Ekunyi's Embers

Posts Tagged ‘Wesir’

PBP 2013 – B is for “(Spiritual) Bling”

So I’ve sort of given up on titling these posts PBP Fridays, as I’ve not been terribly good at writing them on the correct day. That said, I do intend to keep going with the allotted schedule, even if it may take a bit of catch up work on my part and patience on yours.

I asked for inspiration regarding my second “B” post, as I was struggling with what I should write. I received one response, with tremendous enthusiasm, that I should write about spiritual and ritual “bling.” This initially made me chuckle; as you may have gathered from previous posts, I’m not really the sort of individual inclined to wear over-the-top jewelry, and I don’t know that I’ve ever actually said the word “bling” aloud.

Next it made me cringe. I’m presently dealing with several health issues, one of which has left me ritually impure and prevented me from completing the Kemetic Orthodox state ritual of senut for months now. My skin is on the war path, my body is holding water like a dam, I can’t take excedrin (which has aspirin) to ward off regular migraines before my biopsy next week, and my issues with SAD are coming back full swing as January creeps softly into the cloud-covered, greyscale days of February.

So I said to myself, no way in hell am I up for writing about the beautiful things I adorn myself with to celebrate my spirituality, and set that idea on the back burner, figuring I’d apologize to my friend for not taking her up on her kind suggestion.

But then this past Wednesday evening  I sat in shrine, making offerings and praying outside of a formal ritual context. Of late it has been too difficult for me to focus to successfully hear my Parents or Beloveds, but it was nevertheless a comfort just to speak aloud my frustrations in the present, my fears for the days ahead, and to find the joys in what good had happened, despite the challenges. I talked to Netjer for a solid thirty minutes, then realized that I really must be quite distressed to be venting at such length to my gods. I also forced myself to acknowledge that I had struggled more than I cared to admit just to make it through the previous day without completely losing it in my workplace. I had the sudden urge for a physical reminder to stay strong, for myself and for my loved ones, and so instinctively opened the cabinet beneath my shrine to seek out my necklace with Set’s image.

As I closed the clasps that held the chain around my neck, it was something of a clue by four. The items I associate with my faith are far more to me than how I’m feeling about my physical appearance at any given time. They’re powerful reminders of the connection I have with Netjer, the lessons I’ve learned from gods and spiritual guides. They are precisely what I need when I’m feeling at my worst, and something to enjoy aesthetically when I’m at my best.

Anecdote shared, I figured I’d share a few photos with you.

The first includes my Set-animal necklace, which I wear fairly often. I connect strongly with Set depicted as sha, as when He first began appearing to me in dreams, before I knew anything of Kemetic gods (and, to be frank, when it felt like my world was crashing around my ears and I assumed the “odd dog” I was visualizing was proof I’d completely gone off my rocker), He appeared to me as a greyhound with strangely squared ears.  This was custom made for me by Kristan of SilverWishes, and I am forever grateful to her for her creativity and craftsmanship.

This photo also shows my Heru-wer necklace, which was made for me by Emky (Ty Barbary) of Mythic Curios. This is more of a ritual wear piece, and presently it resides on my shrine as something of a rosary. I can hold different portions of it, consider the blade/claw, the balance between dark and light, the two brothers, the sun which is Heru-wer in Ra.

Finally, of note, I took this photo while wearing my ritual whites. This garment is made of cotton, and contains no man-made materials for purposes of ritual purity. I generally wear it only for senut, which further helps establish the shift from a secular to spiritual state when I enter shrine for the official ritual. I’ve missed wearing it.

Daily and ritual wear, worn over my cotton, ritual white shirt.

The next photo is of necklaces representing other Names in my line-up, plus Wesir, with whom I have a tentative, but growing relationship. The ones for Bast and Hethert-Nut were again made by Emky. Bast’s is also for ritual use, I have worn it when dancing, and the weight of it keeps its own rhythm against my chest as I move. It also depicts Her as I see Her, which is understandably a bit unique from most.

Hethert-Nut’s was made to be worn out and about. It is small, elegant, but full of sparkle. I tend to wear it on days when I’m feeling vibrant enough to “pull it off,” but it can also bring a little brightness back on days when I’m not as confident about myself. I also love the natural pearls amongst the perfect spheres, a reminder that though beautiful and serene, Hethert most assuredly has horns: and so do I.

Wesir’s necklace has personal meaning that I would rather keep to myself at this time, but I am equally grateful to have it. Many thanks to Brenda of Howling Caterpillars.

From top to bottom, necklaces for Bast, Hethert-Nut, and Wesir.

 

The final photo includes earrings that are actually not Kemetic, but dedicated to Great Horned Owl, my spiritual guide in animist practice. They are from a company that does very detailed jobs painting specific owl and hawk feathers onto bone. I try to remember to wear them to honor her after we have worked together within a meditative journey, but also on days when I hope to embody some aspect of her teachings.

Last but not least, the ring which I wear every day, without fail. This ring symbolizes my Kemetic Parents. The larger, darker red stone at the base is Set, solid and strong, and Bast, the smaller, brighter, fiery stone and Eye of Ra to His right.  I am represented by the small, but dark, red stone at the top of the spiraling gold, a combination of Their traits, and yet something unique entirely, lifted up by Their mutual presence, transformed for the better. It came from the lovely work of Veronika at Vera Nasfa.

Great Horned Owl earring and dailywear ring for Set and Bast.

I hope you enjoyed this.

Epagomenal Days – Days of Wesir and Heru-wer

On the final day of the Kemetic year, I sat in shrine and spoke freely to Netjer, as I could not perform senut courtesy of biological timing.

(While I was initially somewhat disappointed about not being able to perform the ritual during this holy time, it made me consider the significance of doing what comes “naturally” during a natural process. A post for another time, perhaps.)

I offered an open mind, and promised my best efforts at sensing the Unseen over the course of the days upon the year. I requested that if there was some way the Names associated with these days would have me celebrate, that they make it known to me. I expressed my gratitude in advance for any new connections formed or bonds strengthened during this time, and feeling energized by the the potential of the days ahead, I concluded my time in shrine before reverting the water offered.

I woke up Sunday morning and knew that I needed to write about the past year, the year that, with the dawn of that day, had passed on. Foolishly I did not think to trace this fierce and sudden urge to the previous evening’s oath, and went about my errands for the day, leaving this gentle mental shove unfulfilled. Come evening, when I sat in shrine again, I lit a candle for Wesir and spoke a brief prayer in his name. Then I had another gentle “urge” of sorts, and I  found myself moved to ask him to look after the loved ones of my loved ones who had recently passed away.

It was very easy to keep talking (I generally struggle to speak aloud in shrine, even privately) and I found myself sharing how I didn’t really understand death. I have lost people I cared about, but all of these individuals were either friends of friends or not someone I saw enough to really feel the loss at my core, it feels more like they are simply gone on a long journey, except for those rare days when I really allow myself to think about the reality of it and then I can feel more of a genuine ache. I followed this by asking how I could better understand those who had lost so that I could help them. The vague presence I had found it so easy to confide in suddenly seemed more tangible, yet remained soft-spoken, gentle, not at all what I expected.

“You will only understand when you have lost yourself, and I hope that day does not come for you for some time yet, though it will, eventually, come. As for help, go to sleep so that you might dream and I will try to share some of my wisdom with you.”

I apologized then, for asking so much of Him when I knew so little about Him, and I sense amusement, although I did not hear laughter.

“We will know each other. I am more of the balance you seek. I do like you, and will know you if you make the time for it.”

I apologized for not being able to write about my year, guessing by this point that He was behind that particular urge. Unshakable as ever, He noted that I he was pleased enough that we had spoken of it, and He trusted that I would get to it the subsequent day.

Then I held henu for awhile because that voice was just all-encompassing. I saw nothing, never felt more than that extremely subtle shift in my surroundings (almost like the feeling you get when someone is standing just behind you while you continue looking forward) but I was genuinely absorbed in the voice. Like there was so much meaning, power, energy behind each word that it was almost too much to listen to.

I feel a bit frustrated today, because I have that irritating sense that I dreamed, but I can’t seem to remember any of it. Probably because I woke and jumped out of bed immediately in the mindset of readying myself for the exam I took this morning. This might be a lesson in and of itself.

But on to the day of Heru-wer. I was very happy to acknowledge how much my relationship with my first Beloved has grown since my divination. The silence that met me when I reached out to Him initially has been replaced by formal, but ready, conversation. Our relationship remains one of strict guru and fallible student, but I can see the good in his deadlines and boundaries, where a few months ago I simply strained against what I viewed as unnecessary rigor.

After my exam, I found a quiet, sunny place on campus and simply stood, feeling the heat of the sun on my face, examining the light of its rays on the scenery around me, and offering my gratitude for that daily blessing. I offered a small, standing henu to the sky, and when I lowered my gaze I discovered the following had been sitting beside me in the grass the entire time.

While I am certainly not an avian expert, a quick look at the online feather atlas leads me to believe that I might have found a rough legged hawk feather. (I welcome other identifications! My source is here. I’m going off of the two all the way to the right.)

Whatever variety of bird it happens to be from, I can’t help but cherish this small moment of synchronicity.

I look forward to seeing what discoveries and challenges the next few days bring.