IDK, I was going to do my State of the Shrines update post today, because I finally redid the shrines yesterday, but I have made three drafts now, and changed the shrines up just as many times since then, so. I am taking this as a sign that I need to let things sit a while before I can show them off properly.
I will say, though, that the one thing I am doing is that I am stripping the shrines back to nothing. No tools, no candles, no incense, nothing. Just the gods. I’ve had this feeling lately that my shrines are just too full. There’s just too much stuff on them, and there’s stuff there I never use. The energy was just not right.
I always redo the shrines after Wep Ronpet anyway, so that wasn’t a problem. It did take me until yesterday to actually do that. This Wep Ronpet has had a weird energy. The Epagomenal days were weird, but I expect that. They are outside time, they’re meant to be weird. I also accidentally decided to just do my rituals for the gods on each of their birthdays, and not bother with my regular rituals. My rituals were ad-libbed, for the most part. I loosely – and lazily – followed the structure of my morning ritual, but only so far as anointing myself with oil, then offering a hymn, then water libations and finally anointing their faces with oil. Then there was meditation. I set my timer for 15 minutes, and started with two rounds of chanting using the lapis mala I made for Isis. The chants varied: Dua Wesir, Dua Heru, Dua Setekh; Ama Aset; Neh-beh-tet (slowly).
The meditations were all very interesting. I talked a bit about this earlier, but I’ll post a bit more about it now that everything’s over and the energy isn’t so weird anymore. A lot of this is woo-based/upg, and heavily references my astral landscape of Bakhu, but hopefully, it’ll be interesting enough. I also want to record it here in one go, since I didn’t keep many records of it at the time. So if you’re not into this, feel free to skip, otherwise, read on.
So, this is by no means the prettiest thing I have ever made in Photoshop, but it occurred to me that I’d never done a map of Bakhu (that I can remember?) so, I thought this might help with some of the locations I’m talking about. It’s very, very crude, and not very detailed, and there’s a lot of stuff missing, but this is the general scope of the landscape I play around in. West is at the top, east is at the bottom, etc.
Green tree-y area is forest. Yellowy stuff is golden wheat-y grass stuff that is also sometimes green. Blue is water. Triangles are mountain-y cliffs. One day, I’ll do a proper map, but this gives you a good idea of where things are. Also, the golden grass-y stuff around the bay where Isis’ temple etc is is also hilly! As indicated by the brown stripe! It’s not a flat bay. But there is a beach! With white sand!
Anyway. Apologies for my crap photoshop skillz and my impatience at not taking the time to draw something better. On we go!
So, the place I meet Wesir is this boulder-y cavern thing that’s in the south, down a slope that leads to a very large wheat field. Or a large grassy field. It’s a long croppy grassy thing at any rate. There is a distant mountain, and a trail that presumably leads to it, but I’ve never gone there.
The cavern is small, and protected by a doorway. I can only open this door by gesturing with my priest ring and placing my hand on the rock. Then it swings inward to let me through.
It’s seriously the smallest place. It’s nothing more than a corridor that leads to a small room, crudely cut out of the rock. It’s lit with torches, but is otherwise undecorated. To the right as I enter, there’s a long table covered with papyrus and other things. To the right, an armchair where I see Wesir sitting.
He smiles as he gets up to greet me, and it feels like ages since I was last there. We talk about a lot of things, including the Contendings rewrite I keep procrastinating on because I have no idea how to write it. We spend a lot of time talking about that, about Heru and Set, about where to go from there.
He gave me one scene, of Heru coming back, now an adult, and seeing Egypt for the first time. Of seeing how the land had suffered without them. How the land would come to life in His footsteps as He walked through a village, and maybe, just maybe, someone might turn and look at Him, through fear and dirt and hunger and rags, and recognise Him for what He was, their true King. To finally see a bright light in the darkness.
I haven’t sat down to write anything yet, but that’s probably where I’ll start, and see where I go from there. I can’t remember if I have anything to finish before that, but I think, once the Contendings are done, the myth cycle will be finished. I might throw it together into an ebook or something, along with maybe a collection of prayers and hymns and rituals, separate from my own book, and the Sobek devotional. But we’ll see.
The last thing Wesir talked to me about was my own Book of the Faiyum thing, which for some daft reason Sobek wants me to make for Him. But that’s so much of a long-term project that it’s not really worth talking about right now. He gave me this long roll of papyrus and a scribe’s pallet and told me to take it to Sobek’s temple. So that’s what I did.
I met Heru-Wer on the beach in front of Isis’ temple. I was pleasantly surprised He turned up at all, since I don’t think we’ve ever had contact before. But maybe it’s a Heru thing IDK. He was the typical dude-with-falcon-head-and-white-crown sort of look, with just a white kilt on, and He came and sat next to me on the beach where we could chat.
He was chattier than I had expected, and of course after I did the whole ‘plz explain the Herus’ thing, we ended up back with the Contendings again. He talked more about Set, and His role in the myths. How He reacted. How He took on that burden. How I tend to get a certain face of Set when I talk to Him, and it’s not necessarily the same face everyone else gets.
I feel like two paragraphs really doesn’t do this conversation justice, but there wasn’t much else to tell. And once we were done, He got up and walked off, and told me to call on Him if I ever needed Him, so.
Set talked the least out of all five of them. I met Him across the shore at the Lake of Faiyum. He sat on the edge, hand glancing across the water, as He gazed off into the distance. He was happy to chat, but it was clear He had other things on His mind. It was sunset, after all, so I don’t blame Him.
I can’t remember all the things we talked about. There was probably some contendings stuff, but probably some queer stuff, too. Like I said, we didn’t talk much, but I was glad He at least showed up, even for a little bit.
There came a point where He walked off, and into what looked like an underground bunker or garage, but was more like the basement to a temple or pyramid. This was the end of our conversation, but I sat and prayed and left a libation of water and some incense.
I look up, and I see the Night Boat soaring into the sky above me, and I walk away, back towards the lake, to get a better look at it. I watch it rise up into the sky, and disappear into the horizon.
Sobek stood behind me, then, and we watched it together as the sky darkened, and the nightly battle against a\p\e\p began again.
I met Isis outside Her temple, because of course I did. She led me inside, and we talked. She offered a bit of healing, since I wasn’t feeling too great.We talked a lot about how things were going and She said Sobek was proud of me for all the work I’d done.
There was a point where my mind wandered to Hekate. I can’t remember if there was any particular trigger. There may not have been, save for a tired brain. Either way, once Isis brought my focus back, She suggested I take in some more lunar light and sit in the shrine again.
So She sat me in the naos and closed the doors, and I was in darkness, soaking in silver light. Then an old woman appeared before me and presented me with three snake wands, as if I was meant to just pick one. But they all looked the same and She wouldn’t tell me if there was any difference between them, so I assumed they were all a set, and took them all, which seemed to be the correct answer.
The meditation came to a close soon after that, once we’d said our goodbyes. She walked me out of the temple, and I let the waves bring me back to my self.
Finally, we get to Nebethet. I have little experience with Her, save for when I’m reading out the Lamenations. I’ve prayed to Her a couple of times to help with grieving families, but that’s about it. One of the last things Isis told me before She left me the day before was that to meet, Nebethet, I should come back to Isis’ temple. So that’s what I did.
Nebethet looked, well, pretty much how I expected Her to look. Long dark flowing robes, and long dark hair, and a kind smile. She invited me in through a small doorway that jutted off away to the right of Isis’ temple, and led me into this huge cavernous space. It wasn’t enclosed. Part of the roof was open, and light streamed in. It was this, and the stream that went through the ground, that supported the forest. (Somehow. I don’t even know.)
Anyway, we talked for a bit at the entrance where we’d come in before She took me to the forest to talk. It was lovely down there, actually. Lots of thick, tall trees, and we sat by the stream and talked. I wish I hadn’t been so tired that I didn’t write all this down at the time (this was the longest meditation out of all five of them, so), because I feel like there was important stuff there I should’ve remembered.
Either way, there came a point where a falcon turned up, and She gave it to me. Because apparently Nebethet keeps falcons. I know, not traditionally associated with the two sisters, but She quite clearly called it a falcon, so. *throws hands up* Apparently She’d had this falcon for a long time, she hadn’t bonded with anyone, but for whatever reason, she bonded with me.
Nebethet handed her over, and she settled in beside me as we finished talking. Nebethet told me her name, and what I needed to do for her in terms of representing her on my shrine. I haven’t really got a good term for her, except perhaps companion. Spirit companion, perhaps. The companion thing is important. But she will also guide and protect if I ask for it. I’ll have to make sure I spend time with her frequently so I don’t just waste the gift of her companionship.
And that was about it, really. After a bit more talk, Nebethet walked me out, and said goodbye, telling me to come back if I needed to, that I could find Her in the forest.
And so that was the epagomenal days. Wep Ronpet fell on a Wednesday, which isn’t an ideal ritual day, just because I’m at the shop all day, and there isn’t much of a chance to prepare for things. But I did pick up some bread rolls at the train station bakery in the morning, and I offered that with some milk and some ad-libbed praise. I also bought some jelly snakes to cut up and I shared them with the parents. And yeah, that was my Wep Ronpet.
I still have the shrine post to do, and I was going to spend the afternoon writing Hekate’s post at last except the shrines took over. Anyway. We’ll have to get to that later. I have a million other things I need to do this weekend, and I have spent long enough on this today.