RSS

A Year of Rites

Ever since I moved into my grandmother’s place, I’ve felt the urge to do a daily rite of some kind. I knew that I didn’t want to do the standard daily rites that are common in Kemeticism, because at the time, I wasn’t really eager to see O or Set anytime soon. Since I didn’t know what to do that would be helpful, but not involve my gods, I put the idea on a shelf and went about my business.

Fast forward to November, when O shows up and tells me that he would like me to consider doing successive rituals for the entirety of the following year (2019.) I expected him to try and sell me on how I would benefit from doing this for him, but he really didn’t suggest much. If anything, I think he knew it would tap my ego when it saw a challenge that it wasn’t sure it could hack — but ultimately wants to be able to say was effectively hacked. Almost like doing a thru-hike, you’re doing it partially just to see if you actually can. And so instead of trying to cajole me into doing it, he let me cajole myself into doing it.

And so, in the spirit of seeing if this is something I can actually hack, I give you “A Year of Rites.”

This “Year of Rites” will consist of four rituals per moon cycle, as per O’s original parameters. Each ritual will have its own theme and is placed at specific times within the moon cycle. These themes are then repeated around the same time each moon cycle, creating a sort of monthly rhythm.

So far, here is the general schedule and method that I’ve worked out:

New Moon/Day after New Moon: Monthly Ma’at

I chose to place the Monthly Ma’at rites around the new moon as a means of taking what is essentially a “blank canvas” that is the moon cycle, and infusing it with ma’at from day one. As such, I want to time these rites as close to the New Moon as possible. Here is the tentative schedule for the Monthly Ma’at rites:

Jan 7
Feb 4
Mar 6
April 5
May 6
June 3
July 2
July 31
Aug 30
Sept 30
Oct 28
Nov 26
Dec 26

Full Moon: Propitiation Rites

I am admittedly still a little unclear about what I will be doing for these rites. As I understand it, O would like me to mimic propitiation rites that occurred in antiquity, mainly centered around Sekhmet, Hathor, Khonsu, or Iyrt Ra in general. I think that I will initially start with the longform rite that Reidy wrote for Sekhmet, and see if I can use it as a base to create other rites that I could do for this category.

I chose to perform these rites around full moon due to the references of muuet and other nefarious entities being more prominent in the second half of the moon cycle (Roberts). I felt it best to propitiate the gods that oversee these negative forces before the dark side of the moon even begins to show its face. This is my tentative schedule for these rites:

Jan 18
Feb 19
Mar 20
April 19
May 17
June 17
July 16
Aug 15
Sept 13
Oct 11
Nov 12
Dec 11

Waning Moon: Execration Rites

Almost anyone reading should be pretty familiar with execration rites at this point, so I wasn’t going to bother with explaining them in-depth, but I will mention that these are meant to be a little bit more involved than some of my past execrations, in that I will be attempting to do more formal-styled execrations (such as what you see in Reidy’s book) for 2019. As for the timing, I chose to place these during the waning moon phase as a means to push back any negative forces that have managed to surface since the moon has begun to “shrink” or disappear. Unlike most of the other phases, this section has the most flexibility with timing, and I will likely do an execration on the first day of 2019, similar to how we would for Wep Ronpet, to insure that the year is as prosperous as possible. Here is the tentative schedule for the execration rites:

Jan 1
Jan 28
Feb 26
Mar 27
April 26
May 27
June 25
July 24
Aug 23
Sept 20
Oct 21
Nov 19
Dec 18

Not-Affiliated-with-the-Moon: 6th Day Akhu Rites

The akhu rites that I was asked to perform are supposed to be modeled somewhat after the 6th day rites that would have been performed in antiquity. Since I’ve got rites occurring around the 6th in several months, I will potentially shift some of these rites to the 7th or 10th day of each month, since I’ve read that it was not uncommon for akhu rites to occur on those days as well. To start with, I will be using Reidy’s akhu rites, but I have been asked to draft another version based off of the “Ancestor Ritual” of Amenhotep I by the end of the year. This is the tentative schedule for the akhu rites:

Jan 10
Feb 6
Mar 7
April 10
May 10
June 6
July 10
Aug 6
Sept 6
Oct 7
Nov 6
Dec 6

After each ritual is done, I will be doing a write-up discussing what I experienced, learned, or did for each rite. Whether these will be weekly, or combined into one monthly post, I’m not sure. However, all of them will be labeled as “Year of Rites” and will be tagged as such. If anyone else would like to participate, feel free to throw your experiences/write-ups into the “Year of Rites” tag, and I will place them at the bottom for others to view. For any custom rites that I create, I can post rubrics for others to follow if there is interest (I’ll be posting what I draft up for Making Ma’at no matter what.)

I know that the schedule is rigorous, but part of me can’t help but wonder how such an experience will change me. I look forward to seeing where this venture takes me.

Advertisements
 
6 Comments

Posted by on December 23, 2018 in Kemeticism, Making Ma'at, Year of Rites

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Making Ma’at 2k19

Earlier this summer I found myself mulling over Wep Ronpet and the yearly execrations that most of us perform for that holiday — specifically as it relates to ma’at. I’ve read in several places over the years that whenever you remove isfet from the world, you should seek to replace it with ma’at. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I don’t think many of us do anything after an execration to fill that newly-made void with ma’at.

That led me to ponder — is it a problem that we don’t have any sort of ritualized method to bring ma’at into this newly-created void? This stuck out to me because my assumption would be that if you remove isfet and don’t actively replace it with ma’at, the things that are most likely to slide back into that place are the things of least resistance – aka, more isfet. And if that is the case, it begs me to ask — are our execrations doing any good if we don’t supplement ma’at after the fact?

When I originally brought it up on our discord server, most of the people that commented did confirm that they don’t necessarily do anything related to ma’at after an execration. There was also an interest expressed in creating resources for our community to utilize to help other Kemetics bring more ma’at into our world. This led to me and secondgenerationimmigrant discussing ideas that involved community participation, which we then felt out over on tumblr.

After weeks of kicking this around, debating what to call it or tag it, what platforms to use, who to invite, etc. we finally ironed out the first phase of this project, which I’d like to introduce to you now.

Making Ma’at: What is it?

Making Ma’at is a project that will span all of 2019 (or longer, possibly) wherein we are asking all members of the Kemetic community to bring forth ideas, thoughts, and actions that help to generate more ma’at within the world. This project has the ability to span multiple mediums and will incorporate several methods that should allow for everyone to participate to whatever degree they feel comfortable.

Currently, there are two main aspects of Making Ma’at: collaborative writing and regular ritual work that has been dubbed “Monthly Ma’at”.

Collaborative Writing

The collaborative writing portion of this project is currently happening over on Penflip. Penflip is a platform where anyone can create an account for free. You’d just log into our project, and then you’ll be able to add new writing ideas, suggest changes to already-existing works, and collaborate with other Kemetics who are participating.

We have created a layout with various ritual components that we are hoping the community can help create and give feedback on. This includes hymns to and about ma’at, litanies, ritual pieces that can be added to daily rites, execrations, or other more-involved rituals. There are many directions that the collaborative writing could go in, and we’re hoping that the community will explore as many venues as possible.

Since Penflip can be difficult for those on mobile devices, if you wish to participate but find the platform too difficult to use, please feel free to reach out to me or SGI directly, and we’ll get your changes/writings added to the Penflip (and yes, you will be cited for whatever you write/add/change.) For those of you on tumblr with this issue, you could leave your posts/changes in the #makingma’at tag with express permission to add them to the Penflip, and we’ll take care of it.

Ultimately, if this project gets big enough, we may look into a better platform that requires a subscription to use. But for now, we’re starting very low cost. Also, if this portion of the project is successful, we will eventually be compiling everyone’s work into a downloadable PDF (or possibly a printed book, if people want it) so that everyone can have a copy of everything that’s been made.

Monthly Ma’at

Monthly Ma’at is the second half of this project, and it is tied to another side project I’ll be posting about next week. But for now suffice to say that this portion of the project is very similar to the “Poopocalypse 2k15” we did a while back in that it involves monthly rites that people can perform. Except in this case, they’re specifically to help generate ma’at in the world. I will be drafting up a ritual or two for people to use to get started before the first ritual of the new year hits, but I hope that others will make more rites to pick from and utilize in 2019.

I personally will be performing these rites around New Moon or the day after New Moon, to help direct the energy that the moon is gaining to be more in alignment in ma’at, which I’ll explain in more detail in next week’s post.

What if I’m not a formal writer/rituals kind of person?

When coming up with this project, it was asked if community members could use other means to generate ma’at beyond writing prose or performing rites, and my personal answer to this is “yes.” While our current structure is mainly focusing on rituals and ritual components, I welcome everyone reading to find other ways to generate ma’at in your life this year, and to share those experiences within the #makingma’at tag. I think that the more discussion we can generate around how to make ma’at more manifest, the better.

So while we’re waiting for me to finish writing up all of the details of Monthly Ma’at, please feel free to check out the Penflip and start submitting your own texts, rites, etc. for others to view. We look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!

 
7 Comments

Posted by on December 18, 2018 in Kemeticism, Making Ma'at, Year of Rites

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

How to Build a Heart: The Maze

The last post that I released in this series is the last bit that I had written back in 2016. Which is to say that everything you read moving forward was written in the here-and-now in 2018.

I bring this up because when I first started this project in April 2016, I had some weird idea that this would all wrap up and be finished around the same time I celebrated Wep Ronpet (early August.) It was an ideal goal because it would be finished around the same time that my astral work would be finished (late July.) A death and a rebirth that coincided on both planes. If timed out well, it’d synchronize perfectly… right?

The problem being that rebuilding yourself is not something that can be rushed. It’s not something you can really control or hold onto tightly. It’s a process that largely is passive and occurs to you — until it doesn’t anymore (see my late 2017-era posts.) And while I felt a burning desire to process what I was going through (hence the tiny bit of writing from 2016,) I quickly realized a few months in that there was no way that this process would be over soon enough to draw any conclusions on what I was experiencing. I usually like to wait until a sequence as complex as this is finished before I write about it, because my perspective and understanding of things often changes as I am, by effect, changed. And once I realized that I wasn’t going to be finishing anytime soon, I stopped trying to write about it all together.

I often question if I did myself in by not writing throughout the entire process. On one hand, I feel like something was gained by completely immersing myself in the process and losing touch with the world around me (this blog included,) but I find myself questioning if I would have saved myself some hell if I had been letting everyone else know what was going on while it happened…. as opposed to two years after things got started.

And I suppose the answer doesn’t matter anymore, since that time has come and gone and my decisions have already been made. However, two years later, I decided that writing about this process was more important than waiting for it to finish — and that’s if writing about it doesn’t turn out to be completely vital for the work to be able to be finished at all. And so here we are — with me trying to remember and make some sense of what all transpired during the past two years of murky transformation.

__

When I first started this project, I decided to use a physical representation of myself wading through this mess. I had a copy of the maze used in Westworld, and I moved a small marker representing myself each day through this physical copy of the maze, hoping that somehow it’d help me figure this mess out. I remember being told which ways I could move my marker, in that I wasn’t allowed to cheat and just head for the center. Whoever or whatever was directing me initially made me go the longest route we could find. So I feel like on some level, doing this accomplished something, but ultimately I couldn’t really tell you what exactly it accomplished. If anything, I could only come to assume that perhaps I was teaching myself a path, a way out, that would play out in the here and now over the next few years.

Each time I came to the center I spent a few days there, trying to figure out what to do. And when nothing happened and I couldn’t figure out if I had done something wrong, I started the maze over again, but decided to run it as fast as I could. I reached the center at a much faster rate this time, and once again, I sat in the middle and waited for something to happen.

And eventually, something did. Was it due to being in the maze? Probably not, but I feel like sitting in the epicenter was probably the best place I could have been when it happened.

I feel like I’ve only mentioned it in vague references and passings, but my astral work over the past 5 or so years has been specifically to reach a particular goal. And in the summer of 2016, in the midst of me trying to figure out how to secure a solid state of existence after doing myself in a fit of spite, this goal finally reached its climax.

And it was a messy one.

I’ve found that you can have the best-laid plans, but sometimes things don’t pan out well. I mean, it was well in that we were successful. But if we were going to get a grade for the level of success achieved by our endeavor, I feel the grade would be pretty low. C level if we’re lucky.

In the process of securing my goals, I managed to get myself done in again. This time, it was a complete reset, which is good, but it wasn’t done with an anchor, which makes it risky. I got lucky in that I came back with most of myself intact, and for about a week or so, things were amazing. I felt like I could connect in a way I hadn’t in months. I could see my family, I could be with everyone.

But then everything cut off again, and I was back in the same old darkness I had spent the previous seasons in. I was sent notes about how things unraveled, and I was being assured that everyone was doing as much as they could to speed things along, but ultimately we all knew that this was going to be a long ride.

Eventually, I decided to move the maze under my heart jar. I felt like I was showing that I had conquered that which sought to conquer me. That I would build a better version of myself on the ruins of what I had been through, and that maze was the base of my heart until I moved in 2018.

But as summer faded and I realized that this process was not going to be triggered by completing my astral goal, and that my ability to rebirth myself was in jeopardy for reasons that I didn’t fully understand. Fall finally settled in and the world slowly started to get darker.

And it was about that time that the screaming started.

 

Tags: , , ,

Each of Us, Kings: A Paradigm Shift

Ever since I came back to things, I’ve found myself thinking about kingship a lot and what it means for our community and our religion. I think there are several reasons behind this, not the least of which is a seemingly new trend that I’ve noticed, where people will literally find any means to get out of having to critically examine their ideas about ma’at, which includes the common practice of writing off kingship.

To be fair, I more or less admitted a few years back that I involved the king in virtually no capacity in my religious practice, but at the same time, I’m not running around assuming that because a directive of ma’at was aimed at the king, that its somehow not relevant to how ma’at pertains to me or others like me. And I think between this influx, my astral BS, and my direct workings with O this year, kingship and all that it entails has been on my mind.

The Prevalence of a Nisut in AE

It never fails that virtually every single book on ancient Egypt has some amount of information about the king or pharaoh in it, and for good reason — nearly every single bit of relief that we find in temples, and so much of what we even have left to find in the sand to begin with, was inevitably tied back to the office of the king in some capacity or another.

According to most of these books, the king was largely regarded as the primary priest that was supposed to perform the daily rites to the gods to maintain ma’at. But because the king can’t be everywhere all at once, he delegates those responsibilities to the priesthood spread throughout the country. The “Good Shepard” that he is supposed to be, the king was meant to direct the entire “flock” that was Egypt, both in terms of international relationships as well as keeping the gods happy. Because of his stewardship, the land of Egypt would flourish, and the gods would smile down upon everyone.

Or something like that.

Given that the king is the Biggest, Most Important Priest and is supposed to be the main person who knows what the gods want and expect, I feel it could be argued that the king is quite central to the State side of the religious structure of ancient Egypt. Of course, this is really only important if you’re a priest and worried about your practice mirroring what went on in temples, but given that modern practitioners are stuck using mostly state-sponsored materials to recreate their practices, it might be said that the king is actually more central to our modern religious recreations than it appears at first glance. I say this because we have very little left to work with from individual “everyday” practitioners, and most of the information we do have is from temple relief or funerary texts. All of which feature the king heavily.

It’s because of this overt positioning of the king at the center of everything that I honestly feel that we Kemetics do ourselves a disservice by ignoring what Kemeticism meant for the king. We almost never see anything about ethics, morals, or preferred behaviors and practices for anyone except for the king. Even in Sauneron’s book on priesthood, he mentions several times that priests were not held to any known ethical standard beyond what was required to perform the job (aka ritual purity.)

And yet, if we’re trying to figure out how to live in ma’at, who better to reference than the very person who was responsible for maintaining it for the entire nation?

Why a Paradigm Shift?

Study of ancient Egyptian myths and themes may be complicated by their focus on kingship (Diakonoff 1995, 124; Spalinger 2007). Rather than just a distortion, the prominence of kingship can also be read as a story of reception (or democratization), with the gradual adoption across the society of certain models first developed for kingship.

Yet Diakonoff raises the question, whether it is possible for us to see an ancient Egypt outside kingship. Writings tend, then, to obscure any parts of ancient Egypt prior to or, more neutrally, outside kingship.

One of the primary reasons that I feel a paradigm shift is in order is because of the fact that most of what we’re working with focuses on the king and his relationship to not only the gods, but with ma’at in general. I feel that if we were able to develop a better way of interpreting and applying the aspects of kingship that are brought up and referenced time and time again in relief and writing, it would help us to obtain a deeper understanding and usefulness from the materials we’ve got to work with.

I think what’s even more important than giving us a better ability to utilize the materials at our disposal, is that by viewing ourselves as being kings of our own selves, we begin to have a litmus of how to better hold ourselves more responsible to the ethical system we claim to participate in. When ma’at is left as some sort of vague, nebulous “well just do ‘right'” or “doing what is right” it becomes really hard to concretely determine what actually constitutes as “right.”

You can see it in several circles where people will almost purposefully find a way to make it so that no one can be held accountable based off of anything objective. So many interactions where people bring up that something isn’t within ma’at, people will almost do backflips to try and find a way to prove that their behaviour is actually in ma’at. Because “we’re not kings” or “we don’t have anything concrete to base this on.” As they say in business management: you can’t manage what you can’t measure.

Shifting the Paradigm

In my mind, I feel that this new paradigm would have each of us viewing each other as being a king or participating in the office that is kingship. A couple of posts ago, I talked about how everyone is their own self-contained pattern or system, and how that system has edges: 

For instance, as a person, I am made up of cells, each of which contains several patterns or similarities. I am self-contained, and yet I exist inside of an even larger pattern — a desert. And that desert is made up of its own components, each made up of their own patterns, and all of these entities is constantly interacting with the other entities and patterns around them. To take it a step further, this desert sits inside of a country, which is in many respects its own pattern that interacts with other counties (aka other patterns.)

You notice at the end of this statement, I mention that countries are their own pattern/system, and by extension, that basically means that they are essentially the same as a person in that they are both a semi-self-sufficient pattern/system. The only real difference is that a country is more complex and larger in nature than a person. We are all made up of systems that are stacked and nested inside of one another.

And in the same way that countries need leaders (or kings, for the sake of argument), I think its fair to say that each of us needs to be a leader to ourselves. No one will be with us forever, except for ourselves. And as I’ve mentioned several times over the past year, it’s imperative that we all choose to actively participate in our own lives.

In the way that a leader is supposed to foster growth, improvement, and a healthy environment for people — whether that’s a country or a company, we should all strive to improve ourselves and our lives. If we take it as seriously as the Nisut in antiquity was supposed to, wouldn’t we all end up in better places? Doesn’t it make sense to cultivate those very values in ourselves, especially since ma’at is supposed to be at the core of this religion?

In closing, I would like to post a portion of another post that I rediscovered when flipping through KRT responses. Turns out that this idea isn’t a new one:

And so the call to Kingship is for everyone; we are each to be as much a king as we can be. It is the call to fulfilling your potential. Expanding your own boundaries and ensuring that others respect them. Ambition is as much a part of kingship as altruism. Being a learned person and citizen is as well. Giving back to your community, whether by helping a sick family member, working hard at a career, helping a lost stranger, working on a campaign, or organizing a coat drive, are all ways we can embody kingship, but so is growing your assets, mastering your talents, and making sure you c.y.a. Traditionally, lusting after expertise, discipline, and wisdom are traits of good leaders. Ethics and morality, faith and values should be central as well.  Determination is also key, as is a sense of vision.

The call to kingship is similar for us. We have a call, despite our shortcomings, to improve ourselves and our world. To bloom our potential. For some, the call may be more communal than for others. Everyone is different, but we can all be a king.

What do you think of viewing yourself as the king of your own life? Does this change your perspective about how you view yourself, your religion, or your life?

 
6 Comments

Posted by on November 14, 2018 in Kemetic Round Table, Kemeticism

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

How to Build a Heart: Creating a Base

If there’s one thing I can say about this entire process that I’ve gone through, it’s that you can’t and shouldn’t underestimate the power that physical items can have on the Unseen. I usually felt like a lot of physical items were there to mainly help myself visually make connections with what I was doing. But that ultimately, a lot of the power was coming entirely from me. However, as I’ve gone through the process of trying to heal Father-Lover, and upon failing that, pushing Father-Lover out of my life, I’ve found that items can definitely do a lot more than I had originally given them credit.

The more I looked through comparisons between what was going on astrally and the items that laid around my house that were connected to astral people, I found that moving items in the house could have an effect on what was going on Over There. So as I began to move forward with rebuilding myself, I knew that I needed to be particularly careful about what I did with the items that I was attaching to myself and to my purpose/goal. To treat the items carelessly could very well undo a lot of the work we were undertaking.

When I first decided that I was going to rebuild my heart, I was pretty excited. I thought the notion of being able to rebuild myself into whoever or whatever I wanted to be was pretty cool, and I looked forward to tailoring who I was into someone more like what I wanted to be. However, I found very fast that this is an incredibly daunting task, and once my health tanked a month after starting this project, I found myself bitterly hating even coming up with this thing.

The first thing that I did was work to establish my ib jar in some capacity. Since it still smelled of weird cherries, I decided that the scent was the first part I needed to work on. Smells are important in Kemeticism, after all. The fine scent of incense is what draws the gods close to us, and I felt that having a nice-smelling heart might help to attract my inner divinity back in.

So first I placed a bunch of coffee beans in the bottom. I was hopeful that they would help to neutralize any remaining cherry smell that was in the jar. I then ground up several flavors of incense and placed them in the bottom of the jar as my base. On top of that, I added some salt for purity purposes, and some of my MMJ tea to help keep myself calm on all levels. I let this steep for a week or so and eventually added another kind of tea that reminds me of my family and considered the scent portion good.

I also added a ma’at feather, to keep myself balanced, and I placed my Ptah pendant in the bottom. I felt that both of these items could help to keep myself more balanced, and to help drive myself to become better at handling my various moods and emotions.

But then I was stuck.

On the astral, we had run into hiccups with my healing. There were several reasons for this, most of which are irrelevant, but the main takeaway was that I should have either woken up and “resurfaced” into my body by this point. Or I should have been able to create an interior space for myself where I could begin to heal. I was still sitting in a black void, though, which meant something wasn’t quite right.

I was urged to embody myself in some capacity. Take a form (whatever I’d like!); create a space to call my own (it can look like whatever you want!); or make some sort of item that reminded me of myself (any shape! any size!). But in every attempt to do these things, I found that I couldn’t. The more I tried to figure out who or what I was “supposed” to be, the more upset I got. The notion of trying to create a space that was all to myself sent me into a panicked frenzy, and it got to a point that even bringing it up made my chest tighten. For someone who knows themself so well on the physical, I apparently don’t know much about myself on the astral. Trying to recreate myself after eons of being merged with someone else was causing me a lot of mental hell.

And I stayed in that hell until the middle of May.

I got so frustrated with my project that I had to put my ib jar away for a while. The simple act of looking at it would make me so upset that I couldn’t stand it. So I thought that some space would be helpful. I still couldn’t see anyone in the Unseen, either, and that was not helping. Usually when I get stuck, I go and talk with the gods or converse with one of my menz or contacts to see what they’d suggest on the matter. But I was still locked in the darkness with everything cut off from me. I would have to figure it out on my own somehow.

Some how.

I would love to tell you that I pushed myself until I really got a deep understanding of who I was or what I wanted to be, but that’s not really how everything went down. It happened very suddenly one day without a whole lot of explanation, when I was kicking around ideas about how to proceed with all of this. At first, I was telling myself that creating my own space wasn’t really that bad, and that I should look at it like being moved from a cubicle jungle to my own office. It’s really not that scary, and nothing says that I have to spend the rest of my time alone because I’ve made my own space (a huge fear I seemed to carry was that I’d be all alone). So think of it like a new office! I just need to figure out what I want my desk to look like.

I continued to kick this idea around until I could suddenly find myself standing in the darkness. Once there, I almost forced myself to envision what I thought my core might look like, and I fine tuned it until I could at least tolerate what I was looking at. And when I finished, I was pulled into that item into an interior space. It wasn’t much, but it was a start.

I also got very lucky while out shopping one day, in that I found a piece of jewelry that screamed “this is it” to me. And by this is it, I mean: this is the piece that will represent yourself. I wasn’t sure if it was correct, and I worried and stressed that I was picking up the wrong thing. However, I was pushed to get it anyways, and so I did. While I still wasn’t sure what exactly I was doing, I at least had enough to get going.

And so the building actually began.

For this project, I decided to take a multi-pronged approach to rebuilding myself. First was to create a sort of “trap” jar that would capture anything harmful that was coming after me. I was in a period of instability, and I wanted to make sure that I protected myself during this time. This involved taking a black jar and filling it with grounding materials and a magnet, and then placing an item inside of the jar that is “like me, but isn’t me”. I then placed it in a safe spot to attract all of the negativity away from me. This way, I wouldn’t have to worry about dodging punches while I healed.

I then made another container that allowed me to let go of some of the negative stuff that was happening around me and stressing me out. I used some of the basic ideas in the post that I got the idea from, but modified it a bit. I chose to use salt and rice as my base, as I consider both to be soothing. This would hopefully allow me to stay calm while I worked on letting go. I used hematite beads that I had laying around in a craft bin, and then I wrote things that I wanted to let go of on paper strips. This included things like the names of people whose negative words needed to leave my mind, bad anon-hate, negative things I tell myself, doubts I had, etc. I left this out in an open place so that I could shake it whenever I felt these things taking hold of me.

grr_jar

Through making both of these items, I felt like I had made a level base to get started on the real work at hand.

I took out my ib jar and added several more things to my scent and ma’at base. I added in pieces of paper that had phrases and sayings on them that I wanted to keep in mind as I moved forward. Things like “You exist beyond someone’s perception of you” or “I am able to connect with myself and those around me”. Things that I felt would help keep the negative self-talk down, and allow me to better exist in the world around me. I also added origami stars to my jar that had dreams and things I’d like to achieve written on them. And for a final touch, I added in a small (fake) fish to eat any negativity that happened to slip in.

I then created a shrine for the jar to rest upon. Everyone needs a place to rest and to recover, and that’s what the shrine was meant to embody. As such, I was careful in what I chose to place in the area, trying to keep in mind that everything here could have some sort of unforeseen effect on the work I was doing.

And with that, the first phase of recreating my heart had begun. But how far would it actually carry me?

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

In a World Full of Yes

Deciding to finally live for myself couldn’t have been more timely. I knew within a matter of days that the situation I found myself in earlier this year would have done 2016-era me in completely. This is largely because I was suddenly finding myself dealing with my family on a daily basis in ways that I hadn’t had to in the past. I never had to get into it with an aunt about finances or with an uncle about caring for their elderly father.

As the weeks dragged on, I found that most of my family hadn’t changed much from my youth, and that most of them were just as shifty in their behavior as they had always been. With each new round of drama that would crop up, I found myself having to choose between keeping the peace and actually protecting myself. In my youth all I had ever done was work to keep the peace. I chose to make myself smaller so that I might not get ousted from the group, and what I didn’t realize when I decided I was going to go “all in” with life is that you can’t really take the path of least resistance when you’re actually trying to take care of yourself.

With each new experience where I felt like someone was taking advantage of me or trying to hurt me, I could suddenly see my younger self looking back at me, asking me why I was allowing this person to hurt us, to hurt them. I noticed that I was always more willing to put myself in the line of fire for others, but not for myself; a well-known trait for those of us with anxiety. Which meant that if I wanted to walk the walk and not just talk the talk, I’d have to start sticking up for myself in the same way that I would for others, and drawing boundaries in the sand as to how I would allow people to treat me.

For someone like me, this is actually quite terrifying.

Of course, when I talked with my therapist about boundaries, some part of me knew that this was going to happen eventually. She told me that I wasn’t very good at drawing boundaries to keep myself safe. She said that this was partially what caused the violent emotional responses that I was prone to. Because I couldn’t separate myself from everyone around me, I couldn’t help but feel their feelings as though they were mine. I almost felt like I wasn’t being a good person if I wasn’t flinging myself headlong into everyone else’s issues so that I’d know what it felt like to be them in that moment.

And in those moments, I seemed to imagine that drawing boundaries would be empowering. That I’d basically be learning how to cordon myself off from things that would hurt me. That I’d make sure I was safe. I think that my initial concepts of drawing boundaries banked on the notion that I’d be able to actually disengage with anything I didn’t want near me. Which, in its own way, means I was planning on drawing my boundaries by running away.

But what if running away isn’t possible? As is the case when you’re being a caretaker for someone who still has living family that they want in their life. I hadn’t thought about this until I was already in it. You see, for all of the years of being labeled as being aggressive, mean, bitchy, overbearing, etc. I actually do not get off on telling people what to do. I feel uncomfortable asking for simple, basic things, and when I have to do so regularly, it can cause me to have anxiety attacks. But in order to actually protect what I had managed to cultivate, I had to find a way to tell people — family — no.

And so I tried. At first I often would try to soften anything I said. “Could you maybe, possibly think about how that might have come across. It was kind of mean.” or “I’m not really comfortable with that, would it be possible to maybe do something else?” And you know what happened?

People got mad anyways.

[[image of quote that says “If I say no to someone and they get angry, it does NOT mean I should’ve said yes”]]

If there is anything that 2018 has taught me, it’s that you can be as accommodating as humanly possible. As nice as humanly possible. As non-intrusive as you can possibly be. And people who are committed to not meeting you halfway will still call you Too Much, Extra, and my personal favorite, Bitchy. People who are not interested in developing healthy relationships with you will never acknowledge or respect your boundaries without a fight, and that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have set those boundaries.

Above all, I’ve learned that setting boundaries feels less like taking care of yourself and more like fighting a war against people who won’t take no for an answer. The problem being that as awful as fighting a war everyday is, fighting this war is necessary, if not mandatory in order to be healthy. The more I found myself not defining what was okay in terms of how people treated me, the more I found myself not saying no, not standing up and speaking my needs, the more miserable I became.

So it begs to ask — which is worse? A slow death by suffocation via those around me because I was too scared to stand up and say no? Or a slowly-fought battle where I potentially lose people, but can ultimately breathe?

[[image of a quote “It is crucial for deeper level recovery that we learn that feelings of fear, shame and guilt are sometimes signs that we have said or done the right thing.They are emotional flashbacks to how we were traumatized for trying to claim normal human privileges.”Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving, Pete walker, pg 78”]]

In Kemeticism, we talk about how isfet has to be battled back every day. The gods have no choice but to engage in this daily battle, or be destroyed by the thing they fight. Every time I’ve talked to the NTRW about fighting back isfet, they don’t seem to be too distraught over it. It’s just a thing that they Have To Do if they want to live a certain quality of life, and there is very little baggage tied to it at this point.

As I continue to work on drawing boundaries for myself, I begin to think more about this comparison, and how if I allow other people to constantly take advantage of me, how my life will be overrun with isfet. How I can’t, in good conscience, tell myself that I’m trying to live in ma’at while not actively trying to dispel the isfet I’ve inadvertently let in my life. I remind myself that anything worth having is worth fighting for, and if I’m not worth fighting for, then what is?

And so the battle continues. May it get easier to do, and feel less like a battle in time. For all of us.

How do boundaries play a role in your life? How do you create boundaries in your life?

Resources for developing boundaries:

 

Tags: , , , , ,

How to Build a Heart: The Curious Case of Father-Lover

This is a series that I have been working on since 2016. Some of the parts of this series were written back in 2016, and other parts were written here in 2018. This series will focus on astral work and the heka I’ve been experimenting in tandem with said work. Abuse will be discussed, as such, viewer discretion is advised.

__

There is a saying about times and measures and desperation. In the astral, it seems like rocks and hard places are always the norm. This is a story of when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object, and the aftermath that comes with it.

This story is long, and so I am breaking this into a series of posts for your ease of reading. This work is still ongoing, and as such, it may be a while before I am able to draw any heavy or final conclusions about certain aspects of what will be discussed and its possible that there will be long breaks in between posts in this series as I wait for things to develop/happen. In many ways, you can consider this series to be similar to my Mysteries and Cycle series back in the day.

Late in the summer of 2015, I wrote about losing an astral partner that was close (and yet oh, so, far) to me. I bring this up, because as it turns out, there was another part of this person running around on the astral at the same time. Lo, this other shard had been around just about as long as the person I lost (about ten years our time), and was still hanging around when my partner finally passed on. The biggest issue was that I didn’t realize what or who he was until after the other piece had passed on. I didn’t realize a lot of things until after that person passed on.

Nothing brings families together or tears them apart quite like death.

I had learned that my mentor was not only a shard of the person who had passed, but was in fact the creator and source of that person. To say that the man we eventually called “Father-Lover” was a shard of the person who had passed was technically incorrect–the man who had passed was actually a shard of Father-Lover.

As I began to sift through the history between all of us, I found that this goes deeper than just that. The mentor that I had been working with since college was far more than just a father-figure to me once upon a time. Oh no, just being a mentor is not enough for this dog and pony show. We call him Father-Lover for a reason, for he was more than just my “father.” He had been a lover of mine once upon a time, too.

But wait, there’s more!

It turns out that he and I used to be one, except at the time, he was whole and complete and looked like someone else entirely. But after he lost too much of himself, he changed. The problem being that we were still attached at the hip and technically have been ever since. My musings about my heart feeling literally broken after Rosetjau suddenly made sense to me: when I had “reset” my mentor, I had inadvertently reset part of myself. Killing him meant killing a part of myself.

There are many take-away lessons that I could pass on to you from trying to heal Father-Lover.

One is that you should never place your most important bits into someone else. It’s a surefire way to be screwed over. If not by you, by someone else. Ultimately, you need to be responsible for your own well being. No one else should do it for you because eventually that someone else will be compromised, and its just easier to keep track of yourself when you contain your most-important pieces.

Similarly, cutting yourself off from yourself doesn’t work, either. Like magnets, eventually you will attract yourself back into yourself, and if you’ve been trying avoid that scenario, the results are usually pretty catastrophic when the inevitable comes to pass. For those of us who can’t literally cut ourselves into smaller beings that are separate, the equivalent would be ignoring parts of yourself that need addressing. Repressing feelings and issues that need to be worked on only works until it doesn’t anymore. And by the time that it doesn’t work, things are usually going to be in shambles.

Another lesson is that you should never put all of your eggs into one basket. Trying to push off the work because it’s too painful only goes so far. As I found out, Father-Lover had been banking on my partner to “succeed” him, but when my partner firmly refused because he didn’t feel it was his place (him being a shard, he felt it was more proper for the source to have that honor), two wills clashed and my partner’s won out. Father-Lover had spent so much time banking on this other person doing the heavy lifting that he was nearly crushed by the weight of his choices.

And keep in mind that if he is crushed, I get crushed, too. Being one person will do that to you. His actions not only affected himself, but myself and others that are contained within me or attached to me. That’s a lesson, too: things rarely just affect you. There is always collateral damage. You should be considerate of who you are screwing over in the process of saving your skin or avoiding work. The main reason my partner could never heal is partially because his source refused to heal. None of our attempts ever took because we were treating symptoms, but never addressing the source. Separating himself (my partner) from himself (Father-Lover) wasn’t stopping the bleed-through from occurring. If anything, it just made the healing process more difficult.

Once I knew who Father-Lover actually was, and what role he played in all of this, I set out to finish what I had started with my partner. To an extent, my partner’s death didn’t change anything–we still needed to fix the source of the problem in order to un-knot all of the threads keeping us here. My partner dying didn’t relieve Father-Lover of his duty. Instead, it forced it upon him.

I began working on him at the end of 2015. I don’t know if you’ve ever had to suddenly learn that someone you’ve thought of as a father was actually your lover before Things Happened, but it makes for awkward situations and tension. Even if Father-Lover had been intent on fixing himself (he wasn’t), I think we would have had issues doing the work simply because his facade had been destroyed. He could no longer hide who he was, or what we were “supposed” to be. It’s like when Christine pulls the mask off of the Phantom. By removing his veneer, I had changed the relationship permanently.

While our relationship as mentor-mentee was pretty smooth and drama-free, as soon as we began to shift into whatever-this-is-supposed-be, I found that he became drastically more and more unstable. As he worked to take up his “proper” role (that is to say–as an equal, and not so much as a mentor–the lover stuff was only as relevant as we wanted it to be), I found that he began to bleed into every other area of my relationships. He’d co-opt songs and symbols that had already been claimed by other menz. He’d infect, claim, and overlay onto others bond lines without consent. He’d have bouts of jealousy and anger where he lashed out at my other menz for being around me, or at me for being around them.

For all intents and purposes, the act of healing him was doing the exact opposite. But as I’ve mentioned before, if you don’t want to heal, odds are you won’t.

As the weeks began to span into months, his actions got worse and worse. I soon found myself locked in a black space where I couldn’t get out and no one else could get in. His being a part of myself was becoming my downfall as he had access to every part of me. It wasn’t hard for him to control things from a deeper level because he had his hands in nearly everything, and to a degree, knew my innards better than I did.

By the time that April 2016 rolled around, I knew that something needed to give. I just wasn’t sure how it was going to give. This is that rock and hard place, those desperate times and measures. In the same way that the unstoppable will of my now-dead partner collided with the immovable will of Father-Lover in 2015, my unstoppable will to survive this was about to collide with Father-Lover’s immovable will to heal or let go.

I took actions into my own hands. Well, asleep me took action into my own hands.

I went to bed on Saturday night, and everything was fine (as fine as being locked in an endless vat of black can be), but by the time Sunday morning rolled around, I had found that I had had some sort of altercation while asleep. There were Taint stains on my hands and shirt, and it was obvious to me that something had happened.

It would take most of the day for me to figure out what exactly, though. The short version was that I was tired of Father-Lover’s waffling on the issues at hand, and in order to force a change, I removed all of his pieces from myself. Now, for those of you who don’t know much about bonding, this process is usually not easy or fun. After my partner died, I had to go and have everything removed from my person for safety reasons, and it was a thoroughly-planned week-long affair. This, on the other hand, was done very haphazardly, and it wasn’t just bond lines. As I had mentioned above, we were merged on a core level. Which means that removing him from my person involved removing the bulk of my core and giving it back to him.

I had essentially ripped the heart out of my chest and given it to him. That way, he had everything that was “his” (what truly is “his” or “mine” when you are technically one being…) and I was no longer liable to fix his problems. And before I even hit the floor from the pain, he had left.

Ultimately he never came back. He drew his final breaths a few months later when things truly drew to a close for us.

This, of course, left me wondering what to do about my missing core-bits. Losing small chunks of yourself is not a huge deal, but this was probably well over 3/4th’s of my core that I had forked over in a possible fit of spite. I had people who could help me on the astral for stabilizing myself out, but the bulk of the work would fall to me. You can’t rely on someone else to make you, after all.

It was on the very same day that I had woken up a complete Taint-stained mess that my partner (in the physical) had found an old jar in the cupboard. When I looked at it, I knew that I wanted to use it for an ib project of some kind. And by the end of the day when I had figured out what all had transpired, I knew that which ib project I would be relegating it to. Now I just had to figure out how to actually make it happen.

 

 
 

Tags: , , , , ,