogging at my private WP blog during the vigil, because I was in my room and it was nice to have my computer near by to keep my thoughts in order as I waited and watched. I’ll stick ’em behind a cut, because they got quite long, though some are rather shorter than others. All are unedited.
Thoughts on the First Hour
The night is dark, though it isn’t midnight. It is cold, and in some way, it reflects the coldness of Wesir. He who has no life in Him anymore. He who now resides in the Duat, the place of the dead, never to return to us. He lies still, covered with a shroud, and we mourn for Him. We cry and grieve, as much as we understand His sacrifice. Wherever I go when I die, He will be there, waiting for me.
I think of all my ancestors during this first hour. I don’t have the strength to read out their names, but I have a list with me, and I think about them. I hold grandad’s old Welsh flag, and think of him, and all my other Welsh ancestors. I think about them all being here with me, with their arms around me, as we watch over Wesir tonight.
I’ll go make some tea after the second hour’s vigil, because I wanted to get my words done first. At least, then I can fill them with thoughts on this first hour that I can post later. It isn’t easy, to organise all this. And it is only the second time I’m keeping vigil. But I don’t want to miss it, because it’s important to remember Wesir, and His death.
I am well aware that in writing myths for Sobek, too, I am, in my own way, writing the Cycle of Wesir. It is from a particular point of view, but it is Wesir’s story, as much as it is Sobek’s and Heru-sa’s. But then my Sobek is much closer to Heru-sa than to Set, so this may be skewing things somewhat.
Might not burn too much oil tonight, either. Don’t want to give myself a migraine. Might just do it – on and off – for the first three hours, and then give it a rest. Will leave the candles burning until after the second hour’s prayers, because I don’t want to leave them burning unattended for any length of time, and as that’s when I’m going to go make tea, that’s when I’ll extinguish them. I’ll light them again for the third hour, and go on from there.
I won’t be eating, either, until it’s over. I’ll have another tea/milo after the fourth hour, but nothing else. It’ll also give me a chance to put those extra pasties away in between keeping vigil. I know it’s not a proper fast, but I need some sort of caffeine to get me through, given it’s at night. A day vigil would be entirely different.
It is, in many ways, a strange vigil. It’s not a continuous prayer thing, like some Christian traditions do during Easter, but more … sporadic. It gives me a chance to reflect, and write, and get my thoughts in order as the night progresses. I can empty the libation bowl, I can rest, I can write, and I can think, before I recite the Lamentations again and pray over Wesir’s body.
I like it, though. I like the stillness of the night, and the quietness. There will probably be some interruption when the parents get home, but I’ll just run with that, and let it interrupt as it will. They’ll go to bed soon afterwards, anyway, so it won’t be too big a gap. If it’s close to the hour, I’ll just let them come back, and continue on once they’re in bed. Then I can finish the vigil at 1am, and it’ll be all good.
I have rosemary oil burning at the moment. It’s quite strong, so I don’t think I’ll be adding any more to the water. I like it, though. I feel like I should’ve bought some new oil earlier, so I could’ve burnt it over Samhain. Oh well. I have some more now, so that’ll be alright. I can use it now.
In fifteen minutes, I begin the second hour. I’ll pour another libation for Wesir, and recite the Lamentations. I’ll pray for Wesir’s safety, that He be protected as He makes His way through the Duat. I’ll think about my ancestors, and hope they are safe and protected in whichever part of the Afterlife they’ve ended up in.
It’s not much, and it’s so simple, but simple works for a vigil, I think, because it means I don’t need to think as much while I’m grieving and praying. I’m also glad I have enough light to read by. I need the light so I can read the Lamentations, and make sure I don’t get a headache from low light. But that’s my 750 words for now, so I’ll copypasta this into my private blog, and prepare for the second hour.
The First Three Hours
The first hour is always the hardest. It is the one filled with Aset’s tears, and the grief of all who have been lost. It is a dark hour, a silent hour, and it is hard to speak. I don’t really want to speak. Just reading the Lamentations is hard, and I I cry as Aset cries.
The second hour is easier, just a little. It is still dark, but there is a spark of hope, of life. I hold that small flame in my heart, hoping, praying, giving life to Wesir. Live, my Lord. You are safe, You are established. Come, come to us, Wesir. Your family awaits.
The third hour is a little easier still. I don’t have a proper set of prayers of each hour, so all I do is pour a libation of water and recite the Lamentations. It’s simple, but effective. I’ve also got a couple of sets of meditations on the vigil that I read between the prayers, to keep my mind foussed on what’s happening. It helps me form thoughts for my reflections, as well as knowing what to focus on during each hour.
I’m going to unveil and wash the statues during the fifth hour, because it seems like the appropriate time to do so, particularly as I haven’t washed a couple of those statues before, and it’ll be good to have them all purified after the long night of death.
It is still quiet, though I suspect the parents will be home soon. I’ll extinguish the candles in case I’m interrupted, and begin the fourth hour once the house is quiet.
The Fourth Hour
The light increases, and Wesir comes closer. I’ll be going off to ritually purify in a bit so I can handle the icons properly, and rearrange the shrine so I don’t burn myself with the candles as I put things back. The fourth hour is the first time it feels like things are going to be alright. We’ve passed the darkness of the first three hours, and now we’re moving towards the light. (Well, we would, if this was 4am instead of 10pm, but hey, it still counts in a metaphorical kind of way.)
It feels quite significant now, knowing I’ll be preparing Wesir for the sunrise (metaphorically speaking) and His reunion with Ra. I’ll be purifying His body as Aset and Djehuty have done, as all the gods have done, as we watch over Wesir tonight. I will be priest and God, giving life to Wesir as He is established in the Duat. It’s a big responsibility, but I don’t mind so much. The gods are with me. Wesir will be established.
I think I’ll post all these snippets in one post over on Per Sebek, just to have it all in once place, along with the photos and such. It’ll be good to have a proper summary post once it’s all over with.
The Fifth Hour
Wesir has been purified. I can see His beautiful face again after being hidden from us for the past two days. I have washed and anointed my three Wesir icons, and They now sit proudly amongst the gods, safe and secure.
The vigil draws slowly to an end. I’ll keep the candles burning until I say the final prayers. I won’t recite the Lamentations this time, I don’t think, but I will pour a final libation for Wesir, and offer thanks for His sacrifice.
I’ll do a proper full write-up post tomorrow, probably, once I’ve had time to collate everything. I could do it tonight, but I think I’ll be too hungry and tired to do it, though we’ll see once I’m done with the final hour.
It’s been a long night, but a good night. I feel refreshed after marking the vigil for the second time. I feel the hope and the light that Wesir brings. Soon, He will reunite with Ra, and a while after that, the sun will rise triumphant. I feel like it would be better if I’d timed it to sunrise properly, but given I would like some sleep before the tilers come tomorrow, I’d really like to not be up all night.
I’ll rearrange the shrine again tomorrow for the feast. That’ll be good. I’ll try to go out and get a few offerings to lay out for Him. I don’t really go all-out with offerings, but I think it’s worth it for Sokar-Wesir. Some fanceh bread, some juice/wine, water, and whatever else I can find.
I should stop talking about feasts, though. I’m getting hungry.
The Sixth Hour (ish)
Made my final libations, and said my final prayers, and now all I’m doing is waiting for the candles to burn down. I don’t know if I’ll leave it the full hour, though, as I’ve already had one candle melt all over my shrine cloth, and I’m disinclined to change candles over to new ones just for the last half hour. So I’ll leave it for now, and maybe stop at half twelve.
Everything is all over for another year. Wesir has been through the dark times, and found His peace in the Duat. Glad it’s over, but glad I was able to keep vigil the full(ish) six hours, too. Thought a lot about Wesir. Thought a lot about the ancestors. Thought a lot about Set. I kept Set on my shrine the entire time, because it would’ve been wrong to remove Him. I felt He wanted to be there, too, to ensure His brother was successful in what He wanted to do, to be there for us once we die, so we have somewhere safe to go.
I was reflecting on that sacrifice as I tidied up a little, wondering why Wesir’s sacrifice means so much to me, when what Jesus did never moved me at all. It’s a similar kind of sacrifice, to die so there is an afterlife, though Jesus was resurrected, whereas Wesir is not. Perhaps I’ve just never felt like Jesus cared about me, whereas I know Wesir loves me. Maybe I was just always meant to be Pagan. IDK. I’ll be thinking about that for a while, and maybe have more thoughts on it at some point.