Calendar Sale

Lulu (the printer I use for my calendars) is currently having a sale. Today (Sunday), 30% off things with the code TWOMOREDAYS; tomorrow (Monday), 25% off things with the code ONEMOREDAY.

I have three calendars up now – Kemetic, Wheel of the Year, and Holy Fuck There Are A Lot Of Pagan Holidays And This Isn’t All Of Them. I was hoping to have another by this point but I haven’t managed to arrange the art for it, and I may have to scrap the project and redo with that one waiting until next year when I have more time.

They are available here.

Not a Quote of the Week

Today, I am listening to this sermon and thinking about the night battle against the Uncreated One.

That’s the thing about it, you see, that there is no escaping this struggle, its inevitability; there is so much to do, and the great serpent is overwhelming. If its jaws are capable of unhinging wide enough to swallow the sun, what can we do? If it has the capacity to drink the river of heaven, what can we do?

But like I quoted last week, the ancients saw that there was no moment that could not be improved, could not be brought into better alignment with the first moment, nothing that could not be made purer and better. They did not say “I had no part in making that serpent,” but made their wax images and trampled them underfoot, and measured their time, in part, in widows and orphans fed, clothing given, boatless emboatened.

It is not about putting down the serpent once and for all; there is no space in this cosmology for final cataclysmic battles of that sort, after which there is only the celebration of triumph for all eternity. There is putting down the serpent in his time, so that there will be tomorrow – knowing, again, that the battle will be rejoined tomorrow as well, so there can be the day after. It is a long-term commitment, not to attaining some perfection and laying our burdens down afterwards, but to acknowledging the burden – the responsibility – the glory that is our reciprocal duty to creation.

We are building the world, we and the Powers; what are we building, right now, by our choices?

Give the sermon a listen. It’s a bit more of a commitment than the quote of the week, but hey. I like going to church every so often, to listen to other people talking about ma’at.

And it’s this brave honesty that gives us at least a chance. It reminds us that part of how we face the enormity of the work is together; we help each other to see the truth, and to bear the pain of really feeling it. We help each other to speak the truth. We protect each other when we are punished for it. We feed each other’s hopes.

– Elena Rose Vera, preaching at The Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples on 15 November, 2015

(There’s your quote, if you must have one.)

Seriously, I have a Hornung Thing

The Egyptians never abandoned the belief that it was possible to change the world in productive ways; in their view, it was always possible to bring a negative or imperfect condition back–or at least closer–to its perfect state at the time of creation. Ancient Egyptian culture derived a remarkable energy and optimism from this belief; their perspective on life had no room for fatalism or for a passive, unquestioning acceptance of the status quo.

“Limits and Symmetries”, Erik Hornung, Idea into Image

If that reads as a response to something out there in the larger pagansphere right now…

… well, good.

For those people who are interested

I will occasionally be blogging things that aren’t my Kemetic research over at my personal site. That’ll cover my witchcraft, my other cultural studies, various ruminations relevant to my spiritual life, announcements of projects (though some of those will probably make it here as well), and related things. I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things sufficiently to pick up my Agora column again, if they’ll still have me.

The rss feed for that blog is here.

More Hornung

Probably going to drop juicy bits out of this book for a bit.

By evading rigid schemes and fixed roles, the Egyptians went against precisely those ordering principles that modern science strives to uphold. Overly schematic modern attempts at interpretation prove incompatible with ancient Egyptian sources and fail to promote genuine understanding. While they eschewed complete symmetry, the Egyptians also avoided the opposite extreme of sheer randomness and the dissolution of all order. Their ideal was to follow a middle course of lively yet careful deviation from a set pattern–and that ideal was closely related to their notion of ongoing regeneration.

– “Limits and Symmetries”, Erik Hornung, Idea into Image

If any of my readers are interested in a Wheel of the Year basis calendar, by the way, I made one of them too.

I Made A Thing

So, pursuant to a number of my projects, I have assembled a wall calendar using the current revision of my core festival calendar.

I kind of wanted to have it sorted for Wep Renpet but I failed at that, but hey, there’s enough time to order it before the new calendar year if you wanted that sort of thing.

Warning: month containing Great Festival of Min contains image of Min. ;) The preview button lets you click through the art I selected, though.

(Also, don’t get me started about the calendar editor program, I might have to swear a lot.)

(On a more personal note, getting back on the medication that actually treats my primary disabling medical condition rather than, y’know, on medication that keeps me semi-functional has done WONDERS for my gettingshitdone-ed-ness. May it continue to become!)

The relevant Hornung quote

Creation carries within itself the seeds of decay, and it is only through aging and decline that regeneration and rejuvenation can take place. This fundamental idea of Egyptian culture helps explain many of that civilization’s creative powers and accomplishments. As we have seen, creation is not a single, completed occurrence, in the Egyptian view; it is in need of continual repetition and confirmation. Form can be defined only against that which is formless; and regeneration cannot occur without a journey through nonbeing. Prior to creation, chaos must rule once more.

– Erik Hornung, Idea into Image, “Creation”

In other news, I put some more work into the Suns website and now have the graphics work done and a less terrible value of terrible landing page, whee.

In other news….

I have done an interview with the Infinite Beliefs podcast! To give a listen to me pontificating, mosey over there and have a listen. (And at some point I need to pick up on the Agora again, augh.)

Since it’s linked there, this is as good a time as any to mention that I’m in the process of building a site for all of my endeavours, called Suns in Her Branches, and if you’re interested in stuff I do as a general category rather than just my recon-oriented research notes, that’s where that will be. I was hoping to finish the graphical customisation and get a non-half-assed landing page done before the podcast went up but that didn’t work out so well; there’s content there anyway, including an assortment of religious poetry if you’re into that sort of thing.

The Restoration

(I’ma make an actual substantive post, look at me!)

So something I read in my new Hornung book has me thinking about ma’at, as one does. And this is me partially speculating – I really need to knuckle down and read Karenga but frankly I find the prose even more impenetrable than Assmann so it’s heavy going for me.

I’m developing a suspicion that ma’at is found more readily in becoming pure than in being it, in healing injuries rather than remaining unhurt, in finding the truths that allow union rather than simply speaking truth.

And perhaps it’s obvious from the third one, with the “ma’at is that force which gathers people into communities” thing, but maybe not – maybe people think of speaking ma’at as simply saying true things. (But there are so many true things I do not say because they are not productive, not supportive of community to say. And most people whose feet stink are already aware of that, anyway.)

But I’ve been chewing on things. Like the restored Eye of Heru being one of the archetypical offerings, not the uninjured Eye. Like the cycle of the sun being one that encompasses age and decrepitude and injury and restores to health. Like the successionary nature of ancestors: I establish the dead in their place, so that they may establish me in my own. The use of spells and confessions to attempt to make one free of one’s greatest failings before judgement before the tribunal. All these things.

Yes, it is in keeping with ma’at to remain whole and uninjured, but perhaps the greater part of it comes in bringing that which has been damaged in some way back to a greater unity.

This thought brought to you also by the notion I am toying with, that the great heresy of the Amarna period was not its sharp trend towards a monotheism it did not really manage to entirely achieve – but its vigorous denial of the mysteries of the night and its fear of the dark. (And Akhenaten feared death so much that he could not build something that could survive him.)