Today is the first day of Peret, on the Kemetic Orthodox calendar. Akhet brings the flood, and Peret brings the growing.

It is also the first really wintery day here. The sky is beautifully blue and clear, and the air is dry and cold. I’ve been relying on chapstick and hand lotion pretty heavily. This is probably the season with the greatest disconnect for me, as a Shemsu in a very different climate. It is hard for me to imagine Kemet with snowy fields and frozen lakes, but that’s what Peret means here.

It encompasses the depths of winter, complete with blizzards and sleet and hail. It also touches the beginnings of spring, the verbal equinox, just at the end of the season.

Peret is a word referring to coming forth, to emerging. It is the word in the Kemetic title of the Book of the Dead: the prt m hrw, the Book of Coming Forth By Day. I know I don’t feel much like coming forth at any point, day or night, during the winter. And yet, I will always emerge on the other side, cautiously peering out in the spring. Perhaps the coming Forth is not something done during this month, but at the end – after I have spent time withdrawn, curled in a quiet space, growing in my own way.

This season, my thoughts turn to the colder gods. To Sokar, to Nebthet, to Set, Yinepu, Nut. And especially to my Akhu, whose stars are more visible in the clear winter sky, and mirrored in the holiday decorations around town. May we be blessed in this season of quiet growth.

DIY Wep Ronpet: Epagomenal Days

Em hotep! In preparation for the end of the year (which is barreling towards us faster than a speeding train I might add), I thought I’d post some tips for those who will be celebrating the arrival of Wep Ronpet at home. I thought I’d break this post up in two, for the last two days of the year – convenient, eh?

First up are the Epagomenal Days – or for those of us not fond of tongue-twisters, the Days Upon The Year. For those of you playing along at home, these are the days that take place after the year has ended but before the new year has begun. Mythologically this comes from the story of the birth of the children of Nut, which was not to take place during any day of the year. Djehuty worked his sly magic, won some light from the moon, and poof – five extra days for Her children.

I like to take these days to honor each of Her children, and to reflect on what of each gods domain I need to improve or eliminate from my life. I start the day by lighting a candle to whichever deity is in festival that day, and stay mindful of what message They might have to bring to me.

The first day belongs to Wesir (Osiris). For Him, I light a green candle. I ask His blessing on my relationship with the Akhu. I will reflect on my own relationship with my ancestors, and how I can improve or better it. I will meditate on stability – where it needs to be built and where it needs to be taken away.

The second day belongs to Heru-wer (Horus the Elder). For Him, I light an orange candle. I ask Him to bring me strength and good judgment. I will reflect on where I am in control of my life, and where I am not. I will meditate on strength – where I need to carry more of it, and where I have exercised too much.

The third day belongs to Set. For Him, I light a red candle. I ask Him to keep chaos and disorder out of my life. I will reflect on what has been stagnant in my life, and what has been out of order. I will meditate on change – where I need to make more of it, and what I need to allow to settle.

The fourth day belongs to Aset (Isis). For Her, I light a blue candle. I ask Her to watch over the heka and magic I do. I will reflect on my successes and failures as a magic worker. I will mediate on wisdom – where I have used right judgment, and where I have erred in my decisions.

The fifth day belongs to Nebthet (Nephthys). For Her, I light a purple candle. I thank Her for the blessing of life for another year. I will ask Her to watch over those I love in the West, and to help me be mindful of how blessed I am to be alive. I will meditate on time – how precious it is, and how I can make the most of it.

Each day, I light a candle for each of the days upon the year that has passed. I light one on Wesir’s day, two on Heru-wer’s day – and so on. If you’re interested in celebrating at home, feel free to use my “template” and add to it as you like. 🙂 Tomorrow, I’ll post about Wep Ronpet itself. Enjoy!