Festival of the Half Month success

Look, it’s the full moon, it’s technically half a month in a lunar cycle, so what the hell. Thought I’d give the ritual a try to see how it goes. Clearly it worked, as I had Bast chatting to me constantly in meditation. Khonsu, too, feels a lot like Amun, but there was definitely a strength there, too. He and Bast danced on the shores of Bakhu. They were having a great time.

Djehuty just sat beside me and watched it all. I’d forgotten how much I love His quiet, knowing presence, even if His mental voice has now shifted for me into a old slightly grumpy slightly posh British dude. He did find that amusing. I haven’t actively included Him in my rituals for a very long time, other gods kept stealing all my time, but it’ll be nice to get back to doing ritual with Djehuty. I miss Him.

Bast gave me some choice advice about ancestors and kings and just going to shrine to talk to them every day. She said a whole lot of other things, too, but those are the things I remember most.

Khonsu said He wanted me to do ritual for Him at the full moons, too. That’s His time. Which makes me wonder about sticking to the lunar cycles for now, just while I work on the rest of the calendar, and then I’ll only have one half-month to worry about.

Anyway. It’s late, and I should head to bed, but I wanted to at least write about this ritual, since it seemed to go so well. Looking forward to trying out the rest of my household rituals and seeing how they settle into my practice.

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Ohhai, I made you some Kemetic Household Rituals

When the gods inspire, the gods inspire. While they’re very simple rituals, that’s what I intended them to be. My style when I create rituals is to write them in such a way that they can be reduced to a bottle of water, a bowl, and some images you’ve printed from the Internet, so you don’t need a lot of kit or space to do them. And, honestly, that feels like the right sort of approach for household rituals.

I have four rituals done:

It’s not meant to be the be-all and end-all of household practices, more like a place to start, so that there’s something to build on. In particular, I feel like Bes and Taweret need … something for Themselves. But I don’t know what or how often. If anyone has any ideas, please share them.

And if you’re just here for the rituals, you can skip the cut and click the links above. Do let me know how you get on with them, I’d love to know how you end up using them.

For everyone else, have some rambling about gods and why I wrote the rituals the way I did, in case anyone wants to see my working out.

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Hekate’s Deipnon July 2016

It has been a very intense Deipnon this month. For the first time, I could feel things other than the gods around when I went to meditate, and fought one of them with my knife. I warded the grove where I usually meet Hekate, and once that was done, we could talk. I am grossly oversimplifying this, but it’s late, and I don’t have the time to write about it now.

The restless dead were very present, and that’s a new experience for me. I wasn’t afraid, just weirded out. But then I was with Hekate, and it was okay. It was then that I became aware that some of the dead were those killed in Orlando, and through Hekate, they helped me figure out the last little pieces I needed to do ritual for them, which I do owe them. So they’ll get offerings tomorrow for noumenia, then a proper ritual later in the week. I’ll also do the 70 day prayers for them.

Which makes me think it might be time to bring back the 6th Day Ritual, and begin monthly offerings to the ancestors. I might rejig the ritual I used to use, because it never really felt complete enough. I’ll set it for the sixth day after noumenia. I’ll start with the queer ancestors, and see where we go from there.

Anyway, have a video of my shrine from tonight’s deipnon. IDK why I’ve felt drawn to video my shrines now when I’ve never done that before, but okay, sure. This seems to be my thing for the moment. Apologies for the shakycam, didn’t have time to correct/redo because it’s late and I have work tomorrow, so.

A blessed High Day to you all!

In which I am terrible at taking photos. /not my natural talent.

In which I am terrible at taking photos. /not my natural talent. /lookit that blurrrrr. 

Whether you’re gearing up for Beltaine or Samhain, or for no festival at all, I hope May brings you good tidings and blessings and not!terrible things. I admit I did rather pull this High Day ritual out of my arse in terms of preparations, but it turned out well enough, I think. I did a simple one in honour of Hekate and the ancestors, and that seemed to work well. I wanted to get the rite done before May began because that’s when the Mysteries of Wesir begins for me, and I didn’t want them crashing into each other.

I offered grains, water, and honey rum. I mean, ‘grains’ is something of a misnomer, because it’s a mixture of garlic granules, sea salt crystals, barley, sesame seeds, and rosemary, but hey, grains! It’s easier to say idk.

Also, you might notice two boxes on the main shrine between the statues/behind the taper candles. They’re painted up cigar boxes. The one on the left is for tools, and contains my knife, bells, prayer beads, oils, and salt. The one on the right contains the incense I use for my daily rites: sandalwood (Heru), lotus (Isis), daphne (Sobek),  and a white sandalwood, ginkgo, and agarwood blend (Wesir). It’s internally divided with cardboard, and the glyphs are bodged together from dictionaries and drawn with not a great amount of skill. But there you go.

Anyway. I wanted to post here about the High Day tonight, and I’ll post the proper write-up over at the DP blog later. Not sure how much Mysteries of Wesir I’ll post over here, but we’ll see. I hope your festivals go well, if you are having any. Otherwise, have a great weekend.

A thousand of every good thing

Surrounded by immortals. Represented: Hekate, Nit/Neith, Set, Masrai, Artemis, Anubis, Dionysis, Antinous Kernunnos, Bast, and Hermes.

Bowie surrounded by immortals. Represented (beginning left and circling right): Hekate, Nit/Neith, Masrai and Bast, Set, Anubis, Antinous, Kernunnos, Artemis, Dionysis, and Hermes. The plate at the front with the bi pride band has pennies for the dead. Because I am that sort of traditional when it comes to ancestor shrines. There must be pennies for the dead.

It hardly feels enough. Sometimes, I worry about my shrine-building propensity. But once I thought about adding one queer and/or liminal god, gods of margins and boundaries, to a theoretical shrine, They all wanted to get involved. Set thinks this is more important than Wep Ronpet, hence He is here, and not on top of the naos with His siblings. Wep Ronpet happens every year; this happens only once. Or so He says.

I guess this is staying up for the next 68 days. At least my heart is a little calmer. I’ve done something, even if it feels inadequate. It feels like the sort of thing only gods can handle. But perhaps even a little something is better than nothing.

A black candle in a starry cradle to light the way, a blue bird to rise to the heavens, and a bed of sweet incense that you may be surrounded by the sweet perfume of the gods. May cool water aid your flight. May you never thirst.

Death is for lesser mortals: Vale, David Bowie

I still don’t really know what to say. It still doesn’t feel real. I actually didn’t realise how much I cared about him, and loved him, until he wasn’t there anymore. So many others are more articulate than me, and probably have a better sense of what to write about him. But I just have no words. I’m just drowning in his music, and crying. It seems to help, just a little.

I probably never struck anyone as a Bowie fan. I generally kept that to myself. I got into him late, and never really dived in and obsessed about him the way others did. But I always liked his music. I admired him as a storyteller, and a musician, and someone who could do things I could never imagine. His music moved me, and amazed me, and made me dance and smile. I adored his queerness. And I adored Labyrinth. And now he’s not there anymore, and it doesn’t feel real. I think I was another person who felt he was somehow immortal. Bowie doesn’t just die. It just. My heart is breaking.

But only Bowie could say goodbye like that. What a way to go. I picked up Blackstar only a couple of hours before I found out he’d died. And it really is a magnificent album, particularly listening to it now. It’s glorious. What a way to die. My gods.

And so the 70 days begins. 68, if I count from the 10th. I may build a tiny shrine. I may write something. I don’t know. Nothing seems adequate to mark his passing. But I’ll still count the days, and perhaps by the time I get to the prayers, it won’t hurt as much as it does now.

Thorn. Again.

Well. I guess that’s the trans* elevation rite done for this year. I pulled Thorn yesterday when I checked my runes to see if I should do the elevation rite yesterday, and when I asked again today whether I should keep going and finish the rite during the next week, I pulled Thorn. Again. So.

I may still do something small for the Trans Day of Remembrance, but it’ll probably be fairly simple. Offering water, lighting incense, reciting the names, etc. But I won’t continue with the elevation rite.

I’d been contemplating it all day, and I had a niggling sense that I should probably stop. General purity issues aside, I just wasn’t sure it was worth continuing this particular ritual, for this particular set of ancestors, while I was menstruating. It felt potentially triggering to those spirits I was trying to help; whether this would be the case, I don’t know, but better safe than sorry.

I’ve moved the shrine to my ancestor shrine. I’ll do any TDOR stuff there. I’ll also check beforehand if they want me to do anything, just to be on the safe side. We’ll try again next year and see if my body behaves.

Trans* Rite – Day 6

Trans Rite Altar Day 6

Altar after five days of elevation. Today’s rite hasn’t been done yet.

 

I haven’t done today’s prayers yet, but I’ll do them later tonight when, hopefully, the epic. pain. from my uterus will cease enough for me to get through it without feeling like my guts are being stabbed. (The joys of menstruation. -_-) The rite itself has been, well, it’s been going. It’s certainly not ‘fun’ by any stretch of the imagination. It’s pour the water, read the prayers, raise the altar, pray for the dead, even if you’re tired, even if you don’t feel like it, like I did last night. I’ve had no real contact from the ancestors themselves, but I didn’t expect it, since I’m pretty headblind to them like I am with the gods. I can only assume the state of calm that comes over me when I do the rite is a good sign, and keep going. Do the work. Raise the ancestors. That’s the whole point of it. It’s never been about me, anyway.

I’m also postponing today’s rite because I realised last night that I’m going to have to rethink how I’m doing this so I can keep lifting the altar without potentially setting everything alight if I raise it too high. I think the simplest solution might be to just shift the central candle off the main altar and either to the centre or to the side, so I can keep lifting the altar with books without worrying about fire hazards, since the elevation is the most important part of the rite. I might put the snake representing Antinous there instead, so all the god images are together in the middle, and the candle can be off to the left side. Hmm. That might be the best option so I can keep things relatively safe, and still keep raising the altar. The joys of altars in confined spaces, kids! 😀

I also have this solidified idea for a Lamentations of Nit and Set for the Transgendered Dead that I am going to have to write at some point because otherwise I will be Nagged To Death by the gods about it, so. I might aim to have it ready for the last day of the rite, so I have some time to write and edit it and whatnot, so it’s not a rush job. Look for it on/after the 22nd, which will be the ninth day of the trans* rite for me.

Also, to come, long rambly post about gender and Sobek and Hekate and other rambly nonsense, unless, by the time I’ve written it, it feels more suited to my Dreamwidth journal, in which case, it’ll be over there (though probably access-locked, so if you have an account there and want to read it, lemme know). But if this rite, and the past two weeks have done anything, it’s given me many Thinky Thoughts about gender, and transitioning, and the gods (there is a connection here, I promise), and I am going to need to tl;dr it all over the internet at some point, whether it’s here or there, so. That’s a Thing.

Trans* Rite – Day 1

Shrine as a Whole

Ancestor shrine set up for the Trans* Rite of Ancestor Elevation. This is after the ritual tonight. Antinous is represented by the snake – there are also some pennies for the dead resting around the snake’s body; Seshat is represented by the book on the right at the back, where I’m recording all the names of the TDoR dead, or at least, as many as I can fit there. The shrine is sitting on top of my copy of the Book of the Dead. There are two cups with water, and the necklace Anubis is cradling is a trans* pride necklace with an ankh on it, which I found last week and decided I needed to have. I think the rest is self-explanatory? 

Wanted to get this written while it’s still fresh. Just done the first day’s rituals, albeit after midnight, but whatever. I find ancestor rites more powerful at night anyway. I decided to use one of PSVL’s prayers, the one to Antinous offered here, as well as a modified 70 Day prayers, and this one here. I also wrote an opening prayer/invocation, and an offering prayer. Apart from Antinous, I also invited Nit as bigendered Creatrix, Set as God of the Marginalised and Oppressed (His words; He wanted in when I was pondering Who to ask for help in this rite), and Wesir to join us, as well as Seshat, who remembers all the names, even if no one else does.

The ritual came together later than I had expected, because I kept fiddling around with the order of the prayers, and tweaking the wording to make it work. I offered to the trans* dead as a whole, like I do when I do my normal 6th Day festival ancestral rites, because I don’t seem to attract individual ancestors? Or, at least, that doesn’t appear to be part of how I’m going to work with them. So I just address them as a whole, and hope for the best.

I’ve actually never worked with Antinous before, but I just felt like He was the right god for this, along with Nit and Set. I can’t tell if He was there or not, but I think I probably got whacked by godsandancestors or something, because I cried basically the whole way through. There was definitely another presence there, even if I couldn’t tell who it was. I had an urge to rewrite the Lamentations of Aset and Nebthet for them to offer tomorrow, because obviously what this ritual needs is me crying as I try to read the words I’m meant to be saying while my glasses get all dirty from my tears.

I have a feeling that’s a weird connection that won’t make much sense to anyone else, but IDK, it’s Wesir’s death, and my UPG of Wesir as a trans* god, and bringing His body back together, to make Him whole, and strong, again. Heru avenging Him. Welcoming Him back in peace. The dead being referred to as Wesir. All that stuff. It gets all tangled up in my head, and I’m almost crying again, just thinking about it.

Anyway, it’s after 1am now, and bed is calling. Will check in with you later, internet. For now, my heart is heavy, but I feel glad I did it. May our trans* ancestors rest in peace. May Seshat remember their names for millions of years.