I’ve noticed that I’m an armchair devotee when it comes to my deities and an armchair servant when it comes to the lwa. I try, honestly, to get things done on everyone’s behalf… when I think of it anyway. I try to think of what they would like and what I should do for them and when I should do it. I honestly do try to keep my ears peeled for requests and comments. Since I started trying to take a more active role in the life and times of the lwa who have nestled themselves in my life (whether I want them there or not), I’ve decided that I can get up and off my fat ass and fucking do something for all other-worldly entities in my life.
As everyone is no doubt aware, Papa Legba has been wanting a more formal relationship between the two of us. I’m still not all that positive about what this entails, although I think I have some solid ideas. The first step would be his own coffee cup. (He requested one that has to do with New Orleans. I suggested one with a picture of Marie Laveau on it. He wasn’t impressed.) Then, he’s asked for some Florida water. He also wants me to go to a crossroads. Technically, I live at one, but I don’t think he wants me to be stared at by all and sundry. (I live at a busy intersection.) He keeps giving me images of an old and quiet crossroads, although I don’t know where the fuck this place is supposed to be. The last thing, and the thing that is of the utmost importance, is his service on Fridays. I think this will mostly entail a meal between the two of us. I’m thinking a dinner type meal, although I might change that to a lunchtime meal together. Either way, it will be a meal between me and Papa Legba: no one else.
He seems pleased with these ideas.
As for the second lwa who has admitted to fucking with my head, I haven’t a damn clue. He refuses to give me a name. Every time I ask if he could inform me as to who, specifically, he is, there’s laughter in my head reminiscent of this. I’m almost positive, though, that this is Papa Ghede. I had this intense feeling to give him my broken sunglasses: one of the lenses had come loose and was ready to pop out (unfortunately, the Hubby tossed ’em). I keep seeing this shabby old top hat, too, in my mind’s eye. He hasn’t asked for anything specific, but I don’t think I’m going to wait.
There doesn’t seem to be anything specifically about Papa Ghede in all of the research that I’ve started on him in the last few days. Almost entirely, this lwa is wrapped up in Baron Samedi. I know for a fact, though, that they are not the same entity. Papa Ghede is the one who tells death when to show up! So, aside from adding hot sauce to any and all meals I may have with him, I have nothing whatsoever that I can think of to give him off of the top of my head. I will mention that I’d love to get him off of my multi-altar, but unfortunately, he’s stuck there until I move out of this tiny little place. Maybe, when I have money, I’ll make him a little kerchief in black and purple… In the mean time, I haven’t a clue as to what this guy wants.
Well, partially. I know he likes to laugh at me. A lot.
All of this “intent” has been entirely one-sided of course. It’s easier to find out things for the lwa because there are so many different avenues to look (aside from Papa Ghede because, you know, that would be too easy). In regards to celebrating anything with Sekhmet and Hwt-Hrw, there is a lot of research that has to go into it. And honestly? I wasn’t too thrilled with the thought of all of that research. I love my gods, but it just seemed like an awful lot of work.
So. With the whole “I’m an armchair pagan” in my head…
Today, I chose to try figuring out when Wep-Ronpet is next year (August 10th) as well as making a nice long list of all of the festivities throughout the year that feature both of my goddesses. It was downright fun at first since Sekhmet is such a simple goddess: she has only a handful of festivals all year long. I was getting all excited and thrilled when I started on Hwt-Hrw. And wouldn’t you know it? She has fifty festivals according to that calendar I found online. In comparison to fourteen for Sekhmet. I went from being gleeful in doing this to feeling like I was doing penance for something.
I think I’ve burned myself out on time, calendars, and mathematics for a while.
I definitely want to start celebrating at least some of these festivals and feasts. Almost all of the Hwt-Hrw specific festivals are processions or appearances and whatnot, so I’m not quite sure what to do with that. She has a couple of feasts and festivals, though, which I should be able to prepare for easily enough. Sekhmet, mostly, has feast days that coincide with other solar deities (Ra, Bast) and a few other big-impact festivals that I know next to nothing about. As it is, I did a little feast day at the start of the lunar month, Ka-Hr-Ka/Choiak, for Sekhmet. (She got some peanut butter cookies for her troubles. And was quite thrilled with them, in fact.)
I’ve got a general idea of when to celebrate these things, but of course, I have to try and backtrack the date of Wep-Ronpet to make sure that I’m correct on when to celebrate these things. As of right now, I’m basing these festivals and whatnot on the Julian calendar associated with the website. However, it’s not quite accurate.
Of course, another problem stems from basic confusion, on my part, about Wep-Ronpet. It’s the entire final month of the year, but the actual celebration of the Kemetic New Year… is that a week-long festival that is outside the lunar calendar or is a part of the calendar system? INQUIRING MINDS NEED TO KNOW!
I’m hoping, though, that once I get things settled in the whole calendar aspect, I can sit down with an actual calendar and start placing the dates for my goddesses big festivals on it. I want to be able to prep for things. I want big and expressive here because it’s what they deserve. I want down-to-earth and low-key for the lwa, but big and in-your-face for my goddesses.
Actually, I’m kind of excited. I can start planning out for Wep-Ronpet and the Wag Festival, as well as the Day of the Dead and all of the witch holidays that I want to celebrate… I mean, I think I’ll be pretty busy with the whole, “YAY! RELIGION IS HERE!” festivals I have going on in my brain, never mind what will actually happen. And I think that if I start getting in the swing of all of these feasts and holidays and sabbats and whatnot… I think it will really help. I think it will really show that I’m serious here and this is what I want my religious life to be.
Of course, it would all come down to needing math for this shit. (I suck at math.)
As a start to all of this, I’ve decided that I’m going to make breakfast for the lwa tomorrow. I’m going with pancakes. I think I’ll brew some tea for Hwt-Hrw and hand over a cup of coffee to Sekhmet. This is the start. This is the start.
This seems really exciting!