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My Lady of Verse and Chord

My Lady of Verse and Chord

O Hethert-Nut,
Lady of Stars and Sistra!

Mistress of the Night,
Whisperer of Lullabies,
Beautiful One in the Sky,
Inspirer of All Music,
Celestial Cow Who Uplifts The Sun,
She For Whom Songs Are Sung,
Divine Heavens Who Hold The Blessed Dead,
Goddess of Voice, String, and Drum!

I humbly pray that You bless me
with Your endless grace and glory
so that You may be my Muse
in this, the wintry month of fire,
newly-become the month of music
that I create in Your name
and out of love for You.

O Hethert-Nut,
All-Encompassing Mother,
Joyous and Infinite!
May Your radiance shine through my work
like the spirits of the akhu through Your skin;
may I honor You with my earnest efforts
and make You smile with my newborn songs.

Dua Hethert-Nut!

[In other words, I’m trying FAWM for the first time and need all the help I can get!]

PS~ When I was proofreading this, my eyes skimmed a little too fast and briefly read the second line as “Lady of Sitars and Sistra,” which is fabulous. XD

a song for Hethert-Nut

a song for Hethert-Nut

I started writing this on December 11th or thereabouts, when I was sick and had lost my voice. I had invited Hethert-Nut to lend Her touch to my music-making efforts, and She gave me three words as a song-seed, which became the title of this song. I did a very weak recording to let my sister hear it, then proceeded to let my poor vocal cords recover.

And now that I can play the chord progression fairly confidently, I made a stronger recording to share with you all. =3

Click here to listen!

I’m very happy with this. It is a devotional song, a prayer-song, and it serves its purpose perfectly.

Dua Hethert-Nut!

Mother May I

Mother, may I come in
and join You in the skies
my feet are stained with dirt
from walking all these miles
and as much as I enjoy the grass
I like the feel of stardust, too
Mother, may I come in
and stay with You a while

Hethert-Nut, lady of the night sky

Mother, may I breathe here
in the vastness of Your arms
the sun’s tired out my eyes
and night’s coaxed them closed
and as much as I love the light
I like the soft, snug shadows, too
Mother, may I breathe here
and drift on solar winds

Hethert-Nut, lady of the night sky

Mother, may I borrow
some of Your boundless love
my heart is prone to aching
and it needs a tender touch
and as much as I want to care
I need someone to care for me, too
Mother, may I borrow
Your compassion and Your grace

Hethert-Nut, lady of the night sky

Mother, may I love You
without hesitation or doubt
all I want is to praise You,
to give You music and my joy
and as much as I am wary
of offering perfect trust
Mother, I want to love You
and dance within Your smile

Hethert-Nut, lady of the night sky

a song for Nebt-het

a song for Nebt-het

My sister is doing some amazing work with writing songs for Netjeru, and thus inspired, I took the little thing I wrote for Nebt-het and a candle and my beloved classical guitar to the bedroom. (J was in the living room, alternately rocking out on his electric guitar or coffee-painting.)

Let me preface this: I am not a confidant guitarist. I am learning. I know a few chords, and I haven’t played regularly since before the move, so I am rusty in the muscles. I am blessed to occasionally be able to write songs in terms of vocal melody + words, but putting chords to it is still a massive challenge to me, and one I have not attempted more than once or twice, ever. Hell, I can’t even get a strum pattern down beyond a simple 1-2-3-4.

So, I lit the candle, pulled up the words, and sang through it a few times, then started fumbling with chords. I didn’t set up formal ritual and invite Nebt-het in, but I made it abundantly clear that She was welcome to sit with me and/or help with the music for Her minisong. Due to several recent silences in response to my invitations, my expectations were low, but to my cautious delight, I got a sense of Her presence fairly quickly.

Nebt-het, to me, is very tall and very slender, with long slim hands that are cool to the touch. Her color is a velvety purple-tinted medium-light grey. She was constantly behind me, slightly to the left, just as She had been when I lit a candle for Her on Her birthday and wrote the minisong in the first place. After working on it for a while, I figured out all the chords and could, stutteringly, play and sing at the same time.

I offered Her more blackberry-grape water when She wanted some; it was what I had given Her on the first night. (The color of that drink, too, became Her color.) The candle burned low and blue as I kept going. Despite the struggle of doing something hard and new, I was gleeful. I was putting music to words and I was the one who wrote the words and I could sing and play and I even had a strum pattern. Holy crap.

I ran out of energy, and my callus-less fingertips were raw; the candle extinguished itself when She said goodnight to me. I told Her I would do better, keep practicing and make it sound better, and She told me that what I had done was enough. Not in the sense of “no, stop here,” but in the sense that what I had done was perfectly sufficient, completely worthy. I tried to wrap my head around that idea when She thanked me for the music, and I thanked Her (about fifty bajillion times) for sitting in with me.

I am going to try to get smooth enough with the chords and strumming to record a version so you can hear, but for now, I wanted to record this experience. Whatever comes of it, I am grateful and happy and blessed.

happy birthday, Nebt-het

happy birthday, Nebt-het

Nebt-het seems a sad story to me. Always playing second to Her sister, Aset; married to Set, but living with Aset and Wesir, and possibly for this incongruency, She was called “an imitation woman with no vagina” in one of the Pyramid Texts; had a child by Wesir, upsetting Aset, but was never Wesir’s chosen wife, though She mourned faithfully along with Aset when He died. She is guide to the newly deceased and comfort to the surviving relatives, perhaps because She lost Wesir– perhaps because She knows how it hurts and thus how to comfort, and perhaps because She wanted to guide Wesir safely through the Duat but could not, so She instead guides the human dead.

I lit a candle, prayed, and shared my blackberry-grape water with Her.

lady of darkness
sweep away shadows
bring the fallen one into light
help those left upon this earth
move on and brave a precious rebirth

lady of darkness
draw close the shadows
hide the new child safely
help your lord’s son grow into strength
so he may one day take your lord’s place

Uh, that last line is referring to Heru-sa-Aset, who Nebt-het helped protect and hide during His vulnerable childhood, becoming king in His father Wesir’s stead.

Also, that totally has a tune to it. Sweet. Click here to listen! (An interesting note… the tune is derived from my sister’s song to Set. I looked to Nebt-het when it popped into my head and asked if it was okay, and got the distinct impression that She has no problem with using a melody similar to Her husband’s song.)

happy birthday, Set

happy birthday, Set

I couldn’t possibly do more honor to Set than my sister’s already done Him, so instead, I will point to the song she wrote for Him. Listen to it a thousand times over; it is beautiful.

Set wisdom of the day: Isfet is a terrible and grievous thing and must be extinguished, but people are not isfet. People do isfet; they themselves are merely lost.

Dua Set!

happy birthday, Heru-wer

happy birthday, Heru-wer

I sat in the backyard next to a candle lit for Heru-wer, and this got stuck in my head as a looping singsong chant.

Thanks for the tune, Heru-wer. Good timing. Henu to You.

(Y’all can click here to listen. Mediocre recording quality, but it gets the point across.)

Heru-wer has wakened
and so comes up the sun;
and now that Heru-wer has risen,
inward flows the dawn;
and now that Heru-wer has spoken,
isfet is overcome.

For those who have no clue who the hell Heru-wer is and what isfet is and why I’m wishing random entities happy birthday:

I’ve dug myself a homey nest in the fertile ground of Kemeticism, specifically with Kemetic Orthodoxy (the aforementioned awesome spiritual group). In other words, I am studying and beginning to practice a soft-reconstructionist version of ancient Egyptian religion and spirituality. I will be writing about this a lot in days to come.

Right now, we are within the five days considered to be outside the year – the intercalary or epagomenal days. (Started Friday, ends Tuesday. Wednesday, August 3rd, is New Year Day.) Each of the five days is a major god’s birthday. So I’m lighting a candle for each one and, apparently, writing a little sommat for Them. (Or, in this case, singing it.)

Yesterday’s god, Wesir (Osiris), is lord of the underworld. Today’s god, Heru-wer (Horus the Elder) is a solar warrior. Those two sentences are heinous over-simplifications, but they’ll work for those who are totally unfamiliar with Egyptian mythology. :)

Oh, and isfet = bad shit. Going against the rightness/order of the universe – more like “chaos” than “evil.” And henu is a form of deep respect accompanied by physical gestures.