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Mysteries 2015, Pt 2

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

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

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

I’m not good at this, sometimes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Posted by on January 14, 2016 in Kemeticism

 

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The Mysteries: Closure

osiris_bracelets

Because I was doing a different type of Mysteries observance this year, I decided that I wanted to keep something on my person to remind me of what was going on. Normally, I am struck by the heaviness of the Mysteries because I have my Osiris statues all closed up and sealed away. Instead, I get to stare at a grumpy Set statue that side-eyes me because I kicked him out of his home because of his brother. However, this year I didn’t close up my shrine or do anything with my Osiris statues- so I decided to wear bracelets instead. I had originally thought of making only one bracelet, or leaving the second bracelet on Osiris’ statue. However, I had enough fabric to make two of them, and I ended up giving the second bracelet to the man who came with me to that Duat. I wore both of them out here because I wanted to remember that this trip wasn’t only about me.

The bracelets were on my wrists for every single moment of the Mysteries, with the exception of showers. I chose the colors based off of the Opening of the Mouth ceremony, and I got the idea of wearing bracelets from Bezen. I really liked the idea of keeping my observances with me 24/7, and I felt that the bracelets would be good for this- they wouldn’t totally stand out to people I interacted with, but they would be a constant reminder of my work. I also liked the symbolism of the braiding methods- bringing separate strands together to make something new and better.

However, I ended up really hating these bracelets by the time the Mysteries came to an end. They kept getting in my way and I seriously had to modify just about everything I did to compensate for the long tails that came off of each bracelet. They certainly did their job for reminding me that the Mysteries were going on. In a way, they sort of sum up the entire Mysteries experience that I had. I wanted to do the thing, and then the thing kinda sucked, but in the end, I’m still glad I did it.

When I returned from the Duat and I was given the okay to remove the bracelets from my person, I left them in my shrine box on top of O’s statue. I stared at them regularly, trying to figure out what to do with them. I knew I wanted to do something- I needed some kind of closure for this whole thing. But burning them didn’t seem fair, that was too close to an execration, and that wasn’t what this needed. Ultimately, it was suggested that I bury them. A funeral, in a way, for the bracelets that endured the hell of the Duat with me.

My original goal was to have these bracelets buried the week after I got back from the Duat, but that failed. My schedule kept changing on me, and I couldn’t find the time to make it out to my old stomping grounds where I was to bury them. It wouldn’t be until the Full Moon hit in February that I would be able to make it out to the desert to get everything done. In between Jan 3 and February 14 I ran through tons of ideas and scenarios for these bracelets. Initially, I think I wanted to let the process be cathartic. I expected it to be like a real funeral, and I’d cry and get upset and just let it all out. Then, as I pushed into the end of January, I expected that the whole affair would be very solemn, and that maybe I’d finally feel some closure.

I don’t know why I always expect more grandiose things for my rites. I should know better by now.

I was shown where to bury these bracelets weeks ago. I don’t know if I chose the place on a subconscious level, or if it was the gods or land spirits that showed it to me- but I knew exactly where to go. I found my location and grabbed a rock to help dig the hole. I placed the bracelets and a couple of other small items into the hole.

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I stared at the hole briefly. I don’t know what I was waiting for, maybe tears, or words or something. Something to mark this as some type of important ceremony, but nothing ever came. In fact, the only thing that came to my mind was “I should have brought water to pour over everything”. Too little too late, there was no water to be had, so I went without.

I placed the sand back over the bracelets, and included the small plant that had been uprooted in the process and called it a day.

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Above all, I think that by the time I had gotten to burying the bracelets in the ground, I no longer needed the closure. I understood why the process panned out as it had, and I had figured out my place and my friend’s place in all of this. I had gone through the motions in my mind and on the astral, and so a physical representation was no longer needed. At this point, the ceremony became nothing more than a nicety- something you do out of a necessity or politeness more than anything. I think I still would have felt bad if I hadn’t have gone through the trouble to trek out into the desert, though. I would not want those bracelets to be thrown into the garbage, and so burying them provides me some mental peace as to where they ended up.

But all in all, I think I had reached my closure two weeks ago when everything finally fell into place. And there is nothing as peaceful as having closure.

Mysteries 2013 Posts:

 
 

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Steadfast in Eternity

aka: Devo’s guide to figuring out Osiris.

Mandatory Disclaimer: As with everything, this guide is exactly that- a guide. Gods can change rules at the drop of a hat, and my interactions with Osiris might not match your interactions with Osiris. This guide contains my own personal thoughts and interactions with this deity as well as interactions I have witnessed other followers experience over the years. This guide is merely meant to be a general overview for those who are new to working with Osiris.

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I’m currently in the middle of my Mysteries preparations for Osiris and I decided that part of my rites for this year would involved writing about various aspects of Osiris. I asked my readers and fellow Kemetics what they might want to know regarding Osiris and his mythology and it seems that not many people know what he is like, or what to expect when they work with him. I dug around on the Internet and found that there isn’t much on Osiris from a devotee’s perspective. He just doesn’t seem to get around a whole lot. So, to start off my Mysteries work this year, I decided that a general guide to Osiris was in order.

So what is it like to work with the Lord of Eternity (Djet)? What can you expect when working with him?

1. Prepare to be trolled.

When people ask me about Osiris, I like to make an analogy that compares him to Set. If your life is a house, working with Set is the equivalent of your house being hit by a tornado. You will likely wake up one morning to find that your house’s walls have been completely decimated and that you’ve got to start your house over from scratch. Set enters your life and takes no prisoners. He makes a scene and hands you a broom and expects you to clean up after him. Osiris, on the other hand, is more like a tree that is just outside of your window. It’s an old tree whose roots run deep. So deep that the roots are secretly infiltrating your foundations and you won’t realize it until there are cracks in your floor.

Osiris is quiet. Discreet. He does not tend to be flashy in how he operates. If he wants you to make a change, he will do so in his own way and you probably won’t realize it. So by the time you do realize it, you’ll realize that he’s been playing you for weeks, months, or possibly years. And every time you think you’re getting wise to him or the upper hand, you’ll find out that the rabbit hole goes deeper. And deeper. And deeper. He’s got his moves planned out for the next few years and planned for everything that is occurring. That’s just how he works. Which brings me to point number two…

2. Prepare to get confused. A lot.

I call Osiris Mr. Wingdings (as seen in this post here). This is because he speaks in riddles (the official language of the astral) and symbols and pictures. Often times, these pictures make absolutely no sense to me (or anyone else for that matter). I have not been able to confirm if anyone else experiences this from him, but I certainly do. For the first year or two that I worked with him, he said all of about 5 words to me. Everything else was through direct action (I do this thing to you with no explanation) or through imagery (duck-tree-canoe-oranges) that made no sense.

I don’t know why he refused to talk to me, but such was the case- he almost never spoke. I only got his cryptic images. And that left me entirely confused. So confused that I quit going to him for advice because his advice never made any sense.

And then one day he finally spoke. But instead of showing me the duck, the tree, the canoe and the oranges- he just said “duck, tree, canoe, oranges” and smiled at me.

I have yet to figure out why he does this.

3. Be prepared to develop a lot of trust.

Because Osiris rarely explains his methods, motives, or reasons, you can anticipate that you’re going to have to learn to trust him in order to get anywhere. I think this is probably true of most of the deities you work with, but the lack of communication and explanation from Osiris made it even more the case for me.

For example, I’ve mentioned that a lot of our work occurs in a River. However, in order for the River to work, you’ve got to succumb to the water- which is a poetic way of saying that you have to drown, or die. You can’t do this without some trust. The first few times that I found myself being submerged under the water, I completely freaked out and put a stop to the whole thing. It was only through the development of trust in him and his motives and methods that I was able to move into the second level or step of our relationship. You may find that this is similar for yourself as well.

4. Expect Love to be a recurring theme.

Love yourself. Love your neighbor. Love the cat. Love that plant. Love everything. Osiris is a man of making peace (in my experience- even though he is also known as the Lord of Dread in the Pyramid Texts). Many times I have shown up at the River angry and hurt. And many times he has urged me to forgive the people that have wronged me. To let go of the anger that I held in my chest and in my stomach. To let love take its place. Not necessarily the love of the person who wronged me, but to let my love for myself and my health to be more important to me than the anger and hatred for whomever or whatever has hurt me.

This has culminated in his teaching me how to transmute and transform feelings like this into more neutral, happier feelings. Feelings of love and joy and contentment. For myself personally, this has been his biggest goal for me- to learn how to let go of anger so that I can replace it with love.

5. Expect to develop and receive patience.

If there is something I can say about Osiris, its that the man is patient. You know the tree roots I mentioned above? That tree did not get those roots overnight. So it goes with Osiris. He is very much a Big Picture type of deity, and he will take as long as is needed to get what he wants. If you push away today, he will try again the next day, and the next day, and the next. And if method one doesn’t work, he will try method two, three, and 489358 until something works for you. His patience has been a blessing throughout my trials over the past year.

However, you will need to cultivate your own patience with him. Setian patience is different from Osirian patience, though. You develop patience with Set because Set is chaotic and flaky and unreliable sometimes. You develop patience with Osiris because he is so steadfast. You can’t force him to change. You can’t goad him or push your weight around with him. He truly is like the pillar that represents him- he is stable, and to some extent, timeless. He may give you a cryptic answer and you will rail at him and scream and throw a fit and he will just smile at you and wait for you to calm down. Or he will pat you on the head and tell you that he knows and walk away. Sometimes his lack of emotion or reaction can be really really frustrating. But that’s how he is. And he doesn’t change for just anyone. So the patience you develop will be centered around that.

Many people have described Osiris as being distant or uncaring, but I don’t think that’s the case. I just think that he is a quiet, more subtle deity, and that his methods of communication are different from what we’re used to. With enough time and patience, you can begin to hear his messages and you can begin to forge a relationship with him. Despite my setbacks in understanding him, I have definitely found that working with him has helped me to heal in a lot of ways, and Osiris has been a great support throughout the shifts in my religious practice over the years.

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2013 in Kemeticism

 

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The Cycle: The River

In the middle of the desert is a river.
At the bottom of the river is a door.
On the other side of the door lies the answers to everything.
But to open the door, you have to reach it.
In order to reach it, you must get to the bottom of the river.
To get to the bottom of the river, you must die.
To die, you must drown.

In the middle of the desert is a river.

The river is a convoluted piece of work. I had begun to see the river in late 2011. However, I wasn’t in a good place to begin my work there. My stomach was in so much pain that I could barely function. My stress was through the roof. And the thought of working with Osiris and his episode at the river were almost more than I could handle. I think he sensed this, and he backed off… for a while.

Shortly before Wep Ronpet of this year, I found myself back at the river- O standing there, looking at me. He was calling me silently, asking me to come into the water with him. Telling me that it would be safe, for this is a safe place. And only through these means could things be fixed. I struggled with writing about this for months. I had written briefly when it started:

I must take my wounds and cut them open. To allow them to bleed and to heal properly this time around. Once again, Osiris leads me back to the water, he beckons me in, reminding me that this place is safe. That there is healing to be brought, and lessons to be learned. There is no way to embrace my light without facing those who told me I had no light within me. I can’t move forward unless I completely face, embrace and own my past. I have to remove the lies and see my actions, and their actions, for what they are – as well as for what they aren’t. Unfortunately, unlike a physical wound which requires one cut and waiting for the wound to empty, this will more than likely be a lot more drawn out. A lot more painful. Much like his own mythology, this process may involve tearing myself apart again so that I may be put back together properly. So that I may function correctly and as a whole person yet again.

Thus began the second half of this Cycle. A journey to the river that is laden with crack and weirdness, but ended up making me complete again. I didn’t really know what to expect. And I didn’t know where any of this was going. But I knew that only one path lay ahead- the river, and whatever lie inside of it, beyond it. Much like O staring his own death in the face- there was no avoiding it. To run would only delay the inevitable. Better to face the fear, the crazy, and jump in head long. So I took the plunge.

It started with getting rid of anger. When O managed to get me back to the river, I had amassed a huge pile of anger. And the first step was to eradicate it- which I did through the water. I’d throw water. Stomp on it. Sling it around. Hit it. And I did so for a few days- fairly non-stop (in my head). And then after a while, I realized the anger had left. I had no more left in me for that. And once the anger left, I was able to give way to acceptance and yield to the rivers movements. Only once the anger had left was I able to actually get to work.

If there is anything that seemed to symbolize the river the most, it was a piece of lapis. Every time I would show up at the river, O would place a piece of lapis in my right hand. To this day, I’m not entirely sure what it meant, but it seemed to be important. For the first few visits with him, he’d stand with me, hug me, drag me out to the center of the river, lay me back in the water, and place that lapis in my hand. I assume the initial work was healing. Preparing me for what lay ahead. Cleansing what could be cleansed in my current state.

And then the crack really started to flow.

I went through a series of visions and mental/astral adventures where I would either:
A. Find a part of myself
B. Have stones removed from me

In the case of point A, I’d be rocketed off to some location. And I’d find a version of myself- usually all messed up looking. I’d grab my portion of “me” and make my way back to the river. When this would happen, I would have these overwhelming emotions as I would take my parts, and walk into the water. I’d get into the middle, hold on tight, and fall backwards. Both portions of myself would sink to the bottom slowly. Drowning. Dieing. Succumbing to the water, the process, the death, the healing. And at the bottom, you’d reach the door, and it would open up and show you something.

Sometimes, I would see stars. Sometimes pain. Sometimes I’d just light up like a Christmas tree. It really depends. And each time is a little different. No recollected piece ever reacts exactly the same.

In the case of point B, usually O would be with me. Sometimes he’d cut me open. Sometimes a pre-existing orifice would be used. There was a time when I was sitting with him at the river. My stomach was killing me. I was frustrated and in pain. And he is standing there, looking at me. And all of a sudden- BAM! He just.. shoves his hand into my stomach and slowly pulls out these black shards that look like obsidian. One by one he draws them out of me, and then shatters them. And after he has pulled out what he can, he drags me into the water, where I fall back, sink, succumb, die, and the door would open.

The process- its similar every time, yet it’s different every time. Slowly but surely, O was helping me to find the pieces I had lost of myself. He was helping me to heal them, eradicate what I no longer needed, and merge with myself. He was slowly making me whole.

And then I hit a bump. A huge bump.

Other parts of this series:

 

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The Cycle: The Pit

This is a 3 post series about a cycle. A cycle that took nearly 3 years to complete. I’ve decided to write about this now because this is my time for celebrating O’s Mysteries, and I feel that the cycle I have been through and the Mysteries go hand in hand (for my own personal experience). I am always contemplative about myself, life and death during the Mysteries, and if anything I’ve gone through could embody those traits- the Cycle is it. The Mysteries are all about death, transformation, and rebirth. A period of killing things, being torn apart, inert, helpless. Followed by a period of gathering your pieces up, regaining yourself, and rising to power, as it were. This Cycle that I’ve been led through did exactly that. It cut me down, ripped me apart, cleansed my bits, put me back together, and then I climbed out of my hole to find myself whole again.

I think it should also be said that I want to write this out for others to consider. A lot of people seem to think that recons are dry and dull- that our practices are completely stale and dead. However, I submit this experience for your consideration. I ask you to challenge your thoughts on what you think you know- about recons, and the gods. I ask you to take a look at the crack-laden roller coaster ride I’ve been on, and see if your opinions are the same once you come out the other side.

So shall we?

The Cycle began in 09. In fact, it started right after Set came barging into my life. I guess he doesn’t like to waste time. Shortly after my job situation was handled, he sat down with me one day in a vision and told me that I had a black hole in me. And in that black hole was a lot of anger, depression, frustration, malice. Inside of my black hole (my pit, he often called it) were all of these emotions. These things that were a part of me, but that I ignored them. And by ignoring these things, I was allowing them to control me.

I suppose it’s like ignoring a ferocious animal in your living room- and then wondering why your furniture is half eaten when you get home from work.

I looked at my black hole, and I saw all of these swirling black things.. like looking into a huge basin of black sludge and oil. I didn’t really know what to do about it. I was a mess. He then showed me his own black hole. I experienced this in multiple ways- the most prominent being through his own mythology. We took the basic myth of Set felling Osiris, and then he laced it with anger, jealousy, rage. He wove a story about how everyone got all of the good things, but he constantly got shafted. He showed how being the middle child, being the lesser son, having many people dislike you- how all of these things can create these demons, these problems- this pit that lives in your heart. He took every myth I could find of him, and warped it into something dark and angry. I have no clue if he actually felt some of this stuff in correlation to the myths, or if it’s reverb from people warping the myths themselves, or if he just tells a good story. But at the time, I could see where he was coming from. I could see the bitterness, the anger and anguish that lay beneath the cool exterior.

I could see myself in him.

The biggest difference being- he had control of all of that stuff. Those emotions were in check. They were his to use and manipulate- not to be manipulated by. Because he acknowledged all of this dark stuff, he was able to use it to his advantage. And it was exactly this that he wanted me to become.

So how did he do this? He took me to the edge of my pit, and kicked me in. Sparta style.

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And thus began the cycle. I spent months in this pit. In fact, I think I was there for at least a year. The pit is best described in feeling and color. It’s dark, it’s warm. There are reds and blacks- but mostly black. It’s deafening. All you can hear is yourself, your emotions, your thoughts- every bad thing you could ever imagine or think of lives there. It’s awful. And even worse- its inside you.

It’s inside you. Inside me. Inside all of us. In each of us lies a dark hole that is filled with all the bad stuff we could ever imagine. It’s only a question of if we choose to acknowledge it and work with it- or completely ignore it. In many ways, this part of the cycle is a lot like Dark Flame work within FlameKeeping. You must go into the darkness that is within yourself. And you must live with it, and become it, and embrace it before you can triumph over it.

And it took me months to even get a grip on anything. It took my anger months to get to a point where it was sated and quelled. It took me months to get a point where I could even think with a remotely clear mind. But even then, it wasn’t over. Once you can stand in the pit, you then have to find a way to crawl back out of it again. Once the anger was no longer boiling over, I needed to figure out a means to take hold of it. Only then could I find a way out. And the way out was filled with plenty of screaming, rage, and anger.

That is where Set told me to go look into Shinto. If there is anything that Shinto can address it’s peace, coming together, seeing the good in the bad. Things like that. And through working with Shinto (and a million other changes in my life), I began to see light at the end of the tunnel. I began to slowly crawl out of my own pit.

About this time, Set began to tell me that I needed to make my two halves whole. I was currently two parts, two portions, two mes at war with one another. That this journey into the Pit was ending, but that there was more in store for me.

And ‘lo, as I come out of the pit, I found myself at a river…

Other parts of this series:

 
 

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Osirian Mysteries: A Ritual

Long before I came to Kemeticism, when I still identified as a Wiccan, my SO concocted a rite to do for Osiris, which he taught to me. I can’t really say where he got the idea from- neither of us really knew much about Kemeticism or its holidays. But the rite seemed to fit, and the more I’ve learned over the years, the more I see the correlation between it and the Mysteries of Osiris. I had written about my rites briefly last year, but this year I’d like to do a full ‘tutorial’ on the rites I perform every year for O. This is based entirely off of UPG, but I think that this UPG is rather applicable to this holiday. The rite I’ve written out below isn’t exactly the original format- the ritual has grown and changed a little bit over the years that I’ve done it. It’s a growing practice and feel free to modify it to fit your needs as well.

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The first step is to cleanse yourself in whatever format you feel works best. You will then want to cleanse your shrine area and icon as well. This can be as simple as wiping it down with a cloth, or going as all out as using natron, incense, etc.

Then, create mound of sand in center of shrine area. In my case, I placed the sand in a small dish- so that it wouldn’t go everywhere. I use the sand for multiple reasons. One, it purifies the area. It creates a clean space to place the icon on (this was typically done in the Opening of the Mouth rites as well (Eternal Egypt, 292)). For me, the mound of sand recalls Zep Tepi, the first time. It stands for rebirth, change, and growth- which is what the Mysteries is all about.

I then take my icon, and wrap it in its entirety in a specific blue cloth that I have. This cloth is only used for this purpose. I don’t use it for anything else. Originally, the blue represented the water. For me, Osiris is the river, it is his domain (and in some cases, the location of his felling), so the blue made perfect sense. According to Wilkinson, the color blue could “represent the heavens as well as the primeval flood, as will be seen, and in both ways it functioned as a symbol of life and rebirth. …Blue could represent the river Nile and its associated crops, offerings and fertility..” Once again, we have rebirth as the theme.

If you don’t have a blue cloth, I think the next best choices for colors would be green (for the vegetative aspects of the Mysteries), black (for the black fertile silt that allows the crops to grow) or something that is remniscent of the sky or Nut- such as a cloth with stars on it (this is tied to the Imywt fetish and also the practice of painting Nut on the lids of coffins- she is often used as a vehicle for his rebirth).

You will then place icon on the mound of sand.

I then perform a Ka embrace on the statue. You can say whatever you like, or nothing at all. The typical words that accompany the Ka embrace in Eternal Egypt are:

Djehuty has come to you. Awake when you hear his words.
I have come as the envoy of Atum.
My two arms are upon you like those of Heru.
My two hands are upon you like those of Djehuty.
My fingers are upon you like those of Anpu.
Homage be to you, I am a living servant of Osiris/Wesir.

I then present offerings to Osiris. These are to accompany him during his trip to the Duat. Typically, I will offer incense, water and bread. I think that flowers would also be appropriate. Use your discretion, and use something that won’t go horribly bad if left out for quite a while. And, yes, Re-ment is still an option here. You can present these offerings with words, or without.

I then close up my shrine for the duration of my celebration (which I celebrate for a full month- New moon to new moon). If you don’t have doors, I’d recommend draping a cloth of some type over the shrine.

I do this for a couple of reasons. One, this is the time when Osiris is gone. He’s been taken from us, he’s in the river, Aset is searching, Heru and Set are battling it out- it’s a time of chaos and loss. This is the field after the seeds have been planted. You know that the seeds are there- but you can’t see the plants just yet. The whole purpose is to notice a loss. And for me, it doesn’t really sink in as a loss until I can’t see him for such a duration. For my own personal practice, the point is to mourn his loss. You can’t mourn him if you can go see him in shrine (see the icon) every day.  Second, I go a full month for cycle and completion. The moon disappears during the New Moon phase, as Osiris has disappeared from us. And I feel that waiting out the full cycle of the moon helps to bring out the full cycle of rebirth that Osiris goes through.

I then place my Anup and Aset statues on top of my shrine. If I had a representation of Nebhet, I’d place her there, too. These three are heavily laced with the mythology of Osiris. Anup helps to protect and embalm Osiris. He helps Aset and Nebhet find pieces and put him back together. Aset and Nebhet are the primary mourners of Osiris’ loss. So I like to involve them in the process.

I keep the shrine closed for the full month. During this time, I will leave offerings on the outside of the shrine. Offerings could be of any format- words, food, candles, items- whatever. I usually use this time to notice how my practice and life feel different without him being right there. I usually reflect on the nature of death, rebirth and sacrifice.

Once the month is up, I open the shrine, revert the offerings (I typically won’t eat these ones :P), unwrap the statue and set the shrine back up in its normal format. I then lay a big spread out for Osiris and celebrate in his return, his rebirth.

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I know that many people don’t consider Osiris’ mythos to be that of rebirth, but for me it plays a heavy role. I tend to work with Osiris as a vegetative deity. A god of the land, of agriculture. He is the land of Egypt. He is what sustains the people. And every year, the river, land and vegetation of Egypt go through a cycle of death and rebirth. The river recedes, the land dries up, the plants die. And then the waters issue forth in the inundation, the silt is deposited, seeds planted, live is grown, cared for and cut down to feed the people. For me, he is intrinsically linked to all of this, so most of my rites to him involve layers of death and rebirth- as well as sacrifice, as he has to sacrifice himself so that others may live.

Please let me know if any of you try this format of ritual and the type of response you get from it. I think that the Mysteries can have a profound effect on you, as you continually consider what life and death mean to you, and the fact that death must occur in order for life to continue. I’d love to hear anyone’s experiences from any Mysteries rites that participate in this year!

Also, please check out my article about this over on Shrine Beautiful. There are more pictures of my setup there for you to enjoy!

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Kemeticism

 

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Still Waters Run Deep

Recently I have felt O hanging around me. Unlike Set, Osiris is a lot more subtle in communicating with me. Set is a lot like a dust storm- you can’t avoid it. It’s a gigantic wall of sand and debris that you can’t run away from. Even your shelter might not save you from the brunt of the storm. He is completely in your face. Osiris reminds me of roots. He comes from different angles. You see little messages here and there. And he has no issue with having others send you his messages to get the point across. The more you ignore him, the more the roots will surround you, coming at all these different angles. Eventually, they will be inescapable because you’ll be completely choked by them.

Set is like an alarm clock meets a tv with 24/7 static. Osiris is like soft whispers that slowly make you go mad.

And lately, Osiris has wanted something. I figure it has to do with the work I started for him last year. Much like before, whenever I go to the place where he wants me to be, I see the river. I see myself under the water. Unlike before, I can see the sun shining through the water- but always I return to the water.

There have been people who are willing to do oracles for me, to help me sort out what could be going on. I decided to try it out- just to see what I got back. Today, I got back an oracle from Hekate. It reads:

“You are looking for something that lies on the bottom of a deep well but you shall never reach it if you try to spare yourself from getting wet in Ancestral Waters.”

At first, I was not sure what to make of it. I don’t really fear my ancestors. Truth is, they hold very little interest for me. And to figure out what I’m afraid of (afraid of getting wet with), I would need to decipher what the water represents. So far, I have come up with two potential meanings.

1. My soul-line ancestors. People I was before and the influence those people can have on me now.
2. My waking family. Not ancestors yet, but still from my physical family.

The first aspect is really a fear situation. There is a whole separate part of my life that I no longer live. I closed the door and I don’t want it to be open again. I don’t see any benefit from opening said door again. And as it stands, I will likely be tackling this aspect after I get a better grasp of the family situation.

So about my family.

My family makes me miserable in most cases. My bio-father was never around, and my step-father is no prize either. Most of my family members are problem causers and drama fanatics who love to wreak havoc. They are also the sort of people who say “OMG I love you so much!”, yet they don’t have the time of day for you. They are everything I can’t stand in a person. They also played a role in creating a lot of the issues I have to this day.

You see, when I was living out of the state, it was really easy to ignore my family. They were far away. They couldn’t drive down the street to see me. They didn’t know what hours I was working, they knew very little about what was going on- so it was totally understandable that almost no one in my family called me or spoke to me. But then I had the misfortune of moving back to the desert. Down here, I have almost all of my mother’s side of the family within an hour’s drive. I can go and see three generations of family at any point in time if I want. We’re all here.

And all moving back here did was push in my face how little anyone even noticed I was gone.

I live an hour to an hour and a half from my mother. I work less than ten minutes away from where she works. You know how often I see her? I see her once per month for about 20 minutes when I drop cat food off to her. If I never dropped off the cat food, I’d see her maybe twice per year.

I have two aunts and uncles that live an hour from me. They throw lots of parties for family members- birthdays, mother’s day- that sort of thing. Guess who never makes the invite list (and the one time that I did, I was ignored the whole evening).

I have grandparents (whom I love so dearly) who drive right past my house to go visit my cousin and uncle regularly. They have never been to my house. They never call and say ‘hey, let’s meet up for lunch’. Nothing. I only find out they’ve been up there after the fact.

These are the types of issues that perhaps need to be worked on. The feeling of being unwanted. The feeling of never being worthwhile, or worth anyone’s time. I prospects of being unloved and alone. The constant feeling of being the square peg trying to fit in the round hole.

There is another layer to this as well, though. The layer and question of- do I really want to maintain a relationship with these people who apparently don’t give a crap about me? If they have traits that I can’t stand, and they never bother giving me the time of day- do I really want to try and mend that? I think the answer depends on the person in question. There are some family members that I would LOVE to have a relationship with. And there are some that I really don’t care whether they stick around or not.

If this is the case, why do I care what the latter folks think of me? Why does it matter? What is the deeper problem nagging at me and creating these issues?

I suppose that is the real question.

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