Posts Tagged ‘art’
At my (non-Kemetic) partner’s urging, I woke up very early this morning to find that he had made two snake-shaped sweet potato pancakes to be ceremonially slain and
nommed destroyed. We did this last year, too – it symbolizes the Uncreated One, Ap-p (Apophis), being defeated and disempowered in the new year.
My partner said, and I quote, “Isfet has never tasted so good.” I laughed very hard at that, and agreed.
I lit a candle, said the sunrise prayer at, um, some time significantly later than sunrise, and painted my new altar shelf. I’d spent last night taking everything down, cleaning it, and reorganizing it, and while I am not 100% done (I’ll be adding another tiny shelf for Set, Heru-wer, and the Jackal soon), I’m very pleased with how the space works right now. New shrine pictures will come in a following post, once the paint on the shelf dries!
I also made a new year’s sigil for Nut/Hethert-Nut, Whose year this is. The pale blue central sigil is Balance; the corner golden one is Hope. And the stars are Hers.
Today is Nebt-het’s birthday, the last of the epagomenal days, five days that fall between the end of the Kemetic year and Wep Ronpet, the Kemetic New Year on August 3rd.
Hail to the Sister of Shadows,
She Who comforts the living
and guides the dead home.
May You bless this coming year
as You blessed Your brother, Wesir,
with Your long sight and Your steadfast protection.
Greyed violet as velvet and the dusk,
as multi-faceted as the changing moon,
Dua Nebt-het, Lady of the House!
A sigil for rest in Nebt-het’s honor.
Today is Aset’s birthday, the fourth of the epagomenal days, five days that fall between the end of the Kemetic year and Wep Ronpet, the Kemetic New Year on August 3rd.
Hail to the Shining Daughter of Stars,
radiant queen upon Her throne,
most devoted mother over Her children.
May You bless this coming year
as You blessed Your son with Your heka;
protect and balm this year as You did Him.
Pure blue as the field of the sunlit sky,
as clever as He Who won this day from the moon,
Dua Aset, Great of Magic!
In Aset’s honor, a sigil for fulfilling: rising to fill the space in which you choose to stand, and to fill the role you choose to take.
Today is Set’s birthday, the third of the epagomenal days, five days that fall between the end of the Kemetic year and Wep Ronpet, the Kemetic New Year on August 3rd.
Hail to the Progenitor of Chaos,
standing fearless at the sun’s prow
and forever slaying the Uncreated One.
May You bless this coming year
and guard it as You guard Ma’at
in brilliant, crackling, blazing fierceness.
Red as a firestorm behind dark smoke,
as powerful as the inexorable turning of the world,
Dua Set, Great of Strength!
In Set’s honor, a sigil for ferocity.
I did not want to answer this question, posed on the Kemetic Orthodox forums as a way to contemplate the past Kemetic year in preparation for the new one, which begins August 3rd.
My avoidance is probably a sign that I should, indeed, explore my answer. ^^;
Ptah’s year was not a building year in the way I expected, planned, and hoped. My love and I moved to Texas shortly before the Kemetic year changed over; my job relocated me with a very promising paycheck, which we wanted to use to pay off my debts and make some serious inroads on my partner’s student loan debts. I intended to build my skillset, my network, my seniority, and my savings account. My goals were all pragmatism and foundation-shoring.
Instead, I’ve endured some of the rockiest company transitions I’ve ever experienced, a flurry of managers in quick succession, and a wildly fluctuating job description. I have shifted back into my “lean times” budget with admitted reluctance (but also with gratitude that I have lived as dirt-poor before and know how to handle it). My savings account stands empty thus far. I have broadened my professional network, but only because so many people have come and gone through my office. I have increased my seniority by virtue of outlasting the roughest waves, but those who are above me now are newer than me, and so my seniority doesn’t matter a whit as I re-prove myself to them, as I proved myself to their successors and those who came before.
But rather than looking to the bricks I’d hoped to lay down, what about those that were unexpected and strong?
Thanks to the madhouse at work, I am tenfold a better worker in both capacity and skills. I feel I have matured greatly because of what I’ve experienced, grappled with, and adapted to.
With Texas came a house that is beyond wonderful. Our landlords are gracious and superbly respectful of our privacy, we have a fenced back yard, and we have a glorious amount of space that is laid out in an atypical, delightful way. (Our house is horseshoe-shaped!)
My partner and I are even more tightly tied as a family, and we were able to adopt a stray we found recently. Despite already having five cats and a dog, this new dog has fit in unbelievably well in what I had always considered was a household of critters prohibitive of having a bigger dog. My partner and our animals bring me so much joy.
Ptah’s year saw me engage and evolve as a Remetj of Kemetic Orthodoxy, drawing increasingly closer to Ma’ahes and Serqet, and then getting my RPD in November, where I was divined a child of Nebt-het and Hethert-Nut, beloved of Ma’ahes and Serqet. I have deepened and explored my relationships with my gods, and while perhaps I have not done as much as I would have liked to in this regard, I have certainly done more than nothing. :)
My crafting sort of exploded this year, unexpectedly and unplannedly. I wrote music for my gods, including my first-ever experience putting guitar to original lyrics, and I participated in a challenge to write an album in one month. I began painting. I began making sigils. I opened up Mythic Curios with my love. I began making jewelry. I began making sculpeytures. I wrote over 100k on a rough draft of a new novel in the late fall/early winter, then 50k on a rewrite of another novel idea, and almost a dozen short stories in May. I laid down the groundwork for a consistent creative habit that I intend to last me indefinitely – I am never done making things.
I am incredibly grateful for the skillset, family, spirituality, and creativity that I have built in Ptah’s green year. Dua Ptah!
Today is Heru-wer’s birthday, the second of the epagomenal days, five days that fall between the end of the Kemetic year and Wep Ronpet, the Kemetic New Year on August 3rd.
Hail to the Way-Lighting Falcon,
soaring through darkening tumult
and deterring the lightning.
May You bless this coming year
so that it may shine as brightly
and stand as tall and rightful as You.
Gold as the noonday sun,
as unerring as the hunting hawk,
Dua Heru-wer, Master of Fear!
In Heru-wer’s honor, a sigil for flight– of the falcon and of the arrow to its target. (Click here to see it in the light.)
Today is Wesir’s birthday, the first of the epagomenal days, five days that fall between the end of the Kemetic year and Wep Ronpet, the Kemetic New Year on August 3rd.
Hail to the Once-Living King,
sacrificed by His brother
so that He may lead the beloved dead.
May You bless this coming year
as You blessed Aset with Your son;
the year stands strong in ma’at as Heru does.
Green as the dancing rushes,
as fertile as the flooding Nile,
Dua Wesir, the Lord of Life!
In Wesir’s honor, the tiniest sigil I have ever painted – it is for growth.
My partner and I were struck by an idea on April’s Friday the 13th and, enthusiastically driven to act on it for some clearly unknowable reason (ahem), I built a web presence around it that very evening. We spent the next couple weeks fleshing it out and crafting, and well, it’s about due time I share it here, since the news has officially gotten out. :D
Allow me to introduce to you Mythic Curios, an online shoppe featuring custom magic sigils, fantastical jewelry, and mythological paintings by yours truly and the brilliant love of my life! We even put together a small website to explore the idea of paying for magic and the kinds of magic that we use in the sigils and some paintings – because, you know, it’s sort of important to know what’s going on behind the Seen when messing with magical objects.
I am really excited about this project and very proud of the work we’re doing. This is not an attempt to build a livelihood – our prices are way too low for that! It’s a way to share something we absolutely love to create and look at and wear, a way to help people by bringing magic and unique beauty into their lives, and also a way to fund future creations so we don’t eat ramen in the name of buying more beads and acrylics. (Because, seriously, we would. Art trumps fine food!)
If you’re at all interested in magical art or handmade jewelry, please do peruse the curio archive and spread the word to others who might like it! And, of course, we’d love the chance to make you your own painting or piece of jewelry. :)
Well, you get this:
(Left side for color distinction, right side for sheer shininess.)
The first sigil of a shoal that I intend to hang over the painted tapestry that’s over my altar. You’ll notice I used Kalash, my artificial alphabet, instead of English script to create the sigil itself; that’s because I already use Kalash for prayers and charms, and also because it looks really friggin’ cool, especially when I get to arrange the letters artistically like this.
This sigil is for my partner J and I both, but the initial idea was his: he wanted a sigil for “inspired action,” or inspiration with the capacity/willingness to manifest it into reality. The blue is vivid and deep, the primordial waters, cauldron of life; the sigil is in gold, for creativity and molten ore; strands of sacred purple come down from the stars as inspiration, and orange roots snake down to reach the fertile earth below and manifest the ideas.
Working through this has delighted my inner facets of geek in so many ways. Figuring out how to phrase the goal/intention to be linguistically aesthetic in English, psychologically effective, and magically active; using Kalash to make it visually cryptic and elaborate and pleasing to look at; using my knowledge of magical color symbolism and the psychology of color; and then getting to paint it myself! And that’s not even going into any rituals or magic that will be performed over/for the finished painting before I hang it as “active” on my wall. :D
In short, I loved doing this, and I’m eager to do the next!
I’m toying with the idea of posting photos every month of my shrine, just to see how it changes. Right now, it’s had a definite expansion: I oil-painted two small shelves to give me more surface area, which means more of the things inside the altar itself get to be placed in open air.
Here’s the shrine in total; you can see my corkboard up on the wall where I keep my religious/otherwise sacred jewelry when I’m not wearing it, including Sekhmet’s pendant and Serqet’s amulet:
To the left, I’ve added a red-painted shelf for Sekhmet alone, as I have the most icons of Her and I feel they deserve a special place:
To the right, I added a teal-and-purple shelf. I wasn’t sure Who it’d be for while I was painting it, but I knew I wanted a place to showcase my non-Sekhmet, non-RPD gods icons, so here we have Twtw and Renenutet:
I did a second painting recently for Hethert-Nut, which She requested; She liked the first one, but She prefers the iconography of Mehet-Weret, a golden cow with deep blue stars. I added the dark indigo background as tribute to the royal purple color I associate with Her. (Also, as most of my paintings, this one is metallic, so it takes poor photos. Also also, I did not use a reference for the cow shape, which is why She looks slightly deer-like.)
And lastly, I acquired a gorgeous statue of and for Ma’ahes, made by the ever-fabulous Nicolas of Shadow of the Sphinx. (He also made my little Sekhmet votive and both Twtw’s and Renenutet’s statues.) People, if you ever need any Egyptian statuary, go to this artisan first – there is no one better in terms of courtesy, skill, affordability, and receptivity to custom work.
Today I do senut, which I intend to make a regular practice as a full-fledged, formal ritual on the first weekend of every month. In it, I will offer my gods the following, and then ask each of Them for a message concerning the month ahead, via my divination tools (cards or coins, whichever They each prefer).
hetep-di-nisut, an offering which the King gives:
To Sekhmet, I offer Her the red shelf, a sacred place of Her own.
To Nebt-het, I offer a black bone ankh and a stormy grey-violet amethyst.
To Hethert-Nut, I offer Her the second painting, may it please Her, as well as night-sky-with-stars beads I found today.
To Ma’ahes, I offer the lion statue.
To Serqet, I offer a banana-milk smoothie. (Don’t look at me, She requested it.)
To Ma’at, I offer a white bird made of shell.
To Set, in thanks for His oracle assistance, I offer peppered jerky and two slim jims, as promised.
And to my akhu, I offer a painting of us; may I always think of my ancestors fondly. (I will finish it before senut today and post a picture of it later.)
I did this painting of and for my akhu, my ancestors, the blessed dead. It was made with their guidance, which was considerably lighter/subtler than I receive when painting with Netjeru, but I still do feel they had a hand in it. (As usual, forgive the awkwardness that is photographing metallic paints. I swear I will figure out a good way to do that someday.)
Hail akhu, true of voice, shining as stars in the vault of Nut! May you receive a thousand of all good and pure things.
Guys, I can’t tell you how pleased with and proud of this one I am. This is pretty much the best painting I have done to date. The black, gold (around the pincers), and bronze (around the stinger) are all metallic; the red and white are matte. It is gorgeous in person.
It is a gift for Meket, a daughter of Serqet and a spiritual sibling in the Kemetic Orthodoxy. She has seen it and loves it, so I’ll be shipping it off to her very soon. =3
To my friends and my kindred spirits, if you ever want any art from me, know that I absolutely love doing this and that you should never hesitate to ask. ♥
Disclaimer #1: Where I say “God”, substitute your preferred term. God, Goddess, the Divine, the Great Spirit, Netjer, an individual deity’s name, etc. This is shorthand, not exclusion. :)
Disclaimer #2: This post will make me sound pretty crazy. That’s okay. Creation is a weird, intense thing.
If you’ve seen this blog’s past entries at all, you know I like to create things. I’ve made paintings for my four primary Egyptian gods (and one more is planned for the Red Lady), a sculpey pendant for one of those four (and planning another as a gift, plus a sculpey-ture), and several songs or mini-songs for all of the above. I’ve also been writing a re-imagined Egyptian fairytale, combining the myth of the Destruction of Mankind with the myth of the Distant Goddess.
And, since I keep inundating this journal will the results of such creativity, I figured now is not a bad time to talk about the process of creation, especially when there’s one or more gods involved.
When I write “regular” fiction, my characters drive the story. I may have the vaguest seed of an idea or a well-planned plot and setting, but once I start writing, the characters take the wheel, and I wind up being a side-seat driver or, at best, a navigator. “No, no, turn left up here, trust me.” It’s an incredibly enjoyable process, but it’s not exactly an exercise of logic and intellect for me. I’m just along for the ride, taking notes as I go.
Working on a project for or with God is even
weirder more out of my hands. I’m not imagining the end result and working towards it; I’m stating my intention to create X for/with Y and then listening. It’s a full-body listen, like my mind cracks open and stretches out, no longer a self-contained sphere. I’m receptive and open and subconsciously, intuitively aware.
Writing a song, I’m not analyzing the words or carefully structuring a rhyming pattern. (I’m bad at rhymes, anyways.) I’m relaying a story that’s slowly coalescing in my head. I’m asking the song what chords or notes it wants, what tempo, what texture of voice. I’m asking God, “is this okay? is this part right?” and I can always feel, quite strongly, if it’s right or not. There may be a point in the song where any of three chords will work musically, but there’s always one right chord and two wrong ones. I have editorial license – I can rearrange verses or choose synonyms or use a capo sometimes – but the core always comes from outside of me when I’m making spiritual music.
Same with paintings. I’ll have a vague idea of the overall layout of objects/figures in the painting, but God picks the colors. I have argued, on two different paintings, about the colors God has chosen, but I used the preferred colors, and God was proven right both times. (I have since stopped arguing, although I still express my incredulousness sometimes.) By the time the painting is done, I may be exhausted and not very impressed with my limited skills, but by gum, the painting feels right. The god I’ve made it for likes it, because that god had a hand in the whole creation process.
In the end, when I’m creating something for God, it’s always co-creation. I always have the god in question leaning in, a presence in the space around me, giving me wordless nudges towards this color or this chord. And that’s magic, right there. That’s my interactive prayer. The times when I am co-creating with my gods are when I am the closest I get to Them, and as challenging as it can be, I love it and appreciate it immensely.
This post brought to you as part of the Pagan Blog Project.