High Day Blessings!

Happy Hallowe’en/Samhain/Beltane/NaNoEve, for those celebrating. It’s been a quiet day, but a good day. I did most of my ritual yesterday, to be honest. There was a live broadcast of an ADF Samhain rite I followed along with in the morning, then did some Hekate devotions, and then followed it up with the Deipnon in the evening. And because of Female Things, today is my Scheduled Day Off, so I have done nothing really. Except buy chocolate for non-existent trick or treaters who decided to pass by our house (which I now get to eat mwahaha), went to the library and took out all their witchy books, painted my nails black, and … that was really about it.

I wanted to get more NaNo prep done today, but other things beckoned. I would start writing at midnight, but I have work tomorrow, and midnight is bed time, so, it will have to wait til I get home. I will probably begin handwriting if I get bored, though, just so I have somewhere to start with and not have to think off the top of my head. But the parents will be out at choir tomorrow night, so I’ll have the evening to write in peace, which will be lovely.

Also, I blame Hekate for how much this month has felt like Samhain, and not Beltane, and also possibly because I just don’t connect with Beltaine. But, seriously, I have not felt the Samhain-y-ness to this extent before, so perhaps that’s why I didn’t mind participating in a Samhain rite yesterday, and making offerings to our queer ancestors, and to my blood ancestors. It was a powerful rite for me, even though I was watching it and following it online.

Anyway. It’s late, and I have a million other things to do before bed so I will leave this here. Many blessings of the High Day to you, and peace to the blessed dead, and to you. ❤

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Happy Solstice!

I had a lovely ritual tonight with Hekate Kourotrophos to mark the winter solstice. I’m beginning to understand why the blade is important to me, but it’s just niggling thoughts at the moment. Hekate Kourotrophos is very … blunt. But I like Her. And I do volunteer for Save the Children here in Australia, which is right up Her alley. So donations in Her name were suggested, which makes sense to me. I’ll write up the ritual on my DP blog later, but for now, have a little dodgy phone camera video of my shrine from tonight’s ritual.

I wish you a blessed and peaceful Solstice. May the gods be with you. ❤

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.

Mysteries of Wesir preparations

Mysteries of Wesir shrine prep

This year’s Mysteries of Wesir shrine. It’s very pared back and simple, but I think it gives it a strong focus. How much of the stuff I removed will go back afterwards, I don’t know, but we’ll see.

The full moon is coming up, and I have some tools to consecrate. So it seems like the time to set up properly for the Mysteries of Wesir. I also redid the druid shrine for the coming High Day, which I still haven’t settled on yet, but it’ll be about Hekate if nothing else, so. I’ll probably do it a day or two before May 1, just so there’s space for both. I think the only thing I’ve needed to get is some more black taper candles, which I just ordered on ebay, because this is Australia in April, and black candles are hard to find at the best of times, so.

It’s been a strange week, in many ways. My daily devotions have been ad-libbed, and the gods I mention almost all the time are Ra and Wesir as I light the candles. It’s strange to do that after having such deity-focused devotions for so long, but I find it refreshing. A lot of my words have been about purifying myself; I find I’m censing myself, and purifying myself with the water offerings, and drinking in the light from the flames and letting them wash over me. It feels like it’s been a week-long ritual purification, but I’m okay with that.

There was a bit of meditation with Sobek this morning in my half-asleep state, so I’m tempted to feel like this is when things are slowly coming back to normal. The full moon ritual tomorrow, when we consecrate the heka knife, the heka snake wand, and Hekate’s knife, will probably be the start of the preparations proper for the Mysteries and the coming High Day.

I won’t be able to do the full 6 hour night vigil, though. I’ve got some paid work to do the day after, so staying up all night is not an option. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do; it’ll either be a day vigil instead so there are still 6 hours done, or it’ll be a shorter vigil in the evening, perhaps 8pm til 11pm. I’m tempted to do it during the day, because I haven’t done a full six hour vigil for a long time, and even though it won’t be quite the same during the day, it’s better than cutting it short again. But we’ll do some divination and see what the gods want.

Anyway, I have rituals to prepare and write, so I’ll leave this here. I’ll post photos of the tools later once they’ve been consecrated so you can get a better look at them and what I did with them to decorate and consecrate them.

New: Altar Tiles – Ankh, Awen, Star of Olympus

I’ve finally retaken photos of the last three tiles I made a while ago, and have them up and listed in the shop now. This has taken a bit longer than I had anticipated, because life has been busy, and I’ve been sick, but I’m slowly working through the backlog of stuff I need to write up and list, and this is, at the very least, three I can stop worrying about now.

I will be picking up some more of these 70c tiles from Bunnings at some point, so I can make some more, but for now, this is what I’ve got.

1) Ankh altar tile
This altar tile has a simple black and gold design, with the ankh hand-drawn with a gold paint marker. It measures 9 cm/3.54 inches in diameter, and suits smaller shrines or portable altar kits. It has a dark green felt backing and is varnished to protect it from damage.

The ankh is one of the most important symbols of ancient Egypt, signifying life. It is often shown being held by gods, and by them, given to humans, symbolising the life given by the gods. It is a powerful symbol for any Kemetic shrine.

Listing on Etsy: Ankh altar tile

2) Awen altar tile

This altar tile shows the druidic Awen symbol, which signifies the rays of inspiration that come from the Three Kindreds. It is a simple black and gold design, with the Awen hand-drawn with a gold paint marker.

It measures 9 cm/3.54 inches in diameter, and suits smaller shrines or portable altar kits. It has a yellow felt backing and is varnished to protect it from damage.

Listing on Etsy: Awen altar tile

3) Star of Olympus altar tile

This altar tile shows the Star of Olympus, a star that represents the twelve great Olympian gods, in black and gold. The Star is hand-drawn with a gold paint marker. This would be a great addition to any small Hellenic shrine or travel kit for those who wish to honour the Olympians.

The tile measures 9 cm/3.54 inches, and suits smaller shrines or portable altar kits. It has a grey felt backing and is varnished to protect it from damage.

Listing on Etsy: Star of Olympus altar tile

And now, the Noumenia

Noumenia March 2016

With the deipnon, comes the noumenia. It was quite a peaceful rite. I used a new liturgy I’d adapted from a couple of other noumenia rites I’d found online, and gave it more of an ADF structure, and I think it worked well. I offered honey liqueur, which I poured across the back gate after the rite. I am also drinking half a shot of the same in some ginger beer, and it is great.

I did try to do some meditation, but my brain was too fuzzy to focus on it, and I never dipped below into the landscape. I saw flashes of it, but I never went anywhere with it. But it’s okay. It happens every now and then.

Also, you can see the new Shedety shrine coming together in that photo above. I’m not entirely 100% settled on it, but it’s probably closer to done than not. Part of the fun of working with that space is that it also functions as a working altar for the druidic shrine above, and so it can’t just be a shrine. I’ve been trying to focus on everything that’s on there, and trying to decide if it should be there, or if it’s just taking up space. So it’s been stripped back a bit, and I’m trying to get as much space out of it as I can, because I like having space to work on.

I’ve also been putting the Sobek book together, gathering all the information and writings I already have, and it comes to about 77 pages or something idk. I’m not editing yet, I’m just gathering, and seeing what I’ve already got, and what I still need to get. Some things may get culled, of course, but we’ll see how it all comes together.

Anyway, in case anyone’s interested, I’ll post my nounenia liturgy below. Feel free to nick it for your own purposes, if you’re looking for something like this. I’ll add in the sources for this when I post it under the House of Life pages, but I know one was the Neokoroi (sp?) rite, and another was a blog somewhere idk. But I will chase those up, and add them in later, because I think I kept some of the words, and wrote in some of my own, and I care too much about citing my sources.

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That point of no return

Sometimes, the cards have to tell you something three times before you understand what it is they’re trying to tell you. So it was with the omen I took during last night’s High Day ritual. I’ve been mulling over it, and I had a moment of clarity this afternoon when I realised what it was trying to say. The door that’s been closed, the path I can no longer retreat to, is Kemetic. In some ways, it’s a way to firmly keep my focus on my druidic studies, and commit to them. But it’s still an end of one path, and the beginning of another, and I didn’t realise I would even miss it until this evening, when I was writing up my omen notes.

I’ve been feeling that shift for months now, to be honest, but never knew how to articulate it or understand what it was. And now that I know, that’s when it begins to hurt. To miss what I’ve left behind, even though I’m not willing to leave what I’ve now established. This is home, and I didn’t know it until last night, when I sang words to that effect to Hermes. I’ll never stop being Sobek and Heru’s priest, of course. They wouldn’t have made me Their priest if I was just going to leave Them behind. But the rest of those relationships with Egyptian gods have fallen away and we’ve drifted apart. I no longer default to those gods anymore. I default to the Greeks. Which is strange to think about. But there you go. I think this has been in the works for years, but I’m sure Sobek has His reasons for taking me in this particular direction.

I feel like I’ve drifted, or moved, so far from Egypt. It feels like a distant place, far from where I am now. The gods feel unfamiliar, with the exception of Sobek, Heru, Isis, and Wesir, and strange. And I’ve definitely changed, it’s definitely not them. I’ve been calling myself a polytheist, rather than a Kemetic, for a few years now, because any sort of cultural affiliation always seemed hollow and narrowly defined. That, and I don’t work within one single cultural pantheon, so. This just seems to be my place now.

It also helps to reinforce, for me, that sense of foreign gods in a foreign land, that feeling of not being from there, and having to get to know things and how they work all over again. I’ve always felt that to a certain extent, but it’s more explicit now. At least, it feels that way. It may just be a way to shift me into that mindset that’s better suited to connecting with nature spirits and the environment and whatnot, but we’ll see. We’ll see where this new path takes me, and what new relationships I’ll form along the way. I’m sad to leave one thing behind, but this new path feels so right I can’t imagine it not being there. I fell in love with Hekate, with Hermes, with Artemis and Hestia. These gods embraced me and adopted me, even though I felt like I was a stranger to Them. They are my gods now. For how long, I don’t know. But I’ll enjoy the ride while it lasts.

A Forced Hiatus

There’s nothing like being sick to disrupt your rituals. I don’t get sick very often, nor do I get sick enough to take me away from shrine for nearly two weeks, but there you go. That has been my life for the past fortnight or so. My dad caught something, and passed it on to my mum and me, and I’m only just getting over it now.

And so my shrine has been closed and quiet.

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Equinox posts

Just a quick FYI that I’ve got my Spring Equinox ritual, omen, and draft essay notes up over at my DP blog, starfire river tree.

I wasn’t able to do it on the Equinox itself, because doing High Day rituals mid-week when I work full time is just not possible. So I waited until the Super Full Eclipse Moon on the 28th, since it seemed the most appropriate day to do it. And IDK an eclipse of a full moon seemed adequately liminal for an equinox ritual, so.

The ritual itself was actually pretty good, and while there are probably a few tweaks I’ll make to the next one, I’m pretty happy with the liturgy. I just did a general rite to the Theoi, since I’m still getting a feel for the Hellenic festivals and picking High Day patrons and whatnot. Hekate proved to be a fabulous gatekeeper, and She’s sort of been hanging around ever since.

Now that I’ve got that first High Day out of the way, I think the momentum should pick up a bit on my DP work, particularly since I have to do a full year of High Days. I’ve got the liturgy done, all I need to do is modify it based on the High Day, so that’s less work I need to do. All the essay notes and rituals and omens will be posted here, along with anything else, and the rest will go in my paper journal. Still not sure if I’ll get it done in a year, but I’ll see how things go, and whether I will have any sort of permanent employment I can plan around. Month by month contract extensions are fine and all, but terrible for long-term planning.

I’ve been rearranging my druidic shrine again, too, and I found a fake rose garland at the op shop I work at – it came in with a bunch of donations, and I thought it would do well for a ritual garland for my Hellenic rites. But I’ll do another proper post on the shrine probably next week, if I get a moment, so I can more properly document what’s on there and why.

Happy Solstice!

Winter Solstice hearth 2015

This year’s hearth shrine for our midwinter feast. Greenman/Wild Hunt theme. This is the best photo I managed to take, so sorry it’s a bit blurry. My phone will only do so much.

I hope everyone has had a blessed Solstice. We had our midwinter feast last night, and it was a lovely evening. I’m really enjoying being able to share the Solstice with friends, even if they’re not Pagan. Pictured above is my decorated hearth for this year’s feast. I get to decorate the hearth, and it’s always a lot of fun. I went with a Greenman/Wild Hunt sort of theme. Also, you can’t really see it too well, but there is some ivy tucked up there behind it all, because I can’t not have any greenery at all.

At least we had some good wintery weather. It rained all day, and the wind was fierce. There was even some thunder in the evening. Really set the mood, and made us want to settle in for a good roast and pudding. Dad even made some mulled wine, though it still wasn’t enough to make me like wine. Mum wasn’t so keen on it, either, but eh. Everyone else seemed to like it, which is fine by me. Mum made some little figgy puddings in muffin tins, and there’s still a bunch left over. We had some of the pork for lunch today. Our fridge is filled with leftovers. It is glorious. And the sun has been out for most of the day today, so obvs our feasting worked, and the sun decided to come back wooooo. ❤

I’ll be doing a simple ritual this evening to mark the Solstice for myself. I’m working tomorrow, so I don’t want to do a full ritual, but I’ll do something small, and offer some water anyway. I think I might also do my First Oath ritual, since I had pencilled it in for Solstice, and I think I’m almost happy with the wording I picked. But we’ll see. I’ll decide this afternoon how I want to do that, and how I want to incorporate those things.

While I’m thinking of DP things, I did make a DP blog, even if it is mostly empty. There was some other stuff I wanted to put there, but haven’t got around to it for various reasons. I’ve actually written more in my paper journal than the blog suggests, and there are some things I want to put up on the blog for posterity/ponderings. Anyway. If you want to follow it, go ahead. Don’t expect consistent regular updates. I’m doing this at my own pace, in between everything else, and giving myself time to really think about everything. I don’t want to rush it.

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