Ptah Protects the Winged Disk 2021 – Ritual Rubrics for Day 3.

Day 3 – The Establishment of the Winged Disk

Needed Items

  • Water
  • Food (representations of or actual food)
  • Candles
  • Incense
  • Image of Ma’at or feather of ma’at amulet
  • Image of ib or ib amulet
  • Image of Eye of Heru/ Eye of Heru amulet

 

Approaching the Shrine/Altar
Action: If you have a temple/bedroom that is used for your shrine/altar space and is not in a public area, you would complete this in front of your closed door. Step towards the shrine and/or altar space where you have set up for this rite. If you are so inclined, you can offer dua while stopping a few steps away from the space. (Dua is the holding out of your hands at face level, palms facing the area in question.) Say the following:

O you NTRW of this temple, who sanctify the god in his shrine:
I have made my way and I enter into your presence.
I am one of you.
Do not repulse me.
My feet are not impeded.
I am not turned back from this place.
I am pure.
I am pure.


Stepping Before the Shrine/Altar

Action: Take a few more steps forward and open the closed door/doors of your temple/bedroom that you use for your shrine/altar space. If you have your shrine/altar space in a public area, pretend to open two doors with your hands. Say the following:

O you ba-souls of Wetjeset-Hor, if you are strong, I am strong.
If I am strong, you are strong.
If your ka-spirits are strong, my ka-spirit is strong at the head of the living.
As they are living, so shall I live.
I am pure.
I am pure.
I am purified.
I am purified.
I open your temple and I come before you.

Action: Close the door/doors of your temple room/bedroom behind you as you step into the space. If you do not have a dedicated room for this space, pretend to close the doors behind you.

Opening the Doors of the Shrine/Altar

Action: Open the doors of the shrine space. If you do not have a dedicated shrine with doors to open, you can pretend to open doors on your altar just like was done above.

The doors of the sky are open.
The doors of the earth are unlocked.
This house is open for its Master.
I come forth as he shall come forth.
I enter as he shall enter.


Lighting the Candle

Action: Light the candle(s).

Come in peace, O Glorious Eye of Heru!
Be strong and renew your youth in peace.
The flame shines like Ra on the double horizon.
The fire is laid; the fire shines.
I am pure.
I am pure.
I am pure.
I am pure.


Lighting the Incense

Action: Light the incense.

The fire is laid; the fire shines
The incense is laid on the fire, the incense shines
The incense comes, the divine perfume comes
Its perfume is for you.
Its essence is for you.
Its smoke permeates your shrine, bringing life!
It transforms your heart through its perfection.
I appease your body and heart.
The temple is filled with the scent of incense.
It sanctifies your throne; it purifies your ka from evil.

 

Presentation of Water
Action: Hold the bowl or cup of water aloft while saying the following:

Greetings to you, primordial water!
Greetings to you, great river!
Greetings to you, flood water of Nun; you, the father of the gods.
Receive the water from my hand because I am Horus, The Provider, the successor to the throne.

Water Purification
Action: Continue to hold the bowl or cup aloft still.

I give you essential water, a tide in your time.
I bring the flood waters to purify your sanctuary.
This Primordial Water purifies as in Zep Tepi!

Action: Take some water and sprinkle gently over the altar space/shrine area and the image of the god.

I bring the water of rejuvenation that flows from the Two Caverns.
I sprinkle the water, purifying your image!
I sprinkle the water, purifying this place from all impurity!
O water, may you remove all evil.

Action: Take some water and sprinkle in the four cardinal directions as you speak each line.

The god Heru Behdety himself does sanctify this, his Temple to the South.
The god Heru Behdety himself does sanctify this, his Temple to the North.
The god Heru Behdety himself does sanctify this, his Temple to the West.
The god Heru Behdety himself does sanctify this, his Temple to the East.
The Temple of the god Heru Behdety is established.
It is established for millions of years.

Offering Ma’at
Action: Lift up an image of the feather of ma’at, an image of the goddess of ma’at, or an amulet of ma’at.

I have come to you as Djehuty, whose two hands are joined together under Ma’at.
She comes to be with you for she is everywhere.
You are provided with Ma’at.
You move in Ma’at, you live in Ma’at.
She fills your body, she rests in your head, she makes her seat upon your brow.
The breath of your body is of Ma’at, your heart does live in Ma’at.
All that you eat, all that you drink, all that you breathe is of Ma’at.
Djehuty presents Ma’at to you, his two hands are upon her body before your face.

Action: Place the image/amulet before the image of the god.


Offering the Whole Eye
Action: Lift up an image of the Eye of Heru or an amulet of ma’at.

I have come before you to give you the Whole Eye.
I have brought to you this Eye of Heru placing this at your feet.
All that was once confusion has been turned to peace.
The world is filled with ma’at and rejoices with the contented Eye.
All is in harmony.

Action: Place the image/amulet before the image of the god.

Water Libation
Action: Hold up the cup or bowl of water and pour into the offering cup/bowl.

This libation is for you, O Lord of Heaven
I have brought to you this offering of water so that your heart may be refreshed.

I present to you that which flows forth from you that your heart shall continue to beat.

Action: Place the filled cup/bowl on the altar.


Offering Food
Action: Hold up the dish of offerings.

The great offering is filled with all good things.
Tens of thousands, an infinity before it, great quantities behind it.
Hundredfold and tenfold in the midst of it.
Consisting of every good and wonderful thing.
I offer to Heru, Lord of Life.
All life emanates from you.
All health emanates from you.
All stability emanates from you.
All good fortune emanates from you.
Offerings of every kind come forth in abundance.

Action: Place the dish of offerings on the altar.

Presentation of Ib
Action: Hold out the image or amulet of the heart to the image of the god.

Hail to you, O Heru, Lord of Hearts
I have come before you and brought to you your heart to be set in its place.
Let me draw near to you with your heart
And so that by means of me you may have power over your body.

Action: Place the ib before the deity.

Address to the NTRW

Homage to Heru of Behdet, O Great Protector, O Killer of Rebels
I have placed myself on the floor in awe of you.
I embrace the earth before you.
I have come that I may kiss the earth before you.
O Heru, I am your servant.
I come before you to nourish you as you nourish me.

O, Heru, before you is the battle that you seek and it is almost upon you
You search with your piercing, hawk eyes for the enemies on the horizon
And you know that they are close by and hiding from your hunting gaze
But you will find them as you have always found them

O, Heru, you have only known victories as you destroy your enemies
They quiver and fall before your warrior’s strength
And know only that their death will be at your hands
As you overthrow their confusion and establish ma’at in its place

O, Heru, I have brought to you your iron spear and your chain
I have given to you your flint knife and your harpoon
I have placed at your feet your darts and all your weapons of war
I have prepared you, O Mighty Warrior, for the fight ahead

You have gone forth into the world with your weapons of war in your hands
And followed the scent of the beasts who know only fear at your presence
And destroyed their many hiding places, flushing them into your fiery embrace
So that you may slaughter them as you always have

O, Heru, you have smote the many enemies of your father
Even as they wear the form of hippopotamus or crocodiles or serpents
Even if they were wearing the face of man or demon or beast
You have known them all for the rebels that they are and slaughtered them

You have done battle with the Enemy of your father
You hurled your great lance upon the Enemy and threw him onto the ground
You felled the Enemy with your spear in his neck and your chain around his hands and arms
And you delivered his heart to your father to great rejoicing

I have let my heart rejoice, O ye gods of heaven!
I have let my heart rejoice, O ye gods who are in the earth!
Horus, the Youthful One, has come in peace
And he hath made manifest on his journey deeds of very great might

Action: At this point, you can sing hymns or say prayers to the god. You can also add any form of meditation or magical working in the name of the god. Before moving on to the next portion of this, which is the start of the closing out of this ritual, blow out any candles, whisk away the offerings and libations to be reverted after the below actions are completed. If you have a shrine space, close the doors and then stand before your altar/shrine area.


Reversion of Offerings

O NTRW, your enemy withdraws from you.
Heru has turned himself to his Eye in its name of Reversion-of-Offerings.
These, your divine offering revert, they revert to your servants for life, for stability, and for joy!
O that the Eye of Heru may flourish for you eternally!

Ptah Protects the Winged Disk – Ritual Rubrics for Day 2.

Day 2 – The Glorification of the Winged Disk

Needed Items

  • Water
  • Food (representations of or actual food)
  • Candles
  • Incense
  • Image of Ma’at or feather of ma’at amulet
  • Image of ib or ib amulet
  • Image of Eye of Heru/ Eye of Heru amulet

 

Approaching the Shrine/Altar
Action: If you have a temple/bedroom that is used for your shrine/altar space and is not in a public area, you would complete this in front of your closed door. Step towards the shrine and/or altar space where you have set up for this rite. If you are so inclined, you can offer dua while stopping a few steps away from the space. (Dua is the holding out of your hands at face level, palms facing the area in question.) Say the following:

O you NTRW of this temple, who sanctify the god in his shrine:
I have made my way and I enter into your presence.
I am one of you.
Do not repulse me.
My feet are not impeded.
I am not turned back from this place.
I am pure.
I am pure.


Stepping Before the Shrine/Altar

Action: Take a few more steps forward and open the closed door/doors of your temple/bedroom that you use for your shrine/altar space. If you have your shrine/altar space in a public area, pretend to open two doors with your hands. Say the following:

O you ba-souls of Wetjeset-Hor, if you are strong, I am strong.
If I am strong, you are strong.
If your ka-spirits are strong, my ka-spirit is strong at the head of the living.
As they are living, so shall I live.
I am pure.
I am pure.
I am purified.
I am purified.
I open your temple and I come before you.

Action: Close the door/doors of your temple room/bedroom behind you as you step into the space. If you do not have a dedicated room for this space, pretend to close the doors behind you.

Opening the Doors of the Shrine/Altar

Action: Open the doors of the shrine space. If you do not have a dedicated shrine with doors to open, you can pretend to open doors on your altar just like was done above.

The doors of the sky are open.
The doors of the earth are unlocked.
This house is open for its Master.
I come forth as he shall come forth.
I enter as he shall enter.


Lighting the Candle

Action: Light the candle(s).

Come in peace, O Glorious Eye of Heru!
Be strong and renew your youth in peace.
The flame shines like Ra on the double horizon.
The fire is laid; the fire shines.
I am pure.
I am pure.
I am pure.
I am pure.


Lighting the Incense

Action: Light the incense.

The fire is laid; the fire shines
The incense is laid on the fire, the incense shines
The incense comes, the divine perfume comes
Its perfume is for you.
Its essence is for you.
Its smoke permeates your shrine, bringing life!
It transforms your heart through its perfection.
I appease your body and heart.
The temple is filled with the scent of incense.
It sanctifies your throne; it purifies your ka from evil.

 

Presentation of Water
Action: Hold the bowl or cup of water aloft while saying the following:

Greetings to you, primordial water!
Greetings to you, great river!
Greetings to you, flood water of Nun; you, the father of the gods.
Receive the water from my hand because I am Horus, The Provider, the successor to the throne.

Water Purification
Action: Continue to hold the bowl or cup aloft still.

I give you essential water, a tide in your time.
I bring the flood waters to purify your sanctuary.
This Primordial Water purifies as in Zep Tepi!

Action: Take some water and sprinkle gently over the altar space/shrine area and the image of the god.

I bring the water of rejuvenation that flows from the Two Caverns.
I sprinkle the water, purifying your image!
I sprinkle the water, purifying this place from all impurity!
O water, may you remove all evil.

Action: Take some water and sprinkle in the four cardinal directions as you speak each line.

The god Heru Behdety himself does sanctify this, his Temple to the South.
The god Heru Behdety himself does sanctify this, his Temple to the North.
The god Heru Behdety himself does sanctify this, his Temple to the West.
The god Heru Behdety himself does sanctify this, his Temple to the East.
The Temple of the god Heru Behdety is established.
It is established for millions of years.

Offering Ma’at
Action: Lift up an image of the feather of ma’at, an image of the goddess of ma’at, or an amulet of ma’at.

I have come to you as Djehuty, whose two hands are joined together under Ma’at.
She comes to be with you for she is everywhere.
You are provided with Ma’at.
You move in Ma’at, you live in Ma’at.
She fills your body, she rests in your head, she makes her seat upon your brow.
The breath of your body is of Ma’at, your heart does live in Ma’at.
All that you eat, all that you drink, all that you breathe is of Ma’at.
Djehuty presents Ma’at to you, his two hands are upon her body before your face.

Action: Place the image/amulet before the image of the god.

 

Offering the Whole Eye
Action: Lift up an image of the Eye of Heru or an amulet of ma’at.

I have come before you to give you the Whole Eye.
I have brought to you this Eye of Heru placing this at your feet.
All that was once confusion has been turned to peace.
The world is filled with ma’at and rejoices with the contented Eye.
All is in harmony.

Action: Place the image/amulet before the image of the god.

Water Libation
Action: Hold up the cup or bowl of water and pour into the offering cup/bowl.

This libation is for you, O Lord of Heaven
I have brought to you this offering of water so that your heart may be refreshed.

I present to you that which flows forth from you that your heart shall continue to beat.

Action: Place the filled cup/bowl on the altar.

Offering Food
Action: Hold up the dish of offerings.

The great offering is filled with all good things.
Tens of thousands, an infinity before it, great quantities behind it.
Hundredfold and tenfold in the midst of it.
Consisting of every good and wonderful thing.
I offer to Heru, Lord of Life.
All life emanates from you.
All health emanates from you.
All stability emanates from you.
All good fortune emanates from you.
Offerings of every kind come forth in abundance.

Action: Place the dish of offerings on the altar.

Presentation of Ib
Action: Hold out the image or amulet of the heart to the image of the god.

Hail to you, O Heru, Lord of Hearts
I have come before you and brought to you your heart to be set in its place.
Let me draw near to you with your heart
And so that by means of me you may have power over your body.

Action: Place the ib before the deity.

Address to the NTRW

Homage to Heru of Behdet, O Great Protector, O Killer of Rebels
I have placed myself on the floor in awe of you.
I embrace the earth before you.
I have come that I may kiss the earth before you.
O Heru, I am your servant.
I come before you to nourish you as you nourish me.

O, Heru, you have caused great confusion amongst the enemies of Ra
They have known not how to see or how to hear
You have brought great slaughter amongst them, O Exalted One
You have fettered all of your enemies and trod upon them

O, Heru, your feathers have glowed brightly in many colored splendor
And your majesty has grown a million-fold with the felling of your enemies
You have become a great protector, O Lord of Strength
And have sown great contentment in the hearts of the gods at your prowess

O, Heru, you have smote the rebels within all the land
You have filled the waters of the world with the hearts of your enemies
You have hacked your enemies into pieces, O Great Winged Disk
And you have brought forth sweet life after the rebels have been destroyed

O, Heru, you have doggedly pursued your enemies into the day and night
You have gone forth after them even when you knew not whence they had gone
You have hunted them to extinction, O Mighty Protector
And peace has filled the land after the slaughter of them all

O, Heru, you have cut through the oceans of your enemies and slaughtered them all
You have torn out their tongues and ripped out their hearts
You have cut their entrails from their bodies, O, Mighty Sphinx
And have brought peace amid the confusion that once reigned over the land

O, Heru, you have brought sweet ma’at to the world with your strength and fortitude
You have come forth as the mighty lion and hunted your enemies to extinction
You have known victory after victory as your enemies fell in terror before you
O, Lord of the Knife, you have ended the wars of your enemies with the strength of your spirit

Let your hearts rejoice, O ye gods of heaven! A
Let your hearts rejoice, O ye gods who are in the earth!
Horus, the Youthful One, come in peace
And he hath made manifest on his journey deeds of very great might

Action: At this point, you can sing hymns or say prayers to the god. You can also add any form of meditation or magical working in the name of the god. Before moving on to the next portion of this, which is the start of the closing out of this ritual, blow out any candles, whisk away the offerings and libations to be reverted after the below actions are completed. If you have a shrine space, close the doors and then stand before your altar/shrine area.


Reversion of Offerings

O NTRW, your enemy withdraws from you.
Heru has turned himself to his Eye in its name of Reversion-of-Offerings.
These, your divine offering revert, they revert to your servants for life, for stability, and for joy!
O that the Eye of Heru may flourish for you eternally!

Ptah Protects the Winged Disk – Ritual Rubrics for Day 1

Day 1 – The Appearance of the Winged Disk

Needed Items

  • Water
  • Food (representations of or actual food)
  • Candles
  • Incense
  • Image of Ma’at or feather of ma’at amulet
  • Image of ib or ib amulet
  • Image of Eye of Heru/ Eye of Heru amulet

Approaching the Shrine/Altar
Action: If you have a temple/bedroom that is used for your shrine/altar space and is not in a public area, you would complete this in front of your closed door. Step towards the shrine and/or altar space where you have set up for this rite. If you are so inclined, you can offer dua while stopping a few steps away from the space. (Dua is the holding out of your hands at face level, palms facing the area in question.) Say the following:

O you NTRW of this temple, who sanctify the god in his shrine:
I have made my way and I enter into your presence.
I am one of you.
Do not repulse me.
My feet are not impeded.
I am not turned back from this place.
I am pure.
I am pure.


Stepping Before the Shrine/Altar

Action: Take a few more steps forward and open the closed door/doors of your temple/bedroom that you use for your shrine/altar space. If you have your shrine/altar space in a public area, pretend to open two doors with your hands. Say the following:

O you ba-souls of Wetjeset-Hor, if you are strong, I am strong.
If I am strong, you are strong.
If your ka-spirits are strong, my ka-spirit is strong at the head of the living.
As they are living, so shall I live.
I am pure.
I am pure.
I am purified.
I am purified.
I open your temple and I come before you.

Action: Close the door/doors of your temple room/bedroom behind you as you step into the space. If you do not have a dedicated room for this space, pretend to close the doors behind you.

Opening the Doors of the Shrine/Altar

Action: Open the doors of the shrine space. If you do not have a dedicated shrine with doors to open, you can pretend to open doors on your altar just like was done above.

The doors of the sky are open.
The doors of the earth are unlocked.
This house is open for its Master.
I come forth as he shall come forth.
I enter as he shall enter.


Lighting the Candle

Action: Light the candle(s).

Come in peace, O Glorious Eye of Heru!
Be strong and renew your youth in peace.
The flame shines like Ra on the double horizon.
The fire is laid; the fire shines.
I am pure.
I am pure.
I am pure.
I am pure.


Lighting the Incense

Action: Light the incense.

The fire is laid; the fire shines
The incense is laid on the fire, the incense shines
The incense comes, the divine perfume comes
Its perfume is for you.
Its essence is for you.
Its smoke permeates your shrine, bringing life!
It transforms your heart through its perfection.
I appease your body and heart.
The temple is filled with the scent of incense.
It sanctifies your throne; it purifies your ka from evil.

Presentation of Water
Action: Hold the bowl or cup of water aloft while saying the following:

Greetings to you, primordial water!
Greetings to you, great river!
Greetings to you, flood water of Nun; you, the father of the gods.
Receive the water from my hand because I am Horus, The Provider, the successor to the throne.

Water Purification
Action: Continue to hold the bowl or cup aloft still.

I give you essential water, a tide in your time.
I bring the flood waters to purify your sanctuary.
This Primordial Water purifies as in Zep Tepi!

Action: Take some water and sprinkle gently over the altar space/shrine area and the image of the god.

I bring the water of rejuvenation that flows from the Two Caverns.
I sprinkle the water, purifying your image!
I sprinkle the water, purifying this place from all impurity!
O water, may you remove all evil.

Action: Take some water and sprinkle in the four cardinal directions as you speak each line.

The god Heru Behdety himself does sanctify this, his Temple to the South.The god Heru Behdety himself does sanctify this, his Temple to the North.
The god Heru Behdety himself does sanctify this, his Temple to the West.
The god Heru Behdety himself does sanctify this, his Temple to the East.
The Temple of the god Heru Behdety is established.
It is established for millions of years.

Offering Ma’at
Action: Lift up an image of the feather of ma’at, an image of the goddess of ma’at, or an amulet of ma’at.

I have come to you as Djehuty, whose two hands are joined together under Ma’at.
She comes to be with you for she is everywhere.
You are provided with Ma’at.
You move in Ma’at, you live in Ma’at.
She fills your body, she rests in your head, she makes her seat upon your brow.
The breath of your body is of Ma’at, your heart does live in Ma’at.
All that you eat, all that you drink, all that you breathe is of Ma’at.
Djehuty presents Ma’at to you, his two hands are upon her body before your face.

Action: Place the image/amulet before the image of the god.

Offering the Whole Eye
Action: Lift up an image of the Eye of Heru or an amulet of ma’at.

I have come before you to give you the Whole Eye.
I have brought to you this Eye of Heru placing this at your feet.
All that was once confusion has been turned to peace.
The world is filled with ma’at and rejoices with the contented Eye.
All is in harmony.

Action: Place the image/amulet before the image of the god.

Water Libation
Action: Hold up the cup or bowl of water and pour into the offering cup/bowl.

This libation is for you, O Lord of Heaven
I have brought to you this offering of water so that your heart may be refreshed.

I present to you that which flows forth from you that your heart shall continue to beat.

Action: Place the filled cup/bowl on the altar.


Offering Food
Action: Hold up the dish of offerings.

The great offering is filled with all good things.
Tens of thousands, an infinity before it, great quantities behind it.
Hundredfold and tenfold in the midst of it.
Consisting of every good and wonderful thing.
I offer to Heru, Lord of Life.
All life emanates from you.
All health emanates from you.
All stability emanates from you.
All good fortune emanates from you.
Offerings of every kind come forth in abundance.

Action: Place the dish of offerings on the altar.


Presentation of Ib
Action: Hold out the image or amulet of the heart to the image of the god.

Hail to you, O Heru, Lord of Hearts
I have come before you and brought to you your heart to be set in its place.
Let me draw near to you with your heart
And so that by means of me you may have power over your body.

Action: Place the ib before the deity.

Address to the NTRW

The Great Winged Disk has appeared upon the double horizon
His splendor shines forth across the land as bright as eternity
He shines with many colors and the world is in awe of him
He has slaughtered the enemies of his father and the enemies of his people
The Great Protector has come before us and the world is safe once more.

Homage to Heru of Behdet, O Exalted One, O Lord of Heaven.
I have placed myself on the floor in awe of you.
I embrace the earth before you.
I have come that I may kiss the earth before you.
O Heru, I am your servant.
I come before you to nourish you as you nourish me.

O Heru, you have heard the enemies of Ra conspiring against his Majesty
You have been called forth to let your fiery heart gain mastery over these enemies
You have unleashed your terribly fury upon them and taken their hearts from them
You have brought gladness to the heart of the gods because you have overthrown the enemies
You have created the House of Victory and known contentment therein

Your light touches the heart of me.
Your kindness succors me.
Your strength fortifies me.
Your wisdom teaches me.
Your protection strengthens me.
Your joy pleases me.
Your love reassures me.

O Heru, you have caused great fear within the hearts of these enemies.
You have made great and terrific slaughter among them.
You have caused them to know confusion and fear.
You have overthrown them and gathered their hearts together as offering to your father.


You have known great victories against your enemies.
You have brought peace where once there was confusion.
You have brought ma’at where once there was nothing.
You have brought safety into the world.

Let your hearts rejoice, O ye gods of heaven! A
Let your hearts rejoice, O ye gods who are in the earth!
Horus, the Youthful One, come in peace
And he hath made manifest on his journey deeds of very great might


Action: At this point, you can sing hymns or say prayers to the god. You can also add any form of meditation or magical working in the name of the god. Before moving on to the next portion of this, which is the start of the closing out of this ritual, blow out any candles, whisk away the offerings and libations to be reverted after the below actions are completed. If you have a shrine space, close the doors and then stand before your altar/shrine area.


Reversion of Offerings

O NTRW, your enemy withdraws from you.
Heru has turned himself to his Eye in its name of Reversion-of-Offerings.
These, your divine offering revert, they revert to your servants for life, for stability, and for joy!
O that the Eye of Heru may flourish for you eternally!

Strip Away the Ugliness.

Ten moons ago, Osiris came to me as if in a dream. It felt so real as he stood before me, gloriously beautiful and full of rot. He said to me, “we need to speak upon the moon.” When I opened my mouth to give him my patented, what the fuck, he waved my protest away and said, “not now. Later; after the New Year. We’ll speak of the moon then. And nothing before then.”

This promise or threat proved a breaking point for others. They whispered the mysticism of the moon and asked me to join. But I declined and it was a fight. My promise or the longed-for threat was more important than the moment they wanted me to join in on their moon activities. Contrary to popular belief, my promises to the gods are more important to me than I may let on.

As the New Year came, the moon came into focus but nothing came of it and by then, eight months later, I had mostly forgotten about the moon and Osiris. I think he liked that; he murmured in my ear that it was nearly time to begin and I stared at him like a fucking idiot because I didn’t remember the threatened promise of lunar discussions or the fight with my friends that happened later. He laughed when I remembered.

I asked TTR about it. Who else to turn to when Osiris comes back around really? They told me that I should probably figure out what the moon means to me. I told them it’s a rock in the sky. I repeated this to Osiris who seemed unamused with this answer to the question. Almost guiltily, I googled about the moon and got way to many hits from Wiccans waxing poetic about the moon. I stopped googling it; full moon was coming anyway.

And then as I watched that globe in the sky start to get steadily larger, I was reminded of the almost erotic poetry that I would have cross my dash on Tumblr in the early days. The poems evoked so much raw emotion that I was often made breathless by it. But when I looked at the moon, I found nothing erotic or lovely. Merely a rock in the sky that was growing steadily larger.

It Doesn’t Mean Much

When I was very small, I thought the moon was an eye. It might have been God’s eye. It could have been the single eye of a Space Cyclops. Maybe it was just a Space Ogre who had his second eye stabbed out in battles past. I could picture the second eye covered by a matte black eyepatch with a scattering of stars across it. I liked this theory better than the science behind it. It was more to me than what the science teachers talked about anyway.

The Space Ogre or God took forever to wink down at me. A whole fucking month. I liked the idea of the creature whose eye the moon was living in a different wave of time. Where a wink down at me took 28 days to complete. It was just a second to them but a whole month for me. That image eventually disappeared but I can remember loving it for all it was worth when I was little.

Later on, during my first heady days of “fuck the patriarchy” without knowing that’s what that was, I decided it had never been a man in the moon. That didn’t make sense to me even then. The face in the moon seemed friendly and there was the kewpie doll mouth that seemed to suggest a smile if you looked at it long enough. Seemed more in keeping with a woman; they’re friendlier and less scary usually than men. Women would smile even just a hint of one while men made me uncomfortable.

No, I had decided back then; the person in the moon, the one who had its face peer down on me on full moon nights, was not a man at all. It was a woman and she could hide secrets like every other woman I knew. Maybe she was helping me to hide mine, or maybe they were someone else’s secrets. That’s why there was the hint of a smile when her face was full of pale white light. She was hinting at something that I’d never truly know the truth of.

It Doesn’t Mean Anything At All

With Osiris’s dour expression on my mind, I grabbed a book for about $10 that kept showing up everytime I would Google about the moon. When it came, I stared at the cover and kind of shook my head. I continued to shake my head when I read the introduction and skimmed a few pages ahead. This was probably not what we were looking for.

But Osiris seemed to disagree. I had the impression of someone shoving me towards the book, as though this new age drivel mixed with lunar science and magical practices was what was needed. But why? Simply because I refuse to do any real magical undertakings? Only because this has long since been a disappointment in every way to me so why fucking bother? He wasn’t saying and I was just annoyed.

I began compiling a list of lunar festivals for the new and full moons. I compared their names with the generally accepted beliefs that the new moon is for growth and the full moon is about realization. The festivals didn’t line up quite so well and I asked Osiris what the fuck was the point in this, but he didn’t answer because it’s still a little too early for him. So I’ve stewed on the answers and eventually lost the book in a mountain of other books that don’t interest my depression brain.

I refused to pick the book back up, but mostly found that the idea of reading didn’t interest me. (See above: depression brain.) Eventually I caved and pulled it back to the top of the TBR pile and then tossed it into my purse for reading in my off time. I was lying to myself. It’s been in my purse for the better part of a month, ignored. Osiris has been conspicuous only by his silence on the matter.

Sweet Surrender

I spent most of the first October moon cycle, staring up at the moon each night with a sort of confused wonder. When it didn’t speak to me as I kind of hoped it would, I would go back inside and ignore it. And as the next and final full moon of October rose high in the sky, I looked forward to my time with Osiris while simultaneously dreading it. The moon. The Mysteries. They were coming for me and I couldn’t hide from both for much longer.

When I had found courage, I pulled a deck of cards out for the first time since May and asked Osiris what he wanted me to focus on for The Mysteries. Was there an overarching theme, or a specific subset for me to be focused on? And he said, “you.” I didn’t throw the cards in a fit of rage, but I could have. Sometimes, I don’t actually give vent to my first impulses as much as I might want to.

And… oh. Didn’t that seem a little funny now? After the very personal conversation with TTR about matters directly related to, well, me? A conversation that ended with me picking up a book on their suggestion that both scares me and intrigues me to read? It could just be me projecting on Osiris, a misinterpretation of cards in conjunction with that conversation, but probably not.

I picked up that stupid moon book and read the next section. I had to stop when I got mid-chapter. It asked me a simple question that I had no answer for. My hands were shaking as I bookmarked the page and I threw the book back in my purse. That question was the heart of my conversation with TTR and Osiris’s direction for The Mysteries.  I could feel it pounding at me like a little moth’s wings when it’s been captured in a glass jar.

Be the One to Fall

I’ve approached The Mysteries in the past as a metaphor for Osiris. The days and festivals associated with it are, well, about him anyway. But as I turned the question of the moon book over in my mind and the book I bought over in my hands and replay my conversation with TTR over and over again, I began to see why I should take front and center.

I was told once that I am a house without much work put into it. That reading haunts me sometimes, but the Mambo wasn’t wrong. She knew what she was seeing with a surety that I could never have myself. And while I’ve come to realize the overall message – as harsh as it was to hear – has never really changed. A nice veneer is, well… nice. But the interior is where you live.

I don’t think my ideas for The Mysteries are wrong. Osiris hasn’t come swooping in to tell me to fuck off with my bullshit, so I’m pretty sure I’m on the right track here. The ideas are just recycled ones anyway. If it was important the first time, the second time means it’s no less important since it’s an establishment of tradition now. I’ll do it all with my usual “lol idfk what I’m doing” flare and it will either be exactly what he. Er. We need. Or it will be an abject failure that requires investigation and a deep post-mortem later.

In the interim, as I build up to the 14th of November for the start of The Mysteries, I’m looking at the answer Osiris gave me when I asked him what to focus on this year. And I’m trying to figure out how this will look beyond just The Mysteries. My ideas look, unsurprisingly, like self-care and shadow work. The comments from the peanut gallery are nonexistent, which I’m taking as tacit approval.

Here’s to a self-imposed exile of sorts, filled with joy and suffering, wonder and sorrow, pain and growth.

Sweet surrender is all that I have to give.

Horus Welcomes the Nile 2020.

My religious calendar is action packed during the fall and spring months. It’s also a little busy in the summer, but spring and fall are some of the busiest religious shenanigans for me. There are a wide variety of festivals and feast days that I’ve added to my calendar over the years that I still haven’t gotten around to doing anything for. I found them of interest and tacked them on to remember about them later, and maybe do something for them at some unknown future date. Horus Welcomes the Nile is one of those.

I found this five-day festival because of the Daybook (found here). The blurb wasn’t much but it at least gave me some history to work on and mull over as I tried to figure out the two major questions I always ask when it comes to festivals: Is this something that I feel the need to celebrate? If yes, then how to modernize it for regular use?

It was the local cultus aspect to my practice that seemed to be pushing me towards this festival. It seemed to say that it was time to honor that part of my practice more. And I could agree to that, but how?

The purpose of the festival in antiquity was for the pharaoh to greet the Nile. This festival comes from the Edfu temple and according to the Daybook, the pharaoh would measure the Nile while the country collectively held its breath on how much silt they would get that year. The festival seemed to harken back to the days of Horus of Behdet (Heru-Wer) so it seemed particularly important for me to do something.

The initial issue for me was that I moved to a city without much in the way of natural water resources. Most of the ones nearby are man made structures – once used as quarries that were filled in with water or small ponds and bogs that grow immense in the rain. It’s theorized that they have found no permanent native settlements here because of how far away this area is to a natural water source [and the rocky composition of the ground].

But as I was combing through my crib notes notebook, I found the regional calendar I had written down some months back. And according to that calendar, snow season can begin as early as October 29.

Snow melt is essential for our local water cycle. Articles mostly focus on its necessity for the reservoir that’s about 40 minutes from me, but it’s important for our rivers and the tiny little creek that calls this city home. Snow melt helps the bog areas nearby which is called home by a variety of local flora and fauna. Greeting the snow seemed like the best course of action.

I gave the snow red roses, an evergreen candle, and bread for my offerings.

I try to be as symbolic as possible when it comes to my rituals and offerings. This may seem so obvious for some but symbolism is another, deeper way to convey what needs to be conveyed. It’s not all words and pretty images.

Sometimes it may mean pouring through flower language websites for hours, trying to find the perfect flower to bolster the initial message. Sometimes it may mean going through your ritual implements, trying to find the perfect item that would help to give additional layers of meaning to something that may seem so glaring when a stranger looks at it later.

Bread was the choice du jour. If I could have found a haunch of venison or cow, I might have added that to the list. I decided to use a faux rabbit pelt that reminded me of the fur of a lion. Lions are both powerful hunters and could defeat chaos: two things I needed for my rituals. I chose red roses for love. The candle is a scented winter candle that reminds me of cold days and snow everywhere. The lantern was just a convenient housing mechanism.

It rained all week. I couldn’t use the fur because of the rain. I spent my early mornings standing near my favorite spit of land in my yard, preparing everything. And as my fingers began to ache from the deep cold and rain, I whispered the story of This Horus (me) into the world as the sun, hidden behind rain clouds, crawled out from between Nut’s legs to be reborn. This Horus bore witness to the daily cycle and told the snow that, no matter what a New Englander might say about the dreaded snowfall, it was welcome here.

I dislike long rituals. They have their purpose of course, but the longer they take, the stupider I feel. This is an ongoing issue and it’s something that I’ve tried to work on (to varying success), but I didn’t think something long and drawn out was really called for. I appear to have been right.

A morning of chillier weather with three to four inches of snow starting to melt in the sun.

It snowed on Friday morning. It began before I left for work and continued until about mid-day. The rain that morning seemed to be heavier, prep for the pending snow fall later in the morning. I found out snow was on the way two days before it came (Wednesday) because weather models were both predicting snow and claiming we would get none. I felt powerful as the snow came down.

I modified my ritual on Friday morning because I am scared of driving in the snow. I learned to drive in south Texas where snow is rare. Even with new tires and breaks, there’s still the worry I’ll get into an accident. I asked the snow fall to be a little lighter covering than some previous years’ Halloween snow falls. Maybe the world listened or maybe after being a New Englander all my life, I can just tell how much snow there will be.

The sun was still up when I got home from work and I really marveled at the beauty. I hate the cold. I hate shoveling. But there is something so beautiful about the trees being freshly covered in a layer of snow. It’s even more beautiful when the sun shines through the skeletal fingers of trees, gloved in an inch or two of snow. Breath-taking is the word I’m thinking as I write this. It’s breath-taking.

This Horus told the snow welcome and gave thanks on the final day of the festival. It was cold and I should have worn boots to trudge through to the table. I wore a scarf and gloves and a hoody that is for lighter weather because my winter one needs to be washed before I can use it. I stood behind the table for some time, soaking up the sun and happy that the snow had heard my words, found my lantern’s light, and was welcome.

Festival of the Beautiful Reunion: Garden Edition.

Gardening is not my forté. I’ve had experiments throughout the years that have ended in catastrophic failure. The grass patch for animals to eat. The seedlings that sprouted in the middle of the planter, never popping up, and when I moved them to the top of the planter, they died. The paperwhites for Osiris from the Osiris Mysteries last year. The unknown green leafy plants in skull planters that I didn’t water for 6 months and then over watered them. I just. I think it’s safe to say that I am a garden’s or plant’s worst nightmare.

I had all manner of excuses about why I didn’t do well with gardening. I lived in a place without much sunlight. I’d do better with outside plants. I mean, I’ve said so many very reasonable excuses about why I sucked at this. But the truth is… I planted morning glories with my mom once at twelve and swore off gardening because it was dirty and bugs are outside. I liked the results but the work was gross and hard and nope. Not going to do it.

So, when Osiris pinged me last year to grow something as a sort of experiment for the Mysteries, I laughed. But this wasn’t a suggestion; it was a demand. And since it was winter, I had to try the indoor garden experiment that failed in epic fashion. (I got no blooms and they all fell over by Christmas to turn to brown tendrils sadly peering at me from my porch where I had banished the failed experiment for its failure.) He didn’t hold the failure against me, but told me to learn from the mistake.

I suppose I learned from the mistake because I took it into my head after reading about renewing the earth as part of the Festival of the Beautiful Reunion to plant some shit. But what shit? Flowers? Vegetables? My ego? There were so many options and they were all really good options but how the hell do I choose what to plant? My mother-in-law’s greenhouse chose for me, leaving the hard decision to the whimsy of fate after her plants spent two months in a greenhouse without water during quarantine (and life stuff).

I wound up with five lavender plants as she knew I have wanted lavender for years (thanks, Practical Magic). I got five columbine plants because she knew I was pretty interested in having native plants in my yard after a rabbit hole of Google brought me to garden websites advocating the planting of native plants. And then she grabbed whatever she could for vegetables and herbs: oregano, brandywine (tomatoes?), basil, citronella, peppers, cukes, zucchini, squash, and peas. I have a giant shrub in a bucket now too out front that I don’t know what it is.

My mother-in-law dropped off the planters and a giant bag of dirt, as well as some bird seed on Sunday. We traipsed around the yard to coo about how well my husband had done killing the hell out of the poison ivy everywhere last summer. (Fun fact: poison ivy can be a vine or a shrub or random little twigs popping up and we have all of them in the yard.) We also discussed the bittersweet choking the life out of one of my bog trees and found a vine of poison ivy hiding under the bittersweet. (We also weeded a giant vine of bittersweet trying to take root on our chimney.)

And then, I was alone… with the plants.

I stared at everything, planning which plants would go in which planters, but I didn’t know where to begin. Did I put dirt in all of the planters first and then put the plants in? Did I go one planter at a time? How did I properly mix the planter mix in with water to get it to the right consistency? I had so many questions and didn’t know what the hell I was doing.

This is where my husband comes in. He knows enough plant stuff, having helped his mom at school and at home often enough. He sat there watching and chatting with me while I asked seemingly silly questions before planting the cucumbers and peas first. After the first planter was done, I was muddy and dirty but kind of exhilarated because I had done all that shit. I wiped my hands off on my jeans and forged ahead with the rest of the plants.

My little victories pleased my husband as he taught me the best places to plant the plants and while I chatted up the things I had Googled in a panic, realizing that now was the time to get serious about gardening. At one point, I got mud in my hair as I was stooped over a planter, mindlessly mixing the dirt with water. (My hair is long enough to sit on if I’m not careful.) Unbeknownst to me, he was taking progress pictures and sending them to his mother as I let my thoughts roam as I mixed and planted and bothered him with my questions.

When I had become a mud-covered mess with planters filled with plants, I looked back at the handiwork. I could admit that, once I got into the swing of it, this had been a pretty calming experience. And the fact that I had dug into a bag of dirt instead of the ground meant that I didn’t come across some terrifying creature from another dimension. Er, bug.

We tried to plant the columbine into a nice partial shady spot, but the ground is hard packed there. The previous owners had tried to plant tulips and iris there only for them to fail because it was too shady. The perfect place for columbine though. Sadly, planting them in the ground requires a shovel (no, we don’t own one), so I’m thinking I’m going to put them in planters instead. And that way, the chipmunks can stop using them for their backyard parkour.

The lavender had to be planted out front as it gets the most sun everyday. The front resembles a garden experiment that isn’t horrible but clearly, the old owners just plunked the same type of plants the neighbors use in whatever place they saw fit. They also used burlap to line the ground, which proved impossible for me to break into. The husband handled the lavender planting since my weak ass couldn’t even dent the shit.

The lavender is in temporary housing. My mother-in-law have been tossing ideas at one another about how to completely redo the front space and where to move the things I want to keep. That won’t happen until this fall though when life stuff stops being so difficult for everyone. But at least we have a plan.

So far, this experiment appears to be going well. The only semi-casualty is the basil that a baby bunny thinks is the most delightful treat. I think I need to invest in a table or a planter holder of some kind for the plants in smaller planters.

While I was mixing the dirt for my planters, I thought about renewing the earth and what this could conceivably look like for me. TTR had reminded me of a Tumblr post they had made some time back about the exudations of Osiris when I asked them what they thought of when they heard the words “renewal of the earth”. After re-reading the post, it made me wonder what Hathor does to ensure this renewal.

While researching (so. much. research.) for the ritual I was to write for this, I found the following highlighted by me at some unknown past moment in Hathor Rising by Alison Roberts: “Renewal through Hathor only comes about by surrendering, letting go and moving to her rhythms.” This is borne out over and over again as her fertility and rebirth associations are oft intertwined in a sort of midwife association and as anyone who has given birth can attest, you must let go and surrender to the rhythms of the process.

It is also through the vitality of Hathor that the renewal process is begun. The world cannot survive without her vitality and vigor. Without her energy, even the gods are unable to function properly. She gives to them, as they give to her, and this reciprocity allows for the world to continue anew every day, every month, every year.

As I read and re-read that highlighted quote from Hathor Rising, a sort of YOLO state of mind came over me. I had been worried that I would mess up these rituals with foolish words and mistaken content. I was working so hard to make all of it look, well, legitimate. As if what I was writing was something that could have come straight from the temple precincts of ancient Egypt. I had written, re-written, screamed, thrown books, and written again everything before this YOLO idea came to me.

What I’ve created may not necessarily be what the priests would have said and done in AE, but I already proved with my calendar of events that this recreation process doesn’t always have to exactly replicate what was done in antiquity.

So, YOLO, y’all. YOLO.

Festival of the Beautiful Reunion 2020.

According to Barbara Watterson in The House of Horus at Edfu, the Dendera preparations for the Beautiful Reunion began two weeks before the New Moon in the third month of Summer. Ceremonies were conducted and Hathor was carried out of her temple to begin her two week journey to Edfu. Installed in her barque by the priests, she would be towed on the river and thus the Reunion begins.

In Hathor: A Reintroduction to an Ancient Egyptian Goddess by Lesley Jackson, she details a four-day journey from Dendera to Edfu. The barque of Hathor, named Mistress of Love, bids farewell to her home and sales to Edfu, making stops at three different temple precincts along the way before she meets with our Horus of Edfu at Wesetjet-Hor on the fourth day. The shortened length of the journey makes more sense since Edfu and Dendera are only a little more than 100 miles apart.

The discrepancies in timelines makes sense if you’ve read The Ancient Egyptian Daybook by Tamara Suida. She highlights the differences in timelines in her blurb on the Beautiful Reunion. For those following the Edfu calendar, the trip from Dendera to Edfu takes about 13/14 days. For those following along with the Dendera calendar, the trip takes 4 days.

I came into contact with the 4-day journey calendar from Dendera long before I found references of a longer journey in the Edfu calendar, which is why I follow a 4-day sail-a-thon. But when we are recreating and celebrating this holiday, the length of the journey matters not at all. The focus should be on the purpose of the reunion – the celebration and reunion of two lovers separated each year, the fertility of the harvests, and the sacred marriage that makes those harvests fertile – and not the length of the recreated trip down our imagined Niles.

I start preparing myself and my home for this particular festival two to four weeks out. There are a handful of long-lasting festivals that have a premier importance in my calendar and this is one of them. I always want things to go smoothly and be able to come away with a feeling of pride in a job well done. My relationship with Heru-Wer feeds into both of those feelings and I feel as if I am consistently trying to outdo myself each year I celebrate the Reunion.

But this year is a little different with everything else changing within my personal practice. This year is less about how fulfilled I feel at the end of it all or how pleased the gods are with my endeavors. While both are important, this year is about an established set of rules to follow from here until eternity, a unification of the local cultus push and the religious practice I need to incorporate more readily into it. So, to meet all of these expectations I’ve set for myself, I actually began planning everything about 6 weeks out.

A month ago, I began taking stock in my yard and what plants the previous owners had tried to grow here. Growth at the front of the house is a little more sustainable; fewer chipmunks up there and more sunlight. Growth at the back of the house is possible though more difficult as that’s where the chipmunks and rabbits live. The backyard gives off to a small forested area and a bog to the side of the house, so sunlight is harder to come by and the backyard is wetter than the front. The plants in the back have come up as best they could (attempts at tulips, iris, and hosta) but they’ve stagnated and no buds appeared.

My mother-in-law is a plant guru who speaks the language of plants. (We’re ignoring the patch of 2×3 in her backyard that refuses to grow grass no matter what.) To me, this is a mysterious magic as I’ve managed to kill all the plants people claim you can’t kill. With her help, and her greenhouse, she picked me up a fair mix of plants and vegetables so I can start the eventual garden in my yard. I have them on my kitchen table, have read the tags so I know what they are, and this weekend I intend on getting them into dirt and soil. Hopefully, I don’t kill them all on their way in because that would definitely put a damper on the fertility aspect of this holiday.

Plants have never really been my jam, though not for lack of trying. But since Osiris has pushed for plants and planting, it only seems right that I’d develop a similar association with the Festival of the Beautiful Reunion.

The rest of my preparations began this past week with my habit of compulsive list making – a tribute or curse from my mother’s side of the family. The lists start out small: dates, associations or work to be done on those dates. But they eventually grow out and get bigger and bigger until I have pages of hodgepodge notes in my crib notes notebook relative to the who, the what, the when, and the how.

And my final preparation this week is to start on the ritual writing. I hate writing them almost as much as I hate performing them. But something this year requires that touch more. Maybe it’s the unspoken belief that this year will establish further things down the road – an anchor of sorts – or perhaps it’s the overall change in my religious practice making itself felt here for the first time after 5 years of ritual-less Reunion celebrations.

No matter the reason for rituals this year, I have begun the work in earnest. This had proven difficult, far more than the list of things to purchase for the holiday or the list of plants or notes or offerings, because I am a bit of a perfectionist. (Surprising, no?) I want these rituals to be great from the get-go, something to inspire not just me but others too. It’s slow going and I need to dedicate more time to the efforts to ensure I meet my timeframe.

Barbara Watterson has a very limited chapter on the Festival of the Beautiful Reunion in her book, The House of Horus at Edfu. I remember being distinctly unhappy with the book in total (it didn’t give me as much detail on Edfu and Heru-Wer as I was hoping for), but I thought it odd that she didn’t dedicate more than a handful of pages to such an important festival. Maybe it was simply because the Ptolemaic inscriptions didn’t provide as much detail, or she wasn’t as interested in getting down what was found on the Beautiful Reunion. Whatever the case, the interesting part in her chapter on the holiday is that she ascribes it less as a celebration of fertility and sacred marriage, and more an homage to the ancient ancestors of Edfu.

The ancestors total nine in number and all were giants who died and were mummified in Edfu. My research for this holiday did show a day where Hathor and Heru-Wer were taken to the Necropolis of Edfu to pay homage to the ancestors, though not for longer than the one day. Watterson indicates that the Reunion festival was merged in a way with the Festival of Behdet (where the ancestors were libated and given offerings) as well as the Harvest Festival. According to her book, the sacred marriage aspect totaled two days of celebrations, followed by a handful related to the ancestors, and finally Harvest rites before Hathor heads back to Dendera two weeks later.

Jackson’s blurb on the Reunion, while also not as long as I could hope, lines up a little more with my personal calendar of events than Watterson’s version. The discussion in Suida’s Daybook correlates more closely with Watterson.

So, which one is the right one?

Since I compiled my calendar and holidays prior to having the access I do now to those books, I had to finagle things based on the materials I had access to at the time as well as what felt right to me. The below list for this year’s Reunion are what I have used throughout the years and will continue to use going forward:

  • Preparations to Depart Dendera (June 16th)
  • Travel and Arrival at Isrw/Renewal of the Earth (June 17th)
  • Travel and Arrival at Per Mer/ Renewal of the Earth (June 18th)
  • Travel and Arrival at Hierakonpolis/ Renewal of the Earth (?) (June 19th)
  • Travel and Arrival at Wetjeset-Hor (June 20th)
  • Celebrations for Safe Arrival (June 21st)
  • They Have Arrived in the Presence of Ra (June 22nd)
  • They Give Offerings in the Necropolis (June 23rd)
  • Marriage/ Harvest Celebrations (June 24th – July 5th)

I included the dates for my holiday timeline in case anyone doesn’t want to figure that out and wants to join in.

Can anyone else hear the ticking of a clock?

I almost always do, no matter what’s happening, as if my internal, anxiety-ridden clock must always be heard. It’s louder than usual as if to say that my time is getting infinitely shorter. It’s nerve-wracking, as it always is, but at least the clock is ticking for something other than an imaginary timeline.

Aside from two or three items that I still need to try and get my hands on, the feast ingredients for each day, the only thing truly left to me is ritual writing. A less-than-favored pastime made doubly unwelcome because everything I write looks or sounds terrible. But perhaps I can overcome that as I continue to hear the clock ticking…

Regional Calendars: The Backbone.

Recently, TTR began posting a series of articles about how to add a regional flavor to your calendar and how to bring all of that together to better help you through the lens of celebrations. This topic is near and dear to my heart since the local cultus push has been steadily increasing now that spring has sprung.

I’ve also been looking forward to it because the regional flavoring is supposed to help me in some way to better outfit my calendar throughout the year. My calendar is very busy because I was told when reworking it to add “everything that could conceivably be related to something or someone you have ties to”. I didn’t think my months would look as busy as they ended up, but they did.

After doing this, I started getting regular notifications every morning about anywhere between 2 – 6 holidays related to my gods in some form or way. Most of the holidays don’t actually interest me the way that I had once found myself interested in the handful of Sekhmet holidays throughout the year or the Beautiful Reunion. They were effectively useless.

Ra and Osiris both mentioned that this would eventually change, but I had to at least know what was available for me to celebrate before I could pare it down. While this made sense, I find myself annoyed by each daily notification and have to actively assess each one to ensure I’m not missing something of Great Import [to Me].

When TTR and I began talking about adding to calendars from a regional aspect, I was immediately on board. Ra seemed to be particularly interested as well as he seemed to intimate that this would begin the Great Re-Work of Calendar Nonsense 2020. After having reworked my calendar pretty consistently for the last 3 years (there’s always something that comes up that makes me realize it’s not right), I’m hoping this will be the last push.

Creating a Calendar Around Local Ecology: Gathering Information

After reading the first post in the series, I was surprised by the focus on weather. When I think local cultus or local ecology, I forget about weather in its entirety. I usually focus on local flora and fauna with only a passing thought given to what the weather and its patterns entail in the region. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how important something like weather is to all of this. Weather and its patterns allow the local flora and fauna to exist in the ways that they do; without it, well, things would be drastically different around here.

Part of the other reason that I had a lazer focus on plant and wildlife is because that’s what I see every day. Since moving, it has been the growth and death and rebirth of the plants around us that have snagged my attention in a way that, while they always interested me of course, I have become far more intent on that focus. I also have a different ability after having moved to watch local wildlife; something that was harder in the middle of the city because local wildlife is very, very good about hiding in plain sight.

So, I added a few crib notes on local flora and fauna to the notebook I’ve designated as my “personal practice” notebook and moved on. (This notebook is full of a lot of shit right now that will hopefully, one day, become cohesive and make sense. That, of course, remains to be seen.) I was ready for the weather-specific post and curious to see what I would find.

 

Creating a Calendar Around Local Ecology: Creating the Backbone

While the general layout for weather gathering was in the first post, it wasn’t until TTR had published the second post that I actually got around to getting that information together. I felt like I needed the visuals they supplied in that second post to better understand what I had already looked up a few times, confused and not quite sure what I was looking at.

I focused first on the hottest and coldest days of the year for where I live.


The hottest day is July 20th and the coldest day is January 29th around these parts. That tracks with what I’ve found throughout the year, but the item of interest I found was before the pretty little graph and the specific dates. Weather Spark adds a general timeframe for “hot season” and “cold season” and other items that I’ll get into as this post continues on. According to this website, the warm season is 3.6 months long (May to September) and the cold season is 3.4 months long (November to March), on average.

The reason I found these details interesting is because it doesn’t track with what I know to be true due to climate change. Our hotter times tend to last until close to October in recent years. Colder weather isn’t lasting as long and we’ve had unseasonably warm weather in March. While March also brought with it bitterly icy winds, the visual stimulus of cold weather (snow) was notably absent.

Something that TTR didn’t include based on their post was cloud cover. Clouds and cloudiness is a big thing where I live because of the typical weather patterns we should experience. According to the website, we have a “cloudy season” for about 7.6 months of the year with a large portion of this season taking place in winter. The cloudiest day tends to be January 3 while the opposite day is September 5. Both dates track with my own review of what I’ve come to expect from my local weather patterns.

I went through the whole damn website and compiled a list of dates that either will prove useful or I’ll jettison them off into the sun at a later date in time:

  • Hottest Day – July 20
  • Coldest Day – January 29
  • Cloudiest Day – January 3
  • Clearest Day – September 5
  • Rainiest Day – June 3 & October 3
  • Snowiest Day – January 25
  • Muggiest Day – July 29
  • Least Muggiest Day – December 13
  • Windiest Day – February 26
  • Calmest Day – August 12
  • Predominant Wind Direction – West
  • Brightest Day – June 29
  • Darkest Day – December 22
  • Growing Season – April 30 – October 11

I decided to forego the additions about spring & fall only because of how things have been going as far as both seasons due to climate change. Since I’m not sure where climate change will eventually land us, I felt it safest to, as much as I hate this, bar them entrance to any regional calendar I may make until I can figure out a good average.

And I truly hate this. I love spring and I love fall the most. They are my two very favorite seasons, however I can admit that both have been excessively short in recent years. For a few years running, May started the hot season and air conditioning units would begin to run closer to the first of May and than the first of June. September, usually a beautiful time for fall foliage, has been hotter on average than when I was a child. I’ve spent many a-September day, sweating and cranky or in a pool to cool off than I can recall being the norm from my youth.

This year, we do appear to be getting a spring because May has been cooler than it has been the last few years. Mornings, I wake up deliciously chilly with all of my windows open wide to temps in the 40s. I wear a sweater or hoody to start the day before jettisoning it around 10 or 11 in the morning. And I love it, but I also recognize that this will most likely not be the norm for a very long time.

So for now, my seasons will simply have to fall within the dynamic of winter, summer, and rainy.

Creating a Calendar Around Local Ecology: The Backbone

With the backbone all but created, I’m taking a break from working further on the calendar. The next steps, for me at least, require a good deal of further research since I’m still relatively new to this area. I only know the bare bones of historically significant sites, local landforms, and have only just started to source local foci that feel like they need my attention.

Ra had been the driving force in getting me to get these details together and now seems perfectly content with letting me take a break before I move onto the next section in the series. He seems to prefer that I better focus on the ritual prep for the Festival of the Beautiful Reunion, which is currently 23 days out for me.

For the hilarity, I recently pulled out the current iteration of my religious calendar and looked up some of the dates that I had come up with for this project. Each date on my religious calendar actually does correspond with an existing ancient Egyptian holiday. Some of them actually line up pretty well, I think, with those existing holiday forms, so I may keep them when I complete the reworking of the overall calendar. But then again, I might not.

I’m glad that the first portion of this calendar rework project is at least completed. I have a lot more to do besides and it sounds like this will most likely take me the entire year (much like my last calendar rework did). I’ve already at least made a small list of important festivals that have to be kept (The Osiris Mysteries, WR/Intercalary/Propitiation of Sekhmet, and the Festival of the Beautiful Reunion) and those that can go (the smaller one-offs, many of which have to do with Hathor since she had a holiday just about every day) and I’m looking forward to seeing how things look once I’ve finally gotten this project completed.

One Spark.

As a kid, I had a host of strange ideas about God and faith. I don’t rightly know where most of them came from. They certainly didn’t sound like anything mentioned at the pulpit or in Sunday school. But they were mine and I wore them secretly like a cloak around my throat that could choke me if the strings were drawn too tightly.

I believed that God was a cloud. He lived there too because that’s where Heaven was. Not in space or in another dimension, but in the soft pale blue sky of a beautiful spring day. And He, Himself, was a shapeless cloud that lived in the sky, peering down upon His creation. Sometimes I worried that dark gray clouds and slate colored thunderhead meant he was angry just like the sky looked.

Prayers could only be heard in church. You could supplement your desires with prayers at home, but He couldn’t hear them well unless we were in the walls of the church to boost the signal, I suppose. That’s why I assumed my prayers were never answered; I could only think of things when at home and never in that moment of silence during the sermon where you were supposed to pray.

It was only years later that I decided to dump my faith in God. It wasn’t really my father’s death that did it though maybe that started it all. I liked the feeling of faith even with my weird beliefs. It made me feel secure and a little less tiny.

On This Untraveled Road

A short while ago, one of the members in a group I’m in asked how everyone was handling spiritual matters during quarantine. Not many people responded in a positive light. Most seemed to be reporting issues with connection in general. I think that’s pretty valid since a pandemic is going to leave some of us asking ourselves the big questions and possibly coming up empty.

How can we connect with our gods when life as we know it has effectively been shut down? The world we live in today was not the world we knew twelve months ago. Things seemed relatively sure footed moving down the capitalist hellhole train we’ve been stuck on for years. But now, things have changed dramatically and our lives are in a continued state of upheaval from the relative comfort of our own living rooms. And there’s no clear vision of what the future will entail.

I’ve seen a lot of people worried that the pandemic is a sign or was given to us by the gods, or God. This is another understandable point-of-view though I do not ascribe to it. I think there are people who believe this train of thought who are having a hard time connecting now because it tips their previously held beliefs into a realm they were uncomfortable in exploring, or never even considered. The scales of status quo have been upset and now, everyone is scrambling.

All of this makes complete sense. Our rituals and schedules and comfort in these things has been overturned. We’re working from a different paradigm now, a foreign one in many respects, and the connections once held for the spiritual and/or religious are just as turned upside down as everything else. I can understand why everyone is having difficulties with the connection, with the ability to feel that thread or those threads with the gods.

We’re walking down a road that others once traveled, but it’s been so long since then that we have no frame of reference for ourselves. History talks about things from a wide angle lens. The zoom on peoples’ faith during previous pandemics is difficult to find, so we have no real ease to follow in the footsteps of predecessors. We’re all struggling in a way that, while we’ve all struggled with faith and connection over the years, this is probably one of the biggest upsets many have experienced in their religious or spiritual path.

I personally believe that the positive quotes and messages from my local Catholic church are the same ones people have turned to in times of crisis in the past. Daily, they post some new quote or letter to the parish about how we’ll all weather the storm together even if none of us are physically together. They are constantly trying to offer words of encouragement and comfort while simultaneously trying to build up the [possibly] shattered faith of the congregation.

One Voice is Enough

I did answer the question posed in the group and remarked that I wasn’t having any issues myself. In fact, I felt better about things on the whole and had been able to get a few blog entries going, which has not been the norm in recent years. Averaging an entry once a month to once a week? Abnormal, indeed. But the heart of my answer was that the pandemic and the subsequent quarantine have had very little bearing on my religious shenanigans.

I recognize that a large part of that is due to the local cultus push from both Osiris and Ra. These two have become my primary focus at the moment and I have never seen them in any single place, or needed to pay them homage in typical pagan fashion. Offerings, music, and time spent at an altar were never fully a part of the relationship I was forging with them both. And while I do give them offerings and music in a single place just about every single day, I know that my relationship with them both would survive without either.

I am also a creature of schedules and even working from home, I continue to follow the schedule that I created when we moved last summer. I am awake at the same time every week day, make my coffee, and provide offerings in my “spooky” room for the gods. For the established relationships with my gods, this daily offering is a necessity borne out over the years by how things have crumbled if I didn’t give them regular offerings. But for Osiris and Ra, this daily homage is just the opening salvo on a day that will encompass them in some other form or another.

I have also used this time to focus on my local cultus push. I’ve been researching like a robot, going for walks in the less-active parts of town so that I can draw on local flora to better cement the connections with Ra and Osiris. I am hopeful that the push from the two of them will eventually encompass the rest of my gods, but I’m not there yet. I’ve also been using these walks as the needed quiet time away from my new work station (in my kitchen), trying to play teacher to a sullen pre-teen (difficult in the best of times), and the constant voice of anxiety whispering in my head.

I recognize that I have been very lucky. My work is in an essential industry and remote working has always been an option (even if my boss refused). I knew that, no matter what happened, I would be able to continue to work. And while I would desperately prefer to be in an office, to better separate my already chaotic work life from my home life (I’ve found myself going to my computer to check my emails when I shouldn’t), I am glad that I can at least continue to work.

The schedule has truly helped me the most here, I think. Yes, the other things did too: the already established routine for the gods and the local cultus push from the past few months. But at the heart, I have found that as long as I stick to my schedule, I do much better with the rapid fire changes the world keeps tossing our way.

The World Can’t Drown Us Out

Things have been trying for a very long time. Those of us who have kept an eye on the status of things have long been waiting for something like this to upset the way of life in general. We’ve seen the writing on the wall and knew that shit was coming, we just didn’t know when.

I can preach and tell people not to lose faith now, of all times not now, but having been there before, I know how useless it is. I also know how useless it is to give advice or positive reinforcement in a time when you’re wondering why the fuck you’ve been throwing your energies into this path, these gods for so long. There is no one thing to be said that will make it better and sometimes, hearing advice or encouragement from others only makes it worse. So I won’t do that.

What I will say is that change is never easy. No one wants their life to change, their comfort with the way things were to change, themselves to change. It is dirty, back-breaking, fucked up work that upsets the perceived balance that was once there.

But the balance was never there.

This is the one thing we should remember through all of this. We may have been comfortable and happy with the way things were, but upheaval was always just around the corner. The sheer amount of shit that we’ve been slogging through for years was the reminder we needed that this was bound to happen, even if we wanted to pretend it wouldn’t. The warning signs were all around us, we just needed to see them even if we didn’t want to.

Have a crisis of faith; have a meltdown; have a good or shitty cry; do it up. And once you’ve finished with all of that, maybe you’ll go back to your religious or spiritual tradition with a renewed fervor or maybe you’ll say fuck it and move on. Whatever the case may be, you are the spark of your own faith and only you can light, relight, or blow it out.

Just have patience. Just remember that the shit is far from over. Just remember that there will be more lulls where religion is easy and more slogs where it gets harder. Just remember that you are the only one who can definitively say what does and doesn’t work for you.

And maybe, when all of this is over and things are moving forward again, you’ll take out your faith and see the cracks where it weathered out this storm and marvel at the little light you had with you this whole time.

Local Cultus: Neighborhood.

When I was 9, we moved to a suburb after living for most of my life close to downtown. There was a multi-tenant house before the apartment but I don’t remember it that much. What few memories I do have from my youngest years are in the apartment on the bus route that took my mom to work every day.

The neighborhood we moved to was on the edge of another neighborhood so we straddled the divide between “the good zip code” and “the so-so zip code”. We lived in a good area frankly, and most of the houses and shops were from the post-WWII building boom in that area. It was the first time we had a yard and there were trees and plants everywhere. No weeping willows though, which had been the only tree in the tiny dirt backyard of the apartment we lived in before. My first walk through the neighborhood had me feeling like we had moved to a magical place.

I can remember stopping under a tree and becoming dazzled by the way the sunlight filtered through the leaves. The feeling I had that day wasn’t so much that I was home but that I was finally discovering something meant for only me. The following year, I recreated that walk, hoping to find the magical quality that had so enchanted me that first time. It wasn’t there.

It took me a while to find the flow of that neighborhood. It was quiet until the kids came out like you expect a suburb to be but it felt tired and cranky for all of the childlike adventures the neighborhood kids went on. It was like it had been put through its paces for so long that it needed a rest. And that’s the truth; the neighborhood was filled with blue collar workers who has “paid the dues” to buy houses away from the busy city center. Nowadays, it is resting as all the people who snapped up homes there say goodbye to their children and grow older, quieter, and more housebound.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

My original forays into local cultus had me focused on local landforms. The idea felt a bit like all of the mountains and rivers and parks and fields needed attention; they needed some form of homage or tribute paid to them. The wildlife of these places, too, needed attention and affection in some way. The world in which I inhabited, an urban hellhole with animals that hardly made an appearance day or night, required no love, no attention, no tribute. It existed merely as a place to live for those who couldn’t or wouldn’t ever live close to a rural, or more suburban, flow.

Years have gone by and while I had started and stopped attempts to get in touch with my city, to pay it homage in some form, it never worked out. I had a bad attitude about it. I was trying to force things to fit in while being disgusted with my urban home. Neither of those, being disgusted or forcing things, was ever going to make it work. It was never going to happen if I didn’t let the process evolve naturally. And frankly, it wasn’t until the last year or so that it really began to develop.

I think the idea began when I really started noticing how many bunnies called my yard home. Or, it could have been the night a skunk silently waddled through my yard while my heart leapt into my throat in fear of being sprayed. I had never actually seen a skunk that wasn’t dead before then. But it may have begun when I started taking daily walks along the river that sometimes included walks in the city instead and I noticed so many little details of the yards, the houses, and little things that spoke to the history of the neighborhood I lived in.

I came to be fascinated about what happened before I even came into existence and would spend hours reading and downloading historical tidbits from bloggers, webpages, and city funded surveys. With each new thing I learned, an appreciation for the city I had called home for most of my life developed into a sort of childlike wonder at all the things that had come before to form what I see everyday all around me. It was a trip.

The more that I learned, the more I came to realize that to leave out the neighborhood in my local cultus forays wasn’t a good idea. Whether I liked it or not, I lived there and to think that ignoring its existence for some imagined “grass is greener” ideal was faulty and rude. I began to focus more and more on my neighborhood and all the ones that had come before, trying to piece together what my intuition was telling me.

The spirit of these neighborhoods may have changed dramatically through the years, but they were still there in some form. And some of them wanted the attention that I had been paying to other things. They wanted just as much to feel that breath of life blown back into them that I had been giving to others.

When I realized this, I mused and researched the idea of paying homage or tribute to your neighborhood. It didn’t seem particularly common from what I found. It was as if everyone wanted to ignore their home setting for something else. Or maybe those who had been pulled in this direction were silent on the topic, uncertain on how to speak of it. In either case, I began trying to figure out how to make this work especially in an urban setting.

The first and most important piece I found was that research was the key. In many cities, we live in areas that have been around a far bit longer than we have been alive. Researching the areas that I felt most connected to, or the area that I lived in, gave me a sort of general feeling and idea about what the neighborhoods had originally been created for. While that purpose is no longer the case for any of the neighborhoods in my city, it’s a good starting point. To know a thing is to know its history.

The second piece was to begin searching out specific areas mentioned in the research. Those pieces of the neighborhood may still exist, or they may have been torn down. But those areas were central, once, to its existence and it may still play some large part to the overall spirit of the neighborhood. I found that that is the case for only one of the neighborhoods (ish) that I lived in over the years; the rest had changed and morphed into whatever the city needed after their primary focus had been taken away.

The third was to focus on the plant and animal life that made the neighborhood home. As I mentioned above, most wildlife in the area that I had been living in hid away from human eyes. We had encroached so heavily into their territory that even many birds tended to stay away from the urban sprawl. But if you look hard enough, you’ll begin to find their habitation all around you. You just have to know what to look for.

And finally, when I felt ready, I began to explore the sense I was getting from the spirit of the neighborhood. I would close my eyes at random times of the day, take a deep breath (sometimes with a bit of smog mixed in), and try to connect with the feeling of the place around me.

I’ve done this twice now since I began realizing that I was doing myself, and my home, a disservice by ignoring it: once in a truly urban setting and again in a suburban setting. It’s worked out well so far.

The Village Within the City

After moving back up north, we found ourselves a tiny-ass apartment at the end of a quiet city street and the end of the main street through the neighborhood. It was literally on the very edge of the city; our yard was the last one in the city and the sign proclaiming entrance to the city next door was on the edge of the property. Across the river was another city, easily accessible from the 75 year old bridge that was the easiest way in and out. It was a nexus of sorts, simultaneously quiet and overlooked as well as busy and noisy.

The neighborhood proclaimed itself a village, which was technically true. It was one of the last neighborhoods to be truly settled in the city and was a village unto itself until the industrial boom of the early 1900s that was its claim to fame. A large river separated the village from the city across from it and it was on that river, towards the edge of the village, that the mills and factories were built with tenement buildings for the workers. The main street was picturesque with trees and sidewalks. The railroad had a depot in front of the mill and factory area along the river. Another railroad, still functioning, cuts the edge of the village off from the city-next-door.

The houses that line the streets are a hodgepodge. There were three-deckers for apartments, bungalows and ranches, multi-unit buildings, American foursquares, and the like. Every available space in the village had been taken up for some urban use, either commercial or residential. Victorians and Queen Annes made up smaller sections of busier roads, everyone with a postage stamp sized yard to call their own. Trees decorated the city sidewalks and offered shade for those who needed it.

For all the beauty of the river, the planning board didn’t give much thought to parks or conservation. Three parks call the village home. One is difficult to get to, another has a water feature and is used by many, and the final largest park was in talks to be sold off for a parking lot years back. The largest park is the only local home of a decent basketball court and the parking lot lies full for hours at night and on the weekends during good weather, yet another reason the city thought about selling it off since the majority of the population are Hispanic, black, and poor. The only conservation taking place are the hilly spaces on the outskirts where building more plants or mobile home parks are nearly impossible. There is nowhere for preteens and teenagers to really go to hang out.

The village lost its image after the mills and factories closed. It had a face to present to the world. It was a good face: the face of hard workers (men, women, and children) happily working in the mills for pennies on the dollar. When the factories and mills along the river dried up and closed down, the buildings were shuttered and the tenements were raised to make room for parking or commercial needs. A large swatch of cracked blacktop sits where pictures were once taken to document the child workers in the mills.

Two major businesses still call the village home, though on the very edge of the village, and one of them pollutes the air or the river with their runoff. The smoke stacks puff heavily into the morning sky, and either blanket the mobile home park or the part of the village that I once called home with chemicals. No one had raised an alarm against this business; they are after all interconnected with very big government names and who cares, really? The village was built on the idea of the factory and the mill: isn’t it grand that a single token of that heyday still stands? And besides, who cares about the poor?

Once when I was talking with an old-timer about the area, he told me a little anecdote that encapsulates this point:

“I can’t believe they built the elementary school there. There were better places to put it,” he said to me.

“Why do you say that?” I had asked, not knowing a lick of history about the area at the time. It had never interested me before.

“Well, one of the old factories turned uranium rods into slugs. And it was down the street from where the elementary school is now. You know it; the place that’s fenced off looks like it should be a parking lot? That was the dump. The solar farm is where the factory was and they dumped the uranium there. They say it’s ‘remediated’ now, but how can anyone think a school within a mile of that place is a good idea?”

I drove by that place every day on my way to or from work.

The village never rebranded itself. It didn’t seem to want to. Walking down the streets early in the morning or late at night, a desire for an identity seemed fleeting. It was as if it had had its heyday and couldn’t be bothered to come up with a new image, a new face. The councils have tried rebranding and marketing the busy little village as more than a pass-through for people on their way to work in the morning or people on their way home at night, but nothing has truly stuck.

The village often felt like it had been forgotten. As if it had once served a valuable, capitalist ideal and had never recovered from that ideal later. It was a mecca for travel but not for anyone looking to stay for long. People who drive by perhaps look at the older store fronts with picturesque windows and brightly painted signs, hoping to entice people to stay for a bit and shop. But the store front windows are mostly dusty and unused, a reminder that what had once been important isn’t any longer.

The overall feeling of this little village with a vast mix of people is tired. It is a place to go home to but little else. It only bustles on the weekends for all the people driving to somewhere else. The village often seemed to me like it had had enough. Not unlike that first neighborhood that I mentioned above, it was done with it all. Only instead of cranky, the village felt more resigned than anything else. It was as if it had seen it all and nothing could surprise it anymore.

As the village seemed to not want to interact, I respected its wishes. There were places where a hint, a whisper of a desire called to me and I paid these tiny little spaces homage with little offerings of food or pictures. These tiny little bastions of want weren’t common and on the by and large, I did my best to leave the sad, little village alone. It wanted to be left behind and progress refused to allow its wants. So the best I could do was to walk the sidewalks and wonder what things had once been like a hundred years before and whisper that I could understand how it felt.

The Bedroom Community

As some readers may remember, my husband and I finally bought a house last summer. The area we moved to is filled with an historical pretension it doesn’t have. There are only about half a dozen houses that date to between the 1750s-1850s, but most of the houses built here are trying desperately to hearken back to ye olde days.

There are a lot of houses built during the 1900s revival era: Georgian colonials, Cape Cods, Dutch colonials, and New England colonials. Some people may like to think their homes are older, but none of them were in fact built then since our little bedroom community was originally wild forest before it was turned into pastoral grazing land for the town next door. And this isn’t to say that we don’t have the standard ranch, split level, bungalows, raised ranch, or A-frames in the neighborhood because we do. However they’re more like beacons amid the historical throwback attempts of the other homes on the block.

My town was incorporated only 126 years ago, but people had moved here only starting in the mid-1700s. Most of those original houses were lost and there’s only a single one that claims to be from then. The rest of the handful of older houses are from the 1800s and every single one registered with the historical society are within walking distance of where I currently live.

This place is a bedroom community for the metro area beside it. And as I stated above, it has staked a claim on a history that was not properly recorded and so, therefore, is most likely inaccurate in many respects. But that doesn’t stop my neighbors from putting cute little decorative carriage house hardware on their garages and front doors, or the pristine green of their perfectly manicured front yards.

After the quarries dried up in the early 1900s, the city rebranded itself as a bedroom community for the metro area. It also focused heavily on conservation efforts across town, many such efforts centering on one of the hundreds of quarries that once called this place home.

Many houses in my areas have been built to conserve as much nature as possible with thick copses of trees and wildlife strategically found up and down the city streets. I have a bog and a few hundred feet of wooded area between me and the houses behind us although strengthening wind storms due to climate change have downed many of the trees back there. There are 470 acres currently devoted to conservation areas and they attract many hikers.

They built one of those rail-trails a few years back across a good portion of the town. The original train depot still exists and they’re working to conserve its legacy as the stopping point for visitors and the loading point for the stones mined from the quarries to places unknown. Nowadays it’s used so often by locals and non that I prefer to stay away from it. There’s too much going on over there.

The wildlife is everywhere, making itself felt in the hoards of geese and ducks that call the baseball fields by the tiny man-made lakes home. The birds and bees and rabbits and squirrels and chipmunks all scramble through the yards and streets on their way to finding the next delicious morsel for sustenance. The deer keep to the outskirts of town, but they’re easily found if you look hard enough. They claim there are bobcats around here, but I couldn’t say for sure. I can only assume that there may be.

The overall feeling of this community is hopeful. They saw the writing on the wall when the quarries began to close down and realized that they needed to do something to keep their home functional. They hadn’t seen it all having only had its incorporation legal for twenty years, if that, by the time the quarries began to close and knew that they had to do something to keep their home alive.

As I walk through the twilight hours down to the cemetery nearby or down the hills towards the center, the feelings that come to me are peaceful. I am still a bit in awe of all of the beauty around us with the trees and shrubs and flowers coming into bloom now. But I have always felt relaxed and at peace here (my grandparents lived here when I was a kid so we visited a bit) and that feeling has never diminished.

In Conclusion…

I know this has been a long entry and for anyone who has continued to read to this point, thank you for sticking it out.

I wanted to convey the point that while the idea of living in either an urban or suburban settlement may preclude the idea that we can find local cultus there this isn’t necessarily true. It may require more time, focusing on the research of the history of your home or just spending time outdoors with eyes closed to catch the sense of the world around you, but it is possible. And I think, on the by and large, we may be doing our homes and ourselves a disservice by not finding that spirit, that sense, that feeling of home and giving it the attention that it truly deserves.

This is fraught with issues for a variety of reasons (and I won’t get into them all). I can’t tell you how many times I left a little offering out on the crossroads beside my home in the village with semi-trailer drivers staring at me from their temporary red-light home while I started back, nonplussed. Or the amount of looks I get from old-timers in the bedroom community as I stop for a moment to soak up the way the sunlight hits the blooming flowers in their yards in awe and wonder.

But it helps to feel that connection with your home, to build upon its connection with you so that you can, in turn, build upon it as a form of foundation to branch out into other local cultus arenas.