Hibernation

It’s nearly time for the Spring Equinox, and I feel like I might finally be coming up for air. Or, at least, emerging from the dark time. It’s been a very deep and introspective time. Not quite a Fallow Time, but more … introverted. Lots of internal stuff going on, as well as being busy with things in the mundane world. Trying and failing to write things, trying and failing to find a job, trying not to go mad and smash things because politics, the usual. It makes for a strange disconnect, sometimes, when I try to reconcile the normality of life, with all the other spiritual stuff. A lot’s happened, and I’m alright. It’s still been a weird winter, but it’s time to re-emerge, and I’ve felt that urge to write again, and re-engage with the world.

So, er, bear with me, if this post gets a little long, and rambly. I will probably need more posts to go into things in more detail, if necessary, but this is what’s on my mind at the moment. I hope this all comes out coherently. It’s still a little muddled in my head.

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Epithets of Sobek

So I finally got my hands on Marco Zecchi’s Sobek of Shedet book (thank you, Book Depository!), and I’ve spent the afternoon reading through it and taking notes. I’ll rifle through it again (and again) as I go back and rewrite my page on the history of Sobek, because man, I now have A LOT more information about Sobek’s cult than I did yesterday, so. It’s a lot to take in. It’s not every day you get 200 pages just about Sobek. ❤

Anyway, I’ve put up a list of His epithets on a shiny new page here, along with the first page of translated epithets from the LAGG. Go and marvel. Two of my favourites are ‘the beautiful calf before the great flood’, and He ‘who cuts through the sky with His double-feathered crown’. N’aww. ❤

Zecchi’s book is a really good read, too. IDK if it’s just a quirk of how he writes, but he talks about the gods as if they’re real beings, like Sobek of Sumenu preferring to be associated with Ra., whereas Sobek of Shedet preferred the association with Heru. It’s that inclusion of the relationship between priests and gods, kings and gods, and not just focussed on what humans did to worship the god. And he goes into the personality of Sobek quite well, and shows how it changed over the years. Sobek never feels like a dry academic concept of a god; Zecchi manages to bring Him to life in the way He writes about Him. Is it passion? IDK. But there’s life in Zecchi’s writing about Sobek that I don’t often see in Egyptological papers. Like I said, might be a quirk of his writing style, but I like it.

At least I’m beginning to understand why my Sobek and Heru are so close, and why I feel it’s so important to finish this Sobekian-Wesirian myth cycle. That was actually a Thing back then, though I think my version is very much my own. My Sobek isn’t Heru, but watches over Him instead. But then again, if I try to think about Sobek-Heru as a single god, my head begins to hurt. Ow. I like my practice the way it is right now without confusing it with syncretic gods. XD

A Blessed Equinox!

Autumn Equinox shrine

Autumn equinox shrine, set up by the window, with what I haven’t packed away in a box yet. Offerings are rum + Coke, water for libations, and a plate of stuff: pesto made from homegrown basil, roasted homegrown pumpkin, brie, crackers, and some sliced chicken.

It feels like too long since I last updated, but at least I’ve got a decent High Day to write about now. I’ll upload the ritual I used in a bit, since I finally settled on one I was happy with. It follows the SDF ritual format, but it’s more built around Kemetic gods and cosmology. And it took me about 20 minutes, which I think is pretty good for me. And knowing it’s a set ritual, and all I need to do is worry about offerings, and perhaps writing an appropriate hymn, it’s stress-free, pretty much, which is nice.

I was a bit worried about doing it today, since I drew Thorn this morning, suggesting I should make sure I’m properly prepared before going ahead with it. Which was fine, I felt that was a fair enough warning. But I made sure I was prepared and ready, and everything turned out fine. I lit some incense, actually, and had it on the sill near the open window on the right, so it could drift out into the air and not bother me so much. It was partly how I knew the whole thing had taken about 20 minutes, since the cones I use burn for 15 minutes, and I finished probably a few minutes after it finished. I did have to use sandalwood oil to anoint myself with, since I think I packed up my frankincense a couple of days ago. But that’s alright. It worked well enough, and I do like sandalwood.

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Runes, Cycles, and High Days

Runes drying in the sun

Here, have some runes. And a little hammer. And two tiny wands. It’s been a busy afternoon.

It was one of those days, I think, in which I didn’t feel like doing much, but ended up doing a lot of journal work, and spent the afternoon making runes. They’re just made of air-drying clay, which, well, it’s all I had, really. Used most of the packet as well, so I’ll have to think of something to make with a quarter of a pack of clay. These are for the Saxon runes, so there’s 29 of them. I used the leftover clay to make a little hammer for Thunor. I’ll paint the actual runes on tomorrow once they’ve had 24 hours to dry properly. I think I’ll use this set as a practice set, and more for magic than divination at this stage. I want to work with them before I delve into using them for divination, and perhaps make a set that’s made of a less fragile material than clay. Which isn’t to say this air-drying clay isn’t solid, because it is, but it’s always a little less strong than kiln-fired clay, and for jostling around and such, it’s probably not the best material for that. So I’m happy using these for other purposes, like shrine decoration and meditation as I get to know them better.

I also have some tiny wands there. I picked up those bits of wood ages ago, and they’ve been hanging around with no real purpose. They’re not long enough for proper wands but I don’t want to use them that way. They actually make good pens, and I like the idea of ‘writing’ the runes with my wand as I cast rune spells. Seems weirdly appropriate to me. The one on the left is for Woden, and the one of the right is for Thunor. I’ll do some finishing work on them tomorrow, or perhaps the weekend, once I work out what I want to finish them with. I have no idea what the wood is, though. I just picked them up off the ground.

The board the rack is resting on is, well, it began life as a myse board, but turned into a magic altar in a more general sense of the word. Somewhere where I could cast all my magic, whether runic, heka, or something with Hekate. Since I’ve never had one of those before, and it gives me a nice focus and a dedicated space to work on that I can move around wherever I like. Besides, there are some rather interesting similarities in how I’ve read Saxon magic described, and what I know about working heka. They seem to be pretty compatible systems of magic.

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[Myth] To Bring Forth A King + Rituals

Short post is short and quick because it’s nearly dinner time, but I’ve updated my Myths and Stories page, and added a new myth I wrote this afternoon, To Bring Forth A King. It concerns the conception/creation of Heru-sa-Aset, told by Sobek, and comes with the usual UPG caveats. Go forth and read, if you feel so inclined.

I have also realised I need to update my Rituals page, because it is horribly out of date, and I have some more rituals to add to it. I might throw up my Kemetic SDF High Day rite, if anyone’s interested, though it’s sort of a draft at this point in time, and I’m might tweak it before declaring it finalised. I mostly did it to see if it could be done, so I haven’t rehearsed it, either.

It comes from me really quite liking ADF ritual structure, but wanting to do Kemetic things with it. I think it reads a little … rough at this stage. I think I need to work on the language, and better incorporate the Kemetic things without making them feel like they are cut and pasted (which they are) and more like they’re meant to be there.

I’m using the imagery of (Nile) river, (Sycamore) tree, and stars, which I think is working well at the moment, but I want to meditate on it some more, and perhaps rewrite some of the things I’ve got there. They’re alright, but could do with some work.

Other than that, things are going along alright. Devotions are fine, and I’m trying out ways to incorporate Sixth Day Festival libations into my daily devotions, so I’ve got a good chance of sticking to it. Which is half the reason Wesir and Ra have moved to my Sobek/Heru shrine, so I can pour libations to Wesir and the ancestors there. I might also stick up the short ritual I made for that, just in case anyone’s interested in how I’m doing that. I’m determined to stick to the Sixth Day festival every month this year, since I know I don’t do a lot for my ancestors. I want to have a consistent practice on that front, and this is a start.

De-Cluttering

There’s something to be said for the power of de-cluttering. I’ve been slowly starting to go through my accumulated mass of possessions in a bid to get rid of things I no longer need. I’ve done clean-outs before, but I feel this one needs to be much more significant, because I’ve run out of room, and I can’t just rearrange a few things and throw out a bag of rubbish.

I don’t find it surprising that this has come at the same time that I’ve stripped back my practice to the bare essentials. In some ways, it’s sort of a symptom of it. I’ve spent the last week or so thinking about my practice, and what I really need to focus on. What’s important, what needs t be let go. So with religion, as with real life. So things are being let go of, and either passed on to op shops, or thrown out.

I also think this is a significant change because I think now is the time where there is more of a requirement/necessity/obligation to focus my path solely on Sobek and the work I am meant to do for Him. It didn’t matter a couple of years ago, because I was exploring, experimenting, and learning things I needed to learn. But I’m His, and this is where the work really begins. And so my practice must duly be focussed on Him.

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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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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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Sobek and Heru shrine

Sobek and Heru shrine overview

It sits on my beside table/cupboard/thing, which is why the lamp is there. And the speakers.

It’s not finished finished, but it’s finished enough to post, I think. I set this up about a month ago, and I’ve been slowly figuring out what to put here ever since. I put the final touches on it today, so I thought I’d post it now, since I feel like it’s done, for now. Hekate had Her shrine in the same place for the Rite of Her Sacred Fires for the May full moon, but Sobek quickly claimed the spot for Himself and Heru once that was done, so He’s got it now. It sits on the eastern wall of my room, facing the festival/household shrine on the western wall. Hekate has a smaller shrine on the shelf underneath my main festival/household shrine. I’ll post photos of Hekate’s new shrine at another time. Maybe on the other blog.

More detailed pics and descriptions under the cut.

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Late Night Thoughts

I’ve wanted to post here for weeks, but I just haven’t had the inspiration. It’s partly due to uni taking over most of my brain’s capacity to think, which leaves me with less capacity to think about religion. Which is why I’m behind on my Kemetic Round Table posts. And my Pagan Blog Project posts. That, and the fact I’ve been dealing with two big bang novellas since IDK January and my brain is, like, totally stuffed full, and there is no room for other things.

Such is mundane modern life, of course, though that is not an excuse.

That said, I have been keeping up with everyone else’s blogs that I’m following, and it has given me some pause for thought, though I hardly think I’ll write anything myself, as I feel like it’s already been said ten times before and better than I could manage. The posts about community, and the recent KRT ones about daily life, they’ve been on my mind the most.

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