It’s been a while

There hasn’t been much going on lately. I had an intensive unit over winter term that took up much of my time. I’ve settled into second semester now, and I’ve had time to concentrate on spiritual things again. I’ve got my lararium up and running, now that I’ve finally found a lararium rite I can feasibly do and mod up for my syncretic practice. I’ve been meaning to post photos of it here/at the other blog all week, but never quite found inspiration/time. I’ve had some thoughts about many things, and several ideas I’ve written and scrapped in a bid to catch up with my PBP posts, which I have sorely ignored. I think I might take some time to re-evaluate my blogs, and maybe rejig them. I am at that point where I think I have too many, and don’t know what to do with them all. More on that at a later date.

Since I joined the Covenant of Hekate a couple of months ago, I’ve been doing new and full moon rites for Her, and it’s deepened our relationship. That’s the most festival-ish stuff I’ve been doing lately, apart from thinking about ancestral rites and such in a Roman context.

I don’t know why the Roman lararium appeals to me more than any other hearth. All I know is that it Just. Makes. Sense. so that’s what I’m using. Anyway. Have some shrine photos, for lack of other content.

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Project – Perpetual Festival Calendar Book Thing

So, I picked up this visual journal at Jacksons, which does art supplies and such, and felt it was just right for this project. I got one with Bristol board/paper, mostly because I wanted to try it out. That, and I knew I wasn’t going to use much more than pens and coloured pencils, and felt the mixed media one could wait for another more appropriate project.

This journal has 24 pages in it, and I felt that was just right for a calendar. I decided it was time to put together something of a proper festival calendar, since I use a fixed calendar, and I wanted something of a perpetual reference. I will still do up calendars every year, because the moons and such change every year, but the bones of the festival calendar remain the same, and I wanted somewhere I could list each month, and all the festivals in it, with perhaps suggestions on what to do for each one, just to make me feel like it’s not just a day on a calendar.

I’ve finished January, which took me three hours or so, and I’ve done basic pencil work for February-June on the first pages of those months. Still have a lot of work to do on it, but it’ll get there. In the meantime, have some photos of my progress. ❤

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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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End of year musings

It feels like so much has happened between January and now. In some ways, it’s been a really turbulent year, and I feel like I’ve been in an almost perpetual state of chaos. Good chaos, mind; it’s not like nothing productive has come of this period, but it’s still been somewhat stressful to go through all that and come out the other side.

I was going to do a separate post on Yule for PBP, but I don’t think I’ll bother. I’m not feeling up to writing another half dozen blog posts right now, so I might just draw a line under PBP for this year and begin work on next year’s posts. I still got a lot done, though. I feel like November and December were so busy I didn’t have enough time to think about blog posts anyway, so maybe that’s something to keep in mind for next year. More writing in advance and not continually second-guessing everything I’m writing.

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Ra and Ancestral Things

Firstly, belated PBP posts will be dealt with after Wednesday, which is my last exam. Can’t say when they’ll be up, but I’ll have the time to work on them properly then, so I’ll endeavour to post them as I finish them.

I’ve been doing my daily devotional rites for I think it’s close to a month or two now? Unexpected relationship with Ra is unexpected but nice, and I’ve just done a trial run of a weekly ritual for Him. He’s kind of claimed Sundays as His day, which is fine by me. I work with the rest of my Gods the rest of the week, so it doesn’t bother me. Needs some tweaking though as there’s just … something … missing. There’s an element there that I’m missing and I’m going to need to work out what that is and then do another trial run to see if that feels more complete.

I’ve kind of mocked up a Temple-style rite based on what I’ve got available to me. I do have Eternal Egypt on my wishlist, because I know there are modern-style Temple rites in there, but I can’t afford it right now, so my bodged-up version will have to do. It’s not bad, though. More purely Kemetic, because Ra insisted. As to what’s missing, I think it’s something to do with fire? But I don’t know. I’ll have to go over the rite again, once my exams are done, and see what needs to be added. It’s not a bad rite, though. It feels really good, but yeah. There’s just something missing. But that’s not a big problem. This is why I do trial runs, anyway, so I can figure out what’s working and what’s not.

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U is for UPG and Reconstructionism

I’m either brave or stupid for tackling the topic of Unverified Personal Gnosis, right? It’s, like, the cornerstone of much of the Pagan and Recon communities in how they conceptualise their religious experiences. I feel like it’s got a ‘Mess With This At Your Peril’ sign hanging off it.

*shrugs, charges in anyway*

You see, I have Thoughts about it that I’m not expecting everyone to agree with, or even adopt for themselves. But I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, particularly as I try and figure out where I am in relation to reconstructionist religions, and how our approaches differ. I’ll add that I will mostly be talking about Kemetic reconstructionism, though, for anyone playing at home, as it’s the one I have the most experience with. It may not ring true for any other flavours of reconstructionism. It probably doesn’t and nor is it meant to.

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Sabbats and Calendars

Because obviously yesterday was the best day ever to finally get me some Wheel of the Year inspiration happening. I’ve at least pinned down which Gods I might want to mostly focus on for each, but I haven’t got any overarching narrative structure yet. IDK if I’ll get that far, and this isn’t even a particularly queer version either. I think there’s more work to do on a deliberately queer Wheel that I’m not quite at yet, because I think that one will need and overarching narrative that I’m still piecing together, so that’s for later. But having a Wheel I can personally work with does help in getting to that point. It’s like, I need to know the rules before I break them, so I want to understand what each Sabbat is about in order to help figure out how to queer it properly in a manner that makes sense.

This is part of me figuring out how to structure my path, too. Knowing what my yearly calendar will be like, I can go down to a seasonal and then a monthly level, and then figure out what to do each day. It’s harder to build from the day to the year, so I do it the other way around. Knowing who I want to honour on each of the Sabbats makes it easier to pin down the rest of my yearly festival calendar.

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I is for Isis and Aset

I suppose this is the bit where I talk about Aset and Isis and how I don’t necessarily view Them as Completely Separate Deities, nor the same Name for the same Goddess. They’re kind of both, for me. Syncretic. IDK. This isn’t a historical thing either, because you can just look up Henadology or Wikipedia or something if you want to know more about Her.

As a caveat, I’m not trying to offend anyone with this. It’s my own opinion on how I see things, and it works for me. This isn’t the Only Way To See Isis and Aset Forever and Ever And Everyone Else Is Wrong either. It’s just how I see Them. If you see Them differently, we’ll just have to agree to disagree and keep on with what works for us, even if it’s different.

Also, I will tend to refer to Aset and Isis as separate Names, and as ‘Them’, but it’s more to emphasise the fact that I don’t see Aset and Isis as One and the Same Inseparable Being. They are … different aspects, perhaps. Like, perhaps, Sekhmet-Hethert, as two sides of the same coin, but still with separate personalities as much as They are tied together. That’s kind of how I see Aset/Isis. Sort of. In a manner of speaking. /not entirely sure.

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H is for Heru-sa-Aset and Harpocrates

This week, I’m going to discuss Heru-sa-Aset and Harpocrates, for no real reason other than I want to talk about Herus. I don’t think there’ll be much repetition from the Celestial Twins entry, but apologies in advance if there is.

Before I was divined in mid-2006, I had perhaps only one encounter with a Heru. A meditation in a nice warm bath, where I saw brown wings stretching across my face protectively. That was about it. I’d never been particularly drawn to any of the Herus, and this event remained isolated and something of a curiosity.

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G is for Graeco-Roman Kemetic

The topic I’ve chosen for this week is ‘Graeco-Roman Kemetic’, a phrase that I’m tentatively using to describe my path (or what will eventually become my path). It sounds like a strange description, and perhaps something at odds with many reconstructionists who might think I’m somehow doing it wrong to have a syncretic path of these three cultures/religions, rather than follow a pure path. But I’ve been glomped on by too many different Gods from all three cultures to avoid syncretism anymore.

I’ve been a Kemetic practitioner for most of my Pagan life. Isis was the first Goddess I ever had any experience with, before Djehuty and Sobek came along. I learnt Egyptian religion and theology, I learnt the ritual style, the language, and cosmogony. I was born of Kemetic Gods; my heart and soul belong to Them above all others. I am Egyptian first.

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