Reviewed by Cosmic Dancer
Reviewed by Cosmic Dancer
Lots going on in Ancient Egypt today, which happens to be one of my favorite cultures. I also think its fitting because this month is Women’s Empowerment Month here at P&P.
One thing Egypt has is very strong and empowered women. In fact, one of the things that I admired most of this culture was the fact that their women didn’t cling to any Great Gods to save them but rather took matters into their own hands and saved themselves.
We have seen a lot of Sekhmet and today is no different. Once again, because she is most deserving, she’s honored in Egypt. Sekhmet was not only testament to all women–being a strong warrior and protector, but she also brought the Dead cake and wine in the Underworld daily.
Also today in Egypt, there will be a festival of Isis. Now Isis was the Goddess of many things (why she is called the Goddess of a Thousand Names) but today she is remembered for being the Patron of Women, Children, Magic, and Medicine.
So on this day, whether you are Pagan or not, perhaps you could take some time to yourself…let your mind heal, so to speak and get in touch with your inner Goddess—the real woman that lives inside of you. Maybe you can see your children with new eyes and you’re importance to them. Remember that you are their protector and Patron. Remember that your love has the power to change the world you live in….because when it comes down to it, it is your world. Remember that magic isn’t divining tools and cauldrons but something that lives inside of you—energy. And that you can make anything happen no matter what the odds.
Well it seems the Egyptians have triple blessings to celebrate on this day in our Ancient Calendar. A feast for Hathor and Sekhmet will kick things off, but also, they honor Ma’at.
Now while the Egyptians are doing their thing, the Greeks will once again be doing theirs.
Today marks the beginning of their Goddess Astraea. Yep, this is her Goddess month and we think she deserves it because Astraea happens to be the Goddess of Justice. We all know we need a lot of that in this world.
Now while her month begins, so does the Runic half month of Is.
This is a time of forced rest. No movement, no growth. Just rest.
If you draw this rune in a spread, it means…
Isa: A vertical line. Normal: Winter has come upon you. You seem to be frozen in ice and can not move. Positive accomplishment is unlikely now. A cold wind is reaching you over the ice flows of outmoded habits. Try to discover what it is that you are holding onto that prevents the spring from arriving. Shed the outdated, and the thaw will follow. It may be that you have no control over the conditions causing the winter. In this case remember that this is the way of Heaven and Earth; winter follows autumn, but spring will always follow winter. Watch for signs of spring.
In Ancient History….
Today, the Greeks are having a Pompaia of the Sacred Fleece!
In classical Greece, a Pompaia was a formal celebration of rituals that took place in many cities and towns by tons of people—people being the key. In this particular one, many would carry the skin of a sheep that had been sacrificed in honor of Zeus. As they walked together holding the fleece, a priest of Zeus would hold up a Caduceus (a staff of Hermes intertwined with snakes) and lead them onward.
Zeus was said to protect all those participating in a Pompaia. This particular one was meant to drive away storms so that the newly planted crops would not be harmed or destroyed. However, there are other purposes for this day as well. One of them being evil. If someone had been doing lots of evil deeds and wanted to be purged from the evil itself, they could place a left foot on the fleece, and the fleece’s power would drain all the evil out of them.
The Goddess Month of Cailleach Ends today.
Today, Greece is holding a festival for Praetextatus & Paulina.
Praetextatus & Paulina happen to be the keepers of the Eleusinian Mysteries.
Today an initiation ritual would have been preformed by the Greeks and their Priestesses. That’s what the Eleusinian Mysteries are, initiation of the initiate, along with whatever celebration and ceremony that moment called for.
These mysteries belonged to Demeter and her daughter Persephone. These mysteries, not to be confused with lesser ones, were the greatest and most sacred in all of Greece.
In Egypt, we have another feast going on. This one is for Sekhmet—a goddess you really don’t hear too much anymore unless you frequent Vampire communities online or, maybe, in life.
Vampires or those who are into that lifestyle, having their own reasons, have adopted this Goddess into their own personal pantheon, but in Ancient Egypt, no such belief existed *winks*—least not on this day of course.
On this day, Egyptians would have held a huge feast in Sekhmet’s honor and homage paid to her Purifying Flame.
Her name means power or might. She sustains the spirits of those who have died by bringing them food in the Underworld. If you are living, she would be important to you to as well. For if you have need of conquest, vengeance, or punishment for wrong doers, then you would skirt off to a Temple of Sekhmet.
Beginning as a warrior, she was all about protection. The Pharaohs’ depended on Sekhmet greatly for protecting them. It is said that her breath created the deserts.
Sekhmet (Sakhmet) is one of the oldest known Egyptian deities. Her name is derived from the Egyptian word “Sekhem” (which means “power” or “might”) and is often translated as the “Powerful One”. She is depicted as a lion-headed woman, sometimes with the addition of a sun disc on her head. Her seated statues show her holding the ankh of life, but when she is shown striding or standing she usually holds a sceptre formed from papyrus (the symbol of northern or Lower Egypt) suggesting that she was associated primarily with the north. However, some scholars argue that the deity was introduced from Sudan (south of Egypt) where lions are more plentiful.
Sekhmet was represented by the searing heat of the mid-day sun (in this aspect she was sometimes called “Nesert”, the flame) and was a terrifying goddess. However, for her friends she could avert plague and cure disease. She was the patron of Physicians, and Healers and her priests became known as skilled doctors. As a result, the fearsome deity sometimes called the “lady of terror” was also known as “lady of life”. Sekhmet was mentioned a number of times in the spells of The Book of the Dead as both a creative and destructive force, but above all, she is the protector of Ma´at (balance or justice) named “The One Who Loves Ma´at and Who Detests Evil”. Source
Links for further reading: The Ecole Initiative: The Eleusinian Mysteries Eleusinian Mysteries - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Sekhmet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Ancient Egyptian Gods Online--Sekhmet
During this time, the Moon shall bloom from dark to full and it is a great time for magics of increase.
This means, this is a great time to invoke growth and new things. Focus on bringing forth positive blessings into in your life, like luck and love.
Focus on the Maiden aspect of the Goddess. She is young, energetic, determined, fearless, renewed and full of life. She is just experiencing things for the first time, getting a sense of herself and of all things around her. She has a sense of unattached freedom and yet, she can feel her connection to nature as it flows vivaciously through her.
A very long time ago, I posted this ritual on my personal website. It gained alot of attention. Unclear on the direction my writing and research was taking me, I deleted the website after so many years running. Over the past few years, I received numerous emails asking for the return of this little historical ritual. Now that we are dusting off, The Pagan and the Pen, I think there couldn’t be a more suitable place to park this little tidbit. Here’s hoping all the regulars that haunted this little piece before, stumbles back upon it….
Now, once upon a time, in one of my encyclopedias, I found a word I had not seen before, Oborot.
The meaning and origins of Oborot can be found living within Russian lore. It’s meaning clear…Werewolf.
An Oborot is a person transformed, literally, into something else. And that’s exactly what this little incantation is supposed to do….transform a man or woman into a Werewolf.
Legend says, in order to use this powerful magic, you will need a few things.
You must go into the woods and stab the cut tree with the copper knife. Then, walk around the stump repeating this incantation:
On the sea, on the ocean, on the island, on Bujan,
On the empty pasture gleams the moon, on an ashstock lying
In a green wood, in a gloomy vale.
Toward the stock wandereth a shaggy wolf,
Horned cattle seeking for his sharp white fangs;
But the wolf dives not into the shadowy vale,
Moon, Moon, gold-horned moon,
Check the flight of bullets, blunt the hunters’ knives,
Break the Shepards’ cudgels,
Cast wild fear upon all cattle,
On men, on all creeping things,
That they may not catch the grey wolf,
That they may not rend his warm skin!
My word is binding, more binding than sleep,
More binding than the promise of a hero!
Once you feel the surge of power, you must spring or jump over the tree trunk three times. Legend says if you do, you will be transformed into a wolf. Afterwards, you are free to run off into the wilds of the forest!