The first time I visited Bakhu

I was sure I’d posted this meditation log already, but apparently not. Either way, this is from the Greystone Path work I did back in 2013? Something like that. This exercise was to create a mental landscape, to imagine it in your mind, as a way to introduce us to visualisation. The instruction was to imagine we were stading in a meadow at dawn (and not a generic field of wheat as it became in my mind), and to imagine the rest from there.

I’d never had much success with visualisation before, but something about this really worked for me, and I had this whole world open up for me that I hadn’t even been aware of before. I suppose some would call it astral stuff, but I waver on that point, because my work there never goes beyond Bakhu, so I don’t really know what else might be out there, except for that one pathway to Wesir’s hall in the Duat that I went to once. I don’t really travel elsewhere, this tends to me my meeting place instead, where I go to meet gods, and where gods come to meet me. That seems to be how it works, and it works well for me.

So, inspired by a thread over at The Cauldron, I thought I’d share that very first imagining, when Bakhu came alive for me for the first time. In some ways, it’s changed a lot since then, but in many others, it’s very much the same as I describe below. It’s very colour-coded in a lot of ways. Sometimes, it’s always night time, and a full moon rises over the water. And there are a lot more temples there now than there was at the beginning. A LOT more. XD But I thought I’d share, in case anyone else finds this of interest, too.

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Shrine Updates, August 2017

So it’s been a bit of a quiet month, but that’s okay. There’s been a lot of prep work and putting things into place and sorting things out and trying some other things out, too. The last two days have been very Spring-like: warm and sunny and nice. I got into a bit of a cleaning mood, and have spent the time redoing my shrines, and my spaces, doing a little decluttering, and moving a few things around so they work better for me. I think I’ve also decided on at least one piece of fiction to include in the anthology, it will just need some work and editing and world-building first.

There’s a part of me that just wants to ramble on about the shrines, but honestly, I feel like I’ve written too much about them and I’d just be repeating myself. But I made some videos, so take a look at them, and I’ll ramble about them just a little.

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Sobek devotional plans

So I think I’ve narrowed down what I am going to submit, so that’s nice. I’m trying not to fill it with too much of my own work, and make room for other people to submit stuff, which you totally should do. Don’t leave it all to me, it will not be a good book if it’s just me. XD

But I know I want to put in the Sobek rosary, the morning ritual I do, one of the awakening hymns and one of the contemplative hymns, maybe the Sobek execration rite, a ritual for Sobek’s birthday?, some sort of essay on idk me and Sobek and regional cultus and maybe one on Sobek and Renenutet or something else idk. I sort of want one personal one and one more academic one. Then a short story of some sort. I’m torn between myth retelling or just priest of Sobek (ancient or modern idk yet), or both idk. But there will be at least one short story from me. I think I want to add at least one of my artworks, too.

I know it sounds like a lot, but I sort of want to cover as much ground as I can, just because I don’t know what else will come in. So that’s my part done. And I’m glad to have a more solid idea of what I want to submit, because I had no idea for a long time. I have too much material to potentially draw from. XD I’m hoping some of you reading this are working on submissions, too, because I’d love to publish them in the anthology as well. DO IT. 😀 And yes, I am going to spam you a lot about this for the rest of the year, I want this to work, dammit. SEND ME THINGS. 😀

Call for Submissions | Lord of the Carnelian Temple: A Devotional in Honor of Sobek

It is finally time! Send me your submissions! The Sobek Devotional opens for submissions today, and I have already received several poems (thank you, Chelsea!). I can’t wait to see what else you all come up with. Please share this widely and make sure this devotional becomes a reality! 😀

Bibliotheca Alexandrina is seeking submissions for Lord of the Carnelian Temple: A Devotional in Honor of Sobek. This anthology opens for submissions on 1 July 2017 and closes on 31 December 2017, with a projected release date of Winter 2018.

Suggestions for possible contributions include, but are not limited to: prayers, poetry, hymns, rituals, essays, short fiction, recipes, music, and artwork.

Those interested in contributing to this anthology are encouraged to explore the various titles and myths of this God, such as: Green of Plumage, Watchful of Face, Raised of Brow, The Raging One Who Came Forth From the Shank and Tail of the Great One Who Is In the Sunshine, Lord of Semen, He Who Loves Robbery, He Who Eats While He Also Mates, Pointed of Teeth, He Who Unites, Lord of Bakhu, Lord of Water, and Lord of the Winding Waterway, among others;

Sobek’s cults in the Faiyum, Tebtunis, Bacchias, Karanis, Shedet/Crocodilopolis, Kom Ombo;

Sobek’s connections to and his relationships with other Deities, such as Neith, Horus, Ra, Osiris, Set, and others;

the role/s and power of Sobek’s Priests in ancient Egypt and today;

Sobek’s connection to Ancient Egyptian Royalty;

the areas of influence and expertise over which this God holds domain, and their place in the ancient and modern world, e.g. aggression and military prowess, fertility and impregnation, sex and virility, healing and protection, and the Nile River;

Sobek’s symbolism, such as the crocodile, the color green, the marshes, the green plume;

analysis of his place in The Book of the Faiyum and The Conflict of Horus and Set;

compare/contrast Sobek and Deities in other pantheons (or who were adopted into the Egyptian pantheon);

and the nature of his worship and adoration in Ancient Egypt and among today’s practitioners and devotees.

All works submitted must be original, not plagiarized or public domain. Academic articles must provide proper citation for all sources used. Endnotes are preferred to auto-generated footnotes. Previously published submissions are acceptable, as long as the author retains all rights. The author will continue to retain all rights to any submissions accepted for this anthology. Upon acceptance, the author must complete the permission to publish form, including a brief author biography to be included in the anthology.

The editor reserves the right to make editorial changes to the spelling, grammar, and formatting of submission where appropriate. The editor may also ask the contributor to make modifications to the submission/s. The editor may reject submissions, as necessary. Contributors will be sent a preview .pdf of the manuscript, and will have one week to send any suggested corrections to the editor.

No monetary compensation will be provided, as proceeds from all sales will be divided between charitable donations in honor of the Deities and production costs for future publications from Bibliotheca Alexandrina. All contributors will receive a free .pdf of the final manuscript for personal use (not to be distributed) and a coupon code which will allow them to purchase three physical copies of the anthology at cost (plus shipping).

Send all submissions and queries to Sobekemiti at sobekdevotional@gmail.com.

Acceptable length is 100-10,000 words (with the exception of poetry). All artwork must be at least 300dpi.

30 Days of Sobek: Day 30 – Advice for those beginning to learn about Sobek

Well, this series is not a terrible place to start, but it is worth chasing up your own research as well. My focus is very much on the Faiyum, and Sobek there is not the same as Sobek in Kom Ombo, so I’d research as much as you are able to, and always ask questions of other devotees. There’s no harm in comparing notes when you’re just starting to honour a deity and you need to calibrate your discernment.

Other than that, just make an offering, light a candle, say a prayer or a hymn, and just talk to Him. You may need a lot of patience to hear Him. He can be very subtle and not always clear about what He’s saying to you, but persevere, check with divination, ask others to help, and always trust your instincts. He is a kind, gentle, wonderful god, and He will protect you very well if you let Him.

I can’t really help with Sobek-Ra, though. It’s not an aspect of Sobek I seem to get, even though I incorporate the Sobek-Ra-Wesir stuff into my mythos and practice. I think it’s possibly because I see Sobek standing in for Ra in these stories, not as Sobek-Ra, and so Sobek ACTING as Ra is very different to Sobek-Ra. My Sobek is much cooler, much more Sobek-like, and doesn’t have some of the qualities of Ra that I’ve seen Sobek-Ra devotees talk about.

But like I said, talk to other devotees and see how your Sobek compares. And, ultimately, do what you feel works best for you, and don’t feel you need to stick to any particular practice you see others doing if it doesn’t call to you. Your relationship with Sobek is yours alone. Never let anyone tell you you’re doing it wrong if you’re happy with your practice, and Sobek’s happy with your practice.

30 Days of Sobek: Day 29 – Interesting or Unusual Sobek UPG

I feel like I’ve written so much about my UPG already, both in this series and on my blog in general, so I don’t really know where to start in terms of anything interesting or unusual to share about Sobek that I haven’t written about already.

The Celestial Twins thing is probably the longest, and still the most concrete, piece of UPG I’ve got. It’s … I sort of feel it was Their way of introducing me to the Shedety mythos in a way that made sense to me, and it does reflect a lot of the Shedety stuff in ways I didn’t realise at the time.

Sobek, Renenutet(-Aset) and Heru were definitely a trio, and Sobek and Heru were one and the same god as much as They were different gods. This theme of Sobek being both Heru’s father, and His twin, this is backed up in that UPG in the mythos of Shedet.

I think the only other thing I can think of that might be worth sharing here is the Sobek bullet point list I did over on tumblr yesterday or the day before or something. I don’t often post directly on tumblr, but I did for that, and then didn’t share it here, so that’s something. Copypasting because I am lazy.

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30 Days of Sobek: Day 28 – Things I Wish I Knew About Sobek

I wish I had more information about His historical cult. I know bits and pieces, but a lot wasn’t preserved, or it’s in a language I can’t read, or shut away behind an unaffordable paywall, or otherwise not available to me. And Sobek gets nowhere near the amount of research interest as Wesir or Aset or Heru or Set or Ra. So if there’s more out there, it’s not even being looked for, because no one’s interested enough to look for it.

I want to know about His major festivals, I want to know the temple calendars, the hymns, the myths, all of it. I want a more complete picture of what His worship was like, so I don’t feel so much like I’m scraping around in the dark for fragments that only paint a fraction of the picture. Because that’s what it feels like I’m doing most of the time. I’ve got fragments and other bits and pieces that don’t quite reveal enough. So a lot of what I do is modern, because what else is there to go on? I can’t practice anything if I just used what’s been left to us.

I wish I had a complete English translation of the Book of the Faiyum. What little I know about it fascinates me, and I’d love to be able to read and study it in its entirety. It feels really important to the cultus I’m building, particularly now that I’ve finished that thesis I was reading a while back about the death of gods in Ancient Egypt. There’s a whole chapter about Ra and one for Heru and one for Wesir and it is all super-interesting, and I want to know more. There’s a lot of Book of the Faiyum stuff in there that I find really, really interesting, but without being able to read it, I’m stuck. Ultimately, I’d love to recreate it, to bring it back to life and fill in the missing pieces. But that’s a lifetime goal that’s nowhere near being completed.

This is a little shorter than I’d have anticipated, but honestly, that’s really about it. That really covers most of my wishlist.

30 Days of Sobek: Day 27 – Worst Misconceptions about Sobek

Honestly, this question feels like a rewording of day 9, so I might just point you there. Though I think this phrasing makes more sense to me but idk.

I think the worst one is that He’s omg evil. He gets a lot of the Evil Crocodile God shit, particularly in popular media. No one can conceive of a crocodile god, particularly with Sobek’s temperament, being anything other than rampagingly violent, evil, and destructive. But they’re only seeing a fragment of His personality when they do that, and even Set isn’t 100% like this, either. But then no one seems to care enough about these gods to write them accurately, so I don’t expect it, either. It’d still be nice to see a more accurate portrayal one day. I’d like to see a version of Sobek that I recognise and resonate with, that feels like, yes, this is the god I know. But that might be wishful thinking.

That said, I hope these posts have at least given you a better idea of what Sobek’s like, if He’s not a god you know or worship. If there’s anything you want to know that isn’t covered with this list, feel free to ask and I’ll see what I can do. I want people to know more about Him, and what He’s like.

30 Days of Sobek: Day 26 – How my relationship with Sobek has changed

It’s changed a lot. Well, it would, over a 17 year period. I’ve got to know Him a lot better, in different and interesting ways, and to explore His relationships with other gods that I couldn’t have conceived of at the beginning.

This is the sort of entry that’s going to be either really short, or really long. I suspect short, because trying to articulate those changes is not easy, because so much of it is subtle and nuanced. I’m not sure most would notice them. But you hang around a god for 17 years and shit does change. You learn more about each other, you see more of each other, and you grow together. The paths change, the practice changes, but it’s all good because Sobek’s still there, at the heart of it all, no matter how things turn out or where you end up.

Yep, it’s another short entry. But I’m not sure what else to say for this, so. Here we are. And at least I’m all caught up now, so there’s that.

30 Days of Sobek: Day 25 – A Time Sobek Didn’t Help

I don’t think He’s ever explicitly refused to help. What He tends to do with me is more stand back and let me work it out for myself. I won’t get stronger if He does everything for me. So He’ll just step back, and let me work at it myself.

I suspect He takes this approach to my protection magics as well. I invoke Him for protection, but it’s that sense of agency, too, of being able to take care of myself just as well. That I’m not relying on Him alone. And I think that’s why learning protection magic calls to me so strongly. It’s to help myself so I don’t have to just be helplessly relying on Him. I need the confidence to protect myself, to know I will be safe anyway, and to use His presence to back that up. That’s how that’s manifesting in my life, at any rate.