The shrines have settled in

Wesir all wrapped and ready for the Mysteries.

So I wrote a while back about changing the shrines around, but I didn’t want to post about them until they’d settled in. Sometimes, new shrine arrangements need time for me to tweak them, to make sure they are right. Big changes, too, are ones I feel I need to sit with, in case I decide to change them back. So I have given myself a week or so to tweak and sit and practice and figure out what I need to do to make them right, and I think I’m done, for the moment. Shrines always change, they never stay the same, so this is no more permanent than my other shrines. It’s just a reflection of where I am in my path right now.

I’ve also just got around to wrapping my statue of Wesir. It’s a bit later than I normally do it, given there’s only a week to go. But I noticed the lack of His presence once it was done. I do miss Him during this time, but it’s never permanent.

One thing I did achieve today was to go back through the Daybook and pick out all the Mysteries of Wesir-related festivals, and begin compiling something for that. I wanted a more complete picture than the eight-day one I’ve been working with, and going by the dates, I’m actually a few weeks early with mine if I schedule it on May 1, so that’ll be something to think about, whether I keep the May 1 start date, or keep the Kemetic dates instead.

I wouldn’t mind moving it so much. It would give me a bit of breathing space to do a more Hekate-focused May 1 High Day rite without it crashing into the Mysteries. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. I would appreciate that, since I wouldn’t need to try to do too many things at once. So that’s definitely on the cards, but nothing’s been decided yet.

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Daily and monthly rituals

I feel like I’ve spent the last two months thinking about this, but I think I’ve finally come to a workable schedule after giving myself permission to not worship ALL THE GODS AT ONCE you can do them at different times, please, self, do that. It’s still a bit tentative, and there’s deliberate flexibility and gaps in it just because sometimes, you need that. And I still haven’t got all the household rites done that I wanted to get done. But that’s okay. I’ve had Tiny Niece invading my life this month, and a very busy week, so you can imagine how much I desperately want my schedule back to normal. D:

The current plan is for Sobek and Heru in the morning, Masrai at noon (when I’m not at work), Hekate and/or household rites after dinner (I will handwave that as a convenient ‘Greeks start their days at sunset’ thing), and Constellation gods before bed (that’s Isis, Hekate, Renenutet, Mary, Quanyin, and Tara). I feel like that’s a workable flow that I can work with for the moment. I’m in the process of figuring out a monthly thing, just in terms of making sure everyone gets at least one day to themselves. None of these are going to be very long or complicated rites, either. But short and sweet means I get things done, so.

Because of this, I’ve also put my Constellation goddesses together on the altar table, rather than try to cram them onto the top of a bookshelf. It’s forced me to rearrange my shrines, and how I’m going to do the Mysteries of Wesir, but I’ll post photos of that once all that has settled down. At this stage, I really just need something for Tara, but that’s not an essential thing right now. I’ll leave that until I find one I like, and maybe print out something I can use until then. I want to let this altar settle for a while before I decide it’s done.

State of the Shrines, March 2017

It’s not quite a 3mx3m square room, so you can see how little space I have to work in. But I do make it work hard, so. That’s something, I guess.

So, it’s the Equinox, and this feels like the right time to post about this, given where I am with my #domagick work. I haven’t done any formal rituals for the Equinox just yet, but I’m saving that for Thursday, I think, when I have more brain to sort them out. I also have some videos I need to upload to youtubes, but they are too big, and my internet too slow, to get that done tonight, so. That is another job for Thursday.

If you haven’t been keeping up with my #domagick posts, you can read all about my fire magic experiments over at the Grimoire. I’ve been doing some self-transformation work, and a helluva lot of decluttering, and a lot of that work is starting to come to a close as we enter the week before the Deipnon. I plan to post more about that over here when it’s done, sort of like a summary post, but for now, go read the Grimoire for your day-by-day #domagick posts.

So, since I didn’t get around to this at Wep Ronpet, here’s a belated Equinatorial State of the Shrines for another year.

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A List of Heru-sa-Aset festivals

This is what happens on a not-very-exciting day when I have a shiny Ancient Egyptian Daybook to trawl through. I attempt to make a list of just Heru-sa-Aset festivals. This is a somewhat more taxing task than just listing all the Heru ones, because Heru is fkn complicated.

So. I won’t claim this is in any way complete, because sorting out the Heru-sa references from the Heru-Wer references is a job that only ends in a headache for me, so. I have probably missed a few, and included some I probably shouldn’t have, but if you think you can do a better job than me, go for your life.

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Wep Ronpet beckons again

What happens when I try to find something to do with Sobek's (broken off) headgear to make this Herubirb into a Sobek-Heru birbcroc.

What happens when I try to find something to do with Sobek’s (broken off) headgear to make this Herubirb into a Sobek-Heru birbcroc.

I swear it always creeps up on me, even though I know it’s coming. But anyway. It is nearly Wep Ronpet, and I am in my final week of preparation before the epagomenal days begin on Saturday. Saturday? *checks* Friday! They begin on Friday! I haven’t set up the shrine for it yet, but I’ll probably do that tomorrow, once I fish out all the little god statues I need from the box I am pretty sure they are in somewhere.

I spent a couple of hours this afternoon cleaning all the shrines and redressing them. There’s an added layer of preparing because Friday is also the Deipnon, so. Doing my cleaning now seems, well. It seems to work for me. Plus, I’d rather do it today when it’s cool than wait till later when it’s going to get hot. Cleaning shrines in the heat is no fun, let me tell you.

I tried to do a room/shrine tour thing because taking +elebenty photos is tiring, but it didn’t quite work out, so. I will try again tomorrow and see if I can get something to post for you so you can see how they look now. I have been re-evaluating them all and cleaning them and making sure they are the shrines I really need, and I have put some things away, and changed some altar cloths, and moved some statues around. So it’s looking pretty good now. I have the Shedety shrine, the witchcraft shrine, the lararium, the Goddess shrine, the Masrai shrine, and the ancestor shrine for Bowie and the queer ancestors. …That seems like a lot. And it probably is, for the space I have. Anyway.

For now, have this picture of my Herubirb and His shiny new headgear. One of my Sobek statues arrived with His hat broken off, so once I gave up trying to keep gluing it back on (because resin hates glue apparently), I wasn’t sure what else to do with it. So in the middle of cleaning Heru up, I decided to see if Sobek’s hat would fit on Heru’s head, with the addition of a bit of ribbon and some blutac for stick and cushioning. And, well. It works. Enough for my purposes, even if the shadows now make Him look like an angry Herubirb. 😄 *pets Him*

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The road ahead

october-2016-shrines

So, a lot has changed. The shrines have switched places. This is, arguably, more of a practical move mor than anything else. The physical space I need for my devotional rites for Sobek and Heru is nowhere near as much space as I need for my fledgling witchcraft practice. I think this is actually the first time in sixteen years of pagan practice that I’ve had a permanent witchcraft altar. So there’s that.

I’ve put up a couple of quick videos of each shrine on youtube, for those who want more detail: the Shedety shrine, and the Hekate/Sobek witchcraft altar. There’s a bunch of other shrine videos on there as well, but it’s easier than uploading them anywhere else, since I take them on my phone.

At some point I will stop making new wordpress sites, but I have thrown up another one for my witchcraft blogging stuff because what the hell, and also there’s no room for it here, so. Feel free to follow it if you like: A Sobekatean Grimoire. (There is a lot of punnage in that title, ngl.)

And now that the pimping is out of the way, the tl;dr version is under the cut. Enjoy.

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Monasticism and other weird shit

In  many ways, it’s been a very strange month. I guess I expected nothing less when Hekate decided to come by and change everything. I’m okay with it, even though I feel like I’m moving down a path I’m very unfamiliar with. There’s a whole lot of so much more I can’t find the words to talk about right now, except She’s basically taken over my NaNo fic this year, and everything right now is just … complicated. I have a lot of NaNo prep to do, that She’s asking me to do, and what the end result of that is, I don’t know. I’ll just sit down and write and see what happens.

The monasticism is … sort of new. It’s been a vague interest for a number of years, but I never really took the plunge with it until now. It’s that bridge between priest and devotee which is sort of neither, and doesn’t involve caring for open statues (which I am not built for). Kemetic monasticism is a strange beast that I am still beginning to wrestle with in terms of how do you even do that and why. But at the last deipnon, when I was with Hekate, there were Sobek and Heru, welcoming me through a door, that they were ready for me now, and so I have new rites, and a new ritual book, and a thousand things I still don’t understand. That’s a whole separate post in and of itself, but I’ll save that for later when I’m more confident I know what it is I’m actually building.

Hekate keeps pushing me towards magic and witchcraft. I’m watching Supernatural for the first time for NaNo genre inspiration. This phrase, this character, ‘the Black Priest’, is haunting me now, and I wish I had the coherency to talk about that, too. All I know is Hekate is taking me down a road, and it’s a confusing road, but for whatever daft reason, I trust Her enough to know She’s not leading me anywhere nasty. Different, perhaps. Challenging, most certainly. I don’t even know what the end game is, nor am I sure I want to know.

Also, Isis-Renenutet-Hekate-Mary is doing my head in idek. I get headaches just trying to parse out that confusing syncretic mess. /ow. I even have a statue of Mary now, which has only taken me most of my life to get brave enough to buy. I don’t even understand that. For whatever daft reason, she seems to like me, so okay, sure. I’ve also had Isis, Mary, and Hekate appear together in meditation twice now, so this is not just a weird fluke. There’s something here, but I have nfi what. I mean, I know what the connection is. I can trace it. But WHY idek. WHY.

I don’t always like doing posts like this, where nothing is really certain and I’m just rambling on about woo and vagaries. But it’s been nearly a month since I last posted, and I felt I needed to write something else now, just to elucidate where my brain is right now. Where this ends up, I have nfi. I’m sure it’ll be fun finding out, though.

Always with the crossroads

I feel like I should be used to predicting this by now, that whenever Hekate takes over my life (like She has at the moment), I end up at a crossroads period. Which is fine. I always like a chance to stop and figure my shit out, so that’s nice. I just always feel a bit restless when I get there, because all my habits grind to a halt until it’s over, which doesn’t help to keep my ritual habits going, ngl.

Everything’s become a bit complicated at the moment. Apart from my CoH Hekate devotional work, my Kemetic practice has come to a bit of a halt. Also, Hekate is all, study witchcraft for me, and so I’m actually reading books about Wicca in a way I haven’t since I first started out in 2000; I suspect it’s one of those ‘know the rules before you break them’ things, but I’m still not really sure at the moment. I suppose I could’ve done without Sobek suggesting I might open a statue for Him in the middle of all this, leading me to change my shrine around, and my daily rites, again. Also, Isis-Renenutet-Mary-Hekate-Selene can you stop being confusing I am totally done with this.

Also, Ganesh is back on my altar because Reasons??????? *throws hands up* /idek anymore

OH. NOVELS. HERMES. WRITING OIGUBSDUGlfsjygfksygks. Yes. That is another thing I need to talk about idek.

Anyway, have a ramble below the cut about weird religious things, if the tl;dr above isn’t enough for you.

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Well, that happened fast

Well, I didn’t think the new naos would get done until the weekend, but dad finished it off for me while I was at work today, which is really sweet of him. We’d started gluing some of the bits together last night, but there wasn’t time, nor clamps, to finish it then. But I’m glad dad understood what I was trying to make, because this is exactly what I had in mind. All we added once I got home was a plywood base to stabilise it. It’s certainly not perfect, and it’s a bit rough in places, but to be honest, I don’t care. It’s exactly what I saw in my mind when I considered a wooden naos like this, and it suits the shrine perfectly. Having the sides open like that makes it feel smaller than it really is. An enclosed cabinet would feel too big for that space, not if it was big enough for those statues. I may paint it later on down the line, but right now, I’m happy for it to be as it is.

But then I’ve always liked my naos boxes to be semi-open, rather than fully enclosed. It makes the connections work better for me if I can see Them and touch Them, even if They sit in a naos. It’s the introvert coming out in me, I think. I have my space, the gods have Their space, but we can still see each other, and spend time with each other, if we want to.

I also love the symbolism of blue starry material being lifted up to make the roof, and to sit as a veil in front of the shrine. I have loved this material ever since I picked it up at an op shop for $5, and while I gave away some of it because there was more than I could ever use, I have enough for this. And it’s beautiful. Plus, I can do the ka embrace a lot easier with this naos than with the bodged up cardboard one. But, to be honest, if I have the roof, and some way to veil it, that’s really all I need for a naos. The rest is naos-dressing. I’m sure someone else would find this too open for them to use as a naos, but that’s fine. Others may prefer the totally enclosed cabinets, and that’s also fine. But for me, this is the way to go, and I couldn’t be happier with how it’s turned out.

The new Shedety Shrine

Shedety Shrine March 2016

The new shrine, photographed after this morning’s devotions.

So I think I’m just about settled on this particular layout for the time being, so I thought I’d give you all a proper look at it. The first obvious thing is that the naos is gone. It just wasn’t going to work on a shrine for four gods, so it’s been put away for now. It’s a bit sad, not having the naos, but I like this setup, too. The shrine feels focused now, and I’ve cleared out some of the excess stuff that was making it feel like there was too much going on.

The shrine gets used as an altar table for the druidic shrine above, so there has to be enough space to work as well as be a shrine, and it’s a constant give and take on how much space is available for each. This made it tricky to settle on a layout that worked, because it had to work for my own daily devotions. Everything had to be in the right place so it’s easy to reach, and I don’t burn myself, and there’s room for the ritual book, and everything else.

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