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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A List of Heru-sa-Aset festivals

This is what happens on a not-very-exciting day when I have a shiny Ancient Egyptian Daybook to trawl through. I attempt to make a list of just Heru-sa-Aset festivals. This is a somewhat more taxing task than just listing all the Heru ones, because Heru is fkn complicated.

So. I won’t claim this is in any way complete, because sorting out the Heru-sa references from the Heru-Wer references is a job that only ends in a headache for me, so. I have probably missed a few, and included some I probably shouldn’t have, but if you think you can do a better job than me, go for your life.

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Myth: Sobek Shedety, He Who Rises Like Ra

I’ve been contemplating Shedety myths, and this idea of Sobek rising out of the lake like Ra, of being renewed in the waters before rising at dawn. I find it to be very beautiful imagery, and I’ve been thinking about it mostly because I started writing this other story, set in an alternate universe, where Egypt has been invaded and all the temples and priests are being destroyed. The one that’s left is one of Sobek’s, and His priests decide to escape, refusing to let their gods die with them.

And so along with that comes the development of what Sobek Shedety’s cult and worship would look like. What the rituals would look like. What other gods would be with Him. What stories would shape the way they see the world. And this idea of Sobek as Ra resonated, and it’s been sitting with me ever since.

And so I come to this myth. I’ve been working on what I will refer to as a Book of Shadows, for lack of a better conceptual description for it, and I wanted to include not just the Celestial Twins myth, but also one for Shedet, because even in three years, that’s how far my cosmology has shifted, so. This is what I ended up writing. I’ve only made minor edits in the process of typing it up; otherwise, it’s as it was originally written.

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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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Cosmology and Practice

Apologies for the radio silence of late. I’ve been working, and I’ve been sick, and I haven’t had enough mental energy to think of anything substantial to update about. I do have some things I do need to post about, but they’re not quite ready yet. In the meantime, this is a post about cosmology and how it relates to my practice. I wrote it for the Kemetic study group formed over at The Cauldron, and I’m posting it here for posterity, and so others can have a read of it.

Usual caveats that I’m not a reconstructionist, and this is just my weird way of making things work apply. Definitely not a scholarly piece by any stretch of the imagination. This is ~4k words of anecdata. Treat it as such.

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Myth: Something I’m Not (Wesir as a trans* god)

A/N: So I’ve spent the evening writing this, because apparently Wesir didn’t want to wait or anything once I’d figured out how to translate the experience of being transgendered as a human into something that would work for a god (He suggested daft humans who don’t want to listen to their god :D). Five thousand words and a lot of snark later, have a mythfic.

I wouldn’t consider this to be a very canonical retelling of the Osirian myth, though. It kind of became its own thing as I wrote it, particularly given how Wesir wanted to begin it, and where He wanted to go with it. I feel this sits more on the fanfic side of things, rather than the mythic side of things, but anyway. Enjoy?

Something I’m Not

He found there was nothing more exasperating than being a god, and seeing all the mortals just not understanding him. After all, Amun’s form, his true form, was known only to Amun, and they seemed to have no trouble with that. But somehow, Wesir was stuck with a priesthood who seemed unable to listen to their god when he spoke to them.

It wasn’t as if Wesir hadn’t tried. Sure, he was a god of fertility in this tiny region, the god who allowed the crops to live or die, but somehow, he hadn’t managed to get across to his priests that he didn’t want them to keep referring to him as a goddess. “I’m not a woman,’ he would whisper to his high priests when they opened the naos at dawn, but they would not listen. For some reason unknown to him, they had managed to completely misunderstand him when he’d said that it was his body that gave birth to the seeds. In retrospect, perhaps his choice of words might not have been wise, and perhaps he would have been better with a less poetic and metaphorical description. Instead, they had decided that the only way to make sense of such a thing was to erect statues to him, depicting him as a pregnant woman.

He sighed, and praised Ma’at that he only had any power in this tiny little region. Still, it was beginning to get to him, particularly since no one seemed able to recognise him unless he conformed to his statues. To deal with it, he had begun adopting that image, since it was all they recognised, and tried his best to not abandon them out of spite. He did still care about them; he had several temples and an active priesthood in several towns. It did no good to turn your back on that.

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Shedety Shrine is finished

Thought it was about time I did a proper post about the finished shrines. They take up a lot more of the room than the old ones did, and I guess that’s a sign of my shift in priorities and whatnot. It’s still undergoing minor adjustments, but otherwise, it’s done.

Sobek’s named it the Shedety Shrine, so that’s what I’m going to keep calling it. It’s the name for the whole, as much as for the Sobek/Heru part itself. It doesn’t cover the other shrines around the room, but that’s alright. Those are kind of separate. This is a full working shrine, where everything is integrated into the whole. It’s nice to get used to using it, and lighting candles, and saying my prayers. Getting used to the new space, and what I can do with it, and when I need more space. What I want to show, and what can go away for now.

The festival shrine proved the hardest to place, but having it below the Sobek/Heru shrine seemed like the best place, and gave me the most space to work with. We’ll see how well it works over the course of the next year of festivals. I might make some adjustments as I go along as to how I lay things out, and make it work.

Anyway, have a gallery of images, because there are 17 photos, and I cbf writing a tl;dr post of photos. It’s under the cut, and you should be able to click through to larger versions. I’ve added in as many proper explanations as I can for what’s there, but if anything’s unclear, feel free to ask.

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Seasons, Gods, and Cycles

I had one of those moments today where everything suddenly fell into place. I’ve been trying for a long time to figure out the whole Kemetic calendar into my year as I experience it, and it’s been tough. Three seasons doesn’t really translate well to mine, and I stopped trying to do that a long time ago.

I still can’t explain why I feel a need to have such a seasonally relevant calendar for a Kemetic, based on my land here, but it’s a driving force for me, and I finally feel like I’ve sorted it out at long last, in a way that’s relevant to me, if not to anyone else.

I’ve been playing around with Sobek/West and Heru/East associations, as well as Their significance for me at Solstices and Equinoxes, along with Wesir and Ra. Wesir and Ra are like equinoxes for me; Sobek and Heru are the solstices. I honestly had no idea why this association made any sense to me for a while; these events weren’t really significant in the old calendars, with perhaps the exception of the winter solstice, but they seemed, to me, to be the seasonally instinctive way to divide up my year.

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Bakhu

I don’t know why I feel like talking about Bakhu just now, but I’ve been doing devotional art all day*, and perhaps it’s just on my mind. It’s sort of become the place I meet Sobek in meditations, and IDK. Sometimes I get proddings to share things, so have some UPG woo. I can’t share some of what I’ve seen in Bakhu, because it’s too personal and Mystery-ish related, but there are some more general things I can talk about.

This sort of ties in a lot with my conception of Sobek as the Evening Star/Night Boat, complementing Heru-sa-Aset as the Morning Star/Day Boat. I might do a post on that at a later date, to sort of flesh that out a bit more. It’s sort of linked to the Wesir/Ra dynamic, except, not quite, if that makes sense. So yeah. Bakhu. Have some UPG meanderings on Bakhu.

* Check my dA; I’ve put some of them up. Sobek as Creator, and Sobek as the Night Boat were completed today. The rest were done a while ago.

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Sobek and Wesir

Yeah, I know, I haven’t posted enough tonight, but I have Thinky Thoughts I kind of want to play with, just to see if they go anywhere. Mostly from reading Sobek’s henadology entry, but also related to other various things.

Sobek’s role in the Duat is one I am still getting a handle on, because He doesn’t always seem like a Duat-y kind of God. I relate to Him mostly as a solar creature, who is very much not Duat-y. But He’s in the Book of the Dead, and there are epithets and spells related to Sobek being there in the Duat, navigating the waters.

I’ve had that rolling around with that snippet of a reference to Set killing Sobek in defence of Ra’s boat, and how that might be why He can navigate the Duat like no other can, because He knows it as well as He knows the Nile. Sobek being something like the embodiment of Wesir-Ra, holding that dual life/death, light/dark, kind of dynamic within Himself.

Um. This isn’t really going anywhere, in case you’re expecting something more coherent. It’s an idea that’s sitting in my head right now, thinking about how Sobek is (like) Wesir. Perhaps if Sobek has suffered death, while not being a Dead God because that’s what Wesir is, perhaps it is one of those aspects that isn’t really thought about much. (Was that sentence going somewhere, self? Because I think I lost my point halfway there.)

I’m still thinking about that transcendent comment from Ra in the Contendings, and how Sobek and Nit are somehow old enough to be outside the … outside the ‘civilisation’ of the newer gods, for lack of a better way to phrase it? Who can transgress or uphold the law as He sees fit? I feel like this is His Amun-y side, the more abstract and primeval Creator God part of Him. (Sobek is Amun is Ra is Ptah is Wesir, said Djehuty one afternoon.)

IDK. It’s late, and I’m not sure if these thoughts are as clear in my head as I want them to be. I’ll be revisiting this later anyway, so for now, have my half-formed thoughts.