New shrine space

tmp_31508-20160729_105901180567612New (and improved?) Shrine space. Note my akhu area in the forward left hand corner.

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Update and shit

Ugh, my life feels like such a mess right now. Due to more mundane issues my spiritual practice has become stagnant. I really haven’t done much for a couple of weeks. I mean not so much as an offering of water.

I’m going to change that tonight. I can at least afford to offer some water and incense. If nothing else, I can manage that.

I want to talk a little about what has been so overwhelming. You know I’m mentally ill. It’s not much of a secret. I’m bipolar. It can be hard at times. On top of that I’ve been struggling to find some work.

My husband just resigned from his job, under the impression that we had to move. We had planned to move quite a way away. However, at the last moment my family decided he could come live with us.

This was a shock, as this was something we had been trying to convince them of for three years. But no, it couldn’t happen until we were a week away from moving and he had quit his job.

I’m still convinced it was a decision made with ulterior motives. In particular, control. She can’t control us if we’re that far away.

I may be being slightly paranoid, but I somehow doubt it.

But I digress. All of this has been preoccupying my mind and taking my time and precious energy. It has made my religious practice come to a stand still. I’m not giving up however. I just need to start over, maybe with a bit more consistency.

I plan on doing something tonight, but my real start over point will be the epagomenal days and Wep Ronpet. I’m going to decide on a day of the week and make that my shrine day. Since, apparently, daily practice is a bit too much for me right now.

So, it’s back to the start with me. It’s not so bad. I have knowledge now, that I didn’t when I started this path, oh, about ten months ago. I’ve learned so much since then, and that’s just the tip of the pyramid.

I’m excited and I feel guilt. Not for being excited, but because I ordered some books. It was right before we found out my husband couldn’t withdraw his resignation. Thus the guilt I feel. I spent nearly thirty dollars on three books. Not much, but still it’s a lot when you don’t have much.

It will be the first physical copies of books I have bought on Kemetic topics to date. I have three digital books, but no physical copies so far. So I am very excited. I also am very excited by which books I’ve bought. I won’t give deets on here, but I’ve already posted the names of all three on tumblr, so if you want to know you can find them there. My blog shares the title of this one, so you should be able to find it.

The first book I bought is about Ra. (If that isn’t a dead giveaway to what it is, I don’t know what is.) The second one is about Egyptian gods, a sort of encyclopedia of them, as a matter of a fact. The third is about Egyptian art.

I think the first two will be especially useful to me. Particularly as I am looking at becoming a Ra devotee. I say looking at as if I have a choice, when, really, I’m not sure I do. What can I say, when I prayed to Them (the Netjeru) for a sign that they exist, I had a dream about Ra. This was when I really didn’t know much about Him and as a matter of a fact I though He was Heru at first.

I was extremely unfamiliar with Ra and, honestly, He was the last god I would expect to show up for me. Like, the very last. So, yeah. That’s how I met Ra. I doubt it was a coincidence that one of the only metaphysical stores in town (and the only one that stocks statuary) happened to have a Ra statue and it happened to be both lovely and discounted. So I bought it. (Despite it being erroneously marked as Horus.)

Speaking of statuary. I had to move my shrines. They’ve sort of become one big shrine with a section reserved for my akhu. I’ll have to post a picture once I’ve finished this post.

So tl;dr: I have had some shit going on and it has halted my spiritual practice, but I plan on using Wep Ronpet as an opportunity to start over.

A New Shrine Set Up

I rearranged my shrine. I dusted as well. I had to rearrange my shrine to accommodate my new candles and Ra statue. I also rearranged my Akhu shrine as it was overflowing with unnecessary fluff. My shrine is pictured on the left and Akhu shrine on the right.

On a New Deck

So I’m waiting for a new tarot deck (and a record) to come in the mail. Why am I buying a new tarot deck? Well, I’ve had my only other deck for years. Something like seven years, I think, a pretty long time. It just hasn’t been working for me the way it used to. Somewhere along the way, the tarot deck began to fight me.

So I decided to get a new deck. I decided on the Motherpeace Round deck. I hope I picked a deck I can get along with. I think the deck and I will work well together.

I’m just a bit worried. I think this deck will be a bit more akin to the “regular” tarot. Hopefully that will help me.

I love a couple of things about this deck. I love the shape. I love the diversity. I love the simple aesthetic.

I am going to work on my divination. I just hope I can figure out a few things. Discernment would be the big one. Possibly how to get myself into a trance. I don’t know. I feel like I don’t know how this stuff works anymore.

Everything is just a bit more mysterious to me. Everything is just a bit more mundane. Things that used to make sense to me don’t anymore. I think a lot of it is just the reality of the times we are living in nowadays.

It’s just a bit different than it used to be. It’s really become the rat race people have made it out to be. Everyone has to worry about money. It’s hard if any part of you is different.

That stuff has become a reality for me. Life is hard when you’re faced with reality. No wonder most people lose their connection with the divine. How is there even time for religion?

I guess we have to make time. And maybe we need to dream. Reality is tough. Maybe we need that other world. Maybe divination will prove to be a way to tap into this other world. I’m not sure. But I am willing to try.

Godphone pt. 2

So, I decided to post on my tumblr to get some more ideas on how to recharge my godphone. While the post didn’t exactly get an overwhelming response it did get some responses from people I admire. I will now list their suggestions with a little personal commentary on each one.

The first suggestion was to continue praying, doing ritual and building a connection with the divine through this. While this is one suggestion that I had kind of expected, it kind of went somewhere I hadn’t thought of. I expected to keep up with the prayer and ritual, no doubt about that. I didn’t consider the prayer and ritual making my ritual space an easier place to connect with the divine. That angle just hadn’t occurred to me.

Holding shrine items. This is obviously an extension of the above idea. The idea being that holding certain shrine items may create a connection with the divine. Particularly holding an icon of the divinity you wish to connect with. For me the downside to this is pretty apparent, as I don’t have much in regards to icons. And truth be told, the only icon I have belongs to a deity that doesn’t seem to want much to do with me, currently. (That could all be in my head.)

Dancing, yoga or tai chi. I like this idea. I’m not sure how much it will help with the godphone but it certainly couldn’t hurt and, honestly, some movement in my life could very much be a positive. I’m a lot more sedentary than I would like to admit. I just have a hard time seeing much point to moving, I’m not actually going anywhere. Why pretend?

The next suggested idea is one I’ve already used and which seemed to work. The idea was dreaming. When I did it I simply prayed for some kind of a sign. I had a dream that very night. And while I didn’t remember it too well I did remember enough to identify the god in my dream. (It was Ra, in case you’re curious.) I will probably try this method again in the future, I just don’t want to push my luck too much.

This next suggestion was one of the most intriguing. It was getting back into the right “head space”. This is a little harder to describe. I was told to try to get back in the mood, so to speak. I’m not really sure how to go about this. My life has changed so dramatically since I lost my godphone. I can’t really think of an overarching scent or any other sense that could really recall my youth. I can’t go back in time and regain my innocence or lose this jaded outlook I now have on life. So I’m not sure how I would even attempt this. It is, however, an idea I want to hang on to.

The next suggestion should be a bit easier to deal with. It was suggested that I do as much as possible to cleanse myself and calm the mind. In theory this should be rather simple, however… Calming my mind isn’t as simple as it used to be. I have bills to pay and whole world of grown up concerns marching about my mind. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a shot, but it will be more difficult than it should be.

The next suggestion seems to me to be an extension of the last one. It was meditation and Journeywork. Meditation, much like calming the mind, just isn’t as easy as it used to be. I’ve become a person controlled by my fears, wants and needs. Even just relaxing can be a task nowadays. I’m just not the person I used to be. I’m not a free spirit anymore. That doesn’t mean that this suggestion is off the table, just that it is going to be more difficult than some of the others here.

I will add my own idea. I’ve decided to buy a new tarot deck. Mostly because I feel like the one I currently own is fighting me. The symbolism is beautiful, but I don’t “get” it. I am currently awaiting my new deck. I know it can’t replace the wonderful ideas here or my own practice but I feel like the proper deck will contribute greatly to my other practices.

Now I just have to figure out how to combine some of these ideas with my other practices…

Deficiencies

In my first post I admitted that my practice has some deficiencies. I want to talk about those deficiencies in more detail. After all, acknowledging that you have a problem is the first step in fixing it.

Consistency. Consistency is something I have a problem with. Currently, I live with family and try to avoid doing senut while everyone is home/awake. (This is more to avoid uncomfortable conversations than anything else.) With that in mind, I do try to practice as much as I can. My current goal is once per week, at least. I’m trying to be flexible as to what days I actually do senut, rather than trying to tie myself down to a certain day.

My godphone. I used to have a pretty decent godphone. I got feels a lot. Nowadays, not so much. I’m not sure what I have to do to get my godphone back. I’m willing to try just about anything. I know that re-developing my godphone is a central goal of my practice. I want to connect to the divine the way I used to.

Research. I need to do far, far more research than I have so far. I’m really starting to grasp how important symbolism was to the ancient Egyptians, but I am only just starting to understand what the symbolism means. Obviously, the BotD is where most people would turn to and that is something I want to sink my teeth into but not quite yet. I want to be able to understand it enough for it to be meaningful.

Ritual. I really need to find out how ritual structure worked in AE. I really like senut, and I’ll probably use it as my day to day ritual, but I’m not sure that that is all I want to do. I think I at least want the option to do more authentic ritual if I feel the need to.

Heka. I need to learn more about heka. I have a very good basic understanding of how to do it. I need to focus on what it means, especially in everyday applications. I’d like some more ideas for practical heka. I know other people have brilliant ideas about heka.

Ma’at. I have to remember to keep ma’at whenever possible. I’m not sure there is a way to keep ma’at at all times, but we still have to try to do our best. I just need to ingrain the concept, so that I don’t forget about it. That won’t solve my problem entirely, but it should help. I guess living ma’at is slightly different for each person, but I feel like there’s a certain element of respect embodied within it. Especially respect for the earth, at least for me.

These are the things I need to work on in my practice. Obviously, some of these are more important than the others but they are all things I want to work on. Only time will tell how well I’ll do on any of them.

The story thus far…

Between four and five months ago I ran across a website. It was about polytheist religions. I discovered reconstructionism. I knew about Asatru, but I didn’t really realize that there were other Reconstructionist religions. So, I thought. Then I googled. There She was: Kemetic Reconstructionism.

I quickly found what is, thus far, my favorite blog. Only a small amount of research showed that this was something I’d never noticed wanting, needing… I’m not really sure which. Regardless, it was something I wanted to do. So I started reading and reading and reading some more. I devoured that blog, found the Kemetic roundtable and even bought a couple of books.

Sometime along the way I found the Kemetic Orthodoxy. The KO, as I will be calling it, is a Kemetic Temple. I think they consider themselves more revivalist than reconstructionist, and they borrow other African beliefs to fill in some holes.

Even so, I decided to take their beginner’s class. I even waited the suggested four days before sending in the application. You know, to contemplate such a big decision. Not that taking the beginner’s class is life altering, but the prospect of converting certainly could be.

I have completed said beginner’s class. I knew before I finished the class that I at least want to stay on as a remetj. I’m still considering whether or not I want to convert. I’m going to take every opportunity to learn more as a remetj.
Thus far I’m leaning towards converting. I really like senut. And I really like the idea of fellowship but if the temple cannot support my spiritual needs then there’s not much point in joining, is there?

So, I’m currently awaiting my status change with the temple. My personal practice is somewhat lacking. I need both a more consistent practice and, frankly, I still need to learn a lot. In particular I need to figure out the ritual structure used in AE, as well as just learning more mythology, commonly used language and other bits of knowledge useful in writing my own rituals.

As far as consistency goes, at least for now, that is going to be a difficult. I currently live with my family and am expected to conform to their schedule. There is also relatively little privacy and my room is considerably cramped.
Despite this I am attempting to perform senut at least once a week, allowing myself flexibility regarding which day on which to do it. The flexibility seems to be helpful even if it isn’t ideal.

I’m not sure what else I should include in this initial post. Currently, that seems to me to be the meat of it. I’m sure there are details I missed and I’m sure I’ll get to tell you more in time…