A Blessed Equinox!

Autumn Equinox shrine

Autumn equinox shrine, set up by the window, with what I haven’t packed away in a box yet. Offerings are rum + Coke, water for libations, and a plate of stuff: pesto made from homegrown basil, roasted homegrown pumpkin, brie, crackers, and some sliced chicken.

It feels like too long since I last updated, but at least I’ve got a decent High Day to write about now. I’ll upload the ritual I used in a bit, since I finally settled on one I was happy with. It follows the SDF ritual format, but it’s more built around Kemetic gods and cosmology. And it took me about 20 minutes, which I think is pretty good for me. And knowing it’s a set ritual, and all I need to do is worry about offerings, and perhaps writing an appropriate hymn, it’s stress-free, pretty much, which is nice.

I was a bit worried about doing it today, since I drew Thorn this morning, suggesting I should make sure I’m properly prepared before going ahead with it. Which was fine, I felt that was a fair enough warning. But I made sure I was prepared and ready, and everything turned out fine. I lit some incense, actually, and had it on the sill near the open window on the right, so it could drift out into the air and not bother me so much. It was partly how I knew the whole thing had taken about 20 minutes, since the cones I use burn for 15 minutes, and I finished probably a few minutes after it finished. I did have to use sandalwood oil to anoint myself with, since I think I packed up my frankincense a couple of days ago. But that’s alright. It worked well enough, and I do like sandalwood.

The reason most of my things are packed away are because I’m in the middle of renovating my bedroom. We’re going to rip the carpet up and put bamboo flooring down, repaint the walls and ceiling, and I’m getting some new furniture put in. The shrines are going to be completely redone, and moved to the north wall (the wall to the left of the window). I bought a nice table I’m going to stain up to use for the main shrine, and once I start on that, I’ll definitely be posting pictures of how that’s going.

All this packing also meant that all I had to take the omen with were my runes, but to be honest, I could use the practice in learning to read them for divination. I’ve been doing single rune draws for the past week or so, just to get used to them, and begin to familiarise myself with the meanings, and what I get off them. I think it’s proved quite fruitful so far, and I didn’t think I’d ever take to runes this easily, but it feels quite natural to me. I’m quite pleased about that. Thanks, Woden, you awesome fellow you.

Speaking of Woden, He’s been turning up during my Hekate work too. He was there last night, standing at the gate with Hekate, as the warrior poet, and He stared me down again like the last time I met Him in meditation with Hekate. Thunor wasn’t there, though, not this time, but Woden certainly was. I didn’t get the sense He dislikes me or disapproves, but I think He’s just the gruff silent type with me. He stood there watching me make reed pens and cut strips of reed to make papyrus sheets. I could see He had a feather quill in His cap, though, and a roll of parchment hanging from His belt, in amongst all the armour and the axe at His side.

…I will, at some point, do up a big proper post about the Pillars of the Naos devotional work I’ve been doing for Hekate this month, and when I do, some of this will make more sense, but yes. Woden and Hekate and Artemis and all kinds of other things. Epic fun times, oh yes.

Anyway. Hope you’re having excellent equinoxes. I’m pleased I can light candles again in shrine, because the dark time of the year has started now. We’re working towwards the Mysteries of Wesir and Yule, and the cold of winter. I like this time of year. I like the cool change in the air once summer finally fucks off. There was a storm this morning, too, and some rain. The thunder woke me up. Felt that was a great start to the day. Things are only going to get cooler from here, and that’s great. I love that. Plus, it’s almost time for the Mysteries of Wesir, and omg I love that festival so much. I shifted it to begin on May 1 and run about a week, just to tie in with the rest of the High Days. Which, incidentally, I did eventually settle on a set of eight that felt right to me, balanced between the standard neopagan Eight, and the Kemetic holidays.

High Days:
Jan 26 – Feb 1 – Wep Ronpet
Mar 21 – Autumn Equinox
May 1-8 – Mysteries of Wesir
June 21 – Winter Solstice
Jul 26 – Aug 1 – Feast of Zep Tepi
Sep 21 – Spring Equinox
Oct 31-Nov5 – Coronation of Heru-sa-Aset in the Two Lands
Dec 21 – Summer Solstice

I want to use the Kemetic SDF rite on the solstices and equinoxes, as those are seasonal markers for me, and it gives me a chance to work with those energies, and to honour Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset for major festivals on a regular basis. The other four will be marked with more traditional Kemetic rituals, because those are cool too, and I don’t want to leave those behind. I mean, part of this desire to find a set of eight I could work with was because I just couldn’t leave the Mysteries of Wesir out of it. I really do love that festival so very much, so it’s becoming my Samhain. (ILU Wesir. <3)

The Coronation of Heru festival at the other end of the year isn’t exactly at the right place for the Kemetic calendar, particularly as it’s technically the last day of the Mysteries, but I wanted a time to honour Heru as King. That, and I didn’t think Aset Luminous would fit there, nor could I settle on a Ra festival I liked enough to do in its place. I wanted a fire festival of some description to set at that Beltaine period to reflect that energy, and I don’t know. It just felt like the right pick, to honour Heru’s coronation after the spring equinox, much as I will honour Wesir’s coronation in the Duat after the autumn equinox.

And now that I think about it, I think I might incorporate Aset Luminous-type festivities into my Feast of Zep Tepi celebrations, along with renewing the year heka and such. I want it to reflect what I do at Wep Ronpet. Besides, I’d rather like ALL THE CANDLES in winter than in summer, so. It just feels more appropriate at that time of year.

And of course it is getting to that time of year when I don’t need my fan on so much, and the weather is getting cooler. Now that the days will continue to grow shorter, and the weather will get cooler, now’s the time to light candles, because there isn’t so much light around now. It’s the dark time of the year now, until the next equinox. Wesir’s time. My favourite time. He’ll get to break in the new shrine once it’s all done, since the Mysteries will be the next major festival once my room is done in the next few weeks. That’ll be nice. I’m looking forward to that now, and I’ve got time to organise my liturgies so I can write them in my ritual book ahead of time. /likes being organised.

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4 comments on “A Blessed Equinox!

  1. Lisa says:

    You have been busy! Organising your year’s devotions on top of a renovation! I’d like to do the same for our year, but from a more earth-based perspective. How did you actually make a final decision on the High Days? What sort of criteria did you use, if you don’t mind me asking?

    I can’t believe it’s the Autumn Equinox already! That just sneaked up on me…

    • Sashataakheru says:

      Ikr? It all happens at once in my life. 😀

      I spent many years as a Kemetic, following a mostly traditional Kemetic calendar, with its three seasons, and all the major festivals. But it never quite worked for me, because the seasons don’t match, and the seasonal markers don’t match, so I decided to just give up trying, and make my own festival calendar that worked for me. I’ve come to see the solstices and equinoxes as seasonal markers, and it gives me a chance to honour Sobek for a major festival, since His major festivals I don’t think have survived, not that I know about, anyway. And I like druidry. It’s an ancestral thing. It’s taken a long time to make it work, but I finally got there.

      I included the four Kemetic holidays for the other four High Days because I still wanted to keep some aspects of the Kemetic calendar, some festivals that I still love. I approached it by taking a look at what the original High Days were about, and trying to find a good equivalent, if I didn’t already have a preference. So, say, for Samhain, it’s all about death and the ancestors, and the Mysteries of Wesir is about Wesir’s death and establishment as King of the Duat/Afterlife, and it’s also got a strong ancestral connection, so having the Mysteries during Samhain works.

      Plus, having four Kemetic festivals means I can still use Kemetic rituals, and use Druidic rites for the solstices and equinoxes. It’s the best compromise I could think of based on what I wanted out of a festival calendar. If you’re looking to build your own, and want it more earth-based, perhaps spend some time getting to know the seasons around where you are, and what you notice as the seasons shift. Maybe that will give you some inspiration for what kind of Wheel you want to keep. You might find the approach of these Sydney druids to be useful in formulating a seasonal Wheel that works for your area.

      • Lisa says:

        Thank you for sharing your process! Yes, I would like to develop my own festive calendar and the biggest problem I’m having right now is that I grew up and spent most of my life in the Northern Hemisphere and now I’m living here in Western Australia. 🙂

        Just an instance: the NH Autumn is very clear; it gets colder, it’s harvest time, animals start preparing for hibernation. In the SH, Autumn is more like Spring or early Summer, you can actually PLANT stuff and it’ll grow, and I haven’t a clue what the native wildlife does. I’m gonna have to talk to people to find out. lol

        Thank you, too, for the link to the Sydney druids. That has given me some ideas for starting my own calendar. Like you, I think I’ll look at some of the festivals I have an affinity for and see how they can match up with the turning of the year in the SH.

        Many thanks and blessings. 🙂

        • Sashataakheru says:

          Ahh, yes, well, that would be a problem. The seasons are weird here, for sure, if you’re not used to them. I’ve only lived here in Australia, so if I moved into the northern hemisphere, I’d be as confused as you are, not knowing the seasonal markers. I can give you a bit of a hand, based on my own experiences, but not all of these might apply to your specific area.

          Go outside and keep notes on what you observe about the weather and the environment around you to help. You might want to pay a visit to Kings Park and have a wander around their native plant displays to familiarise yourself with some of the plants and how they grow. You might also find this site and this side useful.

          Autumn, yeah, it won’t get properly cool for another month or so. Summer really only tends to get going in late December to mid-January, with a peak in February and sometimes March, depending on how hot the summer is. This summer’s been pretty mild, tbh, so the shift towards cooler weather isn’t as obvious as it might otherwise be. But it is there. It’s the change in the air, and catching the scent of rain in the air. The light changes, too. Half three in the afternoon, now, is about what half five is in January. Easter is usually when the weather properly shifts, more or less. Jacaranda trees tend to flower in November, and are usually heralded as a sign that Christmas is coming.

          Winter here is usually short and wet, and it’s when the rain properly turns up, though there’s not really a lot of it these days. Mid-June to August, usually. The rain continues on until early December these days, or at least late November. I feel like this is part of the shift from a climate with four seasons to one with two, a wet and dry season, like it is up north. At the moment, it’s a weird mix of the two.

          But yeah, definitely play around with the Wheel, and the seasons, and find a way to make it work for you. It’s definitely worth it, even if it takes time. You may not find seasonal equivalents for every festival you’re interested in, but don’t be afraid to take a broader approach, or try to interpret them in different ways.

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