Even though I’ve been sick all week,and totally out of sorts with work for another two, I still managed to keep my tradition of keeping a light out for the solstice night. There isn’t any historical precedent for this that I know of, but I feel lighting the candle is a way of helping the Eye of Ra find Her way home again. As I write this the sun is rising now – we’ve survived the longest night yet again. May the goodness in our lives grow with the light of day!
According to the reckoning of the Kemetic Orthodox festival calendar, right now we’re in the feast of the Beautiful Reunion – the marriage festival of Heru-wer, the fierce hawk-god, and Hethert, the cow-goddess of love and joy.
I have a really strange relationship with this festival, partly because I have a really strange relationship with Hethert. To say She is a “love goddess” is incredibly limiting, but it is that part of Her nature that I get hung up on. I have tried to see Her as Hethert-Amenti, a funerary goddess who cares for and comforts the dead — and for a time, it works. I feel like I can get along with Her, and I carry on with my life. I like Hethert, I really do. I am a musician, and a woman, and someone who likes to feel joy. These are all things that are in Her domain, therefore these are all reasons I have to feel comfortable with Her.
The feast of the Beautiful Reunion, however, is a marriage festival. She and Heru-wer are in love. They get married, have a wedding night, they practically even go on a honeymoon – needless to say, this is one time of year where I can’t really ignore Her lovey-dovey side. I am not a romantic person. I would much rather play checkers or talk about brain science than cuddle by candlelight. The idea of a festival entirely devoted to being devoted to someone else rubs me the wrong way. So the logical thing to do would be to let the festival pass by and take little notice of it. Right?
Except it is one of my favorite festivals to celebrate. I love singing for Her and Heru-wer. I like getting caught up in the excitement of Their reunion. I can practically see Her preening before a mirror, humming to Herself while She fixes Her hair – and I can see Him, seeing Her as She greets Him, His face full of pride and love. It is the marriage of victory to celebration, the marriage of song and joy to the fierce enforcer of Ma’at. There is something about this romance that doesn’t make me squirm and want to go wash my hands; so, I sing for the happy Couple and hope that it makes up for the rest of the time that I spend politely ignoring the side of Hethert that makes me squeamish. Dua Hethert! Dua Heru-wer! May Your reunion be indeed beautiful.
Today is Aset Luminous! In the past the feast celebrating Aset and light has fallen on the 4th of July, making the fireworks displays of the United States very appropriate. This year there will be less fanfare, but I will still celebrate with candles and light. I would float my own prayer boat down the local river, but I worry about the environmental implications, especially since it’s already pretty littered and yucky. It’s also still the feast of the Beautiful Reunion – the celebration of the marriage of Heru-wer and Hethert – so it’s a doubly joyful day. Have a wonderful, festive day! 😀