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Layers

Shortly after I began working with Set, I received a vision from him. It occurred while I was driving on the way to my dead-end internship. And it struck me so hard… I couldn’t get it out of my head until I got it on paper.

And all of you have seen a portion of this vision- as it forms the basis of my avatar in all of my Kemetic accounts. For those who have never seen the whole thing, here it is:

When this originally came to me, I was beginning to explore Set’s role in Osiris’ demise. I was learning about my own rage and anger- and it was reflected in the myth that I was studying. Set getting so jealous of Osiris being the golden child… that he lost his cool one day, and felled his brother. So at the time, I felt that this image was Set taunting Osiris- “Look at me, brother. I have your crook. I have your flail. And you’ll never get them back.” For many years, I believed this to be the full extent of vision- that of forceful victory. That of flaunting the spoils of war.

However, I’ve recently realized that Osiris has been vested in me for a while. One day while considering this, I realized that there was another unexplored angle to this vision I had. Perhaps Set was flaunting to Osiris… because I chose to listen to Set before I chose to hear Osiris. Osiris had been whispering to me for years… YEARS and I never listened (I believed I was picking up signals meant for SO, not myself). Yet Set managed to get my attention in under a month (best I can tell). So instead, Set managed to waltz right in, and take all that Osiris had been attempting to achieve with me.

Both interpretations are likely correct. This vision likely has more than one meaning. And it’s entirely possible (and probable) that this vision has even more meanings that I haven’t discovered yet. And honestly, Kemetic myths work much the same way. There are many forms of the various myths out there… and all of them are correct. Each version of the myth brings it’s own truths to the story. And only in considering all of these angles does the truth beneath it all emerge.

Let’s reconsider the myth I was examining before- Set felling Osiris.

In bringing Osiris into my daily practice, I’ve begun to examine the myth from his side. I’ve begun to view this tragic tale through the lens of agriculture, cycles and necessity. It became less about anger and more about love and the unchanging cycles of life. Does this invalidate my original ideas about anger and rage? Not necessarily. At the time, the myth was serving as a tool to help me understand my own emotions. Set seemingly wanted to direct me down that path to better balance myself. And for all we know, there was some anger involved on Set’s side- I know I would be angry that I had to fell my brother. Now, at my current state, this myth is best served to teach me about mourning, loss, and healing after a loss.

And in the future, it’s entirely likely that I’ll read some other angle of this myth, and I’ll have something else to learn from it. Our myths are built from layers and layers of symbolism. Our myths can deliver complex ideas on one reading… and then deliver a completely different (and possibly contradictory) meaning the next time you read it. I personally find this to be an awesome aspect of Kemeticism- that one story can have many ideas, themes and possibilities- all of which have something to teach and can be relevant to each of us in different ways at different points in our lives.

How often do you examine the myths of your path for multiple meanings? Have you experienced layers of symbolism in the myths of your tradition?

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2012 in Kemeticism

 

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Unveiling

The month finally came to an end. After so many nights keeping O’s statue hidden, I was finally able to unveil him. To bring him out of hiding and back into the light. Words can’t express how happy I am to have him uncovered again. To be able to look at him and not see him all wrapped up in his blue cloth. And his statue feels different, too. When I place my hands on both statues, O’s seems to be teaming with energy. It’s pretty crazy. So who knows, maybe wrapping the statue rejuvenates it as well. Either way, I’m happy to have him back again.

Coinciding with his unveiling is the hanging of my new shrine cabinet. Many many moons ago, Set sent me out to find a shrine cabinet for him (later to become ‘them’). He wanted something that was simple, but made of real wood. He was absolutely stubborn about the wood. No veneer for him! The more I sat with him, the more an image appeared in my mind as to what he wanted, and I slowly set out to find something that fit the bill. It only took me 6 months, but I finally found something that suited what I needed. The case is made of teak wood and is probably a foot tall. I love how simple it is. I also like the smoothness of the wood.

Originally, the box was intended to be a jewelry box. There were hooks hanging on the inside for necklaces. There were boxes hanging on the inside of the doors that you could put your trinkets in. I didn’t need either of these, so we set out to strip/gut the insides. From there, we treated the wood. Giving it nourishment to help protect the wood and bring out it’s nature colors/beauty. Afterwards, I left the box to sit while I waited for the Mysteries to end. I treated it with incense and left it at that. Now that O has been let out of his wrappings, I feel comfortable using the box.

I’m slowly starting to rebuild my practice. I’ve started off simply. Right now I’m only giving the ka embrace, swapping out beverages every morning and changing up their offerings. I figure that as I move further along, I’ll start fleshing out my rituals. But for now, I feel it’s best to start simply. The shrine still isn’t complete. I’ll update as I add more things to it.

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2011 in Kemeticism

 

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A Child of Chaos

Most people know me as being a child of chaos- a follower of Set. And even if you don’t know who I worship, or that I even have a religion, if enough time is spent around me- you’ll describe me with the same words and phrases that most of my fellow Kemetics do. Despite my attempts to change people’s perceptions of me, it seems that the same traits always come forward. I’m hard, mean, no nonsense. I am cynical, snarky, and sarcastic. And you can’t forget that many people think I’m a dude (and if they know me in person, I’m treated as a male, not a female).

Even recently, in a discussion with a friend of mine, thoughts about the Kemetic community came up. Kemeticism doesn’t really have a large community. There isn’t a whole lot of selection (it’s pretty much KO or nothing), and many of the different temples seem to hate one another. Basically, our community sucks, and is pretty non-existent. To my friend, it almost seemed odd that a follower of Set would want to be in a community. Let alone run one. I mean, Set is the outsider, the foreigner. He’d rather stick to himself than deal with people right?

I can’t help but wonder- Why?

Why is it that following Set means that I don’t want to fit in? Why is it that because Set is cast out to the deserts that he doesn’t want friends? And why is it, that despite my attempts to show that I’m not a complete ass, that I have softer sides, people only seem to see that one aspect of me?

Why?

I am more than just the ass you see. I do have a need to belong. A need and desire to be a part of the group, and to not question my role or position in that group. To feel that people genuinely want me around. And to be able to be myself in that group. I would also like for people to see that I have other aspects. That I am more than just “that Set follower”. Oh yeah, and I can hurt just like everyone else too. I’m more than just stone. And for the life of me, I can’t understand why it is that the other parts of me get ignored.

When explaining this to my friend, I related to Asar. There is a part of me that is like him. Kind. Quiet. Fertile. Soft. Yet for whatever reason, no one ever sees that. I joke, a have fun, and I try to show people that I can be light hearted, I can be happy and nice. Yet, no one ever sees it.

I have always had a fancy for Asar. And really, he has been around me since this whole thing started. I figured he hung around because of my s.o.- who also happens to have a thing for Asar. However, I’m beginning to wonder if Asar hangs around not because of my s.o.- but because he wants something to do with me. Set told me to make the two halves whole. If Set is the side that everyone sees, could Asar be the side that no one sees? Could acknowledging him help me to equal out the halves? If he is the other half, the way he approaches me could easily be the same as the way my other half is. It’s very intangible, and hard to grasp. It’s there, but it’s not. It’s a feeling that you can’t describe. And in many ways, Asar is the same. He influences me in ways that I barely notice. A little touch here, a little nudge there. Words aren’t needed, but if you’re paying attention you can see that it’s him.

The other piece in this puzzle is Shinto. Set sent me to look into it, to help with the halves. I think part of this is in the Japanese culture. I shared my thoughts on this with my s.o. last night, and he seemed to think it could be a factor.

When I go to Little Tokyo, or I sit in a Japanese restaurant (that is run by Japanese people), or I go to the local Japanese market- I change. Entirely. I didn’t think I changed that much, but after listening to my s.o. last night, apparently it is like night and day. For those of you who don’t know, Japanese culture is very different from us in America. The mannerisms, the way you talk, the way you look at people, hold your hands, hold items- it’s all different. And when you stick me around a bunch of Japanese I try to follow these rules. I thought the change was there, but according to my s.o. the change is like a slap to the face. You just can’t miss it. I told him last night that it’s a case of “When in Rome, do as the Romans”. He said that it was more “Don’t do as the Romans, I AM a Roman”. I guess I almost become one of them in my actions.

I think these little interactions are important. That these little moments are the times when my other half gets to shine through. I love interacting with the Japanese culture (here in Phx, and in LA). I will seek out festivals and locations where I tap into this feeling, into that half of myself. Where I can let this yin side through. And because Shinto is so intertwined with the culture of Japan, perhaps that is how Shinto plays a role in making me whole.

But then there is this whole Asar thing that I need to figure out. And still binding everything back together is important. I feel I’m onto something, but I’m not positive what to do with it. All I know is that while I love working with Set, and I love being a hard ass in his name, I do get tired of constantly fighting these labels people put on me. I’m tired of always being considered hard, and unbreakable. I’m tired of only one side of my nature being acknowledged.

And I wonder if Set feels the same way some days.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2011 in Kemeticism, Rambles, Shintoism

 

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