Tag Archives: Bast

I is for Iryt-Ra

27 May

The Eyes of Ra watch over me. They are the Bright Light, the Scorching Heat, and the Nurturing Warmth of the Sun. They shine golden, with the red-orange solar disc a crown on their heads. At Their Father’s command They give and take, protect and destroy, wound and heal. They are the enforcers of balance in the universe, the defenders of ma’at.

Hail Hethert! Hail Sekhmet! Hail Bast! Gold of the Gods, Bright Flame, the Invisible Paw: may I honor You this day and each day by bringing ma’at into our world.

Iryt-Ra is a title given to more than just these three solar goddesses. Aset, Wadjet, Tefnut, Serqet… nearly any goddess you can name in Kemet has a solar connection, and through that, become Ra’s Eyes who help to maintain order. Ma’ahes, a lion god, is (to my knowledge) the only male god to hold this title. Emky describes him as such: “I see His skin like magma, blaze-orange shining past patches of blackened char; to me, He is the setting sun, the transition between the golden glory of day and the encompassing darkness of night.” One translation of His name is “True before Her” where Her refers to the goddess Ma’at.

The Eyes of Ra are ever present – in the warmth, in the light that causes shadow, in all things that grow. They represent the action of bringing “a thousand of all good and pure things” to the Seen and Unseen worlds. They represent fighting back the forces of isfet. Essentially, They’re the Justice League of the gods.

Each day, look into the sky. When you see the light of the Eye chasing away the darkness, may you be reminded to do the same in your life this and every day.

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Sat Ptah-Sokar her Wepwawet-Yinepu! Meryt Bast her Sekhmet-Hethert!

9 Mar

Daughter of Ptah-Sokar, He in the Moment of Creation!
Daughter of Wepwawet-Yinepu, the First to go Forth and lead the Way!
Beloved of Bast, the Mother of Joy!
Beloved of Sekhmet-Hethert, the Mother of Strength!

Dua Netjer!

C is for Community

6 Mar

From birth to senior year, I attended my mother’s church. I fussed and squirmed out as often as possible, but I grew up there. I went to a private school that the church sometimes affiliated with (before arguing with the church that had the lion’s share of control) from ages two to fourteen. So, for the first fourteen years of my life, the years that I was Christian, I had a very stable and all encompassing religious community not only at church and home, but also at school. I had theological disagreements with my teachers and peers, but I kept them to myself, and I was fairly happy with my community.

When I started high school, everything changed. My mom finally got her own house, which meant we couldn’t afford tuition, which meant a new school at which I had exactly one friend out of seventeen hundred. I went from a graduating class of thirty to a graduating class of five hundred (of which at the end of senior year, three hundred remained). I lost my community, and in that shaky moment, I found out a friend of mine had been raped. My faith was shattered.

Eventually, I ended up discovering Wicca. While I like (and still really do like!) the structure of Wicca, I was a solitary Wiccan. Without community, I fell away from it.

This is why KO re-lit me. This is why the House has my devotion, and why it’s different from the other pagan/polytheist groups I’ve seen online. It has a community that meets every day on the forums, and every week on IRC for fellowship and ritual, and many months of the year to gather in person. The fact that we have Tawy House at our disposal for a meeting place, and an organized priesthood that spends their time to let us have the chance to meet makes me ecstatic.

This weekend, I had my second opportunity to head to New Jersey for a gathering. For a good thirty hours, I was in the company of Wasi, Shefyt, and Tepta; with them I laughed, ate, played, and prayed. There was hugging, there were onions, there was heka, there was a garden statue. We shopped, we squealed. We were solemn, we were joyous. We played board games in which Wasi and I became enormously competitive. I had, no, I have a family in them. I’m a Remetj, they are all Shemsu-Ankh (and two of them, priests). I wasn’t treated differently for being newer, for being of a lesser commitment to the faith. I was welcomed like a sister, just as I was to the previous gathering.

I have no doubt it my mind that Tawy House gatherings (especially Retreat, which I am desperately striving for) must be the same. I’m ecstatic that I will get to experience this community again and again over many years to come. And if you’re looking for a spiritual community, don’t hesitate to drop by. We’re more than willing to help.

B is for Bast(-Mut?)

20 Feb

When I was a kid – we’re talking seven or eight years old here – I got really into a computer game called Age of Mythology. You probably know about Age of Empires – this game was a spin-off of it and it remains one of my favorite Real-Time Strategy games to this day. Instead of focusing on European imperialism, it focused on what I (jokingly) call the “Big Three” of paganism: the Norse, the Greeks, and (you guessed it!) the Egyptians.

I’ve always had a fondness for cats. We don’t know where it came from. I was cuddly with the bulldog and romped about on all fours beside him, joining him to drink from water puddles. The cat was vicious, and, even though I just wanted to pet her, would often attack him when I got too close. We moved away from this house of a Dog and a Cat to live with my aunt, who at the time had two huge mutts, and no cats. All things considered, I should have been a dog person, but I paraded around school on all fours with my friends and (with the brief exception of a point when I was a Wolf) declared myself a cat.

You can imagine my excitement when I saw Bast in Age of Mythology, then.

I don’t remember her looking so warriorly! But it all makes sense now.

Part-human, part-cat, all AWESOME! I scampered about with Her on my mind nearly as much as Jesus Christ, and prayed to Her at least half as often.Even then, I was developing in my head my own theology – one in which God takes multiple forms so that everyone can experience its love. That. Sounds. Familiar.

So, even when I felt desperately alienated by my religion-at-the-time, I had Bast. She loved me and kept me whole and never failed to offer me advice. Naturally, when I decided to take up Wicca, I chose Her to be my matron. And even when Wicca¬† didn’t work out for me, She stayed at the forefront of my thoughts and prayers. It was researching Her that lead me to the House, a trait that she and Yinepu (or, in the Greek, Anubis) apparently tend to share. My devotion to Her lead to my first big issue within the House when I became a beginner.

Beginners are asked to contemplate God as a whole (Netjer) rather than its individual names. I clung to Her, I loved Her, I didn’t want to let Her go, but She convinced me to try this. She also reminded me of something She had been telling me for a while – that I wasn’t a child anymore and that when She came back, things were going to be a LOT more serious.

Cue Bast-Mut? Possibly. I don’t really know. It’s a new development (as in, five days ago New). I had a Fedw reading done by Tuwer, in the name of her Mom, Bast-Mut. I could have asked Wasi to read for Aset, but somehow, asking Bast-Mut felt fight. And now I feel like I ought to be spending time with Her in this new form, this Bast who is Warrior but also Queen, this new twist and understanding on a goddess I thought I had mapped out. I don’t really know Mut at all, let alone Her combined with Bast to create a SHINY NEW THING. If any Bast-Mutlings happen to see this post and want to leave a comment about Her, please do. In the mean time, I’m starting a new adventure appreciating the coming together of old and new, and learning how to make better choices.

Senebty!