Shrine Maintenance

Egyptian statues sitting on a wall in the sun
My Egyptian Gods like Their statues to bask in the sun after a wash. I assume They are sharing a beer and having a good time enjoying the sunshine. L-R: Yinepu, Djehuty (x3), Isis and Harpocrates/Aset and Heru, Wepwawet, tiny!Khonsu, Sobek (x2), Aset-Nut and baby!Ra-Heru-pa-khered (IDK if it’s historical; it’s just the name I have for Him), Heru-sa-Aset, Ra’s netjeri, Bast-Mut, and Faithful.

So I have been kind of neglecting my PBP posts and this place the last few weeks, but I’ve been busy finishing off final assignments and doing exam prep. I plan to catch up once I’m done for the year. Maybe by then I’ll have some finished posts I’m actually happy with, instead of half-finished drafts I’m constantly tweaking, trashing, and rewriting. And then trashing and rewriting and trying to think of other ideas I can actually write about. And then returning to my original idea before I scrap it and just ramble on about something entirely different before finally settling on something I like enough to post. Rinse and repeat for the rest of the alphabet. 😀 (That said, I am still looking forward to continuing this PBP thing next year. Regular posting FTW. :D)

The whole daily rites thing has been going well. Beginning to modify and adapt it so it works better for me. The gestures are adding an extra dimension to it that was missing, so I do them all the time now. Doing more of a full henu/prostration thing too, and the bodily movement that flows through the whole rite is actually kinda awesome. If I could abide kneeling for any length of time, I’d do that, but instead, I just lower my computer chair and sit on that. It’s at the right size for the new shrine, so I can reach everything and do meditations/breathing exercises and such. I can have my grimoire in my lap and read from it while I gesture. Also, blue veil/head covering in the morning. Black at night. Apparently. /rules is rules.

The silent rite has become my default for those times when I’m menstruating, or if I’m just not feeling like I can be pure enough to be in shrine, like migraines or overtiredness etc. It makes me feel less anxious now that I know I have a back-up I can still do, even if I don’t feel up to the whole thing. I’m still in that habit-building stage, so I don’t like missing any days if I can help it.

Also, Saturdays have become my shrine maintenance day. I think this might be our compromise for not tending to an Open statue.I think statue-tending is fine if you’re just working with one or two Gods. But I think I’m too polytheistic to have that kind of singular devotion, so perhaps Shrine Maintenance Saturdays are a way for me to tend to all my statues, even though it’s not in the context of a formal rite.

Mostly what I do is, I generally clean my dishes and clean any wax away, and the statues all get dusted and cleaned. Today, They wanted to sit outside in the sun, so that’s what they’ve been doing. I grabbed them all in at about 3pm as the sky was turning grey. I didn’t want them to get rained on. D: Still, they had a couple of good hours in the sun, and came in all warm and happy.

I did actually clean all my God statues today, but only my Kemetic ones wanted to be out in the sun. But that doesn’t really surprise me. They tend to be really big on SUN. They’re like cats, always finding the sunbeam to sleep in. 😛

That said, I might put my Quan Yins and a few pieces of Nut jewellery out in the moonlight at some point. That’s what they seem to want. Next full moon, probably, with perhaps a salt wash.

Also, I have acquired a large goose feather that I intend, somehow, to hack into a dip pen quill. For Magical and/or Divinatory Purposes. Or something. For Amun. He kind of claimed it as soon as it came near the shrine, so it’s His. I mean, I could just cut the shaft up into a nib, but I feel if it’s going to be a proper magical pen thing, it’s only right to make it a proper dip pen, so it’ll last a lot longer.

Ra still wants me to do something more formal for Him on Sundays, but I’m kind of still figuring out what, not that I’ve had time to do much about it. I think I might wait. Get myself a nice statue of Ra, and maybe that Eternal Egypt book, and see what inspiration I can find there. It will probably involve some sort of divination. The last four weeks, I’ve been doing general four card Goddess Oracle readings on Sundays, which I’m inclined to continue. But He might want something else. We’ll see.

I am having fun with the Goddess Oracle, though. I seem to have tuned in to it very easily, and it reads well for me. Sometimes it’s a bit vague, and I haven’t quite figured out how to read time into it, though I might just use the two D6 dice to see whether it’s days/weeks/months/years/etc. But for the most part, I like it. It’s a good solid deck to read with.

The interesting thing about the four card reading I do with it is that the trump card is never in the same place. It usually announces itself as the trump when I lay it down. It orients the rest of the reading, once I know where the trump is. The rest of the cards sort themselves out and then I can interpret it.

I’ve had two Egyptian statues of cats on my shrines for a very long time. I’ve probably had them for close to a decade. One was named Faithful, after the cat from the Alanna series by Tamora Pierce. The other I knew contained a male netjeri, but I never knew his name until a few days ago. He just randomly decided to tell me at last. He belongs to Ra, surprisingly enough. I always thought he was Bast’s netjeri. He’s very intense, and speaks little. Still not entirely sure what to do with him, though. I’m half-inclined to leave him be. Seems to have worked very well the past ten years. I will have to up the milk offerings, I think. Keep all the cats protecting the house happy.

Got badgered into figuring out a divination system using 2 D6s, a D12, and a D20. Now I just need to learn how to use it and practice with it, now that I’ve figured out all the meanings. I’ll wait and see if it’s the sort of system I can use publicly for general readings and such, or whether it’ll only pertain to me.

Sobek likes it when I keep my hair braided/plaited too. For no reason, just because it is braided/plaited. I like it because it keeps my hair up, which is good in warmer weather. And, well, apparently I’m not allowed to cut it short, so. Getting through summer with long hair again will be a novel (and irritating) experience. I haven’t done that for years. But I’ll just have to keep it braided and out of my way.

OH. Have decided that my fixed date for Beltaine is going to shift from Oct 31st to Nov 5th. Why? Feels more appropriate to hijack Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Night for a fire festival than to just use the northern hemisphere date for Samhain/Hallowe’en. The date is too … Hallowe’eny. I’d rather break from that and use a different date. So hey, Bonfire night. 😀

Finally, some people procrasti-bake. I rearrange my shrines. 😀

Picture of my bookshelf shrines
Top is for divination and magic. The bottom is for daily devotions. Also, it’s not your eyes. I did hang Hekate crookedly. *fails at putting up sticky hanger thingies* Also, apologies for glare. And blurriness. Actually, this was taken a few days ago. Bast-Mut now sits in between my two cats on the symbolic hearth-thing. Because I don’t have a statue of Hestia (yet?). And Bast-Mut and Hestia are my household Gods. So say Them, anyway.

Dodgy photo is a bit dodgy because apparently I fail at taking not!blurry photos. *sighs* I need a better camera, I think.

The blue Sobek and tiny!Khonsu on the far left are standing in for Ra. I’ll shift them elsewhere one I get myself a Ra. Also, you will note Aset-Nut is now next to Heru. My other winged Aset, the oldest statue I have, retired Herself when I was setting all this up. Her right hand broke off again, and while She was happy for me to replace it, I got the sense that She wanted Aset-Nut to represent Her now. So my favourite, albeit repaired, Aset is now in the bathroom with Nekhbet. And Diana, and Athena, and Artemis, and Poseidon, and Dionysus. /thatsalottagods

The divination shrine has room for card readings, and the three draws hold all my divination things, as well as other things I need to store. If ever I get more room to put shrines out, I’d like a proper Apollon statue to watch over my readings. I’m also half-tempted to get the Gods and Titans sibling deck to the Goddesses Oracle and use both decks together for readings. Sure, they have different coloured backs, but no One has pointed out that this will be a problem. So we’ll see. I just feel like there’s energy missing without the Gods deck to go with it. *hopefully adds it to Christmas wishlist* I would’ve bought it a week or so ago, but I didn’t think I could justify the price, given the state of my finances. Maybe later when I have more money to spare on non-essential oracle decks.

Both are now veiled shrines, too. One of my pending PBP posts was going to be about shrine veiling, so I’ll explain more of that when the post goes up. I honestly don’t know of anyone else who actually veils a shrine like this, so I’ll be interested in hearing other thoughts about the practice. It’s not meant to be a recon/historically done thing, but it’s something I’ve always done. Never wanted cupboard-like shrine boxes. Always preferred veils. So. :/ *saves it for another post*

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