Ritual365: Four Week Check-In.

The original deal I made with the gods was that I would wake them every morning with a small ritual. That ritual would include offerings, candles, and incense. I was given a sort of carte blanche to create the ritual and to add whatever I so desired beyond those staples to the deal.

The deal morphed to include the rites and rituals that TTR and I had been discussing, off and on, for months: Making Ma’at 2k19, the monthly Propitiation, the akhu ritual, and the monthly Execration. It seemed silly to be doing a daily ritual and not to include the rites and rituals we had already been discussing.

The deal changed yet again after the New Year to include the idea that we, as Kemetics, need to branch out of our comfort zones. We have handfuls of gods that we trust and have developed relationships with, but there are so many out there that are left in the wings and, for the most part, are ignored. They needed to be included or at least, acknowledged in some way, in an effort to put a theory into its testing phase.

The original deal was a large task. It… I knew it was asking a lot of me especially since I know how I get over time. Every day rituals with no days off (not for illness, not for what others may deem as ritual impurity, not for major upheavals, or loss of spoons) is a large drink to swallow but I had agreed to do it as part of this year and the things that are coming down the spiritual turnpike. The additions of these other rituals since seemed like drops in the bucket in comparison.

There is a lot going on.

The Daily Ritual

As I’ve spent the last four weeks using the ritual that I had created the day before the New Year began, I have come to a single conclusion: I fucking hate it. Every morning, I get up after a lot of grumbling about getting up and go about the rite to feed my gods using the words I had crafted together in a rush on the last day of 2018.

It had started off much bigger than it is now and it was unwieldy. There were too many influences in the ritual itself that caused me to feel like I was constantly going, “what the fuck,” as I gave to my gods. It felt like I was being pulled in too many directions for it to be more than barely functional, which is why I cut it down a hell of a lot to get to where I am today.

Even after I left pieces of the original ritual on the cutting room floor, I realized that I still hated it. I hate the words. I hate the gestures. I hate the way that I have things set up in the formal rite itself. Since none of my gods who take part in this daily ritual have said anything about it, I recognize that it is probably only myself that hates everything. Maybe they like it as it is because I’m finally paying attention to them regularly again.

I recognize that I need to do something about all of this. I can’t go through the next eleven months with this ritual that I absolutely frigging hate to be used and used and used every day. I just can’t. I don’t feel the way I do with other rituals: content with the working that’s been done. I need to figure out something better and I need to apparently write it down in a notebook specific for rituals that I felt compelled to buy a few weeks back. So… maybe it won’t be as long to save my hand from cramping.

I was also not prepared for other gods wanting to get into this daily ritual thing. I had set up the original rubric to only include Sekhmet, Ptah, Hetheru, and Heru-Wer. It seemed that it was the most appropriate to include those main deities in this daily ritual since they are the ones that I have the closest relationships with.

But as I continued forward, I realized it seemed silly to not include Bes and Wenut. And then it seemed even sillier to not include Tawaret. The ritual seemed to grow by leaps and bounds the longer I thought about it. As time has gone on, no one else has really clamored to be added in although I suspect that, with the way things are moving forward for me, there may be more additions over the next year.

The one thing I wasn’t really expecting from all of this was the low-key push from Ra at the start of the year to formulate a daily rite for him and him alone. He doesn’t want to be included in the daily rites for the gods in my home, but he does want to be paid attention to. I started this off with a few words here and there that can succinctly be described as “hoo ra.” This seemed sufficient to start off with, but it was clear that this was never going to last long.

I need more and this has been made clear, but I am frankly not sure how to go about this. I have some resources that I am waiting on to help me figure out what I need and I have a specific amulet that I have commissioned for this (at Ra’s request no less) daily rite so I have a general idea in mind. But what I’m actually going to say? I have no idea.

The Additional Gods Rituals

Throughout the year, I have a number of alerts that pop up on my Google calendar to let me know what god is associated with a particular day and what festivals are coming up. This calendar will change around Wep-Ronpet at the request of Ptah before my religious New Year begins, but in the mean time, the original dates are still in my calendar to remind me to pay homage to my gods in larger rituals and rites.

In addition to including my primary gods, my calendar includes snippets for other gods that I have had passing interactions with: Geb, Mut, Ihy, and a few others. When the first day of Geb appeared to come up on my calendar, I thought about the idea of doing rituals for the gods that, on the whole, Kemetics have little to do with.

This was a conversation with TTR that morphed into my idea that I was going to do this thing by creating rituals and letting people know what was coming up according to my calendar. We have jointly celebrated a ritual for Geb and a very, very, very, very long festival for Ptah (the Festival of Ptah is an 11-day festival, which also has a 7-day festival for Ptah and the Winged Disk in the same time frame) that is actually still going on.

I have found that while these additional rituals have tired me out in conjunction with Real Life nonsense going on, I feel like I am headed in the right direction by branching out from my comfort zone. I am definitely not a fan of creating rituals and rites for this since I feel, based on my perceived failure regarding my daily rite, I am not very good at it. But I like the idea that gods who are not as well known as others or approached often are being thought of, discussed, and paid homage to with something that I have put out there.

It seems to be working well. Other people are starting to get into the spirit of what it is that we are doing and there has been some discussion about other people putting rituals out there for public consumption. I’m interested to see how things further develop.

The Monthly Rites with TTR

As we were planning for the year ahead, TTR and I discussed additional rites to be completed each month. For the most part, they are putting the ritual materials out there for this and I’ve been able to just follow some words on my screen so that I can participate in the year of rites we had been discussing for some time. I have added bits and pieces from my own ideas regarding rituals into what they publish for the upcoming rite, but for the most part, these rituals are fairly easy for me since I don’t have to do the research to get the words out and into the world.

So for that, and that alone, we should also say a hearty and resounding “thank you” to them since I can attest just how time-consuming the research portion can be for these things.

That said, I like the communal effort that’s been going out. I can’t say for certain that other people are truly participating beyond TTR and I, but I do know that some people have at least mentioned participating. I also like the idea of a bunch of solitary users getting together to push their intent into the world. This is frankly the closest I will ever get to being a part of a group for my religious activities so it’s kind of nice to be able to take a bit of a break from being on my own all the time.

Out of all of the rituals that we have done, I think I like the Monthly Ma’at ritual the best. This isn’t necessarily because the other rituals are bad or anything – they’re not. I just like the idea of promoting Ma’at into the world, which is something that I have wanted to do for some time, but haven’t been able to really figure out how to achieve the goal so to speak. Now that there is a rubric out there, I know how to do it.

The ritual I like the least is the monthly akhu ritual. I already do a lot for my ancestors although they’ve fallen to the wayside while I become more focused on the gods in recent weeks. But my primary annoyance is that Wesir is included in the rite. I understand the need for him there and I won’t remove him, but this hearkens back to more my own problems than anything else. Maybe the monthly 6th day rites to Wesir will help me work through my issues with him. Or not.

Conclusion

All in all, this past month has been very busy. There is a lot going on from the religious world, which hasn’t been the case in a very long time. It’s a little bit like I’m putting on a pair of very old and comfortable jeans that I haven’t seen in a long time. It was a little uncomfortable at first, but now that I’ve been wearing them back in, it feels much better than it had been earlier this month.

As I was telling the SO about all of this stuff going on, I told him that I kind of liked it. It wasn’t the fact that I was finally getting back into the swing of things; it’s more that I feel like I have a reason to do all of this. When I was doing it for myself, I didn’t feel like there was much of a reason to keep this up regularly. But now I’m beginning to understand the reasoning and they’re important ones.

The funniest thing about all of this is that, while I still complain about Bigger Picture, now I can appreciate that answer from my gods a lot more. I’m beginning to understand Bigger Picture in ways I didn’t think I would have been able to understand even six months ago.

The other thing is that, while I understand why this is a thing, I have to wonder what the next year is going to look like. I already know the answer to the question I’ve been asked about what comes next, but that doesn’t mean that I know what that is going to look like. I’m not worried about it yet – I figure I’ll start freaking out about it in the fall – but it’s going to definitely change things dramatically for me.

Hopefully this year prepares me for it.

Further Reading

Festival of Ptah Ritual.

This particular Festival of Ptah begins on II Peret 21 and continues for 11 days. While not every day will result in the below ritual, I have added a smaller version of said rite at the bottom for the days where a full ritual is not completed.

Full Ritual

Needed Items

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

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

O you NTRW of this temple, who sanctify the god in his shrine:
I have made my way and I enter into your presence.
I am one of you.
Do not repulse me on the god’s path.
My feet are not impeded.
I am not turned back from this place.
I have come to offer Ma’at to the Lord of Ma’at.
I have come to you to content the Sound Eye.
I flood his offering table.
I present his offerings, this great god who blesses me so that I may endow his image with life.
I am pure.
I am purified.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lighting the Candle
Action: Light the candle(s).

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

Offering Incense (optional)
Action: Light the incense. (If you don’t have any, you can light an oil diffuser instead or skip this part entirely.)

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

Address to NTRW
Action: The speech below can be accompanies by the gesture of henu.

Homage to Ptah, the Great Scribe, the Heart and Tongue of the Ennead.
I have placed myself on the floor in awe of you.
I embrace the earth before you.
I have come that I may kiss the earth before you.
O Ptah, I am your son, your servant.
I come before you to nourish you as you nourish me.

O Ptah, Lord of Justice, scribe of all, Lord of Herbage.
One who succors all men to him, you who are preeminent.
You who make the Two Lands green.
The one who has entrapped the Nine Bows.
The protector of both gods and men.
He Who is South of His Wall, Monarch of the Gods, King of the Sky.
Father of the god Nefertum, the one whose faces reduces to order all before him.
You are the one who has lifted Ma’at onto the altar of Shu.
Lord of All.

You are the one who succors from his place.
You are the one who is Lord of the shrine.
You have brought the Sacred Eye.
You have destroyed falsehood in the tribunal.
You have expelled what Ra detests from his barque.
You are exalted.

Everyone is in awe of you.
Everyone worships your goodness.
Everyone’s lives are at your hands.
When you wish and act, everyone lives.

O Ptah, you have crafted the foundations of the world.
Through your words, wisdom will take root.
Through your actions, life will grow.
Through your guidance, Ma’at will flourish.
Through your kindness, empathy will be restored.

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

I adore you, O Lord of Justice!
O Monarch of the Gods!
Lord of All!
Lord of Jubilation!
The gods exalt in your presence.
The earth is full of gladness at your merciful face.
O, my Lord Ptah, rejoice!

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

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

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

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

This libation is for you, O Lord of Ma’at.
I have brought to you this offering of water that your heart may be refreshed.
I have brought to you this Eye of Heru placing this at your feet.
I present to you that which flows forth from you that your heart shall continue to beat.

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

Offering Food
Action: Hold up the dish of offerings.

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

Action: Place the dish of offerings on the altar.

Presentation of Ankh

Action: Present the image of the ankh to the image of the god.

Take the sign of life, Living Lord, venerable soul who makes infinity live.
You are the one who gives life to all people, who makes the living live by your work.
I give you the sign of life.
You live in thanks to it.
Health is for your body.
I make your life span long to the ends of eternity.

Action: Place the ankh before the deity.

Presentation of Ib

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

Hail to you, O Ptah, Lord of Life.
I have brought to you your heart to set it in its place.
Let me draw near to you with your heart so that you may have pleasured through me.
And so that by means of me you may have power over your body.

Action: Place the ib before the deity.

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

Reversion of Offerings

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

Short Form Ritual

Needed Items

  • Water
  • Food (representations of or actual food)
  • Image of Ma’at or feather of ma’at amulet
  • Image of ib or ib amulet
  • Image of ankh or ankh amulet

The doors of the sky are open.
The doors of the earth are unlocked. (Action: open shrine doors/pretend to do so.)
I give you essential water, a tide in your time. (Action: Give water offering.)
This great offering is filled with every good things.
May offerings of every kind come forth in abundance. (Action: Give food offering.)
I give you the sign of life to set it in its place. (Action: Give ankh to the god.)
I offer you Ma’at to set it in its place. (Action: Give ma’at to the god.)
I have brought to you your heart to set it in its place. (Action: Give heart to the god.)
The doors are closed. (Action: close shrine doors/pretend to do so.)
No enemy can enter this space.