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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Reflections on Polytheism

My spiritual life is a bit of a shambles at the moment, too. I’m doing my daily devotions to Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset, and that’s about it. And it’s not that I don’t mind that, because simple and ‘able to be done when half-asleep and just out of bed’ is what I like, I feel directionless. It may be that I am overthinking things, and trying to make things more complicated than they need to be. Wouldn’t be the first time. But IDK. It’s crashed into the chaos that has been the past two months, so I’m just feeling overwhelmed by it all and uninspired, and I just need some clean, fresh air to sort all this shit out.

I don’t even know what I am anymore, except a polytheist and Sobek devotee. Which is fine, but. Not recon. Not not-recon. Not Wiccish. Not, well, I don’t even know anymore.

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Sobek and Heru shrine

Sobek and Heru shrine overview

It sits on my beside table/cupboard/thing, which is why the lamp is there. And the speakers.

It’s not finished finished, but it’s finished enough to post, I think. I set this up about a month ago, and I’ve been slowly figuring out what to put here ever since. I put the final touches on it today, so I thought I’d post it now, since I feel like it’s done, for now. Hekate had Her shrine in the same place for the Rite of Her Sacred Fires for the May full moon, but Sobek quickly claimed the spot for Himself and Heru once that was done, so He’s got it now. It sits on the eastern wall of my room, facing the festival/household shrine on the western wall. Hekate has a smaller shrine on the shelf underneath my main festival/household shrine. I’ll post photos of Hekate’s new shrine at another time. Maybe on the other blog.

More detailed pics and descriptions under the cut.

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Sobek Research and Other Ramblings

I was doing a bit of googling last night, looking for any ancient Sobek hymns that might possibly if I’m lucky actually exist that I can base a litany around. I didn’t find any hymns, but I did find a couple of articles that talked about His Graeco-Roman cult, particularly around the Faiyyum region, as well as one article talking about Sobek, Ra, and Wesir. I even found an actualfax book on Sobek and the Faiyyum, though sadly I can’t find a copy to buy that is definitely in English rather than in Italian, and not going to cost me a lot of money I don’t have right now. (I found three for sale: one for £68 (~AU$103), one for US$150 (~AU$142), and another for US$200 (~AU$189). Sans how much I’d have to pay for shipping. *cries* I would probably buy it if I had the money, though. Just because omg an actualfax book all about Sobek omg I must have it!) I can’t even find it in any university libraries here, so I can’t even go and borrow it. 😦 (It’s too niche and academic for public libraries, so I’m not bothering to look there.)

The reference I found regarding Sobek, Ra, and Wesir, talked about Sobek-Ra being seen as something like a nighttime form of Ra, like Wesir sometimes is, and emerging from the waters at dawn is like the sun being renewed for another day. Syncretising Sobek to both Temu-Ra and Wesir I find very interesting, and I’ll be chewing on that for a while. I’d already seen some parallels in my UPG, with Sobek-Ra, and Wesir and Ra and Their duality, and I know Sobek is sometimes referenced as guarding Ra’s boat in the Duat, but I hadn’t considered Sobek being syncretised to Temu-Ra and Wesir. Perhaps Djehuty was right when He told me that Sobek is Amun is Ra is Ptah is Wesir, though I still don’t know how Ptah fits in. He’s the only God in that list I haven’t met yet.

(I am planning to add these to the History of Sobek page when I have a spare five minutes to turn them into something other than copypasted sentences and a pile of notes. Well. Everything except the Sobek book, because I can’t reference a book I haven’t read.)

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P is for Polytheism

I promise ‘Pokémon as a Valid Religious Metaphor’ will be next week’s topic, and it will be as epic as it sounds, but this week, I want to talk about Polytheism.

I think I’ve always been polytheistic. It just took me a while to figure that out and acquire the vocabulary to talk about it. I’ve always believed in many Gods. I find it the most logical way to interact with the Divine, but I would never presume to say it’s a worldview that works for everyone. It makes the most sense to me, and that’s all that matters as far as I’m concerned. Whether it makes sense to anyone else is their business.

What’s got me thinking about this is partly this post by Star Foster in which she writes about how polytheism is vital to Paganism, as well as a couple of books I’ve picked up lately on polytheistic theology, which I didn’t even know existed until this year. All these things have had the result that, more and more, I’m explicitly calling myself a polytheist. It shapes the way I view the world, and it reminds me that I see the world very differently to many of the people I will meet in my life.

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Ganesha, Djehuty, and Wepwawet Shrine

Ganesha, Djehuty and Wepwawet Shrine
Ibis, elephant, elephant, elephant, jackal.

It’s just an eclectic devotional shrine at the moment, because I have nothing with which to do puja, but I accidentally a mala (it has 108 beads at any rate, even if they’re not all the same), so I can at least start learning how to recite mantras with it. I picked up the central Ganesha icon today because I went into a store and He wanted to come home with me. This is the story of every Ganesha icon I own. All of them are also slightly broken/damaged too. Not sure what that says about me.

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F is for Festivals

Late post is late, but it’s finally done! I swear, I am really bad at getting these done recently, particularly when I haven’t started them and have NFI what I wanted to talk about. I must try to prepare more of these in advance so I’m not starting from scratch all the time. (And stop changing my mind about what to write about.)

But this week, I’m writing about Festivals! I’m including all kinds of festivals, Sabbats, Kemetic, and other assorted ones. In some ways, I think it’a bit pointless to talk about as I don’t often celebrate festivals, let alone with actual rituals, but they are important to me even if I don’t always mark them with anything elaborate. I’ve got a post lined up to talk about ritual, and another for the Wheel of the Year and calendars, so I’ll save talking about those at great length and concentrate on the festivals themselves.

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E is for Eclecticism, Research, and Reconstructionism

I’ve often thought it an odd combination, to be an eclectic reconstructionist, which is why I don’t tend to call myself a reconstructionist. It doesn’t fit in with my path, and the two are more at odds than I’d like. Still, I haven’t really done a cohesive post on the topic of eclecticism, research, and reconstructionism before, so I thought now might not be a bad time to do it. That, and I lacked other ideas for this week, so. This is what you’re getting.

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E is for Eclectic Witchcraft

I was actually going to do this post next week, but due to lack of inspiration for anything else, I thought I’d do this topic instead, since it’s half-written anyway. In some ways, calling this part of my path Eclectic Witchcraft is a bit redundant. Witchcraft could arguably be eclectic by default, no matter which type you practice. But because Wicca and witchcraft are conflated so often in Pagan circles, it becomes necessary to specify that I practice non-Wiccan witchcraft. Because I can’t always know that when I call myself a witch, everyone else will just hear ‘practitioner of witchcraft’ and not ‘Wiccan’.

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D is for Defining Your Path as an Eclectic Pagan

It’s occurred to me lately that describing myself as an eclectic pagan makes no sense to non-pagans. It seems like a peculiarity of paganism, that it has the concept of eclectic practice. And when I think about it, it is a strange concept to have, but totally understandable in the context of the broad range of faiths and practices found under the pagan umbrella.

This occurred to me as I pondered whether or not a non-pagan would understand what was meant by eclectic paganism without me having to explain it. And, really, I find it’s hard not to want to specify further when using it as a description, because it doesn’t have any intrinsic meaning compared to Asatru or Wiccan, for example. In the sense that it doesn’t describe a thing, it’s a method, if method is the right way to describe it. Eclectic pagan doesn’t tell you anything about someone’s path, except the fact that it’s eclectic. Unless further information is given, it’s a bit pointless to use.

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