So today is the last of the epagomenal days, Nebethet’s birthday. Once I’m done with this entry, I’ll clean the shrine again in preparation for Wep Ronpet. I’m actually starting a new paid job tomorrow, so I won’t have the chance to do it then, so doing it now gives me a chance to prepare and take enough time to make sure things are properly cleaned.
Because of work, and because of my DP High Day rituals, Wep Ronpet is going to be simple. I’m not going to do much bar a libation or two during morning devotions, because I have my High Day ritual in the evening. I’ll be doing this purification ritual for Hekate, in what is a break in the streak of ADF COoR High Day rites. But it feels right, and She wants me to do it, so that’s what’s happening. I printed out the liturgy and stuck it in my ritual book today in preparation.
I’ve been wanting to do a ritual purification since secular New Years, when I got horrendously sick. I haven’t touched my sacred icons of Sobek and Heru, the ones in the naos, since I got back, because I haven’t had a chance to purify myself yet. I did consider doing a Kemetic ritual, but knowing I had to do some sort of High Day thing as well, this purification rite came along at just the right time. The plan is to do it weekly(ish) throughout the month, perhaps all the way until Equinox, but we’ll see. I’ll consult Her as I go, and if She feels it’s time to stop, I’ll stop.
January is, in many ways, a strange month. I’m feeling very reflective at the moment. It’s a very liminal month, where it’s the end of the school holidays, and the beginning of the year. It’s the last month of my calendar before Wep Ronpet, and the first of the new secular year. And even though I’m single, and don’t have kids to get ready for the new school year, January always feels that way. And it’s sort of a coincidence that the last day of the year is Jan 26, which, aside from the fact it falls on a date where white people first turned up and began their war against the indigenous people (and is a topic for a post for another day), feels like the end of the Christmas holiday period. So there’s this long season where summer stretches out through December and January, until we hit Jan 26, and the beginning of the end.
The fact my year ends on Jan 26 is problematic in its own way. It’s a bad day to end on, given what it represents. For those who aren’t familiar with this date, it’s officially the Australia Day public holiday, where we’re meant to celebrate being Australian. The date comes from the date the colony of New South Wales was founded, iirc. But because it also represents the day white people turned up and began killing the indigenous people, it’s also referred to by many indigenous people as Invasion Day or Survival Day, and is a day of mourning for them.
So it’s not exactly a day brimming with good energy to end the year on. But that’s how the calculations worked out when I set my Wheel up, so it’s what I’m left with unless I reconfigure the calendar. But in many ways, I don’t want to change it. To spend that last day of the year knowing what it represents, and using it as a way to release those energies into the aether that is the epagomenal days. It sort of feels appropriate. And I don’t want to just ignore this day, or make it less important. It wasn’t always a day with these layers of meaning attached to it.
When I was a kid, it was just Australia Day, and we’d take a picnic down to the foreshore to watch the fireworks, accompanied by a soundtrack of Australian music. I don’t have many memories of those picnics. I think we stopped going when I was 10 or maybe 11? I don’t know why we stopped going. Perhaps us kids outgrew the fireworks. But over time, celebrating Australia Day just began to feel awkward, and not the right sort of emotional energy the day really deserved because of its history and what it represents.
I sort of feel the same about ANZAC Day, a day that is ostensibly cast as a memorial of our founding myth, where Australia became a nation in the fires of WWI. Which. Okay. I am totally okay with remembering war dead. I have war dead in my family, as do many people. But the nationalistic aspects to it, that it’s somehow patriotic, just doesn’t jive with me. And there’s a whole other post in these two paragraphs about white Australia’s fragile national identity that’s too confusing and off-topic to include here.
But I still think, with Jan 26, that it lends the right energy for the last day of the year. There’s a lot of baggage associated with that date that deserve to be left behind as the days upon the year begin. I can’t say I’m perfect at any of this, and I could do a lot more than I currently do. But the tone of the date has changed for me, and with that, the way the year draws to a close. The most I’ll do, if I haven’t done it beforehand, is clean and prepare the shrines for the new year.
This year, we also had a gathering at my mum’s cousin’s place, up in the hills, where we could watch the fireworks once it got dark enough. It’s not a side of the family I’m very familiar with, but in spite of the Australian flags all over the place, they’re not bad people. There are worse things to do of an evening. And we had a great view across the southern half of the city.
I don’t know. Perhaps all this should have gone up on Jan 26. Perhaps I’m just writing into the aether because I need to get these thoughts out of my head. Perhaps I’m grasping for something I can’t quite understand yet. I don’t know. I don’t have answers.
But it’s nearly over for another year. The hours wind down, the days upon the year are soon to depart. Perhaps the lethargic energy will lighten up as February marches in. Perhaps it’ll bring more heat, rather than cold weather and lots of rain. All I know is that it’s nearly Wep Ronpet, and I start a new paid job tomorrow, and that can only be a sign of good things to come. I hope your High Days, Sabbats, and other festivities, if you have any tomorrow, go well for you. May the blessings of the gods be with you. Now I’m going to go clean my shrine, one more time.