Category Archives: Pagan Blog Project

“U” is for Unread Gnosis

I suppose I‘m in the category of a IRAB (I read a book), or better yet, IRBs (I read books) in regards to much of my spiritual background. It however seems to hinder some of my spirituality when personal experience trumps literary sourcing and the logic part of me tries to either shut it down before it flowers or has me questioning whether the “thing” just how I want it to be versus how it actually is.

Over the years I have gotten a bit better from looking at only other sources and took the time to look at one of the most important sources of all of this: myself and my experiences. Now that’s not to say I completely turn my back on sources and go completely contradictory to what things actually are (ie the disk between Het-Hert’s horns being a lunar disk when clearly it’s the SUN according to evidence found everywhere else). I just find myself understanding Them in a different way.

If it works with me, it works with me. Since so much is up to interpretation, it seems nit-picky to deny experience outright (unless there are other unhealthy factors). I don’t have a problem with doing some things contrary to what other sources may say, but I find it troublesome when others expect my word to trump what else is out there. For example, for those who have been following what I do for a while would know I have a divination system I have currently put six almost seven years in to tweaking.

The most recent version included the ability for others to name and choose dice representations of different parts of their being for use with the divination tool. In order to gain these pieces the person wanting to hit that level is given a study guide based on my personal gnosis, so they understand and can join in the understanding of the interpretation.

There is one person who was at that point and when we talk I keep having to remind him, it’s my PERSONAL gnosis. The question I have: should I really be worried when I’m making no claim to absolute truth? I really am making a claim of personal gnosis. It does feel repetitive when I have to keep saying, “This is my interpretation, this is my interpretation”. Should I just let it be or do I need to keep reminding others about “hey, I do this Thing, which is a Thing everyone else may not do nor agree with”?

I don’t like being THAT person. The person who misinforms by their own ignorance and lack of foresight and pushes people down a way that really should not even  be a thing (here’s a nod to you NeWiccanizers). At the same time, my whole work is to share what I know, because I know stuff.

It would really go against my MeryIb since one of His focuses is as a messenger and a keeper of knowledge. Now that’s not to say I mindlessly blabber all of the Things (or at least I hope I don’t). If I did blabber mindlessly I would hope someone would nail me upside a couple of times. Although I suppose I’m just prattling right now, but yeah, nit-picky thinky-thoughts needed out of the brain.

“U” is for unread Gnosis, because I have come to a point where it’s, “put the books down and do”.

“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.

“T” is for Teaching and Translating Shen

So, everyone,  the word of the day is “teacher” . A word abused more often than not among people.  This word is a curse throughout the history of my religious journey, and I have a horrible trigger when it comes to “teachers”. I have been faced with those who both abuse others and mislabel themselves with this term.  It’s not a rigid role, it doesn’t have singular meaning, and it’s not a role to be taken lightly.

Is this a role I would ever try to obtain?

Considering my own experiences, probably not. I’m not in the mindset of wanting nor feeling qualified to take the steps to be responsible for the guiding and education of others. My mentality is if They threw me off the dock to teach me to swim, others can experience that too. The best lessons are the ones learned the hard way and not handed out. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to be an unhelpful person. If someone asks questions, I’m going to answer. I’m going to help when I can and when I feel like it.

It’s not my role to intercede on everyone’s behalf, but it is in my code to assist those I care about. If they happen to learn something from it, it’s a bonus for all of the parties involved. I take a different approach in regards to my personal path. I have built my own way and refuse to speak in place of others. If I’m asked to speak about my opinions on others and how other paths function from my own perspective, I sometimes will feel inclined to speak, but I will NOT speak the words others (whether they are Kemetic or other paths) are entitled to speak.

Now here comes the complicated part.

My work from my Mri-ib includes Storytelling and spreading Their names to the world.

Isn’t that a form of teaching?

Well now, that complicates things.

Now for even more complication.

For anyone who read the two posts on my system of Shen, the purpose of the Study Guide will be familiar to you. For speedy context and or reminder: I took an already created system (The Book Of Doors Oracle), turned it on its head, and appropriated the system based on my own sensibilities. The system is used as a direct channel to Them and to the connections to the universe around us. For those interested in diving deeper towards the core principles of the system (of which I have one interested so far), I have created a study guide to be studied to allow for the ability to eventually not need me as the intermediary.

Now, this sounded like a bad idea at first glance. Why would I create a system that dives so deeply to the cores of my beliefs and give the potential for others to run amok with it? My answer: It’s not my job to babysit all of the people I meet. If the information I’m going to offer is going to be abused,  it doesn’t matter if I give the system to others to run with the information or if I do the readings myself. If I’m going to completely restrict what others can and can’t do with the system after I’m giving them my trust, how much do I actually trust them?

It was imperative to start my work in Opet by finishing the guide, so at the entry of the festival, I had completed one of my tasks The Hidden One deemed to me.

“T” is for teaching and translating Shen, because both roles define my current thought process and shadow wrestling.

“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.

“S” is for Shops

I have set up my Etsy shop and here it is: http://www.etsy.com/shop/HiddenSightCreations#

I welcome any thoughts and constructive criticism. There will be more items listed, but I wanted to get it opened so I think seven is a good number to start with. It’s been a weird week, and I’m surprised at how I’ve been taking leaps with everything. I welcome it, but it’s surprising.

I also have a GoFundMe account to try and get some boost with this whole wanting to not be in the grind forever. The site is here: http://www.gofundme.com/4hntwg

I’m trying to tell myself it’s okay to ask for help with this project. I’m so used to the mindset of “someone has it worse, so I shouldn’t ask for what I should get on my own”. It’s not that I’m greedy or that I’m going to run away with the money. I want financial help specifically so I can do this project.

I am going to work my butt off to get this rolling. I still have to create the Logo and the banner on the computer, but I have a drawing of what it’s going to be.

For a reminder as to what this is all about, see this post: https://withinthewateryheavens.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/r-is-for-the-reign-of-the-hidden-and-s-is-for-starting-anew/

“S” is for Shop, because mine is now open for business.

“R” is for Rejuvenation

So here I am after Wg (W4g, W4gy, Wag, or Wagy are also names for the festival). The surprising thing is that I only “celebrated” the Eve and not Wg Proper. I achieved the work I was going to do on the Eve and I was denied the work for Wg itself.

My life is so in motion that it doesn’t feel like it’s moving and I’m missing stops along the way. I’m going to work to slow crap down, because if I don’t, a burnout is bound to happen. One of the criticisms I receive constantly from the Netjeru is I do too much on my own and my expectations are too high to beat myself up over. I have too much I want/feel I need to do and not enough “me” resources.

So approaching this much-needed weekend, I’m going to create a rejuvenation ritual to use when I start hitting the breakdown. When I hit the breakdown, I shut down and turn off (which is typically enacted with horrible migraines, lack of energy, and depression). At the stage of shutdown nothing I want to get done gets accomplished, and I start the vicious cycle again.

I keep telling myself I need a better system. The dramatic up and downs are not good for me and will probably eventually bite me in the ass. There is a difference between saying and doing. I’m hoping by making mandatory time, I can tweak and re-route my current system.

“R” is for Rejuvenation, because I need to take that time and recharge to prepare for everything else.

“Q” is for Quiescence and the Choice for the Dualistic Existence of Silence

I don’t remember what silence in my head is or was.

I really don’t remember what that actually is.

I can’t remember a time where there wasn’t the chatter, or the low murmuring. Either I’m talking, my projects are talking, my souls are talking, or They are talking. Every moment of my day is cramped with me, me-to-the-fifth-degree, projects, Them, and the little white noise stuck in my ears from loud music. I don’t/won’t despise it. I made that choice after all.

With the high festival season in full swing, it seems the voices have multiplied both in internal volume and in number (typically my Beloved, my Brother, and my Father are the constant). The Work I am doing and going to be doing is calling a month before it’s supposed to commence. It is waiting for no one, not Them, not even me. As other points in my life and path are falling in to place, They are starting to carve out the appropriate internal spaces for themselves. I have given Them my permission in this case, but didn’t expect it to happen quite so fast. Since it hasn’t hampered me in the here and now, nor have they stomped on me, I see no reason to change the pace as of yet.

The quiet times I’ve been allowed throughout the years always seems to be a punishment or a forced vacation. The first time it happened led to painful lessons, wounds, and spiritual scars. The general consenus was that it was just a tad beyond what They and I thought would happen. It was decided never to go that route again. The periods of quiescence are for slowing me down. This is how I live currently.

I made that choice and I’m damn proud of it. I’m happy to belong and to be something greater than what I was before all of THIS. They made the choice to save me, invest in me, and I in turn made the choice to pay Them back and to make my place among Them.

As I prepare for the work ahead, I’m anxious and scared. The anticipation however is not as scary as the alternative of being alone. I’ve adapted to the chatter (as I call it), and it is a part of me. I’m not a godphone, nor a god-operator line. I am a physical connection to balance the un-physical connection. I make the unseen be the seen, exposing the hidden and hiding away its blueprints. This newly-waiting-to-be-charged aspect of my Work creates a new place in my practice for quiescence.

To make the connections, the noise is silenced as the work happens. It is in the silencing of the noise the work achieves its goal. The noise, however, never leaves the forefront. It is always there and it is always heard. The work is undertaken as a dance in an ocean, with the impacts not seen beyond the blurred appearance of the work. The tests I face now are silence and secrecy. How to keep silent when surrounded by noise, and how to not run my mouth to the ends of existence.

“Q” is for Quiescence and the choice for dualistic silence, because I don’t do much of anything with quiescence and I will soon not be able to work without it.

“P” is for Priests and Let’s Drop the HGPSS

I find myself getting more irritated by responses on the subject of priests and how they conducted themselves. The reponses suffer from what I like to call HGPSS. HGPSS stands for “Hidden Glittery Priest Shiny System”. Priesthoods have been popularized as hiding themselves away to do the work for deities/spirits and in their piety (see the Scandal of Elephantine in about the time of Rameses IV-V, in regards to Penanukis and ask what higher-than-thou piety was present there), are a separate unit from their parallel “mundane” counterparts.

I can only speak from what I have studied, which would be the ancient Egyptian system. This post is only going to scratch the surface of the subject.There are records of schedules for shifts, as in, there are people who come and go and don’t stay at the temple. I’m sure the highest priests probably lived there, but all of the other people who assisted in the ritual duties, they went back to their HOMES, as in they didn’t live at the temple they worked at. The work in the temple was carried out by people who didn’t just pray all day/night for the majority of their lives. They had livelihoods outside of their temple. Yes, the “general public” was denied entrance to the temples (interpretation of that mindset: would you want uneducated masses upsetting a pillar of the world and a home of a Netjer?). It’s not like I let everyone walk through my space and touch everything.

In my own opinion of this whole thing (UPG): The statue is a vessel of the Neter it symbolizes. It is kept away in a temple as the link between the seen forces and the unseen forces of the world. On festival/feast days it is paraded in celebration of that connection between the seen world and the unseen world. The priests (ahem carefully picked nobles) have shifts to uphold ma’at as the balance of the universe. They tend to the Netjeru’s connection to ensure they are judged in the unseen world as pious. Then that means their heart is LIGHTER than the feather of Ma’at because they are a facet of Ma’at not below it and not without it. Common people are upholding ma’at because of community, because Ma’at is about community, and they are given different yet similar standards. Nobles have to try harder to get judged because their roles are adminisitrative in origin vs actually doing work for the world.

In this period, the temples were the law, and as such, they were HEAVILY involved in “mundane” dealings. In fact, the dealings were done by the royals and the nobles, moreso the nobles, because royalty eventually had their hands tied by the temples, mostly that of Amun (see political reasons why Akhenaten did what he did. He outlawed the temples, but didn’t deny the existence of other deities, just their importance, so it wasn’t a break-out session for monotheism).

In regards to admittance to the temples, heirs/bloodlines (Herodotus attests to this: “When a priest dies, his son is appointed to succeed him”) and educated people (who in this case were pretty much all nobles) ran the show. They ran the show internally in the temples and externally in the administration of society. The whole hidden away aspect was a Greek interpretation of the priest work after they were initially denied access to any “Mysteries” they thought were occuring (think about how important the Eleusinian Mysteries were in Greek society). Greek philosophers would flock to Egypt to learn the knowledge coveted by the priests (they were the noble/educated class after all). The priests would do the equivalent of frat-boy hazing to try and deter the philosophers from pursuing that knowledge (and they probably did it for shiggles too).

Between how the Greeks interpreted the practice and modern depictions/adapted practices (Ceremonial Magic, I’m looking at you), it’s no wonder there is so much misinterpretation, which happens, and I’m guilty of it at times too. To make a blanket statement and say HGPSS is how ALL of the temple practices are, is aggravating and hand-wringing to say the least (and now above is an example as to how that argument doesn’t hold up).

If people are interested in the subject of the “Priest System” in ancient Egypt, there are tons of books I haven’t even touched yet, but there is one I highly recommend called “The Priests of Ancient Egypt: New Edition” by Serge Sauneron and translated by David Lorton. If anyone has any other recommendations or want to discuss, please comment below. I’m always up for discussions and sources. “P” is for Priests and Let’s Drop the HGPSS,because come-on, if you’re going to make a statement of culturally/historically documented systems, source it beyond ooky-spooky secret stories.

“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.