Ekunyi's Embers

Posts Tagged ‘Nut’

A Short, but Beautiful, Lesson

HeqatNut

Image of Hanny’s Voorwerp, the “Dancing Frog in the Sky,” from Dailymail.uk.

 

I sat in shrine and allowed the incense — a rich blend of tea leaves, sandalwood, clove, vanilla, and spices –to fill each breath. Having offered my daily prayer for the friend who continues her journey West, and sung my standard musical offering for each of my five, primary Names, the rest of ritual was open to whatever Netjer wished to make of it. Heqat and Hethert-Nut approached me as one, each taking a hand and pulling me over into a meditative state, swiftly but gently.

I floated amidst the stars, movement most easily accomplished if I treated the vast darkness as the great ocean and swam. As I righted myself, I became aware that I was some distance above the earth with my Beloved goddesses, their presences intersecting through the starry body of Nut that surrounded me. Hethert-Nut or Heqat-Nut, someOne in between, in that instant I could not tell them fully apart even though their voices remained distinct, comforting and encouraging as I adjusted my orientation to viewing the otherwise Unseen.

Why are we here, was my unasked question, known before I put it to speech.

“Look at the world, grandchild,” came Heqat’s quiet yet profoundly ancient voice.

I did, finding that in simply focusing on it, I could see, with no small amount of alarm, all the hurt and suffering, the wars and pains of the many people below. My mind “zoomed in” to a starving child, an explosion in the Middle East, a dying ebola patient. I had to retreat again to the stars after several more visions in this vein, and was immediately washed in a blanket of peace.

“You cannot stay here with us, not yet,” this was Hethert-Nut, Her presence a forceful wrap of comfort around my body.

Heqat murmured Her agreement, “No, some day, when your life has been lived. But child, you have only the one.”

Hethert-Nut’s agreement came with another emphasis of Her love of and pride in me, “Yes, and you can use it to balance these things you have seen.”

How? I wondered, still gripping to the security of these ladies of the night sky, holding to their unabating love and reassurance like the child in the darkness that I was.

“By living there, living there fully,” Hethert-Nut murmured, turning me back towards the earth which I saw now solely in the beauty of its turning surface, the incredible, mind-boggling majesty of its sheer existence.

Heqat became more tangibly Herself, “The earth is much like your body, my dear.”

I turned in Her direction, giving the glowing outline of woman and frog my attention now that there was a particular place to look.

“It has had its hurts, its hardships. Many challenges it has survived, despite the abuses its known. It is marvelously imperfect, and yet it is yours. Yours to live in, yours to inhabit, yours to claim and care for and love.”

I thought to a conversation I had with my partner earlier in the day, initially just sharing my frustrations with slight physical imperfections, but which later progressed to a traumatic experience that I had not spoken of in several years, nor ever fully dealt with. This had led to my hysterically crying as I drove us West across route 76, my subsequent embarrassment and horror, and finally my retreat into the power of my mind and my work, shifting my focus to to-do lists, planning, and mental games for the rest of our drive together.

Hethert-Nut held me closer as I put two and two together, “You cannot separate yourself from your body forever, child. It is a part of you, as much as the work, the challenges you set for yourself. You have to feel, you have to inhabit what was given to you, even if at times it is broken or hurting.”

“Live on your earth, little one. Live in your body. You have but one body, one life. Claim it, speak well of it, make what you can of it and you will do great things,” Heqat murmured, Her voice a thrum of words melding with the choir of frog song that She knows to be one of my greatest auditory comforts.

At their indication that it was time to go, I pulled myself back down into my body where I sat, kneeling, on the floor. I took a moment to inhabit that body, made myself aware of the sensation of my thighs pressing against my calves, where my hair fell on my neck, the nail that had torn the day prior, the dryness in my mouth. After settling into this state of mindfulness, this return to my physical body which I had been charged to inhabit more fully, I was greeted by another Name.

Aset-Hatmehyt, her crown shifting back and forth between the throne and the fish, approached on my left. She reminded me that part of my ongoing task was not only to inhabit my body, but to love it, and to treat it well. Fluidly joining me on the floor, she knelt and placed what appeared to be a small akhu star within my throat.

“A reminder,” She said, “that when you speak of yourself, you should speak kindly, with words that those who love you would approve of and agree.”

She then dissipated, leaving me alone with my many thoughts, and a profound sense of gratitude to all three Names who had shared this short, beautiful lesson with me.

A Dual Celebration

As the child of a fairly devout Methodist father and a “cultural-holidays-celebrating” mother, December 25th is, and forever will be, Christmas day for our family.  Granted, this was the first Christmas in many years where I actually had a solid spiritual alternative that I wanted to personally celebrate. Last year I was still something of a neophyte to Kemeticism; I barely knew anything about the Return of the Eye or the Establishment of the Celestial Cow, and only managed to step outside and offer a brief song underneath the night sky after catching a post by my sibling Emky which explains the two holidays.

This year it was fascinating to me to see how things have shifted in my worldview since the previous “Moomas.” I’ve been looking forward to the day for the better part of a month and felt relatively familiar with the significance of the occasion after reading through several sources written by both professional Egyptologists and knowledgable acquaintances.

As Hethert-Nut (in Her form as Mehet-Weret) has used all her strength to carry Ra into the sky, establishing Herself in the heavens, so did She establish herself this year as my divined Beloved. I cherish how that relationship has grown since She made Herself known to me, how much She has contributed to my life, my art, my passions.

Far more prepared for the day than last year, I was able to structure my family Christmas celebrations in such a way as to simultaneously celebrate in a Kemetic fashion. For the Christmas Eve service, I garnered support to go to the “Carols and Lessons” service, noting that I really wanted to celebrate with song. Belting out the verses to over 12 Christmas hymns in the span of an hour and a half, irregardless of the spiritual bent of the text, was a glorious way to connect with my Beloved, for whom I often sing in shrine. The sermon, which focused on drawing a connection between the lack of room at the inn where Mary and Joseph attempted to find shelter on the night of Jesus’ birth and the lack of room in our lives and hearts for spiritual matters, provided points of contemplation for my own beliefs — what are my priorities with my belief in and dedication to Netjer? How do I balance the time spent on spiritual efforts, be they in shrine or in research, with more secular concerns?

Christmas Day, I set out a bit of chai and pumpkin bread from breakfast as an offering. I left it in a tidy corner of the kitchen, offering brief thanks to Hethert-Nut for her steadfastness in holding Ra aloft, Her dedication to Her task, Her fearlessness in traveling into the unknown of the sky in order to complete a necessary task. I asked for Her support as I hold strong to the finish line of my masters thesis, and for guidance as I soar into my own “unknown” new world — considering a potential new path for my career for the first time in my life.

The day was spent with family and friends, gifts were exchanged, and prayers were said. I listened to the words offered to God, prayers of hope for the health of those in need, prayers of gratitude for food and love. I would have said very much the same thing had I been kneeling in shrine, and the connection touched me in a way I don’t really have appropriate words to describe.

Later in the evening, after taking care of a few odd jobs here and there in preparation for travel tomorrow morning, I was able to set up a makeshift shrine in my childhood bedroom. I used the beautiful statue of Hethert that my partner purchased for me on the 21st — it meant the world to me to receive such a gift on the day of the Return of the Eye — a small bit of incense, and a bright red candle in honor of Ra, who she carried. I turned off the lamp, and turned on the star lights I received from Emky quite some time ago. My room seemed beautiful in that moment, lit by candlelight and stars, and the fact that my “shrine” was nothing more than some cleared away space on a cluttered bookshelf didn’t seem to matter.

Dua Hethert-Nut! Dua Lady of the Stars!

Thank you for the blessing of two marvelous days in which two faiths could be celebrated simultaneously with love, respect, and understanding.