I swear it always creeps up on me, even though I know it’s coming. But anyway. It is nearly Wep Ronpet, and I am in my final week of preparation before the epagomenal days begin on Saturday. Saturday? *checks* Friday! They begin on Friday! I haven’t set up the shrine for it yet, but I’ll probably do that tomorrow, once I fish out all the little god statues I need from the box I am pretty sure they are in somewhere.
I spent a couple of hours this afternoon cleaning all the shrines and redressing them. There’s an added layer of preparing because Friday is also the Deipnon, so. Doing my cleaning now seems, well. It seems to work for me. Plus, I’d rather do it today when it’s cool than wait till later when it’s going to get hot. Cleaning shrines in the heat is no fun, let me tell you.
I tried to do a room/shrine tour thing because taking +elebenty photos is tiring, but it didn’t quite work out, so. I will try again tomorrow and see if I can get something to post for you so you can see how they look now. I have been re-evaluating them all and cleaning them and making sure they are the shrines I really need, and I have put some things away, and changed some altar cloths, and moved some statues around. So it’s looking pretty good now. I have the Shedety shrine, the witchcraft shrine, the lararium, the Goddess shrine, the Masrai shrine, and the ancestor shrine for Bowie and the queer ancestors. …That seems like a lot. And it probably is, for the space I have. Anyway.
For now, have this picture of my Herubirb and His shiny new headgear. One of my Sobek statues arrived with His hat broken off, so once I gave up trying to keep gluing it back on (because resin hates glue apparently), I wasn’t sure what else to do with it. So in the middle of cleaning Heru up, I decided to see if Sobek’s hat would fit on Heru’s head, with the addition of a bit of ribbon and some blutac for stick and cushioning. And, well. It works. Enough for my purposes, even if the shadows now make Him look like an angry Herubirb. XD *pets Him*
Anyway, in other news, I think I have almost settled on a schedule of rites for the daily office, as well. At least, a daily office that will work well enough for this year, unless the gods decide to throw things out of whack again. I always liked the idea of splitting into morning, noon, evening, and night, and filling that in with rites, and keeping it simple enough that I could stick to it, has taken a while. But I think I have something that will work. I just need to write one more ritual, and try it out until it works, then it should be right.
– Shrine rite for Sobek and Heru, with tai chi qigong
– additional prayers to Isis (Fridays)
– a ritual for Ma’at I have outlined, and need to finish.
– Hekate devotions
– Mars devotions (Mondays)
– Quan Yin practice
Some of this will probably make more sense once I post the shrine photos, but that’s the general idea so far. And yes, I’ve taken up Quan Yin practice again. I haven’t prayed to Her for a long time, but I felt called to turn to Her again, so I’ve got my little green Quan Yin back out. To be honest, the world could use more compassion right now, and I am enjoying Her presence being in Her presence again. I’m going to make a mala for Her as well. To be honest, the cost to buy beads vs the cost to buy a mala I liked was pretty much the same, so what the hell. This way I can make it exactly the way I want it.
Doing ritual with Her before bed I find to be very calming, and the chanting of mantras is changing the way I look at my own approach to monastic rites. Which is why I want to include mantra chanting in the Ma’at ritual, so that it is the central part of it, and can then be done away from shrine much more easily. But then I am always thinking of how to do rituals away from shrine, and what is the essential core of it. What is the bare minimum I need to make this work if I’m at work, or away on holiday, or unable to be at shrine? And, to be honest, using prayer beads just keeps coming back to me as the most versatile minimalist set-up. Well, besides a glass of water and maybe some tiny statues or images. I am very minimalist when it comes to my travel altars. Which might seem odd, considering how much stuff I have in my room! But there you go. I am weird like that.
It has meant my evening shrine ritual is … sort of not happening anymore. At least, not right now. It’s not a terrible rite, but I’m following Mars’ advice to keep it simple. I don’t have to do all the rites all the time. I can just do Mars once a week, and then do Hekate for the rest of the time, and that’s okay. There’s only one of me, and so many hours in the day. Definitely a ‘don’t kill yourself trying to do ALL the rituals, you’ll never get anything else done’ sort of thing from Him.
And I did do ritual with Him last Monday, which was nice. I spent a LOT of time fretting about HOW to do a ritual for Him. There are way too many hardcore Roman recons out there for my tastes, and I worry a lot about whether I’m doing it right. In the end, I improvised, and offered chicken and milk, and then meditated with Him. I have to tell you, my cat sat beside me while I stood there doing ritual, because she could smell the chicken. I had to offer her a little as a peace offering. Thankfully, Mars understood.
But that’s because Mars is the chillest god, and is all, ehhh, just keep it simple when I was worrying about whether I should have a proper ritual script and how I needed to do things. Turning up, making the offerings, that’s the important part, not the words used. He gave me the impression that being around the Roman army camps at the fringes of the Empire made Him a little laxer in terms of ritual requirements, which seems to be the Mars I have with me, rather than the more formal Mars of the imperial cults and temples. This Mars sits around campfires and watches over the troops, speaks whatever languages are around, and doesn’t mind getting grubby with the soldiers, because that’s what being with the army is like. I like this Mars. He is chatty and friendly in ways I wasn’t expecting.
And I do know that (planet) Mars is classically associated with Tuesday, but Mars Monday is infinitely more memorable to me in terms of habit building than Mars Tuesday, so. You’ll just have to deal with it.
As for the Ma’at rite, I don’t know why I feel like it’s the right thing to do for the noon office, but I’m following my gut, and we’ll see what happens. The idea came to me as I saw my little Ma’at statue sitting on a dish of sand, to represent the establishment of Ma’at in the lands, to reinforce that specifically in the world with its own ritual. It’s part of my morning rite, but I don’t know. This just felt important.
Right now, this is the current outline for the Ma’at ritual, but I may end up changing it once I start writing it properly:
0. Ring bell four times
1. Anoint self and asperge shrine
2. Light candle
3. Light incense
4. Henu and invocation
5. Present sand, place Ma’at on sand.
6. Libation of water
7. Anoint statue
8. Chanting – 108?100? recitations of … something.
9. Declaration and reversion of offerings
10. Henu, bell, and closing
A lot of it will be the standard forms from my morning ritual, but it won’t quite be the same. The chanting will be the main part of it, but I haven’t quite settled on what I’m going to chant. I’ll have to look through my hieroglyph dictionaries and find something that feels right. This is as much a work of heka as it is a ritual, so the words do matter a lot. It can’t just be Dua Ma’at. It has to be heka. That much I know. Which is also why the number of ritual steps matters, too. I have ten, but I might also pare it down to eight, depending on how things go. Everything about this spell needs to be precise, and meaningful, and a work of heka. And I’ll have to see about getting some moonstone to make a mala for that, but since moonstone is fkn expensive, that will have to wait until I know what I’m doing.
In book-writing news, I’ve got a couple of things to do before the BA Sobek devotional is official, but I have a title, Lord of the Carnelian Temple, and we’re looking at opening submissions from July to December, with the aim to release in Feb or March after that, if all goes well. But I’ll do a proper formal PSA about that once everything’s official, but that’s the plan. You’d better not let me down with submissions, Sobek devotees, I’ve waited a very long time to see a Sobek devotional come to fruition.
I also want to finish my own Sobek book, now that I have a better idea of where I want to go with my path, and that should keep me busy. Mostly so I can leave the more UPG-y things for my book, and not throw them all at the anthology. That, and it’s meant to be more about my own path, and how I do things, rather than the devotional stuff. And a lot has changed and I need to revise what I have and what I plan to release. I … sort of don’t want it to be a ‘throw all my ritual material at it’ sort of book. I would rather it have more of a focus. So I may end up putting the rejected things into their own book and publishing that, while I work on the other book, just so it’s available for people. But we’ll see.
Anyway. It’s late, and I still have ritual to do, so. I will catch up with you all later with some more rambly news, and hopefully some nice shrine photos/videos for you to enjoy. <3 And probably a lot of stuff about Wep Ronpet. Woo!