June 28, 2013

At the end of III Shomu

Posted in Administrivia at 8:44 am by

Tomorrow begins the last month of the Kemetic year, IV Shomu (by the Kemetic Orthodox calendar, anyway). Between a highly stressful project at work and a large amount of freelance work at home, I haven’t had the brain for much else. But the first one wound up yesterday, and the second ought to be done around the end of the year (i.e., end of July). My mantra for the last few weeks has been, “Just gotta make it to Retreat.”

After that, I’m planning to have a relax-o-year; my goal is to reduce stress and practice self-care as much as possible. I’ve had some health issues crop up over the last year or two, and I suspect that most if not all are stress related in some way. It’s just not worth it to run down my health by trying to get a zillion things done and getting anxious and distressed when I can’t do them all. So I’m going to take things slow, and what gets done, gets done.

I do want to keep blogging here, so that remains fairly high on my priority list. (It is, after all, important to my service to Bast.) I’m hoping that relaxing in other aspects of my life (and finding better ways to relax than mindlessly surfing the internet) will clear up some brain functioning and open some inner doors to assist with this.

In the meantime, I’ve been remiss: I’ve been wanting to mention for ages that the House of Netjer put out a PDF ebook as part of this spring’s Queen Week celebration. You can find In Honor of the Queen here on Lulu.com. I have two stories in the book: “The Forest of Mut,” a vignette based on a dream, and “The Lion and the Ram,” a retelling of the story of the Wandering Goddess with Mut and Amun-Ra in the leading roles. The book also contains many prayers and poems, artwork, heka, and an essay on some of the iconography associated with Mut — all worth checking out! All proceeds from the sale of the ebook go to support the House of Netjer.

March 27, 2013

Administrivia: Page glitches

Posted in Administrivia at 10:22 am by

For anyone who reads my blog in an RSS feeder and is finding that the links to the “Pacification of Set” story aren’t working, I decided after posting it that I needed to create a parent page of “Modern Myths,” and that changed the story’s URL. The ritual post has now been updated. Sorry!

(Am going to have to do something about my sidebar if I add a lot more stories….)

March 25, 2013

Administrivia: Another song update

Posted in Administrivia, Rituals, Songs, Poetry, and Prayers at 8:34 am by

Update on the song site:

Lord of the Northern Sky, for Set, based on a very UPG modern myth (I’ll probably post the myth here eventually);
Set Heart, also for Set, an older song;
Song for Ma’ahes, just written over the weekend (it’s funny that I don’t have more of a connection with Ma’ahes, considering He’s a son of Bast, but there you go);
Tyet Song, for Aset.

March 9, 2013

Administrivia: Four (mostly) new songs

Posted in Administrivia, Rituals, Songs, Poetry, and Prayers at 10:26 pm by

Four new songs are up on the song blog:

Lady of Purity, for Wenut, inspired by my Senut for the Seven Arrows;
The Purification of Bast, a theme that’s fascinated me for a long time;
River Song — oh, this song is so old; I wrote it years ago and originally wanted to “debut” it on a trip to Egypt before releasing it, but realistically I’m not going to Egypt again any time soon, so I figured I would just post it and be done; and
Sa Bast, for Khonsu-Heru, also inspired by the Senut for the Seven Arrows and used in the Full Moon Ritual for Khonsu-Heru.

February 17, 2013

Slightly disjointed update post

Posted in Administrivia, Creative Fire, Festivals, On Writing, Thoughts and Reflections at 10:40 pm by

I’m back again, after another short posting hiatus. For the main part I’ve been absent because everyone else in the Kemetic blogosphere has been making such great posts that I haven’t felt as though I have anything really significant to add to the conversation. Silly, I know! My energy is picking up again — hello, spring! hello, season of Peret! — and with it I’m hoping to find my voice once more. I’ve been enjoying the Kemetic Roundtable posts, so maybe I’ll take part in the next round of that.

My shrine service has been steady since my last leave in December, and this weekend I’ve been winding up a couple of projects. I just finished making a new bag for my Wenut oracle, and tomorrow — Netjer willing and the Nun don’t rise — I should finish making the tokens for yet another divination system. No, I have no idea why the Gods keep downloading these things into my brain. Not that I’m complaining. I’ve also started moving forward with one of my original fiction projects, and I think Bast is also nudging me toward a rather different type of writing project. So there is productivity and progress and various types of activity going on.

Speaking of doing things, this is a deep and true post by Elizabeth at Twilight and Fire on how love is an action rather than just a feeling. Elizabeth is a pagan monastic in service to Loki, but what she has to say is wise advice for anyone who serves a God, or indeed serves anything. It has special resonance for me because I struggle with exactly what she describes, the impermanence of feelings or enthusiasms. I’ve had to learn that when excitement flags for one thing and picks up for something else, it’s not necessarily a sign that I should leap to change direction and follow it. Right now I’m finally managing to balance the two things that have pulled me back and forth the most consistently in the last few years — writing and service to Bast. Neither one is lighting me up like crazy, but both are being served. And in that service, there is love, enduring love. And it’s good.

In a show of synchronicity, her post ties in as well with my observances of this month’s Procession of Nesret, a festival honoring the Lady of Flame, aka the Eye of Ra. My personal devotion on the actual day of the festival turned on examining what is truly important in my life, while the heka I wrote for today’s Tea with Bast online ritual chat took that further to begin a process of setting specific goals for service to those most essential things. The process is ongoing; it’ll be interesting to see where I am a few months from now.

Finally, I’m late to the game, but Rev. Tamara Siuda is running a kickstarter campaign to fund the publication of her Ancient Egyptian Daybook. This is going to be an awesome resource for Kemetics. The initial goal of $3000 has already been reached, but you can still help contribute to the project’s extended goals (and potentially earn pledge goodies).

January 25, 2013

Breaking silence

Posted in Administrivia, Cats at 9:52 pm by

No posts for a while, but all is well. I’ve been doing both Senut and the State Rite daily, and I’ve been making an effort toward connecting with my Beloveds, Nut and Amun-Ra, who were being somewhat neglected as I focused exclusively on Bast and Her Arrows. Last weekend I was commissioned to do several divinations using the Wepwawet Stone Oracle, and I led an Eye of Heru heka ritual chat for the House. This week I’m experimenting with doing Senut for the Seven Arrows, one each day, and it’s been very interesting. (I’m nearly done — tomorrow is the last day — so a post about the experience may well follow.) The Gods seem pleased with all the activity.

In exciting news, I just inherited ownership of the website per-Bast.org, long a go-to online reference for information on Bast. I’m very honored to be the current holder of this legacy (and many thanks to C. Tidball, who has been maintaining the site for the last few years). The historical essay by S. D. Cass will of course remain unchanged, but I may be adding some additional information to the site at some point. At the moment, there are issues preventing the navigation bars from appearing, but hopefully that will be resolved sometime this weekend.

My oldest cat, Meera, who is rising fifteen this year, went to the vet for severely watering eyes. While she was there, they attempted to draw some blood for testing, since she had lost a substantial amount of weight, and in the wrangle she managed to break a claw. So she had to go back a few days later to be anesthetized so they could fix it. While she was under, they also cleaned her teeth, which have been an issue for her in the past, and they had to extract one that was diseased. So right now she has a boo-boo foot and a boo-boo mouth and is confined to my bedroom for her convalescence. She’s almost forgiven me, though. On the plus side, her blood work turned out perfect. No kidney disease — nekhtet!

I’ve been vaguely tracking the recent outbursts of blogland drama, but to be honest I don’t really have anything to say. I’ll just be over here, doing my thing.

January 9, 2013

Udjat song update

Posted in Administrivia, Creative Fire, Festivals, Rituals, Songs, Poetry, and Prayers at 9:27 pm by

And I actually recorded and posted the “Singing for the Udjat” song today. In time for the festival, even.

Songs and the Procession for Singing

Posted in Administrivia, Creative Fire, Festivals, On Writing, Rituals, Songs, Poetry, and Prayers at 10:11 am by

The light is already visibly increasing, the sun rising earlier and setting later. It seems to have come sooner this year for some reason. Not that I’m complaining! Or maybe I’m just paying better attention.

I can tell for certain when I’ve taken a better spiritual turning — the songs start coming again, both new ones and new inspiration for finishing old fragments. I posted four songs to my song blog last night:

– “Chant for Offering Ma’at to Netjer,” relating to this post;
– “Come, Heru-wer!” written for the Heb Wer festival last week;
– “Hymn to Heru-Sobek,” for tomorrow, when we have a conjunction of the Rekeh Wer for Heru and a procession of Sobek; and
– “Hymn to Temu in His Barque,” a bit of Kemetic research geekery.

Plus I just wrote another one this morning. It started with me singing a little nonsense song to myself about how I didn’t need to take fruit to work because I already had fruit there, and somehow the tune acquired new words and turned into a song for the Udjat “Procession for Singing” celebration, which is part of the Rekeh Wer and takes place today. (My creative process can be very strange.) So…hurray for fruit?

(Oh! I just realized that I have oranges that I can offer to Heru at the Rekeh Wer chat tonight! Nekhtet!)

With this morning’s song, I’ve now finished 94 songs. Counting the ones that are still in progress, I’ve hit 100. This is extremely mind-boggling to me.

Wow.

Hail to You, Netjer, on Your festival of the Procession for Singing! Thank You for inspiring me with Your beauty and Your love. May I praise You all the days of my life.

Dua Netjer! Nekhtet!

September 3, 2012

Entering 2 Akhet

Posted in Administrivia, Monthly Goals at 8:10 pm by

Whew. So Wep Ronpet has come and gone, as has the entire first month of the Inundation season. I don’t even know where all of the time went. It’s kind of a blur. There was a final crunch on my major project at work, I had to fight a parking ticket in Jersey City (for a day on which I wasn’t even in Jersey City — it turned out the ticket was for someone else’s car), and my house has been turned upside down as my roommate tries to paint her room (which has involved moving the contents of her room into the living room while she sleeps in the shrine room). I’ve had guests, a cold, and the standard purity issue, which has all kept me out of shrine for far too long. And my brain has just generally been full of static. I think those are the highlights (or should that be lowlights?). On the plus side, the Northeast had a lovely get-together at Woodlawn Cemetery for the Wag Festival, and I got a bit of writing done recently.

Anyway, now it’s 2 Akhet, and I’m starting to get back into gear again. My goals for this month are:

  • Purify all the things (as Sobeq likes to say). There’s just too much chaos in this house right now, and with the help of some firm guidance from Aset (via Tahekerut’s channeled oracle), I’m going to be dealing with it by cleaning, sorting, purging, purifying, and doing appropriate heka. By the end of the month, I want the living room back in order, the shrine room back to full purity and activity, and a regular routine of house purifying and warding in place. (I’ve already set up the shrine space that Aset asked for.)
  • Work on getting my mind more quiet. This means setting solid boundaries for Internet usage, which jitters me up more than anything if I let it get away from me, as well as reestablishing a daily stillness and meditation practice in addition to the daily State Rite.
  • Make progress in my Bast heka study. By the end of this month, I want to have actually finished the first section and be ready to move on. I also need to confer with Bast in more depth about this project in general.
  • Celebrate the Procession of Bast on 2 Akhet 10 in some significant manner (since I’ve been falling down on the festivals in general so far this year).

I’ll aim to check back in about all these things later.

In other updates, I’ve added a divinations page to this site, where I offer various types of readings.

And I think that’s all the excitement for the moment.

July 2, 2012

Living again

Posted in Administrivia at 8:24 pm by

So that may have been the shortest priest retirement in history.

On June 1, I emailed my notice to Hemet that I wanted to step down from the priesthood. On June 2, I blurted out another email in which I dithered about wanting to step up again, because I had gone into shrine to do Senut that morning, and everything had felt sad and wrong. Ultimately I flailed my way into and through part-time status last month, and as of yesterday I’ve resumed full-time service. It feels good, and I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to move forward — probably not without some more struggle, but I think I’ve learned a few things that might help this time around.

During my part-time stretch, I did work on some of the health issues I’ve been having. I got treatment and physical therapy for my arm, which had been hurting for some weeks; it turned out to be a shoulder impingement. And I’ve been walking regularly — thirty minutes a day, every morning before work. My next goal is to cut back on caffeine, which has been something of a problem for me lately. I’m hopeful that once I manage to do that, I’ll be a bit healthier and more even keeled in general.

(My nemesis is the bottled Starbuck’s frappuccino. My God, it’s like drinking sugary, creamy, liquid ice cream crack. It’s gotten to the point where the mere sight of a discarded plastic wrapping from one of the bottles is enough to send me into slavering cravings. Time to put a spork in it.)

Anyway, I’m back, and I’ve celebrated by updating and adding some links to my blogroll. Looking forward to making more (and more interesting) posts!