Re-Post: Navigation of Aset

Happy Navigation of Aset Day!  Here is a post I did discussing the festival, which I will re-post below.

The Romans celebrated Isis as the goddess of seafaring and the ocean. They honored Her on this day with boats filled with candles, flowers and offerings that they sent out to sea. She was the goddess of ships, the harbor and the sea.

For those who want to add more Kemetic things to this festival, Aset had navigation festivals (via the Nubian pilgrims during the Roman period and some Egyptian ones) who would make a procession of the Goddess to visit Her husband Wesir at His shrine on the island of Biggeh. Her statue in Her Barque would be taken to his shrine on a boat (with torches to help guide the way). Priests would give offerings of water and milk as libations for Wesir (I’m assuming Aset as well). Oracles would be given by the Goddess via the statue in Her Barque. It is believed by scholars that sistra and a situla, a curved libation jug were used during this festival. (1 and 2)

Within the Kemetic and Philae Calendar (Pilgrims left notes), this festival is called either:

*Festival of Entry (weekly by the Egyptians)
*Dedication Feast of Aset (4th Peret Day 29, by the Nubians)

And within the Greek or Roman calendars, this is:

*Navigation of Aset/Ploiphesia/Navigium Isidis (March 5-6)
*Navigation of Aset/Navigium Isidis (January 1-2) (3)

I can’t help shake the feeling that this festival in its Kemetic version was very much like the Aset Luminous celebration. They all have to do with Aset searching for Wesir (or going to His Temple), torches for guiding the way, boats traveling on water and giving offerings to the Goddess. Navigation Festivals sometimes had oracles.

So for today’s devotees of the Goddess, you could:

*Light candles or lamps or electric ones if open flame is an issue
*Offer water and/or milk
*Offer water libations (libating milk is not too feasible for most people)
*Offer food and drink to the Goddess (and also Her husband if you wish)
*Do divination or oracles for Aset
*Shake a sistrum for Aset

Sources

(1) Donalson, Malcolm. The Cult of Isis in the Roman Empire. Edwin Mellen Pr, 2003. Page 67-68.

(2) Rutherford, Ian. “Island of the Extremity: Space, Language and Power in the Pilgrimage Traditions of Philae.” In Pilgrimage and Holy Space in Late Antique Egypt, edited by David Frankfurter. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 1998, pp. 230.

Bumbaugh, Solange. “Meroitic Worship of Isis at Philae”. in Egypt in its African Context: Proceedings of the conference held at The Manchester Museum, University of Manchester, 2-4 October 2009. edited by Karen Exell. (Archaeopress, 2011), 67-69.

Griffith, F. Ll. Catalogue of the Demotic Graffiti of the Dodecaschoenus. (Oxford University Press, 1937), 75.

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

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Feasts and Festivals of Aset for March

4 Peret/Parmuthi/March

1 to 8-Feast of Aset
Offer a feast to Aset. Wine, meat and other offerings were offered in antiquity.

1-Feast of Ra and the Eye of Ra
Honor Aset and Ra today. Honor Aset as an Eye of Ra, the protector of the sun god and a solar Goddess.

4 to 21-Aset, Mother of God Gives Birth to Heru-sa-Aset
Honor Aset and Heru-sa-Aset during this festival. Offer cakes and pastries to the Goddess and Her son. Offer Heru-sa-Aset a birthday cake.

5 to 6 of March-Navigation of Aset/Isidis Navigium
Here is my write-up on this festival: Navigation of Aset. This is the date on the Roman calendar for this festival.

9 of March-Adoration of Aset, the very Great Goddess, Sovereign and Savior/Proskynema of Isis
Here is my post about Proskynema: Proskynema

20 of March-Pelusia
Honor the Goddess today with Her son Heru, the Child (Heru-pa-khered/Harpokrates; a form of Heru-sa-Aset). During this festival, Sarapis was also honored along with Isis as both were patrons of the start of the sailing season. Here is the Wikipedia entry on this festival: Pelusia.

20 to 21-Navigation of Aset/Isidis Navigium
Here is my write-up on this festival: Navigation of Aset. This is the date on the ancient Egyptian calendar for this festival.

20 to 23-Festival of Aset
This is a festival recorded by Pausanias. According to him, this festival was about cleaning the temple and shrines as well as giving offerings to the Goddess.

28-Aset Births Heru-sa-Aset/Isis Births Horus the Younger
Honor Aset and Heru-sa-Aset during this festival. Offer cakes and pastries to the Goddess and Her son. Offer Heru-sa-Aset a birthday cake.

29-Dedication Feast of Aset
This may be the Nubian date found on the Temple of Philae for the Navigation of Aset. Here is my post about it: Navigation of Aset

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

Navigation of Aset-Take 2

The Romans celebrated Isis as the goddess of seafaring and the ocean. They honored Her on this day with boats filled with candles, flowers and offerings that they sent out to sea. She was the goddess of ships, the harbor and the sea.

For those who want to add more Kemetic things to this festival, Aset had navigation festivals (via the Nubian pilgrims during the Roman period and some Egyptian ones) who would make a procession of the Goddess to visit Her husband Wesir at His shrine on the island of Biggeh. Her statue in Her Barque would be taken to his shrine on a boat (with torches to help guide the way). Priests would give offerings of water and milk as libations for Wesir (I’m assuming Aset as well). Oracles would be given by the Goddess via the statue in Her Barque. It is believed by scholars that sistra and a situla, a curved libation jug were used during this festival. (1 and 2)

Within the Kemetic and Philae Calendar (Pilgrims left notes), this festival is called either:

*Festival of Entry (weekly by the Egyptians)
*Dedication Feast of Aset (4th Peret Day 29, by the Nubians)

And within the Greek or Roman calendars, this is:

*Navigation of Aset/Ploiphesia/Navigium Isidis (March 5-6)
*Navigation of Aset/Navigium Isidis (January 1-2) (3)

I can’t help shake the feeling that this festival in its Kemetic version was very much like the Aset Luminous celebration. They all have to do with Aset searching for Wesir (or going to His Temple), torches for guiding the way, boats traveling on water and giving offerings to the Goddess. Navigation Festivals sometimes had oracles.

So for today’s devotees of the Goddess, you could:

*Light candles or lamps or electric ones if open flame is an issue
*Offer water and/or milk
*Offer water libations (libating milk is not too feasible for most people)
*Offer food and drink to the Goddess (and also Her husband if you wish)
*Do divination or oracles for Aset
*Shake a sistrum for Aset

Sources

(1) Donalson, Malcolm. The Cult of Isis in the Roman Empire. Edwin Mellen Pr, 2003. Page 67-68.

(2) Rutherford, Ian. “Island of the Extremity: Space, Language and Power in the Pilgrimage Traditions of Philae.” In Pilgrimage and Holy Space in Late Antique Egypt, edited by David Frankfurter. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 1998, pp. 230.

Bumbaugh, Solange. “Meroitic Worship of Isis at Philae”. in Egypt in its African Context: Proceedings of the conference held at The Manchester Museum, University of Manchester, 2-4 October 2009. edited by Karen Exell. (Archaeopress, 2011), 67-69.

Griffith, F. Ll. Catalogue of the Demotic Graffiti of the Dodecaschoenus. (Oxford University Press, 1937), 75.

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

Aset’s Festivals from Late Antiquity

Here are the Aset (Isis) festivals listed in this book: Bricault, Laurent. Les Cultes Isiaques Dans Le Monde Greco-romain (La Roue a Livres / Documents Book 66). (Les Belles Lettres, 2013), 376-378.

The festival of Aset Pharos (Isis Pharia) does not have a specific date attached to it besides the month of April. Some place it on the 21st of April while others place it on the 25th of April coinciding with the Sarapia (Festival of Sarapis).

The two Isia Festivals (October 28-31; November 1-3) have to do with Aset mourning the death of Wesir (October 28-31) and then rejoicing at finding Him (November 1-3). Isia is also a generic word meaning “Festival of Isis”.

March 5: Navigation of Aset/Isis

March 20: Festival of Peluse (Pelusia)

April 25: Festival of Aset (Isis Pharia)/Sacrum Phariae and Festival of Serapis (Serapia)

August 12: Festival of Lamps (Lychnapsia)

October 28-31: Festival of Aset (Isis)/Isia

November 1-3: Festival of Aset’s Rejoicing/Isia

Navigation of Aset 2

Here is the previous post about this topic. You may be lost if you haven’t read this before. Navigation of Aset/Isis.

I can’t help shake the feeling that this festival in its Kemetic version was very much like the Aset Luminous celebration. They all have to do with Aset searching for Wesir (or going to His Temple), torches for guiding the way, boats traveling on water and giving offerings to the Goddess. Navigation Festivals sometimes had oracles.

I’m not sure how much these connect. Aset Luminous or Festival of Lights of Aset may have been more than once or year or commemorated at more than one festival.

I will have to do more research.

Navigation of Aset/Navigation of Isis

021

On March 5, many Isians and Goddess Devotees honor Isis during the Ploipesia or Navigium Isidis festival. Within the Roman context of the festival, Isis was honored as a Goddess of Seamanship, Sailors and the Sea itself.

But the Kemetic Aset is not a Goddess of the sea, but of a river. And the Roman worship of Isis was influenced by the Nubians, Ethiopians and Blemmeyans that still honored Aset at the Temple of Philae during the Roman Period.

Donalson, in his work The Cult of Isis in the Roman Empire, states that this festival would have been inspired by the Blemmyans (along with Nubians and Ethiopians), who traveled to Philae to honor the Goddess Aset/Isis during their yearly pilgrimage (1). (The Egyptians themselves celebrated this festival every week). During this festival Aset was taken out in a boat Procession to the island of Biggah to oversee the water and milk libations for Her husband Wesir. Aset would also use a torch to help Her find Her way (I’m assuming during the Procession here). Also, during this festival, Oracles would be given by the Goddess via Her statue in Her barque. Also, it is believed that sistra and situla, a curved libation jug, were used during this festival (2).

Within the Kemetic and Philae Calendar (Pilgrims left notes), this festival is called either:

*Festival of Entry (weekly by the Egyptians)
*Dedication Feast of Aset (4th Peret Day 29, by the Nubians)

and there is also

*Feast of Entry to the Shrine of Aset on 3rd or 4th Peret Day 10, but I don’t know if this is connected to those above since all we have is a name and month; the day was guessed by Griffiths off of a Hetharu festival of the same name during the same month (3). So this may not be related.

Also, there were Navigation Festivals of many Goddesses such as Bast, Hetharu and Mut with the Kemetic or Ptolemaic temple calendars, we could also look to them to see what we can do today for Aset’s Navigation festival on March 5.

Anyway, given what we do have, how do we make this festival relevant to today’s devotees within a Kemetic context?

Some activities could be:

*Offer Aset and Wesir water and milk libations and offer candles
*Perform Oracles or Divination for Aset
*Play a sistrum for Aset during the rite

During this Navigation of Aset on March 5, I will be offering Aset Oracles for $5. Please email your questions in before March 5 to lotusjewel4 AT gmail.com.

Notes:

(1) Donalson, Malcolm. The Cult of Isis in the Roman Empire. Edwin Mellen Pr, 2003. Page 67-68.

(2) Rutherford, Ian. “Island of the Extremity: Space, Language and Power in the Pilgrimage Traditions of Philae.” In Pilgrimage and Holy Space in Late Antique Egypt, edited by David Frankfurter. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 1998, pp. 230.

Bumbaugh, Solange. “Meroitic Worship of Isis at Philae”. in Egypt in its African Context: Proceedings of the conference held at The Manchester Museum, University of Manchester, 2-4 October 2009. edited by Karen Exell. (Archaeopress, 2011), 67-69.

Griffith, F. Ll. Catalogue of the Demotic Graffiti of the Dodecaschoenus. (Oxford University Press, 1937), 75.

(3) Griffith, F. Ll. Catalogue of the Demotic Graffiti of the Dodecaschoenus. (Oxford University Press, 1937), 47.