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Eating a Mystery

A few weeks ago I was getting ready for my shower when I suddenly got this memo that went something like “don’t forget that you need to be preparing for the Mysteries this year.” It struck me as odd, since I haven’t really done anything for the Year of Rites since October, and for the NTRW to not harp me on that, but instead decide I needed to perform the Mysteries really seemed out of character.

I asked the “memo” what I needed to focus on for the Mysteries, and I received one line, it said “Glorify your father.

In the matter of a few seconds, my brain raced in several directions with this. First off, the word father really seemed highlighted to me, and there are two reasons for that. First is the mythological component. Osiris’ myths are frequently centered on Horus and his quest to avenge his father and take back what’s his. Second, you’ve got the historical context in that every Osiris relies on his eldest son to give him a proper funeral and to maintain his cult to at least some degree. Both of these aspects would place me in the role of Horus glorifying my father, and have fairly straight-forward heka connotations.

But what really caught me was the third place my brain went.

While I understand that the NTRW can use familial terms for some people, it’s never been the case for me. Further, if there was a NTR out there that I would use familial terms with, it certainly isn’t Osiris. But there is another person that frequently gets labeled specifically as father (as opposed to “dad” or some other similar label, it’s always father) and that would be good ol’ Father-Lover. Would I need to incorporate aspects of my rebirth/rebuilding process into this? Or perhaps more accurately — had the NTRW decided to insert themselves into my process without letting me know? I wasn’t pleased with the idea.

Between all of these concepts, though, there is one vein of similarities: you become your father.

Ultimately, the reason Osiris gets it on with Aset is largely to make sure that he continues on through his son. Ultimately, the son and father overlap and become one mythologically speaking (hence Bull of His Mother) and so in some respects, I would argue that you could potentially interchange the two to some extent. And when it comes to Father-Lover, well, its just that we are literally the same being spread across two forms. We are ultimately one and the same on some level or another.

So I began to mull on this. If glorifying my father ultimately ends up glorifying myself… what would glorification look like? The word “glorify” means to praise or present admirably, perhaps unjustifiably so. It is what nearly every Kemetic ritual aims to do — to beautify the NTRW in the hopes that they will remain gracious to us. It is also through this process of glorification that we ensure that the rhythmic needs of the Duat are sustained and maintained. Re needs to go into the Duat each night, he needs to push back a/pep each day, he and Osiris need to meet in order to revitalize the Duat and its residents. Just like nature, everything has a rhythm and a cycle. Part of our end of the deal is performing the rituals and doing the acts that sustain these cycles.

To consider this concept on myself, we all need a healthy attitude about ourselves. We would all lead more fulfilling and less-miserable lives if many of us weren’t constantly being self-defeating or putting ourselves down. To glorify yourself would ultimately mean to feed into your inherent regenerative nature. And so I asked myself what would help sustain me most?

I then switched back to considering the historical contexts of glorifying your father — what do akhu value most from their families? What do we often see most often for helping the akhu? And the answer I came back with was:

The voice offering, in my opinion, is the quintessential akhu rite out there. There are lots of people who know nothing about Kemeticism, but know about the “thousands of beer, bread, and every good thing” voice offering that was left to the akhu of the necropolis. The most important thing a son could do for his father was to offer the basic necessities of life so that his father could continue to live in the Duat. And when I think about what the best offering that you could give would be, I thought of the foreleg. The foreleg is, by far, the piece de resistance in the Opening the Mouth ceremony. Everything in the ritual crescendos when you pull out the choice cut of meat and offer all of its contained vitality to the statue/mummy.

I thought to myself, could I offer myself the foreleg instead? Could I offer it to both of us simultaneously?

One of the suggestions after my post about my eating issues interfering with being able to offer to the gods regularly was the idea of drawing foods, and offering the drawing. In response to this, I began to offer my paper foreleg amulet to the NTRW as a stand-in meal. And so the connection between the foreleg and the offering of foods went full circle, and I thought to myself “what if I offer a meal to myself every day? So that instead of doing offerings at a shrine that are couched inside of a larger ritual, the act of feeding myself becomes the ritual.” And in response, I heard “what if you did it three times per day?” (since, you know, we’re supposed to eat three meals a day.)

So I guess that means I’m eating three times per day for the Mysteries.

I admit, this is strange to me. It feels like a cop out, like I’m just using something I “already do,” and saying that it’s a good replacement for “proper rituals” at a shrine, as I have been doing all year. But to cite that post I mentioned above: I don’t really eat regularly. Or at least, I don’t eat as regularly as I should. So it’s actually quite a challenge for me, since I won’t be able to eat depression meals and call it a day. Even though it feels like a cop out, it’s going to actually be a challenge for me to do this for any length of time.

I decided I needed to check through other means to make sure that I was on the right track, and the response I got was so direct and straightforward that it was hard to deny the answer, so I guess this means I’m eating three times per day for the Mysteries. Which O dictated that it’s to be a month, as it’s always been. So I’m eating three times per day for a month. I’m sure that’ll be riddled with success.

The general idea of how this is supposed to go is that I’m to treat each meal as an event that requires my full attention. I’m to focus on myself, the food I’m eating, and try not to let myself get super distracted by the Internet, my phone, thoughts, or what have you. The meals need to have enough substance to them that they can be called meals. So for example, just eating a piece of bread and walking away is not good enough. It needs to big enough to fill me up (a challenge.)

The biggest question I am left with when it comes to doing this is the following: when we typically do rituals, there is a layer of separation involved. You offer to the gods, separate from you, and then you take the food into yourself afterwards. The path is outwards (to the gods) then inwards (when you eat it.) But what happens when you skip the outwards part? What happens when both the offering and the consuming are done in one step, at the same time, with both parties being overlapped? And is O doing this because he wants me to take care of myself, or is he wanting me to do this because of the overlap I just mentioned?

I guess we’ll see.

 

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The Inert One

Today is the first epagomenal day, and because I felt the urge, let’s talk about Osirian change as it relates to one of his epithets: The Inert One.

I have been thinking about the Osirian cycles of rebirth a lot this year — specifically the second hour. The second hour is where the deceased, now being inert, has to choose to move forward or to stay in their inertness. I’ve mentioned several times these past two years about how the inert ones have seemingly captured my attention (because I’ve felt inert for years now), and they are still pretty centered and focused in my mind.

In this specific instance (at least), I do believe I know why my brain is so heavily focused on the inert ones, and that is because everywhere I look, I feel like I am constantly seeing people stuck in inertia. They may not entirely be inert, but they are inert enough that they aren’t moving forward in the ways they want to, and every time I see it in action, a part of me gets really upset/sad.

Just like in my last post where I mentioned that while I understand that these Osirian rebirth texts are supposed to be for the dead and not the living, I can’t help but draw parallels between them. As someone who has spent a fair amount of time being inert, I know what its like to have a blind spot, to not realize that despite all of the ground you think you’re making, you’re actually not making ground at all. A house built on sand will not last long, and I have made plenty of houses on malformed foundations in the hopes that it’ll work.

I find it interesting how often my work with both Set and Osiris brings me back to foundations. Set was always very big into telling me to build solid foundations. While most of you know that it was in relation to building our community — that only strong foundations would allow a community like ours to last — I have also had to sit through plenty of pontificating and lecturing from him (and others) about how my own life needs to be built on a solid foundation in order for other parts to function properly. To use the metaphor above: the doors in your house won’t work very well if everything is cockeyed due to uneven foundations. If the foundation is made poorly, everything else above it suffers.

On the flip side, I have always talked about Osiris being the tree outside that secretly grows its roots into your foundation — that by the time you realize what has happened, its too late to do anything, and now you need to call a repair person to fix your house. Even though Set is known for his chaos and destruction of bad habits to lay way for better habits, I think Osiris and his methods of rebirth are an under-sung variation of what Set does.

The key difference being that Set is like the Kool Aide Man, and doesn’t care if you want him there or not, where as Osiris mandates that you have to want to be there. Roberts talks about it in her book:

“Osirian renewal requires a conscious and voluntary entry into the underworld realm, and active desire to fulfill the unification of the living and the dead.”

So one of the key components to overcoming the inertia of hour two is to actually want to overcome it enough to actually move forward. Osiris has this in his own mythology, where he is being kept safe inside of a space enclosed by a snake, and Osiris has to gather enough gumption to force the snake to let him go because all the snake wanted to do was keep him there safe forever (sounds like a coming-of-age trope).

We have to want it. And sometimes it seems like we really do want it, and still can’t seem to make it happen. What is it that stops us from moving forward when we believe we do actually want to?

It’s been my experience that a lot of people stay stuck because of avoidance. You avoid doing the work that needs to be done in order to move forward, so you stay put. Turns out, psychology has a lot to say about what causes people to avoid things. In short, its because your body doesn’t feel like it can handle whatever the doing will bring forth for you to deal with. Sometimes that’s something like a fear of failure, other times it might be a worry that you’ll lose something important, or perhaps that you can’t handle the idea of losing your cool in front of someone over it (notice the common themes of fear and loss of control in all of these.)

It also turns out that we typically behave based off of what we expect, regardless of whether we’re conscious of that expectation or not. So if you expect it to be a shitshow that you can’t really handle, you will essentially avoid it as long as possible. If you’re living with three spoons and you expect it to be a five-spoon task, you may never actually get around to doing it.

For example, I avoided going to the doctor for months while my health degraded because I was worried that it would be way more work than I could handle. I expected that most of the doctors would be useless (they were,) and I worried it would be more emotionally draining and taxing than beneficial. I expected not to receive help, so I avoided even trying because of how daunting the whole ordeal felt it would be.

Avoidance tactics are largely used by people who are completely overwhelmed and burned out. When your body is on its last legs and feels like everything is just Too Much, you will start to avoid things almost reflexively because your body is trying to protect you from taking on more than it can handle. Likely because you are already taking on more than you can handle. This is further entrenched because we often will side with whatever is familiar over whatever is unfamiliar — especially if we’re burned out. So even if its uncomfortable and Awful, you may still stay right where you’re at because at least its familiar.

My grandmother used to have a little quip for these sorts of situations: a dog is laying on a nail poking out of a step, a guy yells at the owner for not making the dog get up off of it, and the owner replies, “I’m not making him lay there! When the nail hurts enough, the dog will get up on his own.” She used to sum it up as “the nail doesn’t hurt bad enough yet, does it?”

And its pretty true. Most of us move because we’ve been forced to move (hello Setian change) or it got bad enough that we are finally motivated to make the choice to move (hello Osirian change.) It’s difficult to enact large-scale change when you’re living in a constant state of near burn out (which is why you should start out with small-scale change,) and so it often takes outside forces to push us to do whatever needs to be done. It’s a shame that so many of us are stuck in these cycles.

As we move into the new year, I think it behooves us to ask ourselves about our state of inertness:

  1. In what areas of your life are you currently inert? What are you avoiding working on or addressing?
  2. When you think of these things you are avoiding, what comes up? How does it make you feel? What is holding you back?
  3. What can you do to address these feelings or things that hold you back?
  4. What are you giving up in order to stay comfortably where you are?
  5. Where would you rather be instead? What can you do to get there?

Maybe by becoming more intimate and aware about the things that keep us inert, and why we let them keep us inert, we’ll be able to overcome our inertia and actualize all of the rebirths that we’re aiming to experience.

How often do you examine your inertness? If you took the time to try to answer the questions above, what did you find?

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2019 in Kemeticism, Rambles

 

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Carrying My Father; pt 2

I have been doing akhu rites for the better part of six months now. Every time I have written the rubrics or performed the rites, my mind has always pictured me doing work for Osiris, the deity that pushed me to do akhu rites to begin with. But this month shifted my impressions of these rites as I got to experience a “slow” death first hand. Suddenly, more and more of the words were describing actions I was doing here in the physical for a man who was in the dying process. This post is to document the parallels I found between caregiving and ritualized tidbits I found in the Coffin Texts about tending to Osiris.

Hail to you who mourns the Bull of the West, who folds her arms on account of the Inert One within the secret place of the Great Hall; who knits up the soul, who builds up the shade and who gives breath to the Inert One in this her name of ‘Her who is in attendance on her lord’.

I’m semi surprised that I didn’t notice it before, but it wasn’t until I had to start doing 24/7 levels of caregiving that I really realized that caregiving is ultimately one of the biggest forms of “attending” to a person that you can do. While I understand that a lot of these rites are meant to be for someone who is already dead, and that the attending is more about preparing the body for funerary rites, in this situation it felt very applicable. When someone moves into pre-active, and finally into active dying, the caregiving you must give them is almost a full-time affair.

In the case of my grandfather, it got to where you had to assist him with almost everything. Getting out of bed. Going outside to smoke. Getting to the bathroom. Getting to the kitchen. Putting on clothing (if he bothered to change at all.) Drinking. Sometimes eating. Your life suddenly revolves around one other person because they’re not able to do very much for themself anymore. I can’t imagine a better picture of what it means to “attend” to someone as you’re facilitating almost all aspects of a person’s comfort and needs.

I belong to the House of Osiris, I watch over it; I veil his limpness, I ease his severe suffering for him; I know what Sia knows, and a path is opened for me, for I am the Lord of Air.

Nobody told me how much laundry you generate when someone is dying.

As much of a difficulty as it was to keep the house clean before things started to really ramp up, the pre-active dying process makes taking care of your “house of Osiris” all the more complicated. Because you’re busy helping a person get around, you find that dishes pile up, that things don’t get done, and slowly everything starts to look a little sad.

But the laundry. You see, when you start to really die, your bowels kinda do their own thing. You’ll relieve yourself in bed on accident because some part of you never got the memo to wake you up to go to the bathroom. There were days when we went through three or four pairs of pants and underwear. Where we needed to replace the sheets in the morning and again in the evening.

Another key job was to “veil his limpness” by making sure that he still looked presentable right up until the bitter end. To me, this plays right into “ease his severe suffering for him,” because you’re not only easing the physical pain via helping administer medications, but you’re also easing the pain of the ego from all of the inability to function. I remember one of the last days my grandfather was alive, I asked him if he was hurting anywhere, and he told me the only thing that hurt was his pride.

Due to my chronic conditions, I’m more or less used to having to give up parts of my autonomy to get things done. I’m used to needing assistance for a fair amount of things. However, for people who have never had to experience such a thing, it’s not easy to not be able to care for yourself. It’s not easy to lose your autonomy. It’s not easy to not even be able to go to the bathroom alone. And part of easing that pain, in my experience, was to create as much normalcy as possible. Treating him like a full-fledged adult up until the end, and never forgetting that there was a person with emotions still resting inside of the body, even after he had gone into his final coma.

To me, it was vital to achieve these things in order for him to have a relatively smooth time of processing the death he was about to experience.

I will not be ignorant of my path to the realm of the dead, for I am a spirit whose mouth is hale, and magic is what equips me according to my desire. I have come free from corruption, I have poured away my foulness.

Despite it being a well-documented thing, so very few people actually know what happens during the dying process. There are tons of web pages that outline what you can expect before you die, and its very unsettling how predictable and “expected” some aspects can be. Many of these things are more neutral-to-positive in nature including giving away of possessions, writing letters or tying up loose ends with other people, and having dreams about dead relatives/friends or your life.

While there are no proven reasons behind why some of these things happen (beyond “its your body shutting down”), there are a lot of people who believe that so many of the steps that a dying person goes through is simply their body trying to prepare them, and make them okay for the death they are about to endure. In many ways, you are “pouring away your foulness” by overcoming hurdles that prevented you from accepting things in your earlier years. Sometimes people will have a complete 180 in their attitude towards dying once they start to have these events happen, and in a way, it is sort of it’s own “magic” that your body equips for you.

Lady of All in the secret place; to whom Osiris turns his back in these his moments of inertness;

However, not every aspect of the pre-active drying phase is seen as being beneficial or even neutral. As it turns out, when your brain starts to shut down and misfire from your body slowly going, you might begin to do all sorts of things. Night terrors, screaming, agitation, and anger are all things that have been reported during the final phase of life. There is even something called “terminal restlessness” that often gets assigned to people who are particularly, well, restless throughout the process.

As I watched my grandfather muck through these particular aspects of dying, I couldn’t help but think of the statements about how Osiris is a Lord of Terror, how it is terrifying to be dying. How someone who is becoming increasingly restless and foreign can be a semi-scary thing to deal with day in and day out. That no amount of happy hormones from their brain can erase the fact that sometime in the near future, this person will no longer exist as we know them to exist. And that further, throughout these periods of difficulty, its not uncommon for your soon-to-be Osiris to completely forget who you are. And yet, you still have to take care of them and deal with whatever shows up.

Hail to you, Mourner of Osiris, Companion of the Bull of Nedit who makes the mummy-wrappings to breathe, who veils the limpness, to whom Osiris has turned his back, helper of the embalmer Anubis when treating the body of the Inert One.

When using this metaphor, I would say that I am Aset, my grandfather would be Osiris, and hospice would be Anup. By far, I would encourage anyone who is coming into the final cusps of death to reach out to hospice or palliative care, because they were very helpful in getting me anything that I needed throughout the process.

I will be frank and mention that two thirds of my family believes that hospice somehow made my grandfather die sooner, but I honestly think it couldn’t be further from the truth. They gave us access to so many resources we would not have had otherwise. It was great to have an RN that I could ask questions to, because when you start to really get deep into caregiving, you end up taking on a lot of responsibilities that you’re not trained for.

Have you ever been taught how to properly fold and place a draw sheet on a bed? I certainly wasn’t, at least not until hospice sent me someone to teach me. Even though I was the one dealing with everything on a daily basis, at the end of the day, I felt like I was more of an assistant, relying on people who knew more about this than I did, to help guide me through the proper care of someone who was dying.

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

When my grandfather was still relatively “with it,” I let him associate with whoever he wanted, however he wanted. Most everyone that he had contact with had been informed that he had dementia, and that his behaviours could change or be out of character periodically, they technically were prepared for any oddities that he displayed (I say technically, because they were still mostly in denial up until the bitter end.) However, when my grandfather entered into dying, he was no longer able to make those decisions. Instead, those decisions fell to me.

One of the last days that my grandfather was still able to semi-function, I asked him about whether he wanted certain family members around. I mostly wanted to do this so that I could get a good idea of whether any of these people was vital to his ability to have a peaceful death, since some people do request time with specific folks before they go. However, grandpa wasn’t particularly interested in some folks, and when I discovered that, I knew that I would need to consider what role, if any, they played in his dying process.

Relations with my family have been strained throughout the entire caregiving process that has occurred over the past year and a half, so I’m sure you can imagine how mixed it got when it came to light that I didn’t involve certain people in the final 48 hours of life. For me, this was about protecting my “Osiris.” It was about making sure that none of his last conscious moments was filled with stress or drama. As I tried to explain to my relatives, my job was to facilitate his peaceful passing, not their ego.

Just as Osiris, when my grandfather entered the final stage of his life, he had virtually no ability to defend himself or make choices for himself. He had wholly become the Inert One. It is vital to be careful in who you select to oversee those final moments of your life.

Hail to you, Lady of offerings at whom Osiris rejoices when he sees her, whose great wall is an owner of possessions; who brings air, who gives offerings, who presides over the throne in the secret places of the Netherworld; who clears the vision of the Bull of Djedu, who split open his mouth and split open his eyes when the Inert One asked; who gathered together his arms and legs, who laid Osiris down in [ … ,] who gave abundance to the Lord of the Flood on the desert plateau; who gave offerings. Open a path for the Inert One to the abode of embalming, the pillared bark.

One of the benefits of utilizing hospice was that our “path” to the “abode of embalming” didn’t involve an ambulance. Instead, they will send someone out to collect the body and take it to the morgue. You are asked to give any specific instructions or items to be left with the body during the processing of the body, and then its more or less out of your hands.

It’s a surreal feeling going from doing nearly constant work for someone, only to have the entire space vacant and empty. Figuring out what to do with your time, how to refocus your life, is a little bit daunting. The process leaves not only the Osiris changed, but the Lady of Offerings is changed as well.

O my father Osiris, here am I; I have come to you, for I have smitten Seth for you, I have slain his confederacy, I have smitten them who smote you, I have cut down them who cut you down. I am one who overcomes with strength, the heir of everything; I myself have guarded my body, I have felled my foes, and I have created it, this new state(?) in which I am.

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2019 in Kemeticism, Rambles, Year of Rites

 

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Wep Ronpet 2019 Epagomenal Days Rubrics

As part of my year of rites, I was told that I needed to do “proper rites” for Wep Ronpet. O left the details vague, but I think that’s because he knows that I already know what I consider to be “proper rites” for Wep Ronpet, and so he’s essentially holding me to my own standard. So while I would love to skip out on so much stuff and only do something on the day of Wep Ronpet, I already know he won’t let me.

So without further ado, here is my schedule for Wep Ronpet this year:

  • July 28: Propitiation rites
  • July 29: Rites to Osiris
  • July 30: Rites to Heru Wer
  • July 31: Monthly Ma’at rites and rites to Set
  • Aug 1: Rites to Aset
  • Aug 2: Rites to Nebhet
  • Aug 3: Wep Ronpet rites including execrations

For the propitiation rites, I will be using a copy of the current propitiation rites that we’re using with a few nods to it being the end of the year mixed in. The rubrics for the epag days are below. For whatever reason, I felt inclined to make these rubrics purely from my dome instead of scouring the CT for material to build around. I don’t know if its because I know I couldn’t concentrate enough to read the CT right now, or if its something else, but if the cadence (and length, tbh) seems different to you, that’s probably why.

For the day of Wep Ronpet itself, I’m going to be reusing the rubric from 2019’s new year rites. It’s a little bit lazy, but writing rubrics takes time, and time is not something I’ve had a lot of. I think that moving forward, it may behoove me to make a ritual for each year that works for both the civil and the Kemetic new year, so that way I can double up on the heka that the ritual contains while also saving myself some time.


Rites to Osiris

We are in the time between times
The place where vast, endless potential lives.
This is the place where you came into being.
Where all beings came into being.

Feel the potential touching your skin.
Feel the opportunities spread out before you.
As Sirius rises into the sky for the first time of this first time,
Allow yourself to be as free as you truly are.
Free to plant your roots where you see fit.
Free to rise up and claim what is yours.

Feel the nourishing exudations that seep into you.
Feel them change you, encourage you, push you towards growth.
Unfurl yourself towards the sun.
Reach up towards what reaches down towards you.

[Open shrine]

Stand up, rise up.
Grow like what comes forth from you.
Feel the kiss of Re upon your skin.
Feel the warmth of the Iyrt Re upon your brow.
Reach your arms towards the sky and seek their embrace.

Presentation of Light

As the sun shines across the Two Lands, bringing forth new life,
So too does the light shine throughout all of your shrines.
Bull of the West, see the light that glows in your shrine.
Feel its warmth awaken your sight.
Take this perfect offering to your self and become Whole through it.
Allow the healing warmth of Amun-Re into your eyes,
Whole and pure as the Eye of Horus.

Presentation of Water

I give you sustenance as the sun gives you sustenance.
As Hapy gives the flood that washes over the land,
Cleansing everything that it touches,
Restoring the balance after months of drought.
I give you this water that fills your cup and restores the fertile lands of your heart and soul.

Drink of it and be as renewed as the Two Lands.
Take this primordial water to yourself and be restored.
Revel in the cool taste of water as it nourishes your body.

Presentation of Food

O Ba Among the Akhs, feel the glowing sustenance that Re freely gives to you daily.
Feel its warmth settle into your skin and rejuvenate your bones.
Just as Sothis prepares these yearly offerings for you in her name of year,
So too have I prepared these yearly divinities in your name.
Come to your table and sit.
Be present with me and accept this sustenance that I have brought for you.
For I know you and I know your needs.
Allow me to attend to you as your son does.

Presentation of Ma’at

I present ma’at to you, O Lord of Ma’at.
Take her to your nose and breathe in her scent.
Allow her presence to sate you, to rejuvenate you.
Be with her until you are One.
Feel her presence within your heart,
Hear her guidance in your ears,
Feel her directions in your limbs.
Live your life in totality with her.

Take this Ma’at to your breast, O Lord.
Allow her into your presence forever and always.
Take her to you, and renew your youth in peace.

O Great God, feel your roots taking hold, your growth being impressive.
See the glory of what you have become, harnessing all of the potential in your path.
Feel the divinity of your unity with your balance.
Feel the stability that you exude.

Reversion of Offerings

O Lord of Abydos, the time of strife is gone, balance is restored,
And you are sated and firm upon your seat.
Your enemies withdraw from your presence, in all of your places
And your offerings are reverted to your servants
So that the cycle of reciprocity may continue on.


Rites to Heru-Wer

O Divine Falcon, whose plumage is matched by none.
Here me now with both of your ears,
See me with both of your eyes and come to me.
I have traversed the sky, I have divided the firmament,
I have followed the path of Kephri to be here with you,
Do not impede me upon your path.

We are in the time between times
The place where vast, endless potential lives.
This is the place where you came into being.
Where all beings came into being.
Meet me here on the cusp of the first time of this first time,
So that you may renew your youth and your beauty in peace.

[Open shrine]

O you of the horizons, who knows the ways of the Sun god
I have come today to revitalize you, to rejoice in your splendor
To attend to you and resound your glories.

Presentation of Light

I strike the flint to light the way ahead for you, O Lord of Knives.
I strike the flint to ensure that there is always a light shining in your shrines.
I strike the flint that brings the fire that drives away the enemies of the Two Lands
I strike the flint so that there will always be light to see the way.

Come to this light, O Beneficent God,
Take it to yourself, allow its glow to warm your limbs.
Come to this light, O Lord of Power,
Take it to yourself, feel its renewing power become one with you.
Come to this light and renew your youth in peace.

Presentation of Water

The yearly primordial water washes over the Two Lands restoring all that it touches.
The yearly primordial water washes over the Two Lands until only the horizons remain.
See here, see that I have traversed far across the Two Lands
And gathered this water to offer to my Lord.

Take this water to you, drink of it and be as renewed as the Two Lands.
Let it part your lips and quench your thirst.
Take this primordial water to yourself and be restored.
Allow it to permeate your body and rejuvenate you in every place you reside.

Presentation of Food

O Provider, let me provide for you as your provide for others,
As Hathor nourishes those who follow the NTRW.
Come to these provisions that I have crafted for you.
Great is your majesty when your heart is full with the purity of the eye of Horus.
Take this eye of Horus to yourself, partake of it, and be restored
Great is your majesty when the light of the eye of Horus radiates through you, glorious and complete.

Presentation of Ma’at

I present to you this Ma’at, O Great Lord.
Take this Ma’at to you, take her to your breast.
She takes up residence within you, she sits firmly upon her seat.
Allow her into your self, allow her to become one with you,
For you truly are one with Ma’at, you Lord of Ma’at.

O you god who shines brighter than Re himself,
Your plumage radiates the beauty and glory of Ma’at.
Her presence is ever enduring within you.
Take Ma’at to you daily as Re does
So that you may be enduring for ever and ever.

Reversion of Offerings

You are sated, O you brightest of the NTRW.
Your enemies are truly defeated and exist no more.
Ma’at has been restored to you, and you are firm upon your seat.
These your offerings are reverted to your servants,
So that they may continue to serve you, glorious and complete.


Rites to Set

Hear me, O you Lord of Thunder.
Hear me with both of you ears and listen to the words coming from my mouth.
Allow my words to draw you near to me in this space.
This space that balances between the old and new,
This time between times
The place where vast, endless possibility lives.
This is the place where you came into being.
Where all beings came into being.

Join me here in this space that embodies Ma’at.
Balanced between the old and the new,
But only momentarily before being ushered into the new year.
For every moment is changing, and nothing is forever constant .
Join me here you Lord of change.

[Open the shrine]

O you dread initiator who knows the ins and outs of constant change,
Come to me now so that I may bring Ma’at to you,
So that you will enter the new year refreshed,
Glorious and complete.

Presentation of Light

As the light rises in the east, so too does light rise in your shrines, in all of their places.
Come to this light, allow it to wash over you and rejuvenate your body.
Take this light to you, partake of this eye of Horus, whole and complete.
Take this eye of Horus to you, become renewed with vigor from its presence.

Truly, there shall always be a light shining for you
In each of your shrines in all of their places.
Truly, your name shall forever be enduring,
So long as the sun crosses the sky.

Presentation of Water

I present to you cool primordial water,
Take this water to you, take it to your lips and be refreshed by it.
The water runs over your temples, your shrines, your body,
And in so doing, all are refreshed, renewed and restored.

Take this water to you daily into the coming year
As Re takes Ma’at to himself daily.
Take this primordial water to yourself and be restored.
Allow it to permeate your body and rejuvenate you in every place you reside.

Presentation of Food

I bring these food offerings to you, Lord of the Storm.
See, they are the foes of the Two Lands, bound and set to the fire.
Come to these your offerings. May their scent fill you with hunger.
Be present with me and accept this sustenance that I have brought for you
Take these offerings to you and restore your body with them.
Take these offerings and renew your youth in peace.

Presentation of Ma’at

I have brought Ma’at to you, O god of glory.
I have brought Ma’at to you so that she may brighten your face.
Take this Ma’at to you, O Lord of Ma’at.
Take her to you and allow her to rest within your heart.
Take her to you and allow her seat to become firm.
Take her to you and allow her guidance to permeate your actions.
Take this Ma’at to you, and become whole and new like Zep Tepi.

Feel Ma’at as she resides within you.
Feel feel the joy that her presence brings to your life.
Hear the music that she sings within your heart.
Remember the joy and vibrancy of experiencing the whole.
Take Ma’at to you in her entirety, and exact the change that her judgement requires.

Reversion of Offerings

O Lord of the Desert, your enemies have withdrawn from you,
And all is restored to Ma’at throughout the Two Lands.
Your thirst is quenched, your stomach is full and you are firm upon your seat.
These your offerings revert to your servants
For as I live, you live, and as you live, I live.


Rites to Aset

O you lady of Gold,
I come to you, I ask to be in your presence.
I kneel before you, for your glory is unparalleled and well-known throughout the entirety of the Two Lands.
You have persevered and triumphed against great odds,
You have loved, lost, and regained in all of the majesty that is yours.
Come to me now, in this time between times
The place where vast, endless potential lives.
This is the place where you came into being.
Where all beings came into being.

I come to you, O Lady of Gold. Do not repulse me on your path.
Allow me into your presence, allow me close to you
So that I may extol your beauty and give you greatness
As we move into the new year.

[Open shrine]

Come to me, you defender of Re.
Come to me here so that I may give you these divinities.
So that you may enter the new year
Bright and with glory upon your brow.

Presentation of Light

O you who brought the bright light of Horus into the world,
Feel this light as it enters your shrine.
By the work of your hands, the Eye of Horus is strong throughout the Two Lands
Relish in your victories and bask in the light provided by your son.

This light shines throughout the Two Lands,
it vanquishes all of your enemies in all of their places.
This light shines for you for all eternity.
Truly, its light brightens your ka.
I bring you this light and place it at your feet
So that you may renew your youth in peace.

Presentation of Water

I bring to you this primordial water which has come forth from the Two Caverns.
The sweetest water in all the land, it brings brilliance your ka to drink of it.
Come to these cool waters that nourish you.
Take it to your lips and be quenched as the Two Lands is when the river floods yearly.
Feel the greenness of your heart growing when you take the waters to you
Feel the joy as it expands in your heart.

Presentation of Food

I am Hathor, the lady of nourishment,
And I have gathered the choicest items from all of the lands to offer to my mistress.
See, I have brought you these provisions for your subsistence.
Sit firmly upon your seat and take these offerings to yourself and be sated.
They will nourish your body and sustain you into the new year.

Presentation of Ma’at

I place this Ma’at before you.
She takes up seat in all of your shrines in all of their places.
Reunite with this Ma’at, O Lady of Ma’at.
For you are truly one, and as she lives, you live.

Ma’at’s scent permeates your residence.
Her perfume fills your nose and the air is weighty with her presence and exuberance.
Be one with Ma’at, take her to your breast.
Bring all of the guidance and virtue of Ma’at with you into the upcoming year.

Reversion of Offerings

O shining goddess, your enemies have withdrawn from you, and balance has been restored throughout the Two Lands.
You have returned victorious and complete, shining upon your seat.
You have taken the eye of Horus to you in its name of reversion of offerings.
Your offerings now revert back to your servants,
So that the cycle of giving between us shall never be broken.


Rites to Nebhet

I call out to you O Goddess of the West.
All shining in gold, your radiance is known throughout the Two Lands.
Mistress of Ma’at, hear my words with both of your ears.
May my words please you and bring you near to me,
So that we may celebrate this last day before the first Zep Tepi of the new year.

We are at the end of the time between times
The place where vast, endless potential lives.
This is the place where you came into being.
Where all beings came into being.
Let us gather up this potential from this place,
Gather it with our arms and carry it forward with us
As we cross the threshold into the new year.

[Open shrine]

I come to you beautiful goddess, do not repulse me upon your path.
I have come to you so that I may present to you these divinities,
To sing of your praises and resound your glories.
So that you may be well-equipped as we move into the new year.

Presentation of Light

The light comes forth, radiating from the east every morning.
It’s radiance is only dimmed by your brilliance, you Lady of the house.
I give you this light, O Protector, take it to you.
It’s rays wash over your body, restoring you.
Bask in these rays, feel their warmth on your skin.
Feel it sinking into your limbs, making you renewed and whole.
Take this eye of Horus to your countenance, glorious and complete.

Presentation of Water

The waters of the Two Caverns have started to wash over the land,
Covering it in renewal, fertility and growth.
I have gathered this refreshing water for my Mistress.
I bring this water to you, see your beauty in its crystalline reflection.

I pour the water for you, my Goddess.
Take this water to your self, bring it to your lips and taste its sweet taste.
Quench your thirst, the water does well for the greenness in your heart.
Partake of the water, O Lady of the House, and renew your youth in peace.

Presentation of Food

I bring you cakes, you protector of Osiris.
I fill your offering plates with all of the bounty that the land has to offer.
Come to these your divinities and enjoy in their flavors.
Take this eye of Horus to yourself so that your body will be whole.
Take this eye of Horus to yourself so that your body will be strong,
So that you may start the new year sated and refreshed.

Presentation of Ma’at

I offer you Ma’at on this day, as you offer Ma’at to Atum.
Partake of this Ma’at, as Re does daily.
Truly, your beauty radiates ever further when Ma’at is within your heart.
Truly your power is mighty when Ma’at is firm upon her seat.
Ma’at is in all of your shrines, in all of their places.
She sits before you, she sits within you. She is yours forever.
Smell her sweet scent within your nostrils, feel her weight within your chest.
Feel Ma’at as she resides within you.
Feel feel the joy that her presence brings to your life.
Hear the music that she sings within your heart.
Take Ma’at to yourself, and be whole.

Reversion of Offerings

O you fierce kite, your enemies have fallen and no longer exist.
Everything is renewed and restored throughout the Two Lands.
Take these offerings to yourself as I take these offerings to myself in the name of reversion of offerings.
Release these offerings to your servant, so that I may partake of what you partake of.
So that I might become whole and renewed as the NTRW.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2019 in Kemeticism, Making Ma'at, rubrics, Year of Rites

 

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May Akhu Rubric

Approaching the Shrine:

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

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

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

*Step forward or open the shrine*

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

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

Purification of offering space:

*Take up water bowl/pitcher*

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

*wet your finger and touch the icon*

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

Presentation of Light:

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

*Light first wick*

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

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

*Light second wick*

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

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

Presentation of Libations:

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

*Pour the water into first cup or bowl*

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

*Pour the water into second cup or bowl*

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

Presentation of Offerings:

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

*place first offering*

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

*place second offering*

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

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

Offering Ma’at:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reversionn of offerings:

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

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

 

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Year of Rites: Week Two

So I didn’t have much go on with either of this weeks rites, and so I decided to just throw both of them into one post.

Monthly Ma’at

Honestly, the biggest piece of work that I put into this month’s Monthly Ma’at was the creation of the ma’at card that I will be using in probably every Monthly Ma’at rite moving forward. I based it off of the NTRW picture that I made for this year’s shrine, and I think it turned out alright.

I definitely slacked off with all of the other offerings, though. If there was a consistent theme going through this week’s rites its that I need to make sure I’m planning out offerings when I planning out my rubrics. For both rites I found myself thinking that I could totally throw something together from what was in the kitchen, and both times I was disappointed with what I found.

So moving forward, I need to plan my offerings a bit more thoroughly.

This rite went fairly smoothly for me. I found that I felt like I was doing something over on the astral when performing it here, but nothing too earth shattering or exciting to report overall.

Akhu Veneration

I have found that some people find my rites long, and then I went and made the akhu ritual, which is by far the longest rite I’ve concocted so far (yeah, it’s technically longer than the new years rubric.)  I felt a little bad, but I found a copy of the Pyramid Texts laying around in my documents, and found it to be a treasure trove of lines to use for this specific set of rites, and I kinda got carried away. Though if it makes anyone feel better, I have to write each of these rites down before performing them, so I’m really only punishing myself when I make things long.

I chose to use a different O statue this time. I’ve had this one tucked away in my house for a couple of years now. He sits on a shelf, watching over things tied to dead folks. So I felt like he might be a good choice to use for the Akhu rites, since my regular O statue is kinda skeeving me out right now (hahahahahahaaaaa……..)

Like with the Monthly Ma’at, I failed to properly source out offerings for this, and I ended up having to go to the store specifically to get something of comparable size/value to use for this ritual.

I found out when I went to eat them that they weren’t that good, but an effort was made.

And thus concludes week 2. Next week is the propitiation, so let’s hope I do a better job nailing down offerings for that.

See what other people did this week:

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2019 in Kemeticism, Making Ma'at, Year of Rites

 

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A Year of Rites

Ever since I moved into my grandmother’s place, I’ve felt the urge to do a daily rite of some kind. I knew that I didn’t want to do the standard daily rites that are common in Kemeticism, because at the time, I wasn’t really eager to see O or Set anytime soon. Since I didn’t know what to do that would be helpful, but not involve my gods, I put the idea on a shelf and went about my business.

Fast forward to November, when O shows up and tells me that he would like me to consider doing successive rituals for the entirety of the following year (2019.) I expected him to try and sell me on how I would benefit from doing this for him, but he really didn’t suggest much. If anything, I think he knew it would tap my ego when it saw a challenge that it wasn’t sure it could hack — but ultimately wants to be able to say was effectively hacked. Almost like doing a thru-hike, you’re doing it partially just to see if you actually can. And so instead of trying to cajole me into doing it, he let me cajole myself into doing it.

And so, in the spirit of seeing if this is something I can actually hack, I give you “A Year of Rites.”

This “Year of Rites” will consist of four rituals per moon cycle, as per O’s original parameters. Each ritual will have its own theme and is placed at specific times within the moon cycle. These themes are then repeated around the same time each moon cycle, creating a sort of monthly rhythm.

So far, here is the general schedule and method that I’ve worked out:

New Moon/Day after New Moon: Monthly Ma’at

I chose to place the Monthly Ma’at rites around the new moon as a means of taking what is essentially a “blank canvas” that is the moon cycle, and infusing it with ma’at from day one. As such, I want to time these rites as close to the New Moon as possible. Here is the tentative schedule for the Monthly Ma’at rites:

Jan 7
Feb 4
Mar 6
April 5
May 6
June 3
July 2
July 31
Aug 30
Sept 30
Oct 28
Nov 26
Dec 26

Full Moon: Propitiation Rites

I am admittedly still a little unclear about what I will be doing for these rites. As I understand it, O would like me to mimic propitiation rites that occurred in antiquity, mainly centered around Sekhmet, Hathor, Khonsu, or Iyrt Ra in general. I think that I will initially start with the longform rite that Reidy wrote for Sekhmet, and see if I can use it as a base to create other rites that I could do for this category.

I chose to perform these rites around full moon due to the references of muuet and other nefarious entities being more prominent in the second half of the moon cycle (Roberts). I felt it best to propitiate the gods that oversee these negative forces before the dark side of the moon even begins to show its face. This is my tentative schedule for these rites:

Jan 18
Feb 19
Mar 20
April 19
May 17
June 17
July 16
Aug 15
Sept 13
Oct 11
Nov 12
Dec 11

Waning Moon: Execration Rites

Almost anyone reading should be pretty familiar with execration rites at this point, so I wasn’t going to bother with explaining them in-depth, but I will mention that these are meant to be a little bit more involved than some of my past execrations, in that I will be attempting to do more formal-styled execrations (such as what you see in Reidy’s book) for 2019. As for the timing, I chose to place these during the waning moon phase as a means to push back any negative forces that have managed to surface since the moon has begun to “shrink” or disappear. Unlike most of the other phases, this section has the most flexibility with timing, and I will likely do an execration on the first day of 2019, similar to how we would for Wep Ronpet, to insure that the year is as prosperous as possible. Here is the tentative schedule for the execration rites:

Jan 1
Jan 28
Feb 26
Mar 27
April 26
May 27
June 25
July 24
Aug 23
Sept 20
Oct 21
Nov 19
Dec 18

Not-Affiliated-with-the-Moon: 6th Day Akhu Rites

The akhu rites that I was asked to perform are supposed to be modeled somewhat after the 6th day rites that would have been performed in antiquity. Since I’ve got rites occurring around the 6th in several months, I will potentially shift some of these rites to the 7th or 10th day of each month, since I’ve read that it was not uncommon for akhu rites to occur on those days as well. To start with, I will be using Reidy’s akhu rites, but I have been asked to draft another version based off of the “Ancestor Ritual” of Amenhotep I by the end of the year. This is the tentative schedule for the akhu rites:

Jan 10
Feb 6
Mar 7
April 10
May 10
June 6
July 10
Aug 6
Sept 6
Oct 7
Nov 6
Dec 6

After each ritual is done, I will be doing a write-up discussing what I experienced, learned, or did for each rite. Whether these will be weekly, or combined into one monthly post, I’m not sure. However, all of them will be labeled as “Year of Rites” and will be tagged as such. If anyone else would like to participate, feel free to throw your experiences/write-ups into the “Year of Rites” tag, and I will place them at the bottom for others to view. For any custom rites that I create, I can post rubrics for others to follow if there is interest (I’ll be posting what I draft up for Making Ma’at no matter what.)

I know that the schedule is rigorous, but part of me can’t help but wonder how such an experience will change me. I look forward to seeing where this venture takes me.

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2018 in Kemeticism, Making Ma'at, Year of Rites

 

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Posted by on December 12, 2015 in Kemeticism

 

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Healing and Destruction: Two Sides of the Same Coin

When I was younger, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I loved animals, and I thought it would be a nice idea to help heal and save the animals that I loved. That is until I realized that in order to be a vet, you must be willing and able to also kill animals when treatment was not available or working. And with the mention of that, I decided the profession was not for me. Life’s funny like that, because despite my best efforts to move away from death and destruction, my life Over There landed me neck deep in both. Over the years I have made a lot of vague passing comments about the nature of my life Over There, but I’ve never really gone into any amount of depth or detail regarding the work I do. As with most everything I do, this has been done on purpose, as I’ve always felt that talking about it would result in one of two things: people looking at me like I’ve lost my marbles while they whisper “special snowflake” to their closest friends, or people looking at me with horror while they call me a monster. Both options lead to suck so I’ve never bothered.

However, recent discussions about the nature of ma’at and the nature of the gods has led me to decide to finally open up about some of what I do Over There. I guess we can consider it getting an early start to the work Set has laid out for me this year.

Usually when I sum up my work Over There, I de-fang and sterilize everything down to “I heal and destroy”. It sounds pretty simple and straightforward, but it’s honestly anything but. I’ve noticed over the years that many people seem to have troubles understanding how these two things can live so closely together, as seen by goddesses such as Sekhmet. However, let me assure you that the two are opposite sides of the same coin, as with the veterinarian mentioned above. In order to be able to heal, you must also be adept at being able to kill, and one can easily lead into the other.

I never expected to end up in this role, and taking up this sort of “work” happened very organically- at least on my end. I still can’t tell if Set and Osiris came to me because they foresaw what I was capable of doing, or if this is all just icing on top of their already made cake. At first I tried to escape the role that lay before me. However, the more I ran, the faster it caught up with me, and eventually I ended up embracing what was laying at my feet. Anything else resulted in more discomfort. Sometimes it’s easier to find solace in what you are than to continually deny what is written in front of your face.

Much like with my gods where Set came first and Osiris followed, my work started with destruction and I didn’t learn some of the finer points of healing until much later. Destruction came very easily to me from a very early point in my astral work. This is mainly due to my ability to access the deeper points of people Over There. I don’t even have to really try, and I can fall into some of the deepest darkest parts of a person or a plane (because planes can have embodiments and cores, just as humanesque entities do), places where it’s very easy to do damage. Waking up neck deep in astral fuckery meant that I had to kill sometimes in order to survive. Sometimes I needed to destroy a place, person, or item in order to get away and restore some semblance of balance or totality to my existence. Destruction was very necessary when I first started out. I had to clear out the wreckage of my house in order to actually address the foundations below.

The need to heal people was pretty quick to follow, though. Turns out that when you’re popping up in these horrible places to collect parts of yourself, you often find other people who are just as screwed up as you are. I found myself wanting to help these people, and wanting to help heal them as best as I could. I also think that I secretly hoped that I would be able to avoid killing things because healing them was the solution to everything. I didn’t realize at the time that this isn’t really the case- healing is not always a solution, nor is it always the best solution.

Shortly after, Osiris began to teach me how to use the river to heal myself and others as well. We’d branch from using my particular river to using vats of water in general. I learned various methods of picking nasty bits out of people’s energy lines, and I began to work on learning how to heal cores and core spirits. I felt as though I might have found a solution to everything- I would heal whatever I came across instead of killing it.

The problem is, healing doesn’t really work that way.

Death and destruction are part of a healer’s arsenal. When someone from Over There opens up their proverbial medical bag, death and destruction are one of the first things to be pulled out. The first method that Osiris showed me, after all, involved drowning in order to facilitate the ability to heal. It doesn’t get much more morbid than that.

And even if you’re not using death or destruction to heal, sometimes killing is still an unavoidable side effect. Sometimes you work your ass off trying to heal someone, and the healing still does not stick. The healing doesn’t work because the person isn’t ready, or in some cases, the person doesn’t even want to be healed anymore. I had a man that I ended up calling Waffles because he kept waffling in his healing so much. Some weeks he wanted to live and wanted to stay with me forever. And then other weeks he’d withdraw entirely, and wish for death.

Eventually, the death won out. Part of being the healer is being able to put someone out of their misery if you need to (or if they want it). Another part of being a healer is being able to put someone down if they are becoming a serious danger to you or others. Sometimes death is the best way to facilitate the healing. And of course, we can’t forget the other popular end result- which is when the healing works out so well that the person passes on by their own choice, leaving you with a surprisingly empty room one morning. All of these results are not only possible, but common when it comes to healing Over There.

To bring this into a more mundane aspect, you can even see destruction in the healing we perform here on Earth. Ever taken antibiotics? That involves killing bacteria in your system in order to get better. Destruction facilitates the restoration of balance within your system. Destruction can sometimes lead to ma’at – which is exactly why we have less than peaceful deities in our pantheon. Sometimes peace and passivity are not the answer.

And perhaps that is why I have ended up with the selection of gods that I have. Set’s destruction and Osiris’ passivity give me the best of both worlds, and in many ways both of their tasks fall into the same category: healing, or the restoration of balance for a person, plane, or realm. Sometimes killing and death are required in order to restore that balance. Sometimes good old fashioned nurturing and healing are required to restore the balance. Sometimes you need both in equal measure.

I was once hopeful that I could use all of what I have learned regarding healing to wipe away all of the red on my hands from everything I have destroyed or killed. But since then I have learned that healing doesn’t wipe the red away. It simply adds to the richness of the color. Life without death does not exist, nor does healing exist without destruction, as both are inseparably linked.

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