New Moon in Libra

New Moon in Libra

At the end of every shrine rite, I tie the doors closed with a red ribbon.

20171020_105244

A joyful year in the shrine of Alewife Brook

This ribbon is theĀ seshed band, a Kemetic Orthodox amulet given by the King over the New Year’s holiday. Historical seshed bands were often metal circlets bearing the uraeus, however they could also be made of linen (often red) and given as gifts to favored courtiers. In the Kemetic Orthodox practice, the Nisut (AUS) will write wishes onto each end of the seshed band. For myself, I wished for a healthy and joyful year.

Turns out to get that you have to work for it.

My physical body has been much happier of late, but my emotional self is processing a great deal of change. I’ve changed behaviors, cut and edited bits of who I am, lost friends and gained new ones. I’ve moved house, started living with people who are chosen-family, and am now in the process of moving away from the industry I love to a career path better suited to my emotional needs.

Sometimes I feel like I have edited so much of who I was that I can’t find my core self anymore. And with that thought, the Unseen comes knocking. Constant reminders of what I have neglected need not be a punishment, but an urge to get back on the right path. For me, that comes in the form of re-growing my spiritual life (which I have been working on since Wep Ronpet came and went) and my creative life.

My need to survive trumped my calling for years. My last post on this blog was about my work as a scribe, which I have long since neglected. Earlier this week, I drafted a poem. I’ve started working on a base for my new Wepwawet icon, which I intend to paint after inscribing with hieroglyphs. I recently started fiddling sculpey, and with beads. Yesterday, I carved and dressed a candle to formalize my intentions to create.

candle

Lavender for peace, rosemary for protection, honey for sweetness

Today, I am writing a blog post.

I’ve had a lot on Seen world influence to move back to myself. My friends in the House of Netjer – Ubenetsenu, Rev. Sobeqsenu, and Neshnytyinepu deserve special mention; my supportive if confused nestmates Ryan and Robin; Chani Nicolas and Beth Maiden who have become my inspiration from a far. Thank you all for your support.

Advertisements

Kemetic Roundtable: Fallow Times

“And in the dark, I can hear your heartbeat. I tried to find the sound. But then it stopped, and I was in the darkness, so darkness I became. The stars, the moon, they have all been blown out. You left me in the dark. No dawn, no day, I’m always in this twilight in the shadow of your heart…”Florence and the Machine, “Cosmic Love”

My flavor of mental health issue is not seasonal, but it is cyclical. I should always know when it’s coming, because it always begins with a Fallow Time. The term, commonly used in Kemetic communities to denote a dry spell in practice, derives from agriculture. There, a fallow time is the time we let the land rest between harvest and planting. It is a term that could also symbolically apply to the time of Wesir’s death – He is, after all, the land.

Everyone, from newest devotee to priests dedicated for years, undergo Fallow Times. Sometimes, it’s a process like in the agricultural world, keeping the land/devotee from becoming burnt out by constant work. Other times, it happens because of a major life event: natural disaster, marriage, illness, childbirth, school… Something gets in our way and we briefly forget, before the gap grows and soon we feel that absence of deity and ritual growing. For some people, like myself, a cycle of guilt grows when we feel that absence, only further inflating the emptiness.

In my world, a Fallow Time is not a case of Netjer saying “well, fuck this guy and his cow.” A Fallow Time is not a case of your gods and ancestors deciding to walk out the door. It is not Their anger at your mistakes. It’s a natural, if unlikable circumstances. Otherworld beings let us know when something is wrong, and rarely is it pleasant (not that Fallow Times are pleasant either!). Though it can feel like abandonment to be in a Fallow Time, this is likely to our own thought processes and the method by which we try to justify our feelings of loneliness.

The best way I find to get out of a Fallow Time is to do ritual. If you cannot do ritual for some reason, find something simple to do for your gods. For me, that comes in four tasks: knitting, baking, tea drinking, and divination. Doing any task and devoting it to Netjer (“I clean this house as Nebt-Het, lady of the house. I walk this trail to admire Geb in His beauty. I watch this comedic show in honor of the laughter of Hetheru, lady of joy.”) is a basic way of waving in, saying you’re still there, and giving Them your affection and offerings. It’s a method of feeling Their presence.

For myself, I feel a Fallow Time creeping in. I have not done my daily rite since Tuesday. I was sick for two days, I traveled for four. Yesterday, I was too tired from other things, and chose to vegetate. Today, I am only stopped by the idea that I have no time. But when I come home today, I will attend a group ritual with the House of Netjer. And then I will return to the focus of my daily rite, instead of standing alone in the aftermath. The mist might be coming in, but for once, its not too late to stop it in its tracks.
By Devo
The Kemetic Round Table (KRT) is a blogging project aimed at providing practical, useful information for modern Kemetic religious practitioners. You can join us every other week as bloggers answer a single question, providing a variety of perspectives for beginners and learning from each other. This sessions’s question was “How do you survive fallow times?”