Tag Archives: duat

To Sustain Yourself on Hearts

Everywhere around me, I see death.

I don’t necessarily mean death as in, there are dead bodies around all the time (though there is a lot of literal death on this planet, too), but a death that is a bit more metaphorical: people who are living, yet very much dead inside. You know the call signs: you hate your job, you hate being alive, you live to escape into a book or tv, you drag through the motions of life without engaging with those motions. I think we’ve all been there. I think it’s impossible to live a full life and not spend some time there, but it’s not healthy when you stay there for too long.

After my last post, Sat talked to me about how it reminded her of her Inert Ones post, saying that “Maybe that’s part of why there were Inert Ones in hour 2. They had eaten their hearts to the point where there was nothing left to move on.” This hit several notes for me including a mixture of my own experiences with being inert for extended years of my life, combined with my experiences through the spirit work I’ve done with Osiris — a person who also spent a fair amount of time being inert. Shortly after Osiris is felled, he is said to lay on his side, inert, and unaware of everything going on around him. When O walked me through Rosetjau a few years ago, he reminded me that when you die, your energy becomes still and the energy around you (loved ones, people you knew, people who process your body, etc.) becomes active as if transferred from one party to another. He told me that this is how the dead are supported — the energy shifts to those around you, and they take care of everything while you adjust to your new existence.

Ideally, it’d be that way in real life, too. That every time one of us falls off the radar, we’d have people to help up find our legs again, to help us slowly move back into Being. However, that’s not how things work. Instead, we often left on our sides, left in the stillness of death. Eventually you’re gonna get hungry in that place, and you’re likely going to eat your heart.

In my experience, being among the living dead makes you hate yourself. You see all of these people who are Actually Living, and you feel bitter and angry. Sometimes you’re angry because you can’t feel what they feel. Sometimes you’re angry because no one will help lift you up so that you could attempt to achieve what they have. Sometimes you’re angry because it feels Too Much, and you’re certain you will never ever move from that space.

I have lived my entire life with one foot in that space. I determined at a very young age that happiness was not a thing for me. That I was not put on this planet to be happy, and so I shouldn’t even bother to seek it out. I felt that I was put here to help others, to build and create and work for others. To help others find what I could not. If you remember in my last post, a lack of perceived options often keeps us stuck, and I was very stuck.

This was further complicated by the years of neglect I had endured with my family. I was made to believe that I was unimportant, unworthy of love, and since my family didn’t love me, I didn’t love me either. I think a lot of us struggle with both of these thoughts — that we can’t achieve happiness, so it’s not worth seeking out; and that we aren’t worthy of the happiness, even if we could obtain it.

Despite living like this for many years, my inertia reached its climax, starting in late 2015. Which shows you that it can always get worse (lesson 1.)

Picture it: it’s the eve of the month of Halloween. The air outside is still in the triple digits. You’re freshly widowed, and you’ve taken on about $30k in debt over the course of a month (not even an exaggeration) on top of everything else you’ve still got to pay for. Your job is pretty awful and you’ve been working 60 hour weeks since the beginning of the year. You’re about to get surgery on your face, and it’s supposed to be painful. There is the double-digit possibility that your surgery could go south, meaning you will have wasted about $25k of your time and money. Surgery is fast, but when you come out of it, you’re in level 8 pain and it stays there for about a month. You don’t sleep at all for the first week and a bit and you can’t eat anything solid for the next three months. And about three weeks in, you realize that you can’t really remember anything from the past 6 months. That’s how 2015 ran into it’s final quarter for me.

Meanwhile, I had been locked in a dark space for months on the astral. I was kept there with a man who was hellbent on keeping me there, using my dulled senses to his advantage and making everything going on in the physical realm infinitely worse. I felt like I had no resources, that no one was really there (except my SO) to catch me. I was as inert as humanly could be — both here and on the astral. I could barely care for myself, and I looked for the light at the end of the tunnel… because surely there was an end to this, right?

I continued to drag myself along as best as I could. I was able to break free of the astral abuse I was suffering in April of 2016, and I thought that for sure I was going to be able to make headway now, right? But the damage had already been done, and by May my health completely bottomed out. Or so I thought.

Then I was able to get a new job in the summer. So now I’ll totally get better, right? Yeah, no. The new job ended up being about as bad as the previous one, and when I was finally laid off in 2017, I was thankful for it, because that’s how much I hated it there.

At each stage in my journey, I seemed to expect that with each arrival of something new, that I’d get better. There always seemed to be this overlaying notion that if I just get this one thing fixed, I will be pulled out of my mire, and things will go back to how they used to be. But the way it used to be honestly never came for me, and I’m now in a place where I can be thankful as I say that, because I don’t want to go back to how I was living before.

At the worst parts of my inertia, I felt like I was drowning. I used to describe depression as being in a room that is slowly filling with water. That some days you wake up and the water is to your ankles. Other days, it’s around your waist and you have to stack up the furniture to try and stay dry. But when my health really began to run out, it was like being thrown into the middle of the ocean, and being held underwater by about 30 feet. I went through each day with constant screaming in the back of my head. I was always on the brink of tears, and there were many days when I would lock myself in my office and cry behind my desk because I couldn’t figure out what else to do about it.

To hearken back to the scene from My Heart My Mother in Hour 2 of your trip through the Duat: I wasn’t just inert in the mud. I had been fully consumed by the mud. I had been completely encased in mud, and after 4 different doctors, I was beginning to think that this was all I could ever hope to achieve in my life. I felt devastated. That this was all I had to look forward to — endless suffering while I tried to survive in a capitalist nightmare. I had to give up everything I loved — writing, religion, the gods, most of my astral work, most of my day job, exercising, going places, independence, doing things, eating stuff. I felt like everything had been taken. And with the current events that have happened in our country in the past year, with every passing day I felt surer and surer that I would rather be dead than alive.

To the point that when I did get laid off, we were genuinely concerned about leaving me alone by myself all day. Both my SO and I feared that I’d get so distraught from being alone in the house that I might take matters into my own hands. So when I say it was dark, I mean dark. The darkest I’ve ever been through.

Being stuck in a place like that is awful. Downright. Awful. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I tried to get out, only to slide right back into my mud cavern. I’d muster up the strength to try a new doctor and come home devastated as they ignored my problems. I’d muster up enough energy to try and do something social, only to be bed ridden the next day. I’d work so hard only to end right back up where I had started. Eventually, you get tired of that. You get tired of gathering up the last of your resources for “one more go” only to end right back where you were.

After a point, when you can’t get out, you turn your anger inwards. You begin to hate yourself, and hate the world for putting you there. You get mad that no one can seemingly help you, and you question if they are even willing to help you. You get mad at yourself for not being able to pull yourself out of it, and with each failure, that hatred grows. You begin to eat at yourself until each tiny morsel is gone. In many ways, it reminds me of a wild animal that’s caught in a trap. You’ll lash out in fear at anything and anyone that comes around you, and you’ll get so desperate that you’ll eat your own limbs to get free (except you won’t get free because the limbs seem to grow back.)

In the worst of this, only O would come to mind. I hadn’t heard from my gods in months (last contact was… sometime in 2016,) and I felt abandoned. The reason Osiris ever popped up in my mind was because he himself had been through death. He was the only one I knew that had been inert like this and lived to tell the tale (though for those of you keeping track, Ihy is the deity par excellence for this sort of situation.) I questioned what he would do, how he would handle this. I was reminded of how he was kept in a safe space by a snake, and when O finally reached a point where he wanted to move on, to pick up his limbs and more forward, the snake wouldn’t let him. He would ultimately have to force his way out of the snake, cutting through that barrier to get free. And as much as I hate to say it, it’s technically the answer to all of this: you have to keep trying.

And for those of you who are in this state, I can’t urge enough how important it is that you keep trying (lesson 2.)

You’re not going to want to. It’s not going to feel good, and it’s probably going to be messy. My recovery has taken three specialists, which took about a year and a half of searching to really find. It’s cost me hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars and lots of my time and patience to get there. And I know that I’m one of the lucky ones because I had the ability and resources to even attempt to get to where I am now. For those with less income, time and resources to work with, it’s even harder to find your way out. But what I am trying to say is that there is a way out, and it’s worth it to keep looking for it.

For me, the major headway was made when I added my final specialist to my team of physicians. She has me on 48395746 different supplements, and has forced me to change my diet significantly to combat the inflammation and histamine overload that is happening in my brain. It’s not perfect, but I can keep my head above water and most days are better than not. Arguably, it’s the first time I’ve felt what happiness might even feel like (which shows you how important the right diet and supplementation can be for depression.)

Working with my therapist has allowed me to process a fair amount of issues. It’s given me more space to react to triggers and has allowed me to be more objective with my emotions. It’s also allowed me to take a lot of what I’ve learned and apply it to my SO so that they can begin to move forward too (because we can’t afford to have both of us at the therapist right now.)

And working with my DO has allowed me to finally fit into my body better. I actually feel like I live in my form now, as opposed to being only a fraction of the way in. It’s also because of him that I found the therapist, and because of the therapist that I found the doctor.

In Egyptian funerary texts, you often see passages that urge the deceased to pick up their limbs, gather their pieces, and to ultimately pull themselves back together so that they can move forward. I think it’s useful advice for those of us who are stuck in the mire. It’s hard to keep yourself together when you’re strewn about on the ground, but what is important is that you try, and that you keep trying. Finding a fire and motivation to keep doing what you can. Grabbing what limbs you can, attempting to find little ways to improve your situation, to gain some headway with yourself, and to ultimately stop eating yourself alive. Finding the right people who can help bring your limbs closer and help you to find other sources of food that aren’t your heart makes this process easier, and I’d argue that to some extent having that external support is necessary to getting out, but at the end of the day you have to want to get out.

To sum up this hodge-podge of a post, I give you this, a quote from Hathor Rising by Roberts:

To “become Ihy”, a person must be prepared to experience the raw materiality of existence- blood, feces, and bodily fluids- all the messy substances and liquids which are there when life is pushed forth from the womb.

To tread this path to new life a person must also be prepared to seize and take possession of Ihy, for he eludes those who wait passively, afraid to summon up his zestful powers: ‘I show the paths of Khepri, the Netherworld dwellers follow me, this Osiris N takes possession of Ihy, this Osiris N captures Ihy for eternity’

His zest for life drives out all fear […] has an ability to entice others into making difficult journeys.

And to bring it home with what O told me all those years ago as I was thrown head-first into Rosetjau: you can be passive in your death, but you can’t be passive in your rebirth.


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KRT: Afterlife

For this KRT we are discussing various ideas regarding the afterlife both then and now. The Egyptian realm of the dead, often referred to as the Duat (and sometimes as the Dat or Dwat) was a complicated place filled with all sorts of weird beings. The biggest hurdle to really understanding the Duat is that, like many cultures or religions that span multiple centuries, the Egyptians had shifting views on what happened after you died – including where exactly you went after death, as well as death practices that changes over the centuries. So in order to tackle the concept of the afterlife, we must take a look at how views on the afterlife shifted over the centuries of Egyptian history and then see how that influences modern Kemetic ideas about the afterlife.

Please note: you could easily write books about Egyptian concepts of the afterlife (see resources at the bottom). This post is going to be a general overview of some ideas and concepts that were present throughout the history of Egypt and should not be considered an exhaustive discussion of Egyptian views of the afterlife.

The Afterlife: Then

“It should be pointed out that the Egyptians did not necessarily hold a single view of the next world at any one time, but… were quite capable of maintaining two or more conflicting opinions at once. This is already apparent in the Pyramid Texts, in which the views expressed concerning the afterlife of the king vary considerably in different spells, depending on whether they were early or more recent in origin.”

Death in Ancient Egypt by A.J. Spencer

We are not entirely sure what the earliest Egyptians believed in regards to the afterlife. Due to a lack of written records and minimal archeological records, it can be difficult to figure out what their exact religious beliefs were. We do know that early Egyptians did appear to have ritualized death practices that included specific burial methods and interring the dead with different amenities and provisions, likely for the afterlife. However, our knowledge of what they believed pretty much ends there.

The Old Kingdom is when we really start to see the Egyptians come into their own regarding funerary practices and beliefs. It was during this 500 year period that the Egyptians began to experiment with mud brick mastabas and then commissioning large scale building projects in the form of limestone lined pyramid and mortuary complexes. These complexes could be incredibly large, and it was not uncommon for the king to have two tombs- one in Upper Egypt and one in Lower Egypt. The process for mummification was still experimental at this point in time, and there was an emphasis on ka statues as opposed to mummies to help you achieve immortality in the underworld.

It seems to be generally regarded that during the OK, everything regarding the afterlife was centered around the king. Many Egyptologists posit the idea that the Egyptians wanted to be as close to the king as possible, because the best route to any sort of salvation was through him. This manifested in nobles wanting to place their tombs in close proximity to the king’s tomb/s, and that one of the only ways to really get a nice mortuary complex made for you was through receiving favor from the king. At this time, only the king had large mortuary complexes or had the ability to commission a pyramid or line the walls with various reliefs from the Pyramid Texts. That being said, there are some Egyptologists who have suggested that certain texts were available to nobles or high ranking Egyptians that worked for or with the king, or that perhaps there was more oral tradition amongst common people that we no longer have a record of. Unfortunately, we don’t really know at this time, and its generally regarded that funerary religious practices in the OK revolved pretty much around the king.

It is during the OK that the pyramid texts make their first appearance, and the general idea during this time was that the Duat resided in the sky or resided within Nut or the Celestial Cow (who goes by many names). Most of the texts talk about moving up into the sky and joining the imperishable stars. The imperishable stars were where akhu, or blessed dead were said to reside. These stars were in the northern sky, and were said to be imperishable because they never dipped below the horizon- they were always there, looking down upon Egypt. And that was where everyone wanted to end up- amongst the akhu in the sky.

As the centralized government fell apart and the Old Kingdom shifted into the First Intermediate Period, religious practices experienced what is often called the ‘democratization process’. That is to say that funerary practices quit being all about the king or only for the king. As nomarchs (regional rulers) got to experience their first taste of leadership and power, they decided that they would commission their own tombs with their own texts and inscriptions because there was no king or authority to stop them from doing so. Because of the decline in wealth for these nomarchs, as well as the newly given access to afterlife provisions to the common people, we also see a trend in having ornate coffins (as opposed to sarcophagi shoved into stone tombs) for your resting place. These coffins had their own texts written on them, which are commonly referred to as the “Coffin Texts” (because we’re really original with our naming).

It was by this time that the Osirian cult began to really gain a foothold in ancient Egypt, and this influenced the content of the inscriptions. Unlike the Pyramid Texts (PT) which focused largely on the Duat being in the sky, the Coffin Texts (CT) placed the Duat in the ground, as being a sort of subterranean existence. You can definitely see parallels between the Pyramid Texts and the Coffin Texts, and it’s very obvious that one influenced the other.

This would inevitably influence the Middle Kingdom which saw intricate tombs for both the king and nobility alike, as well as a further democratization of funerary practices. It’s during this entire era (First Intermediate Period, Middle Kingdom, Second Intermediate Period) that you start to see the elements of the Egyptian afterlife that are the most well known to us. You begin to see descriptions of traveling through the Duat, elements of having your heart weighed in the Hall of Two Truths, and of course, Osiris being the supreme Overlord of the Duat.

The New Kingdom is, in my opinion, when funerary literature explodes all over the place. It is during the NK that we see all sorts of new texts created and distributed at all levels of Egyptian society. The most popular of these is, of course, the Book of the Dead. The Osirian cult becomes increasingly popular during this era, and by this point in time, salvation is possible for everyone, not just the king – provided you have access to the texts and cheat codes that will get you through the Duat safely. The initial ideas about traveling through the Duat, the weighing of the heart, and the various obstacles you could meet while traveling there have been fully fleshed out by the time, which is likely a reflection of the growing influence of Osiris’ cult.

Much like with the Coffin Texts, the Book of the Dead (and other supporting texts of the era) often place the Duat in the ground, or some sort of subterranean location (which is sometimes said to be inside of Sokar). There is a sort of dichotomy during this era, though, because there are also texts that discuss traveling through Nut’s body as a means of renewal and rebirth- so in this era, the Duat could be seen as being inside of a cavernous location as well as inside of the sky. It is my personal opinion that the Duat has multiple levels of location, and could exist simultaneously in many places all at once.

The popular tomb-style for the New Kingdom is rock cut tombs, and the royal necropolis moves down to Deir el Medina, or the Vally of the Kings/Queens. Tombs become even bigger and grander than in previous generations as each king tries to out perform his predecessors. It has been noted that New Kingdom tomb reliefs are much more somber than previous eras, and that there is a sort of seriousness that is lacking in previous tombs. Some believe that this is a backlash to the Amarna Heresy, though there is no real way to prove it either way.

Because I rarely study anything about Egypt beyond the New Kingdom, I won’t attempt to give information about funerary practices for the later periods of Egypt.

The Afterlife: Now

If you ask 3 Kemetics what they think the afterlife is like, you’ll often get 5 responses back. Modern Kemetics are honestly not very unified in their approach or ideas about what the afterlife contains or could hold for us when we die. I think this is due to a number of reasons: conflicts due to our cultural upbringing (since none of us was likely born into Kemeticism via our parents) and having 3,000+ years of Egyptian history to pour through in order to create our own ideas about the afterlife. I think that there can be such a thing as too much information- and sometimes I think that having so much information about how the Egyptians viewed stuff can make it difficult to draw your own conclusions.

When I first got involved with Kemeticism, I never actually cared about funerary texts or the Duat. I remember trying to read the Book of the Dead before I had ever picked up a basic Egypt 101 book, and realizing that I didn’t really understand what was going on, and that I didn’t really care to understand what was going on. I always have taken the approach that I can’t change where I go when I die, and so I don’t really care about worrying about the Duat or funerary practices.

I still adhere to that, actually. The work I do with the Duat is more or less unrelated to “what happens when I die” and is more tied to “Osiris won’t leave me alone unless I do the thing”. I personally don’t see any point in fretting excessively about where we go when we die, because it’s largely (in my opinion) out of our control. And my current opinion on where we go when we die is simply “it depends”.

I think it can be based upon your religious beliefs when you were alive, combined with the rules of whatever afterlife you’d typically be admitted into, as well as your own preferences about where you go when you die. For example, if you really really like earth, I expect that you’d get to wherever your designated afterlife area is (in this case, the Duat) and you’d tell your deities that you want to come back here, and they’d get the paperwork in order to get you back on earth. Or if you’re like me, you may arrive at your afterlife of choice (Duat) and you’d tell your gods “I don’t want back on that rock again” and they’d try to figure out the paperwork to make it happen. Of course, if I don’t meet the criteria to even enter the Duat (and therefore would get eaten by Ammit), I may not get the option to do anything.

So I feel like there are lots of possibilities and options about where you go when you die, and the options that are present to you are largely going to depend upon your religion while alive, the rules of that plane, and your own personal preferences, etc. I don’t really believe in a static afterlife.

That being said, I’m not overly impressed with the Duat. I’ve gone there to do work for Osiris, as anyone who has been with this blog for any amount of time knows, and I really wouldn’t want to live there permanently. It’s not my cup of tea. However, I will say that having a general knowledge of what is contained inside of funerary texts, as well as an understanding of the basic geography of the Duat is useful if you intend on doing any work there while still alive. But like I said above, I don’t work in the Duat out of some concern regarding the afterlife. Beyond the fact that I am there all the time, the afterlife technically plays a very small role in my practice. Which seems very contradictory, but there it is. Generally speaking, I don’t worry about the afterlife because I feel there is very little I can do about it.

To read other responses to this topic, check out the KRT Master List

Further Reading and Relevant Posts:



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Posted by on November 12, 2014 in Kemetic Round Table, Kemeticism


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A Good Horse: 6 Months Later

Last year I had asked all of my readers to consider what they would do when a god pushes too far. To consider how they would react if the relationships they had with one or more of their deities suddenly fell apart and exploded all around them. How would they rebuild? How would they proceed with their religious endeavors?

It’s not an easy thing to answer. With something like a house, its very straight forward. You clear away the rubble and you rebuild your foundations. In short, you start from scratch. But with a relationship, especially a relationship with a non-physical entity, its not so clear cut. How do you start from scratch with a god? How to you rebuild the trust that was lost? How do you overcome the anger and hurt that you feel so that you can even look at one another again without scowling?

How do we take a relationship that has gone bad and get it back into neutral territory?

Marseille, statue, cheval, stone horse by Jeanne Menj via Flickr

Last year I got to experience first hand what happens when a long term relationship falls apart. I got to be on the receiving end of a deity that went too far and we both got to experience the results of what happens when I’m pushed to my limits. Last year, I got to experience what it was like to essentially be broken. At the time that it was happening, I knew that there was a reason for it. I knew that I needed to go through this first hand so that I could report back to everyone else and teach them how to do it better than I did. I knew that this was all part of a bigger picture plan that Set was concocting and that his words were both laced with truth and falsity all at once. And above all, I knew that there was no stopping it.

I knelt down on the ground and listened to him tell me that I was good at destroying things. I felt the lump in my throat as he told me that the community wasn’t everything that I needed to be doing. I felt that lump sink to my chest in the fall when Osiris told me that he was the other side to Set’s coin, and that their work for me would be in tandem. And then the lump fell into my stomach when fall shifted to winter and I realized that both of them were right in their own ways.

This is a 6 month check in on how I coped with my falling out with Set. This is also a story on how I have attempted to rebuild the foundations of my relationship with Set and Osiris.


After Set and I had our initial blow up, things were incredibly tense. The next few weeks were filled with short and snippy conversations. A few weeks after that, those short conversations shifted into yelling matches. And within a month or so, we were almost not talking at all. By the time that I had released my Good Horse post, we were pretty much not speaking unless we had to. Any time I’d show up to work with Set, he’d stand there and stay silent. He figured that opening his mouth meant that he could insert his foot, and so in his eyes, silence trumped speaking.

Truth be told, this was probably for the best. As soon as Set realized he had done some major damage, he stepped back and gave me space. He got mildly better at not reacting if I yelled at him. Instead he’d stand there quietly and keep his comments to himself. I was given space because more pressure on his end would have only made it worse.

So when a god fails you, I would say that the best first step is some breathing room. You and the deity need some space to get your thoughts together. How long this period needs to be will vary. I didn’t start talking to Set again until after I got back from the Duat. That is about 2 months of yelling and barely talking, and nearly 3 or 4 months of not speaking at all.

About the same time that Set completely backed off from me, I noticed that Wpwt stepped forward. I can’t tell if Wpwt has long term aims for me or not, but I certainly know that his sudden appearance was not coincidental. I joke about how Set must have cornered him in a bar and cried on Wpwt’s shoulder about how badly he had screwed up, and how he then begged Wpwt to do something to fix it, and for all I know the joke is accurate.

Either way, Wpwt came forward and began to talk with me about the situation I found myself in. For the record, Wpwt is much smoother with his words than Set is. He offered me perspective about not only my situation, but the situation that Set was in. He highlighted the difficulties that the whole pantheon faces in this day and age, and he gave me other ways to look at things.

In other words, he initiated the process of my shifting of attitude towards Set. Had Wpwt not talked with me, I don’t know how long it would have taken me to realize these things. Even now, I am grateful for his assistance with the whole situation.

So the second step in repairing a messed up devotee/deity relationship is to gain perspective. This can be through other deities or other practitioners. Wpwt talked to me about how Set’s hands are bound in a lot of ways by the upper echelons of the pantheon. He talked to me about how things are not as smoothly running as we’d like to believe. He knocked some sense into my head so that I could, at the very least, start being in the same room with Set without throwing things at him.

He began the process of healing for the whole situation.

By this point, Osiris had taken center stage and I was preparing to fall into the Duat. Due to the circumstances I was in, I wouldn’t see Set at all until I came out the other side, and by the time the “other side” came, I found that I was angry with both deities, and that I’d need to work on figuring out what to do with both of my relationships.

But why was I so angry? That’s probably the question on everyone’s mind. I’ve been dancing around just what Set asked me last year, and what Osiris told me he had in mind for my future with him because I’ve not been sure how everyone would respond to it. But it’s really hard to follow the whole story without having the actual whole story to go off of.

The long and short of what Set and Osiris have asked of me is this:

Set would like to use my abilities as someone who can kill and destroy over in the Unseen. According to him, he is bound by paperwork and red tape, and that there are some places, realms, and people he can’t get to because of it. I would be someone he would send to a location behind the scenes. I’d go in, handle the person, and leave. The downside to this is that it creates a huge target on your back and can create a lot of problems if you realm-jump regularly. Nothing like landing in a realm only to be thrown in jail because you killed someone important. Plus, it creates a lot of mental stress for me, and I’d be neck deep in death, which I don’t like.

Osiris wants me to heal and work with dead people. He says the Duat needs healing, that the land itself needs repair. And that dead spirits need care too. He would like to see me develop these skills both here and in the Unseen.

Both are interested in my community work, but that’s more Set’s bent.

Both deity’s requests center around my ability to tinker in someone’s core. To heal someone effectively, you need to go to their source, their core. To kill someone totally, you need to destroy their source, their core. Both the life and death aspect of things are tied together through one common skillset. Both Set and Osiris are tied together in this, and they know it.

For them, these tasks are not a “you pick one or the other”. It’s more a case of “you get both of us together and you will deal with it.” These two are tied together through a death, and I think in a grand scheme kind of way, it makes sense.

Well great. I understand their link, but both of these aspects still leave me in situations I don’t want to be in. They both leave me dealing with death on a regular basis.

However, more and more I question my ability to escape some of the aspects that I dislike about my astral life. The notion of somehow falling off of the radar to live a quiet life is unlikely for a variety of reasons. At least if I had a god’s backing, it may give me some political bargaining power in at least a few realms.

After my time in the Duat was done, Osiris sent me home to rest. I didn’t leave my bedroom for probably a month while I waited for my body to heal up. During that time, I had a lot of hours to kill, and I killed them mulling the situation I was in. I weighed the pros and the cons, I concocted ways to get out of things, to circumvent things, to find a way to spin this more in my favor.

I started by leveling with them. I talked with them about what I truly needed to make this work. I asked them to give me answers about specific questions (such as: how are you going to keep me from losing my mind from all of this? How will we handle my stress from all of this? What will you do when my anxiety starts to kill me?). I am currently waiting on their responses to these questions. I began to ask better questions about what they are planning. I began to work on handling my anxiety in the Seen so that I could at least consider their proposals, which I still don’t have in a final format.

All of these emotions and anger and frustration and I’m right where they wanted me to begin with. I’m sitting down at the bargaining table, trying to at least get an in-depth understanding of what they want from me.

And that is where I am at six months later. I am still a little bitter and frustrated at them, but no longer seething with anger or rage. I’m beginning to understand that the Unseen is filled with tricksters and tinkerers, and that the gods are no exception. No one is immune to it. And so I’m trying to figure out how to make this work in my favor because I currently can’t figure out a way to get out of it entirely. It will probably still be another year before I make any decisions, but at least I can gather my information now and move forward slowly.

Although the fact that I am considering their offers really makes me wonder if I was actually broken in as a horse would be. Does this mean that they won? Is that even the correct way to look at it? I’m not sure.


I get that this post is long, so I’m going to sum up the short version here:

When a god dicks you over, I consider doing the following:

  • Give each other space. This includes from the deity’s side. Ask them to give you time to process things.
  • Get perspective if you can. Whether from other Unseen entities/gods or from devotees or other people you know. Weigh the perspectives to see what you want to do moving forward.
  • Take things slowly. Don’t let anyone bully you into moving quicker than you are comfortable with.
  • If it appears that the relationship is too far destroyed, look into getting some godly back-up and assistance in severing the connection with that god.
  • If the relationship can be salvaged, I recommend talking it out with the god. Being honest and frank with one another with where you are at. This may take months to accomplish, so take your time. Not everything needs to be addressed in one conversation.

As for my own deity relationships:

I was pissed at Set and Osiris for throwing me into things I question if I can handle. However, recent events have made me seriously consider what they have in the future for me, and I am currently working on a number of things to see if its something I can hack. Our bargaining is on-going, and I wouldn’t expect anything final for a number of months.


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The Mysteries: Closure


Because I was doing a different type of Mysteries observance this year, I decided that I wanted to keep something on my person to remind me of what was going on. Normally, I am struck by the heaviness of the Mysteries because I have my Osiris statues all closed up and sealed away. Instead, I get to stare at a grumpy Set statue that side-eyes me because I kicked him out of his home because of his brother. However, this year I didn’t close up my shrine or do anything with my Osiris statues- so I decided to wear bracelets instead. I had originally thought of making only one bracelet, or leaving the second bracelet on Osiris’ statue. However, I had enough fabric to make two of them, and I ended up giving the second bracelet to the man who came with me to that Duat. I wore both of them out here because I wanted to remember that this trip wasn’t only about me.

The bracelets were on my wrists for every single moment of the Mysteries, with the exception of showers. I chose the colors based off of the Opening of the Mouth ceremony, and I got the idea of wearing bracelets from Bezen. I really liked the idea of keeping my observances with me 24/7, and I felt that the bracelets would be good for this- they wouldn’t totally stand out to people I interacted with, but they would be a constant reminder of my work. I also liked the symbolism of the braiding methods- bringing separate strands together to make something new and better.

However, I ended up really hating these bracelets by the time the Mysteries came to an end. They kept getting in my way and I seriously had to modify just about everything I did to compensate for the long tails that came off of each bracelet. They certainly did their job for reminding me that the Mysteries were going on. In a way, they sort of sum up the entire Mysteries experience that I had. I wanted to do the thing, and then the thing kinda sucked, but in the end, I’m still glad I did it.

When I returned from the Duat and I was given the okay to remove the bracelets from my person, I left them in my shrine box on top of O’s statue. I stared at them regularly, trying to figure out what to do with them. I knew I wanted to do something- I needed some kind of closure for this whole thing. But burning them didn’t seem fair, that was too close to an execration, and that wasn’t what this needed. Ultimately, it was suggested that I bury them. A funeral, in a way, for the bracelets that endured the hell of the Duat with me.

My original goal was to have these bracelets buried the week after I got back from the Duat, but that failed. My schedule kept changing on me, and I couldn’t find the time to make it out to my old stomping grounds where I was to bury them. It wouldn’t be until the Full Moon hit in February that I would be able to make it out to the desert to get everything done. In between Jan 3 and February 14 I ran through tons of ideas and scenarios for these bracelets. Initially, I think I wanted to let the process be cathartic. I expected it to be like a real funeral, and I’d cry and get upset and just let it all out. Then, as I pushed into the end of January, I expected that the whole affair would be very solemn, and that maybe I’d finally feel some closure.

I don’t know why I always expect more grandiose things for my rites. I should know better by now.

I was shown where to bury these bracelets weeks ago. I don’t know if I chose the place on a subconscious level, or if it was the gods or land spirits that showed it to me- but I knew exactly where to go. I found my location and grabbed a rock to help dig the hole. I placed the bracelets and a couple of other small items into the hole.


I stared at the hole briefly. I don’t know what I was waiting for, maybe tears, or words or something. Something to mark this as some type of important ceremony, but nothing ever came. In fact, the only thing that came to my mind was “I should have brought water to pour over everything”. Too little too late, there was no water to be had, so I went without.

I placed the sand back over the bracelets, and included the small plant that had been uprooted in the process and called it a day.


Above all, I think that by the time I had gotten to burying the bracelets in the ground, I no longer needed the closure. I understood why the process panned out as it had, and I had figured out my place and my friend’s place in all of this. I had gone through the motions in my mind and on the astral, and so a physical representation was no longer needed. At this point, the ceremony became nothing more than a nicety- something you do out of a necessity or politeness more than anything. I think I still would have felt bad if I hadn’t have gone through the trouble to trek out into the desert, though. I would not want those bracelets to be thrown into the garbage, and so burying them provides me some mental peace as to where they ended up.

But all in all, I think I had reached my closure two weeks ago when everything finally fell into place. And there is nothing as peaceful as having closure.

Mysteries 2013 Posts:


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The Mysteries: The Process, Pt2

If you have not read part 1 of this post, I recommend reading it before you continue forward. Otherwise, this will make no sense.

So when we last left off, I and my partner in crime had been down in the Duat for two weeks traversing through the sand. We had finally gained entrance to a subterranean location where we hoped that the answers for everything would lie. After trekking down into what appeared to be a tomb, we had managed to convince the door guard to let us through to where we believed our destination would be.

And when the door opened, what did we find?

We found an empty room.

Okay, not quite an empty room- it was a room with a small rectangular pool in the middle of it. The place seemed familiar to me, but I have no clue where from. Left with no other choice, I sank into the water to see where it would lead while he stood guard on the surface. There, I was met by O who told me that this is where the “real work” would begin.

The Healing Process

So this is where it all comes together, right? This is where I tell you that I was given the tools needed to finally put into motion all of the stuff Osiris had taught me the few months prior. This is where I talk about the healing practices he had taught me. Where I mention that he told me that these methods would work better than the stuff I had been using before. That these methods would be easier on me and I wouldn’t feel like death after doing them. This is where I talk about how I had everything I needed to do this- I had a pool of water, which would act as a portal and a vehicle for healing. I had the knives that I needed to penetrate the problems at hand, and I had a man who was willing to let me inside so that this could all be done.

This is where everything comes together and simultaneously falls apart.

We’d dive into the water, we’d go through the motions of inceptioning into him, into his problems, into his past. He’d take me to see things that were bugging him. He’d show me areas of his core that needed healing. It was all working pretty well- except for the fact that it was an emotional roller coaster that kept knocking us on our asses. Slowly his demeanor would change. He became calmer and more relaxed. He was less prone to fits and crying. It seemed like things were working.

One night we went into the water and found that it was not water, but a huge vat of hot firey who knows what. It reminded me of a furnace, or perhaps the surface of the sun. We moved as quickly as we could to try and get out of the searing heat. We cut through into the darkness beyond. Except this darkness bit back. We were ripped from one another and thrown into who knows where. The blackness reminded me of sticky tar, and I’m pretty sure that it was the Nun.

I tried to navigate this place while some unseen male prattled away at me from beyond. However, I made a misstep and fell flat on my face.

Don’t fall flat on your face in the Nun. You will not be able to get up. You will not be able to breathe. Do not recommend (if you do fall down, or can’t breathe, I recommend putting a ma’at feather on your astral/Unseen person).

I was asked all sorts of random stuff. If it was Nun who was there, he likes to talk a lot. About all sorts of stuff. And he likes to ask the most obscure questions. I felt myself being ripped apart and put back together. The image of atoms and cells and the like came to mind. It was very fast and not nearly as painful as some of the other changes that I had experienced- but laying in the tar like a moron was certainly not my idea of fun.

I eventually was spat back out of the pool and into the room. When I awoke, I was by myself. Surely this was what we had come down here for, right? Being ripped apart and put back together. Surely my partner would surface soon and we’d be able to leave this room and trek back up to the surface or something.

One of those things happened- he did eventually surface out of the water. However, the door did not open. We were both still stuck in the room trying to figure out what to do. Left without any options, we jumped back into the pool to see what would happen.

What happened is what happens when you heal someone, apparently.

We moved inside of him and he led me to some of the deeper portions of himself. We did a series of things that seemed to make him at peace. So at peace that he disappeared.


Gone. Poof. Bye-bye.

I surfaced from the pool, angry and confused by what had just happened. It was a total conflict of what he had said he had wanted (to stay) and what had happened (he moved on). I stood up in the pool to find the Right standing in the doorway. It had been over a month since I had seen him, and our reunion was bittersweet considering the circumstances.

He grabbed me and we jumped right back into the pool. The doors of the water opened up for us and we moved to a large temple-like building. We moved through a series of halls and rooms all while assistants and people tried to primp and clean me. However, I was too pissy to be messed with and all of their clothing and jewelry were shed off of my person by the time I reached the double doors to go see Osiris and Set.

I moved forward into the hall and stood before them. While my physical body had been healed by the past few weeks of work, my mind was reeling and I felt like I had regressed in my progress from the month prior. Deep within me, I hoped and pleaded that I would receive some semblance of answers from them.

But I didn’t.

My astral life had blown up while I was busy dragging this man through the Duat. I had other tasks that needed to be handled right away- which also had ties to the person I had just helped. They would not give me answers until all of the threads had been un-knotted. They would not tell me anything until the timing was better.

At this point in my adventure, I had been in the Duat for about 3 weeks, and when Set and Osiris sent me onto the “last leg” of this, I thought that I had one week left to get this done. But it turns out that I would continue chasing things for the next month. The month that followed was a blur. It involved other healing work with other parts of this man and myself that were trapped elsewhere. Multiple deaths on both of our ends and huge implosions and explosions of all kinds.

It all ended up culminating in returning back to the beginning as it were. And when I say the beginning, I’m talking about this beginning that I chronicled in my Cycle series last year. I found myself face to face with the Taint- the sticky black stuff that had originally eaten the core out of me.

My relationship with the Taint had grown since I had first fallen into the astral back in 2005. I no longer feared the stuff and it now flows through my veins. Taint is as much a part of me as my own skin and bones.

From Taint we were born, and into Taint we would descend. And through Taint we would both meet our end.

And that is it. Literally. That’s where the story of the Mysteries ends- three weeks longer than anticipated and not in any way that it was supposed to happen. The man that I was trying to heal was healed to a point that most of him was okay with moving on. The parts of him that weren’t okay with moving on were ultimately absorbed by myself through the Taint, and I lost a friend and a mentor and parts of myself in the process.

The idea that trips to the Duat are only to heal you and fix you are fairy tales as far as I’m concerned. The Duat consumes you and doesn’t give anything back. The Duat and death does not pull any punches. That would be my take away lesson.

Flowers in the Snow via flickr

Mysteries 2013 Posts:


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The Mysteries: The Process, Pt1

“If you’re going to send a fool to do it, you might as well do it yourself.”

That is what my grandmother always told me. Usually, in these cases, I was the fool and she was the poor schmuck who had to fix whatever I had “broken”. When it came to the Mysteries this year, I don’t know if I was the fool, the fool replacing a fool, or the right person for the job- but I was the person selected nonetheless. My feelings regarding the Mysteries and the work they entailed were very mixed- in some ways I desperately wanted to help the person that sat across from me in the sand of the Duat, and in other ways, I felt so entirely out of my depth I was sure that I would only succeed in making the situation worse.

And I’m still not sure whether I did a good job or only made it worse.

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what happened during the 2013 Mysteries. To start off with, I don’t think I expected the Mysteries to end up as they did. I mean, you can only expect so much when the word “mystery” is in the name, but even then- what ended up happening was completely different from what I was told would happen and from what I had expected.

And I think it’s because of that that I am having so many problems with writing my Mysteries posts.

Back in November, when I approached O at the river, I was in the mindset of “I’m going to actually do some in-depth work with my deity this year. I’m finally going to sit down and work with him for a month straight so that I can learn what he is like and what this process of death is about”. At least, I think that’s what I wanted.

And when I went to him, I expected that he would help me work through my anger and move to a more stable place emotionally. When I got thrown into the Duat, I expected that I would go on a journey with the person who was with me. That we’d both go and travel to Osiris’ khat within Rosetjau. That we’d go through a rebirth process and maybe learn something about each other or our “purposes” along the way. Secretly, I hoped he would become my vomit reader, because I needed one. Or that at the very least, I’d make good what I told him I would do for him a year prior- and at least ensure that he was healed so that he could move forward without a million pounds of baggage hanging on his shoulders.

But that’s not how any of it happened. And because everything ended up so wonky, I still don’t know what on earth is going on, or why I was even sent on this adventure.

So instead of a big moral-ridden post about how the Mysteries changed my life for the better, let’s talk about how confusing they were.

via flickr

The Road There.

The first phase of my adventure lasted from the New Moon to the Full Moon and it involved trekking through a series of terrains with another person. When we were left in the Duat, both of us had injuries to our bodies, and we had both been stripped of 90% of our magix. Everything we did required significant amounts of energy, and we spent a lot of time smoking and laughing as not to cry.

It’s my theory that the wounds were two-fold. First off, they were a literal reminder of the wounds I and my partner had existing within us. He and I had a lot of baggage to sort through. We had had a year full of drama and backstabbing and our relationship had been tumultuous at best and downright deadly at worst. As we were forced to rely on one another to survive our trip, our wounds would open up, drain out, and slowly heal. As our bodies recovered, our relationship recovered.

Second, I believe the wounds were there to force us to take our time. We weren’t able to cover miles in a day. We had to move slowly because of our bodies. We also had to rely on one another because we were not self-sufficient in our physical abilities. It allowed forced us to each be vulnerable in one another’s presence- which feeds back into my paragraph above.

So we walked. And we walked some more. We found a netjeri who sorta helped us along- pulling our sled along behind him for a bit. We walked when we couldn’t do that anymore. We ran into Ra. We got rerouted to who knows where. We saw snakes and random entities that I have no clue what they were. We walked some more.

That was all the first two weeks consisted of. Walking and moving forward while we smoked and cried and talked about whatever came to mind. By the time we reached the end of the first leg, we had found ourselves at some outcropping of rocks that looked to have a type of cave to them that led downwards. We camped there while we waited for the ability to enter inside.

Moving Underground

On the night of the full moon I noticed that my body was acting up. The energy lines that course through my limbs were lit up and there was a large energetic marker by the rocks outside. As the evening drew on, a small group of people gathered outside of these rocks. A few women carried baskets of offerings and flowers. Another man had scrolls, and another man held a sistrum.

They were all happy to be there except for the man with the scrolls who looked like he was over everything.

I wished I shared their enthusiasm. By that point I had been run ragged. My body was still aching and I had a huge welt on my forehead (I joked that it was payback for all of my months of claiming to wear the Atef). I had been away from my family for nearly a month at that point and I was over the whole thing. But hey, at least they were nice and allowed us to enter into the depths below with them.

My partner and I traveled down into the darkness. A series of single-file stairs led us hundreds of feet down into nothingness. We stopped at a gate/pylon where the group of people performed some amount of rites. 30 minutes or so later, the doors opened and we all slowly moved inside. However, once my partner and I crossed the threshold, we found that we were all by ourselves again and our bodies were healed. Our clothing shifted and the other people we had come down here with were completely gone.

We were on our own.

It seemed like we were in a smaller hallway now. The ground continued to drop slowly and there were reliefs around us as well. Honestly, it reminded me of a tomb. We followed the path that lay before us until we hit another entity guarding a door. It was the only way forward- so we spoke the right words to gain entrance to whatever lay beyond.

All of our work was supposed to culminate to this, right? Surely all of the answers would lay on the other side and things would begin to make more sense, right?

Continued in part 2.


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The Mysteries: Navigating Rosetjau

A smattering of hints, tips and musings about what to consider if you should find yourself thrown into the Duat.

When I was dumped into wherever I was for this year’s Mysteries, I was given no information. In fact, the whole process was rather unceremonious. Wpwt struck the sky with his staff, a hole opened up between us, and I got thrown down into the hole. By the time I hit the ground, I found that there was another person with me, and that the world around me was a bland mix of black, grey and beige.

To the best of my knowledge, I was thrown into Rosetjau- the place of towing.

This place occurs in the 5th hour of the solar barque’s trek through the underworld, and it is the location when Ra has to have his barque towed across the sands of the Duat. Sometimes the towing is done by jackals, other times by urai or people, and sometimes the barque becomes a large snake. According to Nicoll, Rosetjau is “home of Sokar and the resting place of Wesir’s khat, lies in the deepest portions of the Duat, furthest from the daylit world, but also at the boundary of the sky.” (pg 86)

All in all, Rosetjau is not a very great place to be. Most of the accounts regard it as being arid, dry, and desolate. And if Rosetjau is where I ended up- those accounts are accurate.

The Terrain

When I fell into the Duat, I must not have landed where I needed to be, because someone dragged me and my companion to a gate while we slept (literally). I woke up strapped to some sort of sled being led by I don’t even know who. And when we were finally thrown out onto the sand, it was in front of a huge pylon and wall.

Beyond the gate I found sand. Lots and lots of sand. But not all of the sand was the same. The first stretch of sand reminded me of an ocean. The dunes were not very deep, but the sand felt like it was always shifting and moving- like water. Beyond that, we had to cross a dried out flat area with huge cracks in the ground. And the third section of sand I crossed was filled with deep dunes that were ridden with weird… sand creature things.

So the first tip I can give you is: not all sand is created equal. Some sand is easier to navigate than others. Some sand houses creepy crawlies. Some doesn’t. Always be careful when you reach a new stretch of terrain because who knows what is going on beneath the surface.

The whole time I was “above ground” in the Duat, the sky was black. There were no stars, there was no light. You could see, but at the same time, it was like the sky was a void. The whole place was very quiet, and sometimes the only sound you’d hear is the wind blowing (which it often did during the ‘sand ocean’ part).

General Tips for Navigation

For whatever reason, I found that many of my non-physical abilities were stripped from me upon arrival in the Duat. I don’t know if this is a reflection of the type of plane that Rosetjau resides in, or if this was some added bonus on Osiris’ part, but either way- be prepared to travel old school. Be ready to walk a lot. And be ready to get tired a lot. There were many times when we would only get a couple hundred feet before we found that we were exhausted and had to sit down. It was very very very slow going.

If you have any time to prepare before you get thrown into the Duat, learn how to build some type of sled with a sail, and learn how to create wind. I found that this cut some of our travel time down, though it took a lot of energy to fuel the wind that would propel us forward.

Additionally, learn how to ward yourself up properly before you get too far in. Wards are a good safety net to have while you’re sleeping- because sometimes weird stuff shows up when it thinks you’re not awake and are vulnerable.

If you’ve got anything on your person that the NTRW have given you- keep that with you. When I needed to prove who I was, or the validity of me being in the Duat, I’d pull out some of the items Osiris and Set have given me, and more or less used their authority to give myself authority. “They say I am allowed here, and I am here under their direct orders, so step aside”.

While I don’t necessarily consider it to be part of navigating, I would highly recommend you learn how to make food of some kind. I found that giving out chocolate and beer worked really well for making friends at the various gates I’d run into. I paid the entity that dragged me and my friend to the gate with gold coins. I paid the bouncers at the pylon in chocolate for showing me which direction to walk in. I gave the small group of people I met at the entrance underground flowers and beer. I bribed a netjeri into carrying me across the desert by feeding it. Offerings and “stuff” can get you further and ease the minds of those you run into.

Some Notes About Heka

One of the first things I worried about when I entered the Duat was my heka. Most people say that you need a Book of the Dead in order to navigate the Duat because you need to know all of the random stuff and the proper words to open the gates and avoid trouble. While that may be the case for some places- that was not the case for where I navigated. That’s not to say that your heka and verbage was not important- but using words from antiquity was not necessary.

Every interaction I had, I chose my words carefully. I made sure to use words in the present tense, and I chose sentence structure that made the world around me conform to my will. For example, I had this weird… wall statue? head? thing? ask me where I was going and what I wanted. I told this entity that I was moving where Osiris commanded me to go, and that that he was obligated to open the door in front of me that prohibited me from moving forward.

Everything I spoke was confident and allowed no room for weaseling out of what I wanted. If and when you need to talk with others, don’t be afraid to take a few moments to get your wording down, and try to block any doubts from your mind when you begin to speak. This seemed to work well for me and I didn’t need to worry about how it would have been said in the old days.

I would also suggest sticking to being as polite as possible while still being authoritative. Don’t go around making unneeded enemies. Sometimes the strangest entities can help you out.

Some Final Notes

If you find yourself in Rosetjau (or possibly any area of the Duat), don’t get alarmed if the accounts don’t entirely line up. It seems that the terrain changes regularly- and I’m pretty sure that there have been shifts in population and landmarks since ancient times. I also found that the geography of the area made little sense. I expected to travel linearly- across the sand to the lake of fire, and then possibly down under the lake of fire to Osiris’ khat- but that didn’t happen in any respect at all. Sometimes down is up and up is down, and nothing necessarily makes sense on a map.

I would also advise you to try and find something to use as a compass for navigating- if you don’t have a guide on you. I ended up using the sword Osiris gave me as a means to figure out where I needed to go- but that involved knowing how to trace threads and such. If at all possible, try to secure a guide for your trip- it will make it much easier. If you can’t get a guide, try to befriend or bribe a netjeri to help you out- my netjeri certainly knew a thing or twelve about how to navigate the sands. My trip would have been much harder without him.

And finally, one of the best things I can suggest to anyone who ends up in the Duat is to try and stay calm and move at a pace that is comfortable for you. Rushing along may not be the best answer, and freaking out may only make it worse for you. Try to keep your expectations very neutral because who knows who or what will show up there, and above all- good luck.

Mysteries 2013 Posts:



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