Tag Archives: Ma’at

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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F is for Four Libations before Ritual

20 Mar

I offer cool water to my Akhu.

Our ancestors – known and unknown, family in blood and in spirit. They came first. They came before us, they paid with their lives to make us who we are. And so we honor them first.

I offer cool water to Wepwawet.

The Opener of Ways, the lord of the crossroads, the first scout. He stands on the king’s banners, leading the army on. We invoke Him second, and ask for His aid to facilitate communication with those in the Unseen World.

I offer cool water to my Sebau.

Our teachers – and not just the ones from school. Those living people who have taught us major life lessons, who helped shape us into better people are our Sebau (meaning “those who give instruction”). They are, perhaps, leaders in our spiritual lives as well – priests, god spouses, and lay people who help us understand the mysteries of our gods. We must remember what we’ve learned from them as we live our lives – and that includes our ritual work.

I offer cool water to Ma’at.

The goddess embodying the nature of the universe – of balance, of justice, of truth. Ma’at comes last, because She is first. We seek to live up to Her ideals, we seek to bring ma’at into the world with our actions. She is grounding, a centering moment as we leave the prescribed words of our rites behind to our person practice and prayer.

 

I’ve previously discussed that I want to begin an esbat practice, a phrase which here means a weekly practice honoring the phases of the moon. This is separate from my senut rite, and not unrelated from our Kemetic Orthodox duas at Pesdjentiu (the New Moon) and Tepy-Semdet (the Full Moon). And so the structure of ritual that we have as Kemetic Orthodox now begins to inform my fledgling constructions for lunar ritual.

Calling Quarters is traditionally a matter of the Four Directions or the Four Elements that comes before an esbat. I don’t have a strong connection to the elements, nor do I particularly associate them with the moon. I have no connection at all to the points of the compass (except in the context of sunrise and sunset), if anything, my directions are six: behind, ahead, above, beneath, side-to-side. For a long time, I have thought that things must be done in a certain way – and in some contexts, they should. Senut is senut because of the way the words are patterned, the Our Father is the Our Father for the same reason. Esbats are not a Kemetic Orthodox practice. What I do to mark the journey of the moon is irrelevant to my fellow Remetj and Shemsu. It is not relevant to the Unitarian-Universalist church I attend, and I am not a member of a coven that has a specific ritual for the lunar cycle.

This is Personal Religion: something that exists regardless of if you’re Catholic, Buddhist, Wiccan, or anything in between. It’s a chance to try new things, to create tradition, and honor the world as Oneself.

 

Examine your own faith-life, if you have one. Feel free to share what you do that separates you from others in your spiritual practice below.