January 31, 2012

The Feast of Heryshef

Posted in Festivals, Netjeru, Pagan Blog Project 2012 at 1:09 pm by

For the Pagan Blog Project‘s Imbolc prompt:

Imbolc was one of my favorite Sabbats, back when I was kinda-sorta Wiccan. Although the beginning of February was generally still cold and wintery, it was the point at which I could always see the lengthening of the days, the hint of a shift in the wind, the very first stirrings of the coming spring. It lifted my heart with the promise of sun and warming earth and flowers.

Happily, there’s a Kemetic festival at just about the same time that ties into that theme well enough that I’ve been able to shift my affections over. This is the Feast of Heryshef, the ram-headed God of Hnes. You could think of Him as something like a syncretism of Atum, Ra, and Wesir, as well as, or alternately, Heru. He’s rather large. He’s also sometimes a son of Bast, and in my own reconstruction He’s included as one of the Seven Arrows of Bast. My personal mythology is that with the sun’s return, Bast awakens/arouses/causes to come into being Heryshef, who is embodied by the freshening spring wind and the kindling energy of the first new growth.

For the His festival, which was yesterday, I got up early to sing and pray and to offer Him incense and cool water, apples and bread. Not at all coincidentally, I’d been hit with the beginning of a new song for Him the day before, so I finished writing that during my commute to work. At lunch I went for a long walk to enjoy the day, and at dinner I offered Him our spinach and artichoke pie. And yesterday morning the sun rose before the end of my commute for the first time this year, the first pale purple snow crocuses were in bloom (unusually early due to the mild winter), and the wind breathed promises through the still-leafless trees, all reminders of His presence. Simple connections — not a day of pomp and ceremony and high ritual, but nonetheless one that was intimately entwined with the God and His mystery.

Dua Heryshef! Nekhtet!


  1. Soli said,

    January 31, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    And there is a hymn to Wepwawet in which He is also aspected with Herishaef. Woo!

  2. helms said,

    February 1, 2012 at 8:40 am

    I love the song, too!

  3. Shefyt said,

    February 1, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Helms: Thank you! ^_^

    Soli: I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that hymn. Is it the one mentioned in Egypt, Temple of the Whole World? Very interesting!

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