Posts Tagged ‘hethert-nut’
I gather the usual supplies: incense, candle, cool liquid. I resist the urge to get the I’m-sorry-it’s-been-so-long wine from the fridge, choosing instead Nebt-het’s other favorite, blackberry-grape water. I pour some for Her, then savor the rest—the taste takes me back to the first summer-soaked days in Texas, when our house was yet empty and I was only beginning to know Her.
I make the offerings, kneel before the shrine, and call on my Mothers. There is no tangible response, and wise words ring through my head, remembered: Most of the gods are subtle. That is one thing They can be said to be, overall. We tend to miss Them, rather than Their not being around.
When I shift my own perceptions to a finer grain, looking for the hints of grey that fill the gaps in the primary spectrum, I find a sense of Her. Nebt-het is subtlety squared, soft and velvet like shadows, and if I shine the light of my attention too hard towards Her, I’ll never see Her.
She likes the drink, and I think She likes the necklace I made for Her; it’s enough of a response, at least, for me to wear it around my neck. It loops twice and is heavy.
Hethert-Nut is more palpable, but I have to stretch to reach Her, and I do not have enough of a stable root system threading through the hard clay soil that I can extend myself beyond the atmosphere without wavering, unbalanced. I feel like a sea fern, all lace and undulation, but at least I glimpse Her nebulae and can feel Her radiant, suffusive love.
I ask two questions of each of Them, and the answers They give are what I had expected, save one which is humbling. For the umpteenth time, I wonder how I could do this better, how I could perceive my Mothers more clearly and strongly; I know I’m capable of sensing more, given my interactions with Ma’ahes, Who can paint the insides of my eyes His sunset-orange.
But I already know the answer. It’s the way I initially approached Serqet: heart-felt action with zero expectations. Going into shrine with high hopes of a mind-blowing, visceral experience with the Netjeru will frequently prevent me from being open enough to feel what actually happens—which is often more subtle and quieter than I might wish.
Thank You, Nebt-het, for showing me how to look for the subtle nature of Netjer, just by being Who You are. I love You.
As a Shemsu (follower) of Kemetic Orthodoxy, I have undergone the Rite of Parent Divination, a geomantic divination which reveals my divine Parent(s) and Beloved(s). I have two Parents, my Mothers, Nebt-het (Nephthys) and Hethert-Nut; I also have Sekhmet as a pre-divination “surrogate” mother-figure, and I will frequently call Her my mother. Some of my dearest Kemetic siblings, including the wonderful person who introduced me to Kemetic Orthodoxy and my own sister, have a divined Father; in fact, one of my close friends was divined with two, like I have two Mothers.
But I don’t have any deity I unofficially call Father, and I’d like to explore what it’s like to have such a female-centric divine family.
(What do polytheists call the grouping of their deities that they interact with and worship? I want to say “personal pantheon,” but that’s not quite dictionary-accurate. In Kemetic Orthodoxy, it’s our “lineup” or divine family if referring to the Netjeru we were divined with, but I need a term for the Netjeru of my divination plus Sekhmet…)
I have one god consistently in my life, and that is Ma’ahes, the Living Lion; I have called Him brother for nearly as long as I’ve known Him, and He is not paternal in the least with me. Other male Netjeru, all of Whom happen to be my sister’s or friends’ Fathers and Beloveds, will infrequently touch base but aren’t a part of my daily practice so much that we have a strong one-on-one relationship.
So, as things stand, I am a goddess-worshipper. Sekhmet devotee, born of Nebt-het and Hethert-Nut, protected by Serqet. Ma’ahes is so supportive and non-obtrusive, letting me approach Him instead of actively demanding time and attention, that He doesn’t radiate the traditional “lordly” vibes that many male deities do. (Heru-wer, I’m lookin’ at You.) Ma’ahes, the only male Eye of Ra, an executioner personified by the sweltering summer heat… is extremely gentle and patient with me. He is, in fact, as kind as the most compassionate of my goddesses, Hethert-Nut.
This is probably due to my own nature: I am a non-Newtonian creature and will react to blunt force or aggression by steeling myself and raising my defenses, or simply sidestepping and walking away, whereas slower and softer movements are allowed access to my vulnerable insides. In other words, any deity approaching me with any kind of “macho” attitude would not find a berth in my practice. I am mindful, rational, emotional, and compassionate, and I don’t relate well to a lot of posturing or strict hierarchy. (This is also why I don’t deal with many gods of royalty. I respect Them—I just don’t grok Them.)
Perhaps that’s why I didn’t end up with a Father or a kingly god in my divination; it would take a very special sort of god to fill a paternal role without rubbing me the wrong way. Of the hundreds of ancient Egyptian gods, Ptah is one of the few male Netjeru Whose demeanor jives very well with me, and the only Netjeru I could envision having a positive paternal relationship with me. I adore Him and His myths, and the fact that He is Sekhmet’s consort only endears Him further to me. If He were willing, I would happily involve Him in my regular practice and accept that added paternal flavor… but that has yet to happen, mostly through my own inaction.
I’ve wondered if my bias towards goddesses has anything to do with my transition away from Christianity, but I wasn’t brought up so religiously that it left a bruise. Even my human role-models were both strong women and compassionate men, individuals who were solidly good people without being restricted to any extreme of gender stereotype. Being genderfunky myself, I don’t seek out one sex over the other for friendship or company; I tend not to judge at all based on sex or gender, but based on personal characteristics that mesh well with who I am. I find myself very comfortable with many goddesses, but I have not been exclusionary towards gods; it’s been something of an accidental ratio of female-to-male.
So I am a goddesses’ Kemetic, sort of the polytheist version of a ladies’ man, albeit not through any conscious, deliberate choice. Given the wealth of joy and contentment in my spiritual practice, I can’t say I’m complaining—just curious about how the dice fell. My Mothers and my Ladies are beautiful and fierce and fathomless, and I adore Them wholeheartedly… as I do Ma’ahes, as I would any god or goddess Who won my heart.
Last year’s first F post was on five pillars of Kemetic Orthodoxy, which later became a permanent page.
Alternate title: “Colorless,” My Ass
In the Kemetic calendar, today is a day for Tasenetnofret, The Good Sister, a Name Who is a form of Hethert (Hathor), but also an epithet of Nebt-het (Nephthys). This is the one place I have found where my Mothers, Nebt-het and Hethert-Nut, actually overlap.
While idly browsing the Wepwawet Wiki, looking at hieroglyphs, I stumbled across Tasenetnofret’s page. She was described as “a colorless manifestation of Hethert in the role of divine wife.”
I’m pretty sure my reaction was along the lines of “oh no you din’t!” My Mothers? Colorless?!
(Please note that I am not actually taking offense at the editors of Wepwawet Wiki. I realize there’s not a lot of sources out there detailing Tasenetnofret, which can give any Netjeru a lackluster image. I felt compelled to action, not outrage. ~_^)
So, in an immediate effort to rectify this monochromatic statement, I went about painting a very colorful gift for Tasenetnofret:
Dua Tasenetnofret! May Your eyes feast on the most vivid of beautiful colors, always.
from the Papyrus Chester Beatty, Stanza 3:
I praise the Golden Goddess, I exalt Her Majesty, I raise the Lady of Heaven up.
I make praise for Hethert-Nut*, and chants for my Mistress.
I wanted to share this because it strikes me as particularly beautiful and devotional, and I want more short and sweet things with which to praise my Mama. ^_^
I am a child of the sky at all times of day and night, of the cool hands of comfort, of the depths of star-flung space, of the mourner and the psychopomp, of long-eyed seeking and high-lifting protection, of the deepest compassion and the most boundless joy. My Mothers, Nebt-het and Hethert-Nut, make more sense to me as divine Parents than I could have ever imagined.
But I have an Other in my life: my Red Lady, beloved Eye of Ra, most brilliant and deadly of Netjeru… Sekhmet. And where my ba (eternal soul) and my deepest nature stem undeniably from my Mothers, my heart and fiercest devotion are laid too at the altar and sand-dusted paws of the Powerful One.
I knew Sekhmet first, you see. She taught me strength and how to create and enforce boundaries. She showed me the necessary balance of contrasts, opposing forces held in dynamic tension to create wholeness. In Her name, I voluntarily undertook challenges that have made me not only a better person, but the very person I am today. It was She Who led me to Kemetic Orthodoxy and to my Mothers (and to my Beloveds, and to my wonderful community of fellow Kemetics).
In essence, Sekhmet has been my surrogate mother, the one Who received all of my adoration and worship, well before I ever “met” the Netjeru Who shaped my soul. And while Sekhmet and I are nearly perfect mirrored opposites, and I am so clearly my Mothers’ child, I am still deeply attached to the Red Lady. In many ways, I consider Her a mother-figure, too. She fills my heart, and I belong to Her, blood and bone.
However, my fervent love for Sekhmet does not lessen my love for my Mothers. My history with Sekhmet does not make trivial my less extensive experience with Nebt-het and Hethert-Nut. Sekhmet is the harmony to Their melody, the blush of warm lighting over a cool-colored backdrop. I am the moon to Her sun, and She is the solar Eye in the celestial house of my Mothers.
This is, to me, a perfect example of what it means to practice polytheism. I do not just believe in many gods; I love many gods. My time, devotion, and worship are multi-track, and while I have unique relationships with each deity in my life, it all comes together to weave one whole tapestry of vivid, fulfilling spirituality.
I know I’ve missed several PBP posts, and I will be writing and posting them when I can; in order to keep from falling further behind, I’m going to try to keep up with the “current” PBP letters and backdate as I’m able.
When one has more than one god, occasionally one runs into the problem of… well, rationing one’s time, energy, and offerings between Them. While I am only speaking for myself here, I imagine other pagans have run into this particular quandary, and I’d love to hear how you portion your attention to your gods!
Since late 2005, I’ve been following Sekhmet; my beginning relationship with Her was trepidatious, but over time, I became very attached and devoted to Her. From meeting Her up until the springtime of 2011, She was my only god. Sometimes She was barely present; sometimes I prayed to Her daily. A dear friend gave me a Sekhmet pendant, and it became daily wear for years; it was, and is, the easiest way for me to reach out to Her. I was a one-god pagan, and happily so.
But in 2011, I took the Kemetic Orthodoxy’s beginner course, and I began interacting with other Egyptian deities over the spring and summer. I met Set. I had rich, fleeting interactions with or impressions of Twtw, Renenutet, Ptah, Yinepu (Anubis). I prayed to Serqet, Our Lady of Poisons. Ma’ahes knocked on my door and met me outside at sunset. I met Nebt-het and bonded quickly with Her.
Summer cooled into fall. In November, I underwent the geomantic Rite of Parent Divination and found that my spiritual parents are Nebt-het and Hethert-Nut, my beloveds Ma’ahes and Serqet. I was both surprised and not surprised that Sekhmet was not present. As I began deepening my relationship with those four gods, I found myself spending more time with Set (thanks to my sister’s relationship with Him), too.
It has been a year since I met my Mother, Nebt-het; over a year since I began praying to Serqet, and just under a year since I met Ma’ahes. It has been almost seven full years since I began studying and worshipping Sekhmet.
And I find myself saturated with deities that I love and admire and wish to offer good things to, but no real hierarchy. In Kemetic Orthodoxy, one’s Parent(s) come(s) “first,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean that one has the closest relationship with Them, or that one spends the most time with Them, or that one even gives Them the most/nicest offerings. “First” is a very nebulous definition that I’m still seeking to explore for myself, especially since I am still emotionally closer to Ma’ahes and Serqet than my Mothers.
For all intents and purposes, I have five or six deities in my life on a consistent, long-term basis, and I have no particular hierarchy for Them. I have situations in which I call on one or another first; I have acts or objects I offer to one or the other first, based on what They like and appreciate. All my physical exercise and martial arts practice is an offering to Sekhmet; my keeping a prayerbook is a service in Nebt-het’s name. I call on Serqet when I need Her protection or on Hethert-Nut when I need comfort and love.
On occasion, it perplexes me, my lack of a primary god. So many pagans have patron or matron deities; so many of my Kemetic brethren have one Netjeru to Whom they are the closest. I struggled with “letting go” of Sekhmet as my only deity, even as She pushed me down this path that ascertained other gods would come into my life. Sometimes, out of habit, I will think of Her as my only, as my primary; but I wear jewelry for Nebt-het, Hethert-Nut, Ma’ahes, and Serqet on a daily or near-daily basis, and I do not forget that my life now includes Them, too.
Having been a person with a “matron deity,” if I can give Sekhmet that non-Kemetic label, I do occasionally miss the simplicity and purity of it. It has been a challenge to give what I deem fair amounts of attention and time to each of the gods Who are active in my life, even when only a couple at a time are standing at the forefront. But all in all, I adore each Netjeru I know, and I feel blessed by Their presence, gifts, and lessons in my life.
This post brought to you as part of the Pagan Blog Project.
A candle lit and thanks given to my Mother, Hethert-Nut, in Her name of Sky, in Her name of Space, in Her name of Galaxy.
We landed Curiosity on Mars.
It has not killed any cats. Yet. It sent back pictures. People have wept and cheered and hugged and exulted in this success, and that was just in the first five minutes of its landing.
I am in love with this amazing, infinite universe we live in, and all the science that makes it possible and glorious and stunning, and all the heart that lets us revel in its wonder.
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.
My initial thoughts on the Year 20 oracle.
… see the blue of the Great Flood …
Nut -> Mehet-Weret (The Great Flood) -> Hethert-Nut. For me, this is my Mama’s year. =3
The year is about Balance, and Hope, both of which require attention, commitment, and patience. It calls us to remain constant, steady, sure, just as the sky goddess Who oversees and embraces us all.
Consistency has always been a huge weakness in me. But I have created, this past Ptah-year, a greater consistency in many areas in my life than ever before. Even if some of them fell by the wayside eventually, they still paved an easier path between synapses for my next efforts to flow down. I know that I can do more now than a year ago. And I know how to do it. I am growing. I will keep growing.
Balance. Hope. Patience. Consistency.
Patience and consistency in getting finances under control and growing them appropriately; likewise with thriving in the workplace and ensuring my needs are being met in pragmatic matters; likewise with tending my body with nutrients and movement.
Balance and consistency in doing the work of becoming a better person, in my ways, to my standards alone; likewise with spending more time with my gods.
Patience and hope in forging through self-therapy and working through SAD this winter and, for lack of a better term, trauma.
Balance and hope in maintaining my creativity and expanding my crafts as my heart desires.
There is so much more to explore here, but this will do for a start. :)
Dua Nut! Dua Hethert-Nut!
Slightly expanded from my original morning and nighttime prayers, since I proved incredibly bad at remembering to say the nightly prayer before sleep. This’ll be said in the morning, probably as I’m driving to work.
Good morning, Netjer and Netjeru.
Thank You for all good things of yesterday,
for all the wonderful souls I have been blessed to know,
and for the zep-tepi of each new day.
Thank Nebt-het for compassion and grace,
Hethert-Nut for joy and creativity,
Ma’ahes for strength and affection,
Serqet for guidance and protection,
Sekhmet for will and rightful action,
and my akhu for family and life.
May today be positive and productive;
may I walk with Ma’at in compassion, peace, and joy.
Today is good. Dua Netjer!
To my Lady Mother, Nebt-het, Who fashioned my soul,
and to Mama Hethert-Nut, Who also fashioned my soul,
and to my mom, who created my body from her own,
and to my partner’s mom, who welcomed me into her family,
and to all the mothers of my blood, stretching back in time:
Thank you for my life and your love. I love you.
So, I don’t bead, right, but I sort of beaded, and this happened, and I pretty much adore it:
It’s for Hethert-Nut, the Gold of the Gods, the Starry Sky. The pendant is Blue John, a special kind of fluorite only found in Derbyshire in the UK, and was a gift from British friends years ago.
As a result of this necklace, I think I’ll be trying my hand at a lot more jewelry… =3