Matronalia 2019

Like I mentioned in my last post about Sobek’s Festival, I’m making an effort to include more festivals in my calender this year – and this was my first year celebrating a Roman festival! I chose to celebrate one known as Matronalia, which takes place every year on the 1st (kalends) of March.

To quote the Encylopedia Britannica wholesale:

The Matronalia symbolized not only the sacredness of marriage but also the peace that followed the first marriages between Romans and Sabine women. The festival consisted of a procession of married women to the temple, where they made offerings to Juno. At home, offerings were supplemented by prayers for marital felicity. Wives received gifts from their husbands and gave a feast for their female slaves. x

You can read more about the topic in Ovid’s Fasti!

But… as I am not a matron in ancient Rome, I felt pretty comfortable adjusting my celebration of the holiday to fit my life. I am very happily married, but we will not be having children, and there is no great big temple for me to leave offerings at. Instead, I have my little shrine for Juno (Caelestis) in my living room – and while I will be the first to admit the Juno – Juno Caelestis – Juno Lucina – etc. – relationship is not entirely clear in my mind, divination and intuition told me it would be just fine to make the offerings there. I, of course, made sure to include plenty “or by whichever name you wish to be called”s in my ritual…

Unfortunately my husband was busy in the evening with a union meeting where he would be getting free pizza for dinner (I can’t believe they didn’t consider Matronalia when scheduling!), so making dinner for our household was out – but – I thought! He has a sweet tooth! And he will be ready for dessert by the time he’s home! And so I decided to attempt to bake some boller, which are like sweet, cardamom-y rolls that are popular all over Scandinavia. Variations with chocolate or raisins in them are common, but I made the classic plain version.

The first of the nine was immediately offered to Juno at Her shrine as part of the festival ritual.

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The ritual went well and the divination was positive! It was really nice.

As for the buns, they… turned out alright. Definitely not bad, but not quite as yummy as I hoped. And they should be totally smooth. I blame my arthritis… I also think a touch more sugar and cardamom, as well as a bit more time in the oven (with more maple syrup wash) would have served them well. But as Juno didn’t seem to mind, and my husband was very enthusiastic about them, I consider them a moderate success!

So! I am pleased with how my first celebration went, and look forward to next year.

 

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Festival of Sobek, Lord of Love 2019

I haven’t written much about this topic on my wordpress, but! Last year (2018) I decided to create a festival for Sobek on a whim. I had recovered from my holiday flare/fatigue, my schedule was free, and I wanted to do something ‘big’ for Sobek – so why not? So after I had gotten the go-ahead from Sobek, and after lots of divination, I figured out the bones of the festival.

It would be four days long; I settled on the first Wednesday through the first Saturday of February. The first year I celebrated it, I decided each day would focus on a different ‘aspect’ of Sobek – e.g. Sobek as primeval creator, Sobek as the Bull of Bulls, Sobek as a protector, victorious against His enemies, etc. I worked out an Eternal Egypt-based ritual rubric suitable for the occasion, and wrote new hymns. And it went well! Sobek seemed to enjoy it, and I learned a lot.

But that was last year. This year went a bit differently.

Just like last year, it took place from the first Wednesday (Feb. 6th) through the Saturday (Feb. 9th) of February.

I had high hopes this year – I wanted to rewrite all of last year’s hymns, I wanted to put together a rubric for anyone who wanted to join in, I wanted to commission a new piece of art for Him, and I wanted to perform formal ritual every day of the festival, just like last year-  but – alas! The Pain™ and Fatigue™ struck (I have an autoimmune disease as well as a connective tissue disorder), and so I had to pare my celebrations back considerably.

One big plan that I was able to successfully execute, however, was the hosting of a giveaway for the tumblr Kemetic community to celebrate the festival! Tumblr user Starsandepithets, who is a patient friend, a talented poet, and a sincere Kemetic, generously donated both a physical and a digital copy of her recently published collection of poems/hymns, “Adoration of the Netjeru“. As for how my actual celebrations went-

Day One – Wednesday, February 6th

As I was on my period, festivities would have to take place at Sobek’s informal shrine, seen above. I used an older, shorter, much less formal ritual, and made the customary offerings of light, (Hojari green) frankincense, and fresh water. For food, I offered the ingredients for mujadara (which I made a few hours after) – it’s the only food offering I’ve ever gotten strongly positive feedback from Sobek on. It’s become a special dish I make specifically to share with Him, and it means a lot to me.

 

Day Two – Thursday, February 7th

No real ritual that day, due to Fatigue™, but I offered up almost everything I ate that day (so many apples, so much chai), and still felt very close and loved and loving.

 

Day Three – Friday, February 8th

I felt well enough for an actual ritual again! Hurray!

 

Day Four – Saturday, February 9th

I really wanted to do something big-ish to end the festival, but I didn’t even have energy for a small ritual. And yet – I spent all day wrapped up in Him and His celebrations in a a myriad of small ways, and it was better than I could have hoped. I performed some divination, ended the giveaway, and felt happy with how things turned out.

And I’m already looking forward to next year!

The Current State of my Shrines

Sorry I’m not super active on here! I’m a pretty private/cagey person, and I feel much more vulnerable sharing my practice on here than on tumblr. At the time of writing this, I have 20 unfinished essays and articles in my drafts folder that I’ve refrained from posting for various reasons. But after an interaction with Heru-Wer during Wep Ronpet, where I was encouraged to engage in the community via this blog a little more, I am going to make a genuine effort.

So here’s the current state of my shrines!

Sobek’s Formal Shrine

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I keep Sobek’s formal shrine in my bedroom, the most private, dark, and quiet place in our home. Everything in the picture is from Ikea, haha. I keep the incense, perfume oil, natron, and matches one of the little drawers at the top of the Hemnes chest to the left.

As the title suggests, this is a formal shrine space, which I only offer to when I’m not on ill or on my period (per Sobek’s repeated request). Unfortunately, since August I’ve been experiencing a ton of fatigue and autoimmune stuff, so I haven’t been able to offer here as often as I would like.

It feels very holy with the door open, all the incense has soaked into the space, and it immediately transforms my mind-space. I took a picture of the interior for the post, but it just felt inappropriate to share it on here. Instead, here’s a picture I took from last year, when it felt more appropriate. The layout is mostly the same, though I keep a small black bowl reserved for food offerings. Water offerings go in a clean glass, but I don’t keep any in the shrine.

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Informal Shrines for Neith, Sobek, and Heqet

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These shrines are in our guest room, which additionally functions as a ritual/meditation space, as well as an office. I keep these three on my ‘fiction’ bookshelf.

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I also keep Sobek’s votive offerings in this space – as you can see, there is only one.

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I used to have an incense censer for Sobek’s informal shrine, but then I reappropriated it for Enki’s, and now I just use the censer from Sobek’s formal shrine…

 

Enki’s Shrine

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Also in the guest room! And by far the least finished, unfortunately. I only just started tentatively (and irregularly) worshipping Enki this past August, after one of Those Dreams. And here is where I can feel myself growing cagey about sharing details. I won’t claim to know exactly why Sobek pointed me to Him, but I do believe it has to do with my creative endeavors.

And though I’ve been super inconsistent (poor Enki doesn’t even have a picture frame!), I can frequently feel Him hanging out; He seems like a very good-natured guy, and I’m always amused & comforted when we interact.

 

Juno Caelestis’s Lararium

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As you might notice, this lararium is in my dining room. As you also might see, this is Juno Caelestis. I had a very clear dream in August 2017 of a goddess, who was eventually confirmed to be Juno Caelestis. It took the better part of a year to figure out who (Tanit? Juno Caelestis? Juno? What’s the difference? I still don’t quite know, but…. I worship Juno Caelestis) the dream depicted, and I only just set up a formal shrine space this autumn.

Setting up a shrine in a ‘public’ space in my home was a really big step for me. Even though I’ve been a devout polytheist for about 5 years now, no one besides my husband and one real-life friend knows. By choosing to set this up, and deciding that I won’t be taking it down for guests, I’m committing to ‘coming out’ to my Catholic family when my mom visits this May, as well as my two best friends from High School, when one visits this summer. pray 4 me lol

Anyway, I really like having a religious space in a ‘family’ space of the home. It also makes making offerings a little easier, as it’s in a warm part of the house (I have rheumatoid arthritis, and it gets cold here), and the wood stove is just a few steps away, so I can burn the offerings easily.

 

The end!

On the River Bank – A Devotional Poem for Sobek

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I just wanted to share that one of the devotional poems I’ve written for Sobek was recently published in the Summer Solstice 2018 issue of Eternal Haunted Summer. Eternal Haunted Summer is an ezine dedicated to Pagan poetry and short fiction.

“On the River Bank” celebrates one of Sobek’s epithets, “He Who Brings the Flood,” and was majorly inspired by the imagery and tone of the classic Bollywood song Mohe Panghat Pe. Dua Sobek!

 

Check out the poem here!

 

 

Lord of the Carnelian Temple is now published!

Congrats to Sobekemiti, and thank you for all your hard work! I contributed a handful of poems to the devotional, and would encourage everyone to buy a copy 🙂 It explores a lot of different aspects of Sobek (as well as a bit of Sobek-Ra!), and it was a joy to read – you can really feel all the love and wonder of Sobek’s devotees feel for Him.

Per Sebek

After almost a year of hard work, and some wonderful amazing contributors, we have finally got the Sobek Devotional published! ❤

It is now available to purchase here: https://neosalexandria.org/bibliotheca-alexandrina/current-titles/devotionals/lord-of-the-carnelian-temple-a-devotional-in-honor-of-sobek/

Please go and support this amazing book, and see what a wonderful devotional we’ve created for Sobek. ❤

Share this far and wide, and spread this to any Sobek devotees you know. ❤

Dua Sobek! Nekhtet! 😀

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Three Little Poems for Sobek

I.

i am the sedge swaying with your song
i am the reeds along the river, rustling with love

II.

This body brims with You,
lives by You
each vein a Nile in miniature,
O, Lord of Rivers

III. Nfr Mḥt Nb Sẖt

Fair is the flood of my Lord,
green is the plume of my Lord,
strong is the arm of my Lord,
sharp is the tooth of my Lord!

Low is laugh of my Lord,
soft is the touch of my Lord,
sweet is the love of my Lord –
sweet is the love of my Lord!

 

 

 

My Solitary Daily Ritual for Sobek

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Howdy! For my first post, I figured I would post my daily ritual for Sobek! When I’m ritually pure, I perform it about 5-6 times a week. It’s pretty long, and so others might find it more appropriate on a weekly, or festival-only, basis. It’s been a work in progress since I began worshipping Sobek, roughly four years ago. I inititally started out with Sobekemiti’s Solitary Shortform rite, and it’s only been as my devotion towards and understanding of Sobek (and heka!) has evolved that my general ritual has gotten to this point.

Your relationship with Sobek might not require as much ritual time, or formality – but I hope sharing this is helpful regardless!

So the rite is based on the three General Rites found in Richard Reidy’s book Eternal EgyptIf you’re a Kemetic and haven’t read yet, I highly encourage you to do so. Even if you’re more eclectic, it does an excellent job of explaining what many of Ancient Egypt’s famous rituals consisted of, and why – and that will only enrich your understanding of the Netjeru, as well as enhance your own rituals and heka. If I could take only one religious book with me on a deserted island, it would be that.

On that note I want to make it clear that, while this is based on Eternal Egypt’s rites, I have made a few of UPG-related changes, additions, and trimmings to this one, namely:

  1. I start with a modified variant of the “scent recitation” from Per Sebek’s short form ritual.
  2. I’ve removed the second offering of incense.
  3. I’ve removed the sprinkling of sand.
  4. I’ve removed the wine offering.
  5. I’ve skipped some recitations in Ancient Egyptian.
  6. I’m shortened many of the “hymns” considerably.

Here’s a Google Document version of the ritual, for ease of printing. Good luck!


Supplies:

  • Perfume Oil, or another scented product of your choice
  • Container of Natron
  • Small glass/bowl of fresh water to mix natron into
  • Candle or equivalent light-source (if using a candle, remember matches!)
  • Incense or equivalent
  • Food Offering
  • Libation Offering
  • An empty container to pour the libation into
  • Representation of Ma’at (icon, printed image, drawing, etc.)
  • Representation of Ankh
  • Representation of Ib

 

1. After showering, or otherwise achieving ritual purity, anoint yourself with a perfume or another scented product of your choice, while reciting:

Bathe me in your scent, O Sobek.
I have purified myself with the Eye of Heru
so I can make these rituals with you.

2. Standing before the closed doors of the shrine, raise ones hands in adoration (dua position – arms stretched out in front of the body and raised up to face level, with palms facing outward.)

“Hail to you, Sobek, Great Crocodile, Lord of the Winding Waterways! I have made my way and I enter into your presence. I am bathed in the scent of the Netjeru that I may present offerings to you, Sobek, that I may give food to you. I have not disturbed the balance. My heart is pure and blameless. I have come to offer Ma’at to the Defender of the Gods, to content the Sound Eye for its Lord. I am Shu; I flood Sobek’s offering table. I present his offerings, that I may adore Sobek at his festivals, that I may kiss the earth – so great is his majesty! I am pure. I am purified.”

3. Slowly open the doors of the shrine and bow before the image, touching ones hands to ones knees. Recite:

“The Doors of the Sky are open, the Doors of the Earth are unlocked. The House is open for its Lord. Let me come forth as he shall come forth. Let me enter in as he shall enter in. Sobek, Lord of the Nile, Son of Nit, is exalted upon his great seat. The Great Company of the Netjeru are exalted upon their seat.”

(Sit/kneel).

4. Hold up the container of water in which the natron will be mixed, and recite:

“O water may you remove all evil,
As Ra who bathes in the Lake of Rushes,
May Heru wash my flesh,
May Djehuty cleanse my feet,
May Shu lift me up, and Nut take my hand!
May Sutekh be my strength and may Sekhmet be my healing!
And may Amun-Ra be my life and my prospering!”

5. Set the water aside. Lift the container of natron up. Recite:

“It is pure, it is pure.
My Natron is the Natron of Heru and the Natron of Heru is my Natron.
My Natron is the Natron of Sutekh and the Natron of Sutekh is my Natron.
My Natron is the Natron of Djehuty and the Natron of Djehuty is my Natron.
My Natron is the Natron of Geb and the Natron of Geb is my Natron.

My mouth is the mouth of a milking calf on the day that I was born.”

6. Mix four pinches of Natron into the water while reciting:

“I give you essential water, a tide in your time.
I bring the flood waters to purify your sanctuary.
I bring you the flood waters to purify your temple and your statue in its place,
the primordial water that purifies as in the First Time!”

7. Place an index finger into the water and move it in clockwise circles four times while reciting:

“Sobek himself does purify this water;
Sobek himself does cleanse this water;
Sobek himself does sanctify this water;
Sobek himself does endow this water with power and with life.”

8. The bowl of natron-infused water is then taken up; Sprinkling some lightly in front of Sobek’s statue, recite:

“I come close to you, O Powerful One, Great of Awe. I bring the water of rejuvenation that flows from the Two Caverns. I sprinkle the water, purifying your image and your temple from all impurity!”

9. Pick up the container of natron and sprinkle a small amount in each of the four directions while reciting:

The god Sobek himself does cleanse and purify this, his Temple to the South.
The god Sobek himself does cleanse and purify this, his Temple to the North.
The god Sobek himself does cleanse and purify this, his Temple to the West.
The god Sobek himself does cleanse and purify this, his Temple to the East.

10. Pick up the container of natron-infused water and sprinkle a small amount in each of the four directions while reciting:

The god Sobek himself does sanctify and consecrate this, his Temple to the South.
The god Sobek himself does sanctify and consecrate this, his Temple to the North.
The god Sobek himself does sanctify and consecrate this, his Temple to the West.
The god Sobek himself does sanctify and consecrate this, his Temple to the East.
The Temple of the god Sobek is established. It is established for millions of years.

11. Light the candle (or equivalent) and recite:

“Come, come in peace, O glorious Eye of Heru.
Be strong and renew your youth in peace,
for the flame shines like Ra on the double horizon.
I am pure, I am pure, I am pure, I am pure.”

12. Place the incense on the burner/light the incense stick and cense each sacred icon beginning with the Sobek’s statue, while reciting:

“This fire is laid, the fire shines;
The incense is laid on the fire, the incense shines.
Your perfume comes to me, O incense.
May my perfume come to you, O incense.
Your perfume comes to me, O Sobek
May my perfume come to you, O Sobek.
May I be with you, O Sobek;
May you be with me, O Sobek.
May I live with you, O Sobek.
May you live with me, O Sobek.
I love you, O Sobek;
May you love me, O Sobek.”

13. Before the image of the Netjer, offer the burning incense and recite:

“Take this incense, its essence is for you.
Its smoke permeates your shrine, bringing life!
Take this incense, its essence is for you.
Your Majesty is appeased with the incense.
this Eye of Heru,
this essence of the Eye of Heru comes to you.”

14. Say:

“Homage to you, O Sobek, Mysterious One, Great Crocodile! Lord of the Nile, adoration be to you! O Sobek, you are the Lord of Terror, before whom the two lands roar in fear! You devour your enemies, the associates of the Nameless One! Mighty one who protects the Boat-of-Millions-of-Years, Power of Powers whose seizing cannot be seen, you make green the herbage which is on the banks of the horizon! You are the Gold of the Bulls, the Great Male, the Phallus of the Gods. O Sobek, Great of Awe, Sweet of Love, Beautiful of Form, offerings are in your grasp – offerings are in your grasp – and the Earth lives through your work!

O High-Plumed Lord of Love, I give praise to you, Sobek; I make rejoicing to you every day!”

15. Embrace the Earth, the Fourfold Salute to the God, Embrace the Earth, then recite:

“Homage to you Sobek, Lord of Bakhu,
who is established on his Great Seat in his Temple of Carnelian!
I have placed myself upon the floor in awe of you.
I embrace the earth before you as before the Lord of Life.
I have come that I might kiss the earth,
that I might worship my Lord,
for I have seen his strength;
I give praise to Sobek,
for I have seen his power.
His form is more distinguished than the Netjeru;
His arm is more powerful than the Netjeru.
I am pure, I am pure, I am pure, I am pure!”

16. Rise. Hold in the palm of one hand the image of Ma’at and with the other hand open and raised over the image as if sheltering and protecting it, recite:

“I come to you as Djehuty, whose two hands are joined together under Ma’at. She comes to be with you, for she is everywhere. You are provided with Ma’at, you move in Ma’at, you live in Ma’at. She fills your body, she rests in your head, she makes her seat upon your brow. The breath of your body is of Ma’at, your heart does live in Ma’at. All that you eat, all that you drink, all that you breathe is of Ma’at. Djehuty presents Ma’at to you, his two hands are upon her beauty before your face.”

Place the image of Ma’at near the statue.

17. Raise the libation, and while pouring it into the offering container, recite:

“This libation is for you, O Lord of Waters.
This libation is for you, O Sobek, who brings the flood.
I have brought to you this offering of water,
that your heart may be refreshed.
I have brought to you this Eye of Heru, placing this at your feet.
I present to you that which flows forth from you,
that your heart shall continue to beat,
for it is with you that all comes forth at the sound of the voice.”

18. Slowly elevating and lowering the food offerings four times before Sobek’s image, recite:

“I offer to Sobek, Ram, Great of Awe,
All life emanates from you,
All health emanates from you,
All stability emanates from you,
All good fortune emanates from you,
O Bull of the Bulls, Lord of Life, Sobek, forever.”

19. Place the food offerings before the divine image; extend one hand, palm down, over the offerings and recite four times:

“May offerings of every kind come forth in abundance, like the things that come forth from the mouth of the gods!” x 4

20. Holding up the Ankh before the statue, recite:

“Live, O Sobek, live for all time and for eternity! Ankh neheh djet.”

Set down the Ankh near the statue.

21. Holding the Ib before Sobek, recite:

“Hail to you, Sobek, Mysterious One, Lord of Lords, Power of Powers! I have brought to you your heart to set it in its place, even as Aset brought the heart of her son Heru to him and set it in its place, and even as Heru brought the heart of his mother Aset to her and set it in its place. Come, let me draw near to you with your heart, that you may have pleasure through me, and that by means of me you may have power over your body.

Ascend, glorious as Ra, powerful and equipped as a god! Live, O Sobek, live forever and ever!”

22. After placing the Ib near the statue, chant:

“I praise the Son of Nit, I worship his majesty, I exalt the Lord of Waters, the Great Crocodile, presiding over the two lands, born at the beginning! I exalt the Lord of the Nile!

Hail to you, Sobek, Green-Plumed Lord of Semen, who makes green the herbage which is on the banks of the horizon. O Bull of the Bulls, Virile One, may you bless me with life and strength and health!

Hail to you, Sobek, Lord of Terror, Strong of Arm, Sharp of Tooth, whose seizing cannot be seen, who devours the enemies of the Ra! Come to me when I call, and be a shield round me, defending me from every assault. Grant that no evil being, male or female, can enter into my house.

I revere you, Sobek, Guardian of the Earth! O Defender of the Netjeru, throughout the sky and earth, in the south, in the north, the west, the east, in each land, in each place where your powerful voice bellows!

Adoration be to Sobek, praise be to my Lord! Praise be to my Beloved! O Enrapturing One, breath of my life, Lord of Lords, who enfolds me! See what is in my inmost; my heart is blameless, my inmost open, no evil is in my breast! I adore you, O Sobek! O Lord of Love! How beautiful you are!

All hail, jubilation to you, the master of all! Heaven rests upon your hands; the earth is under your feet. What you command, takes place. May you bless me with life and strength and health. O Beloved Sobek, hear me!

Heaven exults, the earth is filled with life, Sobek rejoices! x 4

23. Perform the meditation, magical action, or appropriate feast prayers/hymns.

*

24. Remove the foot, while reciting:

“The distress that causes confusion has been driven away, and all the Netjeru are in harmony. I have given Heru his Eye; I have placed the Wedjat-Eye in the correct position. I have given Sutekh his Testicles, so that the two lords are content through the work of my hands.

I know the sky, I know the earth;
I know Heru, I know Sutekh.
Heru is appeased with his Eyes;
Sutekh is appeased with his Testicles.
I am Djehuty, who reconciles the Netjeru,
Who makes offerings in their correct form.”

25. Close the doors. Recite:

“Djehuty has come.
He has filled the Eye of Heru;
He has restored the Testicles of Sutekh.
No evil shall enter this Temple.
Ptah has closed the door,
Djehuty has set it fast.
The door is closed, the door is set fast with the bolt.”

26. Bow, touching the palms of your hands to your knees.

Leave the offerings for a bit in peace.

27. When it is time to revert the offerings, return to the shrine, and while lifting up the offerings, recite:

“O Sobek, your enemy withdraws from you. These, your divine offerings revert, they revert to your servant for life, for stability, for health and for joy! O that the Eye of Heru may flourish for you eternally!”

Withdraw.