Bright Moon, Kemetic

Kemetic Bright Moon 7/23

This is the last full moon before the festival of Wep Ronpet, the Kemetic new year, timed locally by the heliacal rising of the star Sirius over Washington, DC. So the message this time was somewhat about that.

As you prepare for the return of Sopdet, the star that heralds the flooding of the Nile, as you prepare for your celebration of Wep Ronpet, you also must examine your inner tides. Are you aware of the flow of your own emotions, or have you distanced yourself from them? If there is too much distance, you will lose the ability to feel joy as well, and will not be able to truly give yourself over to the New Year’s celebrations. So be brave for the moment, and let yourself feel deeply: the good and the bad.

So – Wep Ronpet! By my calculations for DC (and thus for the local area, or potentially for anyone living in the USA who wants to use the capital city’s date), Sopdet, the star Sirius, will be visible before sunrise on August 9th this year. Working backwards, that gives us the following timeline for the Epagomenal Days:

  • Timeline:
    • Aug 4th: Birth of Wesir (Osiris)
    • Aug 5th: Birth of Heru-Wer (Horus the Elder)
    • Aug 6th: Birth of Set
    • Aug 7th: Birth of Aset (Isis)
    • Aug 8th: Birth of Nebthet (Nephthys)
    • Aug 9th: Wep Ronpet!

I’ll be reblogging my usual votive images and prayers on the Tumblr E-Shrine, so you can follow along there. And I’ll be doing my yearly execration in the evening on August 8th, the night before Wep Ronpet, so if you have anything you’d like to request me to ritually destroy for you, let me know in an email please and I’ll add it to mine. I’ll probably write up a blog about the execration and my Wep Ronpet celebration, but if I manage to launch my new website and blog it will be on that one (though I’ll be sure to leave a link on this one so you can find it! I have a new prayer I’ll be sharing, too.

The next full moon is August 22nd. 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!

Celtic Polytheism, Paganism

Crow Folks: The Season of Harvest Begins

This Dark Moon, I was instructed to return to the more poetic form, and deliver the message for our preparation for Lughnasadh in that manner. A few of these lines owe inspiration in part to Morgan Daimler’s translation of the Cath Maige Tuired, as I cannot read it in the original Irish, but the English translation rang in my head as I communed with Na Morrigna, and drank inspiration from their cauldron.

The season of harvesting begins
Beginning of a transition
A death that sustains life.

Courage falters,
Fear rises,
Insecurity holds us down.

Remember your power:
Power from strength,
Strength from conviction.

Why do you do this work?
Not hard, we say.
You are called to it.

Answering volley with volley,
Shielding those without shields,
Pursuing to strike with bloody destruction,

Many fields of battle:
Stand firm in yours,
Your squadron surrounds you.

Standing shoulder to shoulder,
No wedge between you,
Focused, taut, ready.

The season of death begins,
A time of community-sustaining harvest,
A transition back into a passionate life of service.

Hopefully that message with resonate with some of you! As for me, I’ll be using this to make plans for Lughnasadh, and to confirm another year in service to Na Morrigna.

Bright Moon, Kemetic

Kemetic Bright Moon 6/24

Earlier today, I did my usual Bright Moon Ritual to Bast and Sekhmet, and this is the message they gave me, to share with my community:

Many of you are standing at a precipice: take care how you fall. If you stand there, you will fall, for there is no longer a way to stay where you are. But you can choose how far and how painful an experience your fall is. You may be tempted to prepare a swansong and leave your destination to chance, but this is a beginning as well as an ending. Those of you who feel isolated may find compatriots where you land. Be more proactive than reactive — be careful what you reflect. Contribute to illumination, not misapprehension and obscurity. Grief swirls around each of you, and if you get caught in an eddy of that grief, you must learn to steer your emotions — do not let them control you. Move like water, and dance like flame: not all feelings can be processed in stillness and silence. Your struggles are the microcosm reflecting the macrocosm, and the doubts you have for yourself are also doubts for the victories of ma’at. Isfet is persistent, and the war is ongoing: we fight at night so that you may enjoy the day. Stand in the sun — let us warm you.

The next full moon is July 23rd, and after that we’ll be heading into the Epagomenal Days at the beginning of August. If you have any questions, or if you would like to request a personal message or heka for July, please email the shrine here. And if you are interested in supporting the shrine, I have a tip jar set up here. Thanks!

Bright Moon, Kemetic, Paganism

Kemetic Bright Moon 5/26

I returned to my full ritual this month, though I was careful not to do it during the eclipse, as those energies don’t align well (and besides, I had other work to do then). The message this month builds on the one from last month, so if you don’t remember you may want to glance at that one again here.

As you emerge from isolation, do not rush too quickly back into so much busyness that you find yourself burning faster than a lamp wick. That will lead you to burnout faster again than before. Burning so quickly only leaves more ash. Ease in slowly to new social arenas, let the scent of the oil in your lamp rise and fill your atmosphere. Emerge slowly from your solitude, scented and captivating, to meet with those who will best fill your life, and to do what will best bring you contentment. Although others may rush, you shall not. Be steady as the Apis Bull; do not join the stampede. Let their chaotic energy pass you by, and leave you unaffected in your bliss, as you begin to enjoy the things you have missed. Their eddies make pretty trails to look at, but bad paths to follow. Stay on your own road, where we walk beside you.

The bit about the Apis Bull was unexpected, but the imagery and message were clear. It does make me wonder if there was a proverb of sorts about its steadyness. Hopefully this message reaches those who need to hear it most. I’ll be back next full moon with another message, but the summer is here, and I’m beginning to think about Wep Ronpet (Aug 9th in DC this year!)

The next full moon is June 24th. If you have any questions, or if you would like to request a personal message or heka for June, please email the shrine here. And if you are interested in supporting the shrine, I have a tip jar set up here. Thanks!


The Importance of Consent in Divination and Oracular Work

Since this came up recently elsewhere, I thought I’d share with y’all my basic guide to etiquette in divination and oracular work! It can be tough to figure out boundaries when you find divination and godphoning come easily to you, and you feel called to the role of a messenger or oracle. But as with most things, the first thing to keep in mind is consent.

So: before you do divination for someone else, make sure you have clear consent to do so. Make sure you’re on the same page as far as who (ex. Bast) or what (ex. their wyrd, The Universe) is being queried, and how the question, if any, is phrased. If you’re using a form of divination that has meanings associated with a symbol set, it’s also a good idea to make sure that you’re on the same page about whether you’re just pulling runes/cards/what-have-you and conveying those, or if you’re also going to interpret them. Also, if you usually charge money or take tips for readings, that should be clear upfront.

If you’re feeling like you ought to do divination on someone else’s behalf in order to offer them advice, that all still applies: don’t ask any spirits what advice to give someone unless:

  • 1) the person actually wants advice (as opposed to space holding or comforting),
  • 2) they consented for you to query these specific spirits,
  • 3) with these specific questions.

Asking your Deities, your Guides, and your Ancestors what your friend should do to fix their life isn’t usually very helpful, because they don’t have solid relationships to draw on, and you’ll need a lot of discernment skill to make sure they aren’t just telling you to tell your friend the advice you want to give. Asking their Deities, their Guides, and their Ancestors, with their permission, is more likely to get you helpful and nuanced answers, because those spirits are more aware of and engaged in your friend’s life.

However, quite a few people who feel called to this path have had an experience where, for whatever reason, a Deity or other spirit asks us to pass on a message, often in a too-real dream, during a journey meditation, or in a ritual. At that point, it’s best to tell the spirit that you will try, if the intended recipient is willing to hear it.

I don’t recommend promising you definitely will deliver the message, because there are times that the recipient is not going to be able to hear it from you, for a variety of reasons. First, we come back to that concept of consent: the best way to start this conversation with the intended recipient is just to tell them you’ve received some insight that is a message for them from a spirit (or name/ describe the spirit), and ask them if they wish to hear it.

Then, if they say yes, do your best to deliver the message as accurately as possible, and gently suggest they verify it again with another source if it’s something potentially life-altering (like changing jobs, or moving out of state, or getting divorced). Even if you practice divination, too, they should ask a different diviner. If they say no, they don’t want to hear it, just move on. You promised to try and you tried and that’s the end of it. If the message was truly important, the spirit will try again in a different way.

That might sound like unusual advice, but I believe we really do have agency in our relationships with Deities and other spirits, and I think one of the most important ways to use our agency is to make sure our actions are in line with our own ethical codes. Deities certainly have ethical codes as well, but they have a different perspective, and it’s important to remember that even if you’re given a divine message, you still have to be responsible for your own actions. Our personal relationships should be maintained with good boundaries and mutual respect, allowing us all to exercise our own agency. (Excepting in extreme circumstances, of course – sometimes agency is restricted for good reason, as when the individual presents a clear danger to themselves or others.)

Mostly what I have discussed above is about specific messages for specific individuals, but I also want to briefly touch on the type of oracular work my blog followers have probably seen before: monthly messages from certain Deities. With those kind of open community-wide messages, the consent exists in whether or not the person reading it wishes to consider themselves part of my community.

I’m usually pretty upfront about these messages probably being more relevant to people who have similar practices and beliefs to my own, and to people who are located in the same geographic and political region as me. People who aren’t nearby sometimes tell me that something resonated strongly with them, and I occasionally get similar comments from people who have very different practices and beliefs. And that’s okay, too! People can read it and take from it whatever they want.

Or – and this is really key – they can read one and decide it really doesn’t resonate or apply to them at all, and they can avoid my writing in the future! That’s perfectly fine with me. I’m not trying to convert anyone to my way of thinking; I’m just sharing a message I was given, and hoping it might be helpful for a couple of others who find themselves in similar situations.

As with the individual oracular messages above, if the message seems to be suggesting some sort of change, it’s a good idea for other practitioners to verify community oracular messages that seem to resonate with them. They could do their own journeywork, or turn to divination. If the message is verified, that will also give them a bit more nuance about how it applies to their specific situation!

Hopefully this was a helpful (or at least an interesting) little excursion into how to apply consensual boundaries to divination and oracular work. If you’d like to discuss more, or to ask a question, please feel free to leave a comment below, or to send an email.

Celtic Polytheism, Paganism

Crow Folks: You Fight to Protect What You Value

This time, when I went to see Na Morrigna, they were gathered already around the cauldron and waiting for me. When I arrived, and handed over the bottle of wine, they poured it into the cauldron, stirred it clockwise, and then all three of them transformed into crows, and dove into the the shimmering water. I was pulled along with them, face first, and emerged through that watery portal to a vantage point on a cliff, above what appeared to be a large camp, with tents and people milling about. I was told to compose a poem describing what I saw, and to convey their message to my fellow devotees.

On a ridge above a war-camp
Stand the Morrignae and I
People stirring below

Awakening from slumber
Tending the wounded
Preparing to fight

Fairy Wars rage
Over Land, Sea, and Sky;
Humans also struggle
Against invisible enemies.

Do not give up the fight;
Your battles are not yet won.
The War lingers.

We fly as scald-crows over the camp
To the scene of yester-eve’s battle
To cleanse the dead who lie still.

Find joy in the calm moments
To fortify yourself for continued struggle.
You fight to protect what you value.
You fight to protect those you love.

I got the sense that the “invisible enemies” we are fighting against are both physical things that are too small to see (like the covid virus), but also abstract things like injustice, so you should read that with both meanings.

Also, I clearly saw the crows we became when flying over the camp, black and grey, and I also heard them say what sounded to me like “skald crow”, but I didn’t write that at first, because what does a Norse poet have to do with a hooded crow? Though apparently I’d misspelled it – “scald” crow is apparently another name for the hooded crows I saw, and that was a strange little moment for me. “Yester-eve” was almost “yesterday evening”, but I was told that was not smooth enough, and that this poem needed to be pared down to the sharpness of just the few most necessary words.

Bright Moon, Kemetic, Other Updates

Kemetic Bright Moon 3/28

This month I again sought an omen for my community, from Bast and Sekhmet, Eyes of Ra, on the occasion of the full moon. Their message follows:

You are besieged by worries, fears, bewilderment and anguish – they swirl around you, like incense smoke in the breeze. Ask for our help, and we will send a strong breeze. Ask for our help and we will blow those anxieties away! Our powers are for more than just spiritual problems. As in days of old, we have sway in worldly matters, as well. We can bless your material prospects, we can protect the path you tread. We wish to uplift you, to see you burn fiercely! Our power rises with the sun, and as the earth warms, we grow in might. Draw on our strength, when yours falters. Draw on our courage when yours fails. Let our fire burn through you, and destroy that which binds you.

It’s a good reminder, I think! And a hopeful message as we move into spring (and eventually, summer!)

The next full moon is April 26th. If you have any questions, or if you would like to request a personal message or heka for April, 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: Reconnect

This dark moon, when I went to visit Na Morrigna at my usual place, the cottage near the river, they were outside, seated around a cauldron, with a fire built beneath it, but not lit. As I approached, they stood. One of them lit the fire as I opened the bottle of wine I had brought, and I poured it into the liquid that was already within. As the fire rose I saw things in the liquid and in smoke, and they spoke to me, and I was told to condense the experience into a poem, a rosc. Here is what I wrote:

Liquid seethes,
Emotions roil;
A too-hot fire.

A spoon stirs.
Stirred liquid settles,
Simmers softly.

The stirring is best shared
With those closest to you,
One at a time.

Two can stir a large cauldron
better than one can alone,
But a crowd will cause it to spill over.

The time of distance is not over,
But isolation should end:

I believe we’re being called to re-center meaningful relationships, to reach out to those we miss, but haven’t had many quality interactions with in the past year. Called to do something more than write a few words on a social media post. A lot of us are dealing with Zoom burn out, I know – but this is a call to reprioritize, and figure out which people you can really share your struggles with, whose understanding and compassion will help you feel more at ease, and who you can help in the same ways.

Bright Moon, Kemetic

Kemetic Bright Moon 2/27

After a few months where I was too ill to properly do the oracular ritual, I spent extra time with my Eye Goddesses this month, copying prayers I had previously written into the new book that will house all my ritual material. The omen they gave me is very positive:

This moon cycle, let us fill you with joy and nourishment, as the sun returns to awaken and nourish the plants. This is a time of renewal, a time to celebrate abundance, and to make way for new things. It has been a hard year, but do not notice only the bad. Celebrate those things which went well! Celebrate what you accomplished! And plan for even better things to come. Join us, chewing onions and cucumbers, and be awash with the light of the Sun!

The message this time is also confirmation for an upcoming event in my religious calendar: The Feast of Ra and His Eyes, IV Peret 1-5. (Various sources will give various days, but I’d drawn a few together for this one, into something cohesive, which would make sense for a temple to both Bast and Sekhmet.) My celebration is as follows:

  • IV Peret 1 (March 7): Feast of RA, and the Presentation of the Boat
  • IV Peret 2-4 (March 8-10): Sailing Procession
  • IV Peret 5 (March 11): Feast of the Eyes!
    • Chewing Onions for Bast
    • Chewing Cucumbers for Sekhmet

You’re welcome to join me in celebrating this way, or devising your own celebration, but at the very least make time to notice the return of the light! (In the Northern Hemisphere, at least – sorry to any folks from the Southern Hemisphere, but you may need to devise your own religious calendar!) I will hopefully be sharing pictures of my shrine during the celebration, on the shrine tumblr.

The next full moon is March 28th. If you have any questions, or if you would like to request a personal message or heka for March, 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: Battle is Here

This month, as is my custom, I journeyed to speak to Na Morrigna on the dark moon. Last month they gave me questions, but this month we have returned to the oracular poetry they’ve been inspiring me to write on their behalf. Here is the poem:

Battle is here.
Slaughter is here.
Blood spatters;
The Morrigna dance above spears.

A steady eye, a steady arm:
These are the traits of the best warriors.

Magic flies like arrows.
Magic shields like armour.
Slice through your enemy’s magic;
Pierce your enemy’s armour.

Protect those you fight for;
Destroy those you fight against.

Battle is a dance long and winding;
War is a path lengthy and strenuous.
Rest and tend to the wounded after each encounter.
Find time for rest and sustenance as you go to war.

Crows fly in undulating waves,
Black birds in a murmuration.
Find your place in the swarm.
Find the proper time for your flight.

I will definitely be doing a working this weekend or coming week, and I’ll choose the time carefully. But a friend of mine recently posted some really wise advice on Facebook that I’ll paraphrase here:

If you’re going to do political magic or battle sorcery, your first step should be to cleanse yourself and your space if you haven’t recently, and to re-up your personal shields and wards. I’ve spoken about this before on the blog, though not recently, but: Xtians may not consider what they do to be magic, and they would probably doubly deny any accusation of banework, but that doesn’t stop the effects from being very, very real. We magic workers have allies, and so have they – and not all of theirs are who you might expect. So go into this work knowing that you have opponents who, if possibly not as conscious of what they are doing, are still largely effective. Much of my work has been to undo theirs, and while I do tend to find their work not always as precise as most of the witches I work beside, they do not lack for power. Do not underestimate their abilities.

Call on your closest allies as you do this work: the Morrigna, but also any other deities to whom you are devoted, any guides or guardians who might be able to aid you, and any Ancestors you work with, particularly if they fought against the Confederacy or the Nazis in their lifetime.

It may be difficult to build a new relationship quickly enough to do this work with anyone new, however, and be on guard against deceitful spirits, anyone claiming to be who they are not. Discernment will be key, and trusted long-term allies will be the most help.

After doing the work, be prepared to do a bit of aftercare. Ground, center, take care of any bodily needs, and check your shields and wards again. Make sure you have a plan for upkeep. Land spirits, if you are on friendly terms with them, can give assistance with warding spaces like your home and place of work. Don’t neglect shields on yourself and your car if you have one, and make sure that you are shielded against attack through your dreams and while you sleep.

If you do still find yourself being targeted or experiencing backlash, ask someone you trust for assistance, or reach out to myself or another healer for help. We Crows work better as a flock, moving as one, supporting each other in community.