A Month of Devotional Writing: Days Four & Five

Day Four: Beginnings

My first experiences with my gods:

He is there in the darkness, waiting for me to come. I come with my eyes closed, breathing slow and measured, in stillness and silence. I come staring into the center of myself, waiting for myself to expand outward–and He is there. His eyes drive mine away. It is gentle, unthreatening, but nonetheless His visage is too much for me to take in.

“When you can meet My eyes, you will understand.”

—-

It is late and I am lying in bed, mumbling quietly to the force that has been pulling at my heart. She comes while I try to sleep, calling and calling until I feel like I am driven mad. She stares at me through the eye of the moon, filmed by clouds as I dance barefoot in the evening tide: my first taste of divine ecstasy. My companion thinks I’ve lost my mind. She remains unnamed for months, but I feel Her presence in my core.

Day Five: Forgiveness:

What is there to forgive? What could I have done in my life that the gods would need to forgive me? They don’t operate on the same level as I do. They don’t focus on the same things I do. Did I leave Their offerings too long? Did I let Their shrine become untidy? They have already forgiven me by making me human.

More than anything, They teach me to forgive myself–to allow myself to be flawed and imperfect and human. When I bow before them in angst because I have been away too long, They remain. When I fear Their reprimand for having been too busy or too unwell to honor Them, They remind me that there is no shame in that. To honor Them is a blessing; to remain distant is painful, but it is no insult. And so I learn to forgive.

A Month of Written Devotion: Days 1-3

I’m a little late starting this, as always… but I’m going to make an effort anyway. This is from a challenge that started on Tumblr; I’ll be mirroring these there.

Day One: Who?

The gods I will be writing about are the gods of my heart and soul, the gods divined for me in the Rite of Parent Divination: Wepwawet and Sekhmet-Mut.

Wepwawet is a complex deity. He is associated with the transition between life and death, with legitimizing the rule of the King, and with the concept of “way-opening” in general. He guides the dead to the afterlife, passes the royal office to the King, and leads the way for religious ceremonies.

Sekhmet-Mut is a particular manifestation of two goddesses, Sekhmet and Mut. This syncretic deity is found in the Precinct of Mut within the larger Karnak temple in what is now called Luxor. She represents the regal queen goddess Mut acting in the more dangerous active role of Sekhmet.

Both of these gods have had significant impact on how I live my life, both before and after I recognized Their presence. They are the silent guides in everything I do, often indirectly. Who better to spend a month writing about?

Day Two: How?

How did you become involved with your devotional topic?

I “met” my gods in the summer after my senior year of high school, nearly ten years ago. My relationship with Them would not be cemented until 9 months later, when I would have the Kemetic Orthodox Rite of Parent Divination and become a Shemsu.

The divination cemented a relationship I was already keen to pursue. It gave me a framework for honoring the gods I had so deeply begun to love. It’s not a complicated story, but one that has been deeply fulfilling.

I’ve written about this extensively before:

Day Three: Together

In the presence of my gods, I am filled with light. Their presence buoys me, carries me along the tide of ma’at. I kneel at Their feet, illuminated by Their greatness. They are magnificent, they are beautiful, they are beyond compare. There are days I am left breathless watching the candlelight play over Their images.

And my gods–They treat me as Their daughter. They call me by the name They chose for me. They challenge me and teach me and forgive me; and most of all, They love me. They shine with grace. Not the grace of Christian doctrine, but perhaps closer than not: the grace of walking through each day with the strength and love of the gods behind me, knowing that all that I do serves to honor and praise Their presence in this world.

Number the Days

No god designed the calendar that moves with us,
that breathes with us,
inhaling and exhaling years and milestones.

We make the days sacred by our own design.
We consecrate them with our plans,
anoint them with our tears
and sing hymns with the peals of our laughter.

We nimbly navigate the scaffold of holy days
that frames and braces ordinary time.
In truth, these days hold us up
and strengthen us;
they allow us to be renewed.
They mark the time that circles us,
enfolding us in that which is greater
than we can be.

And still, when the day comes
that we have chosen to set apart
we step beyond the widening spiral of years.
We define our holiest calendar,
the festivals with the greatest light.

The time that winds around us makes us smaller
and the time that we arrange
can make us great.

Return to Center

I miss the sense of you beneath my skin,
fur and teeth and tail,
speaking with your language
braced against my tongue.

I pace on pavement,
squint my eyes against the sun–
Her Eye peering into mine.
Stubbornly I stow Your roads,
Mother’s fire, the feather,
the light of Your heart.

I can bear the mantle
of the Queen of Heaven’s daughter,
because I am.
I can trace Your dust-shod footprints,
King of the Highway,
because I am Yours.

Lord of my life, come to me again;
remind me of the wealth and pleasure
in drawing near to You —
in lowering myself before You,
at Your feet, candles and incense —
in filling myself with Your love.

Music Monday, Feb. 24: A Meditation

This song is on my personal playlist for Sekhmet-Mut. There is something of Her in it that I can show better than tell:

The lights are low in the temple. Candles burn through streams of incense smoke, and the chorus of priests chants louder and more fervently, begging an audience with their Lady.

She appears.

She is many things — too many to perceive in one glimpse. She moves with leonine grace, every step purposeful. Her gaze is high and proud, but not haughty; She is regal but not arrogant. She smiles with love for Her people, the priests in Her service and the laity coming with their adoration. Her gown is simple, and still finer than any other in the world; it clings to Her hips and drapes around her legs. She has a deeply feminine silhouette built with layers of muscle. She is not overtly sexual but possesses a mature sensuality. She is the queen in possession of Her own power.

Beneath Her grace and Her beauty lies a danger. Her fingertips end in tearing claws, and you can just barely see the sharpness of her teeth when She speaks. Her eyes convey the message: “I will punish the wicked; I will kill to defend my people”. And yet–you are not scared. You are in the company of the Mother, the pattern from which all mothers were sewn.

She will defend you, if you deserve defending; She will smite you if justice deems it necessary. She owns mercy and consequence. She is the embodiment of power enthroned.