New Moon in Libra

New Moon in Libra

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

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A joyful year in the shrine of Alewife Brook

This ribbon is the 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.

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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.

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PBP 3: Becoming an Adult

I’ve always been a little reserved in the Kemetic community due to my age. I became a part of my temple at eighteen, and will be turning twenty this year. I am among the youngest in the House, as well as in the (for want of a better word) fellowship of Kemetics I have found on facebook and tumblr. I hold back because I worry my age, my lack of experience, and my scant research into the path we follow will cause people to dismiss me. This isn’t a Kemetic problem, I think, or even a Pagan problem, but a problem for all young people practicing a faith when they were raised in another one.

Judgments are easy to make. It’s simple to say a teen is only interested in a religion to be different, to shock, to be cool: we all know that many teenagers struggle with self-worth and their place in society. It’s easy to say that Pagan who doesn’t look deeply into the history of her gods is “a fluffy eclectic” and we all know we like to pick on eclectics who decree a warrior goddess who protects the king to be a goddess of lesbians, sex, and marijuana.

I don’t want to give people a reason to make those sort of judgments about me. I have my reasons for not being much involved in research, and I can hardly stop myself from being young; but recently my desires have changed. I want to participate in the community at large, I want to be able to be a source of information, but I am not qualified for it. In terms of personal experience, in terms of knowledge… I’m not ready.

When I was seventeen, I began to prep for what I’d been waiting for for several years: the application to take the Kemetic Orthodox beginners’ class. I revisited the question over and over again: did I really want this? What did I plan to do, to become? I would sit before my altar and ponder it all, glancing through the candlelight to look on my icon of my beloved lady, Bast. One of these nights, She spoke to me – not the tender mother who had so long protected me, but the regal queen I’d begun to realize She was.

“You’re becoming an adult, Avonell. And very soon, our relationship, and everything you know, will change.”

She was right. Everything has changed. And though I am now legally an adult, I am still growing mentally, religiously, and personally. Now, one more step toward change and growth has come to me. I, who have so long denied any identity as a reconstructionist, who have painted a mental image of recons as stuffy, nose in the air, people whose practice was dry with the dust of temples and tombs… have found my dormant interest in studying our religion’s past to be awake and hungry for books. I’m chewing through The Ancient Gods Speak, with The Daily Life of the Egyptian Gods on the way, and a bargain-priced copy of Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt: The One and the Many is hiding in a shopping list with my last two textbooks.

After so long, am I now a Kemetic recon? Maybe. I think there is a lot to be said for the recon’s path… a lot more than the dress-up and arrogance my younger self associated it with. For now, I’ll stick with Helm’s new term of Historically Informed Polytheist; because those of you who know me know that I am quite hip. 😉

Image by Emky - unorthodoxcreativity.com/emky