January 26, 2013
As noted here, for the last seven days I’ve been doing Senut for the Seven Arrows of Bast, one god on each day. Below are the impressions of my experiences. Heavily UPG, of course.
She reminds me of the rose-heart meditation, too little practiced. This time, instead of the deep, velvet-red flower, the rose is yellow and orange, like flame. The petals flare untidily, as if windblown, exuberant and unrestrained, around a core not dark, not contained yet also infinite, but opening up in uncontrolled joy.
And I am standing in my quiet place, the mountain vale, pale sky above the gray, snow-cloaked mountains and the alpine rocks, above the field of light-gold lilies and the small lake like pewter. And She is there, and the sky and the flowers laugh as She does, with Her silent, ringing laugh.
* * * * *
Darkness, an endless black mirror of water beneath a starless sky. A spark of white light leaps up from the water, singular and pure, and ripples shiver that mirror surface. The lotus opens and blooms.
And daylight now, golden light on the fields and the river, the great lion slowly striding, leaving a trail of many-colored flowers in His wake.
A fairy dance of lights above the blue bowl of the lotus, swirling in the golden haze of sunlight at its heart.
The heart of the mystery; the endless warmth of love.
* * * * *
A fierce pang of excitement from Him, at what might be His first Senut ever. The offerings, though simple, please Him — orange juice and toasted oat cereal. He watches over my meditation, keen-eyed, alert but patient.
As the rite nears its end, I feel a nudge to open one of my boxes of scents. I poke through my selection of BPAL imps, little used, and when I uncover the vial of Brisingamen, I know it’s the one He wants. I look at it dubiously. “Most of their scents just smell like cherry on me,” I mutter.
And it doesn’t.
* * * * *
At first, it seems a disappointment. My mind is scattered; nothing comes through clearly. It’s hard not to generate a fantasy message or experience to fill the silence. I wonder if I’m putting too much weight of expectation on this, after the last few days of wonders. As I wind down, though, He smiles, and I see the glint of moonlight in His statue’s eyes.
Today is my day.
Before I’ve even left the shrine room, I’m humming a tune. Words come, some in Kemetic. (Why do the Gods sometimes poke me to write songs in Kemetic? I don’t know any, beyond a few words!) The short song is done before I finish my commute to work, leaving me faintly stunned.
I am inspiration. The words resonate, as wide as the sky.
* * * * *
She is quick and gliding, sinuous and intent. Move, She instructs me, and I circle and sway, arch and roll like the cobra that is Her theophany. She is the dance, the breath of fire, the spittle of life and death.
Her golden venom pours into my mouth, down my throat.
I do not die, but live.
* * * * *
I see Her crouching, wetting a white cloth in a basin of clear water, her movements unhurried, careful, graceful. She stands, gesturing to draw my attention to the water, then casts fresh herbs upon its surface; I feel the freshness of spring, clean and sharp. I think of lavender, and when She smiles I offer Her some of my lavender oil from Pannonhalma, the delicate, pungent clarity of its perfume.
She is the Lady of Purity, not the purity of natron, but a cleansing of the heart, a soothing of the body and soul. I remember that She was called upon in the birthing room to bring the child down quickly and easily; I can imagine Her there, bathing the mother’s face with cool water, the scents of Her plants covering up the odors of blood, sweat, and fear.
She is the herald of the Duat, the Lady of Springs; she is the first green of spring, the spring of cool water emerging from the underworld. The pun pleases Her; She smiles again.
(Wenut is getting a new song too.)
* * * * *
There is a timeless solidity to it: the slow roll of the river, the two banks that contain it and the hills rising beyond, the land golden in the slant of afternoon sunlight. Something about that light makes whatever it touches seem unchanging, unending, even as the day slips steadily closer to its end. The completeness of Tem is both the pinnacle of all becoming and the end of all becoming.
Majesty lives in the Ram that stands behind and within all rams, the perfect land seen beneath the westering sun, the purity and inevitability of Zep Tepi. The ram is djet in the embrace of neheh, the necklace of days that follow one upon the other, coiled within the eternal cycles. You can see the generations more quickly in sheep than in humans, the old ram supplanted by his young successor who grows old in turn with the passing of time, but there is always the ram, the king who arises, the Heru who takes the throne, who wears the crown, who is rooted both in the one who came before and in the land that He rules.
And it saddens me, suddenly, that in these itinerant times some sense of participation in that cycle has been lost. The land that holds me now has held my family for only a breath — my parents moved here shortly before my birth, and before that lived in many different places, even in different countries. And since I’m entering my mid-forties, single, and unlikely ever to have children, my parents’ legacy will end with me, their only child, and not only that bloodline but the connection of a people to this place will break. As much as I love the little furry persons who live with me, cats can’t and won’t carry on such things.
Who will inherit? Who will remember, in blood and bone if not in conscious memory? What will lie on the other side of that discontinuity, beyond which I can’t see?
And yet, greater than this small dropped stitch is the pattern that goes on, the great shape of things. Majesty is what endures through all of this, what holds the center and the circumference firm, what is great enough to fit into those roles like the axle into the hub of a wheel.
Heryshef is…very large. “I’m surprised,” I say, “that You’re actually an Arrow of Bast.”
I’m not. My eyes widen. She is my Arrow.
An implosion of recursion; a strange loop, Bast within Heryshef within Bast, the emanation of the God who is mother of the God who becomes Her consort, the Hand of the Creator who awakens the Creator so that She may be born. She is the fiery Eye of Heryshef-Who-Is-Ra whose warmth brings forth the green of Heryshef-Who-Is-Wesir who fathers the new-rising king, Her son; Her daughter-self is the snake coiling about the papyrus-wand, the spittle of life, the snake-eye rearing upon His brow, the hiss of cat, serpent, fire, the north wind of His breath in the grasses. She is the Queen of Heaven, crowned with the sun, effective on this earth.
“Holy fuck,” I say later, semi-recovered and cleaning up after the rite — and I laugh, because that sums it up perfectly, doesn’t it?