After eight years of knowing my gods I feel like I’m starting over.

I feel like I had reached a certain place with Them, where I knew my work and They knew that I would do that work and we were all on the same page. Now things have changed, and I’m not certain where I stand or what They really want.

They’ve made it abundantly clear that I’m not done doing Their work, but there’s no hint as to what I’m going to do in the intervening months, nor how I’m going to get back to work for Them. I’ve been slowly trying to ease my way into a ritual practice that suits the overworked schedule of a grad student who happens to be working for pay and interning at the same time. And when I say slowly, I mean glacially. I’ve been doing nothing but purification since Retreat, intentionally. I finally allowed myself to do Senut today, but kept it short, sweet, and to the point. I refuse to fall into the trap of “too much too fast” for returning to regular devotions.

And I feel awkward. I feel like a novice, kneeling uncertainly before my lit candles with a bowl of candy offerings. I waited a few minutes after the offering prayer wondering “now what do I do”? After the elaborate rituals of priesthood, Senut is anticlimactic. I wait for the touch of the Netjeru to come from my little statues, and it doesn’t — not as strongly as my open Icons, anyway.

I need to learn how to feel Them without the tools, I think. To allow myself to reach Their presence as I did before I had the knowledge of a priest. I would find Them so easily when I was new; and then I learned the “right” ways to reach Them and gave up all the others. But I had more time then, still — so who knows. I’ll just do Senut until it clicks.

I don’t question too hard these days. I get up, I work, and I come back to bed when I’m done. I’m Doing, and I’ll think about what I’m Doing when it’s Done.

Day Nine: Faith

noun: faith /fāTH/

  1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something: “this restores one’s faith in politicians”
  2. strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. “she gave her life for her faith”
    1. a system of religious belief. plural noun: faiths “the Christian faith”
    2. a strongly held belief or theory. “the faith that life will expand until it fills the universe”

I have a strange relationship with the word faith. I am a skeptic by nature. I rarely take things “on faith”, as it were. To do so would mean suspending one of my personal principles — that anything worth believing must be examinable; there must be some proof that can be considered before I can be satisfied. To be fair, I probably define proof much differently than others; still, nothing is integrated into my beliefs until I can find reason to consider it true.

My relationship with my Parents is much the same. When each of Them came to me, I did not make the assumption that I had been chosen as Their devotee or child. I acknowledged Them, I honored Them, and I tried to corroborate my experiences with others who dealt with Them. I waited for the Rite of Parent Divination, which confirmed Them as my Parents. Only then did I accept  that They were interested in me, particularly.

I have faith that my gods will not abandon me. I have faith that They will be there for me until the end of my days. I have faith that I always walk with Their blessing. I do not believe for a minute that this will grant me protection from suffering or hardship — but now, only now, after experiences, divinations, and signs and omens have confirmed, do I have faith that these gods are mine and I am Theirs.

Day Eight: Hope

I hoped that I would find my place.

I hoped that I would be good enough for Her.

I hoped that He would be with me forever.

I hoped that I could live up to the name They called me.

I hoped that I would be worthy of the Ordeal.

I hoped that I could serve well as Their priest.

I hoped that They would bless my marriage.

I hoped that They would bless my studies.

I hoped that They would forgive me for focusing on myself.

I hope that I can always honor Them.

I hope that I will always have Their love.

I hope that all that I do can be in Their service.