Wep Ronpet Begins With A Storm

…As did Set’s birthday last Thursday, ngl. I hope that’s not an omen of the year to come. Not sure if happy or worried if it is. :/

I haven’t done much for Wep Ronpet, actually, save an improvised room cleansing this morning. Yesterday was busier than I had planned for. Had some errands and shopping to do in the morning before a friend and I headed off to the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular because free tickets from a friend of my mother’s who couldn’t go. So. That lived up to its name, and it was awesome (I think I cried most of the way through it, ngl), and then we went out for dinner, and by the time all that was done I was tired and there was no time to plan anything for Wep Ronpet, so.

I did anoint all my statues again with frankincense, just because. I also cleansed with my bells, incense, fire, and water, going east-west, then north-south, because … it seemed like the Thing to do, and I wanted to do Something other than offer water to the gods five hours or so after sunrise. I might write up that little ritual later, in case anyone else wants to play around with it.

tl;dr rambly stuff under the cut that may or may not make sense, nor have already been thought by others at some point. IDK I am playing around with things to see if they make as much sense to me as they do to someone else. Feel free to ignore them.

Also, that thread over at The Cauldron on post-Ragnarok heathenry has given me all kinds of Thinky Thoughts about my own Kemetic practice, particularly since I finally caved and got Eternal Egypt, just for the sake of reading it, since it was going cheap, to see if there was anything I could get out of it, even though it’s very much Temple Practice Is Moar Trufax Than Non-Temple Practice (paraphrased, ofc), which isn’t my Thing. But anyway.

I was brought back to thinking about the role of the temple cult when there isn’t a King for priests to do offerings on behalf of. And I’m not picking on anyone or any group in particular here, just considering my own place as a Kemetic and what that means for me. And some of this comes back to the recon thing, and how that never really worked for me. Maybe it’s because of Sobek, but I’ve always felt like I’ve spent my time picking up the pieces and trying to put them back together, rather than stepping back into a practice that’s no different to how it was back in ancient Egypt. And maybe that changes the way I relate to my Kemetic practice. IDK.

Because I feel like I’m coming in years after it’s all over, and trying to rebuild, the temple cult doesn’t really make any sense to me as being something I want as part of my practice. Because I’m solitary, and there’s no State/King (that’s relevant to me and my practice as a solitary) that sits behind the temple cult. So even if I did my lector priesting in a formal temple ritual sort of way, there’s no King for me to be doing ritual on behalf of. I don’t really feel any sort of connection to the ancient cults, or that I’m somehow repeating eternal rituals, because I’ve made up so many of mine because they don’t exist from antiquity. Most of my practice has been my own creation out of necessity.

But I guess it really depends on how you conceptualise the temple stuff, and how you’re recreating it. I’m sure it works for some people, and the temples that exist are doing their own thing, and that’s fine. But it’s hard to really feel that sort of stuff is really important when you’re solitary, and I’m stuck down here in the southern hemisphere, doing my own thing, highly divorced from the culture my gods once came from.

So much has happened since the temples were regularly tended. And I don’t believe the gods are static beings who can’t adapt to our modern Western society; there wouldn’t be so many pagans if that was the case. Maybe this is why I’m still fascinated by pop culture paganism, because it’s both new gods, and ways to see old gods in new ways. Writing new myths for my gods, too, because so many of the old ones don’t exist anymore. Dealing with the cult of my gods as it stands today, rather than trying to rebuild an ancient one. Maybe that’s not the sort of mindset that works for others, but to me, it helps ground me in the present, and to place my religious worship in it. Yes, look to the past for inspiration and wisdom, but never forget to live in the present.  I guess I prefer dealing with the gods as They are now, as someone who might never be able to give Them a proper temple cult, but who’s still going to be at my small shrine, twice a day, offering water and devotion anyway. It is what it is. That’s all I can really offer.

Anyway. That’s a bit of a meandering post for Wep Ronpet, but that’s what’s on my mind, and when you’ve got an hour with no power on, and you’re all alone (so apt!), you write blog posts in your head that read something like this IDK. Maybe this is just a Me thing, but that’s what’s on my mind right now, and this blog is nothing if not my own space to post these sort of random things, so. Di Wep Ronpet Nofret, and I hope the storms are welcome relief, rather than harbingers of doom. (D:)

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8 comments on “Wep Ronpet Begins With A Storm

  1. kiya_nicoll says:

    One of the reasons I dabble in studying Judaism is the translation they made from a temple-and-homeland based religion to a diasporic cultural religion. For exactly the reasons you have there.

    I need to work more on the structure I’m actually building, which I hope might be useful to people with similar thoughts to yours and mine. (It’s not directly the stuff on Peaceful Awakenings, though that’s my recon-oriented research blog; I’m building elsewhere and someday will have enough written for it to be worth publciising.)

    I find a lot of the temple stuff in Eternal Egypt beautiful but not… relevant. Y’know?

    • Sashataakheru says:

      Oh, yes, Judaism as well. I studied up on that a couple of years ago for a fic I was writing, and that transition did play a lot on my mind. Still does. Every now and then I look back into it for inspiration of how and why to do things. Maybe some aren’t bothered by that transition, but I am. What do you do when there’s no temples and king that are the backbone of the state religion? When everyone’s so far away, gods and devotes alike? How do you make that work? It wasn’t until that thread on TC that I could really articulate why I had such a problem with the temple cult and how relevant it was in the world today. It just doesn’t feel relevant, particular to a solitary like me.

      And we really are just so far away from each other, gods and people alike. The only other Kemetic in my state that I am aware of is Kemetic Orthodox. The gods are getting used to foreign lands, and foreign people, and foreign offerings, and foreign ways of doing things and how to talk to us. I know some people can conceptualise Kemet as a spiritual nationstate, and maybe that works for them, but I’m not in Egypt, I’m in Australia, and this land is different. Thus, my practice is different. My calendar is different, ffs, because I don’t live along the banks of a flooding river in a country with three seasons. I feel like it’s taken me years to really grasp those differences and how to build a practice around them that makes sense out of this landscape that is definitely Not Egypt. I’m only now beginning to write about this, even though I’ve been pondering this sort of stuff for years.

      And, yeah, some of the naos-tending things in Eternal Egypt have been quite handy to have (though I am not opening my statues, no way in hell do I want that kind of responsibility, and that doesn’t make me any less of a devotee, thankyouverymuchbook), and I am happy to have a big book full of hymns and other ritual structures to play with in future. But yeah, most of it isn’t really relevant. I’m glad I have it now, just so I’m familiar with its contents, but yeah. Not relevant, particularly for solitaries. Not my thing. I definitely would look forward to reading about what you’ve come up with, just to see another way of doing things, definitely, and I’m sure there’s an audience for it out there when you feel confident enough to publish it.

      • kiya_nicoll says:

        (Today’s calendar research makes me want to scream and set things on fire! Esp. since it’s so very hemisphere-centric and I’m trying to build something that does not depend on what side of the equator one lives on! Argh!)

        There have been periods that Judaism had the same questions, you know. (Check out the second stanza of Psalm 137.) So I think it’s really useful to see how they’ve managed to honour their history of the Temple while they don’t actually have, y’know, the Temple, and how things have evolved.

        It’s mostly … it’s all accessible on the web but I’m not pointing people to it yet because it feels so bare-bones. Even if I am using it primarily to organise my own brain.

        • Sashataakheru says:

          (Yes, I saw that post! Argh, that would frustrate me endlessly, which is why I stopped researching calendars and use a fixed Wheel instead. Because sanity. Also Sirius doesn’t work as a new year marker in the souther hemisphere, because the seasons are still wrong, so.)

          Yeah, that makes sense. It does help to have an example of how to make it work, even if we might not come to the same answers. At least one group’s done it before, so it is possible, even if we’re mostly going it alone at this point because solitaries. Still, it’s better than trying to find our way in the dark. Sometimes, I think this is why I often call what I do ‘priesting’, because it’s something I do, rather than something I am, in a pedantic there-is-no-temple-cult-in-my-practice sort of way. But I’m never sure if that makes as much sense to anyone else as it does to me, so. :/

          No, that’s fine, I’ve got a private WP blog for those kind of unfinished/not-yet-ready posts myself, just so I’ve got somewhere to write them out and ponder on them without an audience. Yeah, to organise my brain. Because sometimes I have to write something out in order to make sense of it. But yeah, it’s alright.

  2. kiya_nicoll says:

    I think I’m going to solve things like “what to do about the Burning festivals” and “what to do about Growing the Plants of the Gods” (for which I have an inexplicable fondness on the basis of the name) by putting them in a Local Conditions Calendar and suggesting people DIY. (Part of what that project is, is a DIY Kemetic practice resource. So.)

    (I could never make the Wheel work for me, personally. The… regularity of it feels too… tidy for reality, if that makes sense?)

    • Sashataakheru says:

      That sounds like a good compromise, and I like the sound of a local conditions calendar, too. I really think part of how we adapt Kemetic practice in lands that aren’t Egypt is to make the calendar work for us in the locations that we actually live in. Then again, I went back to the Wheel because it reflected my seasons better, and that’s what I was really looking for in a festival calendar; if that’s not your main goal, the Kemetic calendar probably works just as well.

      (Well, the Wheel really only works best in a typical European four seasons sort of climate anyway, and what I was looking for was something that reflected my seasons, which the Kemetic calendar definitely doesn’t do. It also limits the major festivals I have to plan for each year, which is better for the way I work. But whatever works for you, y’know?)

      • kiya_nicoll says:

        Heh. The Wheel doesn’t suit my seasons so well either. It’s technically Imbolc season here, right? First flush of spring and/or the end of winter, right? Try THREE AND A HALF FEET OF SNOW. And then there are the drifts…. (My brains are melting out my ears. The kids have been mainlining My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic on their snow days….)

        I actually never got off the sense that the year begins in August/September that comes about because of being a northern hemisphere schoolchild, which means that the rhythms of the Kemetic calendar actually do suit me, even if I technically live in a four-seasons temperate climate though not one that puts winter where standard Wheel people think winter goes, obviously. 😛

        Oh, one of the other things I’m doing with the calendar design is trying to structure things for not overloading people with constant festivals!

        • Sashataakheru says:

          Yeah, and this is actually sort of why I have a blend of Kemetic and ‘pagan’ festivals in my Wheel, because the solstices and equinoxes are a more reliable marker of the seasons passing than the cross-quarter days. I use the other four sabbats for Kemetic festivals, because I still love Wep Ronpet and the Mysteries of Wesir, and that helps to keep the rhythm of the Kemetic calendar in there, even if it’s not as explicit if I still used a purer Kemetic calendar.

          Yeah, I can see that working well up in the northern hemisphere. Here in Australia, the school year starts in February, so Wep Ronpet would fall in the middle of the year, which made no sense to me. The only thing that ever really coincided was the beginning of semester two in August when I was at university, and that never quite worked, because it was still the middle of the year.

          Ooh, good idea. That was one thing I definitely didn’t like about the Kemetic calendar, because even when I whittled it down to the festivals and gods I cared about, it was still pretty overwhelming, and I am not organised enough/enough of a ritualist to mark festivals that frequently.

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