RSS

Tag Archives: goddesses

KRT: Having a Deity 101

OsirisThis week’s KRT topic is:

Do I need a main deity to practice Kemeticism? If so, how do I get a main deity? Am I able to say no to a deity that shows up at my shrine? Am I obligated to learn everything I can about my main deity?

I make this easier, I’m going to break my answer down question by question.

Do I need a main deity to practice Kemeticism?

The short answer is no. You don’t need to have a particular deity to have a fulfilling practice. There are plenty of Kemetics who don’t have a deity-centric practice, and instead opt to rotate through various deities, or focus on living the religion as opposed to focusing on temple or ritual practice. If you would like to have a shrine, but don’t have a main deity, you could easily have a shrine that focuses on Netjer as a whole (which is a common practice for those taking the Kemetic Orthodoxy beginners class). Using symbols such as ankhs, ma’at or symbols denoting Netjer would be good alternative for icons.

If so, how do I get a main deity?

As stated above, having a deity to focus on is not mandatory in the least. However, if you wish to work with a deity in particular, there are a few methods you could use.

The most common method I recommend (outside of waiting for a deity to show up) is to do a simple ritual to let the universe know that you’re open to forming a relationship with a deity. Sometimes, all you need to do is let them know that you’re open and ready to form a relationship, and they’ll show up and say hello.

The fastest, and least effective is to pull a name out of a hat. You could do this by looking through Wilkinson’s book of deities, or perhaps checking a website with a decent list of deities. The downside to this method? You could easily pull a deity that wants nothing to do with you. Its also kind of impolite, in my opinion. It would be like if someone chose to date you because your name is what their finger happened to land on. I often suggest that you try to base your choice of deity off of something important to you, instead of selecting a deity arbitrarily.

The next method would be research. Lots and lots and lots of research. And see if a particular deity stands out from the rest. You could also try a form of divination (I usually opt for outside help with this). Asking someone to help you find out if there is a particular deity (or deities) knocking on your door could help narrow down your search. And lastly, you could wait and see if a deity comes to you. This can take months, days or years. Or it could never happen at all. Some people are not meant to have a main deity.

Once you’ve found a deity of interest, I highly recommend you do some type of ritual to try and say “Hi” to the deity. Let them know you’re interested in forming a relationship with them and go from there.

Be aware that more than deities can attempt to communicate with you. Its not uncommon for other pesky little things like netjeri to come through your godphone requesting all sorts of sweets and making prank calls. Be sure that any entity you start to work with is, in fact, the entity that they say they are.

Its also important to keep in mind that a deity can choose many methods to let you know that they are in your life. You might not get a literal “hello” in your head. You might have a song get stuck in your head that answers it for you, or you might see a particular symbol or set of symbols that lets you know a deity is watching. Make sure that when you are looking to work with a god that you keep all of your senses open for potential cues and responses from them.

Am I able to say no to a deity that shows up at my shrine?

Yes. Entirely yes. The god might throw a temper tantrum, but there is nothing that says you can’t decline to work with a specific deity. Keep in mind that there could be consequences for declining to work with a deity and you should try to take the respectful route when telling a deity “no”. They can make your life hell otherwise 😛

Am I obligated to learn everything I can about my main deity?

Are you obligated? No. But do I think you should make the attempt to learn as much as you can? Yes.

Why do I think you should do this? The answer is simple- its helpful for understanding and knowing your deity better. While doxa is useful (and I have more than my fair share of doxa in my practice), it is always useful to know the “rules” before you break them. Using my Layers post as an example- at first I thought Set was nothing more than a jealous jerk who killed his brother. If I would have never taken the time to get to learn more about his cult and how it changed throughout the years, I might have missed out on the opportunity to really understand the full breadth of his character and personality. It’s really easy to fall into narrow thinking when it comes to gods and religion. Using history is a good way to challenge our views and broaden horizons regarding deities.

Another good example would be Bast. A lot of people think that Bast is nothing more than a cuddly goddess who is all for sex, love and kittens. There are some who even think she is lunar. However, the historical record shows that she is solar (an Eye of Ra, in fact) and was originally shown in leonine format. She was also responsible for delivering the hearts of the pharaoh’s enemies at the king’s feet. Not so cute and cuddly, right? Now, that doesn’t mean that your doxa can’t be purely based on the previous stuff listed (cute, cuddly, moon kittens), but if you don’t know the full breadth- you’re cutting off other potential methods of understanding the goddess. Plus, once you learn that there is more to a deity, you can examine why the deity is perhaps approaching you in that fashion- it could be that it is the side of them that you need. But it also could be that you’re cutting them off and preventing them from approaching you in any other way.

In other words, I think that knowledge opens your mind up to more possibilities. And that can only make your practice and relationship stronger.

Read everyone’s responses to these questions by visiting the Master List.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on March 6, 2013 in Kemetic Round Table, Kemeticism

 

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

Devo Magix: Amulets, Talismans and Protective Items

During my time in Kemetic groups and forums, I’ve realized that very little is ever shared or discussed about basic ‘magix’. No one really talks about cleansing items or your house. Making amulets or sigils are almost never discussed. And there has never been discussion about warding or barrier creation. I personally think this is a shame, as you never know when things could go wrong, or when you might need extra protection in a situation.

To help with this, I have decided that I will create a series of blog posts relating to these exact things. I want to discuss my methods and means to cleanse, create and protect in a more ‘magical’ sense. My methods are by NO MEANS the only methods. They just happen to be what works for me.

If you enjoy this series, or want me to discuss different aspects or topics of a similar nature, please feel free to post your ideas in the comments section. If there is anything that you would like clarification on, don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need/would like 🙂

For this post I am discussing Amulets, Talismans and Protective Items. I consider these terms to be interchangeable, and loosely define each of them as an item that is laced with intent and joo-joo (if you want a more proper definition, there is one here). Amulets can be made from anything and everything, and to some degree even sigils could be classified as an amulet. I personally find that items made of metal or stone to work the best for me- but you could make an amulet of whatever strikes your fancy.

And odds are, you already have amulets around your home that you don’t even realize are helping you out. I do believe it’s possible for amulets to sort of ‘create’ themselves. Many of us have items that we love dearly, or wear frequently, these items can slowly pick up our energies and vibrations while near them or while wearing them. Over time, this can create something similar to an amulet. It’s almost like having a ‘lucky tie’ or a ‘lucky pair of socks’. You could even say the same of a ‘power suit’ or other similar items. Everything you touch has the capacity to pick up your energies and be morphed into something else (energetically). When creating an amulet, you’re doing this intentionally.

Some items I have used as amulets.

So how does one create an amulet?

There are a few steps to creating an amulet:

  1. Determine your purpose or intent
  2. Select the item that you wish to use
  3. Cleanse the item (if necessary)
  4. Joo-joo the crap out of it
  5. Put said item to use

Start off by figuring out what it is you want your amulet to do. What is it’s purpose? General protection? To attract money? Maybe to attract a lover? To give you a boost of energy? For me, the most important aspect of amulet creation is to determine what it is you want the amulet to do. Once you have figured that out, you will want to select an item that works best for your intention. Each person has their own set of symbols, colors and ideas that connect concepts to images. So if you want protection and you are Kemetic, you might want the Eye of Heru… or maybe you find that the Sa is a better choice for you. I personally find that feathers and fish are protective for me- so I might choose to use something with either depicted on it for my own protection. The same goes with confidence. You might use ‘balls’ (as in grow a pair), or the djed (for being strong of spine), or maybe a mini-Sekhmet is more suiting for your tastes. Perhaps a solid rock is better. Maybe a pyramid is well suited- as it’s base is well grounded. As you can see- it’s all about what works for you and what symbolism really suits you.

When deciding what you want the amulet to be made out of, be sure to consider how often the item will be used. If you will be wearing this amulet daily, you will want to make sure that the materials will be able to stand up to daily use. If you only plan to use the amulet once a year, or the item is going to sit on a shelf in your house, then you can pick materials that are less sturdy.

Some AE amulets to give you ideas

More AE amulets to give you ideas.

And here are even more AE amulets to fawn over.

Once you’ve decided your intent and have gotten the item or items that you wish to use as an amulet (or amulets- there are cases of multiple amulets being strung together as a necklace) you will want to cleanse the item. To learn about cleansing items, go here. As mentioned in my cleansing post, you will want to be considerate of what the item is made of in regards to how it is cleansed.

Once you have cleansed your item, it’s a matter of filling it with ‘go juice’ to make sure it runs. You’re essentially charging it with intent and energy. There are a number of methods to do this. You can…

  • Leave it on a shrine for a couple of days – many Kemetics like to do 4 days, as 4 = completion for them. However, I find that 4 = death, and I prefer to leave things for a moon cycle in the shrine.
  • Place it in sunshine, moonlight, outdoors, in a place of energy (such as forest, trees, etc) that can feed the amulet.
  • Leave the amulet outside for the fae or other local spirits to work with (be sure to leave offerings).
  • Place it in a box, or among other items of power (such as a box of rocks).
  • Focus your intent while holding said item, and transfer your magical joo-joo into the item (my personal favorite).
  • Any combination of these above.

Depending on how much energy you need the item to have, I would do a blend. Many times I will focus my thoughts and energy into the item, then I will place it on the shrine for the gods to magic up (usually with offerings, words of power, etc) and then after they’ve had a whack at it, I’ll put more of my own energy in it again.

Usually, when directing energy into an item, I will hold the item in my hands and visualize my energy flowing into the item. The energy can be visualized as light, water, arrows – whatever works best for you. Many times, I will feel a tingling in my hands as this is being done, though that might not be the case for everyone. While doing this, you can also see visions of what it is you want the amulet to do. So if I want an amulet to bring me money, I will envision stacks of money and gold bars while charging the amulet.

Once you feel like the amulet has enough energy, you are free to wear it or use it as needed.

Amulet Upkeep

Just like any charged item, an amulet can lose some of it’s joo-joo after a while. The item may start to feel empty or look like the color has drained (I’ve noted this mainly in stones). If so, you will want to cleanse the item. If a simple cleansing hasn’t worked, or you feel like the item still isn’t as ‘good as new’, recharge the item using one of the processes above. For items that I really want to keep strong (usually only for periodic wear), I will keep them in my shrine permanently until I need to utilize the item.

Other posts in the ‘Magix’ Series:

 
38 Comments

Posted by on July 20, 2012 in Devo Magix Series

 

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

Devo Magix: Cleansings

During my time in Kemetic groups and forums, I’ve realized that very little is ever shared or discussed about basic ‘magix’. No one really talks about cleansing items or your house. Making amulets or sigils are almost never discussed. And there has never been discussion about warding or barrier creation. I personally think this is a shame, as you never know when things could go wrong, or when you might need extra protection in a situation.

To help with this, I have decided that I will create a series of blog posts relating to these exact things. I want to discuss my methods and means to cleanse, create and protect in a more ‘magical’ sense. My methods are by NO MEANS the only methods. They just happen to be what works for me.

If you enjoy this series, or want me to discuss different aspects or topics of a similar nature, please feel free to post your ideas in the comments section. If there is anything that you would like clarification on, don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need/would like 🙂

First up in this series is cleansings. I have chosen cleansings first because I think it is always the first step in the creation of anything. You wouldn’t want to have a tainted object turned into an amulet, and you wouldn’t want to create a barrier with icky gunk still inside with you. Sometimes the simplest situations can be cleared up with a good old-fashioned cleaning.

What ‘ingredients’ do I need to cleanse things?

Bells I use for purifications

The ingredients list for a cleansing can vary from person to person and situation to situation. For example, if you can’t handle smoke, you wouldn’t want to use sage or incense. If you live in a place that doesn’t allow matches or fire, you wouldn’t want to use candles, certain rocks can’t handle a lot of water, others can’t handle salt… etc. Each situation is different, but here are some of the most common items I use to cleanse things:

  • Salt
  • Sand
  • Sunlight or Moonlight
  • Purified Water, Florida Water, Rose Water
  • Bells or Wind-chimes
  • Incense or Burning Herbs
  • Candles or Light
  • Natron
  • Stones, Rocks, Crystals
  • Words of power

So how are these items used?

It varies on the situation. Many times, I will use multiple forms of the items above. As an example, I will use salt water, natron water, salty sand (or sandy salt), wet bells… you name it. I find that using multiple items (whether at once, or in multiple rounds) helps to strengthen the amount that is cleansed.

Typically, there are two types of cleansings that go on in my life- cleansing of my house, and cleansing of an item. Yes, I cleanse myself, but that can be an entirely different kettle of fish.

I’ll start with cleansing of your house. In Shinto, this occurs every few months- usually at major points in the year, so this is something that occurs regularly for me. There are multiple methods of doing this, so I will cover a few here.

Singular Pass, Simple House Cleansing:

A single pass cleansing is about how it sounds- you go through your house once, and once only. Pick whichever items above sound best to you or suits your needs best. If I am low on time, I will usually default to incense, or salt (depending on if I want to vacuum afterwards).

  1. If you have deities, I would recommend giving them offerings and asking for their assistance in cleaning out your house first.
  2. I then go to the entrance of my home with my cleansing item of choice. If it is something like sand or salt, you will be lightly tossing this stuff around your home (to be vacuumed up after the rite is done). If its water, you’ll be squirting it around. If it’s incense or a candle, I like to move the smoke or light into the various nooks and crannies (you get the idea).
  3. I go in a clockwise manner, so if my back is to the door, I will move left throughout my house. I am sure to give extra cleaning attention to windows, mirrors, doors, and drains.
  4. While doing this, you may chant something that suits your tastes, or you may simply keep your mind concentrated on good things in, bad things out.
  5. I slowly work through each room in a clockwise manner- stopping to give various items or areas extra attention as I see fit.
  6. Once I am back at my front door, I make sure to push all bad ‘joo-joo’ out the door, and usually throw some extra salt at the door, or make a type of symbol (whatever you want, for more ideas, see my sigil post) in smoke or water over the door to essentially ‘seal out’ any bad stuff.
  7. After this is done, I will vacuum up any sand or salt and thank the gods for their participation and assistance in the matter.

An example of how I move through a house.

Multi-Pass House Cleansing:

A multiple pass cleansing is very similar to the one listed above. I use this form of cleansing when I want things to get extra extra clean. It involves the same steps as above, but each time you reach the front door, you’ll swap out your current cleansing ‘tool’ (water, salt, etc) for a different one, and go through the house with it again. I like to use different ingredients that are complementary. As an example, when I was doing the Wicca thing, I would pick something for each of the four elements. So I’d cleanse my house with salt, water, candles and incense. Now that I base more Kemeticially, I might choose to do something that complements my two gods- sand and water. Typically, I like to end any multi-pass cleansing with the ringing of the bell. I feel that bells bring in good energy as well as dispelling bad energy. So once the other items have gone through and cleaned the area, I use the bell to bring good stuff back in. Once again, choose what feels best to you and what suits your needs.

  1. Select which items you would like to use in your cleansing.
  2. If you have gods or deities that you would like assistance from, leave offerings for them and ask for their assistance, guidance, etc.
  3. Start at your front door with the *first* cleansing item that you’d like to use.
  4. I work in a clockwise fashion- so with your back to your door, you will move left.
  5. Go through each room in the house, working one room at a time. Be sure to always go clockwise.
  6. As you move through the house, say any words of power that appeal to you, or simply focus your mind on bad things out, good things in.
  7. After you are back at your front door, get your next cleansing item and repeat the process of going through your house.
  8. Repeat as necessary (dictated by how many items you wish to use).
  9. Once you have gone through the house with your last item, stand at the door and visualize/focus on all of the bad icky stuff in your house and in your life leaving out the front door. Feel free to throw more sand or salt towards the door, or to draw some sort of symbol over the door to keep bad things out.
  10. Vacuum up any salt, sand or other items that are needed.
  11. If gods are involved, return to your shrine/altar and thank them for their assistance in the matter.

Cleansing Items

Cleansing items is a lot less tricky. When you decide how to cleanse an item, be sure that you are considerate of the needs of that item. There are certain stones that will weaken in water or salt water. There are obvious concerns such as water on tarot cards as well. Just as above, you can combine multiple formats to extra clean an item as well. Some of the most popular methods I use to cleanse items are:

  • Placing the item on my cat to wear (such as pendants and charms). Usually, I’ll place the item on his collar and let him wear it for a week (or 4). It sounds silly, but it works.
  • Place the item outside on my balcony for a day (or more) to let it soak up sunlight and moonlight (I often will accompany this with offerings to local fae and other ‘fauna’ for any assistance they feel like giving in cleansing my items).
  • Place the item in shrine for the gods to cleanse.
  • Placing the item in a dish of sand, natron or salt. Sometimes water- but usually only for an hour or so.
  • Cleansing the item with incense smoke.
  • Bury the item for a period of time.
  • Placing the item in a box with various crystals or stones.

Some Examples

A ring hanging in a tree. I believe that the living energy from plants can (and does) cleanse items well.

A knife being cleansed btwn two stones while on salt. I believe the salt is a good grounding agent and that the black and white of the stones creates a nice balanced cleanse.

I do leave jewelry on my god statues to purify and charge them.

Just as with the house, a lot of this is done with intent. You can speak words of power while doing this, if it helps you to stay focused or to raise energy. If you ask for help from other entities (such as gods, ancestors, fae, etc) you should show proper etiquette and give them some sort of offerings in return.

What now?

Cleansings are highly personal and can vary greatly. Once you get the hang of how cleansings work and what they feel like, it’s very easy to come up with new ideas and methods to ‘get the job done’. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different processes and ‘ingredients’ to see which format works best for you. As stated above, this is just the method that I use – there are probably thousands of ways to cleanse a house or items. So feel free to take some of these ideas and make them yours!

Other posts in the ‘Magix’ Series:

 
36 Comments

Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Devo Magix Series

 

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

When the Well Runs Dry


I have spent a great deal of my Pagan life with my well overflowing. I’ve lived with someone with a broke open head. I work for a deity that will throw things at you and tell you to learn how to juggle… while riding a unicycle on a tight rope. So I know all about the well overflowing.

But, for one very very very long year- I had a barren, dry well. A well so dry, that the ground at the bottom cracked and turned to powder at the slightest touch. Ground that choked and begged for any moisture at all.

What frustrated me most about this time was that I could see the water disappearing. I knew it was being soaked up by the earth, evaporating into the air. But as I would look at my well day after day, watching the water get lower and lower- I knew there was nothing I could do. All I could do is watch the water disappear slowly but surely. And as I watched the water disappear, I got angry. Very angry. I felt betrayed by the world. I had been handed the bare necessities to make ends meet- but just barely. I was frustrated that despite my best effort, things were falling apart.

And to top it all off, at the time, I felt like the gods just didn’t care. I couldn’t reach them. I couldn’t hear them. It’s as if they had simply vanished from my life.

This, my friends, is what we call a Fallow Time. It’s a time when the water runs out, the land becomes parched, and in many cases- all of the plants you had growing seem to shrivel up and die. It can be a time of complete frustration, utter despair, and can result in a complete lack of faith in not only your gods or guides, but yourself.

I think it’s common for every person to hit dry spells- whether in a religious context or not. We all have times when things just aren’t working. When we are out of our groove, and nothing seems to be panning out. And the biggest question I often see is- what do you do when these times hit? How do you handle it?

My best answer comes in the form of a quote from Avatar, the Last Airbender (series, not the movie):

“I don’t know the answer. Sometimes life is like this dark tunnel- you can’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you just keep moving you will come to a better place.”

When your water runs out your initial reaction is to stare at the ground. The plants are gone. The growth is gone- and all you are left with is a barren field. And usually when this happens, we all sit there- and just stare. We get angry that all we can do is look at the ground as it looks back at us- mocking us. And we stomp our feet, scream, throw fits- all at the ground. And for what? That doesn’t bring the growth back.

But what does bring the growth back? If this metaphor was a garden- the answer would be easy. The master gardener would tell you to clear out the old growth. Plow and fertilize your soil. Gather your seeds, and prepare to plant them. You could try to plant them now, and bring in water from afar- or you could wait until the rainy season comes back, and plant them then. Either way, the best way to spend your time in the interim is preparation.

So why can’t we take this metaphor and use it when the Fallow Times hit? Your practice is dead and barren right now. You might be having a hard time focusing. You could be preoccupied with other problems and mundane situations. There could be financial hardship. Any number of reasons can cause a well to suddenly lose it’s water. However, the best thing to do once the water is gone isn’t to rail at the land which sustains you. It’s to prepare the land to be able to grow again. Slowly, take a step forward, then take another and another. It could be a while before you reach fertile times again- but at least you know that when you get there, you will be ready for the rain. Your seeds will be in hand, and your practice will be primed and ready for growth.

Relevant Posts:

 

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