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Steadfast in Eternity

aka: Devo’s guide to figuring out Osiris.

Mandatory Disclaimer: As with everything, this guide is exactly that- a guide. Gods can change rules at the drop of a hat, and my interactions with Osiris might not match your interactions with Osiris. This guide contains my own personal thoughts and interactions with this deity as well as interactions I have witnessed other followers experience over the years. This guide is merely meant to be a general overview for those who are new to working with Osiris.

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I’m currently in the middle of my Mysteries preparations for Osiris and I decided that part of my rites for this year would involved writing about various aspects of Osiris. I asked my readers and fellow Kemetics what they might want to know regarding Osiris and his mythology and it seems that not many people know what he is like, or what to expect when they work with him. I dug around on the Internet and found that there isn’t much on Osiris from a devotee’s perspective. He just doesn’t seem to get around a whole lot. So, to start off my Mysteries work this year, I decided that a general guide to Osiris was in order.

So what is it like to work with the Lord of Eternity (Djet)? What can you expect when working with him?

1. Prepare to be trolled.

When people ask me about Osiris, I like to make an analogy that compares him to Set. If your life is a house, working with Set is the equivalent of your house being hit by a tornado. You will likely wake up one morning to find that your house’s walls have been completely decimated and that you’ve got to start your house over from scratch. Set enters your life and takes no prisoners. He makes a scene and hands you a broom and expects you to clean up after him. Osiris, on the other hand, is more like a tree that is just outside of your window. It’s an old tree whose roots run deep. So deep that the roots are secretly infiltrating your foundations and you won’t realize it until there are cracks in your floor.

Osiris is quiet. Discreet. He does not tend to be flashy in how he operates. If he wants you to make a change, he will do so in his own way and you probably won’t realize it. So by the time you do realize it, you’ll realize that he’s been playing you for weeks, months, or possibly years. And every time you think you’re getting wise to him or the upper hand, you’ll find out that the rabbit hole goes deeper. And deeper. And deeper. He’s got his moves planned out for the next few years and planned for everything that is occurring. That’s just how he works. Which brings me to point number two…

2. Prepare to get confused. A lot.

I call Osiris Mr. Wingdings (as seen in this post here). This is because he speaks in riddles (the official language of the astral) and symbols and pictures. Often times, these pictures make absolutely no sense to me (or anyone else for that matter). I have not been able to confirm if anyone else experiences this from him, but I certainly do. For the first year or two that I worked with him, he said all of about 5 words to me. Everything else was through direct action (I do this thing to you with no explanation) or through imagery (duck-tree-canoe-oranges) that made no sense.

I don’t know why he refused to talk to me, but such was the case- he almost never spoke. I only got his cryptic images. And that left me entirely confused. So confused that I quit going to him for advice because his advice never made any sense.

And then one day he finally spoke. But instead of showing me the duck, the tree, the canoe and the oranges- he just said “duck, tree, canoe, oranges” and smiled at me.

I have yet to figure out why he does this.

3. Be prepared to develop a lot of trust.

Because Osiris rarely explains his methods, motives, or reasons, you can anticipate that you’re going to have to learn to trust him in order to get anywhere. I think this is probably true of most of the deities you work with, but the lack of communication and explanation from Osiris made it even more the case for me.

For example, I’ve mentioned that a lot of our work occurs in a River. However, in order for the River to work, you’ve got to succumb to the water- which is a poetic way of saying that you have to drown, or die. You can’t do this without some trust. The first few times that I found myself being submerged under the water, I completely freaked out and put a stop to the whole thing. It was only through the development of trust in him and his motives and methods that I was able to move into the second level or step of our relationship. You may find that this is similar for yourself as well.

4. Expect Love to be a recurring theme.

Love yourself. Love your neighbor. Love the cat. Love that plant. Love everything. Osiris is a man of making peace (in my experience- even though he is also known as the Lord of Dread in the Pyramid Texts). Many times I have shown up at the River angry and hurt. And many times he has urged me to forgive the people that have wronged me. To let go of the anger that I held in my chest and in my stomach. To let love take its place. Not necessarily the love of the person who wronged me, but to let my love for myself and my health to be more important to me than the anger and hatred for whomever or whatever has hurt me.

This has culminated in his teaching me how to transmute and transform feelings like this into more neutral, happier feelings. Feelings of love and joy and contentment. For myself personally, this has been his biggest goal for me- to learn how to let go of anger so that I can replace it with love.

5. Expect to develop and receive patience.

If there is something I can say about Osiris, its that the man is patient. You know the tree roots I mentioned above? That tree did not get those roots overnight. So it goes with Osiris. He is very much a Big Picture type of deity, and he will take as long as is needed to get what he wants. If you push away today, he will try again the next day, and the next day, and the next. And if method one doesn’t work, he will try method two, three, and 489358 until something works for you. His patience has been a blessing throughout my trials over the past year.

However, you will need to cultivate your own patience with him. Setian patience is different from Osirian patience, though. You develop patience with Set because Set is chaotic and flaky and unreliable sometimes. You develop patience with Osiris because he is so steadfast. You can’t force him to change. You can’t goad him or push your weight around with him. He truly is like the pillar that represents him- he is stable, and to some extent, timeless. He may give you a cryptic answer and you will rail at him and scream and throw a fit and he will just smile at you and wait for you to calm down. Or he will pat you on the head and tell you that he knows and walk away. Sometimes his lack of emotion or reaction can be really really frustrating. But that’s how he is. And he doesn’t change for just anyone. So the patience you develop will be centered around that.

Many people have described Osiris as being distant or uncaring, but I don’t think that’s the case. I just think that he is a quiet, more subtle deity, and that his methods of communication are different from what we’re used to. With enough time and patience, you can begin to hear his messages and you can begin to forge a relationship with him. Despite my setbacks in understanding him, I have definitely found that working with him has helped me to heal in a lot of ways, and Osiris has been a great support throughout the shifts in my religious practice over the years.

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2013 in Kemeticism

 

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Book Review: Reflections of Osiris


I’ve just finished reading Reflections of Osiris: Lives from Ancient Egypt by John Ray. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book originally. I thought it could be dull or completely unhelpful to hear stories of people who had lived in AE. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the book. Ray writes a lot like Barbara Mertz and that makes the book more enjoyable for me- as the text isn’t so academic and dry.

The book opens with a general intro discussing how the book is to be laid out, chronology, names and all that. And by this point, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. The book covers people throughout various periods of history in Egypt including:

  • Imhotep
  • Hekanakhte
  • Hapshepsut
  • Horemheb
  • Khaemwise
  • Petiese
  • Nectanebo II
  • Hor of Sebennytos and his friends (all in the Serapeum)

Now most of these stories I had already heard. We all know about Imhotep, the angry mummy who wants his woman back awesome guy who helped build the pyramids. And you can’t read anything without hearing about the ‘female king’ Hapshepsut. And I had even heard of Hekanakhte through Mertz and Petiese from Sauneron. And the people at the Serapeum are very well known (this relates to two twins who were slighted by their mother. In order to save themselves from starvation, they become part of the cult of Apis at the Serapeum).

However, despite knowing most of these stories and people- this book really does cast them in a different light. Most times, the history around these people is presented in a very cut and dry method. So and so did this, this, that, and that. And that’s it. However, Ray does a great job at making the stories more engaging, and bringing the characters to life. He also discusses these people in a more indirect way. He doesn’t just talk about the people- he discusses what is going on at the time in Egypt. He shows how the political events of the era could influence the people we are reading about. He puts the people in their time and place- and paints a much broader picture than most historians. And for me, these stories seemed more real; they had more depth to them. And in some ways, I understood a bit more about how things can be effected by the surrounding areas.

Here are a few interesting quotes I saw:

“This predecessor was Osiris, a god who can be thought of as the photographic negative of the sun god: a being who had ruled on earth, been put to death by the machinations of evil and disruptive forces, and who passed into a new life as the light below the earth, ruler and judge of the dead who are in the Underworld”

“On his death, the kind was known officially as Osiris the nesu, followed by the throne-name (given at coronation). The second name, the one written with the bee-hieroglyph (given at birth), ceases to exist. On earth, the king had a dual nature, corresponding to the emanation of the divine which was present within his temporal, human, dimension. The latter would grow old, infirm, and die. The former was immortal. Pharaoh was, literally, a god-king.”

“Amun, in upwardly mobile style, got rid of his first wife, a goddess named Wosret, who was the theological equivalent of the girl next door. Instead, he contracted an alliance with one of the most distinguished ladies in the land, the goddess Mut, the embodiment of motherhood. Like her husband, this goddess was somewhat bland in essence, and this made the pair ideal for usurping the roles of more defined, and therefore more limited, rivals. A less cynical school of thought holds that there was no divorce, and that Wosret and Mut are the same goddess going under different names, but if so, we are still dealing with an attempt to upgrade the original product.”

As you can tell by the quotes above, the writing style is approachable and easy to read. And in many cases, you feel like the author is being straight with you. He doesn’t have an agenda to push, or any theories he’s trying to prove. He’s just telling you how it is. I particularly liked the mention at the end of Nectanebo’s chapter- where he relays that the reason we don’t have the end of the story is because the young boy who was translating the story got bored, and decided to draw some weird doodle face instead.

If I had to give any critique to the book, it would be that I wanted to hear more about Osiris. I understand why the author chose the name that he did. And I know the book is more about the people than the god- but there was a chapter at the end about Asar, and it was severely lacking. I would really really really like to find a book that actually goes into the deity himself. The other thing that might be an issue for some is that the stories/people covered in this book are pretty well known. I have no clue if we have records of people who are more obscure- but it would be cool to see stories that are less well known.

However, I feel that the book is worth reading, and it offers a slightly different perspective than most. The book is more useful for historical references and ideas than for religious ones, but I still think there is interesting information in it.

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Kemetic Book Reviews, Kemeticism

 

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Unveiling

The month finally came to an end. After so many nights keeping O’s statue hidden, I was finally able to unveil him. To bring him out of hiding and back into the light. Words can’t express how happy I am to have him uncovered again. To be able to look at him and not see him all wrapped up in his blue cloth. And his statue feels different, too. When I place my hands on both statues, O’s seems to be teaming with energy. It’s pretty crazy. So who knows, maybe wrapping the statue rejuvenates it as well. Either way, I’m happy to have him back again.

Coinciding with his unveiling is the hanging of my new shrine cabinet. Many many moons ago, Set sent me out to find a shrine cabinet for him (later to become ‘them’). He wanted something that was simple, but made of real wood. He was absolutely stubborn about the wood. No veneer for him! The more I sat with him, the more an image appeared in my mind as to what he wanted, and I slowly set out to find something that fit the bill. It only took me 6 months, but I finally found something that suited what I needed. The case is made of teak wood and is probably a foot tall. I love how simple it is. I also like the smoothness of the wood.

Originally, the box was intended to be a jewelry box. There were hooks hanging on the inside for necklaces. There were boxes hanging on the inside of the doors that you could put your trinkets in. I didn’t need either of these, so we set out to strip/gut the insides. From there, we treated the wood. Giving it nourishment to help protect the wood and bring out it’s nature colors/beauty. Afterwards, I left the box to sit while I waited for the Mysteries to end. I treated it with incense and left it at that. Now that O has been let out of his wrappings, I feel comfortable using the box.

I’m slowly starting to rebuild my practice. I’ve started off simply. Right now I’m only giving the ka embrace, swapping out beverages every morning and changing up their offerings. I figure that as I move further along, I’ll start fleshing out my rituals. But for now, I feel it’s best to start simply. The shrine still isn’t complete. I’ll update as I add more things to it.

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2011 in Kemeticism

 

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