Heru’s Story and Me (Or You)

According to the Kemetic Orthodox practice of determining a guardian deity over each year, this year belongs to Heru-sa-Aset the king (Horus, son of Isis, as the king and not the child). The Oracle of the year speaks of victory, of success, of conquering one’s trials. I never made much of a connection with Heru-sa-Aset. I had a tenuous relationship with Heru-wer (Horus the Elder, brother of Set) as a brand-new Shemsu, but it never became more than casual admiration. Heru-sa-Aset, on the other hand, has felt totally foreign to me.

Over the last few months I have struggled to connect with the year, with Heru, and with this Oracle. In many ways, I see how victory is touching my life; triumph over the storm comes in finally having a finished home for my parents. But, my focus is on so many things that feel unrelated that it feels flimsy. Marriage, career goals, educational goals… none of it feels relevant. It is hard to think in terms of victory and strength when one’s daily life floods with dresses and flowers and cake and stationery.

Heru’s story is about far more than just vanquishing one’s enemies, however. It’s true that Heru defeats Set to avenge His father and it’s true that this takes struggle and conflict. At it’s most basic, however, Heru’s story can be read as that of Him coming into His own: as the heir to His father’s throne, and as His adult self. This is His transition into adulthood; it is the point where he can truly no longer be called “pa-khered”, and becomes “nedj-it-ef” — He is no longer “the child”, but “the savior of His father”. His strength is no longer the hypothetical result of His lineage, but the real, tangible truth of who He is.

Perhaps building a home and getting married cannot be equated with vanquishing one’s troublesome uncle and ascending to the throne of the gods–but from my perspective, it feels tremendous. This is my own Contendings: to coordinate my life, to conquer my anxieties, and to come fully into my own adulthood. Now I admire Heru’s fearlessness and confidence in fighting for His throne. He knew His right and owned His ascension to the kingship. Too often, I question my position in life. Do I deserve this home? Do I deserve my job? Have I earned the right to the success and happiness I am pursuing? My fears and pitfalls are my adversary, pushing against me and testing my strength. Each time I overcome them, I find myself closer to my “throne” — the contented life I deserve to live as an adult.

So it is the year of victory: the year of owning who I am, the year of coming into my own power, the year I possess my strength. May it be so for you, in Heru’s name.

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