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Isfet as a System

Before you read this post, you absolutely have to read part one first. Otherwise, nothing will really make sense.

In the last post in this series, I left off with discussing why ma’at should be considered a regenerative system, but in order to explain why we should view ma’at in this fashion, we really need to discuss isfet, and then place both concepts side by side in order to see how they function together. In many ways, in order to understand one, I feel you really need to look at both at the same time.

So to get this started, let’s talk about the harbinger of degeneration: disorder.

The role of disorder

Ironically, we have a definition for disorder within natural systems: any resource that can not be used productively by an organism. That is to say, if you get too much of a Thing, even if its a Really Good Thing, you are being thrown into disorder. In terms of keeping natural systems healthy, any natural system really needs to have moderation in all of its parameters, which often times will be summed up as “a healthy level of stress.” Key word here being: healthy. In the same way that our muscles atrophy without use, other parts of systems begin to fall apart if they are never remotely pushed, challenged, or introduced to change (in nature, this usually is changing of seasons, fauna, etc.)

You can see what disorder in natural systems looks like by looking at the weather patterns of 2019. The midwest got too much rain and too much snow. The southwest hasn’t gotten enough heat or rain. Texas has gotten too much rain too early, and is not getting enough now. All of these are examples of ecosystems getting too much or too little of a resource; they are all examples of regenerative systems rubbing against disorder (which is a nice way of saying climate change.)

Too much of something will always result in disorder. Disorder and dysfunction are the gateways to a regenerative system becoming degenerative (isfet.)

We see this time and time again within our own mythological stories, where excess often results in harm or bad things happening, even if what you’re excessing on is not inherently bad. For example, Re’s excessive fear and pride led to his releasing his Eye out onto the world. Her excessive blood lust caused a lot of destruction that Re then had to go and remedy (with more excess — drinking, in this case.) Osiris got a big ol welt on his head from his Atef crown because he was being so vane and arrogant.

When viewed from this lens, it stands to reason why Set often gets classified as necessary chaos or necessary change (he is also a god of excess, showing that the NTRW can also waver in terms of their own balance and moderation.) As I mentioned above, systems need to be pushed sometimes in order to stay healthy. Nothing lives in a vacuum, and so all systems must continually grow and adapt to the ever-changing world around them. When properly handled and balanced, the chaos that Set brings is supposed to be this sort of stress that allows things to grow into something more than they currently are. When the deceased talks about Set “serving [me] above and beyond his own powers,” they are talking about the fact that Set’s service to all of us is supposed to be that useful, healthy stress that pushes us to level up.

The problem is, we don’t live in a healthy regenerative system, and so this disorder often hits harder than it should, and if left unchecked, it becomes very easy for a regenerative system to recoil from any contact with any disorder, ultimately pushing it closer and closer towards becoming degenerative.

Isfet: degeneration in action

If you are continually given more of a Thing than you can handle, it results in disorder within a system or systems. Disorder is what happens when we stray from the moderation and predictable cycling of nature that is necessary to maintain all regenerative and natural systems. In this respect, frequent or constant disorder is a symptom, a warning sign that you’re beginning to slide into isfetian territory. That something within your system is not jiving with some other aspect of another system, and as a result, the quality and health of that system is slowly shifting towards becoming degenerative.

For better or worse, it’s pretty easy to map out what a system starts to do when it begins to slide into degeneration:

  1. Reduction of predictable cycles and resources, causing general disorder within the system.
  2. As general disorder increases, lack of proper synchronization between members of the system occurs, exacerbating the resource distribution further.
  3. Lack of resources leads to excessive stress on all organisms in the systems
  4. Critical mass is reached, and parts of the ecosystem begin to collapse, biodiversity begins to drop.
  5. Reduction of keystone species causes widespread collapse. A single member of a keystone species often supports (usually) hundreds-to-thousands of other organisms at any given time.
  6. Once keystone species begin to disappear, the entire system faces a reduction of resiliency overall. If left unchecked, the system will completely disappear or become “dead” for all intents and purposes.

To see how this sort of situation pans out in real time, all you need to do is look at climate change and desertification. Human activity has caused too much stress to be put onto too many natural systems, and now those systems are slowly (and yet oh-so-quickly) shifting into disorder. As the disorder increases, the cycles that mark stable regenerative systems become more and more out of alignment and out of sync. From there, systems begin to fail. Forests turn into scrub land, scrub land into desert, desert into dunes. The soil supports less and less plant growth, so less and less organisms can be supported by the same amount of land. You get increasingly bad natural disasters and you begin to have winter in May.

For examples on a smaller scale, it’s that moment when you grab a cigarette instead of handling your feelings. It’s when you stay up late on your phone instead of going to bed at a healthy time, or choose to escape into the television instead of handling problems. It’s all of those small little things that detract from our overall well being that we do because we think its harmless.

All of these things are examples of a system being dragged out of regeneration into degeneration. And it’s affecting all of us, because we’re all natural, regenerative systems relying for our survival on a much larger series of natural systems that are being dragged into isfetian territory.

The importance of scale and context

One of the biggest things I wanted to make sure to clarify is that in many situations, isfet is not a singular action, but a series of actions or a trend that occurs over a period of time. Disorder is often like a crescendo: it starts off small and quiet. A few things here, a few things there. But then it slowly builds until it becomes a pattern, a habit, a trend. Something that happens consistently time and time again, which slowly takes a toll on the resilience of the system it is antagonizing.

To pick on climate change again, it wasn’t just one farmer that caused our soil to degrade. It wasn’t just one car that polluted the air. It wasn’t just one billionaire or CEO hiding key information about how we’re destroying the planet. No, it was millions of cars, hundreds of farmers and fields, and many many years of people in positions of power purposefully choosing to ignore the writing on the wall while the planet slowly degraded in the background. It’s not just one action, its lots of little actions that have built on one another to create a wave.

Similarly, the solution to something like climate change won’t be one simple action, either. It takes many many actions to degrade, and it takes many many actions to rebuild.

This is vital to understand because we must always examine situations within their wider context. We must always look at trends, because while exceptions to a rule can exist, it also belies that there is a rule, a trend, that this exception is pushing against.

This is why the balance of ma’at is so necessary. Regenerative beings need specific things in order to survive, and when that balance gets thrown into disarray, everything that system touches is effected on some level. While it’s not just a singular action that will cause a system to degenerate, at the same time, it is still very easy for things to quickly degrade and shift from bad to worse. It’s why the gods would have needed to be persistent and diligent with fighting back isfet.

I mentioned in the first post that in this modern era we have built up this sort of facade that we are somehow separate and untouchable from the natural systems we were born into, but its simply not true. The more degenerative the system we live in becomes, the more necessary and, frankly, involuntary it’ll be for people to participate in fixing the problems at hand.

Maintaining ma’at is the responsibility of all of us. Even if you’re avoiding it now, eventually you may not have that luxury.

In my next post, I’ll discuss how to apply this model to aspects of our lives to see if it is harmful and isfetian in nature, or if its helping to sustain or increase ma’at in the world.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2019 in Kemeticism, Rambles

 

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Devo’s Burninatin’ Celebration 2019

I really don’t know if I should be using the same title that I did in the past for my big community execration that occurred at Wep Ronpet, but it felt weird to call it anything else, so I chose to use the same title for old time’s sake. I haven’t performed any Wep Ronpet rites since 2016, and the best part about the rites I did in 2016 is that I can’t remember anything about them. If it wasn’t for the fact that I documented them in a post, I would seriously have forgotten nearly everything about them. Memory and autoimmune diseases are fun like that.

This is the first Burninatin’ Celebration that I’ve done without Set at the helm, and without community involvement. For the first time ever (for me,) O was calling the shots and ritual work played a heavy focus for nearly every aspect of the holiday. The man seems to like to keep you busy, too, because despite the original dictation of “do what you think is best,” I soon found that he had his own laundry list of things I should be doing for each of the days.

Osiris is a diva, let it be known.

Epag Day 1: Osiris

The key words that were generated for O’s ritual were: growth, renewal, and grains. I couldn’t help but feel like there was a push to focus on his vegetative nature, and specifically, the relationship between plants and the sun. So I went with it. The morning of his day, I noticed that I had a memo to create art for him to use in the ritual, as well as “you should write about this thing over here.” Of course, I didn’t know if this meant that it was expected of me to do this for every epagomenal day, or if O was just trying to be Super Special, but as I’m sure you all know by now, I opted to just try and hit all of the same points for every epgaomenal day afterwards.

I struggled with his art piece, shifting between trying to draw a version of him, and drawing something more abstract. Most everything I started off with was very literal or related to a physical form and symbolism, but I eventually was able to break into something a little bit more abstract and got the idea to do palm trees with akh stars in the background. The white box was there in every version that I created, though I’m not sure what exactly it’s supposed to mean. I only know that it feels like the stuff on the outside is supposed to be similar to the Nun.

It’s worth noting that no other deity was so difficult to convey in an abstract form. I’m not sure what to make of that other than perhaps Osiris is really tied to his physical form in a way that other NTRW are not.

Epag Day 2: Heru-Wer

Poor Heru-Wer. His day was the definition of a cluster. I had to get up early and drag feral cats to get spayed. I had to go get groceries and send things out for wrapping up grandpa’s affairs. I didn’t have a lot of time to dedicate to him, and I personally think it shows. The words originally chosen for his ritual theming were repair, restoration, finding place, completion. Unlike O, he had absolutely no druthers about anything regarding his ritual structure or the contents therein. Its about the same as the direction for his post. It was vague and probably could have been nothing more than a footnote in this very post, but I personally wish he got more attention, and so I wanted to make sure he had a place within the week of posts that was coming.

So I haphazardly attempted to convey what he had given me, and I wish I could rewrite the post, because I could do so much more with it now that it’s sat in my head for a week, but I was trying to ride with Osiris’ encouragement to stay within the present day and to not focus on “working ahead” so that I could ensure that deadlines were met. I think the idea was to get lost in the experience and not focus on the potential “failing” of a deadline, but that’s really hard when you’re me and your brain is operating on a third of what it used to.

His picture had direction, but my skill level wasn’t what it needed to be in order to make it what I saw in my head. The image is supposed to be of a ridge of either sand or mountains, perhaps a canyon, in the foreground. And the upper portion of the image was to be a multicolored sunset that was vibrant and bright. But the more I tried to layer on color, the more muddy it got, so I let it be and I hope he isn’t too sad about it.

Unlike most of the other NTRW, Heru-Wer did actually convey imagery and emotions to me throughout the art making and ritual process. Despite our distance in terms of regular contact, he is surprisingly open with me whenever I actually attempt to show up. Again, I don’t know what to make of that.

Epag Day 3: Set

The day I was looking forward to the least. The entire process of trying to get anything from Set on what to do for his ritual (or his anything) has been challenging. Because his day was in the middle of the epag days, and because it was the same day that my Monthly Ma’at ritual would have occurred, I chose to make ma’at his theming, since his energies are best utilized when in alignment with ma’at anyways.

The day itself was very fitting for him. The weather was abnormally cool, we had just had a night of storms and so it was lightly raining and cloudy most of the day. When I first tried to prod Set for topics for his post, the only response I originally got was an old song that played during one of our first known encounters. It’s a song that I don’t particularly like anymore, but liked it a lot when I was a kid and was still into country music. The song played and played inside of my head for hours, and I began to question if I would be able to figure anything out fast enough to actually make a post about it. I have no clue if the song playing was more a case of him playing coy, or if actually wanted me to write about the song itself. My biggest concern was ultimately that I didn’t think anyone would care about a post where I prattle on about how the song is largely tied to emotions, and how I have dodged his emotions for years for reasons I don’t fully understand.

I’m fully aware that the complicated and messy state of our relationship underpinned every aspect of his day because we’ve been in this awkward staring-from-a-distance stance for a few years now. I first noticed sometime last year that his statue was still relatively open and functional in comparison to everyone else who seemingly had wrapped up shop and closed the door because I wasn’t home anymore. Every time I walk past the cabinet where his statue currently lives, I feel the eyes on me. I’m completely and utterly aware that despite the fact that he has been “gone,” he has been keeping tabs the entire time.

This is further complicated by my recent departure from pretty much every aspect of what me and Set worked on once upon a time. The fact that I’m currently doing work for O, and that I don’t know how much mingling or interacting Set and I are even supposed/allowed to have at the moment. Everything about “us” is currently kinda weird and not stable, and I think it bled into everything I tried to do for him.

I wrote four posts on his day. Only one went out to be read, and the others will languish in my drafts bin until I get tired of looking at them and delete them. I wanted to piggy back off of SGI’s post because it was a good one, and it was ultimately their post that helped me decide to actually post something, even if it wasn’t great. I admit that the lack of response to Heru Wer’s post left me questioning if doing daily posts for a week was somehow a Bad Idea, but again, I was trying to lean into what O wanted. So here we are.

His art was very abstract and very straightforward. When I was done with it, it reminded me a lot of the fiery pits that are said to exist in the Duat, they are places where people who are not in alignment with ma’at will be burned by the fire, but those who are pure enough will be rejuvenated by the fire.

Unlike everyone else, I got the urge to place his statue onto the shrine surface while doing his ritual. When I got the image of what to do, it was like someone sitting on their couch with their soda in their left hand, their popcorn in their right hand, soaking in the light of the tv. So that’s why his statue is facing away from me in the image.

Epag Day 4: Aset

Ever since reading the CT for my year of rites work, I’ve found I have way too many feelings and identifications with Aset for my preferences. Once upon a time she had ventured forward, and I suppose I no longer really question why. There’s too much overlap in our histories for us to not have at least some things in common. Her ritual key words were acceptance, abundance, and new beginnings, and most of her ritual rubric flowed way more freely than the others. For whatever reason, there is a clear power shift within her ritual that is different from everyone else’s. Make of that what you will.

Her art piece came forward quite clearly. I had two scrap pieces left over from some of the week’s earlier art, and for whatever reason, it seemed that I should use two of the pieces to create what is essentially one piece of art. My ability to get the art just so was limited by my technique. The purple isn’t as deep and royal as I wanted, and I wanted there to be more depth in the spiral, but I couldn’t make it happen.

 

Her post almost didn’t happen, either. My mother was over for most of the day, and I find it very hard to concentrate or work when she’s here, so I had to wait until the evening hours to even really sit down and think about what to write. I suppose in some respects because she’s so prolific, it can be challenging to figure out which aspect to write about because there are so many options to choose from. But I also expect that part of my difficulties laid in the fact that my relating to her is still too close to home right now. It’s hard for me to branch out beyond “it hurts to lose someone,” and to try and find something more empowering or uplifting that fit in with the overall theming of the week was a bit challenging because of where I’m at mentally. But it eventually got done.

Epag Day 5: Nebhet

Nebhet is always an enigma for me. Any year I’ve celebrated the epagomenal days, she’s always been quite vacant or MIA, but she showed up pretty strongly this year. Compared to everyone else, she was the most eager to get started, since I could feel her as early as the night before. I had minor guidance on her ritual work, though it was more of a “here is a picture, use that to drive your rubric,” which only sorta helped. Her key words were peace, stillness, health, and rejuvenation, and the image I received was mostly black/purple and gold. I wanted to include instances of black and gold in the rubric, but I wasn’t sure if it would make sense or be accurate, so I changed things slightly to stay on the safe side. Even now, I have fears of venturing too far out of our traditional safe zones when it comes to rubric creation, and this is a good example of it.

I was met with heavy visions the morning of her day. They were abstract in a lot of ways, but after pouring through what little information I have on Nebhet afterwards, I think I can sort of see what was being shown to me, though I’m not sure what to do with it. There were a million impressions I got about her through these visions, but again, my fear of presenting UPG and it being inaccurate sorta stalled me out from writing about it. I poked and prodded all day to try and see if I could tease a post out of me, but it never happened. She had stated early on in the day that a post wouldn’t be necessary, so I tried to remind myself that I am human, and just dealt with the fact that I didn’t finish what I had started.

I had an idea for her artwork from day one, but when I finally put pen to paper, it changed ever so slightly. Overall, I think I like her piece the most.

I offered her the same grapes that I used for the propitiation at the beginning of the epagomenal days, largely because I was having a bad eating day, and it seemed acceptable to her to give something that represents the food, even if I wasn’t going to eat it (because it’s not edible.)

Wep Ronpet Proper

The actual rites for Wep Ronpet happened a day late for me. The original day they were scheduled ended up turning out pretty awful. I had a really bad mental health day, and it seemed like a bad space to be in for celebrating the new year. So instead, I focused on figuring out what I wanted to execrate the next day, and where I really wanted to go in the next six months.

The next morning I performed the execration bright and early, and followed that up with rituals later on in the day. When I took my usual photo of the shrine at the end of the ritual, I remarked at how similar it looked to all of the other more-regular rituals that I’ve been doing. And honestly, the day wasn’t markedly different or celebrated beyond that, even though it sounded nice in theory. I can’t help but wonder what it means that my brain picked up on the regularity or commonness of such a more Important holiday. I can’t tell if it means I should have done more, or if the point is that the Important holidays are also just regular days, part of a regular thing that repeats itself, well, regularly.

Either way, that was it for this year. If you made it through all 2500 words of this post, you deserve a cookie.

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2019 in Kemeticism, Year of Rites

 

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I Have Come, Equipped with Magic

I have always felt as though there was a lot of overlap between Aset and Set, as in their drive and ability to Get What They Want always seemed similar to me. Both deities seem to be willing to kick a devotee into gear by any means necessary in order to get things moving forward. Both have been known to create waves throughout the company of the NTRW, both are capable of fighting off a/pep from the solar barque (fun fact, it’s not just Set who is capable of this,) and both have a way of being a bit subversive in the rules that they choose to follow or not follow. Even Spell 84 in Borghouts states that “her heart was more rebellious than an infinite number of men”, and I don’t know how much more alignment with Setian energy you can get with so much rebellion flowing through your veins.

In many ways, both Set and Aset have very good survival methods, though I posit that they survive and are able to do what they do through very different means. Traditionally, Set is considered a deity of strength and force. As mentioned yesterday, he represents everything that is natural, wild, and out of our control. In terms of tropes, he’s the character that is able to punch his way out of any situation. It is his strength and ability to force change where he needs or wants it to be that allows him to be effective.

Aset, on the other hand, is less about physical force and is more about mental acuity and observation put into action. It’s her ability to read a situation quickly, and know exactly who or what to do or say to shift the tide into her favor that has allowed her to be as successful as she has been. As it happens, I was looking into what causes resiliency and an ability to survive in the face of danger or threat (for Set’s post,) and it turns out that being able to read a situation and make very quick and decisive decisions at the drop of a hat is key to being able to survive despite incredible obstacles. I believe that Aset embodies these aspects of survival.

Regardless of what version of the Osirian myth you read, Aset is always front and center, to facilitate Osiris’ safe transition into his new way of being. It’s also Aset who facilitates Horus’ ability to not only be conceived, but to survive long enough to become King. While it’s true that Aset often utilizes other entity’s powers and abilities to make this happen (such as calling on the NTRW to heal Horus when he is stung by a scorpion, etc.), that is exactly what makes her heka so impressive and formidable.

In many ways, her ability to find the right spaces to pick at, to ask the right questions, create the right alliances or situations to get what she wants — all of these things are forms of her heka, and they are what make her powerful. She doesn’t even necessarily have to do the work — she can say the right things to get you into doing it for her, or set it up in such a fashion where you have no choice but to acquiesce her request.

“Now Isis was a wise woman. Her heart was more rebellious than an infinite number of men, more smart than an infinite number of gods. She was more clever than an infinite number of spirits. There was nothing she was ignorant of in heaven or on the earth- like Re’, who takes care of the needs of the earth.”

When you consider the fact that Aset is the throne, the seat upon which kingship is grounded, it begs to ask if these are the sorts of traits necessary to excel as the King. Of course, you have traits from both Set and Horus, but if you’re not capable of knowing when to use brute strength vs. when to use structures and legality to get what you need, you won’t be very effective at wielding either aspect. To me, it seems that Aset has the means by which to know how and when to utilize the skills of herself and others so that the task gets done quickly and effectively. Having her abilities would give you a firm foundation to utilize any other skills you gained throughout a lifetime.

And if we go back to the concept that each of us is, in our own way, kings within our own lives, it begs to ask if we should be cultivating more of these aspects within ourselves as well. Not necessarily the ability to manipulate people or use people to get what we want (as it is sometimes stated that Aset has done in some myths,) but instead to cultivate and fine-tune our senses, communication, and heka to be more effective in creating beneficial outcomes out of whatever kind of situation you walk into.

There are means to improve our observation skills, and improving those skills will likely open us up to new possibilities, new ideas, new edges to interact with. There are means to become better listeners, better communicators, and better humans that will bring us to be more present with the world around us. When you’re more present, you’re more able to seize opportunity, notice small details, and get what you want out of life. All of these things are embodied by aspects of Aset, and all of these things feed into ma’at. If Aset is the foundation upon which a king sits, then perhaps her skills should be the foundation upon building a more stable life or existence.

I think there is one other key part to really wielding the type of heka that Aset does, and that is the skill of knowing where you are going. When I went to her with my thoughts about the contents of this post, she responded with only thing (and I am paraphrasing), “Knowing how to get what you want is important, but what is it exactly that you want?” I think it bears repeating that we may all know what we don’t want, but there is also power in knowing what we do want. In order to truly tap into her ability to transform a situation, we must have an idea of what we want to transform the situation in to.

Do you feel that you embody Aset’s heka? Do you wish that you did? In what ways would her type of heka be helpful in your life?

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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Lord of Edges

Edges occur where one thing ends and another thing begins. Where land turns into ocean. Where the base of your offering cup rests against the shrine’s surface. Where doorways are. All of these things create edges or boundaries between two things. An edge denotes that you’re shifting from A to B, regardless of whatever A and B might be.

According to edge effect, an edge has an increased biodiversity because it combines elements of both systems that create the edge itself. It becomes an entity unto itself that is different from everything around it. In many ways, I consider this a sort of chaos —  there are so many things occurring and going on from all sides that it can be challenging to tell where the edge begins and ends exactly, much less how all of the moving parts and pieces exist within this narrow ledge of space.

Slowly I’ve become to view Set as a deity of edges. He is the entity that you call (or don’t, honestly) if you’re stuck in a place where you no longer should be, it’s his domain and expertise to know not only when, but how to drag someone from the center of that system and then yeet them across an edge into a new system that is better for them. Of course, the act of transition is rarely that simple or smooth, and that’s what makes it something of a specialty. Osiris demands that you want to be there, but Set will drag you kicking and screaming, whether you like it or not, and that’s where he’s most comfortable. The uncomfortable space where things come together is what he’s used to and best suited for.

Butler refers to Set as “all the wild elements of human nature that resist civilization. Especially in his animal guises, or as the God of storms, Seth embodies the points at which nature itself comes into conflict with the human world, resisting domestication, or the points at which humans seek justification for their exploitation of nature.” In this description, you can begin to see how systems are coming into contact with each other (nature and humans, disorder and order, predictability/control and lack of control)  and how Set shows up in any of those situations where contact occurs. The very touching of two systems creates a space that is ideal for his energy. When humans decided to utilize that energy, they ultimately developed a loophole wherein all of their exploitation can be pinned on Set, which wipes their conscience clean.

I believe that his role as an initiator, a bringer of chaos, a being who brings forth transition, a moving from point A to point B not only involves the manipulation of edges, which is to say that he is able to bring a state of transition closer to a person, but that he’s also able to create edges where the person already is, if needed. If someone is really stuck and refuses to move closer to the threshold of growth, perhaps its within his wheelhouse to be able to bring the threshold of growth to the person.

I expect that these are the moments when he comes in like the Kool Aid Man and just breaks down your living room wall so that you have no choice but to do what is needed. When left unchecked and unbridled, Set’s chaos has the same force that nature has, and it will sweep you up in its current and take you where it wants to regardless of consent. In essence, that is what it’s like to be pulled up into his movements and trials. You’ll be carried along this liminal space between what you knew and what he wants you to know. You’ll rub up against all sorts of new concepts and ideas. You’ll be uncomfortable for a long time. Ideally, you’ll eventually stumble your way through to the other side, stronger for the ride.

In permaculture, maximizing your edges is vital to creating resilient designs that withstand the oncoming horrors of climate change. The more biodiversity that you can introduce into an ecosystem, the better, and you do that by creating as many edges as possible. I spoke in my post earlier this year about how we should increase the edges in our lives so that we could have more diverse experiences and expand our horizons. But I would like to add onto that now to include that I feel that doing so is somewhat leaning into Setian energies, and there is useful heka in that knowledge.

Earlier today SGI wrote about Set and his associations to survival as it relates to climate change. Climate change, in a nutshell, is going to make our weather patterns unpredictable, and it will, by extension, effect every other aspect of the natural world around us because nature uses weather as a form of cyclical regulation. Plants require certain amounts of heat and freeze at specific times in order to produce fruit. Animals rely on markers of humidity, heat, or coolness to determine when to hibernate or mate or what have you.

By shifting the weather, we will be destabilizing and unpredictably altering the systems that we live in because we’re removing their baseline for homeostasis. In many ways, the edges that are familiar to us will become distorted and unfamiliar. Sure, some parts will likely remain somewhat familiar, but we will also be living in the equivalent of nature’s uncanny valley as the patterns we knew change and wobble year to year.

SGI suggested that Set would be the deity par excellence to help get us through these tumultuous times ahead. I agree. Set is all about survival, and he has the capacity to teach a person how to survive. The key here is that I expect that the surviving and the teaching will be more effective and smoother if all of us were more open to being yeeted across those chasms that keep us locked in our inertness. Most of us have no means to fully stop or avoid what is coming in terms of climate change. We can only change how we react to it.

How do you feel when you think about being yeeted into transition? Do you fear it or embrace it? How could you make yourself more open to transition and change?  

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2019 in Kemeticism, Rambles

 

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Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

I felt bad for Heru-Wer as I went into the epagomenal days. I knew that his day would be chalk full of tasks and errands that needed to get done, and so I knew he wouldn’t get the same level of time or dedication as everyone else, and I felt bad about it. I wanted to try and get a head start on things by working on his stuff yesterday, but O was very big in the “live in the moment, quit trying to work ahead” shtick, and so I waited.

And cue this morning where I’ve been running non-stop and still have barely done anything for Heru-Wer’s birthday.

But sometimes things come in mysterious ways, and here is how today’s arrived: I was sitting in a restaurant and doodling in blank spaces in my bujo. I was working on something that I had placed on July 3, the day grandpa had his stroke. While I had originally considered the text “You can’t stop what’s coming” as being purely related to grandpa because I couldn’t stop the stroke or the incoming downhill slide that occurred, I noticed partway through inking it that it took on a very Setian tone. I joked that perhaps they had swapped days so that Set could minimize any interaction we might have because I’d be too busy to spend time with him. Even though I couldn’t place if it was from a NTR, something about it stuck in my mind. Conveniently, Sat had started to respond to my questions about Heru-Wer around the same time, and the more I mulled about what I associate with Heru-Wer, the more I began to believe that perhaps it was from him.

The best part being that when it was finally all colored in, you get a secret message:

I don’t really work with any of the Herus (Horii?, so my perceptions of him and his associations are pretty limited. The only real things I associate him with are losing an eye, kingship, and protecting the Two Lands. Boundaries and defense are the two words I would use to sum up my knowledge of Heru-Wer specifically, and that is exactly what I wanted to originally talk about today regarding him. But after having drawn this, I want to hone in on what it’s like to be in a position of defense, and knowing you’ll need to defend in the near future.

While I know that most of us are not in any sort of military position that would often be labeled as “defense,” I think that all of us come to points in our lives where we have to defend ourself or others. Ultimately, part of being a healthy and balanced person is knowing when you defend your boundaries and when to draw a line in the sand. If you never defend yourself, you will ultimately end up in unhealthy and abusive relationships. It’s mandatory to know how to defend yourself (and others, in my opinion) properly.

That being said, I think that the worst thing about being in an actively defensive position, or being someone who knows they must defend someone or something else, is that you fully realize that something is coming for you. Even though you know it’s coming, you can’t leave your position, you can’t necessarily avoid it outright. No, instead you must stay the course and wait for the impact that inevitably will occur.

I admit that I hate waiting for the impact. I hate knowing that an impact is coming because my anxiety ramps up in an attempt to prepare for it. I begin to try to think of ways to out maneuver whatever might happen. Ways I can protect myself or others against some semi-unknown future foe. I catastrophize and lowkey panic about what might happen. I waste precious precious energy embracing the idea of the impact instead of just waiting for the impact to arrive and embracing that.

The idea of “you can’t stop what’s coming” was ultimately kind of freeing to me. I found myself in a similar place as when I read the Litany Against Fear: “I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” In a way, it forces me to not only reckon with the fact that something is coming, but it also reminds me of the fact that there’s nothing you can do about it. It reminds me that there is a limit to what I can do, and that there is nothing wrong with accepting that limitation.

In a way, this is a similar conversation to something me and Set used to talk about. He always framed it as “there will always be wolves”, which is to say, there will always be things that seek to hurt you (and so you must always be prepared.) But its rooted in fear and an expectation that there will always be things that are actively coming after you. For me, it makes me feel I need to prepare for everyone to be a wolf. It constantly puts you in a state of hyper-vigilance.

This reframing shifts that perspective for me, though. It puts me back in my body, back in the place where I always live. Back in my skin where I am reminded that limitations are a thing, that we can still have our pleasures (the highlighted text of “can’t stop coming”) despite the fact that we can’t always prevent bad stuff from showing up at our door.

Ironically, its a different aspect of yesterday’s conversation about being inert. Except this time, you’re simultaneously inert and moving. You’re inert because you’re always stuck in your body or stuck in whatever position of defense you need to maintain. And yet, while still being inert in that position of defense, you’re also being moved — usually by whatever you’re defending against. To bring it back more to what I expect would be historically Heru-Wer’s territory, you may need to move around a lot to chase down an infiltrator, to help stop incoming armies or enemies. You have to be agile and quick to get where you need to be to defend whatever needs defending.

But at the same time, everywhere you go, there you are. To some extent, there is a portion of us that is unchanging since our birth. A part of us that is static or inert if you will, and that part will always be carried with us wherever we go. Regardless of what fray we get thrown into, we’re all stuck in our bodies, stuck in the thick of this thing called life. The things around us may change, but we are always stuck where we are — in these really fancy meatsuits.

Ultimately, the thing we (probably should) defend the most in our life is ourselves, the most static and inert thing we own. We can’t stop what’s coming, we can only do our best to prepare for it and have some pleasure in between the waves of life. And there’s probably nothing wrong with that.

I have no clue if that’s what he had in mind when he sent me the doodle, but that’s what I got out of it.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2019 in Kemeticism, Rambles

 

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The Inert One

Today is the first epagomenal day, and because I felt the urge, let’s talk about Osirian change as it relates to one of his epithets: The Inert One.

I have been thinking about the Osirian cycles of rebirth a lot this year — specifically the second hour. The second hour is where the deceased, now being inert, has to choose to move forward or to stay in their inertness. I’ve mentioned several times these past two years about how the inert ones have seemingly captured my attention (because I’ve felt inert for years now), and they are still pretty centered and focused in my mind.

In this specific instance (at least), I do believe I know why my brain is so heavily focused on the inert ones, and that is because everywhere I look, I feel like I am constantly seeing people stuck in inertia. They may not entirely be inert, but they are inert enough that they aren’t moving forward in the ways they want to, and every time I see it in action, a part of me gets really upset/sad.

Just like in my last post where I mentioned that while I understand that these Osirian rebirth texts are supposed to be for the dead and not the living, I can’t help but draw parallels between them. As someone who has spent a fair amount of time being inert, I know what its like to have a blind spot, to not realize that despite all of the ground you think you’re making, you’re actually not making ground at all. A house built on sand will not last long, and I have made plenty of houses on malformed foundations in the hopes that it’ll work.

I find it interesting how often my work with both Set and Osiris brings me back to foundations. Set was always very big into telling me to build solid foundations. While most of you know that it was in relation to building our community — that only strong foundations would allow a community like ours to last — I have also had to sit through plenty of pontificating and lecturing from him (and others) about how my own life needs to be built on a solid foundation in order for other parts to function properly. To use the metaphor above: the doors in your house won’t work very well if everything is cockeyed due to uneven foundations. If the foundation is made poorly, everything else above it suffers.

On the flip side, I have always talked about Osiris being the tree outside that secretly grows its roots into your foundation — that by the time you realize what has happened, its too late to do anything, and now you need to call a repair person to fix your house. Even though Set is known for his chaos and destruction of bad habits to lay way for better habits, I think Osiris and his methods of rebirth are an under-sung variation of what Set does.

The key difference being that Set is like the Kool Aide Man, and doesn’t care if you want him there or not, where as Osiris mandates that you have to want to be there. Roberts talks about it in her book:

“Osirian renewal requires a conscious and voluntary entry into the underworld realm, and active desire to fulfill the unification of the living and the dead.”

So one of the key components to overcoming the inertia of hour two is to actually want to overcome it enough to actually move forward. Osiris has this in his own mythology, where he is being kept safe inside of a space enclosed by a snake, and Osiris has to gather enough gumption to force the snake to let him go because all the snake wanted to do was keep him there safe forever (sounds like a coming-of-age trope).

We have to want it. And sometimes it seems like we really do want it, and still can’t seem to make it happen. What is it that stops us from moving forward when we believe we do actually want to?

It’s been my experience that a lot of people stay stuck because of avoidance. You avoid doing the work that needs to be done in order to move forward, so you stay put. Turns out, psychology has a lot to say about what causes people to avoid things. In short, its because your body doesn’t feel like it can handle whatever the doing will bring forth for you to deal with. Sometimes that’s something like a fear of failure, other times it might be a worry that you’ll lose something important, or perhaps that you can’t handle the idea of losing your cool in front of someone over it (notice the common themes of fear and loss of control in all of these.)

It also turns out that we typically behave based off of what we expect, regardless of whether we’re conscious of that expectation or not. So if you expect it to be a shitshow that you can’t really handle, you will essentially avoid it as long as possible. If you’re living with three spoons and you expect it to be a five-spoon task, you may never actually get around to doing it.

For example, I avoided going to the doctor for months while my health degraded because I was worried that it would be way more work than I could handle. I expected that most of the doctors would be useless (they were,) and I worried it would be more emotionally draining and taxing than beneficial. I expected not to receive help, so I avoided even trying because of how daunting the whole ordeal felt it would be.

Avoidance tactics are largely used by people who are completely overwhelmed and burned out. When your body is on its last legs and feels like everything is just Too Much, you will start to avoid things almost reflexively because your body is trying to protect you from taking on more than it can handle. Likely because you are already taking on more than you can handle. This is further entrenched because we often will side with whatever is familiar over whatever is unfamiliar — especially if we’re burned out. So even if its uncomfortable and Awful, you may still stay right where you’re at because at least its familiar.

My grandmother used to have a little quip for these sorts of situations: a dog is laying on a nail poking out of a step, a guy yells at the owner for not making the dog get up off of it, and the owner replies, “I’m not making him lay there! When the nail hurts enough, the dog will get up on his own.” She used to sum it up as “the nail doesn’t hurt bad enough yet, does it?”

And its pretty true. Most of us move because we’ve been forced to move (hello Setian change) or it got bad enough that we are finally motivated to make the choice to move (hello Osirian change.) It’s difficult to enact large-scale change when you’re living in a constant state of near burn out (which is why you should start out with small-scale change,) and so it often takes outside forces to push us to do whatever needs to be done. It’s a shame that so many of us are stuck in these cycles.

As we move into the new year, I think it behooves us to ask ourselves about our state of inertness:

  1. In what areas of your life are you currently inert? What are you avoiding working on or addressing?
  2. When you think of these things you are avoiding, what comes up? How does it make you feel? What is holding you back?
  3. What can you do to address these feelings or things that hold you back?
  4. What are you giving up in order to stay comfortably where you are?
  5. Where would you rather be instead? What can you do to get there?

Maybe by becoming more intimate and aware about the things that keep us inert, and why we let them keep us inert, we’ll be able to overcome our inertia and actualize all of the rebirths that we’re aiming to experience.

How often do you examine your inertness? If you took the time to try to answer the questions above, what did you find?

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2019 in Kemeticism, Rambles

 

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Carrying My Father; pt 2

I have been doing akhu rites for the better part of six months now. Every time I have written the rubrics or performed the rites, my mind has always pictured me doing work for Osiris, the deity that pushed me to do akhu rites to begin with. But this month shifted my impressions of these rites as I got to experience a “slow” death first hand. Suddenly, more and more of the words were describing actions I was doing here in the physical for a man who was in the dying process. This post is to document the parallels I found between caregiving and ritualized tidbits I found in the Coffin Texts about tending to Osiris.

Hail to you who mourns the Bull of the West, who folds her arms on account of the Inert One within the secret place of the Great Hall; who knits up the soul, who builds up the shade and who gives breath to the Inert One in this her name of ‘Her who is in attendance on her lord’.

I’m semi surprised that I didn’t notice it before, but it wasn’t until I had to start doing 24/7 levels of caregiving that I really realized that caregiving is ultimately one of the biggest forms of “attending” to a person that you can do. While I understand that a lot of these rites are meant to be for someone who is already dead, and that the attending is more about preparing the body for funerary rites, in this situation it felt very applicable. When someone moves into pre-active, and finally into active dying, the caregiving you must give them is almost a full-time affair.

In the case of my grandfather, it got to where you had to assist him with almost everything. Getting out of bed. Going outside to smoke. Getting to the bathroom. Getting to the kitchen. Putting on clothing (if he bothered to change at all.) Drinking. Sometimes eating. Your life suddenly revolves around one other person because they’re not able to do very much for themself anymore. I can’t imagine a better picture of what it means to “attend” to someone as you’re facilitating almost all aspects of a person’s comfort and needs.

I belong to the House of Osiris, I watch over it; I veil his limpness, I ease his severe suffering for him; I know what Sia knows, and a path is opened for me, for I am the Lord of Air.

Nobody told me how much laundry you generate when someone is dying.

As much of a difficulty as it was to keep the house clean before things started to really ramp up, the pre-active dying process makes taking care of your “house of Osiris” all the more complicated. Because you’re busy helping a person get around, you find that dishes pile up, that things don’t get done, and slowly everything starts to look a little sad.

But the laundry. You see, when you start to really die, your bowels kinda do their own thing. You’ll relieve yourself in bed on accident because some part of you never got the memo to wake you up to go to the bathroom. There were days when we went through three or four pairs of pants and underwear. Where we needed to replace the sheets in the morning and again in the evening.

Another key job was to “veil his limpness” by making sure that he still looked presentable right up until the bitter end. To me, this plays right into “ease his severe suffering for him,” because you’re not only easing the physical pain via helping administer medications, but you’re also easing the pain of the ego from all of the inability to function. I remember one of the last days my grandfather was alive, I asked him if he was hurting anywhere, and he told me the only thing that hurt was his pride.

Due to my chronic conditions, I’m more or less used to having to give up parts of my autonomy to get things done. I’m used to needing assistance for a fair amount of things. However, for people who have never had to experience such a thing, it’s not easy to not be able to care for yourself. It’s not easy to lose your autonomy. It’s not easy to not even be able to go to the bathroom alone. And part of easing that pain, in my experience, was to create as much normalcy as possible. Treating him like a full-fledged adult up until the end, and never forgetting that there was a person with emotions still resting inside of the body, even after he had gone into his final coma.

To me, it was vital to achieve these things in order for him to have a relatively smooth time of processing the death he was about to experience.

I will not be ignorant of my path to the realm of the dead, for I am a spirit whose mouth is hale, and magic is what equips me according to my desire. I have come free from corruption, I have poured away my foulness.

Despite it being a well-documented thing, so very few people actually know what happens during the dying process. There are tons of web pages that outline what you can expect before you die, and its very unsettling how predictable and “expected” some aspects can be. Many of these things are more neutral-to-positive in nature including giving away of possessions, writing letters or tying up loose ends with other people, and having dreams about dead relatives/friends or your life.

While there are no proven reasons behind why some of these things happen (beyond “its your body shutting down”), there are a lot of people who believe that so many of the steps that a dying person goes through is simply their body trying to prepare them, and make them okay for the death they are about to endure. In many ways, you are “pouring away your foulness” by overcoming hurdles that prevented you from accepting things in your earlier years. Sometimes people will have a complete 180 in their attitude towards dying once they start to have these events happen, and in a way, it is sort of it’s own “magic” that your body equips for you.

Lady of All in the secret place; to whom Osiris turns his back in these his moments of inertness;

However, not every aspect of the pre-active drying phase is seen as being beneficial or even neutral. As it turns out, when your brain starts to shut down and misfire from your body slowly going, you might begin to do all sorts of things. Night terrors, screaming, agitation, and anger are all things that have been reported during the final phase of life. There is even something called “terminal restlessness” that often gets assigned to people who are particularly, well, restless throughout the process.

As I watched my grandfather muck through these particular aspects of dying, I couldn’t help but think of the statements about how Osiris is a Lord of Terror, how it is terrifying to be dying. How someone who is becoming increasingly restless and foreign can be a semi-scary thing to deal with day in and day out. That no amount of happy hormones from their brain can erase the fact that sometime in the near future, this person will no longer exist as we know them to exist. And that further, throughout these periods of difficulty, its not uncommon for your soon-to-be Osiris to completely forget who you are. And yet, you still have to take care of them and deal with whatever shows up.

Hail to you, Mourner of Osiris, Companion of the Bull of Nedit who makes the mummy-wrappings to breathe, who veils the limpness, to whom Osiris has turned his back, helper of the embalmer Anubis when treating the body of the Inert One.

When using this metaphor, I would say that I am Aset, my grandfather would be Osiris, and hospice would be Anup. By far, I would encourage anyone who is coming into the final cusps of death to reach out to hospice or palliative care, because they were very helpful in getting me anything that I needed throughout the process.

I will be frank and mention that two thirds of my family believes that hospice somehow made my grandfather die sooner, but I honestly think it couldn’t be further from the truth. They gave us access to so many resources we would not have had otherwise. It was great to have an RN that I could ask questions to, because when you start to really get deep into caregiving, you end up taking on a lot of responsibilities that you’re not trained for.

Have you ever been taught how to properly fold and place a draw sheet on a bed? I certainly wasn’t, at least not until hospice sent me someone to teach me. Even though I was the one dealing with everything on a daily basis, at the end of the day, I felt like I was more of an assistant, relying on people who knew more about this than I did, to help guide me through the proper care of someone who was dying.

See that I have come to you so that I might see your beauty, So that I might serve you and restore your body.
I have come to you so that I might greet you daily as your son, For I am your son, the Protector of his Father

When my grandfather was still relatively “with it,” I let him associate with whoever he wanted, however he wanted. Most everyone that he had contact with had been informed that he had dementia, and that his behaviours could change or be out of character periodically, they technically were prepared for any oddities that he displayed (I say technically, because they were still mostly in denial up until the bitter end.) However, when my grandfather entered into dying, he was no longer able to make those decisions. Instead, those decisions fell to me.

One of the last days that my grandfather was still able to semi-function, I asked him about whether he wanted certain family members around. I mostly wanted to do this so that I could get a good idea of whether any of these people was vital to his ability to have a peaceful death, since some people do request time with specific folks before they go. However, grandpa wasn’t particularly interested in some folks, and when I discovered that, I knew that I would need to consider what role, if any, they played in his dying process.

Relations with my family have been strained throughout the entire caregiving process that has occurred over the past year and a half, so I’m sure you can imagine how mixed it got when it came to light that I didn’t involve certain people in the final 48 hours of life. For me, this was about protecting my “Osiris.” It was about making sure that none of his last conscious moments was filled with stress or drama. As I tried to explain to my relatives, my job was to facilitate his peaceful passing, not their ego.

Just as Osiris, when my grandfather entered the final stage of his life, he had virtually no ability to defend himself or make choices for himself. He had wholly become the Inert One. It is vital to be careful in who you select to oversee those final moments of your life.

Hail to you, Lady of offerings at whom Osiris rejoices when he sees her, whose great wall is an owner of possessions; who brings air, who gives offerings, who presides over the throne in the secret places of the Netherworld; who clears the vision of the Bull of Djedu, who split open his mouth and split open his eyes when the Inert One asked; who gathered together his arms and legs, who laid Osiris down in [ … ,] who gave abundance to the Lord of the Flood on the desert plateau; who gave offerings. Open a path for the Inert One to the abode of embalming, the pillared bark.

One of the benefits of utilizing hospice was that our “path” to the “abode of embalming” didn’t involve an ambulance. Instead, they will send someone out to collect the body and take it to the morgue. You are asked to give any specific instructions or items to be left with the body during the processing of the body, and then its more or less out of your hands.

It’s a surreal feeling going from doing nearly constant work for someone, only to have the entire space vacant and empty. Figuring out what to do with your time, how to refocus your life, is a little bit daunting. The process leaves not only the Osiris changed, but the Lady of Offerings is changed as well.

O my father Osiris, here am I; I have come to you, for I have smitten Seth for you, I have slain his confederacy, I have smitten them who smote you, I have cut down them who cut you down. I am one who overcomes with strength, the heir of everything; I myself have guarded my body, I have felled my foes, and I have created it, this new state(?) in which I am.

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2019 in Kemeticism, Rambles, Year of Rites

 

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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.

 
4 Comments

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

 

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How to Build a Heart: Carrying My Father

Father-Lover proved to be a surprisingly easy task.

When I first realized that I would need to still do work with his remnants, I was daunted. I expected to be overwhelmed by the emotions and trauma of our past, of his past. I spent weeks avoiding putting his stone into the heart jar where it needed to go. And then I spent weeks ignoring the fact that I needed to pull it out again. And then I spent days doing everything I could not to touch said stone, for fear of what would come rushing forth. Each step seemed to inch me ever closer to resolving the situation at hand, but each step also evoked the deep-seated fear I ultimately have of the man that I once called father.

It was early morning, and we were having tea at the table. I found myself staring at Father-Lover’s stone as it rested on the table. There was a pull in me, a desire to touch it, but the desire was always tempered by fear. But because I had enough substances rolling through my veins, I guess I was in enough of a mind space to ignore my baser fears, and I found myself flipping the stone between my fingers, rolling through black fabric in my mind’s eye as I floated forward towards some unforeseen ending to the tunnel that the stone was pulling me down.

This was the first time in years since the stone had anything active in it. While it had always continued to carry its feeling with it, touching it up and to this point hadn’t rendered anything of note. But now? Now I was going somewhere.

I sat there for a while, waiting to reach my destination, and when my feet finally hit the closest thing I can consider ground, I saw that someone was sitting there waiting for me. I’m sure everyone can infer that it was Father-Lover sitting there in the backlit darkness, waiting for me to find him. However, he felt nothing like the versions I had been forced to interact with all of these years. In this crystallized moment, he was so close to who I had always been told he was, but had never gotten to witness on my own.

With his form as I knew it removed, it barely felt like Father-Lover. For a brief moment, I could look past the trauma, the hell we had been through together. For a moment, there was the tiniest possibility of healing. You could see it in his eyes, the sorrow, the unfairness of it all. In this section, he was neither Father-Lover, nor his predecessor. He was somewhere in between.

Of course, this place was not to last. Like so many other healings I have worked on, once the person in question gets what they need, the blockage is removed and everything starts to flow again. The problem being that flow usually means a lack of direct access like this, and so I was no longer able to find him again. All in all, I had less than an hour to soak in the emotions before I had to let go again.

But at least I could handle the stone freely, and I was no longer afraid of its contents. Though the trauma of Father-Lover still exists, I no longer seemed to fear that he would show up and wreck my life again.

And as soon as I had finished that bit of work, the next bit rolled in. And this time, it was my old pendant that I used to wear to represent Set and O as a sort of singular unit. My Ptah pendant that has skeeved me out so badly that I’ve barely touched it in years. It’s spent a lot of its time living in my heart jar, where I could forget that it exists. Every time when I would go to check the contents of said jar, a small part of me would be like, “Oh yes, this is a thing that exists, I forgot.” but I never felt inclined to pull it out or wear it. And as the years have progressed and my love of the religion and its gods has waned, my desire to wear the pendant has diminished greatly.

By the time that Someone was trying to convince me to bring it out and work with it, I didn’t want to touch it at all.

I have toyed for months now as to whether I should be opening up about it or not. Truth be told, most of the times I mentioned my growing issues or complications with the NTRW, I ended up with people either telling me its my fault for things being as they are, or to quit complaining, and so I’ve mostly been keeping it to myself. But when they made me pull the pendant out, and then made me wear the thing, it became much harder to ignore, and has since been very hard to ignore.

For whatever reason, I was inclined to hang it on two different strands of yarn, which you may recognize from this old post. And then I wore it for a few days until the feelings about the pendant itself started to float away. So I can touch it now without feeling completely put off, but I still don’t want to wear it.

Throughout this time, I received a handful of visions or experiences, and one of the most notable things that occurred during this time is that  the nerve damage that is present in my physical body began to show up as a sort of scarring on my skin in the astral. It’s not something I’ve had happen very often, and I’m not sure what working on these two items might have done to cause it to occur, but here we are.

Slowly, I’ve also noticed that I am sorta being dragged away from using my heart jar shrine as a sort of living shrine, and have instead been encouraged to co-opt a pre-existing setup that was in another part of my room. It’s left me wondering if the jar is meant to be temporary and not permanent, and honestly, I’ve always had this nagging question in the back of my head as to whether a heart jar would be a permanent fixture in a person’s self care, or if its something you only need during times of healing.

As this progressed, I began to question if maybe I should scrap my entire heart jar heka idea all together (though I am still using aspects of the shrine, albeit, sparsely), not to mention the slowly-rising anxiety about how I’d even begin to put into words what I was experiencing. It can’t be ignored that this series is now six posts deep, and I have no clue how much closer I even am to finishing this project, much less if this will ever reach any sort of logical conclusion. It has led me to feeling like the work will never be done, or that the hope of being healed is some sort of unattainable dream. It’s why I don’t usually write about a project until after its done, because if I can’t wrap it up in a pretty, edible package for everyone, then it usually never sees the light of day. But now that this is out in the daylight, it also feels weird to not write about its progress.

I guess if it does say anything about rebuilding your heart, its that the process is long, messy, and rarely feels productive.

Previous posts in this series, for those who lost count:

 

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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.

 
6 Comments

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

 

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