Hello everyone, it’s good to be back! After two weeks without Internet, this blog is no longer on hiatus. My vacation was lovely, and I saw some truly amazing places – especially some really cool medieval castles! Much of my time during those two weeks in the UK, however, was spent at sea, on a cruise-ship with all of my extended family (plus Jack). And so it was that I celebrated the Epagomenal Days and Wep Ronpet this year also at sea.
Unfortunately for me, my family planned their big summer vacation (which was in celebration of my Grandfather’s 80th birthday – may he have many more!) right smack on top of the Kemetic New Year. I can’t blame them – they’re all Jewish, and though my closer relatives do know of my religious beliefs, it’s still not something they were willing to take into consideration (or should I say, my Mother completely forgot all about it!). Again, I can forgive them, I’m the only Kemetic out of a bunch of Jews, and so, a vacation was planned when it was convenient for the others. No harm done! This vacation was about my Grandfather and about family, anyway, not me. And in many ways, I’m very glad they planned it when they did: those of you who follow me on tumblr and/or facebook will already know that I got engaged during our vacation (on July 25th, to be exact!). Jack felt it was the most romantic and appropriate time to propose, and so he did (and I never saw it coming! I can be dense like that sometimes ^^;; ). He did it from the top of the London Eye, the biggest Ferris wheel in the world. He’s a romantic at heart, too ^_^ So, in that sense, if we hadn’t been there at that time, he couldn’t have done that, and it was truly a wonderful moment so for that I am grateful!
But I digress – back to Kemeticism! Because I had no Internet connection, I sadly could not take part in any of the Kemetic Orthodoxy’s online Wep Ronpet celebrations, nor could I talk on Skype or Facebook with any of my other Kemetic friends, and so, for this year’s Wep Ronpet, I was truly alone. But I did not let it get me down! Only just before I left, I was reminded by both Hermanubis and Set that good things come to those who carry on…and so I carried on!
This year, I decided to do something unique for the Epagomenal Days, and for Wep Ronpet, something I had never tried before. I brought the Saqqara Tarot deck with me on my vacation, and on each morning of the Birthdays and then on the New Year itself (at sunrise), I pulled a card from the deck (one card that would carry a specific message from the God-of-the-Day). I asked each specific God of the Epagomenal Days to send me a message on Their specific Birthday (and on Wep Ronpet, I asked more generally – to see which God would send me a message on the actual New Year. But we’ll get to that). In any case, being on a cruise ship, it was very hard for me to do actual formal ritual on any of the days – partly because of lack of privacy, and partly because things like incense and candles were forbidden to take on the boat (though I did manage to get my electric candles on there!). So, instead of formal ritual for each Birthday, I said prayers provided in the KO monthly calendar (written by Tamara Siuda) and simply meditated on each God, as well as took notes on Their presences throughout my vacation. And I drew one card for each God, asking Them each for a message for the year to come.
What I will do now is share with you the notes I took on each Birthday, the message I received, and then afterwards I will describe what I actually did (and the message I received) on the actual day of Wep Ronpet. Maybe you will find my experiences/messages insightful, who knows. In any case, here is how it all went:
((*Note: As described in my previous Wep Ronpet post, I used the KO dates this year. Since I was abroad, and away from my home city, I decided to do my heka/activities at the same time the KO people would be doing theirs, so as to strengthen all the heka and prayers in general. This was just a personal decision on my part, and does not make what anyone else chose to do wrong or invalid))
The Birthday of Wesir
Today we drive by wheat fields on our way to the ocean – appropriate. Golden stalks of wheat, whispering softly in the breeze. Wesir’s voice: “Do not forget that life and death are brothers, not enemies.” I whisper back, “what is dead may never die”, a saying from a fantasy novel, but an appropriate saying none-the-less. Wesir’s pledge. What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder and stronger. Wesir has always been a mystery to me, shrouded in complexity, silent and serene. But as we pass the wheat fields of Kent, I see Him all around me. Golden, not green; alive, not dead. Rising, harder and stronger. Racing towards death, only to live again. As we all do.
Wesir’s message: “The Lord of the Root and the Power of Air” (The Ace of Swords) – Go with the flow and accept that all things change in time. This year, be flexible – willing to bend as the wheat does in the cool breeze.
The Birthday of Heru-wer
Today we set sail. The ocean is a thing of majesty all around us. The waves crash loudly against the boat, and my body does a unique sort of swaying dance as I try to find my equilibrium. I feel that I am being lifted on the wings of the tide, away from the solid predictability of the Earth and into a primordial essence, not unlike Nun that began the world. Heru-wer is a falcon on the wind, riding beside us, invisible to the waking eye, but bright as a lighthouse beacon all the same. I can feel His presence in the sky. So much sky. It stretches for miles in every direction. The world is a blue expanse of possibility, as it was in Zep Tepi, the First Time. Cause and Effect. We all must make choices.
Heru-wer’s message: “The Lord of Material Trouble” (The Five of Pentacles) – Things are, and will only be, as bad as we choose to make them. Material-world troubles may find you this year, but do not give up hope. This year, be optimistic, and rise above trouble like the falcon rises above the sea.
The Birthday of Set
A storm at sea; not unsurprising. Rain washes over us, and we are forced to bring umbrellas and wind-breakers with us onto the mainland of Wales. Set laughs at our discomfort, and I laugh with Him. “It always rains in Wales,” I say to Him. “How very expected of you, Lord of Storms.” We laugh together. For once, He is predictable. The sea is a mess of chaotic grays, the sky an ever-changing collage of clouds. I feel cleansed, as I climb castle ramparts and look out medieval windows. There is more to rain than meets the eye. “There is more to life than meets the eye,” He says. The details matter. Things are not always what they seem. And sometimes, they are exactly what they seem. “Dreary.” We laugh.
Set’s message: “The Lord of Blended Pleasure” (The Four of Cups) – Never judge a book by its cover – the details always matter. Take pleasure from both the predictable and the unpredictable. This year, be perceptive – take pleasure in every rain-drop, every moment you are alive.
The Birthday of Aset
The sea is calm. Today we make our way to Ireland, a fierce, enduring country. A land of storytelling, of lyricism and of myth. A patriotic people, full of pride. The Lady Aset sits upon Her throne, also proud – proud of Her son, of Her Husband, of Her siblings, the Gods and Goddesses of Kemet. And proud of Herself. She has always been clever. As we gaze upon the stone face of Oscar Wilde, wit and wisdom personified, I see a new side of Lady Aset. Not the mother, not the Queen, but the Magician – the clever, proud woman who tricked Ra into revealing His secret name. Mistress of Heka. Her power is legendary, and I draw strength from it.
Aset’s message: “The Lord of Great Strength” (The Nine of Wands) – Don’t let outside influences destroy your true self – trust in who you are. Take arms against those who would try to change your nature. This year, be honest with yourself, and draw strength from your own name, the throne upon which you sit.
The Birthday of Nebt-het
Today we sail all day and night, making our way to Scotland. The boat is quiet, the ocean is quiet, the world seems to balance on the head of a pin. The Goddess is the white foam of the waves, the white clouds in the sky, the white sand on distant shores. Hers is the gentle way, hands soft like feathers, like sunlight, and the feeling of a well-rested night’s sleep. I close my eyes to the sound of Her voice, which is barely audible, much like the interior of a conch-shell, which sounds like a gateway to another world, another place in time. She guides us towards the future, all cloaked in white. “Where are we going?” I ask. She does not answer, not with words. Her answer is in the rocking, the movement of metal against water, man versus sea.
Nebt-het’s message: “The Lord of Strife” (The Five of Wands) – Conflict is sometimes unavoidable, but that does not mean that it is always unmanageable. With fortitude and understanding, one can overcome any setback. This year, be patient – take things one step at a time, each day a new page in the book of time.
On Wep Ronpet morning, I woke at sunrise, and watched the sun come up over the vast, open sea. I said the Wep Ronpet prayer suggested in the KO monthly calendar four times, as one is supposed to (if using that prayer).
Then, after I went back inside, in the light of the continuing sunrise, I execrated. I could not do anything too complicated, due to the cruise boat situation (no fire, little privacy, etc.), so I simply drew the
Apep snake on a piece of paper, and then, stating each of my own anxieties/worries/faults and how I wanted to work on each of them this coming year, I tore up the piece of paper and stomped on it, then threw it out. After that, I did another card reading from the Saqqara deck, similar to those described above. Only this time, I did not know which God I would be addressing – I simply asked for Someone to speak with me, and send me a New Year’s message, in return for a small offering and celebratory thanks (I had to work with what I had).
The God that spoke to me was Heru-sa-Aset.
Heru-sa-Aset’s message: “The Lord of Earned Success” (The Six of Swords) – Do not let past wrongs or mistakes influence future endeavors. What’s done is done. Success will come with hard work, but it will also come when you are finally ready to accept that you can never go back. This year, be forgiving of the self – move forward with flexibility, with optimism, with perception, with honesty, with patience, and with the strength of kings.
The funny thing is, I checked on the KO forums later, once I got back from my trip and had Internet again, and it turns out that Heru-sa-Aset is the “God of the Year”, the God revealed in this year’s Aset Oracle (this is something unique to Kemetic Orthodoxy, I should note). It really amazed me how well that oracle matched up with my own card reading/message on the new year. And I had no idea the whole time! It seems Heru-sa-Aset was able to reach me, all the way out in the middle of the ocean, just as He was able to reach my fellow KO members either during the live revealing of the oracle at the Tawy retreat or through the Internet, as others read about it online. It’s just funny to me how these things go sometimes – the Gods really do work in curious ways!
And so concludes my Wep Ronpet, my new year. I truly do feel that I traveled through “the time outside of time” during the Epagomenal Days this year, especially with how disconnected from the world I felt without Internet (as silly or shallow as that might sound!). I have a lot to meditate on, and to consider, as I move forward. I will take into consideration each message I received as I continue to grow. I know that this year I really want to make an effort to improve my anxieties, take my spirituality even more seriously, continue to do more for the overall Pagan community around me (if I can), get to know the Kemetic Orthodoxy better, as well as get to know my Gods better. I don’t know exactly what is to come, but I think I am ready to face it. I know that I have work to do.
I hope all my fellow Kemetics had a wonderful new year! Dua Netjer!