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Devo Magix: Impaling Magix

This technique is a byproduct of my work with Osiris last fall. As I was preparing for the Mysteries, Osiris showed me a way to help people heal through stabbing them. However, I can’t run around stabbing people here in the physical, so I created this method as an alternative for physical workings. The concept behind this practice is that you are essentially pinning down a person, problem or situation so that it can’t run away. You are forcing the issue and forcing those involved to handle the situation and fix it. Usually, fixing it will result in healing- at least in the Unseen. Results on the physical side can vary and I don’t recommend trying this technique unless you’re willing and ready to face potentially hard choices and have potentially unforeseen results (as can be the case with any magix). This method of magix is not recommended if you want a smooth and easy ride.

Supplies:

For this magix you will need a few supplies:

  • A container such as a bowl or dish
  • Paper
  • Writing instruments
  • Something you can pour into the dish such as sand, rice, flour or salt
  • A stabbing implement such as a needle, knife, fork, chopstick, etc.

 The Method:

As stated above, the basic idea here is that you’re going to be taking something that you want to change- a situation, a problem, whatever, and pinning it down so that it can be addressed. You can do this in a lot of different ways, but I’m going to be discussing the most basic method that I have employed over the past few months to start off with. As with any magix, feel free to experiment with your own ideas and try new things!

The first step (after you decide what you’re going to be fixing) is to get three pieces of paper that will fit inside of your dish. The dish I used in this example is a small circular dish, so I cut my pieces into circles. Essentially, the top and bottom sheets of paper will be marked with sigils that direct energy into the middle sheet of paper which is where you will write what you want to “pin down” to be changed.

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In this situation, the middle sheet of paper was related to my workplace, so I stated that I wanted the workplace to improve. Both sheets of paper have directional arrows on them to push energy into the middle paper, into the petition. As you can see in the photo above, you will be stabbing these pages in this order. Make sure whatever paper you use, that your stabbing implement can actually pierce all of the sheets.

And this is where it gets tricky!

You’ll want to slowly pour your sand, rice, flour, salt, etc. into the dish that you’ll be using. I recommend pouring a fair amount in before you stick your impaled papers into the bowl, that way they will stand up properly. If you put the impaled papers in too quickly, they’ll fall over, or possibly slide off of the impaling implement. After some finagling, mine looked like this:

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You can technically do this method without a dish, if you prefer (images at the bottom), but I like to use the dish as a means of stabilizing out what is going on. For this particular spell, I wanted something to keep things clean and (hopefully) calm. So I went with a lot of salt and a little bit of sand. In another version of this spell that I did, I went with rice and natron because I felt it would be calming and soothing for the situation. Use your judgement with what you think will work best.

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I then placed some local plants onto the sand before I covered them up entirely. I did this in an effort to get local land spirits to help my cause, since it would be to their benefit if I were able to keep a steady and stable job.

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And lastly, I tied some red thread through the eye of the needle as a means of doing some knot magix. I wanted the red to be eye catching as well as help with funneling more energy into my cause. I also added a piece of paper into the end of the needle that further explained my petition to any entities that wished to help. The whole notion is that everything is funneling and propelling energy down the needle and into the situation at the base of the needle. The whole point is to drive everything and everyone to work on the issue so that it can be resolved.

But does it work?

My answer is: I think so! I wanted to test this spell out before I made it live. I made this original container at the end of last year in hopes of making my job situation better. At first, I wasn’t sure that it was working. However, by the end of December, I could definitely see changes that were starting to roll through my office. As of writing this post at the beginning of April, we’ve had at least one major shift in the personnel in our office, and I still have the bowl sitting outside doing its job. So for all I know, more changes will come in the future.

photo

As you can see, the paper that sat on top of the needle blew away in a winter storm and the needle has sorta fallen over. However, I do believe the petition was heard and that things did get moving because of this. However, it was not a smooth ride, and I did have a lot of times where I questioned what I should do and whether I had taken the right course of action. This seems to be one of the downsides to using this method- the results aren’t always what you expect them to be, and the results getting there are not always easy.

Another example of this type of magix is this piece here, which I made for a friend who was heavily injured:

This particular dish was made to be like an imiut fetish. Many imiut have a lily at the end, and I wanted to emphasize healing and growth, so I chose a lily (typically called a lotus) for growth and a Sa for protection during the transformation. Unfortunately, this one did not seem to work and my friend lost his battle against his injuries, may he travel safely to the West.

For my last example, I wanted to show how this may work without a needle or a dish. As stated above, you can use virtually anything that can stab or impale the sheets of paper. You also don’t necessarily need a dish to contain the papers- it just depends on what type of method and result you’re aiming for.

binding fork

For this spell I chose to use a fork. That is because the sentiment behind this working was “I hope you eat your words” and the fork seemed fitting for that. Like the other spells, the intent and petition is written on the paper which I pierced through. I then wrapped red and black cording around the rest of the fork as a means to bind the person to the words that they had spoken and to prevent them from saying anything else. So again, there are many applications and methods that you can use.

Impaling magix can be used to heal, to transform, or to curse. If you try any of the methods above, please let me know how they work out for you!

 

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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Devo Magix Series

 

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Devo Magix: Car Magix

I spend a lot of time in the car. And I mean a lot. In fact, most of us probably do- it seems you can’t live these days without a car. But despite the fact that many of us spend an hour (or more) per day in our vehicles, there is little to no tutorials out there on car magix. I’ve decided that I’d list a few of the things I do regularly to my car and hopefully you’ll be able to take some of these ideas and apply them to your own!

Protective Items and Amulets

One of the easiest things to do is to create a protective item for your car (or purchase one, such as a driving omamori). These items can be stashed in a variety of places in your car such as:

  • Glove box
  • Car remote/garage remote
  • Under your visor
  • Key ring
  • Console (usually btwn the seats)
  • Trunk/spare tire pit
  • Undercarriage of your car (be careful what you put down there!)
  • Underside of your hood
  • Rear view mirror
  • The pouches on the back of your front seats
  • Underneath the front seats

These items can be in just about any form. They can be sigils scrawled on paper, or on the backs of keychains, hub caps, and car jars. They can be enchanted pennies and other change that lives in your cup holder. You could charge your bottle of emergency water that you keep in the trunk to help keep you safe. You could easily take any stone or other talisman that calls to you, charge it up for protection, and place it in a location that works well for you. It doesn’t have to be fancy or flashy to get the job done. Remember that sometimes the best magix hides in plain sight.

Using the Exterior of Your Car

One of the methods I like to use for protecting my car is through drawing sigils on the exterior. I often will physically draw sigils in the dust on my car (or you could use some type of writing utensil that is suitable for the exterior.. or just draw with your finger). Once I’ve got the sigils plastered all over it, I will wash the dust away. The sigils remain in tact, though invisible to the naked eye, and the car has been cleansed- removing any bad stuff from it.

You can also anoint your car with oils or special waters to help cleanse, consecrate or protect it. You could even do the sigil work above (with your fingers, or with an oil/water), cleanse the car, and then anoint with oils or special water.

And for some slightly more crack induced ideas:

One of the more obscure things that I do is magix while driving. I don’t really know how it started or why I started doing it, but one day I noticed that I saw another me standing on the roof of the car. This part of me would do random things while I would drive, and eventually it began to be something I’d slightly do consciously. Many times, this version of me will do magix stuff while I am driving if the need arises.

If I suddenly see a cop, or I am worrying about getting pulled over, ‘magix me’ will often throw a ‘sheet’ over my car. In this case, it’s black, to match the car and pavement color. This sheet is essentially an invisibility cloak. As the sheet settles over my vehicle, I visualize my car becoming invisible- blending into the road and traffic.

Another thing I have done is while driving on slippery roads, I will visualize yellow/gold energy (I don’t know why) around each of my tires that can lead up to my hands/arms. This energy is geared to help grip the road. To keep my car steady, and to help me brake faster if needed.

I have no clue if anyone else does anything like this, but I’m placing them here for consideration all the same.

More mundane solutions:

I feel like a post on car magix and car protections wouldn’t be complete without a section on mundane stuff. For those of us who spend a lot of time on the road, I think its important that you consider having some essentials in your car as well. These items could be magixed in their own right, if you wanted:

  • Things that keep your car running well such as jumper cables and tire gauges
  • Things that keep you safe when your car breaks down such as blankets, emergency water and food and reflectors
  • Things that help keep you alive in emergency situations such as fire starters, window breaking tools and multi-tool knives

As with all things regarding cars, I advise you to keep your car in good working order, as magix will only take you so far. Please be sure to drive safely and responsibly.

 

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2014 in Devo Magix Series

 

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KRT: Kemeticism Underground

How public are you about your beliefs and practices? How has it (or not) impacted your work life, your familial and friendly ties? What advice would you give to uncertain Kemetics about how to approach either telling or not telling others about their beliefs?

For this round of KRT we’re discussing how open we are with our religious practices and what kind of effect that has had on our lives and relationships. Honestly, despite how open I am about my practice on the internet, I don’t really talk about my practice at all in my day to day life. If you are lucky, you will know that I am not Christian, you may even know that I’m Kemetic, and that that deals with ancient Egypt, but I pretty much don’t talk about anything in real life.

This is because I am fearful of the potential consequences that I may have if I were to be open about my practice. Most of my life and my lifestyle are hidden because I don’t want to experience more societal pressure for my choices and way of life. As I mentioned in my God’s Mouths post, my life is almost entirely centered around religious work and astral work, and it is made obvious when trying to have an in real life conversation with people who know absolutely nothing about Paganism that I pretty much have next to nothing that I can talk about with “normal” people. Usually, if someone asks about my religion and I’m required to answer, I get blank stares in return, or I get lectured about my choice in religion.

 

My family also knows very little about my religious practices as well. My closest family (read: parents and one grand parent) know that I am not Christian, but that is where the knowledge ends. They don’t make a habit of asking about my religious affiliations or practices, and I don’t make a habit of talking about it. I personally have found this to be ironic because my family does have a bit of “woo” to them. It’s said that other members of my family can see spirits and the like, and most of my family has at least some passing interest in energy work and manipulation, channeling and other spirit work. However, they never think to ask me or include me in their discussions, so no one knows anything about how that stuff factors into my own life.

So the short answer to the first question is this: I don’t tell anyone about my practice. I have difficulty speaking about it in real life, and I typically keep it very hidden, which results in a lot of odd mental quirks and odd discussions sometimes. It also leaves me feeling pretty alienated regularly.

My advice to anyone who is starting out on a non-”normal” religious path is this: Use discretion.

A lot of people seem to think that its a-okay to be an open Pagan in the modern day and age and that you’ll experience no repercussions for it, but its honestly not. Being open about your religious beliefs in the wrong place can get your harassment from coworkers, friends and family, or can result in you losing your job (despite the laws in place that are meant to protect you from such things). Be careful what you divulge and how quickly you divulge it. Much like my boiling frogs post, I would recommend that you start slow. If you mention that you’re not Christian, and no one freaks out, then maybe you can talk about your specific religious path, and then maybe more about your world view, practices, etc. Ease yourself into the conversation, and try to make it easy for you to back out if it goes in the wrong direction too quickly.

I would also advise to be careful on the internet as well. Many employers do check candidates out online, and its very possible that finding a bunch of online stuff regarding your religious practices can become a factor in their decisions to hire you. It’s also possible that people can use online interactions against you for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways (I’ve seen this done in divorces and custody cases, for example). If its possible to write under a pseudonym, I recommend considering it. Because of this, I also always recommend being professional, courteous and respectful online as well- because that can also play a factor if someone finds out who you are online and in real life.

I understand the desire to want to be open about your practice and that it’s not really fair that you have to live (to some extent) in hiding, but I’ve found over the years that being completely open about my way of life tends to result in drama and stress. So for myself personally, I’d rather keep that stuff hush-hush because I don’t want or need the extra stress. As you get further along your path, you’ll find the best mix of open and secret that works for you, but to start out, I always recommend being rather reserved with your religious workings. It’s always easier to reveal a secret later than to try and cover your secret back up once it’s out of the bag!

To read other responses to this question, please check out the Master List!

 

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2014 in Kemetic Round Table, Kemeticism

 

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Making Sense of the Osirian Myth Cycle

This post is a continuing work in progress. As I find new information regarding the Osirian myth cycle, I will add it in below. If you see anything incorrect within this post, please let me know so that I can correct it!

It’s incredibly difficult to get to know Osiris without getting to know his mythology. More so than a lot of other deities, I have found that Osiris is entirely tied up in his mythology, especially because he is commonly regarded as being a dead deity. Almost every aspect of him and his rites circles back around to the stories that fueled his cult.

What makes discussing the Osirian myth cycle so complicated is that the myth cycle was a hodge podge of myths crammed together to begin with. And from there, these stories had thousands of years to grow and change and morph into something completely different. And to make matters worse, you had foreigners (such as Plutarch) come in and retell the stories again from a different perspective. And that makes a mess.

This post is an attempt to give everyone a primer for understanding the variety and depth of the Osirian myth cycle because as it stands, I don’t feel like there is an online source that does his mythology justice.

So let’s dive in!

The Original Scheme

In order to not go insane while reading Osirian myths, you’ll have to start with the knowledge that there are huge numbers of contradictions within the original version of the myth. These contradictions only increase with each iteration of the myth.

The first mention of Osiris in any capacity is in the Pyramid Texts (PT) inside of Wenis’ pyramid in Saqqara (5th Dynasty). Due to the nature of the Pyramid Texts, they provide only a fragmentary view of Osiris’ original mythological scheme and are only somewhat helpful in understanding his origins and place within the Egyptian pantheon as a whole.

That being said, I think the first thing that you’ve got to understand about Osirian mythology is that it’s initial start in the world (in the Pyramid Texts, where it was essentially “born”) is a hack job. It’s a mixture of different mythologies crammed into one larger mythology. We’re not entirely sure why the Egyptians did this, but it is clear that a hack job was the end result. As Griffiths says:

What emerges clearly from a study of the Horus-myth and the Osiris-myth is that although they appear in the PT as a composite story they were not originally so. One of the contradictions which make this clear concerns the relationship of the main protagonists. In the Horus-Seth feud these two gods are brothers, while in the Osiris-Seth feud, Seth has become the paternal uncle of Horus and the brother of Osiris. Seth is indeed often mentioned as the brother of Osiris. Only rarely is he described as the brother of Horus, but in non-Osirian references to the conflict he and Horus appear as equals and contemporaries. Again, the child Horus of the Osiris-myth is very different from the strong deity who is able to mutilate Seth violently. An elder Horus seems to be present as well in the Osiris-myth, but there is no suggestion that he is any other than the grown child. (pg 15)

Technically, there are two main myths that are at work in the Osirian myth cycles as they appear in the Pyramid Texts. Griffiths refers to these as the “Horus-Seth” myth and the “Osiris-Seth” myth. In the Horus-Seth myth, these two are regarded as equals and contemporaries that are dueling it out for the reign of Egypt. This is the ever popular story where Seth loses his testicles and Horus loses his eye. In the Osiris-Seth myth, Seth becomes the uncle of Horus as the Egyptians worked to add a dead-king into the mythological mixture. Each attempt to retell the story with Osiris in it that moves further from the originals- almost like a weird game of telephone.

This can be seen in something as simple as the trial scene in the myth. According to Griffiths, the original trial scene (Horuse-Seth myth) actually occurred before Geb and concerned Seth and Horus and who will receive the right to oversee Egypt. However, in the first retelling of the myth, Osiris appears at trial in front of Geb after he has been felled by Seth. The only purpose of this trial is to ascertain the sovereignty of Osiris over the realm of the Dead. There is little to no discussion about Seth or the wrongs that have happened to Osiris. In later retellings of this myth, Horus is now a factor, and Osiris is overseeing the trial instead of Geb. This particular trial is about restoring Horus’ eye – which represents the sovereignty over Egypt. Because Osiris replaces Geb, this leaves Horus’ inheritance at stake, hence the shift in focus (source).

The most basic form of the original Osirian myth cycle is as follows:

  • Osiris, a king, is felled by his brother, Seth. Sometimes, he is attacked in Gehestey or Nedyet (Griffiths, pg9). In other situations he is said to be drowned, and Rundle Clark makes mention of a version where Seth takes the form of a flea, and Osiris dies after he is bitten by said flea (pg104). In any case, Osiris’ story really starts with his felling.
  • Osiris is found by Aset and Nebhet. Sometimes they are mourning kites, sometimes Horus tells them to “seize” Osiris out of the water.
  • Osiris is then run through the mummification processes. He is made whole and complete. Aset and Nebhet mourn him as is customary.
  • Meanwhile, Osiris is inert and unable to do much for himself. He will only be free when Order is restored- when Horus has overcome the adversity that has befallen him.
  • There are discrepancies about who should receive the inheritance of Egypt. This is where the Seth-Horus myth comes into play, and both duke it out for the right to rule. Each member will be wounded, but both will be restored by the end of the myth.
  • Upon having his Eye restored, Horus will offer it to Osiris. In this case, the Eye is a source of protection to the king against Seth’s violence (Griffiths, pg8).
  • Horus will also bring the subdued Seth and his confederates before Osiris in a display of Order over Chaos.
  • There is a secondary trial before the gods of Heliopolis that is overseen by Geb that concerns Seth’s deeds in regards to Osiris. The verdict will swing in Osiris’ favor, of course.
  • With Order restored, Osiris takes his rightful place as king of the Duat and Horus becomes king over the living.

In the original myth scheme, Osiris’ felling is handled very delicately. There is no direct mention made of the event, and its usually alluded to through metaphor. Usually, if Osiris is said to be dead, it is followed up with a reversed sentence that refutes that death, such as:

“Atum, this Osiris is thy son; thou has caused him to flourish and live. He lives, this King lives; he is not dead, this King is not dead. (Griffiths, pg19)”

In addition to this, Seth is often equated to the boat that helps to ferry Osiris’ mummy across the Nile to the necropolis. This is said to be a punishment for his deeds, though Griffiths believes it to reflect some amount of regret on Seth’s part (Griffiths, pg75). Seth also works in concordance with Horus to help Osiris and the Osiris-King throughout the Pyramid Texts. Which reflects some depth of character for this particular deity.

Horus is another difficult character to pin down. As mentioned above, his role shifts throughout the telling of the myth due to the mixing and merging of different stories into one. You’ll notice in my bullet points above, there is no mention of the tell-tale portion of Aset and Osiris getting it on to conceive Horus. This is because I’ve read conflicting information on this. According to Griffiths, in certain versions- Horus is already born before his father is felled. However, in other versions, its supposed that Horus’ birth is more metaphorical in nature, and refers astronomical links. And finally, you’ve got the standard version which involves Aset and Osiris getting it on after Osiris has been properly mummified. The confusion with Horus’ birth likely stems from the merging of the two myths- in many myths that pre-date the Osirian cult, Horus’ parents are often cited as Nut and Geb or Hathor (Griffiths, pg15).

New Kingdom Modifications to the Osirian Myth Cycle

By the New Kingdom, the Osirian myth cycle has had quite a few centuries to evolve and shift to reflect the population’s view towards both Osiris and death. According to Roberts, New Kingdom religion (specifically in regards to Dynasty 19) was about devotion and piety. As a sort of backlash from the Amarna situation, the tombs of the 19th Dynasty contained more somber reliefs with Osiris and experiences within the Duat as a focal point (pg2). Abydos, the main cult center for Osiris, will experience its peak in both expansion (O’Connor, pg104) and cultic practice during the New Kingdom, and the Osirian myth and Mysteries will be fleshed out and brought to new heights during the latter part of Egyptian history. It is also during this era that the Book of Going Forth by Day, also known as the Book of the Dead (BotD) gains its popularity for funerary texts and the Contendings of Horus and Set are written as a satirical text.

It is during the New Kingdom that some of the more familiar elements of the Osirian myth cycle start to appear. For example:

  • There is the consistently added feature of Aset and Osiris copulating to create Horus postmortem (it’s canon!).
  • The addition of the chopping up of Osiris’ body seems to have been added in and worked into the mythology of the cult (saying that each Egyptian nome had a part of Osiris’ body buried in it with the head being in Abydos)
  • There are a lot more ties to Osiris and the Nile and this is the era that corn mummies are brought into cultic use.

By this point in time the story had become more consistent, and enough time had passed from the original versions that were recorded in the PT that we can begin to ignore a lot of the smaller inconsistencies and focus on the real “meat” of the story, which is Osiris’ felling and rebirth through the love of his devoted wife and son.

The Later Period Retellings

This is the era that birthed the version of this myth that pretty much everyone knows. It’s the version of this myth that you get taught in schools, that makes it into media references and movies and is the version of this mythology that you see on almost every internet webpage. This is also the era of Plutarch’s telling of this mythology. The reason why Plutarch’s version of this myth is so popular is because it’s the first time that this myth was written down all at once. The Egyptians didn’t seem to like to record their stories all in one place, all in one go, and so all of the previous versions of this myth are basically cobbled pieces of information that we’ve found in a variety of places. The whole story isn’t recorded all in one pyramid, relief or temple, and so every version of the story up until Plutarch’s telling has a bunch of holes in it.

However, it’s pretty clear that Plutarch added a lot of stuff that doesn’t exist in the original telling (to our knowledge). So there is some debate as to how much weight we should put into the Plutarchian version of the myth. The additions that made it into the later periods of the Osirian myth cycle are:

  • Osiris cheated on Aset with Nebhet- a debacle which includes making Anup Osiris’ child (read more here).
  • Tricking Osiris into laying in a coffin and drowning him.
  • The first outright statement that Osiris was killed and how he was killed.
  • The addition of Osiris losing his phallus to an Oxyrhynchus fish.
  • Aset journeying to other realms or countries to find the felled Osiris.

While these items are often talked about as though they are part of the original myth, they aren’t. They are relatively late additions to the story (as far as we currently know, at least), and probably should be regarded as such. There are lots of possible reasons as to why these things were added into Plutarch’s stories, but there is currently no concrete evidence either way.

What does this mean for my practice? Which version of the story to I believe?

The short answer to these questions is “it’s up to you”. The Osirian myth cycle has heavy relevance to some people’s practices (particularly those who work closely with Osiris, Set or Aset), but may have virtually no implications for someone else. What version of the myth you utilize is entirely up to you, though all of the varieties have some merit to them. The initial OK version of the myth had Osiris less at the focal point and placed more emphasis on the deceased King befriending Osiris and obtaining life after death. During the NK, the whole point became about Osiris’ triumph over death and how Horus and Aset help him to defy death. And by the later periods, the story is heavily focused on salvation after death. For myself personally, I believe that the OK version is very interesting for understanding how Set and Osiris’ relationship started and that this version is ideal for getting a relatively unbiased view on Set. I prefer the later versions of the myth for understanding more complexities within Osiris’ cult and for poking at the layers of death and rebirth within the ancient Egyptian mindset. Even Plutarch’s version has some interesting things to consider.

At the end of the day what matters most is that you understand that the story shifted and changed and grew, and that there is more than one version of the myth out there. This is doubly important to recognize because it reflects how Egyptians treated mythology- as something that was malleable and pliable, and that the cults themselves shifted and grew as time progressed. In addition to this, as it was okay for things to shift and change in the past, we can also continue to shift and change as we move into the future.

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Posted by on April 3, 2014 in Kemeticism

 

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Making a Religious Calendar Around Food

On New Years eve of 2014, someone asked me what a good offering to the Kami would be. I responded that the typical New Years fare was mochi, a type of rice cake that the Japanese make. If there is something to be noted about the Japanese calendar, its that every season and every holiday has it’s own motif and dish. They have fully integrated their menu into their calendar.

I mulled over this concept for a while, and found myself thinking that the US sucks because we don’t have that sort of thing- a food calendar that mirrors our holidays. But then I realized that we sort of do- you’ve got champagne for New Years. Chocolate for Valentines Day. Beer for St. Patricks. Grilled foods for July 4th. Turkey, stuffing and cranberries for Thanksgiving. Technically, our whole calendar has food laced into it as well. The food may not be seasonal, and we may not entirely understand why that particular food item is a part of our calendar, but it is a cultural thing none the less.

So I began to wonder- could we do such a thing with our religious calendars?

Food called “Krompirusa” by ErminCelicovick via Flickr

Food and calendars could definitely be taken a couple of different ways, and I expect that if we were to create a food based calendar, that each person’s would be slightly different. For example, Kemetics may be able to agree on ball shaped items for Balls Day, but I imagine there would be regional differences for other holidays depending on what is available locally and what is in season. Whether you choose to let the holiday itself dictate the food, or the seasons that the holiday falls in would be up to each individual practitioner. And possibly the best results would come from a mix of both in each holiday/rite.

For some examples that I might consider using, I personally could see oranges for being good for any type of winter holidays that have solar or rebirth connotations because oranges are harvested in the winter in Arizona and they remind me of the solar disc. Sonoran styled Mexican food is a big thing down here, so that ends up being a part of almost all of my larger celebrations, regardless of what is going on. Anytime I do anything for Set, there are dark chocolate cupcakes involved because those seem to be his favorite. I could see eggs being useful for Wep Ronpet, as they can represent rebirth and new growth. I could also see birthday cake being used for Wep Ronpet because it is a grouping of birthdays after all. Additionally, there is already a type of food tradition with Wep Ronpet that involves snake cakes.

If you wanted to do rites or rituals that involve your heart (perhaps another layer to Valentine’s Day?), you could include clusters of grapes or grape-laced food items for their symbolism tied to the heart. For Feast of the Beautiful Valley, an akhu veneration holiday, you could choose food items that are considered family traditions. The Mysteries used to involve corn mummies, so corn or maybe tamales (which are wrapped in corn husks) could be an easy food choice for modern celebrations as well. And I personally think that baking is a good choice for Unification holidays, because you’re taking a bunch of separate ingredients and mixing them together into something new, something whole. Perhaps for holidays centered around battles or war deities, we could prepare food on skewers or kababs. Or for holidays tied to smiting your enemies, you could have mashed potatoes because you effectively “smashing” your enemies.

Whether you choose to let the holiday determine what food you use, or let the time of the year and seasonality of the dishes you’re eating determine what you make for a holiday, I recommend experimenting with marrying the two. A lot of our life events and holidays do incorporate the sense of taste into the experience, which can create a stronger bond and perhaps a better experience. Plus, if you can create strong ties between religious celebrations and food, you can almost evoke the sense of that celebration anytime you eat that particular dish as a means of bringing religion into your day to day life.

There are lots of possibilities to discover and experiment with when it comes to food. Perhaps the next time you need a reason to celebrate, you can choose a dish that is worth celebrating around and building from there!

Relevant Posts:

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2014 in Kemeticism, Rambles

 

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A Good Horse: 6 Months Later

Last year I had asked all of my readers to consider what they would do when a god pushes too far. To consider how they would react if the relationships they had with one or more of their deities suddenly fell apart and exploded all around them. How would they rebuild? How would they proceed with their religious endeavors?

It’s not an easy thing to answer. With something like a house, its very straight forward. You clear away the rubble and you rebuild your foundations. In short, you start from scratch. But with a relationship, especially a relationship with a non-physical entity, its not so clear cut. How do you start from scratch with a god? How to you rebuild the trust that was lost? How do you overcome the anger and hurt that you feel so that you can even look at one another again without scowling?

How do we take a relationship that has gone bad and get it back into neutral territory?

Marseille, statue, cheval, stone horse by Jeanne Menj via Flickr

Last year I got to experience first hand what happens when a long term relationship falls apart. I got to be on the receiving end of a deity that went too far and we both got to experience the results of what happens when I’m pushed to my limits. Last year, I got to experience what it was like to essentially be broken. At the time that it was happening, I knew that there was a reason for it. I knew that I needed to go through this first hand so that I could report back to everyone else and teach them how to do it better than I did. I knew that this was all part of a bigger picture plan that Set was concocting and that his words were both laced with truth and falsity all at once. And above all, I knew that there was no stopping it.

I knelt down on the ground and listened to him tell me that I was good at destroying things. I felt the lump in my throat as he told me that the community wasn’t everything that I needed to be doing. I felt that lump sink to my chest in the fall when Osiris told me that he was the other side to Set’s coin, and that their work for me would be in tandem. And then the lump fell into my stomach when fall shifted to winter and I realized that both of them were right in their own ways.

This is a 6 month check in on how I coped with my falling out with Set. This is also a story on how I have attempted to rebuild the foundations of my relationship with Set and Osiris.

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After Set and I had our initial blow up, things were incredibly tense. The next few weeks were filled with short and snippy conversations. A few weeks after that, those short conversations shifted into yelling matches. And within a month or so, we were almost not talking at all. By the time that I had released my Good Horse post, we were pretty much not speaking unless we had to. Any time I’d show up to work with Set, he’d stand there and stay silent. He figured that opening his mouth meant that he could insert his foot, and so in his eyes, silence trumped speaking.

Truth be told, this was probably for the best. As soon as Set realized he had done some major damage, he stepped back and gave me space. He got mildly better at not reacting if I yelled at him. Instead he’d stand there quietly and keep his comments to himself. I was given space because more pressure on his end would have only made it worse.

So when a god fails you, I would say that the best first step is some breathing room. You and the deity need some space to get your thoughts together. How long this period needs to be will vary. I didn’t start talking to Set again until after I got back from the Duat. That is about 2 months of yelling and barely talking, and nearly 3 or 4 months of not speaking at all.

About the same time that Set completely backed off from me, I noticed that Wpwt stepped forward. I can’t tell if Wpwt has long term aims for me or not, but I certainly know that his sudden appearance was not coincidental. I joke about how Set must have cornered him in a bar and cried on Wpwt’s shoulder about how badly he had screwed up, and how he then begged Wpwt to do something to fix it, and for all I know the joke is accurate.

Either way, Wpwt came forward and began to talk with me about the situation I found myself in. For the record, Wpwt is much smoother with his words than Set is. He offered me perspective about not only my situation, but the situation that Set was in. He highlighted the difficulties that the whole pantheon faces in this day and age, and he gave me other ways to look at things.

In other words, he initiated the process of my shifting of attitude towards Set. Had Wpwt not talked with me, I don’t know how long it would have taken me to realize these things. Even now, I am grateful for his assistance with the whole situation.

So the second step in repairing a messed up devotee/deity relationship is to gain perspective. This can be through other deities or other practitioners. Wpwt talked to me about how Set’s hands are bound in a lot of ways by the upper echelons of the pantheon. He talked to me about how things are not as smoothly running as we’d like to believe. He knocked some sense into my head so that I could, at the very least, start being in the same room with Set without throwing things at him.

He began the process of healing for the whole situation.

By this point, Osiris had taken center stage and I was preparing to fall into the Duat. Due to the circumstances I was in, I wouldn’t see Set at all until I came out the other side, and by the time the “other side” came, I found that I was angry with both deities, and that I’d need to work on figuring out what to do with both of my relationships.

But why was I so angry? That’s probably the question on everyone’s mind. I’ve been dancing around just what Set asked me last year, and what Osiris told me he had in mind for my future with him because I’ve not been sure how everyone would respond to it. But it’s really hard to follow the whole story without having the actual whole story to go off of.

The long and short of what Set and Osiris have asked of me is this:

Set would like to use my abilities as someone who can kill and destroy over in the Unseen. According to him, he is bound by paperwork and red tape, and that there are some places, realms, and people he can’t get to because of it. I would be someone he would send to a location behind the scenes. I’d go in, handle the person, and leave. The downside to this is that it creates a huge target on your back and can create a lot of problems if you realm-jump regularly. Nothing like landing in a realm only to be thrown in jail because you killed someone important. Plus, it creates a lot of mental stress for me, and I’d be neck deep in death, which I don’t like.

Osiris wants me to heal and work with dead people. He says the Duat needs healing, that the land itself needs repair. And that dead spirits need care too. He would like to see me develop these skills both here and in the Unseen.

Both are interested in my community work, but that’s more Set’s bent.

Both deity’s requests center around my ability to tinker in someone’s core. To heal someone effectively, you need to go to their source, their core. To kill someone totally, you need to destroy their source, their core. Both the life and death aspect of things are tied together through one common skillset. Both Set and Osiris are tied together in this, and they know it.

For them, these tasks are not a “you pick one or the other”. It’s more a case of “you get both of us together and you will deal with it.” These two are tied together through a death, and I think in a grand scheme kind of way, it makes sense.

Well great. I understand their link, but both of these aspects still leave me in situations I don’t want to be in. They both leave me dealing with death on a regular basis.

However, more and more I question my ability to escape some of the aspects that I dislike about my astral life. The notion of somehow falling off of the radar to live a quiet life is unlikely for a variety of reasons. At least if I had a god’s backing, it may give me some political bargaining power in at least a few realms.

After my time in the Duat was done, Osiris sent me home to rest. I didn’t leave my bedroom for probably a month while I waited for my body to heal up. During that time, I had a lot of hours to kill, and I killed them mulling the situation I was in. I weighed the pros and the cons, I concocted ways to get out of things, to circumvent things, to find a way to spin this more in my favor.

I started by leveling with them. I talked with them about what I truly needed to make this work. I asked them to give me answers about specific questions (such as: how are you going to keep me from losing my mind from all of this? How will we handle my stress from all of this? What will you do when my anxiety starts to kill me?). I am currently waiting on their responses to these questions. I began to ask better questions about what they are planning. I began to work on handling my anxiety in the Seen so that I could at least consider their proposals, which I still don’t have in a final format.

All of these emotions and anger and frustration and I’m right where they wanted me to begin with. I’m sitting down at the bargaining table, trying to at least get an in-depth understanding of what they want from me.

And that is where I am at six months later. I am still a little bitter and frustrated at them, but no longer seething with anger or rage. I’m beginning to understand that the Unseen is filled with tricksters and tinkerers, and that the gods are no exception. No one is immune to it. And so I’m trying to figure out how to make this work in my favor because I currently can’t figure out a way to get out of it entirely. It will probably still be another year before I make any decisions, but at least I can gather my information now and move forward slowly.

Although the fact that I am considering their offers really makes me wonder if I was actually broken in as a horse would be. Does this mean that they won? Is that even the correct way to look at it? I’m not sure.

_____________________

I get that this post is long, so I’m going to sum up the short version here:

When a god dicks you over, I consider doing the following:

  • Give each other space. This includes from the deity’s side. Ask them to give you time to process things.
  • Get perspective if you can. Whether from other Unseen entities/gods or from devotees or other people you know. Weigh the perspectives to see what you want to do moving forward.
  • Take things slowly. Don’t let anyone bully you into moving quicker than you are comfortable with.
  • If it appears that the relationship is too far destroyed, look into getting some godly back-up and assistance in severing the connection with that god.
  • If the relationship can be salvaged, I recommend talking it out with the god. Being honest and frank with one another with where you are at. This may take months to accomplish, so take your time. Not everything needs to be addressed in one conversation.

As for my own deity relationships:

I was pissed at Set and Osiris for throwing me into things I question if I can handle. However, recent events have made me seriously consider what they have in the future for me, and I am currently working on a number of things to see if its something I can hack. Our bargaining is on-going, and I wouldn’t expect anything final for a number of months.

 

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Before and After: A Comparison on Being God Bothered

I originally wrote this for the Gods’ Mouths Project. I’m not sure if this project is still running, but I felt that this post could still be useful for my readers.

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Once upon a time I was not god bothered. My god phone was, for all intents and purposes, shut off. There was a time when I only checked in with my trapped astral self once every few weeks or so.

There was a time when I wasn’t living all these lives at once. There was a time when I was more “normal”.

That time is gone.

Back before this roller coaster started, my day started like most- the alarm clock would go off at 6. I’d hit snooze until about 6:30 when my partner and I would finally get up and rush to get ready to head off to work. We’d spend all day at work, doing our thing. Same ol’ same ol’. And then we’d go home and eat dinner and spend the rest of the night talking, surfing the internet or playing video games. On more special days, we’d go out and do stuff. It was the typical life and my religious life didn’t really factor into anything- it was more or less non-existent.

But then my brain broke open and things changed.

Telephone Keypad by Chris Campbell via Flickr

Now, my day is supposed to start at 7, but it usually starts before that. You see, my partner gets up at 5:30 and in the midst of being half awake and half asleep, I end up sometimes astral tripping for a while. I get caught up in conversations with my astral partners, or I find myself sitting at some table talking to someone I don’t even know (I wander while I’m asleep sometimes). Sometimes I wake up tied to a chair. Other times I wake up with my family in bed.

But it almost always happens before the alarm clock goes off. It’s just an ideal mindset for traveling- half awake and half asleep. I often accidentally fall into it,and end up staying there instead of falling back asleep.

For the good days, I will drag myself out of bed at 7. For the bad days, it can be closer to 7:30. I am constantly fatigued and tired, so its a chore to get out of bed. Once I’m up, I head to my computer and turn it on. As a means of being more attentive with my shrine, my kar shrine now lives on my desk, and when I sit down at the computer in the morning, I open it up as a way to bring the gods more into my day to day stuff.

And the fun begins.

I try to leave before 8:30. I will spend this hour to an hour and a half trying to check all of my feed on Tumblr and other forums. In between this, I will try to eat, pack a lunch, and check in with any astral crap that may have happened over night. Sometimes it’s a quick check and I manage to get everything done. Many days I forgo eating for getting the other “more important” things done.

I walk to work. Usually while walking I get sucked out into dancing with one of my astral companions. It’s something I can’t help. If the song has a beat, I inevitably end up on a dance floor with him. Once I get to work, I will spend my day trying to stay on task. But in btwn projects I will work on WP posts, astral and dream logs (which can run into the 10K word count range) and keep an eye on all of the social media I participate in – just in case anything important is going on there. Plus, if there are any astral pictures I need to jot down for my logs, that has to be done before I leave work- as my computer at home can’t hack it.

Sometimes its a quiet day and I’m able to focus more on my job and more on my work. Other days shit hits fan on the Otherside. Gods get in my ears and tell me that X needs to be done now. Or the writing bug will show up and I end up typing into WP for a few hours because the perfect string of words happened into my head.

Sometimes I feel cut off from things and I’ll stare at an open Photoshop canvas for hours waiting for something to inspire me. Sometimes I’ll do the same with my WP editor. It really depends.

This whole broke open head thing – it’s fickle. You can never tell whether its going to be a “I can’t hear myself think” or a “I can hear crickets in my head” day.

Once my 8 hours of servitude are up, I walk home, doing the same thing that I did on the way to work- dancing and astral stuff. I go home and work on getting something in my stomach. I maintain my house chores as a means to keep my sanity. And then I sit right back down to the computer and continue to read and write and discuss until I can’t keep my eyes open longer. On busy nights, I go between this and laying down and astral tripping for a while- because the astral is a honey badger, and sometimes I need to lay down and focus on what I’m doing, lest I screw up.

And once I decide I need to sleep, I lay down and sometimes I pass right out. Other times I end up at the River with Osiris, or sitting across from Set’s desk for more work. Or I will get into a conversation with one of my partners and end up staying awake for another hour or two to handle those sorts of things. It’s just how it goes. Sometimes I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and end up staying awake for the same reasons.

I’m sure to the outside viewer this doesn’t seem like much. I’m not spending a lot of time in front of a shrine, but I am doing devotional work. Maintaining a regular blog takes time, and writing these posts can take days for me. I have a list of ideas that I keep with me at all times- so that I can add to it if something strikes me. Even when I decide to ‘take a break’ and watch a movie or some tv- I end up focusing right back on my Kemetic practice.

Indirectly, everything comes back to Kemeticism. And when I stop paying attention to my practice- to my community, to be more specific, the gods show back up to remind me where my place is.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized how much of a toll this type of life takes on you and your relations. I live my life to do this. That means my time is very limited to do anything else. My focus can wander away for a little while, but it will always end right back up onto this path. It makes it hard for me to sit down and enjoy anything for long, because I get itchy hands and an itchy brain. It always comes back to this work.

It effects my relations because sometimes there just isn’t enough of me to go around. My physical partner understands that I have an astral life to maintain as well as a community to work on. My astral partners get that I have a life here and a 40 hour job I need to keep up with. In the end, being with me means that you’ve got to make sacrifices. Even my job can suffer when I’ve had to stay up all night handling business, or someone decides they need my attention while working on a project with a tight deadline.

In order to survive with the hole in my head, I’ve had to learn a lot about prioritizing and cutting away stuff I don’t need. I don’t go out much, because it eats up spoons. If it eats up spoons, I can’t get my astral work done or write about things. I’ve had to learn how to balance multiple relationships across multiple planes. I’ve had to figure out how to balance my family life there and spending time with my partner here. It’s been a huge lesson in give and take, and its a lesson that I’ve failed many many times, and will likely fail many times again before this is all said and done.

Above all, I think that becoming someone who is ‘god-bothered’ has taught me about juggling and prioritizing. Once your head has been broken open, there is no way to go back. Once the gods have decided that they want to stick their fingers in your proverbial pie, there is no way to go back to the way it was before. For me, the longer I’ve worked with Unseen entities, the more entities I’ve collected, and the more impact they’ve had on how I live and how I operate on a day to day basis. Because of this, I’ve really had to figure out what is most important for me and how to work within the parameters that they make for me. It’s not been easy, but it certainly has taught me a lot about my limits and what I’m capable of.

I may never be able to go back to the way life was before, but I can certainly learn to make the most out of what I have going now.

 

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