There is always love.

See to it that love continues. It is left to you to tend this work. We cannot do it for you alone. You too must serve. 

from the Year 24 Kemetic Orthodox Oracle of Aset

When I read the Oracle for this year, I was ecstatic. I am all about divine love. Love is basically the key word of my religious practice. The word ‘love’ appears more than a dozen times in the Oracle.

Love is such a big word. It encompasses so many things: friendship, family, religion, sex, partnership, enjoyment, and on and on. Love can be comforting and soothing, or so deep it causes pain. It can be so much more than four letters could ever contain. And yet – four letters contain love in its entirety.

Love is a command, it is a sensation, it is an action; in the Oracle, it is all these things. We are reminded that the gods love us — so much so that They bring us into being, suffused with this love from cradle to grave. We are commanded to act always in love — not in romantic love or friendship, but the love that recognizes that we are all children of the gods, and as such deserve respect, honesty, and dignity. We are given the power to love ourselves, to care for ourselves and our world, and reclaim our innocence.

Love is the foundation of my worship. Everything springs from love. The gods love me, so They call to me to honor Them. I love the gods, so I bring them offerings and kneel before the shrine. I learned about the term bhakti yoga (or bhakti marga) in my brief study of Hinduism, and it springs to mind every time I try to describe my religious ideology. Bhakti yoga can refer to the path to moksha, or freedom, attained by love and devotion to a god or to the Divine as a whole. The goal is to be devoted without pretense or desire for reward; to love God for the sake of loving God, and to allow oneself to become absorbed by the love that joins God and devotee.1

I sometimes describe this feeling as grace, though that word has its own Judeo-Christian connotations. There is this lightness, this breathless joy that I feel when I walk out of Their shrine drenched in Their love. It is this feeling that I try to carry with me through the world. It is this feeling that inspired the name change of this blog. This love is powerful and intoxicating. It changes everything it touches. It has certainly changed me.

We are tasked to serve love, this year. We are instructed to ensure that the love They have given us — pure, strong love — continues to move through the world with us. We are expected to share love with each other, to heal each other and support each other.

I am so ready to carry Their love.

  1. This is a way watered down summary of the concept of bhakti yoga. If you are interested in learning, you may wish to seek out someone currently practicing Hinduism who may be more deeply familiar with the concept. My study of Hinduism was purely academic.

And so it goes.

The sun is beginning to set as I write this; it will officially begin to set in about an hour, but the sky is all mottled with colorful clouds and the sun is big and heavy in the West.

Today is the last day of the Kemetic year, and we begin to enter into a time known as the “Days Upon the Year”, or the Epagomenal Days – the Birthdays of the Five Children of Nut: Wesir (August 2nd), Heru-wer (August 3rd), Set (August 4th), Aset (August 5th), and Nebethet (August 6th). At dawn on August 7th, we begin the new year. These Days Upon the Year are a time between time; days outside the cycle. They are weird, and they are very, very special. I am looking forward to greeting each of them meditatively.

This year, known as Year 16 in Kemetic Orthodoxy, was ruled by Ra and Khnum, and was a year of Creation. It was a very, very hard year for me – mostly, because of the lessons I had to learn. Creation, for one, does not necessarily equal Completion. In fact, it RARELY means completion. I spent a lot of time starting projects, to have them last long term throughout the year. While the Oracle, given to the Kemetic Orthodox faith by Aset through divination, for Year 15 spoke bluntly of being forced to see Truth if we resisted it, Year 17 spoke more subtly. We would be forced to love ourselves, to build with our own hands – or we would reap what we had sown. It said it gently, with deep love – but with an underlying sternness that proved exhausting, to me. I have difficulty trusting my ability to begin projects, and leave them to run their course. I have difficulty allowing myself to express myself – feeling that there are so many others who would be better suited for any position I am filling. In the Oracle we were explicitly instructed NOT to do these things – and I fell into my old habits. My attention was drawn, time and painful time again, to the Lessons of the Year – allow your Creativity. Love yourself. Respect yourself. Build something worthy, with faith for bricks and joy for mortar.

Is this a failure? No, and it has taken me a long while to accept that. It’s all a part of the lesson. Even though I forged against the current through the year, and fell down and stumbled and staggered about – I’m still standing. Nekhtet! May my heart be more open in Year 17 – to the lessons of the Year, among other things.

Time to hold on for the next 5 days, keep my head above water – and let Zep Tepi wash over me with the sunrise on New Year’s Morning.