Monday, 25 July 2011

More Changes

One of the spiritual organizations with which I am affiliated is restructuring; and while I absolutely respect and support the right of the founder to remake said organization in whatever way she sees fit, I'm not at this time certain I can continue to be a part of it. The sticking points seem minor enough, but my fundamental agnosticism is so intrinsic a part of me that it seems to exist at a cellular level--and if my neo-Jungian skeptical tendencies are unwelcome, then I guess I'm unwelcome too, at least at that level of participation.

But it's late, and these are questions best left for another more wakeful time. Oh, and don't worry about me (as I know some of you might, and I love you more for it); I'm not at all upset, just a bit bemused. You know--one door closing, another one opening, that sort of thing.

For now, I leave you with some Bones quotes that are apropos:

"Entropy is a natural force that pulls everything apart at the subatomic level. Everything changes." --Brennan

"Pyramids are better at change than you are." --Booth

Friday, 8 July 2011

Oh. Oh oh oh. OH!

Epiphany time!

So I was sitting around, meditating (or more accurately, letting my mind wander as it would) and the subject of my spiritual parentage came to mind. As (some? most?) of you know, I am a divined daughter of Hethert (Hathor) in the House of Netjer, a parentage that sometimes seems absolutely right to me and other times seems completely insane. My thoughts were veering down that secondary path this morning, contemplating the qualities that Hethert possesses and failing to find them in my brain-bound, non-ecstatic, hyper-rational cranky self. For some reason I was then reminded of someone's Tumblr post where they declared "Temperance Brennan is my spirit animal," which led me further on into fretful contemplation of how I've found much to identify with in her character, and so on and so forth ad nauseum round and round until a voice/thought cut through all of my mind-chatter with this:

Remember, before she was Temperance, she was Joy.

Oh. Oh oh oh. OHHHH. Right, then. Spiritual parentage/patronage (and one's name, as well) are less about who you are at any given time than who you were/are at your core, who you were/are in the very first time, when you came into being. All it took was one internal fandom reference to remind me of that, which proves that even fannish obsessions have their uses.

Because before I was temperatelogic (here, and on Twitter, and elsewhere) I too was joy: Nehmetemhethert, my Kemetic name, translates to Dance in joy for Hethert.

Oh. Oh. That's...OH.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Coming Forth By Day

(This is an excerpt from Normandi Ellis' translation of ch. 1 of the Papyrus of Ani, titled "Coming Forth By Day" in her book Awakening Osiris.)

I am changeable, yes. It is like this. A hummingbird's wings beat so fast he seems to fly standing still. Atoms in the rock whirl about, yet the rock holds together. Lions roar in the temple and the earth trembles. It is only yesterday and tomorrow keeping watch over today. The solid earth like a baby is lifted up to be kissed, to be blessed and set down again. I see things other men don't see. Secret words repeated in mirrors, bits of legend fallen from the lips of slave girls. I gather the greater seed as they thresh their wheat. I am an old priest dancing the mad dance, whirling, whirling, whirling.

I have studied the manifestations of gods and men, and I've seen the dead conversing in thin, reedy voices amid the air. I have read books of magic and made offerings of moly. I've longed to be free, to rise up as smoke from earth into air. I am a priest of change.

I am a priest of love, a courtier enchanted by the slender ankles of women, by bells and incense, dances and gauze. Beneath the moon my boat rocks gently. I scoop up fish by the fistfull and feed the ibis outside the temple. I remember to weave my garlands of onions and flowers on feast days. I plant my seeds and carry god in my hands through fields to bless them. I drag the large stones to hither ground and write prayers to last forever, songs to gods and creations, women and kings. I have turned the spade and smelled the black moist secret smell of earth and I knead the clods gently in my hand. They are supple and innocent as woman. In the right season, I plant my seeds.

Oh spirits that guide a man through the dark halls at death, guide me safely in life past sorrow and depression, steer me from fear and anger and hopelessness. Let me always know the reason for my becoming. Let me hear what gods hear, see what gods see. When the sun blotted from the sky, let even a small light shine to steer a man's feet. Let me stand in light, bathe in light, clothe myself in light. Let me sit in the lap of gods and hear words of comfort. Oh offerers of cake and bearers of beer, let me not also starve for love, thirst for wisdom. Let my spirit be stronger today than it was yesterday, my heart more peaceful, my mind more fertile, my hands more gentle. Let gods touch my face. Let me go forth shining. Let my feet know the way. Let me walk and pass through fire. Let wild beasts and thieves by the roadside go on sleeping pleasant dreams. Let me pass undeterred into heaven.

For I have made a reckoning of myself, of the things I have done and said and of my intentions; and I long for nothing but to live as a light within; to enter god's heart singing a song so stirring that even slaves at the mill and asses in the field might raise their heads and answer.

Let me always know the reason for my becoming.