Wepwawet Versus Anup (PBP).

I’ve actually been off-and-on about posting this entry since I first had the idea some months back. I actually think I had the idea back when we were still around L or so, but I can’t really remember. I know that I’ve had this inkling for some time and so, that’s why I wanted to get it off of my chest. I’ve discussed my thoughts with other Kemetics out there, one in specific who is a jackal enthusiast and my number one go-to regarding UPG versus recon versus reality. So, it’s with the backing of some really totally bitchin’ people that I finally get past my initial worry about posting this and just get to it. Besides, when the hell have I ever held back before? Why start now?

I have to admit that I am not a follower or practitioner who worships either of these deities. What I’m seeing is just a general UPG feeling in regards to things. How can I possibly have UPG feelings on this? The thing is that I’ve done some research about both of these deities, off and on, over the months since I began thinking about what I wanted to write about. Y’see, I knew I wanted to write about Wepwawet in this entry, but I also knew that I didn’t want to do some encyclopedic boring piece of shit that people would ignore. I wanted to get to the meat of the matter and here’s the meat portion: I am honestly beginning to believe that a lot of Kemetic practitioners who claim a relationship with Anup are really working with Wepwawet. Crazy. What do I know, right? I’m talking about UPG here and I don’t even work with either of these deities? TOTES CRAY-CRAY, SAT. But, hear me out. First, let’s talk about each deity in a generalized sense.

We have Wepwawet first. I mention him first because he is older, in my eyes, than Anup. This is partially born out in archeological evidence from the mention of him on the Narmer Palette, dating back to the 31st century BCE. Archeological evidence speaks of this particular deity’s origins as in the Upper Egypt region, but his worship spread quickly enough. The name, Wepwawet, is commonly translated as “opener of the way.” In regards to “the way” that is being “opened” here, predominant belief would be in line with a warlike, king needing the way parted before them. In fact, this is specifically discussed in the Wepwawet entry from The Complete Gods and Goddess of Ancient Egypt by Richard H. Wilkinson. While I will admit that “opening the way” may not be a peaceful venture more often than not, I don’t think warlike is attested in specific. Yes, when Wepwawet is depicted, there are weapons about. However, that could just be a way to cut through the bullshit and to open the way. As I said, opening the way for someone doesn’t necessarily refer to it in a warlike manner but, really, in a more forceful manner.

Wepwawet appears to have been a very popular deity in ancient Egyptian times, as born out in how quickly the cult of Wepwawet spread across the nation. According to Geraldine Pinch in Egyptian Mythology, “Wepwawet’s role as a celestial guide dog made him a popular deity with ordinary people who faced dangerous journeys in life or death.” While I have a bit of a snarly comment about the “guide dog” aspect, this analogy appears to be wholly correct in regards to Wepwawet, the deity, as well as the cult status he attained. This particular deity was very much an “in this life” kind of deity. I suppose we could even attest the adage, “the first day of the rest of my life,” to him in a way. Wepwawet was very concerned with this realm of influence. I’m not saying that he held no part in the afterlife because he did. But, and UPG ALERT, I’ve always seen him very much as more human interacting than Anup. (More later, obviously.)

Now, Wepwawet’s aspects did also hold dominion over the land in the dead. The “opener of the way” epithet didn’t just reference battles and cutting through bullshit, but also did have to do with the afterlife, as well. Spells found in both the Pyramid Texts as well as the Coffin Texts attest to Wepwawet’s role in aiding the recently deceased on their way to heaven and “opening ‘a good path’ for them through the dangerous landscapes of the afterlife.” (Egyptian Mythology by Geraldine Pinch, page 213.) It is also attested that, in this particular role, Wepwawet gave aid to the murdered god, Wesir. It is also shown that he punished the enemies of Wesir.

As for Anup, he is still a very ancient deity in his own right. However, the first confirmed mention of this deity is in the Pyramid Texts, thus lending credence to my belief that Wepwawet is an older version. The early years of Anup’s mention in ancient Egypt appears intrinsically linked with the funerary process. It is his image that was often carved over the entrances to ward off grave robbers. It is in this distinction that we, most often, find Anup residing. According to Egyptian Mythology by Geraldine Pinch, “Anubis was incorporated into the Osiris myth as the god who invented mummification…” (p104). And it is in this light that too often, he is truly relegated. However, this jackal-headed deity had numerous other aspects not oft discussed in Kemetic spheres: he was a liminal god, a Master of Secrets, the one who weighed and accounted the hearts of the deceased, as a psychopomp, and as the premier embalmer of the funerary cult.

I feel that the differences between these two jackal deities is very clear, but I’ll be specific here. The two of them both work in an areas of opening ways for others, but only one is more inherently in this realm than the other. Wepwawet was shown, clearly, in ancient Egyptian iconography as being an “opener of the way.” While he functioned in this aspect in a funerary way, as well, it is in the aspect of a “cutter of bullshit” that we need to take into account. As I said earlier, I see this deity as the one who would manifest more intently with the living. He would be the one to show others the way in this realm. And too often, I see people instead attesting that it is Anup who “opens the way” for them, in whatever arena. And that, to me, just doesn’t seem right.

I know that a lot of people may be thinking that it appears that I am arguing semantics here. “They’re both jackal deities; does it matter?” And the answer to that is yes. They are two SEPARATE deities. Too often, we find Anup usurping qualities best left to Wepwawet. I realize that this is because the mythologies associated with Anup survived into the Roman Era, considering Anup’s integral role in the Osirian mythos. However, there was more than one jackal deity in ancient Egypt. In fact, there are more jackal deities than just the two I’m talking about here. But, the point remains that as a hard polytheist, I legitimately believe that, too often, followers of Anup are mixing the two up.

Now, if that’s the case, why is this happening? In part, I believe it is complete ignorance on behalf of the followers. As well known as Anup is, it is difficult and time consuming to find out any type of information about other jackal deities. (Just ask anyone in love with Sed or Khentymentu.) And as I’ve been coaching people interested in this religious path, this path is about reading, research, and taking the time to learn. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you can go to the Wiki pages and leave it at that. It means that the more ancient the sources we run into, the more likely we will have the proper information. And so, that would make it easier for the current followers to decide who it is they are actually working with.

But, you know, who wants to spend all their time with a nose in a book when this particular jackal deity looks good, so why not go with that one?

Wait a minute, though. Wouldn’t the deities in question stop the fuck up in its tracks?

I’ve thought about this and had a conversation or two with people. I think a large aspect to the problem is that soft polytheism is fairly rife in the Kemetic hemisphere. If I’m not mistaken, this is a big tenant to KO in general. In soft polytheistic beliefs, we have one general deity that is all the other deities. So, in regards to this, if you’re not listening, then why would they say one way or another? Another aspect to this is that I don’t think they particularly care. I do because I’m a stickler, but I’ve been informed that I’m not exactly normal in a lot of cases. (I mean, how many Kemetics are out there as Sekhmet kids? If that’s not a big indicator that I don’t follow the norm, then I don’t know what is.) I legitimately believe that both of these deities are so excited that people are paying attention to them again that they don’t really care so much about the “semantics.” But, there’s another theory here.

I’ve often thought about the fact that Anup and Hermes were mixed into one deity during the Greek er. We see this in the form of Hermanubis. While I’m not a huge fan of the mixing or Greekification of deities (there’s a reason I’m a Kemetic), I always wondered at the reason behind their being unified. Generally, it’s believed that because the two of them have workings with the souls of the dead that this is the main basis for their unification. However, I’ve run up against Hermes a time or two and he has got a serious trolling way about him. I often wondered if personalities had to do with any of the unification and if that’s the case, then I suppose I could conjecture (UPG, obviously) that Anup is something of a troll, too.

And let me ask you, what troll ever cared about anything other than getting the worshipers?


  1. House of Jackals.
  2. Wepwawet @ Henadology.
  3. Anup @ Henadology.
  4. Anup @ Reshafim.
  5. Wepwawet @ Reshafim.
  6. Egyptian Mythology by Geraldine Pinch.
  7. The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Richard H Wilkinson

Work and Religion (PBP).

As anyone who has been reading my blog for any length of time can tell you, I am vastly worried that by going back to work (as if I had a choice in that) will cause me to lose just about all of the very hard work I’ve put into my religion since I was fired in August. This is actually a very prevailing fear of mine and as much I try to, I find that I can’t really shake it. I will have moments of intense panic where I ask myself if I’m losing something yet. While the answer, thus far, has always been “no,” that doesn’t really mean much. I’ve been working for about two weeks now and that, I feel, isn’t quite enough time to make a big decision on what I could or could not lose, have or have not lost. It’s so all-intensive, this fear, that I focused my Fet Gede Tarot reading on the question. I dream about it. I keep assuring myself when I put on my jewelry that everything is still there.

The thing is that while I think about all of this, I’ve been going through my previous work history to find out when religion and work no longer coincided. When was it that the materialistic Leo who let religion and faith fall to the wayside last year take over? What was the exact moment that I can say, clearly, that religion was no longer important to me? And I’ve begun to seriously consider if it isn’t the environment, and therefore the jobs that I have worked, that has made it difficult for me to retain my faith. Thing is, I don’t think it is the retail atmosphere… per se.

I’ve always worked retail jobs.

Today, I sat back (in between calls) and thought about my first job. I got it because of BFTX. She worked at a local fruit mart and managed to get me hired on in the ice cream department the summer after high school. I managed to keep the job, moving to the fruit area, after the ice cream counter closed. (I always felt that this was a clear indicator that I had a go-get-’em attitude.) I’ve thought back to that job and I can’t quite see it as a place that would have sucked out faith. I had faith in various arenas back then, but they weren’t religious in any sense. (I was still in an atheist phase.) While, of course, I’m looking back across over ten years of time, I have to admit that the job seems almost as if it would have boosted my faith in whatever I chose to believe in at that point. The place we worked at was, pretty much, left to the running of young adults and teenagers. I think that this childlike atmosphere would have only allowed creative, faith-based thoughts to flourish.

Of course, I don’t know.

I can only conjecture here.

But thinking back with a fond nostalgia, I often wonder if I had religion back then if it would have been suppressed. And I honestly don’t believe so. I think part of it would have been the atmosphere of a bunch of kids running an entire fruit mart until nine o’clock at night. But, I do feel that it was the childlike naïvete that ruled that place after hours that would have fostered more ideals, faith, religion, and beliefs. And I’ll be frank here, I’ve never considered the work I did at the fruit mart is inherently retail. Technically, I was selling items to others via a cash register. However, it always felt more like a clubhouse than a job. It was a sad day when the place closed and all the people I made friendly with moved on to other avenues.

My other jobs have always been, definitively, retail. And some of them have had me wondering that if religion had been a part of my life if it had been with a fervent belief. The thing is that in some cases, such as the job directly after the fruit mart place, it grated on me. It wasn’t the interaction with people so much as the rampant nepotism in that place. It also bothered me immensely that I was being asked, in that job, to live off of 20 hours a week, which is intensely impossible (even for a 19-year-old back then). However, I do believe that part of the draining capacity to that job was where I was working: I was working in a mall and all manner of hooligans and idiots came in daily. I was working in a mall and all manner of people I never wanted to associate with again came in on a regular basis. The job there was draining and I legitimately believe that any faith I may have held then would have been pulled from me.

In going back, I look through the jobs that I have had and have decided which aspects would have fostered a religious belief and which would have curtailed a religious belief. All of them have been in relation with customer service or retail of a sort. And in each of them, I find myself overly surprised by the answer. I’ve come to associate my time working at the first gas station in Texas as a time that would have, possibly, allotted for religious fervor. However, I have also come to believe that my time as a front desk clerk, working the split shift that I did, would have removed me entirely from a religious capacity. Going back to the environment of the first gas station some years later, I find myself looking back to nights spent in a coven of three on the phone, performing magic and holding rituals. So, while I was tuckered out from being a new mom and having to survive every day, I still had belief, religion, faith. The previous call center job – faith would have been destroyed. The secretary job – faith would have been added to and growth would have happened.

Then I come back to the time at the greediest company and I realize just how much of that job sucked out of me. It wasn’t just the faith and the belief, but the inherent desire to do anything whatsoever in a religious capacity. Anything that felt like it was necessary or those intense moments where god communication was practically mandated were ignored in the face of rest, spending time with my child, and the all-pervasive materialistic nature I developed. Everything and everyone was put in second place to that job. I say very often now that my first goal is my child – whatever he needs, wants, desires. The thing is that while I was telling myself I was working the hours and making the money for my child, it didn’t matter. As I said in the reading I did for myself last Friday, the money was great, but what point where the clothes, the books, and other things it bought if I never had time to use those things or see my child in those things? I never really looked at it this way before, but I’m pretty sure that place completely warped my sense of self as well as my soul.

And it frightens me very much that a place can do that to me.

Something that I require in order to survive can destroy something that is inherently within me and that I believe in strongly.

The thing I have to wonder is where do we draw the line about all of this. Where do we draw the line between what we require to make survival on the physical realm versus what we require to survive on a spiritual level? Can you even draw the line? Is there even a reason to not allow the two to meet? I have to wonder what it is that I see from other polytheists and pagans who managed to survive quite well while working their jobs, but also continuing in their beliefs. Is it just the kind of person I could become because of X-type of place that makes it harder for me? Or is this something that others struggle with, as well?

How many pagans can say that they are satisfied with their jobs in relation to their spiritual wants and desires?

And how many pagans can say that their jobs just sap the whole thing out of them at the end of every day?

And when is it okay to say that it isn’t okay to let the job take over every minutiae of every aspect of our lives?

Is it sacrifice here that’s necessary or is it the ability to stand up and say, “this is not okay,” and walk away?

I know that I can walk away from a job that is not for me. I know that, financially, it will not be okay, but I can do so without looking back with a second glance. I’ve done it before and I do not doubt that I will do it again. But, when will I look back and say that the reasons I’m looking back are for personal, spiritual, religious gain as opposed to the politics inherent in the environment? I’d like to say that in this whole going back to work thing that I will be able to know when enough is enough, now, and get the fuck out of Dodge. I’d like to say that I’ve learned the lesson.

But, have I?

And again, I come back to what’s more important: religious growth or financial?

Vacationing OTHERS™ (PBP).

A quick note before I begin: I would just like to apologize for my dearth of posts this week. I just started a new job as a temp at a local insurance claims facility and it’s kicking my ass. It’s not because I’m not still religiously oriented or that I’m having a Fallow Time, it’s just that time and energy are escaping me while I get back into the work flow.

Sometimes, as a polytheist, you get to a point where the OTHERS™ you have a working relationship with take a kind of “vacation,” of sorts. A lot of times, personally, I tend to misconstrue this as a Fallow Time – one of those periods where religion takes a backseat. However, when an OTHER™ is taking time off from you, this doesn’t necessarily mean you or I are in a Fallow Time. So, let’s talk about what happens to me (and so, you know, you can base yourself off of this if you so desire) what happens when the OTHERS™ take a vacation.

When will an OTHER™ go on a “vacation”?
This is one of those questions that are actually specific to the OTHER™ in question. There are numerous responses that could be considered appropriate and numerous responses that could be considered wild guesses in regards to this query. The thing is that we don’t know when something like this will happen. We can assume it will, at some point in our lives, but we cannot always know when it will actually occur. Unfortunately, as much as divination may be part and parcel to the religion you practice, you can’t know in the future when an OTHER™ will be taking a break from you. If they wanted you to know in advance, they’d probably send you the OTHER™ version of an E-mail or voicemail about the thing. In the mean time, let’s talk about the “when” question and cycles.

You see, I’ve come to notice that when it comes to my OTHERS™, I have specific times of the year where contact is more pronounced, or louder, if you will. (What I mean by louder is that Papa Legba gets quieter in my head as opposed to leaving off entirely.) So, in my practice, I tend to find that the communication thing goes in and out via cycles, which are directly related to the time of the year. Now the specific reason behind this cyclical thing, I’ll get into later (or at least, theorize about it later), but in the mean time, I can tell you that I hear from Sekhmet and Hetharu less and less as autumn and winter culminate. In the mean time, I’m lucky enough to have “off time” OTHERS™ to take up their spaces, in the forms of Papa Legba and Hekate. So while Hetharu and Sekhmet get quieter and quieter or their communication becomes sparse, the other two fill in the hole.

Now, not all OTHERS™ are obviously cyclical. For example, I honestly don’t understand why I hear Papa Legba more pronouncedly in the winter time than I do in the summer time while I understand the slack in communicate in winter from my goddesses. Again, I’ll theorize about this further on, but in the mean time, I just wanted to get out there that sometimes, the OTHERS™ don’t really have a rhyme or reason as to why they go on a vacation at specific time.

Rest assured that it isn’t just you. They have their reasons and they’ll either tell you about them or otherwise when they get back. Now as for the OTHERS™ that don’t hold to specific cycles as clearly cut as mine do, there could be a couple of reasons for this. However, the one thing I want to get into specifically in this section here is that keep calm, cool, and collected here. Just because an OTHER™ goes off on walkabout doesn’t mean that you are doing something wrong or that you fucked up along the way. It just means that they went on walkabout.

When can I expect my OTHER™ to come back?
Unfortunately, this is yet another one of those questions that people have that are pretty much unanswerable. As I said above, as much as divination may play a large part in your religion that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be given even a second of an inkling as to when they will leave or when they will return. They will come back or at least send you their version of the E-mail, as I mentioned before. (I tend to think of OTHERS™ as not very rude, but big sticklers on formality, which is why I mention that they will probably let you know what’s going on at some point or another. Whether or not you realize that you are receiving a message, well that’s a whole different ball park.)

The thing that we tend to forget about the OTHERS™ is that they are, you know, more powerful beings than we are. So, while we may have a perceived schedule of events in regards to our religion, they don’t even remotely care. It’s not because they don’t have emotions in regards to us or that they’re emotionless creatures that are just levels above us (as evidenced, clearly to me, by the Greek gods, themselves…). It’s just that they are indefatigable in what they are doing that we may not be aware of and that they are, well, you know, OTHERS™. And that does, indeed, mean that their motive may be miles and miles above where we are on the ladder of life or whatever you want to call it. It’s not that they don’t care, okay?

So, again, I have to rehash what I said above. When an OTHER™ disappears, don’t just freak out that they’re never coming back. Don’t immediately assume that you did something wrong. Don’t immediately start crying and freaking out at your altar or in prayers (or both). The OTHERS™ are the OTHERS™ are the OTHERS™. They do what they want and when they want it. So, as much as we may have a perceived timetable, they probably aren’t going to abide by it. They will come back when they come back.

How will I know an OTHER™ is going on “vacation”?
I don’t really think that there is any sure-fire indication than an OTHER™ will be taking a time out. It’s not a very clear-cut process all the time. I consider myself very lucky in this that I have gods that are cyclical. (And of course, as I said, I will get to that later.) However, sometimes, it just happens.

Obvious signs are obvious: lack of communication, feeling like you’re in a case of the druthers for that lack of communication, etc.

Whenever I start to feel like my goddesses are doing their vacationing thing, I have a kind of depression for a week or so. It’s not that they aren’t there to hear me out or anything, but I just feel less connected than I usually do. And this ends up leading to a kind of depression period that tends to last about a week [for me]. Some of the other signs about this can also be directly related to real life. One of the things people tend to forget when the mundane gets in the way is that it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to head into a Fallow Time. It could just be a type of signal from your OTHERS™ letting you know that you have to take care of A, B, and C before you can get back on track.

Other signals can and do include communication via your divination weapon of choice. I use Tarot cards and oracle decks almost exclusively to work with my OTHERS™. So occasionally, I’ll get a bunch of cards that mean it’s time to take a step back, rethink some things, and then come back to it from a different perspective. I’ve never gotten a card, specifically, that said “HEY I’M TAKING A VACA; I’LL CALL YOU WHEN I GET BACK,” but you never know. Pulling runes or using other types of divinatory oracles are another avenue you can explore when it comes to getting that precog moment where you realize it’s getting time for the OTHER™ in question to take back.

As a side note to signals and signs: I feel that I should add that you cannot discount messages from outside sources. I’m not talking about the divination in as much as I’m talking about some random person contacting you out of the blue and saying, “Hey, OTHER™ X just notified me that they’re taking a break from you for a while.” While I have had some of my UPG verified by outside sources in various capacities, I’ve never had one of my OTHERS™ utilize another as a conduit for communication. (But wouldn’t that be kind of neat if they did?) However, I have known of it happening to people, both as conduits and as people who have received messages from outsiders. So, while you would probably prefer to stick to yourself in regard to this situation, don’t necessarily discount outside messengers.

Why do the OTHERS™ go on a “vacation”?
Okay, so this is really the meat and potatoes of this post. Whenever it comes to the OTHERS™, one of the main types of questions some of us older practitioners tend to receive are “why”. And who doesn’t want to know why? We get these types of questions from kids all the time. “Why is the sky blue?” “Why do I have to go to bed?” “Why can’t I paint poop on the walls?” Lots and lots of times, you’ll hear or see me go, “why is this happening?” I think it’s pretty much natural, as human beings, to constantly ask why. So, let’s wade through this mountain of possibilities.

As I said, my OTHERS™ are almost entirely cyclical. My two main deities, Sekhmet and Hetharu, are solar deities. So, it tends to make sense that these Kemetic goddesses would be more able and intense in their communication with me when it comes to spring, summer, and early fall. The sun is shining; the heat is profound; and everything is in bloom. All of these are aspects that I tend to associate with my goddesses anyway, being solar deities. Especially in regards to Sekhmet, who is an Eye of Re (also known as the super solar deity), it makes absolutely perfect sense that I get a deeper and more fulfilling connection with her in the summer months. In like fashion, we have Hekate who is an opposite of sorts to my Kemetic deities. She tends to be more associated with the autumnal and winter months, so when it comes to communicating, it seems to make a lot of sense as to why I have a more intense connection with her (and darker deities, besides) in the winter months.

As I said earlier, in the land of Papa Legba, I’m unsure. I have my theories, but I really can’t comment. As a crossroads lwa, he serves similar function to Hekate. However, he is lwa and I haven’t read too much on them being specifically associated with timing or cycles. I mean, certain lwa will obviously have a more direct connection with nature and so, therefore, it’s possible relationships will end up being cyclical. However, Papa Legba is a kind of alpha and omega in the lwa world. He opens up communication with other lwaas well as stirs shit in your life. So, aside from his perceived lack of cycles, my only possibility is that I tone him down in summer months so that I can pay more close attention to Sekhmet and Hetharu. It’s a guess, of course, but it is possible to kind of tune out some kinds of OTHERS™ so that you can focus on communication with other kinds of OTHERS™.

Now, so, we can take perceived communication outages as cyclical. Obviously, your mileage may vary and it really does depend on the OTHER™ in question. Some are more clear-cut and obvious than others: Persephone, Demeter, and gods that are inherently tied to cycles. However, there are deities that aren’t so neatly tied up and wrapped into a bow. In cases like that, we have to start sifting a little deeper for the reason behind this.

I tend to view it in a general sense. Since I do work with cyclical OTHERS™, I have less need to take a broader view here. However, I tend to believe that when an OTHER™ goes on vacation, we should probably also pay attention to how wide-spread their following is. While we read a lot of blogs about Loki followers and the like, we have to assume that Loki can’t be in all places at once. (Then again, when it comes to Loki, one never really knows.) I think a large problem here is that we tend to come into polytheistic belief systems from an Abrahamic background. This makes it difficult to disassociate the OTHERS™ with the omniscient, omnipotent YHWH from the Abrahamic side of things. We can’t just assume that the OTHERS™ are able to be in all places at once, able to know things at all times.

And again, maybe they need to take a break. We don’t know what happens on their plane of existence. We don’t know what they’re going through, who they’re hanging with, how many followers and worshipers they may have. We just don’t know. And even though you may have a more personal relationship with the OTHER™ in question that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not going to need to take a time out.

So to sum up: OTHERS™ take time off. They do so for various reasons. They will come back when they so desire. And at some point, they will probably let you know in some form or another what’s going on. It’s just a matter of keeping your mind open, your eyes peeled, and keep on keepin’ on when things go quiet.

Violence, Sekhmet, and Ma’at (PBP).

I realized something the other day when I was thinking about ma’at and Sekhmet and Sutekh’s relation to the belief. I realized that, myself included, a lot of people seem to think that ma’at is intrinsically associated with rainbows, happiness, and unicorn farts. There are roses and oases everywhere filled with lotus blossoms. The scents of beauty enchant and entrap you with their perfection. In the distance, a gentle breeze blows the heat from your brow or a warming stone keeps the chill from your fingers. Everything works out okay: the money comes in when it’s supposed to, you’re eternally employed at the best job ever, you have a good family, there is healthy communication, and just happiness abounds out of your pores like the sweet scents of incense. So, in essence, I realized that there are probably a lot of people who think that ma’at is equated with perfection and happiness. It is a concept, I believe, that is horrifically wrong.

What brought this up was the other night when I found an image someone did of Sekhmet in human form, as can be found here. I like the image without looking further into it; the face of it is lovely. I think the artist is incredibly talented. However, the actual symbolism behind the image, I’m not a large fan of. The dark, almost evil, thoughtful look on Sekhmet’s face, the mountain of skulls the throne is upon… these don’t sit right with me. I have never once, in all my years, had a feeling of Sekhmet as this inherently, well, evil kind of lady. She’s a lot of things and she’s lot of facets but this image kind of makes me feel like she is EVIL INCARNATE – DESTROY, KILL, DESTROY and nothing else. I went on to comment on this and had a little side conversation with a Canaanite polytheist over at Tumblr about it. Later, the person who initially posted this image commented back and one of the things ze said was, “Though Sekhmet can stand for order… she’s unapologetically violent as hell.” And I started thinking.

What is it about ma’at that makes us believe that it’s some lovely, peace-filled harmony that we should all strive for?

I think the basic issue stems from the inability to properly equate it in American-English, UK-English, and various other languages. I’ve mentioned this in other places before but sometimes, there are just some foreign words that have no comparison in other foreign languages. I’ll break this down using an example that I think relates to the concept of ma’at and is dear to my heart. So, let’s discuss the Russian word, Правда, or “pravda.” In English, we associate this term as meaning “truth,” but it’s actually a good deal more than that. As found on page 17 of Russia and the Russians by Geoffrey Hosking, “in fact everything the community regarded as ‘right’: justice, morality, God’s law, behaving according to conscience. The criterion for any decision taken by the village assembly that it must accord with pravda.” In effect, the concept of Правда is similar (UPG here) to what I equate ma’at as being. What I’m saying is that it isn’t just about what we ascribe as perfection or as truth, but as a moral compass as well as harmony. It’s a word that needs numerous other words to be properly ascribed in English, which is something we often find when trying to explain ma’at to outsiders. (I know I tend to go, “it’s uh…” a lot when talking with non-Kemetics.)

And while morality figures highly into the concept behind ma’at, we can’t just assume that violence doesn’t figure into this.

As found on Wiki, we watch as a god slays Apep. Similar imagery can be found in later times of Sutekh and Sekhmet slaying the serpent of chaos.

As shown in the image above, we see a goddess (claimed to be Bastet by Wiki) slaying the serpent of chaos, Apep. There is nothing light and fluffy about this act. Warboar drew an image of Set slaying Apep (original entry linked below). In later myths, I have found the chore of slaying Apep given to Sekhmet, my main lady. As evidenced by the picture above, it is also a chore ascribed to Bastet. In all of these instances, in the mythologies, we find that the gods are slaying a creature to uphold all things that are ma’at. This is a necessary evil, in effect. In order to keep isfet from overtaking the world and creation, these gods must stand up against it and battle it. In the battles, blood will be shed; violence will be used. But these are considered good, charitable, and life-saving acts. Sometimes, light and fluffy is fine and dandy, but offering Apep tea and crumpets isn’t going to necessary stop it from overtaking all things ma’at.

But let’s go back to Правда for a minute. In Russian linguistics, they actually have words that we can equate with the antithesis of Правда. Depending on the words used, they could equate to “crookedness,” “untidiness,” and various other things. But, as I mentioned in what I quote above, “The criterion for any decision taken by the village assembly that it must accord with pravda.” In effect, whenever we discuss Правда, it was the social conscience for what was correct and morally upheld by the entire assembly, the entire community or Мир (or “mir” in English.) So, in while we would view Правда as discussing unicorn farts and rainbows with pots of gold at the end of them, in times where life was anything but certain, Правда could also equate with burning the fields and starting all over again, fighting against the Khans that were subjecting their authority over Russian land, and fighting against other Мир that were trying to overtake their land and resources. While Правда was about good things and conscientious thought, amongst other things, that could also mean utilizing violence to make it happen.

Now, let’s talk about Sekhmet for a minute here.

Sekhmet had seven arrows that tended to bring bad luck and misfortune, usually in the form if disease. As taken from page 37 of Magic in Ancient Egypt by Geraldine Pinch: “the Seven Arrows of Sekhmet, always brought evil fortune, often in the form of infectious disease.” However, there doesn’t seem to be any concrete evidence as to who may or may not be hit with these seven arrows. Considering her actions in regarding and upholding ma’at and her heavy influence over maintaining justice, wouldn’t it be possible that the people who were afflicted with the Seven Arrows could in fact be those who were living lives filled with isfet? Obviously, we have no evidence in support or to the contrary of these thoughts, but I feel that it makes more sense in what I’ve learned and what I’ve done in working with her that while, she was fearful since she did try to annihilate humanity once, it is just as likely that those struck by her arrows were not living in accordance with ma’at. This, I feel, is another example where, maybe not specifically violence per se, but a more negative aspect can be utilized in an effort to correct slights against ma’at.

What it comes down to, in regards to all of this is, how does violence suddenly no longer equate with ma’at? When did that happen? And how does the act of using violence to maintain ma’at suddenly equate Sekhmet as being “unapologetically violent as hell”?

Let’s discuss the elephant in the room here: the basis for most people’s thoughts on Sekhmet being “unapologetically violent as hell” isn’t just the Arrows that are considered “evil” and the diseases that could arise from them. Almost entirely, we have the basis for belief in her violent savvy ways is the Destruction of Mankind myth. A quick summary is that Re got really old and kind of enfeebled. Some of his human creations didn’t understand this and began talking smack about it behind his back. When he learned of this treachery, he got really angry and decided to teach his treasonous creations a lesson by destroying all of them. Enter Sekhmet: the Eye of Re. While initially, Sekhmet was only supposed to kill the people who were plotting against Re, she was intent on her blood lust and wanted her fill, so she began killing the humans that hadn’t plotted against her father. In the end, he tricked her with some red-colored beer, she got so very drunk, and passed out. However, the whole point behind the myth is that treachery and espionage are probably not a good idea because only bad things happen. Due to this, illness came to the world and Re relinquished his ruler ship over humanity.

However, in all of this, we are forgetting that while Sekhmet did get out of control, she was initially upholding ma’at by destroying those who had plotted against her father, Re. In order to teach a lesson, sometimes we have to smack our children’s hands out of the fire or punish them by sending them to their room without dinner. While times were more violent back then, it was with violence that the lesson was taught. Do not go against the gods. But more simplistically, do not fuck with ma’at because it will not end well.

Now, in regards to violence, it was common and often necessary in the ancient world. Since quite often, outside cultures would be considered part and parcel with isfet, subjugation via war would be considered upholding ma’at in ancient Egypt belief systems. They would see the act of war as necessary to tame the chaos all around them. These beliefs never brought about their destruction or seemed to annoy the gods since the ancient Egyptian culture lasted for thousands of years. And it wasn’t always just “unapologetic violence” being utilized here. It was an act of entering a country, subjugating its people in totality, and with the end result of having upheld ma’at from the agents of isfet. Just as Sekhmet and Sutekh and Bastet were busy slaying Apep to allow the sun god to rise yet another day, so too were the pharaoh and his armies doing likewise by conquering their neighbors.

While I will admit that we no longer live in a time frame where violence is to be utilized so readily and quickly as it was in ancient times, I do think it’s a mistake to forget that, in upholding ma’at, the ancients and the gods utilized it easily, readily, and to quick effect. So, really, the lesson here isn’t just that ma’at is a good deal more than a lot of people make of it, but that it’s as “dirty” and “violent” as it is “harmony” and “light.”

Relevant Posts

  1. Why Do You Worship Sutekh? by Warboar.

Universe is Trollin’ (PBP).

I keep getting trolled by the universe and it’s all the same trolling.

This is the universe.

And this is my face.

What do I mean when I keep telling everyone that the universe is trolling me? Well, you know how you get all of those Internet trolls who are just trying to push your buttons and start things just for the sake of having something to do? You know exactly what I mean if you have been on the Internet for longer than five minutes. Internet Trolls are the bane of the Internet, but sometimes, you get the same kind of thing when it comes to the universe. Sometimes, the universe sits up, notices what you’re doing, and decides to just piss you the fuck off with what you think are extraneous and unrelated topics. In fact, this is far from the truth because the universe is bigger, badder, and older than you are. The topics in question may be pushing your buttons, but they are ultimately related. It’s just a matter of deciding how you handle it.

You can just ignore it.

You can just go with the flow.

Or, you could just do this.

I’m currently at the last option.

After last week’s PBP post, I was kind of not really sure what to do with the information that reading had provided me. I was under a certain impression that X was the cause of the “nefarious deeds” mentioned therein. The problem, however, is that I’ve had a shit-ton of past lives with this guy and in any one of those lives, I could have done something that would come back and bite me in the ass. I decided not to think about it, but you know, this is a post about the universe trolling me. So, you know, as much as I decided that I could get a working done for the here and now, the universe had other plans. First, a quick conversation with a friend of mine who said that “nefarious deeds,” to her, sounded more like stealing a child, murder, and all that fun stuff. A’right. That’s probably more of a past life thing so again, I decided to mull it over in my own time.


I sat down with Hekate and was randomly shuffling the cards to figure out what the hell was going on.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

The cards are Earth, The Sun, and Astral Body. Oh-ho-ho. Isn’t it just so interesting that I get a card about the astral when I’m busy studiously not thinking about how I should try to travel into the astral and figure out what the hell I did back then to fuck shit up so hardcore now? Yeah, it was really interesting. The reading was, in effect, this is what you do to achieve some goals, doing all of this well help with getting to the next step in your life, and you have to go to the astral to do it. I decided that this wasn’t really what I had to do. This had to do with the here and now, for fuck’s sake. This didn’t have to do with the astral or severing ties: this had to do with what I did to the ex-husband five fucking years ago and not what could have happened between us in any number of past lives we lived together (and possibly died because of each other in).

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

So, then I did another random shuffle and this is what happened next. I received As Above, So Below, Tree of Fall, and the Three Great Realms cards. In effect, this reading was telling me that what has come before is coming back now. It’s all mirrors, everything is mirrors. I interpreted that to mean that I’ve managed to get away before, but it’s always come back to bite me in the ass although in different ways. I have to shed this stuff because it no longer works. It’s just dead weight and like a tree in the fall, it’s time to get rid of those leaves. And the final card is, in effect, telling me that all dimensions are concerned here. It’s not just what I see and want to be reality here, but that all decisions from my past and in the astral are impacting me right now.

So much for completely ignoring something and coming to conclusions in my own right.

And then my lovely friend who talked to me about “nefarious deeds” decided to do a card reading for me because she is lovely and awesome and have I mentioned lovely? And guess what?

The universe smacked me around with some more stuff. BECAUSE IT IS A TROLL.

I present to you, the universe… again.

This has left me in a very interesting place. The last few nights, I’ve been going to the astral. I don’t know how or anything except that I am going. I have the clear-cut signs of someone completely hungover from a night spent in the astral realm. I don’t remember anything. Last night, however, I went to the room that I associate with my way-station before I head into the astral. Whenever I purposely go there, Mut (who I am thinking is a guide of sorts here) would never show up. I would end up spending hours exploring the room and trying to get a clear picture of the gods on the table in the center of the room or wandering the balcony and wondering when I would get to leave that room.

I was able to leave that room last night.

I was sucked into a mirror. And the last thing I remember is…

Sans unicorn, perfectly accurate representation.

So, as much as there are times when we don’t want to look at the signs and figure out what the hell is going on, no matter how much you shove your head in the sand, it doesn’t matter. The universe is going to troll the fuck out of you until you pull on your big girl (or boy) panties, pack a lunch, and get the fuck out there to figure it out. It’s so much fun when you try to take your normal route – such as hiding your head in the sand as I am wont to do – and the universe drops a whole bunch of truth down your throat and in your face.

Truth bomb, in yo’ face.

Untying the Knots (PBP).

The best part about working with the blogging project is that, occasionally, shit just falls in your lap.

This week, I won a free bone and Tarot reading from The Pagan Rapport. I was really excited. I get readings from friends and whatnot if I ask, but it’s nice to be able to win a reading from a complete stranger because, you know, it’s a feeling of almost having UPG verified by an outside source. It’s a moment where you can see your life through someone else’s eyes, which is a nice feeling. You may not feel so doggone about things if you can see it clearly explained from someone else’s point-of-view. It’s also nice because I tend to feel like I don’t win things, so, that was kind of cool, too.

The query I posed to Mr Hob was, My subject matter is that I appear to be blocked in moving forward (specifically with finding a job after being unemployed 14 months) and I’m curious to know the source of this blockage and how to remove it/destroy it. I won’t get into the bone reading because I feel like that’s something I have to parcel out myself at the moment. And also, I like to hoard lovely things and a bone reading, to me, is a lovely thing. I also won’t show the reading itself, but I want to untie the knots about the Tarot reading here. It’s important and eye-opening. The general reading is summed up as follows.

Where you are now, things are changing; things are ending. Like many fundamental changes, this is not comfortable, and is probably scary as Hell. However, new life arises where the old has fallen. You have overcome a daunting struggle to reach the place you are now. To have emerged triumphant may make your current turmoil all the more alarming. Though frightening, you see some merit in the coming changes. While you may have accomplished things in the past, you seek a new road. There is someone you wish to see suffer. Not only do you want to see what they have hidden thrown out for others to see, you want to feel the blade twist. Thinking back to the betrayals suggested in the Coyote Claws in the bone toss, I would suggest examining your past relationships for the source of your current restrictions. There is a loyal, devoted man coming into your life. The King of Wands is a fatherly figure, a caring parent. Do you have children? If so, are you in contact with their father? Following on the heels of the Lovers, in the previous position, I would think this more likely a love interest, rather than a parental figure, for you. Present circumstances may be pushing you to seek avenues which are not in your best interest. Beware of foolish plans, for they may bring you to ruin. People in your life may be urging you toward a change, or encouraging you to escape a harmful situation. This may be sound advice. Take the time to examine your situation, and the help being offered. Someone may have already given you the means of egress. You have to regain your center, for nothing can be accomplished while you charge in all directions You may be battering against the bars, while not realizing that the gate stands open. Where you are, right now, there can be no growth. Contesting forces have reached a standstill, and choices are going to have to be made to open the ways again.

The overall interpretation is as follows,

There is some soul-searching to be done. What I’m seeing is that you have resorted to something nefarious in the past to overcome a perceived obstacle. While you may have seen a temporary triumph from this, it was, overall, more harmful that helpful. It has left you mired, trapped in a way which has your wheels spinning. There are some relationships, and associations, that are going to have to be reexamined, and resolved, before you can find the way forward. There are people in your life trying to help. Though well intended, not all of that help is helping you. Anything keeping you from dealing with the past is not helping you.

You’re going to have to deal with what has been before you can move on.

Well… that’s a lot of knots to be untyin’.

I’ve known for quite some time that I’m at the end of a cycle and in the start of a new one. I’ve been getting the Wheel of Fortune in my Tarot readings for months now along with the Death card. We all know those are all about journeys and cycles, rebirth and the death of the old. And I have to admit that the whole thing is scary. It’s beyond scary. I’ve made mention before that the thought of leaving behind the hard work I did for the last year, being unemployed and working on myself and my path, is one of the scariest changes I’ve had to go through. I look back and see myself, standing in the aftermath of my job loss. And I see the horrifying changes in so many different things that came because of that loss. But, in all reality, it was a good change; a positive change. I was able to renew my relationship with a son I barely saw or knew anymore. I was able to renew my relationship with myself, which is just as important as the one with my son. But, even with all of the hard work and the pain that went into all of that stuff that I haven’t talked about over here, I have to admit that it’s the upcoming change and renewal process that scares me more than anything.

I could see the precipice I was standing on when I lost my job. I could see all the different avenues laid out before me. That was easy. It’s this new change that I have to worry about that, the new change that scares me. While I could see things crystal clear or at least as though through water before, I can’t see anything now. And what will these new changes bring? Will I end up missing out on a relationship with my son again? Will I sacrifice my soul and my intent for power and money? Or will I take the lessons I’ve learned, living hand-to-mouth, and use them appropriately? Talk about having your UPG verified: this guy just hit the nail on the head, managed a hole in one, and sent me into a shaking spree.

But the scariest part was reading this: There is someone you wish to see suffer. Not only do you want to see what they have hidden thrown out for others to see, you want to feel the blade twist. Thinking back to the betrayals suggested in the Coyote Claws in the bone toss, I would suggest examining your past relationships for the source of your current restrictions. Oh, oh, oh. I didn’t have to ask nobody nothin’ about that. I knew what that meant the second I saw it and I knew fear.

I’ve tried really hard these last few months to let go of what the ex-husband did to me. I’ve tried very diligently, or not so diligently but intently at least, to see things from a balanced perspective. I’ve tried to see my hurts and my anger from where he may have been standing during that time. The thing is that I just keep coming back to a character from a book that I’ve read to death. (Now, don’t laugh.) I’m talking about the Evan Remington character from The Three Sisters trilogy by Nora Roberts. When I want to feel witchy or I’m just feeling low, I re-read the first book in the trilogy a lot. And I see my ex-husband encased, in ways, as the “evil” Evan Remington. And I hate that I can’t look past my own pain long enough to see him in any other way. But, the reading was right. I not only want to see him suffer, I want to feel the blade twist under my hand. And I want it to all come to light; I want everyone to know.

And the part about the parental male figure… well, I know what that means. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and I realize that part of the reason I still have some resentment is because I took the coward’s way out. My initial plan was to just up and leave, file for divorce when I got to Texas and leave it at that. Things would have come out then. Things would have been okay. Instead, metaphorically speaking, I hit behind TH and got away that way. It was a good hide. It worked out so that I didn’t have to fight over the dogs, the car, or anything else. I didn’t have to fight tooth and nail for the things I felt I had earned and deserved after being treated like a doormat for months and months on end. I didn’t have to fight tooth and nail for the things that I felt should be given to me, based out of how much time and energy and love I had put into a relationship neither one of us was either prepared for, desired, or could escape. It’s all so convoluted but I think the problem here is the hiding. I hid behind TH and now, I am dissatisfied with how things are.

And this is getting to me.

And then, I got to this part, People in your life may be urging you toward a change, or encouraging you to escape a harmful situation. And things started tingling up and down my spine. I had the chills for a good minute after reading that. ‘Cause… hadn’t two of my in-real-life friends both been telling me, in little ways, to let it go? Hadn’t two of them, in their own way, both mentioned that what was past was past and that doing the shadow work wasn’t going to solve anything? Interesting that it came up. Even more interesting that I had to stop what I was reading when I came to that point.

On a handful of separate occasions, I’ve had two people repeatedly tell me that I should let the thing go. “You can’t change the past.” “What’s in the past is in the past.” “The past is back there because we don’t live there anymore.” “I worry it’s doing something to you; can it really be good for you?” In the writing, I feel like I’m letting large pieces go. There’s still some side work and a major writing project to continue, but the intense desire to stab the ex-husband or laugh maniacally while he burns in a fire… I don’t feel those as much anymore. I still have my moment. I still have those times when I just want to strangle him like he always dreamed he would do to me (or I dreamed he did to me). There are still some times where I want to cry at the fruitlessness of it all. But I think things are going forward; are working out. My type of shadow work isn’t your type of shadow work isn’t their type of shadow work. And I think in the telling and trying to take a more balanced view of things is helping… but two friends think otherwise and they urge me to stop.

Is the advice sound?

I have to say that I don’t think so. And here’s why, Anything keeping you from dealing with the past is not helping you. That’s something I’ve thought myself a time or two and this reading has only strengthened my belief that what I’m doing is for the good of myself and my soul. And any future lives I may lead where the ex-husband may or may not play a part.

But, here’s part of the reason that I’m still untyin’ all these knots. What I’m seeing is that you have resorted to something nefarious in the past to overcome a perceived obstacle. While you may have seen a temporary triumph from this, it was, overall, more harmful that helpful. It has left you mired, trapped in a way which has your wheels spinning. There are so many different things that I have done that could be “nefarious.” I know the source of all of this: the ex-husband. It’s just a matter of figuring out which particular deed – and I believe I know what it is but I’m not positive – that has stopped up all of this fun roller coaster ride.

Untying the knots, indeed.

Toxic Akhu (PBP).

Over at The Bad Witch Files that Bad Witch posted on about her roots a few days back. I read her entry and I was marveling and nodding along (as I tend to when she gets on a slant about something) and we ended up having a small discussion about this growing trend in paganism in which those who connect with their akhu (ancestors) will pick and choose who they pay homage to. So for example, they’ll cut out Great-Uncle Joe because he beat his wife, but they’ll keep the wife in question because she was a down-home soul who weathered the storm her husband inflicted upon her and came out right on top. After chattin’ with the Bad Witch about this, I began getting thoughts in my head that I had to blog about this. I’ve been feeling this way for a while, but the nudge really got going when she touched on her roots first.

I have to admit that I’m a bit stumped by those who pick and choose their akhu. Don’t get me wrong; I get it to a point. Why would you want to give any bit to a person who was shitty in life? Or, at least, that’s the prevailing theory I have about those people – shitty in life means that they don’t deserve anything after the fact. The thing is that, to me, it doesn’t really matter who they were or why they were or what they did or any of that jazz. We don’t know why they did what they did because we don’t, as the Sister said earlier, have a Tardis to go back in time with. (I don’t understand this reference except that it has something to do with Dr. Who and that he flies in time in it.) You can’t just pick up a psychology degree and start going through your family tree, trying to understand the ins and outs of every personal nuance that created the asshole apple on that particular branch. And ignoring the akhu in question doesn’t deny that they are a part of what made you as you are today, genetically anyway.

Case in point, my daddy was not a good person. He wasn’t a bad person, either, but he did a lot of fucked up shit to his first wife, to his kids, and to his second wife (my mother). He also did a lot of good. He adopted me without a single boo about it, willingly able to take on the responsibility of someone else’s kid. But, as I said, he wasn’t all that terrific about everything either. He was an alcoholic. He had some serious demons eating away at him. And while I could easily snub him because of what he did to the family with his callous actions, I wouldn’t do that. Damned if he did or damned if he didn’t, the man is still my daddy. He is the man who would have sat on the front porch with a shotgun if he had lived long enough to scare away the boys. He would have watched Rainbow Brite and My Little Pony with me over and over and over again if I needed him to. Even though I consciously know that he did some fucked up shit in a lot of different ways and to a lot of different people, I would never snub him out of my akhu, my remembrance, my love.

And maybe it’s because of this that my view is skewed.

A lot of people who have prominence in my life were not all they appeared to be. I’m finding this out now, after the fact. A prime example is my grandmother’s blatant disregard for blue-collar and that lovely attitude she has invested in some of her children to this day. Another example is my Papa, who I only just learned was probably one of the gods’ most perfect assholes. He was a nasty, sick old man with serious issues, but he still holds a place on my altar.

Now, these people are people who I grew up around, loved to be with, looked up to, and just generally felt love in return. But as I grow older and people are more willing to tell me things, knowing that I can put it into a different perspective at 29 that I wouldn’t have been able to do even ten years ago, I find out that they were all, in some form, an asshole. They fucked shit up in some major epic ways and screwed the pooch in more minor ways. However, they all still hold a place in my akhu shrine and I go to visit them and I feed their kau and I love them, to this day. However, in the knowing of them, in the remembering the people who I thought they were, shouldn’t I be more likely to want to remove them from my sight? To know that they will not be touched by anything I give them? To get them the fuck out of my life when I learn that they are horrible people?


And the reason is because they were human. They were happy and they were sad. They were angry and they were fearful. They made mistakes and they corrected those mistakes. They showed me love. And while I know that they had their screw ups and that they weren’t always perfect, I don’t expect them to be. I did as a child because all children have that unique perspective where all the adults in their lives are super in some way or another. But, this isn’t the case. As we grow up, we learn that the people who held special provenance in our hearts are not as picture perfect as we always assumed. And in some cases, we can accept this fact and in others, we cannot.

I guess I’m lucky because I accept this fact.

But all of my examples have been of real, live people who I lived with, loved, and miss terribly. What about all the other akhu in my shrine? I have places for all the people of my father’s family line, my mother’s family line, the family line I was named after, and any Deadz that are sad and lonely with no one left to care about them. (I usually pick them up on my way out of a cemetery I tend at, mentioning that I’m all for giving attention to the unwanted and forgotten.) That is a serious a lot of Deadz to give attention to and to feed. But, even though that shrine is kind of all-purpose resting place for all of the Deadz I come into contact with or I have some connection with either by blood or in other ways, they still have a space. They still have somewhere to go to on the nights where I honor them in the most devout and loving ways that I can think up.

This includes any asshole apples in my family tree.

The reason I don’t cut them out is partially because I don’t cut out the toxic ones I knew in life. If I’m not going to cut off TH’s grandfather who was a very angry, brutish man in life and is little better in death, then why am I going to cut off people I don’t know? Or whom I know only in name and by a few stories we can tell now and again? Why would I want to pick this person and pick that person, but completely ignore this other person? To me, that’s not fair for what’s left of their souls. And to me, that’s not fair because not everyone is angry after the fact. And even those who are, they probably have their reasons. And again, it’s not like we can go back and figure out why they did what they did. And why would we want to?

The Sister has been very fond lately of telling me that thinking about the past is useless because we don’t live there anymore. I’m both amused and irritated by this statement. But, in this case, that statement makes perfect sense. We don’t live in the past and the souls that have stuck around, even those asshole ones, don’t live in the past anymore. They can be angry and they can be frightened and they can be alone. They can lash out and they can cry and they can want company. They are just as human today as they were when they had a meat suit. (Oh, can you tell I’ve been watching Supernatural lately?) They may still hurt and use the souls of the people they did in life but they may not. They may have learned from their mistakes and they may not have. It doesn’t matter. They’re no more perfect now than they were then. They made mistakes and in some cases they probably still believe that they made those mistakes doing the right thing. It doesn’t matter.

Those asshole apples are still a part of the bloodline that runs through the veins of the practitioner who is communing with them. And picking who goes where on the altar space seems a little childish to me. It smacks more of favoritism than anything else. It reminds me of those days when I was picked last to play team sports in high school. All the popular kids got first dibs and I was left in the cold, per usual. While we can’t quite honor everyone with a specific spot (we all have too many akhu now to have mementos out for everyone), we can at least have an all-purpose communal moment now and again. And that’s what I do.

I have an all-purpose ritual at least once a year in which I connect with the Deadz; mine, yours, theirs, and strangers. It doesn’t matter to me what souls come on down for a feed because while you reject them, I won’t. I don’t do this to make it seem like I am better than you. It’s not like I’m saying this to be all smug and an asshole. In some cases, I get it.

For instance, I was chatting it up with a friend of mine about this recently. And she remarked that while they all have ties to her on a genetic level, they didn’t go into making her who she is today so she feels no compulsion to honor them. In this instance, I can see the point-of-view. In some respects, I can even agree with the point-of-view. But again, I won’t deny those people who she may deny a place at my altar space, eating the spirits’ meal that I make for them. She may not wish to give them the energy they want and desire, but I will. I do. The reason being that I don’t think that who we are today, as in the very essence and personality, that we are today is the reason we should honor our akhu in the first place. It’s not a matter of giving love and energy to beings that are part of who we are, but who are tied to us by sweat, blood, labor, birth, death, hate and love.

And frankly, if I can honor the akhu of the man who denied having any genetic tie to me, then I think everyone else can at least give it a shot.

Talkin’ Tolerance (PBP).

Alternate Title: I’m An Asshole, An Asshole, An Asshole…

Xzibit on tolerance, bitches!

So, one of the things that people who read this blog will notice is that I talk, a lot, about tolerating other pagans or polytheists or other races or other genders. This mostly stems from the fact that since I recently joined the Tumblr community, I see a lot of shit about this stuff all over the place. (That’s an entirely different kettle of fish, but I’ll tell you, if half those kids went out and did something about what they perceive as slights, then we may just have a better living community. Instead, all they do is bitch out people on the Internet because, you know, starting a petition is too much work.) I talk about it a lot, but I’ll admit something here that you may be surprised about: I don’t necessarily practice what I preach. I know, that’s a pretty big shocker. In a day and age where we hear about priests going on about protecting our children and then sexual assaulting them, it’s “oh, so shocking” to see someone talk a good game but neglect to actually practice what they are preaching. Let’s face it; I’m an asshole.

But the thing is, honestly, that for the most part you don’t know what it is that I am intolerant about and what I am tolerant about. I don’t do this because I like to keep people guessing, but because I know that it may just be me, as I said, being an asshole. In other cases, I do it because I know what I think and feel is wrong and I’m hoping to one day fix that. I’m going to discuss two instances in which you may not have been aware that I’m not tolerant of others and then, you know, you guys can get out the torches and pitchforks.

The first instance is that I am a racist motherfucker. Okay, so some of the comments I’ve made regarding thousands’ long reblogged posts on Tumblr may actually have been a clue or some of the more cavalier commentary I’ve made (if you know me, in real life) about skin color could have been another large clue. But, I am actually a person who hates and fears men of the black persuasion. I wasn’t raised that way. In fact, you can kind of tell how I was raised because I don’t see binary gender at all. If someone says they are a woman, but really have a dick in their pants, well then they’re a woman as far as I’m concerned. If someone prefers the pronoun “he” over the gender they were born with, then that’s what they are. My mom didn’t teach me to see other people’s differences, from skin tone to gender change. In fact, and you can laugh at me all you want, when I was a kid at an inner city public school, I had a few people as my friends who, gasp, were not of the same skin tone as myself.

Weird, right.

But, Sat. Don’t you hang out with that ex-employee who is half black?

Uh, yeah. Yeah. I do hang out with her and I talk to her whenever we can catch a hot minute. The thing is that my racism stems almost entire around black men. And while I could easily blame my impressionable hatred on the fact that I got to listen to a certain best friend’s mom talk about “porch monkeys” as a teenager, this actually has nothing to do with it. (I had no idea what any racial slurs were until I met that woman, so fucking help me.) You see, the boy who raped me when I was sixteen? He was black. And I’m almost positive this is where my heart-racing, roll-up-the-windows, lock-the-doors, stay-the-fucking-hell-away-from-downtown fears come from.

The funniest thing about this (as if there is anything funny about racism or how I, like, got it or whatever) is that the boy in question was a yuppie. He was being raised middle class. He was a football player. He was popular, smooth-talking. I mean, you can pretty much guess the story from those few sentences right there. But, whenever I see a black man, whether he is of a lighter color or darker color, I start freaking the fuck out and fear overtakes me. As a kind of trial and error to get away from these dark, irritating feelings that can swallow my heart up with my panic, I tend to say rather crass and asshole things about black people in a generalized summation. I know it’s wrong. Fuck, I know the whole fucking thing about is WRONG and stupid. None of those black men in downtown raped me. None of those black men hurt me. So they stare at me a little longer but so do the white boys in their group, too. So what the fuck?

This is one of the issues that I’m hoping, with my shadow work, I get to destroy. Let’s face it. Being a racist asshole in this day and age is oh, so passé. Not to mention, why am I going to take that shit out on people who are not my rapist? Why the fuck am I going to sit around and just be a stupid douchebag to people who are probably trying just as hard as I am to make it in this world? It’s completely uncalled for and completely fucking retarded.

And as TH just pointed out to me (because, you know, I did mention this post to him before writing about it) is that my racism is very specific, so maybe in a weird context, it’s not really racism. I don’t know. I don’t know what the fuck it is but I’ll mention this: I am okay on one-on-one basis. For example, down in Texas, we had Otis and Twennie (he called her “Twennie” because that was his pick up line to woo her: “Ooo, girl, you better than ten; you two tens… I call you ‘Twenty’.”) who would come in. And they took care of me just like they were my grandparents. I had no problem with them, whatsoever. And in fact, my son has money in his piggy bank from them and I get messages from them, via my mom, all the time. So, I don’t know what the fuck this is…

…besides completely inconvenient and really fucking weird.

(And as I’m reading this out loud to TH, he says to me, “Well… aren’t you buddy-buddy with Papa Legba? And I don’t think he’s white…?” And I tried to explain about in certain contexts, he could be construed as such because of the associations he has with Catholic saints who are white, and he just went, “PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT.” Yeah. That happened. And then he decided he was going to teach me about voodoo. Oh, gods. The conversations we have! “Why don’t you try to use some tolerance at me, brah?” He says now. THE POINT. GET TO THE POINT HERE.)

MLK is showin’ the way.

So, what the hell does all of this have to do with me, spiritually?

Well, if you can’t figure out that my being racist in some contexts can affect me in a religious way, then you are an idiot. (And there’s nothing racist about that because, you know, I hate idiots equally!) This sorely fucks me up on a religious level because, you know, I don’t believe it has a place in my religious practice. I don’t feel that my panic-stricken reactions to boys with darker skin tones has a single fucking place in what I practice. And yet, it’s there. It’s in my house, eating my potato chips and drinking my fucking soda. And I want it the fuck out. Thing is that I’ve noticed that intolerance in some areas, such as the more mundane such as racism, can translate over in other ways. And this is specific to my religious life, my spiritual path, what the fuck ever you want to call this.

I discovered this today when I was reading through my blog roll. While I may not comment, I do actually spend a good deal of time going through the blogs that have been updated to see what’s going on. I stumbled onto a blog entry written by someone who wanted to thank Sekhmet for something. And I was reading the entire entry with a giant fucking stick up my ass, like I knew my shit so I didn’t have to hear it, and I’m just like, “No, no, no, no,” throughout the whole entry. Everything this person had to say was wrong to me. I don’t live that person’s life. I don’t know how they connected with Sekhmet. I don’t know a fucking thing about their religious life, but here I am, sitting back and just snorting derisively.

And what is that?

That’s intolerance.

That’s me with a giant stick up my ass and thinking I am the gods’ gift to my premier deity.

That’s me being a motherfucking asshole for the sake of being an asshole.

That’s me letting my inability to get tolerant in one arena of my life bleeding over into another area.

You see, the thing that I’m rapidly learning is that intolerance only breeds more intolerance. When you see the kids arguing on Tumblr about appropriation of Native American items or clothing, which generally and rapidly devolve into name-calling and racial slurs back and forth… that’s intolerance becoming more intolerance. That’s someone being unable to stand up and say, “I see your point. I don’t agree, but I see your point.” We’re all too focused on how we are right and perfect and lily-fucking-awesome about everything to realize that others have a point-of-view and that they may be right. Or, if they’re not right, they’re not going to see other points-of-view because they’re being intolerant. And then someone else who is as equally or more so intolerant comes in and the cycle just keeps fucking evolving until your head wants to explode at the motherfucking stupidity going on.

PhilosoRaptor takes a stab at tolerance!

So, the point in all of this is that in one instance I’m like, “Oh, wow. This happened to me and it’s continued to effect me.” But, you know, I never really considered how much it could bother me in other ways, how it could translate in other ways. Am I saying that because I have racist tendencies in some form or another this translates smoothly over into being a dick wheel about someone’s blog entry about Sekhmet? No. But I’m saying that if it’s easier for me to preach tolerance, not practice it in some area, then it’s easier for it to come out in other areas.

And that’s something I have to work on.

So, in closing, I leave everyone with an awesome fucking song that can depict me, at this moment in time, being an asshole.

Sekhmet II: History, Possible History, and Now. (PBP).

Note: I have been hinting at this entry for months now and I can only say that I seriously hope I do not disappoint. On another note, I would like to mention that most, if not all, of what I write here are based entirely upon my own UPG (unverified personal gnosis) and so, I don’t want anyone to take this as fact to be used in their processes with this or other gods. This is for me, myself, and I but to be shared in a public setting.

As a child, I was pretty fascinated with mythology. I would pull the books out of my library on a fairly regular basis. I read the Greek book they had in the children’s section to near tatters. (Not for lack of care, but just how often I had it in my hands.) In reality, the children’s section didn’t have much in the way of mythological information about past faiths, but I will admit that I was horrifically and enchantingly obsessed with the idea of multiple gods. And by that, I mean that I would sit back after reading a section or the book, cover to cover, only to wonder what it would have been like to worship other gods. While I ended up taking out the Greek and Roman books the most often, this was because it wasn’t until later that I was able to find anything on the ancient Egyptian pantheon. Sure, I had heard it talked about in passing – I believe my teacher felt that the pantheon was too confusing to go into more detail than a basic rendition of the Osiris and Isis myth – but there wasn’t much information about it. This didn’t stop me from wanting to know ALL THE CULTURES and learn about them.

I was still fairly young when I was able to find the first book that I read about ancient Egyptian myth. It was another rendition of the Osiris and Isis myth, based off of the myths of the Greco-Roman era. But it wasn’t enough. I don’t know how I stumbled onto Sekhmet – I just don’t have clear childhood memories anymore – but I remember I was still younger than ten when I first found her. Hell, the timing is probably more along the lines of in relation to when my father died when I was seven and that’s probably why I don’t remember it. But, I remember being fascinated by what I felt was a “first vampire” of sorts, a myth that all other vampiric myths would be based on in future. The myth was child-sized, but since I was a horror buff, I was able to look up things that most kids my age would have shied away from. (THANKS MOM FOR LETTING ME READ AND RESEARCH WHATEVER I WANTED.) I got the less childlike simplicity of her drunken debauchery and the whole shebang with the End of the World, blood drinking, and the red beer that was used to stop her.

I fell out of favor with my mythology obsession, but it wasn’t because I stopped caring. It was mostly because of the reading comprehension and my reading ability. As I’ve mentioned, by the age of nine, I was reading Stephen King to do book reports on (and being called a liar when I turned the papers in). It wasn’t that I didn’t want to learn all that I could about myths and whatnot, but that the books I had easy access to were either too below my reading level or too above my reading level. Child-based mythology books are all well and good for a basic appetite wetting, but they don’t exactly mean that the next one you pick up is Plutarch. And even back then, I had a severe hatred for classic literature. So, while I do believe I did try my hand at Plutarch a time or two, it never felt right, it never read right, and I got bored too quickly. So, back burner for that obsession, but Sekhmet stayed with me in little ways.

For example, as I’ve said in some older posts, I would do searches of things and end up on pages associated with her. (This was also back before the invention of Wikipedia, so some of the pages I would end up on had black background with red font and sparkling pentacles in the corners. Ugh.) This was true even as a youth, but I never paid attention to it. This coincidence continued throughout high school and my general flirtation with the idea of magic and Wicca. (I didn’t know it was called that then and my basic flirtation with it ended with it being just a flirtation.) This coincidence continued in more force when I was working the overnight shifts at the front desk in Texas, back when I first started hearing about Wicca and paganism, at large. (It’s amusing that as someone who has had an Internet presence since I was very young, back when it was AOL or nothing, it was only as a twenty-something that I heard about paganism and from my twenty-plus-years older friend!) Just because these things kept happening didn’t mean that I paid attention to it.

I mean, obviously, I was researching the same things over and over again to get to where Sekhmet would come up. Right?

As the years past and I began to explore paganism more fully, I was always called toward Sekhmet. I remember clearly stating that I had a thing for her to the EM and the Sister. And that, barring that, the only real deity I wanted to get to know, at all, was Kali Ma. (I suppose I just had a thing for ‘destructive’ deities.) Since I was working in a frame work of Wicca, it was considered a bad idea to go down that route, as I’ve said. I think the Wiccan frame work is what stoppered the whole flow, but I can’t be positive. I do know that both the EM and the Sister, with their fear and warnings, didn’t help in that regard. I can clearly recall, though, in those early years that I had a distinctive belief that all gods were their own entities and none of the archetypal stuff that can commonly be found in a Wiccan context. I think that was the basic muck up in the process – the EM, who had been doing all of this stuff longer than both myself and the Sister, felt that archetypal goddesses of destruction were not a good idea because it was obvious (to her) that I would embody that those destructive qualities and, you know, ruin.

It’s only years later, in the now, that I realized just how totally stupid that whole idea is. As I’ve mentioned a thousand and one times in so many different entries, all the gods have layers. I’ve regaled people with the Sekhmet as destroyer, as healer, as fount of justice, and I’ve begun learning of her as the giver of life. (More in a sec.) If I had done proper research into Kali Ma, as I have in passing now and again just because, I would have figured all of this out sooner. But, I was cowed by people older and wiser.

I think that’s when Sekhmet started getting really angry about the whole muleheadedness. I’m not saying that it is because of my goddess that the EM went bat-shit or anything. The girl had problems, but there are days where I idly wonder if Sekhmet had a hand in the spectacular downfall that were our relationships…

When I first began working with Sekhmet, I tended to liken the relationship with me bashing my head against a wall. She was very firm and determined to get me from point A to point H. I think some of the more rapid work in those early months was designed to get me to where I am now after so many years of ignoring her. And yes, I will admit that I often wonder how far I would be on this path or where I would be on this path if I had just listened to my gut in the first place. In the grand scheme of things, I’ve only been working with her as my Lady for three years. I began in 2009. However, I had been having the urge to do so since 2006 or thereabouts. It really makes me wonder how much more work I could have gotten in the three years between my determined commitment and my dreamed-of commitment. I’ll never know, but it does make me wonder about other things…

Over the years, I’ve chafed at her very tight rein. This isn’t because I don’t appreciate who she is or why she is doing what she is doing, but because I’m naturally inclined to do the exact opposite of what people desire. This is no different in regards to my gods. I am quite contrary. And while I know this irritates her, I think there is some pride there as well. It means that while I am willing and able to listen to direction and follow those directions, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I do it with a snappy salute. Sometimes, maybe, I have to realize that the direction being given isn’t because I have to be just this way but for my own good. However, Sekhmet let’s me make those mistakes (of which I’ve made many, many, many) and she is always, always there to help me pick up the pieces.

The only time this has not happened was in an incident with my ex-husband and that is because, well, one day, I’ll get to that.

You know, I can remember a time when I couldn’t hear her. I believe this was actually after she had introduced me to her sister-self, Hetharu. I was supposed to be working with Hetharu, but the H’s methods didn’t jive with the amount of trauma I had going on. Whilst I understood the need for her in my life and I still do, I didn’t want the shadow work to go along with it. (GEE. CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHY HEKATE IS AROUND.) During that time, I turned away from Hetharu only to lose Sekhmet in the deal. And I can clearly remember crying hysterically, like a child who has lost the only toy that will put them to sleep or make their worlds worth living, and wondering why she had left me. Someone told me that, perhaps, the lesson with Sekhmet was over. And I can also remember that she came roaring back (briefly) to assure me, very intently, that my lessons with her would never be over. And that I was stuck with her for life.

This was around the time when I began wondering how long that life was.

You see, I’ve often wondered why I have such a close affinity for her, even as a child. It seems a little weird, right, considering the context I would have learned about her when I was young. She was a destroyer. And for years, I tended to believe that I was like her in that way – I was a Leo, to boot, so you know. But, after a long time, I’ve come to believe very strongly that in this life, she was there when Khnum was molding me for my eventual delivery into this world. I also wonder if it was more in line with her directions that everything happened the way it happened as my conception. You see, in ancient Egyptian belief, there were three goddesses that made the whole baby-making process happen. There was Heqet, who was responsible for the initial conception. Then there was Renenutet who was responsible for the growth of the baby. And then Meskhenet who was responsible for the birth, itself. And while I have little doubt that they probably played a part in it, I think it was more in line with Sekhmet, giver of life, and her desires that all of this came about as it did.

And this, actually, kind of correlates with the past life soul retrieval Dee did for me months ago. In that soul palace was Sekhmet. There was also Heru and Sutekh in that soul palace, but she was there, as well. And I’d like to think that her statue, maybe, was a little bigger than the other two. Not just because she was more important but because she is more important now.

I’ve said a time or two that this is the Time of Sekhmet. Originally, I meant this to mean that it was at her direction that I was following my cues. For example, it was her gentle push that made me ask my friend for an oracle reading with Hekate and at her nudge what I specifically asked. It kind of felt like, well, you aren’t willing to do with the sex shadow work you need to do, so why don’t you work with that crossroad goddess to work out the other stuff first and come back to Hetharu when you are ready? And that’s where I am, right now. I’m working with one goddess because the Main Goddess told me it was in my best interest to do so.

Thing is that while I talk about this particular moment in my life as a Time of Sekhmet… what I’ve really come to realize that my entire life is a Time of Sekhmet. And we have many, many years to see just where this goes.

Sekhmet (PBP).

As a devotee to Sekhmet, I’ve found that one of the hardest parts about wanting to learn as much as I can about my deity is finding the information necessary to learn about her. Too often, I stumble on websites and books that tend to lump her into a category of “Eye of Re” deities. And while this is a component part to who she is as a goddess, it’s only a single layer in the numerous layers that make her up as a god. Another common problem is the fact that she tends to be assimilated into the culture of other goddesses. Too often, I find her as an aspect of Hetharu, Bast, or Mut. (There are other aspects and mash-ups that I’ve seen but those are the most common.) And lastly, another problem I tend to find is that she tends to become a smaller portion to the triad she belongs to (as Ptah-Sekhmet-Nefertem of Memphis/Inebou-Hedjou).

So, finding information about Sekhmet on the Internet can be difficult. Websites proliferate and are rife with information, but how much can be attested to via a historical source? There are few treatises that are not in foreign languages (French and German being the lingua fraças of early Egyptology) that we can look to with clear-cut results. My largest issue with this is the fact that she doesn’t seem to deserve her own “street cred,” even with the Destruction of Mankind myth under her belt, so to speak. This bothers me because (A) as a hard polytheist, I view her as her own deity and (B) because as a devotee of her, I don’t really care how her counterparts and mash-ups were viewed by ancients or even today’s worshipers. I want to know about her.

I think part of the reason finding information about her is so difficult because she is constantly surrounded by goddesses that are larger than life or who proliferated more fully in the later dynasties of ancient Egypt. As I mentioned, more often than not, we see her name linked to Mut, Hetharu, and Bast. I have called this act of syncretism as “sister-selves.” To me, this means that they are separate beings but that they can dress up in one another’s clothes, dawn appropriate accents, and generally pass as one another if the need arises. As a quick lesson: in ancient Egypt, it was pretty well-known that the imagery we would deem as portraits of the gods was only for the human benefit. It was made quite clear that in their natural forms, we had no idea what the gods looked like and that if they so desired, they could take any form they so chose. So, in doing thus, each goddess could become the other if it was warranted. (Although, one has to wonder if this ever ended up with childish games of pretending to be one another to other gods and to followers…)

In her syncretism with Hetharu, the most common form, it is understandable. In the Book of the Celestial Cow, it is shown that when Re tired of humanity, he first sent Hetharu to remove the human threat before allowing Sekhmet a chance to be his agent on earth. (And, boy, was she.) In the case of Bast and Sekhmet being paired together, it tends to be in the arena of two warriors goddesses unifying together. There are some comments about this. In some instances, scholars tend to believe that Sekhmet came from the south and so, she was a protector of Upper Egypt while Bast held dominion over Lower Egypt. Or, on the other hand, we can see both of these leonine goddesses as protectors of Lower Egypt who became conflated together around the Middle Kingdom or so. In either case, the end result appears to be the same: two warriors becoming unified in a single composite deity. In regards to the syncretism with Mut, there doesn’t appear to be a concrete path that can easily inform as to why the two of them were mixed together. It’s possible it merely stems from the two of them being Eyes of Re, but this seems too easy. Sekhmet isn’t always paired with other Eyes. So, I think the mixture between the two stems from the two goddesses being some of the older goddesses in existence. And in keeping around one (Mut, who became a very popular goddess in her own right), we continue to feel the presence of the other.

One thing I tend to fight against, repeatedly, when doing the research and going through what I can about Sekhmet is the constant belief that she is nothing but a blood-thirsty goddess. In Egyptian Mythology by Geraldine Pinch, she tends to paint the picture of a goddess who is only out to destroy and drink the blood of her children. While yes, this was a component part to the mythology surrounded by main goddess, this isn’t the entirety of who she is or even who she was. In The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Richard H. Wilkinson, she is represented with more of a rounded component picture: he mentions more prominently than Ms Pinch that Sekhmet also had a hand in healing and protection against pestilence. There’s also minor mention of her mix with other goddesses (one of whom I forgot to mention above being Pakhet).

On the opposite scale of these issues when researching my main goddess, I tend to find whole websites littered with commentary about her being a “mother goddess.” I think this tends to more be a miscommunication between the representation of Sekhmet-Mut and Mut herself. I’ve commented before about Mut herself, so I won’t rehash old news. But the thing is that when the two were combined to form a composite deity, it appeared that the ancient Egyptians were more about giving Mut a protective side than about giving Sekhmet a kinder side. The protection of a mother, especially a major mother goddess like Mut, would have been best linked with a warrior goddess, such as Sekhmet.

Aside from her blood thirst and her ability to bring pestilence, and besides the fact that she could heal, Sekhmet also stood for justice. In the New Kingdom she usurped Sutekh’s role of standing in the solar barque to protect Re against his enemies each night. And the ancient Egyptian pharaohs harped on her as a protective goddess, as well, especially when it comes to war outside of their country. (Let’s not forget that the ancient Egyptians felt that isfet was almost analogous with foreigners, part and parcel to Sutekh’s later demonization.)

I’ve often said it and I’ll repeat myself again, when it comes to working with gods and goddesses that have a “darker” aspect to their mythos, it’s best if we try to crack through the layers and layers of mythological propaganda. I’m not saying this because I want people to constantly stick their nose in a book – although that would be awesome – but because I think it’s very important to remember that with each new cycle of a dynasty, a god or goddess of ancient Egypt could change. They could be usurped into a larger figure or they could be mixed with others. This is never more commonly prevalent than in watching the mythology and belief surrounding Sutekh carry from a chaotic deity who slays Apep nightly to the devil version we can see as quite popular in Greco-Roman times.

Each god has layers and it’s our job, as their followers, to peel back those layers to know, truly, who it is we are devoted to.