Celebrations, great and small.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

How do you celebrate Festivals and Holidays the Kemetic way?

My style of celebration is best described as “casual”. ūüėÖ¬†What I do will depend on what festival I’m celebrating and how important it is in my personal practice (or the State religion).

For your average holiday, my go-to is making a special offering in Senut to the gods in festival. For instance: we have the solstice festival of¬†She-is-led-back, or¬†Intues,¬†this season.¬†I celebrated with the House of Netjer through the simulcast ritual led via IRC; I offered Hethert a glass of milk and a raspberry chocolate cookie. That’s all!¬†For something more elaborate, like a festival of one of my Parents, I will spend more time in shrine, and will make more elaborate offerings. One festival I offered a bouquet of flowers, a bottle of wine, and a plate of gourmet chocolates. Even though the offerings are more elaborate, it still fits the same format: offerings and shrine time.

Occasionally, when I am able, I will celebrate with other Kemetics. When this happens, the celebrations vary depending on the festival. I’ve participated in overnight vigils for the Mysteries of Wesir, sunrise rituals for Wep Ronpet, paper-boat-making and candle-lighting for Aset Webenut, and more.

Even non-Kemetic holidays can take on a Kemetic spirit. For example: my ancestors would have celebrated Christmas, and I spend the 25th of December celebrating with family who still observe the holiday. I spend the day reflecting on family and my Akhu, and make offerings to my ancestors in honor of their traditions. If I have to go to church, or engage with any non-Kemetic religious practice, I take the opportunity to reflect on my Akhu and meditate on their role in my life.

I’ve learned that celebrations don’t need to be elaborate to be satisfying — especially when celebrating on my own. A little quality time and a special gift for the gods goes a long way.

Back to Reality

Once again the year has reached its end and then its beginning, and I am returning from the House of Netjer’s annual Wep Ronpet Retreat. This year was different. Rather than being held near the House’s temple building in Illinois, the retreat was held in Portland — Oregon, not Maine, as I found I would have to clarify multiple times when talking with family and friends.

I was worried that holding our celebrations outside of a formal temple environment would diminish them, somehow. Instead, I found that it reinvigorated them. First: the Kennedy School, where we held our celebrations, was absolutely delightful. The accommodations were well-furnished and pleasant, the conference spaces were comfortable and beautiful, and the staff were respectful and even curious about our activities. In past years, we were asked to make our own arrangements for dining. This year we were served multiple meals and ate together as a group, sharing breakfast and having comfortable, easy conversation in the bright light filtering through the windows. The room where we held our pre-Retreat priests’ meeting was furnished with soft couches for everyone, for goodness’ sake!

More to the point — the gods and ancestors were present. From the moment we opened with amulet-making to the dawn rites of New Year’s morning, They made Themselves known. Sekhmet was present in Saq at Her ceremony — made even more special because it is Her year. The gods were pleased with our morning celebrations, with Ra appearing and blessing our rites. And the Ordeal of Weshem-ib went smoothly, bringing four more children of Netjer into the order of the Shemsu-Ankh.

Change is good, it would seem. And also inevitable. Change is part of being human, being mortal. Even the gods Themselves have been known to change, temporarily and permanently. I am looking forward to sharing some changes here, and making changes in my personal life and religious life. It will be good.

There is always love.

See to it that love continues. It is left to you to tend this work. We cannot do it for you alone. You too must serve. 

from the Year 24 Kemetic Orthodox Oracle of Aset

When I read the Oracle for this year, I was ecstatic. I am all about divine love. Love is basically the key word of my religious practice. The word ‘love’ appears more than a dozen times in the Oracle.

Love is such a big word. It encompasses so many things: friendship, family, religion, sex, partnership, enjoyment, and on and on. Love can be comforting and soothing, or so deep it causes pain. It can be so much more than four letters could ever contain. And yet – four letters contain love in its entirety.

Love is a command, it is a sensation, it is an action; in the Oracle, it is all these things. We are reminded that the gods love us — so much so that They bring us into being, suffused with this love from cradle to grave. We are commanded to act always in love — not in romantic¬†love or friendship, but the love that recognizes that we are all children of the gods, and as such deserve respect, honesty, and dignity. We are given the power to love ourselves, to care for ourselves and our world, and reclaim our innocence.

Love is the foundation of my worship. Everything springs from love. The gods love me, so They call to me to honor Them. I love the gods, so I bring them offerings and kneel before the shrine. I learned about the term bhakti yoga (or bhakti marga) in my brief study of Hinduism, and it springs to mind every time I try to describe my religious ideology. Bhakti yoga can refer to the path to moksha, or freedom, attained by love and devotion to a god or to the Divine as a whole. The goal is to be devoted without pretense or desire for reward; to love God for the sake of loving God, and to allow oneself to become absorbed by the love that joins God and devotee.1

I sometimes describe this feeling as grace, though that word has its own Judeo-Christian connotations. There is this lightness, this breathless joy that I feel when I walk out of Their shrine drenched in Their love. It is this feeling that I try to carry with me through the world. It is this feeling that inspired the name change of this blog. This love is powerful and intoxicating. It changes everything it touches. It has certainly changed me.

We are tasked to serve love, this year. We are instructed to ensure that the love They have given us — pure, strong love — continues to move through the world with us. We are expected to share love with each other, to heal each other and support each other.

I am so ready to carry Their love.


  1. This is a way watered down summary of the concept of bhakti yoga. If you are interested in learning, you may wish to seek out someone currently practicing Hinduism who may be more deeply familiar with the concept. My study of Hinduism was purely academic.

Happy Last Day of the Year!

Happy last day of the year! The final day of the year of Heru-sa-Aset. I’ll be heading off to Retreat again as of Friday. I probably won’t be posting much here, but I’ll try to share snippets on Instagram¬†and Twitter.

To celebrate the last day of the year, I’d like to share a playlist of some of my favorite songs for the end of the year and the beginning of the next one. Enjoy!

Wep Ronpet 2016:

  1. The Violet Hour – the Civil Wars
  2. The New Year – Death Cab for Cutie
  3. The Earth Isn’t Humming – Thrice
  4. This Year – The Mountain Goats
  5. Morning Has Broken – Cat Stevens
  6. Silent in the Morning – Phish
  7. Here Comes the Flood – Peter Gabriel
  8. Shrine – Beats Antique
  9. Empty Hearts – Josh Ritter
  10. Benedictus – Strawbs
  11. Get Lucky – Daft Punk
  12. It’s the End of the World – R.E.M.

Happy Year 23: Another Year of Heru

Another year of Heru-sa-Aset. It’s going to be a very different year for me. I’ve established this already, by withdrawing from priest service until my degree is finished, but the overall theme I received from my gods during the new year’s celebrations is that I need to change. Things need to change. I am too divided and overworked and I am not better for it. I will need to prioritize and choose my path carefully, and let things that do not serve me go.

I’ve decided to let my Tumblr presence go for now, to that end. I have nothing against the site but it is a huge time sink, and I don’t have time to spare right now. I don’t plan on deleting my account but I did uninstall the app from my phone. I may still post but it will likely be sporadic, and I don’t expect to engage much.

This year my focus will be inward, on growing my own relationship with my Parents and Beloveds, and on living my religion more authentically. On keeping ma’at in my heart at all times. I cannot bring Her to the people until I have brought Her back into my life again. Once I have achieved that, then I will return to the work of my gods as Their priest, and will return to giving of myself to my community. Perhaps then I will go back to the larger inter-Kemetic community, perhaps not. I will try to write about it here, but even this blog might go dark while I listen carefully to my gods. There is too much at stake not to focus this year.

Dua Heru-sa-Aset! Nekhtet!

Back from Retreat

Once again, I return from the annual Kemetic Orthodox Wep Ronpet Retreat full of energy and things to write about. I am hoping to dedicate more time to solid blogging this year, but I’ll be honest — with my final year of academic work towards my Masters, a wedding, a full-time job, and actual ritual work to do — I’ll probably be doing a lot of photoblogging and microblogging. Hopefully I can squeeze in a few juicy content posts too, as I have some really deep thoughts rattling around my head right now… but only time will tell. For now, I am just checking in to say that I am here, wishing you all the blessings that the new year has to offer. Di wep ronpet nofret! Nekhtet for Kemetic Orthodox year 22, the year of Aset.

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.