Episode 7: Seasons and Holidays; the Kemetic Calendar

I celebrate the seasons of the year according to the festival calendar researched and compiled by Rev. Tamara Siuda – so the dates of my calendar are aligned according to the astronomical events relevant in Kemetic Orthodoxy. Other dates for similar festivals might differ!

The year, for me, begins in August, with the festival of Wep Ronpet, or the Opening of the Year. There are three seasons: Akhet (the first season), Peret (the second season) and Shomu (the third season), each with four months. There are five days at the end of the year known as the Days Upon The Year, which are days that do not belong to either year, existing in a different kind of time between the years.

There are a number of major festivals: Opet, which is a Theban festival celebrating Amun-Ra, Mut and Khonsu; the feast of the Beautiful Reunion, celebrating the marriage of Heru and Hethert; the Beautiful Feast of the Valley, celebrating the ancestors and the Theban triad. There are some minor festivals that have become fairly beloved in Kemetic Orthodoxy: Aset Luminous, a feast of Aset, Mother of God; The Feast of the Establishment of the Celestial Cow (or “Moomas”), celebrating Nut and Hethert; the seasonal feasts of the Eye of Ra, as She flees South.

Even as I am so far from the land of the gods I serve, I am immersed in the rhythm of its festivals. Right now, we are approaching the feast of the mysteries of Wesir. This is a solemn festival of the death of the God Wesir and His establishment in the Duat as judge and lord of the Akhu. I have never been very in touch with Wesir, but even I feel the appropriateness in this festival; as the leaves turn brown and fall away, the greenness of the land dissolves – the lord of the green growth, the lord of fertility, prepares to die. As He is established in the West, the green returns.

As the days grow colder, I am reminded of the cycle of the Eye of Ra as She now turns toward the South, gracing them with Her light until She returns in the Spring. At the summer solstice, She flees, leaving each day growing shorter and colder without Her light. At the winter solstice, She begins Her return, and the days grow longer as She moves closer to us.

I have found that the best way to celebrate a Western land in a Kemetic context is to remember the spirit of the seasons – in seasons of abundance, growth and heat. To meditate on all of these things at the appropriate times, and to honor them each in turn. The festivals that occur throughout the year may or may not have relevance in my life; the major ones do, for sure, but I’m not so sure about all of the minor ones. I’m taking the calendar step by step, to be honest – if you’ve ever seen the Kemetic festival calendar, with a holiday every friggin’ day, you know it’s all you can do.

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