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Category Archives: Making Ma’at

The Time Outside of Time

For the past week, my daily routine has been abnormal. Instead of hearing my alarm in the morning and instantly getting up to get ready before I must leave to drive into work, I have been turning the alarm off and going back to sleep for a while in the hopes that it will help my body heal from what plagues it. Instead of spending eight hours at a desk working on orders, I find myself spending a lot of my day idling aimlessly around my house, trying to find ways to kill time without any energy to really devote to anything.

And even once my illness recedes, my patterns will still be off-kilter in other ways. I may begin to get up with my alarm and rush to get to work, but things will be different in every other aspect. I’ll have less traffic impeding me on my way into the office, since many other people are in quarantine and kids aren’t in school. I’ll have to devote more time and energy into procuring my weekly supplies (groceries), as every store in my area has been completely wiped out, and will likely have a restricted selection for weeks to come. And I’ll have to be more considerate about keeping enough energy to cook, since I won’t be able to rely on restaurants and fast food to help me out on days when my brain or body needs an easy meal.

We are living in strange times, you and I. In the wake of a global pandemic, many things have changed overnight for most of us.

As I ponder how surreal everything feels, I find myself frequently thinking about the intercalary days, and how their existence is unique in every aspect. For those of you who don’t know what the intercalary or epagomenal days are, they are the five days that precede Wep Ronpet. These days are said to have come about when Re wouldn’t allow Nut to birth her children on any day of the year. In order to help solve Nut’s problem, Thoth decided to bet on a game of Senut with Khonsu, and upon winning, Nut was able to give birth on these five days that existed outside of the year.

When I think about how we are living right now, I can’t help but feel like we’re living in a prolonged version of the intercalary days. That we are living in a time outside of time. What does it mean to live in a time outside of time? To get a better idea, I decided to take a look at how the intercalary days were viewed in antiquity. There isn’t a lot of specific information on the intercalary days, but the information that I had feels applicable to what we’re dealing with now.

The intercalary days are said to exist outside of the year, and that makes them peculiar. While many modern Kemetics don’t seem to attribute any sort of eeriness to these days, in antiquity, they were often seen as a time of trepidation. I suspect that this has both a mythological and a more “mundane” component to it. From a mythological perspective, Nut was ready to give birth, but couldn’t until these days were created specifically for her and her needs. Child birth is inherently dangerous, especially before the modern era. It stands to reason that both the aspect of “this is a limited window of time to do something that another being doesn’t want me to do” and “this is childbirth and that is risky to my health” could have played a role in interpreting these days as being inherently apprehensive.

But there is also the mundane aspect of where these days fall within the seasons of ancient Egypt. Situated at the end of the dry season, these days were often fraught with some amount of unease. The dry season was often a time of rationing and careful planning of resources. Since nothing substantial could be grown during this period, and there was limited amounts of water as the riverbed becomes dryer and dryer under the summer heat, the Egyptians knew that they needed to be careful how they utilized their resources until the inundation came. So as the dry season inches onward through the summer, resources become more and more scarce, and with that, an increase in concerns about the future. Will the inundation come? Will we have enough to survive until we can plant more food? Will we get through the summer without illness?

There is also the simple fact that these days manage to exist outside of the year somehow. That ultimately makes them a liminal time and space, a threshold between the old and the new.

To me, where many of us are living now fits very well with the views of the intercalary days from antiquity. Things are abnormal. Our patterns are broken or augmented in ways we’re not used to. Things are not reliably available to many of us, and there is no guarantee that things will be reliably available to many of us anytime soon. There are fears of illness, hunger, and a lack of resources. There is a lot of trepidation in the air. We are stuck between how things were, and an unclear future that has yet to fully manifest.

And that is the most important thing to keep in mind as we navigate through this set of prolonged intercalary days: they may be fraught with danger, but they are also ripe for inducing unforeseen change (both good and bad). There is a lot of instability with our system right now. This is scary and terrifying, but it is also the best time possible to incur long-lasting change that gives people more resources to live and thrive once everything is said and done. Liminal times and spaces don’t follow the rules of what is expected. They are the edges that exist where two systems or spaces meet, and these spaces are known for their intense biodiversity and bending of the rules.

You can see this in the original myth that defined the intercalary days, too. Re didn’t want Nut to give birth because he knew that her children would invoke a regime change. It would incur a new way of life for all of the NTRW, and he didn’t want to see that happen. Every year, the intercalary days are meant to be an intense time of chaos before everything resets and ma’at is restored anew during Wep Ronpet.

These liminal spaces are meant for change and transformation. This liminal space will likely be no different, but the question becomes: what sort of change will we fight for?

 

For the first time in a long time, retail and food workers (among others) have the means to potentially leverage their position to gain workers rights and benefits that were due to them forever ago. There are people trying to push state governments to utilize vacant housing to give the homeless shelter during these challenging times. There is an entirely new wave of people talking about classism and how class intersects with politics and daily living in new places that I haven’t seen in the past. There are people who are starting to see that if there is a time to start pushing for hard-hitting change, this is it.

On nearly every video or post that I’ve read regarding COVID, it seems like the conclusion always ends up with some sort of “if we all band together, things will be okay!” and I don’t want that to be the case with my post because its simply not true. There are people who will not survive this. There are people whose lives will be irreversibly changed by this. This situations is bad, and this is merely a post about the potential tiny silver lining of a really bad situation. Many people have had their entire life thrown into turmoil because of this, and I certainly don’t want to make it sound like their suffering is “worth it” if it means potential change, because that’s not the case.

Instead what I am trying to suggest is that perhaps the means to insure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again is within our grasp, and if it is, we should do what we can to make that happen. Because while the intercalary days are a mere five days of uncanny discomfort, we are more likely to be stuck in this liminal space for months, if not a full year and some change (vaccines aren’t expected to be ready for about 18 months, which is when pandemics usually recede.) Things will be unsteady for a while yet, and our best chance of survival will come from mutual aid that we give one another during these difficult times.

I think it is imperative that we look at the conversations being had, and consider what we could be doing during this time in relation to the changes going on around us. To look for those ripples of change, and to see if there are other things we could put our backing into that would help other fellow humans have an easier time of it on this rock — both within this liminal time, and beyond it. It is the responsibility of all of us to help maintain and foster ma’at, and from what I can tell — there are a whole lot of opportunities being made for increasing ma’at right now even in the face of overwhelming isfet.

And I think we should do everything in our power to seize those opportunities and create a world we want to live in.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2020 in Kemeticism, Making Ma'at

 

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Redefining Order

Truth. Order. Justice.

The three words that I’ve seen used the most to describe ma’at.

Out of these three words, “order” always sticks out to me as potentially being a bad choice to describe ma’at. Why? Well, in short, I believe its because we tend to use one variation of “order” at the exclusion of other possible definitions. As an experiment to start the conversation off, what do you think of when you think of the word order? Maybe some of you think of

or maybe

Or maybe it’s

Even if you didn’t think of these specific examples, I’m willing to bet that whatever came to your mind shared some of the same underlying associations as the gifs above. That’s because our culture has a specific inferred meaning when we use the word “order” — whether we acknowledge those associations or not.

Whenever the word “order” is used, it’s almost always in the context of a very clear difference of power. It’s often used in terms of schools, where teachers demand order. Or in the military, where soldiers are given orders. Or even in more harmless situations, where you place an order at a restaurant. All of these things imply a situation where the person receiving the “order” is not allowed to rebuff the order. The soldier is not allowed to tell their commander “no,” students can be heavily punished for telling their teachers no, and can you imagine what would happen if a waiter told you that your order was not going to be followed or not allowed? Even when a waiter has to tell someone that something in their order isn’t available due to circumstances beyond their control, people lose their minds.

In our cultural lexicon, order usually means that you’re doing something without question. It’s a directive that you must follow, lest you get into trouble. For most of us in the US, “order” is essentially authoritarian in nature — to the point that the word “authoritarian” is used in the Oxford definition for “order.”

While there is second definition for “order,” I don’t think that most of us are using that definition when we tie the word “order” to ma’at. I’ve watched people dictate that authoritarian order is inherently implied and mandatory with ma’at simply because the Egyptians engaged in a form of it, and it overlaps with our preconceived notion of order and what it entails. Which is to say that since they so readily line up with one another via authoritarianism, I feel like most people are lazily assuming that one begets the other (authoritarian order begets ma’atian order.) What I’d really like to do with this post is challenge that notion by redefining what order could mean for us when associated with ma’at. And to also buck the idea that authoritarianism is inherent in, and therefore mandatory to, our religious structure.

A New Frame of Reference

The less-often cited definition for order usually entails things such as “a specific pattern or sequence,” such as alphabetical order, numerical order, etc. I believe that this definition is closer to what we need, but I feel that it could use refinement for our specific needs.

I would like to posit that for our needs, order would mean something along the lines of “a predictable rhythm or pattern.”

Every single living thing/system on this planet has (ideally) a rhythm, a pattern to their existence. You wake up after sleeping, you do the general same routine after you get up, you might do similar things Monday through Friday, and then do a secondary set of “similar things” on Saturday and Sunday. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. The night follows the day, and the moon is constantly shifting between being visible and completely non-existent to the naked eye.

These patterns form the basis of our existence, and the nature of our patterns often determines whether we’re healthy and having our needs met or not. In the last post about determining ma’at from isfet, I mentioned that the frequency of doing something can often turn innocuous acts into something more isfetian in nature, and this plays into the idea of regular habits and patterns. If you do something that is unhealthy once in a while, its usually not a big deal. Do it all the time, and it becomes a pattern that can slowly unravel your life.

When we’re talking about ma’atian order, we’re talking about having rhythms that help support living things. When you’re acting in ma’at, you’re acting to maintain these beneficial rhythms, while also acting to destroy, alter or remove patterns that hurt living things.

When viewed from this perspective, it explains why the Egyptians crafted tons of holidays, rituals, and actions that were consistently enacted upon to help ensure that the patterns of the Duat and earth alike were kept in regularity. Because anything that could be done to make sure that the patterns of the world stayed as consistent as possible should be done as a part of maintaining ma’at.

I also think it should go without saying that making these regular patterns as predictable as possible was also on the agenda. Humans tend to do best with a certain level of predictability in their life, and I feel like including this in the understood meaning of ma’atian order only serves to help us really understand and appreciate how important the consistency of it all really is.

The rhythm should be dynamic in the sense that it has diversity and harmony, but it still needs to have some level of regular occurrence in order to be stable. When examined on a whole, it becomes easier to see how the diversity and harmony feed into the stable complexity of it all. Everything feeds into everything else, and when the rhythm of it all is maintained, everything more or less gets its needs met.

When Authoritarian Order is Conflated with Ma’atian Order

From this perspective it becomes easier to see how authoritarian order really doesn’t synergize well with ma’at. Authoritarianism seeks to control (create “order”) everything it touches, and severely punishes anything trying to resist its control. To this end, it often seeks to divide people into two groups: and in-group (us) and an antagonistic out-group (them), and they basically use the in-group to keep the out-group in check as much as possible. You can see this in America right now in the form of loosely-made militia groups that act out a sort of vigilante justice wherever they’re allowed to.

Because the in-group always needs an out-group, authoritarianism will consistently find new demographics to attack, and in the process usually ends up eradicating the harmony and diversity necessary to keep ma’at in place. People are usually forced to live within strict confines and regulations at the risk of extreme punishment, with no real recourse to punish those who are putting the regulations in place. Ultimately, there is no means to change your fate or change the world you live in, you’re ultimately forced to deal with whatever you are given because there is little-to-no alternatives available to you. This, of course, is mentally taxing and degrading. The system as a whole may continue to exist, but its parts and pieces are not healthy, and thus are living in a form of chronic disorder (isfet.)

When you start to really examine how this system can destroy people’s health, it becomes painfully clear that by its very nature, authoritarianism does not foster ma’at. Only a tiny percent of the population really flourishes under authoritarianism, leaving the rest of the population to wither and rot.

And for those of you who are wondering if I feel that the ancient Egyptians were doing things outside of ma’at, I would say that based off of today’s standards, the answer is yes. Plenty of their population lived in unnecessary squalor due to inequality at play within the society, and I can’t say that I believe that to be within ma’at. Yes, upper class people were to look after their subjects and provide them with what they needed, but its been shown time and time again that people who are in positions of privilege and esteem typically aren’t willing to give what they have away unless they really really have to.

While I understand that a couple thousand years ago was different, and that we shouldn’t necessarily judge ancient cultures based off of today’s expectations, I also feel its our job to reflect critically on the past, not to assume that the movements of the past are inherently superior simply because they’re old. The Egyptians committed all sorts of brutal acts in the name of ma’at. If we’re able to deem these acts as being not-within-ma’at, I’m pretty sure we could find it in ourselves to do the same with their governmental system, instead of blindly trying to recreate it in the here and now.

Ma’atian Order

At its core, ma’atian order strives to bring balance and health to all of its individual components. It is a bottom-up mentality, ensuring that the smallest, yet most foundational parts are taken care of, with the understanding that healthy foundations allow everything else above it to thrive. This format allows for (relatively) predictable patterns to emerge that allows for all of the parts of the system to synchronize together. It is through the harmonization of all of the parts that allows the system to really thrive and creates the predictable “order” that everyone seeks.

It is my hope that moving forward, if the word “order” is used to define ma’at, that this is the definition that comes to mind, because this is the only definition of “order” that really makes any sense within the ma’atian paradigm.

Relevant Posts:

 

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2020 in Kemeticism, Making Ma'at, Rambles

 

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A Year of Rites: Reflections, Redirections

With 2019 having come to a close, so too has both the Year of Rites project and Making Ma’at project come to a close. I wasn’t sure if there was anything to say about either, but it feels weird to not do a recap of both before moving onto whatever next chapter lay ahead.

Making Ma’at

I will start by saying that I have a hard time not viewing both projects as something of a failure. The Making Ma’at project barely got off the ground, and once we lost the repository that contained what everyone had written, the project basically was dead in the water. I personally think that that is a crying shame, because we really do lack ready-made resources for honoring ma’at, and with ma’at being at the center of our religion, it feels weird that we don’t have more to work with.

When it comes to pinpointing why this project didn’t go very far, I personally blame a bit of myself — in that I didn’t have the energy or time to consistently research new prompts and ideas to get people creating new stuff to add to the project. But on the flip side, I also feel like no one was overly committed to the project if no one else was working to come up with new ideas. Which is honestly the biggest problem with our community, isn’t it.

My hope is that maybe people will still add to the project in their own time, or that what was created will at least serve as something of a resource for those in the future.

Year of Rites

Then there is the cluster that was the Year of Rites. I knew going into the YoR that I was hoping for more than I should. I knew that the odds of people participating in it were slim. I knew that the odds of me being able to complete everything to a level that I would prefer would be slim — especially if my grandfather died along the way. But I have a bad problem with hoping for more than I should, and in the end, I was disappointed by it all. That doesn’t mean there weren’t any useful lessons along the way, however.

First off, I will say that creating 18 rubrics in a year is a horrible idea unless you have a ton of time and mental space to work with. I was really trying to embody traditional verbiage and heka because I feared straying too far from verbatim sources, and so crafting something 100% from scratch didn’t happen very often. As such, I would scour the source materials to try and find sections that made sense for what I was trying to create. Source materials take forever for me to read, and I would often have to read 50 pages before I found a little tidbit that would be useful for whatever rubric I was working on.

When I wasn’t overly stressed, working the rubrics wasn’t all that bad because you get to learn a lot of random information from sifting through source materials. As a byproduct, it’s easier to follow some of the information that is presented in various books and papers. I can also say that reading the source materials also gave me a very good understanding of how sentences should be structured and words selected to make better heka. Only after I started working on these rubrics did I realize that my old rituals had a lot of wiggle room and a lukewarm quality in many of the words chosen.

However, that doesn’t change the fact that each rubric took hours to make, they were hardly commented on, and probably four people used them throughout the year. If I ever did this again, I’d cut the rubric creation down to maybe two versions for an entire year. Anything more than that is unrealistic.

As for the rituals themselves, I managed to complete every ritual up until the end of June when things went on hiatus to take care of grandpa. After that, I completed 3 out of 4 rites per month until I quit doing it all together in October. If we want to count my eating-as-a-ritual for the Mysteries, then I completed all of December’s work as well, though none of the originally-planned rituals were performed.

All in all, I did more than I didn’t, but it still doesn’t feel like I accomplished much. Having my depression completely wipe the desire out of me to do anything really put a bind on the end of the year, and I still don’t know how I feel about that. If I’m also being honest, the lack of feedback and participation on the by and large didn’t motivate me to continue, either. By June I was wrapped in a sort of “no one really cares” state, which is why the write-ups stopped around that time. It’s also why I quit documenting my rites on IG, and it’s why I never bothered to rework the rubrics in September when I found I disliked them vehemently (this also played into why I didn’t want to keep doing the rituals come October — I had to use new rubrics that I hated.)

As my ability and desire to perform these rites degraded across the year, I can say that structured rituals can serve as a good focal point for me if I’m not too stressed or depressed. When I’m not doing good mentally, its very easy to just go through the motions of the ritual and not really be present. If I’m not present, it’s really not doing me much good and I usually end up rushing everything as quickly as possible (which probably doesn’t do the NTRW much good, either.) The final rites that I did during the Mysteries were much better at keeping me present — more so than doing a structured ritual. I think there is something important to that.

So what now?

I realized somewhere around September that I would soon need to start making decisions about my future with performing regular rituals for the NTRW; along with what my future with Kemeticism would actually look like once this year was over. I don’t like performing standard, structured rituals if I’m being completely honest. It’s hard for me to find reason to set aside the time, clear out the space, and sit down to perform these rites. Perhaps if I had the right space, or perhaps if I got more out of the experience, I would feel differently. And while I understand that these rituals are supposed to be for the NTRW, it doesn’t change the fact that unless I find a way to repackage them or get more out of them, I’m not likely to perform them. We’re all human, and as humans, we don’t do well with tasks that we view as pointless or not serving a purpose. And that’s exactly where I ended up with most of my rituals by the time October rolled around.

However, I don’t know that I can, in good conscience (yes), just set rituals aside and not perform them ever at all. Rereading Roberts’ books in 2018 really drove home (for me) that the original religious structure really placed a heavy emphasis on our rituals helping to maintain the regenerative processes of the NTRW. And it’s led me to question if the lack of continuous ritual on our end could have a degradation of things for the NTRW. It brings us back to the age old issue of “if we think this is really real, and if we believe the Egyptians did things for a Reason that they also believed was really real, then why am I casually ignoring doing that?”

Because if the rituals did actually influence the quality of life for our gods, or if the rituals did actually help to keep the Duat regular and functional, then it really begs us to ask what would happen if those rituals stopped. And by extension, why we don’t do more of them.

And I’m really stuck on that.

So far, I do think I want to create something that strikes a balance between traditional ritual work and what I did in December. For me, it makes more sense to find something that fits into what I am capable of right now, and then build towards something that is more refined as I learn more from my experiences. That being said, I’m still not entirely sure what that looks like, or how I want to approach it.

I guess we’ll see what 2020 brings on that front.


For those of you who participated in either project, I would love to hear your feedback or thoughts so that I can incorporate them into any future projects that may occur.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2020 in Kemeticism, Making Ma'at, Year of Rites

 

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September Rubrics

We are in the final stretch of the calendar year, and with it, the final batch of rubrics for the year of rites project. I’ve experimented with some different methods in a few of this round’s rituals. I had read a paper about a translation of a daily offering meal from a limestone ostrakon, and in it, it discusses the benefit of using repetition within ritual structure. Since most of my rubrics have only lightly utilized repetition (if I’m honest, because I felt like I was half-assing if I decided to repeat a line four times instead of writing four unique lines,) I decided to give it a go to see how I like it. If you find you prefer one style over the other, let me know, as I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on it.

I got rid of the purification of the ritual area because I got tired of slopping water all over my offering plate. If you’d like to keep that in, feel free to take one of the variations from an earlier rubric and throw it in after “Opening the Shrine” and before “Offering Light.”

This round’s akhu rite also utilizes a foreleg as an offering. I will be making 2D version, similar to my ma’at offerings. If you don’t have the capacity to come up with a foreleg to offer, you can do just the voice offering, or omit it entirely.


Making Ma’at

Opening the Shrine

O you dwellers in the sunshine, who bask daily in the glories of Re,
Prepare the paths for me, open for me the gates which are among the Coiled One’s,
for I know the circuit of Re and of those who are with him.
Prepare a path for me, for I am indeed alive, the heir of eternity, who passes everlasting, whom Re has placed over you.
I have seen the doubles, and the fire that goes forth, O you spirits, prepare a path for me.
Prepare a path for me, so that the fire can guide me to the place where the retinue resides.

See, you Lord of All, you who is hale, see that I have come to you.
See, you Lord of All, see with your right eye that I have come to you.
See, you Lord of All, see with your left eye that I have come to you.
See, you Lord of All, who is encompassed in beauty, see that I am before you here and now.
[open the shrine]
Awake in peace, Great God, awake in peace.
Gather yourself up and greet the new day, awake in peace.
Feel the fresh air in your divine nostrils, awake in peace.
You who makes ma’at to flourish, rise up to greet ma’at upon this day and awake in peace.

Offering Light

Greetings to you, О eye of Horus, you beacon of totality; glorious and sound
Greetings to you, О eye of Horus, who shines like Re in the double horizon.
Greetings to you, O eye of Horus, who shines in every shrine that is within the Two Lands.
Shine brightly, you eye of Horus. Extend your light over all of the Two Lands,
Shine brightly, you eye of Horus. Extend your light so that all can see.
Shine brightly, you eye of Horus. Extend your light so that ma’at prevails.

I present to you, O Lord of All, this eye of Horus, shining and complete.
O you ruler of the gods, take to this eye of Horus.
Take to yourself when you take the eye of Horus that is before you
Take to yourself that you may be renewed because of your eye.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus that you may be content because of it.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, and open your eyes with it.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, and renew your youth in peace.

Offering Water

I present you with water, for breath is in my nose;
I present you with water, for breath is in your nose;
I present you with water, for it rejuvenates your body;
I present you with water, for it quenches your thirst;

O Shining One, take to this eye of Horus.
Take to yourself when you take the eye of Horus that is before you
Take to yourself that you may be renewed because of your eye.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus that your thirst may be quenched because of it.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, and part your lips with it.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, and renew your youth in peace.

Offering Food

I bring to you your subsistence, a bounty that rejuvenates your form.
I bring to you all of the offerings that your heart desires.
Come to this subsistence, come to this bounty that will rejuvenate your form.
Come to these offerings, come to what your heart desires.

O you sole jackal in the sky, take to this eye of Horus.
Take to yourself when you take the eye of Horus that is before you
Take to yourself that you may be renewed because of your eye.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus that your hunger may be sated because of it.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, and part your lips with it.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, and renew your youth in peace.

Offering Ma’at

I raise up ma’at to you, O Lord of everything, take her to you.
Ma’at will be with you, in every place where you are.
Ma’at is in your presence, Lord of All, she is with you at all hours and all times.
Take your beloved daughter; she loves you, she does not withdraw from you.
Take your beloved daughter; She is your throat that fills your body,
Take your beloved daughter; she is your gullet that leads the food to your stomach;
Take your beloved daughter; for beautiful ma’at is yours great lord, you live from her, you breathe from her.
She is yours forever.

Take to this eye of Horus, Great God.
Take to yourself when you take the eye of Horus that is before you
Take to yourself that you may be renewed because of your eye.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, it is yours forever.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, and renew your youth in peace.

Reversion of Offerings

O Shining One, your enemies have fallen and no longer exist.
Everything is renewed and restored throughout the Two Lands through the work of our hands.
Take these offerings to yourself as I take these offerings to myself in the name of reversion of offerings.
Release these offerings to your servant, so that I may partake of what you partake of.
So that I might be shining and whole as the NTRW.


Akhu

Opening the Shrine

O Shu, make a way for me, for I am he who restored Osiris.
I am one who has seen the Weary One in his time of suffering.
I have come and I have removed the weariness from him, as his Companions do.
I am one in the entourage of Osiris, one who goes by night and returns by day, do not repulse me upon your path,
For I have power in my foot, and I have traversed the ways that only the kites know so that I may glorify the soul of my father on this day.

I have come the pillared hall so that I may see you, great god,
I have come to you as Nehebkau to bestow divinities upon you, and to glorify your soul
which is equipped and divine; it shines as Re, it travels as Hathor, and all that you see is yours.
O Osiris, Osiris, see that I have come to you in order to set your movements in order.
O Osiris, Osiris, make a path for me on this day, for I am one who surpasses mortal men and knows your secrets,
O Osiris, Osiris, make a path for me on this day, for I am one in the entourage of Osiris,
One who goes by night and returns by day, do not repulse me upon your path,

[Open Shrine]

Awake in peace, Bull of the West, awake in peace.
Rise up and be full of life, for you are not dead.
Awake in peace, Bull of the West, awake in peace.
Raise yourself up with both of your arms
and receive these bounties of yours that have been provided for you.
Awake in peace, Bull of the West, awake in peace.
Betake yourself to me, be near to me, for I am your son Horus.
Awake in peace, Bull of the West, awake in peace.
As I enclose you within the arms of your mother Nut,
So that you may be enduring.
Awake in peace, Bull of the West, awake in peace.

Offering Light

The light of Horus shines on the horizon, his light shines for the weary ones in all of their places.
See the eye of Horus. glorious, sound and in peace.
See the eye of Horus shining like Re in the horizon.
See the eye of Horus as it drives away your the enemies.
See the eye of Horus as its light shines for you.

Come to this torch, O Weary One, it confers its protection upon you.
Come to this torch, O Weary One, which makes a light for your ka,
Come to this torch, O Weary One, which illuminates the night after the day, the eye of Horus appearing radiant in this shrine.
Come to this torch, O Weary One, which appears radiant on your forehead.
Take to yourself this eye of Horus, and renew your youth in peace.

Offering Water

I bring you this water which flows forth from the Two Caverns for you,
I bring you this water, which cleanses your temples and restores your body.
Take of this Water, O Osiris. Take this water to you.
Quench your thirst with your efflux. Quench your thirst through the waters of the Nile.
I have brought to you the Eye of Horus so that you will not be thirsty
I have brought to you the Eye of Horus so that your lips will not be dry.
I have brought to you the Eye of Horus so that you may feed on it just as Horus fed on it.
I have brought to you the Eye of Horus so that you may renew your youth in peace.

Offering Food

I bring to you your subsistence, a bounty that rejuvenates your form.
I bring to you all of the offerings that your heart desires.
Come to this subsistence, come to this bounty that will rejuvenate your form.
Come to these offerings, come to what your heart desires.

O you ba among the akhs, take to this eye of Horus.
Take to yourself when you take the eye of Horus that is before you
Take to yourself that you may be renewed because of your eye.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus that your hunger may be sated because of it.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, and part your lips with it.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, and renew your youth in peace.

Offering Foreleg

I have crossed the sky as the Lion on the day of butchery for you to bring to you what you desire.
I have separated the foreleg for you, you Lord of Life.
I have traversed the Two Lands with it, so that I may bring it to you.
Take the foreleg to you, beautiful one, take it to you so that it will revitalize your ka.
Take to this eye of Horus, Great God.
Take to yourself when you take the eye of Horus that is before you
Take to yourself that you may be renewed because of your eye.
Take to yourself the strength in the eye of Horus.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, and renew your youth in peace.

Offering Ma’at

I raise up ma’at to reside with you, she takes her place in every place where you are.
Ma’at is in your presence, she is with you at all hours and all times.
Take your beloved ma’at; she loves you, she does not withdraw from you.
Take your beloved ma’at; She is your throat that fills your body,
Take your beloved ma’at; she is your gullet that leads the food to your stomach;
Take your beloved ma’at; for she is with you great lord, you live from her, you breathe from her.

Take to this eye of Horus, Great God.
Take to yourself when you take the eye of Horus that is before you
Take to yourself that you may be renewed because of your eye.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, it is yours forever.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, and renew your youth in peace.

Reversion of Offerings

O Weary One, your enemies have fallen and no longer exist.
Everything is renewed and restored throughout the Two Lands through the work of our hands.
Take these offerings to yourself as I take these offerings to myself in the name of reversion of offerings.
Release these offerings to your servant, so that I may partake of what you partake of.
So that I might be shining and whole as the NTRW.


Propitiation

Opening the Shrine

O you Protector of the land, rise within the horizon, and take control of the sky that is yours.
You make the Two Lands content through the work of your hands, your joy is for you.
The hearts of both of the Enneads are content when they see you filled with joy,
See that you are in the midst of your entourage and supporters, and so your joy is for you.

O hearts of the Enneads, you who are filled with contentment on this day,
Prepare a path for me so that I may pass by.
I know this path well, for it leads to my mistress, the Great Gold.
The Sistrum-player is in my body, and the scent of my mother calls to me.
O hearts of the Enneads, you know the joy that issues forth when she is propitiated and firm upon her seat.
Prepare a path for the equipped spirit in me,
For I have prepared a path to the place where Re is, to the place where Hathor is.
So that I may make manifest the beauty of my goddess.

[open shrine]

I kiss the earth as the sight of your beauty, O Great Gold
I worship my mistress, for I have seen her beauty;
I bring these bounties to my mistress, for I have seen her beauty;
I give praise to Hathor, for I have seen her beauty.
She appears here in this place before me, your shape is distinguished above the gods, and I see your beauty.

Offering Light

I strike the flint to light the way ahead for you, Great Gold.
I strike the flint to ensure that there is always a light shining in your shrines.
I strike the flint that brings the fire that drives away the enemies of the Two Lands
I strike the flint so that there will always be light to see the way.

Take this light to yourself and be cleansed by it.
Take this light to yourself and be made pure by it.
Take this light to yourself and be made whole by it.
Take this light to yourself and renew your youth in peace.

Offering Water

I present you with water, it brings brilliance to your ka;
I present you with water, it is what flows forth from you;
I present you with water, it rejuvenates your body;
I present you with water, it quenches your thirst;

O Shining One, take to this eye of Horus.
Take to yourself when you take the eye of Horus that is before you
Take to yourself that you may be renewed because of your eye.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus that your thirst may be quenched because of it.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, and part your lips with it.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, and renew your youth in peace.

Offering Food

I bring to you your subsistence, your nourishment, your ka.
Your divinities are for you, come to them and take them to yourself.
Take to these your offerings, filled with what you love.
I appease your heart with what you love, for your majesty is great when you are filled with joy.

Truly, your heart becomes green when you take this Eye to you.
Truly, your heart becomes green when you are renewed because of your eye.
Truly, your heart becomes green when your hunger is sated because of it.
Truly, your heart becomes green when you part your lips with it.
Truly, your heart becomes green when you renew your youth in peace.

Offering Ma’at

I raise up Ma’at to you, behold Ma’at as the fiery Eye of Horus, take her to you.
Your Ma’at is for you, O Protector, Ma’at is with you in every place where you are, she destroys all who stand against her.
Ma’at is in your presence, she is with you at all hours and all times.
Take your beloved Ma’at; she loves you, she does not withdraw from you.
Take your beloved Ma’at; She is your throat that fills your body,
Take your beloved Ma’at; she is your magic, which is effective;
Take your beloved Ma’at; she is your essence, you live from her, you breathe from her.
She is yours forever.

Take to this eye of Horus, Bountiful Goddess.
Take to yourself when you take the eye of Horus that is before you
Take to yourself that you may be renewed because of your eye.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, it is yours forever.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, and renew your youth in peace.

Reversion of Offerings

O you Glittering Gold, your enemies have fallen and no longer exist.
Everything is renewed and restored throughout the Two Lands through the work of our hands.
Take these offerings to yourself as I take these offerings to myself in the name of reversion of offerings.
Release these offerings to your servant, so that I may partake of what you partake of.
So that I might be shining and whole as the NTRW.


Execration

Be seated Great Gods, in the presence of Geb, the chiefest of the netjeru
For I am Horus, with ma’at upon my brow.
Aset bore me, Khebet raised me, Set served me over and above his own powers,
and Osiris has given me both of his staffs as proof of my Power.
I am at the Head of the Enneads. I am at the head of my father, and at the head of the living.
I have taken control of the Two Lands as Horus the Lord of Justice,
and I stop the movements of those who threaten the netjeru or their followers.

O you of whom the Double Lion is afraid, see that I see you, hiding inside the Cavern of the Rebel.
You have uttered rebellion against Ma’at
You have created discord throughout the Two Lands, which are guarded by the Great Demolisher.
A light has been kindled against you in the Mansions of Sepa,
And you will be destroyed upon this day.

Get back, you watchful one, who changes shape, who conveys away souls, who drags away hearts;
Be destroyed, for I am Geb, chiefest of the gods, and Atum, Lord of being, and I have power over you.
The power of the Hidden One acts as proxy for me, Ptah stands up for me, and I have power over you.
My champion is Thoth, his strength is in my arm, his might is in my mouth, and I have power over you.
I have taken possession of the might of Atum; and I have power over you.
I go on my feet, my speech is in my mouth when I smite my foes,
I have come against this foe of mine, who has been given to me
and you will not escape from me; for I have power over you.

Anyone on heaven or earth who shall stand against ma’at, my magic will drive them off.
The fire will go up, the flame will go up from the bellies of those who creep,
and the fiery one will be against them as the Eye of Re.

*Take up your piece of paper, this is where you get to yell at it, stomp on it, tear it up, light it on fire, etc. Follow the prompts in the rubric or do what you feel. Get cathartic.*

Get back a/pep, get back you rebel of Ra
O Bowel, be destroyed before Ra, for I know the evil that you create.
The knife of the execution-block is in your flesh!
Taste the cutting of the Great God!
Your head is cut off! Your body is cut into pieces!
You are powerless against my Effectiveness!
Be spat upon oh enemy of ma’at!
Feel the weight of my legs as my foot crushes your body.
Flames cut into your face! Fire consumes your soul!

Wither and rot from the magic in my mouth!
Be put to the fire and be destroyed! Be fallen and crushed!
Thoth’s fingers are in your eyes and his magic has laid hold of you.
Your form is annihilated, your shape is destroyed in all of its places and forms.
You are rendered impotent, your soul does not exist.
Your seat does not exist. Your children do not exist.
You are utterly destroyed in every place.

__

Opening the Shrine

I have come down into the land of the Silent One,
I have been equipped because of the vulture and the favor she has for me.
I am Khopri who came into being of himself upon his mother’s lap;
See, this magic of mine has been brought to me; I have gathered together this magic of mine
Wherever the foe stood, I was quicker than a hound; speedier than Shu.
Wherever the foe stood, my magic was effective and exacting.

O you entourage of Re, I have driven off the rebel, I have made A/pep impotent,
O you NTRW, I protected you and have shut fast the jaws of your foes;
I have seized him who would take you to his place of slaughter.
Your protection comes to you and your son Sopd the sharp-toothed acts as protector from whoever would harm you.
Your heavens are established and your cities are firmly rooted.
The Two Lands are in joy, and the hearts of all of the NTRW are glad
for a/pep has fallen into the fire.
All of the foes of all of the NTRW are fallen.
All of the NTRW are triumphant over their enemies.
I stand behind the NTRW and make their arms strong
so that their enemies may be destroyed, as I have on this day.

Offering Light

Be mighty, be mighty, О eye of Horus!
Be mighty over isfet in every place that it resides, that enemy who has wrought great evil,
It is your fire that burns his limbs,
It is your fire that burns his flesh,
It is your fire that eradicates his form, in every place he resides.
It is your fire that destroys him entirely, in your name, the Eye of Horus.

I offer you this eye of Horus, you glorious NTRW.
This eye of Horus alights in every shrine that is your, in every place that is yours.
Take to yourself when you take the eye of Horus that is before you
Take to yourself that you may be renewed because of your eye.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus that you may be content because of it.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, and open your mouth with it.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, and renew your youth in peace.

Offering Water

Your water is yours, your flood is yours, being abundant.
Raise yourself, receive these waters from me, your servant.
I pour for you the primordial water to satisfy your statue;
I pour for you the primordial water to satisfy your thirst;
I pour for you the primordial water to satisfy your body;
I have brought you this Eye of Horus and placed it at your feet.

Take to yourself when you take the eye of Horus that is before you
Take to yourself that you may be renewed because of your eye.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus that your thirst may be quenched because of it.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, and part your lips with it.
Take to yourself the eye of Horus, and renew your youth in peace.

Offering Food

A/pep has fallen and his meat is on the fire,
I offer his fat to you, see that his fat is on the fire.
I offer his fat to you, so that it may sate your hunger.
I offer his confederates to you, see their bones beneath your feet.
I offer his confederates to you, see that they do not exist.

Take this sustenance to you, allow it to fill your belly and fuel your body.
Take this sustenance to you, so that you may be renewed because of your eye.
Take this sustenance to you, that your hunger may be sated because of it.
Take this sustenance to you, and renew your youth in peace.

Offering Ma’at

Behold Ma’at as the fiery Eye of Horus.
Her exacting justice has cast out the rebels, and her magics were exacting in the bodies of your foes.
I raise up Ma’at to you, O you glorious Enneads, take her to you.
Your Ma’at is for you, O Great Gods, Ma’at is with you in every place where you are, she destroys all who stand against her.
Her fire has gone out, sought out the rebels, and her flame has destroyed them.
Truly, your enemies are destroyed, and Ma’at triumphs in your space.

Ma’at is in your presence, she is with you at all hours and all times.
Take your beloved Ma’at; she loves you, she does not withdraw from you.
Take your beloved Ma’at; She is your throat that fills your body,
Take your beloved Ma’at; she is your gullet that leads the food to your stomach;
Take your beloved Ma’at; for beautiful ma’at is yours, you live from her, you breathe from her.
She is yours forever.

Reversion of Offerings

O you NTRW, your enemies have fallen and no longer exist.
Everything is renewed and restored throughout the Two Lands through the work of our hands.
Take these offerings to yourself as I take these offerings to myself in the name of reversion of offerings.
Release these offerings to your servant, so that I may partake of what you partake of.
So that I might be shining and whole as the NTRW.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on August 27, 2019 in Kemeticism, Making Ma'at, Year of Rites

 

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Ma’at was Always Political

This week sat received an ask, wherein the inquirer states that “Ma’at was made so political.” It really stuck out to me, because as far as I can tell, ma’at was always political. When you look at the definition of “politics,” at the very very bottom, you get “use of intrigue or strategy in obtaining any position of power or control, as in business, university, etc.” which might seem antithetical to ma’at, right?

I don’t know many folks who would think it is within ma’at to “obtain any positions of power or control.” I say this because it’s not uncommon for members of our community to assume that anyone with any amount of social following or clout is somehow looking to become a megalomaniac or a cult leader. The mistrust that our community has with power is warranted, but it’s not historically informed when it comes to ma’at itself.

Ma’at is intrinsically tied to kingship in ancient Egypt. There are no two ways around that, and I don’t think I should have to lay out historical data to prove that the king used legitimacy and ritual to show the whole of Egypt that he was the divine ruler, the Horus here on earth that was meant to maintain ma’at for the entire country. So if we’re looking from a historical aspect, ma’at is defacto tied to politics. Sometimes ma’at was used to do good things, like help members of other countries in need, and other times she was used to do bad things, like start wars to gain control of people’s resources.

Of course, just because ma’at was tied to politics in the past doesn’t mean that it has to be tied to politics now, right? Well, I think it depends on what you’re cherry picking from our resources in order to form your argument. To make it easy, let’s pick one of the most widely-accepted tenets of ma’at: giving food to the hungry, clothing to the naked, a boat to the boatless. All three of these things are considered very ma’atian acts to perform. Did you know that giving food to the hungry is an arrestable offense in many places? Same goes for clothing, if you’re giving it to the wrong person. Your “not political” act just suddenly got political. It’s almost as if living under an authoritative government means that politics has a say over almost all aspects of your life, it’s shocking.

So that got me thinking, if anon wasn’t trying to say that ma’at was political, what else could they be trying to say?

If I’m being honest, I don’t think it’s that our anonymous asker was somehow lost on the fact that ma’at was originally political, no. I think it’s that this anonymous asker believes that people like me are politicizing ma’at, which is a very subtle, but important distinction. Because when most people think you’re politicizing something, they believe that you are taking something and trying to use it to gain power and promote a specific bias.

You see this in our society through things like the anti-vaxx movement, climate change, reproductive rights, etc. where a particular group tries to call into question the validity of data or information presented about a topic by going “but they’re trying to politicize it so that they can push their [inaccurate] bias.” What’s interesting is that most of these things are slanted towards the right side of the political spectrum. Which is to say that it’s mostly right-leaning people who have taken these topics that apply to everyone, and decided that they’re not actually that important to fight, fix, or fund. But instead of being honest about it, its sexier to imply that the “other side” is just politicizing (read: lying about) the whole thing. Yes, these things could be considered inherently unpolitical, but because of the world we live in, they are anything but.

So ultimately, when you see someone trying to tell someone else that they’re politicizing something that isn’t “inherently political,” you’re likely watching someone indirectly try to shut down the conversation about a topic (because it makes them uncomfortable.) To pull a good quote (cw: rape mention, victim blaming used as an example):

Words like “political” then are a means of controlling when (perhaps even if) we will allow discussion of some issues and what the nature of that discussion can be. Silence on issues like homosexual rights, sexual assault, climate change, and war all promote the status quo. If we don’t talk about homosexuals, then they remain deviant. If we don’t talk about sexual assault, then it remains a private problem of a few isolated women (who might have been “asking for it” anyway). If we don’t talk about climate change, then we can keep consuming and polluting without feelings of guilt. If we don’t talk about war, then the gears can keep spinning. In addition, by limiting tax-exempt organizations to discussing things that are “not political”, we keep them from pointing to problems in society as the cause of the issues they address. They can feed the hungry, but they can’t call for the end of the root cause of hunger in an extremely wealthy nation: wealth inequality. (x)

And therein lies the crux of the problem. Our anonymous asker is assuming that people like me have taken ma’at, an innocent pure bystander, and turned it into a weapon to convert people to our way of thinking. But the truth of the matter is, ma’at has always been what she is, and most of those who aren’t living on a couch of privilege understand that that means she’s political and that the concept ends up being inherently politicized. If anything, I didn’t change ma’at, ma’at changed me — which is how its supposed to work when you convert to a religion.

Existence is inherently political for all of us (only if you care about the health and well-being of other people, of course.) Our governments can, and will, do horrible things to people if left unchecked. We are all overseen by governmental structures that can do said horrid things, so to be able to be blind about what is going on on a governmental level (aka “not political”) is a luxury that only the most protected members of society can rely (aka rich white people, if you’re living in America.) There is a phrase that says that the ability to “not be political” is a sign of privilege, and this is exactly why. There is only a small, narrow portion of our community that isn’t a part of a marginalized group, and as such, it should be a given that politics will bleed into discussions on how best to live one’s life in ma’at. The marginalized members of our community shouldn’t be asked to hide parts of their lived experience simply because more-privileged members of our community are being made uncomfortable. Nor should they be forced to share their religious community with people who deny their (marginalized people) lived experience simply because they don’t want to explore how their own inherent bigotry is actually bad and should be changed.

So in conclusion, if we are to use ma’at to inform our decision-making and actions in our lives, and if most of us are living inherently politicized lives, then it stands to reason that ma’at was destined to be tied to politics, even in the modern era. Yes, you can choose to ignore this fact because it makes you uncomfortable, but I think the bigger question should be: why would you want to?

 
6 Comments

Posted by on August 21, 2019 in Kemeticism, Making Ma'at, Rambles

 

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Wep Ronpet 2019 Epagomenal Days Rubrics

As part of my year of rites, I was told that I needed to do “proper rites” for Wep Ronpet. O left the details vague, but I think that’s because he knows that I already know what I consider to be “proper rites” for Wep Ronpet, and so he’s essentially holding me to my own standard. So while I would love to skip out on so much stuff and only do something on the day of Wep Ronpet, I already know he won’t let me.

So without further ado, here is my schedule for Wep Ronpet this year:

  • July 28: Propitiation rites
  • July 29: Rites to Osiris
  • July 30: Rites to Heru Wer
  • July 31: Monthly Ma’at rites and rites to Set
  • Aug 1: Rites to Aset
  • Aug 2: Rites to Nebhet
  • Aug 3: Wep Ronpet rites including execrations

For the propitiation rites, I will be using a copy of the current propitiation rites that we’re using with a few nods to it being the end of the year mixed in. The rubrics for the epag days are below. For whatever reason, I felt inclined to make these rubrics purely from my dome instead of scouring the CT for material to build around. I don’t know if its because I know I couldn’t concentrate enough to read the CT right now, or if its something else, but if the cadence (and length, tbh) seems different to you, that’s probably why.

For the day of Wep Ronpet itself, I’m going to be reusing the rubric from 2019’s new year rites. It’s a little bit lazy, but writing rubrics takes time, and time is not something I’ve had a lot of. I think that moving forward, it may behoove me to make a ritual for each year that works for both the civil and the Kemetic new year, so that way I can double up on the heka that the ritual contains while also saving myself some time.


Rites to Osiris

We are in the time between times
The place where vast, endless potential lives.
This is the place where you came into being.
Where all beings came into being.

Feel the potential touching your skin.
Feel the opportunities spread out before you.
As Sirius rises into the sky for the first time of this first time,
Allow yourself to be as free as you truly are.
Free to plant your roots where you see fit.
Free to rise up and claim what is yours.

Feel the nourishing exudations that seep into you.
Feel them change you, encourage you, push you towards growth.
Unfurl yourself towards the sun.
Reach up towards what reaches down towards you.

[Open shrine]

Stand up, rise up.
Grow like what comes forth from you.
Feel the kiss of Re upon your skin.
Feel the warmth of the Iyrt Re upon your brow.
Reach your arms towards the sky and seek their embrace.

Presentation of Light

As the sun shines across the Two Lands, bringing forth new life,
So too does the light shine throughout all of your shrines.
Bull of the West, see the light that glows in your shrine.
Feel its warmth awaken your sight.
Take this perfect offering to your self and become Whole through it.
Allow the healing warmth of Amun-Re into your eyes,
Whole and pure as the Eye of Horus.

Presentation of Water

I give you sustenance as the sun gives you sustenance.
As Hapy gives the flood that washes over the land,
Cleansing everything that it touches,
Restoring the balance after months of drought.
I give you this water that fills your cup and restores the fertile lands of your heart and soul.

Drink of it and be as renewed as the Two Lands.
Take this primordial water to yourself and be restored.
Revel in the cool taste of water as it nourishes your body.

Presentation of Food

O Ba Among the Akhs, feel the glowing sustenance that Re freely gives to you daily.
Feel its warmth settle into your skin and rejuvenate your bones.
Just as Sothis prepares these yearly offerings for you in her name of year,
So too have I prepared these yearly divinities in your name.
Come to your table and sit.
Be present with me and accept this sustenance that I have brought for you.
For I know you and I know your needs.
Allow me to attend to you as your son does.

Presentation of Ma’at

I present ma’at to you, O Lord of Ma’at.
Take her to your nose and breathe in her scent.
Allow her presence to sate you, to rejuvenate you.
Be with her until you are One.
Feel her presence within your heart,
Hear her guidance in your ears,
Feel her directions in your limbs.
Live your life in totality with her.

Take this Ma’at to your breast, O Lord.
Allow her into your presence forever and always.
Take her to you, and renew your youth in peace.

O Great God, feel your roots taking hold, your growth being impressive.
See the glory of what you have become, harnessing all of the potential in your path.
Feel the divinity of your unity with your balance.
Feel the stability that you exude.

Reversion of Offerings

O Lord of Abydos, the time of strife is gone, balance is restored,
And you are sated and firm upon your seat.
Your enemies withdraw from your presence, in all of your places
And your offerings are reverted to your servants
So that the cycle of reciprocity may continue on.


Rites to Heru-Wer

O Divine Falcon, whose plumage is matched by none.
Here me now with both of your ears,
See me with both of your eyes and come to me.
I have traversed the sky, I have divided the firmament,
I have followed the path of Kephri to be here with you,
Do not impede me upon your path.

We are in the time between times
The place where vast, endless potential lives.
This is the place where you came into being.
Where all beings came into being.
Meet me here on the cusp of the first time of this first time,
So that you may renew your youth and your beauty in peace.

[Open shrine]

O you of the horizons, who knows the ways of the Sun god
I have come today to revitalize you, to rejoice in your splendor
To attend to you and resound your glories.

Presentation of Light

I strike the flint to light the way ahead for you, O Lord of Knives.
I strike the flint to ensure that there is always a light shining in your shrines.
I strike the flint that brings the fire that drives away the enemies of the Two Lands
I strike the flint so that there will always be light to see the way.

Come to this light, O Beneficent God,
Take it to yourself, allow its glow to warm your limbs.
Come to this light, O Lord of Power,
Take it to yourself, feel its renewing power become one with you.
Come to this light and renew your youth in peace.

Presentation of Water

The yearly primordial water washes over the Two Lands restoring all that it touches.
The yearly primordial water washes over the Two Lands until only the horizons remain.
See here, see that I have traversed far across the Two Lands
And gathered this water to offer to my Lord.

Take this water to you, drink of it and be as renewed as the Two Lands.
Let it part your lips and quench your thirst.
Take this primordial water to yourself and be restored.
Allow it to permeate your body and rejuvenate you in every place you reside.

Presentation of Food

O Provider, let me provide for you as your provide for others,
As Hathor nourishes those who follow the NTRW.
Come to these provisions that I have crafted for you.
Great is your majesty when your heart is full with the purity of the eye of Horus.
Take this eye of Horus to yourself, partake of it, and be restored
Great is your majesty when the light of the eye of Horus radiates through you, glorious and complete.

Presentation of Ma’at

I present to you this Ma’at, O Great Lord.
Take this Ma’at to you, take her to your breast.
She takes up residence within you, she sits firmly upon her seat.
Allow her into your self, allow her to become one with you,
For you truly are one with Ma’at, you Lord of Ma’at.

O you god who shines brighter than Re himself,
Your plumage radiates the beauty and glory of Ma’at.
Her presence is ever enduring within you.
Take Ma’at to you daily as Re does
So that you may be enduring for ever and ever.

Reversion of Offerings

You are sated, O you brightest of the NTRW.
Your enemies are truly defeated and exist no more.
Ma’at has been restored to you, and you are firm upon your seat.
These your offerings are reverted to your servants,
So that they may continue to serve you, glorious and complete.


Rites to Set

Hear me, O you Lord of Thunder.
Hear me with both of you ears and listen to the words coming from my mouth.
Allow my words to draw you near to me in this space.
This space that balances between the old and new,
This time between times
The place where vast, endless possibility lives.
This is the place where you came into being.
Where all beings came into being.

Join me here in this space that embodies Ma’at.
Balanced between the old and the new,
But only momentarily before being ushered into the new year.
For every moment is changing, and nothing is forever constant .
Join me here you Lord of change.

[Open the shrine]

O you dread initiator who knows the ins and outs of constant change,
Come to me now so that I may bring Ma’at to you,
So that you will enter the new year refreshed,
Glorious and complete.

Presentation of Light

As the light rises in the east, so too does light rise in your shrines, in all of their places.
Come to this light, allow it to wash over you and rejuvenate your body.
Take this light to you, partake of this eye of Horus, whole and complete.
Take this eye of Horus to you, become renewed with vigor from its presence.

Truly, there shall always be a light shining for you
In each of your shrines in all of their places.
Truly, your name shall forever be enduring,
So long as the sun crosses the sky.

Presentation of Water

I present to you cool primordial water,
Take this water to you, take it to your lips and be refreshed by it.
The water runs over your temples, your shrines, your body,
And in so doing, all are refreshed, renewed and restored.

Take this water to you daily into the coming year
As Re takes Ma’at to himself daily.
Take this primordial water to yourself and be restored.
Allow it to permeate your body and rejuvenate you in every place you reside.

Presentation of Food

I bring these food offerings to you, Lord of the Storm.
See, they are the foes of the Two Lands, bound and set to the fire.
Come to these your offerings. May their scent fill you with hunger.
Be present with me and accept this sustenance that I have brought for you
Take these offerings to you and restore your body with them.
Take these offerings and renew your youth in peace.

Presentation of Ma’at

I have brought Ma’at to you, O god of glory.
I have brought Ma’at to you so that she may brighten your face.
Take this Ma’at to you, O Lord of Ma’at.
Take her to you and allow her to rest within your heart.
Take her to you and allow her seat to become firm.
Take her to you and allow her guidance to permeate your actions.
Take this Ma’at to you, and become whole and new like Zep Tepi.

Feel Ma’at as she resides within you.
Feel feel the joy that her presence brings to your life.
Hear the music that she sings within your heart.
Remember the joy and vibrancy of experiencing the whole.
Take Ma’at to you in her entirety, and exact the change that her judgement requires.

Reversion of Offerings

O Lord of the Desert, your enemies have withdrawn from you,
And all is restored to Ma’at throughout the Two Lands.
Your thirst is quenched, your stomach is full and you are firm upon your seat.
These your offerings revert to your servants
For as I live, you live, and as you live, I live.


Rites to Aset

O you lady of Gold,
I come to you, I ask to be in your presence.
I kneel before you, for your glory is unparalleled and well-known throughout the entirety of the Two Lands.
You have persevered and triumphed against great odds,
You have loved, lost, and regained in all of the majesty that is yours.
Come to me now, in this time between times
The place where vast, endless potential lives.
This is the place where you came into being.
Where all beings came into being.

I come to you, O Lady of Gold. Do not repulse me on your path.
Allow me into your presence, allow me close to you
So that I may extol your beauty and give you greatness
As we move into the new year.

[Open shrine]

Come to me, you defender of Re.
Come to me here so that I may give you these divinities.
So that you may enter the new year
Bright and with glory upon your brow.

Presentation of Light

O you who brought the bright light of Horus into the world,
Feel this light as it enters your shrine.
By the work of your hands, the Eye of Horus is strong throughout the Two Lands
Relish in your victories and bask in the light provided by your son.

This light shines throughout the Two Lands,
it vanquishes all of your enemies in all of their places.
This light shines for you for all eternity.
Truly, its light brightens your ka.
I bring you this light and place it at your feet
So that you may renew your youth in peace.

Presentation of Water

I bring to you this primordial water which has come forth from the Two Caverns.
The sweetest water in all the land, it brings brilliance your ka to drink of it.
Come to these cool waters that nourish you.
Take it to your lips and be quenched as the Two Lands is when the river floods yearly.
Feel the greenness of your heart growing when you take the waters to you
Feel the joy as it expands in your heart.

Presentation of Food

I am Hathor, the lady of nourishment,
And I have gathered the choicest items from all of the lands to offer to my mistress.
See, I have brought you these provisions for your subsistence.
Sit firmly upon your seat and take these offerings to yourself and be sated.
They will nourish your body and sustain you into the new year.

Presentation of Ma’at

I place this Ma’at before you.
She takes up seat in all of your shrines in all of their places.
Reunite with this Ma’at, O Lady of Ma’at.
For you are truly one, and as she lives, you live.

Ma’at’s scent permeates your residence.
Her perfume fills your nose and the air is weighty with her presence and exuberance.
Be one with Ma’at, take her to your breast.
Bring all of the guidance and virtue of Ma’at with you into the upcoming year.

Reversion of Offerings

O shining goddess, your enemies have withdrawn from you, and balance has been restored throughout the Two Lands.
You have returned victorious and complete, shining upon your seat.
You have taken the eye of Horus to you in its name of reversion of offerings.
Your offerings now revert back to your servants,
So that the cycle of giving between us shall never be broken.


Rites to Nebhet

I call out to you O Goddess of the West.
All shining in gold, your radiance is known throughout the Two Lands.
Mistress of Ma’at, hear my words with both of your ears.
May my words please you and bring you near to me,
So that we may celebrate this last day before the first Zep Tepi of the new year.

We are at the end of the time between times
The place where vast, endless potential lives.
This is the place where you came into being.
Where all beings came into being.
Let us gather up this potential from this place,
Gather it with our arms and carry it forward with us
As we cross the threshold into the new year.

[Open shrine]

I come to you beautiful goddess, do not repulse me upon your path.
I have come to you so that I may present to you these divinities,
To sing of your praises and resound your glories.
So that you may be well-equipped as we move into the new year.

Presentation of Light

The light comes forth, radiating from the east every morning.
It’s radiance is only dimmed by your brilliance, you Lady of the house.
I give you this light, O Protector, take it to you.
It’s rays wash over your body, restoring you.
Bask in these rays, feel their warmth on your skin.
Feel it sinking into your limbs, making you renewed and whole.
Take this eye of Horus to your countenance, glorious and complete.

Presentation of Water

The waters of the Two Caverns have started to wash over the land,
Covering it in renewal, fertility and growth.
I have gathered this refreshing water for my Mistress.
I bring this water to you, see your beauty in its crystalline reflection.

I pour the water for you, my Goddess.
Take this water to your self, bring it to your lips and taste its sweet taste.
Quench your thirst, the water does well for the greenness in your heart.
Partake of the water, O Lady of the House, and renew your youth in peace.

Presentation of Food

I bring you cakes, you protector of Osiris.
I fill your offering plates with all of the bounty that the land has to offer.
Come to these your divinities and enjoy in their flavors.
Take this eye of Horus to yourself so that your body will be whole.
Take this eye of Horus to yourself so that your body will be strong,
So that you may start the new year sated and refreshed.

Presentation of Ma’at

I offer you Ma’at on this day, as you offer Ma’at to Atum.
Partake of this Ma’at, as Re does daily.
Truly, your beauty radiates ever further when Ma’at is within your heart.
Truly your power is mighty when Ma’at is firm upon her seat.
Ma’at is in all of your shrines, in all of their places.
She sits before you, she sits within you. She is yours forever.
Smell her sweet scent within your nostrils, feel her weight within your chest.
Feel Ma’at as she resides within you.
Feel feel the joy that her presence brings to your life.
Hear the music that she sings within your heart.
Take Ma’at to yourself, and be whole.

Reversion of Offerings

O you fierce kite, your enemies have fallen and no longer exist.
Everything is renewed and restored throughout the Two Lands.
Take these offerings to yourself as I take these offerings to myself in the name of reversion of offerings.
Release these offerings to your servant, so that I may partake of what you partake of.
So that I might become whole and renewed as the NTRW.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2019 in Kemeticism, Making Ma'at, Year of Rites

 

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Ma’at as a System

Permaculture has changed my views of ma’at. The more I have begun to understand how the ecological world around us operates, the more I have begun to understand how limited a lot of our discussions about ma’at and isfet are. I’ve also come to feel that if you don’t have a solid understanding of what makes the world we live in tick, a lot of the layers of meaning within Kemeticism get lost. As I looked through all of the posts in the FAQ about ma’at and isfet, I realized that so many of us are trying to encompass the ideas I’m about to put forth, but we lack a language or structure to inform our discussion, and so key parts get lost.

I would like to posit a new way for how we view ma’at and isfet. Specifically, how they interact with one another.

The concept of systems

Our world, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, is made up of systems that are nested into other systems. To create a generalized starting point for those who aren’t used to talking about systems, a system is commonly defined as “a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network” or “an organized scheme or method.” That is to say that life is made up of many pieces coming together, living and dying and bouncing off of one another in such a fashion that life ultimately can continue on, which I briefly touched on in my post about edge effect.

In many ways, this idea contradicts what many of us grew up with, because US culture likes to position itself as allowing people to be self reliant and that needing assistance from other people is a weakness, but the truth of the matter is that even here in the US, we still are reliant on other humans. It may look like we are able to live without help, but when you really think about how your food gets to the store, and then to your house (average of 1,500 miles from farmer to plate). Or how you manage to get anything you own, etc. You really begin to see that we are still a system stuck within a system, a network of cells making our body run (a system) that exists in a much-more-distant network with other humans (all those farmers and manufacturers and unpaid labor and retailers and truck drivers that make all of the “stuff” in our society move around).

Three system types

At the end of the day, we humans are ultimately healthier when we are fully connected and engaged with the systems that support us. Whether that’s nature itself, other humans that are around us, the region where we live, etc. The more I’ve learned about this topic, the more I’ve come to believe that it is necessary for our health to be connected to the systems that support us. Healthy systems are intrinsic to our well being.

In permaculture, systems are ultimately what you’re looking to create. To help determine if the system you’ve set up is healthy or not, there is a sort of classification setup that we have that helps us to figure it out. For any system in question, there are three types of categories to choose from: degenerative, generative, and regenerative.

A degenerative system is a system that is inherently unsustainable. It uses more resources than it gives, requires a lot of upkeep, and is not resilient against extremes, such as extreme weather or natural disasters. For examples of degenerative systems, all you need to do is look around where you live. Nearly every aspect of Western culture is degenerative. Our food system is degenerative. Our transportation systems are degenerative. There is very little about our culture that isn’t degenerative.

A generative system is a system that basically “breaks even.” It may require a fair amount of resources to create, but then requires little-to-no upkeep or maintenance. The most common examples that you see for generative systems are old-fashioned hand tools. Things like hammers, axes, shovels, etc. They require some amount of resource to create or procure, but a good shovel can last you decades if you take care of it.

A regenerative system is the best system to have. These are systems that regenerate their own resources and are self-sustainable once they are set up (to some extent. All systems will ultimately need some level of care to be maintained, but generally, you don’t put much into a regenerative system in comparison to what it provides the participants of said system.) The biggest caveat about regenerative systems is that only living things can qualify as a regenerative system. A forest is a regenerative system. Your body is a regenerative system. Any natural system is considered a regenerative system. Any food chain or natural habitat that hasn’t been massively disturbed should be, ideally, a regenerative system.

So what of it, right?

I believe that in order for the concepts of ma’at and isfet to really make any sense or sing, they need to be viewed from the perspective of systems, specifically because I believe ma’at is inherently meant to be regarded as a regenerative system.

Ma’at as a natural system

Ma’at, like so many of our most important concepts, is personified as a deity while also being regarded as a concept. If we believe that gods are real, living beings, then that would make each deity a regenerative system unto themself. Why? Because living things are regenerative systems when they are healthy. That, by proxy, automatically makes ma’at a regenerative system. But if that’s not enough, the other reason why I think ma’at qualifies as a regenerative system is because it is a natural system. It is a system that follows all of the rules of natural systems:

  1. Nothing in nature grows forever. There is a constant cycle of decay and rebirth.
  2. Continuation of life depends on the maintenance of global (though in our paradigm, I’d use the word “cosmic”) cycles.
  3. Both too many or too few members of a species can lead them to the threshold of extinction (read: moderation is required for sustainability.)
  4. A group’s chance of survival is largely dependent upon one or two key factors in a sea of complicated interrelations between an organism and it’s environment (this reminds me of fighting off isfet, the main factor that could destroy ma’at.)
  5. Our ability to change the world around us increases at a rate faster than our ability to foresee the consequences of such change (you see this in the fact that AE was hellbent on constantly bringing everything back to the First Time, when everything was at its Most Perfect, right as Creation came into being.)
  6. Living organisms are not only means, but ends. Living things have intrinsic worth beyond what benefits they provide to humans (I certainly hope you thought of ma’at when you read this.)

In my mind, all of these principles are present within the ancient Egyptian worldview. Almost all of our rituals deal with themes of overcoming decay and being reborn. Our rituals are meant to help maintain cosmic order, which is why they’re so vital to the continuation of ma’at. And our survival depends upon our willingness to actively fight off isfet. Because all living things have inherent worth, we have to be careful how we move into the future, and so we should always be comparing our methods to Zep Tepi, the time when we Got It Right.

As a natural system, it stands to reason that anything that goes against what allows a natural, regenerative system to regenerate would potentially be considered Bad, or in this case, isfetian in nature. Using this model, we begin to see the emergence of how we can use these tools to begin to determine what qualifies as a source of ma’at or a source of isfet, and even more importantly — how that should inform our own actions and habits in our daily lives.

In my next post, I will discuss how isfet is a degenerative system and how disorder and repetition are the harbingers of a regenerative system becoming degenerative. And in a currently-not-determined number of future posts, I’ll cover how we can use these concepts to determine whether something is building ma’at or leading towards isfet and what this implies about the current state of our community.

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2019 in Kemeticism, Making Ma'at

 

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May Making Ma’at Rubric

I focused the next branch of my Making Ma’at/Monthly Ma’at rituals to be more on Ma’at herself.


Approaching the Shrine

Awake in peace great gods, awake in peace.
I am Re who issued from the Nun in
this my name of Khopri, and my soul is a god.
See me with both of your eyes.
Hear me with both of your ears.
Come to me, be with me, do not impede me.
For I am Re, Lord of All.
I have come to be with you great gods, awake in peace.

Oh you who guides the NTRW, who detests wrongdoing,
Who breathes ma’at, does ma’at and causes the NTRW to live upon it daily,
Who causes ma’at to spring forth through the work of your arms.
You who gives power to Osiris, who satisfies the hearts of those who are in your service,
who detest wrongdoing, who live and breathe off of ma’at daily,
I come to you, awake in peace.
For I am the Lord of Light, and I have crossed the firmament between us
So that I may gaze upon your beauty, O Uraeus of the Eternal One.

I have come so that I might raise you aloft on your standard,
So that I might put you high above all else,
So that everyone may see your magnificence from every corner of the Two Lands.

*Step forward or open the shrine*

I open your temple. I come to you.
Your warmth and beauty surrounds me as I enter. I am not repulsed.
I have come today to renew my connection with you, O Mistress of Ma’at,
To raise you aloft in my heart.

Purification of offering space:

*Take up water bowl/pitcher*

O water, remove all evil,
I give you essential water, O Shining One, a tide in your time.
I bring the flood waters to purify your sanctuary, O Mistress of the West.
I bring you the flood waters to purify your temple
and your statue in your place.

*wet your finger and touch the four sides of your shrine, offering table or plate, etc.*

O Ma’at, your altar is cleansed by the water;
Your altar is purified by the incense;
You are cleansed by Horus;
You are purified by Thoth.
Water invigorates your body;
You are refreshed and renew your youth in peace.

Presentation of Light:

*Turn on light or light candle, etc.*

May you awake in Beauty, O Glorious Eye of Heru.
Be strong and renew your youth in peace.
You shine like Ra on the double horizon.
Your word is ma’at, by reason of your Eye, whole and pure.
The Eye of Horus destroys all of the enemies of the
Two Lands in all of their places.
Nothing is hidden from the fiery sight
Of the Eye of Horus, Glorious and Complete.

Presentation of Libations:

Greetings to you, primordial water
Greetings to you, O river
Greetings to you, Great Flood,
You, the father of the gods.

*Pour the water into a cup or bowl*

I present to you, O Magnificent One
the cup filled with primordial water;
Which has come from the Sacred Place.
Receive this water from my hands and take it to your countenance,
For I am of you, with you, one of you.
I pour the libation to water your face;
May your thirst be quenched.

Presentation of Food Offerings:

I come near you, O Mistress.
I bring the food and provisions for your continued renewal and growth.
O you who nourishes the gods,
Who causes the living to grow, and makes firm the bodies of the living
I bring you offerings so that you may nourish yourself.
Take these offerings to yourself,
Allow them to revitalize yourself in all of your places.

*place offerings on shrine/altar*

I am Hathor, the Lady of Nourishment;
And I have insured the nourishment of the gods
As the gods have insured my own nourishment.
For as you Live, I Live. And as I live, you live.

O you gods, see that I am here,
That I have come to join the solar circuit,
For I am one of you.
That I have taken Ma’at to myself as Re does daily,
That I am here to make sure that ma’at flourishes through the work of my hands.

O Mistress of Ma’at, who is always sitting firmly upon her seat.
Your warmth is felt in every shrine, every ib, every place within the Two Lands.
You rise daily with Re. The NTRW partake daily of you.
In return for the guidance and protection you give,
All of us give back to you, recreate you, ensure that you flourish in every place
Through the work of our hands.
You are immune to any ill which has gone forth from any place
Because you are the Bull of Justice, and people fear your fierceness and know your name.
Your legs are strong, and your arm is strong.
You know your worth as I know your worth.
O you who causes people to live.
Your name will be carried aloft by the people O Great Ma’at
They will carry you in their hearts and in their minds.
You will cut their tongues and guide their legs.
Your name will not perish and your radiance will be known.

Presentation of Ma’at:

O You giver of life, who keeps the land alive through the activity of your arms
I know you. I know your name.
You open the noses of the living.
You keep the gods alive.
O Mistress of Protection, who protects the gods.
I offer yourself to you, for I know your worth.

The NTRW have peace and flourish through you, O Great Ma’at.
Their hearts live when you rise before them.
Rise O Mistress of Ma’at.
Exist so that the gods may exist in peace and harmony.
Take up position within every shrine of every NTR in every place of Your Domain.
Awaken the hearts of the Ennead and move each NTR to action
In all of your passion and beauty.

O Great Gods, feel ma’at stirring within your hearts.
Feel her invigorate your members and your limbs.
Remember that you exist because ma’at exists
That Ma’at exists because you exist.
Ma’at has made her way upon your brow and into your heart,
And she exists within you forever.

Ma’at has taken her position within your shrine.
Thoth, the One who is Great of Magic, makes protection for you
And overthrows your enemies.
Ma’at is established throughout your Domain, truly twice established.
She is yours forever and ever, O Beneficent Gods.
And as she is yours, she is the people’s.
For as you live through her, your people live through her.
For ever and ever, a million times effective.

Revert your offerings:

O Great NTRW, your enemies withdraw from you.
Horus has turned himself to his Eye in its name of Reversion-of-Offerings.
These your divine offerings revert;
They revert to your servant for life, stability, health and joy.
So that you may flourish for eternity.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2019 in Kemeticism, Making Ma'at, Year of Rites

 

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Connected in Loneliness

I have been lonely for as long as I can remember, and I’ve handled it in various ways throughout my life. When I was younger, I disassociated all of those feelings away. As I got older, I found the “better” method of handling my loneliness was to funnel it into work. Because if you’re busy, you don’t have time to listen to the feelings gnawing in your stomach. Over the years, I’ve found that I could combine my incessant need to drown things out via work while also trying to fix my constant loneliness. Which is probably why TTR as you know it even exists.

In recent months, I’ve found that the topic of loneliness has been on my mind again. Due to the current circumstances of my life, I find that the feelings of abandonment and neglect that I would have experienced in my youth frequently bubble up to the surface. Because I’ve gotten better at being able to look at my feelings and remain somewhat detached from them, I’ve found that I’m able to actually inspect them before being overwhelmed by them. This has resulted in a fair amount of navel-gazing about loneliness and how it relates to a person’s personal religious practice. And by extension, how it relates to the gods, and whether they get lonely or not.

I suspect that being a member of a more “fringe” religion leads to loneliness playing a larger role in our community’s experience as a whole. Unlike being in the dominant religious group of wherever any of us is living, where you can find physical places to worship with other human beings, most of us are stuck creating our own religious experience in our own homes. I think its all very foreign, this trying to allocate resources to concoct, conceptualize, and implement whatever brings religious meaning to us while still engaging all of the other aspects of our busy lives. It’s a lot of extra work, and I think many of us don’t take the time to consider what impact that can lend to one’s religious experience. It’s a lot easier to build off of something that already exists than to have to figure out how to create it yourself from scratch. It’s a lot more motivating to participate in your religion if it is socially fulfilling or enriching.

In many respects, our choice in religion others us to a degree. And in that sense, our religion creates an ideal space to be lonely.

On a whim. I asked about loneliness and religion over on tumblr. I wanted to see how others relate to loneliness, and how that influences their religious practices. I left the question vague, as I wanted to see how people interpret loneliness without a wider context. I would say that most of the responses fell into a few categories:

  1. Loneliness is an act of being alone. This can allow for greater freedom to connect with the Divine, because there is no one around to interrupt you.
  2. Loneliness as a necessary tool or experiences. That some of our experiences are going to be inherently lonely, because we experience things differently as individuals. In most of these responses, the othering that comes with loneliness is temporary or situational, and not all-encompassing.
  3. Loneliness that separates a person from other people, as in being the only participant of your religion that you know of, or being the only non-white participant in your religious circle. This loneliness is pervasive and persistent.
  4. Loneliness that separates a person from the gods, as in not being able to connect with a deity as much as one would like, due to the fact that they aren’t living in physical forms we can interact with.

In these responses, I would argue that there are two over-arching relationships to loneliness. On one hand, it seems that people equate loneliness to being alone, nothing more and nothing less. On the other hand, it seems that people equate loneliness to being disconnected from others who are similar to themself, which is the definition I tend to err towards. From a mental health perspective, loneliness is not about being alone, it’s about being disconnected from other humans–regardless of how many humans are in physical proximity to you.

The ability to feel connected with people comes from a sense of someone being open and available to you, and by extension, you being open and available to them. It’s an open-door policy that works in both directions, respects both people’s needs and boundaries and leaves both people trusting the other with vulnerable aspects of themself. You can’t be connected with others unless you’re comfortable being vulnerable with them.

When you read that paragraph, how many people come to mind? How many people are you really connected with? How about your gods? Does the definition of connection apply to your relationship with them? Do you think that the gods feel connected with you?

Connection is ultimately the “cure” for loneliness, especially if its chronic in nature. And yet, according to most research, most of us do not feel connected with anyone. I might go so far to venture that many of us don’t even feel connected to ourselves. In recent months I have come to understand isfet as being “stuff that tears at the social fabric of human society,” and by that definition, loneliness might as well be a type of isfet because not only does loneliness make us miserable, it literally cuts your life short.

And if that’s the case, wouldn’t that make connection a form of ma’at? The balm that eradicates isfet from your life and restores the social fabric that us humans require to survive?

If 2019 is the year of making ma’at, then it stands to reason that this should be the year we start to tackle the loneliness that permeates our community. I don’t have any concrete solutions, but this is a call to action for anyone reading to start pondering about how we can work on helping members of our community to become more connected. Not only with each other or the gods, but also with ourselves. Figuring out who we are, making ourselves a priority allows us to give more space to other people when they are in a time of need. Treating ourselves as an important member of our own life helps us to form deeper, healthier relationships with others. Learning about yourself also teaches you how you want other people to treat you, and by extension, helps you create better boundaries, so that you can learn to trust people better. Which ultimately leads to… more ability to connect with others.

When you think about the loneliness that is in your own life or religious practice, what comes to mind? What helps you to feel connected to others? What steps are you performing to create more connection between yourself and others? What are you doing to help yourself become more connected with yourself?

Some resources to get the conversation started:

 
 

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Year of Rites: March

I thought February was pretty bad. I thought that maybe with my coursework ending in the middle of March, that somehow things would get better.

March was awful. March was worse.

I had been given permission to go off of a medication in late February, and it caught up to me in March. I was incredibly depressed all month. Anxiety attacks became a multiple-times-per-day thing. I spent most of my month overwhelmed and feeling like there was no way I was going to ever get anywhere or survive this at all.

I barely remember March, if I’m being honest. But I did manage to do all of my rituals, so at least there is that?

Monthly Ma’at

I remember the day, because I wrote notes about it in my bullet journal. But I don’t really recall the ritual. I know that I did the same rubric from January, and I don’t think I included the “Becoming Ma’at” section this month. Luckily I had food on hand, so the offerings were pretty solid.

But the day was garbage.

Akhu Rites

The akhu rites followed the day after my Monthly Ma’at rites, which made the akhu rites suffer. I was hungry and really wanted to hurry up and eat, and so I forgot to take pictures again, and so I don’t have anything to even show for the ritual. I don’t have any commentary, either, other than I did the same rubric from the previous two months.

Propitiation

The icon that I’ve been using for my propitiation rites has been slowly shifting each month. I got the inclination to add gold elements to the leaves and the forehead. I also added green elements to the ma’at feather and to the general background. We’ll see if I get another memo to update the icon for next month.

For this month’s propitiation, I decided to try something called “vooing.” I learned about it while at my PDC and decided to look into it on my own time because, honestly, I needed any edge I could get this month.

The “Voo Breath” is a modality that is often used in somatic therapies, and is basically a sort of gentle “massage” for your viscera, or so I’ve seen it described. It’s a lot like chanting, and it seems to help calm the Vagus nerve, which is largely responsible for our anxiety responses in life. It can look a bit like this.

Ironically, I had the inclination to do something similar to this from day one, but I could never bring myself to do it (probably due to anxiety, unsurprisingly.) However, I guess finding out that it’s a “legit thing” caused me to reconsider whether it was worth trying. And I guess I got desperate enough or felt safe enough to do it, and so I decided to give it a go for my propitiation this month. I figured if it helps calm me down and help me center myself, perhaps it would work for the Iyrt Ra… right? I personally enjoyed the experience, but I can’t comment on whether the NTRW are for it or not.

I also made a heka art piece that I offered as well, which you can see in the image above. Also, yes, more tacos.

Execration

By the time my execration rolled around, I actually started to feel marginally better. I had a shift somewhere in between both of these rituals about my situation, and somehow I was somewhat more back in the game, but only by the tiniest bit. The bit was so tiny that I basically put off doing my execration until the very end of the day. Why? I don’t know. It just seemed like I had no idea what to do or what I was doing, and so I put it off.

But I did eventually get it done. There was nothing particularly creative about this execration, and the only modification that I made to the rite was to include a bit from My Heart My Mother, which sat happened to quote in their recent post:

O Bull of the Two Lands… I am divine, I am an Akh, I am powerful and I am seated on the throne of Atum… make a place for me amongst you so that I may sail with Re in the Duat.

I also had the urge to make a second ma’at feather in silver to complement the gold feather I had already made. That also debuted with the execration.

He Goes Forth

This was another example of my wanting to do a ritual, but life got in the way. The Sunday that this rite fell on was way too hectic, and so I then planned to do it the day after, April 1, instead. But then I ended up having to take grandpa to the hospital that morning, and most of my day was eaten up dealing with all of that.

I had wanted to shift my focus of this ritual to be more about thanking Wpwt for the things that people have told me have manifested with their petitions they sent in. Originally, I wanted to give him a big meal and everything.

But life often has other plans.

And so I ended up just throwing together what I could find (lol candy) and hoping that it wouldn’t count against me too much. I realized when I was at the “cleanse the altar” part of my ritual, that I forgot to dust first, and so I ended up making a nice wet pile of dirt on the altar space — not my most ideal setup. You’ll note in the image above that the shrine space is different, and that’s because I felt more inclined to do the ritual where his statue “lives”, which is in front of Aset and my ma’at feathers.

I spent a fair amount of time doing some of the voo breath for him to make up for the lack of offerings. And I can’t really figure out why, but it feels like I’m giving of myself when I do it, and so I may start to add this to all of my rites moving forward. I’m hoping that I can actually give him a proper set off offerings next month to make up for this month’s lackluster-ness.

Final Thoughts

This month was a mess. I was a mess. I am a mess. But despite all of that, I was able to still get my rites done. Albeit, not in the more graceful manner that I would have preferred. But again, its important that we do what we can, even if it’s not perfect. And if nothing else, I have yet to miss a rite, although my track record for meeting my own expectations is still pretty bad. I am hoping to write new rubrics in April, in time to be used for May. So I guess we’ll see what next month brings.

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2019 in Kemeticism, Making Ma'at, Year of Rites

 

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