Monthly Archives: November 2011

Mysteries of Wesir: Day 7

Today is the last of the days during the Mysteries of Wesir. Today celebrates the Raising of the Djed. The djed pillar has much symbology and associated heka. Djed is the Kemetic word for “stability” or “endurance.” It is sometimes called the backbone of Wesir, and represents Him and His kingship. The djed amulet is a protective device bringing peace and stability to its wearer. The ceremonies celebrated this day honored the greatness and everlastingness of Wesir as Lord of Amenti. When the djed was lifted up from a laying position, it represented the new life and kingship of Wesir.

I have a close connection with the djed. I wear one around my neck frequently as I reminder of my father, and for the heka involved in helping to be more peaceful and stabile in my moods and interactions with others. I know that I can endure all hardships with Wesir. I also have a small djed sitting in the State Shrine, on top of the naos, given to me from a special Shemsu. It reminds me of what is housed within that naos, and what this shrine represents.

I often hear how people avoid Wesir. He’s scary, weird, different, or alien. I think that when we refer to Him (or any god for that matter) with such terms, it says something about us. These are our feelings we are projecting onto Him, whether it is our own feelings on death, the ancestors, or dealing with our own interior thoughts. Wesir is silence, and being happy and content in that silence. He wants you to tune out everything, and slow down. Stop, listen to your heart slowly beat. Listen to your breathing slowly decrease. He is in those moments. He wants you to experience that eternity, those moments of His presence. Just stop and be. Experience the Lord of Silence. He will talk to you in the whispers of the silence.

I would like to thank everyone for joining me in these mediations on the Good God. I thank Him for asking me to do this and helping His story to be heard. If just one person was able to experience these Mysteries and have realizations on their meaning in their life, then this blog was successful.

Dua Wesir! Dua Sokar!

Nekhtet!

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Mysteries of Wesir: Day 6

The Mysteries of Wesir continue today with the Feast of the Food on the Altar. We celebrate His kingship today, and what can be better than some good food and friends. Food brings people together like nothing else can. Whenever there is an important event, there is always good food. And it is no different in the Unseen.

Let me share a dream I had once. I was walking in a small valley between two hills. The hills were covered with the greenest grass imaginable. As I come out of the valley I overlook a deeper valley. In the center is a small town in the distance. There are houses and some roads. Activity is going on near the main strip but I can’t really see what it is. Anyways, there are some animals running around, dogs mostly. A black dog sees me and runs towards me. She greets me with a jump and friendly kiss. As we walk closer to the town, I start to see people. A beautiful woman comes up to me, smiles, puts her arms around me and tells me they have been waiting so long for me to arrive. The party is just getting started. She takes me into town and tables line the streets, filled with the most succulent food imaginable. People see me, smile, wave, and invite me to join them. They all are radiant, and each and every one of them is familiar.

You see, they are my family and friends. They are the people who I no longer get to see every day. I do not get to touch them, hug them, or smell them. The joy and love I felt in this dream was so immense that I wish I could stay forever. And then I woke up, and realized that it was a dream. That I am not there, and they are not here.

As Kemetics, we believe the gods and ancestors can speak to us in our dreams. I believe mine spoke to me in this one. From past pet, to my grandmother, and to my uncles, I realize that they are happy and as alive and vibrant as anyone. Even in the Duat, they feast and have fellowship. Even the dead have to eat, and I am sure they eat well. But why do they eat if they are dead? We do it for physical nourishment, but why do they?

I talk about Wesir’s death often. It is important to me. I never quite got the “green” Wesir, the life-giving, plant growing, nature sort of deity. To me, Wesir is dead, but not in the same way we all understand what dead is. Being dead doesn’t mean that you can no longer interact with each other, at least not in my life. The dead have always come and gone around me, and really it is abnormal when it doesn’t happen.

So as I write this, I am thinking of what it is I want to say.  Life is not much different than death. They are different words for a similar state. In both we eat, drink, work, enjoy family and friends. But they are so very different as well. We have life for a reason. It is a special gift from the gods, and it takes meditation, and experience in trying to find what we feel it is.

I asked Wesir once, what the purpose of it all was. I got an answer back, quite immediately. He said, “To live.” What an amazing purpose! I am not to sit and contemplate the mysteries of the universe in a closed shrine room all day. I am not to wrap myself up in a digital world online all day. I am to live and experience life.

And when the times comes for me to depart, when I approach the Hall of Two Truth, and bow before His majestic throne, I know He will ask me what I learned. My answer will be, “I lived.”

Dua Wesir!


Mysteries of Wesir: Day 5

Today hope shines. Yesterday Wesir was gone. Dead. In our culture we have such convoluted ideas about death. We see it as a permanent state of being; when really death is like any other thing, constantly in transition. Buddhist philosophy speaks about how all things are impermanent. Nothing remains the same forever: the seasons, weather, feelings, and beliefs. Science teaches us that everything down to its molecular level is in a constant state of motion, always moving, always changing.

Death is not permanent. It too is just a change. A corpse doesn’t stay dead. As much as we try to prevent it, embalming does not last forever. The corpse must undergo a change into something different, something new. It doesn’t just disappear. It transforms. It changes.

Death is a state of being, depending upon the state of being you currently reside in. In my last post I spoke about whether the dead know they are dead. What is dead to us may not be dead to them. What I do know is that they have changed from what they were to what they are now.

Wesir has changed. He is now the King of the Unseen and not the Seen. He has acquired a new people. He sees the fundamental aspects of the universe from a different perspective than we do. From our perspective He is dead. That has not changed. From His perspective…I cannot answer that.

When I look in the mirror, I see Him. He still does reside here in the Seen World. He is in me. My eyes reflect back the beauty of the god. I see those same eyes in my siblings. He is there. I see those eyes in my friends. He is there. I see His eyes in people I meet day in and day out. He lives in all of us. He works through me. It is a wonderful gift that god has given me. Some people may never know who Wesir is. I may be the only connection they will ever have. It is my privilege and duty to share His love, compassion, and patience with them. I don’t need to preach, wave a book, or judge every wrongdoing someone makes. I just have to be present and let Wesir work through me. My spark of life is from His sekhem, and He lives in me.


Mysteries of Wesir: Day 4

Today the Mysteries of Wesir continue. Today He remains gone. He is Sokar. Sokar is the embodiment of Zep Tepi. He represents that which is yet to come. He is newness and hope. He can be whatever He desires. Sokar resides between the Seen and Unseen, that middle place where one is not yet the other. He is the darkness itself. If we view Wepwawet as a doorkeeper, then Sokar would be the door itself.

So why am I bringing up Sokar? Tonight is the night when Wesir is changed, when the dead king becomes something more. He does not return to life as we think of life. He is different. He goes from being a living god, to a dead god, to a god who is dead. I equate it as being similar to a man. You have a living man, man dies and is a dead man, and then man is transformed into a glorified Akh. Wesir did that too. In fact, He did it first.

I have been thinking about death, the dead, and the afterlife these Mysteries. It has stricken me with a powerful question. Do the dead realize they are dead? All the living die, and all the dead live again, so is the reversal true? In the Unseen do they understand that we think of them as dead? Do they think of themselves as living? What do they think of us? We are in another world to them. To get the answers all I need to do is look at Wesir and my heart. And there I can see my answer.

Tonight life stirs. Sokar stirs. Something is happening. My mourning and sorrow will not remain. I will take it and transform it, like the Great God does this night. Nothing in this world last and remains forever. Everything changes. For each day is a new Zep Tepi, a new beginning, and flickering of hope.

I see that hope now, burning in a flame sitting on His altar. Tonight I anticipate His return. My hope is in god.

I leave you with a hymn which I find especially meaningful this time of year.

Holy darkness, blessed night,
heaven’s answer hidden from our sight.
As we await you, O God of silence,
we embrace your holy night.

I have tried you in fires of affliction;
I have taught your soul to grieve.
In the barren soil of your loneliness,
there I will plant my seed.

I have taught you the price of compassion;
you have stood before the grave.
Though my love can seem
like a raging storm,
this is the love that saves.

Were you there
when I raised up the mountains?
Can you guide the morning star?
Does the hawk take flight
when you give command?
Why do you doubt my pow’r?

In your deepest hour of darkness
I will give you wealth untold.
When the silence stills your spirit,
will my riches fill your soul.

As the watchman waits for morning,
and the bride awaits her groom,
so we wait to hear your footsteps
as we rest beneath your moon.

Holy darkness, blessed night,
heaven’s answer hidden from our sight.
As we await you, O God of silence,
we embrace your holy night.


Mysteries of Wesir: Day 3

Today is the 3rd day of the Mysteries of Wesir, generally referred to as a day of mourning. Mourning is an outer reflection of the inner feeling of grief. How we express that grief is different from culture to culture. In modern American culture, it is unseemly to display mourning. In ancient times, 70 days was given.

Today I mourn for the loss of Wesir. He was taken away. He is not just missing or has gone on a trip. He is removed from us. Today has been a very cold day. It has rained all day long. Not a hard rain, but a steady soft, chilling rain. The wind has swooped through to one’s bones. The leaves are fallen from the trees. They lay in piles in the yard. Wet and lifeless. The sky was hidden by clouds all day, and tonight not one star is seen.

The weather reflects the emptiness I feel. He is gone.

His shrine, usually a source of strength and light is cold, dark, and lifeless. He is gone.

It is very cold tonight…but in this darkness and cold, there is a small flame of hope burning. I close my eyes and it is there. I cannot decipher it, or make it out with my vision, but something looms on the horizon tomorrow…

Do I feel this way because He is gone? Do I feel this way because a part of my very self is ripped from me? Or do I feel this way because I miss Him? I do. I miss Him so much…


Mysteries of Wesir: Day 2

Tonight we celebrate the Night of the Death of the Good God, Wesir.

He no longer stands, now He lies. In my morning devotions today, I took His icon and laid it down in a wooden box. There He rested, peacefully, His two sisters overlooking His bed. And I heard the words again in my head, God is dead.

Wesir is often called the Lord of Silence. He is a quiet god, speaking only when needing to. His words are carefully chosen and each carrying a multitude of meaning. Often I have thought He appears like this in the Seen World because He is so far away. He resides where gods do not go. While many of the gods interact with us from the Seen and Unseen worlds, Wesir is just a little further away. He resides with the Blessed Akhu in the Land of the Dead. Unlike the rest of the gods, He is dead.

Think about it, death that is. When someone dies, they are ripped away from us. One moment they are there, a part of our life, and the next moment they are gone, never to return. Death is so quick and frightening. It can happen anytime to anyone. My mother could die today. My best friend could die today. My dog could die today. I could die today.

Death comes to everyone, even the gods. Wesir was brave enough to enter into the clutches of death. Even as a god He had no idea what was going to happen. He did not run from it, but He confronted death. He did not confront it in any attempt to overcome death and to destroy it. He confronted death so that He could be with His people, and that they would have a king, and never be alone. They would never be separated from the gods. They would never be separated from their loved ones.

Tonight is a solemn quiet night. The house and neighborhood are eerily quiet. Silence can be deafening for some. Find that silence tonight and listen. His wisdom is there. He speaks there in whispers.

As I read the Lamentations tonight, I wish to share in the sadness of the Two Sisters. I share in their pain. I too know what it is like to have someone I loved ripped away from. I know what it is like not to tell them how you really feel about them. I too know that great emptiness which we are left with. Part of us die as well, and we are changed forver.


Mysteries of Wesir: Day 1

Today is the first day of the great Mysteries of Sokar-Wesir and one of the holiest times of year. Today the beginning of the blessed feast starts on the secular American holiday of Thanksgiving. It seems appropriate. As I went to work today, I saw family come and visit their loved ones, while others had no one. It made me reflect on how lucky I am, that my family is still here; that I still have people I love with me. And it made me contemplate, and thank god for family. It reminded me of the sacrifice Wesir made for family.

Today is the Defense of Wesir from Set. In ancient times Set was identified with the dry, arid, hot red lands of Kemet, while Wesir was identified with the lush, fertile, black land along the Nile. It is during this time of the year that the Nile waters receded and the time of growing was approaching. In today’s festival this doesn’t seem to make much sense, but later in the week it will.

According to popular myth Set killed His brother Wesir as an act of jealousy. Ancient myth tells a different story. Wesir is found dead along the banks of the Nile, drowned. Some sources point to His brother Set. As a child of Wesir, it took me a long time to come to terms with Set and what He may have done to my father. I avoided Set. I wanted nothing to do with Him. But over the years, I have come to a completely different realization. I thank Set.

I thank Set for doing what no other god could. I thank Set for loving His brother so much, that He would take the blame and make sure that His son would be as great of a king as Wesir was. I also thank Wesir, for sacrificing His own eternity with His wife and son. I thank Him for dying so that those people I love, my departed family and friends, are not alone in the West. He is there with them, shining as Ra in the Duat.

As I think about the two brothers, tears fill my eyes. They loved each other more than I could ever imagine loving a sibling. I am humbled by Their example and wish to emulate what a brother is. May I too be a good and loving a brother as Set and Wesir are to all my brothers and sisters.