So, I’ve started making books, because Sobek said a scribe ought to know how to make books. Right now, I’m just concentrating on hardcover coptic stitch journals, but I’ll likely tackle case binding eventually when I am not so intimidated by it.
This is the first one I made; it’s since become my new ritual book, for my monthly festivals at least. I’ve made another A4 sized one with watercolour paper that I plan to use as a devotional art journal, and another A5 one for notes and other things. I’m planning to make a bunch of 4inx4in ones as presents for our midwinter feast next month. Everything’s been cut out, it all just needs to be assembled. I’m also going to get dad to help me put together a book press, and Sobek wants hieroglyphs on it, so. Part of my scribal kit, it seems.
I’m planning to get myself organised enough to sell them, because with coptic stitch, the books lie flat, which makes them good for ritual books if you want them to sit flat on a table or shrine. Plus, I think it suits Kemetic ritual books well since I believe it originated in Egypt with the Copts? I get a big sense of recognition and pleasure from Sobek when I make these books, as if it’s something He recognises and takes pleasure in seeing brought to life again. It may not have been an ancient practice used in the old temples, but He seems to really like it nonetheless. It’s always good when your gods like your work, I think.
Relating to this, Sobek’s also been throwing ‘lector priest’ things at me, seeing it as the other side of a scribe’s duty when serving in the House of Life of a temple. I think He’s emphasising it more in a sense of a context in which I’m doing rituals to Them, rather than as a role He wants me to take. It may be that this is ultimately why I’m not tending open statues, because I don’t have a high priest to tend to it. It’s not part of my duties. I just read (and write) the rituals. (If the gods see fit to change this, that’s Their decision.) It reminds me that I ought to get my hands on that book about priests in ancient Egypt when I have some spare money.
(Also, knowing how to do bookbinding will enable me to refill my current BoS/journal because it has a reusable leather cover omg, which was half the reason I bought it. The damn text block in there currently is even coptic bound. I mean, really. I will never need to buy another journal ever again.)
I can’t remember if I’ve talked about it here, but I think I’ve mostly settled into a monthly set of devotions that’s working well, so far, together with my seasonal Wheel. It’s based around Hekate’s lunar rites, because that’s just how it turned out, but otherwise, it’s a good system, and I’m enjoying the flow of it.
The month begins with noumenia, where I’m doing rites to Hekate. Six days after that, I hold the 6th day akhu/ancestor festival. Thunor gets a húsel on the first Thursday after noumenia, and Kernunnos gets one on the Wednesday before the full moon, which is Artemis’ time. After that, there’s a húsel for Woden on the Wednesday before deipnon to round off the month. I’m trying to get into the habit of doing routine shrine maintenance on deipnon, like cleaning shrine things, statues, libation bowls, etc, which I’ve not always been good at doing.
The only thing that’s really bothering me about it is that I’m not doing anything for Isis, and I feel bad setting up a shrine for Her and then not using it. I’m pondering something for Her on the first and last quarter moons, because She’s gone back to being more Graeco-Egyptian now, rather than purely Egyptian, at least to me.
It’s a weird thing. I notice it only in how I refer to Her. She’s Isis or Aset, but not usually both interchangeably at the same time. Hekate explained it to me last night in our meditations this way:
“When you first began, you called on her as Isis, and she answered you. And then, as you moved on, she came to you as Aset, because that was who you needed. And now, she is Isis again, because that is who you need right now. She is greater than the name you choose to call her.”
Which makes sense to me, and of course, that last sentence is very true, and something I sometimes need to be reminded of. We can argue all we like about Aset vs Isis, and whether they’re the same goddess or different goddesses, but She’s greater than that, than our petty human disagreements about beings we may never fully understand. These days, I tend towards both/neither/something else/whatever She wants to be. /polyvalent logic ftw.
Besides which, it’s weird calling Her Aset when She’s sharing a shrine space with Artemis and Hekate. Isis fits there better than Aset does. Which is also why I’m pondering lunar-timed rites for Her, because it isn’t as jarring in a Graeco-Egyptian context. Though I may just do simple libation rites for Her for now while I figure out if we want anything more than that. I feel I haven’t worked with Isis for years, and I’d like to re-establish that relationship now that things are settling down again.
I feel like the past four years have been a chaotic period of spiritual development and growth. I’ve retired the BoS I started back in early 2012 because it no longer reflects my path, so I started a new one.
Hekate had a lot of other things to say last night, but one of the things She did do was finally tell me that I belonged to Her. I’d never been entirely sure, because of the way we met, so I kind of assumed it was a fostering-type relationship and it wouldn’t be more than that. But She’s mother like Aset/Isis is mother, like Artemis is mother-father, like Sobek too is mother-father, and Heru is father. I have all the queer gods, apparently, though I’m still wrapping my head around Heru as a queer god. That one doesn’t quite make sense yet. Hekate described them all as gods of change and transformation. There are other things we talked about relating to this that I’m unwilling to share at this point in time. Hekate likes throwing me curve balls.