Bright Moon, Kemetic

Kemetic Bright Moon 8/15

I had some difficulties setting up the new oil lamp – the first attempted wick did not work as planned, but once I finally got it right and settled in, I felt their presence wash over me, their vessel. “Welcome back, child,” they greeted me, in reference to the renewal of my contract, completed as per my usual in a sacred bath.

Their message for us all on this, the first Bright Moon of the New Kemetic Year, is as follows:

You are free to abandon projects from last year that did not bear fruit. Try a new way, or try something completely new. But fore-planning will save you much grief.
We Lionesses walk beside you, and even the Snake of Isfet fears our teeth, but A/p/e/p must be destroyed every year, every month, every day. Be guided by ma’at. Return to it in times of confusion and let it guide your actions. Start first by bringing your private life into balance with ma’at. Wepwawet is opening the ways for greater actions to come.

Left: Swirly bath bomb suds. I think this was a Tadaima Okaeri, from Lush?
Right: My new oil lamp!!! With braided cotton wick. This was right as it started up, before I used fire scrying as my entryway to possessory trance.

Next Kemetic Bright Moon Ritual is: 9/ 14.

As a reminder, I take questions and requests for heka, blessings, and execrations. Those can be submitted through the tumblr e-shrine, or email them to: eyes.of.ra.oracle@ gmail.com.
If you appreciate the work I do and want to support it continuing, I have a Ko-fi for donations!

Event, Holiday Celebration, Kemetic, Paganism

Wep Ronpet 2019!

So, I decided to stick to the dates I’ve been using since they hadn’t changed the last few years, and instead I’ll just be adjusting by looking up Sirius’s rising time every leap year. It’s much easier that way, since I use other dates in the Kemetic calendar (really, amalgamation of plural calendars) for other celebrations now, and there’s evidence that some of those plural calendars used leap days just like we do, tacked on to the beginning of the Epagomenal Days. It’s a good way for me to keep the secular calendar and my Kemetic calendar aligned.

The Wep Ronpet date, therefore, was August 7th, and my Epagomenal Days started on August 2nd, with Wesir (Osiris). As in previous years, I set up digital votive offerings on my tumblr e-shrine, and I also offered a glass of cool water. I then pulled a tarot card for a message from each of the deities.

Wesir (Osiris)’s message on Aug 2 was: 8 of Wands. Figure out what your goals are, and then go get them! The Netjeru have your back. Decide what you want to bring into being, and use this new year energy to make it happen!

Heru-Wer (Horus the Elder)’s message on Aug 3 was: 6 of Swords. Take advantage of this time of transition. Use it as a rite of passage. Leave things in the past that no longer serve you – you don’t need to take all your baggage forward with you.

Set (Seth)’s message on Aug 4 was: 6 of Cups. Reflect on your happy memories of the past year, and give some thought to your mom harmonious relationships. See if you can turn over a new leaf at Wep Ronpet.

Aset (Isis)’s message on Aug 5 was: Queen of Swords. Do not shy away from sharpness, when it serves you. Communicate clear expectations and boundaries, and hold them. Separate the truth from illusion, and uphold ma’at (justice/right living).

Nebthet (Nephthys)’s message on Aug 6 was: 2 of Pentacles, reversed. Take this new year as a chance to restructure your life, to reorganize your priorities, and to take stock of places you may be overcommitted. Too many commitments will lead to burnout. Find balance.

On Wep Ronpet, I did a red paper execration, where I wrote things I wished to be rid of on a piece of red paper, folded it into an origami snake, declared it to be A/p/e/p/, and then ritual destroyed it with blades and fire. (Scissor blades, if you must know, haha.)

After that, I offered a shot of chocolate dark beer to the Netjeru (all the gods) and opened the package that was waiting for me!

My shrine upgrade this year is this ancient-style ceramic oil lamp with red glaze that I commissioned from a friend-of-a-friend. It’s going to take the place of the (tiny) candle I’d been using in my Bright Moon rituals, and I’m so excited to use it later this month!

I’ve also set up a separate Ko-Fi for donations to my Shrine to Bast and Sekhmet, so I can more easily earmark funds and keep them separate from my business income. If you appreciate my Bright Moon Omens, or just want to help, check it out here!

Celtic Polytheism, Event, Holiday Celebration, Prayer

Lughnasadh – A Belated Summary

Lughnasadh season is busy in our house because it also usually coincides with the start of the Kemetic Epagomenal Days, and this year it also coincided with my return to Priestessing for the Morrigan.

Altar for the Fox and Fungi Lughnasadh celebration

This year, our main ritual was celebrated with the Fox and Fungi group at our local UU Church, which I co-led with another group organizer. We did a druidic style ritual based on a liturgical outline I’ve devised for the group, which sort of splits the difference between Wiccan ritual structure, UU service structure, and the ADF Core Order of Ritual that I became accustomed to when I was previously a member of an ADF Druid Grove. (Yes, those work together better than you might think!) We called upon Lugh and Tailtiu as the deities of the occasion, and a friend and very good storyteller regaled us all with her version of Tailtiu’s story. Our main working was done with leaves placed in baskets. We each had two leaves. On one, we wrote something we were good at or something we’d accomplished that we were proud of. On the other, something we hoped to learn to do, or something we hoped to achieve. As we listened to musical accompaniment, we each came up to the altar to put our leaves each into the appropriate basket. Later, the leaves were taken outside to our ritual space.

It was nice to be with our community, but it did mean that our home observance went largely undone – I wrote a prayer and Scott poured Lugh and Tailtiu each out a shot of whisky, but we didn’t do a large family dinner. I’ve copied the prayer below, for those interested.

Lughnasadh has arrived,
And the days begin to grow shorter
Fruit is ripening on branch and vine
And grains are golden in the fields

Summer heat still hangs in the air
But we have begin the harvest
We are standing on the cusp of autumn
And soon the nights will be chill

On this day we honor Lugh and Tailtiu
His foster mother, who cleared the land
So that the people might plant grain
She gave her life for her people’s needs

Come to us now, and join in our celebration!
We offer you food, drink, and merriment!
We ask in return for your blessings:
Help us to bring in the first fruits of our labors

Lugh and Tailtiu, Hail and Welcome!

lughnasadh Prayer, by Aleja Nic Bhe Chuille
Celtic Polytheism, Paganism

A Re-Gathering of Crows

I’m back on deck this Lughnasadh-Eve. Finished with my Saturn Return (but not yet ready to turn that journey into a narrative), and once again Called. I Answered (how could I not?), and have been once again drafted into the service of Na Morrigna, the Three Sisters, to deliver the messages I receive on the Dark Moon.

Are you ready to join me again, Crow Folks? A new journey awaits. Do not wait too long in deciding. Put less important things aside. We need to harness our own creative powers and generate the foundations of our triumph.

We all have a role to play. We were called. We accepted. We rise together.

Bright Moon, Kemetic

Kemetic Bright Moon 7/16

As in previous months, I have done my oracular ritual and received a short message from Bast and Sekhmet. Here is what they said:

There is conflict coming, and you must prepare for it. You are not yet ready, and without preparation you may not achieve your objectives. So: train. Follow your passions to find the way you can join the fight. If you succeed, you will create abundance in your life and in the society around you.

This is the last Bright Moon until after Wep Ronpet 2019, so it sort of wraps up the Kemetic year. I’m using the same dates this year again (I’ve decided I’ll recalculate and adjust if necessary each secular leap year), so the Epagomenal Days start August 2nd, and continue in the following order:

  • Aug 2: Wesir (Osiris)
  • Aug 3: Heru-Wer (Horus the Elder)
  • Aug 4: Set (Seth)
  • Aug 5: Aset (Isis)
  • Aug 6: Nebthet (Nephthys)
  • Aug 7: Sopdet (Sothis) and WEP RONPET!!!

I’ll be doing my tumblr follow-along again, so wander over there if you’re interested, otherwise I’ll be blogging about the holiday after wards!

Bright Moon, Kemetic

Kemetic Bright Moon 6/17

This Bright Moon’s message from Bast and Sekhmet, channeled as usual in my monthly ritual, is as follows:

“It is time to retreat, to turn inward. Find a place of respite or take what refuge you can, and be still for a moment. Rely on your support network for a time, and cultivate better self-respect and self-confidence. You are worthwhile. Your work is worthwhile. You may be over-committed, however – it is time to see which plans best serve you, which are in best alignment with your values and talents. Get your life back in order as best you can. Create order anew. You may need to delegate, or to hand off projects to others who are better suited to finish them. There is no shame in this. Do what needs to be done.”

For those of us who do yearly planning or yearly goals, June is usually a good time to reflect on the year so far, and adjust things as necessary. I’ll be doing so mid-year planning adjustment for sure. Hopefully this message is seen by those who need it.

The next Bright Moon is July 16, so look for another omen on or around then!

Paganism, Prayer

Prayers to Athena Columbia

So, some Political Shit went down recently, and part of my reaction to it included this pair of prayers to a local cultus aspect of Athena that I consider to be the Patron Goddess of both Washington, DC, and of the American Government more generally (the ideals, more than the failures, that is).

The first prayer was pretty much a knee-jerk reaction to watching states pass laws that blatantly challenge Roe V. Wade and restrict the rights of the approximate half of their citizenry that have uteri (women, but also some trans men and nonbinary folx).

The second prayer came after the other part of my reaction, which mostly consisted of banework. I realized that the representatives fighting against this wave of BS might need a bit of protection against the baneful workings of the anti-reproductive-rights crowd. (Yeah, I’m not going to call them “pro-life”. They’ve been pretty clear that they don’t actually care about life.)

Also, on the topic of sending protective or blessing magic to representatives, which when unwanted I usually consider a type of banework, Gwendolyn Reece’s recent blog is worth reading. I tend to agree that this type of work is both ethical and needed, but I leave in my usual disperse-if-truly-unwanted clause, leaving acceptance up to them and their guide(s)/god(s)/ancestors. Banework does not mean a working is unethical, just that it may be potentially harmful. However, what I consider ethical and what my fellow travelers consider ethical may not be identical – one should always stick to their own code.

I posted these prayers to a small e-shrine I keep on tumblr, but I thought I’d reproduce them here for all of you!


Prayer to Athena Columbia: We are in Crisis

Athena Columbia! Hear the Prayers of your supplicants!
Lady of American Democracy, we are in crisis!
Oligarchy and Theocracy reign and Freedoms are denied:
Athena Columbia Eleutheria, Lady Liberty, we have need of your Light!
We, the oppressed, will fight in the ways we can:
Athena Columbia Nike, Lady Victory, shine upon us!
We will oppose unjust laws, and promote equity:
Athena Columbia Dike, Lady Justice, guide us!
We will search for facts and oppose lies:
Athena Columbia Aletheia, Lady Truth, show us the way!

Pallas Athena Columbia, Protectress of the United States,
Bright-eyed Goddess, Dread Maiden and Glorious Queen:
Hold us to the promise of our ideals,
Make us ever aspire to your righteousness,
Keep us on the path towards equitable governance,
And destroy those who would privilege only themselves.


Prayer to Athena Columbia: Protect our Representatives

Athena Columbia! Hear the Prayers of your supplicants!
Lady of American Democracy, protect our laudable representatives!
Those who uphold the ideals of freedom and an end to oppression:
Athena Columbia Eleutheria, Lady Liberty, bathe them in your Light!
Those who fight for our rights and for a better future:
Athena Columbia Nike, Lady Victory, show them your favor!
Those who seek to create an equitable legal code:
Athena Columbia Dike, Lady Justice, guide their pens!
Those who are informed by factual reporting and science:
Athena Columbia Aletheia, Lady Truth, help them see clearly!

Pallas Athena Columbia, Protectress of the United States,
Bright-eyed Goddess, Dread Maiden and Glorious Queen:
Help them hold fast to the promise of their ideals,
Encourage them to aspire to your righteousness,
Usher them down the path towards equitable governance,
And protect them from those who would do them harm or lead them astray.

Bright Moon, Kemetic

Kemetic Bright Moon 5/18

Yesterday was the full moon in Scorpio, and today I performed my oracular ritual to Bast and Sekhmet as I do every Bright Moon (or the days surrounding it). This time I also renewed a long-term spell jar that I created with their help, and I performed a small execration, asking for help overturning unjust laws. After those were complete, I asked for this month’s message, and received the following:

“Your current environment may seem a bit dangerous and bleak. Wealth and Power support each other and injustice seems to prevail – for now. There will come a turning point soon, and you must find a role that suits you and play your part. There is still much work to be done. We will strive together for satisfaction and well-being, and a positive resolution.”

As always, the closer your situation to my own, the more that message is likely to apply. But perhaps others will find a seed of inspiration in there as well.

The next Bright Moon is 6/17.

Event, Paganism, Retreat/Convention

Beltaine at Fertile Ground Gathering!

So, this past weekend, Scott and I went to Triangle, VA for 2 days of Fertile Ground Gathering. The event runs Thursday through Sunday, but for personal/family logistic reasons, we only attended Friday and Saturday, the days with the bulk of the rituals and workshops. The Acorn Sprout did not come with us – after discussing it, we though it would be better to leave a toddler still in diapers with his grandparents and cousins for the weekend than to bring him along camping in the (likely) rain. There were kids activities, but we expected they would be geared towards slightly older children. So, we dropped off the Acorn Sprout on Thursday afternoon, packed up, and left at 7am on Friday. We arrived around 8:30am, in time to register and have a little breakfast before the first workshops. As with other events, I’m going to be focusing mostly on workshops I attended, rather than what Scott attended, because I took notes with plans to blog about my experiences!

Early Religion in Scandinavia – Jane Sibley, PhD

This was an extremely informative workshop, and Sibley seems to really know her shit – which I would expect from someone who *is* Scandinavian and speaks a Scandinavian language and got a PhD in folklore! Much of the presentation was drawn from a book she wrote called The Divine Thunderbolt, which includes both comparative mythology and the archaeological record, though the book has a much wider scope than the presentation, which focused on the Scandinavian Thor and his cognates in Sámi and Germanic mythology. She also emphasized how much of what modern Heathens and Norse Polytheists consider lore was likely made up by, or at least heavily edited and rewritten by either Snorri or the Brothers Grimm. She believes we need to pay more attention to the archaeology and the Icelandic sources.

There were a few takeaways that I think will be relevant to my own practice. Firstly, Sibley said that the Norse originally had a tripartite elemental system, similar to the Celts, with Earth, Water, and Sky/Air, fire being considered just a hot air. Secondly, she said that Thor should probably be considered Vanir, as he predates Odin and the Aesir, but things get kind of blurry, because the bloodlines are all mixed up anyhow. (Just think about how many of the Aesir are said to have Jotun parents!) Thirdly, Sibley discussed the importance of linen or flax and leeks used together for protection magics. Lots to think about!

Making My Introductions

Before lunch, Scott and I popped down to a place we’d found last year at Hallowed Homecoming, which takes place in the same camping area, and greeted some of the local spirits we’d met in October.

Wakening Ritual

This was a sort of opening ritual, following the Warding Ritual Thursday night. It was short, but to the point, and allowed people to find their trance in stillness, slow motion, or ecstatic motion as they preferred. As it was quite warm out and I was struggling slightly with my chronic illness, I opted for stillness, but that is frequently my preference in any case.

Fiber Magic – Katie LaFond

This was an extremely small workshop – just the presenter, myself, and one other attendee! It was an interesting twist of fate, though – three women of three different ages, discussing fibercraft and witchcraft. LaFond had brought extra supplies and several things to demonstrate, so she set me up with some yarn and a crochet hook while she talked about different ways she uses fibercraft to do witchcraft, from knitting intentions into baby blankets, to creating a family cable pattern for sweaters, to how she sewed planetary robes for her husband to use in his astrology work during the associated planetary days and hours. She demonstrated two different kinds of wool spinning, showed me how to spin flax and let me try that, and set up the other woman with a collapsible lap loom. We also talked about witchcraft more generally, and homesteading and gardening, discussing our lives, our paths, and our crafts as we worked away at our little projects. I made a small crocheted floppy witch hat, for one of the Acorn Sprout’s dolls.

Friday Evening

After dinner, there were a few musical performances and then a bonfire. We stayed to listen to most of Melanie Bresnan’s set, but we went to bed before Maharal began. I have seen them perform before, however, and I do recommend seeing them if you get a chance!

Weaving your Destiny – Chris LaFond

This workshop sort of built upon LaFond’s earlier workshop on the natal chart but I have a vague understanding of my natal chart so I figured I would be able to follow along. As it turned out, we had an entirely new group of people anyhow, so he spent the first fifteen or twenty minutes giving us an overview before moving into his main topic, which was about how to use planetary timing to predict possible events coming up in your life, and how to have a better handle on working with planetary timing, instead of against it. He explained that his approach to astrology is more pre-1700s, before the Enlightenment came and added in a bunch of early psychology, and that puts him in contrast to most pagan and mainstream astrologists, who use newer astrology methodologies. Because of his focus, he doesn’t really use the outer planets much. He also uses Whole Sign Houses, where the Houses of one’s natal chart start at the beginning of the sign and encompass the whole sign, instead of starting at a specific degree of the sign.

LaFond explained the Chaldean order, and how our lives cycle through it, spending a number of years under the influence of each planet, starting with either the moon or the sun, depending on whether one was born at night or during the day (defined as whether the sun was above the horizon or not). Since I was born at night, I spent the first 9 years under the influence of the moon, then 11 years under Saturn, and I’m currently within the 12 years under Jupiter. Within those periods, each is broken down into 7 again (because no outer planets, remember), and so I am currently in the time of the Moon, within the period of Saturn.

LaFond also explained how an astrologer can cycle the natal chart forward every year and use that as a means of predicting the year to come (on the birthday, not the calendar year). For my chart, that means I’m in a 5th House Year, now, and my fifth House is in Taurus. Another means of predicting the year to come that he discussed was to cast a new chart for the solar return of your birth, which is usually within three days of your calendar birthday.

Next, LaFond discussed planetary days and hours, and emphasized that the “hours” are just daylight or nighttime divided into 12, so only near the equator near the equinox do they actually last an hour! Also, the planetary days all begin at dawn, and the first planetary hour is the same as the day. They cycle through the week completely (again, with only the 7 planets of older astrology). This made me think of the old nursery rhyme/divinatory poem that starts “Monday’s Child is full of grace…” I’d always considered myself a “Monday’s Child” because I was born on a calendar Monday. But by this system, as I was born before dawn, I was born on the Day of the Sun, instead!

Accidental Wanderings

After Chris LaFond’s workshop, I wandered down to the water there, which I have come to learn is called Happyland Camp 5 Lake. I saw a number of turtles and frogs and it was really quite lovely, especially since the rain overnight had taken the heat away. On my way back to the feast hall I started wondering about one of the local spirits, and I took a wrong turn – I found myself at a footbridge over a creek, near the fire pit, but I also found my answer. Not exactly my intention, but once I acknowledged that and understood the message, I found my way to the feast hall for lunch with no further ado, so: no harm, no foul. Perhaps a good reminder to keep slightly better track of my surroundings, however!

Warrior Blessing Ritual

Irene Glasse led a Warrior Blessing Ritual after lunch, for blessing and healing of the Warriors among the Dead, the Living, and the Future Generations. It was a really heartfelt and emotional experience, especially as I took the time to connect with two of my great-grandfathers who were in service during WWII, and I reflected upon the military service of other family members and friends, both living and deceased.

Power, Freedom. Boundaries, and Consent – Rath

Some of this presentation was apparently based on a Foundations class Rath had previously taught. There were only a handful of us in attendance so we sat on the porch instead of inside the craft cabin, where we were divebombed by carpenter bees on occasion, but it was nice to be outside in the warm-but-not-too-hot weather.

Rath began with Power, and had us all give words we associated with it, and asked us if we wanted power. I said “it depends”, which is a normal tendency of mine that is perhaps related to my dealings in Faery – I generally want to know all the details before I agree to something, and there are plenty of circumstances in which I would not want specific kinds of power! Rath then discussed “power over” vs “power with”, and different models for wielding or sharing power. When he discussed Freedom, Rath also used two kinds: “freedom to” vs “freedom from”, though he spent more time focusing on “freedom to”.

That brought us to Boundaries, both in the personal (between individual people) and in pagan traditions and systems of magic, where some things are a part of the system or tradition, and other things don’t fit the paradigm. Rath emphasized that even the most eclectic and welcoming groups have a boundary somewhere, using Mormons as an example of a spiritual tradition most pagan groups would consider outside their boundaries. Following on boundaries, we talked about consent, and how in an ideal world consent would always be explicit and informed, but that some experiences are so difficult to fully explain that nearly everything is only partially informed, and in many cases consent is implicit instead, though it can still be revoked.

The final segment of the workshop was focused on exploring a number of different common pagan group models, and pointing out the flaws in each, because at the end of the day, no group is perfect, and all are open to different sorts of abuse. The best thing we can do is to try and mitigate the flaws as much as possible as group leaders, and as group members we should try to find groups that best fit out own personal boundaries.

Wandering Ritual

This ritual began in the ritual field we’d used for the Wakening Ritual, and instead of a Maypole, this year we wove ribbon as a community, in keeping with the theme “Weaving a Tapestry”. The Fae were invited to weave with us and then to join us in as we processed back to the feast hall and walked through hanging veils into the evening’s revelry and feast.* The ritual was not to be closed until Sunday morning, but as Scotty and I needed to be home Sunday and a thunderstorm was rolling in, we left instead of staying for the feast, and therefore missed the Kindred Crow set which was somewhat disappointing. Still, we got home in time to get decent sleep, which I needed. One of these days, though, I am going to actually manage to see them live!

Overall?

Overall, we had a pretty enjoyable experience. It was really nice to be out in all that GREEN! I’m not sure if we’ll be back next year, though, because Beltaine is usually a pretty busy time of year for us, both for our hearth cult and because it’s near the Acorn Sprout’s birthday!


* Note: I had serious misgivings about the structure of this ritual, not least because we were all supposed to be in the Otherworlds with the Fae all night, despite the fact that there were quite a few young children attending the event. As a practitioner of the Fairy Faith, I really can’t emphasize enough how mercurial and potentially dangerous the Fae are, especially around Beltaine. I was told that offerings were made and precautions were taken, but as I wasn’t there for the Warding Ritual and I wasn’t given details, I can’t speak to their efficacy. I made my own supplications and performed my own protective magics. I’ll leave you with Morgan Daimler’s words on the subject.

Bright Moon, Kemetic

Kemetic Bright Moon 4/18

Today for the full moon, as I have for the past few years, I performed my oracular ritual to Bast and Sekhmet, and came back with a message from Them, recounted below:

“This is a difficult point in time, but we are here beside you. Before order can be recreated, things must be upended. Chaos heals what slow progress cannot. There is not much you can do at the moment, in the microcosm, so take the time to rest and retreat to your place of safety and comfort. The chaos may bewilder you and cause you alarm, but it is still necessary. The balance will be restored in time, when accounts have been tallied and brought into accord.”

The past week has certainly felt chaotic to me, and I’ll be taking that advice as best I can. Bright Moon Blessings to all of you!

[If you are interested in supporting this specific part of my work, I accept shrine donations (to cover the cost of offerings, shrine box upgrades, and the like) on Ko-fi! My current goal is to get a small scented oil lamp, to use instead of the small candle I am currently using!]