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Devo’s Burninatin’ Celebration: 2016 Edition

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

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

This year didn’t really happen that way.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WR_shrine

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

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

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

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

pre-rite_shrine_WR

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

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

Later still hasn’t happened, by the way.

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

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

WR_closeup2

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

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

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

execration_pot

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

Relevant Posts:

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Posted by on August 8, 2016 in Kemeticism

 

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A Day of Tinkering

When everything came to Be during the very First Time, everyone agreed that everything was perfect and in its proper place. Time flowed perfectly and the holidays and seasoned synced in perfect harmony. The gods reveled in how everything aligned so well for them. Their world and existence centered around ma’at and Zep Tepi, and this allowed them to keep their world in harmony with seasons, holidays and mythical time all working together in a circular fashion.

However, the humans lived in a place where try as they may, Zep Tepi could only be enacted and recreated for short amounts of time. As the era of humans began to sprawl forever in one direction, they found that time progressed further and further away from Zepi Tepi. Their calendars and seasons became unaligned and everything started to become chaotic for them.

As the calendar and seasons slowly drifted further and further apart, the humans began to reach out to the gods for assistance. “How can we celebrate our holidays when they are drastically so far away from the natural phenomena that they are tied to? How can you expect us to celebrate Wep Ronpet when we are in the middle of harvest?” they asked. “How are we to raise the djed when there is no water in the Nile?” they bemoaned. “How can we properly keep track of time and keep everything in it’s place if our calendar is not effective?”

At first the gods didn’t understand the humans’ requests- time was flowing perfectly for them in the Duat. Everything was in its place, and time was flowing as it should. However, as the situation for the humans dragged on, they slowly began to realize that things were out of alignment. They received petitions for a good yearly flood when the Nile had already left its silt in the valley and was starting to recede. They received offerings of thanks for a great harvest during planting season. Nothing was lining up at all anymore!

Concerned about what would happen if the problem wasn’t addressed, the gods formed a tribunal to figure out what to do. How could they help the humans keep their time on the correct course? Linear time was slightly foreign to them, and they weren’t sure what the best solution was, so they sought out the Netjer who knew the most about time: Djehuty.

They presented their problem to him, and as they were recounting all of the problems that this situation was causing, he pulled out a large map of the stars and began to analyze the situation. There was a long silence after their story was finished, during which Djehuty continued to look into the options that could be utilized to fix the differences between the linear time of humans and the cyclical time of the gods.

“The simplest answer that I can think of,” he said “is to add in another day upon the year every four years. We can call it a Day of Tinkering. This should allow the calendar to stay in harmony with the annual cycles of the year, and with that everything should fall into place.” The gods were ecstatic that he had found a means to solve their problem, and with such little effort, too! As they celebrated and began to send out messengers to tell the humans, Djehuty reminded them that this wouldn’t have become such a huge problem if only the gods would have worked to solve it sooner. “When you ignore the little things, they very quickly turn into big problems,” he told them as he put up his scrolls. “Remind the humans of this, too, when you give them the news.”

And as such, the Day of Tinkering, or as we know it February 29, became a day to address the small problems in your life before they snowball into larger problems.

Ways to Celebrate:

So how does one celebrate the Day of Tinkering? I think the answer to this might depend on what specifically you need to address in your life and where it is that you need to end up between now and the next Day of Tinkering. As they say “look at your life, look at your choices.” Where are you wanting to end up in the next four years? What is currently working in your life? What isn’t? Once you’ve taken an honest look at where you are and where you want to be, you can start to figure out what to tinker with in order to get where you want to be.

Think about experimenting with new ideas and thoughts that can be implemented between now and the next Day of Tinkering. Do you want to have more structure to your life? What sorts of things could you look into to create such a structure? What can you do in order to make sure you stick to that structure? Do you want a better job? What can you do to increase your chances of either getting a better position within your current company or to possibly find work with another company? Perhaps you have a boatload of shadow work to work on. What can you add to your current shadow work to make it more effective?

Remember that not everything needs to be enacted on this particular day. If anything, take the time to play with the ideas that you could work with or implement. Take this holiday to explore your options thoroughly before you pick on (or several). If you have many options and aren’t sure which ones to try out, maybe create a timeline to implement different options at different times to test them out. Maybe give option A a two week trial, and then try out option B for a few weeks to see which one works better.

And of course, don’t forget to let Djehuty know about your tinkering. Leave him an offering or two and let him know some of the changes you’re considering making. Maybe if you’re lucky, he’ll give you a few more ideas to consider on top of what you’ve already thought up!

Other Modern Holidays:

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2016 in Kemeticism

 

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Mysteries 2015, Pt 2

A month ago I locked one of my patron deities in a box. Shortly beforehand, he told me to spend the month of solitude “taking care of myself.” I didn’t like this idea, as I had mentioned in my first post on this year’s Mysteries, but I decided to roll with it, as I feared that ignoring his request demand would result in missing out on a learning opportunity of some kind. I’m one of those annoying people that runs headlong into everything that the gods throw at them, even if the task is suckfest, because I’m always looking for the chance to improve or learn.

So I did what he asked. I placed him in the shrine, locked the doors and did nothing for a month. Or at least, nothing overly religious. The ideas I had had about blogging about mourning, the rituals I wanted to do, all of it got put on hold in an attempt to do nothing but “take care of myself” as Osiris had asked of me.

As the month passed, I pondered about whether I should be doing anything more for O while he went through his annual “rejuvenation vacation”. Should I give him incense every day? Should I be actively mourning? Should I be contemplating life and death? And then I’d remind myself that I’m not supposed to really be doing anything that didn’t play a role in self-care. He didn’t give me instructions beyond taking care of myself, and yet all I could think to do was find ways to put myself out in an attempt to honor Him.

I’m not good at this, sometimes.

Even though I was constantly worrying about what I “should” be doing, deep down I knew that I didn’t really want to think about death or mourning. I had had so much experience mourning over the previous year that it was the last thing I wanted to think about. In a way, I was probably a little bit happy that he wasn’t leading me through gut-wrenching adventures this year. It’s very true that I even though I wanted to do more for the Mysteries, I desperately needed a break from everything I had been through. But even though I was doing my best to take care of myself and not worry about Him or what the Mysteries entail, I found myself thinking about mourning all the same. I’d watch something thinking that it would be okay, but then there would be a character who had lost someone- a friend, a family member, their dog- and suddenly I’d be thinking about death again. I’d slip back into the depths of my own mind and constantly remind myself of what I had lost.

Even though he had told me to not focus on the Mysteries, the themes of the holiday found me all the same. If there is something that I’ve learned about death and mourning over this past year, it’s that it finds you whether you want it to or not. In many ways, it’s out of your control.

I want to diver for a moment and mention that normally I wouldn’t have made a second post about this set of Mysteries. My “celebrations” (inasmuch as anything tied to the Mysteries is a celebration) included things like lighting incense when I felt inclined, fiddling with the beads that O made me wear while I scrolled through tumblr, or leaving water in front of Set’s icon so that he wouldn’t get thirsty. And those were only the productive celebrations. Aside from these things there were plenty of days where I did nothing but be a sack of sadness, or where I’d sit in my chair and disassociate for half an hour.

When it’s all said and done, I did very little for this year’s rites. Because I did so little, and because there is no overarching take home point to tell all of you about, I usually wouldn’t bother to even bring it up to begin with. I’d move on to other posts and other topics that might have a more perceived benefit for my readers than telling you about the month where I wallowed in depression.

However, it’s also a pretty well-known problem that a lot of people assume that people like me always have something going on. “Everyone else has more involved practices than I do. They are able to do so much more!” And I wanted to give you an example of what my practice commonly does look like. I have periods of intense work (such as the Mysteries of 2013), and those are often followed up with months of very little- much like what you’re reading about here.

Not every holiday will be spectacular. Not every rite will be mind blowing or eye opening. Sometimes the only point a god is trying to get home to you is that you are worth taking care of, and that you need to take care of yourself. Sometimes doing nothing is good, even if it’s not what we want.

mysteries_open

By the time the month was drawing to a close, I was super ready to open the shrine again. Upon thinking about it more, I believe that part of the reason that I wanted to do so much was because I wanted to reconnect with the gods after having been gone for so long, and I think this played a role in wanting to skip the final day and open everything up early. However, I can understand that those feelings are misplaced when I allow them to drive me into doing too much and losing all of my spoons, and as such, I forced myself to wait the full cycle before opening the doors. I finally had gotten some flowers to place in my mini-vase, and so I adorned the shrine with them in celebration of Osiris’s return.

That is a summation of the Mysteries of 2015. A whole lot of sitting around and doing very little. Sometimes that’s all you can do. Sometimes that’s all you should do. And sometimes it’s a little bit of both.

 
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Posted by on January 14, 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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Let Them Eat Cake

As most Kemetics know, Wep Ronpet is coming up at the end of the month (for most of us). And while we have quite a few activities for Wep Ronpet itself, there isn’t a whole lot of discussion about what you can do during the intercalary days. I was thinking earlier this year about what I could do for the 5 birthdays that lead up to the grand finale that is Wep Ronpet, and I realized that I could easily pull something from my own culture and merge it with this holiday: birthday cake.

imagine giving this to Set

Yep, you read that right- birthday cake (or birthday cupcakes).

I don’t know how the practice started, but in the US, a birthday isn’t really a birthday without a cake involved, and I feel like it could easily make sense within a Kemetic structure, too.

First off is the cake. The making of cake could easily fall into a rite for Aset, who seems to have a thing for people baking for her. Mixing the ingredients together to make a nice balanced texture and flavor is an awful lot like doing magix and contemplating ma’at in my mind. Both of these elements can easily be entwined in the preparation of the cake that you wish to give the gods. And while I can’t attest that cakes were specifically offered in antiquity, bread items were quite the staple- and there is the likely possibility that sweet breads were offered, too.

Then you’ve got the frosting. The frosting is a good place to utilize symbolism both in color and in decoration. You could easily use colors that are tied to each NTR whose birthday you are celebrating. Greens and blacks for Osiris, blues and golds for Heru-Wer, reds and purples (UPG) for Set, golds and reds for Aset and blacks and blues (UPG) for Nebhet. And each deity does have symbols associated with them: djed pillars, eye symbols, gold/nebu symbols, etc. You can easily use frosting to make each cake tailored to the specific deity, and to lace the entire edible in heka.

And finally there is the candle. Who doesn’t love candles? They come in so many shapes and colors and styles. Plus, there is the added bonus of fire.

Fire plays a heavy role within Kemetic ritual. To quote Reidy:

As the striking of a fire pushes back the darkness, so the living deity manifesting as the solar Eye of Heru dispels and defeats the enemies of life and light. Next to sunlight itself a first ignited by a human being is the universal emblem of light dispelling the dangers of the dark. In ancient Egypt ritual we see that this simple action – and every ritual action without exception – repeat anew on the earthly plane divine acts that occur again and again on the spiritual and mythic planes. (Eternal Egypt, pg 6-7)

Wilkinson also discusses the importance of fire:

Fire appears to have a life of its own, it may represent life itself- as when the Egyptian king kindled a new flame in his sed or jubliee festival. Living fire was embodied in the sun and in its emblem the “fire-spitting” uraeus. … fire was also a natural symbol of protection. The hieroglyph appears in protective contexts, and apotropaic deities such as Taweret … may be shown bearing torches to repel evil. (Reading Egyptian Art, pg 161)

 

the gods /are/ pretty old, after all.

So lighting a fire on top of your cake is a good way to invoke protection and life into the upcoming new year, and possibly to serve as protection during the epagomenal days, which are said to be filled with chaos and are unpredictable in nature.

You could even add another layer of meaning into this by including the typical “Happy Birthday” song that most birthdays entail. Singing and music were a large part of Egyptian ritual, as both were said to placate and appease the gods. And almost every ritual included some amount of sistrum shaking and music making. So don’t be afraid to experiment with including these items into your Wep Ronpet plans and celebrations.

There is a symbol called “sema” that represents the trachea and the lungs. According to Wilkinson, this symbol represents union and unity, and is often related to uniting the Two Lands. When you blow out your candles and sing Happy Birthday to the gods, you’re utilizing your breath, your life force to celebrate the gods, to celebrate their existence. You bring yourself closer to them, and them closer to you. Through your actions and your breath you are creating a union between the Seen and Unseen. You are bridging the gap that exists between the two planes and bringing both closer together.

And that’s probably the best birthday gift you could ask for.

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Posted by on July 16, 2014 in Kemeticism

 

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Modern Mythology: May Day is Dick Day

Disclaimer: As I’m sure you can guess by the title, this post discusses dicks and may not be safe for work or suitable for minors. Please use discretion when reading and linking this post.

Last February when I released my idea about a holiday centered around balls, I was approached by another Kemetic who told me that it wouldn’t be fair to leave the other half of the genitalia out of the fun. So to counter Balls Day, we decided to come up with Dick Day, a modern holiday that occurs on May 1 or May Day.

For those who don’t know much about May Day, it is traditionally a holiday that celebrates Spring time and dancing and merry making and features a gigantic dick pole dance. You know the one:

And while Kemetics may not have a local flag pole to deck out with ribbons in honor of our dick flaunting gods and religion, we can still certainly celebrate within our own home in our own way.

Why are Kemetics so into dicks, anyways?

If it’s something that Kemetics seem to be known for, it’s our fixation with dicks, balls, and boobs, and for good reason! Dicks played a rather large role in symbolism in Egyptian antiquity. Dicks were not just symbols of fertility and growth, they were elements of power and strength. Egyptian thought believed that the very spark of creation lay in semen, which is spat out by dicks. Therefore, dicks were tied back to creation, possibly even more so than a woman’s uterus. Without the spark of creation that comes from the semen (and the dick), there would be nothing for the womb to house. The virility of a man was in his ability to wield his dick about, and he who used his dick the most was king of the mountain. For more subtle symbolism, the shrine bolt that closed up many a kar shrine was actually a representation of Set’s dick- therefore, dicks could also protect. They were also bundled up and buried as votive offerings underneath certain temples.

And for those whose power we wanted to remove- so too were the dicks (and hands!) removed.That way, the dead couldn’t utilize their hands in the way that Atum did during Zep Tepi and masturbate their way to rebirth.

So dicks are important. How do we celebrate Dick Day?

There are many ways that you can celebrate Dick Day, but here are a few suggestions to get the ideas flowing:

Harness your creative spark.

Work on projects that you wish to see born or explore your creative side. Maybe use the day for crafting. Start new projects or develop new ideas that you’ve had. You could also do creative projects for your deities as well. You can also perform heka to help promote your creative spark and endeavors. As an example, you could buy seed paper, cut it into the shape of a dick, write your desires on it, and plant it. As it grows, so too will the creativity or creative endeavor that you seek.

Or you could just get creative in the bedroom.

Celebrate your handling of the dicks in your life.

Let’s face it, we all have to deal with dicks in our lives. You know, people who are jerks to you, people who send anon hate, people who are rude to everyone they meet. Those types. For Dick Day, you can always reward yourself for dealing with the dicks in your life. Take some time to perform some self-care and kick your feet up. Eat some dicks to celebrate.

 

Execrate some dicks.

You ever had that one person who is being a dick who just won’t stop? Well this is the day to handle that person. Execration is a great way to get the nasties out of your life, and you can definitely use Dick Day to give your execrations an extra punch. If you wish to perform your execrations in true Dick Day fashion, cut a piece of paper into a dick shape, write the name of the person who is being a dick onto the paper dick, and then proceed to pierce the dick, rip the dick up into pieces and set it on fire before flushing the ashes.

As you can see there are many ways to celebrate the good dicks in our lives and get rid of the bad dicks in our lives. Consider doing a little bit of both for this upcoming May Day! If you happen to celebrate Dick Day or try and of this stuff out, please let me know!

See how others celebrated (nsfw)!

Other Modern Mythology Posts:

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2014 in Kemeticism

 

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Making a Religious Calendar Around Food

On New Years eve of 2014, someone asked me what a good offering to the Kami would be. I responded that the typical New Years fare was mochi, a type of rice cake that the Japanese make. If there is something to be noted about the Japanese calendar, its that every season and every holiday has it’s own motif and dish. They have fully integrated their menu into their calendar.

I mulled over this concept for a while, and found myself thinking that the US sucks because we don’t have that sort of thing- a food calendar that mirrors our holidays. But then I realized that we sort of do- you’ve got champagne for New Years. Chocolate for Valentines Day. Beer for St. Patricks. Grilled foods for July 4th. Turkey, stuffing and cranberries for Thanksgiving. Technically, our whole calendar has food laced into it as well. The food may not be seasonal, and we may not entirely understand why that particular food item is a part of our calendar, but it is a cultural thing none the less.

So I began to wonder- could we do such a thing with our religious calendars?

Food called “Krompirusa” by ErminCelicovick via Flickr

Food and calendars could definitely be taken a couple of different ways, and I expect that if we were to create a food based calendar, that each person’s would be slightly different. For example, Kemetics may be able to agree on ball shaped items for Balls Day, but I imagine there would be regional differences for other holidays depending on what is available locally and what is in season. Whether you choose to let the holiday itself dictate the food, or the seasons that the holiday falls in would be up to each individual practitioner. And possibly the best results would come from a mix of both in each holiday/rite.

For some examples that I might consider using, I personally could see oranges for being good for any type of winter holidays that have solar or rebirth connotations because oranges are harvested in the winter in Arizona and they remind me of the solar disc. Sonoran styled Mexican food is a big thing down here, so that ends up being a part of almost all of my larger celebrations, regardless of what is going on. Anytime I do anything for Set, there are dark chocolate cupcakes involved because those seem to be his favorite. I could see eggs being useful for Wep Ronpet, as they can represent rebirth and new growth. I could also see birthday cake being used for Wep Ronpet because it is a grouping of birthdays after all. Additionally, there is already a type of food tradition with Wep Ronpet that involves snake cakes.

If you wanted to do rites or rituals that involve your heart (perhaps another layer to Valentine’s Day?), you could include clusters of grapes or grape-laced food items for their symbolism tied to the heart. For Feast of the Beautiful Valley, an akhu veneration holiday, you could choose food items that are considered family traditions. The Mysteries used to involve corn mummies, so corn or maybe tamales (which are wrapped in corn husks) could be an easy food choice for modern celebrations as well. And I personally think that baking is a good choice for Unification holidays, because you’re taking a bunch of separate ingredients and mixing them together into something new, something whole. Perhaps for holidays centered around battles or war deities, we could prepare food on skewers or kababs. Or for holidays tied to smiting your enemies, you could have mashed potatoes because you effectively “smashing” your enemies.

Whether you choose to let the holiday determine what food you use, or let the time of the year and seasonality of the dishes you’re eating determine what you make for a holiday, I recommend experimenting with marrying the two. A lot of our life events and holidays do incorporate the sense of taste into the experience, which can create a stronger bond and perhaps a better experience. Plus, if you can create strong ties between religious celebrations and food, you can almost evoke the sense of that celebration anytime you eat that particular dish as a means of bringing religion into your day to day life.

There are lots of possibilities to discover and experiment with when it comes to food. Perhaps the next time you need a reason to celebrate, you can choose a dish that is worth celebrating around and building from there!

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Posted by on March 28, 2014 in Kemeticism, Rambles

 

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