It’s been a while

There hasn’t been much going on lately. I had an intensive unit over winter term that took up much of my time. I’ve settled into second semester now, and I’ve had time to concentrate on spiritual things again. I’ve got my lararium up and running, now that I’ve finally found a lararium rite I can feasibly do and mod up for my syncretic practice. I’ve been meaning to post photos of it here/at the other blog all week, but never quite found inspiration/time. I’ve had some thoughts about many things, and several ideas I’ve written and scrapped in a bid to catch up with my PBP posts, which I have sorely ignored. I think I might take some time to re-evaluate my blogs, and maybe rejig them. I am at that point where I think I have too many, and don’t know what to do with them all. More on that at a later date.

Since I joined the Covenant of Hekate a couple of months ago, I’ve been doing new and full moon rites for Her, and it’s deepened our relationship. That’s the most festival-ish stuff I’ve been doing lately, apart from thinking about ancestral rites and such in a Roman context.

I don’t know why the Roman lararium appeals to me more than any other hearth. All I know is that it Just. Makes. Sense. so that’s what I’m using. Anyway. Have some shrine photos, for lack of other content.

Continue reading

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. ❤

Continue reading

Kemetic Round Table: Ritual Purity

This is the first in a series of posts that is part of a new Kemetic blogging project called the Kemetic Round Table that aims to provide practical, useful information for Kemetic practitioners of any stripe from beginners to more experienced practitioners. Check the link here for more information about the project, and click here to see responses to this topic from the other bloggers taking part in this project.

Ritual purity is a common thing in many religious traditions. Indeed, many Pagan ritual formats include pre-ritual purifications, and modern Kemetic practices are no different. It’s something I got used to when I became Wiccan over a decade ago, and continued doing as I wandered around as an eclectic Kemetic Pagan for a while, and then as a Kemetic Orthodox shemsu for six years. I’ve done it in many ways, using oils in bath water to herbal rinses to incense and water and salt, to the Senut purifications that are part of the Kemetic Orthodox tradition.

Ritual purity is important, and being physically and mentally clean before approaching shrine is a good thing to do regularly. It’s something I’ve had drilled into me since I became Kemetic Orthodox, and I’ve brought that with me when I left the House a couple of years ago.

There were many ancient prohibitions and purity rules that we know of today, mainly from the Temple cults. These included rules about body hair, physical cleanliness, blood, dietary, and sexual rules, as well as what to not wear, and how to dress and prepare yourself. Shadows of the Sun has done an excellent overview of historical purity rules, so I’ll point you over there, rather than repeat them here.

For those new to this blog, while I am mostly Kemetic in my practices, I practice a Graeco-Roman-Kemetic polytheistic syncetism, and what I do will not always be strictly Kemetic, nor particularly reconstructionist. Any non-Kemetic aspects to my practice will be stated as such, so no one’s confused. Not everyone wants to do syncretism like I do, but I still think it’s important to talk about how I do things, because I think even fewer syncretists talk about this sort of thing than Kemetics do.

Continue reading

X is for Xanadu, or How I Finally Met The Muses

(Look! A wild PBP post appears! More later on, because they aren’t done yet. Also, X topics. How I hate you. D:)

Today’s  story is about the Muses I work with and how I met Them. The Muses I work with are not the Olympian Muses. They are called either the Elder Muses, or the Titan Muses/Mousai Titanides. They are a group of three Muses, and are one of the older groups of Muses who existed before the Olympian Muses got solidified into a group of nine and ended up dominating the Muse gig for the rest of eternity (or so it seems.)

I’ve developed a bit of a soft spot for these Muses. They tend to get a paragraph in any article about the Muses, if They get mentioned at all. Theoi.com at least gives Them a separate page, short as it is.  I know Their parentage, Their names, and what Their domains are. That’s it. They’ve been forgotten, and I think half the reason They’re happy to work with me is because I know who They are. The other half is because I am willing to write about Them and hopefully inspire other people to get to know Them too.

Anyway. For those who have never heard of the Mousai Titanides, let me introduce you. They were the first group of Greek Muses, born of Ouranus and Gaia. They were the Titan Goddesses of Music, and there were but three of them; Aoide, whose name means Song; Mneme, whose name means Memory, and who is sometimes linked to Mnemosyne, the Mother of the Muses (I don’t experience this connection though; They feel like separate deities to me); and finally Melete, whose name means Practice or Meditation.

I was first introduced to Them as I was researching a Xanadu-inspired Muse story. I wanted, basically, to take the basic premise of the movie Xanadu (yes, that Xanadu), and turn it into an AU fanfic for a couple of my fandoms. (You can read the final story here, if you’re so inclined. Even my fandoms are obscure as fuck. #winning) So the interaction between Muse and human subject, and the creative process, tailored to the people I wanted to write about. Only, I’ve never been particularly drawn to the Olympian Muses, and didn’t want to use them if I didn’t have to, so when I went researching the Muses and discovered the existence of other Muses, I thought that was quite exciting. The three I was most drawn to also fit the story I was writing, so I went with Them.

Continue reading

Ra and Ancestral Things

Firstly, belated PBP posts will be dealt with after Wednesday, which is my last exam. Can’t say when they’ll be up, but I’ll have the time to work on them properly then, so I’ll endeavour to post them as I finish them.

I’ve been doing my daily devotional rites for I think it’s close to a month or two now? Unexpected relationship with Ra is unexpected but nice, and I’ve just done a trial run of a weekly ritual for Him. He’s kind of claimed Sundays as His day, which is fine by me. I work with the rest of my Gods the rest of the week, so it doesn’t bother me. Needs some tweaking though as there’s just … something … missing. There’s an element there that I’m missing and I’m going to need to work out what that is and then do another trial run to see if that feels more complete.

I’ve kind of mocked up a Temple-style rite based on what I’ve got available to me. I do have Eternal Egypt on my wishlist, because I know there are modern-style Temple rites in there, but I can’t afford it right now, so my bodged-up version will have to do. It’s not bad, though. More purely Kemetic, because Ra insisted. As to what’s missing, I think it’s something to do with fire? But I don’t know. I’ll have to go over the rite again, once my exams are done, and see what needs to be added. It’s not a bad rite, though. It feels really good, but yeah. There’s just something missing. But that’s not a big problem. This is why I do trial runs, anyway, so I can figure out what’s working and what’s not.

Continue reading

U is for UPG and Reconstructionism

I’m either brave or stupid for tackling the topic of Unverified Personal Gnosis, right? It’s, like, the cornerstone of much of the Pagan and Recon communities in how they conceptualise their religious experiences. I feel like it’s got a ‘Mess With This At Your Peril’ sign hanging off it.

*shrugs, charges in anyway*

You see, I have Thoughts about it that I’m not expecting everyone to agree with, or even adopt for themselves. But I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, particularly as I try and figure out where I am in relation to reconstructionist religions, and how our approaches differ. I’ll add that I will mostly be talking about Kemetic reconstructionism, though, for anyone playing at home, as it’s the one I have the most experience with. It may not ring true for any other flavours of reconstructionism. It probably doesn’t and nor is it meant to.

Continue reading

S is for Samhain, Seasons, and Sabbats

This was just going to be about Samhain, but it occurred to me I have a different relationship with Samhain and Hallowe’en than many American Pagans, and how I approach the holiday might be seen to be completely different because of that. I also want to explore a little bit about the seasons here in Australia, and how it makes for a different relationship with the Wheel.

That, and I don’t really have enough to talk about if I just focussed on Samhain. Because I rarely celebrate it enough to have anything of substance to talk about. So, we will discuss it, along with other things. I know I’ve talked about some of these Wheel and seasonal things before, but I’ll try not to repeat myself.

Continue reading

R is for Rebuilding A Syncretic Path

I feel like I haven’t particularly talked about this topic at any great length yet, so in lieu of a post on ritual, this is what’s on my mind lately. Well. I did cover some of this in my Crossroads post, but that was back in, what, Feburary? A helluva lot has happened since then, let me tell you.

I’ve rebuilt my path a few times since I became pagan at 16. I think I’m always going to have something of an eclectic streak, but it’s not as great as it once was, and I sometimes think I was just going through a period of intense experimentation as I tried lots of things to see what worked and what resonated with me. At the same time, though, I’m not sure if I had much of a choice in it, because of how one thing has necessarily led to another and it hasn’t always made sense until after the journey’s been completed. I think it’s always been some sort of syncretic though, in its own sort of way. But not as syncretic as this current path is. This is taking syncretism to another level and trying to make a cohesive whole from a whole host of fragmented pieces.

Continue reading

Q is for Questioning and Doubt

I’ve been a little busy lately, and I’ve got one P post to catch up with. IDK if it’ll be the Pokémon one though. I’ve written about four drafts, and hated all of them, so maybe I’ll have to think of something else for P. Or, alternatively, try drafting the fucker one more time to see if I can make it say what I want it to say. Either way, I owe you another P post, so that should turn up at some point. My Fridays are too busy atm. D:

I also wanted to do Queer Paganism for one of my Q entries, but I still don’t know what to write about that either, so I’m going to leave that one for next week, or, alternatively, until I have more of an idea of what it is apart from ‘I DON’T KNOW’ and ‘QUEER GODS YAY’, which wouldn’t make for much of a post.

So, in light of that, this week’s is about questioning and doubt. Because I’ve been feeling a lot of that lately as well, and it’s been on my mind. I’ve been having this period where I’m just disconnected from everything. I know the Gods are there; I just can’t feel Them. I don’t often feel that way, but it kind of hit me hard, and I wasn’t expecting it. I was trying to get back into the habit of daily devotions, and the rite I was using wasn’t calling to me. I felt like I was just going through the motions, and there was no reason to do it. I didn’t feel anything for it, so I stopped.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading