November 18, 2013
At the Procession of Nebt-het earlier this month, each person present drew a ribbon with one of Nebt-het’s names or aspects written on it, as a sort of oracle. Mine was “Lady of Renewal.” I was fortunate enough to win a free painting as part of a promotion for Mythic Curios, and I ended up asking the artist for a meditation on that theme. Here is the lovely result!
“Lady of Renewal” by Ty Barbary
November 13, 2013
This is a funny story from a while back….
My housemate had made an apple pie, and I was offering a slice of it in the State Rite. Suddenly I “hear” Wenut from the Seven Arrows shrine behind me:
Omigod, I want that.
(Of course, Gods don’t actually say “omigod,” but it gives you some idea of the sheer intensity of want.)
So after the Rite, I went and got another piece of pie — the last piece, as it happened — and offered it to Her, which made Her very happy.
All the other Gods in my shrine room: …WE WANT PIE.
(This is where I perform an anime-style facefault.)
And shortly afterward, from my Akhu, when I reverted some of Bast’s offerings to them: We have pie! (said with great glee)
I swear, my shrine room….
So one of these days, I need to get a whole pie and make a general offering of it to everyone in the room. I just hope they don’t stampede and wreck the place.
I am falconized…
…and ready to start the day.
Happy Feast of the Soaring Falcon!
November 12, 2013
First snow flurry of the year this morning. Dua Set!
(All right, so it’s not a mighty storm, but one has to start somewhere after taking the summer off.)
* * * *
And just in time for the Feast of the Soaring Falcon (ongoing this week), two statues featuring Montu have been discovered at His temple in Armant.
* * * *
Most interestingly, the day after declaring Zep Tepi and choosing peace, I got the first song that I’ve had in months. It’s for the Feast of Sekhmet and Bast before Ra, which will be this Friday and Saturday, so the timing is good.
Obviously there’s a lesson to be learned here, and in fact I’ve learned it before, and forgotten it, and relearned it, and forgotten it again. I’m not really sure what to do to make it stick.
November 11, 2013
Driving in to work this morning with the music shuffle off, watching Ra gild the half-bare treetops in his rising, I felt a flicker of peace, and wondered at how fragile and fleeting a feeling that can be, and yet how precious. In the last few weeks, I’ve been angry and unkind, anxious and depressed, scattered and several different kinds of miserable. And I still don’t know how much of it was justified, how much was neurological downward spiral, and how much was self-delusion and grasping at shadows.
It doesn’t matter now. Zep Tepi once again, a chance to start over, to enter a new day. To try to do it better this time.
A gift found while walking at lunch: a cat-head-shaped leaf.
O Bast, may You watch over me, now and always, as Your daughter. May You grant me a cool heart and a joyful ka.
November 3, 2013
Yesterday we held a festival for the Procession of Nebt-het, for which my friend and fellow priest Imti brought up his state icon from Maryland. I think this might be the first festival at which a Kemetic Orthodox state icon actually processed to visit a different state shrine. (We were originally going to do this last year, but superstorm Sandy interfered.) In addition to the ceremonial procession, the festival was an opportunity to be festive with our Akhu. Here are a few photos:
The state icon of Nebt-het of Nekhen Muti Neferty established in the Akhu shrine at Nekhen Saut-sen Iryt Ra. The bowl before Her contains ribbons with Her epithets and aspects written on them; the festival participants later each drew one, as a sort of oracle.
The “public” shrine for the festival, with a statue of Nebt-het, mementoes of the Akhu, and various offerings.
Close up of the Nebt-het statue.
Festival-goers decorating sugar skulls.
Bast oversees the festivities.
Not shown: The ritual shrine, to which the state icon was processed during the festival and where festival goers were able to spend time alone with Her. (I wish I had remembered to take a picture; it looked really cool.)
Dua Nebt-het! Dua Bast! Nekhtet
October 20, 2013
Shrine for the Saq-Khmun festival, as it would have looked during the ritual. (The photo was actually taken afterward.)
The shrine in better lighting. The eight stones around the large bowl of water represent the members of the Ogdoad; there are frogs and snakes drawn on them.
Early Saturday morning, before dawn, I performed a ritual for the festival of Saq-Khmun, the “Appearance of the Eight,” honoring the Ogdoad of Hermopolis. My take on the festival, however, focused heavily on Wenut, who was also connected with Hermopolis; there was a lot of abstruse UPG involved. It was meant as a sort of Zep Tepi moment, a new beginning and an evocation of creative energy, since one of my current goals is to get back to writing more.
The ritual ended, I felt fantastic, bursting with energy, ready to take on the world, or at the very least my various writing projects…and then over the next couple of days I went completely off the rails mentally and emotionally.
Now, this could just be my regular cycle coming around, as I periodically suffer from anxiety and depression. But it could also be that I tapped into something potent here that I was not really prepared to deal with. (And this possibility tends to confirm for me that my decision not to post the actual text of the ritual here was probably wise….)
I don’t regret doing the ritual, despite the possible consequences. In fact, in a weird way, I’m looking forward to the post-crash analysis and recovery process; I think various Gods and I may be having some interesting conversations in the near future. But this seems like a good moment to say, for the sake of any readers who don’t already know this: Heka is powerful. Be careful.
/end public service announcement
October 6, 2013
Fall down seven times, get up eight. Right?
So the last month or so has been another rough patch, but hope rises as always. At the very least, I kept up my Tea with Bast chats for the House (I’ve now completed an entire year’s cycle of monthly heka rituals for these chats, nekhtet), and I managed to observe a couple of festivals, in the sense of actually doing something instead of watching as they fly by.
* * * * *
Shrine for the Procession of Bast Nebet-Ankhtawy. As part of this ritual, I performed a protection/blessing heka for my house. (Unfortunately, I somehow failed to save a larger version of this image.)
Shrine for the Procession of the Merety (see Henadology for information on these two “Songstress Serpents”).
August 15, 2013
Today I celebrated the Feast of Ma’ahes. Officially, this festival falls on I Akhet 2 (August 4, this year), but that day is always the Sekhmet Baths at Retreat, so I never really have a chance to do anything for it. Rather arbitrarily, therefore, I moved it to I Akhet 13 to follow the Feast of Nefertem.
Providentially, I stayed up much too late last night, and when I woke up this morning after only four hours of sleep, I decided that it would be counterproductive to go to work. So I called in a sick day, slept in, and then went out to enjoy the beautiful day and have a hot stone massage. In a few minutes, I’ll be going out for teriyaki beef in honor of the Great Lion.
For those who are following along at home, Khonsu-Heru’s festival day will be the Jubilation of the First Full Moon, which will be on August 20, per the Old Farmer’s Almanac. (The official HoN calendar has it on August 21.)
We don’t have much information about Heru-hekenu, but Horus, Royal God of Egypt by Samuel Mercer notes that the seventeenth day of the month was sacred to Him. Since Mercer doesn’t say what month, one might assume that he’s talking about the lunar calendar, and thus means every month. (I did try briefly to do something for Heru-hekenu every month, but it was a bit overwhelming. Maybe I’ll try again someday.) The ancient Egyptians counted the lunar calendar from the morning of the dark of the moon, so the seventeenth falls on the day after the full moon. So I hereby decree that to be the Feast of Heru-hekenu.
More to come as it happens….
A candle in a red holder, lit at noon for Ma’ahes.
Dua Ma’ahes — nekhtet!
August 14, 2013
From this morning, for the Feast of Nefertem. Before Him is a blue floating candle in a glass of water, symbolic of the blue lotus rising from the waters of the Nun.
I was trying to catch the effect of His looming shadow. I have no idea what that blue gleam is. But it’s, uh, interestingly placed.
With His mother’s flowers.
Dua Nefertem — nekhtet!