Nut Cycle: The Embrace (Hour/Month 1)

This is a horizon month, a liminal one. We are not held within the cycle, but are puttering about in its periphery. Preparing to take the plunge, as it were. We place ourselves into the hands of Nut, knowing that she is the Sow Who Devours Her Children, and she will swallow us when she takes hold of us.

This month is named Djehwty; we consider the regulation of time. It is by his influence that Nut bears children, regardless of her tendency to devour them. The primary celebration of this month is the Wag Festival, also known as the Feast of Wagy, which is immediately followed by the Great Festival of Djehwty and then the Festival of Drunkenness.

From Wine and Wine Offering in the Religion of Ancient Egypt, Mu-Chou Poo, in his section on the Wag Festival:

In view of this relationship between Osiris and the inundation and the flourishing of vegetation, the “seasons” and “times” in the passage “The Lord of Wine through the inundation, his seasons have recognized him, his times have remembered him” (Pyr. 1524a-b) should refer to the seasonal ripening of the grapes.

The flood arrives. It dissolves the forms of everything that it approaches, sweeping them away in a great blood-red, wine-red wash of water. This may be regulated and ordered by the governance of time, but it is still unsettled and perilous. The Wag festival may be a festival of rebirth, but it still carries within it the knowledge of the preceding death.

We know this when we place ourselves into the hands of Nut: to be reborn, to be reforged, we will be consumed, broken down, and mended. These are the relentless cycles, the unswaying truth that horrified Geb. To be reborn, one must die. For the land to flourish, the flood must wash away whatever is in its path.

For the Wagy, we venture into the anterooms of the dead, we bring them gifts, we hang out in their parlors for a time. This is the horizon space, the borderland, and we venture there. We venture there, under the measured governance of time, and emerge into the other horizon, the one suffused with ecstasy, the touch of the Lady of Intoxication who is also the Lady of the West.

What is it to accept the embrace of Nut? To go into the space between the seen and the unseen knowing that we will be eaten whole, choosing to trust that the teeth of the mother are a way to life, not the end of our personal world? We have to loosen up, accept the drunkenness that comes with a full embrace of living, and embrace it so fully that we can also embrace ending.

We are called to this process of regeneration, we hail it and welcome it, even though we know it has its dangers.

I have come to you, O Nebet-Het
I have come to you, O Night-Bark
I have come to you, O Maa-her-tjerut,
I have come to you, O Meskhat-kau,
Remember me.
Sah is encircled by the Duat
Pure and living in the horizon.
Sopdet is encircled by the Duat
Pure and living in the horizon.
I am encircled by the Duat
Pure and living in the horizon.
It is well for me and with them,
It is pleasant for me and with them,
Within the arms of my father,
Within the arms of Atum.

– Pyramid Texts 216, Faulkner translation

And Atum’s name appears to mean “the complete one”, which is why – aside from being a primordial creator – he is the setting sun, entering into the horizon at this time. That sun is complete, its life is over, and it, like us, goes Westwards into the night. Arm in arm with the Creator, we approach the gate of Nut’s teeth: Which Swallows All.


3 thoughts on “Nut Cycle: The Embrace (Hour/Month 1)

  1. odeliaivy says:

    Intriguing. I must look up Nut to see what happens after one is eaten.

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