Okay, I fell off the blog wagon again, but let’s take the new year as it goes and get back to it, and start at the beginning again, again.
Consider the structure of ritual, the practice of being. The real basics, not the fancier things, the tools we apply to resonate with the souls.
We light fire: we kindle sight.
We burn incense: we bring life to the nose.
We speak prayers: our ears are opened.
We make offerings: we taste of the Eye of Heru.
We perform gestures: our bodies answer the call.
Religion is an embodied act. This is not an accident, a happenstance, because the point is not just what we do before the shrines, but what we take with us into the world, which is full of substance.
I am as prone as anyone else to wander off into the abstract and the transcendental (honestly, I am perhaps more so than many, for various reasons), but the truth of the matter remains: religion is embodied. And there is a lot out there that would teach us to de-body ourselves, or deny our bodies, or to try to escape them like a Houdini’s performance.
But if we come back to ritual, we come back to sight, to scent, to sound, to taste, to touch. And, if the ritual is well-constructed, these bring us to spiritual awareness, to presence, to a full grasp of being.
One of the reasons I have always preferred to do my Kemetic rituals at night is this: when I strike the light in the darkness, when I kindle Zep Tepi, it feels like it means more. There is a deeper resonance for me to bring the light out of the darkness. Perhaps – were I a morning person at all – I could get the same effect kindling the light in the pre-dawn, letting the lamp rise with the sun. (But the twilight of dawn is still light, so that is a large maybe.)
It is presence in the moment.
It is worth cultivating.
(It is also hard. At least for me.)