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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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. 😛

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

O is for On Your Own

I could do this topic under ‘s’ for Solitary Practice, but I’ve already got Samhain and Sobek down for my S topics, so this is what I’ve got left. And I think ‘on my own’ is broad enough to cover all the various ways in which I’m on my own, so perhaps it’s better I write about this here than under ‘Solitary’.

I’ve always been a solitary Pagan. Mostly out of choice, and partly out of having no one else to practice with. I think practing with someone else only works if you share enough of a religious path to feel like you’re both doing the same things. But I think my path is one that is so much my own that finding someone else with enough in common would be quite difficult.

Continue reading

N is for Names

Craft Names and other religious names come up a lot in Pagan circles. The idea of taking a new religious name as a way of ‘being born’ into your new path isn’t one that’s unique to Wicca and Paganism. I’ve heard of similar traditions in Judaism, Islam and Hinduism, at least with regards to converts, though there are probably others too that I’m not aware of.

Taking a new religious name is a way of naming yourself. Most of the time, we’re given names by our parents, ones we don’t choose and have to live with unless we decide to change them and pick something else. Choosing your own name can be a powerful experience, and it can bring a lot of confidence with it. ‘This is who I really am’, ‘this is what I want the world to call me’, these are powerful things one can do, and sometimes give a sense of control over your own identity. Sometimes, too, it’s a way of escaping a name you were given but have never identified with for whatever reason. People choose names for themselves for a variety of reasons, and this extends to choosing religious or Craft names for Pagans. Because names are such a personal thing, I try not to judge people based on their chosen Craft names, even if they sound daft. You never know, that person calling themselves Merriweather Moonshine might have some very good reasons for using that name that you might not be aware of. So I try to respect that.

Continue reading