Grave Moss & Stars

Archive for the ‘In Praise & Prayer’ Category

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.

a prayer to Bast (my very first)

long form

Hail Bast, Lady of the East,
Invisible Paw, Giving All Life.

May I hold infinite patience within my head
and endless compassion within my heart
as I live alongside Your children,
who are not the least of what is Yours,
though they are the smallest.

May I slow down.
May I remember to breathe.
May I treasure each moment,
each touch of fur,
each eager purr,
each sleeping face.

May I always know that it is I
who must hold the space
and provide the structure
that allows them to thrive.
May I always act mindfully
and with gentleness.

May I remember my heart-held duty
as caretaker, as caregiver,
to these who are part of my family,
and may I treat them with the same grace and love
with which You treat Your children,
human and feline alike.

short form

May I love my cats as Bast loves Her children.
May I care for my cats as Bast cares for Her children.

morning & evening prayers

When I was just getting into paganism, I created prayers to say on awakening and just before sleeping. It was a really enjoyable, beneficial habit, and I’m going to try to re-establish that. Here are the prayers I’ll be using, with some flexibility in the adjectives I choose and any specific gods I may mention.

morning

Good morning, Universe and all within it.
Thank You for my rest and my dreams
and for the zep-tepi of a new day.
May today be positive and productive;
may I walk with Ma’at in compassion and peace.
Kheperu, so may it become. Dua Netjer!

evening

Good night, Universe and all within it.
Thank You for all the good things of today
and for all the souls I am blessed to know.
May my sleep be restful, my dreams enjoyable,
and my awakening pleasant and timely.
Kheperu, so may it become. Dua Netjer!

a prayer for comfort

I place myself in the center of the turning world;
the center is still.

~ A Pagan Ritual Prayer Book, Ceisiwr Serith

May the dark places in my spirit
be only the folds in Nebt-het’s cloak.

May the dark places in my heart
be only the fields in Hethert-Nut’s starry sky.

May the dark places in my body
be only the marrow of Ma’ahes’ bones.

May the dark places in my mind
be only the shadow of Serqet’s upraised tail.

May the dark places in my life
be only the dusk before Sekhmet’s dawning.

May I remember that darkness
only exists where there is also light.

Dua Netjer!

The Blessing of Brigid

From The Virtual Abbey:

Our celebrations, always full of spontaneity, are grounded in our own liturgical traditions. On Brigid’s day, we culminate with this song adapted from “The Blessing of Brigid” in Carmina Gadelica:

One group sings over and over:

I am under the shielding of Brigid each day,
I am under the shielding of Brigid each night.

While others sing in counterpart:

Brigid is my comrade-woman,
Brigid is my maker of song,
Brigid is my helping-woman,
my choicest of women,
my guide.

This is incredibly heartfelt and gorgeous.

My Lady of Verse and Chord

O Hethert-Nut,
Lady of Stars and Sistra!

Mistress of the Night,
Whisperer of Lullabies,
Beautiful One in the Sky,
Inspirer of All Music,
Celestial Cow Who Uplifts The Sun,
She For Whom Songs Are Sung,
Divine Heavens Who Hold The Blessed Dead,
Goddess of Voice, String, and Drum!

I humbly pray that You bless me
with Your endless grace and glory
so that You may be my Muse
in this, the wintry month of fire,
newly-become the month of music
that I create in Your name
and out of love for You.

O Hethert-Nut,
All-Encompassing Mother,
Joyous and Infinite!
May Your radiance shine through my work
like the spirits of the akhu through Your skin;
may I honor You with my earnest efforts
and make You smile with my newborn songs.

Dua Hethert-Nut!

[In other words, I’m trying FAWM for the first time and need all the help I can get!]

PS~ When I was proofreading this, my eyes skimmed a little too fast and briefly read the second line as “Lady of Sitars and Sistra,” which is fabulous. XD

totally a Hethert quote

Let the flickering flame of your soul play all about me,
That into my limbs may come the keenness of fire,
The life and joy of tongues of flame,
And, going out from you, tightly strung and in tune,
I may rouse the blear-eyed world,
And pour into it the beauty which you have begotten.

– Amy Lowell, “The Giver of Stars”

Dua Nit!

Jan 10th Festival: Feast of Nit
Jan 16th Festival: Feast of Nit

Litany to Nit from texts at the temples of Esna:

Nit, Great One, Divine Mother, Lady of Esna,
Nit, Great One, Divine Mother, Lady of Sau (Sais), in the Chapel of the House of the Mother:
Lady of Sau, Great Ruler of Kemet;
Water that created Geb, created Ptah-tenen; Ptah-tenen Who created Him who created Geb.
Male Who made female; Female Who made male;
Wide water Who created eternity (Djet); water Who made everlastingness (Neheh);
Who rose in Nun while earth was in darkness.
Living Ancestor, Who had Her origins in Nun, before the creation of Geb and the raising of Nut.
Genetrix, Cobra Who was at the beginning, Mother of time primordial, She Who created Her own birth….
Rait, Atenet, Nunet: Shining Star at the beginning Who created those on high and those who are low,
Mysterious One Who made living beings and created all that lives by Her existence.

From temple texts at Edfu:

O Mother! Shining One Who turns back darkness,
Who illuminates everyone with Her rays,
Hail Great One of many Names,
You from Whom the gods came forth!

With love and thanks to Hemet for the translations.

Merry Moomas!

Today, in the Kemetic calendar, is the Establishment of the Celestial Cow. As my Mother, Hethert-Nut, is Hethert-as-Nut, cow-as-sky, I feel this is particularly appropriate to continue my research into the Book of the Celestial Cow.

Snippets obtained from the links found here. I am fairly sure the person who translated these into English and German was originally a francophone, because some of the English really doesn’t match the French. When I have time, I’m going to go back through and see if I can’t reckon some slightly more accurate translations. Thank Netjer I can still read French pretty well. For now, however, the bits involving (Hethert-)Nut:

“Be not disappointed, be not weary.
You have power over all You wish.”
Then said the majesty of Re
to the majesty of Nun:
“My limbs are feeble as in primeval times,
I will not return until another cycle overtakes Me.”
Then the majesty of Nun said:
“My son Shu!
Let Your eye look upon Your father, and protect Him.
My daughter Nut,
place Him on Your back!”

Nut became a cow,
and the majesty of Re was on Her back.

Men were astonished when,
from the location to which they had fled,
they saw Him on the back of the cow.

His majesty proceeded to His palace
on the back of this cow,
and He was together with the gods.

Then this god said to Nut:
“I placed myself on Your back to be elevated, what then?”
So said He, and Nut
became the sky.
The majesty of this god begged:
“Be far from them and elevate Me, that I may see them.”
And the On High came into being.
Then the majesty of this god
looked into Her,
and She said: “Make Me into a multitude!” And stars came into being.

Then Nut began to shake, owing to the height.
And the majesty of Re said:
“Had I only the Heh gods to support Her!” And then the Heh gods came into being.
Then the majesty of Re said:
“My son Shu,
place Yourself under My daughter Nut
and guard for Me the four Heh gods of the east and the four Heh gods of the west
who live in twilight.
Place Her on your head and keep Her.”

Read the rest of this entry »

saying grace

From here:

Finally, I remembered the most beautiful form of grace a Kemetic Orthodox knows, the short formula spoken over offerings right before they are presented to the gods and goddesses in Their shrines. One holds out their hands as if preparing to receive something — because you are — and says:

In Kemetic:
hotep Netjer em shabu en imenti her iabi

Or, in English:
May Netjer be satisfied with the repast to the right and to the left.

Immediately after this pronouncement, the spirit of Netjer descends upon the food, partakes of its spiritual substance, and makes the food holy, to be shared with all who were part of the ritual.

1 DECEMBER – I PERET 1

I am sick and migraining, and have been sick all week, so I cannot sit in open shrine or do Senut. However, it’s the first of the month, and as suggested, I will write a prayer to my Akhu and my Parents, my Mothers.

dear akhu:

Come in and share my bread;
come in and share my tea and water.
I give thanks for my roots-who-are-people
and offer you all good and pure things
a thousand times over and again.
May this month see us
begin a lovely, respectful relationship.
Known and unknown, old or ancient,
you are welcome in my home.
Blessed dead, I honor you.

to my Mothers:

Thank You for bearing me
before I knew I was born.
Thank You for helping me sleep
and for helping me dream.
May this month see us
become closer and fonder,
as I learn more about You
and spend more time in Your presence.
I wish to sit with You
and listen, and feel.
You have my love
and forever my gratitude.

a personal prayerbook

On both Kemetic Orthodoxy and KIN forums, there are places for people to request prayers. Until now, I have avoided those forums, being far too susceptible to news of others’ pain and misfortune. I would love to lend a voice, but keeping a strong and positive spirit while praying for terrible things is frequently beyond my capacity, let alone doing that for several different things in a row.

However, I figured out a way that I can give my prayers to those who need them without dropping myself into a state of reflection upon all the terrible things in the world. I bought a blank book, wrote on the inside cover a book blessing and caveats for safety (such as “for the highest good for all concerned” and “with harm to none”), and wrote the dates, names, and prayers inside for those who had posted recently.

The key, however, is that I haven’t written anything in English. It’s all in Kalash, a conalph of mine (visual example). I can write fluently in Kalash, but I can’t read it just by skimming like I can English, so I can write something down without being distracted and weighed down by all the prayers I’d written previously.

Thus, I can pray for those prayers written within to be heard and answered, focus on the book as a whole, and stay steady and positive.

It’s a similar to the idea of a sigil or other symbol, created to represent a goal/desire in other forms of magic (chaos magic, I’m lookin’ at you) – you create the sigil in full consciousness, then focus on just the sigil, so that your subconscious mind gets the work done and your intellect doesn’t get in the way. That’s an oversimplified explanation, but you get the idea. So, rather than my intellect lingering on sadness, I can funnel positive energy into the book itself and give the prayers within a boost.

I’ve filled two pages so far. It feels good to be doing this.

thank You with my whole heart, Serqet

Image source: Flickr.

Dua Serqet!
She who stings the unjust
and who heals the unjustly stung,
She who upholds ma’at
with Her venom and Her protection.

Dua Serqet
that I and mine were spared the poison,
that the inevitable blow was as gentle as could be,
that our bated breath may be released
as a sigh and not a shudder.

Dua Serqet
that my tears are of relief
and not further pain,
that we may come together
instead of come apart.

Dua Serqet!