The golden evening sun hitting our small living room shrine, featuring Wepwawet, Sekhmet, Hethert, and Ma’at.
Post-hypomania, things at first felt strangely calm. But now I would say I’ve fallen into a pleasant routine.
I am keeping up with Wepwawet’s requests as best I can – brushing my teeth twice a day most days, showering entirely, again most days. Washing my face has become part of the shower routine as well, which means moisturising afterwards also has to be, which has made the showers even more intensive, but I like the feeling it has provided.
Shadow work and Senut have been harder, but the gift with both came when I was well established with the aforementioned routine. As if I needed to be in a good place before I could take on more. This gift came in the form of Rev. Ma’atnofret’s “Kemetic Daily Devotional“, recently released in paperback. It’s incredibly helpful I think both to newcomers (having some basic info on how to build a shrine and how to make offerings), and to long-established Kemetics looking for inspiration.
Upon receiving my copy of the book, I immediately started working to integrate it into my life. I have also within the past week got hold of a kneeling chair, a Varier Multi Balans, second hand but in very good condition. The combination of the new devotional and the much nicer, dedicated chair with which to kneel at shrine, has been encouraging me to perform some of the morning and evening ideas from the book whenever I feel I can. Much as with my other activities, this hasn’t been every day, but learning to weave this into my life is a very new thing, and I’m surprised how well it has worked so far.
The book also contains journaling prompts, for example at the beginning of a month, or scattered throughout the weeks. These are thought provoking, and I have been working through them slowly as a way of challenging myself.
Finally, the morning interludes have turned out to be the perfect time to slot in Senut if I feel up to it. I simply perform the devotional within the prayer part of Senut itself. It’s low pressure, and allows me a spectrum of options depending on my health, but feels quite natural to slide along the scale if I feel able.
This is of course all happening while I am doing well. This blog has in its short lifespan seen me run the gamut from stability to depression to mania. How I cope when I wobble will be the real test.
In all of this though, I feel His presence. He is in everything right now. I know how challenging things can get, but I want to believe that I can hold on to this feeling, this awareness that I can lean into him in a storm and he will be there to guide me through it, just as he is guiding me now.
I titled this post when I had a whole other ramble in mind. And I do some day want to ramble about the faces he is showing these days. I don’t think it’s for public show just yet. But I think this post fits the title more than I expected because, well… This process, this whole thing that I’ve been going through, has felt like a process of greeting Wepwawet all over again. Of getting to know him, becoming closer to him, aligning my step more to match his. Of greeting the Radiant God.
So, things have been interesting since my last post. It turns out that if your deity comes up to you after a very long time and asks you to reaffirm your dedication to a particular path, and you do so, that can start balls rolling in some really unexpected ways.
I have also been hypomanic, which let me tell you, mixes really terribly with a God crashing into your life and dumping new revelations on you every single day. By the time both Wepwawet and my hypomania started to ease, I felt like my brain was jello and I wasn’t sure how I would cope for much longer.
But they both have eased, so, it’s bearable now. He hasn’t stopped, which is a good reminder that this wasn’t just flowing from an overactive brain. But I have space to breathe, think, function. That said, a lot has happened or been revealed in that time, so much so that I don’t think I could condense it into one post. This one, I think, will be about the practical side of things.
Some of the things that happened were requests. Sometimes subtle, sometimes not so subtle. Sometimes they’ve made sense, sometimes they haven’t, at least at first. Some examples:
- I have felt nudged towards shadow work. That one made sense. Priesthood is in many ways all about Ma’at, walking into it when you’re not good with your shadow seems like a bad idea. This has actually, strangely, been the most challenging of his requests. I say strangely because new habits, especially physical habits, like some of the other requests I will mention, are very hard for me. Navel-gazing on the other hand, I love. But I’ve yet to find a method of shadow work that both functions well for me, and has adequate aftercare to be safe for me. It’s all well and good “facing your shadow”, but if all you’re doing is bringing trauma to the surface and then not salving it, you’re probably triggering mental health issues for the person. I had this when I did Morning Pages, and know I need to pre-empt it. I am not feeling pressure from Wep, so I think he understands as well, that I am down for this, I just need to make sure I am safe to do it.
- Senut. Again, this makes sense. How can I do RHTM if I can’t even do Senut? He hasn’t been super demanding. If I can do it once a week, at a time of my choosing, and work from there, that’s a good start. I’ve also added “making an offering” as a second weekly task, a kind of baby-Senut to build from. It was at this point that I installed the Daylio app again, to habit track, and decided to customise it deeply to really make it work for me.
- Brushing my teeth twice a day. This is where I started to get confused. I was passing the sink one evening, and I felt a “nudge”. I told him, you’re already asking new habits of me, I don’t know if I can do that. Well, guess who has it in their Daylio app and is now brushing twice a day “religiously” (hah. hah.)? I didn’t understand this at first, but yesterday I remembered how I purify when I can’t do a full shower. I purify my hands, and my lips. The hands that touch, and the mouth that speaks the ritual words. Of course. Of course he wants me to brush my teeth if I’m considering priesthood. It’s one of the few things he genuinely cares about!
- This he didn’t even ask for, this was a trick. I have a routine when I shower. I started washing my hair a little less often a while back as I had brightly dyed hair. Then, as my health declined, I built a routine around that, of washing the minimum necessary on that day. Areas that get very dirty always get washed, areas that need refreshing less often are done every other day, and hair is every 4th day. About a week ago, I was due for a “very dirty areas” shower, but I had been exerting myself the day before, so I got into the shower and thought, well, I’ll refresh the rest of me. Then I figured, if I’m doing that much, might as well do my hair. The next day, I got in, could have done the necessaries, but I had exerted myself again, so the same thing happened. And now that is just how I shower.
I say “just how I shower”. I am very ill, so any day could be a day I don’t have the energy to do this. But now, instead of risking that I get to the 4th day (hair day) and don’t have the energy to do it, or have to force myself to do it, I am instead washing my whole self every day. If I ever hit a day I am too tired to do my whole self? Well, I don’t have to, I did it the day before.
This also means that almost every day, I have had a full shower. I am used to having full showers. I can add the ritual purifications to them on any given day. This was not an option before.
For years I have struggled with this, but suddenly, during this strange phase where Wep is reshaping my life, my showering becomes potentially more priesthood and more disability friendly? Yeah I’m squinting at him suspiciously.
Normally, I would expect new habits like this to fall apart pretty rapidly. I don’t even try to pick up new habits these days, or at least I am very careful when I do, because when one enters my brain, others fall right out. But this feels different. Whether it’s because of Wep’s involvement, the use of Daylio, or just because I really want this to work, it feels genuinely possible this time.
I am still scared to hope. New habits are not historically my strong suit. But I will be trying my best regardless. I owe him that, and I owe myself that.
I have been studying tarot more formally recently (more on that when I finally find the energy to rework this into a somewhat more general spiritual blog). No big deal there, but today’s daily reading was a bit punchy.
I was strongly left with the impression that I had a big decision to make in the near future, and that I should not let my heart rule my head about it. But what decision? To be honest, the decision that always hovers on the horizon is Kemetic Orthodox priesthood, but that didn’t feel relevant. Until a song brought a big Wepwawet shaped punch of emotion, and suddenly it did feel relevant.
This decision is firmly in my hands. Divination will not be helping me. And today, it really does feel like a decision, not the default path, not the siren song I have no chance of resisting.
For years this has been a calling. At first, for the old host and then me afterwards, it was such a strong call it felt like a compulsion, a frenzied need to push ever forward towards reaching this goal. That has died down, thankfully, but in recent times Wepwawet has fallen quiet, with Hethert being the most dominant force in my life, and I realise today that this is a question. Finally, it is a question.
Is KO priesthood what I want? If so, why? I can be a priest without KO, indeed without any organisation. Is priesthood itself what I want, after all of this? If so, why? If KO is not necessary, who would I be a priest of? Am I sure?
I’ve sat on this post for a few days in my drafts, thinking on those questions. I’m not good at thinking these days, with my head where it’s at, I mostly think by speaking, so in many ways this post was a way of feeling this issue out. I realised these questions needed more than just some typing in a text window could give them though.
So, a few days. In which divination has been kicking my metaphorical ass. Wepwawet made clear straight away that this was my decision and he trusted my judgement, so I have not asked him anything, via Fedw or any other means. But oh boy the cards have been loud.
The two things that stand out from this period, are that I took some time to really, really think. To apply myself intellectually to the issue, as cards had indicated I should. At first this didn’t help. I’m stuck, in limbo, trapped by health issues that seem reluctant to be diagnosed let alone loosen their grip on me. How can I contemplate priesthood at all? But I reached further back, past that. I reached back to when I was performing temple rites pretty much as expressed in Eternal Egypt by Richard Reidy, for Wepwawet, several times a week. I reached back and let the clarity of that time fill me.
A very different time. My body worked better, my head worked better. But that allowed me to engage with my desires, and my desire was ritual. I wanted to serve, I wanted to be at shrine regularly, doing these long-ass rites in service to my God and my community. I let the purity of intent touch me from that time, and I realised, that for all I am stuck in tiredness and brainfog and pain today, that is still what I want. It calls to me as surely now as it did then, just from behind the mire that surrounds my mind.
The other thing that stood out was that the cards called me out for carrying this alone. For taking too much on, and being crushed under it. I have no idea what anybody else could do to lighten this load. This journey is ultimately my own. But I have emailed Hemet to update her on things and see what she says about this, and I don’t know, maybe I will message my fellow Shemsu-Ankh or reach out to the priesthood. Just because I don’t know what anyone can do, doesn’t mean there’s nothing that can be done.
I did not ever think I would want to be “differently abled”. But as I sit here, unable to even contemplate the glory of the Netjeru, I realise that it is exactly what I want.
I am wearing a perfume that fills my nose with the smell of lotus flowers, constantly bringing my mind back to the beauty of the Gods that I revere. And I am filled with the desire to sit before them in ritual, to pray to them, and offer to them. But all that happens is I get stuck in a loop, being reminded of them, while being too exhausted to think of them let alone move to do ritual. It hurts my heart.
What I would give to be able, just differently so.
But I am thankful for what I can do. I am thankful for the connection that perfume has given me. I am thankful for this website as a place to talk, to think, to share. I am thankful for the communities I am in that allow me both to bond with others, and to share my love of the Gods, on my own terms, as my health allows. And I am ever thankful for the Netjeru themselves. May they ever shine upon our lives.
Wepwawet has been silent for a long time now. It has been eerie. At first I thought it was a reflection of my attention on Hethert, her unending love filling my gaze and beckoning me forth. Then there was Nebthet, and Nit, and Hethert again followed by Sekhmet at last. Through all of that, I thought that he was giving me space to explore all of these relationships, to let them bloom in his quietude.
But he is still silent, and I realise there is more to it than that. His bronze statue of him standing upon his standard has been on my visible temporary living room shrine for a good while now, but it occurred to me that I feel little when I see it. Today, I swapped it for a statue I’ve been longing to see more of, a statue I got with a view to it possibly being his statue if I got to serve as a priest: A white stone statue of him standing, fists by his side, one foot forward and beautifully carved face proud and stern.
It fills the room now with his energy, his consort Hethert’s medallion beside him doing the same. This feels like a shift in how Wep wants to present himself. Not the familiar chocolate bronze-coated jackal I’ve always known, or the darker form I associate with his cosmic nature. And certainly not the white “wolf” some people believe he was once viewed as.
This Wepwawet is a jackal through and through, sleek, gleaming, swift and sharp. I can feel the kingship and the master of fate here still, but there’s something else that I don’t know well, something quick and elusive. I am almost nervous to explore it, but what to others might be a deadly dance, to those under his care might be a fascinating and challenging game. Might being the operative word, hah. Oh boy.
As some of you may know, my Beloved of Sekhmet-Hethert was a recent addition, and a pretty overwhelming one. I had gone in asking for a divination for Sekhmet-Nut or Nebetuu, but instead had been answered by Sekhmet-Hethert. The reason was two-fold.
I was told up front by her in the divination that she wished me to be able to explore all of her, all of her faces, titles, names. All aspects of Sekhmet. This is the second time I’ve had such a divination result, the first being Hethert-Amenti. It’s a bit overwhelming to go in for one God and get a whole bunch of them, but it made sense considering what followed. Because I was also informed of some of the implications of the form she had chosen to come forward in, by Hemet.
I had thought that Sekhmet-Hethert would be an impossible result to add to my RPD, as Hethert-Amenti is herself simply a title of Hethert-Sekhmet (and Hethert-Sekhmet and Sekhmet-Hethert cannot appear in a line up together). But apparently I was wrong, Hethert-Amenti choosing to apply that title to herself, despite that she too was “Hethert in all her forms”, meant that I could have both Gods as Beloveds. Which meant, essentially, that I have two forms of Hethert in my line up. Both have decided that their expansiveness is part of the deal.
I’ve been thinking, a little swamped honestly, about what all this means for me. It feels like I have Hethert as a Beloved. Hethert, the Ur-form essentially. And that great Hethert has said that her forms of Hethert-Amenti and Sekhmet-Hethert will be named officially as my Beloveds, but that all her forms, and all of her face of Sekhmet’s forms, are also with me.
I am drowning, to be quite honest. Drowning in the enormity of Ur-Hethert, and drowning in the enormity of all of her forms surrounding me. I went in asking for two very specific Beloveds, and came out from those two divinations with more Gods than I am even aware of. I hope they don’t mind if I take it slow and one at a time!
I’ve been reeling at how big this all feels, and that’s ok. But why Sekhmet-Hethert? What consequences did that choice create, what could have motivated it?
Coming forward as Sekhmet-Hethert specifically emphasised Sekhmet as a face of Hethert. It brought my attention sharply back to my Hethert-Amenti divination result, and how it, too, despite the title of the result, was very much a Hethert result. I have for a long time thought of Wepwawet and Hethert as consorts in my RPD, but this has created an even stronger form of that dynamic, the two Way Openers, and the two Faces of Hethert.
I never expected to find something like this in my RPD, to be honest. I feel like I’ve stumbled onto something Deep but for all my rambling I have no idea what it actually means! I guess that’s the next step of my journey. I feel like it’s going to be a long one.