Coronation of Heru-sa-Aset

So this is the first day of this shiny festival, which is an extension, if you like, of the last day of the Mysteries of Wesir. I wanted a symmetry for my Wheel, and this seemed like the best way to mirror/echo the Mysteries, by having a six-day coronation festival for Heru, particularly at this point in time, when summer is a month or so away, the heat is growing as winter trails off at last. It feels like the best time to do this, so that’s what’ll be happening for the next six days.

So this will run from Oct 31 to Nov 5, mostly because Oct 31 is so strongly associated with Halloween in my mind, and I wanted to break that, and make new connections, hence the later date, which coincides with Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes in the UK, and sort of reflects some of those themes of authority/legitimate rule suppressing/triumphing over rebellion/chaos, with Heru triumphing over Set to claim the throne as legitimate King. It’s not a like-for-like association, but those themes, along with the fires, are still relevant, in their own way.

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Cosmology and Practice

Apologies for the radio silence of late. I’ve been working, and I’ve been sick, and I haven’t had enough mental energy to think of anything substantial to update about. I do have some things I do need to post about, but they’re not quite ready yet. In the meantime, this is a post about cosmology and how it relates to my practice. I wrote it for the Kemetic study group formed over at The Cauldron, and I’m posting it here for posterity, and so others can have a read of it.

Usual caveats that I’m not a reconstructionist, and this is just my weird way of making things work apply. Definitely not a scholarly piece by any stretch of the imagination. This is ~4k words of anecdata. Treat it as such.

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A Blessed Equinox!

Autumn Equinox shrine

Autumn equinox shrine, set up by the window, with what I haven’t packed away in a box yet. Offerings are rum + Coke, water for libations, and a plate of stuff: pesto made from homegrown basil, roasted homegrown pumpkin, brie, crackers, and some sliced chicken.

It feels like too long since I last updated, but at least I’ve got a decent High Day to write about now. I’ll upload the ritual I used in a bit, since I finally settled on one I was happy with. It follows the SDF ritual format, but it’s more built around Kemetic gods and cosmology. And it took me about 20 minutes, which I think is pretty good for me. And knowing it’s a set ritual, and all I need to do is worry about offerings, and perhaps writing an appropriate hymn, it’s stress-free, pretty much, which is nice.

I was a bit worried about doing it today, since I drew Thorn this morning, suggesting I should make sure I’m properly prepared before going ahead with it. Which was fine, I felt that was a fair enough warning. But I made sure I was prepared and ready, and everything turned out fine. I lit some incense, actually, and had it on the sill near the open window on the right, so it could drift out into the air and not bother me so much. It was partly how I knew the whole thing had taken about 20 minutes, since the cones I use burn for 15 minutes, and I finished probably a few minutes after it finished. I did have to use sandalwood oil to anoint myself with, since I think I packed up my frankincense a couple of days ago. But that’s alright. It worked well enough, and I do like sandalwood.

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Seasons, Gods, and Cycles

I had one of those moments today where everything suddenly fell into place. I’ve been trying for a long time to figure out the whole Kemetic calendar into my year as I experience it, and it’s been tough. Three seasons doesn’t really translate well to mine, and I stopped trying to do that a long time ago.

I still can’t explain why I feel a need to have such a seasonally relevant calendar for a Kemetic, based on my land here, but it’s a driving force for me, and I finally feel like I’ve sorted it out at long last, in a way that’s relevant to me, if not to anyone else.

I’ve been playing around with Sobek/West and Heru/East associations, as well as Their significance for me at Solstices and Equinoxes, along with Wesir and Ra. Wesir and Ra are like equinoxes for me; Sobek and Heru are the solstices. I honestly had no idea why this association made any sense to me for a while; these events weren’t really significant in the old calendars, with perhaps the exception of the winter solstice, but they seemed, to me, to be the seasonally instinctive way to divide up my year.

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A new year beckons

I’ve spent today’s noumenia cleaning and reorganising Hekate’s shrine, amongst other things. I was going to do rites, but fuck me, I’m buggered now, so I might just leave it at that. That said, it might be the one time I can comfortably light candles without having the fan on, given how cool it is right now. Summer, where are you? I think it’s still stuck in Spring. Not that I’m complaining. 25C is infinitely much nicer than 37C.

Though, it is hard to get into the mood for ritual when you can’t light candles safely, you don’t want the extra heat anyway, and incense is just a pain to bother with even when it doesn’t trigger migraines. Can’t find decent oils to burn that smell good, but can’t justify buying every different brand of frankincense because expensive! The current bottle I have doesn’t smell right, but I can’t find the one I do like, so. /stops burning oil. /even though I miss the beautiful scent of it. 😦

The result of the lack of incense has mostly just made me dream about it, and catch the scent of it on the breeze. It’s really quite infuriating, and all it does is make me miss it so much. I’d love to start burning my frankincense cones again, but I hate migraines more than I care for incense, so. I’d rather not risk it. :/ I think the only way I could get away with it is if I set my Sobek/Heru shrine up in front of the window, so I could set my incense burning right next to the open window to hopefully ventilate it to the extent that I could cope without getting triggered. But that’s a pain in the arse I don’t want to deal with. I like my shrines where they are. Incense isn’t necessary, I know, but ritual isn’t quite the same without it. Damn me and my migraines. 😦

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Back to Basics

Sobek and Heru-sa's Shrine

Newly-redone shrine. Icons are on top of the shrine because the big ones don’t fit. Apologies for the flash glare, too, but it’s late, and it’s the only way to take decent pictures with my shitty camera, since I can’t find the good one. I will do a more full proper shrine post at a later date so you can see where everything has ended up, but for now, admire the new set-up. And yes, that is a Feraligatr between the two horses. I regret nothing.

I think it takes a lot to go back to the beginning, particularly on any kind of spiritual path. Once you get so far along, you kind of feel like you know what you’re doing, and don’t feel like you need to teach yourself much. But, I don’t know, perhaps it’s the lot of a polytheist, but I feel like I’ve been collecting too much lately. My path and practice has become too full of thing, too full of festivals and gods, that I have come to feel burnt out. And I didn’t even recognise the fact that I was burnt out until today. But that’s what I am. I’m burnt out, and I need a rest.

It’s not just the subtle proddings by Woden (and possibly some ancestors) to look into Anglo-Saxon paganism (because apparently that might have been what the ancestors actually meant when they were talking about ‘The Old Ways’ they wanted me to bring back, rather than the Welsh polytheism I assumed they meant), or the calendars, and the SDF rituals I’ve been doing, but I don’t know. Somehow, it’s all felt like … too much. I’ve got to the point where I just need to stop, and evaluate just what is really important to my path, which gods I would be willing to spend time with on a regular basis, and what needs to be left behind. And also how to fit said ‘Old Saxon Ways’ into my path in any kind of meaningful way, if that’s what is being asked of me. (Though, I have just started Wyrdworking by Alaric Albertsson, and my reaction thus far has been, ‘Oh, so his definition of magic is pretty much heka, but in a different language. /finally understands the point of runes’. So. /ponders.)

It’s entirely possible this is related to my nearly 30th birthday at the end of the year, but that might just be a coincidence. Either way, I’ve decided to start again, right from the very beginning. I’ve stripped back all my shrines and redressed them. I’ve set Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset on my old festival shrine; They are the only gods on that shrine now. I’ve also kept Hekate’s shrine, because She has a tendency to help me when I get to these crossroads moments. The rest of my icons are on Sobek’s old shrine by my bed. It’s still a shrine, but it’s not one I will use (yet.)

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Project – Perpetual Festival Calendar Book Thing

So, I picked up this visual journal at Jacksons, which does art supplies and such, and felt it was just right for this project. I got one with Bristol board/paper, mostly because I wanted to try it out. That, and I knew I wasn’t going to use much more than pens and coloured pencils, and felt the mixed media one could wait for another more appropriate project.

This journal has 24 pages in it, and I felt that was just right for a calendar. I decided it was time to put together something of a proper festival calendar, since I use a fixed calendar, and I wanted something of a perpetual reference. I will still do up calendars every year, because the moons and such change every year, but the bones of the festival calendar remain the same, and I wanted somewhere I could list each month, and all the festivals in it, with perhaps suggestions on what to do for each one, just to make me feel like it’s not just a day on a calendar.

I’ve finished January, which took me three hours or so, and I’ve done basic pencil work for February-June on the first pages of those months. Still have a lot of work to do on it, but it’ll get there. In the meantime, have some photos of my progress. ❤

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Myth-Writing and Other Things

I swear, I am done reorganising the pages on this blog for now. There’s lots more to add, but the basic set-up is there now, so all I need to do is slowly add the things that are missing.

I’ve got a section now for my religious practices. For rites and heka and calendars and whatever else I think fits in there. It’s pretty basic, at the moment. All it has is the general ‘fill in the blanks’ Kemetic rite, my morning and evening Graeco-Kemetic rites, and the Sobek execration ritual. I also plan to put calendars up there, Kemetic ones based on my fixed one, with versions for both northern and southern hemispheres. If I get around to putting basic festival tradition information together, it’ll probably go there too.

I’ve also put up a section now for devotional writings. Prayers, hymns, and adorations are going in there, as well as any myths and stories I write. Nit just gave me Hir version of the birth of Sobek, so that’s just gone up there for your reading pleasure. (Even if I did feel like Sie was lecturing me – and everyone else who might read it – as I was writing it. >_>) I wanted to write this one mostly because I haven’t found one in the ancient records, and, well, I felt it was needed. I feel Sie got a bit ‘Lady of the Stars’ on me as well. IDK why. o.O

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Shrine Maintenance

Egyptian statues sitting on a wall in the sun

My Egyptian Gods like Their statues to bask in the sun after a wash. I assume They are sharing a beer and having a good time enjoying the sunshine. L-R: Yinepu, Djehuty (x3), Isis and Harpocrates/Aset and Heru, Wepwawet, tiny!Khonsu, Sobek (x2), Aset-Nut and baby!Ra-Heru-pa-khered (IDK if it’s historical; it’s just the name I have for Him), Heru-sa-Aset, Ra’s netjeri, Bast-Mut, and Faithful.

So I have been kind of neglecting my PBP posts and this place the last few weeks, but I’ve been busy finishing off final assignments and doing exam prep. I plan to catch up once I’m done for the year. Maybe by then I’ll have some finished posts I’m actually happy with, instead of half-finished drafts I’m constantly tweaking, trashing, and rewriting. And then trashing and rewriting and trying to think of other ideas I can actually write about. And then returning to my original idea before I scrap it and just ramble on about something entirely different before finally settling on something I like enough to post. Rinse and repeat for the rest of the alphabet. 😀 (That said, I am still looking forward to continuing this PBP thing next year. Regular posting FTW. :D)

The whole daily rites thing has been going well. Beginning to modify and adapt it so it works better for me. The gestures are adding an extra dimension to it that was missing, so I do them all the time now. Doing more of a full henu/prostration thing too, and the bodily movement that flows through the whole rite is actually kinda awesome. If I could abide kneeling for any length of time, I’d do that, but instead, I just lower my computer chair and sit on that. It’s at the right size for the new shrine, so I can reach everything and do meditations/breathing exercises and such. I can have my grimoire in my lap and read from it while I gesture. Also, blue veil/head covering in the morning. Black at night. Apparently. /rules is rules.

The silent rite has become my default for those times when I’m menstruating, or if I’m just not feeling like I can be pure enough to be in shrine, like migraines or overtiredness etc. It makes me feel less anxious now that I know I have a back-up I can still do, even if I don’t feel up to the whole thing. I’m still in that habit-building stage, so I don’t like missing any days if I can help it.

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T is for Tools

This was going to be my second T topic, but I can’t think of anything else to write about, so I’ll do this first, and give myself some time to think of another topic that’s not as vague as ‘thinky thoughts’ or ‘transition-y things’, which is about as much as I’ve got right now. Also, I though I’d save you another post on trans* deities because all I really want to write about is Wesir and the Wild Godde, the Horned Goddess’ companion, and the ties between them and such. So that’s a W topic for later.

This also gives me time to think of another T topic, because I am all out of ideas right now, beyond a rambly post about ~transitions~ and such. I still have a P post to catch up on too, and the only reason that isn’t done either is because I also can’t think of what to write about. Too many P topics. D:

So, this post is about my ritual and magical tools. I feel like it’s a bit obvious, in some ways, but I don’t think I’ve ever really done a post like this before, ever, where I’ve kind of gone through and talked about all the tools I use. This will involve Illustrations, so be warned. 😛

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