So, a lot has changed. The shrines have switched places. This is, arguably, more of a practical move mor than anything else. The physical space I need for my devotional rites for Sobek and Heru is nowhere near as much space as I need for my fledgling witchcraft practice. I think this is actually the first time in sixteen years of pagan practice that I’ve had a permanent witchcraft altar. So there’s that.
I’ve put up a couple of quick videos of each shrine on youtube, for those who want more detail: the Shedety shrine, and the Hekate/Sobek witchcraft altar. There’s a bunch of other shrine videos on there as well, but it’s easier than uploading them anywhere else, since I take them on my phone.
At some point I will stop making new wordpress sites, but I have thrown up another one for my witchcraft blogging stuff because what the hell, and also there’s no room for it here, so. Feel free to follow it if you like: A Sobekatean Grimoire. (There is a lot of punnage in that title, ngl.)
And now that the pimping is out of the way, the tl;dr version is under the cut. Enjoy.
I’m not particularly used to things moving as fast as they have, but I like where it’s going, so that’s something, I suppose. I’ll post up the new Sobek/Heru rites in a while, once I’ve done final editing via actually performing them for a length of time. The morning rite isn’t much different from the last one I was doing, in that it’s a more formal Kemetic shrine rite; I think all I took out was the references to opening/closing the naos, since I’m not using one right now, and it didn’t feel right for what I was trying to achieve.
The evening rite is more contemplative, since I’m better at contemplative at night. I have more time, and a calmer mindset. I was also inspired by the evening rite to Ra in Eternal Egypt, and the instruction to recite the Litany of Ra in a slow, reflective manner, and I wanted to capture something of that in my own rite. Because it’s intended to be reflective and contemplative more than anything else, I was a bit looser with what I included. It does feel good to use it, but I haven’t had a chance to perform it in front of the new shrine yet.
These rites are very much my first tentative steps into a contemplative practice that bridges the gap, for me, between lay practice and temple practice. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind temple service, but there’s only one of me, and only one room, and it’s just not something I feel called to enough to bother with it. But because I’m Sobek’s priest and scribe, I’m not a lay person anymore. So by keeping some of the temple things in the morning rite, I can still keep up that priestly thing, while adding a more contemplative rite in the evening that’s less strict on keeping that temple tradition.
A lot of this is still new, and I have nothing significant to say about it just yet. I have a lot of work to do, and maybe in a year I might have a better idea of what it is I’m creating. I know Hekate wants in on it, too, but contemplative devotional rites are not hard to make for Her, and I’m less worried about that.
My Dedicant’s Program work has been somewhat slack of late. The past fourish months have been taken over by Hekate, and my Sanctuary of Hekate Kleidouchous work, but that’s fine. It’s been a very long crossroads, and I almost don’t recognise my practice now from what it was a year ago, but my focus now is magic, and so that’s what I’m turning my attention to. DP stuff will come back when I have a bit more breathing space, I think.
I’ve kicked around a few different witchcraft books, and tried a few different courses to see if they suit me, but the one I’m going to begin with is Timothy Roderick’s Wicca: A Year and a Day. I’m not necessarily aiming for Wicca at the end of this. I suspect it’s partly familiarity, since I started out with Wicca sixteen years ago, but also a ‘know the rules before you break them’ thing. Also, I’ve heard good things about Roderick’s course, even if some of the things he wants me to gather throughout the months will be substituted because I don’t burn incense on charcoal, which makes them redundant things to waste money on. I think flexibility and adaptation are also important, and using what you’ve got is a good skill for a witch to acquire.
I hadn’t planned to start the book five days ago, but I had both Hekate and Sobek yelling at me to Just. Start. It. Already. on the same godsdamned night in meditation, so. I started it. I’m planning to type up those pages and post them to the grimoire, because it’ll a) give me things to post about, and b) it’s a good way to publicly document my progress. Some of it might not always be typed up from the handwritten notes because it’s too personal, or it’s not potentially helpful to share, but I’m planning to post as much of my work as I can.
The plan is also to post anything and everything else I find, and in the process, figure out what my witchcraft is going to look like, and what I need, with the aim of having a better idea of what a potential physical BoS/grimoire might contain.
I’ll still post here, of course, with Sobek-related things. I’m learning German with Duolingo, with the aim of improving my ability to translate His epithets from the LAGG, so I can finish that project. I mostly want a better knowledge of the language so I can better proof my translations, and get a better feel for what the right meaning is. I’ll probably still get them checked, but that’s the goal.
I’m also delving deep into Shedety things, and I’ll be posting about monasticism. I also want to start posting fiction here more often, and maybe some more myth retellings. I still have my Contendings version to write, so that’s next on the list, as well as this other novel I’m working on about Sobek’s last Egyptian High Priest, and other contemplations about religion in diaspora. I have thought a lot about religion in diaspora lately, and explored it in my writing, if only because it’s a way to look at how I might do religion in diaspora. What does the Two Lands even mean when we don’t practice in Egypt? How do these new lands shape the gods, and how do the gods adapt to our new homes and shrines? How do the myths change? Which gods will we need now that they didn’t need back then? How do we translate Egypt to disapora?
A lot of this is also why I find the concept of Kemetic monasticism interesting in the sense of it being a potential model for how to practice, solitary, without a temple. And I think the more models for Kemetic practice we have, the better. Not everyone has the means or desire for temple service, but not everyone is a lay person, either. Not everyone might even want a model like monasticism, but it might be the answer for those people, like me, who feel stuck between priestly service and lay service, and knowing they aren’t interested in either.
Arguably, the line between devotional polytheism and monasticism is a blurry line, and I honestly haven’t got enough practice behind me to know where one ends and the other begins. But expect a lot of posts on that too, as I piece all that together in my head into something that can be practiced.
I’m also working on a book of hours for Sobek/Heru, and trying to piece together a year-long calendar of prayers and practices centred around Shedet. But that’s a long way into the future right now. I’m just gathering festivals and trying to decide whether I want to keep the southern hemisphere arrangement, and/or make a northern hemisphere one. I may end up with both, but it will be fixed, either way, because that makes it far easier to use.
The development of my Sobek rosary will tie into this, of course. I’ve got one draft, but I’m interested in developing different versions for different festivals or seasons.
I might also go back and revise a lot of the pages I’ve got and decide what’s still actually useful and relevant, and update anything that’s not useful information anymore. I haven’t done that for a long time, and it’s always good to make sure everything up here is still useful and important and relevant. I’ve collected a lot of information here over the past twelve years, and if I don’t prune and update it from time to time, it’ll get unwieldy. So that’s another project.
Anyway. I think I’ve rambled enough about everything for now. I have idk something to do for the superfullmoon tonight and some work with Hekate to do, so I will go and do that.