So I know I’m super late for the B weeks, but it’s ok because I don’t care lol For my B post it will be a devotional writing talking about how awesome my Netjer are 😀
Last week I was watching the show Frozen Planet on Animal Planet and really the images and videos they have are absolutely stunning. If you ever feel down and like the universe is ugly and hopeless, watch a show like The Universe (Discovery/Science) or Frozen Planet. You will feel better about life because it shows so much about our reality. Unique ice formations, penguins, seals, underwater life, baby penguins, wolves, wolverines and so much more to see. You even get to see into the lives of northern peoples. It is amazing.
Something else, besides “my gods our world is beautiful,” went through my mind as I was going to bed at 4 am after watching two hours of the show. It was a train of thoughts, starting with that I should write a blog post about how awesome the gods are, most especially Ra, for creating such a unique and shining world (and hell, world’s within the world, because the Arctic and Antarctic are truly universes unto themselves, so very different than the rest of the planet). I was also thinking that I wanted to write something in praise of Anpu and Set and it occurred to me that the icy ends of the earth really exemplify them.
Let’s start with Set. Lord of Chaos and the Desert. Are the icy tundras not both chaotic and like deserts? Especially Antarctica? There is an intense beauty of both the desert sands and the ice and snow. The sun blinds in both places, harsh in different ways. There is hardship everywhere. The tundra is no more forgiving than the sand dunes. Food is scarce, weather is extreme, winds are sharp, animals fight to survive so very hard. Ever seen Emperor Penguins in the Antarctic winter? They look thoroughly miserable don’t they? They are, and they’re starving. For months they huddle together in hunger and misery, but there is a prize at the end, for they hold eggs on their feet. It’s an excellent way to keep chicks from predators: stay inland, during winter, protecting them with their bodies, protecting each other. They suffer and do it greatly, but for such a great prize at the end.
And Set is in the ice, and He is in the cold. He is in the wind that stings and the darkest nights. He is also in the Southern Lights that illuminate the persistent night, He is the sweet relief of the rising sun over the horizon, and He is in the unbridled joy of the eggs hatching and the females returning.
Anpu is in the poles too. Many people know that He is a god of Death, but they often don’t realize that He is also a god of Life (He has numerous epithets, the clearest being “Lord of Life”) as well as god of the liminal and the between. I feel the plains of ice are just as representative of Him as the desert. Think about it, there are few places where the hairline balance between life and death are so clear and obvious. You see Anpu when you watch a Least Weasel* kill a vole for food (which are ADORABLE btw, both animals are) and, because it is too slender to stay warm easily, uses the vole’s skin to stay warm. You see Anpu when starving wolves fight a bison and both animals may die from injuries. But you also see Him when those female penguins come back to relieve the males and they have a touching reunion. He’s there when the sun rises and when it stops doing so, when the moon shines and the wolves howl at the Northern Lights.
The gods are everywhere, and it is awesome.
*I am a carnivore lover. There are many, many, many prey animals that I love and adore, but there are so many more carnivores that I love and adore. I will always root for both sides, I will even feel sympathy and a tinge of sadness for the prey, but I will always support carnivores and their right to live. I will always argue with those who think carnivores are savage or bloodthirsty or heartless or evil. Why? Because carnivores are none of those things. They are none of the exceedingly negative and wholly human-focused labels like the ones I mentioned. They are necessary, important and beautiful, even when hunting, even when killing, and sometimes especially so. And above all they have as much a right to live as prey. Not to mention it is incredibly hypocritical to label carnivores as evil, cruel, nasty, heartless, savage, bloodthirsty, or whatever when most humans (especially in America) consume meat in much larger than healthy quantities. Carnivores do not see killing the way humans do, they never ever kill without reason or out of cruelty or spite. They kill to survive, to live, to protect themselves or their young. They are beautiful, they are wonderful, and I say kill on.