Grave Moss & Stars

Archive for August, 2013

PBP Fridays: R is for Raet

O Raet, molten gold aflame, mighty and beautiful one!
Consort of the Warrior, Name of the Punisher,
Wet-nurse of the Creatrix, Mother of the New Sun!
Raet, Who wears the uraeus with Her feathers,
You are Queen of the Two Lands, united and whole!
O Raet, Who brings illumination to the Seen world,
You are the globe of the sun in the heavens!
You are preeminent in Your place, second to none,
older than the First One, the bud of the birthing lotus!
Your glory is the color of sunlight,
Your protective wrath is as red as sunset!
O Raet, shine upon us, warm us as a mother to Her child,
and we will flourish under Your unblinking Eye!

Raet (Rait, Raettawy) is the female Ra, associated with sovereignty by Hatshepsut. She is alternately a consort of Montu, mother of Djehuty (Thoth), wet-nurse of Nit (Neith), mother of Heru (Horus), consort of the sun god Ra, the Eye of Ra, and/or Ra’s daughter.

This post brought to you by the Pagan Blog Project.

simplicity

I stepped into the room, exhausted, and looked at my shrine. I had neither the energy nor the focus to perform even my bare-bones daily rite, not after a full day of work, three hours of a root canal, and an evening of thoroughly cleaning in preparation for a house inspection the following morning.

I dug out three tealights: one red, one cream-colored, and one pumpkin-y. I set them on the offering plate and lit them.

I didn’t say any fancy words or even wash my hands to purify. I simply thanked Sekhmet and Serqet, Who helped me through the dental work, and Ma’ahes, Who comforted me when I was afraid and in pain.

Sometimes, it really is as simple as a candle, a whispered word of gratitude, and a feeling of relief for having made it through.

in the year of Heru-sa-Aset

For Kemetic Orthodoxy, this Kemetic year is the year of Heru-sa-Aset (Horus the Younger) as the victorious king. It is one of the most positive oracles I’ve ever read, and I am very hopeful about how this year will turn out, both spiritually and pragmatically. I’ve always considered Heru to be a get’r’done Netjeru, and I look forward to making a lot of progress on various projects on my plate. (Obscure Gods project, I’m lookin’ at you!)

I have worked with Heru-wer (Horus the Elder) before, and I have brushed up against Heru-Ma’ahes once or twice, but I’ve never interfaced with Heru-sa-Aset. Perhaps this year will change that and deepen my understanding of Who He is.

A prayer for the year of Heru-sa-Aset, written August 15:

Hail Heru-sa-Aset in this His year!
Hail the golden child now grown!
Hail the sacred lotus in full bloom!
Hail the son of the Mistress of Magic!
Hail the shining heir, son of His father!
Hail He Who survived the terrors of youth!
Hail He Who was forged by storm and sting!
Hail He Who yet walks among the people!
Hail He Who upholds Ma’at in all things!
Hail He Who knows the secret name of the sun!
Hail He Who brings victory to the Two Lands!
Hail the mighty falcon, wearing the uraeus!
Hail the many-chambered heart of the king!
Hail Heru-sa-Aset in this His year!

PBP Fridays: Q is for Qebshenef

Qebshenef is one of the Four Sons of Heru (Horus), a group of netjeri (spirits) associated with the canopic jars that hold the organs of the mummified deceased. The Four Sons also protect the throne of Wesir (Osiris) in the Unseen and assist the deceased through the Duat. Each of the Sons is protected by one of the funerary goddesses and associated with one of the cardinal directions.

Qebshenef, whose name means “cooling his brother (with water),” is hawk-headed and holds the intestines. He is guarded by Serqet (Selkis), the scorpion goddess, and associated with the south.

Imset, whose name means “the kindly one,” is human-headed and wears the nemes headcloth. He holds the liver, is guarded by Aset (Isis), and is associated with the west.

Duamutef, whose name means “praising his mother,” is jackal-headed and holds the stomach. He is guarded by Nit (Neith), the Great He-She, and associated with the north.

Hapy (not Hapi, god of the Nile), whose name means “runner,” is baboon-headed and holds the lungs. He is guarded by Nebt-het (Nephthys) and associated with the east.

While the Four Sons have the above associations in regards to their canopic jars, they also assist the deceased in different ways, including carrying or lifting up the deceased, preparing a ladder into the sky, protecting against attacks and decay, preventing hunger and thirst, bringing the deceased a boat “which Khnum built,” and steering that boat.

The Sons themselves are alternatingly stated to be sons of Aset (Isis) and Heru-wer (Horus the Elder) or Khenty-irty (Horus of Khem), but were also implied to be sons of Heru-sa-Aset (Horus the Younger) by virtue of being the grandchildren of Wesir (Osiris). They’ve also been described as the bau (souls) of Pe (a city in Lower Egypt) and Nekhen (a city in Upper Egypt), along with Heru Himself. In various texts, they’re identified as stars near Ursa Major, as emanations of Heru or as Heru’s bau (souls), and as the king’s “children’s children” (the king being as Wesir, Heru’s own father). They’ve also been identified in spells as the hands, arms, fingernails, and/or feet of the deceased or described accompanying the deceased through the Duat.

Sources:

  • http://www.kemet.org/glossary/
  • http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/religion/sons_of_horus.htm
  • http://henadology.wordpress.com/theology/netjeru/horus-sons-of/

Henadology’s article is particularly well-fleshed-out and worth further reading, as my entry here merely summarizes the basics of the Four Sons.

This post brought to you by the Pagan Blog Project.

KRT: Learning and Celebrating Kemetic Holidays

This post is part of the Kemetic Round Table, which aims to answer some of the most common questions and provide a wealth of diverse options for the Kemetic novice to explore.

What about holidays? Do we need them? How do I figure out when holidays occur? How do I celebrate holidays? Can I make up my own holidays?

“Need” is a strong word. I myself find great value in the various Kemetic holidays, and while I don’t celebrate all of them by any means, various holidays large and small have provided me touchpoints with Netjer, introductions to new Netjeru, and ways to build my relationship with the gods I’m devoted to. I’ve known other Kemetics to invent their own modern Kemetic holidays, which I think is pretty awesome, too. :)

As for the meat and potatoes of the entry, please forgive me if I direct you to three different places to answer the rest of the questions:

  • Earlier this year, I wrote about Feasts and Festivals, which covers this topic from my own perspective (albeit in Cliff’s Notes format).
  • In the above post, I linked to another Kemetic’s well-written and thought-out post on celebrating Kemetic holidays, which is very useful for a novice and for those of us who are slightly less new to the path.
  • Lastly, I would be absolutely remiss if I didn’t direct the curious Kemetic to The Ancient Egyptian Daybook by Egyptologist Tamara Siuda, founder of Kemetic Orthodoxy. The Daybook will be released in December 2013 and will provide a detailed, thoroughly-researched Kemetic calendar reconstructed from antiquity. You can preorder copies from that website if you so desire, too!

If you enjoyed this post, please check out other takes on Kemetic holidays by my fellow Round Table bloggers!

PBP Friday: P is for Polyvalent Logic

Kemetic Orthodox and many other Kemetics employ polyvalent logic, more commonly known as fuzzy logic, to understand and integrate many of ancient Egypt’s myths. Polyvalent logic proposes that true/false is not a binary, a switch to be flipped on or off, but a sliding scale instead—and with that increased vagueness, more than one thing can be true at the same time (even if one is frequently slightly “less” true than the other).

For example, there are half a dozen or more Kemetic creation myths, none of which reference any of the others; rather than choosing one to be the singularly “true” one, they’re all considered to be true. (With the caveat that most Kemetics don’t take them to be literal truths, but metaphorical or symbolic ones.) Similarly, all the gods involved in those myths are all called creator gods, none excluding the others. Nit (Neith), the Great He-She, Who gave birth to the sun and thus created childbirth as well as all of creation, and Khnum, the artisan, Who created Himself in the primordial waters of the Nun and Who shapes each human’s body on His potter’s wheel, are just as much creators as Ptah, the Master Architect, Who made creation from the thoughts in His heart that He spoke aloud. Neither the gods nor Their stories negate each other as true.

This is, in part, because Netjeru are bendy. They flow into each other’s roles. Over time, one can become equated with, syncretized with, or aspected with another. Older gods will get consumed by the popularity of newer gods and fall into obscurity‚Ķ or They’ll combine, creating an entirely new Netjeru with properties of both. Depending on how you tilt your head, the Horus that you greet may be Heru-wer, the solar warrior and Set’s twin; Heru-sa-Aset, young king and son of Aset (Isis); Heruakhety, of the two horizons; Heru-behdety, the winged disk; Heru-pa-khered, the child; Heru-em-akhet, the divinization of the Giza Sphinx; or others.

I am extraordinarily grateful that Kemeticism supports polyvalent logic, as I have a hard time thinking in true/false binaries myself. I can acknowledge Nit as the Creatrix and Ptah as the Maker of All in the same breath, and neither is false, neither overrides the other. And that fuzzy logic can extend outwards and make room for multiple belief systems in the world, none of them a singular truth and none of them invalidated by the rest. There are many paths we can take, be they spiritual or not, and they are vastly different, and none of them are wrong.

Standard Disclaimer: I do not support paths that promote hatred, unnecessary violence, bigotry, etc. But there are plenty that have a core of love, peace, balance, respect, responsibility, and humility, and those are the ones I write of here.

This post brought to you by the Pagan Blog Project.

Quasi-Guest Post: My Partner’s Wep Ronpet

As I’d hoped, my (non-Kemetic) partner did indeed make pansnakes and ritually slay them on the first day of the new Kemetic year. More than that, however, he sent me a narrative, accompanied by photos, which I am sharing with you all. I laughed so hard I cried when I got them on Saturday. :D

 
*cue ominous foreshadowy music* From the murky Teflon depths of isfet…
 
It’s alive! Alive!
 
Back, foul creatures! Back, I say!
 
Ho! Ha ha! Guard! Turn! Parry! Dodge! Spin! Ha! THRUST!
 
Taste cold steel… and justice!
 
If it bleeds, we can kill it.
 
Hisssss! (Translation: Run away! Run away!)
 
No surrender, no retreat!
 
Usually one goes from the frying pan into the fire, not the other way around…
 
Villain! Have at thee!
 
You may be quick, but my blade is quicker. En garde!
 
Ha! Missed me, missed me, now ya gotta ki… Ya know what, never mind. Hya!
 
Tsunami CHOP!
 
*shinnng!* *slow motion choppy sound from Samurai Jack*
 
One two! One two! And through and through. The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
 
…and with its head he went galumphing back. Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! Hail the conquering hero!
 
What is best in life?

To crush isfet, see it driven before you, and eat the tasty tasty remains. *nomnomnom!*

embracing the new year

I feel that Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata aligns quite nicely with my own worldview and with the principles of ma’at, so I am walking joyously into the new year with these words:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

PBP Friday: P is for Preparing for the New Kemetic Year

Tomorrow is Wep Ronpet, the first day of the new Kemetic year, according to the Kemetic Orthodoxy calendar.

Tomorrow, I will rise before dawn, and at 5 am, I will take part in a ritual to welcome the new year and to deflect any dangers it brings. I will perform heka for the Netjeru of the new year.

Sadly, I will not slay pansnakes, but I’m still hoping my (non-Kemetic) partner makes some and kills ’em in my honor. :)

But I will join with my Kemetic siblings and my gods, and I will set goals and make prayers, and I will take that first deep breath of newborn air and smile.

Happy new year to those who celebrate it!

This post brought to you by the Pagan Blog Project.

Last year’s P post was primary gods.

on Nebt-het’s day

From Bourghouts’ Ancient Egyptian Magical Texts, words spoken by Nebt-het (Nephthys). These words “are useful … as the devouring of a falcon, as the striking of an `hy-bird, as the listening of the Sea to the voice of Seth.”

May you awake in a good manner! Endure until eternity! Every ailment that confronts you will be dispelled. Your mouth will be opened up by Ptah, your mouth will be disclosed by Sokar with that chisel of bronze of his.

Dua Nebt-het, Who secures health and the efficacy of medicine!

on Aset’s day

From A.G. McDowell’s Village Life in Ancient Egypt, a spell to drive away nightmares:

Dreamer: “Come to me, come to me, mother Isis! Behold, I see that which is far from me in my city!”

Aset (Isis): “I am here, my son Horus! Come out with what you have seen so that your dumbness ceases and your dreams retreat. May fire come out against the thing that frightened you! Behold, I have come to see you, that I might drive out your evil, that I might destroy every harm.”