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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A song for Isis, Warrior Queen

I’ve associated this song with Isis for a long time now. Perhaps not an obvious choice for some, but listen to it. To me, this is Isis as grieving wife and mother, Isis seeking vengeance and justice. Isis who fights for Heru, for Wesir, because She must, because there is no one else. Isis as warrior Queen. It’s not Sekhmet’s rage; this is Isis’ rage. That’s what it’s always felt like to me. It’s that female vocal in the middle. At some point, it became Isis, and the association has stuck. It’s become Her song.

I’m sharing it now for no other reason than it was the last song that played on my way home, and I saw Her fighting, I saw Her defending and protecting Heru. She was present with me, showing Her power. Perhaps it won’t resonate with you. Perhaps it will. But this is my Isis just as much as this statue is my Isis. She is fierce, and powerful, and you cross Her children at your peril. She will defend the throne with everything She has, and She will win, because She must.

Whatever else this song is, and it is a lot of things, it is for Isis the avenger. Isis who won’t stand back while Wesir is taken from Her. She can’t stop it happening, but She will smack some bitches to get back the throne for Heru. She will, because She is mother and Queen, and She is Isis. You wound Her at your peril. This is what this song embodies for me. It gives me strength and courage. I am Isis who fights back. She is greater than Her long suffering. She is the throne. She is established in Ma’at forever. Dua Isis! Nekhtet!

And that’s an un-wrap for another year

Wesir unwrapped for another year

And so the Mysteries are over for another year. It’s definitely felt different, and I feel like I spent more time preparing for now than marking the days, but perhaps that’s just what needed to be done. All my Wesirs are unwrapped now, and I let my big Wesir sit on the windowsill this morning to bathe in the sunlight and warm up. It’s lovely to see His face again after so long without it. I dressed His statue with frankincense oil as well, just for that extra touch.

I have a lot more to write about when it’s not 11pm, but I have got a new pair of daily rites done. The morning one is based on the basic rite in Eternal Egypt, though it’s modified for four gods, and for my own peculiarities. The evening rite is cobbled together from the structure of the evening ritual to Ra in the same book, and the Graeco-Egyptian Evening Rite I came up with years ago. I really like the hymns I came up with, and adapted them to a more Kemetic format. Both rites are about ten minutes long and I’m still working out a few kinks with them in terms of the practicalities of them, but they’re done, for now, unless I run into something I really need to change as I begin using them regularly. Which I never rule out. My rites always evolve as I use them, and some wording is stuck in my head now and won’t budge. Sometimes, the wording changes with recitation from what was originally written. But it’s okay. I can always tweak them as I get used to them.

Part of the reason I wanted to redo them is because the ones I had in my ritual book were Sobek and Heru’s, and when Isis and Wesir entered into my daily rites as well, I had Their parts scattered elsewhere, and I wanted to rewrite them in one place as one ritual. But it seems the gods wanted new ones, so that’s what I did. My old rites just didn’t seem adequate for a naos anymore. Too messy. The structure didn’t work. So I ended up redoing them. I’ve also made some votive offerings with some leftover clay. Once they’re dry, I’ll paint them up, and find somewhere to put them. I don’t know if I’ll keep them out all the time, but they’ll certainly come in handy when I need to use them and can’t offer real offerings. The wooden naos is under construction at the moment as well, using 12mm square Tasmanian oak dowling. I may not have time to finish it until the end of the week when I’m done with work, but that’s okay. I have my bodged together cardboard one to use for now.

I had planned to do some meditation as well, at least during the Night Vigil, but that didn’t happen. I didn’t even have the brain for deipnon and noumenia this month, so I might have to do a make-up sacrifice as penance. Not because I feel like I’ve done something wrong, but because I feel like I’ll feel out of kilter all month if I don’t do something for Them. But then it has been a very busy week, what with the High Day, the Mysteries, work, family, AND the deipnon and noumenia AND Mother’s Day. OH and I went out with my bff on Friday night for her birthday, so. I will be glad of some rest and for things to settle down a bit until Yule. This week has been far, FAR too hectic. D:

Anyway. Speaking of work, I have work tomorrow, and it’s late, and I need to go to bed. But I’ll post my new daily rites under the cut, in case anyone’s curious, and stick them under the House of Life section for posterity. And if you’re not interested, well, you can stop reading now, and it’s all good. Also, They asked for the formal write-up style. It wouldn’t have otherwise been my choice. But there you go. I think it’s a mind-shifting perspective thing idek. *handwaves and mutters, ‘gods’.*

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Apparently we are naos-ing again

A very bodged-together naos

This is a terrible angle because it’s from where I’m sitting down, and when I’m standing, I can’t see the underside of the top. Just pretend it’s white all over.

IDEK. I was sitting down this afternoon to rewrite my daily rites since the ones in my ritual book are just for Sobek and Heru, and now I have Isis and Wesir to add to those and it was getting annoying having to flick through mid-ritual to the right spot, rather than have it all written out in the one place. But as I’m working on that, and reworking it, I’m pondering a different set of rites entirely, and then I get the urge to make a naos out of a box that’s lying around, and suddenly, there it is.

If space and money weren’t an object, I’d just buy a cabinet and be done with it, but it’s a tricky spot and there isn’t much space, so this is what it is now. Apparently I need to be able to open/close the shrine more than I need anything aesthetically pretty at the moment, but I might bodge together a wooden version later on if I feel that’s a necessary next step. I may still switch things up as I work with it, and I may decide this is a terrible idea and make a wooden one sooner rather than later, but we’ll see.

It’s felt like a very busy week, and it probably has been. Today has been the only day of rest, I guess, that I’ve had, with the exception that I was out tonight with my bff for her birthday, and now I don’t have the energy or preparation for deipnon, so that’ll have to be done tomorrow. All I can brain about now is tonight’s feast for Wesir, that’s all I have the energy for at the moment. But that’s okay.

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The Night Vigil

The Mysteries of Wesir: Night Vigil 2016

It was a bit of a different Night Vigil this year. Wesir asked for books, so I made books. One is for ritual, one is for heka. So most of my three hours or so was taken up with that. But that’s okay. I find the stitching rather calming and meditative – when the thread isn’t knotting itself every three seconds. 😡

I did some breath meditation to begin with, just sitting down with Wesir’s beads in my hands. Breathing in the breath of Ma’at, and breathing out the breath of Wesir. It was a form of purification, I discovered, as the breath I was exhaling slowly became the same golden colour of Ma’at’s breath. I might try that again and see how that works for me.

I had considered putting a playlist of music together, but that didn’t happen. The silence was nice, though. Sometimes, silence works better for me than music, because I will pay more attention to music if it’s being played, and it’ll distract me. But silence, that can let the mind wander and reflect and dream.

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A blessed High Day to you all!

In which I am terrible at taking photos. /not my natural talent.

In which I am terrible at taking photos. /not my natural talent. /lookit that blurrrrr. 

Whether you’re gearing up for Beltaine or Samhain, or for no festival at all, I hope May brings you good tidings and blessings and not!terrible things. I admit I did rather pull this High Day ritual out of my arse in terms of preparations, but it turned out well enough, I think. I did a simple one in honour of Hekate and the ancestors, and that seemed to work well. I wanted to get the rite done before May began because that’s when the Mysteries of Wesir begins for me, and I didn’t want them crashing into each other.

I offered grains, water, and honey rum. I mean, ‘grains’ is something of a misnomer, because it’s a mixture of garlic granules, sea salt crystals, barley, sesame seeds, and rosemary, but hey, grains! It’s easier to say idk.

Also, you might notice two boxes on the main shrine between the statues/behind the taper candles. They’re painted up cigar boxes. The one on the left is for tools, and contains my knife, bells, prayer beads, oils, and salt. The one on the right contains the incense I use for my daily rites: sandalwood (Heru), lotus (Isis), daphne (Sobek),  and a white sandalwood, ginkgo, and agarwood blend (Wesir). It’s internally divided with cardboard, and the glyphs are bodged together from dictionaries and drawn with not a great amount of skill. But there you go.

Anyway. I wanted to post here about the High Day tonight, and I’ll post the proper write-up over at the DP blog later. Not sure how much Mysteries of Wesir I’ll post over here, but we’ll see. I hope your festivals go well, if you are having any. Otherwise, have a great weekend.

Mysteries of Wesir preparations

Mysteries of Wesir shrine prep

This year’s Mysteries of Wesir shrine. It’s very pared back and simple, but I think it gives it a strong focus. How much of the stuff I removed will go back afterwards, I don’t know, but we’ll see.

The full moon is coming up, and I have some tools to consecrate. So it seems like the time to set up properly for the Mysteries of Wesir. I also redid the druid shrine for the coming High Day, which I still haven’t settled on yet, but it’ll be about Hekate if nothing else, so. I’ll probably do it a day or two before May 1, just so there’s space for both. I think the only thing I’ve needed to get is some more black taper candles, which I just ordered on ebay, because this is Australia in April, and black candles are hard to find at the best of times, so.

It’s been a strange week, in many ways. My daily devotions have been ad-libbed, and the gods I mention almost all the time are Ra and Wesir as I light the candles. It’s strange to do that after having such deity-focused devotions for so long, but I find it refreshing. A lot of my words have been about purifying myself; I find I’m censing myself, and purifying myself with the water offerings, and drinking in the light from the flames and letting them wash over me. It feels like it’s been a week-long ritual purification, but I’m okay with that.

There was a bit of meditation with Sobek this morning in my half-asleep state, so I’m tempted to feel like this is when things are slowly coming back to normal. The full moon ritual tomorrow, when we consecrate the heka knife, the heka snake wand, and Hekate’s knife, will probably be the start of the preparations proper for the Mysteries and the coming High Day.

I won’t be able to do the full 6 hour night vigil, though. I’ve got some paid work to do the day after, so staying up all night is not an option. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do; it’ll either be a day vigil instead so there are still 6 hours done, or it’ll be a shorter vigil in the evening, perhaps 8pm til 11pm. I’m tempted to do it during the day, because I haven’t done a full six hour vigil for a long time, and even though it won’t be quite the same during the day, it’s better than cutting it short again. But we’ll do some divination and see what the gods want.

Anyway, I have rituals to prepare and write, so I’ll leave this here. I’ll post photos of the tools later once they’ve been consecrated so you can get a better look at them and what I did with them to decorate and consecrate them.

It’s fallow time again

I can feel it, for the most part. The gods are off doing god things, and I’m left with my own thoughts for a while. I usually feel some sort of pause before the Mysteries, so this isn’t exactly surprising. But I feel like it’s properly set in now. All I feel like I’m being asked to do is just keep doing the rituals, and take care of yourself. So I guess it’s not proper fallow time where nothing happens, but it’s time for myself. Knowing what might be coming for the Mysteries, it feels like that period of isolation before an initiation, where you’re left alone to really decide whether it’s for you. That’s what this one feels like.

That it coincides with noumenia, and with that other time of the month, is, I suspect, a coincidence, but it seems to be an appropriate time for it anyway. It’s weird, feeling like I could go to Bakhu and meditate, but it’d just be for me. The gods aren’t there at the moment. They will return, I know that much, but it’s a quiet place now. It’s very empty. I may still go there, just to keep my connection with it, but it’s not a high priority at the moment. Self-care, and reflection, those matter now.

I did a reading during noumenia last night using my Wildwood Tarot deck, and I pulled The Shaman and The Wanderer. I might ponder those cards over the next three weeks, even though I find the whole ‘shamanism’ concept in modern Paganism problematic. It’s the sense of delving deeper, I think, and being ready to move forward, I think that’s important. I may share some of those thoughts here, or I might just throw them into my private journals. I don’t know. But I’m looking forward to it, anyway. Which may sound weird to some of you, but I am an introvert, and having space to myself, without having to worry about the gods, is very much appreciated. I am all for the fallow time.

Sometimes, inspiration fails you

I swear, I’ve been trying all week to write something up here, but it hasn’t happened. I’ve had thoughts about all sorts of things, but they’ve come to nothing. It’s not a huge issue, it’s not like I have a set posting schedule, but I am trying to keep the posting as regular as I can, just to keep things ticking over.

But things have happened. I have spent the past month working on a short story about Hekate for one of the Covenant of Hekate’s creative projects, and there was the option once it was done to submit it to Askei Kataskei, which I did. And apparently it is good, so there’s that. I’ll let you know more on that later when I have a firm idea of what’s happening with that.

I’ve caught up on my DP High Day stuff. I had fallen behind on my essays and such, and at least I now have all my High Day essays and ritual notes done. Check out my DP blog if you’re interested in following along. I will, at some point, sit down and redraft them into proper essays, and not just collections of notes, but that’s for later. The liturgies I used have also been posted, as well as the essay notes for the May High Day, because if I do it now, then I don’t have to worry about it when the Mysteries of Wesir are taking over my life. All I will have to do is write up the ritual, and then it’s done, and I can worry about Wesir.

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Easter Memories and the Mysteries of Wesir

Mysteries of Wesir preparation

The Holy Family, and Wesir shrouded. I may switch all the (not-black) candles out for black ones closer to May.

I realise decorating for the Mysteries so soon after the Equinox is probably a bit fast for some, but for me, it’s an important marker for the beginning of the dark time of the year, and the descent into winter. It’s a reminder of what’s to come, and that Wesir’s gone from us. I’ve shrouded my other seated Wesir statue, and hidden the small 3in one away. It’s part of the ritual preparation for this time of year, to hide Wesir’s images away, and know what’s coming. The shrine feels slightly more precarious now, and while there will be things added closer to the beginning of the Mysteries, for now, Wesir is gone.

Arguably, it’s probably just a coincidence that I have felt the need to do this on Maundy Thursday, in the lead-up to Easter. But it does feel like eerie timing. It is the season of dying gods, at least down here in the southern hemisphere. It isn’t quite the season of the land dying back, though; summer is the season of dying, and drying, and cutting back. Autumn is almost a breath of relief, that things are cooling down, and that what has survived the heat will keep going.

The full moon rite for Isis last night was also good, and deserves its own write-up, though I do feel like I need to make a specific full moon rite for Her, rather than keep using the general libation rite like I am now. It works okay, but it doesn’t have the right feel, like it’s about the full moon. So I’ll take some time to think about that. Meditations were good. We had a long chat about things, like heka, and bodies, and shapeshifting, though that makes it sound far more interesting than it really was. Which, it was interesting, but long chats about magic with gods are quite different than you might imagine. But I might make a post on all that later, if I remember, because that’s not what this post is about.

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