Bull of His Mother.

In October of this year, I was handed down a directive to re-read Hathor Rising and My Heart, My Mother. It had been a while since I had been given homework – and by an unknown quarter, no less!, though I suspect I know where it came from – so I didn’t immediately balk at the request.

It was around the same time that I received this directive that I had decided that I would proceed with the cycle of rebirth that I had failed to see through 3 years ago. Considering how thought-provoking and useful I had found both books during the process three years ago, I could see the wisdom in re-reading them by the end of the year.

What I wasn’t expecting as I blew through Hathor Rising was how much of the book I had actually forgotten. There were whole chapters filled with very interesting tidbits that relate in some form to either my relationships with my primary gods or to the regeneration cycle I had agreed to undertake, which were practically brand new to me.

One of the items that I got stuck focusing on for a while as I continued my readathon was about Bull of His Mother, or Kamutef. While this is an epithet that has been associated with other deities, as I will explain further below, in the instance of Hathor Rising, the author is discussing the regenerative properties of the syncretized version of Amun as Amun-Min-Bull-of-His-Mother.

As I researched the name Kamutef further, I found that Amun-Re in the New Kingdom also utilized Kamutef, who has a small shrine space or sanctuary outside of Mut’s Asheru sacred lake at Karnak, in his name as Amenemopet to regenerate himself each year.

While the information I gleaned about Kamutef, and the syncretic Amun-Min-Bull-of-his-Mother all very interesting for what I was going to be undertaking myself, it was the actual epithet “Bull of His Mother” that stayed with me as I researched.

DSC07286 The strong Bull of his Mother

As I mentioned, I was familiar with this epithet to some extent as I had seen it in association with various Horus iterations during one or more of my previous research extravaganzas. It is through this phrase that whichever Horus we are speaking of (both the younger and the elder) assume the role of king from their father. I had also seen it, or dreamed that I had seen it, associated with Geb. (Here’s a link to a conversation about it. Trigger warning for sexual assault.)

The gist of the associations with these gods is that it is through a full assumption of their father’s role – from son to the “fecundator” of their mothers that they take on the role of king. The father and son are the agents of the rebirth cycle while the mother is a seemingly passive vessel in the undertaking. She is providing the necessary environment for the son to be reborn into the role their father has bequeathed to them.

The idea that the womb played a sort of passive role in the rebirth of the king isn’t new to me. Sekhmet plays a similar role in the Pyramid Texts, where it is her womb that allows the deceased pharaoh to be reborn into akh. It is not from her womb that they are born; merely the act of entering the womb that seems to bestow that power unto the pharaoh. (This kind of highlights, in my opinion, the idea that ancient Egyptians knew very little about the bodies of people with wombs.)

The purpose behind this assumption of the father’s role in its entirety is that it is through the mother that the son is to hope for an ever-repeating life. It is this passiveness on the part of the mother in the cycle of rebirth that, I think, is required for the son’s elevation to the role of their father. Their mother must provide a habitable environment for this ability to manifest their own rebirth cycle but she doesn’t actively take part in the act itself.

The fertility that comes through the regenerative properties of one who is a Bull of His Mother is immune to death, so to speak. The person or god in question is capable of renewing himself over and over again and in so doing, also provides the cycle of rebirth over and over again for those who have ruled before. In effect, through the assumption of this role, the deities mentioned above and subsequent human pharaohs, are able to provide ever-lasting life for not only themselves but their forebears as well.

In addition to the hints of a constant and forever sort of rebirth cycle, the incestuous relations between mother and son allowed the sons to fully appropriate the title of ruler from their fathers. It also gave them the ability to deny “linear time”; the role allowed them to change the succession of generations by writing the past and present into a single person unified person. (This concept isn’t so different from the discussions regarding mythic time.)

With the acceptance of this epithet and the role associated with it, there would be continuity without fear of facing chaos like those of the Intermediate periods with the deity or human pharaoh assuming the full role of his father. As mentioned in the entry for Kamutef in The Ancient Gods Speak: “being the father and the son possesses an unquestionable legitimacy.”

So in this way, the epithet lends credence to the legitimacy of the succession. By assuming the role of one’s father in every capacity, the new pharaoh is ensuring continuity and the ongoing rebirth cycle that all pharaohs hoped to achieve.

While this particular epithet seems to be more commonly associated with a variety of gods, there was a specific festival called the Harvest Festival that the human pharaohs would perform so that they could fulfill the role of Bull of His Mother on a country-wide scale.

In this festival, which dates back to the Middle Kingdom, the pharaoh completed a ritual that allowed them to take on this mantle to regenerate the crops of the country. He and the priests would complete a fertility ritual to ensure that the crops for the upcoming year would be abundant.

I suspect that the Bull of His Mother epithet may have in fact had more to do with the consecration of a living pharaoh’s son to take the mantle of kingship upon the death of his predecessor. Based on what I have found during my research into both this epithet and its associated deity, Kamutef, it makes sense that the “Bull of His Mother” function played a larger part than a yearly Harvest Festival.

In effect, the Bull of His Mother epithet is associated with the ability for the sons to fully consecrate themselves in the roles of their fathers. While the epithet can have negative associations (as in the case of the possible association with Geb), it seems that it is more intended as an epithet to engender the vehicle of one’s own ability to renew themselves.

texas longhorn

There can be no doubt as to why I found my exploration of the Bull of His Mother fascinating.

The next year is a year of death and rebirth. I have been asked to die for my gods and I have agreed to go through with this moment of rebirth. Not only will the rebirth cycle I am undertaking benefit myself, but it will also benefit my gods in the long-term. Reading about an epithet and its associative deity that is capable of engendering its own vehicle of rebirth seemed, well, opportune and timely.

It makes sense to me that, in order for me to induce my own rebirth that I should assume the mantle of the Bull of His Mother. This is an epithet, and a deity, associated with the very things that I must undertake. And it would be a benefit to all parties involved if I can use this Bull of His Mother epithet as a sort of blueprint to see through what I need to see through.

As I was discussing the Bull of His Mother with TTR, they mentioned that Mut could also prove useful. “Mut is said to be “the mother who became a daughter,” or “the daughter-mother who made her begetter,” expressing a power of self-creation similar to that expressed for Amun by the epithet kamutef, ‘bull of his mother’, meaning one who is his own father.” (Link.)

While this was an avenue of possibility that I hadn’t considered before, it didn’t feel quite right to me. For some reason, the idea of becoming a god who could help me move forward on my necessary quest for ever-lasting life during my own rebirth cycle just felt wrong. I’ve since come to the realization that for the regenerative properties I am looking for, I need to undertake the epithet of Bull of His Mother to see it through as opposed to becoming either Mut or Kamutef. The assumption of the epithet feels more in tune with what I need to achieve.

So here I am, or there I will be at any rate… Satsekhem-Bull of His Mother. I guess I can only wait and see how far the assumption of this mantle pushes me in the upcoming months as I willingly die for my gods.

Receive the crook of your Father and the flail of Bull-of-His-Mother. You are the seed of the Lord of Abydos. May he give strength entirely.

– p. 95, Hathor Rising

Further Reading

  1. Hathor Rising by Alison Roberts
  2. My Heart, My Mother by Alison Roberts
  3. The Ancient Gods Speak edited by Donald B. Redford
  4. Temples of Ancient Egypt edited by Byron E. Shafer

You Are Not the One You Say You Are.

Years ago, I followed a number of people who were deep into astrology. Sometimes it felt like they were all speaking together in another language when they would get going on their discussions regarding charts and retrograde and returns. I had a passing fancy back then that maybe I would learn what they knew and use it somehow in my own way. That never came to pass and most likely never will, but one thing that stayed with me was the concept of the Saturn Return.

At the time I found out about it, I wondered when I could expect that to happen to me. I never looked into when mine would appear back then but I sometimes found myself wondering when it would hit, when I could expect things to disintegrate so spectacularly as those astrology people described, and how I would look coming out of the other side. I, of course, never bothered to look into when my Saturn return would occur because I didn’t want to confirm that I was already in the middle of it or that it was still some ways off. It was better not knowing.

I have since learned when my first Saturn return occurred. Before I figured it out, I often wondered for a long time after the year 2015 had slowly died as years tend to do if that year was the start or end of my Saturn return. It would have explained so much if it was.

Saturn Return

I can’t trust anyone or anything these days. If you are who you say you are then show me your face. You came out of the ocean like you came out of a dream. Your voice it sounds familiar but you are not what you seem… – The Stranger by Lord Huron

Fear and hopelessness are two words that, when paired together, they form a very distinct image. They elicit a painting of some dark gray and bleak hellscape. When these two words are mated together in this way, the words can convey a certain nuance that the words, when spoken not in tandem, tend to lack. The desolation one can feel when these words are used to describe themselves and their situation is so absolute as to be inescapable. It’s suffocating, worrisome, and above all, horrifying.

I think “fear and hopelessness” does an adequate job of explaining my mindset three years ago.

The year had started off so strong. I had worked diligently for the preceding three or so years to get to where I was. I had gone through a lot of shit both on a personal and spiritual level. I had developed new avenues of insight and networked to a point where I was mostly comfortable with the community I had crafted around myself. I had spent time moving as hard as I could, pushing things into place and reorganizing as I felt the need arose.

I had developed a strong relationship with a handful of gods who I loved and succored. I whispered their names as fervent prayers and I worshiped them truly. I cared for them in a way that I cannot convey verbally, that I cannot write. The emotional connection I had with them and they with me was often intense, often personal, and above all, it made me feel fulfilled in a way that I had never felt in all the years before and all the years since.

I had faith.

I had belief.

I had a lot of things that people talk about every day about their gods, about their spiritual lives, about their religions. I had all of those things and I could wear them like a strong, beautifully rendered blanket around my shoulders. Or a tapestry strung upon the wall, crowing to the world around me that I had love with my gods and they loved me. It protected me against the negatively and nay-saying. It made me feel safe and loved in return. It was security. It was safe.

But the thing about blind faith is that it doesn’t always sustain you. It’s not something that can always fill you the way that a good dinner can. It’s nothing that you can survive on. My blind faith, my blind love, began to fray and the warm, beautiful blanket began to erode around me. I grabbed for the pieces of it and I tried to re-weave it but I had my eyes opened when I died for the first time to be reborn into a useful vessel for my primary goddess. The death was necessary; the manner of it, in my opinion, was not.

It’s hard to get back to loving your gods when they have used you. It’s not impossible, but it can be so very hard to be the bright and shiny youth you once were after going through something as traumatic as all of that. It came to a head, all of my pent-up emotions on the topic, in 2015 because I was being asked to die all over again. I needed to be reborn yet again, not just for myself but for my god as well. I needed to die so that we could both live.

And I was so very angry that after only just dying, only just healing myself, only just coming to terms with all that the original rebirth’s changes had wrought that I was being asked to do it all over again. To be sure, the purpose has always been necessary and I have always been headed in that direction. But I needed to come to terms with what had already happened in conjunction with other changes I was going through; I wasn’t fucking ready.

It never helped that all of this chatter about death and rebirth was always, always couched in terms of Bigger Picture. We always come to this statement, this fucking phrase, and for those of us who do spirit work, we have to ask ourselves what in the ever-loving fuck is the point? Our lives are all supposed to be for this Bigger Fucking Picture but damn if it doesn’t make any fucking sense when paired with what our woo has shown us to be the reality of our gods’ current situation.

Why should I die yet again for this Bigger Picture bullshit when everything else is complete and utter shit?

I never got an answer to this question and I decided that it wasn’t necessary then.

I know this sounds petty. I know this sounds like I was having a temper tantrum. But the one thing I cannot illustrate enough is how much that first death traumatized me. I was passive in that death; I allowed it to happen without a peep, without a cry, without fighting back against it because I wasn’t ready. Even if I was unsuccessful, I often think back and castigate myself for not fighting back.

I should have fought back.


All your words of comfort cannot take away my doubt. I’ve decided if it kills me I’ll find out what you’re about. I can’t trust anyone or anything these days. – The Stranger by Lord Huron

It would be nice to end this entry here, to lay blame in its totality at the feet of the gods. But I, too, must admit to my culpability in what went wrong that year.

The years preceding had been dedicated to the hard work of creating an open forum community, primarily taking place on Tumblr but in other areas (WordPress, FB groups, etc.) of the web as well. The hard work had sort of paid off because we had managed to network a wider arena with more and more people joining our shared tags as time went by. It was nice… for a while.

My primary issue at this time was that there was a lot of growing pains going on for the wider community. I watched and aided as I could in these growing pains – growing pains that occur with every major group – but some of the things I saw, sitting on the sidelines, made me vastly uncomfortable. There was a growing group of voices that seemed to have negative points of view relating to spirit work, god spouses, and various other “woo” related arenas that made me distinctly uncomfortable.

The totality of 2015 for me was, well, “woo.” It had been forged with “woo” and it was supposed to end with “woo.” Spirit work was the name of the game in my world and the constant negative comments coming from wider and wider quarters left me feel disenfranchised with the community at large. I began to feel like I needed to keep my experiences to myself instead of sharing them just so I wouldn’t have to deal with any negative backlash.

You see, I was nay-saying my experiences all my own; I didn’t need to see it coming from some other quarter. I had my own issues related to all of this. How can this be happening? How can this be real? Even with outside divination, intuition, lining up “upg” from other sources, and a variety of other confirmation sources, I doubted heavily what was going on. I didn’t need another negative voice to add alongside my own.

Beyond my personal doubt regarding what was going on with my religious shenanigans and the fear of hearing my very own doubts parroted back to me, the community continued to grow and with it, more and more people with a historically informed background began to show up. The issue I found with some of these people is that they often came across as exceedingly condescending when I would get into both private and public conversations with them.

While I understand that being classically trained in various areas will give you a leg up in certain areas, this doesn’t mean that the people you are communicating with who aren’t classically trained are stupid or unread or unlearned. It just means that they’re coming at it without that background and because of this, they’re probably taking away a completely different perspective because their focus is in other arenas.

I didn’t need to be condescended to. I didn’t need to be talked down to or talked over or shouted at in public group messages because I disagreed about a variety of things. It only lent credence to my belief that I needed to effectively embody the hermit card from Tarot and isolate myself from the community at large.

So I did.

I not only distanced myself from the community at large, but I effectively cut myself off from those who didn’t make me feel like I was some sub-human waste of space with my woo and my different opinions. I compartmentalized so much that I stopped talking to even those of my friends who weren’t part of the community and wouldn’t make me feel like I was losing my mind if I revealed all the stuff that I had gone through earlier in the year.

It was just easier, I told myself. It was simpler to keep to myself and just keep trucking on with my fallow times and my worry that I was probably making up all the woo from earlier in the year. Better to hide away from the wider world than to engage and possibly be judged false.

I should have told myself to fuck off instead.


But I know what you want and why, Of all the strangers you’re the strangest that I’ve seen. I’m not afraid to die. I can’t trust anyone or anything these days. – The Stranger by Lord Huron

To be fair, the year as a whole wasn’t that bad. I had come to accept that I had woo though I did run away from it later for both of the above reasons listed. I had entered into a marriage with a god, which has been in effect for the last three years and seems to be going well. I had found out who my friends were because we’re still going strong three years later.

I could catalog the good things to counter all the pain and suffering, all of the hopelessness that had been intermixed with it. But at the heart of the matter, the year was not a good one and that was exactly why I disappeared; why I went off the radar. I had taken to heart the idea that I needed to hide, to keep to myself. I no longer trusted, no longer could engage in the reindeer games. I wasn’t safe; nothing was.

I had built up the house and failed to continue the growth I needed. Both my practice and I have become inert and we both suffer for it. After reading this post by TTR, I realized that I have a decision to make much like they realized they had.

Sometimes you have to shit or get off the pot. I’ve been on the pot for three years now so I guess it’s finally time to move on.

You are not the one you say you are
Now that I’ve seen your face, I’m haunted by the letters of your name
– The Stranger by Lord Huron

Intercalary Days 2015.

July 25, 2015 – July 29, 2015

Dua Wesir!

Dinner pt 1Dinner pt 2The first day of the epagomenal days and we are celebrating the birth of Big O. The stoic green-faced guy who probably had too much LSD in the 70s. The backbone of ancient Egypt. The eldest child of Nut and Geb. The one. The only. Osiris.

I started off with a good, healthy meal of garlic tilapia filets, fresh baked Italian bread with butter, and sauteed zucchini. I hand picked all of the green peanut M&Ms out of the bag while simultaneously (no seriously, it was a simultaneous thing) setting up the bundle of flowers I purchased for this week.

I provided a glass of milk to finish off the healthier part of dinner and then added a healthy dose of rum into some diet Coke. (H-dubs seems very put out that I was cracking into “his” Cruzan for this. He’s going to be pretty upset when he realizes Big Red is getting some too.)

Now we’re all digesting our meal and O seems to be pointedly not talking to me – possibly because on top of embarrassingly and off-key singing the birthday song, I may have also sang (less off-key) to the tune of Eulogy by Tool, which he found not so amusing. (I found it fucking hilarious.) But it could also be because I bought fish for dinner.

Dua Heru-Wer!

Dinner pt 1Dinner pt 2The second day of the epagomenal days and we are celebrating the birth of H-dubs. The quiet bird guy who everyone forgets about. The first Horus to fuck up Set’s day. The second child of Nut and Geb. The one. The only. Heru-Wer.

I started off with a good, healthy meal of Moroccan salad minus the chickpeas, cucumbers, and fresh bread with butter. Since I had planned ahead yesterday and sorted through all of the peanut M&Ms, I was able to toss all the blue ones into the bowl and then added 5 yellow ones.

I provided a glass of milk to finish off the healthier part of dinner and then added a healthy dose of rum into some diet Coke. He tried to get me to pour more than a single shot and seemed mildly put out that I have to work in the morning.

Now we’re having some quiet time, singing and dancing ridiculously to Timber by Pitbull featuring Kesha. I may have mentioned this once but this is like our song. He was harassing me while I was cooking dinner, demanding that I play it at least once while I celebrate the glory that is the Derpy Hawk Bird. I have played it twice now and there looks like a third time may be in the works (depending on my mood by that point).

Dua Set!

Dinner pt 1Dinner pt 2Today is the third day of the epagomenal days [for me] and we are celebrating the birth of Big Red. The tackiest, gaudiest motherfucker ever to exist. The villain everyone loves to hate and hates to love (or vice versa). The third child of Nut and Geb. The one. The only. Set.

He got leftovers today because I didn’t have the necessary ingredients for tacos. He seems mildly irritated that I had cooked fresh meals for his brothers but he was getting H-dubs leftovers. I pointed out that his sisters were getting leftovers as well and he seemed mildly cheered by this fact. He got red M&Ms with a few brown ones mixed in and fresh bread with butter.

I provided a glass of milk to finish off the healthier part of dinner and then added some rum to some diet Coke. (The high pitched screaming coming from H-dubs, like he had been truly wounded or something, was amazing. I feel like this was almost as painful as the time Set ripped out his eye.)

When I went to revert dinner, Set was not having any of it. I had the distinct impression he was totally shoving the couscous in by the copious handful and told me, “nooooo,” with his disgusting mouth full. When I apologized for not having more cucumbers and for denying cooked zucchini, he pointed out that I had grapes in the fridge and I should get them.

Let me reiterate this: I had forgotten that I had bought grapes. He had scoped out my fridge and reminded me about the grapes. He got a kind of stingy clipping of grapes and Serious Look for combing through the contents of my refrigerator without permission.

He said the grapes are terrific.

Dua Aset!

Dinner pt 1Dinner pt 2The epagomenal days [for me] and we are celebrating the birth of Big Ass…et. The mom who will hound your ass until you die if you don’t clean your room. The lady who turns into a bird to get it on with people whose bodies have been torn asunder. The fourth child of Nut and Geb. The one. The only. Aset.

She also received leftovers because I had absolutely no intention of putting myself out for her. We have had a lot of issues in the last year or something like that and I am not the forgive and forget type. But you know, neither is she. She got the bread and butter shtick and the yellow M&Ms. The only reason she got grapes was because I remembered I had them.

I provided a glass of milk and then added some vanilla vodka to diet Coke because the ladies get vanilla vodka. This seemed to be the only thing she was interested in from me and I left it out for as little as possible because I’m just as much an ass as she is.

Dua Nebthet!

Dinner pt 1Dinner pt 2The fifth day of the epagomenal days [for me] and we are celebrating the birth of Nebthet. The one who lives in the shadow of her big sister. The woman who was married to Set and then helped her sister find her torn apart husband’s body parts. The fifth child of Nut and Geb. The one. The only. Nebthet.

I felt bad that she was getting leftovers like everyone else because I had actually intended on cooking. Well, that didn’t happen at all because it’s so bloody hot and I just couldn’t stomach the idea of having to turn on the oven (so I took my kid out for dinner). Nebthet just seemed happy she was getting some recognition for once. She also had bread and butter as well as grapes (why stop a good thing?)

We’re out of milk because I’m trash I didn’t stop for any on the way home so she only got  some vanilla vodka to diet Coke. She squealed with delight and I’m pretty sure she told me this is the best meal she’s had in a while. She gave me a sad boner to learn more about her.

Festival of the Beautiful Reunion: Week Two.

I stop a lot and marvel at my hands.

We use our hands for a lot of things and in the middle of the doing of those things, I will stop and look at them. In the middle of typing an email; in the middle of scrolling through a blog entry; in the middle of changing the channel on the radio; while I’m driving… I will be in the middle of something and look down at them with a sort of wide-eyed wonder at the two of them.

They seem awfully small to rebuild anything.

The nails are chipped and cracked. I paint them only to wait for the days when the polish is mostly damaged because I feel like that time best represents my hands. I wear rings every day and there are cuts around my cuticles. The lines in my palm grow deeper everyday. I have healing cuts on my fingers and on my thumbs. They are busted and probably ugly, but they are mine.

They seem like such pitiful things to be used to recreate a fucking thing.

Consciously, I understand that hands have the power to do many things. People create with them all the time. Am I not creating while I use them to drive me somewhere? Am I not creating while I type this? But it all seems a little more than miraculous that two hands, mine or yours or anyone’s hands really, can build anything.

My two hands are supposed to create the life I am to lead. My hands led me astray, I think, in a few arenas but I’m willing to learn how to build something better out of the ashes. My hands are supposed to create the religious life that I am to follow. My hands led me down a path that I did not see coming, but I am figuring it out as I go. My hands are supposed to create me in the forge of my own soul. They have no idea what the map of a human soul is supposed to look like and I hope that I don’t look too misshapen when I am done.

It amazes me that these two appendages are supposed to do all of these things. How, I ask myself as I marvel down at them.

There is no answer as yet.

Day 713 / 365 - I'm a dreamer. I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds

The rebuilding of one’s soul starts with the core components of who we are, but what if we do not know who we are? (Image by Jason Rogers.)

The first week of the Reunion was a constant lesson in balance and patience, of which I am pretty sure I have very little. It was like a field trip of sorts that I had semi-invited myself along on but it was okay because I had parental permission before we left. That first week was a stretched out eternity dedicated to the needs to the gods. I remembered how much I didn’t figure into things.

The second week of the Reunion was about how much I did figure into things. It had nothing to do with the gods, dedication or otherwise. It had to do with a reunion of sorts, but mostly of the endless climb into the reaches of the atmosphere as I slowly but surely lose my mind, bit by bit. I felt less like I suffered from exhaustion and more like I was being burned alive.

No one thought to mention that the brick and mortar I had to use to rebuild myself but also to build up to new levels of my personal religious shenanigans had to be crafted by me. I guess this is what I get for not reading the fine print. It occurred to me on the first Thursday of week two that the reunion I had just celebrated was a sort of blue print of sorts, but I had to get all the fixings together in order to recreate the objects I was trying to build back up.

That shit is hard.

I spent much of week two feeling very out of sorts while I shifted around and dithered about things. I made some hard decisions, which later felt wrong and I went back on them. I made some less difficult decisions, which I felt much better about having made them. I sat up and looked around, realized where the pieces were missing and what I had to do in order to vault over the deep chasm of my soul. I don’t have all of the pieces in place – I’m sorry, but building people doesn’t happen in a single day, much less a single week in this house hold – but I have enough to feel at least partially comfortable with the process.

I just wish I had figured there was more to the story than what I was seeing originally.

the night of the shooting stars

A few more pieces to give vague outline; but how does one build up and out when the destruction is wrought on the inside? (Image by Alessandro Villa.)

I came to my senses about a lot of things during that second week, but a lot of it was little things that, upon reflection, don’t seem like a whole lot. I guess you could say that they all add up to a lot but it doesn’t feel like that. It feels more like tiny little crevasses in the skin of my hands, growing deeper and thicker as time passes. They were always there, but time molds and changes them. It’s not noticeable daily, but it is if you stop and look hard enough.

Building a human being out of the soft clay like Khnum does at his potter’s wheel is a difficult process. As TTR pointed out over on Tumblr, Henadology’s entry on Khnum states: “Khnum’s role of fashioner of the bodily form was not completed once and for all before birth, but continued throughout life.” I’ve been thinking about that a lot, especially regarding the last week of the Reunion.

I am not complete, not by any stretch of the imagination. I honestly have to ask myself if I will ever be able to look at the processes that I have begun in an effort to both better myself and to work on past traumas and realize that I’m “done.” I don’t think so. I think I will always need to continue the fashioning, and like Khnum, I will be constantly working towards the goal of uniting the different aspects of myself.

In same vein, I have often assumed that I would get a “functional practice” together that would be something that I could, maybe, pass on to someone one day. I often thought that the overall goal I was aiming for was a tab-A in slot-A approach; very simplistic from a distanced point of view, but the point is really that I was hoping I could easily create and one day go, “Ah, yes, this is ready now to be born anew under someone else’s guidance.”

Well… I don’t think that’s possible either.

Just looking at the years that this blog has existed should have probably made the above obvious, but I can be fairly dense when I want to be.

In both cases, the fashioning of myself and of my practice, I’ve come to conclude that there are changes on the turnpike ahead of me. Those changes aren’t necessarily for the betterment of myself, but for the processes I’ve been going through. Like the souls that Nut swallows, I am being masticated, swallowed, and digested to be remade. The only thing is that I will be constantly going through this process. So, too, will the practice. There doesn’t seem to be a finish line in the distance just the overlong journey as I wander around, hoping that I’m not fucking things up completely.

Glitter of Sunlight Upon the Dew.

There is something about Hetheru, I think, that speaks out to the heart for many of us. She has this mysterious way about her that intrigues us, makes us fall a little in love maybe, and keeps us smitten as we delve ever deeper into our explorations of her. She can irritate and disgust us, of course, because that is part of what it is to be a living creature: it’s not all simply this or simply that, but shades of gray between the glittering points and the darkest night. But even the parts that can revolt me only add to the infatuation.

Maybe it’s a human thing to want to explore every facet of the gods or perhaps it is only my thing.


Inspiration (Image by DigiDi.)

When I see Hetheru crossing my dashboard in another one of those mythology meme posts, I am always struck by the use of gold and pretty things. The bodies that are chosen, the imagery that speaks out: it is all used perfectly to denote the feeling in my breast that whispers her name into the atmosphere.

To me, if I were to create one, I would use heady pinks and soft scents; I would choose glitter and diamonds to soak the landscape; I would choose the most regal images of women, both limber and graceful. She knows who she is and what she can be and there are no apologies for any of it. She is simply who she is and we can accept her for it or we can walk away.

I think that, above all else, inspires me. I want to be like that. I want to be able to explain to people looking at me that this is who I am and I have nothing to apologize for about who I may be. I am constantly thinking about how I should apologize for how I am not quite what other people expect of me and I want to stop feeling like I need to be what they see versus what I actually am.

Often, I will go to Google images and look at the various representations of Hetheru. Some of them are not part of the image I have of her in my mind, but others speak to me. When I see her carefully etched on a temple wall or see an artist’s depiction of her carefree wiles, I can be most overcome with my emotions. I view that static image of her for those moments and want to only embody what she is to me:

Unapologetic perfection.

soul on a sunbeam

An Offering of the Soul (Image by *sapa*.)

I often look to the arsenal of both historical and non-historically attested offerings, wondering what it was that I could dare to give her. She seems to require so much and I have so very little to give. The fruit and vegetables, the meats, the cool water, the red wine, the sweet smells, the mirror and makeup all seemed to be mocking me with their simplicity. Here were these things that I can provide and yet, they never seemed good enough.

I work under the assumption that if it worked well in antiquity then it should be good to go in this life. I have often decided that because it was done thousands upon thousands of times in the past, then it must still be good now. But I still feel as though it is not ever enough. I always feel like I am failing in some regard because there must be something more that I can give to her.

I wonder if this is why I add UPG offerings to the fold. Chocolate and soda and chips and newly minted scented oils and video games and television shows. I add all of these items in to what can be provided, maybe, hoping and wishing that this will feed the empty pit in my stomach that whispers that I am not good enough at this.

At the back of my mind is always a possibly strange thought, though:

Perhaps my simply being human is enough to offer in lieu of anything else.

My humanity is something that bothers me. Sometimes, I hate it. It is mortality and it is pain. It is horror and sorrow. It is love and joy. It is happiness and laughter. It is not static; it is ever-moving. It is this constant battle of tap dancing across the fine points of razor blades that I hate the most: how are humans expected to do this?

On other days, I am in love with the fact that I am human. It is the love I bear for the feel of my own skin and the whisper of wind across my cheek, the caress of sunshine on my face and the pounding lyrics of my music in my ears. It is watching my son learn something new and the smell of a new paperback mingling with all of the older paperbacks that grace my shelves.

The pounding hate of my existence is there – a sort of mercurial self-hate/poor self-esteem mixed in with the worry that I will never succeed at anything. The gentle love of my existence is there – a sort of hope that everything will work out in a way that will not cause too much pain.

The simplest offering and perhaps the greatest is giving to her the very thing that I despise and love most about myself: that I am here on this planet, a simple flailing human being who suffers from anxiety and depression, who finds both pain and joy in the minutiae of my existence.


Prayers (Image by Xerones.)

I do not spend much of my time in prayer anymore. It’s almost as if I fear the idea of begging them to listen. I often think that whatever I may desire for myself or for my life will fall on deaf ears. What is the point in asking the gods for anything – no matter who the deity – if I cannot work to bring it into play, to assist their guiding hands in my life?

I could not bear the realization that I am nothing more than a tool for any of them.

I do not pray.

Prayers, to me, are the whispered hopes and dreams sent to the universe, tacked onto the name of a being who we feel should oversee our lives. But the thing about those prayers is that while they may require divine grease to get the wheels moving, we must also be seen to assist in the movement.

I am a being of inactivity. This is a byproduct of my depression and anxiety. I sit with my head in the sand and wait for the end of days before I do anything to see the reality I want realized. To send those hopes and dreams into the universe, knowing that I cannot do much more than that to help get movement, leads me to more inactivity. I cannot whisper into the universe, send out my requests to the gods – any god – and demand that they move things while I sit around in fear of the unknown.

Hetheru is unapologetic for who she is and one day, I would like to be this way. I would like to be able to look at someone and say that this is who I am, take it or leave it. If I could pray, if I could honestly send out what I desire into the world around me, I would wish to be that. I would wish to be like she. I would wish to be able to say to anyone looking at me that this is what they must have of me because this is all that I am.

I would pray to be the unapologetic perfection of my humanity and my divinity, painted across the sky in the shimmering colors of the universe.

Festival of the Beautiful Reunion: Week One.

I spend a lot of my time recreating my religion with a sort of inner panic pounding at the back of my mind. There are resources that I don’t have access to. There are items that I can only guess at. There are little clues strewn about for what I can think my religion is supposed to end up looking like, but I don’t honestly know.

That’s where the panic steps in.

I think a lot of people take a glimpse at the pictures I post or the things that I say about my religion and just automatically assume that I know what I’m doing. I never do. Part of the reason why I try not to plan things out too much in advance is because I fear that plans will make the expectations that much higher and that much worse.

The anxiety of fucking everything up by mispronouncing something or dropping a dish accidentally is a pretty big thing for me. It’s a hurdle that I don’t think I will ever be able to leap over. Maybe that’s not true; maybe one day I will get through passed it but that day is not today… or this past week.

I just… never really know what I’m doing.

Fall Sunrise III

Sometimes I can feel Re’s rays like hands upon my face, but mostly I just wonder what it must be like to go through the same damn journey every fucking day and night. (Photograph, Fall Sunrise III, by Brian Doucette)

Every morning, I was up early to greet the day. This was never my intent. I do not like being awake at five o’clock in the morning, even if I can take the time to reflect of a religious nature. Or maybe even to use the time to psych myself up for what the day ahead could possibly entail. I am not one of those people who feels the requirement to take time out of my day for that and besides that is precisely what my two cups of coffee between 6:30AM and 7:15AM is for.

Waking up at 5AM seemed beyond ludicrous.

But I would roll over and stare blankly through the blinds above me. I would listen to the birds shriek that the day was coming and that we should all be cheerfully happy to greet it. I would watch the sun rise. My thoughts hardly ever were introspective though because that’s just not who I am more often than not.

No, I would watch the sun rise and wonder what it must be like to live permanently on a boat.

Personally, I think it would get boring very quickly. I wonder if he’s conned other people into doing the do for him, if for no other reason than to take a break. I mean, if you really think about it, sitting on a solar barque for the entirety of creation has got to get a little boring after a while. Maybe he’s got Skinemax and Xbox though…

When it was close enough to my normal time to wake up, I would roll to my knees and start the day. Hot coffee for me; cool water and bread for them. My routine changed for this holiday. I always start with Sekhmet, as being the closest and most obvious deity to my ib. But since it was the time of Hetheru and Heru-Wer, I would go to them in the morning and get their offerings for the day gathered together before getting everyone else squared away.

Some mornings, I would stand in front of the space that I had created for this whole shindig and just look at them. Other times, I would move them a little so that they were closer together. I made sure that the ankh-and-lotus-blossom necklace remained wrapped around them, a potent symbol of the reunification of the two of them in my brain.

Every morning, I stopped and played music. I had started all of this with a sort of musical theme semi-mapped out in the back of my mind. Music is, honestly, very integral to my religious practice. It may not seem like it considering the fact that I listen to music that may not be often associated with religious practices, but UPG is still valid to me. And my musical choices have become so soaked in my religious practices that to not have played music would have been as close to a Kemetic no-no for me as I could possibly get.

I play songs that tug at the strings of my ib but also ones that I have found have assisted me as I figure out what I am being led towards. I also played other songs, songs from a past long since dead, but songs that have personal meaning. It all worked together for a single moment to bring me into the dawn of another day on a two-week long journey that I was beginning to eat at me.

sunset 2

As the blood of sunset touched the horizon, I felt weary beyond all words. Even maintaining a hint of piety throughout the work day was impossible. (Photograph, Sunset 2, by Djura Radin.)

I spent my evenings prepping meals for about an hour to an hour and a half. I had certain parameters that I felt that I needed to meet, which is why it could take me so long to get everything completed before I set the meals before them.

There were dishes to be cleaned (again) as I do not have many and had to  reuse most of them. Once that was done, I spent my careful time preparing what I felt would be healthy meals: zucchini; asparagus; apples; grapes; fresh bread. I had a certain integrity to the supper table that I needed to maintain. I found that I liked having at least one meal a day that included all of the requirements of the food pyramid.

But I also found that I grew quite full quite fast. A dilemma, I suppose. I found myself reusing portions of the evening meal to cover my lunches. And found that I was still full well into midday on the next day. I made less and less food, but I still felt myself full for later and later periods into the next day. I still haven’t quite figured that out yet.

I made sure that there was chocolate for afterwards and soft scents to perfume the air. The one thing that stuck with me in my reading was, of course, the fact that the scents of myrrh could be smelled for miles around the area of Edfu. I wasn’t able to recreate that part, but I tried my hardest. I also plied them with plenty of drink, which I was happy enough to revert.

Each night, I found myself exhausted by nine o’clock. I had barely finished eating my meals and I was ready to curl up and sleep forever. I rarely was able to go to bed then, though. I found myself thinking long and hard about my day at work and how I needed to change my job post-haste or found myself sucked into the world of my mind, wondering what it was that I was expected to be doing that could ease how exhausting this religion thing really is.

And that’s the crux, I think. I found myself so exhausted each night that I could barely function. I was little more than a being sitting peacefully on the couch, staring blankly into the night.

I was thinking one night about the priests and priesthood in ancient Egypt. I definitely understand so completely now why their job was nothing but seeing to the needs of the temple for 4 months out of the year. Having a second job and having to tend family coupled with the religious requirements I felt compelled to do was eating me alive.


Love knows not distance; it hath no continent; its eyes are for the stars. – Gilbert Parker (Photograph, unsorted, by Jessica Naomi.)

I’ve felt like this holiday was a large turning point in my religious shenanigans. I haven’t been wrong so far.

I’ve learned a lot of very interesting and intriguing parts about myself as well as to the religion that I am attempting to recreate. I’ve had a lot of thoughts about the whole relationship between Hetheru and Heru that have made me look hungrily for older resources regarding the two. I need to know more.

But at the base of it all, I have found that the belief that this is a large turning point in many things to come isn’t wrong.

Not so wrong at all.

Festival of the Beautiful Reunion 2015: Wetjeset-Hor.

One of the most important recurring themes in ancient Egyptian cosmogonies is the eruption of the primeval mound, or benben, into existence.

In Hermopolis, the Ogdoad merged to form it. In Heliopolis, Atum[-Re] comes into existence and sits upon the mound to create Shu and Tefnut. In Memphis, Ptah is associated with the mound in his associations with Tatenen, who personifies it. The city of Thebes was thought to be the place of the primeval mound.

But these aren’t the only aspects in which we find the primeval mound popping up, either. Outside of Edfu, there is a place known as Wetjeset-Hor. It translates best as “the place where Heru extolled.” To me, this seems clear: this was thought to be a zone of pre-creation, where Heru landed upon the benben and extolled creation… probably in association with his form of Ra-Horakhty. Or maybe there’s more to the elder Heru’s genesis than we know.

In either case, it is at Wetjeset-Hor that Hetheru and Heru come together for the first time during the Festival of the Beautiful Reunion.

Primeval Mound

Primeval Mound; ink and pen. (Art by Jenny Carrington.)

The meeting of the two at Wetjeset-Hor has manifold implications. As the place where life began, it is a sort of cosmological meeting point between the seen and the unseen. I read up a bit on the place and it seems like the beginnings of the Temple of Edfu began there. Egyptologists have found pieces of society dating back to the Old Kingdom and even during Pre-Dynastic times. The import isn’t lost on me in that respect at all.

But I think the symbolism is more than just mere creation. I think it speaks of renewal and regeneration, two items that are so often intertwined in ancient Egyptian belief systems that it can be difficult to do much more than mention it.

As I was reading what I could about this place, I thought back to the Ancestor Ritual that is discussed in My Heart, My Mother by Alison Roberts. I was thinking, specifically, of the bits regarding the bull’s heart.

A heart is offered to the gods as a symbol of vitality and life. It pulses with the very breath of our lives, filled with the very essence of who we are. In the Ancestor Ritual, the heart is offered up as a physical representation of all that the son has become not just in his own right but in his merging with his mother.

But by virtue of sexually uniting with his mother, Horus has indeed taken the place of his father in every possible way. He has become a ‘Bull-of-his-Mother’, capable of perpetuating an unending cycle of regeneration through the heart. And incestuous though this union of hearts may be, it encapsulates the mysteries exchange of life energy necessary for the empowerment of the new ruler. Though Osiris has gone to his Ka he remains actively supporting his son, who now embodies the procreative powers of his predecessor. (p.77)

The similarities between the triad of Wesir/Aset/Heru-sa-Aset and the triad of Ra/Hetheru/Heru-Wer is not lost on me. And I think that is, above all else, why this particular part of the Ancestor Ritual came to mind.

It is the meeting place at Wetjeset-Hor that makes me realize how similar these two triads really are. And it is by virtue of this meeting in the first place of creation, at the primeval mound of that creation, when the greening of their hearts truly comes to be. As hethert-dot-org says, “It is appropriate that the meeting of Het-Hert and Heru occurs at this holy place, because the fruit of their conjugal union symbolizes new life, fertility and regeneration.”

I think the meeting is very much like that heart – the seat of everything in both my practice and of tantamount import in the unseen and afterlife – being offered up to the gods.

Be Still My Beating Heart

Sometimes my ib chokes me with the weight of it. And other times, it is a comfort about me. (Photo by Mustang Aly.)

At Wetjeset-Hor, I provided so many offerings. I laden the plates with everything, throwing confetti at the two statues in the shape of hearts. If nothing else, it’s a bit like Valentine’s Day for me. Only instead of celebrating hearts and love with people, I’m celebrating it between two deities who have made profound impacts on me in so many innumerable ways.

After, I divined to see when it would be best to finish the journey to Edfu proper. According to what I had read, this was done. It makes sense. Sailing on the Nile could be a nasty business and no one would really want to lose two major icons. It would be quite inauspicious, no? They spent an entire 24 hours at Wetjeset-Hor, surrounded by hearts and love and offerings and more love.

Perhaps the reeds have been planted in their hearts, too, and new life grows in the union between them. It’s probably only my life, to be fair, but at least it grows.

Festival of the Beautiful Reunion 2015: En Route.

I have been a devotee of Hetheru for years now. I honestly can’t recall when she officially showed up, though I believe the exact moment may be saved somewhere in this blog. In all the time that we have been together, I have never had a push to honor her festivals. There’s never been an all-consuming need in the background, demanding that I pay homage.

Either because of my developed relationship with Heru-Wer or because she had finally said it was time, I can’t say. But this year, I got hit early with the Festival of the Beautiful Reunion bug. I found myself counting down the days three months in advance. It was like I had an earworm only instead of a song; it was this pounding requirement to celebrate this heretofore unknown festival.

I knew I had to get my research on.

I did a number of Google searches, attempting to fill in the in-between of what I knew. Before reading about it, I knew the festival was a celebration of the reunification of Hetheru and one of the Heru; I didn’t actually know which one.

My research found me looking into the different Heru over and over again. I found that the holiday seemed to be celebrated sometimes with Heru-Wer, sometimes with Heru of Behdet. The particular Heru didn’t really seem to matter – let’s be real, there’s like a hundred of them – so as long as it was an older Heru, a Heru beyond the Osirian myth cycle at least.

I found out that there was some traveling involved: it took Hetheru a few days to get from Dendera to Edfu. She made strategic stops, it seems, going down the Nile. The first stop was at the Precinct of Mut at Karnak in which she visited with Mut. She detoured for a bit at a Per Mer to visit with Anuket. The third day, she stopped at Nekhen and visited with the Heru there. This Heru saw her through to her meeting with the Heru of Edfu, whom she met at Wetjeset-Hor, before the two sailed further south to Edfu proper.

I had a lot of planning to do.

Depicture of the Feast of the Beautiful Reunion

Depiction of the Feast of the Beautiful Reunion. Edfu, Egypt. (Photo by Dennis Jarvis.)

I have a bunch of colored scarves that I’ve picked up over the years. I don’t know why I bought them in the first place, but the color schemes are appropriate for any standard holiday: black, green, and blue (need a red one at some point, I think). I figured that I could use the blue scarf for when Hetheru was traveling and the green or black to indicate she had “landed” at the strategic stopping points.


The next thing to plan out was how in the world I was supposed to make it look like she was in the middle of, well, sailing down the river. I found iconographic representations of what her solar barque looked like and then looked for a few for Heru, as well. I found those easily enough. I spent about 4 days working on the project, but managed to recreate both barques on card stock.


I finished up the supply run with a bunch of jewelry-making supplies, which is outside of my norm. I’m not a jewelry maker in any sense of the word, but I’ve gotten a few hits in the last few months which seemed to indicate that my lack of interest should probably become “semi-interest.” I ended up purchasing beads and charms, which are going to symbolize both the event itself as well as Hetheru’s journey to Edfu.


The last piece to the puzzle was to figure out the menu for the week. That was actually probably the easiest thing: fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh baked bread, booze, diet Coke because it’s my life’s blood, chocolate, and of course flowers because really who doesn’t love flowers?

I guess I was ready.

_MG_8507 - Yellowstone River sunrise.    ©Jerry Mercier

Yellowstone River Sunrise. (Photo by Jerry Mercier.)

Starting on Sunday, the moment that I woke up, I was off and running.

I made sure to set the blue scarf down and set the little cardstock solar barque up so that it wouldn’t fall over during the day. I then made sure that Hetheru’s icon had cool water and something to tide her over throughout the day as we journeyed.

Each evening, I printed off a little sheet with images that reminded me of the stopping place: For Karnak, I chose an historically recreated map of the premises along with iconic images of her precinct, including the crescent-shaped sacred. For Esna, I chose another historical drawing accompanied by yet more iconic images of the Temple of Khnum and those specific to Anuket. I followed this pattern for the four days that she traveled.

I also added a little extra by filling the queue on my Tumblr with images and specific items related to the places that she was stopping. I wanted to surround myself as much as I was able with thoughts and images of the act of traveling.

I also spent the first hour or so I was home preparing the meal for her, as well as setting up the altar space. I baked fresh brownies, I roasted asparagus and zucchini, I made steak and spaghetti and all of the normal dinner type items one might expect. All said and told, it probably took me about 1 – 1.5 hours of prep each night for Hetheru to “land” at the places she was stopping at.

Lucky stars

Lucky Stars. (Photo by Cath Schneider.)

I will be honest, this is the most time-consuming festival I have ever taken upon myself. I’m not a huge fan of committing myself to something that is as time-consuming and energy-eating as this is. I like things to be simple, quick, and neat. That’s part of the reason why my holidays are 15-minute affairs. I have things to do; I have a life to live; I have spoons to conserve and use elsewhere. Celebrating holidays can take a lot out of you, especially when you are the only one around to do the work that is required to see it through.

I can definitely understand, at least at this moment, why there were so many priests to oversee a temple and to make sure everything was functioning properly, both during and outside of holidays. That shit will eat you up and spit you back out if you let it.

I have fourteen more days left on this. I will admit, I’m counting down the days until this is over. I’ve found that it isn’t just that it eats my spoons, makes me tired, makes me paranoid and nervous. I’ve been overwrought emotionally as I prepare and oversee the process to have two separated lovers reunited. It’s difficult to explain, even to myself, but I think when it comes to relationships, even those of two gods you happen to have developed relationships with, there’s some backlash between the devotee and the celebration that you’re doing. I feel, in a way, like I’m hitting that backlash as my emotions take turns from up high to down low. It’s an interesting, if unnerving, experience. You try explaining to your boss why you’re crying over a spreadsheet at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.

Even with how hard this has been for me, I will admit that I feel very accomplished. I know that I have done well with the celebrations I have undertaken for Sekhmet. She has told me as much and afterwards, I tend to feel both rewarded and content. I am feeling this, as well, with this year’s Festival of the Beautiful Reunion. So I know that I am doing a very good job, all things considered, to seeing things through.

I just hope I am able to keep it up for two more weeks.

(Pictures Taken of the Celebration So Far!)

On the Periphery.

My relationships with my gods used to fit in neatly confined spaces. I used to have a box for Sekhmet and a box for Hetheru. I added a box last year to include my relationship with Heru-Wer. They were all separate and unique things. While looking deeply into the history of Heru-Wer, I began to catch glimpses of both Sekhmet and Hetheru. It was like those moments when you see something in your peripheral vision. It’s there for a second and you’re so sure that it’s there that your heart starts pounding in double time, but when you look for real, it isn’t there.

Day 188: Gleaming Peripheral Glimpse

Like whispers ringing in one’s ears, it was never really there. It was only a split second occurrence. (Image by Snugg LePup.)

Consciously, I recognized that the gods probably had interactions outside of whatever bits and pieces of our relationships were there. I mean, they had been around a lot longer and there are so many myth cycles out there, detailing all of the things they have done before I came onto the scene. There are probably myth cycles lost to us, too, which detail further shenanigans between them all. I’ve found this within most of the epithets listed for my main deities in their LAGG entries: tantalizing glimpses of things that make me go, “what is this? why is this?” And of course, I am left knowing that I will probably have nothing concrete to say except to add some UPG to my lexicon of unverified personal gnosis.

However, I am one of those people who must define something concretely and it must be defined as its own thing. Suffice to say that I was quite comfortable with leaving the relationships of my gods within their own little niches in my life. Perhaps this was a byproduct of being such a devout hard polytheist for so long. I honestly cannot say, but when I found that glimpses and pokes from the sidelines were coming, seeming to herald a more soft polytheism than I had previously been comfortable with, I kind of shut it down for a while.

I didn’t want to see Hetheru and Heru-Wer together, or Sekhmet and Hetheru together, or Heru-Wer and Sekhmet together. I didn’t want to see the invisible webs that kept them bound by some indefinable force that worried me. Part of the reason I stayed as far away from the hawk-headed Heru deities is because of all of the squishiness going on with them: they’re all the same and yet all different; puzzling out their differences can be a career unto itself.

As I explored Heru-Wer more and more, I found bits and pieces of Sekhmet, which in turn, of course, led me back to bits and pieces of Hetheru. It’s not surprising: Hetheru’s very name means “mansion of Heru.” We know that just be speaking her name, either aloud or in our minds, we are paying homage to the connection between Hetheru and [one of the] Heru. In my brain, this is Heru-Wer – not as the seeming forgotten child of Nut and Geb, but as the child of Ra and Hetheru, and as with Heru-sa-Aset in later myth cycles, overtaking the realm and place of his father, Ra, to become the husband-son of Hetheru.

The longer that I spent time with that derpy hawk brain, I found Hetheru in the little places. It was like she was the cracks of gold between his broken pieces. She fitted together with him in a fluid sort of reality that I cannot even begin to say it or write. The Japanese practice of kintsugi comes to mind as a perfect visual representation. Hetheru was there in the in-between, healing the cracked parcels of Heru-Wer so that he could be the derpy hawk bird the Kemetic fandom knows and loves.

Cleaned up seams

To me, she was like kintsugi: the golden aura used to fix the pieces of this veteran back together. (Image by Pomax.)

I found that the bits of my relationship that were specifically about Heru-Wer began to envelop Hetheru without my asking. It was like, one moment, Heru-Wer and I were in a relationship and there we were, two meteors crossing the sky of my own inner rebirth. Then, in the distance, a third meteor streaks along with us and joins our group. Before I could even map it out in my mind, it was the three of us, like a triad of sorts, just hanging out and poking fun. Sekhmet was there, in the background, but less like the streaks of meteors and more like the golden sun that creates the gravity that we need to complete our path.

Their relationship affects me on so many levels. I see it as one of those like epic love stories that overwhelms the consciousness and creates a longing in the heart. Maybe their relationship isn’t necessarily like that, but I think it is. If you look at the Festival of the Beautiful Reunion and the journey that Hetheru undertakes to get back to Heru, then you can kind of see it as an epic love story. Just knowing that after 300-plus days of being apart that a four-day journey is all they need to be back together again for 2 weeks or thereabouts… yeah, maybe you can see what I’m talking about. A love story beyond the piece of Romeo and Juliet; that puts Lancelot and Guinevere to shame; something beyond the mere word “epic.”

I can feel it like the pulse point at my throat, wrapping itself around me and threading itself through my veins. It overwhelms me a lot of the time, to the point where I can only scream internally from the feels of it all. For someone who is not used to that much emotion in a single day, having it thrust upon me and unable to properly speak on it can be hell. But I muddle through with all of my rants and raves and internal screams, hoping that someday someone will understand what it feels like to have your veins on fire because of someone else’s love.

I have come to find that my relationship with Heru-Wer is nothing without Hetheru. Sure, we have our bits together where it is just the two of us. But there is always the overwhelming knowledge that the Lady of Dendera is there as well, a sort of background hum if she isn’t in the middle of us and then another limb to our conglomerate body when it is the three of us.

You know, there’s an epithet in the LAGG entry for Hetheru that I found amusing, “Who Brings Along Her Heru.” Only in my case, or I should say in our case, I think it’s a bit backwards. It wasn’t Hetheru who came to me and brought along her Heru. It was Heru-Wer who came to me and forged a bridge to renew the relationship that I had let fizzle to near nothingness with Hetheru. Really, the epithet should be: “Who Brings Along His Hetheru.”

Head Covering.

Years ago, I found out that there is an entire movement within various pagan hemispheres regarding head covering. I find the whole thing kind of fascinating and I spent a good deal of my time back then, reading through various pagan blogs about the phenomena. There were a lot of different reasons that pagans chose to cover their head and while I found it interesting, I knew it wasn’t for me. In my mind, I kind of associate covering one’s head with priest roles and since I am clearly of the laity brand of Kemeticism, it obviously wasn’t for me.

Flash forward to a few months ago and I got this overwhelming urge to just take a “peek” at what other Kemetics are doing as far as head covering. I wouldn’t say that there is a movement, per se, but there are a few who have taken on covering their heads. In some instances, it is a daily thing. In other instances, it is on festivals and holidays to a particular god. In still other cases, there are occasions of priestly duties being fulfilled that require [on the part of the personal practice of the devotee] the act of covering one’s head.

All very fascinating, of course, but what the fuck did this have to do with me?

After perusing through the blogs of people who do this sort of thing, I got a sort of like mini-whisper at the back of my mind: like wouldn’t it be kind of neat if you did this? I said very surely and very emphatically, “no.” I then took it upon myself to take a bandana into the bathroom with me and tied it over my head so that the ends were covered by my [very long] hair. I stared at myself and was completely freaked out by the fact that this was getting too close to that line in the sand, the one that said this stuff was a priesthood kind of thing and I’m not interested. I consequently ripped the damn bandana off, threw it across the room and yelled, “no.”

I know this sounds like me being a prat and to some extent, I am being one. The thing about it is that, to me, covering one’s head is more emphatically “priesthood” than I am willing to delve. I do a lot of things and fulfill a number of roles that can easily be perceived as priesthood – and I admit that – but the fact that I was taking head covering seriously was yet another step in the direction that frightens the hell out of me.

There does seem to have been some hair restrictions within the priesthood of ancient Egypt – shaving one’s body hair seems to have been a thing – and I’ve remarked that times have changed often enough. It stands to reason that instead of shaving one’s head in a Kemetic context, a devotee would have the push to cover their hair instead. For the most part, we don’t live in a place where having excess hair could cause overheating and we don’t live in a time when hygiene is a huge problem.

I got the push a few times to cover my head and each time, I very forcefully refused. “I am not interested in this. Please let’s come up with a level of compromise that both sides can be comfortable with.” Since my hair is so long, there are actually very few hair styles that work on a daily basis… but braiding helps to keep it out of my face. It also prevents the pain at the crown of my head if I wear my hair up too high for too long. (You may not realize it, but hair can get fairly heavy.)

I quailed and dithered about this for a while. Again, I was being put in a position to do something that seemed far more devotional than I am willing to commit to. Again, I recognize that I’m probably coming off as an ass and a whining baby. But you know what? I went into Kemeticism not with the idea of priesthood, but with the idea of creating a functional practice that I could hand down to others.

To me, being a priest is a sort of calling and there is a limit to who can and cannot become a priest. By jumping into a quasi-priesthood role, I felt as though I was moving away from what I had originally intended and into an area of dark, unexplored territory that I had firmly informed myself that I would never go into.

Never say never, I guess.

In the end, I decided to just bite the bullet. Braiding one’s hair isn’t so bad. So, I ended up moving forward with braiding my hair on a regular basis. “Okay,” I said to whomever was pushing me, “I will braid my hair 90% of the time when I leave the house. Is that acceptable?” The push to cover my head faded and I relaxed about it.

During my last services to Sekhmet, I got another kind of little push in the head covering department. I told her she could take a long leap off of a short pier. Actually, my phrasing was that I would go ahead and do that if she could scratch my back first. The feeling faded quickly enough and I went back to ignoring that whole shtick and everything it entailed. Until I got the hit this morning while I was getting ready for work.

constellations (or a childish imagination)

Like indelible ink, it is written upon my face and I cannot escape it. (Image by Ana Luìsa Pinto.)

All right, all right. I figured I could just give it a shot.

Aside from all of the remarks I got from various coworkers about the bandana wrapped around my head, I felt absolutely nothing different. Oh, that’s not true. I was annoyed that I was doing this. I was annoyed that I got a ton of comments from my coworkers (which range from being informed that I am channeling my inner Lucille Ball to reminding another about weekends spent cleaning the attic). I was annoyed that the damn bandana kept slipping back and I had to retie it repeatedly. But above all else, the most annoying bit was that I felt more relaxed and clear-headed than I have for weeks while at work.


I am not comfortable with this, at all. The idea of wearing bandanas every day is kind of bothersome, never mind the comments or the fact that I don’t know how to prevent it from sliding back on my head. But even with the knowledge that I was quite comfortable and felt rather more relaxed than I have been lately, I have to ask myself if this is something that I can commit to. It’s all a jumbled mass in my mind but at the top of it all is the frantic high-pitched screams at the back of my mind because this isn’t how things were supposed to work out. I recognize that things may ease up considerably, stress wise, but I have to ask myself, am I really ready for this?

Logically, I should just go for it and get it over with.

Illogically, I am a gibbering idiot, screeching about how this isn’t fair.