Peret.

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 Perhaps the coming Forth is not something done during this month, but at the end – after I have spent time withdrawn, curled in a quiet space, growing in my own way.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.

Hymn to Yinepu, Who Is On His Mountain

Thou art great,
Who is upon His Mountain.
Thou art great,
Guardian of the Necropolis.
Thou art great,
Opener of the Way.
In Thy words lie the truths,
lie the keys to understanding
the secrets of the self,
the touch to unlock the Way;
in Thy arms the warmth
of the dark night sky,
the warmth of blessings —
the ice of the cold night sky,
the chill of a shiver.
Thy speech is a blessing,
Thy countenance, kept well,
will guide our narrow boats
down the river, safely home.
Praises for the guide of the living and the dead!
Praises for the opener of the way!
In His arms we cannot fear the world.
In His arms we are His children.
With His voice we cannot fear the world.
In His voice we hear His children.

A Hand in the Darkness

In the darkness of closed eyes,
there is fear.
There is a chill
down the spine,
an unknown place.

This stillness is foreign
until the hand grasps yours.

“I will guide you.
Come with me.”

In this perfumed hall
peopled by the Names of faith,
ruled by truth and justice,
where the great ordeal is carried out,
the soul stands terrified.

This great beast waits to swallow my heart
should I not be worthy
This great beast waits to devour me.
This great beast may eat my heart.

“I will protect you.
I will ensure that you are fairly judged.
I balance the scale so that it tips not
unless it must.
I will speak for you.”

When the feather’s scale drops to the floor
the soul lightens.

Nekhtet!

The child of He of the Embalming Place
moves on, guided by her Father’s hand.