30 Days of Sobek: Day 19 – Sobek’s admirable and troubling qualities

You’d think this would be an easy post to write, it basically just asks me to ramble about what qualities I most admire about Sobek, and what qualities I find most troubling. But 1) ‘most troubling’ I am pretty sure I would not use that term myself in regards to Sobek, because while He has some reputation for violence, theft, and a huge sexual appetite, I mean, I … don’t find that troubling? It’s just part of His history. Every god has history, and no god has ever been a fucking angel, yeah? They’d been angels, otherwise. Every god has done bad shit, or stuff we might not necessarily celebrate or love or relate to or stuff we find problematic. That’s gods for you. You don’t like it? Find another god. There are millions out there, I’m sure you’ll find one you like better, if Sobek isn’t for you. And I really hope you find Them, and love Them as much as I love Sobek.

I know this sounds … ranty and not very nice of me, but that’s really how I feel about it. Yes, Sobek has a history some might call problematic, and maybe He’s not a god for everyone. But that’s okay. I just see it as all part of the history that makes Him Sobek. There’s precious little left as it is, I’m not going to just ignore the bits I might not be comfortable with.

Because if you just concentrate on the problematic bits, you will 100% miss a god who is kind, and compassionate, and strong, and protective, a god who cares for His own, and for those who have no one else to care for them. You’ll miss a god who is patient, and forgiving, who will sit and chill with you at metal gigs, or have a drink with you while you play video games.

He will still play the long game, and you may not know where the end point even is, but the journey is so much fun, and so very interesting, that you don’t even realise you’ve come to a stop. He’ll love you if you love Him. And, sure, maybe He’ll be a bit distant sometimes, but He’s always watching over you, even if you can’t feel Him there. You’re never alone, not with Sobek. He’s got your back. He won’t fix your problems for you, but He’ll show you what you need to do to fix them yourself, and when you come out the other end, you’ll be amazed at how much stronger you are because of it. He is the strength of the King, of you. He is the Djed pillar inside you that makes you walk a little taller, who makes you a little more confident, a little more comfortable, in your own body.

He’ll be strong when you can’t be strong. He’ll sit with you on the shores of Bakhu as the moon rises overhead, and the stars of the ancestors shine bright, and maybe all He’ll need to do is hold you close while you figure things out, or He’ll laugh and cheer you up. Or maybe you’ll just ride through the waves, and the water, until you’re not sure whether He’s crocodile or water as He lifts you up and holds you firm.

Sobek is the first mound, at that first time. A god so ancient, so primeval, and so easily adaptable to how we worship Him today. Give Him your time, invite Him into your life, share with Him the things you love, and He will be happy. Draw for Him, even if you’re not an artist. Share your comfort food. Raise a drink to Him, and sit and listen to the night. Share chicken pizza and trashy movies, and stay up all night. He’ll be there, enjoying it all along with you.

You’ll miss a god who smiles, and takes things easy. Who knows we are only small, and there is only so much we can do, but still encourages us to give anyway. Go to shrine anyway. Just go. The King still sends you to see Him, so go. Go and worship. Light candles, burn incense (He loves incense!), sing the old hymns, or ones you’ve written yourself. Do what you can, and give to the gods. Do it anyway.

And I felt that, last night, when we sat on the shores of Bakhu together. ‘It is the King who sends me to see you, O Sobek.’ I have used this in my rituals from time to time, when I have felt like making my rituals a little more formal. To wear my Priest hat for a while before the gods, even though I don’t know what I’m doing half the time, and I’m mostly just making it up as I go along.

We pondered kingship last night, and its purpose in a diaspora. What does kingship mean, what does it mean to be Lord of the Two Lands, when the Two Lands do not exist except as metaphor? Which King sends me to see the gods, if there is no King? (And I’m not Kemetic Orthodox anymore?) Sobek’s answer is that we still have those kings. We still have their names. And I felt them behind me, surrounding me. All the old kings, too numerous to count. They still live while their names still live, and while their names still live, we still have kings. Maybe the kingdom doesn’t work the way it used to. But we all create the Two Lands in our worship. We empower Ma’at. We establish Ma’at. We feed the gods with our ritual work. All these things are important, whether the temples or the kingdom or the priesthoods exist to tend to them. The work still needs to be done, and so it must be done.

I’ll admit this is a bit of a diversion from the topic, but I felt it needed to be written, and couldn’t just be said as a post on its own. Sobek felt it important enough to tell me last night, and I feel it needs to be shared. But this is all part of my relationship with Him. He is a god of Kingship as much as He is a god of water, or fertility, or marshes, or crocodiles. And kingship, I think, is the hardest aspect to get to know. He borrows a lot from Heru-sa-Aset, for obvious reasons, but Heru was born to be King. Sobek just inherited it. And maybe this is why Sobek tells me these things, because He’s not just a King, but a crocodile. He swims the rivers, the waterways, the oceans, the marshes. He sees life from the ground up. He sees all the shit we do, and somehow, He’s still here. He sets His rage elsewhere.

But yes. I think this is long enough, and has enough of a digression to make me feel like this is probably a good place to stop. This has been what I love about Sobek, and why I still acknowledge the problematic bits of His history, because that’s only a small part of who He is. The rest of Him is incredible, and I love Him very much.

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