Unconventional Magic

So, recently I’ve been ruminating on magic. Aset made it clear that She is feeling ignored and I know that although both my gods are very magical, she is particularly and exquisitely good at it. So, I took an “other people are doing it” approach and figured I could honor Her by getting into magic. I already dedicate “wifely” duties like cleaning house and cooking and baking (I happen to like being traditionally “wife-like” since I was raised in a traditional gender role family, so don’t get hung up on that, it brings me pleasure to care for others in such a way) but I can understand why She isn’t feeling enough attention. Anpu gets more direct praise and contact since He’s my main deity, and He’s trying to get some plans moving for me. Maybe She’s jealous, I dunno, but I think She deserves something more direct.

Anyway, I had been thinking about magic because of some things going in my life. I’ve done magic successfully a couple times, though one particular spell was successful in a way I wasn’t expecting. It did exactly what I wanted it to, I just didn’t realize it would accomplish it in the fashion it did. A couple days ago while I was napping I called up Dapper and asked his opinion. He suggested doing what others had suggested (giving Aset specific offerings just for Her, spending more prayer and shrine time with just Her) and he also suggested doing magic with Her. My first response was I didn’t have what I wanted and he very promptly told me I was making my own life difficult. It doesn’t need to be that deep, or complicated, he told me. It’s supposed to be simple. Well, I don’t always like people poking me and telling me the truth that I’m just being a difficult brat (I am a really spoiled whelp actually) so I rather sarcastically asked him to show me what he meant.

I remember something about hands. Like I see my hands and his hands and energy, and he showed me how to hold and manipulate it. He further described what the energy was and how to use it. I also remember him laughing, probably because I was complaining about how he was supposed to be teaching me, not letting me sleep.

Anyway, after I woke up I had in mind knot magic. I don’t know why knot magic, that’s just what I was thinking about when I woke up. I also was thinking of crocheting due to a joke on one of my friend’s Facebook pages (the irony of listening to music generally not considered relaxing while doing something relaxing). It occurred to me that knitting and crochet use the same materials, well gee, why not crochet magic? I honestly don’t know how it would work, it would be similar to and related to knot magic, but such crafty magic as knitting and crochet and needlepoint would definitely be different. After all, you don’t undo your projects after like you would undo knots. Of the resources I’ve seen on knot magic, they categorize it as magic to store or extend spells and spellcasting. While knitting and crochet would likely be excellent for storing magic and perhaps for warding, it wouldn’t be good for releasing spells because that would require unraveling the work. And like hell is any crafter going to want to do that! However, perhaps for a slow release spell, continuous spells, protection spells, healing spells, warding, attraction and repelling spells, it could very well work.

Knitting and crochet is versatile and stable, sturdy and flexible, you could wrap a lot of magic into it in theory and it would last a long time. You could use it to store magic to draw from on days you’re tired, or recharge spells from it. As an added bonus, you could give them away. If you’re making a protection spell for a baby or a healing spell for someone who is ill, you could bind it into a baby blanket or scarf and it’ll last a long time and provide continuous help to them. When that toddler feels scared, they’re comforted as much by the familiarity of their blanket as the symbolic and magical protection it provides. As the sick person stays warm with your scarf the magic helps too, and it will help keep away future illness. In addition if someone is learning magic, well you could give them something full of magic so they can learn what it feels like and could draw on it as they learn to manipulate energy and raise their own. A magical doily or altar cloth could be a fabulous gift, with magic to encourage the success of their spiritual and magical endeavors, or protect them and their sacred space. It could be made with a look-away spell or something if that person is in the broom closet and needs their space not to look really suspicious or simply avoid being examined or messed with. A really adventurous person could even work sigils into their crochet and knitting. Such sigil crafting would be really easy with needlepoint.

Since most people want warding and protection spells to be at least semipermanent, you could design projects with that purpose. Although sewing and needlepoint would likely be easiest for this task, one could crochet rugs for warding entryways, doilies for windows and tables, blankets as mentioned, scarves and hats, and anything that could be worn or used as a decoration. Harmony spells could go in your tablecloth, purification spells in washcloths, dream and relaxation spells in pillows and stuffed toys (and yes everything I have thus far mentioned you can make with knitting and crochet). If you want it to be strong, stable and long lasting you could theoretically put it into a crafting project.

A friend mentioned to me that he never saw anyone being “edgy” with magic, in the sense that there don’t seem to be a lot of artists taking artistic license and being creative and inventive with magic, trying to make new magical systems and new uses. Well, I certainly hope we can take knot and crafting magic to a new level and start inventing!

Listening

So, last week I was telling Z about Dapper and other things going on and he asked me a question that lots of people who hear/sense ethereal beings get asked. “How do you hear them?”

I didn’t really have an answer for him. How do you explain hearing without sound, or sensing without touch? How do you explain the flutter of intuition or the pressure of a god’s presence? We take our senses for granted, and we have no words to describe their use or their feeling. Anything we try to explain them with invariably requires an understanding of them that confounds the explanation. Rule one of defining is that you do not use the word or experience in the definition of itself. It defeats the purpose. If I cannot see and ask you what red looks like, you would not tell me it is the color of a tomato, because that would require me to be able to see the tomato. You would, hopefully, describe it with other sensory references, but obviously that isn’t entirely accurate, since most people don’t really know what a color feels like, or what a sound looks like. (Unless you’re a synesthestite, but that’s a different bag of worms and not everyone with synesthesia experiences the same warping of senses).

I told him flat out that I don’t really know how to describe it, and that I don’t hear them literally like I can hear him. He knew this, of course, but it still confounded him. I mentioned that it isn’t always words either, sometimes it’s feelings and sensations. Sometimes it’s intuition. We went on to discuss that he had tried before, to talk to God, but that he could never be sure he wasn’t making things up. I told him that everyone who has a godphone feels that way, because it’s true. In fact, I’d wager that the more strongly you’re god-bothered, the more likely you are to think you’re crazy and making shit up. The more doubtful you are. He went on to say that may be true, but at least sometimes they know, at least sometimes they’re sure. I neglected to mention that they almost never know, and are almost never sure, at least the people I know. I did mention that even the people I trust for advice and discernment go through that and that I doubt a lot too, but that’s where faith comes in.

It’s true though, that’s where faith comes in. At some point everyone hears something false or fights sock puppets. But, especially as you get more used to it, you can start to tell when you’re hearing truth and other beings. However, that doesn’t stop the mind numbing and terrifying doubt that you’re a lunatic. And from what I’ve seen, that’s normal as you get better at listening. From what I’ve seen, the better you are at this spirit-talking god-phone thing, the more you doubt and the scarier it is. You don’t have the complete, fearless, undying confidence of a newb. Amateurs are often brave to the point of being cocky, because they haven’t seen the scary shit, or been disappointed or crushed. They haven’t had their world trampled and changed and twisted up by reality. Their heads haven’t been cracked open.

Z asked me this question and all I could think was he didn’t want to hear. It isn’t all fun and games, it isn’t always cool and awesome. While it is nice to know they’re real and can respond, it also means they can talk to you without you asking, and they can ignore you when you talk. And often times, once they realize you’re listening, they want you to listen. And what they might have to say isn’t always great. Don’t get me wrong, I love my gods, but I also see what happens with others and I see that they are on the move. I know I’ll probably get swept up in that. Luckily I have advanced friends who care about me and told me the truth about what it’s like. They speak candidly about their experiences and got the naiveté out of my head so that I can make better choices and have realistic expectations. Maybe that was by design, who knows.

In the end, who really knows anything? There are times when even the gods are unsure and who can know what we’re really hearing? It’s really a matter of faith at that point.

Watching and Waiting

So, since I last wrote, I’ve had a couple more dreams. This morning was one of fighting and capturing “things”. They were of the metaphysical creature variety, but I don’t remember more detail than that. I was in a city, with Z, and I feel like Dapper was somewhere. He definitely shows up for food, but he has been quiet otherwise. After the slicing and canning we went for a drive out of the city. A super dense, dark fog set in, and it didn’t help that it was night. Wherever we were, people apparently don’t drive like they’re trying to live another day, because everyone, even us, was driving 60+ miles an hour despite visibility being like, three feet. Our car was also fixed up (and I apparently don’t drive in the astral either, much like irl). However, we ended up crashing into the back of the car ahead of us because it and the six cars in front of it came to a sudden halt, and apparently whomever fixed our ride doesn’t know how to properly tighten brakes. Strangely, our car was completely unharmed, but the car we hit careened into and under the one in front of it. Both drivers got out concerned about us. Everything after that starts to get too fuzzy, because yay alarms. The people here, wherever we are, seem to be weirdly uncaring about dangerous circumstances. Considering what a neurotic mess I am in waking life I don’t understand why I’m one of those people completely unmoved by things like crashing cars. Of course, the not getting hurt by such insanity is probably the reason. Ah, I just thought that this might be some place to train, or something. Huh, learning how to fight and travel someplace that I can’t get hurt. Makes sense.

Today was also a day of “I feel like I’m being watched.”

Kind of like this

Kind of like this

I would be doing something and then I’d get the sense that Anpu was there, pondering and staring. Thinking. Deciding. At one point I felt Him so clearly that I almost turned to look at Him as if He were genuinely behind me like a human. I didn’t, because I was at school and how loony would I look fussing at a god to stop staring at me and no you can’t have my cookie? Considering all the craziness that others I follow are going through, I can see I’m about to be yanked into some craziness. To some degree I asked for this, to other degrees I absolutely did not. I never had a genuine interest in the astral or all that jazz. I’m an extremely anxious person, I’ve also read lots of other people’s experiences. It’s intense, it’s harsh and it’s scary. The really scary part is also how fucking clear everything is. A couple weeks ago I posted a picture of a set of prayer beads I made. I dedicated them mainly to Anpu but also to Aset. Once I get some more money I’ll probably make one just for Her, but they don’t seem to mind sharing. I asked Them to bless it, to make it a connection so that I could feel Their presence when I held it and especially when I prayed over them as well as to make it a protective item. I’m not terribly good at energy sensing and warding, or at least maintaining that stuff, so I figured it was a good thing. Well, I didn’t expect to have my requests granted so strongly. I dream more clearly and sense both Them and Dapper more easily with the beads nearby or on my person. Scary shit when you aren’t really used to or expecting that.

It seems clear to me that a LOT of the gods are on the move. What they’re doing is beyond me, but I’ve seen a steady increase in activity since Halloween. I’m also pretty sure that this is also based on convenience since I finally have my own place and someone who isn’t unconsciously uncomfortable with and against my spirituality.

I’m wondering what I’m getting myself into. I can’t say I necessarily regret it, this path and these gods have brought me more peace than I’ve ever had as a Christian and have helped me out in concrete ways. But, I also see the strife and suffering that some of my friends are going through. I don’t know if I’m ready for that, but I guess we’ll see.

Here, enjoy a song that I feel is becoming increasingly important. Every now and then I get one of my Evanescence songs as a major ear worm. Usually it means something for whatever reason (for instance Lost in Paradise and End of the Dream were songs that empowered and validated me, and were Anpu’s first communication attempts). It’s also almost always an Evanescence song because I have so many and am constantly listening to them. I picked the one with lyrics because, obviously, the lyrics are very important. I also realize that this song could apply to others. Have fun

Dapper Dreams

So, I sometimes have dreams that include Z. Usually it’s interesting, yet logical things. Sometimes it reflects other aspects that have to do with us being boyfriend and girlfriend. Very rarely it’s a bad dream that is unrealistic. At one point I did have some nasty thing invading my dreams and pretending to be him and making my nights very unpleasant. That something is gone now, so dreams have resumed being pleasant and/or mildly confusing or weird.

I mention this because I had a dream last night that included Zolfyer and it involved Dapper too. It started out with Z and I driving. Wherever we were going we were going there repeatedly. All that was important was the driving for some reason. We’d go up a six lane straightaway and then make a right through a double turn-only lane onto the expressway. It vaguely resembles a real life road that we take to get on the expressway from my mom’s house, but we haven’t been there in a week and it isn’t as cockamamie or direct as this dream road was. Anyway, the third time we got on this road Z was driving really fast. Now, normally I’m a terribly paranoid person despite the fact that Z is an excellent driver and my dad drives faster. However, I wasn’t the least bit bothered by this current craziness. We passed a police officer who was parked in a lane and Z slowed the car just enough to make the turn on the expressway without flying out of the lane (not that he stayed completely in it).

Then, three or four cars flew by us, it was insane how fast they went by us. Another was coming and Z went to change lanes, and yet the brakes started to fail. We were coming up on a hard curve that had no guardrail part way through it, obviously hitting this turn going too fast and without brakes meant we slid. Once again, remarkably calm and even jovial on my part. Z wasn’t worried either. He just steered away from other cars as we hit the guard and careened towards the inner guard separating the traffic directions. Then we spun, swerved, and went down the embankment where the outer guard rail stopped. Now this whole time, despite being inside the car, we were also watching this all happen from outside of it as well, and were completely unharmed. Even as the car flipped and tumbled down the hill, we were not affected despite being inside. Train tracks and a platform were at the bottom of the embankment. Our now thoroughly fucked up car landed on its wheels on the platform and we just sat there like, “well, this is a bummer.” Out of nowhere Sister shows up with someone else. They’re looking at us from the top of the embankment, asking if we’re OK and to get out the car. I let them know the doors are jammed and the brakes, even the parking brake, are busted. It was in park, but when Z let up the brakes from flush on the floor where he had them the car started rolling forward. He stopped it by stomping the brake to the floor, checked the parking brake and tried again. This time it didn’t stop.

Once again, we failed to panic, I just told Z to keep it off the tracks. We roll towards the train tunnel, which is under construction of some kind and I mention that putting the car in front of one of the unfinished pillars would keep it still and safe. Z nearly gets the car on the tracks but manages to keep it on the side and to a suitable pole. We get out and notice two people sitting at a desk in this unfinished, underground platform, doing paperwork or something. They said hi and we looked around. Two men and a little girl walked out of the tunnel then, marveling about it and talking. We heard the train coming and told them to move. They did so slowly, especially since the train slowed to a near stop. It did almost hit them though, but they were nonplussed. The little girl went playing with Z and I started telling everyone about the trains here in Philly and the name change the various lines went through. They all thought it was funny, and the woman at the desk showed me the train line map and then we were somewhere else.

This new place was someone’s bedroom. It had a lit fireplace, a fluffy area rug, dark wood walls and furniture and medium hardwood floors. It was, rustic and log cabin-y. Z and I had been in the bed, and I got up while he explored. He struck up a conversation with someone while I was given a book. The book was called something Magicka and the name Penczak kept repeating. I can’t remember what the first word was, but it started with an M too. I want to say Mada or Mado or something, but it was a beginners book and had Middle or Dark Ages type illustrations. It was very interesting, the first two chapters and rituals were about preparation and purification, somewhat involving the moon and various other things. I was inclined to do these rituals but I wanted to read completely through them first to understand what they needed, what they were for, and how they worked. Eventually I realized that the other person in the house was Dapper and he came in several times to talk and clarify things. Curiously I saw three children playing through a window, they were doing magic and making games Avatar TLA-style. Two girls and a boy. They were dressed like us, in pants and long sleeves even though it was clearly warm outside. It also made me wonder about the fireplace and why it was lit. By now Z was bored stiff. He played with the kids for a while, but then came inside and sat at the dining room table to play with a pecan while he listened to Dapper and I talk. Said pecan was more like an avocado, but I just kept calling it a pecan. He was squishing berries with it and for some reason I was paying very careful attention to it.

Dapper, meanwhile, was just staring at Z with a super WTF face. He could not, for the life of him, figure out why Z was playing with berries and a pecan. I couldn’t either, but I happen to know that humans, and Z in particular, will play with damn near anything when bored enough. Dapper started to look in the Magicka book, wondering if there would be something in there to explain why the pecan was so interesting. He genuinely thought it might be magic or related to it. I don’t think Dapper understands humans very well. I’ll be honest that I was evil and simply told him to look in the index instead of explaining that there was nothing special about what Z was doing. I checked the index with him, curious what things it did have in it. Lots of things on this list, and none of them in alphabetical order. I was mighty confused and told him he’d never find it with this out of order index. He merely sighed and turned to the alphabetical index where we failed to find pecans. Dapper then started to tell me about actually doing the rituals from the first two chapters but then alarms started going off and such. I just can’t ever finish these damn things can I? This dream is particularly significant because I made a deal with him last week, where in exchange for teaching me and other things I agreed to feed him and assist him with his missions or whatever they are. I think I can be pretty confident in his “morals”. Combine that with the information I gained from others and I think this’ll work out.

Dapper

So, a couple weeks ago I had an interesting thing happen. For over a month I had been having very curious dreams. Teaching, fighting, arguing, traveling, things I don’t normally do in dreams. This all started before I moved out, and then I had some quiet nights until I restarted my personal practice. That’s when he showed up.

It is my experience that every writer has at least one stock character. The description and personality is fairly steady from story to story, though names and circumstances and nuances may change. I have such a character, typically I call him Ezekiel, though he has other names. I created a guardian spirit that looks like him and charged it with protecting my sleep because I had had some nightmares and dreams of imposters. No big deal, just had to remember to feed him every once in a while. Well, he sort of disappeared. I figured it was just evaporation, though I still felt shreds of his presence.

Then someone who looked quite like said guardian showed up. I helped him three times doing all sorts of kooky shit in my dreams and he introduced himself with a name that starts with a D. I can’t for the life of me remember it, but he accepted Dapper. During these dreams I saw him change forms into a wolf (something Ezekiel could do) and show me his magic. I described the encounters to Aubs and Devo because they have astral and spirit experience that I do not. I also got a very weird and indistinct vibe from Dapper that he had eaten my guardian. He neither confirms nor denies, but when I reach for Z I get Dapper. It’s weird, because Z is not here but it feels like he is.

On top of that I asked another friend of mine to see if she could find out anything about Dapper. After all, not only is she a fellow Jackal kid, but I have little experience in discerning with spirits. She told me that I have nothing to fear from the spirits I’ve been noticing. One is a messenger and I may not be ready for its message. She also saw a clawed spirit, and, upon asking Anpu about it, got told to mind her business. However, He was rather nonplussed about its existence and seemed to have been aware of it before then. She also said it seemed like it just wanted to be close to me like several other spirits which apparently float near me. I’m a little blind, deaf and dumb, so I have no clue what she’s talking about. But hey, god isn’t bothered, so I suppose I can relax a little.

Aubs says it sounds like I caught the astral bug. I don’t think I’m really prepared for that, nor do I really want it. Sure, her and Devo’s stories are fantastical and unique, but they’re also crazy and terrifying and I really don’t want to get my brain munched. I can’t say I’m really ready for that, but I get the sense it not only doesn’t matter, but is necessary to happen. Not sure why, but apparently I might get my head bust open. Fun shit. Still, I wonder intensely where Dapper came from, what he wants and how he found me. I also wonder what this means for my sanity and my practice. Only time will tell I guess.

Devotion

I recently restarted my personal practice after many months of hiatus, and the same questions have returned again. As a new adherent in an alternative, non-standardized religion, creating a personal practice is exactly that, creating. Being new also adds in the bonus level of floundering. While everyone is still creating their practice, their experience makes it easier to discern, to research and to coalesce. Of course, they were beginners at some point too, but they aren’t now, and I know I at least have to remind myself that I’ll eventually get better and figure some things out. It’s still slow going however.

Primarily I still have to figure out what I want my daily practice to look like. What do I want to do in shrine to honor my Netjer? How do I want to interact with Them? How will I hear Them when they speak? What about other entities? What, exactly, does devotion mean to me?

That last question is probably the hardest, and it most likely would provide at least partial answers to the others. See, in my church growing up, everything was already in place as a framework. There was a set order to things. Songs, Welcome and Contribution, Songs, Communion, Songs (we sing a lot as you can see), and then the Message. Sometimes we sing at the end too, sometimes we skip a section of songs. Basically, I grew up singing a lot, then doing a lot of listening. Well, there aren’t a lot of modern songs for the Netjeru (yet), and unfortunately the way to sing the ancient songs is lost. I’m not that great at music, but that’s almost always what I want to do, sing. Devotion is song, because song is praise, and even if I didn’t listen to a lick of the message, well I praised and that’s what I like. It’s a little frustrating to say the least.

Christmas Songs

Yes, I’m aware that I’m extremely late. I was inspired by a thing I saw on Facebook that had rewritten Christmas songs. They were Wicca flavored and it inspired me to make ones that were Kemetic flavored. Each song has in parentheses the song it was based on so that you can sing them easily. As long as you attribute their creation to me and do not change the lyrics without permission you may use them freely.

These lyrics are copyright to Rachael Jetter, aka Aine Rayne, owner of Finding the Secret Places. Please do not alter, copy in part or in whole without attribution, or sell without express written permission of the owner.

O Come, O Come, the Lord of the Knife(O Come, O Come, Emmanuel)

O Come, O Come the Lord of the Knife,
And lead me through the Cavern of the Night.
Full of strife and demons untold,
Guide me to Ra’s barque of gold!
R: Dua! Dua! Lord of Ma’at,
I seek your strength in light and dark!
O come, Lord of the Secret Place
And grant to me your wisdom and grace;
Make my body whole and pure,
That I may lie among the stars.
Refrain
O come, O come, the Son of Ra,
Who watches o’er the Scales of Ma’at
And crushes foes both near and far
That Ra may travel safely in His barque!
Refrain
O come, He Who Prepares the End
And brings Calamity on isfet!
Let none who we call Enemies
Against us in evil succeed.
Refrain
O come, Lord of the Pavilion
And wrap me in purest linen.
Guide me through the Duat
And make my heart light as ma’at.
Refrain

Hark! Nut, the Goddess Sings (Hark! The Herald Angels Sing)

1. Hark! Nut, the goddess sings;
“Glory to the new-born King;
Strength to Ra and shining skies,
Isfet’s defeat; Apep’s demise.
2. Joyful, all Egypt, arise.
Join the triumph of the Eyes.
With the goddesses proclaim,
“Heru is born and Osiris reigns!”
Hark! Nut, the goddess sings,
Glory to the new-born King.

Away in the Duat (Away in a Manger)

1. Away in the Duat, your heart in His hand,
The great god Anpu guides you through the Land.
The 42 gods look down upon you,
Anpu will fill your heart full of Truth.
2. The scales are not tipping, He’s balanced Them true
Djehuty testifies greatly for you.
Sing praise to Anpu, the Lord of the Knife,
Give gifts to Him who is Lord of Life.
3. Be near Lord of Heaven and King of the Gates,
Allow me to come to your Secret Place!
Lord of the Pavilion and Great in His Strength,
Bless me as I travel to the West!

Sekhmet We Have Heard on High (Angels We Have Heard on High)

Sekhmet we have heard on high
Roaring o’er the arid plains
And the sand dunes in reply
Uphold Her holy right to reign.
CHORUS:
Gloria, in excelsis Deae!
Gloria, in excelsis Deae!
People, why this fear in thee?
Why is all your faith so gone?
To whom do you praise and sing,
But a fearsome Eye of Ra!
Chorus
Come to Men Nefer and see
She who destroys enemies;
Come, with water and with meat,
For Sekhmet, the Desert Queen!
Chorus