So, I have thinky thoughts

So, I’ve been thinking about festival cycles and how to come up with a good cutic practice for Aset.

Obviously there are Feasts, Festivals and Processions of Aset. But there are also cycles. Yearly cycles. I’ve been looking at the worship of the Virgin Mary recently and she has feasts year-round and a monthly feast on the 21st of each month in the Coptic Orthodox Church. And these feasts are all about her life (birth, temple, immaculate conception, Theotokos, her mourning of Jesus etc).

This got me thinking about the yearly cycle of Aset life I did here: Aset’s Yearly Cycle and how I could build something from it.

She has tons of holidays and some of them are more low-key celebrations like for Feasts of Aset you could offer Her a feast or for Processions they could be oracle or divination times (unless they are specifically for Wesir, maybe). But Her Mythic Cycle is the point. Her stories are the point. These are Her Mysteries.

I think the holidays that need to have a separate festival ritual done for them are only a few times a year. Looking at Her divine relationships and Her stories and Her cycles, I’d have to say Her High Holy Days could be:

Natural Cycles
1-New Year (Sopdet appears and inundation)
12 to 24-Festival of Roses/Rhodophoria
20-Procession of the Goddess of Heaven Goes South to the Road (Sopdet; half-way point)

Her Mythic Life Cycle
4 to 21-Aset, Mother of God Gives Birth to Heru-sa-Aset
8 to 16-Festival of the Marriage of Aset, with the Beautiful Throne (Isis Nepherses), the Great Goddess
9 to 26-Entering the Temple of Aset-Shentayet (not sure if this is redundant as the Mysteries are in the same month)
18-30-Mysteries of Wesir
26 of 3 Shomu to 15 of 4 Shomu-Festival of the Birth of Aset, with the Beautiful Throne (Isis Nepherses), the Great Goddess (and a ritual can be adapted to be used for the other Birth of Aset festivals throughout the year)
2-Aset Luminous: Procession of Aset, the Brilliant, Mother of God (searching for Wesir; bright goddess festival)
Extra Day 4-Birth of Aset

I’m not sure what to do with these either. They aren’t Her Myth cycle or natural phenomena, but Her stellar and solar aspects and light aspects are very important.

Bright Festivals
Her Various Birth Festivals Throughout the Year
5 to 6 of March-Navigation of Aset/Isidis Navigium
21-Sacred Festival of Aset of Pharos (Isis Pharia)
25 of April-Sacrifice to Aset of Pharos (Isis Pharia)/Sacrum Phariae
26 of 3 Shomu to 15 of 4 Shomu-Festival of the Birth of Aset, with the Beautiful Throne (Isis Nepherses), the Great Goddess
28-Appearance of Sopdet
30-Burning the Widow’s Flame
2-Aset Luminous: Procession of Aset, the Brilliant, Mother of God

Here is a link to the festival calendar if anyone wants to see it: Aset Holidays.

Aset Shrine Pictures

Here are some shrine pictures of Aset’s shrine during the Awakening of Aset by the Majesty of Ra Festival in January (I think it is the 16 of Mechir on the Ancient Egyptian calendar). Some friends and I got together and honored Her. I think this was in 2011 though I’m not sure.

Anyway, here are the pictures.

Aset Shrine

Awakening of Aset by the Majesty of Ra Shrine





aset statues

Close up of Aset Statues





offerings to aset

Offerings to the Goddess Aset





aset statue close two

Another Aset statue close up.




Festivals for January

2 Peret/Mechir/January

1 to 30-Sacred Month to Aset

This month is sacred to Aset. Offer to Aset all month long! Light a candle for Her daily. Bring offerings to Her. Do ritual for Her. Research Her. Honor Her.

1 to 8-Feast of Aset

This feast was celebrated for Aset at the Temple of Philae. It says they spent 8 days feasting on the “dromos of Isis, wine, beer and flesh” from Khoiak 1 to Parmuthi 1. (1) Offer wine, beer and meat (not pork or fish; maybe not beef).


1-Navigation of Aset/Ploiphesia/Navigium Isidis

When the Romans moved the New Year from March 1st to January 1st, they moved this festival as well. (2) Here is my post about this festival: Navigation of Aset

2 of January-Festival of the Rejoicing of Aset’s Return
This festival had to do with Aset returning to Her temple from a procession. There is another festival on January 2 called Advent of Isis from Phoenicia from Plutarch’s work On Isis and Osiris. If memory serves, this festival involved Aset searching for Wesir.

3 of January-Vota Publica: Imperial Vows and Ships of Aset
This was a Roman festival to the Imperial family and the blessing of fleets. Isis was celebrated here as the King Maker, an Empress and as the goddess of the imperial fleet.

6-Feast of Aset, the Mourning Cow/Black Cow
I can only find this festival in Normandi Elli’s book Feasts of Light and it sounds like she got the festival from Herodotus, but I don’t know where she got the date from (4). Aset in the form of a Sacred Cow searches for Wesir. Honor Aset as the mourning Goddess today.

12 to 24-Festival of Roses/Rhodophoria
Here is my previous post about the Festival of Roses/Rhodophoria: Rhodophoria/Rosalia Festival. Offering roses (especially red ones) is a great way to honor the Goddess at this time. You can honor Her here as the goddess of flowers, with her husband Wesir or as the goddess of the dead (you could also honor your ancestors here too). On this 13 Day festival, She was traditionally offered red roses.

16-Awakening of Aset by the Majesty of Ra
Aset is brought outside at sunrise to greet Her Father Ra. Honor Aset today as the Mistress of Flame, Daughter of Ra and the Fiercely Bright One. Honor the Solar Goddess with candles and magic. Honor Her Father Ra as well with offerings of flame and water.

20-Procession of the Goddess of Heaven Goes South to the Road
This festival celebrates Aset’s half-way point as She travels throughout the Duat as Sopdet. Honor Aset today as the stellar Goddess Sopdet. Offer Her flame of candlelight or water of the heavens for this festival. Honor Her as the Star Goddess who is the Lady of Stars at Night and the Fiercely Bright One.

26-Aset Sees the Beautiful Face
This may be Aset Sees the Beautiful Face (of Wesir or Min). I don’t know much more about this festival besides that.

Sources:

(1) Griffith, F. Ll. Catalogue of the Demotic Graffiti of the Dodecaschoenus. Volume 1 Text. (Oxford University Press, 1937), 116.

(2) Donalson, Malcolm Drew. The Cult of Isis in the Roman Empire: Isis Invicta. (New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 2003), 73.

(4) Ellis, Normandi. Feasts of Light: Celebrations for the Seasons of Life based on the Egyptian Goddess Mysteries. (Quest Books, 1999), 64-65.

Check out my Aset Festivals page for a complete list of the books used for the festival calendar in general: Aset Festivals

Awakening of Aset by the Majesty of Ra

This festival is on the Cairo Calendar on 2 Peret Day 16.  The “Awakening of Aset” would be at sunrise since all ancient Egyptian deities are awakened then.  The “Majesty of Ra” here is the sunlight.  So basically, go outside at sunrise bathing a statue of Aset in Ra’s rays.

I could not do that today since I went to bed at sunrise and it was cloudy and cold all day.  So instead I lit candles for Her.  Candle flame is analogous to the First Dawn during daily rites so I think it is a workable substitute if you can’t get outside or the sun isn’t out.

This festival celebrates Aset as a solar Goddess, an Eye of Ra and a Daughter of Ra.

Her theophanies as a solar deity include the cobra and the lioness.

Awakening of Aset part 3

Here is the picture of the shrine from the Awakening of Aset Festival that my friends and I celebrated in January.

004

The offerings we offered Aset were strawberries, raspberry tea, chocolate pieces, fruit juices, a few Kit-Kats, mead and tons of candles. We also did a water libation and lit some myrrh essential oil for Her during the rite.

Thank you to my friend C. for taking the picture and giving me permission to use it here.

Aset is Awakened part 2

So I did the ritual with a couple of friends on Tuesday.

We offered strawberries, blueberry smoothie, beef (with spices and Teriyaki sauce), vegetable medley (consisting of onions, green peppers, red peppers, mushrooms, asparagus in spices, garlic powder and Teriyaki sauce), and lots and lots of candles.

Since it was already dark out, we couldn’t take Her image outside so instead we lite tons of candles on Her shrine. Candles symbolize the dawn so I thought that was a good innovation. My friend took pictures which I’ll post once I get them.

The ritual went well. My friends seemed to like it. I’m planning on putting it in my book on Aset so I don’t want to post it here. I’d be happy to email it to anyone who is curious. Thank you to everyone’s input on the initial festival post about this.

Awakening of Aset by the Majesty of Ra

I am trying to write a ritual for Tuesday’s Awakening of Aset festival.

And…I can’t.

I don’t know how. I have never been trained how to write ritual.

I can tell you the basics of water, flame and fragrance in the daily ritual and Zep Tepi. I get those things.

What I don’t know what to do is write a ritual for a specific festival. How do I take “Awakening of Aset by the Majesty of Ra” and turn it into a full ritual?

Doing Senut and then taking Aset’s statue out into the sunlight or lighting candles if no sunlight is available seems like a cop-out. There needs to be something more here.

Like most uniting with Ra festivals, the Eye Goddess unifies with Ra to renew all of creation. She is His daughter here, His Eye of Ra, His Fierce Protectress and the Solar Goddess of the Dawn. She is the Leopard, the Lioness, the Cobra. She’s offered a sistrum (pl. sistra) to pacify Her rage, to dispel evil. She’s offered a mirror to gaze into Her Solar Power and Beauty. She’s offered a Menat to keep the darkness at bay with magical precious stone beads and rattling sounds. She’s praised and hailed as a Goddess whose Power is glorified when She unites with Her Father.

She is Ra’s Power. She is His Flame. He may lead, but She avenges. She destroys the enemies of Ra and Her son and brother. She is armed with a scimitar and a wailing scream that can stop the Sun God in His tracks. She owns His Name.

She is the Goddess of all Magical Power and the authority to rule.

And this is Her time in the light.

How do I even begin to capture this so that others may experience this wonder?

Note:

There are many festivals that celebrate An Eye Goddess’s unification with the Sundisk and another festival of Pacifying the Eye Goddess. Wine, sistra and menat-necklaces were offered at Eye Goddess or Distant Goddess feasts and mirrors and sistra were offered at the unification with Ra festivals.

For more information: Willems, Harco, and Filip Coppens, Marleen De Meyer and Peter Dils. The Temple of Shanhur: Volume 1. (Peeters, 2003), 40-42.