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Kemetic Bright Moon 11/29

This Bright Moon, I had everything in place and enough time to do the full ritual on the day before the night of the fullest moon, and it was a good feeling to be able to do it without rushing, with plenty of time to really lean in to the connection and gain not only an omen to be shared, but also some information for myself. But first, the omen from Bast and Sekhmet:

Our power wanes with the sun, in this far northern place. Our attention will be elsewhere for a time: in the south where the sun is at its peak; in the tropics where the sun is more constant; at the side of those whose blood still boils. If you feel like you must rest, rest. Do not be ashamed to seek enjoyment where you can find it. This dark and cold season demands a slower pace, and time to curl up with warmth and stillness. We will return on the next Bright Moon – feast us then.

The last part became a conversation about holiday timing, as from my calendar the Wandering Eye / She Is Led Back holiday happens in late December and early January, but Sopdet (the star Sirius) rises at a slightly different time here, and though they tell me there is a stellar timing for the Wandering Eye festival as well, it also coincided with the Winter Solstice, and for me here in this “northern place” (I’m near Washington, DC, USA, which isn’t very far north, but we do get snow) and my general full moon timing, they think it would be best for me to celebrate the two parts of the festival as beginning the day after the full moon before the solstice, and the day of the full moon after the solstice. I queried about years when the full moons are closer to the solstice and they laughed, telling me not to worry about other years. Fair enough, considering my oath is only ever for the next year. But for this year, that means that I’ll put my statues away after the sun goes down tonight, for the Wandering, and I’ll greet them back again in the morning (dawn, if I can manage it) on December 30th, and then give them offerings every day through January 5th, to feast their Return. Check out the tumblr in the next few days for pictures of the festival at my shrine!


The next full moon is December 30th. If you have any questions, or if you would like to request a personal message or heka for then, please email the shrine here. And if you are interested in supporting the shrine, I have a tip jar set up here. Thanks!

Celtic Polytheism

Crow Folks: Keep Circling

I’m a few days overdue, but here is the belated poem, fruit of my most recent Dark Moon trip to see Na Morrigna:

A cart rushing,
Without knowing its direction;
It jolts, tipping.
Wolves run through the forest,
Paws touching earth gently,
Clear direction and purpose.
Purpose before going;
Direction before rushing:
Balance in movement.
Harmonious actions,
Togetherness in purpose,
Groups* moving towards balance.
Moving towards peace,
Peace without conflict,
Peace below skies.**
Through skies, clouds move slowly,
Turning though seasons,
Gradual changes.
Wind keeps blowing;
Rain keeps falling;
Ravens still circle.

The imagery here is that of regrouping, of making plans and being certain of goals before rushing headlong back into battle. The larger goal will take a longer journey; this is a marathon, not a 50 meter dash, and we’ll be meeting these challenges with lots of different groups of people. Teamwork is going to be important, and a certain amount of compromise, at least among those who are working in good faith towards common goals.

Notes:
*I think the Irish word here is buiden, which is a band of people, or like a military troop of people, but the context isn’t specifically military here and They didn’t mean just Their own people or I would have used “squadron” again. It means like, groups of activists from different organizations and callings, working together towards common goals, and taking on each other’s fights so we’re all in step together.
** This is, of course, an intentional reference to the Peace Prophecy, translated at the link here by Morgan Daimler.

Celtic Polytheism, Paganism

Crow Folks: I behold them bathed in red

This dark moon, as I do every dark moon, I journeyed to Na Morrigna to ask them for an omen for myself and other devotees. While I normally expect that the message from them will be most valuable to those closest to me in geography and practice, this time I specifically mentioned the upcoming US elections, and so this message is mainly for those residing in the US. I was shown imagery in the cauldron, given wisdom, and distilled those into this inspired poem.

Uncertainty hangs in the air
Like smoke over a grease fire
Like a shroud over a corpse

Dark greasy smoke
Of discontent
Of malevolence

Water spreads a grease fire
Fire engulfing buildings and streets
Streets that glitter with glass in the night

Crows are gathered to face the onslaught
Each poised for easy flight
Ready to do their work

One darts out
Another takes their place
The first returns to roost

Be cautious as you defend
Beware deceit and trickery
A dishonorable opponent follows no rules of engagement

Tell me of the streets of this country, Fedelm;
Tell me what outcome you see.

Red with blood and fire I see them;
I behold them bathed in red.


Be careful out there, my fellow Crows. Things will get worse before they get better. This is a time of struggle; may we find ways to make the necessary changes.

Bright Moon, Kemetic

Bright Moon 10/1

This bright moon, like I have done for several years now, I went to seek an omen from Bast and Sekhmet. They showed me frightful images, but they also counseled hope. The message I received is repeated below.

Servants of isfet are preparing to attack the righteous, and the upholders of ma’at must continue to bear the torch for others to see. You will be the light of righteousness, reflected upon each other. We stand behind you, sharing in your outrage, sharpening our claws on those who would oppose you.

Work to vanquish A/p/e/p and his allies during this season of the waning of the sun. As the strength of the sun wanes, find warmth in each other, huddled around your shared fires, each a beacon of hope for another.

When the sun begins to wax again, there will be a time to fight more boldly, to stand unwaveringly though you are gripped with terror and trepidation. Your society is chaotic and in flux. Spend this moon cycle preparing for uncertainty.

Note: Although the imagery that came along with the words “shared fires” was that of literal campfires, I think that was meant to be a reference to social group Zoom calls, everyone staring at their own little electronic fire.

In other news, I am loving my new ritual set up, but I still don’t have good pictures. White shift, linen veil, a few pieces of ritual jewelry. Matching red offering dishes and oil lamp. Music, scent. The taste of reverted offerings. At some point when I have the time to set it up beforehand I may try to record one of these – or at least do a dummy recording of myself in ritual garb reciting my main prayer.

The next full moon is October 31st. If you have any questions, or if you would like to request a personal message or heka for then, please email the shrine here. And if you are interested in supporting the shrine, I have a tip jar set up here. Thanks!

Celtic Polytheism, Paganism

Crow Folks: The Battle Still Rages

I did not really have the headspace to do the entire journey and ritual yesterday, and, feeling no intense pressure from Na Morrigna, I figured I had been granted an extension.

And then, the news came in. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, had died. On this, the first night of Rosh Hashanah. Not a very “sweet” way to begin a new year, though there is a saying that tzaddikim, greatly righteous people, die on Rosh Hashanah, because they are given the full measure of a year. That is certainly true in this case. May her memory be a blessing.

With that roiling in my head, I went to see Na Morrigna, to ask of them what they would have me tell their folk, for this moon cycle. And I came back with the following:

A Warrior dies
Disheartening news
The battle still rages

Raging on and on
The battling continues
We move forward slowly

Slow change frustrates
Forge your frustration into Will
Overcome your insecurities

Security is an illusion
You have more to lose
Than you might think

Rosc-like, but more raw this time, less poetic. Still, good advice for us, I think. Grieve, Crows – but do not give up the battle.

Additional note: a knowledgeable friend says that we ought to give RBG 7 days to complete her transition before attempting to honor her as one of the Mighty Dead. Seven days for her family to sit shiva after the burial, to observe the Jewish rites of mourning.

Bright Moon, Kemetic

Bright Moon Omen 9/3

August was a really rough month for me, so I’m planning on recapping Wep Ronpet for ya’ll, but I’m posting the Bright Moon Omen for this month, first, so that this one isn’t late, too. So, here’s this month’s message from Bast and Sekhmet:

Stand your ground. Do not cede any territory you have won. Keep pushing for even greater reforms, and do not let your passion for this fight die. Where plague still menaces, avoid any unnecessary gatherings. We continue that fight, as well. When its shadow has passed, there will be a time for great celebration. But we still await a tipping point for both battles, before our victory is assured.

The next full moon is October 1st. If you have any questions, or if you would like to request a personal message or heka for October, please email the shrine here. And if you are interested in supporting the shrine, I have a tip jar set up here. Thanks!

Holiday Celebration, Kemetic, Paganism, Prayer

Wep Ronpet 2020 Recap

I am backdating this so that it’s easier to find, since I’m writing this about a month late, sorry. Those who followed along on tumblr already saw all this, but I had meant to share it here, too.

August 4: First Epagomenal Day, Birth of Wesir (Osiris)

DUA WESIR!
First born of Nut and Geb, we celebrate your birth today.  
We give you offerings of bread, beer, cool water, sweet scented oils, and praise!
Eldest-Born, we salute you!
Brilliant One, we rejoice in you!
Lord of Eternity, we honor you!
You Whose Places are Mysterious, we extol you!
Wesir, Bless us.

my original prayer

His omen for us this year was The Ace of Pentacles: Revel in the glory of the Sun. Success is near. If you have been wanting to get your material life in order, now is a good time to start.

August 5: Second Epagomenal Day, Birth of Heru-Wer (Horus the Elder)

DUA HERU-WER!
Second born of Nut and Geb, we celebrate your birth today.
We give you offerings of bread, beer, cool water, sweet scented oils, and praise!
Great One of Speckled Plumage, we salute you!
Wings of Protection, we rejoice in you!
Lord of Terror, we honor you!
Mighty Falcon, we extol you!
Heru-Wer, Bless us.

my original prayer

His omen for us this year was the Seven of Pentacles: The Royal Diadem. This is a reminder that we will reap the rewards of our hard work.

August 6th: Third Epagomenal Day, Birth of Set

DUA SET!
Third born of Nut and Geb, we celebrate your birth today.
We give you offerings of bread, beer, cool water, sweet scented oils, and praise!
Overthrower of Apep, we salute you!
Red Haired One, we rejoice in you!
Lord of the Storm, we honor you!
You Who Are in the Heart of the Northern Sky, we extol you!
Set, Bless us.

my original prayer

His omen for us this year was Temperance: He counsels moderation, patience, adaptability. If you pay attention, you will know when to take the initiative. Be canny and you will withstand the deluge.

August 7th: Fourth Epagomenal Day, Birth of Aset (Isis)

DUA ASET!
Fourth born of Nut and Geb, we celebrate your birth today.
We give you offerings of bread, beer, cool water, sweet scented oils, and praise!
Giver of Life, we salute you!
Great Lady of Magic, we rejoice in you!
Mistress of the Stars, we honor you!
Fiercely Bright One, we extol you!
Aset, Bless us.

my original prayer

Her omen for us this year was The Lovers: She echoes her brother-husband’s message, and also adds, if you have been debating between following your passions and being more cautious, remember that the stagnation of indecision will be more of a setback than making the wrong choice.

August 8th: Fifth Epagomenal Day, Birth of Nebthet (Nephthys)

DUA NEBTHET!
Fifth born of Nut and Geb, we celebrate your birth today.
We give you offerings of bread, beer, cool water, sweet scented oils, and praise!
Lady of Dawn and Dusk, we salute you!
Mistress of Renewal, we rejoice in you!
Averter of Evil, we honor you!
Friend of the Dead, we extol you!
Nebthet, Bless us.

my original prayer

Her omen for us this year was the Six of Swords: we’re all in a transitional period right now, but the fact that the entire world is traveling it does not mean you should ignore the effects of it on your own life. Take the time to do needed introspection, and grieve your losses.

August 9th: Wep Ronpet, the New Year, and the Arrival of Sopdet (the star Sirius)

DUA SOPDET!
Today you rise before the sun, ushering in the new year!
We give you offerings of bread, beer, cool water, sweet scented oils, and praise!
Harbinger of the Nile Flood, we salute you!
Bringer of the New Year, we rejoice in you!

my original prayer

This year’s Omen from all the Netjeru:

The Ace of Swords, and The Page of Wands: As this new Kemetic year dawns, we are entering a period of intellectual or philosophical struggle, and should sharpen our wit and prepare to engage in battle. It is a battle of words and ideas, of how messages are delivered and news is presented. You may find inspiration to write or speak your own words – seek to advance clarity, truth, and ma’at in your communication.

Happy Wep Ronpet Everyone!!!

Celtic Polytheism, Paganism

Crow Folks: Prepare for the Harvest

This dark moon, when I went to speak with Na Morrigna, they spoke to me of the importance of self-care to avoid burnout, the importance of continuing the fight and staying on target even as things appear to be settling down, as the ongoing struggles slip out of mainstream news cycles. Above all they stressed that the harvest would come soon. Lughnasadh is just around the corner: a time for renewed contracts, for the settling of legal disputes. A good time to clarify our purpose as we head towards Samhain, the month of November. The apple harvest is almost here, and with it will come a change, although the type of change still hangs in the balance, undecided, uncertain. One more push is needed, if we wish to reap the harvest we’ve been working for. Look to those on the peripheries for guidance as you move forward. The marginalized ones. They will know how to best achieve justice. Witches and apples have a long history, and acorns are not Macha’s only crop. There may be bloodshed yet to come, as the harvest comes in and the rents come due.

Here is a slip of a poem, inspired by my visit:

Crows gather in fields
Perching on straw men
Eating the corn

Apples ripen on trees
Dripping with syrup
Sweet-tasting deception

Poisoned apples
Bloody acorns
Swirling murders of crows

Otherworldly battles
Faction against faction
Spilling over the border

A queer wit sees more truth
The worlds entwined
A struggle for control

The people gather a harvest
Each one gets their portion
Long-due debts will be paid

Bright Moon, Kemetic

Kemetic Bright Moon Omen 7/6

Today, I unpacked the last few things before I started the ritual. I wore my new garments, new jewelry; used my new veil. Lit the lamp, and gazed at the flame through the fabric covering my head. I’m beginning to really feel the outline of my deeper ritual format, and it’s just in time – this is the last Bright Moon before the Epagomenal Days and Wep Ronpet. It’s a leap year so I recalculated the rising time this year, and have adjusted to August 9th, but for the past four years I’ve used the August 7th date for Washington, DC. Look to the Tumblr Shrine for updates and details, as I’ll be posting my follow-along celebration there, as I have in years past.

Here is this month’s message from Bast and Sekmet:

Fire burns but also cleanses, and releases your prayers into the air as smoke. You can find joy in sensual pleasures while everything is burning, while you light it all on fire. Don’t restrict your emotional range. Our festivals in the old days resembled Bacchanalia: drunkenness, blood, sex, frenzy. Bursting into the streets, not unlike today’s block parties. Celebrate living. You are fighting, but don’t forget to live, too. Don’t forget to play, too. You can fight longer without losing stamina if you have time to play, too. You can be strong for longer if you also have a time and a place to blow off steam. Take time during the Epagomenal Days to revel in your life and the full spectrum of human experience.


The next full moon is August 3rd, the day before the first of the Epagomenal Days, so there will probably not be an omen until the New Year omen on Wep Ronpet, August 9th. If you have any questions, or if you would like to request a personal message or heka for August, please email the shrine here. And if you are interested in supporting the shrine, I have a tip jar set up here. Thanks!

Deck Review, Reviews

Tarot Deck Review: The Numinous Tarot

Deck: The Numinous Tarot
Publisher: self-published, Numinous Spirit Press
Writer & Artist: Cedar McCloud
Overall Rating: 10/10

image (c) Numinous Spirit Press

Cardstock: It’s pretty thick without being too stiff, and has lovely gilded edges. So far it’s holding up very well to moderate usage for the past year or so. It feels pretty good to riffle shuffle, and the cards don’t stick much but they are pretty glossy.

Artwork: I don’t think I’ve ever seen a deck with artwork this representative. Age, race, ability, gender, size – the artwork is truly diverse. Some of the cards don’t have people on them at all, and those are all gorgeous as well. The attention to detail here, and the patterns on everything from the floors to the clothing, are very impressive. It’s a riot of color!

Book: This deck comes with a full paperback guidebook, not a LWB, with each card in black and white. The Major Arcana have about two pages each, and the Minors just one, but there’s a lot of material here, from descriptions of the scene itself, to keywords and thought-prompting discussions of both upright and reversed meanings. The language is pretty gender-neutral throughout, and the meanings are immersed in themes of social justice and healthy boundaries. The writing style is very accessible.

Likes: I love the diversity of the artwork and how queer it is, from depictions of gender-non-conforming folks, to the subversion of traditionally gendered tarot cards. Instead of Page, Knight, Queen, King, we have Dreamers, Explorers, Creators, and Mystics. The High Priestess becomes The Diviner, The Empress is The Nurturer, The Emperor is The Founder, The Hierophant is The Visionary. They are all still numbered for easy recall. Also, The Devil has been aptly renamed The Shadow, Judgement is now The Awakening, and McCloud added a 23rd Major, called The Numinous (whence the deck title). Suits have been renamed as well, but follow the traditional elements: Candles for Fire, Bells for Air, Vials for Water, and Tomes for Earth. The deck is at once tarot radically reimagined, and also familiar to students of the Rider-Waite-Smith system.

Dislikes: I think my only complaint is that some of the artwork is a little inconsistent, with some cards feeling more polished and some more sketchy, but there might be an intentional pattern to that seeming inconsistency.

Overall Recommendation

If you want a radically accepting queer-friendly deck that has truly diverse representation, you need this deck. I’ve been bringing it to pagan events just to show people! And for an indie deck, it’s really not very expensive. The artwork is very evocative, and is perfect for either a collector or an intuitive reader. It may take a little longer for students of the RWS system to get used to than the sort of decks that simply copying RWS imagery with cats or the like, but it isn’t an entirely new system and I found the transition fairly easy.

This is also my deck of the month for my Patreon for June, in honor of Pride Month!