Back from Retreat

Well, I am back from Retreat 2012 and am slowly trying to find my way back into daily life. Retreat has its own rhythm to it. I lose track of what day of the week it is and live solely based on which God the day belongs to; I openly embrace others and become very physically demonstrative; I find myself speaking about the Gods without reservation. It’s hard to come out of that space and back down to Earth.

In some ways, I want to say that we shouldn’t need to come away from this total immersion in Kemetic faith. Living deeply in a Kemetic mindset is grounding. It feels right. Unfortunately, nobody will understand what I mean if I keep using Kemetic dates unless they’re Kemetic too. And therein lies the need for balance.

This year is to be a year of balance; of holding all things within ourselves in equilibrium. This is the first challenge, I think: to come back to reality and hold within myself the heka and power given by time spent with the Gods, and weave that through the dealings of my secular life. May Nut grant me Her patience as I work to learn this lesson.

Quick Notes from Retreat

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Retreat is under way, and I’m having so many thoughts about everything already. It has been a very profound experience for me already – both personally and spiritually. I am amazed at what we as a community are capable of accomplishing; I am amazed at how close we can become with what feels like no effort. I will have much more to say as the days unfold, but for now I send you love and best wishes for Year 20, the year under Nut, Who is the Sky at Night.

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Yelling at the Gods I Serve

During Her Saq last Retreat, Sekhmet’s message for me was that this was going to be a good year. A really good year, even. And then it was peppered with potholes – my partner’s injury (and subsequent loss of mobility) in his thumb, dissolution of plans to move in with my partner, my dad’s back surgery, my further decline into an emotional pit, the temporary decommissioning of my shrine spaces, the necessity of moving my shrine spaces, my struggle with triggering material in my schoolwork, my dad’s further back surgery and subsequent massive complications, a number of persistent (though thankfully not severe) illnesses, and countless other little failures and setbacks along the way.

At some point I started shouting at the Gods about it. “You said this was going to be a good year! Why the hell would you get my hopes up if it was going to suck so drastically? What am I doing/not doing to be punished like this?”

Last night I finally got an answer. I was dragging myself into shrine, limping after basically pulling myself to pieces in therapy earlier, with a bad case of the pricklies. As I pressed my forehead to the floor before my Mother, I heard simply:

We may see the good in a year, but it is the deeds and fate of others that may get in your way.

Even that hurts a little. I was promised something good, and it got screwed up somehow. To my cranky mortal brain, That’s Not Fair. And then I looked at the Ptah heka from Wep Ronpet, and proceeded to bonk my head against the wall. Yes, this year has been hellish and painful and my gods I will be so glad to see the birth of Ra again BUT– not a single piece of this heka has been wasted. My needs, my goals – I’m far closer to them all today than I was last August. I don’t want that to be the case in some ways. If I’m promised something good, I want it to be something good in my understanding. I don’t want it to be something “good for me”, like medicine that cures your illness with a million side-effects. I want to enjoy it.

But here I am, approaching the New Year and my 24th birthday; looking forward to a trip to the beach with Ra this weekend and a few others besides, and I’m here and I’m a little more resilient than I was this time last year. A little more scraped up on the knees to be sure, but then I suppose we get these bodies to use them.

Home again.

Yesterday we celebrated the Day of Wetting the Head before Netjer with a series of wonderfully effective herbal baths, followed by lunch. Then my least favorite part – saying goodbye, and coming home.

It’s hard for me to leave Retreat. There are so many things floating around my head from discussions an experiences during the week. There’s a zone of comfort being surrounded by people who really get what we do, and leaving that can be unsettling. I have come away this year with work to do, as with any Retreat. Good work, it seems – the overwhelming message this year was that me personally, and the House of Netjer as a whole, will have a better year.

I have more to share, of course. As things process and coalesce into coherency I will post them. It will be a very beautiful year. 🙂