a prayer for my many gods

a prayer for my many gods

This is in response to, and inspired by, this post and this litany. The idea is to include every god to Whom you’ve ever made an offering in one long prayer/litany.

. . .

Iwy em hotep, Netjer, Netjeru, and akhu!
I welcome in peace all the many manifestations of Netjer:
Dua Ma’at, goddess a thousand times pure, bread of the gods;
Dua Nebt-het, graceful and silent Lady of Shadows Who holds the space for grief;
Dua Hethert-Nut, vast and beautiful Celestial Cow Who lifts the sun high and shines with stars;
Dua Ma’ahes, Executioner Who walks the horizon at sunset between light and shadow;
Dua Serqet, Our Lady of Poisons Who protects and heals and knows all alchemy;
Dua Sekhmet, vengeful Eye of Ra Who establishes Ma’at and does not bow;
Dua Wepwawet, liminal black jackal Who opens the way for every journey;
Dua Wadjet, green-tressed cobra Who bridges Netjer and Kemet for our great benefit;
Dua Sepa, eternal centipede Who never tires and never thirsts;
Dua Ptah, great Maker with words and hands Who spoke Creation into being;
Dua Bast, impossibly fractal feline Whose gaze is both sun and moon;
Dua Set, He Who is loudest and strongest, Who brings necessary chaos;
Dua Heqat, ancient grandmother Who sings with eightfold patient voices;
Dua Twtw, apotropaic sphinx Who walks with demons and defends us from them;
Dua Shu, Lord of the Breath of the World Who upholds the heavens;
Dua Tefnut, Lady of the Rain Who kisses the earth with life-giving moisture;
Dua Menhyt, white-clad starry lioness wreathed in pale cold flame;
Dua Hethert, Lady of Gold Who gives us joy and music and rapture;
Dua Nut, infinite goddess of the sky Who is the great sow;
Dua Yinepu, youthful and ancient jackal Who is wise beyond all years;
Dua Khonsu, precocious child-god and protective Lord of the Knife;
Dua Djehuty, clever and cunning scribe at the right hand of the Father;
Dua Wesir, You Who sacrificed what no one else could to do what no one else did;
Dua Anhur, Who brings back that which has strayed, smiling with each new lope;
Dua Khepera, beetle-faced Lord of Dawn Who rolls the holy sun across the sky;
Dua Heh, Who steadies the legs of the Night Cow so She may stand forever;
Dua Renenutet, milk-giving cobra Who protects the fields from devastation;
Dua Heru-wer, golden warrior Who smites isfet and bestows greatness upon all;
Dua Aset, magician Who protects and promotes Her children above all others;
Dua Heru-sa-Aset, young king Who sits upon His father’s throne and brings peace;
Dua Sobek, mighty crocodile Who drowns isfet in His river;
Dua Ra, sun-father Who sits upon His daughter’s brow and watches over all the earth;
Dua Geb, Lord of the Fertile Earth Who is the foundation of all green things;
Dua Heka, Who speaks and turns the world with His words;
Dua Nit, archer and weaver, the Great He-She Who created Creation;
Dua Anupet, jackal bitch of the knives and fangs and sharp bright eyes;
Dua Raet, mighty Lady of the Sun Who brightens and protects all She touches;
Dua Bat, ancient cow Who delights in music and Who wears five stars;
Dua Mekhit, Whose rage is joyous, Who defends the sun and the moon;
Dua Wadj-wer, round god of the wide waters Who brings abundance;
Dua Aker, mighty two-faced lion Who guards the entrance to and exit from the Duat;
Dua Anuket, most beautiful of goddesses Who is as swift and lithe as Her gazelles;
Dua Nehebkau, prominent in the palace, Who comes from the city, multitudinous of coils;
Dua Amunet, mysterious and hidden goddess Who is ungraspable and powerful;
Dua Seshat, Lady of Builders Who measures out every year for every person;
Dua the Four Sons of Heru: cooling Qebshenef, kindly Imset, edifying Duamutef, fleet Hapy;
Dua Hapi, most beloved god Who brings the inundation and bestows life each year;
Dua Iah, gleaming Eye of the moon Whose face is silver and ever-changing;
Dua Ihy, joyful calf Who makes ecstatic music for His mother Hethert;
Dua Khnum, Whose deft hands poured the world and all its people into shape;
Dua Mehet-Weret, the Great Flood Who brings fertility and abundance;
Dua Menhuy, falcon-headed Slaughterer Whose form is hidden;
Dua Nebtu, green-clad goddess Who nourishes the plants with which we sustain ourselves;
Dua Neper, god of all grains, Who feeds Netjeru and humans alike with His essence;
Dua Tasenetnofret, the Good Wife, Who is surrounded by all colors and beautiful things;
Dua Atum, the Complete One, Who expels poisons and is gladdened by flowers;
Dua Heru-Ma’ahes, Who is the sun between midday and setting;
Dua Merit, beloved goddess for Whom all music is played;
Dua Wesret, powerful serpent, She Who Burns, sharp and vehement;
Dua Amun-Ra, Great Lord Who is hidden in His brightness;
Dua Nekhbet, vulture mother Who watches over the lands with Wadjet;
Dua Mafdet, sharp of claw, snake-slayer, fierce Eye of Ra;
Dua Bes, kindly dwarf, grotesque of face Who protects every house from isfet;
Dua Nefertem, gentle lion Who brings perfumes and oils to all;
Dua Meretseger, fierce goddess of the great peak Who loves silence;
and dua akhu, blessed dead who shine as stars in the wide belly of the sky!
Iwy em hotep, iwy em hotep, iwy em hotep, iwy em hotep!
Join us as we seek to create and uphold ma’at in all things.
May You love us as we love You.

offerings I use (and don’t use) for my gods

offerings I use (and don’t use) for my gods

I always find it fascinating to see what various people offer their various gods. Inevitably, there are some consistent themes or trends; equally inevitably, there are some really unique variations that I never would have expected. (Offering Nebt-het Coca Cola is one of them, oh Kemetic brother of mine!)

As an exercise in sharing–and NOT an implication that my offerings are The Only Right Offerings™–I’m listing some of my primary go-tos (and don’t-dos) here. Remember: what I do has no reflection on what you do, and I don’t compare what I offer to what others offer. Our tastes as Kemetics, and what we can find and afford as humans, vary greatly. I respect that diversity and realize that not everyone has the same privilege to acquire “nice” offerings as others do.

Everyone

My go-to offerings are cool water, tea, fresh bread if I’ve made some, fresh fruit, and “healthy” little treats like baked coconut chips, dried fruit, tiny chocolates (Andes mints, cherry cordials, chocolate oranges), nuts/trailmix, and some good jerky. Sometimes we get silly and I’ll bring in fruit gummies, Little Debbie’s pastries, and other “junk food” that I can get away with on occasion.

I avoid offering things I can’t or won’t revert: nearly all alcohol, coffee, dark chocolate, soda. (My body is particular about what it wants to digest, so I try not to tax it or waste offerings by not reverting them.)

Nebt-het (Nephthys)

In my experience, Nebt-het really likes blackberry-type drinks and dark chocolates. I’ve given Her blackberry wine when it’s a special occasion, or blackberry tea, or even blackberry Crystal Lite powdered drinks. Dark chocolate is a special treat (that I don’t revert; I don’t like dark chocolate), and She’ll accept a few other kinds of chocolate that I tend to have on-hand more often. She’s also pretty good with fresh fruit like grapes or berries.

I don’t offer Her “bright” food, like citrus, white chocolate, milk, etc.

Hethert-Nut (Hathor the Celestial Cow)

Hethert-Nut is an indulgent sort, and She loves rich things. Chocolate? Oh yes. Fruit? Yep. Fresh bread? Definitely. Any manner of flavorful, rich-to-sweet drinks? Offer ’em up! She also loves flowers and shiny objects.

I don’t offer Her citrus either, though She’ll go for white chocolate, milk, etc. She also doesn’t seem to prefer meat-heavy offerings or really savory treats.

Ma’ahes (Mihos)

Ma’ahes doesn’t often accept food offerings from me. He’ll accept orange-to-red tea most of the time, though, and has accepted chocolate orange slices and some meat offerings (usually venison jerky).

I don’t offer Ma’ahes a lot of overly sweet things; I tend to err on the side of spicy or savory. He’s not normally a fan of candies, though He’s accepting of fruit sometimes.

Serqet (Selkis)

Serqet is REALLY SPECIFIC with Her offerings with me. She likes rich dairy things, like smoothies and milkshakes, and white chocolate, and banana, and decadent soft pastries. Cheesecake, white cake, bread, angel food cake, pound cake–all of it’s good by Her. She’ll accept really light tea, but usually laughs it off unless it’s a bit astringent.

I don’t offer Her particularly meaty things or things with sugar and not much substance (like candies and some crisp pastries). I also don’t offer Her a lot of “dark” sweets, like regular chocolate.

Sekhmet

Sekhmet usually has better things to do than critique my offerings, but all the same, I tend to offer a pretty narrow range. I’ve offered Her steak (beef or venison) before, as well as good jerky. I’ve offered Her red wine, red velvet malt, and deep red tea. She’ll usually tolerate chocolates or breads or fruits, though She especially likes cherry cordials. (Of course–it bleeds when you bite it!)

I try to avoid most sweets with Her, and She definitely prefers more intensely flavored drinks than ones I can normally offer and revert. She’s not fond of basically anything that’s bland.

Wepwawet

Wepwawet won’t accept food offerings from me. At all. But He’ll accept a particular strong “breakfast” tea, which is our shared Jqltea. (He would prefer coffee, but I don’t drink coffee. This is as close as I can get.)

As for avoiding, He doesn’t like weak or light tea. Also He apparently hates all food. *cough*

Sepa

The first and foremost thing I offer Sepa is water. Next up is meat (usually spiced jerky) or something heavy, savory, and protein-based. My second food choice is whatever good cheese we might have on-hand. (Read: string cheese. Sorry, Sepa.) Last but not least, fresh heavy bread.

I pointedly don’t offer Him fruits or sweets, though I suspect He’d probably be cordial about accepting if that’s all I had.

Bast

Bast gets chocolate. All of the chocolate. She can have a hoard of chocolate with Hethert-Nut, and they can be the Queens of Cacao. Cherry cordials are a hit with Her, as is mint chocolate, and … okay, all the chocolate. She’s also receptive to fruits and breads, and she likes flowers.

…I am a little hard-pressed to think of an offering She’s disliked or asked me to avoid, actually. I think maybe citrus is not Her favorite? But that’s the only thing that comes to mind.

Set

Set gets Slim Jims. (Don’t judge me.) He also gets steak, good jerky, and the occasional offering of bread.

I avoid offering Him red tea; He laughs it off. I also don’t give Him a lot of fruits or sweets.

What do you offer your gods?

my daily prayers (redux)

my daily prayers (redux)

Approximately five hundred times, I’ve mentioned the fact that I say daily prayers. I’ve shared them on this blog before, but it’s literally been years, so I figured it might be nice to re-share and explain a little.

These are morning prayers; I usually say them on my commute into work.

Good morning, Netjer, Netjeru, and akhu.
Thank You for all good things of yesterday,
for the wonderful souls I’ve been blessed to know,
and the Zep Tepi of each new day.

Thank Nebt-het for compassion and grace,
Hethert-Nut for joy and creativity,
Ma’ahes for strength and affection,
Serqet for guidance and protection,
Sekhmet for will and rightful action,
Wepwawet for journeys and options,
Bast for light and loved ones,
and thank my akhu for family and life.

I offer to You a thousand of all good and pure things:
a thousand of bread, a thousand of beer, a thousand of water.

May today be positive and productive.
May I walk with Ma’at in compassion, peace, strength, and joy.
May my moods, attitude, and energy levels
be positive and pure, resilient and sufficient.
May I and my loved ones be free of pain, injury, and illness,
this and every day.

[silent freeform prayers]

Today is good. Kheperu. Dua Netjer!

…you know, it seems much longer when I write it out like this.

A few (okay, a lot of) notes on why I chose specific things to include:

I greet Netjer (the One), Netjeru (the Many), and akhu (the Shiny–er, I mean, the blessed dead) each. I try very hard not to leave my akhu out of things, because I tend to get gods-focused and my akhu are really awesome.

I say “wonderful souls” instead of “wonderful people” or similar because I’ve been very grateful to know a wide variety of wonderful entities, from human people to animal people to animals, from gods to akhu to netjeri and spirits. Not all of them would be considered “people,” but I consider them all to have souls. ♥

The list of deities is mostly unsurprising, I think, and I thank Them each for Their gifts and the traits I strive to embody that I attribute to Them or Their influence in my life. Nebt-het and Hethert-Nut are my Mothers; Ma’ahes, Serqet, and Wepwawet are my Beloveds. Sekhmet is my Other, to Whom I’ve been devoted for over a decade now. Bast recently got added to my personal deities because She seems present during those mornings as sunlight lioness, and since She’s a Mother or otherwise important goddess to literally most of my closest people, I figure it would be good to say hello to Her, too. (Also, my partner commutes with me sometimes, and they are an unofficial Bastling, and it fit.)

The verbal offering is, in large part, to make up for my lack of physical shrine time over the past couple years. I personally prefer giving physical offerings, but verbal offerings are acceptable and far better than nothing at all.

The “May…” prayers are very specific to my personal needs. You can tell the kind of person I am by the first three lines, quite honestly–they include most of my primary values and how I want to be each day. Depression and fatigue and anxiety make the third line about “moods, attitude, and energy levels” kind of necessary.

My freeform prayers tend to include statements of gratitude and requests for specific help or protection, as well as silly “ILU NETJER” statements. Sometimes I talk to Them a bit about what I hope to accomplish that day. It’s generally a one-way communication–it’s hard for me to listen super-well for feedback while navigating morning rush hour in Dallas. Sometimes, though, I will get visual impressions or ideas that come very quickly and clearly (and usually from left field).

Lastly, I finish with a heka statement and a dua. All but the freeform parts are said aloud, and when I’m alone in the car, I usually say the freeform parts aloud, too.

It’s interesting (to me) to see how my prayers have evolved over the years. They used to be much simpler, and there used to be an evening/good night version. Now, however, they’re so firmly memorized that an interruption will make me nearly start all over, because the rhythm was lost. (“You threw off my groove!” “I’m sorry, you’ve thrown off the Kemetic’s groove…”)

Do you have any regular prayers that you use in your devotion, either daily or in shrine or just when you need them?

thoughts on love

thoughts on love

I attended a discussion on this year’s oracle tonight, and I want to mark down and expand upon some of my thoughts.

Do you not understand how much you are loved?

This is the first sentence to my favorite part of the oracle, and the paragraph that resonates most deeply with me each time I read it. This is a reminder to those who have forgotten they’re loved–and a challenge to those who will not or cannot believe they’re loved. This is the fierce love of Netjer, the insistent love, the love that exists whether or not it is acknowledged or accepted. This is the love that our prayers call on, the love that shelters and soothes even when it is invisible to every eye.

Creation is the love of the creators for the created.

When I was but a wee little Wiccan, one of my favorite modern-born creation ideas was that Divinity created the universe and everything in it in order to experience creation, to experience life. The associated idea was that we are all God and Goddess, because we are all little pieces of the huge infinity of Divinity, experiencing life on behalf of the universe itself.

This line reminds me of that idea. This line makes me think of Netjer, Who loves so powerfully that creation came about just to house and embody that love. Love is the hand holding the cookie cutter, that presses unique shapes out of something homogenous and flat. We are all alive in order to experience love, in order to receive love, in ways that are just slightly different and wonderful in that diversity.

See to it that love continues. It is left to you to tend this work. We cannot do it for you alone. You too must serve.

You too must serve.

One of the reasons I love Kemeticism is because our gods are not all-powerful and all-knowing. Our gods are pretty big, but They are not infallible and omnipotent. They need us to help Them uphold ma’at and suppress isfet. This work that maintains the balance and rightness of all of creation is not something that only gods do; we do it, too, in our own myriad ways.

Likewise, this love that Netjer bears for us is not solely for Them to give. They can’t do everything for us; it’s a relationship, not divine servitude. We have to do the work, too. We have to open our hands, open our hearts, and extend love to one another. We have to reach out and form community, family, tribe. We have to hold the space for each other and make it safe so we can be vulnerable and real and raw with each other.

And this is important to me in particular: Just as Netjer can’t do it all for us, so we cannot do everything for each other. Each of us participates. Each of us chooses to be here, a choice that most of us make again and again from moment to moment. I cannot live for anyone else, and I cannot expect anyone – human or god – to live my life for me. It’s mine. I give ma’at and receive ma’at. I give support and receive support. I give love and receive love.

Open yourselves, open your hearts, and accept the help that others will give. None of you are alone.

one Wep Ronpet celebration

one Wep Ronpet celebration

Continuing the tradition of my non-Kemetic partner celebrating Wep Ronpet by slaying pansnakes and then texting me the story + images, I present to you this year’s victorious battle:

T3h 3v1l!

Pansnakes!

Annnnnd… SMITE!

Pansnakes! Smite!

J00 are smited, 3V1LS!

Pansnakes! Smiteberries!

3V1L! Now with extra SMITE!

Pansnakes! Nomnom!

Tasty tasty smiteberries.

thoughts on the changing year

thoughts on the changing year

I could wish that I’d had a chance to reflect on the previous Kemetic year during the Epagomenal Days, but alas and alack, I did not. So I’ll do it now.

The previous year, Heru-sa-Aset’s year, was spiritually not great for me. I did very very little in terms of shrine time, research, community fellowship, service, etc. I managed to keep saying my daily prayers, and that’s about it. I thought of my gods, and usually felt self-created pangs of guilt that I wasn’t doing almost anything for Them.

The year was similarly creatively fallow. I didn’t even participate in NaNoWriMo because I was traveling too much of the month. I don’t think I made any jewelry, probably didn’t do any paintings, and didn’t write any songs (I think). I managed some pen sketches and doodles that made me happy, but beyond that? Nada.

Secularly, though, it’s an entirely different story. Last year, I found a psychiatrist and started the very long road of figuring out the right meds to treat my debilitating depression. I changed and mended a very close relationship, and I started another new relationship, which also had a change-and-mend stage later in the year. I left a dysfunctional job and started working at the most accommodating, genuinely kind workplace I’ve ever experienced. I retired my beloved decade-old car and got a new baby who could take me on long roadtrips again. A local friend and I rescued 40+ snakes and rehomed all but 3 successfully. (I also got … significantly more snakes for my own household.)

It wasn’t all roses: we lost two of our cats, the youngest to cancer and the oldest to age. My self-care necessitated dropping basically all of my projects and sorely limited the time I could dedicate to other people, so many of my friends didn’t hear much from me. My health continued to suffer from depression and other crap, even with meds starting to help. And, of course, world news and social justice issues just exploded.

All in all, the year was turbulent but produced some really important and positive changes to my personal life.

Now I leave behind Heru-sa-Aset’s influence and welcome the child god energies of Khonsu and Yinepu. This year, I want to get some of my own light back. I want to get the meds optimized, so I’m not always so tired and so flat. I want to re-engage with my beloved Kemetic community, and I want to have the capacity to re-engage a little more with my local secular community, too. I want to pick up the pen and write more stories and more songs. I want to step back into shrine and keep the dust off my gods.

The oracle talked about love, about service, about doing the work and keeping an open heart. Nebt-het talked to me about service, too: service to Ma’at and my community. (And balance between service and self-care, because that too is ma’at.)

So that’s what I’m looking forward to. Gently and gradually picking up things I had to drop last year. Respecting the limitations of my current health, while not letting myself sink into total stillness. Reaching out and helping where I can, without breaking myself in the process.

It’ll be a good year. Kheperu. Dua Netjer!

Happy new year!

Happy new year!

Heru-sa-Aset’s year is over. We welcome in a year shared by two child gods: Khonsu and Yinepu (Anubis).

Do you not understand how much you are loved? Creation was born of love. Creation is the love of the creators for the created. This love is in your being. This love will never leave you. This love must be protected at all costs. This love is the best of you. This love is your birthright and your promise. See to it that love continues. It is left to you to tend this work. We cannot do it for you alone. You too must serve.

It is not done. It is not lost. It is not gone. Look to the horizon. It has merely been forgotten in some places and left behind by others. Do not despair. Love is what we offer you and love is what you need. There is love in the light of the dawn and in the firing of every star. There is love in the sky and the sea and the tomb. There is love everlasting. Seek it with both hands open to receive. It is your gift in this year of light, this year of delight.

It is time for love.

Read the full Year 24 Aset Oracle here.

Dua Khonsu! Dua Yinepu!

everyday

everyday

“How do I protect them?” I asked, looking out at the pale smear of post-storm clouds across a strained blue sky.

The answer filtered through in feelings, not words. The kindness offered to stranger and friend alike. The patience when it is all too easy to be impatient. The willingness to stand up and address the tiny things that are wrong day to day – the judgment, the derogatory jokes, the bigotry, the fear-turning-to-anger-turning-to-hate.

This is everyday ma’at, these small acts, these few words. This is the ma’at that goes on to combat isfet and slowly shift the balance, drop by drop, grain by grain.

Gandalf

Gandalf has it right. Even though most of us don’t individually wield great power, we can together still make the vital difference.