I haven’t talked much about Masrai on here, since it was just a fictional pantheon as far as I was concerned. I don’t mean that to say that just because it’s fictional, it doesn’t mean anything. I say that to clarify that Masrai, and the gods of Her pantheon, came from somewhere in my head, and are not, as far as I know, gods that might once have existed in this world. I don’t know everything, of course, and the astral being what it is, there’s every chance that alternate universes exist, and who knows what might have been, and what happens to gods that were long-forgotten. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent a bit more time with these gods and maybe it’s one of those ‘name it and it comes to life’ things that characters often get. Maybe it’s different because they’re gods. I don’t know.
That said, I’ve kept a shrine to Masrai and some of Her other gods for a while now, mostly to keep that energy flowing in as I work on those novels. I don’t know why, but something told me to build a shrine, that this was important to give these gods a physical space in my room. Still, in spite of that, I haven’t done much in the way of worship. I didn’t really know what ritual forms to use, since these gods departed Egypt during Mythic Time, and have spent the rest of their lives in the Libyan desert. (In this story, at any rate. I can’t say what they did here, if they ever existed here at all.) But I still kept a shrine for them.
I’d never really had much more than a faint impression from Masrai as I wrote Her myths down, like something deeper had touched my mind, but nothing in terms of speaking or seeing Her. Writing Her myths down was never important for the novel, either. It’s extra information. But I don’t often buy fancy red handmade books and begin writing myths down for gods. I haven’t even done that for Sobek. But there was something about Masrai that made me start this book, and commit to finishing it. I am sure She gave me all the words, and now all I need to do is finish it.
But Monday’s meditation signalled that things had gone up a notch, and that this pantheon needs more from me than I was giving them. Woo warning, for those who need it. This is a bunch of weird shit even I am surprised by, so.
So for my Monday meditation, I had just planned to sit with Isis for a while, by the shore outside Her temple. It was meant to be Mars’ day, but Isis forgave me for that. I just felt I needed to sit with Isis that night, and so I did. I saw Her approach from the temple, walk along the shore, and come and sit beside me.
I think we’d only spoken a couple of sentences when Masrai, a godddess from a fictional universe I’ve been playing around in for a few years now, pulled Herself out of the water and over to us. She looked exhausted, negl. She was a lion-headed woman, dark skin, red and gold robes. She had a similar voice to Jaran, one of the characters who worships Masrai.
She points at me, looks at me, “You. You are the scribe,” she says/asks. (There was no question mark.)
I say that I am, and Isis and I bring Her to sit between us. I offer food and water. Isis said it had been too long since she’d travelled the astral realms, and so it took a lot out of Her to make it here, since She didn’t know who to ask, or who She could trust. I mean, even I was surprised She made it at all, but I’m glad Isis was there with me, or I’m not sure I’d have known what to make of it all. Isis didn’t seem to think Masrai was anyone other than who She said She was, so I went along with it.
See, the thing about Bakhu is that it’s where I go to meet my gods. No one else comes there. I’ve never had my characters show up. I’ve never had any intrusions (except for Poseidon) from things that weren’t meant to be there. It’s my place, where the gods can come to talk to me. It serves no other purpose, and has never affected my fictional writing at all.
So to have Masrai turn up there, that’s a pretty big thing for me. Until I saw Her there, She was just a fictional god in my head. But now She’s sitting next to Isis, and Isis seems to recognise Her divinity, or I’m sure She would have said something. I’ve worshipped Isis for nearly twenty years; She would have said something if Masrai wasn’t who She said She was. It’s not like I even called Masrai there, either. Masrai was not even on my mind when I sat down to meditate. And yet, there She was, as real as Isis was.
We talked. Mostly ‘how the fuck did you get here?’ and talk of gods navigating the Astral. Masrai also told me what She needed: food, and water, and offerings. She and Her gods are apparently real enough to need offerings to strengthen Them. I was as surprised by this request as you might be. I’ve never had fictional gods ask for offerings before.
Once Masrai was feeling stronger, I stood, and created a temple for Them in the cliffs next to Isis’ temple. It was small, but it would be enough. They needed a place here if they were going to start coming here. It was pretty roughly carved from the rock. There were two pools in the front corridor, for Sebekha’s purifications (Sebekha is represented as a female hippo with a male crocodile on Her back), before we went into a small mostly square chamber. At the end, a stone altar stood against the wall, and four statues sat there: from left to right, a seated jackal, a seated lion, a seated hyena, and another seated jackal. These four animals represent Jirisha, Masrai, Inyi, and Seteni, the four major-ish gods of the pantheon. I’ve had that image of their temple in my head for months, and have nfi how to make that a reality, save for somehow magically acquiring amazing art skill, or the sculpting skills necessary to make my own icons. Just that it’s how they are portrayed in the main temple in the novel, and it’s stuck with me.
Isis suggested a beacon, so that Masrai and the other gods could find their way back here again. So Masrai produced a large brass brazier, and lit a fire on it. Well, She is a fire god. It was a logical choice for Her. We parted ways soon after that, and Isis said She would take care of Her.
I was aware of Her the next morning at work. I saw Masrai leave Her temple at dawn, looking stronger as She gazed across the water. I am pretty sure I asked if She was okay, and that was about as far as our conversation went. But I did promise to buy some bread to offer Her, and I left some water on the shrine for Them this morning. I’m still feeling out a lot of this, and Masrai told me to make offerings and call out all the names of the gods, so I suspect a litany might end up being written tomorrow. I already wrote one for Masrai, riffing off the Litany of Ra.
Anyway. I still have nfi where this might end up, but if Masrai made it to Bakhu and asks for offerings, well. It feels rude not to make offerings. So we’ll see where on earth this ends up going.