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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?

Relevant Posts:

 

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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

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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:

 
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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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Learning to Write

It’s story time.

A little known fact about me is that I have depressive streaks (or possibly depression). I seem to live in a constant state between meh, anxiety and hating myself. It started early on for me, as I was raised by a mother whose husbands had no concern or care for me. My biological father thought it was better to spend his time creating a new family instead of investing in the family he had, and my step father- while claiming to care – was verbally abusive.

Growing up, my step-father would rather watch tv than interact with me, and my mother was always at work. Because I had no friends and  the rest of my family didn’t seem to care or wasn’t around, I grew up talking to “the air” and when I became old enough, I started to write.

I’d write my feelings out on paper and throw it away or tear it up and let it go on the wind. Execration at a young age, I suppose, but one day, I got sloppy. I was living at my step-grandparents at the time and I hated it there. Our apartment had flooded and we were living there temporarily. My step-grandparents didn’t like me because I wasn’t blood family and I shared a room with a toddler that would scream from 11pm to 3am almost every night. So to cope, I would write my feelings out on paper. I’d talk about how sad I was. How worthless I was. How much I hated myself and how the world would be better if I were not alive.

I forgot to mention I was in 4th grade at the time.

I was interrupted one day while writing my feelings out. It was snack time, and I went out into the kitchen to have something to eat. I would return to my room to find my paper missing and my mother would come in shortly afterwards to yell at me and tell me that these feelings weren’t “normal” and to not write about that sort of thing anymore.

I think it’s like this frame of Hyperbole and a Half, where she is trying to reach out for help, but instead, you end up scaring the person you’re talking to instead. And instead of my mom trying to get me some help, she got scared and told me to stop saying such scary things.

Either way, I quit writing. I stopped writing for years. I wouldn’t start writing again until high school, when my depression hit an all new low. It was at this point that I began to explore poetry and expressing my sadness through the use of rhyme, measure and lyrics because I had no other outlet or venue to cope.

And one day, in my stupidity, I showed my grandmother one of my poems. She thought I had stolen it and claimed it as my own.

I stopped writing again. The fact that she took me to be someone who would do that hurt too much for me to bring myself to put pen to paper.

I wouldn’t start writing again until I opened up my Kemetic blog on LJ nearly a decade later. I wouldn’t take my writing seriously until a few years after that, under the direction of a therapist. And only then did my words and writing find a niche and a place.

Only then did my writing come full circle. But then again, I’m now writing with more direction other than to say “I hurt”.

So why am I telling you this story? What is the moral in all of this?

The moral is that words have power. Sure, you hear us say it all the time “rah rah! words are important!” but I think we really don’t get how much of an influence words truly have. If you’re a Kemetic, set down your textbooks. Forget what Assman or Pinch or Reidy or anyone says about that thing called heka and just… think about it for a minute. Think about your own life and how many times you’ve stopped doing something because someone told you that you suck at it. How many times has your day turned to crap because someone said something mean, hurtful or spiteful?

And for those of us with depression or anxiety, it’s not very hard to understand or grasp- because I know for myself, it’s a daily battle because people are very calloused with their words and their actions.

The phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones” is the stupidest thing on the planet because it’s a gigantic lie. Words are just as powerful as any physical weapon. Words can break your spirit and wound you in ways that never heal, and when many of us cast stones and point fingers and call our fellow peers delusional and crazy in a flippant manner, what do you think you’re doing to that person? What kind of effect do you think that could have on that person?

You don’t know this person. You are not a mental health expert. You are not being helpful.

You are saying things that hurt people. And when people get hurt enough, their light gets extinguished. And no one prospers when that happens. Not you. Not me. Not the gods. And least of all, the person who’s ideas you snuffed out because you were being careless with your words.

I can’t tell you how many years I wasted not writing because every time I showed it to someone, I had a negative experience. I can’t tell you how many years I’ve spent hating myself because I was told via verbal communication- aka words that I was not normal and that what I felt was flat out, completely wrong.

It’s easy to write it off with “grow a pair” or “get some thicker skin” but that is the easy way out. The responsibility shouldn’t fall on the person who is being put down. The responsibility should fall on the person who is being an ass. And we should all be working on being better to one another.

And we should really work towards understanding not only the weight our words truly have, but the consequences our words can inflict and carry when we use them haphazardly.

And finally, for those of you who are reading this, whose flames are dieing out because someone is being a jerk- don’t let your flame die out. Don’t give up what you do, love or believe because someone doesn’t have the sense to speak with care. Don’t allow yourself to hide away for years like I did.

Remember that we all bring something to this world. Even if we don’t realize it.

 

 

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KRT: Heka

This round of the Kemetic Round Table is about heka and what it is, and how we can work with it.

So what is heka?

Like ma’at, heka is both a deity and a concept, and it is the concept that we are concerning ourselves with today. Heka, which is commonly referred to as ‘magic’ in English, is about authoritative speech and also means “activating the ka”. To put it in laymen terms, heka is about words of any shape or variety. Spoken words, written words, signed words- just about any form of communication you can throw a stick at falls under heka. Everyone on the planet has the capacity to utilize heka as it was given to all of us by the gods (Ra is often cited as the main ‘giver’) to help protect ourselves from the perils of the world.

Despite the literal translation of ‘heka’ referring to words and communication, heka rituals can involve much more than just speech. According to Rittner, heka can involve circumambulation, licking, spitting, binding, trampling, blowing, swallowing, the use of images, breaking, burning, piercing, etc. While this may seem confusing as first, I believe that the two concepts go hand in hand because ritualized action (and all actions and body language in general) fall under the realm of communication- which is essentially what heka is all about (the use of words in all forms to command and create change in the world around us).

What makes one person’s heka more powerful than another’s is knowing how to effectively use both of these elements to create that change. What makes it difficult is knowing that pretty much everything you say or do is heka, and that everything you say and do creates ripples in the world around you, which creates change in the world around you.

How do we use heka well?

Also like ma’at, using heka effectively will vary person to person, but I think it can be summed up fairly simply:

Be considerate of all that you say and do.

Now, when I say ‘be considerate’, I’m not necessarily saying that you always need to be considerate to others, I’m saying that you need to consider every action that you take. To ensure that your actions and words have the greatest impact, you have to understand the situation you’re in at any given time, and consider which actions you can take that will bring about the desired reactions and changes in the world around you.

That is where the power of heka lies.

This means being concise in your statements- making sure that you have enough details to get the message across without having too many details. Its about making sure that your words and actions are tailored to the person/s you’re around and that you are communicating n a way that will create the desired response from those you are interacting with. Some might consider this a sign of being a charmer or charismatic.

I consider it a sign of being good with heka.

How can we work with it?

That is difficult to answer because, to me, the answer is so diverse and large that it’s hard to put into words. Heka has the capacity to permeate all aspects of your life- in magical, mundane and religious aspects. Every ritual you do for the gods is heka. Any magical rite you do could be considered heka. Talking with your boss can be a form of heka.

Anything and everything can go back to heka.

That is why learning how to communicate effectively (both in speech and body language) can be so important and useful- because you can use those skills just about anywhere and with anyone.

Relevant Posts:

 

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Building it Up

The last time I wrote about community, it was a bit of a disaster. And while I discussed our need for more community, I didn’t got into a lot of discussion about how to better the community around us. So I wanted to revisit the idea of community and how we can all work to make it stronger. How we can all build a boat and visit other islands.

As stated in my previous post, I do believe that we need to reach out to one another- not necessarily to sing kumbaya around a campfire together, but at the very least to reach a sort of understanding. Paganism (and Kemeticism in particular) spans thousands of years and millions of places – with each place having its own particular flavor of practice and belief. It’s complicated, it’s messy- and not everyone is going to completely agree with one another- they didn’t then, we can’t expect to now. However, each sector within the Pagan/Kemetic community has something to offer, something to teach or learn- even if it’s not for you. And each sector should be treated with respect- even if it’s in the respect of agreeing to disagree. If we don’t bother to establish ‘trade routes’ between the sects of Paganism, how can we expect anything lasting to ever be achieved? If all we do is bicker and fight amongst ourselves, we ultimately look no better than children. And that does us all a disservice.

Okay okay, I get it. You want community. So- what are the ideas?

I think the biggest thing holding us back is communication. We don’t communicate with one another. You stick to your circle of people and never branch beyond that circle. This circle can be online, or in real life- possibly both. In order to create a wider, more understood community, we need to expand who we communicate to (as well as how we communicate- this is just as important).

Don’t be afraid to get out there and make some friends or start some discussions!

  • You could visit forums (there is a list of Kemetic forums on the Kemeticism page). If you belong to a forum- perhaps try and look into a different set of forums to meet new people.
  • If you’re on Facebook, you could also look into Kemetic/Pagan flavored FB pages and join in the discussion there (also listed on the Kemeticism page).
  • Read blogs from different paths and different blogging sites. You’d be amazed at the little nuggets and ideas you can pick up from paths that aren’t your own.
  • Actually comment on some of those blogs you read.
  • Link to other blog posts, websites and useful resources to help spread word and ideas around.
  • If you get an idea from someone else, or someone else has written about something similar to your own topics, link to them! Spread some of the readership love.
  • Post content that is useful to new comers and seasoned practitioners. And when you do post stuff, make sure it’s labeled and tagged so that it can be found.
  • Join sites like Technorati, Delicious, Pinterest or Tumblr where more information can be spread around for others to view and where discussions can occur btwn people of differing paths.
  • Join discussions and network with local pagan shops, groups, UU churches and cons.
  • Look into local (or online) Pagan newsletters/publications- perhaps you can help with the content or messages being shown there.
  • Consider meeting up with online friends to bring that which is online into real life.

But why does any of this matter? Who cares?

My reasons for this are two-fold. First off, think back to when you first started on your path. You had an itch, an idea, a feeling that you needed to look into your particular path. How easy was it to find good information? How easy was it to find people that were worth talking to, who were willing to help you out? For most of us, it was an uphill battle to find anything worthwhile. And for those of us in the smaller segments- Kemeticism, for example- finding useful information is even harder. So instead of waiting for others to create useful information, or letting new comers flounder- why not help to spread stuff that’s useful and good? I’m not saying we need to proselytize or ‘spread the good word’ as though we are looking for converts- but at least have stuff in a place where it can be found via google or something similar. To me, this is a service to our paths and our deities to help lay foundations for new comers who genuinely want to know how to practice.

Or, as it was written in the Ka Theology 101:

We offer to the gods with the liturgy “May your ka be fed.” We present gifts with “For your ka.” It is in the nature of kau to give, and we give so that the ka is replenished, so that there is ever more to give. Every gift, every act of kindness, every investment, every meal, all of these are acts of sustaining the ka. Offerings are made so that the gods may continue to sustain their generosity; this theological principle is called “Do ut des”, “I give so that you may give.” As we give to each other, we sustain each other, we build our strength.

The second reason for many of this is heka. Communication is essentially heka- spoken words, putting forth ideas into the world. What we speak, becomes. And so we should want to speak well and discuss with others as to create a better world, a better place. For me, this blog, this work is also an offering to my gods, as a form of heka. Helping others to find footing within their own paths, or to find ways to bring their spiritual practice more into their life. Helping to dispel rumors and misinformation where I can- because it’s the right thing to do. As stated in the Heka is a Two Way Street post, we should aim to clear the air and create truth where we can. Because as MJ says: And Be Careful Of What You Do ‘Cause The Lie Becomes The Truth.

This whole reviving a dead religion thing is like a big block of stone that we’re all chipping at, trying to create something beautiful. Imagine how much faster we could create this work of art if we were to work together instead of fighting over it, or ignoring that anyone is carving except for yourself.

Relevant Posts:

 
14 Comments

Posted by on October 4, 2012 in Boat Paddlers Arsenal, Kemeticism, Rambles

 

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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

 

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Heka is a Two Way Street

A couple of weeks ago, I posed a question on ecauldron about the nature of Heka. We Kemetics all know that Heka can influence a lot. We speak words of power and praise to the gods. Everything we say and create becomes.

The question I posed then was: how much of our heka is inadvertently effecting the gods? 

I mean, think about it- we do these rituals to help establish ma’at in the world. We bring forth the First Time, Zep-Tepi. We refresh and renew the gods, the cosmos, ourselves. We do these great acts of power and strength and we wrap it up with… an offering of Oreos and Coke.

If all of our words have power, and everything in ritual has meaning and purpose- how much of our little actions add up and weaken the gods? I know that many people believe that the gods can’t be weakened, but it doesn’t seem to have been the case in antiquity. There are stories of the Egyptians threatening the gods with things such as withholding rituals, withholding offerings, lack of worship, etc. Why do that if the gods don’t need our help to keep things running? And as was stated in this post, yes it’s true that the world didn’t end when Egypt fell. But the Egyptian way of life certainly did. If things were still running with ma’at in mind, we wouldn’t have to take the time to relearn everything. We’d already know about it. Keeping up the cosmos is a responsibility that is shared by both humans and gods. We can’t rely on the gods to make everything better. If we decide to destroy this planet and create nothing but isfet- we will fall apart. And there is nothing the gods can do about that. So it seems to make sense to me that the gods need us on some level, and that daily ritual served to help the gods, the cosmos and ma’at. We helped through sacred action and utterance. We helped through heka.

And we still help through heka. Prayers. Rites. Community gatherings. Living life well. Putting away shopping carts. Saving spoons. Helping people. Helping yourself. Living life to the fullest. Embodying ma’at. All of that warm and fuzzy stuff.

But at the same time, a lot of what we do could be hurting the cosmos as well. We fight. Bicker. We hurt ourselves and others. We waste our spoons on useless crap. We ingest bad food. We have self esteem and body issues. We project our issues onto the gods. We feed the gods junk for dinner every night. We skip out on ritual all together.

If all of the good we do creates good things for the gods, then it would make sense that the opposite would be true. All of this crap we bog ourselves down with degrades the relationship with the Unseen world. It distorts the connection and creates problems in (potentially) both worlds. And the act of marginalizing and trivializing gods not only weakens them, it weakens our respect and actions towards them.

Let me use an example- the Internet.

All of us use the Internet, and we all have a sort of personality on here. We interact through means that are less than physical, in potentially the same way that gods do with us. In this small world, things get around. If I say that X person is a jerk to my circle of Internet friends, it’s likely that they will assume as such – and ultimately, that effects X. X could experience a lack of communication from others. They could see a drop in blog visits, subscriptions, or all of their FB friends could leave. They could be harassed. All sorts of things. All because I said X was a jerk.

Another example could be that I say X is stupid. They don’t know what they are talking about and you shouldn’t listen to them. How long before that effects the responses that X gets from others? How long before everything they say is dismissed because of some preconceived notion?

Don’t think it can happen? Look at the fallout Kemetic Orthodoxy experiences from the anger brought on by a few people. Look at the fallout some Kemetic authors experience because they have a checkered past in relation to Kemetic Orthodoxy. And while, yes, it’s entirely possible that people will try to find the truth, despite common ideas about what is and isn’t- there will still be a group of people who will never bridge that gap all because of what they have heard. The actions of a few can affect a large number of people.

Now let’s turn this around towards the gods.

If I treat, say… Wepwawet as nothing more than a form of Anpu? They are both ‘two sides of the same coin’ in some forms of Kemeticism. And many people treat Wepwawet as nothing more than Anubis in his work clothes- some weird aspect of him that comes out when he needs to be tougher- but not necessarily a true entity or god in his own right. So if this spreads around to a large group of Kemetics… how long before his reputation changes? How long before people quit treating him like an awesome (and separate) god that deserves our respect (and in some ways, fear) and we all start treating him like some weird fluke mood of Anpu? And if he starts getting treated like he isn’t entirely his own entity, how long before He Who Is the Highest of the Gods decides he wants nothing to do with us, and that he’s going to go open some ways elsewhere? Who is to say that the attitudes that many Kemetics share aren’t hurting or effecting the gods?

All of our actions carry weight. All of our assumptions and ideas carry weight. How often do you think about what you say and do and how it could be affecting the gods and world around us? Are you creating a world that embodies ma’at?

 
22 Comments

Posted by on June 15, 2012 in Kemeticism

 

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