Monthly Archives: September 2012
Yeah……a failure of epic proportions on my part for a post a day. Granted I have been busy, but still, I shouldn’t make excuses. Opet starts this coming weekend and will be the longest ritual period I have done and the first I have done for those other than the Ennead.
The first “work” done for Opet was deciding what it would mean to me. The festival was based in the New Kingdom period mainly and it was to legitimize the Pharaoh as the son of Amun/Amon/Amon-Re/Amun-Ra (however you want to call him, I prefer Amon-Re so from here on out that is what I will be referring to him as). It was a celebration of the Theban Triad (Amon-Re, Mut, and Khons). Since I am not in a position of Pharaoh or “high priest(ess) (thank the gods for that), I decided to work on what Opet should be in my own circumstances.
Even though I haven’t done much work in comparison to some of the other groupings, the Theban Triad does hold a special place in my heart. They have been there in some cases and have helped my understanding of the “hidden” forces of the universe and where I could fit in.
Amon-Re is the “hidden one”. His power works behind the scenes and in the shadows. The end result of His work can’t be recognized as well by an untrained eye. His existence is the exploration of the the mechanics not readily seen (think of it like the crew under the stage of a play).
Mut is the “Mother of Mothers and the Father of Fathers”. She is a hermaphroditic goddess whom can be said to have created herself in the realm of Nun. She is a strict but caring authority figure to be taken seriously but does not treat others harshly. Just as Amon-Re was whom the Pharaoh was tied to, Mut was whom the Queens and female Pharaohs sought representation with. In my own life, Mut has been a protecting force and has on occasion directed me towards silencing myself and to learn from the silence.
The son of Amon-Re and Mut to complete the triad was Khons. His name is said to stand for “traveller” or “journey”. He is of the moon and his sign is a circle on top of a crescent. In my dealings with him, he works as one of the tricksters in my life. He makes himself known to me constantly as pushing me to see something “more” in my studies and SerNeteru readings. In one set of myths, when Djehuti was playing Senet with the Moon for light for Nut’s children, Khons was said to be the on he played against. Just as Ra has one lifetime in a day, Khons has the same cycle along unknown (to me) points in time. He can be a young boy with a side-lock, a wrapped man, or a falcon-headed warrior with His signature headdress. When he has come to me, the form never mattered and like Amon-Re, it was the presence of Him that was the identifier.
Taking a look at how the triad works its ways in to my life has caused me to take a different approach to Opet. Rather than the political justification the festival is known for, the focus of the festival will be to grow within and in my own spiritual life to learn to “see” the “hidden”, to hear in the silence, and to embrace the growing relationship I have with the triad. The festival is to know Them and to learn from Them.
From the decision of the focus came to what to actually do for it. I came up with a ritual format I decided to test out at Wep Ronpet and Wag that I now think, after nine years of trial and error, works for me. It includes scholarly collected readings, meditation, divination, and offerings.
I have gone through a set of books by Miriam Lichtheim to find some collected readings I would like to use throughout Opet. I have not decided on the form of divination I would like to utilise yet, but I may look other forms that were used, such as scrying. I still have to work on what I want to do for offerings, but I’m leaning to at least having a nice offering once or twice a week.
On the first couple of days of Opet my roommate has offered to show me where the parkways are to walk and go on my own personal “journey”. I hope to find some new insight as I would be surrounded by a new, lively area surrounding my home.
Unsurprisingly this ritual will include new jewelry pieces and talismans that will not be finished before the start of Opet, but will be worked on and finished before the end of the festival.
As the time goes by, I hope to share some of the experiences on this blog.
Until next time may the everlasting breath reach past your lips and to your heart.
Well then, I already can give myself a red check on my challenge. I missed a day (9-8). However in my defense, it was a busy day. I figure today is a good day to post the first real attempt at coherence I have had since figuring out how things fit together as a whole. The long piece posted below is my own interpretation and mixing various creation stories to make one. When I am talking to others I tend to keep them separate, however my friends challenged me to make them all in to one, hence why I call this “interpretive”. In this case, accuracy is only about 75% because it is meant to be a “creative” experience not a “textbook” experience. My understanding has even changed beyond this. When I have a chance, this is part of a long list of to-do’s, I would like to revisit and show the evolution of thought. I wouldn’t lecture with this material, but it would be fun to expand in other mediums also. Please enjoy and feel free to leave any thoughts, and as always Ma’at will bite you in the ass if you steal content from others, so please if you want to reference me, let me know, and at least give credit where credit is due.
“In the beginning, there was only the endless ocean of chaos personified later as Nu. He was encircled and embraced by two nameless serpents until they found their first names. The first was Apep who embodies the deepest depths of Nu. The second was Kematef who forced the light of creation to illuminate Nu. These two forces would be forever locked in never-ending combat. When the light pierced the chaos a blue lotus rose and when it opened, the sun rose for the very first time and Kematef found his new name, Ra, the tri-fold Sun.
Kheper-Ra was the infant light of the sunrise.
Amun-Ra was the noonday sun; strong in mind, body and spirit.
Atum-Ra was the elder embodiment of the twilight that leads to his daily rest and rebirth
As the light spread across Nu, Ra would be joined by others.
Mut, the mother of mothers and the father of fathers would join with the hidden one, Amon, to give birth to the child-like yet wise moon, Khons.
Neit, the lady of war and weaving, who with the help of Nu, gave birth to Sobek, the necessary force of destruction, came forth from the darkness to fight valiantly for the universe.
Ptah, who would call Ra his brother, let his songs weave the universe to what is known today.
Khnemu, who would become the potter of humans after they were first born to Ra, made his home in the cataracts of the Nile’s origin point.
Tehuti, who became Ra’s closest confidant, would become a defining force with his wisdom, magic, and power of speech.
Ma’at would stay by Tehuti’s side as the lady of cosmic order and the keeper of the world’s balance.
When the division of Pet and Ta was to be ordained, the newly created company found a balance to keep the world from falling back in to Nu.
Ra, Ma’at, and Tehuti sailed on a barque across the heavens, proclaiming Ra as the eternal ruler of Heaven and Earth as they went.
Ptah sang the creation of the natural world in jubilation of the Barque of Eternity.
Khnemu would mold the creatures to inhabit the world Ptah created and Ra ruled.
Mut would fade to the background as a supporting, nurturing force. She would only return if a situation arose that needed her touch.
Neit and Sobek came to enforce the necessary conflict and violence to keep the balance of the world.
With the forces of the company, the physical world was able to come in to being. However there was a link still missing. Tehuti and Ma’at knew that in order for the missing link to be woven in to the universe, they needed to leave Ra’s side and head for the Earth below the Heavens. In his loneliness, Ra yearned for the company of others, but could only find enjoyment from himself. In his desires, the actions Ra acted out upon gave birth to the twins of wind and rain, Shu and Tefnut. It is with the twins that share one soul brought the First Breath and the First Waters from Heaven to sustain the life their elders created. Ra, feeling the need to have another half to help raise the twins, created Iusaaset from his shadow. Sometime later, conflict arose and Tefnut left after a falling out with her brother. Shu, feeling lost without his other half, went after her to bring her back. Ra wept for the loss of the presences of his children and from his tears, humanity was born. Shu and Tefnut would later return from distant lands when the world was filled with the infant race.
Humanity was formed as an infant form of the Neteru bound to the physical world, and could only reach for the world of the Neter when they let go of their earthbound bodies. It would be later with the first bridge of life and death that they would be able to ascend in death to be reborn as a Neter, no longer bound by their mortality.
Ra decided to help his new found creations since they were in need of guidance and protection. He ordained his right eye as Sekhmet and his left eye as Bast. Sekhmet was the harsh taskmaster and the fiery inferno that would keep humanity from going astray. Bast was the calming mother and the soft glowing fire that watched and protected humanity from any darkness and strife that came to humanity. Bast taught humanity happiness and enjoyment whereas Sekhmet taught humanity strength and fear.
There was a time that a portion of humanity turned their backs on Ra and he unleashed a frenzied Sekhmet to put them in line. She went too far and even Ra could not stop her. It was only when a small group dyed beer a blood-red and tricked her in to drinking full until she passed out, that the humans were able to stop their impending extinction. Ashamed at her lack of control, Sekhmet would wander the world. In her wanderings, she would cross paths with Ptah. He became intrigued and enamored with her intensity and ability to spread the cleansing will of fire. They would be married and would give birth to the lord of the Lotus and the judge of loyalty, Nefertmu.
Shu and Tefnut would have children of their own. They gave birth to embodiments of the Earth and Sky, Geb and Nut. Before their birth, a prophecy was foretold to Ra. He should not allow the Earth and Sky to join, for the children of such a union would bring calamity and end the Earthly reign of the Neteru. When the twins were born Ra tasked Shu to make sure they were always separated. They yearned for each other throughout many years. It was after the sexual victory of Geb over Shu, that he was able to spend some time with Nut. Horrified at the sight of the pregnant Sky, Ra declared Nut would remain pregnant and her children would not enter the world on any of his days.
Tehuti was saddened by the decree and felt the need to alleviate Nut’s constant pain. He decided to play a game of Senet against the young moon Khons and gambled for five days, one for each of the children within Nut’s womb. He won the days, but it is argued whether it was Tehuti’s skill that outplayed Khons or if Khons let Tehuti win for a morbid curiosity as to the fate of the world that the children would bring.
Ra knew then that he could not escape the Fate to come and relented. He refused to cause any more pain to his family and wholeheartedly participated in their childhoods.
The eldest was named Heru and would become known as Heru-Ur. His personification was closest to Ra and he was deemed to rule over the Earth. He had a close relationship to Set, and refused to let him fight alone and would join in the Sun Barque’s nightly sails. Heru was known for his kindness, wisdom, strength, and sense of honor. He was married to Het-Hert until he stood down as Pharaoh.
The second child, Set, was impatient and wanted to be first and tore himself from Nut’s womb. Set’s strength, ferocity, and darker attitudes led Ra to have him assist in the slaying of Apep every night. Set’s attitude often put others off, but those who had his friendship had a loyal ally. He would be married to Nebthet and Het-Hert until Heru-Sa-Aset would get her when he took over as Pharaoh. In losing Het-Hert, Set gained Anat and Astarte as wives.
The third child, Asar, was the laid back part of the male triplets. He was known for his connection with nature and his ever changing attitudes on life. He wouldn’t play an important part in the world until later in his life. He would be first known as the husband to an early influential power-player, Aset.
The fourth child, Aset, would become a matron of humanity’s link to the divine. She is not as powerful as the other matriarchs before her, but her reputation would spread across the world and influence the affairs of life and death. She was a student of Tehuti, the teacher of Anpu, and became an antagonist to Ra when she poisoned him to learn his names and later interfered with the ruler ship of Kemet. She would represent fertility and the stasis of life with embodying the sun.
The fifth and last child, Nebthet, would be forever remembered as the shadow of Aset, although on her own, she stands on her own. She represents the hidden power working in secret and a force of decay as an embodiment of the moon. She became the wife to Set and their relationship, unlike their other siblings was not stable. Nebthet’s decision to court Asar in secret would be one of the main catalysts in the downfall of the Neteru’s earthly rule.
Heru ruled for many years, but because of his insistence to assist at night assisting his brother and great-grandfather, he would run himself too ragged to continue as Pharaoh. He made the decision to step down and passed the choice of Pharaoh to his sister, Aset. She chose her soul mate, Asar, to take the place as Pharaoh. Set was angered at the decision of the throne going to his less-responsible younger brother, and felt that he would be a better choice. He respected his elder brother too much to go against his will and held his tongue. Asar would appoint Aset and Set as his chief advisors and come to rely on Set’s senior advice.
Asar would live life flamboyantly while the country was regulated by his brother and sister-wife. During a party to celebrate Asar’s rule, Nebthet would disguise herself as Aset and seduce an intoxicated Asar to lay with her. Aset was out of the country on diplomatic pursuits. Asar was still aware of the differences between his two sisters, but did not send her away out of sympathy for her circumstances. As the two pursued passion, the wreath on Asar’s head fell to the ground and alerted all of those present as to what was transpiring. To make matters worse, Asar impregnated Nebthet, a feat that Set was not capable of fulfilling. Anpu would be born of this union, and in fear of what Set would do to the child, Nebthet plotted with Aset and left him in the desert. Aset would shortly find the child and raise him as her own. She was not cross with her sister or her husband, as the motives were pure in her eyes. However in sleeping with Nebthet who is a neteret of decay, Asar would become half-mortal. This would allow Set to bide his time and plan his strike carefully. The final insult was too much for Set.
It was on a night some time later during a party that Set and seventy-two of his followers would strike. Aset was once again out of the country on diplomatic business, so she wasn’t there to thwart the plan. There was a contest as to whoever would fit in to the bed would be able to keep it. The bed was made specifically to fit Asar and when he laid down, Set and his followers nailed it shut and placed the coffin in to the Nile. Set would take control and when Aset came back, he imprisoned her, knowing she would try and overthrow him.
Aset escaped with the help of Nebthet and Anpu and she went in search of Asar. Aset would find her husband deceased and encased in a willow tree. She would use the magic she learned from Tehuti to try and resurrect him. Set would discover her plan and chopped the dormant body in to fourteen pieces and scattering them across Kemet. Aset, Nebthet, and Anpu left in search of the body parts. All of the pieces except for one would be found. Set, in the form of a catfish, swallowed Asar’s phallus. Aset and Anpu would perform the first embalming. Asar became the link between life and death that allowed for ascension and rebirth for all mortals. After crafting a clay phallus for Asar, Aset would turn in to a kite and breathe enough life in to Asar to become impregnated. The child she would carry wasn’t able to receive a name of his own, because his father’s soul was nonexistent.
Heru could only watch as his siblings turned on each other and felt bad for Aset and gave his own name to the unborn child. He would fade in to the child and reside there for all of eternity. Heru-Sa-Aset was born. He was a sickly child and his mother would be cross and harsh, only concentrating on training the child to avenge his father. Nebthet would be his kind, caring nurse who showed him there was more to life than the battle he was being prepared for.
When Heru-Sa-Aset was beginning adulthood, he went with his mother to avenge his father and take the throne from Set. An ongoing battle of eighty years ensued until it was ruled that Heru-Sa-Aset would be given the throne. Asar could not retake the throne as he was now a judge of the dead as Seker and ruled Aaru with Anpu as his assistant. Heru decided that the Neteru needed to rule from the shadows as their virtues and vices put the world in too much danger and influence too much. Heru passed the ruler ship of Kemet to humanity. This ended the twenty-six thousand year reign of the Neteru, ushering an age of conflict and the final loss of paradise.”
The one thing I hate about having an imagination is the masses of ideas upon ideas that I have trouble both in realizing in real space and making coherent. It all makes sense in my head, not so much when it leaks out the assorted crevices of my cranium.
Anywho, I suppose the first battle is what to do first. I think I’m going to work on my calender and preparations for Opet (since it’s practically a month celebration, plus the themes and the Netjeru involved are very important to me). This will also help me organize myself as the system I used for Wag last month went incredibly well and felt right. I’ve been wading through different ways of rituals and I’ve only begun to get a good grasp of what works for me.
I’ve been weighing for a while as to how I want to structure myself. I don’t like the adaption of the Netjeru to other systems. It’s not me. Others can be that way if they want, but not me. I’m not a hard-reconstructionist either. I believe there are reasons why our cultures changed and since the Netjeru allowed and embraced that change we can also. I find myself just saying “I’m Kemetic” and I think after all nine years I have in floundering along with religiously following, I think I can call myself comfortable enough to start building towards a constant path. I walk the line of at least keeping truth to the Netjeru and not the lies some spread, but not being obsessed with being exact.
Along with the plotting of the specifics of everything, I am going to challenge myself to have at least one post each day. This will help me get in to a habit of posting, allow me to practice making coherence of my thoughts, and get what I know out to the community.
Now that I’ve gone off topic as always, until next time.