Enlightenment Achieved

Yes, I’m alive (not that anyone cares). No, I will not be posting here any time in the near future.

I figured it out. Only a few months and I figured it out.

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Before I Fall Down

This week has been utterly fucking exhausting, although I will say I used my energies to better effect this week. I’m so tired it’s going to be a close one for me to fulfill all my responsibilities for the day. So far I have to turn in my letter (needs proofreading, but pretty happy with it), read scripture, meditate, and do mindfulness exercises. At least the meditation and mindfulness can be done in bed, as a prelude to sleep.

With that preamble out of the way, it should be no surprise to anyone that I’m very happy that this week’s reading comes from the Anubis Oracle.

As usual, the question is: “How should I approach the coming week?”

                          Sopdet

Tree of Life                  Anpu

Sopdet just shows up all the time, eh?

O, Sopdet. O, shining Polestar.
There you are, and here am I.
If only I could be a faithful dog
tracking you across the sky!

For my chosen Polestar is a binary system. In Hinduism, I believe that would be Shiva + Parvati. For those of you who are Kemetic, that’s Aset + Anpu. Or it can be Bast + [Unknown]. I would guess Anpu, depending on if you can accept that Anpu is, in certain contexts, child of Bast. Which just sounds weird to me. Good, but weird. Moving on.

This is the first time Sopdet has reappeared alone. She’s shown up with Right Timing and Direction a couple times and of course she’s also appeared in other guises. Sopdet points out places that are ripe for renewal or resurgence. She is the healing after the pain. She’s the one who brings plenty after want, but remember that she is also the one who brings want after plenty. In general, the appearance of this card is very positive. You just have to remember that there’s always a flip-side with the Netjeru.

Sopdet reminds us that it’s always darkest before dawn. Her appearance in a reading indicates that you are not currently lost on whatever path you’re on. . . although I don’t know if that means you’re, y’know, actually on the right path!

Sopdet is in the Nekhbet-Mother-Mut position, meaning it’s her energies that are at play this week. As someone who’s been feeling worthless and beat down for the past couple of weeks, Sopdet is a very welcome sight. Like water to the thirsty, food to the starving. I love my Polestar and will continue moving toward him. I get a nice, fresh start this coming week.

The card in this position also hints at where your ego needs to be during the week. When things are fresh, new, and unknown, you need to remember to remain humble. I think this ties in with the rest of the reading, which I’ll get to here shortly.

Anpu has shown up in a reading before. He indicates the need for surrender. Now, I didn’t look into this much when I first pulled Anpu, but this time I read up a bit.

It depends on the religion you follow. From the context of mine, here it is:

Surrender is when you accept everything–good and bad–as divine grace from god. This doesn’t mean you don’t try to better yourself, or the world. It doesn’t mean you don’t try to help others. It’s just, whatever the outcome is. . . that’s grace. And on the dark side of things, sometimes grace is really fucking awful. And other times grace is really fucking great.

Sometimes this means clinging to god as hard as you can. Other times, it means letting go and letting god take care of you.

Which brings me to the subject of trust. Which I lack. Almost completely. I trust gods to be gods. In the context of human-immortal relations. . . my trust–you could say my faith–is greatly shaken. So much has happened I don’t even know exactly what shook my faith to pieces. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe I just made the mistake of clinging to the wrong things, or letting go when I needed to hold on.

In the AO’s Anpu card, you see Anpu hanging upside down, gaining a new perspective on life. There’s a serpent twined around his feet and crawling downward. Yet Anpu looks serene. Not scared. There’s a certain degree of trust (or faith) that you must have when you’re hanging upside down to get a new perspective on life.

Beyond the concept of surrender, Anpu also helps us learn how to know when it’s time to let go, and then how to do it. He indicates that you can receive or give emotional/spiritual guidance. He is about making a transition and, in the process, letting go of old perceptions.

In my case, I feel like the surrender part is more important for the spiritual side of things. That’s what’s resonating the most with me this week. For the mundane, I think the letting go of old perceptions is important, because it’s my perceptions of how things should operate that’s made work for the past two or three weeks so awful and exhausting.

Anpu is in the Nebet-Het position, meaning I can rely on Anpu for the more intuitive parts of the week.

The last card, which is the crowning achievement of the reading and the connection between the earthly and spiritual, is the Tree of Life. This card incorporates Bast, Anpu, and Ausir in one beautiful image. Bast, as holy longing, ignites Anpu’s desire to know more, and Ausir waits for Anpu to die and live again in knowledge.

The Tree of Life asks us to consider the concept of surrender. It asks us to take a moment to be in complete stillness, in meditation. And in that moment, we should ask ourselves, what do we want to discover or renew?

The Tree of Life can also indicate a rite of passage.

Given Anpu’s earlier appearance, this week is going to be about surrender, what that means for me, how that’s going to change my spiritual (and maybe mundane) landscape, how to put that into practice, how to deal with my innate mistrust, etc. I think I need to try to move a little closer to god. It’s been four months now since I started on my year-walk. While I’m technically getting a little more than a year since I started last November, four months in is not that far from six months in, and I need to think about where I’m at.

Confucius says that it does not matter how slowly you go so long as you don’t stop, but I don’t think he envisioned somebody moving quite as slowly as me!

The longing is the there . . . the ability to be reborn is there . . . would I hang upside down?

I also have to wonder. . . what do I want to discover or renew? Long term and well as short term (this week).

Oh, I have some ideas. There are some things the soul never forgets. But will I admit it? And will I face the consequences? There’s the rub. The consequences could be very good or very bad for me. It’s only human to consider them. Perhaps that’s where surrender comes in. I don’t know. I need to sleep on it.

Whenever I hear that song
I get nostalgic.

 

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Derp, Derp

Was just reflecting on Hehut and the one or two other Khmenu primordials I’ve pulled from the BoDO. Nun, too. Happened to remember something from a particular book, and came up with:

. . . the potentiality of movement in a condition of fluidity or, more precisely, liquidity. . . . the ancient Egyptian metaphor as an ocean of possibilities. . . .

(Author’s emphasis, not mine.)

And:

Inherent in this egg and ocean of possibilities, then, are all the elements necessary for creation, but it is the Creator who in developing himself, brings being, as an active process of development (Kheper) into being. . . .”When I developed, development developed.”

And:

Thus, creation is not construction out of nothingness but differentiating and ordering that which exists and making it active. The Creator brings himself into being as a self-developing God through mind, will, speech, and effective action.

Just a little more:

The divine, therefore, becomes for humans an image of possibility and a model to emulate. . . .

. . . As the ethical texts repeatedly state, “I made my character”–in a word, I made myself into what I am.

. . . The universe is alive with the possibility of becoming.

One important thing I’ve forgotten about when working with Nun and the primordials is the concepts laid out above. For example, when I pull someone like Hehut, it’s not that there are a million possibilities that might occur, there are a million possibilities that I might bring into being and there are an infinite number of things that I might make active and, therefore, “alive”. This is an important conceptual shift because (a) it puts things squarely in my court and (b) it changes the context of entire readings because there’s more agency involved.

In the case of Nun, it’s not just that there are endless possibilities with far-reaching consequences, it’s that there are endless possibilities that I will bring about with my actions.

Everything alive and vibrant in Kemetic culture is active. Someone is always doing something, creating something, differentiating something, enumerating something, etc. Kemetic culture is not passive, and if you read the cards in a passive light, you miss the message.

Not only that, but all the ingredients necessary for you to be, for you to differentiate, for you to be active–they are all in you. You are perfectly yourself in your egg.

I keep forgetting that.

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The Sound and the Fury

This week, I am utterly exhausted. So it is without further ado I present my BoDO reading, where I asked the usual: “How should I approach the coming week?”

                       Nekhbet

Heru           Mafdet

Serqet      Sekhmet      Renenutet

Nun         Serqet/NN    Aner-en-Rekh   Hehut

Nekhbet is in the Sirius position, so she is the guiding principle of the reading. Nekhbet is the southern protector, nourisher, and mother through annihilation. She is a protective presence. The shine on her beautiful feathers illuminates the path ahead, which would otherwise be quite dark and mysterious. Nekhbet can indicate the gestation of plans , clear-sightedness, and successfully executing some plan.

Right now, my path is very dark. I’m exhausted from work, and things are piling up. I have no sensitivity to anything anywhere thanks to this exhaustion. It’s nice to know that I have a broad-winged vulture watching over me this week not only guiding me, but also picking all the dead bits of energy off me.

I’m not sure there’s anything super specific to pick up from Nekhbet here.

Heru. . . Heru keeps showing up. He’s in a past position that indicates past thought patterns and their influence on the future. He’s sort of a sanity check this week, I think. Even though I’m really fucking lost, the basic thrust of my journey is still on target.

Mafdet is in a future-facing position that indicates actions for the future and where the card modifies and guides energies toward precise ends through conscious direction of the mental and emotional body. Mafdet appeared in this position when I first read the cards back in November. Back then, I saw her as a call to spiritual discipline and pain should my failure be too great. Today, I still see that.

Mafdet is telling me to keep getting on track. Sitting here thinking about Mafdet’s card, she appears almost as a sort of conductor, so Mafdet is pointing me where I need to go. I’d also like to point out the imagery of the prisoners, meaning . . . I really don’t have a choice here. Do it or else.

Together, Heru and Mafdet form the Eye. I sort of feel like I’m Heru this week and am about to get a schooling . . . .

Serqet is in a past-looking position that indicates what compelled me to ask the question in the first place. Serqet is the goddess of the breath and the steady ebb and flow of energy. She is contraction into the self. She is also protection from the poisons of the world. When Serqet appears, it’s a warning that energies are being misused or being directed toward improper ends.

Consciously and subconsciously I know I’m not using my energies the best. I’m frittering them away and it’s causing all sorts of havoc in my daily life. Some part of me knew that when asking the BoDO my question, but I needed Serqet to show up to solidify that for me. I need to get off my ass, get focused, do what I set out to do.

Sekhmet indicates how the energies of this reading interact with one another on the spiritual, emotional, and mundane plane. The BoDO may be asking me to act something like Sekhmet. Sekhmet is the embodiment of both plague and health; rage and peace; pain and joy. She is powerful magical protection, a stern guide, and, pulling from the AO, the best one to learn things like discipline, courage, level-headedness, self-control, etc., from. This week’s energies will best be served if I embody Sekhmet and remember the Dharmic lessons that are being put in front of me daily. I have a feeling my temper may be tested this week, just as Sekhmet’s temper is tested. Do I let the rage flow, or do I stymie it?

Renenutet indicates the flow of my wishes and expectations for the week, or perhaps how the week is going to flow in general. Renenutet is a goddess of fate, so this week some things are just going to be. Not really much in my control. She also indicates good fortune, wealth, plenty, and nourishment of the body and spirit.

Renenutet is kind of a nice card to have in this position. I think I need to spend some time feeding the soul and practicing self-care instead of continuing to spiral into this self-hate I’ve been dealing with.

Nun is in, frankly, sort of a strange place! I’d never expect to see him so far in the past, in a position indicating the past and how it’s still carrying forward. Nun means start from square one. Push it all into the abyss and give yourself a nice, clean, fresh slate. Decisions have far-ranging consequences. He represents a potent beginning, brimming with possibilities.

So I guess the BoDO is trying to remind me that I’m still starting over, given my various freak outs about different things over the past few weeks. I still have this clean slate that I’m working from and it’s still early enough that if I make a couple bad decisions, I can recover.

I pulled Serqet for my next card, so had to pulled Netjer Netjeru. Netjer Netjeru is the BoDO’s wildcard, for better or for worse. You can expect the unexpected, just about anything is possible. I happened to pull this card in a position that indicates how I’ll advance my goals or react to any one situation. Oddly enough, I got a NN right at this very same spot a couple weeks ago. I’m throwing the BoDO for a loop, perhaps, or, as usual with the BoDO, it’s looking at the big picture while I’m asking for the small one.

The BoDO doesn’t know what to tell me here, because depending on how I direct my energies, the week could go one way or another entirely. With Nun as a sort of lingering influence, I sense that something else is building up here and how I choose to direct myself is going to make a big difference in the future. So I need to get my shit together. Even Mafdet says so. It’s so hard, but I’ll do my best. Steady effort is better than sporadic major effort.

I pulled Aner-en-Rekh in the position that indicates the implementation of decisions, the power to do things, and personal action. You’ll notice the “Rekh”, or “Rekhet”. A Rekhet is a person who can act as a intermediary between the gods because of their sensitivity to the divine realm. They can sense spirits in general. They truly know, because they have a special sight, and that’s the point of Aner-en-Rekh.

Aner-en-Rekh is distilled experience, enlightenment, the completion of some great work. She is the alchemist who has finally had success in transformation after much effort and now holds the Philosopher’s Stone. She truly knows. She truly sees. Her actions are efficient and effective because of the depths of her inner sight.

This week, I need to be like a Rekhet, looking deep within myself, observing the ebb and flow of life, meditating on my life. I need to truly know myself and what needs to be done in order to approach this week most effectively. I need to be like a meditative Sekhmet, in a sense.

This week, my actions should be taken with care, with thought, with premeditation. I should focus my energies and efforts like a Rekhet would.

Hehut indicates what to do to reach a decision or a goal, or maybe she’s just telling me how to approach the week. Hehut is one of the Ogdoad, so pretty difficult to understand. Hehut represents eternity, infinity. She represents the ability to transcend time-based limitations, as well as spiritual evolution and transformation.

So this is a tough card to interpret in this particular spot. But I think Hehut is telling me not to get too laser-focused on the week to week. Yes, it’s important, it’s just there are more things that I have to worry about, more things I have to do. I think she’s saying that there are an infinite number of things I can do this week to be more like Sekhmet, to direct my energies, etc.

In sum, I need to make sure that I focus and direct my energies to good use. So no frittering them away on junk, or at least cut way down on that. I need to do some self-reflection and ask myself what “Great Work” I’m trying to accomplish, so I know where to direct myself. I need to remember that I’ve just begun, that there’s still time to fix any mistakes made, and act accordingly. I need to remember to be like Sekhmet when she’s at her best, and I need to keep up with this structure I’ve built around myself.

And you know I have a love,
a love for everyone I know.
And you know I a drive
to live–I won’t let go!

But can you see its opposition
comes rising up sometimes?
That it’s dreadful imposition
comes blacking in my mind?

And then I see a darkness.

Posted in Spirituality

Maatdharmaamrahdtaam

Dje

Anyway, I feel like I’m getting off track and losing sight of things, so I asked the Anubis Oracle a much different question this past Saturday.

What do I need to do to get back on track with my path?

I even pulled a different spread. Here it is:

                                           Sobek and Horus         Sekhmet

Djehuty          Right Timing and Direction        Ptah          Sphinx

Djehuty and Right Timing and Direction represent Het-Heru and the joy that is possible when two apparent opposites are brought together. By using the energies here, you can overcome the two cards in the Set slots (Ptah and the Sphinx), which leads you to the rarefied power of the Eye of Ra, represented here by Sobek and Horus and Sekhmet.

In this reading, Djehuty is an outward expression of love and power to be used. In this case, I think I need to continue with my shadow work and other practices in solitude. There will be a time where I’m out in the world–I feel it in my bones–but that time is not now.

Right Timing and Direction is an inward expression of love and power to be used to reach a goal. First of all, I think I’m at the right place, at the right time, and for once in my life have the right idea of where I need to be going. The renewing energies of Sopdet, the hidden principal of Amun-Ra, and the healing aspect of Khonsu are all active and on my side. I can draw on them for strength and support.

Ptah and the Sphinx are in the Set slots, meaning they’re things that appear to be confrontational or problematic (note the word “appear”). They can be things that need to be confronted. Or they may represent things you need to do shadow work on. I think the last two are the most accurate in my situation.

Ptah is the craftsman who asks us to know him by knowing our hearts deeply and acting on that knowing. The Sphinx represents knowledge and meditation and asks us to meditate and reflect deeply so that we may be able to be open to accept guidance. Ptah is the less visible aspect of this situation while the Sphinx is the more visible aspect.

I’ve talked about this at length on my blog, but there is a truth I am skirting around. It’s almost impossible to put into words. It flits in and out of my consciousness, daring me to shape it with words. This truth is, I believe, that what I see in my heart, what I say, and what I do are not congruent. Because I am so afraid to admit to a simple, if serious, mistake, I cannot reconcile what I feel with what I decide to do. Well, tonight, I took the first step to doing so. I stood before god’s shrine, told him how I feel, told him where I’m going, how I’m going to get there, etc. I told him I’m a citizen of his town.

I finally took the Sphinx’s advice and listened to myself. This will all be an ongoing process, but I will make it happen.

Finally, at the top we have Sobek and Horus and Sekhmet. Sobek and Horus have shown up pretty recently. In order to take the high road and integrate all these other energies, and in order to tear down old divisive ways of thinking, I have to consider these two cards. Sobek and Horus asks us to do shadow work, to plumb the depths of our sadness, shame, and disappointment, and come to terms with all of that. There’s also an element of forgiveness and understanding in this card. I need to forgive myself and continue to work to understand what it was that brought me to this place. I need to forgive the people who hurt me and understand that. . . well, that’s kind of just what shitty people do. You weed them out of your life and you move on.

I need to go back to the lessons Sekhmet wanted me to learn: self-control, discipline, silence, discipline, courage, level-headedness.

I’d like to point out that Djehuty and Sekhmet are in similar positions from the reading I did when I first got started. The AO is telling me to return to my roots. Always, always, always return to the roots if I get lost and I’ll find my way again. My polestar, my infallible guide, my winged shoes. Looking beyond the AO to my first BoDO reading, I see that I need to keep embodying Heru, need to keep creating with my hands what I see with my heart.

The more I reflect on these cards, and the more I reflect on the cards I’ve had recently, the more I realize the AO and the BoDO–and god(s)?–are asking me to become a Maatian–a Dharmic–person. It all makes sense. Sekhmet’s lessons are the hallmark of a Maatian person. Heru’s behavior is the hallmark of a Maatian person. This year’s growth and healing comes from becoming that Dharmic person.

I will make it. It’s not all going to happen in a year, nor am I ever going to be perfect, but I’m going to dig my heels in and do my best.

Posted in Spirituality

And I Just Swaffed Away

Was reading over yesterday’s BoDO reading and went over Wenut 4 – 5 again:

Wenut 4-5 is seated in a future-looking position, indicating a guideline for future actions. Wenut 4-5 refers to the darkest hours as Ra travels through the Duat. Even Ra’s own light can’t penetrate the darkness here. The road is rough and unpleasant and he must be towed along. The only thing anybody can do is grin and bear it.

Wenut 4-5 refers to the dark night of the soul. It also warns you that, while it’s always darkest before dawn, you’re also coming to a low point of unhappiness and suffering. It’s not a terrible card to get, but definitely not something you want to see in a future-looking position when you’re already feeling drained.

Why am I so perturbed by my shrine and divine communications problems? The BoDO basically told me what was going to happen.

Hello, facepalm.

Like Ra, I guess I’m being towed/dragging myself through the week. Wonder how work is going to turn out. Oh, god. Well, I’ve survived everything so far. No reason to assume I don’t have a good crack at it this time around.

To be honest, between the appearance of Shai and Renenutet, I think I’m certainly being pushed harder than ever before.

Posted in Spirituality

Six Years

The first and greatest victory is to conquer yourself; to be conquered by yourself is of all things most shameful and vile.

-Plato

So, I want to write about why I don’t want to do shrine practice for god, why I keep turning my attention to this and that, “forgetting”, etc. It’s very obvious: fear. A very Sobekian thing, I might add.

If I approach god and it turns out he’s not actually listening, what will I do? And what in the heaving hell will I do if god is listening? Am I ready for this? I mean, it’s not like I’m going to all of a sudden be swept up into the deepest mysteries as a high priestess. At the same time, the first step is always a doozy. I just don’t have the reckless, ignorant confidence I used to have.

This evening, I turned on some music, cleaned the shrine, lit some incense, lit the candle, sat before it all, meditating, talking to god. Now I feel so light-headed, so tired, even have a bit of a headache. I had to excuse myself to drink water because I thought I might be dehydrated (frankly, I think that’s what exacerbated whatever trigger). Now I don’t feel grounded and will be having a little snack and game time to ground me again. It’s amazing how much that drained me. It was, what, ten minutes at most?

It was something about the shadows, something I sensed when I was cleaning the shrine. Something, something. Something that I can’t even begin to pick apart in my fear. Once again the mud has stirred up in the glass of water.

Perhaps it was the incense that pushed the trigger along. But right now I don’t have a great feeling. Like something bad happened, or just a something happened. Or I just feel bad overall. Sometimes it’s hard to tell with these things. I will be cautious, but probe forward. It just occurred to me that maybe god is not happy with my waffling. To be obscene, either shit or get off the pot!

If nothing else, all these exercises I’ve been doing have been helpful. They’ve even improved my relationship with my hyper-sensitive dog. I find myself lavishing attention on her in an effort to avoid the obvious. . . . There are times where I just want to run off and focus on dog training and sports because those are solid. They’re under my control for the most part. When you deal with the divine, there are a lot of variables out of control, as well as many variables of which you are not aware.

The incense burns low. I should prepare to clean up.

To sensible men, every day is a day of reckoning. ~John W Gardner

There is a time for departure even when there’s no certain place to go. ~Tennessee Williams

If you keep rephrasing the question, it eventually becomes the answer.

Posted in Spirituality