Susurrus

You were in the dream I had, all heat and shifting sands;
I could hear each grain move against the others with your steps.
Your breath was the burning wind, even as your face was hidden from me
In the gathering clouds.

If I could paint you, in all your glory, my strokes would stripe the canvas,
My colors would convey radiance and movement, awe and change;
Eyes seeing it would fall into an awful depth of vision.

If I could write you, in endless phrase and stanza, my notes would fall like pounding rain,
My phrases would be building crescendo on crescendo, agonizing fermata after fermata;
Ears hearing it would fall into an awful depth of resonance.

Awful is an agonizing state, though it has its benefits.

Advertisements

Space

Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

This is a post about space, but not the kind of space you might be expecting. I suppose outer space could be included in the overall theme, but what I really want to talk about is space for. You know; space for being; space for action; space for recognizing yourself in the context of the universe.

Space for can be as nebulous and difficult to grasp as time for, and I think more people worry about the latter with the idea that finding the time for will open up space for…but I’ve never really been able to do it that way. I have to seek out both at the same time or put space for in the priority position in order to get what I need.

Here’s an example: If I go into my backyard after the sun has gone down and the neighborhood is quiet, I can find space for any number of religious or spiritual things. The fact that I’ve gone out to investigate at a time when distractions are minimized means that I also have some time for any number of religious or spiritual things. They may not match up symmetrically – space for a lengthy ritual may not always match up with time for the same ritual, but there’s always something that can be done with the available space and time. Perhaps I shift gears and act in a way that matches both space and time, or I go back to the space when I have the time to complete what I want to do.

(At this point, I feel like I might be writing in circles. There is a point to this, I swear.)

The largest space for you can imagine will not work for you without the right amount of time for. The largest time for you can imagine will not work for you without the right amount of space for. The two concepts are connected and intertwined just as you and I are intertwined with each other, and the tree, and the rock, and my left shoe (especially my left shoe!). We are all Divine, and thus we are all part of each other’s being.

Look up at the night sky, into what we call outer space, and remember that such vastness of space is not possible without vastness of time. Now, look into yourself and remember the things you want to do, and then seek out the space for along with the time for. When those two things are solidly in your pocket, the possibilities are endless.

Solo-Kemetic

I follow a Kemetic path, mainly because the majority of the gods I worship are netjeru and they expect me to either do as they say, or to argue about it from a firm foundation. Since I have no reason not to follow tradition with them, in terms of worship I generally do as they say.

Now, I’m not a reconstructionist by any means, and I’m pretty sure reconstructionists would be horrified by some of the things I do. But my gods are pleased, and my practice is whole and full even if it is solo.

So what does this mean? Well, it means waking the gods in the morning. It means giving offerings of bread, and water, and beer. It means reading traditional prayers, and hymns, and dancing, and singing in praise of the netjeru. It means having shrines dedicated to them, designed in a specific way. It means honoring my akhu, and performing rituals rooted in ancient writings. It means heka. And, since I don’t have a ritual group with which to practice per se, or a temple to go to, I do these things on my own.

I say per se because I do have a religious community. It just happens to be online, and made up of people from many faiths and who follow many paths. I get to bounce things off people with other points of view, and apply what fits to my own practice. In addition, since at least two of the gods I worship are not netjeru, I can brainstorm ideas with others who worship them without leaving my own community.

It’s not easy, and in my fallow times I sometimes wonder if I’d be better off joining some sort of group. But the fallow times pass, and I feel the closeness of my gods, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Safety and Survival

“It’s true, we’re never safe. I’ve never understood the fascination with safety. Some of us choose differently.” – Morinth, Mass Effect 2.

Unlike Morinth, I do understand the fascination with safety. I understand the wish to just curl up and not have to worry about anyone or anything, to know that my needs will be met, to know that survival isn’t just possible, but guaranteed.  There’s a line in a lullaby that Katniss Everdeen sings in book one of the Hunger Games trilogy that sums up the wish perfectly, in my opinion – “Here it’s safe, here it’s warm, here the daises guard you from every harm…”  It’s a beautiful sentiment – being safe and contented and warm and fed and cared for, never to be harmed.  It’s what we want for our children, and our loved ones and, though we rarely admit it, for ourselves.

Unfortunately, a world where everyone is safe and warm and protected and guaranteed survival isn’t likely to happen in my lifetime.  I like to think it could, but every day the behavior of my fellow humans brings me a little closer to walking a path of despair…and that’s putting aside the fact that I have Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and triggers galore.  Here a mass shooting, there a monomaniacal dictator gassing his own people, and down the road another college student attacked walking home from a late class.

We are all Divine. We are all of the same glorious Whole, which means that each of us are connected, and each are precious. Survival is essential in order for the universe to grow and improve. Safety is essential for that survival. So how do we, as pieces of the Divine, nurture it and ensure the survival of our other parts?  How do we then go on to ensure that those surviving parts are safe?

Chances are…you’re already doing it.  There’s no magic spell, no silver bullet – nurturing the Divine is in our every day actions.  Every time you cuddle and feed and clothe and love your children; every time you choose to recycle your soda can instead of tossing it in the garbage; every time you take used clothing to the Goodwill for donation; every time you encourage the growth of native plants in your yard; every time you offer a shoulder to cry on; every time you take yourself to a doctor’s appointment, you are nurturing the Divine.

As we go, so does the Divine.  As we survive, so does the Divine.  As we are safe, so is the Divine.

Hymn to Set

Lord of the Red Lands, He Who Harbors Outsiders, Separated God!  As rocks reflect heat after the sun is swallowed, Your gaze pierces me.  I present myself!  Your presence engulfs me and I bask in Your warmth.

Eye of the Tempest, Storm that Drives the People Home, God of Confusion!  As the waters grow then recede when time has come, Your purpose fills me.  I will not falter; I will be your hands and eyes.  I am Your strong tool!

Master of Ordeals, Great One of Tribulation, Keeper of my Heart!  As wind moves sands across the Western Desert, Your Work never ceases.  Foundations may fade as I stand at the crossroads…but I journey on.

Hymn to Sekhmet

Hail to You, Lady!  Keeper of Ma’at and Your Father’s Protector, through You I am strong!  I come to You, not bended, but proud, straight, and tall.  I have not stolen; I have terrorized no one; I have made none weep.

Hail to You, Lady!  Patron of Medicine and Bringer of Healing, in Your name I work!  I uphold ma’at and give back to the people; I am Your servant.  I have not attacked; I have not carried off food; I have wronged none.

Hail to You, Lady!  Eldest of Your Creator, Mistress of the Crowns, I give You myself!  May your ka be refreshed, may my offerings please You, may I know Joy.  I am not unclean; I have not uttered curses; my heart is not hard.

I am pure; I am pure; I am pure.