One of the many little parts of my daily ritual includes the pulling of a daily card. I leave it out on the window sill beside my cupful of Ma’at to soak up the morning rays or the leaden skies that are forecast for the day. Sometimes, when I pull the card, I immediately understand it. It’s a reminder, a suggestion, and push in the right direction. Sometimes it begs me to slow down and to take care of myself. And sometimes it makes no sense whatsoever; it means nothing to me at the time. Whether it means something to me later is a matter of debate.
As part of this little ritual, I select a single deck to use for the month ahead. I prefer to use the same deck day-in and day-out for the full month because it helps me to understand decks that I may not use regularly and it also helps me to rotate my various decks. I have many, many types of oracle and Tarot cards and I can never use them all as much as I would like to.
This month of January I allowed my hands to float over my various decks until I pulled out a deck that I had been gifted with last year that I had side-eyed when I opened it but have found myself enjoying using: The Heart of the Faerie Oracle.
I know very little about the fae; it’s just not an area of interest to me. I love the posts about fae politics and culture and culture that go around Tumblr, but that’s about it. That’s why I didn’t understand why the deck was sent to me, but as I’ve used it over the last year, I’ve begun to understand the draw. Sometimes the cards are oblique, immaterial, confusing; sometimes it is like a punch in the gut.
Today’s pull was puzzling.
The guidebook had this to say about the card, The Question:
Intention / Dialogue / Answers
In Faerie, questions are very important. Questions, answers, and wishes, all of those things that help or hinder us on our journey are very much a part of our relationship with Faerie. “Who am I? What is your quest? Why have you come here, and what do you seek?” are questions often asked by the individuals you meet in Faerie. They don’t as often ask you who you are. It is more important for you to discover who they are.
It is important to know why you are traveling in Faerie and to be able to express that reason. You will be asked. When you cross the border into the otherworld, you should have a reason to be there. Are you a tourist, just looking around, hoping to send a postcard home? Are you on a quest, a journey of the spirit? Do you want knowledge? Experience of the otherworld? Are you looking for love? Are you searching for something that you have lost?
If you draw the Question in a reading, try to answer those questions for yourself. When you have answered, you can ask one of your own. What is that question, and of whom are you asking it? If you are clear about your quest (in Faerie and in life) and what you seek, you will then be able to ask the right questions and be ready to hear the answers.
This was all very nice and lovely, but it didn’t really explain why this card had come up this morning. I wrote in my Tarot Journal that I truly didn’t understand the purpose of all of this and figured that either I would eventually come to an understanding, or I wouldn’t. Sometimes I’m lucky and something pops up that allows me to connect the dots and other times, I’m left with a puzzled frown on my face, trying to understand what the cards are trying to say.
I was lucky that I was able to figure it out a bit after settling down to read through my WordPress Reader. I had a number of outstanding posts that I had been saving up for when I had a free moment and I had nothing to do for a bit while I waited for the world to wake up. The last post I had to read through was a post by someone I’ve known for years. I found myself at first uncomfortably interested and then visibly intrigued by what they had to say.
As I sat back, phone on my lap staring at the ceiling, I could understand what they had been going through. I, too, have watched as others have managed to bring to flesh their religious practice in a way that I cannot fathom. It is as if the language those people with fleshed out practices speak is so close to my own and yet, it is nothing like my language. I, too, have found myself envious and admiring of what those people have posted and wondered what that would look like for me.
I’ve known for a long time that the practice I’ve been kind-of dealing with hasn’t been enough. I knew it wasn’t enough four years ago, but I kept sticking to it because Kemeticism is what I knew and what I wanted. I can admit that it is still what I want; I want the relationships with the gods that I have and I suppose I’m amenable to exploring the relationships pushed upon me by such gods as Osiris and Ra. But I want flesh to cover the bones.
I want to be able to sink my hands into the dirt of my practice and feel it soak through my soul. I want to see it and smell it like a verdant garden, ripening eternally in spring-like splendor. I want to hear it and touch it. I want to know that it is there and it is made not only myself whole, but my life whole. I want to feel the ecstasy of release and the comfort of it all. I want.
I pulled my phone back up to my face and carefully typed a response to the post, “I’ve had similar issues myself. I can feel and see the bones but the flesh isn’t there. It’s been an ongoing issue for me for, well, a long time. Part of that is because I’ve felt very adrift lately.”
After leaving the comment, I put my phone down and stared at the ceiling some more. (This is actually something I do often when I’m lost in thought. I’m not sure that a ceiling has ever been able to answer questions, but it has been able to form the questions I was looking for.) The Question was there buried in the meat of my mind and it finally took form: “What would it feel like to have a fleshed out practice? What it would it look like to have something with tone and form and more than just tossing a dart at a dart board? How would I even do that?”
We don’t see this sort of stuff in Kemeticism; not really. The only person who really talked about it was TTR and they’re gone for the most part. I don’t doubt that there are Kemetics with something that is concrete and comfortable and livable, but if they’re out there, I haven’t seen them. Oh, I see people effect that persona and make it seem like that’s where they are, but I can see through the veneer. They’re no better off than I am.
When I compare what I do with what others have done, I see the difference. My practice and the practices of many other public Kemetics appear to be charcoal drawings. Others’ practices from other faiths look as if they have been shaded and painted and have a form that I can only marvel at. I want to know what that would be like for me, but alas.
Personally, I’m just cruising around, letting the flow of the world around me push and pull me wherever it decides I should go. That’s normal for me; I’m a go-with-the-flow kind of person and (contrary to popular misconceptions) I don’t like to cause a fuss. I just want things to be smooth, simple, easy, and ready for the taking. I’m just a little lazy that way.
But it doesn’t feel good. And as I’ve mentioned a time or six, it doesn’t seem to be working. As usual, I have to decide what’s best and where to go from here and I have to admit that fuck if I know. Fuck if I know.
So… well… This day started with a card pull; I should finish it with one.
I decided on this deck because it was always the one, back in those early 20-teens days that I could turn to and find a form to what I was looking for. It was the stop-gap when I felt like I was going off the rails. I needed to feel that foundation again; that feeling of knowing where I was going and what I was doing and using the very deck that steered me so well back then seemed to make the most sense.
I chose the ten-card spread called The Cauldron Spread from the book. The ten positions are listed below along with the cards I pulled for each:
- The Present Situation – Yule
- The Challenges Ahead – Ostara
- The Underlying Root – Tree in Summer
- The Querent’s Appearance in Relation to the Question – The Altar
- The Influencing Aspects – Faery Door
- Aspirations and Concerns – Wheel of the Year
- The Probable Course – Between the Worlds
- The Possible Alternative – Earth
- The Final Outcome – The Old Ones
- Transform the Outcome – Oath
I found it interesting that the card that represented my personification of this spread was The Altar. This card tends to mean a balance between the divine and yourself, which is the basis of one’s altar. The Altar is the direct interface, according to this deck anyway, between the divine and yourself. It is that physical connection that allows you to develop those relationships in many, many ways.
The reason I found this an interesting card for myself is that, no matter how many times I try to push it away, I keep coming back to that post from TTR, Ma’at Shines Through my Body and how it should relate to the utilization of one’s body as an altar-of-sorts for our gods, for our religion, and everything in between. Based on the card, I am a confluence of the physical and the divine.
The second most interesting card was the card, Between the Worlds. In effect, the card tells you that your vision isn’t clear and that in order to manifest what you want, you must have clarity of thought, clarity of vision, and cut out the distractions so that you can focus on that which you manifest.
The reason this was interesting is that it was low-key calling me out on my bullshit. I have a tendency of saying, “I will do this,” and then just not doing it. I did my Ritual365 last year, but I cut it back, cut it down, and didn’t bother to finish any of the entries I had originally intended on writing last year. Part of that is work and that nonsense, but I could have made more of an effort… which ties into that whole lazy thing I mentioned above.
And that is the crux of my issue, card reading or otherwise: I am a lazy creature. I do not want to do. I want it handed to me if it can be. That doesn’t mean that I won’t, it just means that I will put off until I cannot put it off any longer. Perhaps lazy isn’t the best word for it but that’s what I’ve always assumed it was. (That’s what all the adults told me when I was a kid. But it really goes hand-in-hand with the genetic heritage of sticking one’s head in the sand when big things happen, hoping that they will go away.)
To start, I suppose, I should solidify my vision. I should make a sort of vision board to give me clarity, to focus my desire in a specific arena that I want to flesh out first. But where? I’ve had so many ideas in the last year alone – reading subject matter that has little to do with Kemeticism but explores other avenues of religion so that I can try and figure out where I go from here – that I’m not quite sure which ideas make sense to include and which ones don’t.
I think I’ll just start with writing out the things that I want to include in my practice and see where that leads.
Something that we always said where I’m from is “its easier to know where you’re going when you know where you’re going.” We’ve also got one that goes “its easier to know what to do when you know your priorities” and both of those things came to my mind when I read this. I personally am not sure why people find it difficult to apply their practice to their daily life, and I kinda wish I understood more about it, so that maybe more resources could be made to help ppl figure that stuff out. All I know is i got more ideas than I got time or spoons or fucks to give to actually do them all XDDD Like you, I’m largely adrift right now, waiting to see which way to go next (beyond, uh, writing all the posts that are on my list but i haven’t bothered to write), but its certainly interesting to see how worship/devotion through the physical form is definitely becoming something of a Thing.
I’ve heard the first phrase but not the second. I do think prioritizing would help. My interests have gone all over the map in the last year (from ecstatic religion to witchcraft to Wicca elements to Christianity) that I’ve read a lot but dunno what any of it fucking means to anything I want.
I wonder if religion, in general, has become so two dimensional in recent generations that that is why so many want the physical form?
I think you’re onto something there. I felt the need for something more “physical” in my practice, and that’s one reason why I’ve focused more on activities like breath mindfulness (in honor of Aset) and taking the bus out to more faraway cemeteries to honor and pour water libations for the Akhu there (especially those marginalized people who were buried in the 19th century in unmarked graves), rather than just doing a quick ritual at my home shrine. It feels more tangible, more like a pilgrimage to trek out there. Not sure how sustainable some of these activities are, but they’ve helped a bit.
I was doing similar when I was actively grave tending. I had managed to do all the older cemeteries in the city near me and was working on two other cities when I stopped. It made me feel… happy and content to do it.
Of course, I’m a lover of them old cemeteries – the history, the names, the works of art on headstones – but it always made me feel like I was doing something Important when I went.
Reblogged this on Fanny Fae and commented:
I really love this post by Satsekekhem (Aubs Terzi). It definitely reflects where my head has been fort the last five years or so.
TBH, I don’t know that I am even just fully Kemetic anymore. Unlike you and TTR, and others who so diligently blogged about their daily practices and experiences, I found I kept them close to the vest. I think that goes back to a couple of things: One because when I was fully Kemetic Orthodox, everything I did or didn’t do fell under such intense scrutiny – not by the organization necessarily, although there was that, but more importantly, myself. I gave up a lot of the skillset I fought hard for & stopped practicing most of them that I had done before when I became Kemetic.
Because of that, I spent years (!!) being angry, resentful, and feeling like I was completely cut off from what I knew. Josephine McCarthy’s Quareia course rather began the process. Now I feel my Indigenous ancestors pushing me and it feels like I’ve come home. The “Question” is complex, but it is many fo the things Aubs discusses here.
Kemet is still there, but it is only part of the picture.
I reblogged this with a few thoughts of my own. I thank you from the depths of my heart for writing much of what I have been thinking about for a long, long time.
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