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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, 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.

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2018 in Kemeticism, 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:

 
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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.

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!

 
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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.

 
5 Comments

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

 

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