Episode 10: My Gods – Father: Wepwawet

As a Shemsu of Kemetic Orthodoxy, I have undergone a rite of passage known as the Rite of Parent Divination, wherein it was determined by casting of shells that I have four deities who participated in causing me to exist. I honor two Parents and two Beloveds (see the terms list for more explanation).

My Father is Wepwawet. To understand Wepwawet, one really needs to experience Him. He is, by definition, associated with death, war, liminal spaces, travel, magic, divination, the bridges between the worlds, chance, birth, the King and the royal line. His name means Opener of Ways, and He was given this role in a military, magical, eschatological, and royal context. He is either the son of Aset (Isis) – a shapeshifter and magician – or of Wadjet – one of the Two Ladies associated with the Double Crown of the King.

It is one thing to read about his roles in antiquity, his likes and dislikes and his associations. While all that is important to Him, it is like explaining sleep to someone who has never slept. To know Him is to spend time in one of His places. At dawn or twilight, get in the car, find a highway or a winding road, and just drive. Stare into a dark shadow from bright sunlight, or try to see something in blinding light from within a shadow. Listen to the Unseen.

He is also close in any particular fullness of fervor. For some reason, when I am particularly ecstatic, I feel Him right next to me, laughing, drunk on joy. I couldn’t say why.

He has presented Himself to me as a man with a jackal’s head, either gray or brown, dressed in many guises: a soldier with a spear, brightly woven robes, royal garments and adornments, leather jacket and torn jeans, or a simple linen kilt. He is almost impossible to pin down in one essay – since He wears so many guises to get the job done.

I offer him cranberries, dark chocolate, rum and whiskey, creamy drinks and foods such as chai, milkshakes, cheesecake and lattes, and meat. He appreciates keys, locks, pennies, weaponry (especially arrows!), copper, tiger’s eye, jasper and dice. I associate Him with violet, brown, gold and silver, and with the smell of myrrh or cloves. My most frequent experiences with Him have been highly informal – he is more likely to connect with me while driving than while kneeling. He is intensely practical, sometimes crude, sometimes stern – but always wise.

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