Oh powerful one of Ra
lend me your ears and strength.
I feel rage, boiling powerful rage.
Rage that seeks to destroy
It wants to destroy all that is breakable
and kill everything that lives
And under it is sorrow
Bind it, oh Lord of Chaos,
tame it as you tame the dark each night.
Beat its head
crush it beneath your heel.
Take this snake of isfet,
demolish it as you would
Destroy it with your hands
rend it with the power in your arms.
This rage is not lovely,
it strangles its own righteousness,
bring it to Ma’at,
give it to Sekhmet.
Let it be brought to a rage of justice.
Oh Lord of the Unexpected,
take this unexpected thing and let it be used for holiness.
Let it be a shield against harm, let it be a shield against myself.
For this rage is not wholly good,
it has flaws that it hates
and makes it all grow larger.
Let this fire be one of higher purpose
and not merely destruction and pain.
Set, my god, guide me in the use of this rage
let it be a thing of ma’at
do not let it be consumed by isfet.
Even though I’m pretty good at sight visualizing, this is valuable advice for me and others!
So, yesterday I was inspired for writing by a picture I saw on DeviantArt. I was on there looking for pictures of Anpu and found some unique ones including the one that inspired my writer’s brain. However, there are a lot of things I am struggling with about writing a story about my gods. Even if it’s not meant to be an offering (it probably won’t be) I’m still concerned about offending the Jackal. I think it would be easy to ask Him to approve of the plot, but as it stands I don’t really have the full plot fleshed out in my mind and I don’t know what to tell Him.
And this is ignoring the logistical problems of writing a story with heavy deity involvement. I mean, deities are powerful beings. You have to remember that every step or you risk making the plot bad. You have to consider how does their power affect the plot? How does it affect their decisions and the decisions of other characters? What if you want the deity to be the main character? Now their power really affects the plot. Do you take it away? How will that affect the plot? Do you let them keep it? Well that has its own problems as well, because then how do you challenge them? What sort of storyline must you create to be realistic and challenging to them as characters?
Then there are things like personality to consider. What do they normally behave like? What do their decision making skills look like? How do they react to various situations? How would their personality affect their reaction if their powers were stolen? For instance, say a deity is known for being somewhat rash and hot-tempered, how would that affect what would happen if they were angered but had no powers? Then another thought, when would it be proper or realistic for them to act contrary to their natures? Instead of exploding and starting a fight, is this a good time to step back and let something go? Is that reaction realistic? Necessary?
I suppose these concerns are normal for any character, especially since deities are just as multidimensional as us mortals, but it’s still something a little different because of their vast strength and influence. Especially if one wants to let them have their abilities or restrict it. And then there’s the thought about involving other pantheons and how would they interact and good heavens what if those deities get offended even if yours aren’t? Yeah, the last thing I want or need are some angry gods knocking on my head like wtf are you doing there?
I dunno, I presented the super general idea to Anpu and what pieces and scenes I had in my head and He doesn’t seem to be opposed to it. I didn’t get any negative impressions or anything. Perhaps He’s neutral on it (I doubt it, but who knows). Argh figuring out what they approve of is hard. I need to turn the volume on my godphone up and put like, special buttons on it or something. Alright, I’m done whining now lol
Last night I had a very interesting dream. It started out with crocodiles and experiments that I and my two friends (I don’t know who they were, I feel like they were common characters from my writing) were running. I remember it being in a warehouse, and we had two of them, a huge male and a smaller female. I remember the large male being tied up and suspended from the ceiling above the massive pool we were observing the female in. I have no idea what we were doing but it wasn’t hurting them, they were just scared.
Eventually the female gets loose and we have to go chasing after her into the large field/heath/place around the warehouse. And we come across this massive snow and rock monster instead. It was a danger to us and our crocodile, so we started fighting it. At some point we were trying to figure out a way to defeat it because our weapons weren’t really working. Somehow the word “navel” came up and I was like what?! All I could think of was belly buttons and of course that makes no sense. Then a smaller tree monster came by and watched us and then wrote/chiseled the word on a rock.
The female friend started saying that must be the clue, because the tree monster had seen us and came over to help and to soothe us. I have to point out that soothe was the specific word used here and it was important. “He came by to be helpful and soothing, so he gave us the answer on the rock.” The male friend and I pondered this clue. Navel in reference to belly button couldn’t be correct, that left the fruit. And we asked.
“Do you mean the fruit? Like the orange?”
“What about apples?” (Don’t ask me why, that was the question the friend asked)
Apples are fine, but navels are best. (I have no idea, it wasn’t a voice per se, it may have been the friend, but I don’t think so).
“DO YOU MEAN THE FRUIT?”
Apples are fine, but navels are best.
“I’m gonna assume the orange then.”
Whatever, we got an answer, but how was fruit gonna help us defeat an ice monster? Then all of the sudden we were in my grandmother’s dining room like something straight out of Rugrats. Either way the ice monster was still there, sitting in a chair on the other side of the table. I know the female friend was gone at this point. But, the next thing I had in my mind was to find a blog post. A post about Set, that wasn’t written by me but referenced a post of mine, was the important thing that would lead to the defeat of the monster. This blog post was “mentioned” while we were fighting the creature in the field as well, but the fruit thing kinda took over.
However, we still trying to figure out how to get away from the monster to get to my Kindle so I could find the blog post. Whatever it said I knew it was about Set and His personality and interacting with Him. I feel like He was there, in the dining room, watching me. Something about make a distraction, but I was like how? I have no fruit and just rocks and a gun that I know doesn’t work. Try. So I threw a stone and when that didn’t work my friend and I shot at it, causing it to flinch and I made a break for it.
I found the blog post and there was a comment on my piece of post quoted in the one I was reading. It was basically “OH GODS…THE JACKALS…AND SET! OH GODS SET! SUCH TROLLS” There was other stuff there in the comment, but it wasn’t in caps and I couldn’t read it. Whatever right? But then my mom’s alarm went off, waking me up partially.
I roll over and go back to sleep and now I see a statue of Set that I had seen in a store earlier in the day. It was so clear and obvious and I stared at it for a while. Then I was in the room where my plants are at my grandmother’s house and I was breaking up the soil my oregano was in. Now, I’ve meant to do this for a while because it’s compacted and not absorbing water very well, but I’m also profoundly worried that I’ll damage the roots and hurt it, even if I’m careful. But in the dream I’m doing just that, breaking it apart extremely carefully because I don’t want to kill it.
Next was some weird fuzziness and I asked “you make it seem like that plant and honey are so important.” Now, the plant actually had a name (and a picture!) but I started thinking about the honey and libating it and what kind, but as a result I lost the name of the plant which made me upset. I was wracking my brain over it until a voice told me to quit it because it wasn’t that deep. So, I went with mint because of the image in my head of the plant, but I’m still him-hawing over it. Either way I offered tea with honey and He said no, the honey is more important and should be separate, but tea was fine too.
I also had the thought that I was being trolled, LITERALLY from the monsters. But, I seem to have gotten some ideas here about things to offer to Set. All I know from this dream is navel oranges are best, apples are ok, there’s a plant that means something but isn’t life changingly important and honey is an important offering. Can anyone tell me if honey or mint or similar plants are historical offerings or should I just be UPG LET”S GO?
The Jackals have been on my mind a lot lately*. By that I mean I’ve thought about Anpu and Wepwawet. I know, I backed away from Wepwawet for a while. I felt like He was backing away too, but lo and behold He seems to be back in my head! It’s cool though, I like Wepwawet just as much as Anpu (though for different reasons I’ll admit). I wonder about what they’re all doing up there above my head though ya know? Four Netjer just talking about their myriad humans under their care. Although, with the Mysteries of Ausir going on now, I wonder if they’re talking about Him? I have never had the pleasure of interacting with Ausir, but I am privy to the attention of His wife, brother, and friend. I wonder if they’d have me do something, or tell me Interesting Things. Probably not, but one can ponder can’t they?
I’ve been thinking a lot about my path and my gods though. I don’t feel as close as I’d like to be and I really don’t know what to do about it. Yesterday I attended church with my Pop-Pop and realized a lot of things about Christianity and some jealousy I had. I mean, they have a lot of stuff set out for them that I lost when I turned away from the church. They also have a lot of stuff I’m glad I left. And there’s a lot of stuff that I realize they have problems with that I still struggle with now.
For instance, Christians have a living tradition with a plethora of songs, music, and various ways of praising and ritual. Want a LOT of ritual? Be a Catholic! Need singing? Baptist! Liturgy? I actually have no idea! Yeah, I only know a couple of the stereotypes for a couple of denominations. The point here is, you can easily get community and music and song (did I mention I love singing for deity and that it kills me that I have nothing to sing for them?) and as a bonus there are instructions for life and such that are reasonably easy to understand much of the time. Not supreme ambiguity for how to live rightly. Then again I suppose that’s up for grabs in a lot of ways.
At least on the outside of it, being Christian is easy. A lot of the outer things are laid out for you. Of course, this means nothing for depth of spirituality or relationship with the Divine, but there’s already a framework for laypeople. Prayer for instance, since that’s the main thing on my mind. I learned how to pray at a young age, but it’s only now that I realize the limited type of prayer I was taught.
The main type of prayer I learned is petitionary prayer. I figured this stuff out yesterday because it was on my mind and I had just finished reading various people’s opinions on religion. This is the prayer where you’re asking for something. Money, healing, a job, blessings, help, etc; they all fall under petitions to the gods. This type of prayer is easy, it’s a request form basically. Maybe it has a loan clause where you offer something in return for the petition or the deity gives you a command or request in return for granting your petition. But the point is that anyone can do petitionary prayer, but, as someone said yesterday in my reading and conversations, that sort of prayer doesn’t really open the way for two way communication or lend itself to deepening the relationship.
Then there’s what I call praise prayer. This is the type where you’re offering praise and thanking the deity for anything and everything S/He has done for you. Just like any conversation and any praise, this can be anywhere between shallow and flattery to deep and sincere. I’m sure that they do like it, but again it doesn’t seem much of a way to get a dialogue going or necessarily deepen the relationship. I came to the realization last night that I really only know how to do these types of prayer. I mean, sure I’ve talked to my gods outside of praise and petitionary prayer before, but I wouldn’t say it’s easy at all, and often it’s been out of frustration that I feel lost and alone and uncared for. Frustrated tears and rescue operations don’t exactly encourage either.
This is part of my frustration. I don’t know how to just talk to Them and something I had as an epiphany earlier in the month is that I don’t know how to listen either. As much as Christianity lauds and encourages talking and getting close to God, they don’t teach it very well. Sure, you’re told to pray and read the Bible, but that doesn’t help a lot of people get close. It doesn’t tell them as much as they hope, it doesn’t make them feel connected and it doesn’t teach them how to connect or to listen. I think we can see this by the amount of people (me included) who lament over not literally hearing the gods they are trying to talk with. There are all sorts of reasons you may not literally hear your god, including the god not being very talkative to that just not being the best way to communicate. I have a quiet god, sometimes it is a little frustrating that He doesn’t just come out and yap at me for being a dork, or tell me to be patient cuz He heard me, or just saying “Stop worrying, I’m still here” or brb. But, I also know that may not be the best way to talk to me, along with the fact that He’s just the strong silent type.
Still, that doesn’t mean I can’t and don’t want to learn how to have a dialogue with Him or Set or Aset or Wepwawet. Dialogue and relationship isn’t always about literal talking, but that doesn’t mean I know how to expand that sort of thing. I honestly don’t know how. Keeping up ritual and offerings is one way, but as my experience in Christianity demonstrates, that may not help or fill the need I have and meet what I’m looking for. Honestly I don’t know what I’m looking for to a full extent, but I know that I didn’t leave Christianity to still be as distant from my gods as I was as a Christian. I want to be close, I want to have dialogue and a relationship with my deities. And I want to know they’re around somewhere.
When I was a kid I always wondered what God’s voice sounded like. Whenever the preachers would talk about how they talked to God and got an answer, or asked for His help and was told what to do and what to say, I always wondered about that. I knew to some degree that it was intuition while reading their Bible, but I wondered how much of His voice they heard? And I wondered what it sounded like. I wonder what my gods’ voices sound like. I wonder what it feels like to have that clear intuition and a close relationship. I wonder what it’s like to be able to talk and get a response back so clearly? I’m sure my doubts and anxiety has something to do with the blockage, and probably laziness and such. But still, I genuinely want to connect here, and I don’t know where to even begin.
*Initially I had wrote that “[they] have my mind a lot lately” instead of they have been on my mind and I noticed it to correct it later, but I think that’s also pretty accurate of a mistake too.
I’ve been out of work for about a week and a half now. I lost the case on less than credible reasoning and I’m still worried about the chibi. I was angry for a while, but I’m ok now, I’m just hoping and praying that he’ll be ok. Wanna know what part of the reason is that got me past the pissy stage? If you guessed it had something to do with Set, you’d be correct.
Now, I calmed down because Zolfyer is a very rational presence for me as well as through prayer and such. But the other day I was reading another blog, Per Ma: House of the Lion, and she was talking about Set. Now, it made me realize that Set has been rather quiet since I let Him in to my life (knock on wood, knock on wood, KNOCK ON WOOD) and something Shine said on her blog really struck me.
But I know I need to find some way to pull myself into better shape, to be strong, and to not give up even when things look bleak. I need to learn how to do what needs to be done, even if it’s unpopular, even if it’s difficult. This seems to me to be one of Set’s many realms. He didn’t give up until there was no other option, and even then, he won out in the end, in a way. After all, he’s one of the strongest fighters in Ra’s boat! Without him, A/pep would be even tougher to defeat.
Which just goes to show that you may not end up where you intend to be, but you could end up where you’re needed most. But you can’t give up.
The Lord of the Red Desert is rough around the edges, but dammit, he knows his stuff.
That second to last line was really striking though. It’s so regular and yet, it really broke through like striking a match in the dark. “You may not end up where you intend, but you could end up where you’re needed most.” The fact I was taken off the case right as the kid was starting to get confidence and openness and the reasons behind the removal weren’t very good, well there’s something going on here. It may not be what I expected and I may not like it now, but the fact the chibi is making progress may be a sign that he will be ok without me and that now it’s time for me to go help another child.
I don’t know, but I feel there’s something in store for me next. It’s too quiet, like wondering what toddlers are doing in the next room. There’s always something going on in that silence, the silence of a testing room, or hidden in the cold wind before a bad storm (although I have to say I never understood the “silence before the storm” metaphor; it’s hardly silent before a storm). That lightning hit something, even if you don’t hear any thunder.
For your enjoyment, one of my favorite songs, and one that I think both Set and Anpu can greatly appreciate, especially Set. It certainly inspires me, it’s one of the songs I blast on the rare occasion I can do it on my speakers. It’s beautiful and soulful and wraps itself around my mind. I may just blast it tomorrow.