I knew what I could expect from the month of April before it even arrived. My research into the fourth hour told me so and my own past hinted at it. I wasn’t wrong about just how chaotic I was going to find the fourth month, but it did manage to surprise me time and time again.
As I came out the other side of all of this, I had to stop and think about it seriously. I spent a lot of the month feeling very much like I was a chicken with my head cut off. I was constantly feeling as if I was running around with no real destination in mind; just little pit stops as I went round and round in circles.
When I finally had time to think about all of it, I had to ask myself if the chaos I had experienced was necessarily a bad thing. Often within the Kemetic community, the idea of chaos is seen almost as antithetical to ma’at with the word’s association with isfet. In the Western World, we are also led to believe that chaos goes against the norm and while it can definitely feel that way while you’re in the middle of it, it doesn’t necessarily equate to a bad thing.
Was everything that I went through really, well, a negative?
Confusion and disorder; lack of organization and lack of order can seem to be a negative but sometimes you need to feel pulled in a 100 directions to figure out what the right direction is. It’s only when you have that lack of organization and a constant feeling of vertigo because of it that you finally take the time to figure out where you need to actually go. Or sometimes, life really does just mean that you have to be pulled in so many different areas at once in order to move ahead to the next step on the journey ahead.
It’s not fun.
It can be frustrating and irritating.
But it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The Fourth Month
April started dark and somber. I was depressed and moody. I didn’t feel like things were working out well and as I mentioned in my last entry on this topic, I was beginning to despair. It’s easy to fall into despair and let it eat at you, but I have more than just myself at stake at the moment, so I kept going forward.
Work is always chaotic in April. It’s the first real month of spring so we get new clients, new employees, and new projects to contend with. This year was no different, but the promised “reprieve” from the boss has yet to manifest. I think I spent much of my first two weeks of the month in back-to-back meetings or training sessions, occasionally with calls regarding new requests. It was stressful.
It still is, actually. I don’t remember the last time I left the office on time. I keep getting overtime, which is useful I suppose, but I long to be able to leave with the rest of the staff. I can also admit that I’m a little bitter; I seem to be the only supervisor who consistently has to stay late. What am I doing wrong, I sometimes ask myself. I must be unable to manage by time properly if I’m always having to stay so much later than everyone else.
But when I start to think that I must be horrible or insufficient for the demands placed upon me, I look back at all of the emails I’ve sent. We track our time for our clients for billing purposes and I can look at our little time-viewing gadgets. I surpass everyone in the office when it comes to the time entered in for our clients; I hardly ever have internal time where I’m doing a specific thing related to the company. All of my work is client facing and while that’s pleasant to know, it’s certainly tiring.
As I mentioned in my Nephthys entry, early on in the month, I took the advice from a long-term friend of mine and approached her about something Very Important and a large source of my stress, my depression, and the chaos. I asked her to help us to pull one of our irons out of the fire, an iron that’s been sitting in the coals for… well… years now.
After twenty days, she came through and we pulled the iron out of the fire. The last two weeks of the month have been spent trying to get everything lined up so that we can move on to the next step in our lives. This is Very Good and Very Exciting, but it is also Very Stressful. I’m not even doing most of the footwork on this either as I’ve asked the SO to take on that mantle and he has. But I know how chaotic and stressful it is when my down-to-earth Taurus starts stressing about things and he certainly has been.
But when things start to get overwhelming for the two of us, we remind each other that this is where we want to be. We wanted to be here before now, but we’re finally at this stage in the game. So, now it’s time to move on and move forward. We’ll know for sure that everything is buttoned up by the end of May.
And of course, the chaos of April wouldn’t be complete without something coming completely out of left field: my last remaining grandparent past away at the end of the month. He was 97 years old and lived a very long life, so in an abstract way, I can say that this wasn’t unexpected.
But it was unexpected because he was alive at Christmas and he was happy at Christmas. And it was unexpected because my last surviving link to my grandparents, to a generation that lived through A Lot of Tough Shit has past on to the West. My seventy days of mourning has begun and I have a lot of feelings to parse through on all of this. Eventually, I’ll discuss it but for now, I’m wrapping myself around my sadness while I try to come to terms with the fact that he is gone.
The Fourth Hour
The fourth hour begins at the throat of the goddess Nut, the point where true digestion begins. I always found it very interesting that the middle hours of the afterlife that tend to be the most stressful correlate with the body parts that are used for digestion. I get focused on the idea of peristalsis and the idea that one’s rebirth is no different than what we humans do every time we eat a meal.
To move the soul forward, one must be devoured whole. There’s chewing and mashing once the soul has been taken into the mouth, but there is also swallowing. And amid all of these parts, the soul is in a constant state of chaos. It is frustrating and emotional; it is painful and distressing.
No matter how green the fertile land looks and how pleasant it may all seem, there are enemies all around, looming in the darkness that surrounds. It’s a test, really. A test and a testament to whether or not you come out the other side. It’s partially all yourself and partially the forward progression as the soul is digested by Nut.
And at the basis of it all, the very real plea that you will be able to come out of it all reborn:
O you hawk rising from Nun, Lord of the Great Flood, make me flourish as you make yourself flourish.
I have felt the threat of tears just as the deceased are wont to do in this hour. An emotional response to an overwhelming situation, but a true response all the same. One can only hope that, once this has all been completed, one will flourish once more.
I thought that this hour would be difficult and I was right, but I didn’t really consider where the difficulties would lie. The chaos of the month was only exacerbated by the chaos of the hour. The lesson of taking a few steps forward and stopping to internalize the lesson from hour two is still very present but nigh on impossible to do with so much going on at once.
Roberts states that the turbulence of the last few hours is preparation for the upcoming hours where regeneration and life are to truly begin. The chaos of the preceding hours is a test to ensure that the deceased is truly ready for what comes ahead.
I don’t feel ready necessarily but I’m moving ever forward, just like the year has been doing. The first four months of 2019 feel very much like a steady earthquake meant to test and prod and pull apart what’s already been established so that new forms can be made and old forms that work well can be reawakened.
The next few months should prove interesting.