When everything came to Be during the very First Time, everyone agreed that everything was perfect and in its proper place. Time flowed perfectly and the holidays and seasoned synced in perfect harmony. The gods reveled in how everything aligned so well for them. Their world and existence centered around ma’at and Zep Tepi, and this allowed them to keep their world in harmony with seasons, holidays and mythical time all working together in a circular fashion.
However, the humans lived in a place where try as they may, Zep Tepi could only be enacted and recreated for short amounts of time. As the era of humans began to sprawl forever in one direction, they found that time progressed further and further away from Zepi Tepi. Their calendars and seasons became unaligned and everything started to become chaotic for them.
As the calendar and seasons slowly drifted further and further apart, the humans began to reach out to the gods for assistance. “How can we celebrate our holidays when they are drastically so far away from the natural phenomena that they are tied to? How can you expect us to celebrate Wep Ronpet when we are in the middle of harvest?” they asked. “How are we to raise the djed when there is no water in the Nile?” they bemoaned. “How can we properly keep track of time and keep everything in it’s place if our calendar is not effective?”
At first the gods didn’t understand the humans’ requests- time was flowing perfectly for them in the Duat. Everything was in its place, and time was flowing as it should. However, as the situation for the humans dragged on, they slowly began to realize that things were out of alignment. They received petitions for a good yearly flood when the Nile had already left its silt in the valley and was starting to recede. They received offerings of thanks for a great harvest during planting season. Nothing was lining up at all anymore!
Concerned about what would happen if the problem wasn’t addressed, the gods formed a tribunal to figure out what to do. How could they help the humans keep their time on the correct course? Linear time was slightly foreign to them, and they weren’t sure what the best solution was, so they sought out the Netjer who knew the most about time: Djehuty.
They presented their problem to him, and as they were recounting all of the problems that this situation was causing, he pulled out a large map of the stars and began to analyze the situation. There was a long silence after their story was finished, during which Djehuty continued to look into the options that could be utilized to fix the differences between the linear time of humans and the cyclical time of the gods.
“The simplest answer that I can think of,” he said “is to add in another day upon the year every four years. We can call it a Day of Tinkering. This should allow the calendar to stay in harmony with the annual cycles of the year, and with that everything should fall into place.” The gods were ecstatic that he had found a means to solve their problem, and with such little effort, too! As they celebrated and began to send out messengers to tell the humans, Djehuty reminded them that this wouldn’t have become such a huge problem if only the gods would have worked to solve it sooner. “When you ignore the little things, they very quickly turn into big problems,” he told them as he put up his scrolls. “Remind the humans of this, too, when you give them the news.”
And as such, the Day of Tinkering, or as we know it February 29, became a day to address the small problems in your life before they snowball into larger problems.
Ways to Celebrate:
So how does one celebrate the Day of Tinkering? I think the answer to this might depend on what specifically you need to address in your life and where it is that you need to end up between now and the next Day of Tinkering. As they say “look at your life, look at your choices.” Where are you wanting to end up in the next four years? What is currently working in your life? What isn’t? Once you’ve taken an honest look at where you are and where you want to be, you can start to figure out what to tinker with in order to get where you want to be.
Think about experimenting with new ideas and thoughts that can be implemented between now and the next Day of Tinkering. Do you want to have more structure to your life? What sorts of things could you look into to create such a structure? What can you do in order to make sure you stick to that structure? Do you want a better job? What can you do to increase your chances of either getting a better position within your current company or to possibly find work with another company? Perhaps you have a boatload of shadow work to work on. What can you add to your current shadow work to make it more effective?
Remember that not everything needs to be enacted on this particular day. If anything, take the time to play with the ideas that you could work with or implement. Take this holiday to explore your options thoroughly before you pick on (or several). If you have many options and aren’t sure which ones to try out, maybe create a timeline to implement different options at different times to test them out. Maybe give option A a two week trial, and then try out option B for a few weeks to see which one works better.
And of course, don’t forget to let Djehuty know about your tinkering. Leave him an offering or two and let him know some of the changes you’re considering making. Maybe if you’re lucky, he’ll give you a few more ideas to consider on top of what you’ve already thought up!
Other Modern Holidays:
- Balls Day (Feb 14)
- The Day the Whoopie Cushions Were Given to Heru Wer (Feb 19)
- Geb Day (April 22)
- Dick Day (May 1)
- Kemetic Holidays Info Page