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Devo’s Burninatin’ Celebration: 2016 Edition

If I could sum up this year’s Wep Ronpet in a succinct phrase, it would be “the year Devo went it alone.”

When it comes to Wep Ronpet, I usually have direction or a process to inform you guys about. As I mentioned last year, Wep Ronpet is becoming less about Epagomenal days, and more about ‘burn things for Set’. Usually, he shows up in late June, and we go over at least a semblance of a plan for how I’m supposed to perform the year’s execration. He gives me an initial layout of the process I’ll follow so that I know what to write in my invitation to participate, and we discuss any general goals or things I need to accomplish before the day of the rite.

This year didn’t really happen that way.

I got the default notification in mid-June about how I needed to start planning for this year’s rites. It felt very automated, like Set programmed it into his phone, and his phone shot out the reminder at it’s pre-determined time. Because of that, I couldn’t really ask him what he wanted me to do, or what I needed to do. What made this worse is that astrally, I was in a lockdown mode and couldn’t leave to go ask him (more on that in the coming weeks.) And I didn’t seem to be able to get ahold of him from this end either.

The closest thing I could get from him was confirmation (of the barest sort) that I could perform the community heka that secondgenerationimmigrant had suggested, but beyond that I was on my own.

Usually I relish in figuring out what we’re going to be doing for Wep Ronpet. I love learning about how the various concepts that I work on throughout the year with the gods will double in on itself and form new concepts and ideas for me to mull on. With each passing year, the Mysteries and Wep Ronpet execrations further my understanding of my gods and my practice. It’s during these key moments that a lot of what I’ve picked up along the way starts to make sense and become more tangibly applicable to various things.

So I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to come up with anything neat or cool, but at the same time, the only thing Set said to me during this years’ rites (“you’ve been working too hard”) really sums up everything that the past two years have entailed.

Most people don’t really know this, I think, but I’ve been this side of fallow since Wep Ronpet of 2014. It was during 2014’s rites that Set talked about initiation for the first time, and shortly after that, I was barred from entering the Duat, cut off from a lot of my astral life, and by the time the end of 2014 hit, my job had consumed most of my life. If you’ve been with TTR for a while, you’ve probably noticed the stark drop off in posts and writing. That is largely why.

This is further complicated by last year’s surgery, which ate up most of my memories from 2015. For example, I have a hard time remembering what I did for 2015. I vaguely remember it, but I keep confusing it with 2014’s rites. Why? Because anesthesia eats your short-term memory. I don’t really remember 2015. I remember working and being stressed and being depressed. But on the by and large, I’ve lost an entire year of my life in terms of memory.

I’m just barely coming out of this rut. Barely. Just. Not even fully out of it yet. Barely.

And as such, this year’s rites took a hit, I think, because of that. I’m currently working two jobs while trying to get my sanity back together, and I didn’t really have the time or energy to think super duper hard about what I was going to do for this year’s rites (sorry, Set). I knew I wanted needed to do them, but I wasn’t going to exert a lot of energy figuring out how.

WR_shrine

The Pot of Unrest from last year came back again this year as a holding pot for everyone’s petitions. It sat in front of the Shrine and was guarded by Set’s knife. I placed petitions into it regularly as they flowed into my inbox, and made sure to leave offerings as a means to cajole Set to come back around and check out what had been added (I don’t think it worked.)

I kept the writing structure the same as last year, where I wrote what was going to be destroyed, and then often followed it up with a positive result of having said things destroyed. But in addition to that, I decided to try adding sigils to everyone’s petitions. That way, I could send the sigil to the person as a sort of proof that their petition had been processed and added to the pot. But even more than that, it would provide a link btwn the petitioner and their petition, so that they could take an active role in the process if they wanted.

It was an attempt to help make the ritual more personalized to those who are far away. A means to invite them into the process, to play a role in their own fates and futures (since execrations can help with both) because they could use the sigil as a means to funnel energy into the petition to be destroyed, or they could perform their own execration on something marked with the same sigil, which would be an additional oomph to what I was doing. I liked the idea in concept, but in practice it was challenging. Having to have my phone charged and with me when I was processing requests was difficult. The additional steps of having to take the photo, transfer it to the computer and then email it right away so that I didn’t accidentally send the wrong sigil to the wrong person was time consuming in a way that I wasn’t fully considering when I came up with the idea. I think that maybe if I wasn’t so strapped for time, it wouldn’t have been such a problem. But given the specifics of my current situation, it might have been a poor choice for this year.

What I did learn from the process is that I can make sigils very easily, and that my astral culture (if you will) has had a heavy influence on how I draw sigils now. I also learned that there needs to be better resources for those who aren’t sure how to write execration petitions (now on my to-do list), and that wow our community has gotten so much larger than it used to be. There was more hum about Wep Ronpet this year than I’ve ever seen before. That’s awesome.

pre-rite_shrine_WR

I usually set my shrine up pretty early before Wep Ronpet actually shows up. But this year, I hadn’t even fully set the ritual space up the morning of the rites. In fact, the day before the rites, I was still hemming and hawing about what I was going to offer, what I should do for the shrine setup, and what I should do for the rites themselves. I literally had not planned or prepped anything before the ritual itself (outside of the sigil on the petition thing, that’s the only pre-planning I did. Oh yeah, and fire. I knew there would be fire.)

The night before the ritual I was able to talk with Set for a very short amount of time. We went over what had been going on with the community and I gave him a status update of what needed to be addressed, what we needed to be prepping for and planning for, as well as other trends I had been noticing while out and about. I wanted to talk with him about what I needed to be doing, or what I should be planning for in terms of finishing some projects that I have put off for some time now, but he brushed me off and told me that we’d talk about it later.

Later still hasn’t happened, by the way.

The day of the rite, I slowly pulled everything together and hoped that I had gotten everything that I needed. As I sat down with my copy of Eternal Egypt, I still wasn’t sure what exactly I was going to be doing, but I trusted in my ability to pull it out of my ass like a pro.

The ritual this year was of a very different structure than normal. I noted last year that the rites felt more “big picture” than the year prior, and I feel like I expanded upon that even more so this year. I utilized the full Set rite that was in Eternal Egypt, more or less, and then placed all of the execration petitions into the execration pot while performing additional verbal heka. I then sat down and read the words that were written in the community heka, framing it as everyone’s requests to a council of NTRW, asking that they consider our words, and helping aid us in our requests. I then finished tearing up and burning the execration petitions and closed the ritual in the typical fashion as is laid out in most of the rites in Eternal Egypt.

WR_closeup2

I had brought my music thinking that I’d want to use it to help with the execrations, but it wasn’t needed. This year’s ritual would count as fully formal, in my opinion, as it was very by the books and very solemn (and emotional, apparently.) While I couldn’t see or hear Set (except for the one phrase), I could feel him around. I felt like more than Set was watching, but I couldn’t tell who. In the end, I may end up making a fully formal rite the new norm as I move forward, but we’ll see how things progress in time for next year.

I found that as I read through the formal words that I had an even better understanding of them than when I first read them so many years ago. I’ve always liked the words of formal rites, they’ve always resonated with me, but I don’t think I had a solid understanding of the depth of what I was reading in the past. I feel like I’m starting to get a better understanding and appreciation of the multiple layers that exist within a formal rite and its wording.

By the time the rites were done, I was completely exhausted in a way that is not normal for me. I’m not sure what exactly I had done that caused me to feel so absolutely drained, but it was all I could do not to lay on the floor and stare at the ceiling for the rest of the day. While the rites were not typical for me, I think that they were fulfilling, albeit in a way that is hard to describe. Even though it was the year I went it alone (and rushed and unprepared), I feel like it was successful, though I’d prefer to have more energy and time to prepare for rites in the future.

execration_pot

I found that even though I had more or less gone it alone, that a lot of the motifs from last year still held true for this year. Notions about how letting things go isn’t easy, and how we need to be open to the changes required in order to make our requests truly manifest. And it is my hope that everyone that sent in a petition is presented with opportunities to have their petitions fulfilled, and in ways that exceed their expectations. May we all be open to the changes that we need, so that we may succeed in the coming year.

Relevant Posts:

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2016 in Kemeticism

 

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Devo’s Burninatin’ Celebration: 2015 Edition

With each passing year I have found that my Wep Ronpet festivities are less about the Epagomenal days, and are becoming more and more about Set and execrating things and calling it a holiday. Like last year, my Wep Ronpet started about a month early when I put out the public invitation to participate in my yearly execration. It’s only fair, I suppose, since Osiris gets a full month out of me in the winter, and now Set gets a month in the summer (though the work I do during each month is very very different). Each year my execration rites and methods are dictated by Set who often uses this as a means to further my understanding of things such as himself, myself, our relationship together, etc.

For those who were around for last year’s execration, you’ll know that he involved my sewing habit, and sought to incorporate the overlap that exists between sewing, heka, and Kemeticism. This year’s theme could easily be summed up as “a pot of unrest.” For those who don’t know where the phrase stems from, it comes from a spell that you can find inside of Borghouts’ text where Set has been injured, and Horus seeks to find out his real name in order to heal him. Amongst the many names that he hands out, he calls himself a “Quiver full of arrows, a pot full of unrest” (you can see more on Henadology about this, too).

I discovered this story shortly before my execration invitation went out, and it’s colored a lot of my practice ever since. Possibly due to my mounting frustrations with my family and their constant picking at my anger, or maybe due to being a second-class citizen in my country, I found myself relating to the idea of being a “pot of unrest”. So when Set told me that we were going to use that as part of our execration this year, I was a bit excited to see how this would pan out.

execration_pot of unrest

My pot of unrest sitting in front of the shrine.

“We are preparing a pig for slaughter,” he told me as I placed the first set of petition papers into my pot of unrest. This year, I augmented how I wrote out the execration petitions. Instead of simply writing out what needed to be destroyed, I would write a statement of what would be slaughtered, and then followed that up with a statement of what the end goal would look like once the execration was done. For example: I destroy my anxiety and worrisome thoughts. My mind is calm and at ease. I am in control of my thoughts.

After I wrote the petitions on the pieces of paper, I set them into my pot and left them to stew for the rest of the month. The pot was just a pot in it’s own right, but once you filled it with the grit and grime that everyone wanted to eradicate, it became filled with unrest. Unrest that was dieing to get out.

In many cultures, when you’re preparing an animal for a sacred feast or holy day, you take very good care of the animal. It is given a special meal and special treatment. Sometimes they will adorn the animal with pretty flowers, fancy cloth, or other nice things. In this case, my pot of unrest contained the “meat” of what we would be killing and roasting during this execration. In the same fashion that you might give your sacrificial animal a large last meal or maybe drape pretty flowers on them, I decided to decorate and “pretty up” all of these awful things that we would be destroying on Wep Ronpet. I also wanted to make this pig fat, so I placed the pot of unrest in front of the shrine and placed all of my offerings before not only the gods, but the pot of unrest as well.

execration-altar-setup-top

Last year, Set had talked to me about taking care with my a/pep effigy. He told me that sometimes we must destroy what we love and that just because something is destined to be destroyed doesn’t mean that we should cut corners, and that mentality went a little deeper this year. Instead of taking care to sew an effigy on the last night before our execration, I would spend an entire month cultivating this pot of unrest and everything inside of it. It is true that the items written on the slips of paper are things that we all want to get rid of, but it is important to remember that these habits and traits are hard to get rid of for a reason. It is very often that our bad habits end up being very dear to us in their own ways. We can’t cope with things, and so we indulge in stuff that we probably shouldn’t. We fear for the unknown, so we cling to whatever is familiar to us, no matter how detrimental that behaviour may be. Our relationship to our darker sides and habits is often very complex, and I believe Set was trying to emulate this throughout the pre-execration process.

Sometimes the things that threaten our well being the most end up being the most comforting to us. He implied in some ways, that these things still need to be given a fair amount of love in order to be released more readily. But because the people who are falling victim to these bad habits probably can’t afford such a thing (it’s hard to love parts of you that you hate, to love things that you do that unravel your life), that is the role that I would be filling. This is familiar to me in terms of healing, because you often have to become ambivalent or relatively removed from a person during a healing process. It’s hard to get someone to heal if you’re too busy judging them, or making them judge themself. And as I’ve mentioned in the past, if you can’t come to accept yourself or what you’ve done, healing, letting go and moving on can become near impossible. For the first time, I was beginning to see how O’s work and Set’s work were going to overlap in a more practical sense.

We will feed these bad habits for a month. We will feed this pig until it can’t hold anymore. And then we will pierce the pig with our arrows, and feast upon its flesh. That was the aim.

execration-altar-setup-front

On the day of the execration, I pulled out each paper one by one and drew an arrow through each line of text. This effectively turned each petition into a quiver of arrows. Some of these arrows were going to pierce the problem, the pig, and destroy whatever each person wanted destroyed. But that would leave one other final arrow that was drawn through the positive statement at the end: this arrow was going to work for each person who had submitted a petition, and help to guide that person to a better place.

I wasn’t entirely aware of this caveat when I started, it was something that Set sorta sprung on me at the last minute while I was drawing these arrows onto each sheet of paper. Like normal, I met with him Over There while I did the ritual over here, and as I began to draw arrows on the papers, I found arrows appearing in my hands over there. By the time the execration was finished, these arrows had flown off to their respective owners, and were going to help push that person into a better place. I was reminded a bit of O’s impaling magix, which is supposed to help force change in a given situation while also being reminded of various NTRW’s Arrows, which are supposed to go do the bidding of the particular god in question.

Had I sent out his Arrows to help people? Had I sent out my own Arrows to help people? I’m not sure. But arrows were sent out all the same.

execration

Afterwards, I was told to make a post for everyone who had submitted a petition to see. He said that everyone needed to focus on where they wanted to go, everyone needed to keep their eye on the prize, so that the arrow would go in the right direction. He gave me an image of heka, arrow and a shen, which I took to mean that your heka drives your arrow, and the shen offers protection so that you are able to get where you want to be safely.

Shen-Heka

Last year’s execration felt an awful lot like “destroy all of the things!” The music that was used was from Save Rock and Roll, which is filled with a lot of angry ass-kicking songs. Where as this year’s theme was Uma Thurman, a song that featured more about making miraculous things happen (and summer sex). This year’s execration felt less like directing anger, and more about bigger picture stuff- don’t just destroy the bad things, also work on the aftermath and bringing in the good stuff, too. As I had stated above, it was a lot like I incorporated both Set and Osiris, and had managed to bring in not only destruction but long-term healing as well.

I guess now we must wait and see if the proof is in the pudding, and if people experience some change in the coming months.

Other Wep Ronpet 2015 Posts:

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2015 in Kemeticism

 

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Poopocalypse 2k15

It’s funny how things can snowball. One small occurrence leads to another occurrence, which leads to another and another- and next thing you know, things have happened. That’s kinda how the poopocalypse started, really. One person asked about a/pep, and then another and another. And then people came in trying to find a way to worship the thing, and a whole different batch of people came in trying to understand why it’s still around and others raised their hand in confusion because they were absent from school that day and couldn’t fathom why people would even want to worship something that wants you destroyed.

And next thing you know, people are talking about having a big community execration, because fire is fun.

This started out as a one time event. We were torn on what to call it, so we ended up with “Execranuary” and “Poopocalypse 2k15“. I personally prefer the second because it could last the entire year. And that is exactly why I am writing this post right now. I’d love to see us have an entire year of monthly execrations.

I’m sure many of you are wondering why I am so on board with slaying the poop every month. Some of you may think it to be a little excessive, even. But hear me out before you pass judgement either way.

Execration in action. Photo from Tumblr user Rainhappily.

First, I’d like to bring it back to antiquity, and remind everyone that execrations used to be performed daily. Sometimes multiple times during the day, at multiple temples throughout the day. The Egyptians took their execrations seriously, and they were just as persistent with execrations as they were with daily rites for the gods. For the Egyptians, execrations were part and parcel with maintaining ma’at. It was their way of assisting the gods in fighting back the forces of isfet. It was helping the gods keep Creation going.

So as far as I am concerned, there is no such thing as too many execrations. I know that many of us only execrate once or twice a year (usually at Wep Ronpet), but we really could execrate as often as we want. And I recommend that people execrate whenever they feel the need to remove bad stuff from their lives.

The other reason that I am so on board with having a year long execration celebration is because execrations can be used for so many things.

Traditionally, we associate execrations with pushing back and fighting against isfet and a/pep. However, there are a lot of other applications that execrations can be used for. Execrations can be used as a part of self-care and shadow work, or could be used to drive forward societal changes or things of that nature.

Execration, Shadow Work and Self-Care

I don’t care what anyone says. Destruction has a place in self-care. Half the reason most of us need to do more self-care to begin with is because our society teaches us that taking care of ourselves is somehow inherently bad. That alone is a mentality that needs to die, and is worthy of execration in and of itself.

Many of us participate in habits that wear us down and wear us out. Many of us have baggage that we need to be rid of in order to heal and move forward. All of these things are fit for the execration pot.

Now imagine if you were working on making 2015 the year that you actually started to work on self-care. Imagine if you had a reoccurring holiday that gave you an excuse to destroy all of those bad habits every month? Imagine if all of your Kemetic buddies were participating in the same thing, reminding you that these things should go, and that our well being is important?

Kicking out bad habits, negative thoughts, and toxic people are all part of self-care. I believe that recurring monthly execrations can help these changes occur and stick.

Execration and Social Movements

Another thing that seems to be overlooked is that execrations used to be used for controlling the politics of ancient Egypt. The priests who performed these execrations weren’t only trying to destroy isfet, they were also destroying enemies of the state and enemies of the King both “known and unknown”.

I know that this isn’t entirely new news to modern witchcraft users or hekau. We do have tags such as “Witchcraft for Wendy” and “Fighting for Ferguson”, after all. However, I think having monthly execrations where we are able to revisit political situations and social movements would be a good thing. If throwing someone’s name into an execration pot once worked out well, imagine what might happen if you did it every month for a year.

While I’m not saying that everyone has to combine politics/social movements and execrations together, I do believe it could be a useful use of Poopocalypse 2k15. Especially since there have been concerns about how much overlap isfet and horrible politicians have. Of course, it also goes without saying that if you are concerned about pushing for human rights, that you should be doing more than simply execrating. However, I think that execration gives a solid base for everyone to work with.

So I want to participate. What now?

The general premise for Poopocalypse 2k15 is that we will perform execrations on the New Moon of every month. For those of you on Tumblr, I’d recommend tagging any execration activities that you wish to share with the “poopocalypse 2k15” tag and/or placing it into the usual #Kemetic tag. Obviously, not everyone will be able to participate exactly on the New Moon, and I think that’s fine. I personally will be aiming to execrate once a month, as close to New Moon as I can get.

For those of you over here on WP, if you’d like to share any of your execrations, let me know and I’ll be adding them to this post, and to my own collection that I’ve got going over on Tumblr.

As the months progress, I will be attempting to try out new execration styles to see how they work out. It’s my goal to think of some new ways to punish the poop, especially for those who are low on supplies, or have to execrate on the down low. For resources on how you can execrate, check out the links at the bottom or check out the poopocalypse tag to see how others have performed their execrations.

What do you think about having a year of execrations? Do you think you will be participating?

Relevant Links:

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2015 in Devo Magix Series, Kemeticism

 

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Devo’s Burnination Celebration

A few weeks ago I had approached Set about handling a certain situation within our online communities. I had asked him if he could help with this situation, and he told me that he would if I would perform another formal execration in his name. However, unlike last time, I was to invite other members of the online community to join in. They could petition him execrate whatever they wanted and I would perform the rite on my Wep Ronpet, August 2.

I agreed, though I was unsure as to why I needed to go about it this way. I placed out a notice for other people to join in and I slowly began to prepare for how I would smite a/pep. I had learned from my last formal execration that I didn’t really care for the talking from a book method, and the candle wax thing was way too messy for my tastes. I knew I wanted to try a different way, something that was uniquely my own.

The Setup

I chose to make a different kind of effigy for a/pep this year. I went with something that I have explored fairly in-depth over the past year- the usage of fabric in different magical applications. I decided that I could create what would essentially be a sock in the shape of a snake, and I would fill said snake with everyone’s petitions. It seemed simple enough, so I waited until I had a fair amount of petitions racked up, and then I set to work.

Execration Pot

On the evening before the first epagomenal day I wrote each petition down on a slip of white paper. I utilized red ink because it seemed like the whole theme of this particular execration was red. Whether red for fire, red for blood or red for Set (or a mixture of all and more), I couldn’t say. But everything I did, I kept feeling as though red was the color I should be aiming for. On the back of each petition I wrote the name of the petitioner (where applicable) and I placed it into my execration pot. Each of these petitions would become the “guts” of my snake, so I kept them long and lean so that they would fit into the snake pretty easily.

Because I had started early (not sure why, I was driven to do so, so I did), I decided to make an altar space where the petitions could swirl and stew and build up potency before I destroyed them the following Saturday. The execration pot was placed on top of a sigil, aimed to keep the juju inside of the pot, and the lid and knife on top of the pot ensured nothing could escape.

Click the image to see more pre-execration altar pictures.

Click the image to see more pre-execration altar pictures.

The pot is also placed on top of a very big sun. I have developed this sort of…. belief that Creation falls within the sun. Most of the ruling deities within our pantheon are solar in nature, plus the sun can burn the hell out of anything and everything, so I felt it was a good symbol to place the execration pot on. Nothing escapes the watchful Eye of Ra. Nothing that tries to exist within Creation can escape the rays of the sun.

I also placed offering dishes on the altar that would be used to house water on the day of the rite. There is also incense and Re-Ment offerings to last my mini-Set until the following Saturday. As I’m sure is obvious, there is a lot of red.

The night before the rite was to occur, I finished writing out all of the rest of the petitions I had received. I also gathered up the materials to make my snake. I tied all of the petitions together, and used 4 black cords knotted 7 times to keep them together. The black cord and 7 knots are suggested in Reidy’s book for execration, and I chose to use 4 cords, as 4 is a symbolic number for death in my personal codex. To the ancient Egyptians, 4 was a number for totality, so I chose to interpret this as total control over a/pep and complete and total destruction of the petitions inside of the snake.

photo 1

I began to sew my snake. I used red fabric and orange thread (closest I had to red). I was told while making the snake, to take care and time in the construction of my snake. I think the natural impulse would be to make a shoddy-built effigy, since we’re just going to rip it apart anyways. But Set reminded me that many times, the things we execrate, the things we have to destroy, they were once loving parts of our lives. They were things that suited us, that we needed in our lives. Things that we loved and cared for that have reached the end of their usefulness. So, too, was the snake I was creating. I had spent hours writing petitions down and coming up with the method for making this happen. Don’t short change the quality of my effigy because I would be destroying it 12 hours later.

photo 3

I stuffed the snake full of everyone’s petitions and sewed up the mouth. I then placed the snake inside of my execration pot and returned the knife and lid to their rightful places to await the next day’s rite.

photo 3 (2)

The Execration

The final altar setup wasn’t too different from my initial setup. There is still a lot of red. Still a lot of solar. And now there are the additions of my large Set statue, extra cutting and burning utensils, and “real” offerings of fancy lemonade and a cookie because I didn’t know what else to give him.

photo 4 (2)

I had no formal script for this rite. I decided to use music to fuel everything I did for this execration. I listened to it while I wrote the petitions, while I made the snake, and while I did the execration itself (Fall Out Boy’s “Save Rock and Roll” album, if you’re curious). I got the fortune of mirroring this ritual in the Unseen as well, at Set’s request. And even though I was doing my lines on the fly, I felt like I was going to do well.

We started off the ritual with an exchange of position. “I am now you, and you are now me”. I removed the effigy from it’s prison and set to work slowly destroying it’s body and it’s contents. I had originally hoped to destroy the snake entirely, and then set it on fire entirely, but I had too much snake and too small of a pot. So instead, I would destroy some of the snake, and then set it to burn while I destroyed other parts of the snake. I went in this pattern until the snake was completely decimated.

photo 5 (3)

“You shall be hunted down and struck where you stand.
You will be shown no mercy and given no quarter.
As sure as the sun rises, we will prevail.”

photo 2 (4)

I learned from my last formal execration and decided to burn everything outside on the balcony. This way I didn’t have to worry about catching fire to my carpets or ruining my wood furniture. I made sure to grab every piece of thread that I could as well as any piece of paper that might have missed it’s mark in the execration pot.

Once the pot had cooled down, I turned the ashes out into one of my plant containers. Sometimes death can serve as a means to enrich our soil and give us firm foundations for rebirth and growth. It is my hope that this execration creates the death that fuels your rebirth and growth into the new year. May you all reach new heights over the next year.

Di Wep Ronpet Nofret

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2014 in Devo Magix Series, Kemeticism

 

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The Price of Rebirth

execration_pot

The thing about being reborn is this: In order to be reborn, you must die.
Everyone wants to be reborn, but nobody wants to die for it. (x)

In a little under a week from now I will be performing an execration for a number of people. It’s one of the first full-out public rites that I have ever done (I don’t really feel like my All Souls petitions really count). I used to do magic workings for individual people a long time ago, back when I first got into witchcraft and Kemeticism, and I learned quickly how difficult such workings can be. People often want really difficult things or they have unrealistic expectations about what the magic will do for them. I got out of performing magic for people because it became really stressful for me. When the magic didn’t perform as I thought it should I felt like a failure and that’s really part of why I put magic away for such a long time, too. I never felt like anything I did took.

All of these past experiences feed into my anxieties regarding this execration I’ll be performing. What do I do if things don’t change for people? What if I fail? What if I find out that I really suck at all of this? Should I even bother? If it doesn’t work, does that make me a hack?

However, I’ve learned over the years that magic isn’t under an obligation to act as we think it should, and there are many reasons why it may or may not appear to be working. To add to that, many times we shut our own magic down.

To me, an execration is an awful lot like a rebirth. When you execrate, you are essentially destroying something- a part of yourself, a habit, a piece of your life – and when you destroy something successfully, it is like a small (or large) rebirth, a zep tepi within your existence. And the thing about being reborn is that it isn’t always easy or pleasant.

I’ve had the fortune or misfortune of bearing witness to and participating in a number of rebirths in the astral. There are plenty of times when I have signed on to help someone be reborn (which usually involves a bit of dieing myself) only to get halfway through the process and decide that I must be the dumbest person on the planet. Many times, the destroying and subsequent healing process that is involved in these rites is very taxing and draining. And there are many times when I question if it’s all worth it in the end (the answer is usually yes, though it can take some time to see/feel it). In order for these rites to be successful, they require participation on both sides of the equation. I have to help the person rebirth, but they have to be willing to help me help them. You can not force an unwilling subject to be reborn, and if you force them, the rebirth will likely have unforeseen consequences and side effects.

Execration and other forms of changing magic are often the same way. You’re submitting something to the universe or gods to be destroyed. You are asking for change in some capacity. You’re asking them to help you die so that you can be reborn. And yet, how many of us actually think in these terms when we do our magics? How many of us are prepared for the routes the magic may take upon hearing our requests (or demands)? Rebirth requires a death, a price.

How far are you willing to go to see the change that you want become manifest? What price is too high for you?

In retrospect, I feel like a lot of the magics that I saw people requesting failed because people were not willing to pay the price for their rebirth. They wanted to fix the foundations of their life, but they were unwilling to raze the walls to get to the foundation for fixing. They want to get into college, but never submit an application. They want a new job, but feel their magics are failing because they lost their job, and were forced to move somewhere else instead (where a new job was waiting for them). They want their rebirth without paying the price of death.

Magic doesn’t always work on our timelines or how we expect. It works how it wants or needs to. Sometimes the path of least resistance is not the long term solution you actually need. When we perform these kinds of workings in our lives (or have someone perform on our behalf) we need to be prepared to take action ourselves to make the end goal a reality. Sometimes, you’ll be lucky and the blockages in your life will clear right up and you’ll land right where you wanted to be. But a lot of times, you’ll be forced to climb up some steep mountains in the rain in order to make your dream happen. That doesn’t mean that your magics didn’t work, though. It just means that it sometimes takes multiple things to make the magic manifest. Taking mundane steps to better your life situation can make your magic more potent. Sometimes the best answer to a magic request is practical application in your daily life.

So in the future when you’re considering performing a magical request (whether an execration or otherwise) I recommend being prepared and open for the possibilities that the magic can take. Don’t limit yourself to a certain preconceived notion or expectation about how the magic should play out. Be aware that sometimes the road to success is not a straight line, but a bumpy, obnoxiously tumultuous line, and that magic (or deities) can only do so much about it.

And remember that rebirth almost always has a price.

Sometimes on the way to where you’re going, you might think “this is the worst time in my life”. But you know what, at the end of the road through all the adversity, if you can get where you wanted to be, you remember that whatever don’t kill you make you stronger, and that all the adversity was worth it.

 

 

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KRT: Execrations, Curses and Ethics

Execrations and Curses: Can you perform them? What are the ethics behind them, if any? How and when can you perform them?

For this round of the Kemetic Round Table, we are discussing the nuances of casting curses and utilizing execrations. Curses are a sticky subject amongst certain groups of the Pagan umbrella due to perceived ethical implications of performing magic with the intent of harming someone, and since execrations are very similar, we lumped them together for this post.

In short, the answer is yes, you can perform curses and execrations (as not to be redundant, I recommend looking at this post for execration basics). It was not uncommon for the ancient Egyptians to perform execrations daily (by priests in temples and by laity) and we’ve got records of curses and other hexes being performed as well.

The ethics doing such is less than clear, and I personally believe that the ethical implications of what you are and are not willing to perform or do in regards to magix is a completely personal thing. Much like morality in general, I don’t think that it is a topic that anyone but yourself can truly dictate for yourself. In antiquity, it seems that many people were okay with doing all sorts of curses and love spells and other “questionable” magical acts in order to get what they wanted. I touched on this briefly in my last KRT post about threatening and bribing gods. The ethics of what was okay magically then doesn’t necessarily reflect how many Kemetics feel about ethics now. You can look to the past as an indication of what is okay and what isn’t, but I think that you have to consider that times change and our ethical systems can change with it.

Basically: You have to sleep with yourself at night. If you’re uncomfortable performing any particular type of magix, you probably shouldn’t perform it until you feel secure in what you are doing. Being unsure about your magical acts will only serve to weaken your magix.

I personally try not to sling curses left and right, but I’m not above cursing in the least. I tend to execrate and bind things before I curse them. But again, my ethics are not your ethics. I can’t hold you to my ethical standards, nor should I.

The logistics of when and where you should perform such magix is also up to you. I perform execrations regularly because I feel that they help to keep me balanced and remove blockages before they get too large. Much like someone that cleanses regularly- I feel like execrations help to keep the metaphorical “ball” rolling in my life. I do perform larger, more elaborate execrations when I get the feeling that I should. And on occasion, one of the gods will tell me that I need to perform an execration- at which point I normally do.

Curses are less common for me. I usually only curse someone if I am completely and utterly fed up with a person, persons, or a situation. However, I do know of people who curse regularly, or at the drop of a hat. Different strokes for different folks, as they say. There is no right or wrong time to perform these acts. It is a matter of personal preference.

If you wish to get some ideas about what you can do with curses and execrations, here is a list of resources to get you started!

Magix and heka in antiquity:

Resources and examples for modern Execrations and Curses:

To read the other entries for this topic, visit the master list here.

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2013 in Kemetic Round Table, Kemeticism

 

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Devo Magix: Execrations


Most Kemetics know about execration, or at least, we know of them. Execrations are highly misunderstood within the Kemetic community, and in some ways, they are generally feared. I wanted to clear up some ideas about execrations, and how you can bring them into your practice- whether you’re Kemetic or not.

Execrations Then:

Back in antiquity, execrations were a daily practice in the temples. It’s considered that they might have occurred multiple times daily, even. Execrations were considered integral to keeping the kingdom and all of the Created world safe. Execrations were generally exacted against agents of a/pep and all enemies of the king and/or ma’at.These rituals weren’t optional- they were mandatory. Ma’at, and all of creation, was always at risk to being undone. To quote Meeks:

From the moment of its creation, the world was threatened by the Forces of the uncreated, forces that the mere existence of a world drove back toward its periphery. There was no escaping these forces, even if they were pushed further and further back as the domain of the Created expanded. Because they had not been brought into being by the act of creation, they could not be definitively destroyed. They could only be defeated periodically; their repeated onslaughts made it necessary to wage unending battle to maintain the integrity and equilibrium of creation. (quote taken from Eternal Egypt).

Creation was not something to take for granted. And it’s still not. In our modern world we forget that things aren’t certain or guaranteed. The gods still fight a/pep daily. They still work to maintain order even though the majority of humanity has fallen deaf to the need or the call. Just because our lives feel more secure doesn’t mean that Creation is any more secure than it was before. The Egyptians fully appreciated the precarious nature of Creation. The wrong flood levels, a bad cycle of crops, invaders, plague- any of that could deal massive damage to the nation and its people. Creation needed everyone’s help to survive- and this is where execrations came into play.

Execrations Now:

Execrations almost seem non-existent in the modern Kemetic’s practice. Most Kemetics have a mindset that execrations are bad- that performing an execration will cause negativity to come back upon you (reminiscent of the Threefold Rule that really has no place in Kemetic mindset or practice). This is a crying shame, in my opinion. Execrations have so many uses and potential for creating happier, healthier people. I really think that everyone should consider making some form of execration a part of their regular practice. Most people consider execrations to be nothing more than a ritual against a/pep, but they can be used for so much more than that. Execrations are good for letting go, for moving on, for destroying bad habits, or for getting negative things out of your life. Anything and everything that could eat away at the happiness in your life could be counter acted with an execration.

Don’t like that you’re broke? Execrate anything and everything that is in your way (you could use a ‘foes of Ra’ approach to this). Don’t like that you’re overweight? Execrate your bad eating habits, laziness, or other factors that could be holding you back. Heavy shadow work that you’re trying to work through? Blast that stuff away with a strong execration. Anything and everything can really be enhanced via execration. Execrations are there to demolish things that are blocking your path.

So how do you do an execration?

Traditional execrations can be pretty extravagant. The more complex execration rituals in Eternal Egypt include an ‘ingredients list’ of: water, natron, incense, candle or oil-lamp, a wax figure of a/pep, sheets of papyrus, green ink, copper pan, wood or charcoal, herbs (dragon’s blood, nettle, etc), iron knife or nail, black thread, flint blade, red clay pot, sand and a lid for said pot.

That’s a lot of stuff! But execrations don’t need to be that complicated (and in Reidy’s defense, there are execration rites in Eternal Egypt that require little to no supplies to perform). Most execrations have elements that are similar, despite the technique being different. Here are the basic elements of any execration:

  • Creation and identification of an item with a/pep and the things you wish to execrate (in this post, the item would have been the red pot).
  • Defiling this item via stabbing, spitting, trampling, or other destructive means.
  • Burying, flushing, or disposing of said item.

The steps are pretty simple and straight forward. I have found that a lot of what makes an execration effective is the emotion you put behind it. There is some sort of release in ripping apart a piece of paper, stabbing a figure, smashing a pot, etc. It allows your emotions to be let out in a safe manner that helps you to move forward and eradicates things that hold you back.

While using an ‘old school’ execration rite from antiquity is awesome, sometimes we don’t have the ability or desire to use something from ‘back in the day’. But no worries, you can easier come up with your own rites and methods to execrate the unwanted or unneeded. To create your own execration, you’ll first need to determine what you wish to execrate. You could try to execrate anything and everything in one go, but I recommend taking a few things at a time and doing multiple, smaller execrations. Once you have decided what you might wish to get rid of, you’ll want to determine what item will best work for your means. You could go the traditional method and use red pots or wax figures. You could use fresh paper. You could build a sand castle or use a mug that you can’t stand. You could create a pillow and stuff it with things that you want to destroy- let your creativity and specific situation guide you.

You will then need to imbue that item with whatever you’re trying to get rid of. You can write these items or attributes on the item (in the case of paper or pots), you can state or visualize what you’re wanting to execrate as you create the item (as with the sand castle). You could do both, technically (I tend to). Once you have your item ready, you will take this item and beat the crap out of it. Yell at it, stab it (or draw knifes in it), scribble on it, maim it, stomp on it, spit on it- whatever. Destroy it as much as you can. Put all of your energy into it until you are completely spent.

Then, you will take what is left of your item, and get rid of the remains. A lot of times I flush things down the toilet. However, you can’t do that with, say, pot shards. In those cases, I throw them in a dumpster or bury what is left. If you went the sand castle route that I mentioned before, you might want to smooth out the sand to the point that you can’t tell anything transpired. You more or less want to remove and eradicate any and all remains of the execration.

How often you want to repeat this process (and how complicated you want the process to be) is entirely up to you. Most Kemetics I know only perform one execration per year- at Wep Ronpet. However, in the month and a bit since Wep Ronpet occurred, I have found that I have done 3 or 4 execration rites of some capacity- and I have found that doing them has helped me progress a lot faster in my shadow work lately. Whether you need to perform them daily, monthly, yearly- etc. is going to be dependent upon your particular situation and what you are working on currently. Don’t be afraid to do them regularly, though. Especially if you feel the urge!

I believe execrations deserve to have a more prominent place in modern practice. They have such a variety of uses and purposes, and I would love to see more people give them a shot!

Do you perform execrations? What are your thoughts and experiences with them?

Recommended Reading to Learn More About Execrations:

Relevent Posts:

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Devo Magix Series, Kemeticism

 

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