The Calendrical Epiphany.

Apparently, today is Beltane. I was utterly unaware that this was coming up until I happened upon seeing about a hundred tweets from various people who I follow going on about how Beltane was coming up. Then, this weekend, a new explosion of May Day/Beltane/Samhain tweets came on the scene and that’s about the time that I realized TH’s birthday was Sunday, my nephew’s was yesterday, and shit on a stick, wouldn’t you know it? There just so happened to fall Beltane the day after. As for what I planned on doing for the holiday, I didn’t seem to realize that Beltane was more than just a fire festival (I was thinking bonfires and booze, honestly, whenever Beltane came into my mind) and had a lot to do with sex (which we all know that I don’t do in any way), which really soured me on doing anything. It was a convenient excuse. So, I figured I could at least start writing a little essay about how this was Beltane, where it came from, how Neo-pagans go about it nowadays, and all of that jazz. It was going to be the start of my working with the Wheel of the Year. And it was at that moment that I had a dawning epiphany. This whole Wheel of the Year stuff isn’t for me, at all. And I’m not interested in it, at all. And I’m pretty much ready to gear up and create my Kemetic calendar, so why bother with this?

Insert obnoxious ding-ding-ding, the most idiotic dumbstruck face, and you pretty much have me about an hour ago.

As a very quick backtrack for anyone who is (A) new to this blog or (B) hasn’t a clue as to what I’m going to go on about… Some time back, I went on a whining spree about how difficult it is to construct a calendar for a Kemetic practice. We have the issues of the festival Kemetic calendar being a lunar calendar and without any leap years, on top of the fact that some information has been lost. The largest issue I was having was the fact that to calculate the Kemetic New Year, we had to look to see when the star of Sopdet had its first heliacal rising. It was at about this time that I figured the project was too much for me and that I could probably make my life a lot easier by working with the already installed pagan Wheel of the Year. There were eight Sabbats to work with and a lot of people who I know enjoy their pagan celebrations in regards to said Sabbats. It also seemed like a good idea, at the time, because it not only made my mind hurt less at all of the mathematical calculations I’d need to do (never mind with leap years thrown in the mix) but also, bring me closer to the pagan community, at large. As a life long outsider, the idea of being closer to other pagans due to shared holidays was appealing.

But, the epiphany came on pretty strongly. I realized that I wasn’t really interested in the whole WotY thing for myself. While I was in the car driving (always a great place for a dumb-fuck look of epiphany), I realized that I had wanted to get to know these holidays on behalf of my son. It wasn’t so much that I was worried about teaching him the big rituals or the big days of import in the Kemetic calendar, or that I was having issues when deciding those days just so happened to be. And in all honesty, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of going through the motions and learning about these holidays for myself so that I could get down with the pagan bandwagon and be part of the party. I was looking into this stuff so that I would have simple, easy things to teach my son for future use. Just because I’m a Kemetic and I’m quasi-teaching him Kemetic things (like creation myths and gods and whatnot) doesn’t mean that he should be forced into this. I want him to have the ability to see various religions at play, whether they be Greek or Kemetic or Christian or Muslim or Neo-pagan. So, while I can easy give him pointers in the Christian sphere, and I’ve got the Kemetic and Greek stuff covered, I’m not so good with Neo-pagan, Heathen, or Muslim spheres of influence.

And I want him to have a choice.

This is the moment that I begin to find myself realizing that becoming an expert on others’ religions for my son isn’t actually a good idea. If I want to give him the views of others’ religions, then I should aid him in getting that information if and when he asks. I should be able to give him a general overview and then, you know, let him make a choice from there. If he wants to be a Christian, Muslim, Pagan, Atheist, then he has that ability. I don’t really care one way or another (though I think the atheism would bother me a good deal, considering his father and I just do not see eye to eye on that stuff at all) what he decides to choose later on in life. So, I think I’ll just look into the Wheel for a bit, but I’m not going to work with it. It’s not what I want, it’s not what I need, and it’s definitely not the direction I need to go in.

My direction is Kemetism and all of the joys, pains, and irritations that entails.

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16 thoughts on “The Calendrical Epiphany.

  1. i agree, too much just gets confusing. Im going to try to put together a calender for kemetic holidays, but im thinking i will just keep to 6-8 major ones a year.

    • That’s what I would like. I want to include Opet and Wep Ronpet, as well as some Sekhmet-only festivals. I would like some for Hetharu, as well, but I’m not sure *which* ones yet.

  2. I’m always confused when some paths follow the wheel of the year, to be honest. It’s mostly based on Northern European agricultural festivals. I think anyone should be able to celebrate them, but it doesn’t always line up with other “hearth cultures” people may be working with. Much better to look into what your culture of interest did and try your hand at that. You need to do what is harmonious with yourself and your hearth culture! Good luck!

    • To be honest, the Wheel of the Year works for where I live, moreso than the Kemetic calendar. That was really why I had initially chosen it. But, again it doesn’t work for me or for my path any longer. It’s kind of weird making that decision since I’ve been bandying back and forth about it a lot and for a looooong time, but it’s nice to have finally made the decision.

      Honestly, “hearth culture” wise, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information in a Kemetic sphere. We know that they were very attentive toward their children. This could be for the age-old reason of needing children to pass things onto, as well as having said children around to remember the parents after their deaths. But, considering how completely vicious some of the home-based entities can be when it comes to protection of families and loved ones… I think their hearth culture was pretty damn loving.

  3. Honestly, that’s one thing I really like about being Kemetic Orthodox, is that I don’t have to put much work into calendar stuff. The temple has been reconstructing the festival calendar for over twenty years, leaving me time to focus on other things. I’m too much of an onion hoer to be anything other than recon-lite.

    If I was outside of it, I would honestly not use “traditional” timings for the holidays. We are from a very different part of the world than the ancients. Our climate doesn’t really lend to the calendar they followed. I’d much rather create my own holidays, share them with Pagans/Polytheists both Kemetic and Non-, than celebrate hundreds of festivals that don’t resonate with myself of my land. I’d rather move Wep Ronpet and the Mysteries of Wesir and other festivals that matter to me, to a place where they would make sense in the seasons of my climate.

    As for Hethert’s festivals, the ones I love to celebrate are the Feast of the Beautiful Reunion (Hethert and the Elder Heru), the Feast of the Celestial Cow (Hethert-Nut and Ra), and the Return of the Wandering Goddess (Sekhmet or Hethert, since you’re a hard polytheist).

    Just my thoughts on the matter. I do love your blog, btw, now that I’m reading it. :)

    • (Em hotep Khen!)

      I will also note that there is a basic outline of the calendar as Rev. Siuda has put it together (using calendars from many parts of Kemet) in the AE Prayerbook, and once you calculate the star rising for where you are it should not be too difficult to work from there with that outline, if you’re interested. Once upon a time I also saw a very lovely large coffee-table style book about the Egyptian calendar. Looking at Amazon I found a book called the Temple Festival Calendars of Ancient Egypt and think that might be it. Now wish I had picked up a copy when I could have gotten it for cheaper.

      • You know, I think I have that book on my Amazon wishlist. If not, I sure will in a few minutes!

        I have a couple of books related to the calendars of ancient Egypt. My first was the one by Bob Brier that is currently MIA. (Where did I put it…?) It’s actually about the magic of ancient Egypt, but it has a pretty good recreation of the lunar calendar in there. I have one or two others, but they’re not as in depth as I would prefer. I’d go about getting the calendar that Rev. Siuda put together, but I’m uncomfortable with borrowing from her stuff since, you know, she began the KO faith and I feel like that would be stealing. You know? It’s one thing to borrow from Egyptologists but another to borrow from someone else’s religion.

      • Weird reply system that I can’t reply to your actual comment.
        As for the calendar, it’s not a case of it being invented, she did use the ancient sources and compiled it from that. Obviously it’s your choice, and since you’re not in the temple, I would imagine you would not have Hemet’s specific days (like birthday and coronation) in your practice. Whatever you end up doing, I wish you a lot of luck with it. Trying to put together such a calendar is HARD.

      • Ah there went my comment.
        Well, it does include the core rite of the House (senut) and tends toward the way things are done within that tradition. But it’s also full of information on the Gods as well as a lot of translated heka.

    • I can see why utilizing the “traditional” days for the festivals and rituals can be problematic. I can safely say that the weather pattern in my neck of the woods (New England) is not what could even remotely be considered as “similar” to ancient Egyptian climate. However, I’ve had a lot of back and forth with myself on that. To be honest, for the longest time, I was very aware of the fact that I wanted to celebrate holidays, but that it seemed silly to do holidays that were nature related when the seasons I go through weren’t the same as what they used to go through. However, it’s really a lot harder than I’m willing to admit to try and plot point holidays just based on weather alone. It also felt… wrong, somehow, when I tried celebrating Wep Ronpet in regards to the Julian New Year. So, that’s why I decided to make my own calendar.

      Thanks for the festival suggestions!

      And thank you for reading my blog.

  4. In case my comment was eaten, yes you can get the book. It should still be for sale on Amazon. And it’s designed to be of use to people both in and out of the House. (if this is a dup feel free to delete.)

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