Happy Rhodophoria!

Rhodophoria/Rosalia Festival

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Here is Aset’s shrine after the ritual.

This festival for Aset comes from the Ptolemaic period.  It is obviously Greek in origin, but was adapted to ancient Egyptian religion.   Aset is honored here as a Goddess of Beauty, the spring season and the Lady of the Rose.

Roses were the flowers which were left on graves.  Aset is honored here as the Lady of Beauty, Queen of the Dead and the Mourner of Wesir.

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Here is the image of the shrine after the offerings were mostly cleared.

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Lady of Praise Update, Nebet Het and Roses

If you missed it, here is my post about my upcoming book, Lady of Praise, Lady of Power: Ancient Hymns of the Goddess Aset.   Okay, so I was formatting the hardcover book and I finally gave up.  I have some professional people formatting the paperback and ebook versions of the book.  They will be done by the end of next week.

Then I will have to get the cover re-sized and such.  This may take another week.  I’m not sure yet.  Then I have to order proof copies and make sure all is well before final publication.

This may all take another month or two.

So on to my next book.  The Nebet Her Devotional is still seeking submissions.  Here is the link to the submission guidelines:  Nebet Het Devotional Guidelines.

Also, it is the 6th day (out of 13)  of the Rhodophoria/Rosalia Festival (at least on my calendar)!  Happy Festival of Roses!

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.

Happy Rhodophoria!

Aset_Senut_Shrine_Close

Today is the 4th Day of the 13 Day Rhodophoria Celebration! Sorry I’m a little late. I got distracted updating the website. More changes to come with that. I’m hoping to change the theme soon, among other things.

So there is my Aset shrine pictured above! She has three red roses for the Rhodophoria festival! In another shrine in my home, for Wesir, Aset and Heru-sa-Aset aka the Holy Family Shrine, I put some yellow and a few pink roses for them.

Happy Rhodophoria, everyone! And please remember, this is also a time to honor the military dead as well as the Goddesses associated with the festival!

Aset with the Beautiful Throne

Aset was known through Egypt as a deity who healed or answered prayers in dreams or oracles. She would bestow blessings on those She favored or upon those who honored Her.

Aset or Isis Nepherses (Aset with the Beautiful Throne) from the Soknopaiou Nesos temple in the Fayyum is one such Goddess. Aset in Menouthis and Canope and Alexandria were also known for these feats.

For those who wish to honor Aset with the Beautiful Throne (Isis Nepherses) on Her feast days it is wonderful that we have this small glimpse of something that was specifically associated with Her in this particular form. I love this epithet (with the Beautiful Throne). It is one of my favorites. Besides being absolutely awesome, what can we do with it? What does it tell us about the Goddess in which we can honor Her with that particular aspect?

Mother of God is well, the Mother of Heru-sa-Aset or the King and everything associated with that. Fiercely Bright One has to do with Aset as a stellar or solar deity, among other things. Amenti has to do with Her as the Queen of the Ancestors and caretaker of the dead and is basically Lady of the West. Mourner is Aset as the mourning woman who is lamenting the death of Her husband. Widow is Her status as one who has lost a loved one. Queen of Heaven is Her as the Goddess of the star filled sky and the Star Goddess who rules over all the heavenly bodies.

With the Beautiful Throne, may be Her as a goddess of authority and beauty (and roses; there is 13 day Rhodophoria Festival mentioned in that Soknopaiou Nesos temple calendar). And now we have oracles and dream incubation to add to it. I just like that we have something specific for this particular aspect of Aset (Isis).

Festivals are as follows:

3rd Akhet/Hethara/October
17 to 20-Festival of Aset, with the Beautiful Throne (Isis Nepherses)

4th Akhet/Koiak/November
8 to 16-Festival of the Marriage of Aset, with the Beautiful Throne (Isis Nepherses), the Great Goddess

3 Shomu/Epiphi/June
26 of 3 Shomu to 15 of 4 Shomu-Festival of the Birth of Aset, with the Beautiful Throne (Isis Nepherses), the Great Goddess

The Festival of Aset, with the Beautiful Throne may have to do with Aset mourning for Wesir. Oracles or dreams may or may not be a peripheral part of this festival.

The Marriage festival is a marriage festival the lasted for 9 days. This of course honors the marriage of Aset and Wesir. Maybe you could do a divination with Their wedding cake? Seriously though, oracles and dreams may be a peripheral part of this festival as well.

The Birth of Aset Festival lasted 19 days. Lighting candles or lanterns and giving offerings to the Goddess are traditionally associated with Aset’s Birth Festivals in general. This would be a great time to do that and also ask for oracles and dreams from the Goddess.

These are just my suggestions. Everyone’s relationship with Her is different and as always, ask Aset.

Sources

Bricault, Laurent. Les Cultes Isiaques Dans Le Monde Greco-romain (La Roue a Livres / Documents Book 66). (Les Belles Lettres, 2013), 504.

Britcault, Laurent. “Isis Nepherses” in Egyptian Religion: The Last Thousand Years Part 1: Studies Dedicated to the Memory of Jan Quaegebeur. edited by Willy Clarysse, Antoon Schoors and Harco Willems. Peeters, 1998, pp. 522-527.

Capron, Laurent. “Déclarations fiscales du Temple de Soknopaiou Nêsos: éléments nouveaux,” in Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik. Bd. 165, Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH, Bonn (Germany). (2008), pp. 133-160.

J. Gwyn Griffiths, Apuleius of Madaurus: The Isis-Book: (Metamorphoses, Book XI) (Brill, 1975), pp 39; 159–161.

Perpillou-Thomas, Francoise. Fêtes d’Egypte ptolémaïque et romaine, d’après la documentation papyrologique grecque. (Studia Hellenistica Series 31). Peeters Publishers, 1993.

Aset and Roses

Roses themselves were introduced to Egypt via the Greeks and Romans. The Goddess Aphrodite (or Venus) was born from the sea-foam and during her birth, a white rose was formed from the waves. This is why it is associated with the Goddess. When Aphrodite’s lover Adonis died, She cried and the white rose became red with his blood. And this is why red roses are associated with the Goddess.

Aset (Isis)’s worship became greatly linked to Aphrodite so much so that there was a syncretic deity Isis-Aphrodite within the Ptolemaic period. Aset as a mourning Goddess would also be associated with the red rose. There are also festivals associated with both Goddesses called Rhodophoria or Rosalia which are associated with offering roses to the Goddesses. (Here is my previous post on that: Rhodophoria/Rosalia Festival).

Sources

Forrest, M. Isidora. Offering to Isis: Knowing the Goddess Through Her Sacred Symbols. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 2005. (Rose entry: page 258-259)

J. Gwyn Griffiths, Apuleius of Madaurus: The Isis-Book: (Metamorphoses, Book XI) (Brill, 1975), pp 39; 159–161.

Perpillou-Thomas, Francoise. Fêtes d’Egypte ptolémaïque et romaine, d’après la documentation papyrologique grecque. (Studia Hellenistica Series 31). Peeters Publishers, 1993.

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