Back to Basics

Sobek and Heru-sa's Shrine

Newly-redone shrine. Icons are on top of the shrine because the big ones don’t fit. Apologies for the flash glare, too, but it’s late, and it’s the only way to take decent pictures with my shitty camera, since I can’t find the good one. I will do a more full proper shrine post at a later date so you can see where everything has ended up, but for now, admire the new set-up. And yes, that is a Feraligatr between the two horses. I regret nothing.

I think it takes a lot to go back to the beginning, particularly on any kind of spiritual path. Once you get so far along, you kind of feel like you know what you’re doing, and don’t feel like you need to teach yourself much. But, I don’t know, perhaps it’s the lot of a polytheist, but I feel like I’ve been collecting too much lately. My path and practice has become too full of thing, too full of festivals and gods, that I have come to feel burnt out. And I didn’t even recognise the fact that I was burnt out until today. But that’s what I am. I’m burnt out, and I need a rest.

It’s not just the subtle proddings by Woden (and possibly some ancestors) to look into Anglo-Saxon paganism (because apparently that might have been what the ancestors actually meant when they were talking about ‘The Old Ways’ they wanted me to bring back, rather than the Welsh polytheism I assumed they meant), or the calendars, and the SDF rituals I’ve been doing, but I don’t know. Somehow, it’s all felt like … too much. I’ve got to the point where I just need to stop, and evaluate just what is really important to my path, which gods I would be willing to spend time with on a regular basis, and what needs to be left behind. And also how to fit said ‘Old Saxon Ways’ into my path in any kind of meaningful way, if that’s what is being asked of me. (Though, I have just started Wyrdworking by Alaric Albertsson, and my reaction thus far has been, ‘Oh, so his definition of magic is pretty much heka, but in a different language. /finally understands the point of runes’. So. /ponders.)

It’s entirely possible this is related to my nearly 30th birthday at the end of the year, but that might just be a coincidence. Either way, I’ve decided to start again, right from the very beginning. I’ve stripped back all my shrines and redressed them. I’ve set Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset on my old festival shrine; They are the only gods on that shrine now. I’ve also kept Hekate’s shrine, because She has a tendency to help me when I get to these crossroads moments. The rest of my icons are on Sobek’s old shrine by my bed. It’s still a shrine, but it’s not one I will use (yet.)

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T is for Tools

This was going to be my second T topic, but I can’t think of anything else to write about, so I’ll do this first, and give myself some time to think of another topic that’s not as vague as ‘thinky thoughts’ or ‘transition-y things’, which is about as much as I’ve got right now. Also, I though I’d save you another post on trans* deities because all I really want to write about is Wesir and the Wild Godde, the Horned Goddess’ companion, and the ties between them and such. So that’s a W topic for later.

This also gives me time to think of another T topic, because I am all out of ideas right now, beyond a rambly post about ~transitions~ and such. I still have a P post to catch up on too, and the only reason that isn’t done either is because I also can’t think of what to write about. Too many P topics. D:

So, this post is about my ritual and magical tools. I feel like it’s a bit obvious, in some ways, but I don’t think I’ve ever really done a post like this before, ever, where I’ve kind of gone through and talked about all the tools I use. This will involve Illustrations, so be warned. 😛

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A Silent Ritual of Gestures

Still working on my T post for PBP because I can’t really think of anything to write about, but in the meantime, I’ve been having Thinky Thoughts about this idea of a silent ritual of gestures, and how to deal with my menstrual cycle and my daily rites and ritual purity and whatnot. I like being able to do my rites and I miss the days when I can’t do them, so I’m trying to find a way to still do them while not compromising my own ritual purity. I happened upon this video on Youtube a while back, and it got me thinking about silent rites and ritual gestures again.

I got thinking about this with regards to silent rituals with gestures because I got thinking about heka and what it is. It’s a form of magic that’s meant to be spoken aloud, it’s authoritative speech, and that’s half the reason my mouth in particular needs to be purified before rites, so it is pure enough to speak the words of the rites. My daily rites are a very personal form of heka, and that requires certain purifications that I’m still figuring out. Though I think I’ve got the natron purification sorted, I think. Will need to play around with that and see how well it works, and if it needs any tweaks.

It’s also interesting – to me, anyway – because of a magic system I came up with for an epic Georgian/Regency steampunk novel thing that was essentially magic made with gestures and words. The gesturing was very important to get right, moreso than the word itself. Gestures are combined together to create spells, and come from about ten different ‘classes’/elemental types, along with other more universal gestures for beginning/ending/invoking/banishing/etc.

A master magician in that world could gesture without words to create magic. You could even do it with music if you could figure out the sound of the gesture (like the ren in Kemetic thought, the true name of something/someone, that it’s a sound rather than a word? I think I nicked it from there.), so that playing the ‘true sound’ of a  gesture is what is used to cast the magic. This is also a system of magic that Amun and Djehuty seem quite interested in.

What I also like about the idea of doing my daily rites in silence with gestures is that it kind of makes sense to me as a way around purity issues and the role I play as lector priest during the rites. The recitation of the hymns is the most important part of my rites, but if I’m not able to be ritually pure enough during menstruation to recite them, then saying them in my head with gestures might be a way around that. I also like it as an alternative when I’m travelling and can’t have candles or a shrine or anything like that. It’s more subtle as all it requires is a quiet space and my hands (and my mini grimoire/prayer book). So I think I’ll play around with this for the last few days of this cycle, and see how it goes.

S is for Samhain, Seasons, and Sabbats

This was just going to be about Samhain, but it occurred to me I have a different relationship with Samhain and Hallowe’en than many American Pagans, and how I approach the holiday might be seen to be completely different because of that. I also want to explore a little bit about the seasons here in Australia, and how it makes for a different relationship with the Wheel.

That, and I don’t really have enough to talk about if I just focussed on Samhain. Because I rarely celebrate it enough to have anything of substance to talk about. So, we will discuss it, along with other things. I know I’ve talked about some of these Wheel and seasonal things before, but I’ll try not to repeat myself.

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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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N is for Nine Elements

This week’s topic is a bit of a weird one, but I don’t particularly talk about this system very often, so perhaps it’s not a bad time to revisit it. I still don’t know if there are any other existing systems of nine elements around. I haven’t managed to find one yet, but I never rule it out completely.

My system of nine elements came to me some time ago, and I still don’t really understand which part of my subconscious came up with it, but there you go. I’ve posted once about it, quite some time ago, but I think it’s time for a more cohesive and longer post that goes into this system in more detail. I’ve had a long time to ponder this system and its meaning to me by now, so I have many more thoughts than what I originally wrote about them.

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E is for Eclectic Witchcraft

I was actually going to do this post next week, but due to lack of inspiration for anything else, I thought I’d do this topic instead, since it’s half-written anyway. In some ways, calling this part of my path Eclectic Witchcraft is a bit redundant. Witchcraft could arguably be eclectic by default, no matter which type you practice. But because Wicca and witchcraft are conflated so often in Pagan circles, it becomes necessary to specify that I practice non-Wiccan witchcraft. Because I can’t always know that when I call myself a witch, everyone else will just hear ‘practitioner of witchcraft’ and not ‘Wiccan’.

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C is for Crossroads and Confusion

I feel like this is as good a time as any to tackle this topic as I am at a crossroads in my spiritual life (again). It happens; I am a spiritual wanderer, and there are times when I come to the crossroads and pause, trying to decide what to do and where to go next.

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