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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.

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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 Magix: Spoon Heka

Ever since I learned about Spoon Theory, I have had a thing for spoons. I think this is because it gave me an image to latch on to that represented so much of what I was going through, and in the process, I have collected quite a number of spoons.

spoons1

Most of these spoons sit in a special cup on my personal shrine at home. Because there is no discreet or easy way to carry spoons with me, I am forced to leave my spoons at home in their cup and go on with my day without them. It has always been my hope that I could find spoons that I could hang on a necklace, or put on a key chain or spoons that would be small enough to carry on my person. It just so happens that I finally found some.

My partner found a set of teapot spoons online, and decided to get them for me on a whim. They suit me in a lot of ways- I love tea and the rhinestone on the handle is really up my alley. And the best part about these spoons is that they are small and have a loop in the handle, which can be strung up on a necklace.

My original intent was to get some thin satin cording, however my attempts at finding a color that suited my needs was proving difficult. I could find a ton of rainbow colors, as well as a bunch of really boring, washed out colors. But there wasn’t anything that really worked for me.

In my despair, I meandered around the Micheal’s and tried find something else that would work for my needs. I came across this really nice “yarn” that I felt I could use. And I was in luck because it was on sale, and there were two sets of colors that suited the gods I worked with- the red reminding me of Set, and the blue cording reminded me waaaay too much of the River and Big O. I felt like it was a win-win for me all around.

spoons

So I sat down with all of my supplies and decided what to do with the spoons. Due to the thickness of the cording, I could no longer string beads onto the necklace like I had originally hoped. However, I decided to play off of the netting that existed within this “yarn” and I worked with knots and numbers instead.

cording

For the red cord, I chose to place two knots above the spoon. Two was a number of duality in ancient Egypt, and I have come to associate two with not only creation, but balance. Harkening back to balancing my two halves and making them whole, I can no longer look at the number two and not think about this. The same way that Ptah balances chaos and stability, I balance my work with Set and Osiris, and I balance my internal self with my external life. Balance is incredibly important to me, and so I felt that having two knots suited this need well.

spoons-2

The blue cording was a slightly different story, though. I decided to try and make a more complicated knot for this piece, which is perhaps a reflection on the complicated nature of mine and Osiris’ relationship. I opted to look online for something that would translate well into this thicker “yarn”, and I found this. And so I decided to give it a shot. After I created the more complicated knot, I added two smaller knots to either side of the main piece. The number 4 represented completeness and totality in ancient Egyptian symbolism, and I felt that I could use some completeness and stability in my self-care. This also mirrors Osiris himself, who is known to be the djed pillar- a beacon of stability and endurance.

spoon-CU

Although the necklaces probably look more home made than some people would prefer, I liked the informality of each of these pieces. I also like that I could take the spoons off of the current cording, and switch them out for something else. So if I decided that I wanted to change the focus of the cord, I could either untie them, and redo them in a more suitable format. Or, I could destroy the current cording, and replace it with entirely new cording that suits my needs. Either way, there is a lot of flexibility in what I could do with these pieces, and I like that.

spoons-3

I am super happy that I can finally take a spoon with me to work or to family gatherings or what have you. It feels nice to be able to look down and see the cording, or to rub the spoon between my fingers when I’m stressed and know that I am not alone. And because the cording ties back to my gods, it’s another way to have them in my day to day life in a not-so-obvious way. I can’t wait to be able to take these spoons with me, and see how they influence my ability to cope with day to day life, as well as how many learning opportunities they will provide when someone asks me “Why are you wearing a spoon?”.

Have you ever performed any spoon heka? If so, how did you go about it?

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KRT: Making Sense of Heka

How do you work with heka? How can you utilize heka more in your day to day life? Any tips for people trying to get started in using heka?

I think it can be difficult for people to figure out how to pursue heka as a practice. We know, in a way, about what it is. That it is speech and action brought together to create change. That it is about speaking effectively and implications that speech can have on the physical world around us. And it’s not too difficult to find examples heka from antiquity – Borghouts book has plenty of examples for reference, and if you’re able to get ahold of any source materials (CT, PT, etc) or books that have rituals based off of rituals from antiquity then it’s not too challenging to see how it was done back in the day.

But I think a lot of us struggle with figuring out how to create new heka, or how to bring it into daily life. Heka is such a vast, and yet intangible thing that it can be difficult to figure out how to do more with it.

Usually when I talk about how I create new stuff in regards to magix, I tell people that I pull it out of my ass. And this is largely true. I often make up stuff on the fly, and it’s very difficult for me to explain to people how they can make stuff up on the go, too. However, I think that my methods really boil down to a few questions/steps:

1. What am I trying to accomplish?

This is pretty self explanatory. What exactly do you want to achieve with your heka? What is the end result? Have you considered all of the caveats of what you’re wanting to have happen? When I mention caveats, I mean unforeseen results or pitfalls of working magix a certain way. A good example of this might be “I want to get rid of my coworker” without thinking about the caveat of “what if my coworker is replaced by an even worse coworker?” Figuring out a very specific end goal is, in my opinion, the best place to start when creating new magix or heka.

2. What supplies do I have on hand? What is the most direct method of achieving my goal?

When it comes to my practice, I usually rely on a few standard methods. I may use these methods in different ways for each working that I perform, but at the end of the day, I have a fair amount of standard things that I rely on for my workings. Typically, this will involve sigil work, edible magix, symbolism and heka-laden symbols from antiquity, destruction (such as execrations) and container magix. And then, of course, there is good old fashioned mundane aspects of my heka as well. These kinds of things could include talking with people, cleaning my house, being proactive with figuring out a practical solution to a situation, etc. I prefer to attack any situation from both sides because I feel that using both mundane and metaphysical tactics usually provides a more successful result.

Experimenting with methods until you have a few standard practices that work well for you is useful, in my experience. Knowing how well certain methods work for you can allow you to know where your strengths lie, as well as helping you to get a feel for how different practices and methods can be modified for new heka.

If you’re unsure what to use for methods, take a look at whatever you’re good at. If you’re good at drawing or painting- use that in your heka. If you’re good with sewing, there are many ways to weave magix into a sewing project. If you like to cook, it is very easy to weave heka into recipes. If you examine the stuff that you’re good at doing, you can almost always find a way to use it in heka practices. And when in doubt, take a look at how the Egyptians did things in the past, or how other modern practitioners make use of heka and magix now.

Because heka often utilizes words in order to make things happen, I often like to include statements that are said over an item, or statements that are written down and placed within an item. If you end up using this method, be sure to be careful about the words you use. Be strong in your statements. Us present tense when you write your statements out (“I am” as opposed to “I will be” or “I might be”). Be sure to be specific in the words that you use, and don’t be afraid to repeat things in different ways. The Egyptians often liked to repeat phrases 4 times for efficacy. So I often do as well.

3. Gather the supplies and do the thing.

That’s really all I do whenever I am trying to come up with ideas for heka. I look at what I’ve done in the past, look into what exactly I’m trying to achieve, and then I format something new. I know that the generalized format for this is probably not very helpful, so let’s pull together some examples for heka that might help to round out how I go about making stuff.

Example 1: How can I protect XYZ thing?

This is a pretty common request that I see around the community. Protecting stuff can be done in a wide variety of ways, and I usually rely on a couple of standbys whenever protection is needed.

First, I rely on symbolism that is already inherent in our religious structure. Sa amulets were often used for protection, as were Eyes of Horus/Ra and scarabs. Flipping through a basic Kemetic symbolism book should produce a number of protective symbols to use.

Then I decide how to charge the symbol, and how to affix it to whatever I am protecting. Charging can come in a number of ways- through words of power, incense, oils, or the gods themselves. If you’re wanting to ingest the protection, you could draw the symbol in frosting on a cake, or create it out of whatever on earth you’re eating (such as making an eye of Horus out of peas on your plate- it sounds hokey, but it is sound in theory). You could also draw the symbol on a piece of paper and affix the paper to whatever you’re trying to protect, or you could drop the paper in a cup of water for a few moments, and then drink the water (this was done in antiquity). All of these things would be helpful for protection, and we’ve only scratched the surface for ideas.

Another example that I can cite for protection that came up recently was using crocheting to create something that was protective. Thread work is something that I love to use in my practice, and if you were to charge the yarn that you are using, and then focus your intent through possibly chanting or listening to a song over and over again while you crocheted your protective item (such as a scarf or beanie), you’d end up with something that is fairly potent. You could make this even more potent by placing sigils or anointing your crochet hooks with protective oil, and then placing it in shrine for the gods to bless once it’s all done. Layers, in my experience, are useful for making the heka more potent.

Example 2: What can I use to help improve my health?

This is a wide topic to cover, and there are many specifics involved when it comes to improving or protecting one’s health. So for this example, I will stick with something that is fairly basic, and can hopefully be modified for other purposes. It’s important to understand that when it comes to dealing with health related issues, it’s almost imperative that you use multiple things to get well. Heka and magix alone will not fix it, and in cases that are more severe (such as chronic or terminal illness), you will have to make changes to your life in order to see results. You can’t expect heka to carry all of the weight.

The first thing to figure out is are you improving a particular illness? If so, is the illness a one-time shot, or something that is chronic? If it’s an illness that will run its course and then be gone, I find that practical things are the most important. Being sure to get plenty of rest, eating the foods that are proper for healing, and taking any medications that will help with healing are the most important aspects. You could, of course, utilize heka in your food preparation. You could place sigils on the cup you’re drinking your hot tea out of, or make a statement over your soup that “this will help nourish me and heal me” or things of that nature.

For chronic illness, I often like to create things that I can wear or bring with me wherever I go. Because my illnesses are hidden, I often like to use spoons for symbols for any heka that I work, but you could find other symbols (the imywt fetish comes to mind- as it would be a type of vessel for healing) that speak to you or work better for your own needs. You could create a small bracelet out of multiple strands of ribbon that you wear to help deal with your illness. You’d simply need to come up with a phrase that suits your needs (“I am whole. I am pure. I am healthy.” as an example) and chant that while you braid up the bracelet. And then if you wanted, you could add a charm to it that is also charged with oils, incense, words of power, etc. to help increase the heka. The Egyptians loved to use the number 4 for totality, so you could also add 4 beads to such a bracelet, or tie 4 large knots into it to help add more stability to the heka. And again, you could place this in shrine for the gods to bless, if you wanted.

Another possibility might be charging clothing with heka. Relying on colors or patterns to help bring life to the fabric in the way that a power suit or lucky tie might. You could write things on your hangers that help to charge the clothes, or you could write something onto a piece of fabric (such as “When I wear this, my illness will have no influence or sway over me. When I am in these clothes, I am invincible. My stance is strong and my grip is firm. Everything I see will be in my grasp.”) and then place it into a pocket or inside of the lining of whatever you’re wearing.

Or you could try placing heka onto your pillow, so that your sleep is more restful. You could create a small satchet with comforting scents inside of it, and perhaps a small amulet for protection and rest (I’d probably use a djed, myself). And again, placing a small statement inside that states that you are restful and at ease in bed, that by sleeping on this pillow, you’re going to get the most awesome sleep you’ve ever had, and that you’ll wake up refreshed.

Little things like this can help to bring heka into every aspect of your life. The more of it you can weave into your daily existence, the stronger it becomes.

These are, of course, very simple examples, and I’ve only scratched the surface with the many many ways you can approach them. Hopefully, though, it is a bit clearer to understand how I go about sorting through different methods that could be used to tackle any particular situation you might come up against.

How can I bring heka into my day to day life?

Many people want to know how to bring more heka into their day to day life, and the simplest way to do that is to be mindful of the words you use and the actions you take. Many times, we seem to restrict heka to a more ritualized sense, but the truth is all of our words have impact. Regardless of the context in which they are uttered, signed, or typed. We must always be mindful of the impact that our words can have, and one of the easiest ways to begin to understand this is to pay attention to how your words effect people, and how other people’s words effect you. As you begin to see the cause and effect that occurs with speech (and action as well), it becomes easier to figure out how to use words and actions to create change in your life and you become more effective at utilizing the right words the first time to cause the change that you want. As you learn to see these patterns in your mundane life, it becomes much simpler to figure out how to bring them into a more ritualized or magix setting.

Figuring out heka can take some trial and error, but it’s definitely worth working with. It has a lot of applications in both mundane and metaphysical situations, and being well spoken never goes out of style.

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

Relevant Links:

 
 

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Modern Mythology: I <3 Balls Day

Gather around the camp fire once again as we delve into the myths and stories of our religion!

Set

During the ongoing battle for the Kingship of Egypt, Set and Horus found themselves in a large predicament. You see, each deity had been damaged from this battle – one losing his eye, and the other his testicles. It’s very painful to lose your testicles, you know! Through a series of wiley tricks and maneuvers, however, both were able to get their missing pieces restored to their former glory.

What Set didn’t know at the time, however, is that Thoth – “Astute in His Plans Who Fashioned All Things, Including Set’s Nuts” – gave him an even better set of balls as a way of saying thank you for taking the bad rap for the whole “felling Osiris” thing. When Set received his new shiny set of testicles, he was amazed at their awesomeness. It was like having a disco in his pants.

He was so ecstatic about his new hardware that Set ran to the highest point of Egypt and yelled out across the land “These are the best balls ever! Look at how amazing they are! I will surely be able to use them to smite apep every day!” Everyone was so happy for his new shiny testicles that a festival was proclaimed in their honor. And in our modern calendar, that day is February 14th- the day of <3-ing Your Balls.

You can see the effects of this festival almost everywhere you look! There are stands of balls in grocery stores. Ball shaped candies and candy containers. Ball shaped jewelry. Ball shaped everything! All as glorious and magnificent as Set’s newborn testicles.

When celebrating this holiday, it is customary to deck out your shrine is as many ball-shaped items as possible. Set loves the color red, so the redder, the better. However, he does has a soft side and can appreciate balls of other colors. Be sure to spend some time reflecting on your own personal badassery and taking the time to remember just how great you really are. You can also use this time to ask Set and Thoth in assistance in making your own balls better- as a means of seizing your potential and making tough choices that require balls to make!

With the proper heka, Thoth can assist you in creating a disco in your pants, too!

___________________

Every year around February we see nearly every grocery store in America fill up with tons of pink and red Valentine’s Day stuff. Usually, this is a holiday I don’t participate in at all. I’ve never cared for the concept behind it, and I’ve just never really gotten into the habit of doing anything for V-Day.

However, my foray into Kemeticism has changed my perspective on this holiday. Set’s main symbol is his balls. For most of us, we take a standard heart and turn it upside down to make it into a set of balls (which may not be too far off of what the heart used to mean). So now the second half of January and the first half of February is nothing but balls for me. It’s turned from a holiday about romance into a holiday about Set.

And his balls.

I feel like this can be shifted into a modern festival or rite that we can use within our community for seizing the day, taking hold of our courage and reminding ourselves of our greatness (in the same way that Set reminds me of his greatness all the time). If you’d like to give it a shot, there are two methods for this particular heka. One version, which involves a large chocolate heart, can be found here. The second, which involves good old fashions paper, is below:

  • Sheet of paper- 8.5″x11″. Any color will do, I recommend red or purple.
  • Writing utensils of whatever color you’d like.
  • A situation or trait you need to find some courage to tackle.
  • This tutorial about folding.

Start with your paper- figure out what situation you need some courage with. On the inside of your paper, write the situation down. You can be as specific or generalized as you need to be. Feel free to use sigils or different colors for different things. Get as creative as you want.

Then, fold up your paper into the shape of the balls using the tutorial above. If possible, place your balls in a location where you can see them regularly. If your situation is at work, perhaps leave them on your desk. If it is something to do with money, maybe leave it in your wallet. If you’re unsure, leave them on your shrine for the gods to keep an eye on.

Hopefully the heka provided in this post can help you to gain some courage and celebrate your awesomeness this Valentine’s Day! If you have any questions regarding these rites, or try these rites out for yourself- please let me know!

Other Modern Mythology Posts:

 
19 Comments

Posted by on January 21, 2014 in Kemeticism, Rambles

 

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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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