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.
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.
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.”