D is for Dice and Divination Part 1
My choice for “D” was a very, very easy one. “D” allows me to introduce an aspect of my practice or “craft” in development for the last six years: Dice and Divination. I decided to split the portion in to two parts, because I am a wordy person and there is a ton of information. I am also making the assumption that the system I’m using is not well-known.
The oracle is called “The Book of Doors: An Alchemical Oracle from Ancient Egypt” created by Athon Veggi and Alison Davidson. The set comes with a 246 page book, a 65 card deck, and a black eight-sided dice. In a nutshell, the oracle concepts/ideas have a foundation in Kemetic-Hermeticism and early alchemical thought processes. There are two main ways to use the oracle.
The first way is to shuffle the cards as is done with other Tarot and Oracle card decks. The cards have a very textured look and there is an emphasis on symbolism. Examples as to what the art looks like can be seen here: (http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/book-of-doors/).
There is one 10-card layout listed in the book. The basic overview of the layout is the makeup of the world with Ra, Shu, Nut, and Geb. They can be read like Tarot, and there is a chapter in the book of which cards function with which Tarot major arcana card meanings. The system can also be used purely as an oracle using the cards meanings as listed at the end of each of their sections. I have the square below for your viewing pleasure.
The second way to work a reading is to roll the eight-sided dice twice to first find the column then the family. The locations of each concept/deity is chosen by the Pythagorean Theorem and basic numerology (numbers 1-8).
The first family is the “Tepi-Aui-Un” or “The Eight Primordials” and are based in the element of water. It consists of four frog headed gods and four snake-headed goddesses. This group is called the Ogdoad. The phrase from the Emerald Tablet used is, “What is below is as that which is above, and what is above is as that which is below”. The family includes Nu, Nut (or Nanut as I know Her), Hehu, Hehut, Kekiu, Kekiut, Kerh, and Kerhet.
The second family is called “Pet” the family of “Heaven”. It consists of some of the deities whose work greatly influenced the creation and maintenance of the Universe. The phrase used from the Emerald Tablet used is, “It rises from Earth to Heaven and again descends into Earth, and it receives the strength of things above and below.” The family includes Kem-T (which is the black “chaos”), Shen-Ur (The “Circuit of Heaven”), Ra, Kheper-Ra, Sepdet (star form of Aset), Neith, Seshet, and Ma’at.
The third family is “Aakhut” the family of Fire. The family consists of deities who have a strong connection to the cosmology of Memphis. The process this family embodies is the use of fire to remove energy from matter. The phrase taken from the Emerald Tablet is, “Thou shall separate the Earth from the fire, the subtle from the dense”. The deities include Ptah, Bast, Sekhmet, Bes, Nefertmu, Het-Hert, Asthoreth, and Imhotep.
The fourth family is “Aah” and they are the family of the Moon. The family consists of deities who influence the cosmology of Theban Mysteries. The phrase taken from the Emerald Tablet is, “The moon is its Mother”. Here I will give some props to the authors because they do point out the moon is gender-fluid in the Kemetic view (The closest goddess of the moon in my own practice is actually a hermaphrodite so take that people-who-say-the-moon-is-always-purely-female). The deities include Amon (or Amon-Re as I know Him), Apet, Amsu (aka Min), Khnemu, Tehuti, Mut, Khons (trololololo cause he trolls me hard), and Kematef.
The fifth family “Ra”, and they are the family of the Sun. This family consists of members of the “Heliopolitan Ennead”. The phrase taken from the Emerald Tablet is, “The Sun is its Father.” The deities include Atum-Ra (the “Pharaoh-in-his-prime” Ra), Shu-Tefnut, Set, Nebthet, Aset, Geb-Nut-Shu, Heru, and Asar.
The sixth family is “Nef”, and they are the family of Wind. The family includes deities that are imperative for birth and rebirth. The Emerald Tablet phrase is, “The wind has carried it in its belly”. The deities include Meskhenet, Renenet, Meh-Urt, Af-Neteru (the peeps of the Canopic Jars), Bennu (Phoenix), Serqet, Shai, and Mafdet (Queen of Swords, literally and figuratively).
The seventh family is “Ta” and they are the family of the Earth. The family consists of deities closely tied to the processes of Earth and the processes that shape Heaven within the earthly sphere. The phrase from Pet is repeated, “It rises from Earth to Heaven and again descends into Earth, and it receives the strength of things above and below.” Once again, props to the authors for pointing out a foundation of Earth (granted not the only one) is Geb, a god, not a goddess (take that the-earth-is-the-mother-of-all-and-you’re-not-doing-it-right). The deities are Geb, Sobek, Udjit, Nekhbet, Hapi, Akeru, Satet, and Aner-En-Rekh (the Alchemist persona in the oracle).
The eighth and last family is “Duat” and it is the family of (you can guess) the Duat. The family consists of the main deities and concepts to usher from death to rebirth. The second part of the phrase from the Tepi-Aui-Un is repeated, “What is below is as that which is above”. The family consists of Seker, Apep, Anpu, Shesmu 42 (the 42 Assessors), Ammit, Amenta, Unu-T 4-5 (the period of the 4th to the 5th hour of night, the darkest and one ruled by Seker), and Pert-Em-Hru (Coming Forth by Day aka Ra is born at dawn).
The path I ran with and developed before I changed the system was using the personification of the forces represented (each card in its own right) and mapping how those forces are figuratively (abstract ideas/ideals) and literally (deities knocking on your door). I will touch more upon my developement when I started and how it evolved in the next post (If I haven’t scared everyone off with the droning). I hope you enjoyed the oracle lesson. Until next time, cheers!