July 9, 2012

The Eye of Ra Enters the Horizon

Posted in Festivals, Uncategorized at 5:56 pm by

Water pours from pitcher to glass bowl, a musical accompaniment to the murmured prayer:

    Hail to You Eye of Ra, complete in the horizon.
    Hail to You Bast in Your name of Atemet.
    May You bless us with peace
    and protect us from all the demons of the year’s end.

Garlanded with rose petals, more petals strewn about Her feet, Bast’s statue stares into the west, where the sun has set mere moments ago.

Later, special offerings are placed before the shrine — orange salad, nectarines and kiwi fruit, spicy shrimp cocktail, a key lime tart, and more flowers like flames — and a feast is held.

Dua Bast, great mother and protector, as the end of the year approaches!

 


 

My personal festival calendar (based on the House of Netjer’s calendar, as created by Rev. Tamara Siuda) is still a work in progress. I tend to get a little too ambitious — an earlier idea, of honoring a God of the week, proved to be too much, at least at this point in my life, let alone a God of each day, which was also rolling around in my mind for a while. Too much granularity! I had to step back a little. But what’s quite doable, and now forms a central part of my calendar, is to celebrate a festival for Bast in each (Kemetic) month.

Some months already come with a festival (or more than one) explicitly for Her (Bast Guards the Two Lands, for instance, or the much-beloved Onion Day). For a few, I appropriated a more generic “Eye of Ra” or “Nesret [She of the Flame]” festival. And one festival I borrowed from Hethert, on the grounds that Bast has explicitly told me, I am your Hethert (and hopefully the Lady of Gold won’t mind too much).

This month’s festival is The Eye of Ra Enters the Horizon, to be celebrated, according to the House calendar, with sunset prayers. So yesterday I held a celebration in three parts: a prayer outside at sunset, with incense and water-offering and song before my garden statue of Bast; special offerings as part of my daily state rite; and finally a feast with my housemate.

This is the last Bast festival before the Kemetic year’s end, a mere twenty days away now, and it’s fitting that it should be connected with the sunset, and thus also with the sense of completion associated with the God Atum, whose very name means “The Complete One.” The year is winding down; it’s a time for quiet reflection on all that has occurred in the past months, and also a time to ask for protection against the unruly spirits that haunt the changing of the year.

So may Bast’s warm, golden light guide and protect you all in the days to come.

Dua Bast, Eye of Ra! Nekhtet!

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