This will not be an in-depth academic post: for solid and detailed information on Wepwawet, please check out Per-Sabu.org.
Much earlier this year, I made a tentative list of blog post ideas for every letter, and my first W was “Wepwawet?” because, at the time, I hadn’t built a relationship with Him… but past-me hoped that 2013 would change that. Happily, past-me was right.
As I recently wrote, I got to know Wepwawet over a tenday. Depicted as a standing jackal or a jackal-headed man, Wepwawet is the Opener of the Way, in life and in death, in peace and in strife. He is strong and solar, chthonic and liminal, powerful and subtle. I admire Him greatly and no longer restrain myself from offering up adorations and time each day for tea with Him.
Over the course of the tenday with Wepwawet, the first request he made of me, firmly and enthusiastically, was a painting. It was grueling and challenging, and it took far longer than I’d expected, but when it was finished, I was—and am still—pleased with it:
Dua Wepwawet, Lord of the Duat, Opener of the Way!
About two weeks ago, one of the Kemetic Orthodox teaching priests suggested taking a tenday (a Kemetic week) to get to know the Netjeru with Whom one has no current relationship. While my work on the Obscure Gods project means that I’m hunting down 70-some little-known Netjeru and getting to know Them through myth and magic both, I still loved the idea and decided to adapt it to suit me. Instead of spending a tenday with gods I didn’t know, I would instead spend a tenday with each god that I have so far admired from a distance but never got up the courage to really approach.
When I knelt in shrine that evening and addressed the four-to-six gods I wanted to initiate a relationship with, one of Them stepped up first and firmly: Wepwawet.
Since I first began participating in Kemetic Orthodoxy, I have perceived Wepwawet very tangibly and strongly, but did not seek Him out on a one-on-one level for a variety of largely silly reasons. Getting to spend the following ten days with Him, with my self-imposed distance revoked, was fulfilling and enjoyable beyond words. Turns out, when I’m not limiting myself, I can “see” Him nearly as well as I can Ma’ahes, Who is by far my most palpable of Netjeru.
Some the time I spent with Wepwawet was set aside specifically for the brewing and steeping of hot tea just for Him, outside of formal shrine. The friend of mine who introduced me to Kemetic Orthodoxy had told me of sharing tea with the Jackal Who is zir Father, and my sister often offers her coffee to her Father, Set… so when Wepwawet requested strong black tea, I was not surprised. After some trial-and-error on which tea to use and how to prepare it, we hit upon a delicious decaf English black tea that He liked. Jackal-tea became a slow-paced ritual of deliberation, patience, and in-the-moment pleasure: the water had to be very hot, and the tea had to steep for ten minutes, and the Jackal and I would share it with slow sips and conversation between.
The tenday ended on November 1, and Wepwawet released me into the care of the next Netjeru to choose me in the same moment that I chose Her: Bast, Lady of Light, Who Rises As Gold.
But there will always be time outside of the busy day to brew and savor Jackal-tea with Wepwawet.