Feast of the Soaring Falcon 2015.

November 2, 2015 – November 17, 2015

I’m beginning to believe that when it comes to holidays that I add into my calendar that I will always be left wondering what the point is.

When I was informed that the Feast of the Soaring Falcon was occurring, a 15-day festival, I immediately took to Google. Aside from the KO prayer book stating that the holiday was a thing and something mentioned in a book by Normandi Ellis, I came up with absolutely nothing on what this festival was about. I pulled out the 2 books that I have about Edfu, hoping to find something of import there, but again came away with nothing.

All I knew was that for fifteen days, the ancient Egyptians celebrated a soaring falcon.

It seems like more and more, especially with regard to holidays about Horus, I’m left guessing. I have to sit in reflection more than I have in the past regarding any holidays that I celebrate for Hetheru or Sekhmet, trying to determine what could possibly be occurring and why.

As with the 3-day Festival of the Winged Disk, I came away feeling as if it was all a grand mystery… and I had no clues to investigate properly.

I spent much of the first week just kind of sitting around, contemplating the icon of Horus in the off moments. I could see gold and sparkles; I could see banquets of food just laid out to be picked over; I could see incense and maybe even hymns of some sort being sung. But it was all an imaginary world of my own choosing. None of it was based on what may have happened in antiquity. I was only guessing.

I will be honest and admit that I mostly didn’t care. Things have been hard lately. The time off that I decided to take after I posted my Boundaries post is important and necessary; I need to work through a lot of things related to my personal life as well as my religious life. Throughout all of this, I have been waging a daily war, it seems like, against my anxiety and depression. There are some days where I don’t feel as though I have won the battle. Other days, I feel like I have.


The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim. – Sun Tzu

Every day, I pull up my silly little Tarot app and see what card it chooses for me to represent that day. I like the app. It’s an easy way to access divination tools without having to pull out a deck to shuffle. I guess that might paint me as a lazy diviner, but whatever. The apps that I have downloaded are easy, simple, and usually pretty damn accurate.

For weeks and weeks, I’ve been getting the same old cards. I get it – I get that things need to change. I get that I’m at the edge of a precipice and if I don’t stop, then things are going to wind up looking more like the Devil card or even the Tower. These are two cards that frighten me, worry me, set off my anxiety a bit. I don’t like those cards at all, but the recent spate of Swords with an occasional smattering of less painful cards has put me on edge.

I keep looking over my shoulder, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

About halfway through this particular holiday, after I had settled myself in with a nice cup of coffee and finished my French lesson of the day, I pulled up my little Tarot app and looked at my daily card. I was expecting something a little more frightening, a little more worrisome than the 5 of Cups. It was almost with a sigh of relief that I read the little advice above the divination interpretation the app provides:

If you’re feeling sad or down today, honor those feelings. Don’t try to push them away. Whatever loss or disappointment you’ve experienced lately deserves to be felt. When you take the time to really feel your feelings, you can process them, learn from them, and then move forward, with greater self-awareness and wisdom.

5 of Cups

This is a card of loss, of grief, of disappointments.

The same day that I pulled the 5 of Cups, while I was at work, I reached up and fingered the ib pendant that I wear daily around my neck. As I clasped the pendant in my hand, the cord began to slip from around my neck. I pulled it free and saw that the knot I had used to secure one side had come loose… again.

Recently, I had swapped out the frayed black cord the amulet had come with for a red, silken cord. Since the cord is silken, the knots I have tied in to it so that I may tighten and loosen the necklace around my neck come undone randomly. I expected the piece to come loose again since it had been months since the last time. But for some reason, it felt like a blow to the stomach when I pulled the necklace into my hands and studied the side that had come loose.

It felt like a metaphor for everything: my whole life was becoming undone and I just don’t know if I have the strength to figure out how to fix it. I didn’t have time to fix the knot before I had to jump on a conference call and so, I slipped the piece into my pocket until I got home. When I got home, I plunked it down in front of Sekhmet and just stared at the loose side, trying to get up the energy to re-tie the piece together.

But the nagging feeling that this stupid silken cord with the dark spots at the edges from daily use was the perfect representation of me, my life, of the way things had been lately wouldn’t stop. I kept staring at it and finally just left it on the altar. I figured I could get around to tying it at some point, but as I lay the necklace down at Sekhmet’s feet, I couldn’t imagine caring enough to actually getting around to re-tying the knots.

I didn’t know if I ever would care enough to get around to it.


It was not… that she was unaware of the frayed and ragged edges of life. She would merely iron them out with a firm hand and neatly hem them down. – P.D. James

It was at that moment that I finally realized what this celebration was about at least for this year, at this moment in time.

On that day when I pulled the 5 of Cups, I listened to the advice provided by that card pull. I stopped letting myself keeping moving autonomously forward and instead, sat for the day and allowed the grief and disappointment to fill me. I was like an empty cup – heh – and allowed those feelings to fill me. I let it overflow and then I poured it into the land around me. I let the world soak up the after effects of my disappointment, depression, anxiety, fear, and grief.

The next day, I looked up at the sky and watched as a hawk soared above me. I don’t see them as much right now. It’s November and the prey is harder to find, I guess. But I saw that animal swooping down over the trees and I knew that it had found something juicy to eat, something delectable that would see it through for a while. I watched the hunting predator and I knew that this holiday was less about celebrating Horus and his soaring falcon form and more about me and my attempts to get into soaring falcon form.

The ancient Egyptian representation of a soaring falcon is a symbol of strength and protection. In its feet, the falcon clasps shen rings – protection. The outstretched wings show a beast upon the hunt, finding what it needs in order to survive. I could embody that form, but in order to do so, I needed to work up to it.

You can’t just get onto a bike and instantly know how to ride it; you can’t just put on roller skates and instantly know everything you need to know in order to maintain your balance. It takes work – hard work in some cases – to get up to form.

I have to let these issues roll through me, pass over me, and vomit up the sorrow, pain, anger, depression as I can in order to make it possible to take off. The Litany Against Fear is often used within the original Dune universe. It’s kind of like the last half of the mantra:

I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Only instead of fear, I am working on all of the other types of emotions that bog me down, that suck me into the mire like quicksand.

This holiday wasn’t about the soaring falcon, wasn’t about celebrating Horus and all the joys that he brings me. This holiday was about reminding me that in order to be in tip top shape, I have to sit and just be sometimes. I have to work through my own stuff in order to be the only thing that remains at the end of it all. And in that moment, maybe then I will be the soaring falcon I know I can be.

Pray for Paris; Pray for Beirut.

Six months before my tenth birthday, a truck bomb was detonated in the parking garage of the North Tower of the World Trade Center complex.

I don’t know why my mother wasn’t home, but I can remember seeing the nightly news and being horrified by what I saw. It was my first real glimpse, I think, of the horror that existed in the world. I was, like many people driving by a car crash on the highway, unable to pull my attention away from the news reports, watching the videos and listening to the news commentators.

I can remember sitting in our living room and trying to figure out what this meant to me and how it could possibly impact me. I tried to imagine what it must be like to have had family work in the towers on February 26, 1993 and not knowing if they were all right. I tried to imagine what it would be like if my mother had been killed in an attack like that and was overwhelmed with fear and uncertainty.

It seemed like the world was filled with fear and uncertainty, horrors that a nine-year-old can’t fully comprehend. As a thirty-two year old woman, I still can’t fully understand them.

Paris is Not Afraid

Parisians gather after the Charlie Hebdo attack on January 7, 2015 to show the world how this attack has impacted them.

Right along with the rest of the world, I was watching the stories unfold from Paris last night. I can’t recall where I first saw the story pop up on my radar, but I read through the articles I could find as the story developed. I went through the tags on Twitter, looking for posts and information. I watched as innocent men, women, and children had their lives shattered by violence. From my comfortable couch, I felt chills and sorrow that are but a drop in the bucket compared to the people waking up in France today.

The attacks that occurred last night appear to have been carefully orchestrated and have left more than a 100 dead. The president has closed the borders and has indicated that the next 3 days will be days of mourning for the loss of life. I was overwhelmed with the state of it all, just like that day when I was nine years old and watching the aftermath of that truck bombs in 1993.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping’.”

I saw the above quote on Tumblr and began looking around for that and I found it.

Men and women came together, tweeting safe havens and instructions on how to find them, cities across the world showed the French national colors in solidarity, and people around the world prayed for Paris. I have found myself combing through stories this morning, reading as much as my heart can handle. There were many people helping last night.

While combing through the Parisian records, I found out that Beirut had been attacked the day before. I hadn’t known. Nothing about it had crossed my periphery. I’m finding that happens more and more, though. It seems like, unless the damage ISIL has wrought is against a historical monument or something related, I don’t see it in the news very much. I wonder if we’re just inured to the violence that seems to be happening on a regular basis in the middle East.

With a heavy heart, I began looking through the news reports to see what had occurred, what I had missed. Violence broke out in Beirut this week in the form of two suicide bombs. According to what I had found, the ISIL, as with Paris, has taken the claim for these acts. There were acts of heroism in Beirut, too. Now the people of Beirut mourn just as Paris does.

Along with other Tumblr Kemetics, I found myself unable to stand by and just watch all the tweets and news reports flow to us, giving us minor updates on such a huge situation. I couldn’t fathom what was happening in either Paris or what had happened in Beirut. I couldn’t wrap my head around it and in my confusion, I turned to the gods.

With a little over 100 notes, we offered suggestions and ideas on what we could do to help from our removed positions.

The Art of Flame

Tonight we are victorious – Victorious by Panic! at the Disco

It seems like more and more the world has become a scary place, a place filled with real live monsters. The quote from Aliens that Newt says to Ripley seems particularly more and more accurate with each passing month and each passing day. As more reports filter down to the masses, stating that someone or many someones has done something that should be seen as inhumane:

“My mommy always said there were no monsters, no real ones, but there are.”

Instead of grotesque xenomorphs running rampant across far-flung planets and space ships, we have the human equivalent running rampant here, on Earth, and it seems like when you take down one (or they take down themselves) six more pop up in that empty space.

I worry and worry. My son is seven and he’s already become aware of the things that people can do, can inflict on others. He may not know the specifics, but he’s been taught about 9/11 and the changes in the world that happened afterward. He’s already been taught other horrors, aware of the Charlie Hebdo attack in January of this year, and asked questions about it.

I was 9 when I became aware, for the first time, that the world was not always a good place. I was 9 when I realized that the idyllic world that I resided in was not the same as what other people lived and breathed in. My son was 6 when he first learned about the World Trade Center bombing in 2001. He was born into a world where these things are more common, happen with a frequency that both saddens and frightens me.

I am tired. I find myself exhausted and overwhelmed with the stream of reports, with the news that something else is happening and it is Big and Scary. We cannot hide our heads underneath the blankets and fervently wish for the monsters to go away or scream out to our parents, demanding that they fight off the evil monster for us. The monsters live and breathe in this world right along side us and hope to extinguish us for whatever twisted, frightening reason resides in their heads.

We must turn on our night lights and fight back, with magic and with prayer, with solidarity and courage against the extremists who would scare us back beneath the covers. No matter where the violence is occurring – a European capital or a city in the Middle East – we must fight back and show these people that we are not afraid.

I stand with Paris and with Beirut. Do you?

Festival of the Winged Disk 2015.

November 2, 2015 – November 4, 2015

The Legend of the Winged Disk is one of my favorite myths. I can admit to being biased, though. There are very few myths specific to Heru-Wer that I have been able to find, so it is truly no surprise why I’d like the Winged Disk myth so much.

Copies of this myth were inscribed at the Edfu Temple complex, which was a very old temple rebuilt during the Ptolemaic era. As with many of the Heru myth cycles that we have read, the basis is a Heru, in this case Heru-Wer as the son of Re, goes forth at Re’s request to tear asunder enemies. Heru of Behdet was sent forth as a great winged disk and was able to achieve victory over the enemies. (A full recount can be found here.)

This is where the winged sun disk gets its name: behdeti.

I looked for this holiday in the two Edfu books I have. These are my main resources at the moment in my ongoing search for more information regarding Heru-Wer. Unfortunately, as seems to often be the case with most of the information that relates to the various forms of Heru, the information I have found seems to mostly be glossed over in an effort to jump through to the Osirian myth cycles.

Based entirely on the name for this holiday, I can only assume that we are celebrating the Winged Disk and perhaps its victory over the enemies of Re. I can’t be sure if that is the case, however, as this celebration comes prior to the Festival of Victory which occurs (according to The House of Horus at Edfu by Barbara Watterson) in the second month of winter.

Even though this celebration comes well before the Festival of Victory, I think it’s probably an important celebration in its own right. It is specific to Heru of Behdet whereas Watterson’s discussion regarding the Festival of Victory seems to be more inclined towards all of the various victories that have occurred because of one of the Heru.

I think this is a reminder, a signpost so to speak, that Heru-Wer, in his aspect as Heru of Behdet, was an important warrior in his own right and something that we, as modern polytheists, should celebrate.


Lintel above the entrance to the Edfu temple.

One of the things that I have often found when I’ve interacted with other people regarding Heru-Wer is that he is very “chill.” I guess relaxed would be the most appropriate word. But something that has always rang true for me was an online friend’s description: that he is a tired vet, enjoying the quiet and solitude after having been there and done that.

The prevailing idea that Heru-Wer is a “chill” deity, while not inaccurate, forgets the fact that he is also a deity who has slaughtered enemies. The link above says it all: he brought forth such a dizzying array against the enemies of Re that they became confused enough to kill one another. In effect, he did his job so splendidly that he was able to get the enemies of Re to do the hard work on his behalf.

While combing through Borghouts not that long ago, I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of mention of a Heru standing behind the hekau while the heka was being conducted. While I can’t say definitively which Heru was referenced, it still kind of stuck with me. It almost seemed to me, as I mentioned to a friend of mine in the last few months, as though the hekau was stating, “I am bad ass and I am so bad ass that I have Heru at my back who will definitely mess up your day if you do not do what I am telling you to do.”

This is unverified of course, but it always kind of made me think of Heru of Behdet, of that solar disk with its wings outstretched, with the dazzling array slammed against the enemies of Re. Maybe it wasn’t really just a Heru standing behind the hekau but all the power and might of the behdeti itself.

Edfu Temple

Edfu Temple

This festival was quiet for me. I haven’t been myself lately. I’ve often felt the need to sit and retire early, a requirement to sleep more and to pay better attention to what my body is telling me. (It’s telling me that I need to slow down even more, honestly.) I wanted to do something big and expansive – after all, Heru-Wer is very important to me as a deity.

But it occurred to me that if this is about the Winged Disk, if this is about its dizzying display, if this is about its victory over the enemies of Re, then I could use that to my advantage. This festival became less about big and expansive; it became more about me. It became a few days in time, a space between the ticking seconds to sit back and breathe, to plan my mode of attack so that I, too, like my deity long ago could unleash a dizzying display and destroy my enemies in a massive display as well.

I guess you could say that I used this time to plot with the intention of one day unleashing that display. I can’t be a good warrior if I don’t know what the end game is supposed to look like and I can’t offer a good display of frightening plumage if I’m too tired to do much more than stare blankly until I fall asleep. Self-care is important – integral – to maintaining the status quo.

I’m taking back the crown
I’m all dressed up and naked
I see what’s mine and take it
(Finders keepers, losers weepers)
Oh yeah
The crown…
So close I can taste it
I see what’s mine and take it
(Finders keepers, losers weepers)
Oh yeah

Emperor’s New Clothes by Panic! at the Disco

I would like to think that Heru-Wer agreed with me on my determination that taking care of myself was important here.

For the first day of the festival, I saw a northern goshawk streak over my car. The shadow it left reminded me of the behdeti. Yesterday, I heard the shriek of a hunting hawk in the distance. And this morning, a rough-legged hawk flew over my car before flying passed my open window.

I’d like to think that he was letting me know that he’s watching over me, providing me with the skills I will need in order to embody the winged sun disk.

Local Cultus.

Some months ago, I began seeing posts on my dash from some Heathens that I follow. They were talking about a concept that I had previously only seen from a Hellenic point of view: local cultus. Startled, I began combing through the various posts and ended up having to stop because I just kept sitting back and going, “doesn’t everyone already do that? Is that not already a thing?” I began to wonder if I had misinterpreted what local cultus really meant.

I found this post from a Hellenic Tumblr user explaining it from a Hellenic point of view. Based on what I was reading, it seemed that it was a bit more than simply seeing your god locally but also dragging them in to established local or regional customs as well. This post truly explained what the whole concept was about in a way that I could fully understand.

I came away realizing that what I was already doing was similar to local cultus, but maybe the wording was not quite appropriate. Perhaps I should have called it something more like, “Sat sees the netjeru in the world around her?” Or perhaps “nome cultus” for the Kemetic flavoring?

I could see glimpses of what the Hellenics were talking about, but I had to admit that I only partially follow a similar paradigm within my own religious practice. I began trying to think about how I could view it and explain it from a Kemetic perspective.


Let us dig our furrow in the fields of the commonplace. – Jean Henri Fabre

In ancient Egypt, the land was divided up into a number of provinces, which were called nomes. There seems to be some confusion about how many provinces there were. We typically see it stated that there were 42 however I had read recently that the 42 stems from later period sources and that, perhaps, there weren’t actually that many. (I wish I could find where I had read that, but I can’t remember if it was something online or in one of my books honestly.)

Be it as it may, the ancient Egyptians split various sectors of their country into nomes, which were in turn ruled by local nomarchs.  While there was the state sanctioned and run cult of gods – Re, Amun-Re, and the triads associated with them – there were also provincial, or nome, deities. Sometimes the nome deities coincided with the state run cult, but that was not always the case.

Within the nomes themselves, there were also landmarks specific to various gods and smaller temples built in their homage, as well. These were oft the places that the local populace would go to when they felt the need for divine intervention within their lives: perhaps a priest for healing or to divine the meaning behind a deity inspired dream. Whatever the case may have been back then, these nome deities were the very real connections that the gods had with deities who were sponsored, or not, by the politics of the ruling classes.

These relationships to the nome deities are something that we, as a diasporic religion, cannot quite manifest. We no longer live in ancient Egypt and the gods who populated those nomes do not speak to us as they would if we had been born and raised in Egypt. We can only imagine what it may have been like back then. But in my opinion, it is our jobs to do what we can in order to recreate the gods in a similar manner if at all possible.

We clearly wish to feel our gods on an intense level. This is something so often discussed that it can, just about, be perceived as a given. Perhaps the desire isn’t quite the need for a physical touch, but an ache or a longing to feel them in everything that surrounds us.

I can remember looking to the world around me years ago, to the trees that overhang the main road and the glimpses of the river I can just see beyond them, and wondering what it would be like to see my gods within the world I saw and existed in every day.

A similar desire can be found manifesting in the ongoing quests of people looking to their careers or to their current passions, hoping to find the gods within (and often succeeding). It is not, in my opinion, such a far leap to do likewise in the neighborhoods and regions where we live.


The globe began with sea, so to speak; and who knows if it will not end with it? – Jules Verne

In order to create something similar, in order to live and breathe in a world where we desire most to feel and see our gods everywhere, we must each work on creating our own flavor of local cultus… just as both the Hellenics and Heathens have been doing. This is not something that will come to us of its own, but something that we must work towards in an effort to solidify ourselves and the role that religion may take in our lives.

It has been years of hard work, with both successes and failures in my attempts to see the gods around me. It was something that I actively worked on, a concerted effort, in the hope of being able to see something beyond me. I needed that connection, those attempts, the world around me to embody the religion I wanted to craft for myself. And after a lot of hard work, after a lot of false starts, I finally managed to get somewhere with it.

I don’t think I’m alone here honestly. I think this is probably something that many more Kemetics participate in than we realize. It’s just not seemingly discussed within a “local cultus” or “nome cultus” context. It just simply is and perhaps, we all simply assume that it’s something that other Kemetics endeavor to do. Or maybe there are posts out there, in the world of local cultus, that I have merely missed over the years.

Whatever the case may be, I have worked hard to achieve the goal of seeing my gods around me. Sometimes a bird is simply a bird, but that doesn’t necessarily negate its importance within my religious practice. And sometimes it really is something more.


The ancient Egyptians used to create stelae for various reasons but the main reason that always kind of stuck with me were boundary stelae. As a kid, I can remember reading through the books about Amarna, trying to envision Akhenaten demanding that Joe Blow Stonemason cut into a cliff face to deliberately mark the borders of his new city. For a long time, that was the closest I ever came to boundary stela.

After getting over the marvel that someone would just create a stonework detailing where something began and ended, I could see the value in such a thing. As human beings, we seem to like to clearly mark things as “ours vs theirs.” While the boundary stelae of Amarna were less about us vs. them, the other types of boundary stelae are very much in keeping with that mentality: they delineate fields, borders of administrative sectors, and of course countries.

I also had to admit that I kind of liked the idea behind it. There is a sort of permanence in the creation. It’s being sculpted from stone, which could and would last a very long time, gave an added dose of “forever” to the stelae. To be perfectly frank, the very idea that this piece of stone was to delineate a beginning point and an ending point all and for an eternity really spoke to me.

Maybe I have a permanent us vs. them mentality waiting in the wings or maybe I just like the idea that instead of using a fence, they carved some words into a rock. And therefore it was. It existed because the words had been carved into that rock and that would come down to us millennia later. The amount of mind blowing wonder I’ve spent staring at boundary stelae is probably obscene. But man, they sure are fascinating.

Boundary stela of Sety I

Boundary Stela of Seti I, found in Kom el Lufi

When I was a newbie Kemetic, I spent an inordinately large amount of time combing through forums. I started off looking for resources to help me figure out what I was trying to do but I also realize now that I was hoping for a mentor. I was hoping that someone would take me under their wing and just tell me what to do.

I can recognize that this is a sort of holdover from my early religious years. I was raised in a tradition where you needed someone to facilitate the relationship you were supposed to forge. I wanted something similar, though I still wanted to experience things on my own and without someone else’s experience to muddy the waters.

Around the same time that I began wishing someone on the forums would tell me what I was supposed to be doing, I began to work through a lot of the negativity I had after the “coven” I was a part of broke up. It took a while but I finally began to recognize that having an intermediary between myself and my gods was dangerous, worrisome, time-consuming, and not something I really could stomach any longer.

I don’t bring up the break up of that “coven” over and over again to finger point or anything. I’ve worked through most, if not all, of the resentment I had holding me back from that tumultuous and painful time. The reason I bring it up is because it helped me, only after working through a lot of that resentment and anger, to realize that I didn’t really want someone to mentor me any longer. I just wanted someone to mindlessly tell me what to do while I fumbled around on this weird and meandering spiritual turnpike.

As I began to actually explore, I wanted less that person between me and my gods, between me and my religion and more a community of sorts. I wanted to be able to talk through a lot of the things that I was exploring, the things that I was thinking, the things that I was feeling as I delved deeper. I clung to that forum a lot in those early years and it did help to shape my practice. It also helped to teach me who were good community people and who were not. It gave me a lot of learning points as I began to get serious about things.

Pushing Boundaries ( please view large on black )

Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. – Brene Brown

One of the things the forum helped to teach me was about boundaries. This was a concept I was already beginning to figure out, but it took a while to really solidify enough for me.

As a newbie, I wanted to be let into every nuance, every detail regarding others’ practices. It wasn’t that I wanted to steal what they had to offer. I just wanted to know what things could be like if I tried hard enough. The idea of keeping quiet about aspects of my practice had never really occurred to me – that is, after all, why I started this blog. More as a tally for myself on how things had changed, but also as a place to publicly point people to how things can and do and will change as newbies delve deeper into their own spiritual practices.

I rolled the idea through my mind, trying to come to a collective decision about what, if anything, I should keep private. In those early years, the idea of keeping quiet about anything was still very mind boggling and didn’t feel right. I realized that silence isn’t my strong point.

The thing is that I want to keep people in the loop. I want people to see what it is that I am doing in the hopes that it may jump start what it is they will be doing or are starting to do. I don’t write about my personal religious shenanigans anymore simply because I need the record for my own peace of mind, but because I know what it’s like to be like, “how religion,” and not getting what I felt I needed at the time.

I’m at a stage in my practice now where I definitely do not want someone to hold my hand through my own experiences unless I make the request. I may whine and cry and arm flail about these things, but I am not looking to do that simply because I need someone to tell me what to do. I am doing all of that because that is how I work through the new things being levied at me as I wander around trying to formulate a living, breathing practice. And I have this desire to show other people what that looks like as they, in turn, go through similar experiences.

Sometimes, I feel that people misunderstand what it is that I am trying to do and when they do misunderstand those things, they breach boundaries that perhaps I didn’t carefully delineate. Perhaps I should have carved a piece of stone with carefully chosen words to explain that there are, in fact, boundaries in play as open as I may be regarding my practice. It is those boundaries that have kept me very quiet lately. Too often it feels like people are misunderstanding what I’m doing or what I’m saying and feeling the need to step in, take my hand, and point me in the proper direction.

They have broached my boundary stelae and I honestly don’t know how to handle this. I can’t help but think that because I am so open about what I’m doing and what I am hoping to achieve, that because I didn’t keep quiet about certain aspects of my practice then this is rather my fault. I also suspect that because I use open blogging platforms to catalog the things that I have done and said and felt and gone through, then I am rather asking for this.

To be fair, the people probably think that they’re being helpful, but this isn’t my first rodeo. It’s not even my fifth. I’ve been around the block a few times and I have to tell you… I don’t need or want your help unless I say, “help me.”

silent candles night

Silence is a true friend who never betrays. – Confucius

All of this has brought me back to those early years when I can remember knowing and being told that there are parts of others’ practices that I am not privy to. I am finally beginning to understand why they kept things to themselves. And I am finally having to reengage with myself regarding what is and is not appropriate to share anymore.

I’ve already begun to hold back exponentially. I often find myself wanting to discuss something incredibly personal, but being very worried about who will determine that it’s time to “benevolently” step inside my borders and tell me what they have done on my behalf, without my permission, to help facilitate things for me. I don’t want to share these items anymore because I am tired of feeling as though people who are “older and wiser” than myself have decided that I need help even though I never asked for it.

I guess I have to ask what the point in any of this is if my openness regarding what I’m hoping to achieve has seemingly made it seem to others that I need their help. Why am I doing this in the first place? Why do I keep this blog or its companion sites open if I have to sit and wonder over and over what sort of can of worms I’m opening because I’m willing to discuss these things in an open venue? Is it my fault for not posting “I don’t need your help but thanks for thinking of me” on every arm flail I post? Is it my fault for not clearly stating, “I am sharing this not because I need help but because I need to post it somewhere” or emphatically pointing out, “there are boundaries here, here, and here so don’t cross them when we discuss this”?

I can appreciate silence now and I dislike that I can appreciate it in any context. I can understand why people keep things to themselves and I hate that. I hate that I’ve become so divided in what I share and what I don’t share. I hate the fact that I’ve had drafts saved for months, going absolutely nowhere, because I’m worried what sort of person is going to try and extend me a helping hand when I haven’t requested one.

I think I need to start looking back to the past in order to look to the future.

It feels like this is a jumping off point, a moment in time where I can go either left or right on this meandering path of mine. I know that one way will lead to more and more silence, more and more moments of sitting on my laurels with drafts saved that never see the light of the day. The other turn will take me down the road to clearly mark where my boundaries lay, both for myself and for others, so I can continue down the road that I actually need to be on.

Everything starts with one step, or one brick, or one word or one day. – Jeremy Gilley

The March of Time.

Every year, my mind starts hyper focusing on various dates coming up. In July or August, I’ll note that one of those dates is fast approaching: October 13. It will sit there at the forefront of my mind as I go through my calendar for one reason or another. Sometimes, I’ll scroll over to October and take a look, then I’ll move on. But as each month passes, the date starts building up in the back of my mind, overtaking my present thoughts for a moment, until I’m soaked with the knowledge that it is coming.

This all culminates in September. About a month out from October 13, I putter around a bit and let the knowledge soak through that, like all things regarding time, it is going to come upon me whether I want it to or not. Sometimes, I want to get the day over and done with. Sometimes, I just want the calendar to sit still for a minute while I get my bearings as it inexorably marches on towards the month of October. Once October hits, the pending doom in my chest lessens and some years, I’m able to forget about it. Other years, I’m not.

This is one of those days that will always kind of sit with me.

You know how after a few years of living, you have a few scars that seem irrevocably tied to dates and times? Maybe it’s the way the leaves look in the early spring or maybe it’s a particular date on a calendar, eternally circled in the back of your mind. Whatever the case may be, there will always be parts of yourself left behind at strategic stopping points throughout the year. Sometimes, maybe, you can reconcile yourself to the loss and maybe other times you can’t.

I think October 13 is one of those days that I’ll always just have a love-hate relationship with.

Death is a Bridge - teleidoscope 06

sometimes the loss of you is like an ache
other times, i hate you for it

Twenty-five years ago, my father died.

I remember listening to his death. I was seven. I can remember it. I’m grateful that my memories have faded. I can recall getting zings and pings, overwhelming emotional trauma that I couldn’t process as a child and only processed years after my mom stopped sending us to our child psychologist to deal with the trauma of losing a parent at such a young age. I can remember sometimes sitting, paralyzed with it, playing that night out like a faded movie on the theater screen in my head.

I’m older now and I think I’ve managed to handle most of it okay. I mean, I don’t get paralyzed with it anymore. The memory has faded enough where the grasp it held over me is not so tight. I’m able to breathe through it. And as I stated above, sometimes I even forget the date. My world is mired in dates but sometimes I can divorce myself enough from the battlefield embedded in October 13 that I can get by enough without feeling it in my bones.

Today was one of those days. I was fine for a while. I had work to do and errands to run and I was doing fine. I was perfectly okay until I turned the radio on after work this evening. As the sun played peekaboo with the gray clouds rolling through, lighting fire to the leaves that have changed color, the radio station I happened to turn on played Father of Mine by Everclear. This is a song that I have purposely eschewed as much as I love Everclear since high school. Consider it a trigger, I guess; I just can’t stand it anymore.

It hurts.

So as the pain of the day faded and I began to focus on the errands I had to run, the opening chords began to play and I just kind of got stuck for a while. I could feel it like shades of gray. It was kind of this shimmery background image as I drove and I kept my eyes covered with my dark glasses, trying to just breathe for a few minutes while I tried to drive through the 5 o’clock traffic.

Sometimes, I forget that it hurts still. And other times, it doesn’t hurt at all.

Father of Mine by Everclear

Tell me where have you been
You know I just closed my eyes
My whole world disappeared

I had the idea to do something when I got home. Since I had errands to run anyway, I just added a couple of other items to go with the flow. I didn’t know what kind of flowers to buy. I normally get him roses, but nothing looked good. I finally found a harvest looking bunch of flowers, but I couldn’t settle on which bunch looked the best. I finally made my son tell me which one he liked best and inevitably chose a different bouquet.

I putzed around the in the kitchen after cutting down the flowers, trying to figure out what I could offer. I’ve never gotten the impression that my father liked the Kemetic trappings. I can understand the point-of-view, but I’m not going to trim back just because he has an issue. It wouldn’t really be an issue if… well, I don’t need to finish that sentence probably. I’m trying not to be angry today, even if I probably still have the wherewithal to be.

I stood in my kitchen, feeling lost and a little weird. I couldn’t figure out what I needed to do. How did I akhu? Didn’t I have an idea or three about all of this? I had gone grave-tending across three different cities for years and I had done a spread or six before now. Why was it so hard? Was it just because of my dad? Yes, of course. Nothing seemed appropriate. I wanted perfection and all I got was a few fixings, hoping that I could get through the rest of my night.

As I tried to figure out what would work out best, I felt like I had lost something I never knew I had: I don’t know him. I never really got the chance to know him. I was seven when he died. The things I’ve heard aren’t all stellar. In fact, there are some things that I don’t know how to process at all so I leave them at the back corner of my mind like little shit balls waiting to fuck me up another day. The rest of the things I know I could probably count on one hand: he liked Moxie (my mother says it tastes like Listerine) and he had a thing for spinach.

Well, he got bread and a chocolate cupcake and some diet Coke. Sure, I could have given him beer, but since he was an alcoholic, I’m pretty stubborn about not providing him with alcohol. If he wants to imbibe, he can go elsewhere.

I don’t have any pictures of my dad, not really. I have 2 on my laptop. I have 1 in real life that’s wrapped in 5 layers of bubble wrap in a box in the closet. It’s cracked and the picture is stuck to the glass. I always kind of thought I’d like to be buried with it. That’s it for pictures of my dad and they’re pictures with people. He wasn’t the kind of guy who got his picture taken; he liked to be on the other side of the camera… kind of like me.


at the end of the day i always miss you
no matter how angry i have become

Today I remembered that my dad died.

I remembered that the sum total of my knowledge could fill a thimble. I remembered that he made bad choices and paid for them. I remembered how small and concave he got towards the end. I remembered playing in the hall of the veteran’s hospital once and the walls were mint green.

I remembered that he killed a bee in the very back of the station wagon, pulling over on the side of the road to do so. I remembered that he and I stayed up all night watching My Little Pony movies because that’s what I wanted to do. I remembered the time my mom let me watch him sleep with his eyes open. Gods, that was so weird.

Today, it hurt.

Tomorrow, it probably won’t.

I don’t know about next year.

Political Heka.

Political activism has become so commonplace in the United States news that we hardly bat an eyelash anymore. I don’t, at least. I’ve been blasted with articles about things like Bree Newsome’s courageous removal of the Confederate flag, people dangling from bridges to stop Shell’s ice breaker, the next step in the LGBT+ movement after marriage equality and the Black Lives Matter movement and why it is as American as the Boston Tea Party. I read many of those articles, feeling overwhelmed as I watch from the background as men and women fight for what they believe in.

Political activism has become more common place with each week. There’s a new series of articles being shared across my friends’ FB pages, which I’ve read about a hundred times with each new share. The world is changing with the youth of America willing to not only acknowledge those changes but fight hard to bring those changes to beneficial fruition while the men and women we continually elect turn a blind eye.

I often find myself wanting to help. I don’t know how to. I can’t donate money; my budget is incredibly finite. I hope that in the sharing of those articles, I can at least sway the minds of some of the pig-headed and stubborn assholes who refuse to acknowledge their privilege, think that the Black Lives Matter movement is a disgrace to this country, suck their teeth at trans youth/men/women looking to be seen as equal in the eyes of everyone in the country, and turn a blind eye to the damage we’ve done to our planet. Even if one person starts to recognize the reality of the world, then maybe I’ve done my part.

But it never feels like enough. I always feel like I’m the problematic ally who doesn’t really do anything.

I want to march. I want to yell with a sign in my hands at politicians. I want to, well, maybe not dangle off a bridge to stop companies from destroying our world but you know maybe have water bottles waiting for the people who are dangling. I want to do and show that I believe and I believe strongly, too.

As though I’m not the only one looking for a way to assist the change, I’m seeing more and more political activism within the pagan and polytheist communities. I haven’t paid too much attention to the wider pagan/polytheist climate in years, but when I do take a peek around, I’m a little awed by the number of people advocating activism. It seems like I’m not the only one who wants to see the change.

Perhaps born of this desire or something else, during the 2012 presidential elections, I got to watch the Tumblr witchcraft community do what they could to ensure a victory for Obama. I felt like I was watching the birth of political witchcraft at the time. It was rather awe-inspiring to see how many people discussed what sort of magical undertaking they were hoping to achieve and what outcome that magical undertaking would look like.

It was, to be frank, beautiful.

In 2013, I got to help out when a courageous Wendy Davis stood before the Texas legislature to filibuster an abortion bill. She didn’t make it the 13 hours she needed, but I watched the live feed as they argued amongst themselves and crowed as Leticia van de Putte took some fucking names when they ignored her. I couldn’t shout like the people waiting in the background, but I remember feeling overwhelmed not only by the responses on my laptop screen as I watched the live feed but also from the wider community as they did what they could do assist in any way possible.

Whether by magic or by design, the filibuster did work and the bill didn’t go anywhere. It wasn’t a clear win, but it was a step in the right direction.

Last year, I helped out as I watched the news coverage when Ferguson lit up over the murder of Michael Brown. For seventeen days, I watched the biased news reports and the more bipartisan articles shared online. I haunted Tumblr and Twitter as post after post after post was reblogged and retweeted, showing what was actually happening there. I did what I could, adding a little heka for a problem that, no matter how many times my aunts and uncles might say it, did not die when the Civil Rights movement achieved something.


I worry what unfought battles I leave behind for my son.

Last week, I started really reading about the bullshit going on with Planned Parenthood and the war on women in general. I’ve been posting the articles as I see them, horrified by what my government is trying to do to this organization. It’s not even a matter of taking away a resource, in my opinion. They just want to take away our rights, remove the access that we all desperately need for important health-screening programs because the organization provides services that the conservatives find distasteful even though those services are not funded by the federal government.

It’s like that one kid who would break a toy because he couldn’t play with the toy in question. “If I can’t have it, no one can.” It’s a my way or the highway type of ideal governing the policies our House of Representatives and Senate is putting out there into the world. It makes me physically ill to read the new layers of bullshit going after Planned Parenthood.

The attacks on Planned Parenthood just keep coming. The more I read, the more I despair for what this country is turning into. I use Planned Parenthood exclusively. I don’t need to have a fancy doctor’s office with people who may look down on my state provided health insurance. I can go to my local PP and get all the same services without feeling self-conscious in some overly dramatized waiting room.

I decided that I had to do something. My state seems to have a good relationship with Planned Parenthood, but I’ve been watching how Texas and other states are managing to shut down centers with their personhood bills, abortion bans, and biased counseling. Again, as I read through the articles, sifting through what I’m seeing, I just want to do something. I want to be on the front lines along with the organization, supporting as best I can.

With the advent of political witchcraft, it occurred to me that political heka was a good idea. I wasn’t the only one who had this thought because TTR posted the exact same idea on Tumblr. The idea stuck. The thread has just over 100 notes and there are people from outside of the United States who have mentioned helping out. It looks like the fledgling Kemetic heka hut may have found a new purpose, a way to breathe life into the monthly New Moon rituals we all did together periodically to execrate the shit in our lives.


Light ’em up.

I stand with Planned Parenthood and I stand with the activism I see populating my Facebook news feed, my Twitter feed, and my Tumblr dash. I’ve watched from the sidelines. Now I have something available to me that I can use and hone, like a weapon, aiming it at the hearts of the elite who are hopelessly out of sync with the changes in the world today.

I may not be the activist that I could hope to be or the activist that others would demand that I be, but I am an activist. I will assist to the best of my abilities.

Who will join me?


I’ve had an ongoing dance routine with Ptah. He’s always been a deity that I’ve had some minor interest in, but usually in how he relates back to Sekhmet. It was last summer that I began to really pay any attention to him whatsoever. We still danced though; he would appear as though at random and I would dance away with a laugh.

I don’t know if the routine has gone sour, but he’s been appearing more often recently.

It started off with just little snippets of dreams: he was just there. I would wake up from the dream where I was in a garden of his, staring at the purple flower that always holds my attention in those dreams. Sometimes there would be butterflies around the purple flower bush but always the purple flowers were the center of it all. I would wake and wonder what it was about him that seemed to bring him back into my life.

Finally, I figured it was a sort of escapism. Whenever I would wake from those dreams of the garden I’ve since begun calling the Purple Flower Place, I felt better and refreshed. I began to associate him with a sort of relaxation and peace that I couldn’t find anywhere else in my dreams.

Around Wep-Ronpet, the dreams changed. It was small things at first; nothing overt. He was just there. We weren’t in the Purple Flower Place anymore. He was wherever I happened to be. His presence reminds me a bit of the presence of Osiris, which isn’t surprising, but there’s an energetic component that Osiris lacks. In my dreams, Big O was more like a vacuum of energy. Ptah seemed to be overwhelming with it at times.

He never speaks to me in these dreams. He is always simply there. And I know that it is him either from the energy signature or because my dreaming mind fits in static iconography of his. He is unchanging: his combination djed, was, ankh scepter held in his hands, his blue cap on his head, a slight beatific smile upon his lips.

Shortly after Wep-Ronpet, I asked him to explain to me why he was around. It seemed strange that we had been doing this sort of tango together wherein I laughed and moved away and he appeared some time later. Why now? What was so important about right this moment that he needed to be everywhere? And why is it impossible for him to not say anything?

I started getting angry about all of this. I have rules you know. I have standards you know. I have a whole host of things that I put new netjeru through, rigorous things that not only include ignoring the hell out of them but also include getting pissy and miserable. I was getting upset because I couldn’t follow my usual routine: he was just there and he was just not saying anything.

I told him that if he wanted something, he needed to be clear because I can’t speak staring and silence. In a fit of pique, I looked through the entry on him on Henadology.

I got a hit when I was reading this bit on Henadology, “Hence in the ‘Memphite Theology’ itself, the ‘tongue’ (i.e., creative utterance) of Ptah is that through which “Horus had taken shape as Ptah, in which Thoth had taken shape as Ptah” (ibid., 54). That is, to the degree that Ptah’s creative utterance is prior to all the other Gods, it also renders Ptah’s identity relative, for it becomes the instrument by means of which Gods such as Horus and Thoth create themselves. The purpose of the ‘Memphite Theology’ therefore is not solely the glorification of Ptah, but rather the glorification of the all-pervading power of mind itself, through identification with which Ptah is perceived as supreme: “Thus heart and tongue rule over all the limbs in accordance with the teaching that it is in every body and it is in every mouth of all Gods, all men, all cattle, all creeping things, whatever lives, thinking whatever it wishes and commanding whatever it wishes,” (54).”

It felt to me like the important bits were about heka. And as someone who has semi-delved into the realm of becoming a hekau for Sekhmet, it made even more sense that he would be around. I felt like I could be comfortable with this, though perhaps with more direction and less staring from He of Beautiful Face. I was okay for a while.

But he kept appearing as though by random design in my dreams. I would sleep at night and he would be there. I would take a nap on the weekends and he would be there. He seemed to come up in conversation more. I would see images of him in my mind; think on things that had nothing to do with him and end up pondering the story of Ptah.

I was beginning to feel like I was being hunted.

I sit there numbly, trying to figure out what new hell my life has become. I turn to Heru-Wer and whisper, “But why Ptah?”

He sighs at me, as though I am very dense. Perhaps I am very dense. “He gets shit done, miw.”

I shelved the bit about heka. I couldn’t figure out why it would be at this moment that it would become an important part. I have been doing rites and services for Sekhmet for two years this November. My heka has undergone numerous changes during these and while I know that there is much more that I can learn, I feel like I am doing okay with it all. So why now?

I couldn’t get it out of my head though. It makes too much sense that Ptah would show up on so many levels though. I can admit that there is a certain sense here, even if I am at a loss for it.

I have long cultivated this relationship with Sekhmet. I have had moments where I have spoken with Ptah, about my relationship with Sekhmet and how it has made me feel. (He never has said anything then either.) I have had moments where I have felt very close to him because I was creating something with my two hands. And of course, I have an intense interest in how he relates back to Sekhmet in any way.

But I was comfortable with how things were. It was just this little dance. It was just me laughing and whirling away. And it was just him smiling in the background, watching as I moved away. This constant push of him in my dreams is enough to drive anyone up the wall. Or at least into a rage.

He stands there with his face made up. He is like the statuettes we see, the iconography distinctive and obvious. His shroud is tight, his hands clasping his scepter. His blue skullcap glitters in the rays of Ra’s early light.

“Why are you doing this to me? What is it about me, about now, that brings you here? I can’t handle all of this! I don’t have the spoons for anyone else. Please stop this. I am begging you to either name your costs or tell me why you are here.”

He smiles at me. It’s the smile of a teacher, amused by the student. It’s the soft lipped grin of a parent, indulging a child. It only ignites the fury in me anew and I scream, loud and piercing. I turn and the mirrors around me break into a thousand pieces, shards raining into the room. “Fuck this!”

I was very angry the other night.

I still am, in a way.

Being dream-stalked by deities is nothing new to me. It seems like every week there is a deity of some sort, or something deity related, that has come to me. During Wep-Ronpet, it was both Tutu and Ptah. Last year, it was Heru-Wer everywhere. This past January, it was Osiris who was followed by Nut. This isn’t anything new, but at least with the other deities, I had clues to jump off from.

I have no clues here.

I have nothing but his silence.

I think what makes this more frustrating is that it was his silence that I enjoyed the most. I could blather on for hours or minutes. His silence was like stepping into a cool well of water after a warm day. After the demands of my relationship with Sekhmet and the intensity of my relationships with both Heru-Wer and Hetheru, his silence was a reprieve. Now I find myself wishing he would say a single word.

In an attempt to stop worrying about it, I went through the entries of Ptah’s in The Complete Gods and Goddesses and Egyptian Mythology. I was hoping for something. A ping. A hint. A whisper. I found myself holding my breath as I went through each.

Pinch’s book was all but useless to me; a regurgitation of things I already knew. As I was going through Wilkinson though, I was reminded of the ear stela that are so often associated with Ptah. They aren’t just for Ptah, but he is always associated them in his aspect as mesedjer-sedjem. I, myself, have reached out to this particular function of Ptah, looking for assistance in the past.

As Wilkinson states, “On the perimeters of temples we also find shrines or chapels of the hearing ear which likewise served the purpose of transmitting the individual’s prayers to the deity within the temple. The god Ptah often figures in these shrines, as in the one constructed at the entrance to the great mortuary temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu.” I got a zing on this one, put the book down, and walked over to Sekhmet’s altar.

It started off as only a replica offering table. It morphed into a mix between an ear stela and an offering table replica.

It started off as only a replica offering table. It morphed into a mix between an ear stela and an offering table replica.

During last month’s services, I had an unbelievable need to attempt to recreate an offering table. It was very frustrating to me because I am not very good at recreating things. I finally managed something passable and while I was looking at the empty edging around the center piece, I decided to add bits that relate back to the ear stela. (My artistic skills are lacking clearly.)

When I was finished, I felt incredibly foolish about it all, but also simultaneously proud. It seemed to me that Sekhmet was more dismissive of the artistic representation. Someone mentioned that Ptah probably would have appreciated the hard work (literally hours because I am not very artistic) better. Funny; things just keep relating back to him.

This makes me wonder, based on what I read in Wilkinson, if perhaps he is around more and more because, unofficially, I invited him in. Ptah tended to relate back to these ear stela in many instances and perhaps simply by using the phrase “Hearer of Prayers” which I know I saw on a stela specific to Ptah in the past, I somehow managed to say, “hey, come on down, big boy.”

The thing is that I just don’t know. I feel like the more I delve into all of this, the more questions I come up with.

There are also his craftsman associations – I haven’t mentioned it but Khnum has been coming up more and more. And he also has craftsman associations. But this, in a way, relates back to the hit I received regarding heka and Ptah’s magnificence when it comes to creating what the hell he speaks.

I feel like I’m running around in circles.

Maybe one day I will understand it all.

The Propitiation of Sekhmet 2015: The Festival of Drunkenness.

July 24, 2015 – August 19, 2015

Sometimes, you go through life without realizing how important certain things are in it until they’ve disappeared. I guess you could say that I’ve been living with my head in the sand for nearly two years. I didn’t realize what the loss of Sekhmet would feel like to me until it occurred. I didn’t realize what her return would feel like to me until it finally occurred.

This whole propitiation has been one giant learning curve and I wasn’t expecting to learn a damn thing.

Come back to me, o Distant One Reinvigorate me Touch me like the morning sun And give me life

Come back to me, o Distant One
Reinvigorate me
Touch me like the morning sun
And give me life

I was going through my archives while I sat vigil, awaiting for her to return. I was trying to remember when the relationship changed into the mass of emotional overload that it had become. While going through those old entries, I discovered an age old lesson that I have constantly needed to relearn: I didn’t know a fucking thing about what was happening.

For the last two years, things have been hard and painful between us. It could have been done differently – I know that – but it was done the way that it was and there’s nothing else I can do about it. I thought I knew that I was ready for the outcome, but I wonder if I was ever ready before the 2015 propitiation began. I don’t think I was. I just thought I was. And the last year was a constant upheaval in growth and change between the two of us.

Maybe I’m still wrong. Maybe I’m not ready for anything. Maybe I only think I am because she told me to take the wheel, to do a little driving, and tell me how it all turned out. Maybe I’m simply assuming that that conversation meant I was ready. Maybe this is all just another lesson in I don’t know a fucking thing.

The day before her return, I sat at the foot of her altar with candles lit in my hope that she would see the light and know the way to come home. I sat at her altar and I wrote out how I felt about this year’s propitiation. I told her what it felt to realize she was gone, what it felt to grieve, and how I didn’t know how to process it properly. I told her that I hoped she was pleased with the vigils I had undertaken to lure her home.

And then I told her how much I missed her, how much I needed her. Maybe it was a written whine, begging her to come home. But I would like to think that I was at least semi-elegant. But I’ll be honest with myself and I’ll be honest with anyone who bothers to read this: I was in tears as I wrote it and maybe there was a little sniveling in the mix.

It was the words, honestly, that was causing me the most trouble. I didn’t know how to verbalize, much less write out, how I felt. I had to spend the weeks leading up to her return just to figure out what it was I needed to say. It’s possible I didn’t actually need to say anything – the myth cycle is clear: she returns – but I couldn’t take the chance. I had to get it out there and into the world, into the universe just in case. It’s always better to be safe than sorry where Sekhmet is concerned…

The relief when I woke up on the 19th and knew that I would know, now and forever, if I had done what was expected, what was needed, and that she would return was palpable. It wasn’t just the prospective joy at her return that I was looking forward to. It was the end of the not-knowing that had plagued me for weeks. I had spent much of my personal time in a high level of anxiety and irrationality, always worried that I had fucked everything up and that she would not want to come back to me.

There is something that not a lot of people may realize, but I often worry that I am doing something wrong. Not just in my relationships with the other netjeru that both plague and populate my life, but with Sekhmet in its entirety. As I stumble over words/phrases that are unfamiliar to me, as I research into her as heavily as my English-only speech allows, as I wander aimlessly on this no-name bewildering turnpike, I am always so very anxious that she will realize she made a mistake, that I am not what she actually needs, and that she will leave me forever.

The pain at those thoughts can be overwhelming.

I spent much of the weeks preceding her return in a maudlin state between breaking down and screaming in rage at the mere idea that she may not come back. Couple all of that with the hell weeks I’ve been having since the year reset during the Epagomenal Days and it’s been… well, it’s been pretty heavy over here lately. The simple idea that I would finally know something definitive in one form or another was enough to get me through yet another rough day at work.

I came home and I just… felt her. She was everywhere. It’s kind of like when someone walks through a room and they leave the aura of their perfume or cologne behind. It lingers there until it finally dissipates from the air. Only instead of someone’s perfume or cologne, it was the distinctive feeling that let’s me know that this is Sekhmet. It is indescribable in all honesty, but I knew she was there. She was here. She was home. Maybe I wasn’t such a terrible devotee after all.

I took extra care with my appearance.

I put on my whites.

I lit every candle possible.

I brought the other icons of my netjeru over to watch.

I listened to music on my favorite Pandora channel and marveled at the shuffle.

I didn’t feel anxious. I didn’t feel like I had messed up. I didn’t feel grief. I didn’t feel worried. I knew I would wait until the perfect song had come on and I would simply know it was time. I knew that I would go over and I would unwrap her carefully. I knew I would joke and laugh and banter. I knew I would feel her in every pore of my skin, every cell of my body, every patter of my heart, every breath I took.

They say we are what we are
But we don’t have to be.
I’m bad behavior but I do it in the best way.
I’ll be the watcher (watcher) of the eternal flame.
I’ll be the guard dog of all your fever dreams.
I am the sand in the bottom half of the hourglass (glass, glass)
I try to picture me without you but I can’t

Immortals by Fall Out Boy

I can feel you in my sleep In your arms I feel you breathe into me Forever hold this heart that I will give to you Forever I will live for you

I can feel you in my sleep
In your arms I feel you breathe into me
Forever hold this heart that I will give to you
Forever I will live for you

I was already more than a little drunk when I went over and began singing to her. I was more than a little drunk on alcohol and more than a little high on life. I felt her hands on my hands as I sang the song to her, giggling as I slid her wrapped icon into my open palm. The icons of my netjeru watched in their own breathless anticipation as I crooned to her unwrapped statue, telling her that we were immortals.

When she was back in front of me, I unwrapped my ib pendant from its golden wrappings and laid it at her feet. I turned everyone around to look at the glory that was my lady, returned to me finally after weeks of not knowing, of worry and depression, of sorrow and grief. We all rejoiced and I danced around the house, singing and laughing.

I felt like I had achieved a little bit of bliss in that moment, holding her icon in my hand.

As I knelt before her, whispering how I felt and reminding her that I was here, that I would not leave, and that I hoped that if she ever felt the need to leave me, she would at least warn me first, the song Awake and Alive by Skillet came over the radio station. I stopped speaking and listened to it attentively though I know the song by heart. It seemed the most appropriate thing she could fling at me and even if it was just the Pandora shuffle, it felt like she was speaking to me. Or more, that I was speaking to her and she was understanding what I wanted.

That night, I went to bed and I slept peacefully. I dreamed of Sekhmet again.

We were in our solitude. It was not quiet fore there were drums pumping and keeping time. I could feel her beside me as we sat quietly together. There was nothing to say, nothing that needed to be said. We sat in the moment, feeling the drums slowly up their ante to bring the celebrants into the altered state, the moment when she would reveal herself as the happy, joy-filled goddess she was in this moment.

The silence between us was not thick. It was simple.

We were together again.

The Propitiation of Sekhmet 2015: The Vigil.

July 24, 2015 – August 19, 2015

Everyone processes grief in their own way. I vary in how I go through the stages. Sometimes, I just sit around and let it eat away at me, picking the gristle off of my bones until I am picked clean. Other times, I put it to use in some way, forcing that feeling into constructive ways until I feel like I can take a few steps forward again instead of being stuck in permanent mourning.

The honest truth is that I am not good with grief. I don’t think I have ever been good at it, at all. Maybe it’s a learned behavior and I missed the classes. How I process the pain of something or someone who I have lost is probably not the healthiest way. I think that’s part of the reason why I sat around, dumbfounded by the depth of my feeling when I realized that I had lost Sekhmet.

I didn’t know how to process it.

I mean, I get that she’ll be back. This isn’t a tragedy; there’s good news on the horizon.

But in the heat of the moment, I could only look around and see the dullness that my life had become without her burning fire to attract either my ire or my joy. It was like I had been living the last seven years of our relationship with rose-tinted glasses (ha) that had suddenly fallen off and I was seeing that the world was actually shades of gray. It was a monotonous nothing stretching out like a chasm before me, looking to devour me whole.

Even the knowledge, the sure-fire bet that she was coming back was not enough.

All I could do was process the fact in automatic fashion that I was full of sorrow. All I could do was process the fact in robotic manner that I was empty inside. All I could do was process the fact with blank eyes and empty heart that I was nothing without her and that this nothingness, emptiness, aching was what I would become without her.

It was a painful lesson.

It was jarring and eye-opening.

It was something that I needed, like a swift kick in the pants.

But oh, how it hurt.

The first real day that I was processing what it was I was going through, I sat down in front of her altar. I sat there feeling dejected and lonely. It felt to me like the world could never understand what it was I was going through.

There were no words to even describe the level of my loss. There weren’t even words to properly categorize the depth of my emotions on the subject. I sat there, alone and lost, feeling like I was on that runaway train that’s seconds from exploding an entire town with no way off and no rescue in sight.

I dreamed that night:

I am sitting on the floor in front of her altar space. I have my knees up, hugged to my chest tightly. If I let go of them, I know that I will be lost forever. Without her, without this stark reminder in the death grip I keep on my knees, I know that I am nothing.

Behind me, there is a sea of light and it grows brighter. Perhaps, this is her returned to me? I turn my head slightly, moving the waterfall of my hair. The lights are soft and gentle lanterns, a sea of them across the space of her altar.

I woke up from it, knowing just what to do.

April 12 - Vigil Candles

Vigil Candles by Tim Wang

I was cruising through a bunch of old poetry the day that I woke up from that dream. I like to re-read classical stuff sometimes. It kind of hits me close to home and it reminds me of the days when I cared about poetry. (I still kind of care, but not as much.)

I wound up finding a poem by Walt Whitman that kind of seemed appropriate given the circumstances behind that dream. The poem is titled, “Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Night.” While I was reading it, I felt like a certain part of the poem really sort of cemented what it was that I needed to achieve:

Long there and then in vigil I stood, dimly around me the battle-field spreading,
Vigil wondrous and vigil sweet there in the fragrant silent night,
But not a tear fell, not even a long-drawn sigh, long, long I gazed,
Then on the earth partially reclining sat by your side leaning my chin in my hands,
Passing sweet hours, immortal and mystic hours with you dearest comrade—not a tear, not a word,
Vigil of silence, love and death, vigil for you…

As I read and re-read that poem, I kind of felt a little bit like I had been granted a reprieve though briefly. It felt to me like that I was finally getting somewhere with all of this grief instead of just drowning in it. I recreated a moment in a time, a single second where I felt like I needed to guide her back to me with gentle light.

I still was drowning in my attempts to know what words to use. I kept getting drawn back into The Distant Goddess myth cycle, hoping for something. But the words were like ash upon my tongue. I stared into my notebook for just such things and found that the blank page seemed more appropriate than anything I could think to say.

I looked at the candles on my altar, the lantern lit with the hope that she would see it and find her way back to me. I was hoping that something would come, but I found myself more frustrated at the attempts to put into words what it was I was feeling, what it was I wanted. I lit the candles and I stared at them thoughtfully, unable to fully grasp that I wasn’t ready to write anything related to the depths of my feelings.

I just had to be.

I had to let the monumental shower of my grief fade itself into the work that I was doing, creating vigils each night to lure her back to me. But it wasn’t even a lure – not really. I wasn’t looking to cajole her back. I wasn’t looking to beg her to come back. I just wanted her to return to me, to take me into her arms and tell me that she was back and we were over this hump.

It felt like loneliness was my lot life – death, destruction, and depression in every aspect. I was embodying it as I sat there, waiting for a hint, a glimmer, a spark of recognition from her in some way. Something, anything, that would signal it was time for her to come home.


I can’t smile
Now I live alone
And you’re so far away
Fire Maple Song
by Everclear

I feel destitute and bedraggled. This isn’t a new feeling for me by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve lived through grief before this moment, this week, these past few weeks. But with all of the changes I had been going through for the last two years as I morphed into the being that I am today, I will admit that this form of mourning is harder than I had imagined it would ever be.

No matter what lessons I had learned or who had done the teaching, I was not even a little bit prepared.

I was thinking to myself the other day that this is the real moment, the real change to everything. I could almost feel the burn as changes seeped into my pores, into my bones, into my ib, into my soul. Everything before now was just the preparation to go into the big haul. Everything before this moment, this week, these last few weeks was nothing but putting all of the ingredients together in the mixing bowl.

This particular mystery thing has been like turning the mixer on, forcing my bones and skin and internal organs into a puree that will eventually turn me into… something.

Last year, I thought that I had it all figured out. I thought that I was going to do something new and cool and crazy and modern and be innovative. I thought I was going places, doing something with my fucking life. But I had only seen it all as taking time off. I had looked at it only as another attempt to get away from Sekhmet and the constant barrage of changes that I just didn’t feel like I could handle.

Honestly, that wasn’t even a practice run.

It was nothing.

But, she’s coming back soon.

This hell is almost over.

I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing; I haven’t quite decided yet.

As much as I may hunger for her presence, as much as I may depend on her, I know that this is a fulcrum for the things to come. And as much as I want her, I miss her, I love her, I demand that she fucking return already, I know that things are coming. And I don’t know if I can be all that I’m supposed to be when those things get here.

I have to laugh at myself because if I don’t, I might cry.

I just don’t know if the end to this sorrow, this grief, this hell that I have been going through is a good thing or if it is something that I should dread.