Grave Moss & Stars

Posts Tagged ‘photos’

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!*

PBP Fridays: A is for My Altar

After seeing some gorgeous posts on arranging sacred space, I wanted to do my second A post on my altar, my shrine, my own sacred space.

This is my shrine area, in the corner of my bedroom:

I have been told it’s colorful. >_> On the floor, you can see the wooden box that holds my tealights, the brown prayerbook leaning against it, and the metal container that holds my incense on the opposite side of the cabinet. The piece of paper pinned to the wall is my printed-out copy of the rite of Senut, a Kemetic Orthodoxy ritual. I also have two wooden snakes, one rattlesnake statue, a giant seashell, and my metal container (and heat-safe rock) for fire magic. Plus the first painting of Hethert-Nut I did.

The center of the shrine is a wooden cabinet that was my grandfather’s; it has two shelves inside of it, one of which holds my “extra” Kemetic icons (and several lion and snake statues) and the other of which holds my non-Kemetic pagan icons and treasures. Atop the cabinet is my main working space:

From left to right, you can see my protective gargoyle which I have had forever, a sandalwood candle, my Capricorn lighter (I am terrible with matches), my incense holder, a glass “chalice” that holds my tealights, a bronze casting of an Egyptian sphinx, my offering plate, my four offering cups and the pourer, a tiny stone container of natron right in front of the pourer, a golden glass container specifically for Ma’ahes and Serqet that holds another tealight, a Persian sphinx statue, a cone incense burner, and a copper-colored dagger styled with Egyptian imagery.

The four-colored shelf above the cabinet is for the gods of my divine family; I oil-painted the shelf in Their colors. From left to right, we have Ma’ahes, Hethert-Nut, Nebt-het, and Serqet; the order flows, especially when taking into account that Sekhmet’s shelf is to the left. From Sekhmet, Eye of Ra, we have Ma’ahes, also an Eye, and Hethert-Nut, Who is the sky and thus home to the Eye, then Nebt-het, Who is also a celestial Netjeru, then Serqet, Who is related to Nebt-het by virtue of also being a protective goddess. (The four Netjeru Who are usually hailed as protective funerary goddesses are Nebt-het, Nit, Aset, and Serqet.)

Hanging below each Netjeru’s portion of the shelf is a necklace I made for Them, plus a bracelet that I found and bought for Them. Above the shelf are paintings of and for each of Them, and on the shelf are various objects and icons. Ma’ahes has the silver lion’s-head ring I wear constantly, a leaping lion relief (not Egyptian), and a lying lion statue, made by Nicolas of Shadow of the Sphinx, who is a fabulously talented and kind artisan that I recommend to everyone. Hethert-Nut has an awful lot of shinies, including the starcow statue, a Hethert prayer card from a fellow Kemetic, yet another necklace with a cow pendant made out of Sculpey, a tiny Celestial Cow figurine (made by Mimafdet), and the leftover gold and night-sky beads from Her necklaces. Nebt-het has a variety of dried flowers, a buckwheat-seed “pillow,” a black bone ankh, a large amethyst stone, and a tiny amethyst earring; I wear the other earring of the pair. Serqet has a scorpion conch shell, a scorpion made of woven wire, and a lovely statue of Her human form, which was a gift from my sister.

To the left of the main shelf is my smaller shelf for Sekhmet, painted bright red:

You can see several Sekhmet icons, most of which were gifts; the rightmost was made by Nicolas of Shadow of the Sphinx. There’s also a tiny white bird carved out of shell and a lion vertebra (obtained legally and ethically). Hanging from the bar of the shelf is a necklace that has Sekhmet’s name and another small lion bone.

To the right of the main shelf is a new installation for Set, Heru-wer, Yinepu, and Wepwawet:

Like the big shelf, I painted this according to Their colors, then offered stones (mahogany obsidian to Set, jet to the Jqls, and picture jasper to Heru-wer) and paintings of Their names in hieroglyphs. The Jqls also get a copper-and-pewter ring and two pennies.

In the corner, below the tapestry of Aker and above Serqet’s corner, is my akhu (ancestor) shrine:

You can see photos of my dad’s dad and mom’s mom, as well as a white candle, cone incense, and behind the photos is a little glass of water, which rests in a coffee cup that was my grandma’s. You can also see a little wooden bird, painted blue with silver stars, and a necklace and pin that were my grandpa’s. Near Grama’s photo is a blue lotus-like glass flower with four golden freshwater pearl beads (from Hethert-Nut’s stash) and a wee vial of scented oil that reminds me of my grandpa’s house. There is, of course, the colorful akhu painting above the shelf and Grama’s silver flapper-ish purse hanging to the right of the shelf. Below the shelf is a hand-written prayer, which I read weekly while offering fresh water and lighting the candle and incense.

To the right of my akhu shrine, above the little shelf for Set and Heru-wer and the Jqls, is a corkboard that holds my religious and personal jewelry. I hung it all up for the purposes of this photo; on any given day, I’m wearing one or two bracelets, my watch, and 1-4 necklaces, though usually only two are visible on the outside of my shirt.

From left to right, we’ve got two necklaces for Serqet, one a scorpion in amber resin and the other one I made for us, featuring a sphinx medallion with a tiger’s-eye silver scorpion. Next are two necklaces for Hethert-Nut; the copper one was custom-made by Riv of PurpleShiny, and the round one is an image from the Orion Nebula. Next to those are two personal necklaces, one of twin sphinxes and the other of a lion skull cast in metal. To the right of those are two bracelets, a custom chainmaille bracelet woven by J. Koyanagi of Helix Chainmaille, and the akhu bracelet I made. Next to that is the pewter Sekhmet pendant I wear under my shirt; I’ve had it for years and years, a gift from another Sekhmet devotee. After that are a few more chainmaille creations: some singular earrings and a chainmaille bracelet for Hethert-Nut, plus a copper “coin” earring and a magnetic rainbowized hematite bracelet. Lastly, you’ve got my watch and two seed-bead bracelets (that I did not make).

I hope you’ve enjoyed this virtual, visual tour through my shrine! :)

This post brought to you by the Pagan Blog Project.

Last year’s second A post was on Anhur.

Dua Hethert-Nut, Starry Lady!

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.

Dua Hethert-Nut!

Happy Wep Ronpet!

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.

Mother’s Day

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.

shrine update

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.)

Dua Netjer!

a prayerbook update

In November, I started my personal prayerbook, a spiral-bound unlined notebook that I filled with the prayers from and for my community, written in a script called Kalash. To date, I have filled over a third of the book; I have just finished doing some major catch-up work that took me over an hour to record. (This means that, my siblings in Kemetic Orthodoxy, if you have requested prayers, I have prayed for you, even if I didn’t leave a comment in the forums.)

More interestingly, though, is that I’ve gone from simply scribing to making it a mini-ritual. Purification requirements are light – clean hands and a clean space – and the tools are simple: a candle, a single offering cup, and incense. I light the incense, light the candle, offer my Mother Nebt-het Her favorite drink, and leave a small bite of chocolate for Netjer. It’s all done at my computer desk instead of my altar; I need the computer to go through the prayer request forums.

And now, instead of simply writing the prayers, I write them and then speak aloud my requests, calling upon the Netjeru in my family to help. I realized, not too long ago, that I essentially have a god for every occasion with me, and it only makes sense to name Them when I pray for others. Nebt-het, guide of the dead, comforter of the mourning. Hethert-Nut, Who provides love and joy. Ma’ahes, protector and upholder of ma’at. Serqet, Who can help with any poison, be it mental, physical, or emotional. Sekhmet, Who is the patron lady of doctors, especially surgeons.

It feels very right to be maintaining my prayerbook this way, involving my gods and making it a mini-rite. I genuinely feel that doing this is an act done in Nebt-het’s name, and that brings me joy and a sense of responsibility and accomplishment.

Dua Netjer! May You hear the words of Your children and bless them.

hetep-di-nisu(t) // an offering which the King gives

In the past little while, I have accumulated a startling number of offerings for my gods, to the point of having one for each of Them. Tonight, I felt the urge to sit in shrine and give Them Their gifts, since I found myself physically and mentally pure enough to do so in good spirits.

I put on background music – my own personal mix CD of god-songs and spirit-songs – and washed my hands. Lit incense, lit candle, knelt down. Poured a libation of green tea in four cups – I only have four, but I was offering to five gods, so I gave Sekhmet the candle for Her own. (She didn’t seem to mind.)

To Sekhmet, I offered a statue of Her, gold and standing tall, a gift from a good friend.

To Nebt-het, I offered the painting I’d done, and I rededicated to Her the rosary that J had converted to a necklace for me.

To Hethert-Nut, I offered the pendant I’d crafted and the accompanying necklace that J had made, an effort of love from both of us.

To Ma’ahes, I offered a lion plaque that I’d had for years that seemed to suit Him, as well as an ornately decorated Kemetic dagger, another gift from the aforementioned good friend.

To Serqet, I offered a small gold statue of Her in Her form of a woman, a gift from my sister.

I sat with Them and talked for a while, comfortable in front of my beautiful shrine and the objects that represented my spiritual family. I also shut up for a while and listened, counted my breath in time with the song that was playing, relaxed. I thought of more things I want to do for Them – Sekhmet’s painting, a full-length song for Nebt-het, Hethert-Nut’s other painting, a sculpey-ture for Ma’ahes, and the song I’m working on for Serqet.

I was happy. I told Them goodnight, reverted the green tea libations, thanked the candle and blew it out, and found the little Serqet statue something to stand on so She could stay in Her preferred corner, in the shadow of my akhu shelf-shrine.

I am happy. Dua Netjer!

as promised

I said I would, and so I did: I got a shelf, got frames that suited my mom’s mom and dad’s dad, found pictures that fit, and put it all together. The flowers you see were picked from my own yard (and I apologized profusely as I snipped them). The bird is symbolic of bau, which were often shown as human-headed birds, and Akhu, who are often compared to stars in the night sky. The only thing missing is my grama’s doodle of my dog, which will go under her photo when I find it.

Hail Akhu, known and unknown, who shine as stars upon us; from you have I come. May the shrine, the flowers, and the water please you. Thank you for being a light around me, even when my eyes are closed.

so about them thar sphinxes

I have been wanting a $100+ book about Twtw (Tutu/Tithoes) for about a year now, give or take. I have been lusting after it. It is the book on Twtw, an entity I find endlessly fascinating and compelling.

And with his first paycheck, J performed a book tithe and gifted me this book. It arrived today.

And then I arted. Fourth painting, and you know? It came out how I intended. I’m happy. Click through to see a larger version!

Okay so I’m actually giddy and hyper-excited about the book+painting+squee, so uh, “happy” might be an understatement.

(And if you were wondering, yes, that picture was taken with everything resting on a djembe. Also, the background is way more subtle in person, and the outline is in silver, not white.)

happy Kemetic New Year!

Happy Wep Ronpet! Today is the first day of the Kemetic new year, a year of green and building under the guidance of Ptah, creator and patron of artisans and craftsmen, consort of Sekhmet. I like Ptah a lot and was leaning towards Him before the year’s oracle was announced, so it fits extra-well to me.

I rather like having two new years – one in January, my personal new year, and now one almost perfectly opposite it, for Kemetics. More fresh starts and renewal energy. Is good.

In the tradition of Wep Ronpet activities, one makes a representation of Ap-p (Apophis), the snake that embodies isfet, the monster that Ra in His solar barque must defeat each night so that the sun may rise at dawn– and then one slays that representation.

J made a pansnake (pancake-snake), and we slew it with great fanfare. It bled boysenberry syrup. I left the severed head, along with a blood-colored drink, on my altar.

We’re a caring, gentle people… :D

Since I could not do the ritual of the Red Pot, where one smashes a terracotta pot to symbolically destroy the thing(s) holding one back, I made do with fire magic instead. I’d acquired a copper bowl for exactly such a purpose, in Sekhmet’s name, a while back, and this was the first time in using it. (Anyone familiar with magic will probably already know what I did – write down the thing(s) I want destroyed, burn the paper, scatter/bury the ashes. Standard stuff.) I felt better afterwards.

And then I went the hell to sleep because it was almost 2 am and I was exhausted.