I spend a lot of my time recreating my religion with a sort of inner panic pounding at the back of my mind. There are resources that I don’t have access to. There are items that I can only guess at. There are little clues strewn about for what I can think my religion is supposed to end up looking like, but I don’t honestly know.
That’s where the panic steps in.
I think a lot of people take a glimpse at the pictures I post or the things that I say about my religion and just automatically assume that I know what I’m doing. I never do. Part of the reason why I try not to plan things out too much in advance is because I fear that plans will make the expectations that much higher and that much worse.
The anxiety of fucking everything up by mispronouncing something or dropping a dish accidentally is a pretty big thing for me. It’s a hurdle that I don’t think I will ever be able to leap over. Maybe that’s not true; maybe one day I will get through passed it but that day is not today… or this past week.
I just… never really know what I’m doing.
Every morning, I was up early to greet the day. This was never my intent. I do not like being awake at five o’clock in the morning, even if I can take the time to reflect of a religious nature. Or maybe even to use the time to psych myself up for what the day ahead could possibly entail. I am not one of those people who feels the requirement to take time out of my day for that and besides that is precisely what my two cups of coffee between 6:30AM and 7:15AM is for.
Waking up at 5AM seemed beyond ludicrous.
But I would roll over and stare blankly through the blinds above me. I would listen to the birds shriek that the day was coming and that we should all be cheerfully happy to greet it. I would watch the sun rise. My thoughts hardly ever were introspective though because that’s just not who I am more often than not.
No, I would watch the sun rise and wonder what it must be like to live permanently on a boat.
Personally, I think it would get boring very quickly. I wonder if he’s conned other people into doing the do for him, if for no other reason than to take a break. I mean, if you really think about it, sitting on a solar barque for the entirety of creation has got to get a little boring after a while. Maybe he’s got Skinemax and Xbox though…
When it was close enough to my normal time to wake up, I would roll to my knees and start the day. Hot coffee for me; cool water and bread for them. My routine changed for this holiday. I always start with Sekhmet, as being the closest and most obvious deity to my ib. But since it was the time of Hetheru and Heru-Wer, I would go to them in the morning and get their offerings for the day gathered together before getting everyone else squared away.
Some mornings, I would stand in front of the space that I had created for this whole shindig and just look at them. Other times, I would move them a little so that they were closer together. I made sure that the ankh-and-lotus-blossom necklace remained wrapped around them, a potent symbol of the reunification of the two of them in my brain.
Every morning, I stopped and played music. I had started all of this with a sort of musical theme semi-mapped out in the back of my mind. Music is, honestly, very integral to my religious practice. It may not seem like it considering the fact that I listen to music that may not be often associated with religious practices, but UPG is still valid to me. And my musical choices have become so soaked in my religious practices that to not have played music would have been as close to a Kemetic no-no for me as I could possibly get.
I play songs that tug at the strings of my ib but also ones that I have found have assisted me as I figure out what I am being led towards. I also played other songs, songs from a past long since dead, but songs that have personal meaning. It all worked together for a single moment to bring me into the dawn of another day on a two-week long journey that I was beginning to eat at me.
I spent my evenings prepping meals for about an hour to an hour and a half. I had certain parameters that I felt that I needed to meet, which is why it could take me so long to get everything completed before I set the meals before them.
There were dishes to be cleaned (again) as I do not have many and had to reuse most of them. Once that was done, I spent my careful time preparing what I felt would be healthy meals: zucchini; asparagus; apples; grapes; fresh bread. I had a certain integrity to the supper table that I needed to maintain. I found that I liked having at least one meal a day that included all of the requirements of the food pyramid.
But I also found that I grew quite full quite fast. A dilemma, I suppose. I found myself reusing portions of the evening meal to cover my lunches. And found that I was still full well into midday on the next day. I made less and less food, but I still felt myself full for later and later periods into the next day. I still haven’t quite figured that out yet.
I made sure that there was chocolate for afterwards and soft scents to perfume the air. The one thing that stuck with me in my reading was, of course, the fact that the scents of myrrh could be smelled for miles around the area of Edfu. I wasn’t able to recreate that part, but I tried my hardest. I also plied them with plenty of drink, which I was happy enough to revert.
Each night, I found myself exhausted by nine o’clock. I had barely finished eating my meals and I was ready to curl up and sleep forever. I rarely was able to go to bed then, though. I found myself thinking long and hard about my day at work and how I needed to change my job post-haste or found myself sucked into the world of my mind, wondering what it was that I was expected to be doing that could ease how exhausting this religion thing really is.
And that’s the crux, I think. I found myself so exhausted each night that I could barely function. I was little more than a being sitting peacefully on the couch, staring blankly into the night.
I was thinking one night about the priests and priesthood in ancient Egypt. I definitely understand so completely now why their job was nothing but seeing to the needs of the temple for 4 months out of the year. Having a second job and having to tend family coupled with the religious requirements I felt compelled to do was eating me alive.
I’ve felt like this holiday was a large turning point in my religious shenanigans. I haven’t been wrong so far.
I’ve learned a lot of very interesting and intriguing parts about myself as well as to the religion that I am attempting to recreate. I’ve had a lot of thoughts about the whole relationship between Hetheru and Heru that have made me look hungrily for older resources regarding the two. I need to know more.
But at the base of it all, I have found that the belief that this is a large turning point in many things to come isn’t wrong.
Not so wrong at all.