Shrine Updates, August 2017

So it’s been a bit of a quiet month, but that’s okay. There’s been a lot of prep work and putting things into place and sorting things out and trying some other things out, too. The last two days have been very Spring-like: warm and sunny and nice. I got into a bit of a cleaning mood, and have spent the time redoing my shrines, and my spaces, doing a little decluttering, and moving a few things around so they work better for me. I think I’ve also decided on at least one piece of fiction to include in the anthology, it will just need some work and editing and world-building first.

There’s a part of me that just wants to ramble on about the shrines, but honestly, I feel like I’ve written too much about them and I’d just be repeating myself. But I made some videos, so take a look at them, and I’ll ramble about them just a little.

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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.

Tara

So. I’ve had this Isis-Renenutet-Mary-Hekate thing going on for a while, which Quanyin joined a while back since I started doing regular practice with Her again. And I’ve never quite known what to call this, except for a constellation. It came first as a ‘Queen of Heaven, Star of the Sea’ sort of energy, and stars and stellar energy have always been a part of this … whatever it is. I’m a polytheist, and that’s how I’ve experienced these gods as separate beings, so it never felt like I was just seeing different faces of one being. There may have been some core energy at the heart of it, but it felt like a collection of goddesses with a similar energy to them, just sort of, well. Being a constellation. Not one being, but several, joined together with a similar thread.

Yeah. I thought that until yesterday. I woke up feeling like Quanyin wanted something deeper from me, more than just practice, but to go deeper and study Buddhism properly. And during the Tara devotions with Yeshe last night (well, it’s last night for me), I saw Tara while I was chanting Her mantra. She took my hands, and we were dancing together on a hill under a dark starry sky. She pointed out stars to me. She seemed very happy. And then, at the end of the chanting, She sat in front of me, and touched my third eye with Her left hand, as if She placing a dot or a bindi or something there. I’m still seeing that today, seeing Her face and Her smile, and the dancing under the stars. It’s the first time I’ve actually seen something while chanting mantras.

And I’ve woken up today pondering whether this constellation is all manifestations of Tara. Or at least, that She’s that core stellar energy at the heart of it. I’ve never done much research into Tara, I have to admit, so I’m starting from scratch with Her. But it makes a weird amount of sense, so. I’m actually tempted to set up a proper Goddess altar now, and see where that work takes me. Things are changing a lot right now, and I have no idea where this is going to go, or where I’ll end up. But for now, Tara. And writing. And all the gods in the world, or something.

So Masrai came to Bakhu

I haven’t talked much about Masrai on here, since it was just a fictional pantheon as far as I was concerned. I don’t mean that to say that just because it’s fictional, it doesn’t mean anything. I say that to clarify that Masrai, and the gods of Her pantheon, came from somewhere in my head, and are not, as far as I know, gods that might once have existed in this world. I don’t know everything, of course, and the astral being what it is, there’s every chance that alternate universes exist, and who knows what might have been, and what happens to gods that were long-forgotten. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent a bit more time with these gods and maybe it’s one of those ‘name it and it comes to life’ things that characters often get. Maybe it’s different because they’re gods. I don’t know.

That said, I’ve kept a shrine to Masrai and some of Her other gods for a while now, mostly to keep that energy flowing in as I work on those novels. I don’t know why, but something told me to build a shrine, that this was important to give these gods a physical space in my room. Still, in spite of that, I haven’t done much in the way of worship. I didn’t really know what ritual forms to use, since these gods departed Egypt during Mythic Time, and have spent the rest of their lives in the Libyan desert. (In this story, at any rate. I can’t say what they did here, if they ever existed here at all.) But I still kept a shrine for them.

I’d never really had much more than a faint impression from Masrai as I wrote Her myths down, like something deeper had touched my mind, but nothing in terms of speaking or seeing Her. Writing Her myths down was never important for the novel, either. It’s extra information. But I don’t often buy fancy red handmade books and begin writing myths down for gods. I haven’t even done that for Sobek. But there was something about Masrai that made me start this book, and commit to finishing it. I am sure She gave me all the words, and now all I need to do is finish it.

But Monday’s meditation signalled that things had gone up a notch, and that this pantheon needs more from me than I was giving them. Woo warning, for those who need it. This is a bunch of weird shit even I am surprised by, so.

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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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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. XD *pets Him*

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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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My spiritual life is weird ngl

Isis and Hekate turning up in meditation together? Not a surprise. They’ve done this before. Though Isis was all about explaining how much like Hekate She is by quoting my own lines about Hekate back to me. And also being a cobra because Renenutet idk.

But then They bring Mary into this, and She’s all, ‘I miss you’ and hugs me tight, and I don’t even know. I suppose this is what I get for having a connection with Mary and NO ONE ELSE in the entire Christian pantheon. But that’s okay. I like Mary. Years and years ago, I used to pray the Rosary for Her, but it was never a consistent or permanent practice for me. I was actually researching Catholicism for a fic I was writing, and being me, I like to practice what I’m researching, so I can write it better, so. I prayed the Rosary for Her. I haven’t done it for such a long time, though, but I remember it being very peaceful. Which is why I dug out my old rosaries again for Her. One was given to me a long time ago by a Palestinian guest of my mother’s, and the other I bought at the Melbourne Anglican Cathedral (which, holy shit, there is some srs energy in that place).

That said, it is weird to have Isis, Mary, AND Hekate all around you all at once. It makes sense, of course, and it’s something I’ve contemplated before (Queen of Heaven, Star of the Sea ftw), but I’ve never had all three of them together like that before. But okay, sure. I’ll run with this. It’s not like my practice isn’t complicated enough. It’s fine. It’s all fine. XD