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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Transition

I have to say, I’m still settling into the routine of having Isis back in my daily devotions again. Honouring two gods is easy, you do morning and evening, and it’s fine. Adding a third, well. That’s a bit tricky. Particularly when I know the timing for any specific ritual is awkward because I don’t feel like I can do it at work, and finding another way to integrate it into my daily routine has proved, well. I have had mixed results. I’m sorry to keep banging on about this, but it’s a big change for me, and there’s a whole lotta pondering going on. So you’ll forgive me for rambling about it some more.

I promise no more shrine photos until everything’s settled. Because I changed it up again today, and toyed with removing the naos completely, and, well. I’m going to let it sit for a while, and see how well everyone likes it, before I decide to keep it. But once things are settled, there will definitely be a post on that. The only reason I even changed it up today was that I was doing some DP homework on ancestors, and thought of the Mysteries of Wesir, and how I was going to set up a shrine for that, and once I moved Wesir to the centre of the shrine, now sans naos, well. He wasn’t keen to leave. And Isis now sits before Him, and Sobek and Heru surround Him, protecting Him. But like I said, I haven’t settled on it yet, and it may change again as I use it and tinker with it so it suits my rituals perfectly.

Making room for other gods, even related gods, on the Shedety shrine, has changed the feel of it. It’s no longer just Sobek and Heru’s shrine, Wesir and Isis are there, too. Which is why I am toying with not having the naos, because it was originally dedicated to two gods, and it’s not really designed for four. But I’m still pondering that. I may bring it back if this doesn’t work out. Maybe I’ll find a new naos later on, but for now, perhaps it isn’t needed. We’ll see.

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My shrine updates should not be this frequent gdi

Wesir close-up

Hi Wesir! Also, sorry about the shadow. The lighting in my room is terrible most of the time. I was using the flash and everything, gdi.

I swear I only did this a week ago. Why am I rearranging my shrines again why. Wesir was not meant to go there. He was going to go on my windowsill, where there was a nice spot just the right size. I was going to gaze at His serene face as I worked to finish the Contendings retelling, and it was going to be grand. I mean, I’ve been looking for a mummiform statue like that for a while now, for easier Mysteries of Wesir shrouding amongst other things, but never found one I liked enough at a time when I had actual money to buy one. So when I looked a few weeks back, I saw this one, and bookmarked it for future purchasing. And then they went and cut 30% off the price, and since he was coming from the other side of the country, I calculated that the price I paid for him was about the equivalent of a similar 6in Wesir from the US. So. I now have a big Wesir. And he is beautiful. He has a very calm energy about him.

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This is my Sobek part 1: Feraligatr and Lugia

The Water type crocodile starter pokémon, Feraligatr, and the Psychic/Flying (???) type legendary God of the Seas (psychic/flying???) pokémon Lugia. (Srsly why is Lugia not a Water type?)

The Water type crocodilian starter Pokémon, Feraligatr; and the Psychic/Flying (???) type legendary God of the Seas (o.O???) Pokémon Lugia (why are you not a Water type? WHY?). …Gods, they even have a similar body shape wtf. o.O?

So I hadn’t intended to get to this particular post until later, but fuck it, it’s Pokémon’s 20th anniversary today, and I am all Pokémon nostalgic because I just got Blue, Red, and Yellow on my 3DS, and have started Blue, the first Pokémon game I ever played. I have my original Bulbasaur starter back, and it is fabulous. So you’re getting a Pokémon post today.

I’m not going to talk about Gen I, though. I’m going to talk about Gen II, and the first time I played Silver, and how Sobek and I have formed an unbreakable bond through Pokémon. (And other things, of course. But also Pokémon.) It will get long, and meandering, but there are pictures and artwork and it’s Sobek and Pokémon and all that good stuff. 😀
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State of the Shrines 2016

Well, I’m back from my trip to Tasmania, I think I’ve lost my Sennheiser headphones, and I start back at the op shop on Tuesday. So things are, well. They’re going. How are you all doing? I hope your holiday and new year break was good, if you had one. I spent New Years Eve dozing off a stomach bug, then I spent the evening outside in the yard with my tiny niece and nephew and my family, playing with sparklers. Amaze.

Anyway. I wanted to start the new year with a post showing off all my current shrines, because a lot’s changed over the past year, and it seems like a good time to do this. I feel like it’s always a good way to see how my practices have changed and developed over time, and who’s getting more of my attention than others.

There won’t be many images, only about 7 or so, but they are a bit big, so just a warning for anyone on slow connections. There will also be lots of text, because I am terrible at being concise about these things.

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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.