The original deal I made with the gods was that I would wake them every morning with a small ritual. That ritual would include offerings, candles, and incense. I was given a sort of carte blanche to create the ritual and to add whatever I so desired beyond those staples to the deal.
The deal morphed to include the rites and rituals that TTR and I had been discussing, off and on, for months: Making Ma’at 2k19, the monthly Propitiation, the akhu ritual, and the monthly Execration. It seemed silly to be doing a daily ritual and not to include the rites and rituals we had already been discussing.
The deal changed yet again after the New Year to include the idea that we, as Kemetics, need to branch out of our comfort zones. We have handfuls of gods that we trust and have developed relationships with, but there are so many out there that are left in the wings and, for the most part, are ignored. They needed to be included or at least, acknowledged in some way, in an effort to put a theory into its testing phase.
The original deal was a large task. It… I knew it was asking a lot of me especially since I know how I get over time. Every day rituals with no days off (not for illness, not for what others may deem as ritual impurity, not for major upheavals, or loss of spoons) is a large drink to swallow but I had agreed to do it as part of this year and the things that are coming down the spiritual turnpike. The additions of these other rituals since seemed like drops in the bucket in comparison.
There is a lot going on.
The Daily Ritual
As I’ve spent the last four weeks using the ritual that I had created the day before the New Year began, I have come to a single conclusion: I fucking hate it. Every morning, I get up after a lot of grumbling about getting up and go about the rite to feed my gods using the words I had crafted together in a rush on the last day of 2018.
It had started off much bigger than it is now and it was unwieldy. There were too many influences in the ritual itself that caused me to feel like I was constantly going, “what the fuck,” as I gave to my gods. It felt like I was being pulled in too many directions for it to be more than barely functional, which is why I cut it down a hell of a lot to get to where I am today.
Even after I left pieces of the original ritual on the cutting room floor, I realized that I still hated it. I hate the words. I hate the gestures. I hate the way that I have things set up in the formal rite itself. Since none of my gods who take part in this daily ritual have said anything about it, I recognize that it is probably only myself that hates everything. Maybe they like it as it is because I’m finally paying attention to them regularly again.
I recognize that I need to do something about all of this. I can’t go through the next eleven months with this ritual that I absolutely frigging hate to be used and used and used every day. I just can’t. I don’t feel the way I do with other rituals: content with the working that’s been done. I need to figure out something better and I need to apparently write it down in a notebook specific for rituals that I felt compelled to buy a few weeks back. So… maybe it won’t be as long to save my hand from cramping.
I was also not prepared for other gods wanting to get into this daily ritual thing. I had set up the original rubric to only include Sekhmet, Ptah, Hetheru, and Heru-Wer. It seemed that it was the most appropriate to include those main deities in this daily ritual since they are the ones that I have the closest relationships with.
But as I continued forward, I realized it seemed silly to not include Bes and Wenut. And then it seemed even sillier to not include Tawaret. The ritual seemed to grow by leaps and bounds the longer I thought about it. As time has gone on, no one else has really clamored to be added in although I suspect that, with the way things are moving forward for me, there may be more additions over the next year.
The one thing I wasn’t really expecting from all of this was the low-key push from Ra at the start of the year to formulate a daily rite for him and him alone. He doesn’t want to be included in the daily rites for the gods in my home, but he does want to be paid attention to. I started this off with a few words here and there that can succinctly be described as “hoo ra.” This seemed sufficient to start off with, but it was clear that this was never going to last long.
I need more and this has been made clear, but I am frankly not sure how to go about this. I have some resources that I am waiting on to help me figure out what I need and I have a specific amulet that I have commissioned for this (at Ra’s request no less) daily rite so I have a general idea in mind. But what I’m actually going to say? I have no idea.
The Additional Gods Rituals
Throughout the year, I have a number of alerts that pop up on my Google calendar to let me know what god is associated with a particular day and what festivals are coming up. This calendar will change around Wep-Ronpet at the request of Ptah before my religious New Year begins, but in the mean time, the original dates are still in my calendar to remind me to pay homage to my gods in larger rituals and rites.
In addition to including my primary gods, my calendar includes snippets for other gods that I have had passing interactions with: Geb, Mut, Ihy, and a few others. When the first day of Geb appeared to come up on my calendar, I thought about the idea of doing rituals for the gods that, on the whole, Kemetics have little to do with.
This was a conversation with TTR that morphed into my idea that I was going to do this thing by creating rituals and letting people know what was coming up according to my calendar. We have jointly celebrated a ritual for Geb and a very, very, very, very long festival for Ptah (the Festival of Ptah is an 11-day festival, which also has a 7-day festival for Ptah and the Winged Disk in the same time frame) that is actually still going on.
I have found that while these additional rituals have tired me out in conjunction with Real Life nonsense going on, I feel like I am headed in the right direction by branching out from my comfort zone. I am definitely not a fan of creating rituals and rites for this since I feel, based on my perceived failure regarding my daily rite, I am not very good at it. But I like the idea that gods who are not as well known as others or approached often are being thought of, discussed, and paid homage to with something that I have put out there.
It seems to be working well. Other people are starting to get into the spirit of what it is that we are doing and there has been some discussion about other people putting rituals out there for public consumption. I’m interested to see how things further develop.
The Monthly Rites with TTR
As we were planning for the year ahead, TTR and I discussed additional rites to be completed each month. For the most part, they are putting the ritual materials out there for this and I’ve been able to just follow some words on my screen so that I can participate in the year of rites we had been discussing for some time. I have added bits and pieces from my own ideas regarding rituals into what they publish for the upcoming rite, but for the most part, these rituals are fairly easy for me since I don’t have to do the research to get the words out and into the world.
So for that, and that alone, we should also say a hearty and resounding “thank you” to them since I can attest just how time-consuming the research portion can be for these things.
That said, I like the communal effort that’s been going out. I can’t say for certain that other people are truly participating beyond TTR and I, but I do know that some people have at least mentioned participating. I also like the idea of a bunch of solitary users getting together to push their intent into the world. This is frankly the closest I will ever get to being a part of a group for my religious activities so it’s kind of nice to be able to take a bit of a break from being on my own all the time.
Out of all of the rituals that we have done, I think I like the Monthly Ma’at ritual the best. This isn’t necessarily because the other rituals are bad or anything – they’re not. I just like the idea of promoting Ma’at into the world, which is something that I have wanted to do for some time, but haven’t been able to really figure out how to achieve the goal so to speak. Now that there is a rubric out there, I know how to do it.
The ritual I like the least is the monthly akhu ritual. I already do a lot for my ancestors although they’ve fallen to the wayside while I become more focused on the gods in recent weeks. But my primary annoyance is that Wesir is included in the rite. I understand the need for him there and I won’t remove him, but this hearkens back to more my own problems than anything else. Maybe the monthly 6th day rites to Wesir will help me work through my issues with him. Or not.
All in all, this past month has been very busy. There is a lot going on from the religious world, which hasn’t been the case in a very long time. It’s a little bit like I’m putting on a pair of very old and comfortable jeans that I haven’t seen in a long time. It was a little uncomfortable at first, but now that I’ve been wearing them back in, it feels much better than it had been earlier this month.
As I was telling the SO about all of this stuff going on, I told him that I kind of liked it. It wasn’t the fact that I was finally getting back into the swing of things; it’s more that I feel like I have a reason to do all of this. When I was doing it for myself, I didn’t feel like there was much of a reason to keep this up regularly. But now I’m beginning to understand the reasoning and they’re important ones.
The funniest thing about all of this is that, while I still complain about Bigger Picture, now I can appreciate that answer from my gods a lot more. I’m beginning to understand Bigger Picture in ways I didn’t think I would have been able to understand even six months ago.
The other thing is that, while I understand why this is a thing, I have to wonder what the next year is going to look like. I already know the answer to the question I’ve been asked about what comes next, but that doesn’t mean that I know what that is going to look like. I’m not worried about it yet – I figure I’ll start freaking out about it in the fall – but it’s going to definitely change things dramatically for me.
Hopefully this year prepares me for it.