A Bitter Pill.

Last year, quite a few netjeru and I went toe to toe over a ton of things that were, in my opinion, none of their fucking business and were seriously crossing the line. While that sentence may sound a little weird to some, that’s almost exactly what happened. I left the whole situation hanging like an elliptical sentence for the last eleven months. Having the blinders ripped from my eyes in a very not-nice way had left me shattered and angry. Having to deal with the ramifications of that shattering was not something I was capable of and I have suffered for my cowardice.

I found it easier to ignore the reality in front of me than to actively pursue it. While I don’t recommend this for anyone, honestly, it’s part of my modus operandi. I tend to do this for a lot of things and I can openly admit that it is very unhealthy. I’ve brought this bad habit, unfortunately, into my religious life and suffered for months because of my stupidity and cowardice.

The terrible thing (though, in all honesty, it wasn’t particularly terrible in relation to the world, but only in relation to me, myself, and I) that took place from September to November of last year was harrowing. I learned a lot of things that I didn’t particularly want to learn and it changed everything entirely about my practice. Even months later, thinking about that moment when it all boiled down and everything came up to slap me in the face, I want to clench my hands into fists and snarl with the best of them.

For all of that, I am much calmer now. While putting things off with no particular interest in picking them back up again to make a decision regarding them is unhealthy, it certainly allows for being able to make rational decisions later on. Part of the reason why I tend to push things off is because I tend to react hotly in the heat of the moment. It didn’t seem like a very good idea, at the time, to react in the heat of the moment since my initial reaction was to give everyone the finger and walk the fuck out on everything.

Eleven months is not as long as all of that, but it’s still enough to give me perspective and to give me a cool head. It helps, I think, that the scars from that episode are mostly healed and even though the flares of anger can still be palpable if I wallow too long, there is nothing I can do about that right now. It has happened and I must live with the decisions that I unconsciously made at the time. However, what that means is that I have to also come to terms with the subtle changes and the not-so-subtle changes in my religious life and the path I’ve been on.

I think we can all safely say that I can no longer count myself as a deity collector. That’s the gist of the moment, the culmination of it all, but it still wounds me to have to admit that to myself. It galls me to no end to have to say that out loud, to have to type it on this blog, to have to announce it to the wider world (or to anyone who cares about what the fuck I’m up to).

I always feel this way, though, when things change. I always like the idea that I can be a vocal voice for a minority that is discarded or looked down upon… and then it feels like once I am comfortable within that role, then I am cast off into the sea in order to determine what the next step is going to be. I really fucking hate how it seems like being comfortable with things after months of discomfort over it ends up, invariably, leading to changes that I’m not ready for.

Maybe that’s the point in having a religion, though. You aren’t supposed to remain static in a single place for an extended period of time. Perhaps that is why people become unhappy and unfulfilled with religion often enough: they have become so comfortable with the status quo that the idea of pushing off and looking for more is too much.

It doesn’t seem to me like I get the luxury of relaxing for an extended period of calm in the status quo, though. It feels very much like once I consciously have decided that I can be comfortable at this point, then I have to start looking elsewhere. I don’t know if that’s just my particular flavor for this particular path or if I’m reading too much into something. Whatever the case may be, I often feel that I achieve a comfort level and then end up being pushed off without an inkling of where I’m supposed to end up.

The thing about going toe to toe with the gods is that, sometimes, you’ll learn things that you weren’t expecting. I learned a lot of things and none of it was something I wasn’t to learn. I ended up realizing how drawn into that bigger picture fiasco I had been and that, when it came down to it all, the deity collecting would have to go. By that time, I had amassed a large following, so to speak, and I found myself frozen with the knowledge that I could choose Sekhmet or I could choose… anyone else. But in the end, I had to make a decision.

I went with the deity that I’ve known and felt the closest to for years… and lost everyone else.

That’s a bit of an overstatement, but that’s how it feels.

My decision was, mostly, acknowledged politely and the rest moved on. I still have passing relationships with some of those deities – Djehuty is always available for a laugh; I see Geb and Mut in the natural world as I always have; Hetheru periodically comes to me in dreams and we talk. Everyone else has disappeared. Sometimes, when I look for them around me, I realize how much I miss them. Other times, I recognize that I did the right thing and as nostalgic and lonely as it is now without them, I know that things have worked out better this way.

I think, in a way, this is why I have had some issues when I recognized that Heru-Wer had made an appearance. Hadn’t I just done this song and dance months before and ended up as [mostly] a one-deity marching girl parade? Evidently things are changing yet the fuck again, but that’s an entry for another day. Maybe.

For the last eleven months, I haven’t admitted that things have changed at all. I have refused to rename myself except for in quiet quarters amid friends or in the embrace of my netjeret. I haven’t wanted to openly admit that I was holding on to the last vestiges of hope with scrabbling fingers, praying that what I had learned in November of last year was wrong. The thing about growing in our own path is knowing when it is time to admit things to ourselves and to the wider public. Another thing is knowing when to admit that whatever you are hoping to achieve isn’t going to fucking happen and it’s time to stop hoping and give in to the reality.

Last weekend, I cleared off my household altar space. I had Aset, Djehuty, Heru-Wer, and Hetheru on it. I kept three out of the four, but placed the icon I had purchased for Aset away. It’s in a box, awaiting someone who needs it badly. Her icon was, in a way, the very physical representation of my attempts at keeping the old way alive and well. What it also signified was inertia: mine, hers, theirs… take your pick. I put her away and bid farewell to the old way of life, officially.

It only took me eleven months.

The Art of Balance.

I think I’ve been babied by how most of my interpersonal deity relationships have been in the last few years.

I talk about being a deity collector; I have a lot of deities that I pay homage to at any given time. Some of those relationships are more fleeting than others, which is how I am able to handle my shit without flipping my shit. Geb and Mut are prime examples: they do the “deity pop-in.” I only ever associate them with outdoors type shit so I don’t need to pay homage to them nearly as regularly as I do with other deities. Bes is only given attention when I’m at home and doing home and family centric things (pretty obvious with that one); Set gets attention when he’s told to send me a pick-me up; Anup gets attention when the akhu are involved. Hetheru, Djehuty, and the rest have all been so quiet since I flipped out on them for constantly pulling at me, trying to get me to do what they want when I had someone of larger importance already having led the fucking charge. In the end, while I do pay attention to those relationships that began when I was nervous and worrying about things, they’ve mostly gone the way of the Dodo.

Some of this is okay; the work with those deities was for Bigger Picture. I understand that now although I didn’t necessarily fully understand what that Bigger Picture was way back then. So, I had to learn to use heka effectively under the tutelage of Aset to prepare myself for the intermediary status I took on last year. I had to learn to write more effectively under Djehuty’s demands in order to make my heka more effective. Hetheru has always been there, waiting in the wings, until she felt I needed someone’s affection. (She counter balances the intensity of my relationship with Sekhmet by not being intense, at all, and not demanding anything from me except some fun periodically. She’s always kind of been a breath of fresh air.)

Thing is, they’ve all been relegated to household deities while things have seriously picked up with Sekhmet. I had made my choice; I wasn’t getting cake and eating it, too. They’ve quieted down and stopped asking things of me. I seem to have even lost that counterbalance with Hetheru, not as if it was a permanent addition to my life anyway. I don’t have the energy and wherewithal to give them any more than what I’m doing now: a daily offering, perhaps some words, the occasional, “hey, how are you,” and then I move on with my life. I was pleased and happy that I had been able to move from “active deity collector” back to “one track mind.”

Then Heru-Wer showed up and I’m beginning to flip my shit.

You see… I have never really had to learn the act of balancing relationships.


Balance via Flickr

I am not very good at that whole thing. I talk a good game, but I’m very much a MUST HYPERFOCUS ON THIS THING RIGHT NOW BECAUSE REASONS and everything else falls to the wayside. This was the fundamental issue between Sekhmet and Hetheru. I always just assumed that Hetheru was around for a purpose and I strongly suspect she was only there as an escape when things would get really hard with Sekhmet. I don’t think I’ve necessarily burned the bridge, but I do think that she’s kept her distance for good reason. (I was a massive ass face when I made my decision last year.) The problem is that I don’t really seem to have that option here. Sekhmet is demanding and fickle; I bound myself to her and that is just simply what it is. However, as I’ve been looking more and more steadily into the mythology of Heru-Wer and wondering about what relationship we will have and figuring out what the fuck it’s going to entail, I’ve come to conclude that… well, he offers a really awesome balance point between HARDWORKHARDWORKHARDWORK and PLAYPLAYPLAY, which is something I need to fucking learn like yesterday.

How the hell do people do this? How in the world can you balance yourself out between two different deities that want two different things from you?

I got off scot-free, so to speak, and now I have to pay the piper. That’s… how it feels anyway. I was able to do my thing with Sekhmet and still do some things with other gods, but while it could suck at times, there was still something in the back of my mind that said I could run away if I needed to. I could walk away if I needed to. In the end, the decision was made for me anyway. The decision to end all intense relationships outside of Sekhmet’s was made and I have lived with that decision for almost a year now. I can’t tell anyone if it was a good one or a bad one, in all honesty. I think, with everything, it is shades of gray: I had to stop getting pulled in a million different directions and my loyalty was to Sekhmet first and foremost. Everyone else was cannon fodder for that Bigger Picture I was just harping about.

The problem is that I’ve been able to escape all of this learning curve. Perhaps because of my own inability to NOT be so single-minded about things, I never had to learn what it was like to actually balance a relationship with one deity and then learn how to add another. I tried it, sort of, when Hetheru joined Sekhmet in annoying the fuck out of me the beginning. And I found that I was so intensely focused on the various aspects of Hetheru that I couldn’t jump out of my head long enough to make that relationship more than an offshoot that was painful and frightening. Perhaps Hetheru knew something I didn’t back then: I wasn’t ready for this whole balance thing. In an effort to terminate that relationship, I have done everything in my power to push that particular goddess out of my life, too unwilling to stop long enough to think about other aspects of her that I needed/need to pay attention to. Instead, I have severed and strangled that connection to the point where it probably needs more than just mouth-to-mouth to resuscitate it.

That is my own stupidity, however; my own inability to work on the things that need to be worked on. I recognize that I have a lot of failings, by the way, and I know myself well enough (at least in this particular ball park) to know that I have a lot of fucked up shit that I have been very firmly ignoring. Sure, I look at it and I poke and prod at it occasionally, but what it comes down to is that all of the associations that Hetheru holds the keys to regarding that fucked up shit made it nearly impossible for me to do much more than to push her away. She got the hint long before I did, probably. I haven’t felt her since last year and then when I made my decision in October, I figured everything there was no longer available to me. Now, though, I have another deity in my life and I… well, I don’t want to be an asshole. I don’t want to strangle that connection until it is as dead as some of my other connections and relationships. I want…



Right there.

I want.

I want to try it. I want to see where things will head, but I don’t necessarily know how to do it. I recognize that I have limitations; didn’t I just say that? I also recognize that there is a possibility here that is very frightening on a lot of levels. The possibility though is made more possible because I don’t have the issue with my head getting in my own fucking way. With Hetheru, as I said, I was too aware of her other associations to be completely comfortable with all of it. Heru-Wer doesn’t really have those types of associations, as far as I have found. He has associations with Hetheru (which is possibly where this randomness comes from), but the things that made me pull away from Hetheru aren’t necessarily there with Heru-Wer. That, in all honesty, makes it a lot easier for me to be willing to explore the realms I need to in order to move forward and I desperately want to.

Maybe it’s only now that I am fully aware of how fucked up my shit is and how much I need to, you know, actually work on it.

But I have to ask how people do this thing. I know of quite a few people who have intense relationships with various gods and they manage to work it out all right. They don’t seem to (in my limited view into what they do and who their relationships are with) have had the issue I have where the brain pan has been too busy fucking with them. And from what it looks like, while not easy, it seems feasible. I just don’t know if I have it in me to balance anything appropriately. I know myself too well: that thing about being hyper focused on things isn’t even remotely an exaggeration. I’m a Leo, for fuck’s sake; it’s in our nature to be like GIVE ME THE SHINY to the detriment of all else.

But I also recognize that the whole fucking point about this religion is balance (ma’at). I recognize that, maybe, this will help me with the whole ma’at thing.

If nothing else, I can only hope it helps me…

I Am a Deity Collector… Though Not Because I Desire It.

Too often, when we start traversing the various pagan and polytheistic hemispheres, we begin to see this turn of phrase in a very negative association. For example, when I asked about it on Tumblr earlier, Stag Kings Wife commented and mentioned that they did not like this particular phrasing. This is actually quite common. But, I’m an odd duck or the odd man out, so to speak. I actually prefer to use this phrase because it gets people to (A) read what the fuck I’m saying and (B) I enjoy trying to explain that not everything that is negatively associated is actually as all bad as people make it out to be.

Now, when I discuss deity collecting, I’m not talking of the rather, herm, youthful desire to work with ALL THE GODS. There does seem to be a very naïve desire to have many deities to work with or to worship at any given moment. As someone else remarked on a group I am a part of, they tend to associate this desire with a very Pokemon mentality. Now, I don’t know what this Poke-stuff is but I do know the phrase, “collect them all!” I sold the cards at Spencer’s along with the other card games, so I know that in that realm, you need to collect all the cards or the ball-thingamajigs and have everyone to show off to your friends. There is a very real atmosphere of this in polytheism, but I tend to associate this infatuation with youth and immaturity. What newbie doesn’t start out with stars in their eyes and the want for ALL THE GODS?

As someone who was a newbie once, this is pretty much how it feels.

As someone who was a newbie once, this is pretty much how it feels.

And just like the need and desire to have all the pretty things, have all the resin statues, and have altar porn that makes everyone jealous, this is a phase that people grow out of. Usually.

However, among the rank and file of the polytheist communities, there are people who do work with, worship, or form attachments with various deities. I am an example of this. I know a few others, besides Stag Kings Wife as shown above, who also have a sort of “open door policy” when it comes to communing with other deities. These people, like myself, collect deities. We aren’t doing this with the moon and stars in our eyes, approaching whomever we feel a tug from or just for the sake of it. We have these deities coming out of our ears, more often than not, because they show up at our doorstep, wet and asking to be let in. And most people cannot say no when they get a deity giving them a hang-dog look like that.

The thing is that I generally and honestly believe that these deities are knocking on the doors of polytheists with “listed numbers” for a reason. They know that we are very busy and active and working with other gods, so why not go on in and take a peek? And if they like what they see in us, then they may decide to head on over and start forming a relationship. As I said to Sard and Devo earlier, “Maybe they’re so tired of no followers that they crowd those of us with listed numbers.” And in same vein, as Sard said, “But yeah, some Gods (like Herishef) have such a small following, it’s depressing, and sometimes They’ll bug the shit out of people. They need us just as much as we need Them, ultimately.”

While I can’t quite say if that’s the case for all the gods in my arsenal, it would make sense as to why Bes and Ptah showed up to me; why Sard and Helms have started working with lesser known deities like Herishef and Wenut; and why there are a slowly but surely growing number of people who can qualify as “deity collectors.”

However, there is still very much the negative association to take into account here. I can’t really understand this mentality. It seems like an awful lot of monogamy in a realm that really doesn’t deserve it. As Devo said earlier while we were discussing it, “Sometimes, I think we modern polytheists have a bad habit of limiting the deities we will have in our lives. I mean, in JP and in AE, it was not uncommon to visit different shrines and pay tribute to all sorts of gods – not just your local deity of choice. And priests serviced more than just one god in daily rites. Yet many modern practitioners seem to think of a lot of our worship like monogamy. Where you only have the select few gods and nothing else – so to go elsewhere is like cheating or whoring yourself out. I think there are extremes in both directions, and very few really fit into the middle well.” It is quite possible that these very sentiments, perhaps at the darkest heart of people who rant against this sort of collecting, is the crux of the problem.

We come in from religions, more often than not, where there is just the single deity to consider. In Catholicism, there is a flavor of polytheism to the whole thing. In some other Christian sects, there is a sort of trinity. Both of those second examples could allots for at least coming into polytheism with the ability to pacify three deities and maybe even a few more. So perhaps this intense desire for the working with a limited number is just a holdover from Christianized values and belief systems. Perhaps, it stems from a lack of understanding what the ancient cultures we emulate were really like or what they were really about.

Then again, maybe the issue is just the simple fact that not as many people as I am alluding to have had gods knocking on their doors, hang-dog and sad-faced, waiting to be let the fuck in as you-all have work to do. Or if they have had them knocking, they’ve slammed the door, locked that bitch up tight, and salted the entrances as well. I am sure as hell guilty of that last bit. I do it with every deity that wants in outside of the household gods I worship. Every single one gets a door slam, a door locking, a severe talking to, eye rolls, whining, bitching, moaning, screaming, kicking, salting, etc before I finally give in and say, “Sure, okay.”

I do it that way because then, I kind of know that they’re around for a reason and it could be pretty important.

But beyond all that and how I go about this, why the hell is this thing so negative? Why can’t we develop relationships with gods outside of our comfort zone? Why can’t we be all open and honest? Why can’t we let our current list of gods put up a giant fucking neon sign over our heads that say, “THEY’RE LISTENING; COME ON DOWN”? Why can’t we let our numbers be listed? And again, I ask, why can’t we move outside of our comfort zones?

To limit ourselves is to limit our practices, methinks. And as more and more people enter polytheism, find the popular gods, go with the tried and true gods that everyone knows, those of us have been around for a while will start getting knocks from the lesser-knowns. We’ll start “deity collecting.” And we’ll be thought of as “speshul snowflakes” with a complex.

And while I do have a complex or six, I can tell you I am not a “speshul snowflake.”

I just happen to have a listed number.

Do you?


I have pretty much known that since my dream of Mut, other deities would be entering my life. While I couldn’t see all of the other statuary in that dream, there were too many of them for me to not realize that I had a growing kind of list of gods in my polytheistic arsenal. And honestly, I’ve been expecting a new god to come in for a while now. I’m not dumb enough to assume that I am protected by the goddess, Sekhmet, with whom I love and value above all others. The thing is that I have found myself quite comfortable, of late, in my current practice. I am full of serenity in my work with all of my OTHERS™, but I am the most pleased with the works I have been doing with my Kemetic ladies. I feel at peace and as though I’ve reached a very pleasant plateau that is fully functional. And as I’ve often said to anyone listening, our wants and desires don’t usually figure into any of this.

If you find yourself at a plateau, you can pretty much expect that shit is going to hit the fan, in some form or another.

It wouldn’t be “hard work” if stuff like that didn’t happen.

Since that dream about the Mut statue, I’ve been waiting for a push and a shove from Aset. She was particularly mentioned in that dream, as well as Mut. The exact wording was “something about having already added Aset to my slowly growing goddess collection.” So, she’s technically already been around. I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I want to admit something: in waiting for the shove from her, I’ve been bracing myself with my teeth clenched and my eyes slammed shut. I have never, once, in my entire love-of-ancient-Egypt existence wanted a relationship with her. When you talk to KO members, they mention being worried or scared of her. (I don’t really understand that, but I’m sure they have reasons.) My reasons are a lot more mundane: I’ve just never been interested in any of those associated with the Osirian mythology.

Obviously, they are important in the ancient Egyptian pantheon, but they were never a part of my Kemetic bread and butter. If you want to talk about the Memphite or Theban triads and mythologies, we’re good to go. But anything associated with Wesir and Aset – Sutekh, Anpu, Nebet-het, Heru, etc – and I’ve often been less than intrigued. I will admit that my knowledge of the Osirian mythology is based almost entirely off of things I’ve gleaned from Sutekh kids’ blogs or the basic insert tab A into slot B stuff anyone can pick up if they read a book or two about ancient Egypt. I know next to nothing about those gods because they never interested me. In this, I am a neophyte.

In a way, this worries me. I’ve become bit of a snob when it comes to Sekhmet and to some extent, Hetharu. I know a good deal more about them and their mythologies than anyone else. I’m used to being the person who people ask questions of instead of being the person who asks questions. Not to say that I won’t; I will. I’m the first person to say, “this sounds stupid but I don’t know so please tell me,” and then ask the question at hand. Case in point, just the other day, I needed clarification from Daoineile, the artist formerly known as Tiny Polytheist, about a question I had asked him regarding the fae. And I’m sure my question was stupid as well as the clarification question I asked, but I didn’t know and I don’t want to fuck shit up if I’m going to be working with the fae. So, I’ll ask questions. I’ll devour books.

Aset is here and she needs me for… something.

That’s the thing, though. I tend to figure out why the gods are in my life. I know that Sekhmet is here for other reasons. Yes, she wants me to see justice and she wants me to heal and she wants me for her very, very own, but she has PERSONAL REASONS for being in my life as well. Hetharu is here, I think, as a favor to Sekhmet but also because she was hoping to help me heal from the abuses I’ve suffered and the traumas I’ve suffered. Hekate is here because I asked her to help me with my past life and my traumas. Papa Legba is here for, well, I don’t know, but he has his own reasons as well. (I have a feeling he’s manipulating me to get something BIG but who the hell really knows with that one?) In regards to Aset, I have no idea. A part of my lack of figuring this out is because I don’t know anything about her. As far as I know, she’s the magic and mothering type. I know, literally, nothing else.

So, why is she here?

I have a few theories. I’ll toss them out so that, once I figure it out, I can laugh at how stupid I was later.

1. This could be the subtle push Hetharu has needed to leave my life. I’ve mentioned, repeatedly, that my connection with her has been… less than lately. She appreciates my efforts, but she came into my life for a very specific reason that hasn’t worked. I’ve since relegated her to a sort of formalized home pantheon. She’s the goddess of my home while Sekhmet is the goddess of my everything else. When I clean, it is for her. When I am a mother, it is for her. In a way, this has lessened my close relationship with her. And I think that she is aware that I would need a new contender for my attention in order to do what she may want, which is to fully leave. Sure, she’d still be around as part of my home pantheon and whatnot, but she wouldn’t be the lady to whom I prayed as devoutly as I do with Sekhmet.

2. She’s here to teach me about the mommy aspect. I’ve mentioned that I view Hetharu as a mother, but it is Aset, truly, who is more of a mother in the pantheon. She did a good many things on behalf of her son as well as sacrificed truly on behalf of her son. The thing is that, with my son growing older and my off-and-on working thing, I’ve often worried that I will lose out on a close relationship with my son, as I have currently. We’re very close. And I think that with her entering this phase could signify that I may need to spend more time with myself and on myself, which I don’t do, but that I can do that while also doing the mom thing. This theory isn’t quite fleshed out, but that’s as much as I can say without being given a direct feel on whether this is right or not.

3. I’ve been focusing a lot more on heka and of all the gods in the pantheon, Aset is undisputed champion of all things heka and magic. (Well, not quite. But, she’s pretty fucking good in this arena.) While my magical workings have, so far, been in league with either my voodoo leanings or Hekate, this isn’t exactly the way I want them to go. Sure, I don’t mind magic. And sure, I’d like to work more magic than I currently do. Aset would be a fantastic teacher for this. If that’s the case, then I think heka would be a large focal point from here on out. I don’t really work with heka aside from my execrations, but that’s because my rites don’t tend to be very formalized. It could be a way for things to pick up a more formal connotation than they’ve had.

That’s all I have right now. It could be all of these things; it could be none of these things. Since I don’t really know Aset, I can’t quite say.

But I do know she’s here for the long haul.

Mut (PBP).

Note: For those waiting on my next hilarious romp in Kemetism: World’s Greatest Religion!, it will post this afternoon.

The goddess, Mut, is only a very recent addition to my goddess repertoire. She’s the most recent goddess to reveal that she is in my life. (I do not consider Hekate in this sense since it I who approached her where as with Mut, she very definitely approached me. The link to that entry is below.) I’ve always had a brief love affair with Mut in a fictional way. When Michelle Moran came out with her critically acclaimed historical fiction novel, Nefertiti, she made the goddess Mut a fairly important part of the story as a whole. Since the book is written from the perspective of the theorized sister of Nefertiti, Mutnodjomet, this is part and parcel to why the goddess has a higher place in the novel than say, Sekhmet. And even though the novel, itself, is a fictionalized accounting of what may have happened to Nefertiti and her theorized sister, the aspects of Mut in the book – the pictures, the prayers, the offerings, etc. – always kind of stuck with me. So, when Mut showed up in dream form, I really wasn’t all that surprised. I’d been kind of waiting for it since I had been mentally flirting with her for, you know, however long it’s been since that book has come out. (And I read it about five times a year. I’m not even lying.)

When I first dreamed about Mut, I saw her as a wooden statue that I held in my hand. She had Photobucket the head of a cat but the body was like a single piece. There were distinctive markings to signify her arms and her hands. There were also vague markings for breasts on the piece in question. The rest of the body, however, was like a peg: no legs, but a singular piece. I couldn’t quite figure out what this part of the dream was trying to tell me. Why was she like a piece of the Jackals and Hounds board game? Why was she made of wood when the rest of the goddesses in the dreams were made of gilt? It was mysterious and as I don’t dream of gods on a regular basis, something I pondered a lot. It was Cam who ventured the guess that because she is such an older goddess – primordial, even – that signified the aged look for the wooden representation in my hands. And something clicked.

Mut is one of the oldest goddesses. When looking into her, the word that signifies her name – spelled mwt – has two meanings. On the one hand, when you look at the glyphs for her name, you Photobucket see her as the vulture. To the ancient Egyptians, the vultures were very motherly, which ties into the second aspect of the meaning behind her name. (The ancient Egyptians thought all vultures were females because there are no distinctive markings to differentiate between male and female.) The other meaning of her name is, specifically, mother. (When I pronounce her name as “mother” I change up the pronunciation from Moot to mm-ow-at.) And it is this particular aspect that we see that hearkens back to the Ogdoad of Hermopolis/Khmun, for it was the original consort of Amun that Mut seems to have usurped around the Middle Kingdom or so. However, the primary association of Mut seems to have begun with the female version of Nun of the Ogdoad. As Nun was the father of the gods, so his wife was the mawat (or mother) of the gods. In this association, Mut is seen as old as creation itself. Later, as Mut usurped the role of the feminine Amun (Amunet), it seemed to reinforce her ancient beginnings.

While I do try to do the research about the gods that come to me and work with me, as well as the ones that I turn to, I don’t always pay close attention when I’m first getting to know them. This is the case with Mut. So, I can spit out facts for you (which is what I had initially intended for this entry, honestly, but something keeps making it harder and harder for me to spit it out, so…), but what I would prefer to do is explore my interpretations of this most ancient of mothers in my life.

When she first came to me, it was prior to a pretty crappy time in my life. I have crappy times on a semi-regular basis since I have begun working on various aspects of myself that I find unfavorable or that are holding me back. However, it was a time when I would have instinctively turned to my mother, to cry in her arms, and wanted to feel snuggled. I don’t legitimately have that option since my mother lives on the other side of the country. My “snuggles” with my biological mother come in weekly telephone calls. It’s a piss poor filler for what I need. Even though I am twenty-nine years old, there are just some times when you need your mother. You need to feel her arms around you. You need to hear her tell you that you are not a fuck up, that you do not suck, that you make mistakes but you learn from them, etc. Again, I don’t have that option. And I think it was with the foreknowledge of all of the stuff that would end up happening sooner as opposed to later, coupled with the foreknowledge that I would begin a lot of shadow work to forgive myself, my faults, as well as the mistakes others have done to me… that’s when she came a-knocking.

She speaks to me in the connection of a mother figure… but not as one mother to another. It is as though I am her daughter and she comes to me when I need it the most. Case in point, when I was having issues with an angry Deadz. I had no idea what to do and it was with the help of my friends that I got through it. (Honest to the gods. I had no idea what to do with such an angry [dead] person affecting me so much.) But it was in the thinking of mawat and, in effect, summoning her to me that I began to feel better. It was a relief to be able to sag my shoulders, knowing that someone else was there to help me deal with it.

At first, as I was trying to write this entry hours ago, I found this part of the revelation difficult to swallow. Whenever I’ve considered my spiritual mother, I’ve thought of Sekhmet. (The S entries are coming up and my theories about her particular spot in that role will be discussed, at length, so keep being patient.) But as I sit here and think about Mut as my spiritual mother, the difficulty Photobucket passes quickly. It’s not that it isn’t a tough pill to swallow and it’s not that it doesn’t put my previous beliefs in a shambles because… well, it does. But the thing is that while I have a difficult time contending with so much syncretism in ancient Egyptian practices, this particular issue is not so difficult when it comes to Sekhmet and Mut. I’m not quite sure why: the two, to me, are polar opposites. Sekhmet is feisty and Mut is just… not. But for some reason, considering my spiritual mother in the aspect of Mut, I realize that there are just some things about Sekhmet that make it difficult for her to fulfill that role.

And Mut does not find that particular aspect hard, at all.

One of the other aspects in her mysterious entry into my life appears to have to do with an astral aspect to myself that I never thought I would ever, ever explore. I’ve never been… even remotely aware of myself on a plane of existence aside from this one. It’s not for lack of trying or desire, but I always figured that the astral self were only achieved via meditation, centering, and all of the things that I find difficult to do. Not very long after my dream about Mut, I re-entered the room from that dream. (Links below.) It was during a sort of quasi-outside of myself feel. I had to get confirmation from outside sources that I was, apparently without trying or particularly wanting to, traveling to an astral realm of some sort. Since the room from that little adventure, that I have sadly been unable to duplicate, was the same room that I entered when I dreamed of Mut, I knew that she was supposed to be a guide for me of sorts.

I’m not sure what that particular aspect to her role in my life is about, but it seems to go hand-in-hand with a lot of work that I’m doing on myself. Maybe in the work I’m doing in this realm, later, I’ll be forced to do it in an astral or spiritual realm? One is left wondering…

I’m grateful she’s entered my life, all unknown things considering. Without her, I often wonder if I’d be able to get through things. I have guides and gods that are willing to show me all the different ways I can end up, but there’s something nice and special knowing that, at least one of them, is more like a mother than anything else…

Relevant Posts

  1. Dreaming Ties All Mankind Together.
  2. The Continuing Adventures of the Angry Deadz.
  3. Living the Surreal Life.
  4. Everywhere the Glint of Gold…

Image Credits
1. Jackals and Hounds piece; from Egypt Search.
2. Mut hieroglyphs; from AE Online.
3. Bust of Mut; from AE Online.

Focus On the Journey; Not the Destination (PBP).

The above is a modified quote from Greg Anderson, writer and founder of the American Wellness Project.

In the last week, Devo asked a really kick ass question on her personal FB page. What she asked was, “So, what is it about Kemeticism, Kemetics and Pagans in general that makes everyone so attracted in having a god to call ‘their own’? Why is it that so many people are more interested in collecting gods than figuring out how their religion works in a day to day life and living said religion?” And I told her that I figured most people just find it easier to change their religious affiliation than in changing who they are. And that it could be kind of nice from going to a faceless deity in Christian terms to a face-filled deity in pagan terms. I ended all of that discussion with reminding her that it has only been in the last six months that I’ve finally begun changing my perceptions to incorporate living in ma’at and not just worshiping new gods. She asked me why that was. And so, here I am.

When I first began learning about paganism, I was thoroughly intrigued with something new and “shiny.” It was a very nice alternative to Christianity and, to be honest, a great way to aggravate my ex-husband. (We really can’t discount that I started down this path to annoy the hell out of him.) But I figured it was whimsy that brought me down this road, more than anything else. The constant search of something new and exciting, the desire to fit somewhere… It was all whimsy. I knew, intellectually, that I could be whoever I wanted to be and it didn’t matter. But, we all have that side that says you want to belong and that you need more than the roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food in your belly. And really, it was kind of enjoyable to read about magic and whatnot. But, I’d never do more than sit back and read about it. I didn’t have a teacher and, in Texas, I couldn’t see finding one. Besides, I was more the sit back and like something kind of person as opposed to the get up and do kind of person. And without proper teaching and with my ex’s scathing commentary, I didn’t want to jump too deeply into something I didn’t fully understand. And again, there was the whole “shiny” thing going on. It was a good concept but not something I’d put into practice. I figured “armchair pagan” was as good as I was going to get.

But then, I moved and the “shiny” quality faded. I had a teacher and someone willingly able to put up with my inane questions. I was given the ability to experience some of the things I had read about: spell work and ritual. I remember stumbling over the words as I called the corners to form a circle. I remember the feeling of empowerment when I did my first spell. I remember talking about herbs and enjoying the smell of them when we worked them together for whatever reason. I remember bonding over Tarot card readings in her living room and the joy-filled night of my first ritual. It was heady and exploratory; it was fun and thrilling. I found myself empowered and able to do things. I found that I could do more than sit around and talk about it with others who were like-minded. I found that I could actually become more than a simple “armchair pagan” and that was a good moment. It made me feel like I could do anything.

And it was with that background that I was able to stand up to my ex-husband and leave him. It was with that background that I snagged a man I loved more than anything. It was with that empowerment that I moved to TX with what could fit in my car and started over. So, in a way, I suppose, even without the worship of “shiny” gods, I was able to get some practice in and fix my life. I was doing more than just “armchairing” it.

I began to live it as opposed to talking about it.

But the thing is that I fell into a similar predicament as I had when I first lived in Texas and found out about paganism. It was still difficult to conduct rituals and still difficult to find supplies that I felt were necessary. (Oh, the quaint adorable moments of worrying about “supplies.” Ha. Ha. Ha.) It was difficult to do much more than take an extra breath in the morning and remember that I had power within me enough to do anything. Another wrench in the plans may have been the sudden sprout of a fertile belly. It can be awfully difficult to do much more than live your life when you’ve become an oven to another living person. And it was definitely difficult for me: TS sucked up all of my energy, both self-empowered by the living of a new religious experience as well as the mundane. I couldn’t even read the cards for myself without tiring, to be honest. Just pulling them out for a shuffle was draining, especially towards the end. I stopped living the religion I had discovered and began talking about it again.

I had gone back to the armchair pagan stance as I cultivated my little critter and the life that I had made for myself.

But things changed because that’s how life is. While I was busy sidelining as an armchair and oven, I was thinking about the things I wanted to do. I began to remember with very high affinity the moments of ritual and the moments of fun. I remember feeling empowered, but it was all resorting more to a hazy memory than anything else. When I finally moved out of my mother’s house with TH and TS in tow, I had the room to perform rituals. I had the time to do so after they were both abed and I could sit on the phone and telephonically communicate with the other two pagans in my life. But even then, I was still “armchairing” it. I talked a good game, but I had moved back into the self that preferred to sit and like something as opposed to actively going out and doing something. I dreamed about casting a circle on the beach and just sitting in the sanctity of that space – but I never did it. I dreamed about having a whole storage spot for herbs, drying from the rafters – but I never did it. It was easier for me to work things out via the telephone with my pagan friends as opposed to living it. Again.

When I moved back up north, it was like something was pulling me back into the empowerment I had discovered beside the Sister. She had moved back up from her southern journey and the EM was nearby, as well. It was like a spiritual confluence moved together to realize and learn that things were meant to be done as opposed to talked about. The thing being that the things meant to be done were all the EM’s horse manure. It was all her; it was always her. I remember sitting around and enjoying the moment when I was supposed to be “incorporated” into the pagan lifestyle that both the Sister and the EM were in… but it was blind-sided by the EM’s horse manure. She had taken it over. I found my empowerment on my own, when I was at home. With the succor of a family that was willing to support my random religious conversion, I was able to step outside of the box and I was able to live it again. But things always happen to me when I think I’m moving up and forward and I fell back to old habits: depression has a way about it. The energy I could call upon to do whatever I wanted disappeared and I moved back toward the talking about it instead of living it portion again. It was beginning to feel like a ping-pong game and I was the ball.

I was really beginning to think that I wasn’t supposed to do much more than talk about it or that I was on the wrong path, altogether. While this particular Fallow Time had everything to do with the fact that depression gets in the way of things, it really got me thinking. I had been so intent on getting things a certain way and living things a certain way that I had never stopped to consider if what I was doing and walking was the right way. And it’s at this point that I began to remember about gods.

Now, you’ll notice I haven’t mentioned gods prior to this. At this point in the Turnpike, I have to say that I wasn’t sure about the “gods” thing. Of course, I knew about others’ thoughts on the process. And I had heard both the Sister and the EM discuss the gods things before, as well. And I had pretty much decided that a personal relationship wasn’t for me. But, aside from having a deep-seated need to know everything and anything about the goddess, Ma’at, I wasn’t very big on gods (a possible side effect of my screw up with Ganesha, but maybe more along the lines of trying to work in a polytheistic Wiccish model that wasn’t actually working for me). I didn’t know how I felt about them, collecting them, worshiping them, and all of that. To be honest, aside from Ma’at, maybe I didn’t even believe in them more than a soft polytheistic way: perhaps, a female-male duality god/dess that lived unseen and unknown. While I saw Ma’at as a goddess, I couldn’t quite say much more about her other than she was “mine.” And that was all of it. There was nothing more concrete or changing about me.

But the thing is that just because I hadn’t found the right way with things didn’t mean that they weren’t coming upon me. I was ripe for a lesson and ripe for this particular Fallow Time’s unsubtle message: Sekhmet. I know; I know. What the hell, right? That’s what the message, the big lesson, was all about? I go on about learning things with various Fallow Times in my various FT-related postings. But, in this particular instance, there wasn’t some big huge lesson about female empowerment and learning to live with the fact that things didn’t always go your way. This particular lesson was all about Sekhmet. (Yes, you will get that story one day. There is an S posting or two coming up in this, right?) In a very real way, we could say that the lesson was that the gods wanted me as much as I wanted to believe in them. And that maybe, just maybe, the whole Wiccish model I was trying to stuff myself into. To me, Wicca never really allotted for other gods at least not in the way that they should be allotted. It was at this time that views changed, beliefs changed. This is the moment when I began to get into hard polytheism and I began to realize that the gods were just like we were: alive, well, living, different, but there. (And now, after nearly two thousand words, we get into the meat of this particular journey, eh?)

When I began to get into the gods things, I was paying more attention to the things I felt that I needed to cultivate a relationship with them. The thing is that I was so busy on the things that I was definitely not remotely interested in living. I didn’t want to hear the lessons. I think what got me, particularly, at this point is that I was so intent on the fact that I had a god that I could touch and commune with. In the Christian churches I had been a part of as a child, it felt to me that whatever deity was listening was incredibly distant and possibly not even listening. And how would we know if they were or weren’t? Sure, we could sit around and wait for our prayers to be answered, but wouldn’t it have been better to see a face and feel their presence a good deal more than just something indistinct and hazy? (Gods. I love those words lately.)

I didn’t want to “collect” gods as Devo mentioned (and what got this post started). I didn’t want anymore than Sekhmet. She was simple and easy enough for me to work with. In having the one goddess to please and work with, I felt rather special. I was enchanted with the feeling that a single god could care about what I said and wanted my attention as much as I craved hers. I think in the relation to just “collecting gods,” especially in my case it was another aspect of the “new and shiny.” It was more headiness and more thrilling. It was along the similar lines to the rituals I had held along with the Sister, my first ones. It was an elation that something, out there, cared about me and not because a book thousands of years old says that was the case. This was a goddess who had sought me out and wanted me: while it would be a while still before I realized that aspect of the relationship, somewhere deep inside I knew that instinctively. She had chosen me. And I think that’s part of the reason why I was more interested in the gods aspect to the journey as opposed to the overall message: living it.

It takes a lot of time and patience to cultivate a functional spiritual practice. After I joined TC, I began watching the posts that some of the older and wiser would post in, especially in regards to newbie questions. I watched as they worked endlessly on things that I wasn’t fully interested in. I watched as calendars were discussed and jettisoned; I watched as concepts were touted out for discussion; I watched as they crafted things into a functional practice and realized that I would never be that good. I think at this juncture it was more self-esteem than anything else that kept me from living what I wanted my practice to, ultimately, be. There were other things, too, in that list that kept me constantly sitting in the little kid’s chair instead of the big kid chair. It wasn’t just the fact that I thought it would be too hard and too confusing, but there was raising a child, and being with a guy who didn’t wholly support my spiritual journey, and then there was the job that sucked my life essence out of my butt. (Two points to anyone who knows what the hell reference that’s from!)

I gloss over it a lot, but my job did a lot of damage to the practice I’ve been crafting since I was fired.

And so, now, I find myself months and years later, in some cases, and am amused by the fact that I’m actually starting to craft something that’s functional. It is living in ma’at and it is worship. It is more than just the new joys of finding gods that are real: that can be touched, talked to, and loved. As I look back and realize just how much I’ve written (shit, 2600 words so far!), I’ve begun to see that it was a lot of different things that held me back from living as opposed to talking. It was a job and a life and a family and being alone and self-esteem and being lost all the time and the uncertainty monster. It was all of these things, but I think the biggest thing that kept me at bay was the fact that I diligently tried twice thus far and failed miserably in all of that. True, there were circumstances beyond my ken and beyond my power, but all in all, I think it was the fact that I had tried to make that leap before and been burned in the process. I didn’t want that to happen again. And, as I said, the job really did damage a lot of my ability to think past it. Sure, I had thought about living in ma’at and crafting a calendar and all of that, but it went hand-in-hand with just talking about it instead of doing it.

So, to answer the question about why it’s taken me this long. Well, it’s a lot of different things and it’s a lot of hullabaloo. It doesn’t really matter the why it’s taken me so long, but that I’m doing it now. And I’m changing and I see that. And I’m having fun and I see that. And I’m empowered and I see that. I can only hope this bridge doesn’t get burned down, too. Hopefully, I’ll be wise enough to not stop in the middle, but stop at the end.

The Knife is Sharp Against the Man Who Forces a Path.

Recently, someone posted on the Pagan Forum I belong to, asking about whether or not it was standard practice to be attracted to a deity that was not of your pantheon. There have been quite a few positive responses to this thread and it ever grows. It got me thinking when I read it about any attraction or pokes from deities that were not of the Kemetic variety…

I was nosed in the direction of Hindu deities for quite a time. I believe it started when I was living in Texas, but I know that it became a full-blown interest later on. I know that both Ganesh and Kali Ma held a very high interest in my personal and spiritual growth. I also know that Sita, Rama, and Krishna held a certain interest about me, as well. I can’t particularly say that the interest was returned or that I felt an attraction towards these deities. I know I did in regards to Krishna and Kali Ma but the others were completely new to me. I had to read up on them to know anything about them.

At one point, it seemed that Hindu Paganism was where I was headed. Everything was blue and lotus blossom and karma. Ganesh, even, at one point thought that it would be a good idea to take me over for a while so that he could explain to myself, The Sister, and The EM where we were fucking things up. I would like to point out, by the way, that The Sister and I have righted ourselves and fallen out of that muck, but it would appear that The EM never got the memo cleared up. Anyway.

At another point, Kali Ma and her eight arms were all I could see. I saw the long, liquid, red tongue of hers curling out of her extended jaws while her eight arms swayed to the beginning and ending of all things. Around her neck was the skull necklace of her enemies, as she is so famous for, and she was a lot of things to me. However, she always frightened me. Sekhmet may be a destroyer, but Kali Ma is even larger (in my eyes) than my patron deity. I hold respect and fear for Kali Ma and while her interest was appreciating, it only helped to spur me in the Kemetic Direction that I am currently going down.

Anyway, a lot of people talked about their relationships with alternate pantheons and the deities associated with them. This got me thinking…

There’s only a finite number of us that practice paganism and polytheism. Heck, just because you call yourself a pagan does not mean that you are a polytheist. So, let’s just say that 10% of the world population are pagans (and yes, I’m pulling a random number out of my butt here) and only half of that are what you would deem a full-blown polytheist. That leaves an incredibly slim amount of people out there who are saying, “There are multiple gods.”

And now, how many pantheons are out there? And how many gods are in each of those pantheons? Add them up and you got a whole metric shit-ton of a lot. And they need believers.

So, the working theory I have at the moment about all of this is this:

1. You claim to be a polytheist and this incites the interest of all gods around.
2. A particular pantheon claims you.
3. That still leaves a lot of gods that want to be noticed.

So, of course, it makes sense doesn’t it that the gods you aren’t worshiping might give you a nudge for attention now and again. They only have so many people to work with and you look as good as any other. You seem devoted to your personal patrons and you take good care of them. So, why wouldn’t other gods come to you for some nourishment?

And that’s the theory. Other gods come to you, even though you are a blah-blah-blah pagan who only worships so-and-so, because they need us as much as we need them. They crave to be recognized and, like I said, there are only so many of us out there who can do the recognizing.