Dreams and Such

If there were an easy way to become a skilled dreamer I’d take it. Why? Because that seems to be the easiest form of communication for me. There probably are ways to become one, but I imagine they aren’t easy, but things never are, are they? I plan to make an effort to get working with my tarot cards again, and maybe try scrying. A friend of mine told me that it would probably work well if I was sensitive to subtle changes in my field of vision. I am, that’s how I know there are ghosts in my house lol Or notice an insect or mouse flying or scuttling. Yet somehow I always get surprised by someone sneaking up on me XD

Anyway, scrying, tarot. I honestly need to do more research on scrying and techniques for it, and I’m now of the thought that it may help me to play with my tarot more than use it for reading. The reason is that the cards give me a different impression than the results I get by reading the book, especially because some cards give a very complex reading that can clash or not make sense. I’ve seen the recommendations (even in the book the deck came with) to write about the impressions one gets from the cards and to not be afraid of going with your intuition for interpreting the cards, but I’ve always been of the camp that you should start with the materials before forging your own path. Nevertheless, it may be time to go about path forging because I still have little luck by using the book. It could be lack of practice, but it could just as much be that my cards are trying to speak to me outside of what their creator heard from them. And again, she’s said in the book that one should see what the cards say before reading the booklet.

Now, to the point of this post, as seen in the title. Lately the gods have been quiet. I’ve felt like a lone stone being washed through a river. Tumbling and confused and a bit cold, both in mundane life and spiritual practice. I haven’t really known what to do about either. I feel like my regular devotions are void and stale, but I don’t really know what else to do but those, especially to exit this Fallow Time. The only warm thing in my mundane life has been the job that just ended, my boyfriend Zolfyer (who rarely blogs), Sister and Nephew and friends. Mostly online friends since I rarely get to see my IRL friends. Recently however I had a bit of a surprise. A newbie Kemetic, who just so happens to be a Jackal kid, read a poem/song of mine that I wrote for Anpu. She liked it, she thought it described Him beautifully. And a few days later, I heard a door open and Anpu walked into my head. It was incredibly weird to literally hear a door open in my head and have my god walk in and take a seat. He seemed to be in a very thoughtful and not so talkative mood. So, I said hi, welcome back, and left Him to think thoughts in my brain.

I may or may not have gone to sleep soon after that. I can’t remember exactly when this little interaction happened, but it was definitely sometime this week. During this week me and Z’s car finally got fixed, so it’s no longer overheating, I also got to hear the nonverbal child at work speak several sentences and words very clearly to my extreme delight, my depression finally lifted, and Z and I went to a job fair. Unfortunately my assignment ended, but I can hope that I either get a job soon or get setup with one of the kids I worked with this year in September. Though honestly I can’t say that’s the best thing since i’m also supposed to start school then, which could create a scheduling problem. Here’s hoping for at least a few online classes right? Shit, here’s hoping I get into the nursing program!

Anyway, I clearly remember a dream about feeding people and cooking for people and other helpful big sis/mom things. I don’t remember who or why, at least one person was someone I do not know IRL. I also know it involved very strange things with cheese. I was making mac and cheese and messed up the cheese sauce by looking away from it for just a few moments to fuss at someone, and when I looked back it had turned into a massive unrealistic ball of half-melted cheesiness. To say I wasn’t happy would be an understatement. Considering I’ve never made mac and cheese before I didn’t like that I’d messed up, but I went ahead to try and use it anyway. It didn’t turn out bad, it just turned into pizza when I served it. I feel that’s when it devolved into silliness. I did not like that it had turned into pizza, but everyone else liked it just fine, so maybe this is more about me getting over shit changing from what I had intended after messing it up to something still decent and useful.

The second dream was completely about helping someone. I was online with SatSekhem and another person (I don’t know if they have a blog or what it is, sorry, but I shall refer to her as BR). We were using Skype and speaking to a baby Kemetic (also a Jackal child) about several topics. We were mainly encouraging her and answering questions. One of the questions she asked I can’t remember, but we all got very involved in the answer. It had to do with worship, but unfortunately dialogue always goes first in my dreams. It wasn’t just us three either, all the people from the Kemetic Facebook group I’m part of were in on this, but SS, BR and I were the most talkative and the focus. I do, however, remember the second very important question the newbie asked. “How can you have a full time spiritual life and regular life?”

I don’t remember why she was so frazzled and worked up about that question, but it very much worried her. Well obviously SS and BR had a great answer and they answered her. I was about to give my answer when all of the sudden the view panned out to a third person POV to reveal her standing near me even though she was also on the computer. For some reason we were in the middle of the street, no traffic at all. It was, for the most part, the block my grandmother lives on. No idea why we were there, though I do know I had been in the street simply because I saw I was sitting on asphalt. I tell her to hold on while I type the answer up so that she can have to read over after I give my answer in words to her later. This is very interesting to me because I’m hardly an expert on balancing spiritual and mundane life, much less one who could have a serious and developed answer. And I was very ferocious and determined to answer all of her questions and help her be sure of herself. That’s not outside of my personality, but considering I’m not juggling the spiritual and mundane very well IRL it’s baffling.

Then, she started to ask me about the neighborhood and my family. I’ve no idea why, she just did, I guess we had talked about that before the dream started and now that she was there she could ask in more detail. I told her about where I was and who lived nearby, and conveniently GM and Sister came out of the house to get in the car. Neither of them drive and no one owns a car like the one they were getting into btw. I take her over to introduce them all and then my mom shows up. I introduce them only to be woken up by Z calling out to me. I had talked in my sleep and was wondering who “Ms Carolina/California” was. The girl’s name was apparently Carolina. I don’t know anyone by that name. There are plenty of explanations for this dream, but I have no idea which one to go with. I am only more confused considering the baby Jackal Kemetic who just found my blog.

C is for Commitment

Ok, I know I’m ultra late with C for the PBP, but better late than never right?

So, commitment. Dictionary.com violates the rules of defining words (they use the word being defined in its definition) for the first two definitions, but the third and fourth are better. It defines commitment as: “3. the act of […] pledging, or engaging oneself. 4. 

a pledge or promise; obligation.”
 
Now, I’ll admit that I’m not fond of the word obligation, because it has certain connotations that can be negative. It tends to suggest force and lack of consent, something that must be done despite all desire and will to do otherwise, or being manipulated. However, it clearly doesn’t always mean that. For instance you have an obligation to feed your children, they are yours and they deserve not to starve. You should also, in theory, want to feed them, thus making it seem like less of an obligation and more voluntary.
Nonetheless, obligation has a purpose to it, especially in a religious context. You see, as a…something…to the gods you kinda make different types of commitments and obligations to them. It depends on your relationship with a particular deity. Of course, I’m talking about religious commitment in regards to deity relations, but you can be and make religious commitments without involving deities at all.
I hope to have a long term relationship with my deities, so I will have a different kind of commitment and resident obligations than someone who just needs a deity for a season. One of my commitments is daily rites. I made that up myself to Them. Why? Well for one thing because I want to be closer to Them and disciplined, but also because I want Them to see and know that I am committed, even when I don’t feel like it or have a hard time. Unless they direct me to stay away I will do my best to show up. Of course, the real trouble with this is finding ways to create small sacred space when I’m not in my room. I often spend weekends and random days during the week not in my house. Gm and Pop-Pop’s are frequent visiting locations and the former not only stays up late but can’t be around incense or candles (not to mention I share a room with Sister and Nephew) and the latter doesn’t know I’m not Christian anymore. Still struggling with how to do shrine time at these places.
I found recently that I was willing to take the obligation this commitment brings. Even though I was super pissed and did not want to be in shrine I made myself go (this was about two or three weeks ago). I had to keep repeating to myself that it wasn’t about me, it was about them, and I had to keep things short (just couldn’t concentrate), but I was there. I’m keeping this up, I made a commitment, I have an obligation and I have to figure out this particular blockade.

 

Pagan Blog Project- D is for Daily not Dilly-Dally

I know I’m late and haven’t done a C post yet, but C is fighting me, so I’m gonna ignore it and then go back and beat it into submission.

So yesterday I baked bread for the first time. No one in my family makes bread from scratch, by hand, despite just about all the women being prolific bakers. I prefer cooking over baking, so I figured I’d get into the family hobby with something practical, especially since I’m not yet brave enough to start experimenting with recipes from cookbooks. Before you ask about that I’ll mention it when I beat C into submission.

This is the Result of that endeavor

This is the Result of that endeavor

I think I did ok for it being my first ever bread (or baking completely unsupervised). I had a lot of fun with it, especially the kneading and such, though I’ll admit that takes a lot of work. Talk about arm strength, it looks easy but it’s so not. What’s the point of me talking about this? I’m getting to that. You see, ever since I became a Kemetic I’ve wanted to make bread, after all it’s a common staple of Ancient Egyptian offerings to the Netjer. It was seen as an epitome of collaboration between man and Deity. Netjer makes everything needed for the bread: water because it’s frigging water, grain, cows (for milk and butter), grass for the cows, soil to grow everything in, more water for growing, sunlight, fire; then humans take over and take those things to transform it into sustenance and offer the creation back to the Netjer. And we all know AE was all about cycles and balance. Bread is the shiznit ya know?

Now, I never actually baked anything for the Jackal and Sir Chaos-a-lot, but I have cooked for them and bought things they like. Then there is Aset. She came along in response to be going “omg I’m falling apart and I suck at being a girlfriend help!” And She did, which makes me happy, because I like Her presence. She and Set don’t fight over my head either lol Speaking of the Storm God I have honey now and that’s His little personal request, should get on that. Aset hasn’t really asked for much from me, keep my room clean is really the main thing, something I’m gonna do today because it needs to be done badly and it’s annoying me by being disorganized. Oh, I’m off topic, back to baking.

I’ve wanted to bake bread in Aset’s honor for a while since She joined the Panel O Gods. I hadn’t done it, in fact I hadn’t baked anything for Her at all. I’ve cooked a few dishes in Her honor, but I feel like She’s more concerned about the baking and the caretaking role that cooking symbolizes along with other things like cleaning unbidden and whatnot. I’m still working on that, I kind of clean spontaneously on my own, meaning that there could be weeks that things go uncleaned. What ultimately prompted the baking last night was a combination of wanting to introduce myself to Ganesha (that’s a story for another time) and to finally do something solely in Aset’s honor and with Her in mind.

And I did it, I made bread, even if it is misshapen and more cake-density than bread-density. And too small for sandwiches. But I did it! And it tastes delicious, and Aset and Anpu were proud of me and Set told me not to take His rolling laughter personally XD I’m going to try again tonight after I clean my room and the kitchen. I have to say that I’m glad I didn’t use my mom’s bread machine. There is something awesome about having to get all the ingredients and then mix them, then there’s the kneading and the beating and finally the oven. I like making things with my hands even though I don’t do it nearly enough. Even with baking sweets you don’t really get your hands as worked and dirty as with bread.

Now, to the point of the post, which was not bread (I’ll admit I want to get more praise for the attempt XD). Besides wanting to improve my relationship and closeness and ability to hear my deities, I want this to be more than just a spirituality. I do actually like ritual and structure, which is why I’m so upset that no one has more songs out for the Netjer, especially MY Netjer. I like singing and have managed to modify a couple songs from my Christian days for when I’m really like omg needs to sing nao. This baking of bread is something I want to do regularly, especially since I live in a house of bread lovers lol

But, this was also an attempt to start me on a path to daily devotions. I haven’t been doing daily devotions at all, they’ve been highly sporadic. The fact my lighter just died, I need new candles and I can’t find my other ones is just saying I need to be paying more attention. I’d like to spend a little money getting some incense and a holder for it. I like incense and I’m at my mom’s and don’t have to share a room so there’s really no excuse. Besides it’s not like I don’t know how to do mini devotions while I’m elsewhere in the universe. Not just that, but my deities deserve at least consistency from me. It’s not difficult to offer a little water at night in a corner or something. I will admit that it’s quite a bit of laziness as well as a hangup over not having something a little more proper for an altar.

This is one of those times however, where “I’ll try harder” is not enough. I need a clear and determined resolution to persevere and do devotions at least once a day no matter how tired or lazy I’m feeling or how little I have. Trying gets nothing, it’s a matter of doing. I feel like I made an ok start since I sat my ass down and did devotion last night even though I was tired and it was 1 am and I had to get up six hours from then. I feel like it was appreciated and I got a Holy Hug, which was great because I wasn’t feeling well emotionally last night when I went to pray.

I feel a little bad because I didn’t go to shrine this morning when Anpu asked me to sit in since I was too tired to get up and shower. (Yeah, some mornings I don’t shower, so sue me). It took a lot of strength to get up just to go to work, which was pointless btw since my client didn’t show. I don’t think He was angry about it, I think He was trying to give me the chance to get some Holy Hugs before work. I will be making an appearance at shrine tonight too, especially since it’s Friday I really have no reason not to. I’m going to have to take a good look at my schedule and make some decisions about things and how to discipline myself, especially about going upstairs at night. I’m a night owl and insomniac so sometimes I truly have to will myself to bed even if I’m thoroughly exhausted and that often interferes with devotions at night or any chance of them in the morning. I get the feeling that Anpu may want both morning and evening shrine time. It’s just my intuition because He hasn’t said so or given a reason He might, but I’ll have to plot that out, especially since I’m not a morning person.

Thankfully I have a patient god and goddess and Set hasn’t decided to sock me yet so yeah, we’ll see. Mayhaps I can get Iretenra over at Black Fur, Black Wing to help bug me. And there’s always Shine over at Per Ma: House of the Lion (they’re both so wonderfully nice). Hopefully they’ll have some ideas for how they keep up with the daily thing, even when every fiber is straining for the sheets instead. Maybe my stepdad has a drill so I can put these shelves on the wall so I’ll feel less poor in front of a trunk lol XD (maybe I’ll get a doorknob!).

Hopefully this baking and breaking of bread will lead to better things and daily things. I want to be close to my deities and I believe in myself.

Anubis

I’ve decided I’m going to do the Pagan Blog Project this year. I know, I’m a day late. I knew I was going to do a post for Anpu, though I couldn’t decide if I would do His for the first week or the second, but it just kept invading my head so yeah. Maybe I’ll do one for Aset? I’m not sure, I’ll likely write a normal blog post after this so you’ll get two posts. Anyways, on with the show yes?

I’ve written plenty of posts on my main deity (though Set loves to troll and take first dibs on things), but I have to say I love writing about Him. He’s a quiet deity, but never mistake quiet for weak. Anpu is often around, a quiet and comforting presence. He is also a powerful presence, like listening to thunder in the middle of the night. In general it is just rolling and deep, a threat that isn’t a threat, a hidden sound reminding you that there is great strength. I’m sure I sound a little cheesy, but I’d bet His voice would remind me of thunder. You can’t see thunder, you can only hear it; you only know it’s there when it comes upon you. You can’t anticipate thunder, sometimes it comes right on the heels of its lightning and sometimes it doesn’t. Thunder can also be terribly frightening. I’m 21 years old and there are times that thunder wakes me up and terrifies me, sometimes with no lightning to be seen from a window. I think that’s the scariest type, the kind that crashes like falling buildings and explosions but no lightning to speak of. What happened to it? Where did it land? What sort of bolt could make such a terrifying noise? That, is Anpu I think. Normally placid, calm, but capable of being terrible and ferocious. I like that about Him.

I will admit (and probably have admitted elsewhere) that I initially researched Anpu out of love of canines and His canid head. Of course I found out that He is incredibly awesome, even more awesome than I ever thought. I always thought He was a cool and interesting deity even though all I knew of Him was His role as Divine Embalmer and a deity of death. For some reason that just never grew on me, I always just liked Him; regardless of His role in death or what The Mummy (1999) had to say about Him. Or what any class in school didn’t say about Him. I don’t know, it was just always a feeling that He was awesome. And I can’t tell you how happy I was to be proved utterly correct. He is a very important presence in my life and in my head now and I’m still getting to know Him, but I look forward to that.