Yesterday, I woke up knowing that I needed to be on a much more even keel than I had been all week long. I don’t know if it was just me, but this last week kicked my ass. It seemed like at every possible juncture, I was battling some stupid asshole to get things rectified and things still weren’t rectified after the battle. I did surprise pop-ins. I escalated shit. I ended up sitting at my desk at lunch just about every day and instead of reading, as is usually the case, I propped my head in my hands and tried very hard not to cry. And as if the universe wasn’t having enough shit throwing the telecommunications world in which I work into complete and utter chaos, they felt the need to do the same with my personal life, too. My emotional stability had gone from “solid as a rock” to “impersonate a Geiger counter at Chernobyl on April 28, 1986.” While I have to continue to live my life, and take what comes at me in whatever possible way that I can, I also can’t let it impact the services that I am providing for others.With that in mind, I put on my most recent purchase from On the Temple Steps, which is owned by Bezen (the owner of Per Sabu). I had bought an ib pendant from her a few weeks ago, feeling the need to add yet more heart imagery to my daily wardrobe. As anyone who has been following me for a while should know, I was tasked with finding a ring that perfectly symbolized our relationship before the end of 2013. I had chosen an anatomical heart for the task and I wear it every day. As though to emphasize my decision on the imagery, I was looking through Bezen’s most recent amulet haul and thought, I need an ib for Sekhmet, too. It actually came in on Friday – a single bright spot in an ongoing miasma of pure bullshit – and couldn’t wait to wear it around. So, after going through my morning ablutions yesterday, I put it around my neck, coupled with the winged Sekhmet pendant that I don’t wear as often as I probably should, and felt instantly better.
I don’t know if anyone reading this will understand what I’m talking about but when I put on those pendants, I felt a much more solid connection to the services I was going to provide that evening and also to Sekhmet, as a whole. It felt very much as though I had bathed the back of my neck in Florida water, which I do when I’m feeling frazzled and overwrought. Things have been dicey all over the place on an emotional level and I always tend to view Sekhmet as this stalwart in the midst of said upheavals. But this week, even knowing that I am her daughter and she will always be there for me in some form or another, I couldn’t find a connection. I worried about it, honestly. How can I provide rites if I’m feeling this? I need to be more on the level! I don’t know if the ib came in with the purpose of bringing me back towards that stalwart matron with whom I love dearly or if it was mere happenstance. Whatever the case may be, the second that golden amulet was around my neck, coupled with the silver amulet of Sekhmet, winged and ready to inflict chaos on those who deserve it, I felt much better about the whole thing.
And as I prepared for last night’s services, I realized that, well, over all I was beginning to feel better about the whole process. I realized that I didn’t feel nervous about the upcoming services, at all. It’s possible this was due to how chaotic and awful things were this week. I can’t possibly discount that because of how the universe threw every available curveball in my direction, I was too overwrought to even remotely feel nervous about things. But, I honestly have to wonder if that was it in its entirety. I’m beginning to think that after six months of officially doing this, coupled with the two months of unofficially doing this, that I may actually be starting to feel like I know what I’m doing. I can’t say that I have all the answers, but I do feel as though I have in hand what it is that I’m doing, what the aim is, and where I’m heading: the heka hut.
A while back, Devo and Helms had been throwing around the idea of a heka hut. I’m not sure when that conversational ball got started or even what brought it up, aside from something that Nekhbet had said to Helms at some point or another. In effect, the heka hut would be: “Where a group of hekau performs heka for people in need. We’d each do our own rites, possibly together, possibly separate.” While I will admit that I would prefer other hekau to get in on this, especially considering there is quite obviously a hole within the overall community for rites such as these, I also understand the lack of spoons that most of us currently are in the middle of. But as I thought about it all day yesterday, occasionally reaching up to the ib around my throat, I realized that I had accidentally started the heka hut without even consciously realizing that was what I was doing and am now just kind of waiting for others to jump on the bandwagon.
So, while I don’t know if that’s really what this whole thing is about – if Sekhmet thought the heka hut idea needed a push and is using me as a guinea pig – or if her wants and desires coincide with the original idea, I do know that what I’m doing is a valued service within the community. The list of petition requests I receive each month is a clear indicator that people need this. And I will admit that I’ve always felt like I needed to help people in some form so this actually all kind of fulfills that desire, too. As many spoons as this little heka hut can sometimes take, it’s a win-win over all.
Another thing that I have noticed with each month that passes is that I am finding it easier and easier to pull something out of my butt. I really don’t think anyone fully recognizes how much of my practice is me just saying, “Hey, I have a thing that I want to do; let’s see what I have around the house and make it a festival!” Or, insert religious observance. Sometimes, I have to go out and get items specific to that event, but it’s usually in cahoots with chores that I am already in the process of crossing off of my ever-growing to-do list. So, it’s not really as if I do anything overt or special for any of those observances. I am just doing what I would normally do or spending money on the food that I would normally purchase. And while the first few months of these services show a larger portion of meals and offerings to sweeten the deal, so to speak, I’ve come to realize that I don’t need to be so overt with these things. Just as I don’t need to be so overt with the other festivals, feast days, and processions that are marked on my calendar.
With each month, I know what I need to get things done and I know what I am going to do.
I don’t know if that makes me an expert or just more capable, but whatever the case may be, each month seems to find an easing of tensions that were explosive back in January.
For offerings, I chose roses. I really like flowers, okay? But I found that the roses were on SUPER SALE at my local grocery store. I got 15 stems for under ten dollars. And honestly, I don’t know why they were on massive sale since the roses were still in good condition. There was hardly any rot in any of the petals, which I removed as I was cutting them down to fit my vase, and hardly any of them had even started to bloom. I was also able to snag another bag of rose petals, which were also on sale. I went through the petals last night and saw that they were all in good condition, as well. What was even better was that the two key items I wanted to provide as food offerings – oranges and grapes – were still on sale, too. I was able to walk out of the grocery store with spending a lot less than I had budgeted for this month’s services.
I don’t know if the universe was trying to make it up to me after a hellacious week with all of these sales or not, but it certainly pleased me.
I didn’t have as many petitions as I normally do this month. I think that shows that these things come in waves. I don’t know, since I’ve only been doing this for six to eight months now, if people are more in need of reaching out to the gods in the beginning and ending the year, when things are constantly changing (and not necessarily in good ways), or if people are just so inured to my call that it’s that time again. In either case, I didn’t spend hours writing out petitions this month, which was nice. I was actually able to write them all down in less than an hour. I did see a few familiar faces and I also saw some new requests. And I added actually a bunch of people from the Kemetic community without letting them know. Since I know them all so well, I tend to know what’s going on in their lives at a given moment and know when I feel the need to step in and do something. Even though most of our relationships are long distance and through the Internet only, so I can’t really stop by with pints of ice cream to eat away the feelings, I can at least reach out to a deity who knows how to fuck bad shit up.
I even put in a petition request for myself, which I legitimately try not to do. It’s not that I don’t think she won’t listen to my request any more than anyone else’s, but also that I know the request I was putting in was probably kind of dumb. I haven’t done any work on my end to further the goal I was requesting her assistance with, so why should she listen to me? I also don’t like to put in my own requests because then I feel like a selfish jackass. But things were made quite clear to me the last few weeks regarding some things and I realized I needed to do something. Hopefully, the way that I formed the heka for myself won’t seem as though I’m asking her to pull a miracle pass in the last 15 seconds of the game, but just give me the added boost or the push that I need to get off my ass.After cleaning off her altar space and setting up the offerings in front of her, I reached out and touched the prayer beads that are always on my altar. No matter what changes I may make, there are key elements in my relationship to Sekhmet that are always there: the prayer beads are one of those. I reached out to those beads and realized that I wanted to make them more part of the rite than I usually do. I normally have them on my altar, in some form or another, but I wanted to be a little more symbolic here. I placed them on top of the bowl of petitions, as a kind of sign post for her to take a peek at what people were asking for. Since I touch them frequently and leave them as an ongoing offering to her, I felt like it was the right step to bring her into this world to look at what people were asking. I also placed the feather of ma’at amulet on top of them (also from Bezen’s shop).
With everything completed, I relaxed for a bit, hoping that the next week is more about ma’at and less about isfet.