A Graeco-Kemetic Morning Rite

A Graeco-Kemetic Morning Rite

This is the morning rite I do every day. It comes with an accompanying Evening Rite. It honours Hestia, Kheper-Ra-Temu, Sobek&Heru-sa-Aset, and Aset-Nut. It does bias the Kemetic side of things a little more than the Greek, but it works for me. I am probably more Kemetic than Greek anyway. It is based on the Heliopolitan myth cycle, following Ra’s journey across the sky and through the Duat, and calls on Hestia as my hearth Goddess.

It has a series of gestures to go with it, but I think I might save that for a separate page, where I can add in more pictorial aids to show the gestures I do in a way that might be easier to understand than if I just used words. The gestures alone can also be used for a silent rite, which I use when it’s too hot to light candles safely and comfortably, I am not feeling well, or cannot purify enough for the rite, such as during menstruation, which is when I mostly do the silent rite. They also add another layer of meaning and movement when I do them with the words. I kind of took inspiration from the way Muslims pray, to incorporate bodily movement with prayer and devotion using Kemetic forms of gestures and movements.

I took inspiration for this rite from these Greek daily devotions based around the Orphic Hymns, written by Drew Campbell. I Kemeticised it, and worked it into a form that works for me. Feel free to use the original Greek devotions and my own if you are interested in making your own for Gods you are close to, if you are interested in a Graeco-Kemetic practice.

Hymn Credits:

I used Thomas Taylor’s translations of the Orphic Hymns for the prayer to Hestia, and for the prayer to Sleep which can be found in the Evening rite that goes with this one. I used them because they’re available, and I think the language is really beautiful. (Though I did modify the Sleep one to make a couple of words gender-neutral. I know it’s a relic of the period it was written, but I don’t feel comfortable keeping it in.)

The Hymn of Awakening for Aset I found in deTraci Regula’s Mysteries of Isis book about ten years ago. I do have a translation squirreled away somewhere, but don’t ask me where. I think it’s in a box somewhere. I’ve been reciting this hymn for years. This was the book that I used when I first started worshipping Isis, and I still have a fondness for it. I have no idea if she sourced the hymn from somewhere or if she wrote it herself. I would check, but I don’t own the book, nor have I seen it in the local library where I first borrowed it for years. The cheapest used copy on Amazon UK at the moment will set me back £42! Woo! (*cries*)

The hymn to Kheper-Ra (and the one to Temu-Ra in the evening rite) was formed from hymns to Ra from the Book of the Dead, using Budge’s translations as a base, and going from there I deleted some lines, added some of my own, rephrased some, and then rearranged and cut and edited it to make a hymn I could use. (See? Budge is useful for something!)

The hymn to Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset is a fork off a morning prayer to Sobek I found in a book I got out of the library years ago and now can’t find anymore because I can’t remember which book I got it from anyway, so I can’t tell you the source for that. I used the same prayer to fork off a nighttime hymn to Them both for the Evening rite. (I really, really need to get better at writing down where I read things like this. I am terrible at it. TERRIBLE. /bad scholar.) Celestial Twins reference explained here.

The final prayer is one I wrote myself. The Earth-Sea-Sky thing is partly Hekate’s fault, though it was a recurring Thing before Hekate came into my life anyway. Now I like it too much to take it out.

PREPARATION
Purifications are done before the rite. The basic version is to wash my face, mouth, and hands, and clean my teeth. I also have a body wash with purifying oils in it if I want to purify in the shower. It’s a bit easier to manage since I don’t have a bath, and it’s subtle enough not to be noticed because I’m sharing a bathroom.

I dress in white robes (okay, so it’s a nice white sleeveless summer dress but it works), with my cingulum around my waist (this is neither Egyptian nor Greek, I know), and my hair covered (totally a Greek thing). I usually go barefoot. Hair is usually braided, or in a bun, or tied up in some manner.

I make sure I have a jug of cool water ready, and that I have disposed of the old water into the garden, if I didn’t do it after the previous rite. I have two offering bowls, one for God libations, and the other for the Ancestors. If I am offering anything else, I will make sure it’s either on the shrine, or nearby, so it can be offered during the rite.

I usually spend a moment before the rite begins just quietly preparing myself, and entering that devotional mindset.

THE RITE
Offer henu. (See the Generic Kemetic Solitary Rite for descriptions of how to do henu, and for a description of removing the foot to end the rite. I’ll probably detail my own version of this when I write up my silent rite.)

Open the shrine. Light the shrine lamps, and the candle for Hestia.

Recite the hymn to Hestia:
Daughter of Saturn, venerable dame,
The seat containing of unweary’d flame; 2
In sacred rites these ministers are thine,
Mystics much-blessed, holy and divine
In thee, the Gods have fix’d place, 5
Strong, stable, basis of the mortal race:
Eternal, much-form’d ever-florid queen,
Laughing and blessed, and of lovely mien; 8
Accept these rites, accord each just desire,
And gentle health, and needful good inspire.

Light incense. I use an oil burner and frankincense oil, because it’s less likely to be a migraine trigger, and I cbf messing about with charcoal and resin anymore.

Recite the hymn of awakening to Kheper-Ra:
Awake in peace, You who have come as Kheper-Ra
Hail to you, Kheper-Ra, creator of the gods.
Awake, awake, you who have come as Kheper-Ra,
-the Baboons joyously greet you,
rise to greet us, Great Kheper-Ra
The World rises to kiss the face of Ra,
Ra is on His Horizon,
you rise up in the sky, illumining your mother Nut,
You are seated on your throne as king of the gods.
Your mother Nut stretches out her hands,
and offers henu, and Ma’at gloriously embraces you
Awake, awake, great Kheper-Ra,
and be at peace with me.
Let me gaze on your beauties.
Let me journey above the earth.
Let me behold set at the stern, with his spear bloodied and the serpent slain.
Let me slit asunder the serpent-fiend Sebau.
Let me destroy the serpent at the moment of his greatest power.
Let me behold Heru when he is in charge of the rudder of the Sun Barque,
with Djehuty and Ma’at on each side of him.
Awake, awake in peace, sweet Kheper-Ra,
and be at peace with me.
Grant to me a view of the Aten, and a sight of Iah unfailingly each day.

Light candle for Kheper-Ra from Hestia’s flame; it’s something like ‘everything comes from Hestia’/ ‘sharing the power of the hearth flame’/ ‘compare the whole Olympic Torch lighting thingo’/combination of the above. If it’s early enough (which it usually isn’t because hello, night owl here), I will face East and offer henu to Him. (My shrine faces West.)

Recite the Hymn of Awakening to Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset:
Greetings to You, Sobek from Crocodopolis,
Ra, Heru-sa-Aset, powerful God.
Greetings to You, Sobek from Crocodopolis,
Greetings to You who comes from the original waters,
Great ancient being, first of His kind,
Great Cosmic Creator!
Greetings to You, Elder of the Celestial Twins,
Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset, magnificent twin stars of Egypt,
Shining brightly in the sky, shining down with ancient light.
Greetings to You, Heru-sa-Aset,
The soaring falcon, the bright, hot sun.
Greetings to You, Heru-sa-Aset,
beloved of Aset, twin/son of Sobek,
Avenger of Your Father, Protector of your Mother,
the first Sun that ever was.
Greetings to You, Heru-sa-Aset,
Powerful God, King of Kings, Master of all Egypt.
Bull of the Bulls, Great Male Being,
Master of the floating islands
Greetings to You, Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset,
May You rise and greet the day.

Light candles for Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset from Kheper-Ra’s flame.

Recite the Hymn of Awakening to Aset:
Nehes, nehes, nehes
Nehes em hotep
Nehes em neferu
Nebet hotepet
Weben em hotep
Weben em neferu
Netjeret en ankh!
Nefer em pet!
Pet em hotep
Ta em hotep
Netjeret sat Nut, sat Geb, meryt Wesir
Netjeret asha renu!
Anek brak, Anek brak
Tu a atu, Tu a atu
Nebet Aset

Light candle for Aset from Heru-sa-Aset’s flame.

Offer henu.

Pour five-fold libation – I offer cool water to Hestia, Ma’at, Wepwawet who opens the way, the Ancestors, and my God Clan/personal Gods. The water for the Ancestors is poured into a separate bowl to the other water libations.

Reversion of the water libations – I lift up the bowl of water offered to the Gods (not the Ancestral offering) and pray:May it bless me as it blesses you
May it purify me as it purifies you
May it refresh me as it refreshes you
May it restore me as it restores you

Then I take a sip of the water and set the bowl down on the shrine again.

After this, I would offer up any other offerings, such as food or art or whatever else I wish to offer, though I usually skip this. Most of the time, I just offer water. It has had the benefit of freeing me from the ‘omg but what do I offer today??!’ anxiety I used to have, which I’m sure was why I never did Senut very often when I was Kemetic Orthodox. I don’t worry about that anymore, and the way I see it, water is so precious in bone-dry Australia anyway that I don’t mind just giving water, and offering it to the garden afterwards.

Meditation or personal prayer time. Sometimes I do breathing exercises, or I just talk to the Gods. Occasionally, I will do divination. Sometimes, I just sit there in Their presence.

Recite the final Hymn of Awakening:
Greetings to You, Gods of Earth, Sky, and Sea,
Who are in all domains, within and without,
You beautiful Names,
You shining stars.
Temu-Ra rises triumphant,
Kheper-Ra rises in the east.
The serpent has been slain,
and the enemies of Ra defeated once more.
Zep-Tepi is upon us once more,
the new day has dawned full of life and joy.
May Ra always rise in triumph.
May Hestia’s fire never be extinguished,
May this house always be abundant.
May Ma’at be upheld
May You love me as I love You
May You bless me as I bless You
May the light of Ra fill us with joy.

Offer henu.

Extinguish candles and incense; I usually try to make sure Hestia’s is extinguished last.

Remove the foot to end the rite.

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2 comments on “A Graeco-Kemetic Morning Rite

  1. jewelofaset says:

    The ritual is great! Just so you know deTraci Regula is re-publishing her book Mysteries of Isis in May of 2013. Here is the link: http://www.isishousepub.com/the-authors/de-traci-regula

    I don’t think the Isis hymn is an ancient one. I think a modern priest wrote it. But I’m not 100 percent sure on that. I’ve also looked for an ancient source for it; I have yet to find it.

    • Sashataakheru says:

      Ooh, thanks for that link. Nice to see it back in print. I feel like it’s been close to ten years since I last held that book, and I’d love to have a copy of my own. ❤

      Yeah, I'm not sure it's ancient, either. Inspired by the ancient hymns, yes, but that doesn't make it any less valid, though. It'd be nice to check the source of it though, just so I can be sure. /pedant.

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