Grave Moss & Stars

Posts Tagged ‘ma’ahes’

PBP Fridays: A is for Apotropaic Deities

As a language geek, “apotropaic” is a word I absolutely love. In a pinch, it means “intended to ward off evil” – so apotropaic deities are gods and goddesses that protect against evil.

Out of the five Kemetic deities I work most closely with, a solid four of Them are or can be considered apotropaic– but They have different areas of expertise.

Sekhmet, the Red Lady that I have served for years, is an Eye of Ra. As such, She doesn’t so much “ward against evil” as “incinerate evil,” but the protective aspect remains. While I tend to pray for Her help in situations involving sickness and injury, as She is both a goddess of plagues and of healing (and of surgeons), a few years back, She did agree to ward my living space. To this day, no matter where I’m located, the walls, windows, and doors are sealed against malice with Her fire. It’s an immense comfort to me.

Nebt-het, Lady of the Dead, has also been an Eye of Ra in Her more obscure past. More commonly, though, She is invoked to protect against the Evil Eye, which, in the Kemetic definition, is coveting or malicious jealousy. (She has also been called upon to actively punish those with the Evil Eye, implying that She is more than just a passive protective force.)

Ma’ahes, the Great Protector, is one of the few male deities who can be an Eye of Ra. As usual for such a role, He can fulfill a protective capacity, especially when acting as an executioner for the enemies of Kemet (Egypt). I associate Him with the setting sun, the orange light that bridges day and night; I call on Him for protection against darkness, be it physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.

Serqet is a goddess called on to protect against the very poison She Herself can deliver as a scorpion. Consequently, Serqet is frequently hailed to help heal and protect against spiritual and emotional venom, especially that associated with trauma. I pray to Her when I’m trying to stay unaffected by the emotional or social drama-llamas that can crop up in or out of work situations.

Other apotropaic deities worthy of mention are the sphinx-god Twtw (Tutu, Tithoes), the dwarf lion-god Bes, and any god/dess who can be an Eye of Ra, as well as any of the numerous warrior deities of the Kemetic pantheon. (If I tried to list them all, we’d be here for days, trust me. While many of our war gods and goddesses fall more into the active side of the extinguishing-evil spectrum, many double as guardians, not just executioners.)

If you have any apotropaic deities you’d like to discuss or personal experiences to share, please do feel free to speak up! This may be my journal, but it doesn’t always have to be a monologue. :)

This post brought to you as part of the Pagan Blog Project.

my heart is flying high on outstretched wings

Oh oh oh. Oh, my friends. November 21st shall forevermore be a day of celebration.

Yesterday, I was divined a child of Nebthet-Nit-Seshat and Hethert-Nut, and a beloved of Ma’ahes and Serqet. Nekhtet!

(An explanation of the divination for those unfamiliar can be found here!)

I’m not sure if I can write about this coherently, but I’m going to try very hard. :) The opening message from my Akhu, my ancestors, was an overwhelmingly positive one, all blessings, all encouragement that I’m doing well, all reassurances that I can do and have what I work hard to achieve. I am so very grateful for that, and I will buy them flowers in thanks, and I will start work on the little Akhu shrine that I planned out over the weekend. I hope to pick up a shelf tonight for that very thing.

I am immeasurably delighted and surprised by my Mothers. I mean, yes, I’ve had some very pleasant interactions with Nebt-het before, and I had been intrigued by Nit (a very old hunter-goddess with associations with the primordial waters of the Nun) and Seshat (librarian goddess!), but for Her (yes, singular, as They are One) to be my Mother… I am awed. (And of course, Djeri and my sister were all “I never would have guessed but it makes perfect sense!” when they found out. XD)

Hethert-Nut is Hethert as the night sky. She came outta nowhere; She’s the only one I had never had relations with before yesterday. However, while in a teaching chat with Hemet (the leader and founder of Kemetic Orthodoxy) a while ago, Her name came up and immediately had a color association with it– this rich, deep, beautiful royal purple, like silks. It’s not exactly common for me to get a color-vibe before even encountering a Netjeru, so I asked about Her, intrigued, and was given a little more information, but that was all until yesterday, when She was pronounced my Mother along with Nebthet-Nit-Seshat. And I was just… instantly enveleoped in Her color, and it was joyful and smiling and felt like a hug from a warm spring night with fireflies and stars and night-blooming flowers. ♥

Ma’ahes… oh, Ma’ahes. I have become very close with Him over these past couple months, and I regret that I haven’t written more about Him on here, but I will make a separate post that explains our short but rich history soon. He is a male Eye of Ra, a lion-god, colored like the sun and usually seen as a warrior and/or executioner of enemies. I see Him as human-animal, with a lion’s head and tail, paw-like hands and feet, and a muscular man’s body. Sometimes He has tawny-golden fur, but more often, I see His skin like magma, blaze-orange shining past patches of blackened char; to me, He is the setting sun, the transition between the golden glory of day and the encompassing darkness of night. I was so hopeful that He would show up in my divination, and so happy, so relieved, when He did. To me, He is also a god of storms, and it was thundering all yesterday evening, a soothing and grounding background to the RPD itself and my bubbling-over excitement.

And Serqet! Serqet, the Netjeru I have written about most in here, for all my work with Her in prayers to help me heal from poisons and guard me against new ones. Until recently, when I felt Her presence– to accept the offerings a few weeks ago, to choose the colors for Her painting, and all of yesterday, when I wasn’t wearing my scorpion necklace, yet felt Her dull-amber energy drape around me like the collar of a cloak, like an embrace, and She felt happy– I would not have guessed She would show up. My sister and my partner both placed their bets on Her being here, and well, they win. :D I am grateful and happy that She is here.

I will stop here, and leave essence o’ joy scattered in my wake, and come back as soon as I can to write a little bit more, especially about Ma’ahes, as I have been amiss in talking about Him.

So very happy and so very grateful, to my gods, to my community, to my Akhu, to Hemet. Nekhtet!

art! artartart

So, a while ago, I did a painting for Ma’ahes. It is extremely colorful. And yes, I am silver with a blue mohawk. What.

The story is thus: One of the first times I met Him at sunset, I invited Him in by… um… essentially turning my local (inner and energetic) space to ocean and stormy skies. In response, He met me with vivid orange sand, a setting sun, and a bright sky. While I was painting this, I was trying to encapsulate that first meeting of two very different people and our respective worlds. It was Ma’ahes’ idea to have us both with one foot in each side. :)

And then tonight! Tonight I painted a scorpion, and it actually looks like a scorpion! (I had a childhood where no one knew what I was drawing, so being able to create something recognizable is amazing to me. To be fair, most of my drawings were my own inventions, but I got tired of the endless conversations that went like this: “Is it… a dog?” “No.” “A horse?” “No.” “A… dragon?” “Closer.” “What is it?” “It’s a [name of species I had invented].” “…oh. What’s that?” “It’s this.” *points at sketch*)

This is, as you may have guessed, in honor of Serqet. She chose the color of the scorpion and the pale yellow aura surrounding it, as well as the striking background; I was surprised and pleased when the colors went together as well as they did.

Dua Ma’ahes! Dua Serqet!