It is time to prepare for the end of the Kemetic year.
According to Kemetic Orthodoxy’s calendar, this Sunday, July 30, is the last day of this year. The following five days, from Monday to Friday, are epagomenal or intercalary days: “days upon the year,” which are not part of this year nor the next. According to one myth, which probably has some Greco-Roman influence, Ra cursed a very pregnant Nut to not bear Her children on any day of the year, for fear one of Them would displace Him as king. Djehuty (Thoth) gambled with the moon and won five days’ worth of moonlight, which became the epagomenal days and the birthdays of Nut’s five children: Wesir (Osiris), Heru-wer (Horus the Elder), Set, Aset (Isis), and Nebt-het (Nephthys).
The epagomenal days are considered to be especially prone to weird or negative events, and ancient Egyptians went to considerable length to placate various Netjeru and protect themselves from misfortune during this time. In the Seen world, the Nile valley was holdings its breath before the inundation, and a good inundation could bring prosperity… while a poor one could spell sickness and famine. The epagomenal days are that shaky, strained, tenuous bridge between the past year and the new one, and an awful lot was riding on how well or poorly this relatively short period of time passed.
Because I will be traveling for half of the epagomenal days, I will be writing and scheduling my posts in advance, a sort of meditation on what the days themselves may bring. To begin, I offer you a year’s end protective heka from Bourghouts’ Ancient Egyptian Magical Texts:
I am the Horror that has come forth from Dep, the Birth-goddess that has come forth from Heliopolis. Men, gods, spirits and dead ones, keep away from me! I am the Horror!
Stay safe and alert next week, my friends! The birth of a new year can be quite messy.