Well, today was the first full day of winter. The winter solstice was sort of a poignant holiday for me this year. I was keenly aware
of the change of seasons this year – the days growing darker during the Mysteries of Wesir (late November), as the son of Nut and father of Heru dies and takes His throne in the Duat. I reflected on death. God has died. This God, unlike Jesus, stays dead. He stays dead because the ancestors living there need a King. Now that’s love, if you ask me– I’m sure He could come back to life just fine if He really wanted, but he doesn’t. And the world is dark, and getting darker. The plants are dying, everything is cast in a cold, hard shadow. And then, in the middle of winter, there is light. The solstice signifies the return of the Eye of Ra, who has wandered to the South. At this time, She turns back to us, and is bringing Her light back to us. She is carrying with Her a new light, a growing light, to warm and brighten the Nation. We have spent some time contemplating the darkness of the death of Wesir and now, we once again return to a place of joy and celebration, illuminated with Her love.
This past weekend, I celebrated a festival of Bast with some local Shemsu. We sang, lit candles, and played sistra for the Perfumed One. The quiet fellowship, the solemn ritual and the joyful song and dance renewed my faith with great fervor. I stepped from that time of quiet, dark contemplation, and into a light of joy and fellowship with my brothers and sisters in the faith. I had some deep, burning questions answered by Bast, through a little bit of informal fortune cookie divination. But most of all, I remember what I love most about this religion. Not the stories, though they are intricate and beautiful, not the making of offerings and the reverence, but the pure delight of being in the presence of God alongside others who share in that joy. It is one thing to stand before one’s altar and sing and dance, but to do it with others with no fear of feeling foolish– that is one of the single greatest things I have ever experienced. I vowed as I left to invigorate my spiritual practices– well, just as soon as my sinuses de-stuffed from sleeping with four cats.
I really do feel as though I am cast in a new light, and I look forward to the experiences I will be sharing in light (pun intended) of this.