Category Archives: Festival

Journey Along the Hidden Path

As I hit my month long introspective journey, I’m struck by the footprints I’ve laid down before and what impact I will leave as I walk currently. The details elude me, leaving only the sensation of their vague echoes.

This season marks two transformation cycles, both in nature with Autumn descending upon my home and from within as I enter the month long sojourn that is Opet. As the leaves change their colors and fall, the pieces within me either breakaway, fall in to place, or create something new. Each time I have celebrated Opet there has been the creation or destruction of the defining factors which I am able to weave my path.

However, this year brings unknown factors and results I am not able to predict nor have a guide for.The main reason why the expectations are different are due to the new focuses I have decided to work on to develop myself.

I snicker a little bit at this detail. My Opet is the celebration and a rigorous work period with the Theban triad. The members function within the unseen places and along secretive paths. Their focus is on the work within silence and the hidden. Mut has always been a caring and guiding force in my life when I have encountered/worked with Her. Amon-Re and Khons have been part of my personal retinue for some time, however that bond was deepened this year with the oaths I took on Wep Ronpet . The two of them have a tendency to make everything interesting.

I have no doubts the work I do this Opet will leave a long-standing mark upon me.

Onwards to the hidden path!

 

Wep Ronpet and Resolutions

Wep Ronpet occurred in my location on 8/13. Before that time would have been the Closing of the Year and the five Days Upon the Year.

My Closing of the year went very well and I was excited at the fact the things to be destroyed were different from the year before (based on the notes I found). It was a moment of self-pride and I-did-something-right. I successfully execrated/freed myself from the things to be left behind of this last year.

The Days Upon the Year were a different story. I was not able to perform due to my mindset/emotional state and I stepped away (after receiving permission) from doing anything for the Five on those days.

Wep Ronpet is something I’m still working on. On 8/13 I observed but did not work on the tasks. On 8/16 I participated in a group ritual with the Facebook group I am a part of (Twin Cities Kemetic Network). Today on 8/19, I do the task of mapping a basic idea of the current goals of my year.

Wep Ronpet is about new beginnings, new projects, and new goals. I will be starting a new job in my career on 8/25. With this job, I hope to clean my finances up and better manage that area of my life. I have two new connections where I will be shortly taking oaths and working on new projects helped by Their design. I will be making more of an effort to work on my beadweaving technique and projects.

Other goals are to bring me back to what I have done before and lost due to the storm of my life.

  • I am going to make sure my altar and statues are tended to twice a day.
  • I will be blogging at least once a week.
  • I will make an effort to get a working calendar in order and follow it.

I know I’m not perfect and probably never will be, but I will make the effort to uphold the oaths I have taken and the work I have accepted.  I will continue to walk with honor and dignity in step with the Netjeru and my selves. This new year will bring new beginnings and new outlooks of which will allow myself to both express my devotion and hopefully impart useful commentary to everyone who takes a chance to read my posts.

Happy New Year, everyone!

 

“U” is for Unifying Native Culture and My Chosen Path (aka ‘Tis the Season to be Jolly)

It’s coming to be that time again. The time where snow falls from the sky and the area around me is saturated with bright colors, seasonal music (some places now start playing music before Thanksgiving in the USA – the record currently is November 1st at a Culvers in St Cloud, MN), and the time when uncaring people choose to be charitable to affirm to themselves and the world they’re not heartless.

Family, charity, compassion, and happiness are  pillars I build and sustain as I walk along my current path. I used to be a bit conflicted with how to reconcile what I did in my new lifestyle with where I came from. There was a question as to whether I needed to stop what I had been doing (the gift-giving, the decorating, the listening to holiday music, etc) when I was really trying to figure out where I draw the lines between what I do and don’t do.

I have an interesting dynamic with this season. I grew up celebrating Christmas in many of its secular traditions (think New England Christmas minus church). Because of how ingrained the experience of the season is in my life, I won’t toss it aside even though my religious path has changed. The messages scattered within the season are messages I attempt to adhere to all year round. This time of the year just calls attention to all of the good tidings people have for others.

I have a similar perspective when it comes to wishing people “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas”. I worked retail for enough years to have different experiences and dynamics during the wintry season. My conclusion: if someone said “Merry Christmas” to me, I said it back to them. If they didn’t say “Merry Christmas” I said “Happy Holidays” only if it was apparent they were buying gifts (through actions like conversation). Now do I specifically celebrate “Christmas”? Yes and no, it’s not my main focus, but it’s there, and I don’t feel I’m being erased when the greetings come in.

I actually take more offense when someone wishes me a “Happy Yule”, when they place me under the “Pagan” bubble. Just because I’m a polytheist doesn’t mean Yule has any meaning for me. That’s erasing my personal experience. I mean, I wouldn’t walk up to someone who I think is similar and say “Ankh, Uadj, Seneb!”, making the assumption they know what that means.

Basically it’s now welcome to either the bane of existence or to another enjoyable season. I prefer not to be “Bah Humbug” and roll with it all.

“U” is for unifying native culture and my chosen path, because the rituals I do in this season both in my path and fitting within my path are more apparent these next two months.

Opet Musing

My hands reach for the surface drifting away.
I sink from the light of Ra towards the silent depths.
The deafening silence roars as He drags me deeper within.
The silence leads to the hidden.

I sink from the light of Ra towards the silent depths.
The Shining King’s beams will soon no longer hold me in His safe embrace.
The silence leads to the hidden.
The Hidden One will soon entangle me in His embrace.

The Shining King’s beams will soon no longer hold me in His safe embrace.
The warm light will give way to the truthful silence.
The Hidden One will soon entangle me in His embrace.
His whispers will carry me away.

The warm light will give way to the truthful silence.
The deafening silence roars as He drags me deeper within.
His whispers will carry me away.
My hands reach for the surface drifting away.

“T” is for Traversing Opet

On my calendar Opet started on September 30th (three almost four days ago), and I haven’t started much of anything.

Scratch that, I joined the emboatening crew making the initial donation using the referring amount (when I get paid this week, I will be making a donation out of my pocket). I started my Etsy shop and a GoFundMe fundraiser. I have brought myself halfway out of the emotional rut I was in. I should probably amend that statement to say “I haven’t started much of anything ‘ritual’ wise’ for Opet”.

The Netjeru waiting to be involved in my Opet adventure have been patiently waiting for me to be ready to start the other path. The tasks I have achieved listed above is one of two paths I’m traversing for Opet. The paths have intersection, but they also have diverging tasks I am going to be achieving. Assuming the intensity of the path of the “hidden silence” is the reason why They have been waiting for me to be ready.

I am NOT going to half-ass what I need to do. I can’t say if I want “it”, because I don’t know what “it” is yet. Even if I did know “it” and didn’t want “it”, I need to do “it” whatever “it” is.

Just as the old way of the festival was the journey down the Nile, my internal journey is also set in a similar setting. The Nile was both a realm of mystery, danger, and a necessary foundation to the collection of people who lived within the realms of the Netjeru. My own collection of selves is dependent on a similar core of mystery, danger, and foundation. The journey the Pharaoh took during Opet was both a statement to the world, and I imagine, a statement to themselves. This journey I will be undertaking doesn’t have the clear cut statements to the world the Pharaoh had, because I am not Nisut (nor do I accept any current claims of Nisut), I am Makhaut (The word Makhaut is a word for “family” I found in translation and I use it as such).

I’m still debating whether I will keep an online log of my work or if I will keep it to myself. I’m still wrestling with the running-mouth-I-want-to-tell-everyone-everything-I-talk-too-much, so we shall see what happens when it happens. “T” is for traversing Opet, because my boat is about to set sail.

“P” is for Preparing for the Year: Closing the Year, Days Upon the Year, and Wep Ronpet

Whew, this has been a long week, both strengthening and weakening me. Scattered throughout this post are snapshots of the devotional pieces I worked on for the five born upon the year. I may make posts explaining the process and how each one works for Their representations.

The last year has been closed tightly and lessons were learned in the time passed and new lessons were learned from the experience. I haven’t done that much me work in, oh, let’s say ever. The parties involved drove the point home of work on this every so often. It was exhilarating and terrifying mixed in to one. Closure is nice and I had a moment of validation of I’m-doing-this-right.

Heru-Wr

One of the closing rituals was a cutting and mending. The main goal was to cut the ties to someone I don’t want anything to do with anymore. A couple of days after I did the ritual, I got a message from him. I at first felt angry, because I just took the time to cut away that thread. A couple of my friends commented that it meant I did it right, because he felt that absence. There is something very fulfilling to knowing validation has occurred.Set

The first two Days Upon the Year went smoothly. I know Heru-Wr and Set were content with the results of the meditations, prayers, and devotional jewelry pieces. The next three days were a different story. I received a migraine of which I haven’t had in a while. I was laid up Saturday, Sunday, I was starting to feel better Monday, and I’m almost done here on Tuesday. I didn’t do the same work for Asar, Aset, and Nebt-Het. The puzzling thing is, I don’t feel like a failure for not doing the same work I did for Heru-Wr and Set.Asar

I have theories as to why this occurred, but I’m not going to think about pinpointing it until after the excitement settles. I think the main reason has to do with overextending myself and the energy it takes to work on each “project”. Since I’m still new at doing magic and ritual on a deep level, I may have pushed too hard, and They wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to break myself.  I was able to get all of the devotional pieces done in time for Wep Ronpet.

AsetI have decided to use tonight to make my resolutions for the year, and what I would like to focus on. They appreciate when I share/report what I’m doing and thinking. I was originally going to do resolutions and renewing/reviewing my oath with He who is my Beloved. I feel I do Him injustice by trying to cram incredibly important work together in one day (especially since my days are taken mostly by work). I am happy with the start of this new year and I look forward to what may come. “P” is for Preparing for the Year, because now is the best time to prepare as ever.Nebt-Het

“O” is for Overcomplicated Calenders and Onto the New Year

It’s that time of year again. It’s almost to the new year (Wep Ronpet) and a very important festival season for me personally. I am proud of myself for calculating when the year starts so I can plot out all of the other feasts and festivals I want to do. Yes, it’s a matter of what I want to do, not need to do, because the Egyptian empire had a very complicated system of calenders. The only uncomplicated aspect was that they had 360 days with five added for the births of Heru-Wr, Asar, Set, Aset, and Nebt-Ht. Which is the same amount of days I’m used to having being from a westernized society.

The complicated part was the ancient Egyptians utilized a solar calender, a lunar calender, a civil calender, plus different regions sometimes followed different Netjeru families/cosmologies creating different sets and levels of importance of festivals. If I was regionally based, it would be a little easier, but I’m not, and I don’t want to be limited in how I work/They have voiced They don’t want me to be limited in such a manner. The lack of limitation leaves me to sitting with books/other people’s input and here at a computer entering data for personalized lists of schedules. I also tweak the calender to match my region and its characteristics, rather than basing it on the Egyptian region.

Since I live in Minnesota, it could be said we have less than four seasons. In one system we have two seasons: snow and road construction. A second system has three seasons: Spring/Summer, Fall and Winter. Our springs and summers tend to blend together and flip between the two at odd times. I like to joke about being able to coordinate the two season systems, for the sake of my practice, it really doesn’t matter. I can make everything work when it needs to, because that’s how I do it. If it doesn’t work for me, it doesn’t happen a second time.

I count myself lucky to have had some time to plot out the new calender at least for Wep Ronpet, Wgy, and Opet. This gives me a little bit of a breathing zone to plan those three festivals before I have to worry about after those three events. Now, the fun begins with planning the rituals. I haven’t done very well with rituals I have found from books so I write up my own rituals for myself. I respect the people who record their methods, but it’s just not for me. Planning rituals is a calender in of itself. If rituals don’t function like calenders, they are least syllabuses, which are micro calenders, so they are calenders (anyways). With how sporadic and fluid my practice has been, I have found myself writing up rituals for the same festivals over and over again, trying to find what feels right to me.

The process starts with brainstorming what the focus/goal is for that festival and what do I want to get out of it. From the brainstorming I pick activities that are relevant to the goals. The activities can be anything from beading, meditation, prayer, reading passages from translated works, tributes, poetry, story-telling, conversation, etc. After I make the final decision on scheduling, any of the parts that need the creative touch are prepared and compliled. I found the more time I have to think about what I’m doing, the better I feel and the better the result I get in regards to the goals for each festival.

Wep Ronpet is probably the most complicated and work-heavy out of three major events. The festival does cover seven days and each day has a specific focus. I will be taking as much free time as I can to prepare between now and the 7th when it all begins. I will be having fun updates for anyone who decides to read my ramble-mode, because it will be ramble-mode. “O” is for overcomplicated calenders and onto the new year because it is overcomplicated with attempting to build the blocks without having them topple over, and overcomplicated calenders are discovered as I head to Wep Ronpet.

What to do first….

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.