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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.

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Aset, Auset, Isis, Devotional Practice, Musings, Mysteries, Ra

Netjeru in Nature

Someone asked on a forum about honoring the Netjeru in nature. Here is my response.

Any of the Netjeru can be honored in nature. Ra especially since He is the sun. I tell Him hi sometimes when I go outside.

Nature and animals are the manifestations (ba or pl. bau) of the Gods Themselves. It is perfectly fine to honor the Gods within the natural forces. Set is the thunderstorm, Ra is the sun and it’s Rays, Sun Goddesses are the sunbeams, Tefnut is the moisture of the clouds, Geb is the ground, Shu is the air and many Gods are the rivers. Aset is the rain, the river and the solar rays.

The Gods are not just in Their shrines. They are everywhere. They permeate all existence. This is Their creation and They live and breathe as we do.

Breathe and you are worshiping God. Ra’s first breath is the air that we breathe, Ra’s first light is in every sunrise and Ra’s first emergence is from the first waters. Ra’s first tear is humankind.

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Offerings and Symbols of Ra

Offerings to Ra

Some of these are attested in ancient sources while others come from my own (or other people’s) personal experience giving offerings to the God.

Liquid Offerings
Water
Beer
Pomegranate-Wine
Wine
Orange Juice
Coffee
Tea

Food Offerings
Bread and Barley
Fruits and Vegetables
Oranges, Apples
Figs
Dates
Fig Newtons
Pastries; cookies and cakes
chocolate

Meat Offerings
chicken or duck
beef

Non-Food Offerings
Scents: myrrh, frankincense, sandalwood
Flowers: Yellow, Orange or Red Roses, Sunflowers, Yellow or Red flowers, Water lilies, lotus
Light: yellow, red, gold or orange candles; beeswax candles; lanterns
Colors: Red, Orange and Yellow; White
Jewelry: Gold, solar colors

Taboos
pork
fish; any seafood
ram

Disposal of Offerings
1) Eat them
2) With wine or water, you can leave it to evaporate on the Shrine or pour it out as a libation when done.

Sacred Animals
Falcon
Hawk
White Heron/Bennu Bird
Cat
Bull
Ram (as Ra-Atum or Ra-Wesir)

Sacred Symbols
Sun
His Barque
Pyramids
Obelisks
The Bennu Bird (White Heron; Phoenix)

Syncretisms
Amun-Ra
Atum-Ra
Khepera-Ra
Khepera-Ra-Atum (Dawn, Noon, Dusk)
Khnum-Ra
Nefertem-Ra
Ra-Atum
Ra-Heruakhety (Ra Horakhty; Ra and Horus of the Two Horizons)
Ra-Wesir
Sobek-Ra
Wesir-Ra

Sources

Quirke, Stephen. The Cult of Ra: Sun-Worship in Ancient Egypt. New York: Thames and Hudson, 2001.

This Website: Wepwawet Wiki: Ra

Aset, Auset, Isis, Calendar, Devotional Practice, Festivals, Heru-sa-Aset, Horus son of Isis, Wesir, Asar, Ausar, Osiris

Monthly Festivals for Aset

These are the days sacred to Aset within each month. These are not the yearly festivals, but monthly ones. Some were Egyptian in origin and belong on the lunar calendar and others were adopted from the Greeks or Romans living in Egypt.

Many of these festivals are governed by the cycles of the moon. Aset (Isis) is honored on these days along with either Her son Heru-sa-Aset or Her Husband Wesir as they are both moon gods. Aset Herself is more associated with the sun in Egyptian cosmology than the moon. Her association here has to do more with the cycles of Heru-sa-Aset (birth to death or injury and healing of the Eye of Heru) and Wesir (death and renewal).

Monthly Festivals

1st Day of Each Lunar Month-Sacred to Aset
From the astronomical ceiling of Senmut, this day is being noted as being sacred to Aset.

3rd Day of Each Month-Birth of Aset
This festival is from this book Ahnas el Medineh: The Tomb of Paheri at El Kab. Aset’s birthdays were celebrated with the lighting of candles and feasts were made in Her honor. Today, you could offer Aset a Birthday cake (blue, white or chocolate seem to go over well) and cook a great feast.

4th Day of Each Month-Offering to Aset of Philae
Make offerings to Aset, the Goddess of Philae today. Possible offering ideas can be found here: Offerings.

6th Day of Each Month-Sixth-Day Feast
This feast was associated with honoring the ancestors as well as Ra and Wesir. Aset Herself was given an oblation on this day.

7th Day of Each Month-Seventh Day Feast
Listed within a hymn from the Temple of Philae, this festival was initially associated with Ra. You could honor Aset and Ra on this day.

8th Day of Each Lunar Month-Sacred to Aset
This is listed within the Frieze of the Temple of Edfu. I don’t have much more information on this besides that at the moment.

15th Day of Each Lunar Month-Goddess Fifteen
This is supposed to be the Full Moon. You could honor Aset along with Her son Heru-sa-Aset and Her husband Wesir who are both moon gods. You could incorporate various myth cycles into your celebration such as the healing of Heru-sa-Aset and the renewal of Wesir. There is one of the myths of the Healing of Heru’s Eye which I particularly like: Aset and the Vineyard

22nd Day of Each Lunar Month-Festival of Sopdet
Aset can be honored here as Sopdet as the cycle of the star’s departing and returning can be celebrated monthly along with being celebrated yearly.

New Moon-Festival of the New Moon of Aset
This is listed on the Temple of Abydos and it mentions oxen are given to the Goddess. This may also be the First Day of the Lunar Month as that is normally on the New Moon.

Sources

David, Rosalie. A Guide to Religious Ritual at Abydos. Warminster: Aris and Phillips, 1981.

Donalson, Malcolm Drew. The Cult of Isis in the Roman Empire: Isis Invicta. (New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 2003), 82.

Griffith, F. Ll. Catalogue of the Demotic Graffiti of the Dodecaschoenus. Volume 1 Text. (Oxford University Press, 1937), 46.

Morgan, Mogg. The Wheel of the Year in Ancient Egypt. Mandrake of Oxford, 2011.

Naville, Édouard Henri and Francis Llewellyn Griffith, et al. Ahnas el Medineh: The Tomb of Paheri at El Kab. (Egyptian Exploration Fund, 1894) 28.

Parker, Richard. The Calendars of Ancient Egypt (The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Studies in ancient oriental civilization). University of Chicago Press, 1950.

Zabkar, Louis V. Hymns to Isis in Her Temple at Philae. London: University Press of New England, 1988.

Aset, Auset, Isis, Devotional Practice, Mystery, Rituals

Prayer to Aset During Menses

Prayer to Aset During Menses
by TahekerutAset (JewelofAset)

Here is a prayer to be said when a woman is on her menses. To begin the informal rite, light a candle, offer incense or scent of any kind and give an offering of food or drink to Aset.

This prayer is for people who would like a little more structure to their religious life during menses. Some temples and some devotees observe a blood taboo which includes barring menstruating women from performing formal rituals such as Priest rites or formal daily rites. (for more on why see this post: Menstruation Taboo).

For this reason, you may want to create a small informal shrine to perform this rite.

During an Oracle session with Aset the Goddess shared with me that the menstrual cycle is the renewal of the ka of the person which mirrors the renewal of creation such as the sun rising and setting, the monthly phases of the moon and the appearing and departure of the Distant Goddess and the star Sopdet.

Bathe and dress in clean clothes of any kind and go before Aset’s shrine. Light a candle, incense or essential oil and place an offering on the shrine.

This is the Mystery of the Ka
This is the Mystery of the Mothers
I come before You, Great Aset, Mother of God
I come before You with offerings
Of flame, fragrance and food.
So that You may grant me
Health, Blessing and Renewal
May I be renewed
As Ra is renewed
As Sekhmet is renewed
As Wesir is renewed
As Earth and Heaven
are renewed
As You cleanse the ka with Your tears and flame
So too am I
Renewed
During this time.
Kheperu.

Thank Aset and give the offerings. Blow out the candles and incense. Eat the food offerings afterwards.

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Proskynema for Aset

A proskynema is translated as “adoration” of a deity. On the Temple of Philae pilgrims left notes of when they had done a proskynema to the Goddess Aset. There is even a few papyri fragments which stated that Sarapis and Sobek were offered proskynema in one’s household (1).

Prosykensis
is a Greek word for adoration. These are sacred gestures meant to honor the Gods. These would be hand gestures done for the Hellenic deities or the Egyptian ones such as raising your palms to the sky for the Olympians or to the ground for the Deities or the Underworld or your palms facing the image of a deity. Or this would be a henu or dua gesture for the Egyptian deities as well as full prostration before the holy image or shrine (2).

This may also be in the context of a ritual where words were spoken, a gesture was performed and an offering was given. In some cases, this was every day so the offering would be something easily accessible such as wine or water or fruit or a grain such as bread or barley (3).

There are a few of these festivals that I know of so far. They are also listed on my festivals page here: Aset Festivals.

3 Peret/Pamenot/February
29-Adoration of Aset of the Many Names/Proskynema

4 Peret/Parmuthi/March
9 of March-Adoration of Aset, the very Great Goddess, Sovereign and Savior/Proskynema

In the descriptions of these events we have some epithets of the Goddess Aset. In one of them Aset is of the Many Names and this describes Her as a Goddess of many names and forms and epithets. You could honor Aset as a shapeshifter or recite a hymn with Her many epithets or aspects or forms mentioned like chapter 142 of the Book of the Dead or if you are more Classically inclined one of the Aretalogies.

In the next one Aset is honored as Aset, the very Great Goddess, Sovereign and Savior. Here She is described as supreme Goddess who is a Sovereign Queen and one who is a savior to Her people. She aids those who call upon Her. So you could honor Aset as a Great Lady with immense power and sovereignty. She is the one who saves those who call upon Her. She is the savior Goddess par excellence.

She did not stop searching for Her husband and She never stopped caring for Her son. And Her son stands in for everyone. Think about that a minute. She will aid and protect you as fiercely and as compassionately as She would Her son Heru. She is the single Mother who cares for millions.

Adoration to Aset. Homage to Aset.

May I bow before You in adoration and praise.

Sources

(1) Lewis, H. Jeremiah. The Balance of the Two Lands: Writings on Greco-Egyptian Polytheism. (Nysa Press, 2009), 39-40.

(2) Lewis, H. Jeremiah. The Balance of the Two Lands: Writings on Greco-Egyptian Polytheism. (Nysa Press, 2009), 141-142.

(3) Lewis, H. Jeremiah. The Balance of the Two Lands: Writings on Greco-Egyptian Polytheism. (Nysa Press, 2009), 39-40.

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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