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Calling the Four Winds

For years now I’ve wanted to try and create some sort of ritual that would call the rain to me. After reading a paper by Jorgensen, which discusses the ways in which mythology symbolism can be layered into ritual/heka, I finally reached a point where I felt like I could finally wrap my mind around what such a ritual would entail. This post is basically about said ritual.

If you’re not interested in any of the peripheral discussion around it, and only want the rubric, jump to the bottom of the post to find it.

Ritual Concept

I knew that I wanted to incorporate some sort of myth/story structure into this ritual, but I had never found anything that really felt correct for me. As luck would have it, I was reading about different NTRW around the same time I was working on this and found that there is a particular NTR, Anhur, whose name essentially means “Bringer of the Distant One.” If there is something that has been distant where I live, it’s rain. My entire state is under a “exceptional” drought right now, which means that even our native species of plants are starting to succumb to the lack of water. At the time of creating this ritual, we hadn’t had rain of any quantity above 0.1″ since April 2020.

Yep.

And so when I saw that this particular deity brings back the distant one, I felt like this would be a great myth structure to use in creating a rain ritual. Further, Anhur has direct associations with the four winds, which I thought could be utilized to carry weather to wherever Anhur directs it. There is a tradition in my family that I felt would be useful for this endeavor: wind chime clappers. If you’re interested in seeing a bit more about it, I wrote about this once over here.

The Distant Goddess myth exists in many forms within Egyptian stories/literature, and so I could choose a whole host of different deities to invoke for it, but I aimed most of my attention at utilizing Menhyt as the goddess we are attracting. Her name has associations with green and greening, and I felt that she would be an ideal choice.

Ritual Experience

It just so happened that about the time I was thinking of creating this ritual, there was a storm front coming through. This was one of the only opportunities we’ve had for rain in months, and I didn’t want to miss my chance to be able to try this rubric out. When I first started working on this project, the chance of rain for 1″ was about 1%. By the time I performed the ritual, our chance had gone up to 10%.

In preparation for the ritual, I and my partner created clappers to hang on our wind chimes out of watercolor paper. I recommend a thicker paper for these, to allow them to have some amount of resilience against weather, but you could use whatever you have on hand. We chose to make five clappers because we have five chimes, but you could make as many or as few as you prefer (I think an ideal might be four – one for each wind direction.) There isn’t really a particular rule for creating these, I mostly just focus on attracting beneficial things to my area while painting them. I would say to let your gut/intuition guide you for this section, as I’m not particularly structured in how I create these.

I performed the ritual about a week before the weather was to officially arrive. I felt that it would make sense to do this a few days in advance to allow the weather to shift course, to build, etc. Compared to other rituals I’ve written, this one felt a little less clunky in my mouth. I feel like this ritual was written more in my way of speaking, and it felt less like I had taken chunks of various texts and cobbled them together into a rite. Perhaps it meant that was the direction I need to be going on for future rubrics?

After the ritual had been performed, I placed the chimes with their new clappers outside and waited to see what would happen. A few days later I had the urge to perform the rite a second time, and in this format I didn’t offer clappers, but shifted the verbiage to establish that the clappers (and therefore the wind’s voices) had been established by my hands (see more in ritual notes below). I didn’t originally intend on the ritual needing to be performed twice, but it felt right and so I went with it. After that, it was a lot of sitting on my hands waiting for the days to pass.

The rain here ended up being spread out across two-three days. The first day, we were gifted with a really bright and really close rainbow. I’ve yet to see anything this close to our house before.

In the evening we had very vivid clouds that traveled across the mountain range. They were often lit up by the setting sun into vibrant colors, and their forms reminded me of long snakes slinking over the mountains. It was interesting to be able to see how the wind would shift directions, carrying the clouds with it.

The next day we got a lot of rain. A large part of the state actually got a lot of snow. Throughout most of the afternoon, you couldn’t see very much for all of the clouds hanging across the mountain range. But when they finally broke for a short period in the evening, I could see that the entire rim of the Colorado plateau to the north of us was covered in snow. There were mountains that had more snow on them in that moment than I had seen in decades.

I remember thinking in that moment that I felt seen or heard. That it felt like someone had painted a beautiful picture for me. And while I know that there is no way to prove for a fact that doing this ritual caused any of this, its such a rarity for anything tied to religion to bring forth any such kinds of feelings within me that it was worth noting and writing down.

All in all, we had about .75″ of rain where I am at, which is a fair amount in a year like this. Up north, there were snowfalls ranging from 6″ to 20″, and there was a subsequent flash flood warning a few days later for the snow melt that would be rushing down to the valley floor. By the final day of rain, all of the clappers had been ripped off of their chimes, which signals to me that the heka has been used up, and I will need to create new ones to attract another storm. 

Below are my notes on how to modify this rubric for your needs, along with the rubric itself. If you end up using this rubric, let me know how your experience goes!

Rubric Notes

This rubric calls forth and names the four directional winds in the opening section. The names of the north and south wind have been named based off of what function they serve where I live, as such, you may wish to change what they are called before performing this ritual. The east and west winds could stay as they are, as they are named after the path of the sun — which is unchanging for all of us. However, you may wish to take note of what the north and south winds do in your location and name them accordingly.

Also, this rubric is currently made to be done when first offering the wind clappers that you will hang on your wind chimes. If you would like to perform this ritual again after the clappers have been hanged (as I did), you would change the verbiage in that section from “I provide you with a voice” to “I have provided you with a voice.”

I’ve noted the sections that can be changed with a *


Approaching the Altar

See me great gods. See me and hear me on this day as I step out into the sunlight.
I call to you great gods. Hear me with both of your ears. Turn your beneficent gaze my way.
Do not repulse me upon your path. Do not impede me for I am Equipped, and my seat is firm.
I am the lord of the four winds, and I have dominion over that which I desire.
*I call out to the north-wind, the bringer of winter storms.
I call out to the east-wind, where Re’s path is born.
I call out to the west-wind, where mother embraces me every night.
*I call out to the south-wind, which brings summer water, growth and life.
Oh you winds that respond to me, Oh you bulls of the sky, go forth and establish the four pillars of the sky. Truly the four pillars are established, and the firmament is made secure.
I set forth upon the path made for me to bring close to me what was once distant, for I am he who brings the distant one back.

Offering Light

I bring forward the radiant light of Horus. It’s brightness on the horizon fills your eyes.
I bring forward the radiant light of Horus. It’s brightness on the horizon fills your heart.
The eye of Horus calls out to you, take its light to yourself and be filled with it.
The eye of Horus calls out to you, take this light to yourself and be made whole by it.
Come to that eye which makes you whole. Come to that which calls to you.
Come to that eye which makes you sound. Come to that which calls to you.

Offering Incense

I bring you the fire to alight your incense. I bring you the fire to fashion what you enjoy.
I bring you the fire to alight your sweetness. I bring you the fire to fashion what you enjoy.
Incense approaches, like the north wind, who sails toward the nose of her brother.
Incense approaches, its sweetness permeates your nostrils, it fills your chapel with its perfume.
Come to this sweetness which you enjoy. Come to this sweetness which envelops you.
Come to this sweetness which you enjoy. Come to this sweetness which I have created for you.

Offering Water

I bring to you the primordial waters to sate your thirst. I bring to you what flows from you.
I bring to you the primordial waters to make you pure. I bring to you what flows from you.
Feel the coolness of the libation filling your cup. Feel the coolness upon your throat.
Feel the sweetness upon your lips. Feel the pure water upon your skin.
Come to these waters and take them to your countenance. I have poured them just for you.
Come to these waters and quench your thirst. I have brought you what you desire.

Offering Food

I bring you nourishment to fill your belly. Take this eye to yourself and fill your stomach.
I bring you nourishment to appease your heart. Take this eye to yourself and appease your heart.
I provide the offering of food in your presence. Take this eye to yourself, take this eye and be full.
I provide the offering of wholeness at your feet. Take this eye to yourself and be whole.
Come to this fullness that fills your stomach. Come to this sustenance that I have made for you.
Come to this fullness that fills your heart. Take to this fullness that I have provided with my hands.

Offering Ma’at

I bring to you your beloved sister. She who opens the nose of the living.
I bring to you your beloved ma’at, she who protects the two lands.
Ma’at comes to you, she rests at your feet and fills your heart, she is with you.
Ma’at comes to you, she resides within you at all times, she is with you.
Come to the sweet embrace of ma’at, allow her to rest upon your brow.
Come to the sweet embrace of ma’at, come to what you desire.

Offering Chimes/Clappers/Ritual Object

O venerable goddess, I call out to you, turn your beneficent gaze upon this place.
See these parched land, this dry ground. The land yearns for the embrace of ma’at
See how the earth contracts, how nothing will grow. The land yearns for the embrace of your touch.

I call to you, I reach out to you my twin, you who rides aloft the arms of Shu.
I provide you with that which sustains you. I provide you with that which calls to you.
Hear my calling to you. Know that I want you close to me.
I call to you, I reach out to you my twin, you who protects regeneration.
I know you and know what you desire. I provide you with that which calls to you.
Hear my calling to you. Feel the attraction that grows between us.

Come to me my twin, provide me with that which sustains me. Do not impede yourself, come to me.
Come to this place my twin, provide this place with that which sustains it. Do not impede yourself, come to this place.
O green and beneficent goddess, do not be far from me. Come to me in this place, provide us with that which sustains us.
O green and beneficent goddess, do not be distant from me, do not withdraw. Just as ma’at returns to her father, so too shall you return to these parched lands.
For I am he who returns the distant one, and you cannot ignore my call.

*I call out to the north wind, I provide you with a voice to spread the magnificence of your name and of ma’at throughout the land. [place clapper/chime on alter, or hang it above altar]
*I call out to the east wind, I provide you with a voice to spread the magnificence of your name and of ma’at throughout the land. [place clapper/chime on alter, or hang it above altar]
*I call out to the west wind, I provide you with a voice to spread the magnificence of your name and of ma’at throughout the land. [place clapper/chime on alter, or hang it above altar]
*I call out to the south wind, I provide you with a voice to spread the magnificence of your name and of ma’at throughout the land. [place clapper/chime on alter, or hang it above altar]
O you four winds, you bulls in the sky, use your voice which is filled with ma’at and bring to me what I desire.
O you four winds, you bulls in the sky, use your voice which is filled with ma’at and bring to me that which sustains this place.

Oh you great gods, see that I have set aright the north wind, the east wind, the west wind, the south wind.
Oh you great gods, see that all four winds are as they should be to bring ma’at into this place.
Oh great gods, see that she has returned, that goddess that was once distant from us.
Oh great gods, see the ma’at that shines brightly through the work of our hands.

Reversion

O Great NTRW, your enemies withdraw from you.
Horus has turned himself to his Eye in its name of Reversion-of-Offerings.
These your divine offerings revert;
They revert to your servant for life, stability, health and joy.
So that you may flourish for eternity.

 

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Ma’at as a System

Permaculture has changed my views of ma’at. The more I have begun to understand how the ecological world around us operates, the more I have begun to understand how limited a lot of our discussions about ma’at and isfet are. I’ve also come to feel that if you don’t have a solid understanding of what makes the world we live in tick, a lot of the layers of meaning within Kemeticism get lost. As I looked through all of the posts in the FAQ about ma’at and isfet, I realized that so many of us are trying to encompass the ideas I’m about to put forth, but we lack a language or structure to inform our discussion, and so key parts get lost.

I would like to posit a new way for how we view ma’at and isfet. Specifically, how they interact with one another.

The concept of systems

Our world, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, is made up of systems that are nested into other systems. To create a generalized starting point for those who aren’t used to talking about systems, a system is commonly defined as “a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network” or “an organized scheme or method.” That is to say that life is made up of many pieces coming together, living and dying and bouncing off of one another in such a fashion that life ultimately can continue on, which I briefly touched on in my post about edge effect.

In many ways, this idea contradicts what many of us grew up with, because US culture likes to position itself as allowing people to be self reliant and that needing assistance from other people is a weakness, but the truth of the matter is that even here in the US, we still are reliant on other humans. It may look like we are able to live without help, but when you really think about how your food gets to the store, and then to your house (average of 1,500 miles from farmer to plate). Or how you manage to get anything you own, etc. You really begin to see that we are still a system stuck within a system, a network of cells making our body run (a system) that exists in a much-more-distant network with other humans (all those farmers and manufacturers and unpaid labor and retailers and truck drivers that make all of the “stuff” in our society move around).

Three system types

At the end of the day, we humans are ultimately healthier when we are fully connected and engaged with the systems that support us. Whether that’s nature itself, other humans that are around us, the region where we live, etc. The more I’ve learned about this topic, the more I’ve come to believe that it is necessary for our health to be connected to the systems that support us. Healthy systems are intrinsic to our well being.

In permaculture, systems are ultimately what you’re looking to create. To help determine if the system you’ve set up is healthy or not, there is a sort of classification setup that we have that helps us to figure it out. For any system in question, there are three types of categories to choose from: degenerative, generative, and regenerative.

A degenerative system is a system that is inherently unsustainable. It uses more resources than it gives, requires a lot of upkeep, and is not resilient against extremes, such as extreme weather or natural disasters. For examples of degenerative systems, all you need to do is look around where you live. Nearly every aspect of Western culture is degenerative. Our food system is degenerative. Our transportation systems are degenerative. There is very little about our culture that isn’t degenerative.

A generative system is a system that basically “breaks even.” It may require a fair amount of resources to create, but then requires little-to-no upkeep or maintenance. The most common examples that you see for generative systems are old-fashioned hand tools. Things like hammers, axes, shovels, etc. They require some amount of resource to create or procure, but a good shovel can last you decades if you take care of it.

A regenerative system is the best system to have. These are systems that regenerate their own resources and are self-sustainable once they are set up (to some extent. All systems will ultimately need some level of care to be maintained, but generally, you don’t put much into a regenerative system in comparison to what it provides the participants of said system.) The biggest caveat about regenerative systems is that only living things can qualify as a regenerative system. A forest is a regenerative system. Your body is a regenerative system. Any natural system is considered a regenerative system. Any food chain or natural habitat that hasn’t been massively disturbed should be, ideally, a regenerative system.

So what of it, right?

I believe that in order for the concepts of ma’at and isfet to really make any sense or sing, they need to be viewed from the perspective of systems, specifically because I believe ma’at is inherently meant to be regarded as a regenerative system.

Ma’at as a natural system

Ma’at, like so many of our most important concepts, is personified as a deity while also being regarded as a concept. If we believe that gods are real, living beings, then that would make each deity a regenerative system unto themself. Why? Because living things are regenerative systems when they are healthy. That, by proxy, automatically makes ma’at a regenerative system. But if that’s not enough, the other reason why I think ma’at qualifies as a regenerative system is because it is a natural system. It is a system that follows all of the rules of natural systems:

  1. Nothing in nature grows forever. There is a constant cycle of decay and rebirth.
  2. Continuation of life depends on the maintenance of global (though in our paradigm, I’d use the word “cosmic”) cycles.
  3. Both too many or too few members of a species can lead them to the threshold of extinction (read: moderation is required for sustainability.)
  4. A group’s chance of survival is largely dependent upon one or two key factors in a sea of complicated interrelations between an organism and it’s environment (this reminds me of fighting off isfet, the main factor that could destroy ma’at.)
  5. Our ability to change the world around us increases at a rate faster than our ability to foresee the consequences of such change (you see this in the fact that AE was hellbent on constantly bringing everything back to the First Time, when everything was at its Most Perfect, right as Creation came into being.)
  6. Living organisms are not only means, but ends. Living things have intrinsic worth beyond what benefits they provide to humans (I certainly hope you thought of ma’at when you read this.)

In my mind, all of these principles are present within the ancient Egyptian worldview. Almost all of our rituals deal with themes of overcoming decay and being reborn. Our rituals are meant to help maintain cosmic order, which is why they’re so vital to the continuation of ma’at. And our survival depends upon our willingness to actively fight off isfet. Because all living things have inherent worth, we have to be careful how we move into the future, and so we should always be comparing our methods to Zep Tepi, the time when we Got It Right.

As a natural system, it stands to reason that anything that goes against what allows a natural, regenerative system to regenerate would potentially be considered Bad, or in this case, isfetian in nature. Using this model, we begin to see the emergence of how we can use these tools to begin to determine what qualifies as a source of ma’at or a source of isfet, and even more importantly — how that should inform our own actions and habits in our daily lives.

In my next post, I will discuss how isfet is a degenerative system and how disorder and repetition are the harbingers of a regenerative system becoming degenerative. And in a currently-not-determined number of future posts, I’ll cover how we can use these concepts to determine whether something is building ma’at or leading towards isfet and what this implies about the current state of our community.

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2019 in Kemeticism, Making Ma'at

 

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May Akhu Rubric

Approaching the Shrine:

Hail to you, O Beautiful King of the West!
See that I have come to you so that I might see your beauty,
So that I might serve you and restore your body.
I have come to you so that I might greet you daily as your son,
For I am your son, the Protector of his Father.

O He who causes all Good things to happen,
Allow me near to you, do not repulse me upon your path.
Betake yourself to me, draw near to me, and I shall draw near to you,
Turn to me, for I am your son, the one who attends to you.
As I turn to you, the one who attends to us all.
Turn to me for I am your son, I am Horus,
And I have come that I may perform these glorifications for you.

May you hear the sound of my voice with both of your ears,
and may it awaken your heart.
May it alight the ma’at that is in your heart upon this day.

*Step forward or open the shrine*

Awake in peace, Bull of the West, awake in peace.
Rise up and be full of life, for you are not dead.
Raise yourself up with both of your arms
and receive these bounties of yours that have been provided for you.
Betake yourself to me, be near to me, for I am your son Horus,
and I enclose you within the arms of your mother Nut,
So that you may be enduring.

Awake in peace, O Spirits of the West, awake in peace.
Rise up and be full of life, for you are not dead.
Raise yourself up with both of your arms
and receive these bounties of yours that have been provided for you.
Betake yourself to me, be near to me, for I am your son Horus,
and I enclose you within the arms of your mother Nut,
So that you may be enduring.

Purification of offering space:

*Take up water bowl/pitcher*

I bring you the water to purify your form.
With it, your head and your bones are reunited.
The evil against you disappears,
Your purification is the purification of the gods who purify Re.

*wet your finger and touch the icon*

O Osiris, the water protects your flesh.
I make your body healthy, I purify your limbs from evil

Presentation of Light:

The Eye of Horus comes to you
Intact and shining like Ra on the horizon.
The four torches go to your ka, O Osiris.
This torch is attracted to your ka, O Osiris, Foremost of the Westerners.
Like a moth to a flame, it cannot resist your presence.

*Light first wick*

This torch is your protection, O Lord of Ma’at
You are truly Enduring because of its protection.
It spreads its protection over you; it defeats all of your adversaries.
Truly, your adversaries are fallen.
Come to this Eye of Horus, Great Osiris.
Let its light renew your youth in peace.

It is Osiris who causes the torch to be bright for the potent Bas in the Duat.
May you make the living Ba of each-and-every Akh within your Domain
to be strong with their ka so that they will not be
repelled or turned back from the portals of the West.

*Light second wick*

This torch is your protection, O Spirits.
You are truly Enduring because of its protection.
It spreads its protection over you; it defeats all of your adversaries.
Truly, your adversaries are fallen.
Come to this Eye of Horus, O Numerous Akhu who reside in the Duat.
Come to this light and let it renew your youth in peace.

Through the powers of the Eye of Horus
Each and every akh in the Duat flourishes.
They are restored to their true shape and form
As sure as the sun crosses the sky every day.

Presentation of Libations:

This is your cold water, O my father!
This is your cold water, O Osiris!
Come to your son, come to this Horus;
See that I’ve brought it to you
So that your heart may be made glad by means of it;
I bring to you the Eye of Horus,
that your heart may be made glad by means of it.

*Pour the water into first cup or bowl*

O Osiris, take this Eye of Horus
Which has been given to you by your son
So that you may live in Eternity
Glorious and complete.

*Pour the water into second cup or bowl*

O Glorious Spirits, take this Eye of Horus
It parts your mouth so that you may you taste its taste
Accept this Eye so that you may live in Eternity
Glorious and complete.

Presentation of Offerings:

I am he who provides provisions, who makes fresh the sustenance of Osiris,
O Osiris, come to this your sustenance.
Come to these divinities which have been provided for you.

*place first offering*

As you are provided with a god’s-offering, these akhu are provided with bread.
You have come to your ba, Osiris, ba among the akhs,
in control of all that he sees, to whom the Ennead tend.
I have given you Horus’s eye, I have allotted it to you: may you endure because of it.

*place second offering*

O Glorious Akhu, stand up and receive this your bread from me.
O Great Spirits, I will be an attendant for you.
O Enduring Akhu, accept Horus’s eye, your bread-loaf, and eat.

Grow aroused, you Great Akhu
Take this Eye of Horus and become uplifted.
In your place of Completeness you do not hunger. You have no thirst.
Your contentment is all you know in the land of the Duat.
Your heart becomes awash with joy
And your hearts fill with ma’at.

Offering Ma’at:

Hail to you great spirits! Hail to you Foremost of the Westerners!
I have come to you on this day to restore your faculties and make you Whole.
I have given you your autonomy, your authority.
I bring to you your heart, as Horus brought the heart of his mother,
as Aset brought the heart of Horus.
Take this heart, this eye of Horus, allow it to part your lips.
It quenches your thirst, and rests firmly upon its seat.
Ma’at surrounds you, she envelopes you as a shroud, so that you are protected by ma’at always.

Ma’at is before you every day, like the daily rising of the sun.
Your heart is glad when she appears before you.
Ma’at has come so that she may be with you.
Ma’at is in every place that is yours,
So that you may rest upon her.
Ma’at has taken her position within your shrine.
Thoth, the One who is Great of Magic, makes protection for you
And overthrows your enemies.
Ma’at is established throughout the Duat, truly twice established.
May your contentment with her wash over you.
She resides in your heart for eternity.

O Great Akhu, become clean through Horus’s Eye and
Make your bones firm.
O Great Akhu, become Whole through Horus’s Eye and
All of your obstructions will be removed through Osiris’s two kites.

O you akhu, you shall be able to go forth into the day because of what I have done for you.
You shall have power in your legs in the morning.
You shall have power in your legs in the evening.
You shall have power in your legs at the lamp lighting.
You shall have power in your legs at all seasons,
at any hour in which you desire to go forth.
You shall have power in your legs in every tribunal, in every court.
You shall have power in your legs in every place which your heart desires to go forth at any time.

You shall have power in your body so that you may ascend to Ra,
to bask in the presence of the Great God as the Lord of Abydos does.
You shall not perish. You shall live and have permanence in your presence.

You will not perish, your ka will not perish
As Osiris lives, you shall live.
As you live, Osiris lives.

All of the residents of the Duat fills their body with magic and quenches their thirst with it.
They wash away their dust and find their place amidst the web of life.
Each Gleaming Spirit and each NTR of the Duat feel contentment with their place within the Whole.
The Whole of the Duat lives in harmony, a million times effective.

Reversionn of offerings:

O Great Bull of the West, your enemies withdraw from you.
Heru has turned himself to his Eye in its name of Reversion-of-Offerings.
These your divine offerings revert;
They revert to your servant for life, stability, health and joy.
So that you may flourish for eternity.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2019 in Kemeticism, rubrics, Year of Rites

 

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New Years 2019 Rubric

I’ve finally finished putting together the rubric for my first rite in the Year of Rites. Since I said I’d post any rubrics I made up here on WP, I’m posting this here for others to reference if they’d like!

For this New Year, I plan on giving offerings around sunrise, since that’s when I make my breakfast. The first ritual will consist of opening the shrine, purifying the shrine with water, pouring libations, giving offerings, and using heka to build the NTRW a brand new body for the year of 2019.

Later in the day I will be performing a red pot execration with a few other people, which I will then give a second round of offerings and recitations at the shrine afterwards to establish ma’at after the execration is done. The second half includes an offering specifically of oranges, because oranges are in season right now, and are highly associated with New Year for this part of the country. Oranges also have a very solar quality to them, which i felt was fitting for a New Years offering. If oranges are not on the docket, I recommend offering something in multiples of four, to keep the Four Pillars association intact.


Approaching the Shrine:

Awake in peace, great gods, awake in peace.
I come to you, your servant, your son, I come to you.
Your beautiful scent, it calls me forward.
And upon you filling my nostrils
I, your servant, your son, I come to you.
I have made my way and I enter into your presence.
I am one of you.
Do not repulse me on the god’s path.
My feet are not impeded, I am not turned back from the court of the great portal
so that I may conduct the divine service,
that I may present offerings to You that made them.

*Step forward, or open the shrine, depending on your setup*

I open your temple on this first birth of the sun of 2019
And as I enter, rage goes forth.
Behold, I have come to you to offer Ma’at,
to make sound the Eye for its lord for this 2019.

Presentation of Light to the gods:

*Turn on light or light candle, etc.*

May you awake in Beauty, O Glorious Eye of Heru.
Be strong and renew your youth in peace.
A new day has dawned, and with it, a new year.
Conceived at night, born every day — a Zep Tepi is at hand.
As the sun rises over the horizon,
Khepri begins his cycle anew,
his eyes see all under the four pillars of the sky.

My eyes are the eyes of Khepri,
Our light shines throughout the land.
My attraction is the attraction of Khepri.
Our attraction shines throughout the land.

Purification of offering space for the gods:

*Take up water bowl/pitcher*

O water, may you remove all evil,
I give you essential water, great gods, a tide in your time.
I bring the flood waters to purify your sanctuary, great gods.
I bring you the flood waters to purify your temple
and your statue in your place.
The primordial water that purifies this Zep Tepi.

*wet your finger and touch the four sides of your shrine, offering table or plate, etc.*

O NTRW, your altar is cleansed by the water;
Your altar is purified by the incense;
You are cleansed by Horus;
You are purified by Thoth.
Water invigorates your body;
It is I, your servant,
who comes to you in the palace
where you reside on this
beautiful New Year’s Day

Presentation of Libations to the Gods:

Greetings to you, primordial water
Greetings to you, O river
Greetings to you, Great Flood,
You, the father of the gods.

*Pour the water into a cup or bowl*

I present to you, Great NTRW
the cup filled with primordial water;
Which has come from the Two Caverns.
I pour the libation to water your face;
May your thirst be quenched.

Presentation of Offerings to the Gods:

I come near you, O venerable gods.
I bring the food and provisions for your subsistence.
Your altars are piled high with offerings of all sorts and forms.
Every follower, every servant, every devotee has come
To bring you the bounty of the land
On the first Zep Tepi of this 2019.

*place offerings on shrine/altar*

I am Hathor, the Lady of Nourishment;
Who multiplies the cakes and gives life
to the one who is faithful to her.
I have brought you nourishment
so that you may Thrive in 2019.
For as you Live, I Live.

As this year is Renewed, so too is your body.
See me as I give you your eyes, installed in their proper place.
I make sure our Light shines bright,
So that you see things hidden in the dark.
Our eyes see all, nothing is hidden from us in our domain
On this morning of this Zep Tepi.

I give you your mouth in order to eat,
Your throat to carry out its work.
I make your voices victorious to the divine tribunal
in the audience chamber,
I lessen the voices of your enemies.

I give you a brave heart to drive away enemies.
A heart guided by ma’at, living off ma’at.
I strengthen your arms
so that you can strike down your enemies.
I give you your regalia,
so that you may have Authority.

As your body forms anew;
You are imbued with Life and Stability;
Glorious and Complete.

Oh NTRW, turn yourself about and see
this servant, this sun, this Lord of Light.
May your merciful face be towards me throughout 2019.
May your face be green throughout 2019.
As your face is green, so too shall mine be green.
As green as a living reed.

I place myself behind you
On each and every day of this 2019
As you place yourself behind me
On each and every day of this 2019.

Oh beneficent NTRW
May ma’at thrive for us
in this upcoming 2019.

Reversion of Offerings:

O NTRW, your enemies withdraw from you.
Heru has turned himself to his Eye in its name of
Reversion-of-Offerings.
These your divine offerings revert;
They revert to your servants for life, stability, health and joy.
So that you may flourish for eternity.


Part 2

Approaching the Shrine:

O Great NTRW,
Turn your face to me, your servant,
and see what I have done for you.

I have taken the mace that brings out your prestige,
your heart is glad to see it.
I have done what I said I would,
I have driven back the rebels.
Those who commit evil have been
delivered to the block.

Presentation of Offerings to the Gods:

The slaughterhouse of the NTRW is full.
I have acted on behalf of my lord,
Lord of the Slaughter, who-sits-upon-his-oil-barque,
To provide you with the hearts of your enemies.

*place offerings on shrine/altar*

Their bones are beneath your feet.
Their voices are silences.
Their names are unknown.
They do not exist.

I have removed falsehood in your time,
Ma’at triumphs in your space.
I have delivered to you the Four Pillars of your Domain.

*place four oranges on the offering plate*

May the NTRW be satisfied with what I have done.
I have brought Order out of Chaos.
I have made your Domain flourish like Zep Tepi
through the precepts of ma’at.
I have established you within your Domain.
I raise the sky for you,
the horizon is high,
the sky is firm on its four pillars.

I offer you this fabric, a pledge to receive a happy new year.
I open the months of the year, its days and its hours.
I make your house for you, under the sky and its four pillars.

Enter. Take your place in this New Year.
Your seat is firm, established for eternity.

Reverting the Offerings:

O NTRW, your enemies withdraw from you.
Heru has turned himself to his Eye in its name of
Reversion-of-Offerings.
These your divine offerings revert;
They revert to your servants for life, stability, health and joy.
So that you may flourish for eternity.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on December 31, 2018 in Kemeticism, rubrics, Year of Rites

 

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Mysteries 2015

This year I decided that I was going to celebrate the Mysteries like I used to once upon a time. In recent years I have done work Over There with Osiris for his yearly holiday (if it can be called a holiday), but I haven’t done too much out here to mirror that. Due to an inability to do anything last year here or there, I decided that I would make sure that I did the physical trappings of the holiday in my home this year, even if I couldn’t do anything else.

Originally I had wanted to do more, but Osiris wouldn’t let me. He’s been consistently telling me that he doesn’t want me to do anything more than my standard rites. It’s not that I haven’t offered to do more, it’s that he doesn’t want me to do more. “You need to take care of yourself” has been the motto. I’m not really sure how sitting on my thumbs when I could be running some community heka is taking care of myself, but he was very firm in his request. I didn’t want to ignore his demands, as that might be missing the point that he was trying to drive home, but I have been less than happy about being told to do what I equate to nothing.

Nothing is not something that I excel at. Even when I fully want to sit around and be lazy, I have a hard time letting myself indulge in the behaviour. Even when I know that I need to stop and rest, I have a hard time actually following through. I have been raised to always be busy, even when it’s not particularly productive or helpful to me. However, Osiris has told me many times over that doing nothing is important. It’s part of his process, part of his Mysteries, if you will. After you die, you do nothing. You lay there completely inert and helpless. You are at the mercy of the world around you. Your only hope is whoever you have around you to help assist you in the process. In the case of the Mysteries, those people would largely be Anup, Aset, Nebhet and Heru. In a more human sense, it would be whomever outlives you- usually family members and friends.

Nothing is part of the process. In order to really understand and embrace Osiris’ ways, you have to learn to do nothing and be somewhat okay with it.

Myst_001

This year’s rites were not that different from the ritual I linked to above. I cleaned out my shrine and the surrounding area. I removed all excessive decoration and made sure that everything was clear of dust. I selected a range of re-ment offerings to leave in the shrine box with Osiris for the next month. I focused largely on bread and beer, as they have a lot of significance to Osiris due to his associations with grain. I also included some greenery and placed the bread offerings on top of a lily pad to represent new growth. I included an egg and a bowl of nuts for fertility. Incense in a shade of green to invoke growth and to also bring the gods forward, as they love good smelling things. I included scarabs, which are all about rebirth. I placed a chicken leg on top of the bread because it’s the closest thing that I have to a beef foreleg, and has ties to Opening the Mouth ceremonies and symbolizes strength and power. And a chocolate, because who doesn’t love chocolate.

What is different from past years was that I included myself in the shrine box for once. I placed myself opposite of the offerings and Osiris, as a means to invoke a follower giving things to their god. I’m not sure if that would be historically supported, but he gave me the permission to do so, so I thought I would try it.

I also changed up some of the wrapping style this year. I included my amulets with him. The djed pillar tucked close to his back for stability. The sekhem wrapped up close to his chest for strength. And the ma’at feather to help him achieve balance in his endeavors. You would include amulets with a mummy, so I felt that it was applicable here as well.

I placed everything in the shrine and probably stared at it for 20 minutes before I could bring myself to close it. Once it is closed, you can’t open it until the following new moon, and that weighed on me particularly heavy this year. I asked him if it ever got easier- going through this process of death every year. He told me no, and that that was the point. If I was not being effected by it, then I was not truly open to what I was experiencing.

Myst_002

Once I could finally bring myself to do so, I closed the doors and locked them up. One month of not being able to access anything inside. One month of doing “nothing” or whatever it is that Osiris has tucked up his sleeve.

And it’s not just one month for me, either. It’s one month for Set as well. The downside to performing the rites in this fashion is that he loses his home as well. A yearly reminder that stability and Order come at a price. A reminder that nothing is truly ever stable or eternal, but that only through the consistent work of everyone can stability or eternity hope to be achieved. A reminder that his place within the pantheon of the NTRW will always be a little bit love-hate.

Myst_003

Although it might seem weird to place Set in front of the shrine, since he was the one who initiated Osiris into these Mysteries, I think that it can be fitting. He stands guard in front of the shrine, protecting its inhabitants in the same way a shrine bolt does every day. He is the one who bore Osiris’ coffin across the Nile to the necropolis, and even Griffiths had surmised that Set felt some sorrow or remorse for what had happened. I think it may seem a little weird from a purely Osirian context, but my experiences with both of these gods together has led me to believe that Set can protect Osiris from harm while he is inert. That which has the propensity to harm us can also save us.

I place Anup on top of the shrine to watch over the process. It is through his skill and knowledge that Osiris can become reborn and whole again. And I include Aset with Set to help with the mourning process. It is through the work of everyone’s hands that Osiris makes it through the tribulations of death and the Duat.

All there is to do now is wait and see what “nothing” brings.

Relevant Posts:

 
6 Comments

Posted by on December 12, 2015 in Kemeticism

 

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The Mysteries: Prologue, Pt 1

This year’s Mysteries ended up following a different pattern than normal. I came to Osiris shortly after the beginning of November and told him of my desires to handle my anger and cope with the past year during his month. As I mentioned in this post, the past year has been tumultuous. I’ve lost a lot and I wanted to really come to grips with what has happened, and I felt that O could help me with this best.

He simply stared at me. He did not nod or acknowledge me at all. He was busy keeping my river stable at the time, and didn’t see fit to respond at all.

But he heard me.

Two days later, I found myself dead. It was not a shock to me, really. I had been fighting off something for nearly 3 months now, and even though I had seen the warning signs, I wrote them off as something else or didn’t know how to handle or fight off the disease that corroded my insides. My family watched and tried to combat it, but regardless of our efforts, the result was the same.

I fell into the darkness and upon awaking, I found myself limited to a few places- the river, the lake, and a shared space between my two halves which looks a lot like black nothingness. When I came to at the river, I found myself in various stages of “healing”. I would wake up to find O tinkering with my core, or floating in the water with various cords coming out of me. Sometimes the Left would be there, checking stats and keeping an eye on things. Other times I’d wake up to find the Right whispering to me.

But for the most part, I floated in the water and stared up at the stars.

On this side, I worked on processing the anger that I had developed. Luckily, I learned my lessons from Set well and I didn’t need to spend time with him to even address that I had the anger. I could skip that step and move straight onto figuring out how to morph it into something more positive or useful. As I opened up the box that contained most of my rage, I could hear O asking questions to help me develop a clearer insight as to what was actually going on inside of me.

It started with two questions that would be asked one after the other.

  1. Who are you angry at?
  2. Why are you angry at that person/entity?

And these questions played back and forth until I could narrow down my list. As I examined the reasons behind my anger, I began to understand what was really going on in my head and heart.

Once I got a better hold, I started with the “Who”. I made my list of the people I was actually, truly angry at, and I broke that list down into two brackets- people that I was only slightly perturbed with, and people I was genuinely angry at. I then wrote down why I was angry at each person (or frustrated with each person in the case of the second list) in a short-form, bullet point format. I wanted to keep it simple for my brain to keep track of, and I tried to strip as much emotion out of the reasons as I could. In order to beat this, I would need some objectivity.

I then took these items and examined them individually. I looked for trends that were occurring and I created statements that helped to break my thinking and reinforce new thought patterns. Each statement was written down to make it more permanent. Whenever I felt the old thought pattern creeping back in, I’d pull my statements back out and read them to myself as a reminder of where I was heading.

At the behest of another, I also examined the emotions that I carried and determined which of the emotions were mine and which were placed on me. I took the emotions that were mine and put them into one list. I took emotions that were not mine and placed them into another. Most of the “not mine” list were adjectives and labels placed upon me by people who did not know me or had no right.

And I refused to carry those things any longer.

I examined each label and reflected on why each label had been placed upon me and whether that label was accurate or not, whether I should change my actions to change labels (if applicable), and then created affirmations to remind myself of who I was inside. This step was probably the hardest for me because I place way too much weight on others opinions of myself.

But I will not let others define who I am.

With each step I would write my thoughts and affirmations into a book. And with each stroke of the pen I felt better about my situation. I felt like my anger was becoming more manageable, and while it wasn’t completely gone, I felt like there might be light at the end of the tunnel. It was also at this time that I really began to appreciate the act of writing things down, and noticing how I wrote things down. The act of putting pen to paper made things feel more concrete and more final. I suppose in a way, this was one of the first times that I really began to appreciate some of the nuances of heka.

Once I had cut through the bulk of my larger issues, I found that I was no longer floating in the river, but that I had sunk to the bottom. I lay there and look up through the water to see the sky beyond. It was very quiet and still. I didn’t entirely feel at peace, but I felt like I was on my way to where I needed to be.

When I finally awoke, I found myself in a hall with O sitting in a fancy chair in front of me. He wore clothing that was much more elaborate and formal than normal.His kohl was particularly thick that day, and he was 110% serious business while I was there. It was a complete 180 from normal.

He looked down at me and told me to prepare for where I was going. Though before I could get to where I wanted and needed to be, there would be more work yet to do.

 

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Wep Ronpet: A Guide

Every year you see lots of Kemetics talking about the beloved Wep Ronpet that occurs every summer. It’s a great set of holidays and its one of the only holidays that I celebrate out of the hundreds of Kemetic holidays and festivals that I have to choose from.

So it’s kind of a big deal.

However, I was noticing that there aren’t very many resources out there for how you actually go about celebrating the holiday. So I wanted to pool some resources here in one spot for others to use so that they, too can celebrate Wep Ronpet!

So what is Wep Ronpet?

Wep Ronpet is the Kemetic New Year. It falls usually somewhere btwn late July and mid-August. The date for Wep Ronpet varies each year, as it is marked by the rising of Sopdet, modernly known as Sirius. In antiquity, the date would have been based off of where the King was living, and for modern temples such as Kemetic Orthodoxy, they base their Wep Ronpet date off of when Sopdet rises at the Tawy temple in Illinois. Figuring out the exact date for your particular location can be a pain. I’m not even going to attempt to cover it here. If you wish to give it a shot yourself, here is the TC thread on how to figure out the date yourself. And there is always this post, too.

There is also now this website as well. A short tutorial on how to use the site exists here.

For those who want to celebrate but aren’t sure when, I recommend a few things:

  • Ask a current Kemetic Orthodoxy member, or ask on a forum. Usually, we Kemetics get around and can give you the dates for Wep Ronpet.
  • Pick a date yourself- I’ve done this a few times. The world has never ended because I chose my own dates.

Now Devo, you keep saying “dates”- isn’t Wep Ronpet one day?

Yes. Wep Ronpet is in fact one day long. However, there are 5 days of excitement leading up to Wep Ronpet that we typically call the Epagomenal Days, or the Intercalary Days. And, if you’re a part of Kemetic Orthodoxy- the day after Wep Ronpet, you have the annual Sekhmet Baths (which can be replicated to some extent at home).

So all of the festivities surrounding Wep Ronpet can last a full week- 5 days for the intercalary days, one day for the actual New Year (Wep Ronpet itself) and a day after for cleansing and preparing yourself for the upcoming year. For this guide, I will cover all of these days so that you can have a full week’s worth of action.

Epagomenal Days:

The Epag. days came about from a myth where Nut got pregnant with 5 kids. Ra got upset about this and forbade her from giving birth on any day of the year. Thoth, being the tricky guy that he is played a game of Senet with the moon, and upon winning this game of Senet, he received a small portion of the moon which he used to create an extra 5 days which she can use to birth her five children.

Traditionally, these days are said to be a little weird because they are ‘outside of the norm’. Usually great care was taken not to take too many risks, and I’ve heard that typically people were very quiet in celebrations on these days. However, I have never seen an issue with partying hard on these days- so you can take that however you’d like 🙂

So each day is dedicated to the god that was born on that particular day. The order that it goes in is:

  • Osiris
  • Heru-wer (Horus the Elder)
  • Set
  • Aset
  • Nebhet (Nephthys)

Typically, many Kemetics will set up a small shrine dedicated to the particular god of the day for each day of the intercalary days. The shrine doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes, if a person doesn’t have an icon of the particular deity, they will print out a picture of the deity, or draw their name on a sheet of paper. Don’t let your money or materials limit you- the shrine doesn’t have to be fancy in order to be effective.

The most common things I see on a typical Epag. Day shrine is:

  • Image of the deity (2D, 3D, whatever)
  • Offering plates or bowls
  • Libation bowl or cup
  • Incense or candles – if needed

Normally on these days, I will present offerings of nice food and drink to the deity as well as incense. I normally wish them well in the upcoming year and spend a little quiet time in front of the shrine.

Other activities I’ve heard related to the gods of the Epag. days is:

  • Song
  • Dance
  • Writing about or for the particular deity of the day
  • Reading and sharing stories regarding that deity
  • Asking the deity’s assistance in performing a divination about the upcoming year

Feel free to let your mind go wild with what you can do. There are lots and lots of possibilities here.

Wep Ronpet:

For many, Wep Ronpet starts with the sunrise. Since Wep Ronpet is all about Zep Tepi or ‘the first time’- there isn’t much more ‘first’ than the first sunrise of the year. So if you’re into waking up early (sun rises in AZ around 4:30am in mid to late summer)- feel free to get up early and welcome the Solar Barque into the new year!

But if you’re not into waking up early, never fear! There are other things you can do to celebrate.

There are two elements to the day of Wep Ronpet in my experience:

  • Clearing out the old
  • Celebrating

For me, clearing out the old typically involves cleaning my house to some extent (or tidying up) and execrations. Cleaning can be as simple or as complicated as you like it to be. I know that many Kemetics will clean in the typical mundane sense of vacuuming, mopping, picking up, etc. But some of us also like to renew warding systems and freshen up any magical type cleansings and protections that we have in the house. Execrations are a common part of Wep Ronpet because you are essentially get rid of all of the bad things in your life to make way for awesome stuff in the upcoming year. The most common execrations performed during Wep Ronpet are: a Red Pot Smashing, or you create a snake cake and destroy it (or you could make anything shaped like a snake and destroy it).

Common Execrations for Wep Ronpet:

Red pot execrations are fairly simple. You can see one that I did here. In order to perform a red pot execration, you will need the following:

  • Terracotta pot or some other ceramic piece you can write on that you don’t mind destroying
  • Sharpie or other writing utensil. Preferably red.
  • Red paint and something to apply the paint with.
  • Things to execrate or rid yourself of.
  • A place to smash the pot.

You will take your pot and your writing utensil and write all of the things you wish to get rid of onto the pot (things like laziness, anger, sadness, bad habits, etc). You’ll want to focus your mind and energy into this and flow as much of the feeling from these items into the act of writing as possible. Feel free to scream, cry or yell while writing these things onto the pot.

Once you’ve got the items written onto the pot, you will paint it red. Once again, I like to bleed as much emotion into this as possible. Once the pot is painted, you can spit on it or defile it in any fashion you see fit. The act of spitting upon the pot is a means of felling a/pep and was common in execrations in antiquity.

Once your pot is fully painted red, you can place it in a bag (if you want a mess-free clean up) and smash it.

And smash it again and again and again. Place as much of your anger and frustration and emotion into the act of smashing as possible.

And once the pot is thoroughly smited, you will throw it away- preferably somewhere outside of the house like a dumpster.

If you don’t want to do the more traditional red pot execration, you can try performing a paper version of this where you will write the things to be execrated on the paper. You will then stab the paper and yell at the paper and stomp on the paper and tear up the paper. You can then set it on fire and flush the ashes if you like.

If you would prefer a less messy, more tasty means of slaying a/pep for the upcoming year, you could try a common favorite- which is to make a snake shaped cake (or other edible goodie)– usually with some type of red filling in it to represent blood. I’m not going to give you a step by step instruction on cake making, but the general gist behind this is that you will make your cake with the blood inside- and upon cutting the cake to be eaten, you are cutting the serpent into many pieces and therefore slaying a/pep. Alternatively, you could make a snake out of wax or paper and destroy it as well if you’d rather.

Celebrations:

Once all of the bad stuff is execrated out of your life, you will typically celebrate. There are many means to do this, and I typically do it by going to a restaurant to eat. Others might do this by having a party with family and friends or by exchanging gifts with loved ones – choose something that is best for you.

However, don’t forget about the gods during your celebrations. Perhaps set up a Wep Ronpet shrine and place a spread of offerings for your main deities (or perhaps all of the Netjeru out there) and share some of the good food love with the gods. You can also offer other things such as Wep Ronpet related art, singing, dancing, prayer, etc. to the gods as a form of celebration and thanks for the New Year.

Another idea I’ve seen for celebrating Wep Ronpet is to take your deity icons and carry them around your house or take them outside (Which is a form of what would have been done in antiquity when the icon of the god was taken out of the temple and paraded around town). Some people like to leave their icons outside to recharge in the sun for a while.

The Day After:

I don’t have a name for the day after Wep Ronpet, but I’ve modeled my practice a bit after how KO does things, and I typically am sure to take the time on the day after Wep Ronpet to pamper myself with a nice long bath. If you’d like to buy one of the bath mixtures that Tamara Siuda uses at the annual baths held at the Tawy Retreat, please visit her online store here. I feel like this helps to recharge my batteries and reset my brain for the coming year. I also like to take this time to reflect upon the past year and the coming year, and to set up any particular goals or objectives for the year ahead.

This is by all means not an entirely exhaustive guide. There are many many ways to celebrate one of the biggest holidays of the Kemetic year. However, I do hope that this guide helps to get some ideas going in your mind and will help motivate you to try celebrating Wep Ronpet in your house!

Relevant Posts:

If you have any resources or posts you’d like added to this guide, let me know!

 
21 Comments

Posted by on July 3, 2013 in Kemeticism

 

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KRT: How This All Started

This week over at the Kemetic Round Table, we are discussing how we Kemetics got started on our paths, as well as providing any tips or stories that we find useful for those starting out.

I suppose my story is a bit convoluted. I wasn’t raised with any particular religion. My family is blandly Christian based, but we don’t really subscribe to anything, and my mother has always had the notion that there is more to the universe than Christianity prescribes. In high school, my house started to act up, and so I enlisted the help of a friend of mine to help me deal with the situation. It was through her that I began to look into Pagan based religions- starting with Wicca.

I poured through Cunningham’s books, though I didn’t really care so much about the Wiccan based practices- I cared more about the magix he wrote up, because I Was more interested in keeping my ass safe. At the time, all I could really find was Wiccan tinted information, so I used it as I could, learning a lot from the Sacred Mists online school. But initially, I was really more interested in elemental work and working with smaller, non-deity based spirits in whatever frame work I could devise.

But then the dreams started.

I began to dream about Anup and Osiris. Anup would always lead me to O in my dreams. I’d dream about finding statues and black dogs and such. I wasn’t sure what to do with these dreams initially- so I began to read into Anup and Osiris online. I originally thought I would have more interest in Osiris- but Anup’s mythology got ahold of me for some reason, and my focus remained on him.

That being said, I still didn’t work with him very closely. I was still more interested in my elemental works.

One day, I started with a really really really bad draw of luck. For whatever reason, I was led to believe it was Set who was screwing me over. It would take about 6 months of getting that situation solved (which, it turned out it was someone else screwing with me in Set-clothing) and by the time I had gotten through it, I was exhausted. I withdrew from most of my religious works. I didn’t cast circles. I didn’t perform magix. I didn’t do anything with the astral.

I was officially done.

It was about the time that I was “done” that I had that situation that I discussed in my Cycle posts. I had had the center of my chest ripped out of me, and I would withdraw into nothingness for a few years in order to heal. It was only due to my long stretch of unemployment, and a desire to kill time more constructively, that I began to consider looking into the religion thing more.

Cue Set.

There is an icon I use regularly- an image of Set cackling, with a crook and flail in his hand. That was my re-introduction into my religious practice. I saw it one day while I was driving, and it wouldn’t leave me alone until I drew it out onto paper. Slowly, Set rotted my brain. He wanted my attention, and initially I wouldn’t give it to him. It was like an alarm clock going off in my mind, or tv static that gets ever louder and louder and louder until you can’t ignore it anymore.

Shortly before this, I had found out in passing that there was such a thing as Kemeticism. When Set came barging into my life, he wanted me to begin working on that. So over the course of a week, I joined a boatload of forums and created an LJ to document my path in (because I mistakenly thought there was an active Kemetic community there) and I slowly began to get information so that I could learn about this Kemetic thing.

As soon as I began to listen to him, the noise in my head stopped. It felt like the clouds had parted and I could find some peace within myself.

Shortly after this I would become employed again and find myself kicked down into the Pit to do shadow work for a few years. Osiris would make himself further known and I would begin my River adventures, community projects and all of this other stuff that I do on a regular basis.

But it all started because some creepy shadow plagued my house. And it was taken to another level because Set nagged me for a month to get off of my butt and pay attention to him. And from start to finish, it took me about 4 years to “get serious” and learn about Kemeticism (as opposed to learning about Wicca and Wiccish based stuff) and it took me another two years from Set showing up to really get down and serious with my workings and writing.

So my first tip for anyone who is starting out is to realize that this stuff takes time. And it should take time. Anything worth having is worth doing right. Anything done right takes time to be done. Don’t get upset with yourself if you’re not making progress over night. There is nothing wrong with that.

My second tip would be to let you know that your approach to this whole religion thing will change dramatically as you grow. If you were to go back to my old LJ, you’d find very different posts there. You’d find that I was very fluffy, very lost.  There is nothing wrong with this- its part of the process. Don’t feel like you have to lock yourself into a certain frame of mind or certain practice style- because odds are, it will change over the years. If you are growing, so should your religious practice.

And lastly, try to have some fun with it. I know that religion is important, but it shouldn’t be a chore or foreboding and omg serious all of the time. It should help to fulfill you and round out your life. There are a lot of people out there who think that religion needs to be dark ad serious- but we need some lighter aspects in our lives, too. Don’t be afraid to have fun with your religious practice- regardless of what anyone says!

To see the full list of posts for this topic, click here.

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

 

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KRT: Shrine Basics

Shrines are a big deal within the Pagan community at large. There are long threads filled with pictures of shrines, and there are websites dedicated to pictures of shrines. But what exactly does a Kemetic shrine entail?

This answer can be somewhat difficult to answer because there were two different types of shrines in antiquity. You had the inner-shrine of temples and you had shrines that were in regular people’s houses. It is a combination of both of these shrines (what little we know about both) that tends to influence how Kemetics set up shrines in their modern practices.

Shrines Then

Temple shrines in antiquity were typically located in the very back of the temples, in a very dark room. The idea behind temple setup in ancient times was that you were moving from profane to sacred time. As you would go further into the temple, there would be less and less light, and often times the floor would drop down in levels as well. Finally, in the room where the shrine was located, there would be a box with doors that rested on a raised area in the floor. This raised area represented the ben-ben, or primordial mound that occurred during zep tepi (the first time). The same way that the Creator deity would rise out of the waters of Nun to create all life, this shrine that encases the open deity icon is too rising out of the Nun to bring forth creation.

It’s basically heka in action.

Inside of the closed off box (which I often call a kar shrine) would be the deity’s open icon. If what I’ve read can be trusted, usually this room didn’t have a whole lot in it. The deity would be given offerings of incense, clothing, jewels, flowers, etc. And while the offerings would be in there for a time, once everything was reverted, the main items in the room was the kar shrine and perhaps a table.

So all in all, it was very sparse.

Its more difficult to ascertain what types of shrines average people have because there aren’t many ‘average Joe’ types of houses left for us to learn from. Most of what I’ve read indicates that most shrines were inset into the wall where people would leave small offerings and have a few small deity icons. Mind you, the more wealthy the person, the more elaborate the shrine would likely be. It’s also likely that many people had murals or motifs on the wall to represent their gods as well- which could also be a type of shrine in its own way.

Shrines Today

Kemetic shrines in the modern era run the gamut. Stylistics and needed items for setting up a shrine are largely influenced by the type of Kemeticism you practice (KO vs independent vs recon etc), the resources and space available to you, and personal taste. Some shrines are indoors, some are outdoors, some are very orderly, some are very chaotic and spontaneous. It is largely a situation of “anything goes”.

However, there are a few common denominators in a lot of shrines that you might want to consider in making your own shrine:

  • Libation bowl
  • Offering plate (for food offerings
  • Image of deity you can focus on (can be a printed off picture or a 3D statue)

That’s really it. These are the most common items that are used or ‘necessary’ in a shrine. You will usually have a focal point, such as a deity statue or perhaps an icon of ma’at. And then you will have dishes that you can place offerings and libations in or on.

Here are some examples of a variety of shrines that will help to illustrate the wide variety that is out there (for shrines that are not mine, you can click the images to visit the original location of the images used).

Old Shrine to Hatmehyt

Current shrine

But so many of the shrines I see have so much more stuff on them!

That is because, at its core, a shrine is a place of devotion to a deity or a path. Therefore, lots of people like to put items on their shrines that the gods specifically like or request to have placed on there. Many people like to keep things such as stones, sacred jewelry, candles and other items on their shrines because it helps them to focus on their deity, because their deity requested it, or because it makes them happy.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with shrine layout and contents to figure out what works best for you. I often cycle through multiple items throughout the year to keep the shrine layout varied and interesting. There is nothing wrong with switching things up regularly.

Also, don’t let fancy or large shrines scare you from creating your own! Shrines don’t have to be big or expensive to be awesome. Some of my best shrines were simply fabric covered boxes with a statue and a cup sitting on top of them. This isn’t about keeping up with the Jones’. It’s about celebrating your gods and showing your devotion to them.

Travel and Wearable Shrines

Many people like to create travel shrines as well- mini-shrines that they can take with them while traveling so that they can continue with daily rites or devotion to their deities. Another possibility would be to use devotional jewelry that you wear as a form of a portable shrine. Devotional jewelry is great because you can hide it away easily, but yet can be taken just about everywhere with you. You can use devotional jewelry in the same fashion as a normal shrine- you can hold the item and say your prayers into the jewelry, you can transfer your life force or ka into the jewelry by holding onto it as well. If you’re interested in giving offerings via the jewelry, you can technically offer your meals to the gods while you wear the jewelry, or you could set the jewelry on the table and place offerings in front of it the same way you would a deity icon.

Devotional necklace for Set and Osiris

Travel shrine for Aset

Beginnings of a devotional piece for Herishef (click the image to see the original source)

A new alternative to the traditional shrine – the e-shrine

A new trend in shrine creation is the use of the Internet to house your shrine. This trend is largely seen on Tumblr, where many devotees will collect images and snippets of various things that remind them of their god or path. I think this is a great way to show the many aspects that a deity can have through photos, music, words, and other items that may not necessarily come through in various knick knacks or traditional iconography. Additionally, this style of shrine is very low cost and can be maintained by just about anyone.

I personally consider my WP and my Tumblr accounts as a form of online devotion to my gods, and therefore shrines in some respects. I use them both to help spread knowledge and help others who are new to the Kemetic path- which to me, is about as devotional as it gets. So don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and explore other ways that you can utilize new and interesting methods and modalities as shrine spaces.

Why should we have shrines?

While not necessary in the least bit, shrines are very useful at bringing us closer to the gods and our faith. Shrines allow us to have a sacred, personal meeting space for our gods, and can help to foster relationship growth within our practice and religion. It’s my personal belief that you shouldn’t feel pressured to have a shrine, as it isn’t necessarily the focus of Kemeticism, however I would recommend exploring the idea at some point along your religious path.

See the master list for this KRT topic by clicking here.

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Kemetic Round Table, Kemeticism

 

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KRT: The Effect Kemeticism Has on Daily Life

For this round of the Kemetic Round Table, we are discussing the effects that Kemeticism has on your daily life, and how it has effected your life by practicing the religion. The effect that my religion has had on my life is sort of a paradox. This is because in some ways, I haven’t changed at all. In other ways, I’ve changed drastically.

The reason I chose Kemeticism is because the world view already matched my own. I already had a structure in my own brain as to how I saw the world, and part of my choosing to follow the Kemetic faith (for lack of better word) was because it more or less fit into what I already had going on. The concepts of gods, balance and a need for community were all things that I already had percolating in my brain. So in these ways- Kemeticism hasn’t changed much of anything for me. It gave me tools, terms, and a frame to hang my ideas on, but all in all I didn’t have any earth shattering changes in my life due to adopting a Kemetic religious practice.

However, its probably my relationships with the gods and other Kemetics that has done the most change for me.

I will start with the gods, because it is through them that the other aspects really came about. Initially, I only worked with Set, and through him I really gained a sense of a lot of the aspects of who I was. Without his hands in my cookie jar, I don’t know that I would have ever really gotten a good grasp on my darker aspects- or at least as quickly and early as I did. Osiris’ work with me has helped me to balance out my lighter aspects- something else I was in desperate need of as well.

However, their biggest impact on my life has been through my community and networking tasks. And I believe this is because a large part of the work I am to be doing for the gods is centered around the community (or lack thereof). In order to really be effective in this task, the gods had to fix me up- which was the Cycle I wrote on earlier this year. Then, after I learned how to be more whole as a person, Set taught me one of the most useful skills I’ve ever had- pot stirring. He has taught me how to wield a ladle for good and how to work on creating responses that are more even-keel and air tight because I didn’t reduce myself to caps locks.

 

And through that, I’ve managed to find a bunch of people who are in similar situations to me. I found a bunch of people willing to be boat paddlers with me.

And that has made all of the difference in the world for me.

Once upon a time, I said that I was half Osiris, half Set. I was the hard nosed soloist (like Set) because I had to be. But if you were looking closely, you’d often see me sitting on the edge of the desert- where the lush plants of the Nile kiss the red dirt. And I’d be hiding in these plants, watching other people play in the river (Osiris’ area). And while I’d love to join in at the river and splash around with everyone else and feel connected- it never panned out. Because at the end of the day, much like Set, everyone would resign me to the desert.

Because of this, I always felt like I was literally two different people crammed into one (hence the two halves whole stuff) and I was miserable over it regularly. I wanted a community of some sort- but there was nothing to be had and I had no way of networking with anyone. However, since finding a group of people that I can get along with- my life has become a lot more stable and happy.

Perhaps you could say that through my community, I’ve managed to find a little slice of ma’at.

And while that has nothing to do with rituals and offerings and kar shrines or anything of that nature- don’t you think that is sort of… the point of all of this?

Without the addition of Kemeticism, its gods, or my fellow practitioners, I would surely still be the fractured person I used to be. And in that regard, my Kemetic practice has made all the difference in the world.

See the other responses for this question by visiting the Master List here.

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2013 in Kemetic Round Table, Kemeticism

 

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