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Carving Out a Space

I had an awful dream last night.

In this dream, I was taken place to place by other people, not exactly following but not exactly leading, but ending up in situations not of my choosing where I always seemed to meet pain. Sometimes this pain was the form of people trying to get me to leave. Other times it was a more literal pain where I was being made to carry something with pins sticking out of it. In every situation, I may initially try to fight back, to draw a boundary out for myself and declare my needs and safety, but every time that declaration was ignored and met with more testing of those very same bounds. While the dreams were largely nonsensical, when I reexamined them upon waking, I found that there was a lot of my own experiences in them. A lot of me wandering around life, being forced to exist in a way I didn’t like, and never finding a way to really claim or enforce what I’ve needed.

When my health tanked, it took my ability to dream with it. I mean that in about every sense of the word “dream” — in that I no longer dreamed while asleep, and I no longer had any dreams while awake. I lost all purpose. I lost all direction. Upon starting EMDR treatment, my dreams returned to me, albeit in a patchy sort of sense. And upon switching over to Brainspotting therapy, my dreams have turned this sort of hectic mess of pieces and parts all taped together in a slightly incoherent fashion. I believe it’s my brain trying to grapple with the situation that I’ve found myself in. I think it’s trying to process while I’m asleep, to find a way to accept what is around us.

Acceptance is a common theme in therapy as of late. My therapist urged me to consider finding a way to use my voice to find some acceptance with my past. I’ve never really liked the word acceptance — it’s often been used as a bludgeoning tool (right up there with ‘forgiveness’) where people are actually less concerned with my acceptance of a given situation, but are more concerned with me being quiet so that they can be comfortable again. They don’t care if I actually accept a given situation, they only care that it appears like I’ve accepted it so that they can move on.

Further, the off-shoot to “acceptance” is usually “letting go.” “We need to find a way for you to be able to let go of your past trauma,” she’d tell me. However, the notion of letting go of something I’ve kept so close to my chest for all these years invoked a panic within me. The idea of losing the only thing that I do have, however painful it might be, was too much. And some portion of myself just couldn’t bear the notion of letting go as being a good thing.

In light of this, we have begun to call it “changing my relationship with” or “coming to terms with” instead. How can I find a way to change my relationship to what I’ve experienced. How can I come to terms with what I’ve been through, and yet still make a path for myself that is more enjoyable and content than where I’ve previously been. There is no pressure to feel things I don’t feel (acceptance) and there is no pressure that I’ll have to endure more loss through “letting go.”

Of course, the next question stirring in my brain was: how can I find a way to enforce those boundaries that I tried so very hard to grapple with in my dreams? How can I find a way to reject the pain that others repeatedly thrust and forced upon me while still maintaining some amount of relationship with them?

My therapist suggested that instead of focusing on the how, I spend more time looking at what it looks like and feels like to be in that space, that space of acceptance and understanding. I thought about that for a couple of weeks and came up with an incomplete list of what I imagine it would be like to be free of my past:

  • I would no longer be bound by fear and anger from my past.
  • If confronted with similar abuse or situations that mirror my past trauma, I would be able to maintain a clear head and stay present in the moment with minimal inner turmoil/upset.
  • I would be able to interact with people who are similar to my abusers and not carry their baggage home with me.
  • I’d be able to define my needs and enforce them. I’d be able to enforce boundaries as needed and leave situations that don’t serve me without guilt.
  • I’d be able to live the life I want, without feeling pressured to be what my abusers wanted me to be.

While I expect this list to grow and become more involved as I get further on this path, it at least gave me an end goal to reach for. It gave me a sort of destination or target to try and hit.

And more importantly, it gave me a mental image of where I want to be, and I’ve been using this mental image when I feel myself becoming worked up by my trauma. I’ve found that when I start to get caught in old trauma-based patterns, I can ask myself “is this where I ultimately want to be? Does this look like what I expect my new relationship with my past to look like?” and if the answer is no, I can try to realign myself to what I am looking for in myself. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but all in all, it seems to be helping.

Ultimately, though, this is leading up to what I am calling “carving a space.”

In an attempt to figure my own situation out, I have been watching other people’s experiences in regards to changing their diets and dealing with depression and chronic pain. A set of videos that has stuck with me are the few that Simona and Martina have released about her chronic pain and her subsequent depression. In her mind, there is a practice that she calls “building a ladder,” which is basically where she wakes up in massive pain, and tries to build herself a ladder out of the pit she woke up in. I could understand what she meant, even if it didn’t quite work for me. But as the weeks have gone on since watching that video, I have found what has begun to work for me — carving a space.

In my dream, I was a passive participant in everything going on. I only chose to speak up or act with initiative upon receiving pain, and with any amount of pushback, I would quickly devolve into sadness and anxiety. I was never good at enforcing what I need in the face of adversity. In many ways, my life has also been this way. I have felt like I’ve had no options, and that I was always stuck to the whims of the world around me. And while it’s true that children often don’t have options, as an adult, I have more choices and more freedom to create a life that I want, not one I was thrust into.

Of course, there are some things that can’t be changed very readily. For instance, I can’t easily move from this location. The idea of being in a place that is near the ocean or green and wet has always appealed to me, but I will likely never be able to do that on a permanent basis. The most I can hope for is to visit such places. Similarly, I am stuck in my body, for better or worse. While the difficulties that come with having this body are challenging and frustrating, at the same time, I need to find a way to work with my body because it’s the only one I have. Or in other words, I understand that I have options, but sometimes my options aren’t feasible or reasonable anytime soon. As such, I need to learn to work with what I have to get what I want.

Carving a space originated (for me) during a session with another person, wherein they were shown an image of their body. Their body was not shaped in a way that made living inside of their body easy. It was the equivalent of trying to fit your foot in a shoe that is 3 sizes too small. The metaphor here was trying to communicate that this person needed to find a way to make their body fit them better — through whatever means was best for them. Whether that meant exercising or taking better care of their body, or decorating it in a way that felt more genuine — they needed to find a way to mold their body to fit their actual shape.

I began to look at my life in the same way. It’s a shape that has been partially formed by others, and is partially beyond my control. However, I am able to work to carve out a me-shaped space in my life that makes life more bearable, more livable. This began with looking for things that made me happy, and partaking in those joys whenever I could. I began drawing again simply because it brought me joy. I began to do things that were only for me, and didn’t necessarily suit anyone but myself.

I have slowly begun to expand this practice to things I don’t necessarily want to do, but know that will ultimately help me do things that I want to do. For example, I want to begin backpacking so that I can go to parts of the state that are greener and have more water. And to be able to do that, I need to work on improving my health and stamina so that I can walk longer and go further. In the meantime, I visit smaller places that have things I enjoy, such as ponds that have ducks and other birds, to keep my brain happy with what is readily available to us in the here and now.

I feel like I have spent the majority of my life building things for others. Working to help others improve their lot and get to better places. For once, though, I am taking the time to improve things for myself. In a sense, it’s a matter of committing myself to the fact that I am alive here in this place, and that this is a life worth investing my time into.

For years, I have pondered on the notion of using the Self, your own body, person and life, as a shrine to devotion that can ultimately serve the gods. In a way, I think this is a part of that. I can’t claim to be a shrine for the gods and not take care of that shrine. I can’t claim to be living to the fullest for their sake if I’m not even willing to invest in myself, in my own life. I can’t expect to serve as a useful shrine, or even devotee, if I’m spending every day miserable, wishing my life was something that it’s not (or wishing that I was dead). Nor can I wait anymore for the currents of life to take me to a destination that is better. Instead, I’m finding it’s easier and more fulfilling to try and get there myself. To carve into the life that I have, and make it more livable and suitable for my needs. In a way, it’s like decorating my house, finally putting some paint on the walls and investing in furniture. It’s reminding myself that life doesn’t always have to be awful, and that I don’t have to always take what is thrust upon me.

I’m not entirely there yet, and I’ve still a long way to go to really truly embracing that on all levels, but I think I’m at least taking the first steps to getting there. And every journey has to start somewhere.

What do you think about carving space into your life to make it more enjoyable? Do you find it hard to invest in yourself or your life? What ways or methods could you use to change that?

**As a post-script, I would like to know if any of my readers would find any benefit in more posts like this that discuss either where I’m at along this journey, or what I’ve learned from therapy that you yourself may find useful in your own life. Or would you rather things stay more Kemetic/pagan driven? Thoughts?

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The Magic of a Hug

I want to talk about how magical and religious hugs really are.

No seriously.

This concept started with a conversation. I was talking on Facebook with another Kemetic who happens to be blind. She was asking about the ka embrace. This was a particular sticking point for her because she didn’t happen to have an icon of the deity she worshiped. Why would she? It makes perfect sense, really. She wasn’t sure what to do about the ka embrace portion- there was no point in buying an icon just for the ka embrace, but it seemed wrong to completely omit such an important part of the daily ritual.

For those of you who don’t know what the “ka embrace” is, its a section in Reidy’s daily ritual where you ritually embrace the icon. This action transfers your ka energy into the statue, thereby animating it and rejuvenating it. Hieroglyphically, it would look a lot like this:

So what do you do if you don’t have an icon?

I said the answer was simple: hug yourself.

I know, it sounds funny. But I think that we don’t give enough credit to what the ka embrace (and hugging) accomplishes on so many levels. On the most basic level, you have the sentiment that comes with giving a hug- happiness, consolation, a sense of understanding or care. Usually, when it’s given freely between two people, a hug is comfort and human connection. In Egyptian symbolism, an embrace is a sign of protection and usually shows an intimate relationship between two entities (Reading Egyptian Art, Wilkinson). But this is only one layer of symbolism. Let’s go a little deeper, shall we?

The act of comfort and protection are good- but its also a sign of love in most modern contexts. So to hug yourself could also be read as a form of self love. When you weave in the concepts of transferring the ka, you’re replenishing and renewing your own energy. You’re funneling love and protection and all of that fun stuff right back into you. And we all know that the gods are all for self love (NSFW).

But Devo, you’re not a deity. You can’t replace a deity icon with yourself- because you’re not a deity, right?

Wrong! Most Kemetic myths have everything coming from the Nun and a Creator deity (or set of Creator deities). Therefore, everything is divine. You, me, the table my computer is sitting on. We all come from the same place, and so at our most basic level, we’re all made with the same divine stuff. So why couldn’t you swap out a deity’s icon with yourself in this case? You’re embracing your divinity (for lack of better word) and acknowledging the divinity that is within you. Once again, all good things that help to build you up, which typically helps to make you a more stable person- which always benefits the gods. Plus, if you subscribe to the idea that all of ours kau go back to the original ka of the Creator deity- in a way, you’re transferring your energy to your ka- and so on and so on down the line to the gods themselves.

It seems to me that hugging yourself could be an offering to the gods all by itself. So maybe the next time you’re in a pinch for rituals, or want to give the gods something on the fly, you should give them a hug by hugging yourself.

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Motivation Through Foveation


A couple of months ago, I was filming a continuing education course for my company on endodontics, of all things. In this course, the speaker spent a lot of time talking about properly diagnosing x-rays, panorexes, and 3D renderings of teeth and all that. While going over this, he brought up the concept of foveation. For those of you who have never heard this term, wiki defines it as:

  1. (transitive) To angle one’s eyes such that the foveae are directed at (an object in one’s field of view), the fovea being the portion of the retina responsible for sharp central vision.

Which basically means that your eyes have a very small window where your vision is the sharpest, and it’s usually in the center of your vision. And while he was bringing up this subject in relation to quickly diagnosing x-rays properly, I could see the gods plastered all over the concept.

Have you ever had a dream that made no sense? Or a vision that left you scratching your head? How about a phrase that repeated incessantly in your mind? I think it happens to all of us- we get weird bits and pieces sent our brains that make no sense. At least- they don’t make sense right now.

Sometimes, I think this is the gods way of helping us to foveate on something that is important – even if we don’t realize it at first. It could be that perhaps your dream about picking oranges in your bathing suit while a rubber ducky stares at you could get you talking to your friend about the 5 C’s of your state- which leads into the discussion of where each of you live, and the fall backs of your state- which reminds you about your akhu and gets you going to actually work with your akhu. Sometimes you need something catchy and random, that you talk to someone else about- which helps you to move to a place where you actually need to be. Who is to say you would have even gotten onto discussing your location had it not been for that random dream?

In many ways, I consider weird dreams or messages to be like a scavenger hunt. Something that you have to work at and follow clues on to really find. I touched on this in my Layers post, but I think it bears repeating that many times what seems really arbitrary (or straightforward) can often be something more than what it appears at first glance. And in the case above, for all you know, you could learn or discover two or three things that are important via one weird dream of picking oranges with a rubber ducky.

Much like our eyes- our minds take in a whole lot of information at any given time. Sometimes, we need help bringing something important to the center- so that our minds can ‘foveate’ on it. And what is most likely to catch your attention? Something crazy and bizarre. So the next time you get some crazy dreams or visions- take a moment to see if there could be some other seemingly irrelevant thing that is trying to be brought to your attention!

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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Kemeticism, Rambles

 

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Discernment

aka the “Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar” post.

Today I wanted to talk about discernment– that elusive thing that most all of us yearn for. The most popular of questions: “How do I know that I’m actually hearing the gods?” “How do I know that I’m not just listening to myself?” Certainly, these questions are important- for we don’t want to think of all of our actions as merely pleasing some head goblin or mischievous netjeri. Yet, despite these fears, many people don’t seem to question if what they are listening to is actually the gods.

And it’s perfectly understandable as well. When you first get into your practice, everything is new and shiny and overwhelming. There is a lot to take in, a lot to consider- and I think many people get in over their heads when they first arrive on the Pagan/polytheism scene. Even when I first started, I am quite sure I spent a good amount of time listening to myself as opposed to Set. But, there is even more to consider than just the gods- many people don’t consider discernment when they come across omens or symbols in their day to day life, either (which may or may not be ascribed to X deity that you are working with). To quote from Tumblr:

In the spiritual world omens are everywhere and there are no such thing as coincidences. You can use signs around you to guide your life and your workings if you only know how to interpret them.

On some levels, I agree. Life, gods, spirits and guides often give us clues about what they need from us, where we should be going, things we should be doing, etc. I have always felt that if you are trying to live within Ma’at, things will generally work out for you- long term. However, I think it needs to be said that sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar. For example:

Crickets.

That’s right. Crickets. There are tons of them around my house right now. About two months ago, I suddenly had crickets everywhere. In my kitchen. My closet. My living room- all over the place. Screeching all night long. Annoying the crap out of me. Not long ago, I had to travel some distance to a river to do a rite. At the river, the place where I chose to sit down and do my rite I found a small cricket running around. So I ask you- is this some divine symbol? Or could it just be that this is prime season for crickets?

Another example would be birds of prey. Many Kemetic deities have associations with birds of prey. But, I live in the desert. Does that mean Horus is trying to get my attention?

Or how about hearing the gods through the radio? That top 40 song that keeps on popping up? How can you tell if it’s actually the gods, or just that darned popular?

The answer, my friends, is discernment.

Well that’s all fine and dandy- but how does one discern deity from head goblin/netjeri?

That is a difficult question to answer, unfortunately. Citing the above examples, it is a good time for crickets- so it could very easily be that I just happen to have an infestation, or I picked an uncanny area near the river. Or in regards to the hawks, I live in the desert- which is a prime location for them. The fact that I see 1, or even 5 hawks may not even mean that Horus is tailing me- could just be that I live next to a field with lots of mice and food in it. However, I do think it’s possible to sort through events that occur and discern whether you might actually have a message that is trying to be delivered. In short form, here are some methods to help figure out if what you’re seeing/feeling is “legit”:

  • Multiples of said sign
  • Sources from antiquity
  • Divination from a third party source/someone who is trusted
  • Unlikely circumstances

The multiples is a tricky one. The crickets is an example- how many crickets do I need to see before I actually read it as a sign or omen? The songs on the radio could be another example- for a period of time, I had “Poker Face” playing every. single. time. I got in the car. And even on a 5-10 minute drive somewhere, I’d hear it multiple times. It’s like every single station decided they wanted to play it at the same time. After about a month of this, I felt that perhaps Set was trying to tell me something- but it took nearly a month of it occurring before I finally even remotely considered the idea (and to this day, I’m still not entirely sure what he was trying to say- if anything). Another example for multiples would be feathers- feathers are pretty common to find. However, if you find that you are finding feathers in an odd location every day, or multiple times per day- perhaps you should consider if someone is trying to get a hold of you.

Another consideration for multiples is if the request doesn’t leave. I have ignored Set before- or I tried. But the longer I tried, the more obnoxious the requesting got. It got so bad that I couldn’t concentrate, and I became overly cranky (and when I finally did perform his request, I got further confirmation that I ‘did good’, and the annoying noise in my head went away). Normally, if I get an odd request, or I’m not sure if I’m hearing correctly, I will wait and see what happens if I ignore said request. Usually, if the request is ‘legit’, I will keep getting pestered until I listen. Or, I will receive other signs that confirm that I need to do something. It is possible to go to the gods and say “Hey, I think I’m seeing some signs that are telling me you want something. Is it possible for you give me some other signs so that I know it’s you”. Worst they can do is tell you to shove off (usually this doesn’t happen- in my experience).

I list sources from antiquity, because I think it’s very important. One of the first visions I ever received from Aset was her symbol on a loaf of bread. I thought it odd until I discovered that bread was a common offering in Egypt, and that Aset has some special ties to bread (this was when I was literally just starting out- hadn’t even read a book yet). Nothing can feel as validating (in my opinion) as having a vision or request repeated in history. To me, it’s a pretty good sign that you’re likely being tapped by someone if you can track down the request or symbolism to a time in the deity’s past.

Another method of testing requests is to get outside input. Ask people who are unbiased and can give you straight answers. If you are able, ask a group of people to do some divination for you- and see how well the outcomes line up for you. If you ask 3 or 4 different people to look into something for you- and they all say the same thing, it’s quite likely that someone is trying to tell you something.

Unlikely circumstances is another thing to consider. If you see a bird or animal that is entirely foreign to your location- that would be something to pay attention to. Finding a feather that belongs to a bird that lives nowhere near you, for example. A common situation I have is that I will “lose” stones that I own- even though I haven’t touched them. I will sometimes also find stones in my rock box that I never purchased. Another example would be seeing an animal with very odd markings- a black coyote, or a raven with white spots on it.

And above all, I think that any symbol or omen that you are seeing needs to be considered heavily every time it occurs. Because we never know if what appears to be simple and straight forward might actually be complex and mean something entirely different than what it appears on the surface.

But why do I need this? Why would what I am experiencing be “not legit”?

This also comes with many reasons. A lot of times, humans get into the habit of feeding into their own egos (myself included). We often times see what we want to see. Especially in stressful situations- we will look for anything to comfort us or tell us that it’s alright. During my long period of unemployment, I looked for signs everywhere (ironically, this was the same time with the “Poker Face” reference above, as well as Set’s request that I ignored). I would see things and tell myself that this was a sure sign that things were going to get better. I’d even ask my mother to ask her pendulum to confirm things- which ironically didn’t pan out. Turns out my mother was just as biased about me getting a job as I was. It’s very important that we do our best to maintain an unbiased and open view about our circumstances. To give into our own prejudices and leanings cuts us off from growth and from hearing the things that we need to hear in order to move to the next phases in our lives. The best way to be unbiased is to practice discernment to the best of our abilities.

And if all that fails, you can ask Helms his opinion on discernment:

If it makes sense, you’re probably imagining it. “What the hell is THAT supposed to mean?” is probably a sure-fire sign.

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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in Kemeticism, Rambles

 

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Devo Magix: Execrations


Most Kemetics know about execration, or at least, we know of them. Execrations are highly misunderstood within the Kemetic community, and in some ways, they are generally feared. I wanted to clear up some ideas about execrations, and how you can bring them into your practice- whether you’re Kemetic or not.

Execrations Then:

Back in antiquity, execrations were a daily practice in the temples. It’s considered that they might have occurred multiple times daily, even. Execrations were considered integral to keeping the kingdom and all of the Created world safe. Execrations were generally exacted against agents of a/pep and all enemies of the king and/or ma’at.These rituals weren’t optional- they were mandatory. Ma’at, and all of creation, was always at risk to being undone. To quote Meeks:

From the moment of its creation, the world was threatened by the Forces of the uncreated, forces that the mere existence of a world drove back toward its periphery. There was no escaping these forces, even if they were pushed further and further back as the domain of the Created expanded. Because they had not been brought into being by the act of creation, they could not be definitively destroyed. They could only be defeated periodically; their repeated onslaughts made it necessary to wage unending battle to maintain the integrity and equilibrium of creation. (quote taken from Eternal Egypt).

Creation was not something to take for granted. And it’s still not. In our modern world we forget that things aren’t certain or guaranteed. The gods still fight a/pep daily. They still work to maintain order even though the majority of humanity has fallen deaf to the need or the call. Just because our lives feel more secure doesn’t mean that Creation is any more secure than it was before. The Egyptians fully appreciated the precarious nature of Creation. The wrong flood levels, a bad cycle of crops, invaders, plague- any of that could deal massive damage to the nation and its people. Creation needed everyone’s help to survive- and this is where execrations came into play.

Execrations Now:

Execrations almost seem non-existent in the modern Kemetic’s practice. Most Kemetics have a mindset that execrations are bad- that performing an execration will cause negativity to come back upon you (reminiscent of the Threefold Rule that really has no place in Kemetic mindset or practice). This is a crying shame, in my opinion. Execrations have so many uses and potential for creating happier, healthier people. I really think that everyone should consider making some form of execration a part of their regular practice. Most people consider execrations to be nothing more than a ritual against a/pep, but they can be used for so much more than that. Execrations are good for letting go, for moving on, for destroying bad habits, or for getting negative things out of your life. Anything and everything that could eat away at the happiness in your life could be counter acted with an execration.

Don’t like that you’re broke? Execrate anything and everything that is in your way (you could use a ‘foes of Ra’ approach to this). Don’t like that you’re overweight? Execrate your bad eating habits, laziness, or other factors that could be holding you back. Heavy shadow work that you’re trying to work through? Blast that stuff away with a strong execration. Anything and everything can really be enhanced via execration. Execrations are there to demolish things that are blocking your path.

So how do you do an execration?

Traditional execrations can be pretty extravagant. The more complex execration rituals in Eternal Egypt include an ‘ingredients list’ of: water, natron, incense, candle or oil-lamp, a wax figure of a/pep, sheets of papyrus, green ink, copper pan, wood or charcoal, herbs (dragon’s blood, nettle, etc), iron knife or nail, black thread, flint blade, red clay pot, sand and a lid for said pot.

That’s a lot of stuff! But execrations don’t need to be that complicated (and in Reidy’s defense, there are execration rites in Eternal Egypt that require little to no supplies to perform). Most execrations have elements that are similar, despite the technique being different. Here are the basic elements of any execration:

  • Creation and identification of an item with a/pep and the things you wish to execrate (in this post, the item would have been the red pot).
  • Defiling this item via stabbing, spitting, trampling, or other destructive means.
  • Burying, flushing, or disposing of said item.

The steps are pretty simple and straight forward. I have found that a lot of what makes an execration effective is the emotion you put behind it. There is some sort of release in ripping apart a piece of paper, stabbing a figure, smashing a pot, etc. It allows your emotions to be let out in a safe manner that helps you to move forward and eradicates things that hold you back.

While using an ‘old school’ execration rite from antiquity is awesome, sometimes we don’t have the ability or desire to use something from ‘back in the day’. But no worries, you can easier come up with your own rites and methods to execrate the unwanted or unneeded. To create your own execration, you’ll first need to determine what you wish to execrate. You could try to execrate anything and everything in one go, but I recommend taking a few things at a time and doing multiple, smaller execrations. Once you have decided what you might wish to get rid of, you’ll want to determine what item will best work for your means. You could go the traditional method and use red pots or wax figures. You could use fresh paper. You could build a sand castle or use a mug that you can’t stand. You could create a pillow and stuff it with things that you want to destroy- let your creativity and specific situation guide you.

You will then need to imbue that item with whatever you’re trying to get rid of. You can write these items or attributes on the item (in the case of paper or pots), you can state or visualize what you’re wanting to execrate as you create the item (as with the sand castle). You could do both, technically (I tend to). Once you have your item ready, you will take this item and beat the crap out of it. Yell at it, stab it (or draw knifes in it), scribble on it, maim it, stomp on it, spit on it- whatever. Destroy it as much as you can. Put all of your energy into it until you are completely spent.

Then, you will take what is left of your item, and get rid of the remains. A lot of times I flush things down the toilet. However, you can’t do that with, say, pot shards. In those cases, I throw them in a dumpster or bury what is left. If you went the sand castle route that I mentioned before, you might want to smooth out the sand to the point that you can’t tell anything transpired. You more or less want to remove and eradicate any and all remains of the execration.

How often you want to repeat this process (and how complicated you want the process to be) is entirely up to you. Most Kemetics I know only perform one execration per year- at Wep Ronpet. However, in the month and a bit since Wep Ronpet occurred, I have found that I have done 3 or 4 execration rites of some capacity- and I have found that doing them has helped me progress a lot faster in my shadow work lately. Whether you need to perform them daily, monthly, yearly- etc. is going to be dependent upon your particular situation and what you are working on currently. Don’t be afraid to do them regularly, though. Especially if you feel the urge!

I believe execrations deserve to have a more prominent place in modern practice. They have such a variety of uses and purposes, and I would love to see more people give them a shot!

Do you perform execrations? What are your thoughts and experiences with them?

Recommended Reading to Learn More About Execrations:

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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Devo Magix Series, Kemeticism

 

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Equal.

I have heard Barrish-sensei say many times that we are “All equal under the sun”. To me, this is such a beautiful concept. Equality. Something that we all strive for. Something that everyone wants to feel – to be an equal among their peers. Yet despite this, there are many times that I have seen many people treat other beings on this planet as lesser, due to a variety of reasons.

The concept of being un-equal is mind boggling to me. It is at the core of all three of my practices that everything is equal. All things are divine, and everything you see is on an equal playing field.

In FlameKeeping, literally everything is Divine. I am of the Divine, you are of the Divine. Anything you eat is Divine. Your carpeting is Divine. Even your feces is Divine. We are all Divine, and we all strive to uphold that divinity. To work to make everything better. And to live up to the fact that we are of the Divine.

In Kemeticism, we are also Divine. Everyone and everything came forth from the Nun. We all came from the Creator god (pick your myth). His tears. His fluids. His spit. His clay. We all came from the same place, we all share a Ka (at the core). We are all Divine. And in that right, we are all equal. You, me, the carpet.

And in Shintoism, we are told that we’re all equal under the sun. Because we all receive Divine ki from the sun, it’s solar energy. Due to the pantheistic nature of Shintoism, Kami can exist in anything in everything. You. Me. The carpet.

Yet despite the emphasis on equality, there are so many who do not seem to embrace it. There are those who think themselves higher than their peers. Those who think that they are better than what they eat, the people they interact with, and the general world around them. And in many of these situations, their reasons for feeling as such are very superficial. They have a special ‘title’ or membership to a group. They have nicer cars and clothes. They hold a job, or a ‘better’ job. It seems that everyone is out to make themselves feel better, by making everyone around them feel lesser somehow.

Every time I see this, I cry a little inside. There is so much more to life than being above or below someone (or something). There are so many much more important and larger problems out there, yet we allow ourselves to get trapped in this game of greater than and less than. Unlike the carpet, a tree, or a dog- we people have a greater opportunity and ability to enact change in this world. We are able to create beauty and change in this world. To leave it a better place than we came into it. As it is said in FlameKeeping, we are the eyes and hands of the Divine. It is our job to make sure that we don’t fall into the trap of hating on others. It’s our responsibility to keep respect in our mind at all times, because everything is Divine, and we must respect that.

Can you imagine how different the world would be if we all had honest respect for one another? If we all lived in equality with the world and nature around us. If we as a species suddenly got over our “we’re here to dominate everything” complex? I think it would be interesting to see how the world could change. And while much of the world might not practice equality on the by and large, that isn’t going to stop me from trying to keep it in my mind on a daily basis. The idea that something out there is lower or higher than me just doesn’t jive in my mind.

How much equality do you keep in your day to day life? Is it something that your religious/spiritual practice places and emphasis on? Should it?

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Flame Keeping, Kemeticism, Rambles, Shintoism

 

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FK Journal: Over the Cliff

I love this metaphor. Because I love this metaphor, I love this FK post. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told people to jump off the cliff. Some of you reading this have probably heard me tell you to do the same. To quit wasting your time and just jump already. That you’re making it harder on yourself by humming and hawwing at the top. Eventually, you’re going to have to jump (or get pushed off) so just go.

I love this metaphor.

Everything I do in life relates to this somehow. I originally came up with the idea of the cliff in high school. I was suffered from depression and was trying to sort it out myself without any help. At that time, I felt that I was standing on the edge of the cliff, and depression was taunting me to jump off (more or less relating to suicide). As time has gone on, I’ve begun to relate the cliff to difficult decisions. You need to do something- you can’t sit there and wait for a decision to be made for you. So you need to make your decision and own it (aka jump off the cliff). The more I began to work with the idea of the cliff, the more I began to really embrace the idea of letting go and jumping off (for better or worse). Working with Set has only increased this feeling- because if I don’t jump off myself, he’s sure to push me off shortly after.

A quote from the article:

When we’re looking at transforming, we tend to pace back and forth across that cliff edge, looking for an easy way down. We want to find the shortcut, the way to go forward without risk, without fear. There is never a real shortcut, however. We sometimes think we’ve found an easy way, but it tends to be either ineffectual or worse than just jumping.

The saying of ‘don’t cut corners’ comes to mind. There have been times when I’ve seen people try to skate down the edge of the cliff, only to get shelved half way down the mountain. Once again, you have to own your decision. Jumping from the top, to me, means you own what you are doing. You are all for it for better or worse. This is the person I try to be. I don’t always succeed at it, but dammit I try. Anymore, when I see a cliff coming my way, I don’t wait for it to come to me. Instead, I run at it headlong. Because it always seems to me that whatever is at the bottom is where I need to be.

Questions:

What transformation fears you? What are your cliffs?

I don’t know which transformations I fear. Usually, I like change. And I am always trying to change for the better. Of course, I fear sometimes that my changes will change who I think I am, and therefore the people around me. As I go through my therapy, I sometimes am sad to see my assy self leave, and I suppose on some levels there is fear in that. However, because I know this is something I need to do, I am always telling myself to just go with it. Whoever I become, I become. There is nothing wrong with that. My current cliff would probably be therapy, the task of making my halves whole. Sorting out that whole mess takes a lot of time and effort, and there have been times where I really wondered what I got myself into.

What would you use as a parachute? Where will you get it?

I guess you could say that I don’t use a parachute. I fly by the seat of my pants. Usually, I am careful in all that I do- to ensure that things go smoothly. I plan ahead, I watch my finances, I always keep my portfolio up to date… everything I can to prep. However, there are always cases where a cliff comes out of nowhere. A nasty surprise you weren’t expecting. All I can do at that point is do the best I can. That’s really the only parachute I allow myself.

What do these cliffs and transformations mean to you? What do you expect to find on the other side?

They usually mean hard work, but something better. I’m about to be run through the ringer, however I always feel that it’s for the better in long run. I think it is this sense of progress that removes my fear of cliffs. It’s a challenge, yes. But I always come out with more than I went in with. Even though part way through the trial, I might not feel like I made the wrong decision, it always pans out.

 

Can you jump off the cliff? Will you?

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in FK Journal, Flame Keeping

 

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