Link: Better Myths

Just now on Facebook, I ran across a link to a modernized retelling of the myth of Aset and the Seven Scorpions, from a website called Better Myths, and I laughed myself silly while reading it. The site re-tells myths with a… unique perspective.

As a strong, VERY strong warning: It’s often vulgar, offensive and R-rated, so be careful where you read. If you’re up for a good stupid adult giggle at mythology, it’s a place to start. If you only want to read the Egyptian myths, you can find those here.

Sekhmet’s Myths – A Difficult Story.

One of Sekhmet’s most popular myths, the Destruction of Mankind, can be a really difficult narrative to process. In this story, Ra is challenged by mankind, and is advised by the rest of the Gods to send “His Eye” (that is, Hethert) against them. In doing this, Hethert becomes Sekhmet, and begins killing people. Her spree doesn’t stop with the men plotting against Ra; She murders without thought or reservation. She is overcome and totally lost in Her bloodshed.

How can a goddess become lost in destroying Her followers? What can we learn from Her story? The myth depicts Her as a being out-of-control, lost in Her actions. As a deity Her role is given as a righter of wrongs and champion of justice, but the story that associates Her with this role really portrays Her as violent and dangerous. She begins by killing for justice, but quickly loses Herself to killing recklessly.

I get a sense that this is what She had to be: to show that God is not perfect, that mankind cannot be perfect, and that forgiveness and absolution can be given for anyone. When I ask Her about it, the response is complicated. She does not seem ashamed, though I think it would be arrogant to assign things like shame or guilt to a deity. Instead, She seems quietly accepting of Her role. In fact, I get the same sense regarding this myth as I do from Set and the death of Wesir. With quiet resolve, the Gods undertake a difficult and painful act, knowing what They will become.

What does this mean for us, as Their followers? It’s hard to say. I don’t like to make the Gods too human, but maybe those Who have been a part of Their uniquely agonizing stories are more accessible to us in some way. When we lose control, They offer solace and tell us, “We have been there too, and are no less divine than other Gods; why should you be less human than other men and women?”

I know we already have a myth for why the sunrise is so colorful, but I choose to believe this as well:

When the sun rises, and the uncreated lays bleeding on the horizon, broken and defeated by the Son of Nut, Ra and His daughter move into the sky, and She dances. She touches the hem of the night with Her joy, stitching in the seams of dawn with red and golden thread. She sings the clouds into a fury of color, and each step of her slender feet sends neon splashes darting over our heads. She celebrates Her father’s triumph, and sends Him to rule the day with all the beauty Her love can create.

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I am particularly thinking of Bast here, but you can substitute any Eye you’d like. 🙂

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Episode 2: Cosmology.

So according to Wikipedia, cosmology is where the Universe is now, whereas cosmogeny is where the world came from. I am going to delve a little bit into cosmogeny as well as cosmology.

I think the Universe was made when a lot of stuff exploded and turned into a lot of other stuff, or whatever the creation of the Universe really was. Really, that’s what it comes down to. The stories that detail the Creation of the Universe in Kemetic literature are ways to understand the way that the Universe works, and the way that the parts of the Universe work together.

There’s a layer of the Universe on which each of these stories is totally true, I think, but it’s not the one that we usually interact with. At one time, I sat down and determined which of the Creation myths made the most sense given what I had learned in my Biology class. I think I had settled on the myth of Hermopolis, which involves the Nun, the primordial waters, and the 8 primordial gods dwelling within (representing darkness, hiddenness, boundlessness and the primordial water itself), colliding and converging to make the Seen world. But, I believe each myth has importance, because it says something about the Gods and Who They are, about the world and what it is.

As for the way the Universe is now – there are gods. The gods are mighty and powerful, but not omnipotent, not omnipresent, not omniscient. They can’t stop everything, They don’t know everything inherently. This is why communication with Them is powerful. I do believe that human interaction is important to the gods, important to what They do, but not totally vital; for example, the work that I do as a priest is important, and even integral to the way my Gods exist, but if I had never come to do it, They would continue to exist. It would get done, somewhere else, anonymously.

In my opinion, we as humans need to talk to the gods, so that the gods can in turn bless us with what we need, and know that we are listening and waiting. Sometimes They will bless us before we ask. Sometimes They will not know we need Them until we ask. Sometimes, we can do things for Them that They need, just by being present in the physical world in the way that a god cannot.

There is evil in the Universe, because of what the Universe is: an imperfect thing, made by an imperfect process, beloved by imperfect gods that are as much a part of the Universe as They are Lords and Rulers of it. There are also spirits out in the world, beings that are not quite as respectful of the law of “action =  consequence” as the gods might be. Spirits which will harm, which can be helpful, which can do things which the gods may want, need, or be ‘small’ enough to do (think of tiger trying to fit into a mouse-hole).

And then, totally oblivious to the worlds upon worlds that we are not always able to perceive (and their natures not always known!), lives the human race. That’s how I see it.