A Plan for the New Year

a photograph of an egyptian altar with a statue of Sobek at the centre, Sekhmet on the left, and Hetheru on the right, along with candles, some crystals, and offerings for the New Year.

New Years Eve Senut shrine.

The process of shifting my brain back into working within a Kemetic Orthodox framework is slow, but progressing. It’s taking some adjustment, but it’s good so far. The biggest things I’ve learned so far is that a) daily Senut is far easier for my brain to handle if I give myself permission to do it at night, and b) I don’t have to keep writing rituals for everything, I can just make extra offerings during Senut if I feel like it.

It is making me happy though. Everything just feels right, like this is just what my ka needs right now. I’ve had some success in contacting Sobek and other gods as well, and making a little progress with my Sau work, so I’m feeling good about this now.

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Reorientation and Transitions

This pair of Docs very much encapsulates my entire year. I don’t really go much into metaphors and whatnot, but this very much represents where I am now and how much I’ve changed and what I’ve left behind to get to this point, and where I am going next.

The context for why these Docs mean so much is that I’ve wanted a pair since I was 15 years old, but they were always too expensive, and I was never confident enough to feel I could wear them well either. But I was a confused queer kid who was shy and quiet at school and very slowly growing into myself, struggling without the words I needed to name myself correctly.

And now, at 36-and-11-1/2-months, I now own my first pair of Docs. Because, like everything in my life, I’m now ready for them.

I’m very much not the sort of person who does yearly Tarot draws, but if I’d done one this year, it might very well have shown me The Tower, because that’s very much been the energy that’s flowed through this whole year. Not just in terms of the world, but also in terms of me shedding a lot of things I’ve needed to shed, but didn’t have the push I needed to shed them until I was forced to do so.

My brain has been stressed in very intense ways this year that I’m very much still understanding. I’m even more certain that I’m autistic, though I’m not in a hurry to chase diagnosis bc it’s very much too expensive and out of reach here in my state. But it is helping me make sense of the how and why of myself, which has been useful. It’s making me look for better ways of dealing with stress, anxiety, and frustration that actually work and make me feel better.

I’ve rejoined the House of Netjer and Kemetic Orthodoxy as well. I’m a Shemsu again, and working my way through the beginner’s lessons again as I reaquaint myself with this religion again. I’m still trying to decide how I want my shrines to work now, and will post updates on that when I have things mostly settled down.

Maybe for some of you, you might think it can’t be that hard to reorient yourself to a similar flavour of Kemetic practice, but I haven’t been a shemsu for a decade now, and the House has changed a lot. I’m relearning a lot of things, and getting to know new people and new structures, and how things are working now. It’s very much A Lot to work through. Hence, reorientation, and the shift in calendar.

It’s getting my head around how to do things now and what routines and rituals are going to look like now. I’ve toyed for years with daily morning rituals, but I don’t know if I’m going to return to them. I have a feeling ten minutes of meditation is all I need, though I may ritualise it a little bit. This year has really drained my energy for morning ritual so I don’t know if I’ll do that now. So if I’m not doing that, then it comes down to what do I do instead, and that’s a question I’m still finding the answer to. I want to do Senut regularly, but not sure how regularly yet, nor when would be a good time. How I keep my shrines, and what I do at them, is also under review, as is Hekate’s place in things. She has stepped back for now, but I will come back to Her in February and see how things look then.

But there’s also been a significant reorientation in my life as well, given I went back to uni to become a librarian, and thus reorienting myself from a rando with a BA into someone with an actual profession. It hasn’t been easy, of course, because online study in the middle of a pandemic has not been easy for anyone, but somehow I got to the end of the year with mostly successes. I’ve also just completed my three weeks of library prac and came out of it feeling much more confident about my capacity to do this job now.

I fell in love, too, which wasn’t something I had anticipated or was looking for either. I’d been single for a very long time, and had accepted that. I was happy. And now I have a wonderful partner, even though they’re so far away from me in the UK. It’s hard. But somehow we’re still together. And I’m going to go see them when I can travel again, so I can hold them and kiss them and know for certain that they’re the one I’m going to marry.

Add to this a queer friend of mine sharing this video of Ivan Coyote, and a whole lotta stuff fell into place in my head, bc I finally felt I had the language to see what I’d spent most of my life trying to be. I’m still genderfluid, but butch was the missing piece. That’s what I’ve been trying to be since I was a kid, but without knowing the word for it. As I became more acquainted with queer culture, I learned about the word butch, but never felt it was mine, possibly because I assumed (incorrectly) that it was just a word that lesbians used, and as I’m bisexual, I dismissed it as Not Mine. But it is mine, and it fits now. I’ve finally grown into it. Those boots are proof of that.

My gender has evolved a lot this year, especially as I started buzzing my hair consistently and not just bc lockdown. That’s something I had been thinking of doing for a long time now, mostly in a priestly context, but never being brave enough to do it. What got me this time? My undercut grew out too long during lockdown to the point of borderline dysphoria so I buzzed it all off one night in April. I’ve had an undercut once since then. I just buzz it now. Also I’m now out to my brother as genderfluid and he’s on board with using they/them pronouns for me. ❤

So I’m in this strange place now where I’ve changed a lot, and where I was at the start of the year is very much not where I am now. But so much of this is good and necessary and things that I want that I can’t really be negative about it. Sometimes you do have to burn yourself into ashes to come out of it as who you really need to be. And rebirth is uncomfortable, and difficult, and you end up having to relearn things. It’s like buying a new pair of Docs, and knowing you’ll have to slowly break them in until they’re moulded to your feet. That’s where I am now, in a whole new place, with shoes I now need to grow into, and not really knowing where I’m going, but trusting that Sobek knows the way and will guide me where I need to go. So expect this to be a messy process over the next few months, while I settle into this new place. But I know this is where I need to be. I’m much happier here. Much more myself. I’m 37 in a couple of weeks, and very ready to see what life brings me next.

State of the Shrines, September 2020

(^Watch for sleeping cat on shrine. <3)

So. A lot’s changed in my practice this year. And because of that, I felt I needed to mark that by doing another State of the Shrines. A big reason for this is also due to me going back to Kemetic Orthodoxy and the House of Netjer. It’s not something I expected, but it’s where Sobek feels I need to be right now, so that’s where I’m going. I’m not sure just yet why I have work to do there, but I do know it’s part of my path shifting in focus from internal self-directed work to more community-focused external work, so we’ll see what happens and where Sobek takes me next.

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Another year begins

So, it’s been. A weird – but brilliant – start to the year. January and the last month of my Kemetic year was A Slog, and not just bc I spent most of it decluttering my room to a ridiculous extent. It was just one of those Big Years where I could tell Big Changes were coming. Personal stuff, as much as anything else. The thing that didn’t happen was rituals for Wep Ronpet, for a number of reasons, but that’s okay. That wasn’t necessarily the big priority this time, so.

I’m still figuring out a lot of what’s been going on, but one thing that is, is that I’m back on the House of Netjer forums, and intend to rejoin the House, which might come as a surprise to some of you, bc it sure as shit was to me too, but talking to another Sobek kid, Temi, reassured me that this was what Sobek wanted, so that’s where I am now.

It’s weird to feel like I can stop wandering now. Because that’s really all I’ve done for a decade. Wandered through Hekatean witchcraft, druidry, Buddhism, and god knows what else, following where Sobek led me, because that’s what I do. I never know the destination, just where I’ve been. This meandering encapsulated itself in an image I got during meditation of simply lying on His crocodilian back as He wades through the mud, forging the river in His wake, so I can see the path of the river, but not where we’re going. But I trust Him, so I let Him keep going.

But now I get to be still. No more wandering. My State of the Shrines post that’s coming up next will show you just how stable my path is at the moment. All I have to show now is my main Kemetic shrine, and my little Hellenic shrine. They’re the only two shrines I have up right now. I’ll also post my daily rites, because I have three versions that I’m using now, for various levels of ritual purity and time, and that more than anything helps me be consistent. I might not do the same thing every day, but I always turn up every day, and that’s what’s more important right now. Because I really haven’t had much of a daily practice for about two years, so it’s nice to be getting back to shrine every day.

I’m also going back to uni to do post-grad work and retrain as a librarian. Why? Because I’ve always wanted to, but it was never as much as a priority as it is now, and it might help me actually get a job and not just drift through life not getting anywhere. This definitely feels like a year of Doing Things, so I’m hoping that energy will carry through and things will genuinely change. I’m 36 now. I’m halfway through my life potentially. It’s time to get moving.

The other big life-changing news is that, after many years of being single, I am now in a relationship, thanks to Aphrodite. It’s still very new, even though we’ve been friends for a year now, because we were being Thick Oblivious Queers who were the last to figure out that we were in love, but if this is what the gods want, then I have to trust that it’s going to work out. I don’t want to write more on this yet, bc again, it’s very new and neither of us know what the fuck we’re doing, and also it’s long-distance bc ofc it is, so. But speaking as someone who had come to accept that I was going to be single for the rest of my life and I was okay with that, this is taking some time to adjust to. But they make me so happy that it’s worth it. ❤

So yeah. That’s my life right now. Big Changes. Also there are some things I can’t mention bc they are oathbound Sau things, but that’s the main gist of it. It’s been . A Time, and I’m so excited to see where this year takes me. Expect more posts as I get back into a more stable path.

I seem to have found a snake wand

heka wand sm

I mean, the stuff that turns up at my op shop/charity shop/thrift shop/pick your preferred regionalism. Like, srsly. I find this jarrah wood snake on the shelf when I got in on Tuesday (I work Tue and Wed), and it’s been priced at $3, and it’s just waxed jarrah wood, my dad reckons. The photo doesn’t even do it justice, but it’s so beautiful. It’s got some speckled markings on it, paint I think, but we’re going to clean it up, and then I think I’m just going to embellish it a little, and write on the bottom. It measures about 80cm long/~32in, but it feels like the right size and weight, and, hey, it was only $3. Bargain.

Granted, it isn’t a pair of snake wands, but I ain’t complaining. I’ll pair it with my knife, which I’ve just painted the handle up tonight. I think there’s gonna be some intense ritual tool consecration going on during the next full moon. I might do my ritual jewellery at the same time, since I took it all off on Monday, which is weird, but also good? I’m enjoying a little break from the priesting, and just doing simple twice-daily ad-lib offerings of flame, water, and incense, just for the joy of it. Some of the words from the old Senut prayers are coming back, which is weird because I never did Senut all that much, even when I was Kemetic Orthodox, but there are some nice words in there.

I’m beginning to understand the purpose of this pause, so that’s nice. Got a lot still to puzzle out, but that’s fine. It keeps me busy. I’ve got a snake to finish, and some consecration rituals to write. I don’t think I’ve done any magical tool consecrations since I was Wiccan, which is around 15 years ago woo. So that’ll be fun. I’m probably going to switch up some of the pendants I wear as well, it seems like the time to be a little more committed than just wearing All The Things, so. I’ve also started putting together a knife for Hekate, made from a letter opener, and I’ve made some incense burners out of all the clay, so. Fallow Time is unexpectedly productive, go me.

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.

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The Call To Serve

(Revised slightly and reposted PBP post for this week, because I felt it was Relevant To Your Interests. And to this blog, ngl. Apologies in advance if you get two notifications of this one.)

I don’t think I’ve done much on this topic, now that I think about it. I feel like I’ve skirted around it, or not really mentioned it. Sobek did wait six years for me to finally figure out that’s what He was asking me to do, though. Perhaps it deserves more of a contemplation.

…Ohwait. I did talk about priesting, but that was on my private blog, rather than my public one. WELL THERE YOU GO THEN. Maybe it is time to talk about it publicly then.

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U is for Unlearning Things

I don’t know why I wanted to do this topic more than any other this week. It has come to mind as I’ve embarked on this year of path-building. I’ve been taking a look back over my beliefs and practices, trying to sort out what I want to keep and what to ditch. In switching from reconstructionism to syncretism, too, I have to unlearn a lot about how I do things, and shift my mind into a different place.

Perhaps it’s one of those processes that’s vital to do properly when you’re converting from one religion to another, to dissect the old beliefs, figure out why they’re not relevant anymore, make peace with them, and let them go. I knew I needed to do that in particular with Kemetic Orthodoxy, to shift out of that way of doing things as completely as I could so I could begin path-building with as much of a clean slate as I could.

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S is for Sobek, Heru-sa-Aset, Priesting, and Other Stuff

I’m sure you’re all very surprised that one of my S topics is SOBEK, Crocodile God of All Things Awesome. 😀 I mean, I started up Per Sebek in His honour eight years ago, and it’s still going, even though the host and format has changed. He wasn’t the first God I worshipped, but one of the first, and as my Father, He holds a special place above all the other Gods in my life.

I’m going to try not to repeat myself here, because I feel like I’ve tl;dr’d myself to death about Sobek and my experiences with Him. I’m also not going to go into a factual history of Him either as I’ve got that covered elsewhere on the site. Which did leave me somewhat bereft of things to talk about. But I suspect this entry would be very different had I written it all a week ago. Now, it’s all changed. Because Sobek is a bastard.

So, instead of a plain old boring entry on Sobek, I’m probably going to ramble on about Sobek and priesting for Him and all manner of other assorted things. Which seems a little aimless, but I do have a point to make, even if this isn’t as particularly as specific as some of my other posts. Then again, last week’s started as an idea about ritual and then just rambled on about God Clans until I finally figured out what my point was, but anyway.

That, and I kind of feel like I need to talk about this at some point, and I have all these Thinky Thoughts about this and what it all means. I’ve been writing about it in my private WP blog, but I think I’ve taken these thoughts as far as that will go, and they are in need of an audience. I feel like now is probably not a bad time to try to articulate the kind of relationship I have with Him, since it’s kind of changed (in a way) and I kind of feel a need to talk about it.

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R is for Ritual, Reflection, and Rebooting the System

I’m at a bit of a loss for focus this week. Far too many R related things have come to my attention, but I’m not sure I have the brain power to fully devote an entire post to them just yet. I had actually planned to write about ritual this week, and what ritual means to me. Because I don’t think I’ve written about that too much at all? Or maybe I have. IDK.

So anyway. Ritual! And then other reflecty type things, in which I tl;dr about all manner of things relating to Gods and such. I probably should’ve called this post R is for Rambling! Because that’s pretty much what this is. But it doesn’t sound as impressive as the title above does. 😛

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