Grave Moss & Stars

PBP Fridays: M is for Marking the Days

I always thought of Summer Solstice as a Wiccan thing (when I was young), or an eclectic-pagan thing (when I was slightly older). I didn’t think it would follow me home to Kemeticism.

But here it is, a radiant drop of sunlight in the form of a lioness, the Wandering Goddess come home to Kemet at the peak of the daylit year.

As part of writing about Anhur, I summarized the Myth of the Distant Goddess:

The myth, in short, tells the tale of the Eye of Ra becoming angry and leaving Kemet (Egypt) to go away, often to Nubia. The reason that the Eye goddess becomes angry can vary, but a frequent version of the myth tells how Ra sends his Eye to search for Shu and Tefnut, Who have gone off wandering in the world that is not yet done being created; when the Eye finds Them and returns Them to Ra, She finds that Ra has grown another Eye in Her absence. Angry with Her replacement, She storms off and wanders the desert, hostile and disconsolate.

In order to regain His protection under the Eye goddess, Ra sends a hunter-seeker to find Her and persuade Her to return. Depending on the version, the god Ra sends accomplishes this feat by a mixture of cajoling, praise, promises of riches and joys upon Her return, and reminders of the Eye’s duty to Her father. When the Eye comes back to civilized lands, She is met with rejoicing, offerings, and festivities by the people of Kemet.

Different gods can play the roles of the Eye and the seeker in this myth. Often, it’s Shu who is sent to bring His sister-consort Tefnut back; other times, it’s Djehuty in His baboon form that teases and flatters an Eye goddess like Hethert (Hathor) or Tefnut until She agrees to return. However, Anhur Himself is often the hunter Who finds, and the Eye Whom He brings back is Mekhit/Mehit/Menhit, the lioness Who then becomes His consort and wife.

Today, the Summer Solstice, is the Feast of Hethert, Eye of Ra—today we celebrate the Lady of Gold’s return to Kemet in the longest day of the year. Today is the joyous peak of the year’s wheel, the explosion of life and heat and light that shines in glory of Hethert’s return to us.

The beauty of your face
Glitters when you rise,
O come in peace.

One is drunk
At your beautiful face,
O Gold, Hathor.

~ inscription from a tomb at Thebes (source: Hathor Rising, A. Roberts)

Welcome home, Hethert, Mistress of Heaven! You bless the world with Your smile and the warmth You bring. Dua Hethert, Gracious One!

This post brought to you by the Pagan Blog Project.

Last year’s first M post was a Monstrous Manifesto.