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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!

A Mundane Recap

A Mundane Recap

Hello, dear friends and readers.

It’s hard for me to break the silence here. Like my physical shrine, this blog has gathered dust and has a thick quiet to it. But like my physical shrine, I can clean it. I can revive it.

And so I do. But first, a little glimpse of my mundane life.

I have experienced SAD (seasonal affective disorder) for well over a decade. I have been able to manage it through spirituality, through self-care, through food and bodywork, through animal therapy, and with my support network. I’ve also experienced varying degrees of social anxiety, which I’ve managed with the same tools (along with, admittedly, a high level of hibernation).

But a year and a half ago, things changed. My migraines had gotten to a frequency that necessitated preventative medication. I was put on a drug that worked brilliantly to knock them down from three times a week to maybe once a month.

Unfortunately, that drug was also used to treat bipolar by flattening out the manic spikes. It’s almost never prescribed without an antidepressant accompanying it, but I was only taking that drug for migraines.

I hit severe depression–clinical depression. The kind of stuff that isn’t ameliorated by sunlight and longer days. The kind of stuff that didn’t give a damn about my personal toolkit and all my self-care.

I didn’t recognize it at first, because my personal life was going through a lot of changes and challenges, too. My partner of seven years and I opened our relationship up when we became polyamorous; we started dating someone; my work was spiraling into a toxic environment with frightening speed. The learning curve for being openly, actively poly was harsh when it’d been years since either of us had been poly (and we’d never been poly together). Coupled with increasing depression, I nearly couldn’t cope.

I stopped taking the anti-migraine meds. My migraines returned, and I expected the depression to lift. I worked very hard to help it lift. And it didn’t change.

I made it to Wep Ronpet, our Kemetic new year, a solid year after I first took the anti-migraine meds. I threw myself into zep tepi with ferocity and a hint of desperation. I had six weeks of a reprieve, wherein which I started dating someone new, adjusted the prior S.O. relationship to something healthier for both of us, and fell in love with my gods again.

…and then the crash. NRE and force of will can only do so much, and depression came back with a vengeance. I got fired for the first time in my life. I was barely able to function; there were nights where I couldn’t manage to feed myself. My imagination constantly, involuntarily served up terrible imagery and terrible ideas. I couldn’t escape my own self-destructive brain, and my body suffered; my immune system faltered, and I got sick half a dozen time in half a year, hitherto unknown to me.

I clung to what helped me through and dropped absolutely everything else. I found a new job and was honest with my boss about my challenges with energy levels. I stopped kicking myself for being unable to do a single project–all I could manage was work, then falling over once I got home. My animals became my only hobby, and they were already my therapy. My partner picked up the slack without complaint.

I decided I had tried enough, worked my ass off enough, and burned myself out enough. What I could do by myself was insufficient. I needed help, and so I turned to a psychiatrist.

Brief tangent: There’s a lot of stigma around mental health and psych meds. I support an individual’s choice to decide if and when they want to try them, and I support education about how much of a process it is to try out different meds and different dosages until one finds what works for oneself. Brains are different; situations are different; meds are different. Meds should not be used as a magic pill, and there’s a lot of non-med work a person with depression and anxiety does to help the process along. Some people can get to a point of getting off meds again, or to the point of only needing them during particularly harsh times; some people need them long-term. There is no shame there. It’s no different than taking insulin for diabetes for the rest of your life or having a cast on a broken leg until it heals.

That said, it’s been five weeks since I started medication, and I’ve begun to experience a higher baseline energy and less frequent crashes. I’m at a strange, alien point where I can actually do things beyond survive–I can manage work, chores, animal care … and maybe a game. Maybe read a little. Maybe write a little, like I’m doing now.

It’s still a process, and will continue to be a process, as we adjust which meds I’m on and their dosages for the best possible effect and the lowest possible side effects.

But I’m getting better. And that feels amazing, given that I had begun to doubt my ability to hold down a job at all not that long ago.

This post is not a promise to resume blogging immediately; I’m still not at a point where I can reliably commit to a consistent anything. But I wanted to write it and share with you my situation, so that you know where I’ve been, and so that you know things are improving bit by bit.

Magic to the People

Magic to the People

Drew Jacob, of Rogue Priest and Altmagic fame, has a new project: to open his door in New Orleans to anyone who wants or needs a dose of magic.

Through crowdfunding, Drew hopes to raise enough money to create “an open-door workspace to provide spells to whoever needs them, at no fixed cost. Together we can outfit the space to serve the community with positive, life-changing magic ceremonies.” Located at a cultural cross-section of New Orleans, Drew is well-positioned to be able to offer help to a wide diversity of folks who could walk in, sit down, and be heard.

Whether magic is metaphysically real or “just” a psychological tool, the validity of magical experiences to create change in an individual’s life has been experienced in nearly all cultures and ages. Like faith, like love, the intangibility of magic has never stopped it from making an impact. And like faith, like love, cost should not be a barrier preventing someone from getting the benefits of magic.

Drew wants to create a pay-what-you-can magical workshop to serve anyone who needs it, in a city already rife with magic. What’s not to love?

Come support the project—or, if you can’t afford to, please spread the word!

The Ancient Egyptian Calendar–At Your Fingertips?

The Ancient Egyptian Calendar–At Your Fingertips?

The ancient Egyptian calendar is amazing. It is scientifically measured and absolutely filled with festivals, feasts, processions, celebrations, and holy days. Tamara Siuda, accredited Egyptologist, has provided Kemetic Orthodoxy with a month-by-month calendar for years, and I have used it on a near-daily basis for over a year now. It has informed my practice and intrigued my inner reconstructionist; it has brought me closer to my gods, introduced me to new ones, and given me a broader taste of history and ancient Egyptian religion.

And now that calendar is coming into the world as a book!

This Kickstarter was funded in the first two hours, so it’s already going to happen. We get an ebook, huzzah!

But there’s so much more we could get, too. A coil-bound printed copy. Or even a mobile app. How’s that for insanely freaking useful and awesome?

Please, if you can spare a few dollars, back this project and help us bring even more forms of the the Ancient Egyptian Daybook to the public. I’ve been plugging in each new month’s Kemetic calendar into my Google calendar and synching it to my phone; I cannot tell you how excited I am at the prospect of an actual app to do this in a more efficient and user-friendly manner!

If you can’t afford to back the project, please take a few moments and spread the word. The Daybook is of interest not just to Kemetics, but to anyone who loves or studies ancient Egypt; this is both a spiritual and a historical project, and I can’t wait to see it completed!

a promise to make

a promise to make

Tuesday was my birthday, and I was blessed with surprise snow (in Texas, THIS IS AMAZING) in the morning, a zillion wonderfully happy-making birthday wishes from friends and family, and a truly lovely evening spent with my gods in shrine.

Today is a festival of Nit, Who is one of my Mother Nebt-het’s three faces, and my heart is glad: After discourse with Netjer and some months of contemplation, I have made an important choice in my spirituality. I will be taking Shemsu vows, swearing to honor my gods foremost and devoting myself primarily (but not exclusively) to Kemetic Orthodoxy, both the religion and the community. I’ve let Hemet (AUS) know, and I will be standing for my Netjer-given Shemsu name on Wednesday the 30th of this month, at 8h30 CST. It is my great pleasure and honor that my sister Ekunyi and I will be named on the same day; she announced her intentions to become Shemsu earlier this month, to the joy of our Kemetic family.

It has been fourteen months since I underwent the Rite of Parent Divination; it has been almost two years since Sekhmet led me to the House; it has been a lot more years than that that I’ve followed the Red Lady and wholly adored Her. I have loved this community and the Netjeru Who have become my family, and I have grown as a person, for better and for deeper, since I have been a part of Kemetic Orthodoxy. I am proud and excited to step up as a Shemsu, and the four Netjeru of my divination– and Sekhmet as well– support my decision to take these vows.

Dua Netjer! Nekhtet!