First of all, for those of you are not of a Kemetic background, you won’t know the Q word I chose for this week’s post. Let me explain it. While I was mulling over what to write about, I mentioned that I didn’t have a damn clue as to what I should be writing about for this letter. There are a few gods and some words that are ancient Egyptian in origin and they begin with Q. The thing was that I couldn’t be sure whether or not I could do it justice. So, I just put it out there that I was stuck and any recommendations could be useful. Bezenwepwy, who is the supreme knowledge fount of all things jackal god related, gave me the following suggestions, qebeshu and qebech. The first means ‘cool water’ and the second, the one I chose, can either mean ‘to purify’ or ‘make a libation.’ I’ve decided to use qebech in its meaning of ‘make a libation.’
Now, the point of this entry stems from a conversation I monitored between two Kemetics of differing practices. That’s where the whole idea – after being given the word in question – came from. So, let’s see how much justice to this topic that I can give it.
Now, I’m not going to rehash the disagreement here. You’ll just have to trust in the fact that it happened. The thing is that the basis of the disagreement seemed to be a misunderstanding (which happens for more often on the Internet since we can’t watch facial cues or body language while reading whatever is written). The entire basis of this argument, besides a misunderstanding, seemed mostly because someone was worried that qebech and food offerings being left were due to “an easy way out” versus based on actually being thought over. And that’s the thing. This person who thought this way has seen and watched and realized that too many people getting into this lifestyle – not just Kemetism, but paganism, in general – tend to get stuck on the how question when it comes to leaving our offerings instead of paying attention to the why question when it comes to leaving our offerings. And as they mentioned, when you get stuck in the how you tend to autopilot when it comes to doing the daily offering jazz.
I’ll admit this because I have no problem explaining that I fuck up regularly: I’ve been stuck in that little smidge lately. It’s not just that I have to put actual thought into what I’m leaving, but that it is incredibly easy to just go about the motions instead of actually focusing on what you are doing. After a while, you just start falling into the pattern. At first, you might think that doing it this way will build up the ability to just remember to leave these things for the gods. And in a manner of speaking that could be the case. I know that when I let the autopilot take over whenever I was doing a daily offering to the gods and the lwa and whomever else desired something, I was not likely to forget what was going on. But, I found it unsatisfying after a while. I was going through all of these motions and instead of being stuck on the why I was doing all of this, I was still stuck in the how phase. Let’s call that the Beginner Phase.
The Beginner Phase, I think, is common. I also am becoming to believe that it may actually be a test of the gods. No, no; hear me out before you laugh me off. I think that this Phase is necessary. It teaches us to get into the habit of leaving things for the gods on a regular basis, which is something we should be doing, especially those of us practicing a recon form of religion. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if we don’t do this, how will they manifest in our lives? Not just the God Phone and all of that, but in miracles and tribulations. If we don’t get into this Beginner Phase, then what is the point in all of the work we try to put into it? If we can’t lay a foundation, what the hell is the point? But like I said, I think it’s a test. I think it’s a test because we have to not only get into the habit of doing this, but we also have to be conscious of what we are offering and the very reason behind it: the why.
I just said it above and so, I’ll say it again.
I honestly believe that when I’m leaving things to my gods and my spirits and my lwa, it’s so that I can feel their presence in my life. Am I saying that these actions or qebech are wholly necessary to feeling them? No. Before I was called to this path, I didn’t leave offerings at all. I didn’t do anything. There were no prayers or thoughts or anything in that direction. But Sekhmet and Legba and Hekate have all managed to come into my life and make themselves made manifest in some form or another. Now that they are here, I want to keep them in my life. I want to continue to forge a stronger and stronger relationship with them. And while the offerings that I give them may not be the whole enchilada, I think it’s a pretty big and important aspect to maintaining that relationship. But it’s not like I can just go around and give them the same things, day in and day out. As I’ve said in some of my offering posts, isn’t it possible that, just like us, the OTHER™ get bored with the same thing on a daily basis?
We do; so why not them?
But the other aspect to this, which is something that we forget, is that we have to remember the why. And in so doing, we should put more effort into the qebech that we leave and the food that we leave. We shouldn’t just stick to the Grain and Drain Train*. While water and bread were two of the biggest things to leave, we can’t just assume that they want it daily. It’s not just an aspect of being bored here, either, but how much manifesting or relationship can we have with the gods if we’re doing things on autopilot?
It’s the effort, it’s the desire, and it’s the why.
So maybe the next time you decide to give your gods the same old, same old… maybe you’ll sit back and rethink the autopilot you’re on. Maybe you’ll actually put a little extra and give them something you’ve never done before, like a piece of cake or a finger or two of booze. And maybe, they’ll manifest how much that worked better than they do with the same old, same old. Maybe, just maybe.