On June 9, 2012, we once again flocked to the New Jersey beach to lay around, goof off, and celebrate the joy of the sun. This time, some of our contingent arranged to arrive at dawn, to say good morning to Ra as He rose. Unfortunately, I will only rise before dawn for one holiday a year (Wep Ronpet), and therefore wasn’t there – but many kudos to those who were!
Apparently there was some sun before dawn, but when I arrived at the beach, it was pretty solidly overcast – and rather chilly, too.
But we made do. Nekhtet made a pretty fantastic sandcastle! I didn’t get a picture with all the little wooden bits he used for bridges and towers, unfortunately.
Once everyone arrived, we set out an image of Ra and offerings for Him!
This must have pleased Him, because after we gave Him the offerings, the sun came out! 🙂
It didn’t last forever, sadly. Ra went behind His clouds again and it started to rain later in the afternoon; we went off to a local restaurant for some dinner, and parted ways full of food and happiness. 🙂
As I posted, this past Saturday I gathered with a number of local Shemsu to honor Ra with a tradition we seem to have created for Him – “Take Ra to the Beach Day”. A few years ago, some of the Shemsu in the New York tri-state area decided to get together periodically to honor a different deity we were not familiar with. In attempting to come up with something different to do, we decided to take a trip to the beach to honor Ra. It was such a wonderful time that we decided to do it again the next year – and the next after that.
The celebration is traditionally a simple one. We arrive, with beach gear in tow. We stake out a comfortable spot, and establish a small altar for Ra on a beach towel. This year we also brought along a small image of Mehet-Weret (in the picture frame, courtesy of Imyt-set’a Shefytbast) as it is Her portion of this particular Kemetic year, and we were in the presence of what is indeed a great body of water. We offer Him gifts and snacks; on His altar, there are SunChips, orange soda, a grapefruit, some oranges, some popcorn and crackers, orange juice and grapefruit soda. Then we spend the day basking in His brilliant rays – or in some cases, hiding from His burning glory under umbrellas! This year, there was even quite a bit of swimming.
Personally, I think these kinds of celebrations are wonderful. We acknowledge the presence of the gods where we are, and then enjoy Their gifts. The pretense is simple – spend time with others and enjoy their company. Stay connected to the gods through each other and through your surroundings. I hope you all find time to honor the gods in your surroundings, and in the joy they can bring. 🙂