• “Eye of Horus” is the cultic expression for every offering item, not just water. Every offering item was thus represented as a substance that restored something that had been lost, that returned something that had been stolen, that renewed something that had been used up, that replenished something that had been reduced, that put together something that had fallen apart – in short, it was the symbol of a reversibility that could heal everything, even death. Jan Assmann
    Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt

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Other Blogs

  • Just a quick note
    I’ve updated my bio page with a link to Les Cabinets Des Polytheistes, where my story “Spine of the World” is published (and in which people can play Spot The Netjer if they are so inclined), and my less-specific webspace Suns in Her Branches, which is broader than this space (which is specifically for reconstructionist-derived […]
  • Opet article is up
    And can be read here.Filed under: Patheos Links
  • Opet is coming ’round again
    And the Emboatening Crew is once more celebrating by making Kiva loans. You’re all welcome to join us. (My monthly column in Patheos Pagan is about Opet and charitable works, and will be going up tomorrow assuming nothing goes wrong.)Filed under: Festivals, Uncategorized
  • The Art of Being A God
    It’s interesting having one foot in reconstructionist religion and one foot in religious witchcraft, for a lot of reasons. One of the things that I’ve been thinking about lately is the shape of how the gods appear within the context […]
  • Mythopoeia
    Continuing with rambling on the topic of my exploration of pagan movement history, another critical concept: mythopoeia. The word means, literally, “myth-making”, and it is one of the near inescapable traits of at least the origin points of pagan religions. […]
  • Hills of the Horizon: The Past is Another Country
    The problem with extrapolation from history is that nothing is testable. The evolution of a religion over time is not a predictable and easily comprehensible thing, where we can look at a point in time and say, "It was like this then, so it would be like that now." The process of deciding what needs […]

Devotional Sonnets

A revolutionary lady, skirts
Blood-hemmed and billowing with sparkling mist
Emerges from the river. She is curt,
Unfriendly, tangled, ready to assist,
At least when she is asked politely for
Her time. Her trading wealth she spent to gain
Her emerald necklace and her rebuilt shore,
The musty workings of her clatt’ring trains
Where street musicians ply their hidden tunes,
Her clapboard churches, brick-built schools,
The sounds of baseball games in steamy Junes,
Her compass-point (a neon sign for fuel).
This open, clannish nature, touchy pride:
The tos and fros of boats upon the tides.

That tree which borders on the realm of dream
And brings forth every twilight’s day as fruit,
The gate through which the generations stream,
Star-crowned and with life’s waters in its root,
Its wooden womb the cradle of the dead:
A hornéd lady takes it as her keep,
Her golden cat’s eyes off’ring joy and dread,
Her hair the blue-washed black of heaven’s deeps.
She carries a long wand spiraled with vines,
She wears her robes in green and gold and white,
Her voice intoxicates like ancient wines,
About her is a touch of summer light.
And from her branches she will pluck a sun
Within which seven blessings have been spun.

Jackal at the Gates

You fear to speak what rests upon your heart
As if the past is root to some decay
A feather’s condemnation of the part
Unborne, unwritten, never forth by day.
What was has been, what is is yet to come
That “was” must pass is cause enough for grief
But morning’s voices will be ever dumb
If morrow’s burnt to buy today’s relief.
They say such endings come but once a life —
They say, though those who say are wrong —
In every transformation lies the strife
Of Phoenix flaming out to renew song.
You live through ending with each taken breath.
Come, take my hand, and have no fear of death.

O Lady of the piercing, burning gaze
Flame-wreathed, flame-warded, desert lioness
Whose fearsome vengeance stalks the heart transgressed
Against the law; Whose brilliant shining rays
Allow no flaw to go unmarked. Ablaze,
Her cauterising touch is a caress,
A transformation shaping a distress
Into a strength within Her hands upraised.
How fierce Her countenance, how sure Her will,
How deep Her hunger and how broad Her reach,
How powerful Her voice, how sweet Her breath,
How bottomless Her knowledge and Her skill,
How relentless the discipline She’ll teach.
All praise, Sekhmet, who holds both life and death.

I say: if I must walk with woman’s hips
Then I will take a cobra for my belt.
If words I speak be said with woman’s lips
Then let that voice be one with power dealt
In its low murmurings. And if I hold
With woman’s hands, then I will claim the right
To woman’s axe, the double blade, the old
Well-sharpened mark of potent woman’s might.
If I must be as woman is adorned
Then I will claim the starry sky for crown
Or else in cow’s remembrance will go horned
And wearing jewelry crafted out of bone.
If you of womankind me would affirm
Then recognise and know: these are my terms.