September 24, 2012

H is for honoring the Gods of my house

Posted in Netjeru, Pagan Blog Project 2012, Thoughts and Reflections at 10:18 am by

I spend a lot of time making lists. Sometimes these lists are helpful — to-do lists are always good (as long as I don’t try to put too many things on them). At other times, lists just cause me to run into a wall. This usually happens when I try to use them to figure things out, to categorize and put meaning to a whole lot of options. These attempts most often end up being confusing or distancing, or both.

One of the items on my big To Do list (this is one of the good lists, I think) is “Honoring the Gods of my house.” Which leads me to try to quantify who exactly those Gods are. On numerous occasions I’ve tried to make a list of “Gods I worship,” and this always makes my head spin. The list keeps spiraling out of control, getting longer and longer — I’ve worked with this God! I really like that God! — but when I try to trim it back, I worry that I’m neglecting Someone, that offense will be taken if I leave Someone off, that I’m being unforgivably rude with all of this picking and choosing.

Which is kind of silly. This isn’t Facebook; the Gods probably don’t really care if you unfriend them, unless you’ve already made definite commitments, or you’re undeniably theirs in some way. They have bigger and better concerns. And with a full-time job and the demands of maintaining a household, there is sadly a limit to how much time and energy one has for devotions. So, priorities.

 

Bast and Her Pesedjet

Of course, Bast is primary — first, last, and always. I’m using pesedjet here to refer to the various groupings of Gods that constellate around Her: the Seven Arrows, the triads of Per-Bast and Mennefer, Her several sons, and so on. (This word is typically rendered with the Greek word “ennead,” as in the Ennead of Heliopolis. Both “ennead” and “pesedjet” mean “nine,” and there are ten Gods involved here, but apparently the ancient Kemetics were sometimes flexible in their actual ennead numbers; cf. Wilkinson, Complete Gods.) I’ve done a fair bit of work with and for these Gods, but there’s so much more I could do, so much farther I could go. This group alone could probably take up all of my time.

 

My Beloveds

In addition to Bast, there are the other two Gods of my RPD: Nut and Amun-Ra. They have not been getting nearly enough attention lately, which is something that I need to address.

 

Wise Ones, Guides, and Protectors

This is a small group of Gods that…it’s hard to quantify my connection to them as a group. Wepwawet commissioned His oracle from me, and I call on Him frequently. Set is the beautiful Lord of Storms who watches over my house through the winter. Sekhet, Goddess of the Fens, owns the wetland in my fields and has things to teach me. The Lioness Goddesses (all of them together — a sort of multi-entity) give me straight talk and smacks to the head when necessary, as well as uncompromising, tough-love support.

 

Household and Shrine Gods

The connections are a bit tenuous here; these are the relationships that I’m exploring as part of my Gods of the week/deities of the home practices, and I’m not entirely certain this is all going to work out. But we’ll see. Renenutet lives in the kitchen, Bes guards the bedroom, and Aset in Her Name of Tayet is over purity in general, and the shrine room and bathroom in particular. (The other two household Gods — Wepwawet and Bast — have already been touched on above.)

 

After this is a jumble. There are Gods that I call upon in certain specific contexts (i.e., Serqet for heka to overcome an addiction, Sekhmet for healing), but I don’t have a day-to-day relationship with them. There are Gods that I acknowledge at the larger State festivals (i.e., Wesir, Aset, and Nebt-het during the Mysteries; Hethert and Heru during the Beautiful Reunion); but it feels weird to do so when I don’t have anything to do with them throughout the rest of the year. And there are Gods that I just think are really interesting, and I want to get to know them better (i.e., Satet and Anuket). I keep adding all of these to the list, and I think this is really where things start getting out of hand.

I guess the point that I’m reaching for here is that not every God one has contact with needs to be brought into the circle of one’s intimate God relationships. It’s okay to have a respectful but passing acquaintance with deities, to honor them on their festivals, to make periodic overtures because one needs help or just wants to say hello, but not to add them to one’s regular round of rites and commitments. There’s (rightfully) a backlash against the idea of “Gods as vending machines” — pagans and magicians picking Gods from a list and “using” them for spells and petitions without developing any relationships or acknowledging the deities’ personal and cultural preferences — but I think it’s not offensive to approach a God and ask for help in their area of influence, as long as one does it appropriately: requesting and not demanding, making offerings to please them and to say thank you for their favors, bowing to “the way things are done” with them. Think of people in the past who would make one-off trips to a healing shrine, say, or to an oracle, or who while traveling would propitiate the local Gods for blessings, without ever becoming a full devotee. Courteous professional relationships, rather than personal ones.

When I asked Bast in shrine the other night, “Who are the Gods of my house?” She replied, Whoever you want. Equal parts amused and annoyed, I thought She was just shrugging off the whole issue — me chasing my own tail, as usual. But now I think She actually gave me a straight answer. The Gods of my house are those I invite in to share my home and my daily life — nothing more or less than that.

So for now, here are the Gods of my house (subject to updates as we work through these relationships):

O You Gods of my house, I praise and adore You.
Hail to You, Bast and Your Pesedjet!
Hail to You, Nut and Amun-Ra!
Hail to You, Wepwawet, Sekhet, Set, and the Great Lionesses!
Hail to You, Renenutet, Bes, and Aset-Tayet!
May You bless me and those I love; may You cast Your light upon my dwelling; may you be friends to me, now and always. You are welcome here, a million times welcome.
Dua Netjer — nekhtet!

September 13, 2012

G is for getting things done

Posted in Pagan Blog Project 2012, Thoughts and Reflections at 9:41 am by

I am so very far behind on the Pagan Blog Project, so it’s either appropriate or laughable that I’m picking back up with this topic. But this is my mission at the moment. I’ve been very passive in recent months, just lying back and letting various things go, and whatever happened, happened. Rest is good, and I needed some rest, but I took things a little too far in the opposite direction, and now I need to get back to a middle point — not succumbing to overwhelm and then beating myself up for failing to accomplish everything I want to, but not turning into a bump on a log either.

As I noted in my PBP entry on the eye, the Kemetic word for “eye” is also a pun with the verb that means, among other things, “to do.” So the multitude of Eye Goddesses, the Eyes of Ra, are The Ones Who Get Stuff Done. And as Bast’s daughter and Her Eye in this world, I need to embody that quality as well, if I’m to do Her work.

As part of my current refocusing, I’ve made a list of what belongs in my life — only those things that cultivate Bast’s presence — and also a list of what does not belong. A list of Things to Do and Things Not to Do. And the Things to Do are so varied and beautiful, so satisfying, that I have to wonder why I spend so much time on the things on the Not to Do list. But I think I’m getting better — there’s been a flowering of effort in a number of areas on my To Do list, both practical and spiritual, and work on my goals for the month has been moving forward nicely. Now I just have to keep up this momentum!

Hail to You, Eye of Ra, effective in Your flame! For all of our accomplishments — nekhtet!

(And I just noticed that I had already done two posts for “G.” Whoops! Oh well, I’ve already written it, so here’s another.)

April 13, 2012

G is for graciousness

Posted in Being Kemetic, Pagan Blog Project 2012 at 2:33 pm by

For the Pagan Blog Project:

Ra in the sky is gracious to you, and he conciliates the Two Lords for you. “Night” is gracious to you, the Two Ladies are gracious to you. Graciousness is what has been brought to you, graciousness is what you see, graciousness is what you hear, graciousness is in front of you, graciousness is behind you, graciousness is your portion — a fresh p3t-cake [offering-cake].

— Utterance 44, Pyramid Texts, Faulkner translation

I have my marching orders again: this time, Bast wants me to write about “graciousness.” And as with “desire,” my first reaction was, “…What?” I thought I was mishearing, but it kept coming up. So.

According to Webster’s, to be gracious is to have the qualities of kindness and courtesy, tact and delicacy, mercy and compassion. It can also refer to having charm, a pleasing appropriateness, the tasteful leisure of wealth and good breeding — and a generous spirit that shares those blessings with others. These qualities were highly honored in ancient Kemet and often featured in burial inscriptions listing the accomplishments of the deceased:

I am one who was gracious to all who reached him.
I am one without deficiency who loved excellence and took time
      for every son.
I am one without destructiveness who loved foundation,
      gracious before the one who encountered him.

— Declaration of Virtue by Horemheb (quoted in Karenga, Maat, p. 128)

Graciousness is also a quality that belongs to Bast — or at any rate, to Bast as I experience Her. I don’t get “blood and perfume” Bast, or wrathful Bast, or playful kitten Bast, at least not primarily, although those aspects are part of Her nature. The Bast who comes to me is regal but not distant, giving and forgiving, wise and subtle and calm (and She certainly does appreciate the finer things in life!) And above all, She is kind. So very kind.

The word for “to be gracious” in Kemetic is hotep, which also has many other meanings. As a verb it can mean to pardon or forgive; to be pleased, happy, or satisfied; to be at peace or to be calm; or to rest, go down, or set as the sun does. (Perhaps this is why “my” Bast is also a sunset Bast.) As a noun, it can mean a boon, favor, or gift; pleasure, happiness, or satisfaction; grace, pardon, or forgiveness; or peace, calm, or safety. It can also mean either an offering table or the offerings themselves.The Pyramid Text utterance quoted above (which appears on offering tables from the Third Intermediate and Late Periods), equates graciousness with the p3t-cake, or offering cake, itself associated with the sound Eye of Heru. The offering, divinized, closes the circuit between humans and Gods — it stands for a great wholeness, just as the Eye, restored, is whole.


Sem priest with p3t cake
(Budge,
The Liturgy of Funeral Offerings)

And so graciousness is connected with offerings, and thus with the reversion of offerings: the gift given by the Gods that is returned and returned again, around and around, in and out, like breathing. In graciousness the Two Lords (Heru and Set) come together, the Two Lands come together, the cobra and the vulture bestow their protection, day and night are kindly and at peace.

Graciously we receive, and graciously we give, and graciously we live.

May we learn to be gracious with each other every day.

O Peaceful One who turns to peace, as You are gracious, may I be gracious too.

Dua Bast!


Some sources:
Jan Assman, The Mind of Egypt (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2002). [Google Books preview]
Edward P. Butler, “Horus,” http://henadology.wordpress.com/theology/netjeru/horus/.
R. O. Faulkner, The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts (Stilwell, Kansas: Digireads, 2007). [Google Books preview]
Harold M. Hays, “A New Offering Table for Shepenwepet,” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 40 (2003), pp. 47-60. Accessed at: https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/handle/1887/16164.
Maulana Karenga, Maat, the Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt: A Study in Classical African Ethics (Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press, 2006). [Google Books preview]
Tamara Siuda, “Kemetic Word of the Day 3: Hotep,” Daily Devotions, May 27, 2003.

April 8, 2012

G is for gardens

Posted in Home and Temple, Pagan Blog Project 2012, Tending the Shrine at 7:42 pm by

For the Pagan Blog Project:

I was surprised a while ago, while reading a book on the garden in ancient Egypt, to learn that the people made gardens around the tombs. Surprised, but I can see it now, given the textual and iconographic depictions of the dead amidst the shade of trees, cool water, and greenery. And there were temple gardens as well, of course, but you don’t think of that, don’t envision that, as you walk around what remains of temple and tomb in today’s Egypt. The gardens are missing, along with the other adornments, the paint on the figures, the pennants flying, so all that’s left is the bones, majestic but bare. Philae is perhaps the exception, lovely with bougainvillea and sycamore figs, a hint of what might have once been.

Herodotus’s description of the temple at per-Bast speaks a great deal of the trees lining the canals and the roads and surrounding the sacred precinct. And I’ve seen Bast there in my mind’s vision, seated on a throne in Her pavilion, surrounded by moon-cast shadows, the murmur of the waters, and fragrance on the cooling breeze.

I have ambitions toward temple gardening myself, but limits on time, energy, money, and, to be honest, focus have been standing in my way. (Once, in a flash of brief-lived but intense passion, I asked Renenutet to help me fulfill my vision of my property as a garden paradise. Knowing me better than I did myself, She laughed at me.) So for the present, I’ve scaled back my ambitions. First priority is to maintain what I have, keeping the multiflora and wild raspberries somewhat in check, mowing and weeding, pruning and raking. And after that, to add a bit at a time: to create little nooks of beauty, a butterfly bush here, a wildflower patch there, miniature garden shrines to stumble upon.

I would love to have a glorious garden for Bast, full of color and perfume and bright wings of butterflies and birds. And maybe someday, piece by piece, I’ll have it.

Imagine this, but about forty times wider and with temple walls rising up above the greenery at the end of the road; I’d guess that would give us a fair image of the road to per-Bast according to Herodotus. (Photograph of Kitchner’s Island botanical garden, Aswan, from Wikipedia.)

Dua Bast, appearing in beauty! Nekhtet!

F is for Fedw

Posted in Pagan Blog Project 2012 at 7:31 pm by

For the Pagan Blog Project:

I was thinking of writing about festivals for this letter, but I have both too much and too little to say about that at the moment. And after the last F post, I think I want to do something relatively uncomplicated. So I’m going to write about Fedw.

Fedw is a divination system created for Kemetic Orthodoxy by the Nisut, derived from Kemetic and Ifa traditions. The word Fedw means “four,” and the oracle is usually cast using four sticks. (Zaer, a member of the House, has created an alternative: a set of four specially painted dice.)

I love Fedw. I love the concept; I love the ritual and the tactile experience of handling and tossing the sticks; I particularly love my own set of sticks (stained to match my shrine cabinet).

Unfortunately, Bast doesn’t share my sentiments.

I say unfortunately, because the Fedw are almost entirely used to receive answers from one’s Parent deity. They can also be used for the Akhu, and some people use them to ask questions of their Beloveds, but mainly they’re a hotline to one’s Parent(s). However, when it comes to me using Fedw with Bast, Her reaction tends to be dismissive at best.

Pfft. Those sticks. You talk to me.

Apparently She wants me to rely on my intuition instead, which is a little daunting but I suppose is good practice. She also may not like the Fedw because it mainly gives very simple, yes-no answers — not enough subtlety for Her. And I’ve heard it said that “Bast doesn’t prophesize,” which makes sense, given how invested She is in the present moment. So three strikes against the Fedw.

That said, I’ve had some success with prosaic questions like “Is it okay to use this polyurethane sealer on Your shrine cabinet?” (No, in case you were wondering.) And She’s sometimes slightly less finicky about me using the sticks to divine for other people. So I get at least a little use out of them!

Hail to You Bast, in all Your mysterious ways.

March 22, 2012

F is for fighting

Posted in Pagan Blog Project 2012 at 2:05 pm by

For the Pagan Blog Project:

 

As for the mountain of Bakhu on which the sky rests, it is in the east of the sky….

A serpent is on the top of that mountain; it is thirty cubits long. Eight cubits of its forepart are of flint, and its teeth gleam….

Now after a while he will turn his eye against Re, and a stoppage will occur in the Sacred Bark and a great vision among the crew, for he will swallow up seven cubits of the great waters; Seth will project a lance of iron against him and will make him vomit up all that he has swallowed.

— Spell 108, The Book of Going Forth by Day

 

“Mama, I don’t think I can do this.”

I’m prostrated in front of my shrine, my face buried in a pillow. I’ve found that it helps to cover my eyes when I’m in the midst of an anxiety attack — if I can’t see anything, I’m less likely to be triggered. But the nonstop circling rush of thoughts continues.

I don’t want to do the Rite — I want to but it’s too hard — this wall I can’t break through — something’s wrong with me — I need to take a break — maybe I could go back to part-time priesthood — that’s bullshit, I’m just slacking, weak, lazy, there’s no real reason I can’t do my daily service — I’m a priest, I can’t just tend the God when it’s easy or convenient — come on, come on, come on, fuck, get up — I’m a failure — oh, Mama — how can I be Your Eye in this world? —

And then the stunner, the paralyzing thought that stops my breath, that brings everything to a jarring halt:

If I don’t, does that serve the Uncreated?

It’s too much for me, that horror running up against the implacable wall of inertia. Silence then, the leaden weight of despair, of nothingness, as I lie face down on the floor of the shrine room.

It’s not determination that gets me up at last. It’s not courage, or duty, or defiance, or the vows I’ve spoken. In the midst of that utter silence, from out of nowhere, I remember: warmth. The memory of quiet joy, the heart opening as I kneel to light the candle and begin the Rite. That tiny, glowing, melting flame alive inside my chest, a sphere of pale, shining gold in deepest darkness. And in the darkness, all I am is that little flame.

It’s the thought of that joy that lifts me to my knees, and then to my feet. After the anxiety and the depression, after the bitter strife, after the tearing anguish and the heart-eating rage, like hope at the bottom of Pandora’s box, somehow joy remains. I don’t know how or why. It’s not something I’ve earned — nothing in this fight against myself has won me the gift of joy. I’ve only battled myself to exhaustion, defeat, and collapse. And yet, at the end of the war, amid the desolation, that single flower blooms, small and simple, but exquisite.

This is what is left when I have nothing left.

This must be Grace.

And perhaps this is why, that time when I asked Set for strength, He turned me back toward my Mother. The strength of iron, resistant and unyielding, doesn’t serve me well. Instead, the strength to dance, to fall, to bow and stretch, to release, and to be still, waiting for the moment — this is what She teaches.

I kiss my fingertips to the shrine, then turn to collect my W’ab bowl and prepare for the purification.

Hail to You, Bast, most beautiful Lady of Grace. Thank You.

March 9, 2012

E is for Egypt

Posted in Love of Land, Pagan Blog Project 2012 at 9:02 pm by

For the Pagan Blog Project. Click the photos for larger images.

 

Black Land and Red Land

Where the Black Land meets the Red…

 

View of Cairo with pyramids

…where the ancient lives beside the modern…

 

Herons at Philae

…where the bennu still stands upon the sacred mound before taking flight above the waters…

 

Aswan moon and palms

…and the restored Eye of Heru waxes in the evening sky…

 

Hethert and mountain

…where the stone serpents of the mountain rear up in echo of the uraeus…

 

Lion goddess at Luxor

…where the Lion Goddess, the Lady of the Flame, walks the night…

 

Nile at twilight

…and the great river rolls on in His beauty and majesty forever….

 

Hail to you, Egypt, beloved home of the Netjeru! Though I may be far away, you live in my heart.

 

 

Cat at Philae

March 8, 2012

E is for the Eye

Posted in Netjeru, Pagan Blog Project 2012, Thoughts and Reflections at 8:09 am by

For the Pagan Blog Project:

For quite a while now I’ve been fascinated by the symbolism of the eye. Like so much in Kemetic thought, the eye has a dual nature — the function of an eye is to receive light, to take in the world around us, but the eye has a projective quality as well. To see is not just passive but active, as we can tell when we meet another’s gaze. We touch, we recognize, we put meaning to what we see (sometimes overwriting the truth of what’s actually there). We acknowledge the other and assert our own presence. If one or both of us has power of some kind, we probably feel it. You can see a manifestation of that outward-directed force in cultures that have the concept of the “evil eye,” where the arrows of some person’s envious regard can bring about misfortune. Among animals, a direct stare is a challenge; thus cats blink, veiling and unveiling their bright gaze, to show their love. Love, support, affection — all of these are in the eye as well.

Aside from the direct power of the gaze, the act of seeing opens the way for other things to happen or become. Ra’s power of Sia (perception) brings forth and informs Hu (the authoritative utterance); Hu upholds what Sia descries or calls for change. And this is the magical power of Heka, which helps us to shape our world. Perception is also the seed of more concrete physical doing. To solve a problem, you first have to see the problem, then a solution, before you can act effectively. Observation leads to experimentation and new knowledge, which paves the way for new technologies and ways of doing things. The unique individual view creates art. And on and on. The Kemetic word for eye, irt, puns with the verb ir, which means to create, beget, make, construct, do, act or take action, achieve, prepare, or treat. So many meanings — so many different actions!

Embodying all of this are the various Goddesses who bear the title “Eye of Ra.” Ra, removed to the sky, watches over this world from afar; the Eyes are his powers of effective action in this realm. Think of Ra observing the evil doings of humankind and then sending his Eye out in wrath as Sekhmet; think of the guardian uraeus watching over the king and spitting fire to protect him; think of the vigilance of Bast and her swift, unerring action against the enemies of ma’at. The power of the Eye isn’t limited to violent retribution, however. In the Crossword Hymn, Mut is “his eye who gives the land prosperity…the one who makes the land live with her rays, this Sound Eye of Ra.” Her warmth makes the green plants stir — “she goes forth and all good Akhet plants are born” — and the gentle touch of Her gaze suffuses the lives of people and animals, bringing hope and joy with the dawn — she is “the Akhet-eye which illuminates the face when rising.”

There’s also the udjat, the sound Eye of Heru, which was restored to wholeness after being wounded by Set. This eye, which is also connected with the Eye Goddesses, represents healing and completeness, as well as offerings made to the Gods. All the good things that the Eye brings forth are made pure and returned with thanks and praise to the Gods, who then revert the offerings back to us, reflection upon reflection. And in the Coffin Texts, the Eye of Heru, the Goddess of the Eye, brings blessings and protection to the deceased as well:

    Bast, the daughter of Atum, the first daughter of the All Lord,
    she is your protection until dawn,
    until you descend into the necropolis;
    the eye of Horus is she who sheds light for you,
    she is with you into the necropolis.

All of the above is barely a glance at the multivalent image of the eye. The eye is mirror and window, fire and water, the lake of purification and the source of tears that birthed both the human race and the flood of the Inundation. In the circle of the Eye, all things come together. Meeting each other’s gaze, human to human or human to God, we meet each other and are connected, two united in one circuit of exchange. And with the eye of the heart, we know ma’at.

O sole One who made perception, O glorious Eye! May You see me; may You hold me in the pupil of Your eye. And may I see You.


Some sources:
Edward P. Butler, “Hu,” http://henadology.wordpress.com/theology/netjeru/sia/
— — — , “Sia,” http://henadology.wordpress.com/theology/netjeru/hu/
John Coleman Darnell, “The Apotropaic Goddess in the Eye,” Studien zur Altaegyptischen Kultur, Bd. 24, (1997), pp. 35-48. Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25152728
Lana Troy, “Mut enthroned,” in J. van Dijk (ed.), Studies on Ancient Egypt in Honour of Herman te Velde (Groningen, 1997), 301-15. [Google Books]

March 7, 2012

D is for desire

Posted in Being Kemetic, Pagan Blog Project 2012, Thoughts and Reflections at 9:02 am by

Follow your desires as long as you live and do not perform more than is ordered; do not lessen the time of following your desires, for wasting time is an abomination to your ka.

— from the Maxims of Ptahhotep
(translation from one of the wehemu of Hekatawy I)

Bast keeps wanting me to write about desire. In fact, that’s part of why it’s taken me so long to get around to beginning the “D”s — I couldn’t quite figure out what to say. But let’s see what I can make of this.

One thing about the culture of ancient Kemet is that it was very life-affirming, very much about enjoying the gifts of the here and now. The popular conception is that it was a culture obsessed with death, but the truth is that they loved life so much that they wanted to ensure its continuance after the khat went still and the Unseen bodies departed into the Duat. And on the other side, in the Field of Reeds, life was imagined to continue much as it did in this world, with work and play, food and drink, beauty and love.

In general, there’s no tendency toward renouncing worldly desires in favor of spiritual enlightenment — moderation is certainly recommended in the wisdom texts, but not a rejection of the impulse to have, to experience, to enjoy. In the quote at the top of this entry, Ptahhotep instructs us not to work too hard, so as to have enough time in each day to pursue the things we long for. Quite different from the Protestant work ethic! He goes on to say that riches have worth only in that they give us the means to achieve our desires.

So what do I desire? This is the tricky part, and probably what held me up for so long. There are so many things I want to do, to accomplish or experience, but they flicker past, here and gone in an instant, to be replaced by something new. There’s so much I want to revel in, to celebrate, but the days pass by in a whirl, and that window of time for appreciation is often gone before I know it.

But desire is not necessarily whatever catches me in the moment. Merriam-Webster’s notes that “desire,” in distinction from its synonyms, “stresses strength of feeling and often implies a strong intention or aim.” Desire is the deep current of the river pushing toward the sea, pulling the boats along the trail of its shining wake. And if I look through the surface glitter of bright attractions and distractions, I can find the steady underlying flows that unite them.

So my desire is:

    – to create beauty; to be still and drink in beauty; to live in beauty
    – to be near my Mother, to serve Her, to dwell in Her presence
    – to dance with words, and to draw others into that dance
    – to nurture our community’s space in the midst of the culture-at-large
    – to enjoy my days, filled with all the things that feed my ka

None of these desires are out of reach; none require wealth or power or fame. All they need is a little slowing down, a little focusing in to hear the call and to be with it. All they need is the good use of my time.

Georgia O’Keeffe once wrote, “Nobody sees a flower — really — it is so small it takes time — we haven’t time — and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”

Like to love takes time. Like the fulfillment of desire takes time.

In one of my favorite quotes, which I keep on my desk at work, Megegi of Thebes shares a sentiment very much like that of Ptahhotep. “I have not taken time away from the day,” he says; “I have done no damage to a beautiful hour.”

In each beautiful hour, may I remember to follow the desires of my heart.

What do you desire?

March 5, 2012

D is for the Day of Chewing Onions for Bast

Posted in Festivals, Pagan Blog Project 2012 at 1:47 pm by

For the Pagan Blog Project. I’m running behind, so I’ll start catching up with a photo blog from this weekend’s House of Netjer gathering, at which we celebrated our beloved Day of Chewing Onions for Bast. (Thank you to Wasi, Tepta, and Avy for helping to make this day so special!)



The shrine, with the new garden statue at the center, flanked by flowers, sweets, and sistra



Roses for Bast this year



Bast against the western window and the long slant of the setting sun



Bast after the procession to Her place, adorned with all our prayers


Nobody remembered to get a picture of the Bloomin’ Onion, though….

Dua Bast! Firstborn of Tem, hail to You on Your day!