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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Di Wep Ronpet Nofret!

Wep Ronpet 2014

Wep Ronpet shrine for 2014. Set up under the patio.

(For you northern hemisphere types, consider this a ‘Christmas in July’ equivalent.  Wep Ronpet in February! Woo! :D)

It was a good day, actually. Nice weather, if a little windy, hence the lack of candles on the shrine. Also, apparently I cannot simply set up a shrine outside without bringing EVERYTHING with me, so. EVERYTHING came outside, and then had to be taken back inside. To be fair, this was partly because I needed to nick the shrine cloths, and that meant taking everything down. But it did give me a chance to tweak the shrine layout when I was putting it all back together.

Had the house to myself today, so that was also why I wanted to do my ritual outside. I get weird about doing ritual outside of my room when others are around. I like my privacy. And I feel like I can run around setting things up without having to explain what I’m doing. Its just easier all round. So it was nice to have the time to do that today, even though I am behind on my noumenia rites now, and will have to do them tomorrow night.

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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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A new year beckons

I’ve spent today’s noumenia cleaning and reorganising Hekate’s shrine, amongst other things. I was going to do rites, but fuck me, I’m buggered now, so I might just leave it at that. That said, it might be the one time I can comfortably light candles without having the fan on, given how cool it is right now. Summer, where are you? I think it’s still stuck in Spring. Not that I’m complaining. 25C is infinitely much nicer than 37C.

Though, it is hard to get into the mood for ritual when you can’t light candles safely, you don’t want the extra heat anyway, and incense is just a pain to bother with even when it doesn’t trigger migraines. Can’t find decent oils to burn that smell good, but can’t justify buying every different brand of frankincense because expensive! The current bottle I have doesn’t smell right, but I can’t find the one I do like, so. /stops burning oil. /even though I miss the beautiful scent of it. 😦

The result of the lack of incense has mostly just made me dream about it, and catch the scent of it on the breeze. It’s really quite infuriating, and all it does is make me miss it so much. I’d love to start burning my frankincense cones again, but I hate migraines more than I care for incense, so. I’d rather not risk it. :/ I think the only way I could get away with it is if I set my Sobek/Heru shrine up in front of the window, so I could set my incense burning right next to the open window to hopefully ventilate it to the extent that I could cope without getting triggered. But that’s a pain in the arse I don’t want to deal with. I like my shrines where they are. Incense isn’t necessary, I know, but ritual isn’t quite the same without it. Damn me and my migraines. 😦

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Reflections on Polytheism

My spiritual life is a bit of a shambles at the moment, too. I’m doing my daily devotions to Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset, and that’s about it. And it’s not that I don’t mind that, because simple and ‘able to be done when half-asleep and just out of bed’ is what I like, I feel directionless. It may be that I am overthinking things, and trying to make things more complicated than they need to be. Wouldn’t be the first time. But IDK. It’s crashed into the chaos that has been the past two months, so I’m just feeling overwhelmed by it all and uninspired, and I just need some clean, fresh air to sort all this shit out.

I don’t even know what I am anymore, except a polytheist and Sobek devotee. Which is fine, but. Not recon. Not not-recon. Not Wiccish. Not, well, I don’t even know anymore.

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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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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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Musings on Wesir-Ra

Wesir has been on my mind a lot lately. Ra was around for a few months late last year, but it’s shifted back to Wesir. I hesitate to say it definitely shifted at the Solstice, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s when it happened. If I’d been more organised/less busy with everything else, I probably would’ve written about Wesir-Ra for one of my W topics for the Pagan Blog Project. In lieu of that, I’m going to do it now, because I feel like I’m beginning to get a feel for the Wesir-Ra|Wesir/Ra dynamic, and I want to begin trying to write about it.

I know that hearing that Wesir was referred to as the ‘midnight sun/Ra’ is the most vivid reason as to why I’ve become so interested in Him. I’m sure I heard about Him a while back, but I can’t really pinpoint anything specific. I know I factored Him in when I was conceptualising my Wheel of the Year. Wesir-Ra has a light/dark dynamic that I feel particularly at the equinoxes.

I still don’t really know if Wesir-Ra is syncretised like Amun-Ra or more aspected like Sekhmet-Hethert. I think I’ve experienced both, to be honest. Ra is very much softened by Wesir, and Wesir finds a stronger voice with Ra. They are two separate gods in many ways, but Wesir-Ra as a distinct entity is different still from both of Them. I don’t know/can’t remember if Wesir-Ra was ever a historical Thing, so I won’t claim there is any authority behind this. All I know is that this is how I experience Wesir-Ra/Wesir and Ra.

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Shrine Maintenance

Egyptian statues sitting on a wall in the sun

My Egyptian Gods like Their statues to bask in the sun after a wash. I assume They are sharing a beer and having a good time enjoying the sunshine. L-R: Yinepu, Djehuty (x3), Isis and Harpocrates/Aset and Heru, Wepwawet, tiny!Khonsu, Sobek (x2), Aset-Nut and baby!Ra-Heru-pa-khered (IDK if it’s historical; it’s just the name I have for Him), Heru-sa-Aset, Ra’s netjeri, Bast-Mut, and Faithful.

So I have been kind of neglecting my PBP posts and this place the last few weeks, but I’ve been busy finishing off final assignments and doing exam prep. I plan to catch up once I’m done for the year. Maybe by then I’ll have some finished posts I’m actually happy with, instead of half-finished drafts I’m constantly tweaking, trashing, and rewriting. And then trashing and rewriting and trying to think of other ideas I can actually write about. And then returning to my original idea before I scrap it and just ramble on about something entirely different before finally settling on something I like enough to post. Rinse and repeat for the rest of the alphabet. 😀 (That said, I am still looking forward to continuing this PBP thing next year. Regular posting FTW. :D)

The whole daily rites thing has been going well. Beginning to modify and adapt it so it works better for me. The gestures are adding an extra dimension to it that was missing, so I do them all the time now. Doing more of a full henu/prostration thing too, and the bodily movement that flows through the whole rite is actually kinda awesome. If I could abide kneeling for any length of time, I’d do that, but instead, I just lower my computer chair and sit on that. It’s at the right size for the new shrine, so I can reach everything and do meditations/breathing exercises and such. I can have my grimoire in my lap and read from it while I gesture. Also, blue veil/head covering in the morning. Black at night. Apparently. /rules is rules.

The silent rite has become my default for those times when I’m menstruating, or if I’m just not feeling like I can be pure enough to be in shrine, like migraines or overtiredness etc. It makes me feel less anxious now that I know I have a back-up I can still do, even if I don’t feel up to the whole thing. I’m still in that habit-building stage, so I don’t like missing any days if I can help it.

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S is for Samhain, Seasons, and Sabbats

This was just going to be about Samhain, but it occurred to me I have a different relationship with Samhain and Hallowe’en than many American Pagans, and how I approach the holiday might be seen to be completely different because of that. I also want to explore a little bit about the seasons here in Australia, and how it makes for a different relationship with the Wheel.

That, and I don’t really have enough to talk about if I just focussed on Samhain. Because I rarely celebrate it enough to have anything of substance to talk about. So, we will discuss it, along with other things. I know I’ve talked about some of these Wheel and seasonal things before, but I’ll try not to repeat myself.

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