Have You Ever Seen the Rain Coming Down on a Sunny Day?

The other day, it felt as though the world had been purified and renewed in the night, leaving a mist of newness across the land. It had rained in the night and the world around me had been soaked in the aftermath. I had smelled rain on the wind in the evening before, closing my eyes and sampling the gentle soft scent that I have always associated with gentle rains in this place where I was born. There is something about that smell, that precursor telling us that the rain is coming, that I have always associated with a form of renewal and purification. I can remember feeling that way as a child and it has not left me as I have aged.

It has only become a stronger association in my opinion.

While I walked the dog, I was giddy as I made footprints in the chill water left on the tips of the blades of grass. Both my shoes and the bottom of my jeans were soaked with that physical embodiment of purification and renewal. In my mind, I could feel it climbing up my legs and soaking me with its potency. I was walking the dog through the glitter of dew drops and rain drops, thinking about this.

The rays after rain

The Rays After Rain by Masahiro Noguchi

It seemed appropriate that after the Reunion the world would begin its ever steady march in its attempt at renewal. Not only have the lovers reunited for another year, but I am entering the final month before the new year. Renewal, purification… these things are understandably on my mind as the time ticks towards the new year celebrations.

It felt almost as if the very area in which I live wanted to join me as I work steadily and slowly on building myself back up, building a new dynamic in my practice as the year marches steadily towards its reset.

I’ve felt hollowed out and alone recently while I go through this, backing off from social media and online communities. I know that I am not capable of balancing the recreation of myself and the recreation of my practice with the work that communities entail. None of this is a bad thing – these changes I’ve felt and discussed finally in my last entry – but it’s a long heavy process and I think, during it all, I will need healthy doses of both purification and renewal.

You see, I don’t always realize when I need to back off or when I’ve actually made a serious indent into the work I’m doing. I think the aftermath of the rain was a subtle reminder of that issue I have.

A common question that we ask ourselves at my job is, “are you too in the middle to see the outside?” This question is typically asked when we are discussing steps that we could have undertaken and probably should have undertaken to facilitate a repair or project. However those steps were neglected usually because we are racing at break neck speed or being pounded with the need to get shit done as quickly as possible. It impairs our efficiencies and we’re left standing back after the ticket has been closed, discussing it with other people and realizing where we made mistakes and how we could have prevented them.

This kind of goes back to the “bigger picture” talk I complain about. I don’t necessarily realize that I’ve made a major break through (or even a minor break through) because I don’t take the time necessary to step back and go through every little detail. I’m racing forward on adrenaline when I should be taking my time. Due to the fact that much of this shit is shadow work and painful in the extreme, you can probably understand why I don’t want to do that. So, I end up actually getting through the mess but then take months afterward to analyze and absorb what it is that I have done.

Just like with my job, if I had been able to stop long enough to take a breath, I could have probably have prevented the inefficiencies, but I was too caught up in the moment to do so.

It felt to me that the rain soaked grass and the leaves dripping as the sun began pouring over the landscape were all a subtle reminder*. It felt in a very personal religious way as though the gods themselves were pushing this lesson (again – this isn’t the first time I’ve had this type of a reminder, but it is one of the more gentle reminders I’ve had).

* Of course, this could all be coincidence; I’m fully aware that when it comes to omens and portents in one’s personal religious path that we need to consider that always as a possibility. But why can’t the gods use the very things that we have associations and interactions with in order to get those omens and portents across? It’s all a matter of discernment, but sometimes it comes down to needing to feel like there is just a little bit more in the moment.

As I watched the sun break through the cloud cover and begin to poke around at the world around, as the birds began doing their morning dances and chatter, as the cars filled the road with traffic to get a start on the day, I marveled at the idea that all of this was a thing of which I am part of and if I just stop for a moment, I could see the picture from the outside as opposed to the inside.

As was recently voiced over in a dream of mine, one small step for Sat; one giant leap for Satsekhem! I don’t know how true that statement really will be in the months ahead, but I find myself just a little excited by it all.

Festival of the Beautiful Reunion: Week Two.

I stop a lot and marvel at my hands.

We use our hands for a lot of things and in the middle of the doing of those things, I will stop and look at them. In the middle of typing an email; in the middle of scrolling through a blog entry; in the middle of changing the channel on the radio; while I’m driving… I will be in the middle of something and look down at them with a sort of wide-eyed wonder at the two of them.

They seem awfully small to rebuild anything.

The nails are chipped and cracked. I paint them only to wait for the days when the polish is mostly damaged because I feel like that time best represents my hands. I wear rings every day and there are cuts around my cuticles. The lines in my palm grow deeper everyday. I have healing cuts on my fingers and on my thumbs. They are busted and probably ugly, but they are mine.

They seem like such pitiful things to be used to recreate a fucking thing.

Consciously, I understand that hands have the power to do many things. People create with them all the time. Am I not creating while I use them to drive me somewhere? Am I not creating while I type this? But it all seems a little more than miraculous that two hands, mine or yours or anyone’s hands really, can build anything.

My two hands are supposed to create the life I am to lead. My hands led me astray, I think, in a few arenas but I’m willing to learn how to build something better out of the ashes. My hands are supposed to create the religious life that I am to follow. My hands led me down a path that I did not see coming, but I am figuring it out as I go. My hands are supposed to create me in the forge of my own soul. They have no idea what the map of a human soul is supposed to look like and I hope that I don’t look too misshapen when I am done.

It amazes me that these two appendages are supposed to do all of these things. How, I ask myself as I marvel down at them.

There is no answer as yet.

Day 713 / 365 - I'm a dreamer. I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds

The rebuilding of one’s soul starts with the core components of who we are, but what if we do not know who we are? (Image by Jason Rogers.)

The first week of the Reunion was a constant lesson in balance and patience, of which I am pretty sure I have very little. It was like a field trip of sorts that I had semi-invited myself along on but it was okay because I had parental permission before we left. That first week was a stretched out eternity dedicated to the needs to the gods. I remembered how much I didn’t figure into things.

The second week of the Reunion was about how much I did figure into things. It had nothing to do with the gods, dedication or otherwise. It had to do with a reunion of sorts, but mostly of the endless climb into the reaches of the atmosphere as I slowly but surely lose my mind, bit by bit. I felt less like I suffered from exhaustion and more like I was being burned alive.

No one thought to mention that the brick and mortar I had to use to rebuild myself but also to build up to new levels of my personal religious shenanigans had to be crafted by me. I guess this is what I get for not reading the fine print. It occurred to me on the first Thursday of week two that the reunion I had just celebrated was a sort of blue print of sorts, but I had to get all the fixings together in order to recreate the objects I was trying to build back up.

That shit is hard.

I spent much of week two feeling very out of sorts while I shifted around and dithered about things. I made some hard decisions, which later felt wrong and I went back on them. I made some less difficult decisions, which I felt much better about having made them. I sat up and looked around, realized where the pieces were missing and what I had to do in order to vault over the deep chasm of my soul. I don’t have all of the pieces in place – I’m sorry, but building people doesn’t happen in a single day, much less a single week in this house hold – but I have enough to feel at least partially comfortable with the process.

I just wish I had figured there was more to the story than what I was seeing originally.

the night of the shooting stars

A few more pieces to give vague outline; but how does one build up and out when the destruction is wrought on the inside? (Image by Alessandro Villa.)

I came to my senses about a lot of things during that second week, but a lot of it was little things that, upon reflection, don’t seem like a whole lot. I guess you could say that they all add up to a lot but it doesn’t feel like that. It feels more like tiny little crevasses in the skin of my hands, growing deeper and thicker as time passes. They were always there, but time molds and changes them. It’s not noticeable daily, but it is if you stop and look hard enough.

Building a human being out of the soft clay like Khnum does at his potter’s wheel is a difficult process. As TTR pointed out over on Tumblr, Henadology’s entry on Khnum states: “Khnum’s role of fashioner of the bodily form was not completed once and for all before birth, but continued throughout life.” I’ve been thinking about that a lot, especially regarding the last week of the Reunion.

I am not complete, not by any stretch of the imagination. I honestly have to ask myself if I will ever be able to look at the processes that I have begun in an effort to both better myself and to work on past traumas and realize that I’m “done.” I don’t think so. I think I will always need to continue the fashioning, and like Khnum, I will be constantly working towards the goal of uniting the different aspects of myself.

In same vein, I have often assumed that I would get a “functional practice” together that would be something that I could, maybe, pass on to someone one day. I often thought that the overall goal I was aiming for was a tab-A in slot-A approach; very simplistic from a distanced point of view, but the point is really that I was hoping I could easily create and one day go, “Ah, yes, this is ready now to be born anew under someone else’s guidance.”

Well… I don’t think that’s possible either.

Just looking at the years that this blog has existed should have probably made the above obvious, but I can be fairly dense when I want to be.

In both cases, the fashioning of myself and of my practice, I’ve come to conclude that there are changes on the turnpike ahead of me. Those changes aren’t necessarily for the betterment of myself, but for the processes I’ve been going through. Like the souls that Nut swallows, I am being masticated, swallowed, and digested to be remade. The only thing is that I will be constantly going through this process. So, too, will the practice. There doesn’t seem to be a finish line in the distance just the overlong journey as I wander around, hoping that I’m not fucking things up completely.

Glitter of Sunlight Upon the Dew.

There is something about Hetheru, I think, that speaks out to the heart for many of us. She has this mysterious way about her that intrigues us, makes us fall a little in love maybe, and keeps us smitten as we delve ever deeper into our explorations of her. She can irritate and disgust us, of course, because that is part of what it is to be a living creature: it’s not all simply this or simply that, but shades of gray between the glittering points and the darkest night. But even the parts that can revolt me only add to the infatuation.

Maybe it’s a human thing to want to explore every facet of the gods or perhaps it is only my thing.

Inspiration

Inspiration (Image by DigiDi.)

When I see Hetheru crossing my dashboard in another one of those mythology meme posts, I am always struck by the use of gold and pretty things. The bodies that are chosen, the imagery that speaks out: it is all used perfectly to denote the feeling in my breast that whispers her name into the atmosphere.

To me, if I were to create one, I would use heady pinks and soft scents; I would choose glitter and diamonds to soak the landscape; I would choose the most regal images of women, both limber and graceful. She knows who she is and what she can be and there are no apologies for any of it. She is simply who she is and we can accept her for it or we can walk away.

I think that, above all else, inspires me. I want to be like that. I want to be able to explain to people looking at me that this is who I am and I have nothing to apologize for about who I may be. I am constantly thinking about how I should apologize for how I am not quite what other people expect of me and I want to stop feeling like I need to be what they see versus what I actually am.

Often, I will go to Google images and look at the various representations of Hetheru. Some of them are not part of the image I have of her in my mind, but others speak to me. When I see her carefully etched on a temple wall or see an artist’s depiction of her carefree wiles, I can be most overcome with my emotions. I view that static image of her for those moments and want to only embody what she is to me:

Unapologetic perfection.

soul on a sunbeam

An Offering of the Soul (Image by *sapa*.)

I often look to the arsenal of both historical and non-historically attested offerings, wondering what it was that I could dare to give her. She seems to require so much and I have so very little to give. The fruit and vegetables, the meats, the cool water, the red wine, the sweet smells, the mirror and makeup all seemed to be mocking me with their simplicity. Here were these things that I can provide and yet, they never seemed good enough.

I work under the assumption that if it worked well in antiquity then it should be good to go in this life. I have often decided that because it was done thousands upon thousands of times in the past, then it must still be good now. But I still feel as though it is not ever enough. I always feel like I am failing in some regard because there must be something more that I can give to her.

I wonder if this is why I add UPG offerings to the fold. Chocolate and soda and chips and newly minted scented oils and video games and television shows. I add all of these items in to what can be provided, maybe, hoping and wishing that this will feed the empty pit in my stomach that whispers that I am not good enough at this.

At the back of my mind is always a possibly strange thought, though:

Perhaps my simply being human is enough to offer in lieu of anything else.

My humanity is something that bothers me. Sometimes, I hate it. It is mortality and it is pain. It is horror and sorrow. It is love and joy. It is happiness and laughter. It is not static; it is ever-moving. It is this constant battle of tap dancing across the fine points of razor blades that I hate the most: how are humans expected to do this?

On other days, I am in love with the fact that I am human. It is the love I bear for the feel of my own skin and the whisper of wind across my cheek, the caress of sunshine on my face and the pounding lyrics of my music in my ears. It is watching my son learn something new and the smell of a new paperback mingling with all of the older paperbacks that grace my shelves.

The pounding hate of my existence is there – a sort of mercurial self-hate/poor self-esteem mixed in with the worry that I will never succeed at anything. The gentle love of my existence is there – a sort of hope that everything will work out in a way that will not cause too much pain.

The simplest offering and perhaps the greatest is giving to her the very thing that I despise and love most about myself: that I am here on this planet, a simple flailing human being who suffers from anxiety and depression, who finds both pain and joy in the minutiae of my existence.

Prayers

Prayers (Image by Xerones.)

I do not spend much of my time in prayer anymore. It’s almost as if I fear the idea of begging them to listen. I often think that whatever I may desire for myself or for my life will fall on deaf ears. What is the point in asking the gods for anything – no matter who the deity – if I cannot work to bring it into play, to assist their guiding hands in my life?

I could not bear the realization that I am nothing more than a tool for any of them.

I do not pray.

Prayers, to me, are the whispered hopes and dreams sent to the universe, tacked onto the name of a being who we feel should oversee our lives. But the thing about those prayers is that while they may require divine grease to get the wheels moving, we must also be seen to assist in the movement.

I am a being of inactivity. This is a byproduct of my depression and anxiety. I sit with my head in the sand and wait for the end of days before I do anything to see the reality I want realized. To send those hopes and dreams into the universe, knowing that I cannot do much more than that to help get movement, leads me to more inactivity. I cannot whisper into the universe, send out my requests to the gods – any god – and demand that they move things while I sit around in fear of the unknown.

Hetheru is unapologetic for who she is and one day, I would like to be this way. I would like to be able to look at someone and say that this is who I am, take it or leave it. If I could pray, if I could honestly send out what I desire into the world around me, I would wish to be that. I would wish to be like she. I would wish to be able to say to anyone looking at me that this is what they must have of me because this is all that I am.

I would pray to be the unapologetic perfection of my humanity and my divinity, painted across the sky in the shimmering colors of the universe.

Festival of the Beautiful Reunion: Week One.

I spend a lot of my time recreating my religion with a sort of inner panic pounding at the back of my mind. There are resources that I don’t have access to. There are items that I can only guess at. There are little clues strewn about for what I can think my religion is supposed to end up looking like, but I don’t honestly know.

That’s where the panic steps in.

I think a lot of people take a glimpse at the pictures I post or the things that I say about my religion and just automatically assume that I know what I’m doing. I never do. Part of the reason why I try not to plan things out too much in advance is because I fear that plans will make the expectations that much higher and that much worse.

The anxiety of fucking everything up by mispronouncing something or dropping a dish accidentally is a pretty big thing for me. It’s a hurdle that I don’t think I will ever be able to leap over. Maybe that’s not true; maybe one day I will get through passed it but that day is not today… or this past week.

I just… never really know what I’m doing.

Fall Sunrise III

Sometimes I can feel Re’s rays like hands upon my face, but mostly I just wonder what it must be like to go through the same damn journey every fucking day and night. (Photograph, Fall Sunrise III, by Brian Doucette)

Every morning, I was up early to greet the day. This was never my intent. I do not like being awake at five o’clock in the morning, even if I can take the time to reflect of a religious nature. Or maybe even to use the time to psych myself up for what the day ahead could possibly entail. I am not one of those people who feels the requirement to take time out of my day for that and besides that is precisely what my two cups of coffee between 6:30AM and 7:15AM is for.

Waking up at 5AM seemed beyond ludicrous.

But I would roll over and stare blankly through the blinds above me. I would listen to the birds shriek that the day was coming and that we should all be cheerfully happy to greet it. I would watch the sun rise. My thoughts hardly ever were introspective though because that’s just not who I am more often than not.

No, I would watch the sun rise and wonder what it must be like to live permanently on a boat.

Personally, I think it would get boring very quickly. I wonder if he’s conned other people into doing the do for him, if for no other reason than to take a break. I mean, if you really think about it, sitting on a solar barque for the entirety of creation has got to get a little boring after a while. Maybe he’s got Skinemax and Xbox though…

When it was close enough to my normal time to wake up, I would roll to my knees and start the day. Hot coffee for me; cool water and bread for them. My routine changed for this holiday. I always start with Sekhmet, as being the closest and most obvious deity to my ib. But since it was the time of Hetheru and Heru-Wer, I would go to them in the morning and get their offerings for the day gathered together before getting everyone else squared away.

Some mornings, I would stand in front of the space that I had created for this whole shindig and just look at them. Other times, I would move them a little so that they were closer together. I made sure that the ankh-and-lotus-blossom necklace remained wrapped around them, a potent symbol of the reunification of the two of them in my brain.

Every morning, I stopped and played music. I had started all of this with a sort of musical theme semi-mapped out in the back of my mind. Music is, honestly, very integral to my religious practice. It may not seem like it considering the fact that I listen to music that may not be often associated with religious practices, but UPG is still valid to me. And my musical choices have become so soaked in my religious practices that to not have played music would have been as close to a Kemetic no-no for me as I could possibly get.

I play songs that tug at the strings of my ib but also ones that I have found have assisted me as I figure out what I am being led towards. I also played other songs, songs from a past long since dead, but songs that have personal meaning. It all worked together for a single moment to bring me into the dawn of another day on a two-week long journey that I was beginning to eat at me.

sunset 2

As the blood of sunset touched the horizon, I felt weary beyond all words. Even maintaining a hint of piety throughout the work day was impossible. (Photograph, Sunset 2, by Djura Radin.)

I spent my evenings prepping meals for about an hour to an hour and a half. I had certain parameters that I felt that I needed to meet, which is why it could take me so long to get everything completed before I set the meals before them.

There were dishes to be cleaned (again) as I do not have many and had to  reuse most of them. Once that was done, I spent my careful time preparing what I felt would be healthy meals: zucchini; asparagus; apples; grapes; fresh bread. I had a certain integrity to the supper table that I needed to maintain. I found that I liked having at least one meal a day that included all of the requirements of the food pyramid.

But I also found that I grew quite full quite fast. A dilemma, I suppose. I found myself reusing portions of the evening meal to cover my lunches. And found that I was still full well into midday on the next day. I made less and less food, but I still felt myself full for later and later periods into the next day. I still haven’t quite figured that out yet.

I made sure that there was chocolate for afterwards and soft scents to perfume the air. The one thing that stuck with me in my reading was, of course, the fact that the scents of myrrh could be smelled for miles around the area of Edfu. I wasn’t able to recreate that part, but I tried my hardest. I also plied them with plenty of drink, which I was happy enough to revert.

Each night, I found myself exhausted by nine o’clock. I had barely finished eating my meals and I was ready to curl up and sleep forever. I rarely was able to go to bed then, though. I found myself thinking long and hard about my day at work and how I needed to change my job post-haste or found myself sucked into the world of my mind, wondering what it was that I was expected to be doing that could ease how exhausting this religion thing really is.

And that’s the crux, I think. I found myself so exhausted each night that I could barely function. I was little more than a being sitting peacefully on the couch, staring blankly into the night.

I was thinking one night about the priests and priesthood in ancient Egypt. I definitely understand so completely now why their job was nothing but seeing to the needs of the temple for 4 months out of the year. Having a second job and having to tend family coupled with the religious requirements I felt compelled to do was eating me alive.

unsorted

Love knows not distance; it hath no continent; its eyes are for the stars. – Gilbert Parker (Photograph, unsorted, by Jessica Naomi.)

I’ve felt like this holiday was a large turning point in my religious shenanigans. I haven’t been wrong so far.

I’ve learned a lot of very interesting and intriguing parts about myself as well as to the religion that I am attempting to recreate. I’ve had a lot of thoughts about the whole relationship between Hetheru and Heru that have made me look hungrily for older resources regarding the two. I need to know more.

But at the base of it all, I have found that the belief that this is a large turning point in many things to come isn’t wrong.

Not so wrong at all.

Festival of the Beautiful Reunion 2015: Wetjeset-Hor.

One of the most important recurring themes in ancient Egyptian cosmogonies is the eruption of the primeval mound, or benben, into existence.

In Hermopolis, the Ogdoad merged to form it. In Heliopolis, Atum[-Re] comes into existence and sits upon the mound to create Shu and Tefnut. In Memphis, Ptah is associated with the mound in his associations with Tatenen, who personifies it. The city of Thebes was thought to be the place of the primeval mound.

But these aren’t the only aspects in which we find the primeval mound popping up, either. Outside of Edfu, there is a place known as Wetjeset-Hor. It translates best as “the place where Heru extolled.” To me, this seems clear: this was thought to be a zone of pre-creation, where Heru landed upon the benben and extolled creation… probably in association with his form of Ra-Horakhty. Or maybe there’s more to the elder Heru’s genesis than we know.

In either case, it is at Wetjeset-Hor that Hetheru and Heru come together for the first time during the Festival of the Beautiful Reunion.

Primeval Mound

Primeval Mound; ink and pen. (Art by Jenny Carrington.)

The meeting of the two at Wetjeset-Hor has manifold implications. As the place where life began, it is a sort of cosmological meeting point between the seen and the unseen. I read up a bit on the place and it seems like the beginnings of the Temple of Edfu began there. Egyptologists have found pieces of society dating back to the Old Kingdom and even during Pre-Dynastic times. The import isn’t lost on me in that respect at all.

But I think the symbolism is more than just mere creation. I think it speaks of renewal and regeneration, two items that are so often intertwined in ancient Egyptian belief systems that it can be difficult to do much more than mention it.

As I was reading what I could about this place, I thought back to the Ancestor Ritual that is discussed in My Heart, My Mother by Alison Roberts. I was thinking, specifically, of the bits regarding the bull’s heart.

A heart is offered to the gods as a symbol of vitality and life. It pulses with the very breath of our lives, filled with the very essence of who we are. In the Ancestor Ritual, the heart is offered up as a physical representation of all that the son has become not just in his own right but in his merging with his mother.

But by virtue of sexually uniting with his mother, Horus has indeed taken the place of his father in every possible way. He has become a ‘Bull-of-his-Mother’, capable of perpetuating an unending cycle of regeneration through the heart. And incestuous though this union of hearts may be, it encapsulates the mysteries exchange of life energy necessary for the empowerment of the new ruler. Though Osiris has gone to his Ka he remains actively supporting his son, who now embodies the procreative powers of his predecessor. (p.77)

The similarities between the triad of Wesir/Aset/Heru-sa-Aset and the triad of Ra/Hetheru/Heru-Wer is not lost on me. And I think that is, above all else, why this particular part of the Ancestor Ritual came to mind.

It is the meeting place at Wetjeset-Hor that makes me realize how similar these two triads really are. And it is by virtue of this meeting in the first place of creation, at the primeval mound of that creation, when the greening of their hearts truly comes to be. As hethert-dot-org says, “It is appropriate that the meeting of Het-Hert and Heru occurs at this holy place, because the fruit of their conjugal union symbolizes new life, fertility and regeneration.”

I think the meeting is very much like that heart – the seat of everything in both my practice and of tantamount import in the unseen and afterlife – being offered up to the gods.

Be Still My Beating Heart

Sometimes my ib chokes me with the weight of it. And other times, it is a comfort about me. (Photo by Mustang Aly.)

At Wetjeset-Hor, I provided so many offerings. I laden the plates with everything, throwing confetti at the two statues in the shape of hearts. If nothing else, it’s a bit like Valentine’s Day for me. Only instead of celebrating hearts and love with people, I’m celebrating it between two deities who have made profound impacts on me in so many innumerable ways.

After, I divined to see when it would be best to finish the journey to Edfu proper. According to what I had read, this was done. It makes sense. Sailing on the Nile could be a nasty business and no one would really want to lose two major icons. It would be quite inauspicious, no? They spent an entire 24 hours at Wetjeset-Hor, surrounded by hearts and love and offerings and more love.

Perhaps the reeds have been planted in their hearts, too, and new life grows in the union between them. It’s probably only my life, to be fair, but at least it grows.

Festival of the Beautiful Reunion 2015: En Route.

I have been a devotee of Hetheru for years now. I honestly can’t recall when she officially showed up, though I believe the exact moment may be saved somewhere in this blog. In all the time that we have been together, I have never had a push to honor her festivals. There’s never been an all-consuming need in the background, demanding that I pay homage.

Either because of my developed relationship with Heru-Wer or because she had finally said it was time, I can’t say. But this year, I got hit early with the Festival of the Beautiful Reunion bug. I found myself counting down the days three months in advance. It was like I had an earworm only instead of a song; it was this pounding requirement to celebrate this heretofore unknown festival.

I knew I had to get my research on.

I did a number of Google searches, attempting to fill in the in-between of what I knew. Before reading about it, I knew the festival was a celebration of the reunification of Hetheru and one of the Heru; I didn’t actually know which one.

My research found me looking into the different Heru over and over again. I found that the holiday seemed to be celebrated sometimes with Heru-Wer, sometimes with Heru of Behdet. The particular Heru didn’t really seem to matter – let’s be real, there’s like a hundred of them – so as long as it was an older Heru, a Heru beyond the Osirian myth cycle at least.

I found out that there was some traveling involved: it took Hetheru a few days to get from Dendera to Edfu. She made strategic stops, it seems, going down the Nile. The first stop was at the Precinct of Mut at Karnak in which she visited with Mut. She detoured for a bit at a Per Mer to visit with Anuket. The third day, she stopped at Nekhen and visited with the Heru there. This Heru saw her through to her meeting with the Heru of Edfu, whom she met at Wetjeset-Hor, before the two sailed further south to Edfu proper.

I had a lot of planning to do.

Depicture of the Feast of the Beautiful Reunion

Depiction of the Feast of the Beautiful Reunion. Edfu, Egypt. (Photo by Dennis Jarvis.)

I have a bunch of colored scarves that I’ve picked up over the years. I don’t know why I bought them in the first place, but the color schemes are appropriate for any standard holiday: black, green, and blue (need a red one at some point, I think). I figured that I could use the blue scarf for when Hetheru was traveling and the green or black to indicate she had “landed” at the strategic stopping points.

Check.

The next thing to plan out was how in the world I was supposed to make it look like she was in the middle of, well, sailing down the river. I found iconographic representations of what her solar barque looked like and then looked for a few for Heru, as well. I found those easily enough. I spent about 4 days working on the project, but managed to recreate both barques on card stock.

Check.

I finished up the supply run with a bunch of jewelry-making supplies, which is outside of my norm. I’m not a jewelry maker in any sense of the word, but I’ve gotten a few hits in the last few months which seemed to indicate that my lack of interest should probably become “semi-interest.” I ended up purchasing beads and charms, which are going to symbolize both the event itself as well as Hetheru’s journey to Edfu.

Check.

The last piece to the puzzle was to figure out the menu for the week. That was actually probably the easiest thing: fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh baked bread, booze, diet Coke because it’s my life’s blood, chocolate, and of course flowers because really who doesn’t love flowers?

I guess I was ready.

_MG_8507 - Yellowstone River sunrise.    ©Jerry Mercier

Yellowstone River Sunrise. (Photo by Jerry Mercier.)

Starting on Sunday, the moment that I woke up, I was off and running.

I made sure to set the blue scarf down and set the little cardstock solar barque up so that it wouldn’t fall over during the day. I then made sure that Hetheru’s icon had cool water and something to tide her over throughout the day as we journeyed.

Each evening, I printed off a little sheet with images that reminded me of the stopping place: For Karnak, I chose an historically recreated map of the premises along with iconic images of her precinct, including the crescent-shaped sacred. For Esna, I chose another historical drawing accompanied by yet more iconic images of the Temple of Khnum and those specific to Anuket. I followed this pattern for the four days that she traveled.

I also added a little extra by filling the queue on my Tumblr with images and specific items related to the places that she was stopping. I wanted to surround myself as much as I was able with thoughts and images of the act of traveling.

I also spent the first hour or so I was home preparing the meal for her, as well as setting up the altar space. I baked fresh brownies, I roasted asparagus and zucchini, I made steak and spaghetti and all of the normal dinner type items one might expect. All said and told, it probably took me about 1 – 1.5 hours of prep each night for Hetheru to “land” at the places she was stopping at.

Lucky stars

Lucky Stars. (Photo by Cath Schneider.)

I will be honest, this is the most time-consuming festival I have ever taken upon myself. I’m not a huge fan of committing myself to something that is as time-consuming and energy-eating as this is. I like things to be simple, quick, and neat. That’s part of the reason why my holidays are 15-minute affairs. I have things to do; I have a life to live; I have spoons to conserve and use elsewhere. Celebrating holidays can take a lot out of you, especially when you are the only one around to do the work that is required to see it through.

I can definitely understand, at least at this moment, why there were so many priests to oversee a temple and to make sure everything was functioning properly, both during and outside of holidays. That shit will eat you up and spit you back out if you let it.

I have fourteen more days left on this. I will admit, I’m counting down the days until this is over. I’ve found that it isn’t just that it eats my spoons, makes me tired, makes me paranoid and nervous. I’ve been overwrought emotionally as I prepare and oversee the process to have two separated lovers reunited. It’s difficult to explain, even to myself, but I think when it comes to relationships, even those of two gods you happen to have developed relationships with, there’s some backlash between the devotee and the celebration that you’re doing. I feel, in a way, like I’m hitting that backlash as my emotions take turns from up high to down low. It’s an interesting, if unnerving, experience. You try explaining to your boss why you’re crying over a spreadsheet at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.

Even with how hard this has been for me, I will admit that I feel very accomplished. I know that I have done well with the celebrations I have undertaken for Sekhmet. She has told me as much and afterwards, I tend to feel both rewarded and content. I am feeling this, as well, with this year’s Festival of the Beautiful Reunion. So I know that I am doing a very good job, all things considered, to seeing things through.

I just hope I am able to keep it up for two more weeks.

(Pictures Taken of the Celebration So Far!)

On the Periphery.

My relationships with my gods used to fit in neatly confined spaces. I used to have a box for Sekhmet and a box for Hetheru. I added a box last year to include my relationship with Heru-Wer. They were all separate and unique things. While looking deeply into the history of Heru-Wer, I began to catch glimpses of both Sekhmet and Hetheru. It was like those moments when you see something in your peripheral vision. It’s there for a second and you’re so sure that it’s there that your heart starts pounding in double time, but when you look for real, it isn’t there.

Day 188: Gleaming Peripheral Glimpse

Like whispers ringing in one’s ears, it was never really there. It was only a split second occurrence. (Image by Snugg LePup.)

Consciously, I recognized that the gods probably had interactions outside of whatever bits and pieces of our relationships were there. I mean, they had been around a lot longer and there are so many myth cycles out there, detailing all of the things they have done before I came onto the scene. There are probably myth cycles lost to us, too, which detail further shenanigans between them all. I’ve found this within most of the epithets listed for my main deities in their LAGG entries: tantalizing glimpses of things that make me go, “what is this? why is this?” And of course, I am left knowing that I will probably have nothing concrete to say except to add some UPG to my lexicon of unverified personal gnosis.

However, I am one of those people who must define something concretely and it must be defined as its own thing. Suffice to say that I was quite comfortable with leaving the relationships of my gods within their own little niches in my life. Perhaps this was a byproduct of being such a devout hard polytheist for so long. I honestly cannot say, but when I found that glimpses and pokes from the sidelines were coming, seeming to herald a more soft polytheism than I had previously been comfortable with, I kind of shut it down for a while.

I didn’t want to see Hetheru and Heru-Wer together, or Sekhmet and Hetheru together, or Heru-Wer and Sekhmet together. I didn’t want to see the invisible webs that kept them bound by some indefinable force that worried me. Part of the reason I stayed as far away from the hawk-headed Heru deities is because of all of the squishiness going on with them: they’re all the same and yet all different; puzzling out their differences can be a career unto itself.

As I explored Heru-Wer more and more, I found bits and pieces of Sekhmet, which in turn, of course, led me back to bits and pieces of Hetheru. It’s not surprising: Hetheru’s very name means “mansion of Heru.” We know that just be speaking her name, either aloud or in our minds, we are paying homage to the connection between Hetheru and [one of the] Heru. In my brain, this is Heru-Wer – not as the seeming forgotten child of Nut and Geb, but as the child of Ra and Hetheru, and as with Heru-sa-Aset in later myth cycles, overtaking the realm and place of his father, Ra, to become the husband-son of Hetheru.

The longer that I spent time with that derpy hawk brain, I found Hetheru in the little places. It was like she was the cracks of gold between his broken pieces. She fitted together with him in a fluid sort of reality that I cannot even begin to say it or write. The Japanese practice of kintsugi comes to mind as a perfect visual representation. Hetheru was there in the in-between, healing the cracked parcels of Heru-Wer so that he could be the derpy hawk bird the Kemetic fandom knows and loves.

Cleaned up seams

To me, she was like kintsugi: the golden aura used to fix the pieces of this veteran back together. (Image by Pomax.)

I found that the bits of my relationship that were specifically about Heru-Wer began to envelop Hetheru without my asking. It was like, one moment, Heru-Wer and I were in a relationship and there we were, two meteors crossing the sky of my own inner rebirth. Then, in the distance, a third meteor streaks along with us and joins our group. Before I could even map it out in my mind, it was the three of us, like a triad of sorts, just hanging out and poking fun. Sekhmet was there, in the background, but less like the streaks of meteors and more like the golden sun that creates the gravity that we need to complete our path.

Their relationship affects me on so many levels. I see it as one of those like epic love stories that overwhelms the consciousness and creates a longing in the heart. Maybe their relationship isn’t necessarily like that, but I think it is. If you look at the Festival of the Beautiful Reunion and the journey that Hetheru undertakes to get back to Heru, then you can kind of see it as an epic love story. Just knowing that after 300-plus days of being apart that a four-day journey is all they need to be back together again for 2 weeks or thereabouts… yeah, maybe you can see what I’m talking about. A love story beyond the piece of Romeo and Juliet; that puts Lancelot and Guinevere to shame; something beyond the mere word “epic.”

I can feel it like the pulse point at my throat, wrapping itself around me and threading itself through my veins. It overwhelms me a lot of the time, to the point where I can only scream internally from the feels of it all. For someone who is not used to that much emotion in a single day, having it thrust upon me and unable to properly speak on it can be hell. But I muddle through with all of my rants and raves and internal screams, hoping that someday someone will understand what it feels like to have your veins on fire because of someone else’s love.

I have come to find that my relationship with Heru-Wer is nothing without Hetheru. Sure, we have our bits together where it is just the two of us. But there is always the overwhelming knowledge that the Lady of Dendera is there as well, a sort of background hum if she isn’t in the middle of us and then another limb to our conglomerate body when it is the three of us.

You know, there’s an epithet in the LAGG entry for Hetheru that I found amusing, “Who Brings Along Her Heru.” Only in my case, or I should say in our case, I think it’s a bit backwards. It wasn’t Hetheru who came to me and brought along her Heru. It was Heru-Wer who came to me and forged a bridge to renew the relationship that I had let fizzle to near nothingness with Hetheru. Really, the epithet should be: “Who Brings Along His Hetheru.”

Head Covering.

Years ago, I found out that there is an entire movement within various pagan hemispheres regarding head covering. I find the whole thing kind of fascinating and I spent a good deal of my time back then, reading through various pagan blogs about the phenomena. There were a lot of different reasons that pagans chose to cover their head and while I found it interesting, I knew it wasn’t for me. In my mind, I kind of associate covering one’s head with priest roles and since I am clearly of the laity brand of Kemeticism, it obviously wasn’t for me.

Flash forward to a few months ago and I got this overwhelming urge to just take a “peek” at what other Kemetics are doing as far as head covering. I wouldn’t say that there is a movement, per se, but there are a few who have taken on covering their heads. In some instances, it is a daily thing. In other instances, it is on festivals and holidays to a particular god. In still other cases, there are occasions of priestly duties being fulfilled that require [on the part of the personal practice of the devotee] the act of covering one’s head.

All very fascinating, of course, but what the fuck did this have to do with me?

After perusing through the blogs of people who do this sort of thing, I got a sort of like mini-whisper at the back of my mind: like wouldn’t it be kind of neat if you did this? I said very surely and very emphatically, “no.” I then took it upon myself to take a bandana into the bathroom with me and tied it over my head so that the ends were covered by my [very long] hair. I stared at myself and was completely freaked out by the fact that this was getting too close to that line in the sand, the one that said this stuff was a priesthood kind of thing and I’m not interested. I consequently ripped the damn bandana off, threw it across the room and yelled, “no.”

I know this sounds like me being a prat and to some extent, I am being one. The thing about it is that, to me, covering one’s head is more emphatically “priesthood” than I am willing to delve. I do a lot of things and fulfill a number of roles that can easily be perceived as priesthood – and I admit that – but the fact that I was taking head covering seriously was yet another step in the direction that frightens the hell out of me.

There does seem to have been some hair restrictions within the priesthood of ancient Egypt – shaving one’s body hair seems to have been a thing – and I’ve remarked that times have changed often enough. It stands to reason that instead of shaving one’s head in a Kemetic context, a devotee would have the push to cover their hair instead. For the most part, we don’t live in a place where having excess hair could cause overheating and we don’t live in a time when hygiene is a huge problem.

I got the push a few times to cover my head and each time, I very forcefully refused. “I am not interested in this. Please let’s come up with a level of compromise that both sides can be comfortable with.” Since my hair is so long, there are actually very few hair styles that work on a daily basis… but braiding helps to keep it out of my face. It also prevents the pain at the crown of my head if I wear my hair up too high for too long. (You may not realize it, but hair can get fairly heavy.)

I quailed and dithered about this for a while. Again, I was being put in a position to do something that seemed far more devotional than I am willing to commit to. Again, I recognize that I’m probably coming off as an ass and a whining baby. But you know what? I went into Kemeticism not with the idea of priesthood, but with the idea of creating a functional practice that I could hand down to others.

To me, being a priest is a sort of calling and there is a limit to who can and cannot become a priest. By jumping into a quasi-priesthood role, I felt as though I was moving away from what I had originally intended and into an area of dark, unexplored territory that I had firmly informed myself that I would never go into.

Never say never, I guess.

In the end, I decided to just bite the bullet. Braiding one’s hair isn’t so bad. So, I ended up moving forward with braiding my hair on a regular basis. “Okay,” I said to whomever was pushing me, “I will braid my hair 90% of the time when I leave the house. Is that acceptable?” The push to cover my head faded and I relaxed about it.

During my last services to Sekhmet, I got another kind of little push in the head covering department. I told her she could take a long leap off of a short pier. Actually, my phrasing was that I would go ahead and do that if she could scratch my back first. The feeling faded quickly enough and I went back to ignoring that whole shtick and everything it entailed. Until I got the hit this morning while I was getting ready for work.

constellations (or a childish imagination)

Like indelible ink, it is written upon my face and I cannot escape it. (Image by Ana Luìsa Pinto.)

All right, all right. I figured I could just give it a shot.

Aside from all of the remarks I got from various coworkers about the bandana wrapped around my head, I felt absolutely nothing different. Oh, that’s not true. I was annoyed that I was doing this. I was annoyed that I got a ton of comments from my coworkers (which range from being informed that I am channeling my inner Lucille Ball to reminding another about weekends spent cleaning the attic). I was annoyed that the damn bandana kept slipping back and I had to retie it repeatedly. But above all else, the most annoying bit was that I felt more relaxed and clear-headed than I have for weeks while at work.

Shit.

I am not comfortable with this, at all. The idea of wearing bandanas every day is kind of bothersome, never mind the comments or the fact that I don’t know how to prevent it from sliding back on my head. But even with the knowledge that I was quite comfortable and felt rather more relaxed than I have been lately, I have to ask myself if this is something that I can commit to. It’s all a jumbled mass in my mind but at the top of it all is the frantic high-pitched screams at the back of my mind because this isn’t how things were supposed to work out. I recognize that things may ease up considerably, stress wise, but I have to ask myself, am I really ready for this?

Logically, I should just go for it and get it over with.

Illogically, I am a gibbering idiot, screeching about how this isn’t fair.

The Beginning.

About a week ago, I was told that I needed to go back to the beginning in order to get some clarity on everything that has been going on lately. Mostly that divination was talking about more mundane matters, but it actually makes a lot of sense when looking through the lens of one’s personal religious shenanigans. Sometimes, looking back across the span of time is a good way in order to get a whole lot of perspective on what is currently infesting your life. So, I went back to the beginning…

Not that long after I gave in and officially embraced the idea of developing a relationship with Sekhmet, I began getting “Hetheru feels.” It was a little daunting and very worrisome for me. I wanted to be a one deity kind of gal; I didn’t want to have a multitude to be at the constant beck and call of. While one new deity doesn’t exactly equal to a “multitude,” it felt like if I added even one more to the mix, I was opening a door that wouldn’t be shut again. I wasn’t quite wrong but that is neither here nor there.

I was not interested in working with Hetheru.

Another part of the problem was that, to me, she embodied everything that I knew, deep down, I would never be. She is a deity about beauty, womanhood, sexuality, coquetry, sensuality, drinking, etc. All of the inherent qualities that we can think of when we hear the name “Hetheru” would come bouncing into my face, slapping me with my own inadequacies, and it worried me greatly that a deity like that would be interested in me.

You see, it made complete sense that Sekhmet was interested, but not Hetheru. Sekhmet’s interest wasn’t simply because I knew that we had done this song and dance before, but because I was a destructive, slow-burn kind of person. I felt like that was something that Sekhmet could both understood and respect having been in that place before. I didn’t see how this could possibly relate to Hetheru, at all. It didn’t make sense that Hetheru would be interested. My hard polytheism was showing, maybe, but the constant fear and worry I had at the idea of adding Hetheru into my personal practice was something that began eating me alive.

I quailed about this issue for a while before I gave in to temptation. There was just something about Hetheru that made me go, “okay. All right.” So, I purchased a statue and went looking around for things about Hetheru that would help us get jump started. And everything that I ended up finding about her only made my worries on the matter seem even more valid. All of the sex stuff was just getting in the way of everything else. I’m gray-ace though I didn’t realize that back then. (I hadn’t even heard of asexuality yet.) And I just kept wondering what in the world a sex goddess would want with someone with severe sexual hang ups?

Let me explain something: I thought I was broken back then. I just thought that I was severely wired backwards and incorrectly when it came to sex. I didn’t understand that there were people, like me, in the world who did not experience sexual attraction or, if they did, it was rarely. While that’s something that I recognize about myself today, it wasn’t an option then. As far as I was concerned, it just seemed incredibly strange that this sexual and sensual netjer would say, “yes, you are someone that I would like to have devoted to me.” I couldn’t understand it at all.

What was it about me that spoke to her in some indefinable way?

What was it about me that made her come to me in dreams and in divination and in random occurrences both on and off the Internet?

I began to suspect that, since I was “obviously” broken, then maybe that was the reason? At that time, it freaked me out and I thought perhaps that my freaking out was a good thing. So, I tried diligently to throw myself into a sort of loop where I worked on the things that were “broken.” The problem being that I wasn’t interested in working on those things and I had no business working on those things. Ace or not, I have had sex repulsion and that is due to sexual abuse. I thought that those elements to my sex repulsion were what I needed to work on in order to “not” be broken anymore and that was the point in Hetheru showing up.

This didn’t work out because, frankly, I wasn’t ready to look into all of that shadow work. I was not ready to even consider it. So, I ignored the sex stuff (possibly to my own detriment and possibly longer than I should have) and thought about what else Hetheru could embody. Well, she was a mom. She was a woman. She liked pretty things. She liked make up things. She liked feeling like a woman. Like, everything that makes you go, “yes, that’s a woman and she is beautiful and she loves who she is and what she looks like and that is fucking awesome” was everything that I associated with Hetheru.

So, I thought maybe I should try to be more like that?

But the thing that I have to admit to myself is that I’m not that kind of person. Make up is nice and clothes that make you feel good about yourself is okay, but I’m not really into it as much as other girls. I’ve never been that type of person. I hate putting on make up to go out somewhere and try to keep what I do wear, if I wear any, very basic. Clothes that are fitted don’t seem to fit me correctly. What it comes down to is that, basically, I am a T-shirt and jeans kind of gal. Give me a pair of sneakers over heels; give me a good book over watching You Tube videos about how to properly apply eyeliner.

It didn’t work out.

It made the things that I thought I should do that much worse.

And in the attemps to be what I thought she wanted me to be, I was causing serious issues in my relationship with her. I began to dread having her show up in dreams. I began to dread the idea of having her in my life. I began to hate her and everything about her. I just wanted her to go away and leave me alone. I packed up shop – I kept her statue and I gave her daily offerings when I finally got back into all of that, but to be perfectly frank, placing these sorts of “she wants you to be a better person; she wants you to be more like her” restrictions on our relationship wreaked not just havoc with my personal practice, but my relationship with Sekhmet as well.

It was wrong to do that.

I was looking through a very narrow lens and I wasn’t even remotely thinking that there could be a bigger picture to look for.

I was wrong.

I was very, very wrong.

I’ve gone back to the beginning and I’ve come to recognize a very real pattern here. I went into things with a preconceived notion, something that I’ve remarked previously is very dangerous and is generally not a good idea. But it’s something that I have only just realized, after being informed that I should go back to the beginning, just how dangerous it can be. My relationship with Hetheru has suffered because of those preconceived notions and it has only been in the last year, with all of the moving parts oil slicked and creaking forward, that I recognize the “bigger picture” bullshit that I’m tired of hearing about.

But there that bullshit is: bigger picture.

Looking back to the beginning, that rocky escarpment that I found myself perched upon when I tried what I thought was the point in our relationship… I have to say that it’s been a really long road. I don’t want to sound all “fate” about this, but I honestly have to ask myself if the rocky road I took on the path of our interactions wasn’t necessary in order to get me here. I went running towards Sekhmet, fleeing from the inescapable truths that I was not “good enough” for Hetheru, but kept Hetheru around anyway.

And in all the years since I first remember Hetheru appearing to me in a dream, I can see the little twists and turns that have brought me to today.

Look to the beginning, I was told, and I looked.

I found a scared newbie Kemetic, fighting through the brushes with uncertainty, poor self-esteem, and misunderstanding. That person was the person that Hetheru chose, maybe because she knew what I would end up being like one day. Or maybe it was all some predestined bunch of bullshit. In either case, I find myself awash in “Hetheru feels” again and you know what?

I’m ready for it.

 

The Lovers.

Alternate Title: Follow Your Ib

Three days ago, I had yet another in a long line of strange dreams. It’s practically par for the course. I think about 75% of my week is filled with strange dreams that don’t seem to fit with the standard dream lexicon I’ve built for myself. Deciphering these little shits has become almost a major focus in my life. It’s like, I feel as if I could succeed mightily if I could just figure out what one of the damn dreams meant or is supposed to mean. Ha.

For the most part, I try to parse out whatever meaning I possibly can during my ride into work. My mind is still fresh enough but not hyper focused enough on something else to present me with about 40 minutes of almost down time. So, I try to figure out anything I can and that’s where most of my “ah-ha” moments occur… though I will be honest that I have had a surprising limited number of “ah-ha” moments in recent months. In either case, the drive to work is both a relaxing pastime and a spurt of frustration, but no matter how much I assure myself that I will not think about what I dreamed about the night before, I invariably end up thinking about it.

While thinking about the self-cannibalism dream and trying like hell to remember what the fuck the ouroboros is supposed to stand for (still haven’t remembered and I can’t be bothered to look to be honest), I had a vision of an anatomical heart. Damn. I don’t even want to say “vision.” It wasn’t really a vision. It felt like more than that. There was a black space, which I’ve been in or seen before, and then in the center was a giant-as-fuck anatomical heart. It was just spinning slowly, like it was a coin that was slowing down after being spun really fast. It just kept rotating around and around until I finally heard a whisper, “Follow the heart.”

Well that made so much more sense!

In rapid succession, my thoughts went something like this:

My heart?

Their heart?

The SO’s heart?

The child’s heart?

A stranger’s heart?

The heart I ate?

The fractured heart that I have been working on?

The ring on my finger that is an anatomical heart?

If you’ve been paying any attention to my religious life lately, then you know that hearts are pretty important. Most of my relationship with Sekhmet can best be summed up with a picture of an ib. It seems to be a very big part of what’s been going on between us, never mind all of the recent shenanigans. But just because it’s a large part of my practice that doesn’t necessarily mean I fully understand the point behind seeing one in a dark head space and hearing the phrase, “follow the heart.”

I was quite confused.

I forgot about it because as much as I would like some damn answers, things have happened that required my attention. I went to work. I had things to do there. And then I came home and seethed inwardly for a while. Lather, rinse, and repeat.

The Lovers card from the Mary-El Tarot deck.

The Lovers card from the Mary-El Tarot deck.

This morning, I pulled my daily card because, eh why not. I honestly don’t know why I bother anymore because nine times out of ten, it just causes more arm flailing and makes it that much harder to figure out what the fuck is happening. I was totally unprepared for what I pulled because mostly I have been getting cards like Strength and Death. This morning, I got the Lovers.

I’m not a huge fan of this card, mostly because it’s telling me that a choice that I need to make and I need to make that choice based on my heart. I liked the card even less this morning since it only made me recall that moment in the car, when I could see darkness all around and there was a giant swirling fucking anatomical heart and the whispered words, “Follow the heart.”

Maybe not quite a “clue-by-four” but kind of appropriate all things considered.

The problem is that I don’t know what I’m supposed to be listening to or even what specifically in regards to.

The Tower from the Radiant Rider-Waite deck

The Tower from the Radiant Rider-Waite deck

There is just so much going on in my life recently. I have honestly felt beset on every side. I think I spend hours upon hours at a time, wishing and hoping that I could just run away. I feel less like I’m stuck between Scylla and Charybdis and more like I’ve been crushed flat by a thousand tons of rocks, wondering if someone will come over with a fireplace bellows and push me back into shape.

I think I’m more at the Tower than at the point where I need to follow my heart.

I know that there are a ton of things that I’ve been sitting on that I should do in order to benefit both myself and my family. However, I’m actually at a moment of complete stasis. I can’t move in one direction or another. I keep weighing the consequences of each. I know what my heart is telling me – I’ve always at least been able to hear it – but the idea of actually following through frightens me more than anything else.

What I see in my heart frightens the shit out of me because there are so many unknown possibilities and I just… I feel as though I cannot take that chance.

I understand, to a degree, why the need to follow one’s heart is important. I also understand, to a degree, why some people have made the best choices in this way. But I’m too on the hedge. I need to ensure that I truly am seeing all of the options from every angle. This has been a huge problem for me for a very long time, but after 32 years, I honestly don’t know if I could possibly quit now.

But perhaps that is the point in all of this: kick my ass into gear and get me paying attention to the deep part of myself that is talking, the part that needs to be heard and listened to. And if that is the case, then maybe more than “follow the heart” would be useful here. Perhaps something that tells me how to get over the heart-crushing, body-paralyzing anxiety would be a good idea.

The World from the Wild Unknown deck

The World from the Wild Unknown deck

I think what worries me the most about all of this is the same old shtick: I know the end result or at least what the end result is supposed to be. The thing is that I just don’t know how in the fuck I’m supposed to go about it because it’s not just walking through the jungle without a map, but also how to break through my own personal failings or, maybe not failings, but like the programming I’ve been built with.

If I fail at this, it’s not just me that pays the price. I’ve always gone into things under the impression that others would pay for my mistakes. But now, it’s actually true. I have a family to consider. I have to take care of them and their needs throughout all of this. In some instances, I know full well what my heart, my ib, is telling me but I just don’t see how I can take that chance with two people who trust me the way that they do in the mix.

“But Sat, just trust in the gods! Have faith!”

The problem there is that I’ve done that. I have absolutely been there and done that; I got shot with the T-shirt cannon for fuck’s sake. And I’m sorry, but I can’t just blindly follow. I need more than just, “do the thing,” to get my ass in gear. I need a huge neon sign with flashing lights and hymns praising my beauty. I need to my smashed in the face with a piece of luggage falling from the sky before I can even consider the idea of trusting them to that level again.

I think I get the point but I just can’t get with the program on a faint glimmer of possibilities.