21 Day Kemetic Challenge – Day #11

Talk about your shrine. Is it digital or physical or both? What kinds of things are on it? Do you make any of it yourself?

I have digital shrines for all the deities I worship on Pinterest. I add relevant pictures to all of them from time to time, same as I do with the playlist.

I also have a physical shrine or altar in the study I share with my partner. On it there are devotional items for each of the deities I worship, plus my Cosmos Tarot deck and some witchcraft supplies, which I store there for charging and safekeeping. Among the highlights: a shiny donkey plushie, a Spanish Republican flag and a fantastic drawing from Tumblr’s Zoophagus for Seth; a crow feather, a shiny aura quartz and an olive from the foot of Athena’s sacred tree in Athens for Nebt-Het; a murex shell, sea-glass and a watercolour painting for Asherah; a watercolour painting and a postcard for Ra; purple flowers for Anat and stones from several trips for Ash. I even have a homemade “stela” for my akhu, i.e. my grandmother who passed away in 2013.

I made the watercolour paintings and the “stela” myself. The rest I bought or picked up around.

21 Day Kemetic Challenge  – Day #10

The one in which I talk about the Balance of the Force

Are there any deities you work with or talk to that you’re not devoted to or worship?

I have six deities that I formally worship, and that’s quite hard to balance already, so I tend not to stray. 

There is only one deity with whom I interact without formally worshipping, though: Heru-Sa-Aset.

My practice is very influenced by some pop culture interpretations of Balance as seen in the works of Michael Moorcock, in Star Wars, and in the Legacy of Kain videogame series. As such, I tend to see many things in a Chaos vs Order or Dark Side vs Light Side way (it’s roughly equivalent IMHO).  

I feel drawn to the Herus in general because they are the counterpoint to Seth and the two can’t be conceived one without the other(s). Seth is a Chaos deity par excellence, while Heru-Sa-Aset is a champion of Order and the Law, and only through their reconciliation in the person of the King, Ma’at could be achieved in the world.

Now, I am staunchly anti-monarchic, but I think that the balancing act between Chaos and Order, Change and Stability, etc… is still valid and relevant for modern times and for society as a whole. And by balancing act I don’t meant sitting on the fence and doing nothing when bad shit happens, or trying to detach onself from all sorts of political action. I mean knowing when to fight against something or someone and when to sit around a table and negotiate and construct shared frameworks of action.

Heru-Sa-Aset might not be a King any longer, but he certainly knows how to govern in a balanced fashion, creating just laws that protect the oppressed and disarm the oppressors. He has been through a lot and has learned how to overcome obstacles and challenges without resorting to violence. He fights the same fight as Seth, only through different tactics and angles, rebuilding better structures after his counterpart has done away with the old, flawed ones. 

I feel that he has much to teach me, and maybe in the future I will reach out to him more formally and ask him to become my seventh. 

For now I just offer to him occasionally, in the spirit of Balancing the Force.

21 Day Kemetic Challenge – Day #9

Let’s rock it!

Do you devote music or playlists to your deities? What kind of music do you play for them?

Since I can barely ring a doorbell in a musical way, all the music I devote to my deities has been composed, played and sung by someone else. I have other talents.

I have an ongoing Spotify playlist for each of the deities I actively worship and also for the other Epagomenal deities (Heru, Aset and Wesir).

Seth gets metal, metalcore, punk and pop- punk, anything angry and loud and brash, essentially. Breaking Benjamin is one of the main groups that end up there, and then Hammerfall, Airbourne, Dragonforce, etc… Top tracks include “Todo Cambia” by Mercedes Sosa, “Time to be King” by Masterplan and a metal version of Vivaldi’s “The Storm”.

 Anat’s playlist more or less the same, but with female vocalists. One of the sogns I have been associating with zir most recently is “Take Back the Power” by The Interrupters.

Nebt-Het gets her fair share of female-fronted metal and rock, but also some folk, folk-rock, pop and chillstep music. “Try Everything” by Shakira is one of the songs I associate most with her.

Aherah’s playlist is made mostly of folk songs and sea shanties in English and French, full of longing for the sea. Among my favourite Asherah songs at the moment are “Up and Away” by the Poxy Boggards and “How Far I’ll Go” from the OST of Moana.

Ra’s playlists contains a lot of instrumental music, ranging from djent and instrumental prog tracks to classic/Spanish guitar, to modern violin compositions by Taylor Davis and Lindsay Stirling. The tone tends to be uplifting and hopeful. Top tracks: “The Light” by Disturbed and “Mediterranean Sundance” by Paco de Lucia, Al di Meola and McLaughlin.

Ash’s playlist is the most international one, with Hanngai from Mongolia, Russkaja from Russia I suppose (or maybe not), Lou Dalfin from Occitania, Tinariwen from Mali, Gogol Bordello from all over the place and Modena City Ramblers from Italy, plus generous helpings of Peter Hollens. Most songs are about travelling and discovering new things, AKA Wanderlust fodder. Among my favourite are “Èlan” by Nightwish and “Homeward Bound” by Peter Hollens.

21 Day Kemetic Challenge – Day #8

At least this one is easy…

Are there any activities thay you devote to your deities?

I usually invite Seth or Anat to share the joy of playing football or running with me, especially if the weather is horrible (because it is a lot more fun when it is). Rounders, a silly version of baseball/softball which is very popular in the UK, gets shared too, sometimes, and so does rock climbing. I tend to invoke Seth to give me strength a lot when I do top rope, as I am scared shitless of heights.

Nebt-Het gets Western Blots and general lab-work, especially user support, in her role as Friend and Helpmate of Isis, while Ash gets our hiking trips and nature walks.

Asherah, Queen Mother of the Sea, gets devotional swimming and surfing, as well as seashell collecting.

Ra gets my environmental activism and a few of my more tranquil pastimes, such as sitting in a cafè under the sun, sipping a coffee and talking to some friends.

21 Day Kemetic Challenge – Day #7

What kind of things do you offer to your deities? What do they like? Do you give universal offerings or something for each one separately?

I usually give offerings in a fairly informal, stealthy way at my workplace. I give black coffee to Nebt-Het and Seth, rooiboos tea to Anat, citrus juices to Ra and occasionally Heru-Sa-Aset, and fresh water mainly to Nebt-Het and Ash. Any energy drinks I can get my hands on go to Seth. I also offer ultrapure water to Nebt-Het as lady of the laboratory when I am doing Western Blots.

At home, I try to be more formal, with my partner’s help. I usually give each deity their individual offer, based on their tastes. Fir example, Seth gets rum and coke, chicken liver with marsala, jerky and other spicy stuff, Nebt-Het gets nutella, coffee with milk and chocolate and cheese puffs, Anat gets saffron risotto and curry, etc… They also have their own type of tea that I use as an offering (Seth gets chai masala, usually).

For Wep Ronpet I go the whole way and often cook an entire meal especially for the deity of the day or go out of my way to find some appropriate food offering which I wouldn’t normally buy.

I also offer non-food items, mostly stuff I found during my walks such as shells, interesting stones, weird objects, feathers and flowers. Each deity has their own playlist on Spotify, to which I judiciously add songs when I find them appropriate. Offering activities is also a thing for me. Each deity has their own.

Only occasionally, when I don’t have time and the need is pressing I do a communal offering to everybody. But I have to be honest, I don’t usually offer something to every deity every day. Some days the most I can manage is do something active to uphold Ma’at in the world.

21 Day Kemetic Challenge Day #6

It’s complicated…

Talk about your relationship with your gods. How do you build these relationships? What are they like to you?

This is quite complicated, so complicated in fact that I had to take quite a long pause to formulate the reply.

In the most general sense, my deities are my inspirations, my role models, they incarnate qualities that I admire and wish to emulate or principles that resonate with me. They are sources of neverending awe and amazement. 

Seth and Anat are my Lieges and principal role models. They inspire me to fight and to make Ma’at through political action, activism and, more recently, heka. They are fighters, relentless, ruthless if need be, unstoppable and terrifying. They have taught me to never give up on the things that matter to me and lent me the strength to overcome the bad moments. If you allow me to borrow from Star Wars, they are my Dark Side mentors, pushing me to grow and strengthen myself, sending me on missions and training me through trials so that I will be able to do more on their behalf.

In addituon to that, meeting Anat was a revelation because of zir non-binariety, which resonated deeply within me. Zie gave me the validation I required to stop worrying that I was doing something wrong and just get on with my own non-binary life.

Ash is a bit less intensely present, but is nonetheless important in my spiritual landscape. He is in the road that beckons, in the itch to travel and explore, a benevolent, laid-back mentor figure, a bit like a cool uncle that has travelled the world and does his utmost to pass the travelling bug to you.

Nebt-Het is quiet and comforting and has taught me to look after the people I love and myself, but at the same time she is also daring and carefree, ready to enjoy life to the utmost and find beauty and joy in every day. I am still learning her ways, but I feel more and more kinship with her as I go along. She is a much needed calming presence in my life.

Ra is a benevolent, grandparently figure to me. He didn’t properly reach out for me, I decided to worship him because of Seth, mainly, so my admiration and love for him are strongly coloured by Seth’s loyalty and devotion to him. He’s not as loud as the others, a bit more remote and discreet, but ever-present and comforting with his warmth and patience. He is nurturing, like a patient gardener, but the burning strength is just beneath the surface, waiting to rise with awesome power.

Asherah invited herself in my life, letting me know in no uncertain terms that she wanted a place in my practice. I had always had affinities for sea-worship, also thanks to my mom, who apparently was divined as a daughter of Yemanjà, the Afro-Brasilian deity of the sea, in her youth, so I accepted her almost immediately, especially after she saved my partner and I from a washing-machine related flood. She feels quite businesslike and invested of authority, like a diplomat or the head of a Venetian merchant family. I still have no idea what she seeks from me, but I often do political heka in her honour.

To build a relationship, I mostly read up on my deities, trying to understand them as much as I can. In order to do so, I inevitably end up writing stuff about them. I also try to comnect them with various aspects of my life (pop culture, favourite activities and so on) and occasionally try some divination. 

21 Day Kemetic Challenge – Day #5

It’s like calling a rig in the middle of the North Sea during a storm

How do you communicate with your gods? Can you hear their voices in your head as thoughts, do you get feelings or emotions, or anything else?

First I have to confess that I don’t have the most active godphone, at least for internet standards. You read about people communicating a lot with their deities, like a daily stream of information and love. I am not one of them.

My godphone works like a satellite phone on a Northern Sea rig during storm season, that is in short bursts and with a lot of static. 

I get feelings and images mostly. A shudder when I am listening to some relevant music, a fragment of a word before I fall asleep, a sudden clenching of my throat, eyes stinging as if I’m going to cry, a flash of inspiration when I am so high on caffeine I am shaking. These are the godfeels I am most used to receive or recognise.

I also use tarot to communicate with them every now and again. The readings are usually quite accurate, if cryptic. 

Sometimes my deities try to reach out for me in dreams. Last year Seth very clearly stated that he wanted gazpacho (a southern Spanish cold soup) and a temple made of orange Lego bricks for his birthday (neither worked out as expected, though), and Asherah manifested herself to me for the first time in a dream as an image of light through water (much like the one here below) and a whisper of Her name.

Seeing the Light
Seeing The Light by Maia C on Flickr

It doesn’t happen often though. It’s fine by me: my deities are busy, I am busy, we talk sometimes. It’s still more that I ever had before when a non-quite-Catholic.